Recently added 2B Matt Williams who was claimed from the waiver wire should see plenty of action with his solid bat and glove. C Wil Dorsey is arbitration eligible, but I don't think at 36 his skills are anywhere near ML ready any longer so he was released. C Julio Franco has added to be Dorsey's replacement and should be an upgrade at the plate; he still leaves a lot to be desired behind the dish. In a surprise move the Metros also released Veteran pitcher Mark Russell and Light hitter speed CF Harry Zorrilla. Both seem to have a place on the team going into the year, but quickly fell out of favor in the winter cold. 3B also got the axe later in the spring. Rule 5 selections Jimmie Brown looks like the real deal and should add a strong element to the front of the bullpen for the Metros.
The Pitching staff has talented all-stars leading the rotation. Franci Charlton is a former Cy Young Winner who still has a number of aces up his sleeve even at 36. Bruce Yarnell is coming off a career season in which he posted a 19-6 record with an ERA of 3.25. He has consistantly flown under the radar in his 5 season career and teams should start to take notice of him. Former all-star P.T. Schoeneweis rounds out of top 3. He suffered a poor season where he struggled with his command ending the year 2.5 runs over his career ERA. He should bounce back this season and show signs of his old form. Even at 35 he has gas in the tank. 23 year old Ugueth Ortiz has been learning on the job for 3 seasons, he has shown flashes of the ace he could become, but still suffers through the growning pains. He should be better than he was last season watch for him to gain command of the plate and up his strikeouts and lower his ERA in season 19. The final rotation spot will be a dog fight between incumbant Louie Gutierrez, who struggled in season 18 but is owed 17M fior the next 2 seasons and Ricky Hearn who showed signs of life in his split role of starter and reliever. Between the 2 there should be a solid 5th guy and long reliever waiting for a chance to get a start or 10. Former starter Roy Robinson and Rule 5 claim Jimmie Brown will complete the long relief rotation, but most likely will not be in the starter battle. Both should contribute huge shutdown innings in long relief though.
Setup man Henry Terry had a good rookie season and showed he was capable of ML innings. RP Lou Robinson is going into his 3rd season and has shown imporvement each season in the league but his career ERA is 6.25 and his OBA is hoovering around .325. There is alot of room for improvement. He does have growing room and should end this season with an ERA in the more respectable 5 range. Stretch Olshan is probably the teams go to setup man at this point. He has always found away to get the job done, sometimes it wasn't the prettiest , but he always seems to come out on top. CL Butch Hamilton saved 50 of the Metros 87 games needless to say he was Fireman of the year hands down. He should be able to continue his domanance when he gets into games.
SUMMING IT UP WITH QUOTES:
"Man I can still run circles around these young kids!" Sam Miller career stolen base leader