Welcome to the Season 17 of the USMLB.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Colorado Sky Sox (knucklebones)
If most team win there division for the second straight year it would be considered a great success but not for the Sky Sox, as the team had to be disappointed in how last season turned out. Knucklebones then moved the team from Los Angles to Colorado in hope that the move would wake up his team. The team last year where the Arizona Diamondbacks of the USMLB giving up 11 runs then they scored but the weak NL West allowed them to still have a winning record. “In previous years this team was built on defense and pitching but with our offensive growing, I thought Colorado would be a perfect fit for them.” GM knucklebones had to say about his team, he also said, “it will be an interesting year but I still see use three-peating for the divisional title.” The team only lost Bill Abbott (1B) (.184, 3, 9), Philip Dunn (C) (.256, 22, 75) and Lonny Welch (P) (4GS) to free agency. The team only signed Max Ransom (C) (Minors) from the San Antonio Stars for 1yr/327k. The team also acquired Ricardo Ramirez (C) (.273, 21, 77) from the Tacoma Pioneers for two minor leaguers and acquired Odalis Montanez (2B) (.251, 23, 66) from the Las Vegas Zone for three minor leaguers.
Earl Williams (RF) (.240, 33, 117) is the big power bat in the lineup, for he won’t hit for much average, but that should improve in the thin air of Denver, as well as his homeruns. Khoury Glass (CF) (.279, 11, 49) is the prefect lead-off hitter for this lineup, as he will probably once again get over 50 stolen bases. Returning players Vicente Domingo (3B) (.289, 23, 110), Gus Wilkins (SS) (.298, 24, 64), AllStar Tony Armas (LF) (.326, 18, 76), Frank Cooper (C) (.270, 6, 64) and AllStar/Gold Glove 2B Benito Pineda (1B) (.273, 13, 70) needs to provide some offensive for this team. The offensive should be more powerful this year with some newly added additions but the biggest help is the thin air in Denver that will help this offensive the most.
The staff did struggle somewhat in Los Angeles last season and I belief with the move to Colorado that the pitching staff won’t get any better but with the offensive more of the center stage on this team now, the pitching won’t have to as perfect this season. AllStar Gil Henson (13-11, 4.04ERA) is without question the staff ace and mentor to the young arms in the rotation and bullpen as well. David Gao (14-13, 4.79ERA) will be looked upon to provide some big innings and starts for this team. Jolbert Johnson (11-6, 4.69ERA), Josh Kerr (5-12, 5.76ERA) and Rabbit Kennedy (4-2, 3.54ERA) will fill out the rest of the rotation. AllStar Robert Price (39SVS) coming off a great year last year is still the closer this season. With moving from the pitcher friendly ballpark in Los Angeles to Colorado have any kind of effect on the staff at all?
Projected Lineup
Khoury Glass
Gus Wilkins
Tony Armas
Earl Williams
Ricardo Ramirez
Odalis Montanez
Benito Pineda
Vicente Domingo
Gil Henson
David Gao
Jolbert Johnson
Josh Kerr
Rabbit Kennedy
Robert Price
Projected Record – 90-72

