Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mid Season Report - A.L. West

Portland Poltergeists (AL)
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Season 9: 1st Place (102-60)
Season 10 Prediction: 1st Place
Season 10 Place/Record: 1st Place (51-41)

Impact Player: Kevin Mullins - 32 HR, 81 RBI, 58 RS, .305 BA, 1.008 OPS
Impact Pitcher: Nick Smith - 17-20 SV/SVO, 4-2 W/L, 2.95 ERA, 1.15 WHIP

In case you haven't noticed, there's a heck of a pennant race going on in the A.L. West between the Poltergeists and Oles. That's no surprise here. Led by Kevin Mullins (ever here of this guy?), Portland's offense is operating on all cylinders. They rank 2nd in home runs, 3rd in runs scored and 1st in OPS. Helping out Mullins is Lawrence Rhodes who's having his best season in Portland and Felix Ellis who's driven in 329 runs over the last 2 1/2 seasons. Having said that, the reason Portland's only 10 games over .500 is the pitching. No one expected Domingo Pizzaro to repeat last year's performance, but he's struggled a bit with only 8 wins in 19 starts. Picking up some of the slack is Anthony Martin who also has 8 wins, but only 1 loss. With Salem playing well, this race should go down to the wire.

Season 9: 2nd Place (88-74)
Season 10 Prediction: 2nd Place
Season 10 Place/Record: 2nd Place (50-42)

Impact Player: Carlos Gonzalez - 27 HR, 78 RBI, 57 RS, 1.019 OPS, 13 SB
Impact Pitcher: Jack Fleming - 9-2 W/L, 3.25 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, .254 OAV

I think the Oles hitters didn't appreciate my preseason "snub" when I said I liked the Mile High Marines offense better. Salem's offense has performed quite well to date as they rank in the Top 4-5 in most offensive categories. Carlos Gonzalez is tearing it up to lead the club, but the Oles have 4 other hitters with over 50 RBI and they're all hitting over .300 as well. The pitching has kept them in games, but Walter Lewis hasn't been the same since coming off the disabled list (0 wins in 4 post-DL starts). He'll need to get it together and the bullpen will need to step up and get some guys out in order to keep pace with Portland.

Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs Mile High Marines (AL)
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Season 9: 3rd Place (85-77)
Season 10 Prediction: 3rd Place
Season 10 Place/Record: 3rd Place (41-51)

Impact Player: Howie Curtis - 29 HR, 60 RBI, 57 RS, .922 OPS
Impact Pitcher: Midre Bonilla - 16-17 SV/SVO, 3-0 W/L, 0.84 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, .168 OAV

Something Is Not Right With Me
There are a lot of balls leaving the park, but it seems like most of 'em are with the bases empty. The Marines are 1st in the A.L. in home runs (194), but 2nd to last in on-base percentage (.328) and 3rd to last in team batting average (.259). How does that happen? Here's your answer: every starter for Colorado Springs has at least 15 home runs, but not a single starter is hitting over .284. How is David Franco batting .207? On the other side of the ball, it's a shame Midre Bonilla can't pitch every inning of every game because he's simply unhittable. Paulie Kolb and Dante Lansing will need to pick it up if the Marines want to make a run.

Season 9: 4th Place (60-102)
Season 10 Prediction: 4th Place
Season 10 Place/Record: 4th Place (37-55)

Impact Player: It's Colorado, they all look good! Julio Frias - 21 HR, 77 RBI, 62 RS, .323 ba
Impact Pitcher: It's Colorado, they all look bad! Scott Everett - 7-7 W/L, 5.70 ERA, 2 CG, .280 OAV

The Ligers just need to keep on keepin' on. They also need to find a huge, huge bat. I'm talking about a guy with 70+ contact, 90+ power and great splits, a guy who's going to hit 60+ home runs year in and year out. Julio Frias and Stephen Ford share the team home run lead with 21 apiece. This is Colorado - someone should have at least 35 by now! I don't even really want to mention pitching, but Irv Graffanino went 7 innings and gave up 2 runs in his first start in Colorado since being traded from Florida where he was in AA. Give this guy an award!

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