Saturday, December 24, 2011

AL EAST - Season #20 Preview

Baltimore Renegades

The Baltimore Renegades are trying to get to the World Series for the first time in the history of the franchise. They came up a little short last season as they lost to the Salem Slayers (the eventual World Series champions) in the ALCS.  The team is geared to win now as many of the players are in their prime. 

The Renegades have lots of fire power offensively.  With the likes of C-Walt Harnisch, 1B- Pascual Sanchez, 2B- Ricky Atchley, 3B- Cory Thomas, SS- Russell Collins, LF- Ian Trammell, CF- Rafael Blasco, RF-Craig Cook, and DH- Jim Morris...this team is sure to score lots of runs. Young players like 1B- Jim Brooks and CF/2B- Pablo Durazo have to bide ther time in AAA (or on the ML bench) to get the chance to crack the starting line-up.

The Starting pitching is good (not great), with Milt Gagne, Vic Ordonez, Victor Palmeiro and rookie phenom Kevin Lawrence.  The last spot in the rotation will go to the winner of the Spring Training battle between Walt Koch and newly acquired free agent Mateo Leon.  The loser of this battle should whind up being the long-man out of the bullpen.

The bullpen is the team's biggest weakness.  It's led by second year closer Bengie Plata and Damian Murphy.  The Renegades also added RH set-up man Alex Mangual via free agency this offseason, but tried unsuccessfully to acquire a more experienced closer to help transition Plata into the role full-time.  The closer role is definately Plata's job to lose entering Spring Training, but don't be suprised if the team tries to acquire a more seasoned veteran by trade or uses a bullpen-by-committee approach as needed.

Top Rookies- CF/2B- Pablo Durazo (AAA) and 1B- Jim Brooks (AAA)

Key Players Lost- RHP- Joaquin Benitez (waivers), RHP- Orlando James (FA), RHP- Moe Fasano (FA), LHP- Alex Whang (FA), C- Catfish Harper (waivers), 1B- Vasco Bonilla (FA), 2B/LF- Luis Megias (Released), and LF-Jesse Stein (FA).

Key Players Aquired- RHP- Mateo Leon (FA), RHP- Alex Mangual (FA), C- Tomas Prieto (Rule 5 Draft), 3B-Nerio Baker (FA), and 1B/LF- Elston Malloy (FA).

Key Off-Season Transaction- Signing free agent RHP Alex Mangual as it should help settle this seasons biggest need.  Mangual may also see some save opportunities this seaon as the closer .

Cincinnati Rang

I think my team will contend for a playoff spot.  My best prospects are Ricky Liverman, Jimmy Cintron, Albert Mondesi, Phillip Pride.

Players added...Dante Ledesma, Jose Morales, Wilton Tucker. Players lost...Pedro Tatis, Junior Brea.

My best move was getting Dante Ledesma because he gave me a solid five starter.

New York Surf Riders

The big additions to the New York Surf Riders pitching staff in the offseason were bringing in additional bullpen depth with veteran set up relievers John Schmidt and Alex Thornton and picking up Felix Justice as a long reliever and spot starter in the Rule 5 draft. The rotation got a lot younger with the addition of rookie Derrick Cunningham, to complement Jackson Magadan and Wayne Allen, but still has veteran anchors Whitey West and Shooter Ledesma. Longtime SP, Albert Delgado has been demoted to the bullpen as a long reliever, but provides insurance against injuries. We lost LH set-up man Phillip Hammond, who was a big free agent pick up several seasons ago, but underperformed for us and lost the closer role to all-star Matt Antonelli. We got two Type A picks for him (49 and 100). A key to the Surf Riders season is that the young starting staff continue to develop, and get our team pitching our of the bottom third of the league. A bonus would be the development of Justice into a bona fide 4 or 5 starter.

On the line-up side, the addition of Derrick Landrum via trade, increases the team’s emphasis on versatile hitters who have both pop and on base skills as well as speed and versatility in the field. He joins Thomas Andujar, Yannick Williams Jr, Alex Calvo and newcomer Steve Adams, all in that mold. The middle of the lineup remains strong with sluggers Roger Mills, Giomar Cabrero and Jeremy Weston all coming back. Walters provides tremendous power off the bench, and would start for many teams. Free agent catcher Ernest Jameson was added as a back-up. With these additions, we are hoping that the team can move from the top half to the top third of the league in hitting. The team lost perennial all-star Anthony Thomas to free agency. We got two Type A picks for him (19 and 52). Overall the team has 6 top 100 picks, including 2 top 20, so it should continue to be able to strengthen from within the organization.