Las Vegas Zone (lvrecsports)
The Zone have found themselves with there third different owner and third different that they have played in. They improved one game last season for the year before this team should improve a slight bit like that this season as well. With this team being one of the oldest in the National League, it’s time for there expectations to finally show themselves. The team lost Emil Nunez (P) (3GP) and Duane Werth (1B) (.268, 5, 20) to free agency. The team signed Odell Hudson (2B) (.278, 27, 58) from the Durham Bulls for 2yrs/10.4mil, Ricky Jefferies (P) (1.24WHIP) from the Louisville Colonels for 2yrs/6.6mil and Carmine Taft (P) (10-11, 3.13) from the Toledo Holy Men for 4yrs/37.5mil. The team also traded Ernie Torres (P) (43GP) to the Texas Talley Whackers for a minor leaguer and Odalis Montanez (2B) (.251, 23, 66) to the Colorado Sky Sox for three minor leaguers.
Jim Wilkinson (RF) (.255, 17, 45) saw his playing time diminished after hitting 30 homeruns the previous so he’s looking for one last chance to prove that he can be a great player for this team. AllStar Woody Garcia (3B) (.296, 54, 130) without question is the best player on the team and another 50 homerun’s is not out of the question from this guy. Returning players AllStar Haywood Matthews (CF) (.290, 17, 70) and Nolan Jordan (SS) (.293, 22, 71) will need to mix well with the new players to have the offensive succeed. With the offensive young no one really knows how this team will go.
The pitching staff gave up 5.20 runs per game last season, which in the National League isn’t that great. The rotation and bullpen are pretty much the same as last year, but the young arms have some experience behind them and should be able to improve from last years numbers. Keith Donovan (6-8, 4.26ERA) had a lot of problems with injuries last season and he’s hoping that season will me a fresh start for him. Julian Ingram (9-11, 5.52ERA) needs to show the ability that he truly has this season. Carmine Taft (10-11, 3.13ERA), Travis Messmer (8-4, 3.82ERA) and Marvin Sparks (6-7, 4.59ERA) are filling the remaining spots in the rotation. Alex Bagley (70GP) didn’t have a single save last season but the team in confident in his abilities that he can be a great closer this season and many season to come. Just like the offensive there a lot of talent with the pitching staff, it’s just that for what ever reason the players haven’t been able bring it to the field.
Projected Lineup
Haywood Matthews
Nolan Jordan
Todd Griffin
Antonio Frye
Odell Hudson
Jim Wilkinson
Woody Garcia
Donald Kwon
Keith Donovan
Julian Ingram
Carmine Taft
Travis Messmer
Marvin Sparks
Alex Bagley
Projected Record – 73-89

San Diego Friar Power (sidekicker)
The Friar Power are looking at there third different owner in three years and its third name change as well. After making the playoffs there first year and missed last season and didn’t finish above .500. When you offensive is tied for the worst in the National League things like that will happen but the team didn’t address this issue with the off-season market or make any trades for some offensive fire power. The team only lost Ruben Ortiz (P) (43GP) and Pat Herndon (P) (46GP) to free agency. The team signed Preston Wright (P) (15-12, 5.92ERA) from the Santa Fe Sidewinders for 3yrs/15.0mil plus a 3.2mil bonus, Scott Presley (P) (14-9, 4.04ERA) from the New Britain Fisher Cats for 3yrs/14.7mil plus 1.3mil bonus and Tim Archer (P) (Minors) from the St. Louis Cornerstone 4yrs/14.0mil plus 1.2mil bonus.
If there was a serious weakest that any team could show there opponents, offensive would be the reason for the Friar Power, as the offensive will probably be in last place again this season. Andre Hyzdu (3B) (.273, 29, 74) is trying to become one of the top young hitters in the league this season. Gold Glove LF Joel McMasters (CF) (.238, 43, 97) can hit the ball a mile away but his average is a real concern for the team about McMasters. Returning players Sean Bird (SS) (.266, 9, 56) will try to mix in perfectly with the young talent on this team. With this offensive can they once again become a playoffs team?
The pitching staff pitched well last year, keeping them in game that they shouldn’t have been in last season. The strength of the staff had to be the bullpen, holding done leads and allowing the offensive come back all season long. Juan Matos (11-6, 3.94ERA) didn’t produce the numbers of wins that you expect from an ace but he has the abilities to become that ace this season. Herbert Brandt (Minors) have never pitched in the majors but the team thinks that he’s ready to make to jump. Tim Archer (Minors), Arthur Duffy (5-11, 4.26ERA) and Scott Presley (Minors) should fill out the rest of the rotation. AllStar Jesus Rodriguez (44SVS) impressed a lot of people collecting 44 saves last season after saving 43 the year before and I can bet that he will once again be above 40 saves this season. The starting rotation is young, with the bullpen mostly having veterans but bullpens don’t win you games, starting pitching does and does this team have enough starting pitching to get back to the playoffs?
Projected Lineup
Art Roskos
Enrique Rincon
Sean Bird
Andre Hyzdu
Rafael Pineda
Harry Julio
Joel McMasters
Jay Moss
Juan Matos
Herbert Brandt
Arthur Duffy
Tim Archer
Scott Presley
Jesus Rodriguez
Projected Record – 75-87

Tacoma Pioneers (tomjames)
Read the Tacoma Preview earlier in the blog.