Sunday, September 28, 2008

Another Way to Beat Low Durability

Do you have a low durability pitcher, I mean the real anemic ones between 8 and 15? Does he have the qualities to be a great starting pitcher if his durability was in the mid 20's or better? If his stamina is in the 60's or better this is what you can do. Make him a closer, that is right a closer. Set him to pitch the 9th inning only and you normally never have to move him out of the slot.

Settings for this type would be:

Pitch Count: 25 to 30 but no more.
Auto Rest: set to 50
Inning Available: set to 9th
Manager Closer Rule: Make sure this is checked.

I have found this type of pitcher is well suited for the position. He can get up to 70 plus innings and 40 to 60 saves even and seldom blows a save and comes in real handy in extra innings also. I have done this in other worlds and have had great success getting FOY awards or having them finish in the top 5 every year.

Power Rankings

TBDSN-Time to put the jinx out!!! Remember, these are set to play on the field and have nothing to do with the standings.

1. Milwaukee (30)
2. Charlotte (33)
3. Las Vegas (33)
4. Louisville (39)
5. St. Louis (40)
6. Monterrey (41)
7. Huntington (60)
8. New York (62)
9. Iowa City (66)
10. Colorado Springs (66)
11. Nashville (73)
12. Syracuse (77)
13. Anaheim (78)
14. Seattle (78)
15. Toledo (84)
16. Jackson (92)

1. Fargo (19)
2. Houston (21)
3. Chicago (34)
4. Trenton (46)
5. Salem (54)
6. Scottsdale (54)
7. Norfolk (56)
8. San Juan (59)
9. Toronto (62)
10. Arizona (64)
11. Salt Lake City (68)
12. Atlanta (69)
13. Philadelphia (74)
14. Austin (85)
15. New Orleans (86)
16. Washington (100)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

How to beat low durability

I wanted to add something to the discussion about pitchers with low durability. (Forgive me if this point was already made in trade chat. I didn't read everything because I'm what you might call lazy.) Surely, when a positional player has low durability, there's no way around it, he's going to have to sit out some games. But it's different with pitchers. You can have great success and get well over 200 IP out of a pitcher even if his durability is less than 20, and I'll show you how! (I feel like I'm selling a Total Gym or something, but I swear I'm not. Unless you want one. Then I can hook you up.)

The secret is in the stamina. Take season 2 Cy Young Award winner Javier Henriquez, whose durability currently resides at 19. As you'll see below I've had a good amount of success in getting the maximum amount of IP out of Henriquez, who currently has the fourth most IP in the NL.

Over 253 total IP between AAA and ML in season 1 and almost 250 IP in his Cy Young season last year. The key is to pitch him every time he is at 100% (I've even pitched him as low as 93% though I don't make a habit of it and wouldn't recommend it.), which requires a good amount of shuffling among the pitching staff, and limiting his pitch count, which requires a good bullpen since he'll rarely make it past the seventh inning. By manually adjusting the pitching rotation I've been able to get Henriquez back out there on three days rest on occasion. (His pitch count is usually set at 95 though is sometimes raised depending on who I'm playing and how well rested my bullpen is. His high pitch total for the season in one game is 100 which he's done twice.)

In 22 starts this season Henrqiuez has gone 7+ IP just seven times which surely hurts his win total since my team seems to win alot of its games in the later innings. (An anemic offense will have that effect.) But I'm not here for individual stats, as I'm sure most of us aren't. I'm here for wins and with the best bullpen in The Bigs (in my opinion of course) I'm perfectly fine with pulling Henriquez in the seventh in favor of squeezing more starts out of him.

This isn't meant to devalue high durability guys. Of course I'd love it if Henriquez's DUR was in the mid to high 20's. I'm just pointing out the fact that with high enough stamina, durability is a bit less meaningful. Come on, do you think I hedged at all when I traded for Henriquez before season 1 because he had low durability? Heck no. I've gottten a lot out of a low durability starter and you can too with the right strategy. Now about that Total Gym...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Season 3 – 1st Round Draft overview

The 3rd Annual Draft Review

Here is a look at the first 32 picks of this year’s draft. First though, let us look at what is called “signability”.

