Welcome to the Season 17 of the USMLB.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Scranton Beet Farmer's (aa12on)
The Beet Farmer’s have seen there record get worse every year with there record falling down to 67 victories last year. With a lot of young players playing last year it was expected that the team wouldn’t do so well but with this year coming it is expected that the Beet Farmer’s might have a chance at .500 this year. The team lost Ernie Garcia (P) (0-0, 4.76ERA, 3G), Albie Jacquez (P) (4-3, 6.36ERA, 7SV), Walt Biggio (SS) (.270, 0, 20), Walter Hatcher (2B) (.259, 7, 53) and Gene Guerrero (P) (3-2, 3.32ERA, 15SV) to free agency. The team only signed Fritz Hernandez (2B) (minor leaguer) from the Portland Landports for 4yrs/14.8mil. The team traded Dario Wallace (P) (6-13, 6.75ERA, 152IP) to the Colorado Sky Sox for Vicente Domingo (RF) (.353, 50, 179) and a minor leaguer with 4.0mil coming to the Beet Farmer’s as well. The Beet Farmer’s made one trade that improved there offensive to be something to fear in the National League North.
The Beet Farmer’s offensive only scored 799 runs last season which in the American League is an offensive that struggled all year. You should really see a big improvement in there offensive this season with just one trade. Rookie of the Year/ AllStar Phil Shigetoshi (1B) (.330, 26, 101) is a young first basemen that has a very bright future ahead of him as he won the Rookie of the Year in the American League. Dean Clark (DH) (.309, 30, 106) in a big bat in the middle of the order and provided the protection that was needed for Shigetoshi to have a successful season last year. The returning players Dwight Hennessey (2B) (.247, 26, 97), Vernon Graves (2B) (.252, 15, 75), SS Gold Glove Eddie Erstad (SS) (.299, 5, 55), AllStar Angel James (SS) (.346, 29, 105), LF Gold Glove Marc Rivera (2B) (.290, 12, 56) and Byung-Hyun Shibata (SS) (.233, 3, 24) should improve from last season. This offensive should be a whole lot better this season as the young players will improve and Domingo will fit right in the middle of order.
The Beet Farmer’s pitching staff nearly gave up a thousand runs last season but the team had expected that it might be a tough year for the staff but they also expect there will be improvement this year as they didn’t add anyone to help from a trade or the free agent market this season. Victor Diaz (10-7, 5.86ERA, 2SV) pitched mostly from the bullpen last season but the team thinks that he is ready to become a starter on the major league level. Carter Wise (4-13, 5.26ERA, 184.2IP) believe it or not but Wise was looked upon as the ace of this staff last season, as he was able to eat up some innings to give the bullpen a break last season. Paul Hurst (3-7, 6.46ERA, 1SV), Steve McIntyre (7-6, 5.64ERA, 140.1IP), Alex Vizquel (P) (4-14, 8.00ERA, 129.1IP) and Phil Lee (minor leaguer) should fill out the remaining spots in the rotation. Sammy Beltran (1-5, 3.68ERA, 5SV) will be given the closer role this season as he did very well from the bullpen last year and the team is hoping that he can step up into a closer role this season. Last season the pitching wasn’t very good for the Beet Farmer’s with the starting rotation being awful. If this team has any chance to improve the staff has got to get better and get better quick.
Projected Lineup
Marc Rivera
Phil Shigetoshi
Dean Clark
Vicente Domingo
Angel James
Dwight Hennessey
Vernon Graves
Eddie Erstad
Oswaldo Bennett
Paul Hurst
Carter Wise
Steve McIntyre
Alex Vizquel
Victor Diaz
Phil Lee
Sammy Beltran

