Wednesday, January 26, 2011

S19 Twains Preview

S18 record: 56-106
Finish: Fourth place, NL North
2010 final payroll: $54.7 million
Estimated 2011 opening day payroll: $ 65 million

Offseason action:

The Twains really could use a solid catcher, a few consistent power bats, a solid 2B and 3B, Improvements at RF and LF. Hell they need all the pieces to make this team right. Speed seems to be the focus, but you still need to get those wheels on the path if you want to score.

SP Brandon Roosevelt's broken elbow limited his action in S18. He was able to post a stellar 2.64 ERA to go with an 8-5 record. With his lose the wheel came off the Twains. Bringing him back in FA might be an option, but at 36 he is no longer capable of giving a consistent 6+ innings.

Arbitration eligible pitchers Pablo Sosa and Livan Campos might be much signs this season, both over more value than their hearings should cost.

Reality check

CF Donaldo Alverez had a solid Rookie campaign and might be a solid 8 or 9 hitter. He has great speed and could be a solid .250 hitter, but he is far from the guy to build a team around. St Louis is in the middle of a huge rebuild outside of 1B tandem of Jumbo Maduro and D.J. Hoiles there is very little offense to speak of. Defensively shortstops Wes Kirwan and Kazuhiro Shigetoshi provide one of the best defensive tandems in the game, but at the plate there needs to be more around to protect these vulnerable bats. The minors hold 2 glimmers of hope AAA LF Vic Alicea who has stolen 65 bags over 3 seasons and AA 2B Jim Griffin who has racked in 365 bags in 4 seasons. Both should get an audition this season, but both are not going to drive in the runs. A few guns are needed to even of offense is St. Louis wants to be near .500

Even worse things are predicted for the pitching. As a unit the pitching for the Twains overachieved in Season 18. I would not expect to see a repeat on the ERA and wins from the same unit again. Outside of starter Pablo Sosa, the Twains will lean heavily on 2nd year man Samuel Jackson. At 25 he held a decent 8-10 record with a 4.18 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. After those 2 the pitching staff is in flux. Frank Rivers is a solid Long Relieve, but not a game changer. On the farm the Twains could look to bring up International signee Yeico Chavez who might be able to carve his way through ML hitting. He is young and might not be ready for that push just yet. Another option is giving AAA Alvin Frank a shot again to make it in the league. Help needs to come soon to fix this team or they will be looking at another 100 losses.

Yeico Chavez
St. Louis
Age: 21B/T: L/L
Born: Quivican, CU
Position(s): P (SP2)
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Summing it up with a Quote:

"That ball seems to be going… going…. going to be fielded on one hop to the second baseman" - Frank Winters ESPN Play-by-play

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