With an IFA, they ALL will sign, just a matter of cost (initial demand). There are 3 basic things you’ll see with them:
1. Looking to sign. Would love an opportunity to play in America
2. May sign if the deal is right. If not, he’ll continue to play outside the States.
3. Probably won’t sign. He’s happy playing in his home country.

Based on equal talent value, the initial demand of “1” is the cheapest and “2” is the next up etc. Of course with IFAs it’s a bidding war, so really where you start doesn’t really matter; it where you end that does. It’s just with a “3” the starting point can be pretty high especially if they are a great prospect. Personally,the highest initial demand I’ve seen is 9.1 Million.

Amateur Draft picks, here is the list of some examples of what you’ll see with them:
1. Looking to sign. Will sign for slot money.
2. Looking to be drafted in the first round. If not, he'll probably accept a scholarship to play DI college baseball.
3. May sign if the deal is right. Has been offered several scholarships to play college baseball at a DI school.
4. Undecided. He has scholarships on the table to play DI college basketball.
5. Probably won't sign. He's determined to finish out his college career.

Now of course there are “variations” of these themes but they all fall within one of the 5 groups.

Group 1 is of course the cheapest of the groups. They are just looking for value based on what round they are taken. Also, they will ALWAYS sign and ALWAYS right away (no waiting)

Group 2 is the next up the ladder in cost. Their statement says it all, if not taken by the round stated… high risk NOT to sign (at any cost). But if they are, they WILL sign; either for the initial amount offered or they’ll want a little more. Note: Groups 2-5 will always make you wait.

Groups 3-5 are where some great prospects reside, but there is a risk and cost associated with these. These guys can be and often are very expensive (sometimes their demands can be ‘unreasonable’ based on their potential and when taken in the draft). Just how expensive… take a look at St. Louis’s pick of O.T. Bravo; he’s in group 5 and wants 8.5 million (and that may go up IF he decides to actually sign). Also, as you go up the scale from 3 to 5, there is a higher risk they’ll simply say, NO. In my opinion, with 3 & 4 the odds are in your favour (of course 4 being more risky than 3); but with group 5 “flip the coin”.

Now if you don’t sign your 1st round pick, you’ll get a compensation pick in next season’s draft. This pick is between the 1st and 2nd round AND is after the picks given to teams for Type A & Type B free agents. So where as this year’s pick is within the first 32; this compensation pick will most likely be somewhere in the high 40s or low 50s. Not exactly equal, so not only do you NOT get the prospect this year; but the compensation will likely not be of an equal value to what you DIDN’T get.

Class of Season 3:

1) Seattle Killer Whales (AL)
Jacque Puffer – 2B. Price: $4 Million
Going 1st overall is second baseman to Seattle. Jacque looks to be a solid ML prospect that once he makes it to the ML level he’ll hit for both power and average. His glove and range will definitely be ML quality but is arm…. will be marginal for 2B position. So he might end up as COF. Either way, his will be bat Seattle will want in the line up.
Rating: 9.5/10

2) Washington D.C. Blue Coats (NL)
John Balfour - SP Price: $6.4 Million
This pick finally signed, after increasing his initial asking price by more than a million. John will have the control, splits and velocity of a ML starter; his overall pitch quality will be good but not spectacular. The major drawback with John will be his stamina, it’s low for a ML starter. While true John will rarely throw a complete game, he should give a team solid 6-7 innings. With that a chance to win… that is not that bad.
Rating 9.0/10

3) Scottsdale Slammers (NL)
Ken Keagle – RF Price: $3.8 Million
Unlike most RFers drafted that are questionable in the field; Ken has decent glove and solid arm for a corner outfielder. Though it’s not his glove or fielding that made him a high pick, it’s his bat. If he meets his potential he’ll hit for both power and average. Now he will not win any homer run or batting crowns; still he’ll definitely put up the numbers. His only drawback, his potential durability will be under 80 (my minimum line for a positional player at the ML level)
Rating: 9.0/10

4) Colorado Spring Chickens (AL)
Barry McEnroe – LF Price: $3.7 Million
Another COF goes early in the draft. Unlike Ken above Barry, is an “okay” fielder for RF (definitely no LFer). But his bat is slightly better than prospect taken just before him, as is his durability. Again, maybe slightly short of Triple Crown material, but not much really
Rating: 9.5/10

