Wednesday, November 12, 2014

NL WEST - Season #31 Preview

Colorado Evil Empire -

The Maize 'N Blue are back. Gone is the Evil Empire moniker which should be passed on to the champs in Cleveland..

This team will once again be led by All-World CF Tomas Cairo who brought home his 8th straight MVP in Season 30. Cairo set the Squires record for RBI in a season last year knocking in 206 with a personal best 70 HR's to boot.
Surrounded by stars like Benny Uribe, Julio Osoria, Leo Conner, and Louie Ibanez who incredibly took home the Silver Slugger award despite missing half of the season to injury, offense should never be an issue.
Young phenom Marino Vasquez takes over in RF with the tough decision to trade away stud Teddy Locke for bullpen help and some salary relief. We love Marino's potential if he can just stay healthy.
Offensive prospects aren't quite ready, but youngsters like Rubby Velez, Harry Nieves and the recently signed Luis Lima should help the big club one day.

Pitching staff is once again led by Niko "The Machine" Kirby who took home his 7th Cy Young award and continues to dominate even at the age of 36. Bret Clayton who combined with Kirby to go 41-1 last year returns along with 2-time Cy winner Yuniesky Delgado and Hee Soep Higshioka to form the best pitching tandem iin Squires..
The bullpen continues to hold this team back and trades have tried to address the problem, but so far it appears to have not helped.
Pitching prospects like Alex Sojo, Rio Maduro, John Ono and Yordano Uribe should arrive in a couple of seasons.
As always it's World Series or bust for The Maize 'N Blue..

Honolulu Rainbow Warriors -

In their ceaseless quest to finally reach a World Series after years of fruitless division titles, the Rainbow Warriors are relying on speed to get them there. The Warriors have loaded up on fast players like platoon monster Salvador Seneca to complement their racing core, and all Rainbow Warrior baserunners have been given the green light to go at any opportunity.

To further their plan, the Warriors made a blockbuster to bring in centerfielder Richard Osuna, a 93 overall stud who is badly overpaid but speedy, smart, and devastatingly handsome. The Warriors parted with two-time Honolulu standout Ricky Atchley and injured former ace Octavio Valenzuela to get it done, and while the Honolulu Advertiser ripped the deal, the general manger responded with only a pithy "Newspapers are dead, shut it."

With Osuna on board, and a mandate to run their way to victory, the Rainbow Warriors are committed to bring a title to the shores of Waikiki at last!


Seattle Somethings -

Season 30 for the Seattle Somethings was considered by many as a resounding success. The long-suffering franchise broke thru with its first playoff appearance under pjfoster13's management, and first playoff appearance overall since season 23 and only third overall in Squires history. Anchored by arguably one of the deepest pitching staffs in the ML and the youngest starting lineup in the ML, the Somethings have every reason to believe that continued success is attainable. The question becomes whether the squad can perform under the newly-discovered weight of expectations.

The Somethings once again have wild-card expectations in S31. The continued development of its young core players Nunez, Parkers, and Oswalt is essential to Seattle's success. Seattle dabbled heavily in the trade market this offseason, subtracting 26-year old starting 2B Ringo Bradley, 24-year old starting/platoon catcher Rodrigo Campos, 29-year old backup RF Sam Patrick, and 25-year old backup 3B Dee Edwards, but adding 25-year old 2B Marc Sears to shore up defense and offense and RHP Wandy Urbina, LHP Denny Stock, and LHP Gerald Burch to shore up the bullpen which was Seattle's greatest concern coming into S31. CF Glen Handworth departed in free agency, but 21-year old dynamic CF prospect Bill Presley (s28 7th overall) is expected to join the team once the service time period expires. Presley may also be joined by upgrades of top prospects 2B/CF Navarre, SP/LRP Hayes, and possibly a bullpen arm or two. C Mota (S29 9th overall), LHP Carreon (S28 27th overall steal), and LHP Quintanilla (S28 35th overall) are all likely to spend an additional season + 30 cycles in the minors for additional development.

The somethings are gifted with youth, pitching, lineup flexibility, and tremendous overall defense, but teeter on the brink of 7th place due to difficult home park conditions affecting its offense. A back-to-back wild-card finish would be welcomed in the highly-competitive National League

Oklahoma City Slickers -