Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Observations from the Nest

WEEK 1 Observations from the nest.

7-0. That was the record to start the season. Too bad we have 155 left to play. It's very early, but feels good to have a good start.

Starting pitching has been solid. In 7 starts, the starters have gone 47 innings with an ERA of 2.49 per.

Middle relief has been quite surprising pitching 14 IP @ 1.93 ERA. Closer Benji Sosa earned the job with his ST performance, has had 2 appearances allowing 0 runs with 2 saves.

I'm waiting for the shoe to fall..............

The offense has been above average hitting .315-19-57 in the 7 games. Victor Lira has hit 4HR and Thomas Cannon leads with 5.

I've been happy with Cummings hitting clean-up. he only has 5 RBI's so we need to do a better job of getting on in front of him.

Up next is a 3 game series with the vaunted Rebels who are also 7-0 in week 1.

Observations from the Nest

Wow my hitting has been horrible!!!! I seriously hope that they can pick it up a bit. hey but I"ve learned a lot. I'll have to put up some of my pathetic stats so all can ooooo and ahhhhh.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Observations from the Nest

WHOO HOO!!!! I know, I know, it is early, BUT, Victor Lira homers 3 times in the opener and Cummings goes 4 for 5!!!!

Alright, now that I got that out, I feel better.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Boston Stranglers Review Preview

Season 2: A review and preview of things to come

Taking over for the previous ownership – my first assessment of the Strangler franchise is that it is ready to win now. There is a good mix of youth and experience at the major league level. Pitching seems to be our strength whilst the offense will be no slouch. We expect to improve on last seasons 71-91 record. A playoff berth and potential run for the World Series title is the goal for this season.

The Starters:

Brad Gilbert OAV .258 / WHIP 1.37 / ERA 4.39

This elder statesman of the staff (35 years old) is the current ace and stopper. The lanky right hander carried the load going 18-10 over 239.2 innings. This was good enough to earn him an all star appearance last year. Hopefully he can duplicate that effort this year and next as he is under contract until season 3. Decline isn’t so much of a concern as Gilbert is a known workout warrior (92 makeup).

Esteban Owen OAV .293 / WHIP 1.59 / ERA 5.44

The left handed Owen had a disappointing first season in the eyes of the fans. The 29 year old Dominican was victimized by the long ball last season – giving up 45 jacks to opponents. If he could learn to keep the ball down a little more he should see a drastic improvement in his win totals. Then again – it usually “is what it is” for a player at this stage of his career.

Max Carrara OAV .271 / WHIP 1.44 / ERA 5.25

Another pitcher who seems to have underperformed last season considering the scouts ratings. This lefty came into spring training in great shape hoping to prove that last seasons performance was an anomaly.

Mendy Lee OAV .267 / WHIP 1.60 / ERA 4.52

Mendy Lee is the future staff ace of the Boston franchise. The 22 year old is a ground ball pitcher who fields his position well. Last year was a great learning experience for the young righty. This year should be another step forward in his development.

Thomas Padilla OAV .269 / WHIP 1.33 / ERA 4.18

This vet completes the Stranglers staff. The left handed Padilla posted a better than 2 to 1 K to BB ratio. Management is confident that he will be the kind of consistent 5th starter that is needed to win at the big league level.

The Pen:

This will be a definite strength for the team as Boston’s bullpen expects to strangle opposing hitters in the late innings. Peter Hammond closed out a respectable 28 of 32 games last year. Rubber arm Charlie Chance held opponents to a .249 OAV last year over 111 innings.

Hitters Review/Preview to follow

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Minnesota Season Preview

ST is over and let the new year begin..............

This spring was a little easier than last. I knew what was coming and was able to try new faces in new places in my pen.

I'm toying with using just 4 starters this year, but my gut tells me they won't hold up. So I am stuck looking for that 5th arm.

Lidle, Gentry, Ducey and Robertson have solidified their starting roles, although Robertsons 13 walks in 18 innings is cause for concern.

I think the team of Sosa and Wilkins will close games, but Sosa has definately had the better spring.

I'll have to see some real action to detirmine if the middle relief is as good as advertised.

Most position races finished where I expected, but they got there in Odd ways. Yanick Gryboski is injured and out for 3 weeks. Wiggington can and will fill in, but this is a large defensive loss.

Victor Lira has done well at 1st and has the job, but I hope the bat comes thru.

Cummings is a star in the making. His bat (.392-8-22 plus 6 SB) have done nicely in the cleanup spot. Can't wait to see his total year numbers.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Spring Activity

Coach hiring was almost impossible this year. Everyone was looking for that better deal, and if you missed their reply, you lost them.
My only FA aquisition came in the form of a 32 yr old 1st baseman named Victor Lira. Victor hit .292-68-146 at AAA last year and was looking for a break. He was affordable at $875K and may provide the power this team lacked last year.
2 games into spring training and Vic Cummings looks like the star we expected (3 for 8, 2HR's 5RBI's and 1 SB). I know, it's early.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Rating Regression



Forum Posts: 8
I'm interested in how the turnover occurs. I had a vet on the team who was listed as a SS when I took the team over. His range was about 66, so I moved him to 3b. He is near the end of his career, yet played the whole last year (a contract year) at overall rating of 75, and he was 36 years old. He had a great year and won a gold glove, putting up the following numbers:
19 107 56 94 0 1 .323 .388 .511 .899
Then, time caught up with the poor guy, and at age 37 he dropped to an overall 65. All year he was demanding a 3 year deal at 4 mil a year, now he will play for one at 2.4 mil.
Anyway, to end my incoherent rant, I felt that players were ranked rather highly for their ages. In my other league (Pioneer) it seems that most of the old guys lose it at age 33 or so, and no one maintains an overall rating in the high 70's. Was this an anomaly, or do you think players can maintain at that age?