5) Charlotte Blue Devils (AL)
Dan Callaway – RP Price: $4.1 Million
Dan is pretty close to being what I describe in an earlier Blog article – Viagra Needed. This guy should have great control, solid pitch quality and decent splits; all things you’d want in a starting pitcher. But there is no way Dan will make it into a ML starting rotation due to 2 things. Firstly his stamina will be marginal, but that alone wouldn’t be enough to keep him out of a rotation. It’s his durability!!! Under 20 is NOT for a starting pitcher (takes too long to get back to 100%). Now if you keep his PC low, he’ll make a solid Set Up guy. Not quite what you want in a 1st round pick, especially 5th overall.
Rating: 5.5/10

6) Jackson Vipers (AL)
Tony Johnson – 2B Price: $ 4.8 Million
With 6th overall pick Jackson takes a guy who should become a solid ML second baseman. Tony will not be quite the hitter the 1st overall pick should be, but he’ll be slight better defensively. Tony has the potential to be one of the “silent” contributors in the line up. Meaning me may not be in the All Star Game, win a Gold Glove or Batting title etc, but he’ll put up the #s and make Jackson glad he’s on their team.
Rating 8.5/10

7) Philadelphia Phantoms (NL)
Doc Bowen – SS Price: $ 3.4 Million
The Doc has the potential to be a gold glover at the SS position in the Majors. As good as he may be, he has 2 drawbacks for a MLers. Firstly (minor) is his potential durability is just under “my minimum”. But more important is his split vs Righties is was too low; while the rest of potential hitting ratings are real good, but a split under 50 against RHP is not good. Especially consider majority of pitchers are righties
Rating: 8.0/10

8) New Orleans Voodoo (NL)
Kevin Pong – SP Price: $3.4 Million
With this pick the Voodoo select a pitcher I feel will be a solid ML starting pitcher. Maybe not an Ace of a staff (splits not quite enough for that) but a #2 or #3 guy. He’ll give New Orleans a lot of quality innings. Now maybe one should look for a future ace in the first 10 picks, maybe. Still this is a good solid future prospect for the Voodoo.
Rating: 9.0/10

9) St. Louis Silly Nannies (AL)
O.T. Bravo – 1B/DH Price $8.5 Million
Here is the guy with the best overall potential hitting ratings available in the draft. He has Triple Crown type ratings!!! IF St. Louis sign I say he’s the pick of the draft, BUT that is a BIG IF. Does St. Louis have the $ to sign him???? Even if they do… will he sign??? At present, it would appear… Bravo will not be signed.
Rating: ??/10 (not signed)

10) Iowa City Cornjerkers (AL)
Tomas Cedeno – SP Price $3.1 Million
Iowa City takes the 4th pitcher picked in this season’s draft. While Tomas has the potential to be a ML pitcher whether he’ll be a Starter or Long Relief guy is hard to say. He’ll have the stamina, control, and velocity and splits necessary for a ML starter BUT there is quite a drop off in pitch quality after his 2 main pitches. Pitches 3-5 are all marginal (at best) and if he’s to contribute as a starter he’ll need a catcher with a really high PC to help him. Otherwise…it’s bullpen in my opinion; time will tell though.
Rating 7.5/10

11) Salt Lake City Shakers (NL)
Phillip McCartin – CF Price 3.0 Million
Mr. McCartin has the potential to be a solid lead off hitter at the ML level. Has great potential rating in both contact and batting eye as well as a great R Split. He’ll struggle against lefties (compared to Righties) still that will not hinder him from hitting over .300 and scoring his share of runs for the Shakers. Defensively, Phillip will be a solid CF. He recently sustained a major injury in Rookie Ball (Ankle Bone Bruise) and is one the DL for 60 days. Hopefully this will not hinder his development into a ML player.
Rating 8.0/10