Projected Record – 63-99

Ottawa Crawdaddies (davisbrian)
The Crawdaddies saw a huge improvement from the previous with a 19 game swing and putting a huge scare into the Madison Lasers that maybe there reign on top of the American League North was about to come to an end. There plan from last season was simple, hit the ball over the fence, have some speed sprinkled throughout the lineup, have the pitchers only go 5 or 6 innings and let the bullpen close out the games and this was worked to perfection. The team lost Antone Rhodes (RF) (.200, 0, 1), Jeff Shipley (P) (6-5, 4.24ERA, 8SV) and Cliff Woodson (P) (9-9, 4.17ERA, 3SV). The team signed Gus Wilkins (SS) (.332, 32, 136) from the Colorado Sky Sox for 3yrs/31.5mil and Chris Haney (P) (8-9, 4.14ERA, 1SV) from the Durham Bulls for 2yrs/5.6mil. The team resigned Danny Smith (P) (3-3, 4.42ERA, 5SV). The team traded Adam Beimel (RF) (.259, 2, 8) to the Indianapolis Wrecking Crew for a minor leaguer. They also traded Adam Warner (P) (2-2, 6.14ERA, 22G) and two minor leaguers to the New Britain Fisher Cats for Rafael Machado (P) (15-8, 4.39ERA, 186.2IP) and a minor leaguer with 3.0mil coming there way. The team made one more trade, trading Spike Sweeney (C) (.471, 3, 6) to the San Jose Sabercats for a minor leaguer. The team wanted to have the momentum that they had last season and put into the off-season with some big signings and trades and that’s what the owner did this off-season.
The offensive only scored just over 900 runs last year which would put them in the middle of the pack in the American League, as they did hit the ball over the fence well, stole the bases when they had too and found a way to score more runs then the other team. AllStar Al Vazquez (SS) (.296, 55, 145) crushed the ball all over the field and will be a staple in the middle of the Crawdaddies order for some time. Clay Offerman (SS) (.293, 9, 60) provided what every good offensive needs and that is a lead-off hitter that can get on base and put some pressure on the pitchers with the threat of him stealing. Returning players Al Guillen (SS) (.310, 32, 104), Luis Johnson (SS) (.311, 15, 104), Weldon Erving (DH) (.310, 14, 73), C Gold Glove Donte Cashman (C) (.287, 32, 86) and Felix Davenport (3B ) (.250, 6, 45) should have no problem being as good as they were last season. Can this offensive become an elite offensive this season in the American League?
The Crawdaddies knew that if they where going to compete against the Madison Lasers that they had to have a good pitching staff, so instead getting there starting pitchers getting tired in the late innings that they would rely on the bullpen to win them games and that’s what this team will do this year as well. Mateo Romano (12-8, 3.99ERA, 198.1IP) was a good steady starting pitcher take could take the team to the sixth inning but was happy to see the bullpen close out the games for him. Ajax Peavy (11-8, 4.51ERA, 1SV) started the season in the bullpen but quickly went into the starting rotation and proved that he was ready for the job. Benito Garces (10-9, 5.58ERA, 182.1IP), Dennis Thompson (10-7, 4.04ERA, 189.1IP) and Rafael Machado should finish the rest of the rotation. Abraham Millwood (3-3, 2.98ERA, 24SV) will be given the closing job once again and the team is hoping that he can get more saves this year and less then the 5 blown saves he had last season. Can relying on the bullpen work for one more year or will all the work from last season effect them this season?
Projected Lineup
Clay Offerman
Luis Johnson
Al Vazquez
Gus Wilkins
Al Guillen
Donte Cashman
Weldon Erving
Felix Davenport
Roy Whitaker
Rafael Machado
Mateo Romano
Ajax Peavy
Dennis Thompson
Benito Garces
Abraham Millwood

