Sunday, April 1, 2012

AL NORTH - Season #21 Preview

 Buffalo Ice Dogs 

"The Ice Dogs have been frustrating the city of Buffalo for years now, so in an attempt to win back fans they have pushed their rebuilding up a notch by being more active in Free Agency. The hope is by having signed P Matty Diaz, power hitter Humberto Ramirez and 1B/RF Miguel Espinosa along with prospects P Walt Osborne and CF Jose Cueto that this season will be an improvement and serve as a springboard toward the playoffs down the road".

Detroit Wolverines

Detroit had a great season last year making it all the way to the ALCS. We expect our young players to get better and compete again for a playoff spot and possible Division Title. Detroit will burn the base paths with all the speed they have in the lineup.
A look at each position:

Catcher-Robbie Belisle is starting his 5th season and looks to have a breakout year. Reid Barker is the backup and comes in for defensive purposes at the end of games.

First Base-Michael Lee is looking to improve upon his 6 straight season of 30 plus HR’s and 100 plus RBI’s to start his career and has yet to miss a game in his career.

Second Base- The 2B spot is anchored by reigning ROY Roland Street, he is not only looking to improve his rookie campaign but is looking to make the All-Star team and wants Silver Slugger, look for Roland to have a big Sophomore Season. Roland is backed up by Fausto Martin. Fausto will split time as an infielder giving guys rest and DH.

Shortstop- SS will be split by 4X Gold Glover Hong Jin Takahashi and Hal Parrot, this is a position of defensive strength for the Wolverines.

Third Base- 3B has Anthony Thomas again back for a second season with the team, he was injured last year and missed out on 30 HR’s, we expect him to get back to that plateau and compete for an All-Star spot. He is backed up by Tony Melo, entering his 9th Season with Detroit. Tony splits time as a backup Infielder and Outfielder and has great speed.

Outfield- The Outfield features lead off man Sammy Costilla in Left, Rookie Al Alvarez in Center who is finally getting a chance to see what he can do with the big club. RF has long time player Chul Pan( who is 3rd in league history for SB’s) splitting time with Rookie Sensation Charlie Little. Charlie has made the big club at the age of 21 and is expected to supplant Chul from a starting spot during the season.

Starting Pitching- The starters have 3 youngsters and 2 veterans and are led by Tom Cota, Carson House( the big FA acquisition for the team after winning 15 games for Rochester last season), J.D. Randall( who won 17 games in his second full big league season), Angel Estrella( who won 11 games as a rookie), and Veteran Josh Curtis as the 5th Starter.

Relievers- The long relievers can start if there are any injuries and are led by veteran Paul Summers and Chick Sweeney. The other relivers are led by Rob Rekar and super closer Harry Cooper who already has 111 Saves in just 4 Seasons.

Minors- There aren’t expected to be any new players making a name for themselves coming up through the minors this season as last year saw a couple. There are a couple of pitchers that are on the cusp and look to possibly n the major next season in Alan Shave and Horracio Sierra. Kirk Brown also has an outside shot. 2B Ken Montgomery also could see the Majors next season depending on his development.

Philadelphia Dusters

Philadelphia Dusters will try to repeat as AL champs with most of the team returning. Newcomers Willie Estrada, Carter Sexton and Al Sosa will try to put them over the top. The offense led by Stephen Rivera and a veteran pitching staff will attempt for a fifth straight AL North crown and a chance to get back into the World Series.

Boise Cartel