12) San Juan Dead Bunnies (NL)
Shane Fletcher – CF Price 3.0 Million
The ‘Stiff Hares’ have chosen what appears to be the pick of the draft (IMO). Shane is everything the 11th pick above is, AND MORE. Better defensively, overall better hitting ratings and equal in speed (though his base running skill will keep him from being a major thief at the ML level). In Shane, San Juan has what should be one the best lead off guys in the league and a guy who’ll be a solid CFer!! IF there is a slight downside, his durability will only be slightly over ‘my line’ of 80, even so… Shane should make his share of appearances at the Mid Summer Classic.
Rating 10/10

13) Huntington Beachcombers (AL)
Tommy Jordan – 2B Price 2.9 Million
Tommy’s potential defensive abilities seem to mirror the other second basemen taken so far, solid if not great (weak arm). Again Tommy will have GREAT speed on bases but his skill will not be good enough to be a real successful thief at the ML level. While his Contact & Batting Eye ratings are really good, his split vs Righties is a little low and this could hurt his overall batting average. Still this is a solid pick. NOTE, Huntington started him in Hi-A and he’s presently in AA on the Inactive List???
Rating: 8.0/10

14) Trenton Traffic (NL)
Gary Nelson – CF Price 2.8 Million
Trenton gets themselves a solid potential CFer in Mr. Nelson. The guy should have GREAT range and solid glove to take away those potential extra base hits. As a batter, Gary should hit with decent power. The rest of his hitting rating should reach the “OK” level for a MLer but no more. So he’ll 30 long flies with a BA of .270; not shabby.
Rating 7.5/10

15) Las Vegas Gamblers (AL)
Will Weston – CF Price 2.7 Million
Again CFers are taken back to back?? Will also has great defensive potential like Gary above. Again like Gary too, his batting will be decent at the ML level but not spectacular. Sure his batting eye should be great, but his split vs Righties is really low and since most pitchers are RH…. Even so, Will is a decent prospect. It will be interesting to see how he fares at the dish, once he makes to the ML level.
Rating 7.5/10

16) Austin City Limits (NL)
Ewell Elster – 3B Price $3.4 Million
Austin takes the first 3rd baseman of the draft. Ewell has the potential to win some gold gloves in the ML at 3B, if he reaches his potential. While Ewell’s splits are GREAT, it’s his batting eye & contact ratings that will hold him back at the dish. Still, he’ll make a contribution in the line-up. This a long term project for Austin, if they can get him to his potential… they’ll have a solid 3b on their hands
Rating 8.0/10

17) Norfolk Destroyers (NL)
Al Cruz – 1B Price $2.5 Million
For second time in my HBD career I took a 1B/DH in the first round. My team is the NL (no DH) so picking a 1B in the 1st round is kind of against the ‘book’. BUT Cruz’s potential hitting ratings are just too good to pass on, they are pretty darn close to O.T. Bravo’s and a steal at 2.5 million. One drawback, his is durability… potential is a little below that line of mine and like Ewell above he’s a project. Still, if I can get him to those ratings…
Rating: 9.5/10

18) New York new york (AL)
Vin Logan – C Price $2.4 Million
Last season we saw a lot catchers picked in first 2 rounds. This season we had 7 with 2 taken in the first 32 picks. Mr Logan will hit for average and decent power if he reaches the potentials I see. Though his batting eye will be marginal, it will only hurt him a little. Defensively as a Catcher, his potential is at best marginal (both PC and arm barely meet ML standards). But being in the AL, New York can make him a DH… and he’ll definitely fit that role (and them some). Like my Al Cruz, his durability will be a little below ‘the line’.
Rating: 9.5/10

19) Toledo Greensox (AL)
Kenneth Stafford – SP Price $2.4 Million
Mr Stafford has the potential to be a pretty steady ML pitcher. Both his potential Stamina and Control ratings are both marginal for a ML SP but he should have decent pitch quality, solid splits and be a groundball pitcher. With his stamina & control being marginal, I see Long Relief for Kenneth at the ML level. He should provide a steady arm from the pen, but is Bullpen material what you want with a first round pick?
Rating 7.0/10

20) Atlanta Bandits (NL)
Pedro Limon - SP Price $3.3. Million
Pedro is a prospect that when I first opened my prospect list, he was in the top 5. When I saw his overall potential rating, I thought “here is potential ace”. Well, he’ll have everything needed for that title EXCEPT pitch quality and potential durability ain't quite high enough. Not one of his pitches has a potential quality of 70+ and that isn’t good enough for a starter especially an ace of a staff. With his control, stamina, splits etc he 'might' make a decent SP4 or SP5 no better but his PC will have to be kept relatively low (for a starter) cause of the durability. Again I see long relief in this boy’s future
Rating 7.5/10

