Sunday, November 11, 2007
After consecutive World Series losses in the first two seasons of Feller, the Little Rock Souther Rebels are in the process of getting younger over the next two seasons -- having let two key offensive cogs hit the FA market and three more will do the same following season 3.
There is young talent waiting in the wings and following a 102 win Season 1 and 101 win season two, Little Rock still feels as though it controls the National League's Southern division, but has reservations about its ability to win a third National League Pennant.
Rookie Omar Candalaria has big shoes to fill following the inevitable departure of NL homerun king Joseph Chang. Last season, Candalaria batted .352/.439/.479 in limited duty during his late season call up.
Pepper Bailey looks to build on a stellar rookie season in which he hit .306/.434/.655 with 46 homeruns in 435 at bats. The phenom comes into his sophomore season with a chip on his shoulder after being ROBBED of the National Leagues Rookie of Year award. When asked about losing the award to a relief pitch, Bailey responded with a simple "No comment."
The pitching looks to be better than ever in Little Rock as three rookies who pitched well during season 2's second half look to sure up the back end of the rotation behind stalwarts Alberto Cruz and Rico Perez. Cruz has gone a combined 30-13 during the first two seasons of Feller and Perez is an equally impressive 36-15.
The bullpen remains exactly the same as last season and hopes to maintain an impressive level in excellence.
All in all, things are looking bright in Little Rock. The team continues to infuse young talent with its veteran stars while building its farm system through the draft. The teams frugile owner still refuses to dip into the International FA market and his pos. has not hurt the team thus far.