Jordan Flores, a long relief pitcher pressed into the starting rotation, started 34 games but was only 4-5 in the win/loss column. We would love to put him back in the pen to finish out the last two years of his five year contract, but good starting pitching is hard to get in this league. His .223 OAV, 1.18 WHIP and 9.71 K/9 from the left side would, combined with Tom Clark, make the Bulls long relief tandem one of the best in the league. The Bulls have focused on pitching with their last two draft picks: Jared Mathews SP mostly in Low A ball this season was stellar with a 17-1 record, .174 OAV, .243 OBP, .212 SLG, 0.87 WHIP, 1.38 ERA and 153 strikeouts in 156 IP. This season’s pick, Wallace Donovan, was snubbed for any honors in the Rookie league this season because of his pitching role, but he still had amazing numbers. In 36 games, he pitched 50 1/3 innings, struck out 56 batters, won 4 games and saved 1, and his numbers of .172 OAV, .207 OBP, .194 SLG, 0.74 WHIP, and 1.25 ERA were awesome. The Durham Bulls brain trust can’t wait for these youngsters to make it to the Bigs.
Offensively, the Bulls await their 20 yr. old table setter, Bobby Ray Stokes, to continue his development and claim the LF position that is being saved for him at the ML level. Bobby has exceptional speed, swiping 98 bases out of 103 attempts at the High A level this season. His OBP of .431 also helped him score 149 times in only 125 games as his durability of 75 improves. Davey Jose will be hard pressed to improve on his all star rookie (rule 5) season of batting .278 with 61 HRs and 127 RBIs. The Bulls count on superstar, Francisco Guillen, to give them at least his average of 38 HR, 121 RBIs, and 186 hits per season in the last two years of his contract. The Bulls need to add more pop to their lineup as they are not taking advantage of their bandbox ballpark. This is demonstrated by leading the league in SB with 88 more than the second place team, but only ranking 21st in HRs.
In conclusion, the Bulls will make a push for the playoffs if they are able to improve their starting pitching immediately with a rule 5, FA , or international FA addition. If not, they will stay a sub .500 team until their prospects are able to help the big league club.
Playing at Yankee Stadium, the Brokers philosophy towards pitching is focusing on all around good ones; those who can not only get out hitters on both sides of the plate, but can do so with above average command. Although the team finished with a 4.24 ERA last season, second in the AL, ownership believed upgrades were needed and they were made. Ageing Rico Ramirez was shown the door and is being replaced by the Brokers biggest FA acquisition, Cody Harding. This 4 time All-Star and Season 3 Cy Young winner is only 28 years old and looks to be the ace of the rotation for at the very least, 5 seasons. Also brought in via trade from the Stickballers is 36 yr old relief pitcher Rex Harris. Harris is the leagues all time leader in saves with 201, but will serve strictly as a setup man with his new team. Even at his advanced age, the Brokers look for him to be a great 8th inning set up man to fan favorite closer 23 yr old Dizzy Reynolds. With a remarkable 41 saves and a .172 OAV in a phenomenal rookie season, Reynolds has the potential to go down as the best closer in league history.
On offense, the Brokers were a machine scoring 894 runs, fourth in the league. Many of those runs came on the long ball, where the team finished second. 27 yr old 1B Howard Hughes led the way on offense batting .335 with 42 home runs and 138 RBIs along with 29 yr old LF Cesar Aguilar who smashed a team high 44 home runs. The starting lineup has little speed with the exception of leadoff man and starting 27 yr old RF York Williams, and have high hopes that 28 yr old 2B Chad Workman, the expected #2 hitter, can bounce back after a disappointing first season in New York. Keep an eye on rookie 3B 23 yr old Geraldo Estrada. Acquired in a trade with the Richmond Rug Rats this offseason, the kid has the tools to be an all star for many seasons to come.
The only real concern for the Brokers this upcoming season is depth. Although the rotation has a tremendous starting five and the offense is loaded #1-9, if a decent amount of injuries occur, the team will most likely be in trouble. If they stay healthy though, there is no legitimate reason to why this team should not be playing deep into the post season.
Starting Pitching is the backbone, young and strong, with the bullpen cheering the starters on and hoping not to see too much action in a hope to prevent losses in the 8th and 9th.
The offense has been really weak, a few patches here and there to bolster it a bit this season, but all in all it just needs to get a run here and there for the pitching staff to eek out some W's.
Just wanted to give you something short.
