Saturday, February 27, 2016

NL East Season 30 Preview

Jacksonville Three Meaningful Games
Season 29: 102-60, won Division, reached NLDS & lost to Dover

"Breakthrough" Means:  After going 663-309 over the last 6 seasons finally winning a World Series.

To Do That They Have To:  Stop choking.

This Team Is Built On:  This will not be one of those 121 win Jacksonville seasons, but top still has a few weapons at his disposal.   
Al Troncoso, Rick Branson, Diory Diaz, Orlando Fernandez, Jair Gonzalez, Del Guapo, and Benji Ramirez are all elite arms and Bill Williams Jr., John Small, Herm Stein, Vinny Catalanotto, and Juan Aramboles are all elite bats.  This team will win the division again and will be the #1 or #2 seed.  the question is will it get more than 3 meaningful games.

Players to Watch:  Jair Gonzalez already has 309 wins.  Can he get to 350 before father time catches up?  Also, can top find enough at bats to make the Geronimo Marquez signing make sense?  Great bat, but top does realize he is the National League, right?

Free Agent Signings
SP Yoo-Nah Chang, 3B Vinny Catalanatto, SP Jair Gonzalez, Orlando Fernandez, DH Geronimo Marquez

Dover Rabid Dogs
Season 29:  93-69, Wild Card, reached WS & lost to Las Vegas

"Breakthrough" Means:  Winning the World Series.  

To Do That They Have To:  Hope the pitching holds out and get at least one more bat.  They were 3rd best team in the NL last season, but caught a few breaks.  On paper this team does not have the star power last season's team had.

This Team Is Built On:  While 
Ken Woods and Bartolo Cela are fine bats, it is Woody Reagan that drives the bus.  If he can put up the MVP numbers he is capable of, Dover will have a chance. The rotation and the bullpen are both solid at top lead by Ernest Carey, Chun-Lim Xaio, Derrin Duncan, and  Jose Palacios. I worry that they could be a little short on innings, but time will tell., 

Player to Watch:  William Mathers is literally the highest paid player in Hobbs.  His rating tells me he is 3rd starter.  If he can play up to a #1 starter or high end #2 that could provide Dover the push it needs to make it a threat in the playoffs again.

Trades traded MiL 1B Yoervis Barrios and MiL C Vern Schofield for ML OF Ken Woods
traded ML SP Lariel Vazquez for MiL 1B Hector Bryant, MiL C Avisail Flores, and MiL CF/2B Matt Buddie
traded IF/CF Tony Veras for IF/CF Freddie Suzuki
traded SP Carter Robinson and MiL 1B Gaylord McIntosh for ML SP William Mather and ML OF Manny Saitou

Free Agent Signings
RP Damaso Sojo

Baltimore Buushwackerz
Season 29:  84-78

"Breakthrough" Means:  They secure a top 5 pick.  No activity this off-season and no effort to address their dreadful hitting.

To Do That They Have To:  They have the arms with Bucky Champion, Derrick Dawkins,  Felipe Garza, and Lawrence Hannity to put up a top 3 ERA again, but no bats that are even above average.  They will either need to move the arms for prospects or get a couple of solid bats to have any shot at the playoffs whatsoever.

This Team Is Built On:  Pitching and defense.  The are regularly top 3 in runs allowed.

Player to Watch:  Derrick Dawkins in a top 5 arm in the NL.  He's really terrific,

New York Sewer Gators
Season 29:  78-84

"Breakthrough" Means:  Making the playoffs.  I don't think it is likely as I see them as a little better than a .500 team.

To Do That They Have To:  Hit.  Their best bat might not even start for 5 teams in HBD.  With 
Enerio Tatis, Joe Johnson, and Dillon Mays they have the solid pitching needed to make a difference.  There was a lot of activity, but the team still has some glaring weaknesses.

This Team Is Built On:  Pitching and defense.  The  team should be top 4 in runs allowed, but will need to be #1 have any shot at 90+ wins.

Player to Watch:  Joe Johnson...they'll need every inning they can get out of him.

Trades traded  MiL IF/CF Hanley Chase and MiL RP Wally Amaya for ML RP Enerio Tatis
traded MiL 2B Willie Ramirez and MiL OF Calvin Nixon for ML SP Don Bagley
traded MiL IF/CF Donald Moore for ML 1B Magglio Flores 
traded ML SP Mariano Mendez for MiL IF Cecil White 
traded ML RP Jayson Faulkner for MiLRP Wil Gray
traded MiL RP Felix Figueroa for ML OF/1B Timothy Denham
traded ML RP Wil Gray and ML SP Oswaldo Beltre for ML SP Ramiro Lira  

Free Agent Signings
RP Jorge Seanez, SP Joe Johnson, IF Ruben Mantalban, CF Steve Eckenstahler

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