Columbus Cheese N' Rice


Friday, December 23, 2011

AL WEST - Season #20 Preview

Anaheim Aardarks

Anaheim has struggled to break through - floating between 70-81 wins for the past 7 seasons. Francisco Melian has taken over leadership on offense and was rewarded with a new 4-year deal in the offseason. We added a few pieces on offense in the offseason, but pitching continues to be the achillies heel. If we get good work from our starters we could contend for a wild-card spot. If not, it could be complete overhaul and rebuild mode by the All-Star break as the team has quite a few veterans. My best guess is around 78-84 wins. Bryant Christiansen  continues to be as stud closer with 253 career saves and an 87.5 save percentage saving 43 games last year.

Top Prospects: Top pitching prospect Ubaldo Chavez will start his first full season in the majors. He went 6-3 in 14 starts at the end of last year. Elmer Reagan, 21, SS, AAA. Silver Slugger SS at AA last year when he hit .312/.386/.509 with 32 2B, 20HR, and 113 RBI. Izzy Fox, 19 RF, Low A. Last year's 13th overall pick was rookie league MVP, Silver Slugger RF, and an All-Star hitting .396/.487/.775 with 42 2B, 19HR and 102 RBI and scoring 91 runs. Juan Duran, 21, P, AAA - saved 28/32 games at AA last year. Likely heir apparent at closer. Sal Stratton, 22, P, AAA - combined 10-1 with sub 1.00 WHIP at AA/AAA last year. Esmailyn Petit, 22, P, AA - saved 24/28 at High A in PY. 1.13 career WHIP in minors.

Key Acquisitions: Lewis Glover, 29, LF - career 800+ OPS in 911 games. signed to 3-year deal. Matty Servet, 31, C - career .823 OPS, hit .344 in limited action with Columbus in PY. Signed to 2-year deal.

Key losses - none really. Released under-achieving former first round pick Edgar Guerrero rather than go to arbitration again. He had hit just .243 in over 2,000 career at-bats.

Key Transaction - missing out on some top pitching FA's that would have helped, thus had to go the offensvie route adding Servet and Glover as we will likely have to out-score people.

Salem Slayers

The team is identical to last year. No moves were made.. just keeping the roster intact for another run at the WS.

Las Vegas Gamblers


Salt Lake Movers  Shakers


Thursday, December 22, 2011

AL SOUTH - Season #20 Preview

Austin Stinky Peas

Key Offense for the Peas 1B Kenny Tobin is our best offensive weapon. He has been granted a solid supporting cast, but most are flawed.  3B Marino Santana is a shell. The old man needs to much rest to be the impact he could be at this stage in his career and as a result will miss many key games or play too tired to make a he impact. His contract situation makes him almost untradeable.

Free Agent Grabs round out the outfield with Donaldo Romano, Gus Hollandsworth (S) and Giomar Almonte (R). None will win awards but are solid short term guys who can contribute right now and are very cheap. I love Rule 5 Archie Buss. He could be the future at SS, not the greatest hitter but is capable could be a solid contributor. If he gets .240 with 20 SB the team will be happy. His defense will keep him employed here for a long time even if it’s as a defensive sub.

Pitching Looking to lean on old arms Kevin Shelley and Milt Curtis to give me a strong season. Both are coming off solid campaigns and should keep Austin in games. Hoping that rookie Peter Yang can continue last season’s late success, but more realistically hoping he can keep his ERA around 4.5 The bullpen is short-staffed but has a solid closer in Shea Stankiewicz (L). Last season this was a team that finished 24 games under .500. He hopes to get this team closer to .500 maybe slightly over.

No free Agent grabs this season nor will prospect promotions be rushed to get this team to its former glory. The Peas will be on the trade block cutting old contracts and looking toward the future for the next 2 seasons.

Tampa Bay Sunburnt Tourists

I would hope to have an above .500 winning percentage, but will have to win a lot of high scoring games to get we have very weak pitching this year.

Top players are Dario Kwon, slugging 3b with speed, Vince Caruso CF and Bunny Justice 2b coming off 48 hr season. No key losses or additions as payroll is bloated due to poor signings by prior owner.

Top prospects...Marvin Winston SS AA Brad Clayton LF AA Timothy Hansen Left Handed Starter High A.

