Sunday, September 29, 2013


Charlotte Sometimes (AL)
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  The Sometimes played like Everytimes. They won the A L South with 92 wins, which was a 6 game improvment from season 21. This was good enough for the #3 seed in the playoffs and they gave a tough Cobra team all they could handle, but lost a tough game 5. Hattons boys were solid last year with good hitting (.278 BA-7th) , pitching (4.36 ERA-9th) and defense (85 errors, .986 FPct-8th). Top ten in all 3 catagories makes Charlotte a serious threat in Wrigleyville.Charlotte is a fairly young team with an average age of 28.4 years. This makes them a tad unpredictable and Hatton has everybody signed to long term contracts with the highest average (2.3 avg contract years) in Wrigleyville. Looks like Charlotte is here to stay for the long haul and are the favorites to win this division. PREDICTION:95-67

OUT:  Chris Sosa , Antonio Huang , Ross Griffin , David Cerda , Julio Castillo , Buddy Koloff , Louis Little

IN:  Marc Mayne , Barney Livingstone , David Hernandez , Jonathan Valdes , Britt Lukasiewicz , Brad Cogan

PREVIEW:  The Sometimes did win the division for the third consecutive year. My prediction of 95 wins was high but they did win 86 wins games. Hattons boys did this with great hitting (.282 BA-4th)  and average pitching (4.31 ERA,1.34 WHIP-13th) and defense (96 errors, .984 FPct-17th) . Charlotte went in to the playoffs as the #3 seed with optimism. Their hopes came crashing down when they were swept in the first round by Helena. In the Off-season Hatton re-signed Garry Olsen and let Sosa, Huang, Griffin and Cerda go to free agency. He released Castillo and traded away Koloff and Little. With only a few spots to fill Hatton signed free agents Mayne and Livingstone  and promoted Hernandez and Valdes.Then he traded for Lukasiewicz and Cogan to complete this years Sometimes. Free agency added some depth to the Bullpen and the promotion of Hernandez will help out the middle defense. The trades brought in a SP and a good hitting 3rd baseman. Charlotte is a good team with a few tweaks that made them better. They will be in the fight for the division but may need help in the playoffs...if they make it. PREDICTION:88-74

Charleston Tobacco Farmers (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW:  The Tabaky Farmers were one of the most improved teams last year. Nwsheehy won 20 more games than season 21 to finish with a respectable 78 win season. Charleston did this with improved hitting (.273 BA-13th) and pitching (4.78 ERA-22nd). The only slide was the defense play (100 errors, .984 FPct-16th), they took a slight step back from the year before. Nwsheehy did draft well with the addition of Taylor Allen and Doyle Barnes to the farm system.The Tabaky Farmers lost several of their bullpen guys and infielders. He replaced them with inexpensive Free agents and R-5 players. This gives Charlotte plenty of cap room for later moves if the pick-ups don't pan out. Right now this team looks like a .500 team at best....PREDICTION:80-82

OUT:  Chad Krause , Willie Martinez , Tony Jang , William Tabaka , Benny Benitez , Aaron Boyer , Oswaldo Tabata , Juan Marmol , Sam Bailey 

IN:  Tony Wood , Magglio Rodriguez , Deivi Gabriel , Aurelio Mercado , Dante Suzuki

PREVIEW:  You know it's trouble when you fill your roster spots with R-5 players and low level free agents. I've done it many times and it never seems to work out for me. The Tabaky Farmers won 73 games with bad pitching (5.08 ERA, 1.51 WHIP-26th) and defense (119 errors, .981 FPct-28th) and the worst hitting in Wrigleyville (.244 BA-32nd). Mr Magoo like hitting will not get you very far. But after looking at the stats, I'm suprised this team won 73 games. In the off-season Nwsheehy let Krause, Martinez, Jang, Tabaka and Benitez go to free agency. Then released Boyer, Tabata, Marmol and Bailey. With several holes to fill Nwsheehy signed free agents Wood, Rodriguez, Gabriel, Mercado and promoted Suzuki. The Tabaky Farmers improved the pitching and can hurl a baseball with the best of them. But the hitting and defense may make you hurl big chunks. Charleston should finish in the middle of the pack in the AL . PREDICTION:79-83