Projected Record – 93-69

Madison Lasers (quantum76)
The Lasers have one the American League North for three straight seasons now but ever since they won the World Series in season 1 the team seems to be falling back into the pack of the American League and with the Ottawa Crawdaddies improving it looks like the fourth straight division title is in series jeopardy this year. The team lost Chet O'Connor (P) (1-2, 6.08ERA, 1SV), Malcolm Reed (P) (5-4, 6.55ERA, 26G) and Art Denham (P) (12-9, 5.52ERA, 200.2IP). The team didn’t sign any from the free agent market. The team didn’t make any trades during the off-season. The team may have slipped a little last season but the owner still believes that he has the right team to win the division again and get back the World Series.
The offensive wasn’t the problem for the Lasers last season as they once again scored over a 1000 runs proving that they still have one of the best offensive in the whole league. Ed Houston (SS) (.295, 35, 120) has seen his production slip a little the last couple years but he’s still a great force in the middle of the order and when guys are in scoring position he always finds a way to get them home. Darren Higginson (C) (.346, 31, 99) proved that even a catcher can be one of the best hitters in the league. Returning players Dave James (2B) (.284, 20, 101), Freddie Adcock (2B) (.343, 27, 99), Sherry West (3B) (.249, 41, 93), Harry Voigt (C) (.283, 24, 79), Heath Young (3B) (.293, 12, 65), Don Xaio (C) (.269, 39, 101) and Ricky Hogan (C) (.232, 11, 47) should have no problem getting close to there numbers last season. Can this offensive that is getting older still provide the kind of number the fans of Madison have expected from them?
The pitching staff really let this team down last season giving well over 900 runs and making the American League North a close race through out the whole season. The team is expecting the staff this season to improve and get this team another division title this year. The team added a lot of pitchers from there minor leagues and the Rule-5 Draft to see if it can improve this year. Chad Armstrong (13-10, 5.59ERA, 215.2IP) will need to start pitching like an ace, as that’s what the team has given him this season. Ned Frazier (11-12, 5.65ERA, 181.2IP) is the only other starting pitcher from last year on this team to have a spot this year and the team is hoping they don’t regret that decision. Louis Corino (minor leagues), Ralph Ewing (minor leagues) and Mark Higgins (minor leagues) should fill out the rest of the starting rotation this season. Larry Ellenwood (0-1, 3.24ERA, 31SV) should once again be asked to close the door at the end of the game this season again and once again should do well in that role. The rotation was a mess last season and with all the young pitchers in the staff this season it just might be a mess again.
Projected Lineup
Freddie Adcock
Darren Higginson
Ed Houston
Don Xaio
Sherry West
Dave James
Harry Voigt
Heath Young
Desi Hammonds
Chad Armstrong
Louis Corino
Ralph Ewing
Mark Higgins
Ned Frazier
Larry Ellenwood

Projected Record – 81-81

Portland Landports (scooterbop)
Last season the Landports where the Chicago Legionaires before the new owner moved them Portland for this season. The Portland fans will be watching a major rebuilding job oops I mean a “youth movement” this season as this team needs some help if there going anywhere soon. It seems such a long time for this franchise when they last made it to the playoffs and the team seems to be getting worse every year, will this be the year that the trend is reversed? The team lost Miller Young (CF) (.233, 4, 18), Marvin Wilson (P) (4-1, 7.08ERA, 4SV) and Willie Montanez (SS) (.224, 2, 15). The team signed Stephen Mayer (P) (1-2, 5.96ERA, 19SV) from the Boston Braves for 3yrs/1.41mil, Wayne Root (P) (11-12, 5.03ERA, 202.1IP) from the Houston Hitmen for 2yrs/700k with a 2.2mil signing bonus, Felix Riggs (P) (1-2, 4.56ERA, 71G) from the New Britain Fisher Cats for 3yrs/1.0mil with a 800k signing bonus and Al Priest (1B) (minor leaguer) from the Colorado Sky Sox for a minor league deal. The team resigned Bartolo Rosado (P) (1-6, 5.67ERA, 73IP). The team traded Tim Perry (1B) (.282, 35, 111) to the Jackson Blazers for Rich Blue (RF) (.315, 0, 43). I think the team did a good job getting some veterans to hold the positions till the minor leaguers are ready but at the same time the got these guys at a really cheap price.
Last season the Landports offensive wasn’t even close to the problem for this team as they did score the runs to keep the team in games last season. This year though I think that the team might struggle a bit on the offensive side, I do see that this team is moving in the right direction. Tomas Rosario (3B) (.278, 31, 84) is one of the true power hitters left in the lineup from last season and is expected to even do better this season. Andy Roenicke (2B) (.284, 3, 49) has a lot of speed with the prove of 71 stolen bases last season but he will be moving out of the lead-off this season with the trade for Blue. Returning players Ken Lincoln (SS) (.296, 23, 82), Tony Rodriguez (LF) (.293, 18, 76) and Peter Holmes (C) (.267, 19, 53) will need to provide the offensive this season. The biggest question I have for this team is where the big RBI guy is going to come from this lineup because they have the guys to get on base and steal a base but they don’t have RBI in the lineup.
The struggles that this team will see this season will come from the pitching staff that really isn’t different from last years team with the bullpen the only thing that really improved. Michael Dickey (15-11, 5.13ERA, 214IP) was the only starting that held his own and getting 15 wins for a team with only 65 wins is a great feat but can any team stand for there ace pitcher to have a 5.13ERA. Wayne Root was signed to provide another quality arm or what this team really needed was an innings eater. Vin Bryne (6-9, 5.05ERA, 148IP), Cesar Delgado (6-8, 6.20ERA, 123.1IP), Bartolo Rosado (1-6, 5.67ERA, 73IP) and Edwin Saipe (2-4, 5.19ERA, 60.2IP) will battle it out for the remaining spots. Mayer was signed to provide the team with a reliable closer this season and I believe that he will do fine in that role. Beyond Dickey and Root the rest of the starters will need to step up and show the fans of Portland that this team may be going through a hard time right now but the future will be bright real soon.
Projected Lineup
Rich Blue
Andy Roenicke
Tomas Rosario
Ken Lincoln
Tony Rodriguez
Al Priest
Peter Holmes
Apollo Hayes
Lance Brow
Michael Dickey
Edwin Saipe
Cesar Delgado
Wayne Root
Vin Bryne
Bartolo Rosado
Stephen Mayer

