Welcome to the Season 17 of the USMLB.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pittsburgh Pirates (Second Place)(80-85 victories this season)

Chief Martin LF (Martin smashed 50 homeruns and the team is expecting him to put up the same power numbers this season)

Victor Santiago CF (Santiago smacked over 200 hits last season and will be back in the lead-off spot for the team this season)

P.T. Martinez RF (Martinez is the other power threat in the lineup but he can also get the hits when he needs to)

Pedro Cabrera 3B (Cabrera numbers will improve this season as he plays more the 100 games like last season)

Gus Wilkins 2B (Wilkins will have no problem getting is hits and batting average in his first full season with the team)

Samuel Clark SS (Even at 34 Clark is looked upon to produce some decent numbers this season)

Lonny Hughes 1B (Another veteran in lineup that can still produce but his numbers are falling)

Max Dodd C (What an oppertonaty for Dodd to learn from all the veterans in the lineup about the art of hitting this season)

Walt Cortes (Cortes had a decent season last year with 10 victories and keeping his ERA under 4 and the team is looking for him to improve those numbers this season)

Benjamin Ross (Ross had a career season last year with 17 victories and an ERA under 4 as well and could be the staff ace this season)

Harry Blanco (Blanco led the team with 18 victories and was one the reason for the team success last season and will try to keep those numbers this season)

Willis Howell (Howell probably won’t repeat his 14-5 record from last season but I believe you will still have a decent year)

Max Nieves (Nieves could be given the shot at the fifth spot in the rotation this year)

Daniel Strickland (With the closer spot very much open this season, Strickland could be given a chance to close)

Rankings to start the season:
9th ranked offensive
25th ranked pitching staff

Players Added:

Players Lost:
Hideo Uchida LF (Left via Free-Agency)

New York Fighting Molars (Fourth Place)(60-65 victories this season)

Adam Beimel RF (Beimel had another decent season last year and will probably be around the same type of numbers this season)

Max Wood CF (Wood is really the only power threat in the lineup and there big run producer)

Vin Roque LF (Could be given a shot of playing in the field this season)

Patsy Lincoln 3B (Lincoln will need to improve his average if he’s going to improve his power numbers)

Mark Chang 2B (Could be given the second base job this season)

Mule Brewer SS (Brewer is probably there best option at shortstop this season)

Juan Piedra 1B (Piedra is not a typical first basemen as he can still bases and doesn’t have much power)

Vic DaSilva C (Look for DaSilva to have a nice season this year)

Wilson Fisher (Fisher won the Cy Young last year and is one of the best pitchers in the league but will once again be on a losing team this season)

Heath Thomas (Thomas pitched almost perfect last season in his short stint in the majors last year and will be expected to reproduce those number this year)

Frank Koh (In is first season as a starter last season Koh produce some decent numbers)

Oscar Koh (The younger brother of Frank could be given another shot at the rotation this year)

Garland Haney (Haney only had two starts last season but could win the fifth spot in the rotation as spring training ends)

Jerome DeRosa (DeRosa has established himself as one of the best closers in the game today)

Rankings to start the season:
26th ranked offensive
22nd ranked pitching staff

Players Added:
Dennis Finley 3B (Rule-5 Draftee)

Players Lost:
Ralph Bowen P (Left via Free-Agency)
Joshua Vaughn P (Left via Free-Agency)
Norm Long 3B (Left via Free-Agency)
Woody Ruffin LF (Left via Free-Agency)
Art Denham P (Left via Free-Agency)

St. Louis Cornerstone (First Place)(87-92 victories this season)

Jason Frazier LF (Frazier enjoyed a decent season last year and could be entering his prime this season)

Augie Boswell CF (Boswell doesn’t get on-base very much but when he does he always seems to steal next base)

Earl Williams RF (Williams is the big power threat and run producer in the lineup and the one that could really hurt you)

David Cota 3B (Cota will hit around 20 homeruns this season to go with 40 to 50 stolen bases)

Donnie Spehr 2B (Could see a lot of time at second base this season)

Melvin Howard SS (Howard can hit for a good average and have one of the best glove at his position)

Carlos Alvarez 1B (Alvarez hit a career high 32 homeruns which led the team as well)

Gabe Serafini C (Serafini will probably start the season as the opening day catcher but will get a lot of pressure from Juan Vazquez this season)

Mark Barkett (Barkett is the staff ace and has averaged 13 victories a season during his career)

P.T. Ramirez (Ramirez is a decent pitcher that always seems to have to same number of victories and losses every season)

Ronn Hoyt (Hoyt is the work horse of the team pitching over 240 innings last season)

Adam Beard (Beard only made 12 starts last season and is looking to rebound after a disappoting year)

Wendell Bradley (Bradley took over for Beard last season and had decent year and giving him the chance to start in the rotation this season)

Ed Jefferson (Jefferson won his third starting Fire Man of the Year last year and is the best closer in game)

Coaches Corner:
The goal this year is to win the division in every level of our system. A playoff series win would also be a nice thing. Where always looking for a strong pitcher and also a slick fielding shortstop would be a big help for the team if we can find does during the off-season. Adding solid, low-level minor leaguers is also a key for the success of are minor league teams. Donnie Spehr could be a real candidate for Rookie of the Year since he’ll bat high in the lineup and should put up good numbers. This team as always tried to win with pitching and defense and we don’t see that changing any time soon. We drafted pitching early on and in a season or two they should be ready. We also have some young contact hitters that will hopefully be around for several seasons. This is still a building season but 85-90 wins should be attainable.

