Monday, February 14, 2011

S19 Spyders Preview

Cleveland Spyders

S18 record: 107-55
Finish: First Place, AL East
2010 final payroll: $ 127 million
Estimated 2011 opening day payroll: $116 million

Offseason action:

3 seasons ago Rafael Otanez Would is in the running to be one of the top closers, now he is without a job. After a tough season 17 he has not gained his confidence back. It's been 10 seasons since his CY Young now Vladimir Rodriguez is holding on for any job in season19. An injury might get him a shot somewhere. Gone as well are C Charlie Marion and his noodle arm, RP Cap Rose who still has life in his arm, and 4 time Cy Young winner Ryan Perry. Perry will be missed heavily.

Added are 3B Tim Swann via rule 5 draft. A young and talented prospect with huge power numbers in the minors. Swann might find the Ml to be tough this season. Also picked up on the Rule 5 was Clyde Martin. Not as talented as Swann, Martin will find playing time even more difficult. Free Agent Starter Lou Lamb signed with Cleveland on a 1 year 790K contract. Lamb spent most of season 18 on the DL with a broken arm. Reports are that he lost something. The bigger catch might be Daryle Davis who at 37 is far from his prime, but still is useful in the right controlled role.

Reality check:

CF Heath Peterman is the best centerfielder in the game; he combines top tier fielding with an amazing bat. Some point to his higher than average strikeout totals as a negative, but he's a legitimate 40/40 threat so what if he strikeout out once a game.

Pedro Osuna
Age: 32B/T: R/R
Born: Bonao, DO
Position(s): 1B/LF/DH
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The pressure is pretty low when you are surrounded by the likes of Max Mills, Jose Park, Pedro Osuna and Albert Frazier. All of which are capable of being a superstar on their own team. That's 5 superstar starters. Add in RF William Stewart who's good for 20/20 and LF Alan Shields who has stolen 50+ bases the past 2 seasons and you can understand why this team is one of the top offenses in the league. The biggest hole might be a catcher where 30 year old Josh Hargrave has been a career backup because of his endurance issues. When he plays the team will cruise, if he is on the bench they will have a hole. Not that the pounding this team can put on the opposition will change all that much by losing one big bat.

The rotation is led by all-star CY Young monster Alex Wang. The Wang has been a dominating forces most of his career. That will not change this season. With the offense behind him and his own skills, he should be in line for another CY young season. Jim McMahon looked great in the first half of the season, but faded in the 2nd half. He needs to bring a full season effort or his high win total will be dismissed as the result of the killer offense. Juan Escuela looked great last season in his 1st year as a full-time starter. He should continue that trend this season. Trent Boone and Lou Lamb will have the benefit of getting to pitcher behind murders row here in Cleveland. They will not complain when their ERA's are checking in around 5, but still have 13-18 wins this season. The Pen has a few guys who use to be league elites. Ellis Watson even last season was a dominant closer who controlled the 9th inning and struck fear into the hearts of men. Now he is a shadow of that man, but still a competent reliever. Julio Arias is coming off a career season where he held opponents to a .230 OBA and seemed to have a handle of the 8th inning. Torey Kirk who is currently slated at Closer suffered through his worst season of his career. The new role might be a chance to find his niche on this super powered team.

Summing it up with a Quote:

" About time I get to coach the big boys" Hitting coach Ted Torres after 10 seasons in the minors.

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