Projected Record – 60-102


Atlanta Brave Vawts (vawt)
The Brave Vawts once again saw themselves on top of the American League East last season and making it all the way to the American League Championship before bowing out to the Texas Talley Whackers. There really hasn’t been more of a consistent team in the league then probably the Brave Vawts as the team is 292-194 with a .601 winning percentage in the first three years of the league and with playing in probably the toughest division in the league that’s a good record. I know I like to give mess with the owner (Vawt) but I might regret this I really do believe he’s one of the best managers in this league. The team only lost Tiny Sheets (2B) (.242, 1, 18), Patrick Johnston (C) (.284, 4, 29) and Dave Carlson (P) (9-6, 5.22ERA, 3SV) to free agency. The team only signed Steve Barclay (CF) (.263, 7, 62) from the Jackson Blazers for 2yrs/4.2mil. The team acquired Cookie Pena (C) (.303, 17, 54) from the Indianapolis Wrecking Crew when they traded away Adam Beimel (RF) (.259, 2, 8) to the Wrecking Crew. The Brave Vawts knew that they really didn’t need to change much about this team, so they just found some bench players that could fill in a starting spot if there’s an injury in the lineup.
The Brave Vawts had scored the fourth most runs in the American League last season with 1001 runs as the lineup as great power in the middle, great speed up front and good contact hitters towards the end of the lineup make this a lineup that’s hard to deal with on a daily basis. Frank Surtain (3B) (.292, 52, 149) as been forgotten with all the power hitters in the American League but make no mistake once a pitcher faces him they’ll remember for the rest of the year. AllStar/ RF Silver Slugger Nick Collins (RF) (.353, 38, 124) fits perfectly in front of Surtain as he gets to see a lot of great pitches and he knows what to do with them. The returning players Alex Sojo (SS) (.285, 16, 82), Aubrey Hutchinson (1B) (.288, 37, 99), Mac Johnson (C) (.304, 24, 96), Luis Carreras (SS) (.278, 19, 84), Morgan Robertson (2B) (.293, 16, 76), Ricardo Martinez (C) (.277, 8, 68) and Wade May (DH) (.271, 13, 51) will have no problem producing the same numbers from last season. Unless a major injury happens to Surtain or Collins this offensive will continue to roll and once again become on of the best in the American League.
The Brave Vawt had probably the second best pitching staff in the American League last season and with 4 AllStar’s and the CY Young winner in the staff it’s makes you wonder why they weren’t number one. The Brave Vawt this season should once again have one of the best staffs in the American League and it might just have the best with Nikowski having a full year in the rotation this season. AL CY Young/ AllStar Phil Nitkowski (11-4, 1.76ERA, 153.1IP) started the season as the closer but the team quickly saw the error of that and moved him into the rotation where he became even more dangerous to become the CY Young winner in the American League. AllStar/ P Gold Glove Ray Jackson (16-6, 3.78ERA, 176IP) not only was Jackson a AllStar pitcher but he was the best fielding pitcher in the American League and the team is looking for him to become a great star this season. Andruw Dunston (14-7, 4.75ERA, 217.2IP), AllStar Larry Rath (16-11, 3.79ERA, 5CG) and Samuel West (12-11, 5.50ERA, 189.2IP) should fill out the remaining spots in the rotation. AllStar Paul Krause (5-5, 3.17ERA, 26SV) didn’t start out the season as the teams closer but he was put into the role once Nitkowski was moved to the rotation, then Krause became an AllStar but he did blow 6 saves so that could be something to watch this season. Last season the pitching staff for the Brave Vawts was one of the best but the bullpen had become there achillies heel with 8 blown saves and an ERA over 5 the bullpen will need to improve this season.
Projected Lineup
Morgan Robertson
Alex Sojo
Nick Collins
Frank Surtain
Aubrey Hutchinson
Mac Johnson
Luis Carreras
Steve Barclay
Ricardo Martinez
Phil Nitkowski
Larry Rath
Andruw Dunston
Samuel West
Ray Jackson
Paul Krause

