PREVIEW: In the off-season Blitz let Urbina, Krueter, Moreno, Duran, Lind go to free agency and traded away Melendez. He claimed Aurilia off the wire and signed free agents Santiago, Kraemer and Delgado. Then he picked up Griffith in the R-5 and the earlier trades brought in Gibbons, MacFarlane and Giovanola. The Blitz have one of the best pitching teams in the AL and have a top 5 power team to boot. The Defense is a little lacking but it won't matter much. This team may win the division but will need help from Salem. Probably will win a wildcard with Richmond and Minnesota in the mix. PREDICTION:92-70 (Wildcard)
AT THE BREAK: I picked the Blitz to grab a wild card this year but they decided to poke me in the eye and have been playing like a A L front runner. Salem is still hot on there heels and the division is still up for grabs. The Blitz lead the A L in runs scored (547) and are 2nd in ERA (3.70) and WHIP (1.27). And are 3rd in the fewest errors committed (49). So Blitziscomin's team has no weakness and this is why they finish at the break with the best record in the A L.Vancouver will be in the playoffs and they will be tough to beat.
PREVIEW: In the off-season Mdymond let Zurbaran, Ramirez and Laffey go to free agency. Then he traded for Campos. The loss of Ramirez will hurt, and Mdymond traded for a Burlington pitcher to improve his staff. He still has 2 roster spots open and may promote Nicholas Lombardi and Livan Torcato or someone else. He has options and that's always a plus.The Slmonbellies will be challenged by Vancouver but are the favorite to win the division.PREDICTION:98-64 (Division Winner)
AT THE BREAK: Mdymonds Salmonbellies are playing good just not as good as the Blitz. I picked them to win the division and are still in reach to pull it out. Salem leads the A L in homers (185), SLG (.494) ,OPS (.840) and are 3rd in ERA (3.95). The defense only booted 47 errors which is ranked 3rd .The Salmonbellies are giving up a 1/2 a run per game more than the front running Blitz. And while that doesn't sound like allot. It could mean the difference between a division crown and a wild card berth.
PREVIEW: In the off-season Swish re-signed Bernie Richard and Johnny Stone and let Delgado, Wright, Catalanotto, O'Brien, Gao and Lansing go to free agency. He traded away Little and Marmol. Then he claimed Canseco off the wire and signed free agents Wallace, Everidge, Laffey and Martin.Finally Bernadina was brought in from a earlier trade to complete the roster. Right now the Cobras look like a sub .500 team and Swish still has 20 million in surplus cap space. Couple that with a max 20 million prospect budget, makes me lean towards a re-tool season for Arizona. look for Swish to chase some IFA's and build his farm system. Ship be afloat soon!! PREDICTION:81-81
SWISH's BREAK SUMMARY: Pretty interesting first half for the Cobras as we've continued to make some trades to get younger while also beginning to integrate younger players onto the major league roster in Stockton and Sugawara. The prospects in the minors keep improving so the future still remains bright. Possibly the only negative, outside of the ML W/L record, is that we swung hard at some tough to sign elite SP's in the draft and were unable to sign them. This was part of the reason why Javier Lopez was traded to bolster the SP prospect package in the minors. We'll pick up compensation picks in the S26 draft though.
AT THE BREAK: It's a re-build year for the once formidable Cobras. Right now they are on track to win 69 games ,far below my 81 win prediction. Swish continues to wheel and deal bringing in youngsters thru trades. But he has been shut out in the IFA market and his first round picks have refused to sign.Swish is sitting on a fat prospect budget and is waiting for that late bluechip prospect. Getting nervous Swish??
Cheyenne Bagwell Bashers
PREVIEW: In the off-season Causeneau let Vega, Mann, Hodges,Mateo, Gates and Washington go to free agency. He released Martinez, Lecroy,Yang, Hughs and waived Rapp, Swindell and Cortes. Causeneau then claimed Parkinson off the wire and signed free agents George, Ensberg, Parker, McConnell and Brock. He picked up Rothschild, Evans, Sweeny,Glass, Thompson,N Lopez, Garces and J Lopez in the R-5 draft. The signing of Ensberg alone will improve a teams offensive numbers. But this team with a half dozen R-5's has along ways to go to be competitive. With the 3rd pick in the draft and 20 million in the prospect kitty the Bagwell bashers will pick up some talent. Still a re-build year. PREDICTION: 67-95
AT THE BREAK: The Bagwell Bashers are who what we thought they were. Lottery team. Right now they are on pace to win 57 games. Causeneau has no room for error right now and is flirting with the MWR rule. He has picked up Ismael Espinosa in the I F A Market and Rabbit Paulino , Jason Lesher in the draft. so the future looks bright and this team still has a little prospect money to buy more IFA's .