Summary: The Stickballers have won their division in all but one of the six seasons in Stickball World, but only just won the WS Trophy last season. They are known for having an explosive offense, and feature a lineup of very patient power hitters, but their bullpen has been really strong in recent times and has been a major factor in their success.
SP1 – Rocky Martin (OAV .276/ WHIP 1.27/ ERA 3.66) Former Rookie-Of-The Year, this 16 game winner collected 171 strikeouts last season and maintained his excellent (esp. for Colorado), low-WHIP pitching throughout the playoffs. He just signed a long-term deal.
SP2 – Sidney Coleman (OAV .300/ WHIP 1.52/ ERA 5.71) Colorado’s all-time winningest pitcher, this wily 38-year-old sinkerballer responded well last season, despite being placed on the trading block at the beginning of the season, by winning 17 games. He allows a ton of baserunners but the offense seems to rally around him and he always seems to get the double play when he needs it.
SP3 – Bill Brown (OAV .293/ WHIP 1.49/ ERA 5.51) Colorado’s Season 1 Supplemental Pick won 19 games this season. He signed a nice, fat contract at the beginning of this season.
SP4 – Albert Farrell (OAV .216/ WHIP 1.30/ ERA 4.55) The very young Farrell was brought up to the Majors toward the end of last season (due to an injury to the regular #4 SP) but played well enough to stick and make the Playoff Roster.
SP5, Quentin Krueger (OAV .305/ WHIP 1.59/ ERA 5.59), is not good for more than about 6 innings a game, but he should have a breakout year as he is reaching pitching maturity.
Long Relievers – This is a weak spot for the Stickballers, but they do feature a couple of durable arms here who do manage to, at least, not allow a ton of walks. The manager is quick to pull the trigger on these guys when they do get in to trouble.
Short Relievers – These guys specialize in getting the tough out. The setup crew, comprised of four short-relievers, is utilized frequently and had a combined regular season ERA of 3.50 last season.
Closer – Rex Harris (OAV .203/ WHIP 0.88/ ERA 1.90) is gone, so the Stickballers are going to come up with someone new to take this role over. Stay tuned to see if this loss has a negative impact on the team.
1. CF Johnny Jodie (.310/.369/.426) Fleet-footed rookie stole 36 bases last season while platooning in CF. He has the position to himself this season.
2. 3B Pablo Duran (.307/.412/.522) Former All-Star has a great eye, hits with some pop, and plays a mean 3B.
3. RF Nick “The Stick” Abbott (.395/.488/.678) Former MVP acquired near the beginning of last season via trade, he hit nearly .400, stole 33 bases, and smacked 29 HR’s. Nick “The Stick” almost gets on base one out of every two at-bats and scored a freakish 154 runs after only 466 at-bats during the regular season.
4. 1B Jose Johnson (.358/.433/.848) Team MVP again, Johnson hit 85 HR’s and drove in 238 RBI’s last season. He is looking to repeat his performance and, barring injury, there is no reason he won't.
5. DH J.P. DeRojas (.294/.393/.675 - combined) Drafted in Season 1 in the second round, DeRojas was traded away at the very beginning of last season only to be brought back later in the season. The team just wasn’t the same without him. He hit 48 HR’s (combined) last season and knocked in over 100 RBI’s despite starting less than 100 games.
6. LF Edwin Frank (.326/.405/.498) Acquired last preseason, Frank hit 34 doubles and drove in 100 runs this season. He’s was exceptional in the playoffs hitting well over .400. He's a young hitter who looks to challenge Nick "The Stick" for the batting title this season.
7. 2B Dean Gardner (.297/.372/.610) 19 stolen bases and 38 home runs last season, not to mention only 4 errors committed after being moved from SS to 2B mid-way through the season.
8. C Jamie Cornelius (.325/.396/.540) While not the Stickballers best defensive catcher, Cornelius’ bat gets him a lot of playing time. C Lee Benson (.270/.343/.476) is their defensive catcher (4.07 ERA – in Colorado), and he sees a lot of time, esp. vs. righties.
9. SS Al Ozuna (.257/.321/.373) Picked up off the scrap heap mid-way through last season, this former LA defensive SS took over the position to allow Dean Gardner (see above) to move over to 2B. In his 85 games started with Colorado, he finished with a .977 Fld% and a very respectable 6.02 RF. When Colorado is facing a right-handed pitcher, expect to see a lot of SS Dante Wynn (.276/.356/.465), who was the regular CF for Jacksonville last season. He is seen in Colorado as a very respectable-looking SS who should be able to play well defensively yet provide just a little pop at SS.