Projected Record – 101-61

Boston Braves (warswics)
Well last season this team was called the Cleveland Barons but with a new owner he thought it would be a good idea to shack the bad luck in Cleveland and move to Boston. There’s a lot of talent on this team especially from the offensive side, as it makes you wonder if the previous knew what they where doing as I don’t think this team should have two losing season in the last three years and never making the playoffs, so maybe the new owner can turn this team around in the very tough American League East this season. The team lost Pablo Alfonseca (P) (1-2, 4.15ERA, 2SV), Hiram Thomas (RF) (.228, 6, 21), Stephen Mayer (P) (1-2, 5.96ERA, 19SV), Sean Pierce (P) (7-6, 4.98ERA, 121IP) and Nipsey Rivera (3B) (.201, 18, 48) to free agency. The team signed P.T. Martinez (3B) (.328, 33, 115) from the Durham Bulls for 4yrs/30.4mil with a 1.0mil signing bonus, Mike Baxter (2B) (.252, 8, 38) from the Monterrey Stars for 3yrs/16.4mil plus a no-trade clause and Gil Lefebvre (P) (6-10, 5.56ERA, 131IP) from the Cincinnati Highlanders for 1yr/4.8mil. The team didn’t make any trades during the off-season. The team went hard after a good power hitter and gave Martinez a big contract for a position that they really needed any kind of production from.
There was no problem with the Braves offensive last season scoring over 900 runs. When any one gets on base for this team the players behind him finds ways to bring him around which is never a bad thing when your going to have to score a lot of runs to compete in the American League especially the East. Chad Nathan (1B) (.307, 34, 131) is a great first basemen but with so many other great first basemen in the American League he gets forgotten but the fans in Boston will soon begin to love him. AllStar/ SS Silver Slugger Rich Hale (SS) (.321, 19, 91) should once again be at the top of the order and once again become a huge torn in the side of the pitchers he faces. Returning players LF Silver Slugger Rob Cooper (LF) (.299, 24, 107), Steven Pedersen (1B) (.304, 24, 86), Tommy Crede (RF) (.292, 30, 110), Lonny Hughes (CF) (.277, 7, 48) and Matty Rodriguez (LF) (.319, 12, 46) should have no problem being as good as they were last season. How much better will this offensive need to get this team to a winning record once again this season?
You would think giving up 939 runs last season that the pitching staff was close to one of the worst staffs in the American League, you would be wrong as the staff wasn’t the best but it certainly wasn’t the worse either sitting nicely in the middle for the American League. Roy Van Hatten (13-8, 3.29ERA, 150.2) only started 23 games last season but he did lead the team in victories and ERA last season and the team is hoping that he can repeat those numbers again this season. Paul Lee (9-16, 6.82ERA, 3CG) will need to keep the hits down this season if he’s going to improve from last season. Eddie Drew (4-7, 6.21ERA, 116IP), Gil Lefebvre and Dean Randall (6-10, 6.16ERA, 133IP) should finish the rest of the rotation. As of right now I’m not really sure who the closer is going to be as there are some good options but not a lot experience coming from the bullpen but if I had to name a closer I guess it would be Matt Schmidt (4-3, 3.98ERA, 10SV). Can the pitching staff keep the team in the games this season so that there offensive has a chance to win them some games?
Projected Lineup
Rich Hale
Rob Cooper
P.T. Martinez
Chad Nathan
Tommy Crede
Steven Pedersen
Lonny Hughes
Mike Baxter
Brendan Norton
Paul Lee
Dean Randall
Eddie Drew
Gil Lefebvre
Roy Van Hatten