21) Syracuse Slyce (AL)
Rex Kent – C Price $2.1 Million
Syracuse takes the 2nd catcher taken in the first round with their first pick. Like the previous catcher take Rex is more of the Pseudo-Catcher I described in my previous blog entry. He’ll have a great bat, hitting for both power and a decent average BUT his PC and arm will not be ML quality; he’ll be 1B/DH material. Nothing wrong with that though
Rating 8.5/10

22) Anaheim Chiles (AL)
Peaches Thompson – SP Price $2.0 Million
Definitely one of the more colourful names in the draft, one we are going to see more of once he reaches the ML level. This is the best overall pitcher taken in the first round. His potential pitching ratings put him as a solid SP1 or SP2 of any staff. The only drawback, is his marginal health rating. Can Anaheim keep him from serious injury??? If so, Peaches will be a name heard by many in the AL in a few seasons.
Rating 9.5/10

23) Toronto Toros (NL)
Rob Cather – SP Price $1.9 Million
Here is another solid pitching prospect with a bright future ahead of him. He’s got the makings of solid middle of the rotation starter. His pitch quality is will be just barely short of a higher spot in the rotation. Even so, Rob is a solid first round pick and for the price… a steal
Rating 9.0/10

24) Nashville Sounds (AL)
Peter Guerrero – 2B Price $1.9 Million
Nashville takes the 4th 2B chosen in the first round. Again like previous ones taken, he’s more of a COF (in his case more so). Peter’s potential hitting ratings all look real good except one Split vs Righties (like Will Weston of LV). Like I mentioned before this could hurt his overall hitting performance at the ML level. Still, he’ll put up decent #s
Rating 8.0/10
25) Chicago Snake Tamers (NL)
Alving Alfonseca – SS Demanding $5.5 Million (not signed)
Alving has the potential to be a great hitter at the ML level. The kid will have power at the plate and will hit .300, definite all star material here. His potential range is not quite up the ML standards but should have a great glove and arm. Also, his durability will be quite a bit below the benchmark of 80 (I seem to be seeing a lot of this???) This far below will limit his playing time by a fair bit, as such he’ll barely hit 40 or so long flies a year. If stamina was in the high 80 range… we’re talking HR crown competitor here.
Of course, this depends on if he’s signed.
Rating: ??/10

26) Houston Riverdogs (NL)
Jackie Page – SP Price $1.6 Million
In Mr. Page, Houston is getting the potential for a decent ML pitcher. While his Control and Velocity should be great; Stamina and Splits are both just okay. The main thing with him (like Thomas Cedeno of Iowa City) there is a big drop off in pitch quality after the first two! None of the 3 have a potential over 50, which means he’ll need a catcher with a high PC rating and a solid defence behind him at the ML level.
Rating 7.5/10

27) Salem Sacrifices (NL)
Melvin Taylor – COF Price $1.6 Million
Melvin should be come a solid COF at the ML level some day; though it will take a while for him to get there. Once he does, Salem should be happy with the result. Melvin may not win any gold gloves in the outfield but his performance at the plate should more than make up for that. His splits will be marginal though but with contact, batting eye and powers like he should have… that should effect his #s that much. Melvin’s health rating is a little low and considering the time it will take him to reach his potential ratings.. keeping him from serious injury will be key.
Rating 8.0/10

28) Louisville Legends (AL)
Bert Rivera – RF/1B Price $1.8 Million
Bert is defensive potential ratings put his as RF/1B/DH class hitter. Though his glove is marginal for RF, his range and arm will be ML calibre. The thing with Bert is while hitting ratings have the potential to be solid, he’ll not hit with power. Now usually guys with a low power rating have good speed on bases…. not in this case. And again his durability will be slightly below the benchmark. Bert should become a solid #2 in the batting order; still with that lack of HR ability, I’d like to see more speed. Especially considering where he’ll play. Do you want your RF/1B to be your #2 hitter?
Rating 7.0/10

