Thursday, October 3, 2013


Louisville Redtails (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW:  Jmuhtoffs Howlers did make a run for the division but finished 4 games out. Jmuhtoff decided it was time to re-brand his team and the new Louisville Redtail T-shirts and Accessories went on sale last week. Last year this 80 win team was The Hitting (.271 BA-18th), Pitching (4.46 ERA-14th) and Fielding (101 errors, .983 FPct-18th) was near the middle of the pack. Jmuhtoff did add Trent Steinbach and Donaldo Balboa in last years draft and could be in the bigs in 2-3 years.Weston will be missed in the rotation but Louisville picked up 2 sluggers for him. Jmuhtoff was able bring in a really good CF'er and this may help out the weaken rotation in the long run. The new and improved Redtails may break .500 this year. PREDICTION:83-79

OUT:  Jackson Reed , Dean Hayes , Billy Brock , Junior Okajima , Don Lim , Philip Schultz , Gerardo Bonilla , Houston Alexander

IN:  Mule Bates , Jake Alston , Asdrubal Morales , Cory LaRocca , Edgar Guzman , Woody Sullivan , Jim Sheldon , Lonny Black

PREVIEW: The Redtails did break the .500 mark and also won the division crown. Jmuhtoff has been in this league for awhile and is one of the nicest owners we have. It's good to see him back in the playoffs . Last years Louisville team had good hitting (.272 BA-10th) and defense (90 errors,.985 FPct-13th). The pitching (4.81 ERA,1.42 WHIP-22nd) was below average and might be the reason they didn't finish better. But hey! they made the playoffs and went in as the #4 seed .They were considered underdogs when they faced a 99 win Salem team. The Redtails won in 5 games and shocked the Wrigleyville community. In the DCS they faced the #1 seeded Cobras and lost in 4 games. Still a very nice showing Jmuhtoff. In the off-season Jmuhtoff let Reed, Hayes, Brock, Okajima, Lim and Schulltz go to free agency . He then released Bonilla and Alexander. Jmuhtoff signed free agents Bates, Alson, Morales, Larocca, Guzman, Sullivan and Sheldon. Finally he traded for Black. Louisville plays in a weak division and it is a good thing they do. Jmuhtoff brought in some veteran M L players and they will not disappoint him.PREDICTION:88-74


LAST YEARS PREVIEW:  Boston finished close to my prediction but it was an improvement on S-21. Last season Avantrael's Knights had the 2nd best offense in Wrigleyville (.289 BA-2nd) but the 2nd worst pitching (6.14 ERA-31st). The defense (119 errors, .980 FPct-25th) did improve a little but still has a ways to go. They did pick up R.A. Bowie with the 5th pick in the draft and he will help out the defense in 3-4 years.The only upgrade on the pitching problem was Alvarez and he won't be enough to get this team above .500. Maybe the added firepower of Perez will overcome the lack of pitching. Avantrael has the lowest budget for players in the league and has maxed out his draft scouting.It looks like a long  Dark Night for Avantrael , but he will pick up some quality prospects in the draft.PREDICTION:70-92

OUT:  Tomas Alvarez , Vicente Prieto , Royce Jennings , Quentin Crabtree , Mule Bennett , Derrek O'Brien , Lonny Black , Art Desmond , Jimmie Nieves

IN:  Trent Wise , Randy Palmer , Marc Mayne , Roger Montana , Larry Gentry , Jerrod Gagne , Omar Guerrero

PREVIEW:  The Knights did finish below .500 ,but they did beat my prediction. Avantrael's guys had good hitting (.280 BA-7th) but was lower than the previous year. The rust in the Armour was the piching (4.82 ERA,1.47 WHIP-24th) and defense (108 errors, .982 FPct-26th)......yet again. In fact things got pretty dicey at the end of last season. When several Southy's cornered Avantrael and told him to pack his bags or try to walk without knees. So he moved the team to beautiful Augusta Maine where the people are more docile. In the off-season Avantrael let Alvarez, Prieto and Jennings go to free agency. He released Crabtree and Bennett, then traded away O'Brien, Black, Desmond and Nieves. Avantrael signed free agent pitchers Wise and Palmer then picked up Mayne in the R-5. He traded for Montana, Gentry, Gagne and Guerrero. Augusta will try to fix the pitching problem with a couple free agents and a R-5 player. They improved the offense in the trades. Nothing was done for the 26th ranked defense. It will be a 70'ish season for the first year in Maine. PREDICTION:77-85