Projected Record – 76-86

Cincinnati Highlanders (yanksrule11)
The Highlanders really surprised me last season with how good this team was, even with all the young players that came to the team last season. The owner (yanksrule11) decided that New York wasn’t a place that the young players didn’t need to be playing in with all the temptations that New York would bring so he moved to Cincinnati and hopefully it will help the young players focus only on baseball this season. With three straight playoff appearances and 90 win season I guess I will never underestimate this team again. The team lost Calvin Hasegawa (SS) (.250, 3, 20), Herman Harris (3B) (.282, 11, 36), Iago Shiell (P) (2-3, 4.56ERA, 53.1IP) and Gil Lefebvre (P) (6-10, 5.56ERA, 131IP). The team only signed Mark Masato (1B) (minor leaguer) from the Ottawa Crawdaddies for a minor league deal. The team didn’t make any trades during the off-season. With the team already full with good young talent there wasn’t any good reason for this team to make any moves this off-season.
Any offensive would be thrilled to one great power hitter but this team has two great power hitters which makes this offensive dangerous to any one who faces them as the team scored 933 runs from last season. The problem with this lineup seems to be that it’s very front loaded with the back of the lineup not having as good hitters as the front of the lineup. AL MVP/ AllStar/ 1B Silver Slugger Luis Nunez (1B) (.335, 66, 150) makes every pitcher that faces him have nightmares the night before it truly one of the best power hitters in the game today and even though he hit is career low of 66 homeruns last season that is not any sign that he is about to slow down. AllStar/ 2B Silver Slugger Bobby Henry (3B) (.298, 51, 127) may have only had 127 RBI’s to go with his 51 homeruns but when your hitting behind Nunez the RBI chances are going to be lower then they would be on a different team. Returning players Mark Phillips (3B) (.292, 35, 102), Cy Ryan (SS) (.276, 26, 77), Rob Carlson (CF) (.266, 9, 67), Jody Fox (LF) (.282, 11, 54), Vic Olivares (C) (.233, 12, 48) and Pedro Alvarez (3B) (.249, 14, 59) should have no problem getting close to there numbers last season and will probably improve it. Can the Highlanders get any sort of production from the bottom of there lineup or will they have to get that from the first five once again?
The pitching staff proved last season that you can be young and also be good in the American League. The team only gave up 814 runs last season the third fewest runs allowed in the American League and with another season under there belts the young pitchers should get better. AllStar Tracy Bowie (17-10, 3.65ERA, 231.2IP) is the staff ace and what the young pitchers will be looking up at as this season goes on. Theo Martin (13-7, 4.31ERA, 177.2IP) said that is goal this season is to win 15 games, ERA under 4 and pitcher over 200 innings when I spoke to him earlier in the week and with his talent he might be able to do that this season. Mark Kwon (1-3, 6.00ERA, 48IP), Socks Leach (13-11, 4.43ERA, 225.2IP) and Albert York (10-6, 6.79ERA, 156.1IP) should fill out the rest of the starting rotation this season. Magglio Salinas (3-6, 3.12ERA, 35SV) should once again be asked to close the door at the end of the game this season again and once again should do well in that role. As of right now I’m not really sure who the closer is going to be as there are some good options but not a lot experience coming from the bullpen but if I had to choose one it would Herb McCarthy (3-3, 3.50ERA, 12SV). The staff will have a good mixer of youth and talent both in the rotation and bullpen but will the young players take a step back this season is any ones guess.
Projected Lineup
James Martin
Mark Phillips
Luis Nunez
Bobby Henry
Cy Ryan
Pedro Alvarez
Jody Fox
Vic Olivares
Rob Carlson
Tracy Bowie
Theo Martin
Socks Leach
Albert York
Mark Kwon

