Friday, July 19, 2013

NL WEST - Season #26 Preview

Fresno Maize 'N Blue -
Season 26 should look much like Season 25 for The Maize 'N Blue even with the move from Oakland to Fresno in the offseason...

The expectations of a return to The World Series are high.

Offense is led by the best player in Squires in Tomas Cairo. The young phenom brought home his 3rd straight MVP and with the addition of the reigning Rookie of the Year Benny Uribe there should be no problems scoring runs. Top prospect Julio Osoria should make his highly anticipated debut shortly after the 20-gm mark and lock down 3B for the next 15 seasons or longer.

A late season trade brought in future HOF Stephen Rivera who helped lead a surprising run through the playoffs and will hopefully lead to Rivera getting his first ring. Pitchers shouldn't sleep on Louis Ibanez who possesses a great bat as well.

Pitching will also be very solid. Led by studs Octavio Valenzuela and Raul Batista and a now deep bullpen just waiting for the arrival of Hee Sop Higashioka also around the 20-gm mark. Much debate was made after we traded for Valenzuela who only had a year left on his contract and came at a very steep price, but the gamble paid off as we came to terms on a new 5-yr extension which should keep the future HOF'er in a Maize 'N Blue uniform for the rest of his career.

TOP ADDITIONS - We felt the need to tighten up our defense at SS so we brought back Sean Waters in a pre-season trade costing us a couple nice prospects but also added a nice RP in Damaso Mangual as well .

Biggest addition was the FA signing of All-star C Walt Harnisch to a rather large 5-yr contract at 13.5m per year..

We feel this was an investment worth making even if some in the clubhouse are wondering when they are gonna get their big payday.

FUTURE - Traded several quality prospects to bring in Valenzuela and Rivera last year, but payroll is still low and we will hopefully replenish with a couple studs from this years IFA class.

Top prospects in waiting not already mentioned would be Yuniesky Delgado (SP), Buddy Williamson (1B) Chun Lim Tateyama (3B) and Tito Jodie (SP), but the best of the bunch should be OF Juan Tabata who was acquired in a blockbuster trade last year..

The train has left the station and is rolling full steam ahead !!!

Honolulu Rainbow Warriors -
Another stellar regular season, another postseason flop. The fans of Honolulu are fed up, and management is feeling the pressure after a 118-win regular season went nowhere. The Rainbow Warrior franchise has made the playoffs in 20 of 26 seasons, and has only made it to one World Series, winning none.

The long-tortured faithful are crying that if they can't do it this year, it may be too late, with two-time Cy Young winner Harry Palacios aging, star third baseman Ricky Atchley in the final year of his contract, and the supplemental pieces beginning their declines.

There is excitement surrounding rookie of the year finalists Pat Shannon and Naoto Kida, but it isn't enough to temper the unhappiness about another imperfect season.

Colorado Crack Whores -

Vancouver Big Blue Dogs -