Saturday, December 29, 2007

Minnesota In Season Update

In season update from the Power Loon Press;

At 47-46, the Loons are over .500 for the 1st time after the All-Star break. Hopefully this trend can continue, because we are also in 1st place by 1 game. That said, we need pitching to come around to guide us to the finish line.

Notes from the All-Star Break;

Vic Cummings (CF) and Pablo Guzman (RF) were voted to the team this season. Cummings batted lead-off (0-3) and Guzman was the MVP hitting the game winning 3-run HR to put the NL club in front for good.

As for the season, well, it has been an up and down ride.

At catcher, Patrick Stockton (.316-12-60) and Brett Benoit (.305-1-6) are providing offensive help that was very unexpected. I hope this holds out. I had Rivers(.340-18-60 w/7sb) tabbed for this spot and he is tearing up AAA. Could make for interesting decisions next season.

1B has been occupied by Pasqual Guillen. Pasqual (.238-17-52) has good power, but the batting average has killed me. He has nice ratings, but they are not translating into good BA.

2B Greg Cobb is rockin'. Greg (.326-3-30 w/13sb) has filled a need, granted without power, but is getting on. He bats in the 9 spot AFTER the pitcher. I read in one of the forums someone asking if this had been done effectively. He has scored 52 runs this season from that spot and it looks like it may work.

3B Tony Soto (.311-15-63) has done nicely for a rookie. He played SS in AAA, but has done a fine job handling this role.

SS Phil Gibbons (.287-9-31) and Mark Freeman (.308-5-21) are platooning well at this position and will keep doing this as long as it works.

RF Pablo Guzman (.313-16-63 w/11sb) is building on last years' GG rookie season. Named a starter to the All-Star team this year, Pablo has done most of his damage from the lead-off spot.

CF Vic Cummings (.332-12-61 w/22sb) also made his first All-Star start. Vic is leading the team in Avg, runs, doubles and SB. He is a do everything CF that should make more trips to the mid-summer classic.

LF Robert McGee (.276-22-69) has cooled a little with the BA but is the team leader in HR and RBI's.

Pitching update;

Pablo Manzillo has bee solid this season (9-4 / 1.53 WhiP / 4.83 ERA) but I wish he could go deeper into games.

Tony Rosado (12-5 / 1.24 / 3.84 @ AAA) was brought up to see if he could add stability to the starting unit. Made ML debut right before the break and went 6 inn for the win. Lets hope this keeps up the rest of the way.

Russ Adkinson (6-9 / 1.39 / 4.67) has struggled at times, but he has the tools to survive. I think he just needs run support.

Miguel Hernandez (6-10 / 1.73 / 7.36) has probably come up too early. We just cannot stay in many of the games he pitches in.

Douglas Ducey (7-8 / 1.50 / 4.80) is having a better 2nd ML season. At 120 inn pitched, he leads the staff. This may not be saying much, but it is better than where he was last season

The middle relief has performed better. Most notably, James Kim (1.30 WhiP / 2.88 ERA), Ricardo Nieves (1.39 / 3.77) and Billy Ray Sanders (1.33 / 3.84) have done a nice job keeping us in games when the starters go out.

The Loons aquired Timothy White (1.08 / 0.84) from Toledo to be the closer. He is 6-6 since coming to Minnesota and is doing well.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Minnesota In Season Update

Power Loons in-season update;

Well, the coach hiring process was slow, but the loon's (20Mil) budget provided a good base of teaching talent this year. Hopefully, this will help the young team.

The rule 5 draft brought a couple of talented players my way. At SS, the Loons took from talent within the division by stealing Mark Freeman from Pittsburg. Mark is definately a defensive asset, but his bat has helped to.

Minnesotan native Patrick Stockton (C) came over from Montreal. He has the ratings to make you believe he'll be a star. Only time will tell.

After the first 43 games, the Loons are 19-24 and only 3 games out of the division lead. They have shown signs of improvement this season (ie. leading the NL in hitting), but still are an up and down team.

The hitting is much better than season 1 when we were last in the ML and now in the top 5. They are still a young team and I think this could get better.

The Infield;

At catcher, Stockton has really done a nice job of adding average and power (.329 BA - 9HR - 36 RBI). His bat and Benoit's late inning defensive ability have been a good combination.

Guillen has taken the 1B job this season. He leads the team in HR's (.243-11-30), but the BA must improve or I will be forced to look elsewhere.

The plan at 2B was to use a combination of Gryboski/Cannon. Unfortunately, Gryboski was injured in spring training (I should have seen it coming because this happened in the start of season 2). Cannon was hitting poorly so I brought up Sanford to fill the role, but the hitting got worse. I made the decision to move Greg Cobb to 2B and WOW it worked. Cobb is hitting .320-2-15 and has a .987 fielding %. it is good to see him being productive since he lost his CF job to Cummings.

At 3B, Tony Soto started the season slow. Now he is storming back (.302-8-39). I hope this keeps up.

Phil Gibbons has done another fine job at SS .291-5-17, but the addition of Freeman has given me another option without giving up the defense.

The Outfield;

In Left is Robert McGee. Robert is hitting well (.310-9-33) and has been a great defensive improvement over Nick Jordan.

Vic Cummings has been his steady and consistant self. Hitting .331-5-32 w/11 SB he again is showing why I think he will be a perenial All-Star.

RF Pablo Guzman, fresh of his rookie year where he hit .268-16-73 and recieved his 1st Gold Glove, is hitting .326-6-22.

These three, I hope, will be a staple for the Loons OF for the next several years.