LAST YEARS PREVIEW:  Santa Fe finished right where we thought they the bottom. Tchagnon will get the first pick in the draft and add to his stout farm system. I'm not gonna waste time on hitting, pitching and defensive rankings because it was a throw-away season. The Blues did add #1 overall pick Pete George in the draft and Julio Juarez in the IFA market.Holy Crap...deja vu!! Tchagnon pulled out his checkbook and spent 42 million on free agents. He picked up most of the bluechip pitchers in free agency and a catcher. Can Money buy you a championship?? maybe ...when I first looked at this team I thought yea he really bought himself a good pitching staff....but....The offense was lacking. Then I looked at the AAA squad and saw some talent almost ready to be called up. The Blues should be the most improved and will be above .500. They could give Charlotte a run for the division, But its a 2 team race. PREDICTION:84-78

OUT:  Jim Sheldon , Byron Weathers , Miguel Piedra

IN:  Dick Pence , Chien-Ming Chang

PREVIEW:  Money not only can't buy you a Championship, but it can't even buy you 64 wins. Egads!! I wasn't the only one who jumped on the Santa Fe bandwagon. Swish had them ranked #5 in the pre-season power rankings. And the consensus on the chat, was the Blues would finally be happy. Just when I think I have this game figured out ,it humbles me. I thought the pitching would be good and the hitting would be bad. It turns out it was just the opposite.The hitting (.281 BA-6th) was great and the pitching (5.93 ERA, 1.63 WHIP-32nd) was the worst in Wrigleyville . Oh.... and the defense was pretty bad also (124 errors, .980 FPct-30th). In the off-season Tchagnon let Sheldon go to free agency and traded away Weathers. He also waived Piedra outright. TC had only 2 spots open on the M L roster and he signed free agent catcher Pence and traded for Chang. As I said earlier in this post, we had high hopes for the blues last year. And the defense really let them down. I looked at the numbers on the franchise rankings page. Of the 16 teams in the A L, the Blues are 13th in range and glove, 15th in arm strength and 11th in accuracy. Not good news for Santa Fe fans! Maybe the great hitting and the high dollar free agent pitchers will overcome poor defense. The odds are against it. PREDICTION:75-87

Little Rock
Little Rock Moonshiners (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW:  Last year the Posse had another sub .500 season and long time owner Illicit, threw his arms up and cried, "Uncle". He sold the team to Dmann2158 for a collection of Box Car Willy 8 track tapes and toy train set. Heck, Dmann even threw in a conductors hat and whistle to sweeten the pot. We will miss illicit but he will be busy in his garage happily playing Railroad Tycoon. Dmann will have his work cut out for him after last season. Little Rock had the worst defense (150 errors, .976 FPct-32nd). The pitching (4.83 ERA-24th) and hitting (.267 BA-24th) wasn't much did this team win 73 games??  Illicit did add Marc Dean in the draft so Dmann has something to work with.This team needed alot of help and it looks like Dmann has them on the right track. It may take a few more years before they will contend. But they will improve over last years record.PREDICTION:79-83

OUT:  Kendry Pena , Jim Roundtree , Timothy Person , Clinton Goodwin

IN:  Julio Castillo , Ruben Rosario , Courtney Darling , Del Ozuna , Ebenezer Barker , Alexei Romero , Andres Lorenzo

PREVIEW:  The Moonshiners only won 62 games which was way....way below my prediction of 79 wins. Perhaps its my affinity to alchoholic beverages that skewed my prediction towards the .500 mark. What ever the reason the stats don't lie. The Moonshiners had bad hitting (.253 BA-31st), pitching (5.34 ERA, 1.48 WHIP-28th) and defense (100 errors, .983 FPct-23rd). Enough to drive ya to drink..happily! In the off-season Dmann let Pena and Roundtree go to free agency and released Person. Then he traded away Goodwin to Cincy. With a few gaps to plug Dmann signed free agents Casillo and Rosario and promoted Darling. He picked up Ozuna, Barker, Romero and Lorenzo in the R-5. The Moonshiners have shed 23 million in salaries from last year and have 30 million in cap space. Not choosing to spend the money in free agency means the Moonshiners either will trade for some big salary players or spend some cash on IFA's. He re-vamped his catching corp and filled the rest with R-5 players . The Moonshiners right now are a 70 win team at best. Drink Up Moonshiner're gonna need it.PREDICTION: 68-94 

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