Bench: Colorado features primarily defensive guys on the bench, but sometimes they’ll start a defensive stalwart and keep either DeRojas or Cornelius on the bench just in case an important pinch-hit opportunity arises.
The bullpen is still in the process of rebuilding but is anchored by 5 time All-Star and former Fireman of the Year winner in Season 4, Ron James. With all those accolades it’s hard to believe he’s only 26, with allot of great years ahead of him in Syracuse. New additions and hopefully some stabilizing forces to the pen last season appear to have settled in. Javier Arias and Boots Wilkinson hope to contribute greatly to improve the lack luster pen performance that cost the Orange Crush a shot at the playoffs.
Run support, or lack there of, was an issue last season. Patrick Simmons hopes to bounce back after a dismal season that saw the NL MVP of Season 5 benched for a serious drop in production. An infusion of youth along with a blending of Veteran talent is hopefully the formula for success this season with youngsters like Geoff Brooks, Sterling Serra, Victor Olivares hoping to jump start this offense. Veteran slugger Danny Lee is looking for an All-Star type season along side newly acquired slugger Juan Escobar out of Colorado. With those guys in the lineup it should give pitching staffs something to think about in the NL this season.
All in all the future looks bright for the Orange Crush who some are picking to once again contend for the NL North crown this season and make a deep run into the playoffs. Only time will tell if the mix of old and new is the winning formula in Syracuse this season.
The Powderfingers did not do much in the offseason other than make a few minor changes to allow some more young talent to get a shot in the bigs.
Bosco Morton, 2 time Cy Young Award Winner anchors the starting rotation. Morton is looking for a 3rd Cy Young Award and to avenge a less than stellar World Series.
Magglio Bennett, in his 5th full year in the majors, looks to move to the next level this year and challenge Morton for staff dominance and the Cy Young award. The sinkerballer is a ground ball and strikeout pitcher and is signed through Season 11.
Bartolo Escobar, coming off a 16 win season and boasting a lifetime 1.07 WHIP and 3.11 ERA, makes it three staff aces for the Powderfingers.
Randy Phillips is a soilid if unspectacular #4 and the perennial up-for-grabs #5 SP spot will be manned by 28 year old former Rule 5 draft pick Jonathan Johnson. This is one spot the team is looking to upgrade.
Paul Paul anchors a stellar bullpen. Pawtucket is very deep in this area with Paul, Mitch Suppan, the ageless Roy Pember, solid Junior Feliz and Lynn Swift. All could be closers in th MLs. They will be joined this year by uberprospect (and closer of the future) Louis Ryan. The long relief spots will be handled by Joaquin Torres and rule 5 pick Rafael Guardado. If any of these players falter, there is talented depth ready to step up.
The Powderfingers will be looking to move some of the bullpen depth in their system during the season...
The Powderfingers will be looking to their young lineup to produce more this season in order for them to deliver the franchises 2nd World Series Title.
Vasco Castro (1B) anchors the lineup. The third year switch-hitter and Season 5 Rookie of The Year has been an MVP candidate since he entered the league and will be moving to the #4 hole this year from the 3 hole.
Clay Gordon (3B) enters his 6th ML year at only 25 years old and looks to improve on last year's numbers (.274 38HR 125RBI 26SB.) He also is the reigning NL Gold Glover at 3B.
3rd year 2b Steven Garcia needs to step it up and shake off his sophomore slump if he intends to keep his job this year. The speedy 2b is expected to deliver the types of number sthat he did in the minors (.353 BA .456 OBP and 1.052 OPS) or he will be shopped.
Manny Chang (CF) surprised Pawtucket management last year with extremely solid production and good glovework in the outfield. He was promoted earlier than expected and stepped up to get the job done.
Sluggers Buddy Byrd (LF) and Del Rosa (SS/RF) provide run support. Defensive Catchers Jackie Davenport and Jolbert Calderon and slick fielding SS Alex Buchanon and Jeffrey Griffiths provide solid defense and the occasional clutch hit.
The bench will have power hitter Alex Barcelo this year as the team lacked a big bat off the bench as well as veteran CF Slash Holtz and Alex Maeda.
Minor league standouts Jason Matthews and Johnnie Neal look to crack the lineup if anone falters or be dealt in season to upgrade the ML roster....both guys are available...
Prognosis for thisyear: a solid pitching and fielding team that is looking for more run production in order to win a 2nd World Series.
