Saturday, February 26, 2011

Still More Previews

NL North

Detroit Roadsters

The Roadsters are clearly in win now mode. The Roadsters looked primed to make a run at a division title with a veteran led team. To help their playoff push, they moved most of their prospects to upgrade in the OF positions acquiring Sammy Marichal and Pedro Domingo , as well as snagging #3 starter Joaquin Soto. They better hope that everyone stays healthy as organizational depth is not a strong suit for this team. The Roadsters do have two future stars in 1B Bubba LaFromboise and CL Antonio Whang but they are still a couple of years away from the majors.

Milwaukee Wolves

Can the Wolves have some bite to go with their growl this year? They'll rely on a rookie GM and Manager with a strong mix of veterans to lead the way. Looking for productive seasons from Augie Paige , Eric Lillibridge , and Diego Feliz to go with up and comers Vic Saenz and Rafael Guerrero. A patchwork pitching staff with no clear #1 starter could be the achilles heel though.

Minnesota Lumberjacks

The Lumberjacks will be trying to compete for the division title but might have their work cut out for them with the Roadsters and their nice 1 – 2 punch at SP and veteran lineup. To help the team compete they traded for veteran Bob Campbell who comes as a one year rental to lead the staff. We think we got a relative bargain in FA with Josias Estrada who should be a capable #2 starter. Holdover Mac Wang will lead a young lineup. The lineup will be bolstered at some point this season by trade acquisitions Trent Whitaker and Carlos Seneca. At only 19, Seneca could use some seasoning but the Lumberjacks like his bat and can’t afford to wait with him as he would slide right into the 3 or 4 slot in the lineup. Hopefully he can handle the pressure despite his age. Young pitchers Jermaine Bere and Anthony Appier are also slated to join the big league club this season if the current staff should falter. This team has a nice young nucleus with a few veterans sprinkled in that we hope will keep us competitive this season and for years to come.

Chicago Hitmen

The Hitmen start and end with two young arms, Blake Decker and Bum Brandt . The Hitmen plan on this being a very good duo for years to come. Offensively, there are some very good, young big leaguers that will have to grow into their positions. Luis Pulido , Tony Chang, Wesley Hall , and Derek Koloff . In the minors, there are some nice prospects, mostly at the upper levels. Yovani Gallardo , Maximo Duffy , Bernie Flores , Flash DeHaan , and Footsie Uggla @ AAA. Cody Pettyjohn , Pedro Mercedes , Ray Patrick , and Brian Lambert @ AA. Herbert Kelley and Nap Hartman at High A. The Hitmen round out their first season with 4 picks in the first 46 selections in the draft, so they should be able to add a few solid prospects along the way.

NL East

Cincinnati Tall Stacks

The top players are also new additions to this team they include Carlos Rios, Phil Pellow,and Chien-Ming Meng. Top prospects are Alex Reese, Joel Grimsley, and Everth Gonzalez

Pittsburgh Phantoms

Pittsburgh is led by Willie Johnson and Birdie Mahomes on offense. Clarence Arnold and Nick Adcock anchor a solid pitching staff that should keep them in most games. This franchise may not run away with the division but should be able to play break even ball and with a few breaks, could contend for the division title.

Indianapolis Racers

I'm looking to win now. I'm going for a small ball approach with contact, speed, hit and run etc. I have the least power in the world. My defense is very sharp with Murray Harris 3B, Slim Jefferies SS, and Carlos Guzman at 2B. My pitching is terrible but has the best control in the league and keeps the ball on the ground. I don't have a single prospect worth mentioning.

St. Louis Bishops

Despite missing out on a couple of valued FA, optimism runs high in St. Louis. The offense will be led by FA aquisition C Alex Romo. 1B Julio Diaz and LF Mark Chen will also add offensive pop. The rotation will be balanced, with no dominant starter, but 5 capable hurlers to share the load. Rabbit Edwards should lock down most late inning leads. With balance up and down the roster the Bishops hope to make a run at the playoffs this season.

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