Friday, March 28, 2014

NL West

Los Angeles
Los Angeles Dodgers (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Can the Dodgers turn the corner? They didn’t add any new offense, even though they wanted a right handed slugger and didn’t get one. There are some young guys that should appear throughout the season as wvwc mixes and matches to get the best production.
If the Dodgers can find the right combo and up their run production to over 700, they will win the division. If not…they could lose ground. I’m betting on the improvement. Prediction: 85-77
OUT: Alejandro Saenz, Wilton Atkins, Alejandro Saenz, Vin Phelps, Luis Valdivia, Harry Gross
I cannot figure out why the Dodgers didn’t perform up to expectations. The talent is certainly available, and Chavez Ravine is a great place to play. So, here are the observations in bullet point style:
·         How does a player like Alberto Jacquez only get 154 plate appearances??? Here is a guy that has an MLB OPS of .845. His defense is awful…so if wvc doesn’t plan to play him…trade him? The same goes for Mathew Gwynn, Bryan Cambridge, Luis Rodriguez, Darrell Franklin
·         Why does a team trade their best pitcher, mid-season, for offensive players that they don’t use?
·         How does a team, with such solid defense and good pitching, still give up 654 runs?
This team is still loaded, but they have to find a way to get some offense without killing the defense. Trades are probably the best way. I don’t see wvc networking or angling for deals, and really that is what it will take for this team to get the players it wants and reach the upper echelons of Kinsella.
This year I project the team to score anywhere from 650 to 800 runs. Huge difference? Of course! Will the biggest bats play, finally? The Dodgers should allow somewhere between 630 and 680 runs…once again dependent on trading defense for offense.
PREDICTION: 83-81 to 93-69

Arizona Diamondbacks (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Overall, this teams strength is offense. But it won’t make up for the lack of pitching and defense. Expect a LONG season in Arizona. PREDICTION: 68-94

OUT: Alberto Castillo, Donovan Crawford, Jose Pizzaro, Jair Villafuerte, Dennis Dixon, Les Walker, Barry Shaw, BC Lopez, Stephen Dimaggio
IN: Otis O’Keefe, Kent Robertson, Bert Barber, Eswalin Rosa, Tony Cabrera

PREVIEW (courtesy of owner Beanpole):
A lot of house cleaning of below-average talent, but in this case I think it’s a case of addition by subtraction – of the nine players who hit the door, only one picked up a major league deal elsewhere. Jose Pizzaro’s power will be missed, but he is squeezed out by a cheaper options at 1B (Wilfredo Ortiz, Stone Buford). Outfield is the strength of this unit, with future MVP CF Raymond Taylor anchoring a unit that has OFs Raymond Wolf, Vic Shipley and rookie leadoff man Bert Barber all vying for playing time.

Infield defense is much improved as SS Santiago Amaro shifts to 2B to provide an upgrade over departing 2B Donovan Crawford, and rookie SS Eswalin Rosa gets his shot at a starting job. Benji Castro returns at 3B, and platoon infielder Andres Campos is a power threat. C Craham Delahanty, in his second season, is the primary catcher.

The pitching continues to be awful. I’m very happy that geriatric starter Ozzie Jordan (39) and Yuninesky Mercado (36) are in their final years. They’ll be joined by 38-year-old Julio Matos, Harry Pena and newcomer Kent Robertson (acquired by trade from Minnesota). This group overachieved last year and I’ll need another magical year to be competitive.

Armando Chavez emerged to grab the closer role last year and will keep it in Season 26. The worst free-agent signing in league history, Trace Weber, will make $11.9 million this year as a setup man and I’ll try to get 100 innings out of him before he goes to $13 million next year (sigh). Cooper Osborne will also throw some important innings.

