Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Season Preview: Cleveland Steamers - Minor Leagues

As we get ready to start another great season in the SDMB, Cleveland is looking to the future (for we know there is nothing to look for this season). The people of Cleveland knew that in the off-season something big was rolling into town when the Steamers moved from Covington, but they are smart enough to know that this season is going to be ugly.

The fans in Mexico City, Amsterdam and Tennessee are settling in for some great baseball by the home teams.

The Dirty Sanchez (AAA) fans will be looking forward to getting a better look at sure to be super-star 3B John Grondin who was the first pick overall in the 2011 draft. In the 30 games he played in the Mexican Capital city last season he batted .425 with 9 HR and 43 RBI. This season he will be joined by SP Cesar Almendarez who joined the Steamers organization half way through last season with a trade with Los Angeles. These two future stars will anchor this team and should lead them to the top of the standings this season.

The Dutch Ovens (AA) will be lead by their pitching. SP Michael Sanders came out of nowhere last season to pitch in 23 games and amass a 8-7 record in his first season. He will be backed up in the bullpen by Victor Valles who was 8-3 with 9 saves and a 2.88 ERA in 50 appearances. The rest of the team is looking to develop over the season and should break out into one of the best on the AA level.

The Tossed Salads (A) may not lose a game this season. SP Kendrick "Boo" Kaler will see his first action of his pro career after being selected second in the 2012 draft. He will be joined in the rotation by former 1st round pick in 2010 Issac Moore who came over in a trade last season with River Cities and Glen Mitchell who went 7-3 last season with a 3.34 ERA and 106 Ks in 22 games. The lineup will be anchored by LF Charles Sallee who stole 21 bases last season. He will be joined in the OF by Clarence Horta who came to the Steamers from Seattle last season and has had improving stats each of the past few seasons.

While this season may be a wash for the ML team there are a few prospects that will be looking to make a name for themselves in Cleveland. Rule V draftee from Brooklyn MR Oscar Avendano will look to improve on his AAA numbers from last season (1.33 ERA 0.82 WHIP and 44 Ks and only 3 walks in 36 games). Look for SS Carlos Gomez, CF Christopher Pearsall, RF Monte Goss and LF Barry Brooks to strengthen the lineup and maybe put up a few runs and win a few games.

Will the Steamers rival the Sternwheelers and Scorpions for the league lead in the Zotti league defiantly not, but they should win more than the 52 they did last season.

Season Preview: Houston Armadillos

One Piggy will rule them all!!!

That is all.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Season Preview: River Cities Sternwheelers

The strongest team in the Zotti League returns to the field this week knowing that they have a lot to prove. Losing several years in a row to the Harlequin-esque Seattle Starbucks is a difficult thing to live down. Only our deep sense of self-esteem and glory-hound attitude make life worthwhile here at the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers.

While a great many things are the same this year it is also true that some retooling and repositioning was called for this off season. Most prominent of these is the plans for restocking the farm system with three first round picks in next year's amateur draft. Here's hoping that next years incoming class will be stronger than this one. How'd that work out for you, Mack?

On to the preview!
Starting Pitching

The city by the rivers returns a dominant starting rotation again this year with a top three of 2 Time Outstanding Pitcher Villatoro, Scull, and Wheeler. Fourth starter John Okane, would be a first starter one most other teams but will scrap for starts. New fifth starter, the free agent signee Albert Garcia, is here for one year and knows it.

Juan Villatoro - 20-4 2.28 0.96 5 stars
Everett Scull - 16-4 2.48 0.96 5 stars
Sherm Wheeler - 17-5 2.44 1.10 4.5 stars
John Okane - 16-9 2.77 1.00 4.5 stars
Albert Garcia - 12-5 3.25 1.17 3.5 stars

Relief Pitching

River Cities again returns the best bullpen in the league (as evaluated by non-partisan Mack Shultz). Strengthened by the acquisition of Mark Deschamps this year and losing Tobias Gutierrez, the teams weakest pitcher of last year, this year's team looks to be every bit as strong as last year.

Deschamp - 5-6 27 SV 3.81 1.29 3.5 stars
Willie Egan - 2-0 1 SV 2.03 1.05 4.5 stars
Larry Dull - 11-3 1 SV 2.61 0.93 4.5 stars
Harold Beeks - 3-4 23 SV 3.90 1.19 5 stars
Jeff Theriault - 10-6 11 SV 3.36 0.94 4.5 stars
John Miller - 4-1 7 SV 2.44 1.33 5 stars

Catching

River Cities catching is finally taking the transition long expected with the promotion of top prospect William Ward to the top job. Ward, nicknamed 'The Warden', is a 4.5 star prospect coming off a .298/.383/.481 year in AAA and is as ready for the job as he'll ever be. Last year's starter Joan Hinkel, is back as a back up and fill in starter as Ward develops.

