Wednesday, October 30, 2013

NL SOUTH - Season #27 Preview

Jackson Jayhawks -
Following back-to-back 52-110 records the Jayhawk's owner decided to make a change at the helm and appointed Britt Garcia as BC. His support team are a group of veteran coaches who have all shared in the disappointing achievements of the past five seasons; maybe S27 will be the start of something more like what the loyal fans in Jackson expect.

Hitting and run production will fall on three long serving stalwarts: Tony Gonzales (3B), Rob Steenstra (2B) and Martin Hujimoto (CF). Failure to put runs on the board has been a constant problem so more consistency in the short-ball hitting game is being sought; the long-ball is always welcome but no longer the team's priority.

The starters will be led by D'Angelo Cruz and Mark Nakano who in S26 at least stemmed the opponents run supply. The biggest surprise is the manager's choice to put a Rule 5 draftee in at the closer position: Albert Ramirez (age 24) recorded good stats up to HiA level but hasn't taken to the mound in either AA or AAA to date; now he's in the bigs.

The owner's challenge is to get the franchise out of the cellar and up to at least a .500 win-loss record. Concentrating on the ML roster has meant that the minors may suffer a slight drop in performance this campaign but they will still be competitive

Mexico City Hombres Azul -
The Hombres Azul are an aging team who looked to hold back father-time by adding a quality free agent to the mix. Primary targets Rickey Atchley and Wilson Rolls both garnered more than Mexico City were willing/able to afford, and by that time most of the secondary targets like Pedro Espinosa had signed elsewhere.


So, the ballclub went the trade route, making two of the biggest deals of the winter: Mexico City’s strength has been starting pitching, with at least 7 players capable of starting, this enable the club to send excellent SP Jimmie Veras to Baltimore along with 3B Cory Thomas and a prospect for 1B Oswaldo Padilla and RP Julian Ortiz. Padilla is the key as he’s young (27) and under team control for several years.


The exit of Thomas has allowed Benito Espinosa to return to 3B, but left the franchise a little weak at 2B/CF so a trade was made with Detroit for 2B Roland Street who was originally drafted (#1 in S16) by this franchise.

El Paso Banditos -

Kansas City Googly Mooglies -