Thursday, January 31, 2008

Meet the New Wolves!

OK, folks, it's time to meet the new kids on the block.

Some of the top prospects in the game are heading up to the majors to join the Brooklyn Wolves this September. Never before has there been such excitement and anticipation about the future in Brooklyn. Let's take a look at some of the up-and-coming stars of the Wolves.

The first to arrive on the scene was Bill Olesen. Olesen was the team's #1 pick back in the 2006 draft. During the years that he spent in the minors, Olesen was one of the most asked-for prospects in trade talks with the Wolves, but owner Zev Steinhardt always held on to him. When the big league team needed another starter in late May, Olesen got the call. Since then, he's proven to be a great asset to the pitching staff, winning 11 games (against only three losses) and posting an ERA of 3.07 through mid-September. It looks like Bill is going to be a valuable member of the Wolves' pitching staff for years to come.

September 2 saw the arrival of the game's #1 prospect, Jeff Wardlaw, to the Show. Wardlaw was the #1 pick for the Wolves in the 2010 draft. He split the 2011 season between AA and AAA, hitting 31 homers, with an average around .310 and an OPS of about .970. The Wolves expect a lot of great things from him in the future and see him as their shortstop of the future.

Another exciting September call up is third baseman Bruce Parker. Parker was drafted in the 5th round of the 2007 draft by Hickory and acquired by Brooklyn in a trade early in the 2008 season. Since then, he has improved year after year in the minors. 2011 was a breakout year for Parker. After starting the season at AA, he was quickly called up to AAA in late May. Between the two teams, Parker has slugged 55 (yep, that's right -- 55 home runs) home runs in the minors this year. After a long string of unsuccessful third basemen, Brooklyn is hoping that it's long search for a third-sacker is finally at an end.

Joseph Bevers is another player that the Brooklyn fans are hoping to see more of in the future. A rule 5 acquisition in 2010, Joseph spent the entire season on Brooklyn's major league roster, hitting .277 in limited duty. He was sent back to AA for more seasoning at the start of the 2011 season, but quickly proved himself, hitting .287 with 20 home runs in half a season. Earning a promotion to Kensington (AAA), he did even better, batting .326 with 14 home runs, 44 RBI and a 1.060 OPS in 50 games. That earned him a September promotion to the big leagues. Bevers hopes to be on the Opening Day roster in 2012.

2B/1B James Banks is another hot prosepct that the Wolves are counting on for the future. Banks was a 3rd round pick by Danville back in 2007. He spent the next three years in A ball, learning the game. Banks was one of the central players in the deal that sent long time closer (and all time save leader) Samuel Alfano to Danville. Banks responded to the vote of confidence by beginning to hit the ball. He spent most of 2010 in AA Flatbush before coming up to Kensington at the end of the year. In 2011, he hit .277, with 19 home runs, 75 RBI and 18 stolen bases. When called up to Brooklyn in September, he hit .326, with two home runs (in the same game!) and three stolen bases. It's even possible that Banks may send Beau Manning (who is looking forward to watching his cousin in the Super Bowl this Sunday) back behind the plate.

Catcher Michael Woolsey is another exciting player that the Wolves think very highly of. Woolsey was originally drafted in the third round of the 2006 draft by New York. Four years and three trades later, he found himself in the Brooklyn Wolves' system. 2011 saw Michael hit .304 in AAA Kensington, while knocking 26 balls out of the park, driving in 94 runs and swiping 16 bases. Since being called up in September, he has pounded the ball, hitting .467 and stealing two bases.

Cornelius Bondy began his career as an outfielder back in 2008, when he was selected in the third round of the draft by Brooklyn. He rose steadily through the ranks, finally reaching Brooklyn in June. While he has spent most of the season sitting on the bench, he hopes to see more playing time in 2012.

Other players called up in September include Jerome Geise, Andrew Merriweather, and Willis Welliver who was a 38th round pick for the Wolves back in 2002. Welliver has been with the Wolves every September since the league's inception (except 2002 and 2011), hitting .389 over the course of his career.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sim 12: Who uploaded?

Seattle
Hickory
Saskatoon
Houston
River Cities
Los Angeles
Walla Walla
New York
Covington
Danville

Friday, January 25, 2008

September Call-Ups

Leaves are changing color, the wind is biting a little colder, and rosters have expanded as the SDMB OOTP calendar rolls to September 2011. Time for the annual "Who are you calling up" blog entry.

As for the Seattle Monarchs, we're calling up a few players.