William Ward (AAA) - .298/.383/.481 19 66 0
Joan Hinkel - .274/.325/.370 7 68 6

Infield

The infield sees the subtraction of last year's surly 2B Timothy Palacio, may he sulk in peace. But that's more than offset by the full time addition of 3B Ronald Quijada. Quijada, combined with record setting arbitration award winner ($10,578,571!) John Hukill (who is truly the greatest SS in the league right now...see below), and second year prospect Gregory Marzano provides the first base reliability. Only the second base position is in flux and a number of players are available to audition for the role.

Gregory Marzano - .299/.410/.485 15 62 1
John Hukill - .325/.445/.650 48 130 25
Ronald Quijada - .263/.391/.423 20 86 48

And, for your edification, a contract and compare, Peppers vs Hukill.




Stats
PlayerAgeAVG/OBP/SLG (3YR)HR RBI SB (3YR)FLD
Hukill25.291/.431/.576120 324 622B 6 SS 8 ARM 6
Peppers29.296/.375/.554109 358 1342B NA SS 7 ARM 9


Peppers wins in AVG, RBI, SB, and ARM. Hukill wins in the rate stats and HR. Toss in that he's four years younger and has ALREADY posted an OPS above 1.000 and I think the answer is clear.

Outfield

Once again River Cities goes with it's special '3 men and a baby' Outfield. The top three of Suarez, Callahan, and Valdes are starting and the backup is again Richard Hudock who fills a valuable role by backing up all three OF positions as well as 1B when needed. River Cities is confident that this maturing corps of outfielders will perform up to speed.

Callahan - .322/.375/.485 21 97 2
Suarez - .335/.391/.486 19 92 27
Valdez - .284/.359/.553 39 134 8

That's it, ladies and gentlemen. I'll take that team over most anyone in the world. I'll see you on the field!

Los Angeles season preview

The Los Angeles Scorpions enter their eleventh season as confident and ready to compete as any of the past ten seasons. The four-time Cecil Cup winner, flying nine flags over the Scorpion Pit in seaside Redondo Beach, CA, return seven of eight starters in the field, a revamped starting rotation, a reinforced bullpen, and a bench stronger and more versatile as ever. The franchise has never won less than 90 games in a season, or finished lower than 2nd place, and 2012 won't break that streak.

Around the horn, catcher Carlos Barrera returns, after coming over from Saskatoon in a mid-season trade last year. He provides a solid bat, and will hit 7th in the lineup. Perennial all star slugger Luis Jeon will man 1B again after an injury plagued 2011 season that still saw 29 homeruns leave his bat in just 114 games.

Exciting speedster Duane Gerhardt, also acquired in 2011, returns to 2B for the Scorpions. In his first full season in the bigs, split between Covington and Los Angeles, he hit .338, with 82 stolen bases, along with a .385 OBP and 889 OPS. He'll bat early in the lineup for the Scorpions, getting on base and annoying pitchers as they attempt to pitch to the big guns coming to bat behind him. At the hot corner, again, is Robert Young, with a rocket cannon arm and a penchant for clutch hits and occasional power.

There's nothing more to be said about star short stop Ricky Peppers that hasn't been said already. A 40/40 threat, a feat he has accomplished twice already in his career, he looks to crack 1000 in OPS as he reaches the prime of his career.

In the OF, we find our first new face: Hector Davila takes over RF from Paul Shunk, whom he was traded for in the offseason. While Shunk was a young superstar, his outrageous contract demands ran him out of town. Samuel Santos, acquired in 2011, returns to CF, and last season's batting champ, George Aguinaldo, returns to LF. Coming to Los Angeles in a trade from Covington last year, George set the single-season Zotti League batting average record with .368 and got on base over 40% of the time.

The LA bench includes backup catcher Todd Shepley, infielders Robert Ramsey and Bill Allen, and outfielders Freddi Villacorta and Deon Tarango.

The much beleaguered starting rotation has been upgraded with the trades for Thomas Cohen and Bill Siple. They'll join Jeffrey Shuttleworth at the top of the rotation, as Joe Daye returns via free agency for his 3rd go-around with the franchise as the #4 starter. Andrew Crank, also acquired from Covington last season, won the spring training battle for the #5 spot, but knows that free agent pickup Max Mendoza, currently rehabilitating in extended spring training in Ventura, CA, will take his spot in the rotation should he falter in April.

The strongest bullpen in the league reinforced itself with the signings of Donald Dinwiddie and Matthew McCloud to join the core of the unhittable closer Junior Cuomo, strikeout maestro Johnny Cuomo, and wily veterans William Augustin and Norman Fuentes. Rule V pick Eric Thomas, plucked from Hickory, will learn from the masters in the pen.