Little Rock Rockabillies


Mongomery Mud Slingers

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

AL NORTH - Season #20 Preview

Detroit Wolverines

The Wolverines are expecting to compete for a playoff spot this season after a 2nd place finish in the division last season and some key additions.  These additions include 3B Anthony Thomas, a .295 career hitter with 9 20 Homer Seasons and 5 100 RBI Seasons. Carter Sexson was brought back to the team after being away for 2 seasons to balance out the pitching staff.

J.D. Randall and Roland Street were brought up from the minor leagues,Street could contend for Rookie of the Year. Top Prospects in the Minor’s include SP Angel Estrella and OF Charlie Little who should be in the ML’s in the next season or 2.

Philadelphia Dusters

My key acquisitions are Joe Harris and Pedro Tatis.  I hope they provide stability to my starting pitching staff and some better offense at SS without sacrificing defense.

Stephen Rivera, Charley Woodson, Ryan LaRocca, and Phillip Owens lead this team who has won the last 3 AL North division titles and unfortunately the league's highest payroll.

I expect to contend for the division title again and hope to make a further run than the ALDS round in the playoffs. Not too many prospects as most have been promoted to ML, i.e. Peter Beech, or traded for current ML players.

Boise Cartel


 Buffalo Ice Dogs


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

NL EAST - Season #20 Preview

Richmond Spiders

Well coming off of a season where Richmond finished DEAD last in the whole league, the expectations can't be much lower. We have traded away the majority of our preexisting talent in a push to build for the future, and we don't see the future as being season 20. Richmond's GM was able to find some nice FA's available to piece together what should be a decent team this year.

C/DH Norman Burkhart was the only significant offseason loss to the Richmond Spiders. Norman did not care to stay around during the rebuilding process and was looking to cash in on his last big pay day before retirement. Last season was a large purge for the Spiders. We shipped out some quality talent to other big league teams in hopes of building up our minors with some prospects who will be able to make a difference in 2-3 years.

Hideki Yoshii SP2, Todd Baxter RF, and Pasqual Prieto SS, were salary casualties as the Richmond front office just wanted to get out from under those overpriced contracts. It was a sad day in Richmond when 2B Lou Guthrie was moved. Lou was a fan favorite, having been a Spider since he was drafted 3rd overall in Season 14. The management realized now was not their time to win and acquired Ted Sheehan.

A top tier closer to hopefully put this team over the top in 2-3 years when they are ready to compete. Richmond also acquired 2 other decent pieces in this deal, Paulie Byrne who has the ability to contribute as a PH against lefties, and as a def replacement who posesses extremely good range. Earl Sinclair was in this deal as the third piece and he has the potential to contribute as a back end starter in an ML rotation. 

Overall the Spider's goal last season was to shed salary and build for Season 22. We feel we have accomplished this goal, and look to have a better year this year on the path to a Season 22 playoff spot.

Rochester Rodents Of Unusual Size

The ROUS anticipate a better regular season than last years wild card effort. Staying away from another slow start is the key, as it was an uphill battle to get to post season (allthough we did make the WS). Hopefully another year for my very young core will stabilize that streakiness & develop some consistency. (Our entire Offense is under $400k/player)

Obviously we are centered on Rochesters version of the big 3 in Estrada, Nieves & Chavez in the rotation & pretty much Emitt Collins on offense. Key offseason transaction was signing Midre Lopez to a long term deal, solidifying the closer role for another 4 yrs. Looking for bigger contributions from last years rookies Truman & Brito up the middle.

Top prospects are primarily in the pen. Last 2 years #1 picks Frank Maurer & Kurt Giambi & IFA 3b Andres Macias.

We want revenge on Salem!

Boston Red Sox


Washington D.C. Whalers


Monday, December 19, 2011

NL WEST - Season #20 Preview

Honolulu Rainbow Warriors

Hey there, new owner, taking over what appears to be a team with some high-end major-league talent, a garbage farm system, and some brutal contracts. I think I can be competitive this year, and could absolutely sneak into the playoffs as a wildcard, but really looking towards the two following seasons when we shed some dead money and can be more active in free agency.

Made very few aquisitions this year, just a fifth starter type to see if I can run a six-man rotation. My top prospects, such as they are, are Derek Jones, and Philip and Rob Whitfield. And beyond that, a lot of guys with horrendous splits and awesome bunting ratings. Yeah! Looking forward to competing with all of you.

San Francisco Maize 'N Blue

I feel I have one of the best pitching staffs in this world with Niko Kirby, Harry Palacios, Jimmy Veras, and Felipe Martinez in the bigs and with Raul Batista, Lou Hendrickson and last year's 1st rd pick James Lamb developing nicely in the minors. 

