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;
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.