29) Arizona Diamondbacks (NL)
Tony White – RP Price $1.4 Million
This draft (unlike last season) didn’t have many quality short relief/closer guys. I’d say Tony was the best available. But he doesn’t really have ML Closer potential in his ratings. While his control, velocity and durability are all what you’d want in a closer; his potential splits are marginal for the ML level especially a closer. Also his pitch quality while very good, it comes up short for ML closer. Tony should make a solid setup man, but I don’t see him as a closer
Rating 6.5/10

30) Toronto Toros (NL)
Rick Foster – COF Price $1.3 Million
With their second first round pick, the Toros take a prototypical potential RF/1B. Defensively his potential isn’t up to ML standards for the outfield, so it 1B or DH for Rick. He’ll have great hitting rating, though his vs Righty split is marginal. Still he should up decent power #s and have good batting average at the ML level once he gets there.
Rating 8.0/10

31) Monterrey Sultans (AL)
Slash Ruffin – SP Price $1.2 Million
Another colourful name for the league to hear more from in a few seasons. Slash has the potential to be a solid starter at the ML level. His pitch quality isn’t up to Ace standard (no out pitch); still he’ll 3 solid pitches and that is what a starter needs. Monterrey will have to try to keep Slash healthy though, his health rating is marginal. BUT if they can, they’ll have a solid arm to insert into the rotation.
Rating 8.5/10

32) Milwaukee Manic Maulers (AL)
Alexander Richardson – RP Price $1.1 Million
Alex has most of the potential to become a solid ML starter. He should have solid control, good splits, GREAT velocity and solid pitch quality. Drawbacks, while his #3 & #4 pitch will be marginal the first 2 should more than make up for it; still that will hinder him becoming a starter. BUT the biggest thing is his potential stamina!! In the 50s is not even marginal for a ML starter. Alex should become a valuable member of Milwaukee’s bullpen some day.
Rating 7.5/10

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stats Explained A Bit.

I have found a couple things out about doing the stats thing. Hitting, pitching and defense go hand-n-hand together. You can get away with one being weak but the other two has got to make up for it. I split the the stats in hitting to home and away because a team is set up for their home park or should be. Pitching uses ERA and OAV both home and away. I used to do two in defense but that didn't work well and only the overall is needed as it will dictate both home and away, since it isn't broken down to home and away.

Some things I have noticed, a good defense helps pitching more than you would think. The difference between a good defense and a bad one is about a full point in a pitchers ERA and OAV. In simple terms a pitcher that has an ERA of 5.00 it could become a 4.00 (or near it) and an OAV of .300 can easily be .270 or less. Couple that with a good defensive PC catcher and it could be even better. Why is an easy question to answer. One error costs a pitcher about 3.5 to 4.5 pitches or more depending on what happens after. Doesn't sound like much until you start thinking about the back of the rotation guys and the bull pen.

Pitching is sometimes hard to pin point, if ERA and OAV don't match in rank then it is usually because of the defense or the parks being played in. It could be that each player needs to be investigated as to what the cause is.

Hitting is easier, a good home hitting team helps in most instances, at home at least. Being realistic though, you play 81 games at home so if you don't have a .285+ average or better then there is a problem. Your not going to be good if you can't win at home, plain and simple. All the pitching in the world won't help if you don't have the offense there. If a team hits well at home and not on the road then some further thought is needed, and there is an easy but sometimes elusive answer to that.

Most of the hitting and pitching problems are tied to the ball park itself. Close examination of the box scores are needed to figure some of it out. Did the ground ball pitcher give up fly balls? Did the fly ball pitcher give up ground balls? Did the power hitters put it in the air or on the ground? What did the non-power hitters do? It doesn't do much good if a batter went 3 for 5 and you don't know why or as a matter fact 0 for 5.

My interpretation of the hitters stats.

Eye: pitch recognition, type/ball/strike
Splits: effectiveness against pitchers, weak/strong
Power: determines ground ball/fly ball, also if the fly ball can land in stands
Contact: hit/miss.

My interpretation of pitcher stats.

