Thursday, October 11, 2012

AL EAST - Season #23 Preview

Baltimore Renegades

The Baltimore Renegades went to their second consecutive World Series last season. Unfortunately, they came up short again.  This time, they were swept in four games by The Rochester Rodents Of Unusual Size. The Renegades' Management still believes the team has a 2-3 season window to win, and to WIN NOW. Baltimore's 'win now' mentality has came at a hefty price though, as the team's minor league system is in shambles. The team has signed at least one Type A free agent each of the last five seasons, making an already anemic Minor League system even worse. Baltimore has rated dead last in regards to their Minor League system for two years running and there is no sign of that chaning any time soon.  There is no Minor League help for the Big League club. Management is taking a huge risk and hopes that injuries and age don't play havoc on this team throughout the season. 

The good news is that the team has a great young core of super stars who have been locked up to long-term contracts. The hope is that the team will be able to invest more into their Minor League system in future seasons to come as the long-term contracts were mostly front-end loaded.

The Renegades have lots of fire power offensively. This team is sure to score a lot of runs with the likes of C-Walt Harnisch, 1B- Oswaldo Padilla (R), 2B- Ricky Atchley, 3B- Derrek Henderson, SS-Craig Jackson, LF- Lewis Glover, CF- Andy Norton, RF-Craig Cook, and the platoon of DH- Jim Morris and Vin Villafuerte.  The bench is also strong with UT-Pepe Cabellero, C-Alex Crosby, and OF-Jesse Stein.  

The Starting rotation is still a work in progress.  The staff is anchored by returning veterans RHP-David Vargas and LHP-Vic Ordonez.  It will be bolstered this season by new acquired RHP-Jimmie Veres (trade) and LHP-Angel Martin (free agent).  The last spot will be RHP-Walt Koch's to lose as LHP-Willie Quinones is waiting for a chance to start if Koch falters.  Quinones will start the year as the long man in the pen. 



The bullpen will be anchored this year (and into the forseeable future) by LH closer Darrin Roth who signed a 5-year deal this off-season. The bullpen is equally balanced with three righties (Paul Summers, Julian Ortiz, and Damion Murphy) and three lefties (Willie Quinones, Olmedo Ramirez, Neftali Delgado).

Top Rookie- 1B-Oswaldo Padilla

Key Players Lost- RHP-Mark Holder (trade), RHP-Cecil Holmes (FA), RHP-Alex Santiago (FA),  LHP-Takashi Wantanabe (trade), 1B-Emmett Collins (trade), 3B-Russell Collins (trade), LF-Carlos Sosa (trade), CF-Terry Ramirez (trade), CF-Herb Reed (trade). 

Key Players Acquired- LHP-Neftali Delgado (FA), LHP-Angel Martin (FA), LHP-Willie Quinones (trade), RHP-Jimmie Veres (trade), 1B-Oswaldo Padilla (trade), 1B/DH- Vin Villafuerte (FA), SS-Craig Jackson (trade), LF-Lewis Glover (FA), CF/3B- Andy Norton (FA).

Key Off-Season Transaction- Re-acquiring SS-Craig Jackson from Honalulu in a three team trade.  Craig Jackson is a young stud SS and is still scratching the surface of his immense talent.  This kid will be in Baltimore for many years to come.

Columbus Chesse N' Rice

Looking to build on wild card berth last year and go deeper in the playoffs. Lost Vince Caruso which sucked but the slack can be picked up. Alberto Guapo and Artie Bukvich are now full time regulars. there wasn't much pitching talent in the off season but I definitely upgraded.

Top Prospect is Cesar Molina

Chicago Goshawks


Jacksonville Plumbers