SS - Chance Gibson (.255, 24, 72)
Chance has not been able to fulfill his vast potential since acquired from the Stickballers during Season 4. While possessing a sharp eye at the plate, Gibson has struggled to hit righties consistently throughout his career. Will be a fixture in the line-up though, as he has power potential and possesses a solid glove.
Prediction: .263, 25, 75
CF - Ted Serrano (.304, 19, 50)
Serrano got off to a blazing start last season, and although he seemed to tire late, he still put up some solid numbers. Has been slowly improving his defensive game.
Prediction: .280, 20, 60
1B - Carl Lee (.285, 29, 65)
Lee put up some stellar numbers after his trade to the Galaxy in a steal of a deal with the Stickballers, and looks to continue his hot hitting this season. Lee is one of the best hitting youngsters in the league, and should put up some big numbers for many years to come.
Prediction: .290, 45, 120
3B - Victor Ruiz (.265, 46, 123)
Ruiz has shown consistent power through his two seasons in the major leagues, as he has hit 46 home runs in each season. Has been improving in the infield, but could stand to move into right field so he can focus more on his offense. It is expected that Ruiz will raise his batting average in the future, although his high strikeout numbers may limit him.
Prediction: .270, 45, 120
LF - Jamey Turner (.246, 22, 63)
Turner struggled after returning from his early season pectoral muscle strain that put him on the DL. He is a solid all-around talent, and it is expected that with a healthy season, he may be able to reach the 30-30 club.
Prediction: .260, 33, 80
RF - Oswaldo Arias (.245, 44, 106)
Arias has made more from the sums of his talent than most of the players presently playing in the league. While his strikeouts are troublesome, he manages to put up great power numbers season after season in the large dimensions of the Galaxy's ballpark. Expect him to begin a decline this year, as these type of power hitters do not age well.
Prediction: .238, 37, 93
C - Josh Crespo (.274, 23, 58)
Crespo had by the far the best offensive season by a Galaxy catcher, but also sacrificed some defense as he only threw out 26 of 121 baserunners attempting to steal. The Galaxy believe that they have good enough pitching that they can sacrifice some defense in order to get some much needed offense into the line-up.
Prediction: .280, 28, 70
2B - Bum Worrell (.258, 12, 56)
Worrell's offense has steadily declined since his solid rookie season, but stays in the line-up due to his solid defense at second base. Has the potential to put up some decent offensive numbers if he can realize his limitations and stop swinging for the fences.
Prediction: .260, 15, 55
SS - Victor Johnson
C - Willie Burke
RF - Orval Crawford
CF - Gerald Martin
#1 - Kordell McDowell (17-7, 3.10)
Staff ace has been extremely consistent in his three years in the big leagues, and will look to continue his success this season.
Prediction: 16-10, 3.45
#2 - Rudy Rooney (10-12, 3.50)
Former 19 game winner in Season 4 has been victimized in the last two seasons by poor run support. Do not like at Rooney's won-loss record to judge his talent, he is in line to pitch his sixth consecutive 200 inning season.
Prediction: 17-9, 3.23
#3 - Edgardo James (11-5, 3.38)
The tall righthander has the most talent in the Galaxy's rotation, but has not been able to piece it together for a full season in the bigs. Look for him to break out in a big way this season.
Prediction: 16-6, 2.76
#4 - Larry Monroe (16-8, 4.93)
Monroe can claim the opposite of Rooney, as he has claimed 30 wins in the last two seasons, while surrendering over one run more per nine innings. Don't expect his great run support to continue forever.
Prediction: 11-11, 4.78
#5 - Eric Kennedy (5-8, 4.84)
A career overachiever, Kennedy has been on the brink of exiting the starting rotation for the last number of years, and it was a surprise that he is still with the team this season, let alone in the starting rotation. He will need a good start to keep his starting spot, but has proven that he has more than enough cojones to make it happen.
Prediction: 6-7, 4.32
Long Relief - Clint Russell
Biggest Strength:Pitching, especially the bullpen. The Galaxy believe that they have enough bullpen depth that they can develop two Rule 5 choices. If one of them falters, there is plenty of backup in the minors to choose from.
Biggest Weakness: The Galaxy have always struggled to score runs, and although they should be better this year, they sometimes struggle when they can't hit the long ball.
Who To Look Out For: Look for a big year from Edgardo James, as he has underachieved the last number of years, and has the stuff to be very successful in this league.
Predicted Record: 96-66, 1st place NL West. While the West remains the toughest division in World Stickball, the Galaxy's consistency throughout the season will result in them leading the pack. The question is whether they can finally find some success in the post season.