IF Cristobal Santoyo. He was sent down midseason to learn to play third and second base for his future as a utility infielder with strong defense and OBP skills. He got half of it done, becoming a pretty good defensive third baseman. Since minor league play has ended, he rejoins the Monarchs to be the second backup infielder, behind Lincoln Rossetti and ahead of Marvin Cardoza.

Swingman Roger Painter. Selected in the fourth round of this year's amateur draft, Painter had a good year in AAA and was ok in a couple of appearances earlier in the year.

MR George Quinn. His ratings shot up this year and he's now shown as a 3* pitcher. I signed him as a minor league free agent in April 2010 and he's been very good in AAA for a number of years now. He's 32, so that's pretty late to get going in his career, but I'm looking to see if he's a viable option for the back end of the Monarchs' bullpen in 2012. He looks like he'll strike people out and keep the ball in the park, but it's an open question as to whether he won't just walk the entire league.

SP Joseph Macaluso, one of the top starting pitching prospects in the league, was going to come back to the Monarchs rotation, but he's got an inflamed rotator cuff so he's being shut down for the year instead. His starts will instead go to the ageless Albert Garcia, current swingman and hot prospect Allen Rueter, and Painter.

Before the last sim, I'll call up OF Willie Klopp and OF John Sadao for a farewell appearance or two in front of the Monarchs crowd before they ride off into the sunset. Jobs doubtlessly await them in the Monarchs' front office following their expected retirement.

What's everyone else doing, since the division titles appear all but sewn up again?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Osborne pitches career game

8/21/2011

DANVILLE, Ill. -- Dans starter Frank Osborne plucked a diamond out of his rough career, pitching a complete-game shutout of Covington in which he gave up one walk and four hits, but struck out a league-record(?) 18 batters. Danville won 2-0.

Osborne walked the second batter he faced, Covington's Nicholas Cornwall, and the future Cleveland Steamers didn't see another baserunner until right fielder Juan Whelchel doubled in the sixth.

The closest Covington came to threatening was in the seventh. Leadoff hitter Russell Powell singled. After two strikeouts, center fielder Erubiel Hurtado singled, giving Covington its only runner in scoring position in the game. Osborne extinguished the threat by inducing an inning-ending popup by short stop Carroll Degroat.

Danville backed up its pitcher with two runs. The Dans first scored on a solo homerun by catcher Shawn Beeks in the second. In the fourth, a Franklin Jackson RBI single brought in Alberto Usera who lead off the inning with a double.

Osborne struck out the first two batters in the ninth before Covington collected its final hit -- a double by right fielder Nelson Broman. Osborne closed out the game with his final strikeout.

Osborne has spent his entire career with the California/Danville franchise. A consistent workhorse for the team, among the top in innings pitched and game starts for much of his career. He leads the league in game starts with 33, strikeouts with 238 and walks with 112. Osborne has pitched 206.2 innings, one and two thirds behind the league leader, Seattle's Chad Nelligan. Osborne is also sixth on the list of career strikeouts with 1758.

Some argue his career peaked last year -- the 32-year-old Osborne strung together two winning seasons in 2009 and 2010 and tossed the lowest ERA of his career last year at 3.12. In order to match his 2010 totals, with just 30 games left to play, Osborne would need to win 10 games, lower his ERA nearly a full point and throw 52 strikeouts.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sim 11: Who uploaded?

Seattle

Hickory

Saskatoon

Houston

River Cities

Los Angeles

New York

Walla Walla

Covington

Danville


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Overeducated League seeks one owner

Some of you may be aware that Mack and I launched another league, the Over Educated League, last year. The OEL is founded on a faster, more loose way of working and the fact that Mack and I can share the commissioner duties and pinch hit for each other as needed.

Well, we need an owner to replace one that departed. The league can be seen here:

The OEL

And the team up for grabs is Sylva.

I want to stress that the OEL isn't a replacement league for the SDMB League but a different league with a different way of operating. We have three sims per week of five games each so things move pretty quickly. We also have a wildcard playoff syster and interleague play.

Go ahead and look. Drop Mack or I a line if you're interested in trying it. I can be reached at nate@wooleysark.com.

Sim 10: Who uploaded?

Saskatoon
Seattle
River Cities
Los Angeles
New York
Covington
Danville

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sim 9: Who uploaded?

Seattle
Hickory
Saskatoon
Houston
River Cities
Los Angeles
New York
Walla Walla
Covington
Danville

I'm sorry for the delay... things have been a bit crazy around here. Next sim will be on Wednesday as normal.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Ten Year Anniversary - All Time Team?

This is the tenth season of the SDMB OOTP League. I was pondering, at the end of the year, conducting some voting to establish an All-Time, All-League Team. I think it would spawn some interesting arguments in the off-season about peak vs. career performance, team success vs. individual accomplishment, etc. Plus, I'm really curious to know if any Monarchs would make it.

