Monday, May 9, 2011

NL North/ AL North S20 Preview


Dover Doves: 6M over the cap coming into the season is not a position any team wants to be in. They might have to trade away a contract or transfer budget to make this team work as it stands. Defensively this is one of the better teams in the NL and should be able to make the pitching staff look better every day. They should be able to get away with a few more hanging curves than other teams can. The Offense has a few holes in the batting order, but they still feature former MVP Valerio Guillen and solid #5 guys Albert Oquist. Recently signed Footsie Long adds a whole other bag of tricks to the lineup and should offer a strong bat to the lineup. The pitching staff is wild at times with poor control over most of the starting staff. They will need to hope the defense can erase some of the extra base runners to make innings smoother.
Projected Finish: 86-76 2st Place
FA Rumors: Need to get their budget number down might do addition by subtraction or the Ai will do it for them.

Philadelphia Stars Offensively this is the best hitting club in the NL North and should be able to score runs easily. They might have issues in the field that will erase their offensive skill set. George Frazier is not a capable CF'er and might be better suited for 3B, but there is a log-jam at 3B capable players. Overall there is a nice corp of hitters to work with. A nice collection of starters mixed with 4A type pitcher for long relief. The Pen is going to need to get things sorted out to give Preston Guerrero a better company to work with. Those guys are littered in AAA with Preston Guerrero, and Andres Brogna and AA pitcher Charles Bang not even getting a look right now and sitting off the 40 man roster.
Projected Finish: 82-80 3rd Place they need to straighten out the prospects and bring up the right guys and this team has a new look
FA Rumors: Talent is in place they need to promote from within.

Cincinnati Ramrod currently carrying 16 pitchers on a NL team. This is about 3 to many for the NL in my Opinion and cuts the bench short, limiting what Cinci can do at the plate. The core base of hitters is solid with both good defenders and elite level hitters, there are definite holes at CF and they could use one role player off the bench. Using some 0of the excess pitching and packaging it could land that starter or bench player. There are still a number of guys in Free Agency that fill that need as well. There isn't much of a farm ready guy to lean on to fill either role right now.

Projected Finish: 88-74 1st Place
FA Rumors: CF Heath Peterman (L) or a poor man's version Jason Tankersley (L) would be of interest

St. Louis Twains the Twain has a numbers of guys coming down the pipe, but more than likely are at least 1 season away from regular ML action. The offense is fast, but very light hitting outside of FA acquisition , The Pitching staff is sub-standard and will struggle in a tough NL and be eaten alive with Al hitting. This is a team that is just biding its time until all its top picks starting cashing in.
Projected Finish: 72-90
FA Rumors: have the money to target another bat and maybe an upgraded arm for both the starters and the pen, they just need to shuffle the roster some to make room, night is a move or 2 during spring training.


Seattle Fainting Goats - Have to like the aggressive take on free agency they brought in talented 2B Mendy Barfield , and a few key veterans in 3B Tony Jacquez and CF Sean Swan. The help they need now is all on the pitching side, they have a serviceable starting rotation, but it has weakness toward the backend and a solid 8-9th inning punch, but they lack the meat in the middle of the pitching staff. AA pitcher Bo Rothschild might fill part of that need. The free Agency frenzy does one good thing small term contracts that leave room for the future to step into starting roles next year and the year following without having a veteran block the road.
Projected Finish: 80-82 3rd Place
FA Rumors: Might try to land 1 more cheap end long reliever and an insurance starter such as Ralph Ainsworth , Vince Sheets or Brandon Roosevelt.

Madison Massa's Lost a number of bench players along with ½ last season's starting pitching corp, yet this team might have improved through the subtraction. A new corp of pitchers were brought in with Ray Wright taking the #1 spot, Hitting will take a bit of a slide with the aging of key veteran Craig Cooper. The Massa's need to find a starting SS or look to Jeromy Sele who is coming off a huge injury and has no ML experience. Pitching should have improved enough to keep Madison in the conversation another season
Projected Finish: 88-74 2nd Place
FA Rumors: Has to be looking at bringing back SS Daniel Young or another high caliber option, Could use another pitcher for insurance.

Burlington Ice Storm (AL) Swing for the fences type lineup in a big park, they are all or nothing batters, mixed in with some young guns. Alex Lucano seems rushed this season after only 1 year in the minors, I would have liked to see him get more seasoning before the call-up but he does have ML skills to offer right now. With only 9 pitchers on the team and 6 open spots they have the space to make some nice FA ads. They need to target 1 more starter and a few more dependable bullpen arms. I more consistent hitter would not hurt the team either.
Projected Finish: 70-92
FA Rumors: LRP Roy Robinson, RP Ricardo Lee or RP Howard Neal should all get looks

Minnesota Wobegon's Like Madison this is a team that can hit, but they can also pitch with young home grown talent like , Damaso Martinez, Sterling Daniels, Antonio Lankford, and Steven Adcock this could be the toughest rotation in the Al. They should have won the Al North last season, but injuries derailed the team and allowed Madison to slip ahead. I would not expect this to happen again. Both injuries the team still carries should be cleared early in the season. When that's done expect the Wobegon to be unstoppable and all this for under 50M not to bad.
Projected Finish: 90-72 1st Place
FA Rumors: Should be quiet might move aging talent to make room for the young guns to get more Abs

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