Projected Record – 90-72

Kansas City Dirt Bags (rklongball)
The Dirt Bags had one of the biggest turn around from last season improving by 17 games the previous year and making it to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. In my opinion rklongball should have won Manager of the Year with the great improvement that he did with the team. Unlike the rest of the American League East teams the Dirt Bags had the most changes, so if that will effect there team this season is any ones guess. The team lost Craig Rivers (P) (3-12, 5.03ERA, 52G), Doc Becker (2B) (.237, 2, 42), Orlando Guevara (P) (2-5, 5.79ERA, 1SV), Pedro Padilla (LF) (.260, 10, 38) and Wesley Buckley (P) (0-1, 11.57ERA, 14G). The team signed Heath Fitzgerald (LF) (.274, 18, 83) from the Madison Lasers for 3yrs/24.0mil with a 2.0mil signing bonus and Brad Campbell (P) (5-6, 2.98ERA, 79G) from the Monterrey Stars for 2yrs/5.4mil. The team resigned Adam Torres (P) (2-2, 2.22ERA, 32G), Wilfredo Fernandez (3B) (.288, 38, 125) and William Hanson (P) (1-3, 1.83ERA, 44SV). The team didn’t make any trades during the off-season. The Dirt Bags needed to resign some good players during the off-season so it left very little room to find some players in the free agent market but they still get a steal with Fitzgerald.
Last season the offensive scored the fewest runs in the American League East but with 905 runs that doesn’t mean that the offensive wasn’t any good. The team didn’t have much pop expect for a couple of players but what they do have is great speed and they had fun running around the bases last season. AllStar Victor Santiago (SS) (.309, 15, 107) may not have the power you expect from someone with 107 RBI’s but hitting second in this lineup allowed him to slap the ball around while runners where constantly in scoring position for him. AllStar Peter Bang (1B) (.300, 13, 68) was the hitter batting in front of Santiago and was consistently on second base with his 73 stolen bases from last season. Returning players Wilfredo Fernandez (3B) (.288, 38, 125), Scott Rapp (DH) (.309, 14, 95), Alex Lee (RF) (.289, 45, 122), Jim McEnroe (CF) (.262, 12, 65) and Matthew Small (LF) (.307, 10, 89) should once be running around the bases this season. The biggest question I have for this team is will they get any production from there catcher this season or will he just be a missing link in the chain of this offensive?
The pitching staff only gave up 820 runs which in the American League is a great number the have. The bullpen looks to be the strength of the staff once again with a great closer in AllStar William Hanson (1-3, 1.83ERA, 44SV) and with the signing of a great set-up man Campbell. Walt Davenport (14-10, 3.88ERA, 213.1IP) saw himself as the staff ace last season as he led the team in victories (14), ERA (3.88), innings pitched (231.1), strikeouts (144) and tied for the most complete games (2) in the starting rotation. William Adcock (11-5, 3.92ERA, 133.1IP) pitched great last season but his 21 starts really hurt him from putting up better numbers last season. Rondell Borbon (6-1, 4.45ERA, 1CG), Jayson Christensen (10-11, 5.36ERA, 184.2IP) and William Creek (6-4, 5.27ERA, 95.2IP) will battle it out for the remaining spots. Hanson is without question one of the best closers in the game and should once again provide that same quality this season. Injuries took a little toll on the pitching staff last season but with everyone healthy this season it should get better from last season.
Projected Lineup
Peter Bang
Victor Santiago
Alex Lee
Wilfredo Fernandez
Heath Fitzgerald
Scott Rapp
Matthew Small
Jim McEnroe
Curt Price
William Creek
Rondell Borbon
William Adcock
Jayson Christensen
Walt Davenport
William Hanson

Projected Record – 91-71