I was thinking I would do it the same way I do the All League voting each year, i.e., circulate a list of candidates and their relevant information; ask for additional nominations; circulate the final voting slate; collect votes; announce the winners. (I think I left out the step that leads to "Profit!", but I'll figure that out later.)

What I'm wondering is, what information would the owners like on the candidates? Just total career stats? Year by year information? Win/loss/titles won records for the teams they were on? Favorite colors?

If you think this might be interesting to do, drop a comment and let me know what information you'd like to have to vote. I suspect that it will take me a while to compile the information, so I thought I'd open the subject now for discussion.

P.S. If you think this is a really stupid idea, let me know that too and I'll just drop it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sim Delayed

I'm sorry, but I did not get to run the sim last night. As it turns out, I have grad school orientation tonight, and my daughter's school's annual dinner Saturday night, so it looks like the sim won't happen before Sunday morning.

Enjoy the trading deadline extension.

Zev

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Trade: River Cities and Saskatoon

Dateline: Marietta, Ohio

In what may be the final deal before the deadline River Cities has made a bold move, breaking off their traditional refusal to deal prospects and picks to acquire standout third sacker Ronald Quijada from Saskatoon, along with minor league shortstop Matthew Rodrigues and Saskatoon's 2nd round pick in the upcoming draft in exhange for River Cities prospects OF Edward Boothe, who'd just broken into the majors, minor league OF Rufus Murray, recently acquired minor league 3B Telmo Dalmau, 1B prospect Kenneth Dolezal, minor league reliever Danny Bronner, and River Cities 3rd round pick.

Seven players and two picks changing hands makes this one of the larger deals in league history.

"Obviously, we're very pleased to get a player like Ronald Quijada for the team" said River Cities owner Nate Wooley. "It's not often an opportunity to acquire a player of his worth. At 25 and with his potential it's a no-brainer to make the deal. Yes, we'll miss Telmo, even though he'd been with us only a few months, but with Palacio at 2B, Hukill at SS, and Quijada at 3B there'd be no place to play him for years to come. Now we have to work on signing Quijada long term. He's still got one more arbitration year but we want to get the deal done quickly, if possible."

"Reached at his apartment near the air field in Dayton Dalmau told this reporter, "Eh, it's not like I was fitting in here. It's been less than three months since I was dealt to this miserable, late-voting place. I hope Saskatoon is friendlier. Plus, there's a chance I could get to play up there this year, depending on how things go!"

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Covington (Cleveland) grabs another prospect...this time from Houston

Covington (Cleveland) has picked up Houston's #1 rated prospect, under performing SS Carlos Gomez. Carlos was overheard saying that he hated the heat in Houston and was never going to play well enough to make the big league team. After the trade he said, "I like Cleveland much better, it reminds me more of my home country of Puerto Rico." Carlos will start off in Amsterdam playing for the AA Dutch Ovens, but hopes to move up to the AAA franchise in Mexico City soon. He was the #2 overall selection back in 2007 but has never lived up under the pressure of being such a coveted pick.

Steamers GM Jeremy Goldman thinks that Gomez will shine in his new home and thinks he has the chance to be the next 30/30 man if he ever reaches the majors. "This now makes 3 Carlos' in the organization that play SS. They say good things come in threes," said the GM from his Atlanta double-wide. Jeremy also likes the $500,000 that is accompanying Gomez in the deal.

In return, the Armadillos receive SP Steve Foland from the AAA Mexico City Dirty Sanchez ball team and one of Covington's 4th round picks in next year's draft.

Seattle-Danville Trade, Part III

July 22, 2011 SEATTLE (AP):

Seattle and Danville today agreed to their third trade of the year, as Seattle sent coveted minor league closer Steven Mattice and a seventh round pick in next year's draft to Danville in exchange for former Monarch Paulino Zamorano. Zamorano, a power-hitting centerfielder, will be a free agent at year's end and was widely quoted as saying that he would never sign an extension with Danville.

"We brought Paulino back into the Monarch family today to give us depth and flexibility as we approach the playoffs," explained Owner/General Manager Mack Shultz. "We hope to persuade him to sign an extension with us, but we'll just have to see what his demands are. We know what he can do, as he was a more than capable hitter for us from 2004 until we traded him to Danville in July 2008."

Zamorano was part of a huge mid-year trade in 2008 that sent closer Pedro Morales and power-hitting prospect Juan Guzman to Danville in exchange for, among others, outfielder Armando Cedeno and starting pitcher Isidro Frau.