Pittsburgh Pirates (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW:  Boy!! I blew this prediction. 90 wins?? The Pirates sprung a leak in their Ship and floundered to a 78 win season. Back in port Ard looked at last season and saw that his Defense was stellar, Ranked #4 with 77 errors and a FPct of .987. This helped the average pitching staff compete (4.70 ERA-19th) but the offense (.263 BA-27th) marooned the Pirates. Pittsburgh did add a ton of talent in the draft by picking up five first round picks (Ryan Lee, Ozzie D'Amico , Edgar Carrasco , Lyle Alexander , Lou Gamel ). So last season was not..... for not!With the addition of High Dollar James, and others, this team has improved the pitching. But the hitting still needs help. Maybe Good pitching and defense will overcome and playing in this weak division will help. Look for the Pirates to make trouble for Louisville and Washington. PREDICTION:81-81

OUT:  Larry Walker , Jake Alston , Luis Rodriguez , Trent Green , Jorge Molina

IN:  Patrick Miller , Jimmie James , Carlos Estrada , Rick Surkamp , Charles Fujiwara , Gustavo Nunez

PREVIEW:  Last years Pirates didn't scare anyone with 78 wins. The Scurvy Dogs had terrible hitting (.258 BA-28th) and defense (105 errors,.983 FPct-26th). The only thing that they could hang their sails on was the average pitching (4.36 ERA, 1.38 WHIP-16th). The worm in the pirates biscuit was the drop off of the defense. It went from one of the best to one of the worst ARRRGGGHHH!  In the off-season Ard let Walker, Alston, Rodriguez, Green go to free agency and released Molina. He signed free agents Miller, James, Estrada, Surkamp and promoted Fujiwara. Then he traded for a young CF'er in  Nunez. The Pirates improved the defense and swapped hitters with Arizona in free agency. Will Estrada be better than Walker??? Average ..yes...Homers ...No. Ard brought in some pitching including a very good closer. My guess he wasn't happy with the one run game record of 15-17. This division is his for the taking if the Pirates play like...the real Pittsburgh Pirates. I think this team will be in the mix for the division crown.PREDICTION:86-76

Richmond Revolutionaries (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW:  I was happy that Goldenbaer won the division. I thought they would do it in S-21 but better late than never. And yes, this is a weak division but a division winner they are.  Washington did improve the hitting (.284 BA-4th) last year and held ground with the pitching staff (4.45 ERA-13th). But the biggest improvment was the defense they went from dead last to a respectble 13th (93 errors, .985 FPct-13th).The new and improved Wingdings went into the post-season and drew a 101 win wildcard team,bad luck!The only addition was Brush who was brought in through a trade with Little Rock. Goldenbaer fixed his defensive woes last year and he added a good hitting and fielding 3rd baseman. So this team right now may win about 85-90 games. Goldenbaer will again probably make some trades this season if his team underpreforms. Goldenbaer will have to win the division to make the playoffs and he is the favorite in this weak division.PREDICTION:88-74

OUT:  Wayne Zerbe , Magglio Rodriguez , William Wieters , Curt Jamison , Joaquin Pena , James Wainhouse , William Resop , Hooks Giovanola , Louie Rodriguez

IN:  Perry Franco , Wilkin Segui , Bruce Peterson , Glen Harris , Miguel Baez , Bump Tyson , Jimmie Nieves , Tony Romero , Bo Mercedes

PREVIEW:  How depressing. I had Goldenbaer pegged to win this division and unfortunatly so did he. He stripped off all his clothes and painted himself Purple, then ran thru the the streets like a WingDing-a-Ling. Goldenbaer was carted off in a strait-jacket to the Betty Ford Clinic. He may want to consider a drinking addiction like myself......better to look at life thru Bourbon shaded glasses,thats my coping mechanism.Last year Washington had bad hitting (.262 BA-21st), pitching (4.82 ERA, 1.43 WHIP-23rd) and defense (126 errors, .979 FPct-31st). Ihateunc took over this once proud frnachise and moved them down the road to Ricmond. Probably to get closer to his nemesis the University of North Carolina. In the off-season Ihateunc let Zerbe, Rodriguez  go to free agency and released Wieters, Jamison and Pena. He traded away Wainhouse, Resop, Giovanola and Rodriguez. IhateUNC promoted Franco and Segui and traded for Peterson, Harris, Baez, Tyson, Nieves, Romero and Mercedes. The story here is that Richmond went out and traded for most of the new guys on this team. Ihateunc has a idea of players that he prefers over the last owner. Right now the Revolutionaries still will be one of the worst defensive teams in the AL, but they will be very much improved at the dish. The rotation is average and the bullpen is a little better. If Richmonds hitting can overcome the defense the Revolutionaries will finish above .500. They will have to prove it to me before I go out on the limb and buck the satus quo. PREDICTION: 78-84

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