Power Loons

Minnesota Power Loons

A review and preview of things to come

This was my first experience of HBD, and I can say without a doubt, a learning year. Although I was not very active in the trade market, I think I avoided major losses (Sidney Bailey, you we’re a waste of space).

Anyway, my inaugural team was loaded with veterans, not necessarily talent. I made the mistake of resigning many of the Arb eligible and FA’s without making sure they were worth it. This left me with a payroll over $100 mil and little to distribute elsewhere. That said, I felt I survived well in the tough NL North, at 76-86, I won’t complain.

On to the new season;


Starting Pitching

Howard Lidle OAV-.233 / Whip-1.29 / ERA-3.43

He turned out a steller season for the Loons last year. His 12-6 record proved we were always in the game when he pitched. Hopefully, this year, the bullpen doesn’t let him down as much.

Doc Gentry OAV-.260 / Whip-1.34 / ERA-4.03

After a season ending injury robbed Doc of the final 4 starts last year, we are confident he will rebound well this year. Although he went 9-10 in his 30 starts, the ace of the staff amassed 210 innings.

Pepper Montgomery OAV-.290 / Whip-1.50 / ERA-6.23

Pepper has entered the last year of his contract, and the team, as of this writing, is pondering the buy out option. He seems to have good stuff, but his age(34) and his ERA make us doubt he is capable of bouncing back. At 7-15 last year, young talent could replace him with little risk.

Billy Ray Sanders OVA-.287 / Whip-1.35 / ERA-5.50

Billy is Arb eligible this year and if the decision was based soley on his ML numbers, he might not be back. However, with 12 starts at AAA last year (8-0), and .219 OAV, he shows promise. If Pepper goes, Billy probably stays.

Torey Alcantara(AAA stats) OVA-.243 / Whip-1.24 / ERA-3.23

Torey is only 21, but is being asked to show his stuff at the ML level this year. He went 9-6 last season and has the belief from the team that he can handle the pressure.

Relief Pitching

This hodge podge group barley deserves mention. Of the returning players, there vitals are 24 wins 24 losses 25 of 38 saves (ugh), 1.53 Whip and 5.11 ERA. Benji Sosa was the only All-Star pitcher, and no one knows how he did it………..Nowhere to go but up. Enough said!

Position Players


Andre Turner(.277-18-74) and Brett Benoit(.276-2-40) split time and you could barely tell the difference. Andre has the leg up because he provides power to a lineup that has lacked it. His 18 HR’s last year is the 2nd highest of the returning starters.

1st Base

There is no clear cut player here. 3 AAA players have come up in other positions as backups and any of them could be moved here to fill this role. Anything could be better than last year.

2nd Base

Yannick Gryboski did well last year (.280-13-68) and is strong defensively. Odd stat of the year, led the team in HBP(13). Milt Wiggington(.284-3-17) filled in well within the infield, he will fill the same role this year.

3rd Base

Last season started by trading for the aforementioned Sidney Bailey. Flop! Bailey hit .201 and killed the lineup with his inconsistant bat. This season, in steps Thomas Cannon(.289-28-96). Thomas was used everywhere last year and came on strong after Bailey proved he didn’t belong. Jim Roberts(.269-40-109 @ AAA) has come up to see what he can do in the big show.


Phil Gibbons(.260-18-99) was the only All-Star from the field last year. His fielding was tremendous (5 errors) and his bat didn’t suck. He is durable and will be counted on again to anchor one of the better defensive teams.


Nick Jordan(.292-0-33) was the consumate leadoff hitter. His 30 steals and .364 OBP set the table, now we need to drive him in. Harry Sanchez(.262-34-84 @ AAA) will be given a chance to show off that power at the ML level.


A time for change may be coming this year. Gregory Cobb(.263-1-37) stole 46 bases last year but the BA could put him in a backup role if it doesn’t improve. Vic Cummings(.321-20-70 @ AAA) proved his worth down the stretch last year. Cummings played 12 games at the ML level after Cobb left with a season ending injury. Vic hit (.382-3-16), ran(3 steals) and played his way into the hearts of the Loons’ fans.


Another Pair of AAA players comes to fill this spot. Pablo Guzman(.304-22-99 total minors) played at 3 different minor league levels last year and appears ready for the ML. Brian Wall(.306-41-118 @ AAA) has shown he is capable of hitting, His bat could be a huge boost to this lineup.