Fans in southern California have a lot to be excited about as the local nine make one more push for Zotti League glory. 95 wins seems virtually guaranteed, again, and a return trip to the Cecil Cup and 100 wins is within grasp, as well.

2012 Seattle Monarchs Season Preview

Yes, yet another in the continuing installment of Seattle Monarchs season previews. As three-time defending champion, the Monarchs made only a few tweaks this offseason and will largely be running out the same core as last year's playoff squad.

Starting Pitching

The front of the rotation is unchanged. The big three of Nelligan, Hester, and Placencia (acquired midseason in 2011 in a costly trade) return. Izzie Frau also comes back as the #4 starter. The new man on the block is prospect Joseph Macaluso who steps into the rotation as the fifth starter. The 3.5* prospect with great endurance made three starts at the tail end of last year and will get the chance to hold down the job full time. If Macaluso stumbles, swingman Allen "Roto" Reuter will take over.

Relief Pitching

Again, the same core returns. Tim Vallejo will be the closer and again will be set up by Willie Sewell, Merlin Bohon, and Wesley Elton. Since the team was all right-handed outside closer Vallejo, the Monarchs picked up lefty Guadelupe Rodriguez from Danville in an offseason trade.

Infield

Again, many of the same faces return. Waylon Blassingame will be the primary man behind the plate, Greg Mudge will hold down first base, Carmelo "The Gimp" Deleon will man shortstop, and Eugene Alustiza will hold down the hot corner. The only new starter is Danny Lorenzen, acquired in an offseason trade with New York, who takes over at second base. The primary reserve will again be Cristobal Santoyo, who worked at second during spring training and now can play second, short, and third. Stanley Raabe, acquired from Covington/Cleveland during the midseason last year, will back up at first and platoon with Blassingame at catcher.

The other two infield reserves are presently expected to be catcher Alvin Medina and another middle infielder--either veteran George Wilde or failed prospect Marvin Cardoza. However, those seats likely are only being kept warm for star prospects catcher Albert "Nitro" Granado and second baseman George "Terminator" Labarre.

Outfield

Four of the five outfielders are unchanged from last year, including the three starters. Armando "Rimfire" Cedeno, Sean Arant, and David Kerry will again take the field in left, center, and right respectively. The primary backup at all three positions, and at first base, will again be Lonnie Machen. Machen, a 3* player, hit .378 with a .968 OPS last season. (And yet, nobody was interested in trading for him this offseason. I still don't understand that.) As a fifth outfielder, the primary pinch-hitter from the right side, and pinch runner extraordinaire, Seattle welcomes long-time adversary Michael Fay to the organization. Michael tormented Monarch pitchers for the last ten years from Saskatoon, so it's nice to have him on our side for once.

I recognize that several Adams League teams are significantly strengthened, compared to last year. It's not going to be a 125-win stroll again for the Monarchs, but the organization remains optimistic and will try to wipe the smirk off Michael's face by becoming the second SDMB OOTP team to win four consecutive titles.

Spring Training Is Done

First Sim on Wednesday Night

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sorry about the confusion last night

Zev's blog entry (below this one) about the Rule V draft results is the correct one. The league file is now updated and available for download.

Nate/Mack: Your trade was not processed, but will be done before spring training is run on Monday night.

Spring Training on Monday Night

The Rule V draft is finished. The results are as follows:

Round 1
Cleveland: P Oscar Avendaño from Brooklyn.
Houston: 1B Jerome Guerra from New York .
New York: 2B Eduardo Diaz from Danville.
Saskatoon: P Kaiichirou Takamuku from Brooklyn
Los Angeles: P Eric Thomas from Hickory

Round 2
Cleveland: 1B Luis Zuñiga from Brooklyn.
Saskatoon: P Jim Edgar from Houston.

Round 3
Saskatoon: P Alexander Morgan from Danville.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Trade: River Cities and Seattle

Hoping to patch a hole at 2B created by the combination of the dealing of Timothy Palacio and the choice of Diaz in the recent trade with Danville River Cities has completed a trade with arch-enemy Seattle.

Seattle sends 2B Francis Armandariz to River Cities for minor league outfield prospect Birdsell.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Rule V draft on Thursday night!

Okay, guys, we're back on track. The Rule V draft will be Thursday night. A few things to keep in mind:

1. You must have an opening on your 40-man roster to make a selection. Your 25-man roster can be filled, but you'll need to reduce it down to 25 players before the start of the season.

2. Players you select must remain on your 25-man roster all season, unless injured.

3. Beware of the phantom players on the Rule V eligible list. One such is Robert Young. There's a Rule V-eligible version of Robert Young, who was drafted by Seattle in 2005 and has withered there, and then there's the real Robert Young, who is my starting 3B. If a player has no minor league history and was drafted in 2005 or so, don't pick him.

