Wednesday, October 30, 2013

NL EAST - Season #27 Preview

Richmond Spiders -
Richmond’s first playoff appearance in 13 seasons was something to celebrate last year. It’s only the third time in the league’s history that this has happened. We are looking to build upon that season and made a big trade to help us achieve our goal. We were unable to sign any high priced “Type A” FA’s and kept all of our draft picks to help build the farm team for the future.

The biggest news of the off-season was the trade that brought Walt Harnish to the Richmond franchise. Catcher was a position of great need and we gave up 2 MLB arb guys who got cut, and a good prospect in David Vargas. Harnish’s salary brings some concern to the Richmond front office, but we’re hoping that with the young core that we have the initial impact will not be a burden to the team’s payroll or future development.

The Spiders line-up is very solid and consists of 5 guys who are very strong hitters: Almanza, Harnish, Watkins, Funaki, and Manto. Defensively Avery, Valdes, and Siqueiros will rotate between the SS and 3B positions.

The starting rotation is SUPER good. Abraham Booker is one of the best starters in the league and he is followed by a mix of veterans and “up and comers”. Estrada, Benningson, McFeely, and Seay round out the rotation. The bullpen will again be anchored by closer Aurelio Montanez. The key set up man is newly promoted Douglas Durbin. Virgil Stewart will help fill in the long innings between the older starters and Durbin.

Top Rookie- SS – Max Cerveza (AA) & SS - Fautino Escobar (RL)

Key Players Lost- SS – Rob Whitfield (Trade), SP Howie Anderson (Trade), LF -Thomas Andujar (FA)

Key Players Acquired- C-Walt Harnish (Trade) SS - Davey Jimenez (Rule 5) SS- Kendry Benitez (FA) SS – Tony Siqueiros (FA) SP Anthony McFeely (FA).

Key Off-Season Transaction- Acquiring C Walt Harnish. He will cost the team $54M over the next four seasons, but it will be worth it as his bat and ability to catch behind the plate make him one of the best at his position in the league.

Rochester Rodents Of Unusual Size -
The focus of our season at Rochester is to develop our ability to compete long term by attempting to deflate our current payroll commitments and concentrate on the future. In a salary cap league, hard decisions need to be made regarding fund allocations & the Tanner trade was a prime example of that reality. We will still field a competitive team so that the integrity of the season isn’t questioned but our focus is on the next few seasons prospect acquisitions & development.

Durham Natty Knights -

Washington D.C. Whalers -