Bullpen is still a work in progress, but there are some good players for the future.  Traded away most all of my offensive prospects last year to get the pitching depth I now have so we will be targeting offensive IFA's and draft choices this year and for the next few seasons.

Didn't make any significant moves this offseason other than signing my only true stud on offense in Delino Silva to a 5-yr extension.  The rest of my ML offense is aging and likely to find new homes this year as we continue to try and build this franchise into a serious contender.

My pitching staff should keep us in the playoff chase and you'll be glad to know that we will be staying in San Francisco for at least two more seasons.

St. Louis Wish I Had Pujols'

This season the goal is to get over .500 and possibly challenge for the division. Brought up a couple decent prospects this year in Osvaldo Bennett and Harry Cortes. Also brought up one of my better prospects in T.J. Hall. Next two up will be Ted Van Hekken and Joaquin Bonilla, probably next year.
Looking to next year as year to really turn the corner.

Will be in the market for stud top of the rotation guy and if I can get that, I should be able to compete well for post season spot.

 No big aquisitions, did lose Mateo Leon and worse, Alex Mangual. Biggest roster move in positive direction was calling up Hall. Got unlucky and missed turnover while out of country and missed out on resigning my own free agents. ..really wanted to keep Mangual and arbitration which stuck me with some guys I am paying way too much for.

On the positive side, I have 8 picks in the top 67 of the draft and 9 in the top 77.

Vancouver Big Blue Bulldogs


Sunday, December 18, 2011

NL SOUTH - Season #20 Preview

Florida Ocean Blue

The Ocean Blue are looking to take another step forward after their unexpected push into the playoffs last season. A lot will hinge of the progression of starting pitcher Rex Andrews, who finally had the break-out season that had been expected of him for awhile. If he continues to build on last season's success, he forms a solid 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation along with veteran Harry Mathews. The vital pieces of last year's solid bullpen, led by closer Andrew Ratliff, all return.

Lack of depth in the starting rotation may be a concern, as Dante Ledesma left as a free agent. The Blue are banking that talented starter Trenidad Osoria can pick up the slack and finally live up to his potential. If we can't find any consistency in the middle-to-back end of the rotation, top propect Billy Turnbow may get the call to contribute. The Blue is also high on young pitcher Gene Bolden, but the 19 year old is still a few seasons away from getting to the bigs.

Third baseman Ivan Batista was signed in the off-season to get on base in front of sluggers Scot Simontachi, Carlos Sosa, Thom Christenson, and superstar Charlie Hull. Shortstop Don Okajima was resigned, as he attempts to win his fifth consecutive gold-glove.

Florida is also keeping an eye on last season's first round draft pick, Patrick Boyle out of the University of Florida, who is projected to take over at 2B in a few seasons when incumbent Hull makes the move to the outfield.

Spirits are high in Miami, as a return to the playoffs is on the radar; and there is even talk of the team moving into a new stadium with a retractable roof in a year or two!

Mexico City Hombres Azul

Looking to make the playoffs and then we’ll see how it goes from there. I think the team is slightly better than last year – but luck and injuries (or lack of them) will play a part. 

The key players are my 3 SPs Danys Ayala, Phillip Davis & Cecil Holmes. The line-up lacks a major power threat, but that is balanced out by having decent hitters in the key defensive positions.  My best bat is LF Delino Manzanillo who was a 30-30 man last year and is never far away from those figures, and I like the blistering speed 2B Charlie Jefferies brings. I’m expecting big things from sophmore 3B Benito Espinoza.  

My minors are fairly bare. I like LF Mickey Reid & C Ignacio Rondon , plus there are a couple of decent RPs.  We lost 3 decent prospects in the above trade plus lost CF Dick Cunnane. Not a massive loss as I don't think he has the range to play CF anymore.

The key move was our trade with the Vancouver Big Blue Bulldogs as we received 1B Esteban Montero and SS Alving Sanchez for 3 prospects.  Montero was immediately signed to a long-term contract ($21.6m/4yrs) which starts next year; he will play 1B while Rico Pizzaro is on the bench/block.

Sanchez will play SS, pushing Alan Graham to CF thus covering the loss of Cunnane. This will be Graham’s third different position in as many seasons (3B-SS-CF), and he never complains – a real team guy, he’s very popular - both in the locker room and amongst the fans.