Beanpole’s prediction:
I overachieved last year by winning 78 games. If my pitching holds up (and I have 20 in medical and 20 in training), I could get to 85 games and challenge for a wild card berth, but it’s doubtful. At least we’re getting the budget under control.
My prediction:
Overall, I agree with an owner that can self-evaluate so well. Raymond Taylor had a breakout season, and there was contributions from multiple players. However, I don’t see them reaching 85 wins with the current group. They need more offense, and the pitching staff isn’t quite ready to reach down to the 600 runs allowed level. They should score 720 to 760 runs, and allow 770 to 740.

San Francisco
San Francisco Giants (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The predicted win/loss was exactly on point. I’m not going to say I told you so. That’s not appropriate. What I will say, is that this team could be a whole lot better.
The same proposition applies this season. Play players the right way, win. Play players in the wrong spots…lose. Prediction: 66-96

OUT: David Yang, Alex Gabriel, Richard Purcell, Lon Heffner, Louie Masato, Rico Alvarez, Timo Tabaka, Jeremi Johnstone, Reyel Pineiro, Carlos Mota, Burke Millar, Gio Tejeda
IN: Shep Carroll, Andrew Pettitte, Greg Wilkins, Mario Cox, Ismael Johnson, Lorenzo Terrero, Edgardo Martin, Brett Aspromonte, Joseph Suzuki, Cal Stone, Carlos Wilfredo, Destin beamon
San Francisco has seemed to be my favorite team to pick on. Maybe it’s just a product of being a Dodgers fan, so hating the Giants is in my DNA now. Not sure. Either way, tmantom made some improvements last year and beat my prediction by 11 wins.
The offense was MUCH improved and actually reached 706 runs. Quite a feat after being the most inept offense in Kinsella history. Rather than sticking with the group that made such strides, most are now gone.
The pitching staff has been completely remade. Seven pitchers are gone from the team, including starters Timo Tabaka and Jeremi Johnstone (whew, tmantom sure did dodge a bullet there!). A whole slew of pitchers were promoted, and the rest came from Rule V. Greg Wilkins takes over the #5 starter role, and Andrew Pettitte takes on the unusual #6 spot. Neither are ML ready. Other than Carlos Wilfredo (the #2 starter???) I don’t see any other good pick ups in the rule V. And why the ‘???’ you ask. Because Wilfredo isn’t a starter with his 91 durability and 31 stamina. Tmantom…always looking for an angle.

Overall, I can’t figure out what the heck the Giants are doing. Why is a player like Mario Cox in the big leagues??? There just isn’t one player that makes me go “wow, nice pick up.” Or “that makes sense.” None. Expect this team to go back down. Offense should score 590 to 620 runs, and the pitching staff will give up 800 to 820 runs.



LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The team is completely retooled, with the defense AND offense improving.Ivan Megias, and Benny Guerrero returning as possibly the best 1-2 starting combo in the league. Plin Olivares is possibly the best setup man in the business. Angel Ferrer returns to the closer role, which he lost back in season 20 after 8 blown saves. Previous ownership never let him pitch more than 65 innings. Olivares would be a better fit, but that is just one bloggers opinion. Overall, I’m not sure if the Padres can hold on to their crown. But I like what I see. Prediction: 82-80

OUT: Ivan Megias, Fred Lewis, Diego Wilfredo,  
IN: Willie Boyle, Will Lange, Esteban Iglesias, Oliver Cole, Cy Bruntlett, Octavio Lopez
Jeanpaul pointed out that the reason for the turnaround in San Diego was the defense. I would have to agree. The pitching staff benefited greatly.
The pitching was the best in Kinsella, only allowing 552 runs. That takes a lot of pressure off the offense to produce. But that complacency might hurt this year. Gone are Megias, Lewis and Wilfredo. Although age finally caught up to Lewis and Wilfredo they were productive.
The offense has improved without losing the defensive tenacity. Willie Boyle is a superstar, Bruntlett is a future gold glover (but won’t win one because he is platoon only).
Overall, the offense doesn’t change too much. Expect 630 to 650 runs, and on the other side of the ball expect the pitching defense to have another good season 580 to 540.


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