Rankings to start the season:
13th ranked offensive
15th ranked pitching staff

Players Added:
Julio Sosa P (Minor League Deal)

Players Lost:
Cesar Delgado P (Left via Fee-Agency)
Will Casanova P (Released)
Buddy Strickland CF (Released)
Bruce Jenkins P (Claimed off Waivers by the Philadelphia HeadHunters)
Rudy Adams 1B (Claimed off Waivers by the Philadelphia HeadHunters)
Alex Espinosa SS (Claimed off Waivers by the Monterrey Stars)

Toledo Boltz (Third Place)(70-75 victories this season)

Chad Jones LF (It will be nice for Chad Jones not the be refered to as Chad Jones 1 on this team this year)

Rick Smalley CF (Could be shortstop or might see time in centerfield this season)

Nicky Duran RF (Duran is really the only power threat in the lineup and will need to find a spot in the lineup once again this season)

Rollie McMillon 2B (McMillon will provide a nice back of the lineup edition once again for this team)

Ed Hernandez 3B (Could play second base or third base as his numbers are too good not to be in the lineup this season)

Andrew Hampton SS (Hampton is quietly become a great shortstop in the league)

Phil Takada 1B (Takada had a really disappointing year last season and is looking to get back to form and could be challenged with the fist basemen position by a young rookie this year)

Carlos Rodriguez C (Will probably platoon with Charlie Newson this season)

Harry Beltran (Beltran pitched better then his 5-13 record last season and is the staff ace with the most experience in the starting rotation this year)

Ivan Serra (Will be given a chance to stay in the rotation the whole year after making 14 wonderful starts last season)

Vladimir Pulido (Pulido is only 23 years old so it could be an up and down season for him once again this year)

Hector Liriano (Will be looking for his first career win this season after going 0-6 last year in 10 starts)

Alex Goya (Goya is another young pitcher looking to make a difference in the rotation this year)

Mickey Collins (Collins will start out the season as the closer but his 11.65 ERA from last season as the fans worried about what the late innings will bring this year)

Coaches Corner:
We need to take a hard look at this team and figure out what kind of team it wants to be. The team is going to take a good five or six seasons to turn around and be competitive once again. We have some decent talent in the minor leagues, but not every prospect is going to fit what the team's philosophy and identity. Our main goal is to trade away some of the veteran talent that we have and get some good talent in return. We will also have to trade away the prospects that do not fit the identity and philosophy we are trying to create. Most of the talent that will help us in the future will have to come from the draft. We don't have a group of overwhelming talent in the minors, so they transformation will have to come from the Rule 5 and Amateur Draft. Watch out for the Rookie first basemen Ryan Relaford, he's been improving every season in the minor leagues, and with the exception of a 3-game stint in AA, he hasn't batted less than .315. He's deserving of a shot in the big leagues, and this season is going to be a defining moment in his career. We want to see how the team does in a neutral ballpark and see where the strengths and weaknesses are before we really focus on a philosophy this year. We are thinking of building a fast team based on good contact and defense. In this first season, I think we'll be lucky to get to 40-wins. This is going to be a tough first five seasons while I strip the team down and rebuild from the ground up.

Rankings to start the season:
7th ranked offensive
32nd ranked pitching staff

Players Added:
Frank Nakamura P (8-2, 4.27ERA, 5SVS)(2yrs, 3.6mil)
Charlie Newson C (1yr, 1.0mil)
Bubba Reagan P (3yrs, 12.0mil)
Walt Hayes P (7-10, 4.53ERA, 2SVS)(2yrs, 4.8mil)

Players Lost:
Lance Brow 2B (Left via Free-Agency)
Graham Jefferson P (Left via Free-Agency)
Marvin Stark CF (Left via Free-Agency)
Louis Kolb P (Left via Free-Agency)
Julio Rodriguez P (Left via Free-Agency)
Jeff Shipley P (Left via Free-Agency)
Boots Porzio P (Released)
Justin Beckwith P (Released)
Brian Huff P (Released)
Ned McMillon P (Released)
Angel Vizcaino P (Released)
Barney Kramer P (Released)
Thomas Bonilla P (Released)
Ken Potvin P (Released)
Julius Hartman P (Released)
Hiram Dougherty P (Released)
Nicky Davis C (Released)
Pedro Flores C (Released)
Spike O'Brien SS (Released)
Gary Clark P (Released)
Cozy Medina P (Released)
Benji Sierra P (Released)
Stephen Mayer P (Released)