Zamorano could not be reached for comment but his agent, Will Bilkum, expressed skepticism about his client's willingness to sign an extension with the Monarchs. "Paulino wasn't happy there before. He showed in Danville that he is an All-Star centerfielder when given playing time and he's not going to be happy backing up again. Plus, we want a [truck]load of money"

Mattice was the Monarchs' third round pick in the most recent draft but had struggled while posting a 5.09 ERA with the Kent Kings.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Individual Records Under Assault

We're just past the halfway mark, and here are some of the individual records most at risk of being broken this year:

Adams League
Batting Average: Roberto Cesarez, .365, 2004 (Waylon Blassingame is at .372)
RBI: Brian Frison, 150, 2010 (Frison is on pace for 160)
Wins: Demarcus Ramirez, 28, 2009 (Chad Nelligan is on pace for 31)
Saves: Norman Fuentes, 45, 2010 (Timothy Vallejo is on pace for 53)

Zotti League
RBI: Patrick Valdes, 138, 2009 (Valdes is on pace for 143 and Timothy Palacio for 140)
Hits: Anton Suarez, 220, 2009 (Suarez is on pace for 227 and Duane Gerhardt for 226)
2B: Gerald Bowers, 49, 2003 (Gerhardt is on pace for 55)
3B: Joel Valenti, 18, 2004 (Gerhardt is on pace for 19)
Runs: Frank Nunn, 141, 2004 (Gerhardt is on pace for 143)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The End of a Fine Career

by I. M. Hack

The baseball world is a bit poorer with the recent career-ending injury to fire-balling right-hander Vernon Larry.

Who could forget the five memorable years that Larry spent as the ace of the Hickory Huskers pitching staff? He held that team together during it's early years, pitching his heart out for the new expansion team. Larry remembers how it all began.

"There I was, pitching for the Truth or Consequences Martindales out in New Mexico when Zev Steinhardt approached me about signing up with his expanding league. He wanted me to throw for him in a tryout before the game, but I couldn't because the team policy was that pitchers who weren't pitching that day had to sell beer and peanuts in the stands. But after the game, I was able to throw for Mr. Steinhardt. He watched me throw for about ten minutes and said to me 'Son, how'd you like to go to Hickory?'"

And that's how it began for the right-hander. He anchored the Hickory staff for five years, from 2004 to 2008 where he compiled 39 victories. He set league records, some of which still stand today. Before the 2009 season began, Larry was acquired by Denver in a four player deal. He provided some valuable contributions to Denver's effort in 2009, including winning six games.

Never one to be content with sitting on his laurels, Larry signed a two-year contract with the Brooklyn Wolves before the 2010 season. Unfortunately, fate conspired against Larry and he ended up in the minor leagues for most of the 2010 campaign. A poor spring showing caused him to end up in the minors again in 2011.

"I was sorry to see him go to the minors," said team owner Zev Steinhardt. "In fact, I feel partly responsible for his torn rotator cuff. When [Charles] Midgett injured himself, he was one of the candidates to replace him on the staff. In the end, however, we went ahead and signed Dane Vos. If we brought him up, who knows, he might not have torn his cuff in that game."

Unfortunately for Larry and the baseball world, the injury is just too extensive to treat, even with radical surgery. "We considered the surgery," said Dr. Frankensteen, "but then we wondered 'what would happen if we did the surgery and Larry returned to pitching?' We decided that the risk was too great that he'd pitch again, so we declined and advised him to retire."

And so, one of the stars of the game is now gone. Who knows what great things Larry could have done if he had another five years to pitch. But the fates have conspired against us to rob us of one of the greats. Now, he's gone onto baseball history. All that's left now is for the Hall of Fame voters to recognize his greatness.

Trade deadline: A proposal

Not necessarily inspired by Luis Jeon's recent injury, I suggested the following to Zev, and he asked me to poll the other owners. So, guys, tell me what you think of this proposal:

If the sim that encompasses the July 31st trade deadline is due to begin more than one week before the 31st (on or before July 24th), then that sim will be for less than two weeks, and will end on the morning of the 31st, allowing one last day for player trades. The following sim, and all remaining sims during the regular season, will be for the normal two-week period.

If the sim is scheduled to begin on or after July 25th, it will be for the normal two-week period.


I know we're a trade-happy league, so I'm hoping I have support for this. Zev has told me that he would enact this proposal this season (since the next sim starts on the 22nd) if a majority of the owners agree.

Sim 8: Who Uploaded?

Seattle
River cities
Los Angeles
New York
Covington
Walla Walla
Saskatoon

Remember, the trading deadline is the next sim.

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