Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Season 24: NL East

The Home of Champions Starts us off with the previews!

Philadelphia Phillies (NL)
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LAST YEARS RECORD: 94-68, division crown

LAST YEARS PREVIEW: This season (dillont) is sticking with the exact same team, but with one major upgrade. Danny Waters. This is last years’ team with some moderate player improvement. If Bono Upshaw improves the offense this team could be a force to reckon with.

OUT: Brent Barker, Harry Guzman, Yuniesky Mercado, Wade Taylor, Elrod Riggs, Brian Russell, Danny Waters, Nigel Montague, Charles Joyce, Adam Lidle

IN: Eric Rossy, Carlos Johnson, Andy Schneider, Justin Moyer, Vicente Mendoza, Cesar Lee, Virgil Mercado

PREVIEW: My heart literally breaks for the Phillies. Rebuilding is a nasty process, but sometimes it’s. Like any breakup, there aren’t any losers or winners. Time to move on, no hard feelings. The Phillies will have a very busy draft. Look at how many picks: 20, 28, 34, 38, 45, 48, 53, and 94 for the 2nd round. A 15 college scouting, and 6 high school scouting should be sufficient. There is also 10 intl. An $80 payroll with $37 spent on players means lots to transfer. This process could be really fun for the Phillies and their fans (I count myself among them). Don’t look for anything special from the Phillies. If they finish out of the cellar it will be purely a miracle.
There is talent on the offensive side of the ball, and the minor league is stocked with a nice pipeline running up to the majors (have you met Felix Brandt? You will). They won’t stay down long, and before you know it this will be a dynasty.

Washington D.C.
Washington D.C. Nationals (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The bottom dropped out and it’s back to the drawing board in the nation’s capital. This team has an offense that will score more than 641 runs. Unfortunately, their pitching will be their downfall. They will still be improved and won’t lose 100 games.

OUT: John Pryce, BC Lopez, Benjamin Valdes

IN: Harold Heiserman, Jesus Cerda

PREVIEW: The Nationals didn’t do too horribly last year, and beat the projection by 7 wins (or about 70 runs). Villafuerte played over his head last season (5.8 War) as did Raul Brogna (4.6 War) and even Vic Cortez (4.1 War). There was the 70 runs. Teams win when they get the most from their players, and the Nats did just that.
“Pitching would be the downfall”. Well, I sure was wrong about that. Only 720 runs given up was better than what I predicted. Stellar seasons from Canseco, and McCormick helped out a lot. This year, they had to replace John Pryce. It’s not going to happen. But do expect them to somehow play over their heads, because that is what Rigby’s teams do.

Pittsburgh Pirates (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The Pirates have flourished under owner rookie and pulled off an improbable upset over the heavily favored Expos in the playoffs. Their run ended in the NLCS to the Marlins, but this team has confidence going into the new season. Another one of the premier teams in the NL. The Pirates seemed to come out of nowhere to make a playoff run and then to knock off the Expos. They should make some noise again this season, and everyone will see them coming.

OUT: Brad Carlson, Carlos Gomez, Michael Mori, Max Diaz

IN: Les Carter, Orber Diaz, Jim Banks, Spud Bailes, Derrick Watkins, Alex Nolan, and Adrian Ramsey

PREVIEW: Although my prediction was off by 4 wins, I also incorrectly picked them to win the division. But, all’s well that ends well and the Pirates won everything. They made some noise, and everyone saw them coming. But just like in World War Z…they were helpless to stop them once they started rolling and chomping.
The Pirates had the best pitching during the season outside of Florida, but in crunch time the Pirates outshined their counterparts in teal taking that series two to one, and then hanging on to take down Montreal.
One of the biggest acquisitions at the end of last year was Vic Gonzales from Tampa Bay. The others were Wade Dunn, PT Fischbach, and Brad Carlson (now gone to Fla). But those players led the way all the way to the title. New this year is the rule V crew, a few relievers, and the world famous ADRIAN RAMSAY. Is it time to Raise the Jolly Roger, again for the Moonlight Graham GM of the Year?


LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Blanch built a famous Kinsella team while he was in Tampa Bay, and is now in the Big Apple trying to accomplish the same feat. Another long year in Flushing, but it’s getting better. 

OUT: Sherman Coleman, Joe Vaughn, Deivi Nunez, Sammy Corino, Garland Spivey, Polin Arias, Rodrigo Lima, Ernie Upshaw

IN: Felix Ryan, Mark Nakano, Mark Corey, Omar Mercedes, Jesus Feliz, Sven Barclay, Pedro Lopez, Ajax Perry, Brian Donald, Luis Valdez

PREVIEW: How cool would it be to have a guy like Sticky Coombs as the best player in Kinsella? Seriously, does this guy put too much product in his hair or is their more to the story? Inquiring minds want to know.
The Mets were busy in the off-season. They had a terrific Rule V (defense up the middle, is it extra?), starting pitching for the back of the rotation (to go with a good front of the rotation). On offense it’s going to be mix and match for the Mets. I wish I could say that they were going to contend and be a force to be reckoned with, but this isn’t the year. They need run scorers and don’t have them yet.

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