Salt Lake City Utes
PREVIEW: In the playoffs, Salt Lake lost in 4 to Cincinnati. I guess we in the NL west need to up our game. In the off-season Hoopcoach re-signed Jose Martinez , let Rhodes head to free agency and released Cannon. He picked up Farrell in the R-5 draft to fill the 25 man roster. The loss of Rhodes and the injured Cannon shouldn't hurt this team at all. Hoop will see if the R-5 pick-up Farrell can help out, probably from the bench. This is still the same team with future hall of famers that have improved from last year. I see many playoff appearances in their future. And with some playoff experience, Who Knows? Maybe a couple of Rings are in the future for the Youthful Utes. This team should win the division and make it past the first round of the playoffs. PREDICTION:98-64 (Div Winner)
AT THE BREAK: Much to my chagrin I still think The Utes are better than my Zoids. And so far it has been true but it's been back and forth a few times. Salt Lake City is on track to finish with 107 wins and a first round bye. Hoop's hitters are 2nd in runs scored (520) and hits (903). His pitchers are 4th in ERA (3.86) and WHIP (1.25) and runs allowed (368). The defense has booted the fewest errors (41) and have 34 + plays to 16 - plays. As you can see, Hoop has his guys are playing real well and they will be a force in the post-season tournament.
PREVIEW: In the off-season I re-signed Edinson Trinidad and Blake Hughes and let Valenzuela , Allen and Burgess go to free agency. Then I waived Tabaka to make room on my 25 man roster. To replace Allen and Tabaka I signed free agents Rivera and Prieto. This is the same good pitching and defensive team as last year. It's also the same hitting team that for some reason could only score 716 runs. Several of my pickups last year came after my offense started out near the bottom. Hopefully a full season together will fix the scoring problem. It will be a battle with the Utes for the division and it's a toss-up who will be atop at the end of the year. I think we are capable of at least getting a wild-card spot.PREDICTION: 93-69(Wild Card)
AT THE BREAK: As I said in this years preview this team was put together mid-way thru last season. And with a full year together they are on pace to win 98 games. This would give me my best showing since joining Wrigleyville in season 5. My batting average is 3rd in the N L at .279 and 889 hits (4th) ,but I have only scored 479 runs (5th). Pitching-wise we are good with a ERA of 4.23 (6th) and a WHIP of 1.36 (5th). Defensively we've committed 48 errors (5th) with 44+ plays to 12- plays. My team can play with the best of them but I will need some luck to get past the Utes and the Black Bears.
Colorado Springs Bandits
PREVIEW: In the off-season Ressda let Acosta ,Guerrero, Hyzdu, Harville and Stewert to free agency. He released Wallace and traded away Bernadina. Then he Signed free agents Brea, Molina,O'leary and promoted Chapman and Glover. The earlier trades brought in Marmol and Rios. Ressda re-vamped his pitching staff with 3 new starters and 2 bullpen guys. The Bandits still have one of the weaker defensive teams in the NL and it will hamper the pitching stats. But the hitting is pretty good and will bring this team to about the .500 mark. Ressda's guys also are the second youngest team in Wrigleyville and they will improve in time.PREDICTION:80-82
AT THE BREAK: My prediction of 80 wins looked doable until right before the break.The Bandits have lost 11 of their last 14 games and are on track to win 71 wins. Not sure why they have taken a dive but maybe they will come out of the break on fire. Ressda's hitting is the middle of the road with a batting average of .263 (9th) and have the 3rd most walks (329). The problem is the pitching, it's sub-par with a ERA 5.49 (3rd worst) of and a WHIP of 1.52 (3rd worst). Part of the problem may be due to the 50- plays to only 22+ plays by the defense. This team is young maybe they will grow out of it??
San Francisco Kickapoos
PREVIEW: In the off-season Mark re-signed Billy Brock and let Reed, Bottalico, Blackley, Bernard, Kojima, Durham and Grossman go to free agency. He released Corpas, Quantrill,Blackburn,Ramirez, Forster, Baez, Simmons and White. Now that most of last years team is gone ,Mark claimed Franco off the wire. Then he signed free agents Johnson, Teahen, Rodriguez, Ontiveros, Cordova, Wilson, Desmond, Prieto and Terry. He picked up Beltran, Patrick, Chavez, Hermanson Johnston in the R-5 draft. This is just a changing of the guard to appease the Minimum win Rules. Mark will continue to grow his youngsters and pick up a few more.PREDICTION:65-97
AT THE BREAK: As I write this ......The longtime owner and my friend Mark3313 has left. Were gonna miss you big guy! I am told Bbwinksdaddy has taken over this team that is in re-build mode. Welcome BBwinks and enjoy growing them tasty prospects Mark left for you. You should get a great draft pick next year as this team is on track to win only 50 games.