Sunday, January 12, 2014
Windmills putting pieces together
Porthos, who acquired a team last season that had won only 24 games in Season 28, is overseeing a rebuild built around trading and the draft. That strategy helped boost the franchise to improve Wins to 45 in Season 29. With SP and "Face of the Franchise" Eddie Conroy another season older and showing some key increases, hitting the leagues new MWR should not be a problem.
With upcoming draft picks 2,3, 32 and 57 in the draft, Porthos opted to invest heavily in scouting in hopes of filling some obvious holes in the farm system. One big gap filled this spring was a Power hitting First Baseman, which the signing of Alex Morales at $40 M demonstrated the commitment of the franchise to build from the ground up
Time will tell whether this is a smart strategy, but does insure the league will continue see stability in the Tacoma franchise ownership.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Season 30 looks promising in Nashville, as the aging Southern Belles try to continue to retool for another run. This is no longer the team that won 6 out of 7 AL pennants, however they are built to win now. Nashville is looking to win its first division title since season 22, and could really use the first round bye.
The Belles should be led by a strong starting rotation, returning all 5 starting pitchers, anchored by future Hall of Famer Wendel Ducey. Ducey, who is 3rd all time with 312 wins looks to continue his brilliant career and hang on long enough to catch Walker Mays record of 411 wins. While a stretch he will reach the mark the Belles continue to try to put strong pieces around him.
The bullpen is anchored by Vin Ramirez. The aging Ramirez has been a stallworth of the bullpen since joining Nashville in season 18, pitching at least 150 innings all but two seasons. Joining Ramirez in the bullpen is free agent Cookie Ozuna who looks to earn his free agent money by locking down the middle innings in long relief.
Nashvilles offense is led by superstar 3b Adam Coles, who has hammered 91 homers in two seasons with the Belles. LF Bernie Bunch joins Coles and return 1b Tanner Conner giving nashville 3 players who hit 40 homers last year in the middle of the lineup.
While Nashville boost a strong rotation and power lineup, there defense should be much improved this year. Free Agent shortstop Willy Lennon will join incumbant Christian Carnery to provide some much needed rotation and depth with two players capable of playing any spot on the field. Returning CF Rigo Melian won a Gold Glove in his first season in CF with the Belles and will look to build on that success. 2b Todd Duffy, brought over from Cleveland in a trade, provides the possibility of having a Gold Glove player at 2b, SS, CF and 3B, giving Nashville strong defense at the most important positions. Winning the starting catcher spot, incumbent 2nd round pick Timmothy Speaker threw out 34% of runners last year while showcasing a career .838 ops.
The core of Nashvilles team is getting old, and years of big money free agents have done their work on a once very deep minor league system. The biggest risk area this year is injury and/or decline leaving Nashville with not many replacement options in the minors. Nashville continues to do a good job of finding and growing bench players in the draft, however they have not groomed an impact ML player in a long time.
top newcomers: Willy Lennon, Bernie Bunch, Todd Duffy, Cookie Ozuna
key departchers: Roland Pierce, Ben Broxton, Hee Chong
best prospects: Aroldis James, Francisco Perez, Everth Romero, Dick Howard
Friday, January 10, 2014
Gone are the days of dominating Wolverines teams in all aspects.
After an HBD decade plus long run we finally decided it was time to tear this team down and start our first Hornsby rebuild.
Surprisingly, got little to no interest in trades last year so we had to settle for a couple decent prospects, but no real Franchise-type players.
We will once again see if the remaining veterans can be moved this year for some prospects, but either way we should still be in the playoff chase another year or two while slowly building the next juggernaut.
Top Additions - Went ahead and signed Tony Gonzales (RP) and Julian James (2B) at what we thought were value signings.
Top Losses - Decided not re-sign future HOF Bob Duchscherer as he approaches some career milestones and wish him the best.
Top Prospects - I don't know you tell me. Kinda scarce.
In summary, we have no real thoughts of a title in Indy this year and it may be awhile before we are a serious contender, but we are fully committed to Hornsby World and the city of Indianapolis. We look forward to sitting at the Big Boy table in the near future. Hopefully Tanaka has retired by then.
With a core of stars all in there 30's and a very weak minor league system after some big trades last season to make one last push at a world series title, this could be the year to start another core makeover.
KEY ADDITIONS: None
KEY DEPARTURES: P Olmedo Peguero
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Season 30 should be an interesting one for the Toymakers. While management has tinkered with the pitching and position players at the margins, this is essentially the same team that has for the past 2 seasons finished around the .500 mark.