Sunday, January 13, 2013

AL NORTH - Season #24 Preview

Buffalo Ice Dogs

The Youth movement has come to Buffalo as the Ice Dogs try to regain some traction after several losing seasons. Coming off another season of over 100 losses, the fans are jumping off the bandwagon and this has led to some changes in the front office philosophy as well as clubhouse changes. 

Several veterans were not resigned in the off season, allowing for promotions of some young players. Walt Osborne was resigned and is expected to lead the pitching staff again this season, the team is hoping for more consistent pitching from him. In order to give the staff another veteran, the Ice Dogs signed free agent Josh Curtis. Two of the young potential stars, Louis Flood will start at 3B and Peter Carlson will be the starting SS. 

The team is rebuilding once again, but this time the blueprint is different and they expect it to be more successful.

Detroit Wolverines

Key Additions: Lawrence Williams 3B(FA), Alvin Hensley SS(Waivers), Neftali Delgado RP(FA), Harry Pinzon SP(FA)

Key Losses: Anthony Thomas 3B(FA), Julio Romero SP(FA), Neal Goodman RP(FA),
Overview: After another 2nd Place finish and just missing the playoffs again last season, Detroit is hoping that their young team will make the leap to make the next step. The team is led by Last Year’s All-Star Game MVP CF Roland Street. Roland had his second consecutive 10 RBI Season Last Year and looks to improve.

The Pitching is led by Last Year’s star FA acquisition Lorenzo Guillon, Lorenzo had 18 wins in his first season in Detroit. 1b is the home of the longest tenured Wolverine Michael Lee, he led the team last year with 147 RBI’s(a Career High), 2b has Speedster an Lead Off Man Javy Jimenez starting his 3rd season, SS will feature a platoon of 2nd Year man Bartolo Padilla and Alvin Hensley. This is a position of little offense but great defense. 3b features key FA acquisition Lawrence Williams, Williams hit 35 homers and had 120 RBI’s for Sioux Falls last season.

The Outfield features CF Roland Street. Left Field will have a platoon of Ken Montgomery and Tim Taylor(could develop into one player winning the job depending how they play.) RF has Charlie Little as the starter, we are looking for him to make a big leap in production this season. Catcher has ling time tandem Reid Barker and Robbie Belisle. Belisle just might be ready for a huge leap in production. DH has Enrique Bolivar, Enrique had a .383 OBP in a limited role last season.  

The Bench feature last season’s starting SS Fausto Martin who can play at multiple positions.
The Starting Pitching is again led by Lorenzo Guillon along with past All-Stars J.D. Randall, Angel Estrella, And Harry Pinzon, The last man of the group is Horacio Sierra, last seasons gold glove winner. Relief Pitching features closer Harry Cooper, long time set up men Rob Rekar and Stephen Allen. The long relief has a starter from last season Doc Blair, Trevor Blank and newly acquired Neftali Delgado.

Milwaukee Blue Ribbons

The Milwaukee Blue Ribbons are the world economy, circa 2009. Years of inflated egos, reckless spending and lavish compensation for the undeserving elite have wrought havoc in equal parts on the budget and morale. Fearful of daily protests outside the office door, much like AIG suffered years ago, the new management team swiftly relocated the franchise from Philadelphia to Milwaukee. (And not just because of the half-cheeseburger, half-bratwurst concoction known as <a href=>The Bomber</a>.)

The change of nicknames is part corporate sponsorship (the world headquarters of Pabst is in town) and part optimism for the future. After all, PBR is an award-winning beer. (That the award came from the antiquated concoction known as the World’s Fair from 1893 is irrelevant.)

As for the club’s Season 24 prospects, I think of that old expression, “a day late and a dollar short,” only I translate it into “a year late and a rotation short.” The Blue Ribbons are good enough to be competitive, but a source close to management fears they might not have what it takes to truly contend.

As such, the source notes that any and all trade offers will be accepted, and virtually no one is off limits. In particular, power-hitting outfielder Stephen Rivera and shutdown closer Norman Nelson are hot trade targets.


Helena Horsemen