Nashville Neurotic Nematodes 

The Nematodes are in rebuild mode and will likely finish in the bottom 3rd of the league this season. Rob Cradle and Jamie Benningson are the only real top quality major league players on the squad, and they won't be enough to carry the team to an over .500 record. A handful of prospects are in the lower levels, highlighted by SP Wandy Rodriguez. The Nematodes have the 4th and 12th picks in the draft and look to add a quality IFA as well.

These will be the key building blocks of the future. The most important off season transaction was letting Miguel Cabeza walk as this has netted the team the 30th pick in the draft as well a sandwich pick between 1 and 2.  While Nashville is unlikely to contend this season, it is anticipated that the new ownership will have the team turned into a contender by next season.

Jackson Goodfellas


Saturday, December 17, 2011

NL NORTH - Season #20 Preview

Cleveland Rockers

After finishing in last place the last 7 years Rockers fans finally have a team to be excited about. Cleveland has gone through a painful rebuilding process but is now ready to really compete for seasons to come.  Our goal is to win 85 games this year with an outside chance of making the playoffs.

The Rockers top major league players are led by veteran 3B Orber McClellan who is in a contract year and probably won’t be around next year to enjoy the team’s success.  Tomas Blanco is a steady force at 2B. Doesn’t do anything great but everything solid. SP Jaret Serafini is really expected to take the next step and become the ace of the team.

The top minor league players are led by 3B Kendry Benitez who is expected to take over for Orber McClellan at some point this season. Power hitting LF Ty Scanlan should also make his Big League debut this year and not disappoint.  CF Luis Osuna will probably force his way into the line-up at some point this year and Deacon Clayton should arrive to help round out the young starting pitching staff.

The goal of the offseason was to solidify the bullpen and we think we accomplished that with the signings of 3 veteran relievers.  Louis Philips, Marty Bellhorn and Erik Bradley should step right in and help with high leverage, late inning situations.

Montreal Thunder Birds

Thunderbirds have one objective, Win! Plain and simple.

The main goal is to build an team that works prefect at an offensive ball park, considering we play over 100 games an season at one.  The Thunderbirds Season 20 main needs where. Infield, Bench and Bullpen.

We have an ton of arms in the minors but most are prefect for an pitchers park, not an hitters park. With that we needed to gain some high powered arms for the backend of our bullpen. Since the Thunderbirds usally gain nearly 30 wins out of the pen each season, this was an must. We scouted pitchers last season to see who would fit prefectly on our team. We had about 6 short men on our radar. We where able to land two of the top choices. And for far under market value.

Erik Bradley short RP (gone)
We knew we would let over the hill Bradley go. We tried trading him last season when he was blowing games left and right. Bradley did vary well for us the first 4 seasons but he was one of the teams worst players last season when he blow the lead in 15 games, 10 of which he won, thanks to late game offensive production.

Elroy Swift Long RP (gone)
It was his time to move on consider we now have prospects in system that can do equal or better than Elroy can do now. Also by declining Swifts contact we had added 5.8 million to the budget, allowing us to move some budget dollars else where.

Frank Hackmen Short RP (Option Accepted)
This guy been awesome for us the past 4 seasons. He racks up innings and does what needs to be done. His 5th season payroll was an little high for an short RP. But still is an major player in our pen for seasons to come.

Olmedo Ramriez Short RP (Promoted)
Rameriez was an International Free-Agent addtion in season 15 comming at the bargin price of $575,000. Ramriez has some uncanney stuff that should help the team for seasons to come.

Pedro Lopez Long RP (Promoted)
When the team had an season ending injury in season 18, Pedro got an shot at the bigs. Pedro was not really big league ready then. He still did an good overall job considering. Pedro spent season 19 in the minors improving on his stuff. He now looks to fill an role left by Elroy Swift in long RP, where he should do just fine.

Moe Fasano Short RP (Free Agent Signing)
Was looking for an strong short man vs Right handed hitters. While Moe an LHP, his vs RH was higher than most RHP. Fasano has top notch talent and comes for an low price. It was an no brainer signing.

Phillp Hammond Short RP (Free Agent Signing)
Phillp was on our radar for some time. There one downside to Phillp but everything else has an wow factor that out weights that one item. Once Hammond dropped his demands, we made the move. Phillp should help the Thunderbirds to countune there near 20 season dominate with an top notch bullpen.

Stating Pitching.
We had an few SP types working out of the Long RP role the past few seasons. Since Vasco Batista could not win an game vs Talented teams. That and cost us an world series birth with 3 loses after we needed just one to win the NLCS. It was his time to go. We made some role changes considering we have talent already on the team to make such an move.