4. E-mail your selections to Zev and me before Thursday evening. If you want to make multiple selections, specify that, or else we'll just choose the highest-ranked player still available when your team picks.

5. We'll be following the same order as the recent amateur draft.

6. The web site and league file are updated and ready for perusal.

Monday, April 21, 2008

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Free Agent signings: Days 10-12

Okay, this was my first sim, guys, so please let me know if I screwed something up...

Signed players:

Day 10:

Los Angeles: P Max Mendoza -- $300,001 per year, for 1 years.
Los Angeles: P Kenneth Swaney -- $800,000 per year, for 1 years.

Day 12:

New York : Free agent 2B Bill Turek -- $10,000,000 per year, for 3 years.
Houston: Free agent SS Lincoln Rossetti -- $6,525,115 per year, for 2 years.

The league file and web pages are uploading now. Zev will let everyone know when the next sim will be, as well as the next round of the amateur draft.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Free Agent Signings: Days 8-9

Well, at least now we now what it took to get Christopher Moss. While I did bid on him, I wasn't even close to the winning bid which, I think, is a new record:


Brooklyn: P Roy Vaz $8,888,888 per year, for 5 years.
Cleveland: 3B Elias Viers $500,000 per year, for 2 years.
Walla Walla: LF Christopher Moss $21,000,000 per year, for 7 years.
Walla Walla: CF Paulino Zamorano $8,000,000 per year, for 3 years.
River Cities: P Mark Deschamp $4,750,000 per year, for 2 years.

Days 10-12 on Saturday night.

Zev

Meet Our New Assistant Commissioner

As you all know, I sometimes run into some trouble keeping up with the sim schedule, especially in the offseason when the sims occur more than once a week. My beginning to attend graduate school this semester has only compounded the problem.

Michael, the proud owner of our four-time Cecil Cup winning Stockholm Sluggers / Mighty Manatees of Florida / Los Angeles Scorpions / ???? has graciously offered his services in helping me run the sims. Thank you, Michael, for accepting the responsibility of helping me out!

Zev

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Next sim -- Thursday night

Day 6-7 Free Agent Signings:


Houston: 1B Patrick Peralta $325,000 per year, for 1 years.
Houston: P Gene Brobst $595,111 per year, for 2 years.
New York : C Carlos Guerra $300,000 per year, for 1 years.

First-Year Round 3 selections:

Hartford pick: 1B Joseph Zambrano. Signing Bonus: $85,000
Cleveland pick: LF Carlos Martinez. Signing Bonus: $25,000
Seattle pick: P Tenrou Yuji. Signing Bonus: $25,000
Houston pick: P Johnnie Cox. Signing Bonus: $60,000
New York pick: C James Blumberg. Signing Bonus: $25,000
Hickory pick: C Carlos Vives. Signing Bonus: $25,000
Walla Walla pick: 1B Dion Castaneda. Signing Bonus: $65,000
Los Angeles pick: P Frank Ogrady. Signing Bonus: $62,500
Brooklyn pick: P Robert Riddick. Signing Bonus: $25,000
Los Angeles pick: P Fritz Watson. Signing Bonus: $25,000
Saskatoon pick: 3B Danilo Romo. Signing Bonus: $25,000
Seattle pick: P Aloisio Calzada. Signing Bonus: $60,000

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Day 5 Signings

Yeah, I know it's Wednesday and not Monday... :)

Day 5 signings

Walla Walla: Free agent SS Derrick Raglin $5,000,000 per year, for 2 years.
Los Angeles: Free agent P William Augustin $4,000,001 per year, for 3 years.
Los Angeles: Free agent P Donald Dinwiddie $4,000,000 per year, for 4 years.

Day 6-7 Free Agency and Round 3 Amateur Draft on Saturday Night

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Who's Really Better?

Michael and I have been arguing by email all off-season about who's doing a better job running their franchises. I've been telling Michael that he should be more competitive with his vast financial resources and that it's embarrassing that he can't get past Nate. Michael thinks I've mismanaged the talent on hand, especially in "that weak Adams League," and that he could coax even more wins out of my squad.

To settle this once and for all, we've decided to swap franchises and we've made clear challenges to see who's better. I'm taking control of Los Angeles and my challenge is to beat Nate for the division title. (Frankly, I'm getting tired of just beating Nate in the Cecil Cup. I want to beat him throughout the season too.)

Meanwhile, Michael's taking control of Seattle and his challenge is to get more than the 125 regular season wins I posted last year.

Obviously, if we both meet our goals, then the Cecil Cup will decide who is the winner of the challenge. This way, we'll know once and for all who is really king of the SDMB OOTP league.

P.S. If you're interested in making deals for some of these Los Angeles loafers, feel free to contact me. I have no sentimental interest in any of them.

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