Vasco Batista, SP (gone)
Could not win an game vs talented teams, and cost us an world series birth (with needed only 1 win for the NL crown & this Bozo lost 3 games for us in the NLCS.) It was his time to go. If an player can only pitch good vs the weaker rebuilding teams. He is then not worth the marbles. He still could have been an option at Long RP if we did not have younger and cheaper alternatives there. That and if he cost far less an season in payroll.

The Infield could have seen an major set back. In the end it was detoured by resigning William Sutton and adding Miguel Cabeza to the mix.

Jerry Shaffer 3B/RF (gone)
Jerry actually declined his mutal option with us. Thanks Jerry for saving the Thunderbirds 1 million in cash.

William Sutton SS (Resigned)
This was our #1 objective during the off season, resign Sutton. We also liked Free Agent Pedro Tatis, but were very conserned with Pedro's 73 durability to not over bid for him. With that said, we keep an player (William Sutton) that posts over 700 plate appearance an season, Scores many runs and does the little things that help our team win. Where happy that he is back for more seasons.

Miguel Cabeza 3B/RF (Free Agent Signing)
We had Miguel in our sights for his whole career. We missed signing him as International Free agent and had offered to trade for him almost every season since. 12 seasons later we finally have him on our roster and we are more than happy with it.
Miguel brings the same aspect of play to the team as SS Willaim Sutton does. He should fit prefectly into our ball park and help the team win asap.

We had one opening on our bench for an player that could play either in an platoon and or depth with multipile postions. We had an dozen or so players that could have fit this bill in our sights. The key here was to get an player at one seasons contact and low cash.. We decided to play the wait and see appoach. In the end we resigned one of our own free agents, for an new role.

Bucky Bradley CIF/COF (Resigned)
We had an need for adding another postion player for reason of depth. Bucky still has tools we can use even at an limited part time role. It made since, really consider the role is not the same as it was an season ago.

Other Season 20 Roster Moves….

Jeriemi Hernandez LF (Contact Extension)
No Brainer, Contact Extension all the way.

Kris Coveleski ULT (Resigned)
Kris has assumed the role of ulity player for another season with an small fee of $360,000. He an great fielder and could fill an hole anywhere in an pinch.

David Masato C (Resigned)
For $360,000 he fills in just fine as the back up to big dog Amaro. He OK at Catching and very good at hitting. For the small contact, it was an no brainer.

JP Perez COF (Resigned)
$378,000 where do we sign! This guy has tons of upside. The only issue this high health ranking player has been victim of the DL for seasons. We never know if he will ever get an chance to make it an full season without landing on the DL.

Grover Abbott Pitcher (Resigned)
It cost us $1.5 million to renew him for another season. Grover always seems to produce well in the roles we put him in. We will take the gamble and see what he does this season.

Ottawa Lockmasters

The Lockmasters expect another long season in Ottawa.  Building through the draft will hopefully pay dividends in the coming seasons. This year will mark the first of those seasons. They have high hopes for Dennis Herzog. He is one of my first draft choices after I took over. 

One small, albeit hopefully useful acquisition is Roger Miller at first base. It is neccessary that I get people on base for my lone star Buster Simas to drive in more as he has fantastic power. 

I suspect before too long that my two key pitching prospects will be on the ML squad; Brian Jacobs and Gerald Burch. Both could no doubt start in the majors when season opens, but I would prefer to let them grow a little more in AAA.

It will be another season of saying "How did I win that game?" It always comes down to the same answer. Piching, Defense and Luck.

Sioux Falls Canaries 

Right now, our pitching staff is definitely our biggest strength. Stocked with a good mix of veterans and high endurance....we should be very deep on the mound.  Starters will be led by Brandon Wooten who is old but we still expect him to be a capable ace. At positions, we have a specialized roster. Several players that excel on defense and other that will bring a stick.

Our challenge will be to find the right mixture each night. Excited about prospects Bosco Spencer, Walter Detwiler and Benny Pascual...along with several other prospects that have attractive potential futures.  I'm stepping into a franchise that has a history of winning, so hopefully we can learn this thing fast. We are in a division of what looks to be veteran managers so I know it is going to be a tough road.

We are hoping to figure out a way to challenge for the division, but if and when reality sets in...our goal for season one is to win more games than we lose and not finish last at any level, as well as continue to position our franchise for future success. I have a thought about what kind of roster we will have in the future and even though I like the players at the ML level we have, it will take some time to re-tool to what I would like to see at certain positions. I think we have the players in the system to get there, it's a matter of development and figuring out this game's process.