Stamina: TPC, +15 or +20 for MPC depending on rotation size
Control: pitch location
Splits: effectiveness to hitters
Velocity: strikeouts or inducements
GB/FB: ground/fly
Pitches: how well the pitches are thrown

Notes on this: A low control pitcher can be just as good as a high control pitcher but the splits and pitches are the key and need to be real high. As a batter will chase badly located pitches, though a keen eye and good splits hitter will walk more often. Low velocity pitchers try to get the hitters to hit the ball whether it is in the air or on the ground, a good defense is needed here. High velocity pitchers go for the strike out. The call bull pen and situation determines when a pitcher gets pulled in most cases not just the the TPC, if a pitcher is in fatigue status or not when TPC is met is the key along with auto rest. Also, low split pitchers can be good also, but control and pitches has to be high.

Statistical Power Rankings


1. Milwaukee Manic Maulers (30) - The team with the best record is actually first, well tied statistically actually. The reason, the formula doesn't like their error rate at almost last in the category. Better known as a sacrifice for power when you can have the best pitching and hitting.

1. Charlotte Blue Devils (30) - The Devils have the 2nd best pitching staff, though hitting abandons them a little once they leave their comfy confines.

Louisville Legends (33) - A very good even pitching staff and the best home hitting team but on the road hitting is a little erratic but the defense is their to help.

Monterrey Sultans (38) - This is a very funny team, at home they out-hit everyone and play great defense because the pitching staff doesn't help. On the road they have one of the best pitching staffs and one of the worst hitting teams.

Las Vegas Gamblers (41) - The good pitching gets hurt because of the defense, and the hitting goes to sleep at home if the long ball isn't there. This means they win large and lose large.

Iowa City Cornjerkers (49) - Good pitching at home and enough hitting to win, but on the road the pitching is handcuffed by the lack of hitting.

St. Louis Silly Nannies (53) - All indications is the defense and enough hitting bails out the pitching staff at home, and the better hitting helps on the road.

New York new york (58) - Great at home, once they leave is another matter altogether.

Colorado Springs Chickens (66) - Good hitting especially away from home, no pitching.

Huntington Beachcombers (68) - The problem is the ball park.

Nashville Sounds (73) - Decent hitting and good defense, once the pitching is solved..look out.

Anaheim Chiles (75) - Can't hit at home or pitch on the road and that spells disaster.

Syracuse Slyce (79) - We can hit, just not at home. The pitching is held together with band-aids.

Seattle Killer Whales (84) - The home field surprises few including the team.

Toledo Greensox (87) - Oh for a pitcher or two.

Jackson Vipers (88) - We may be struggling but we aren't all that bad.


Houston Riverdogs (22) - Pitching, pitching and more pitching plus defense and some good hitting to go with it all.

Fargo Dirtbags (23) - They hit better at home and pitch better on the road and the defense sure helps a lot.

Chicago Snake Tamers (42) - They actually play better on the road, the defense looks like the St Louis Rams or the Three Stooges, just not sure which.

Trenton Traffic (44) - Someone is happy they can pitch at home because they lost the hitting manual there. On the road it is a different story.

Scottsdale SLAMMERS (51) - I had to look at the stats twice to figure this one out myself. The defense is good for starters and pitching is great on the road, hitting is decent at home and anemic on the road. This is not a good mix except for stats.

Norfolk Destroyers (57) - Pitching is adjusted for the home park with decent hitting and in a race with Chicago for defensive thrills.

Salt Lake City Shakers (57) - This is actually a good even team but somthing strange happens when they go on the road. Could it be a dinger crisis?

Salem Sacrifices (58) - Not the best hitting team but has decent pitching with the same oddity as the Shakers.

Toronto Toros (59) - Can hit on the road with a pitching staff that has another odd problem.

10. San Juan Dead Bunnies (64) -The best hitting home team now if there was jsut some pitching.

Atlanta Bandits (67) - The offense is offensive as the pitching staff tries to hold it together.

Arizona Diamondbacks (71) - The Deacon can't figure it out and the stats don't match their record for sure.

Philadelphia Phantoms (74) - Stats indicates building a new stadium would help.

Austin City Limits (74) - We got a bear defense and can surprise a team with offense and pitching every now and then.

New Orleans Voodoo (86) - Good hitting at home, but someone needs to remove the curse on the pitching staff.

16. Washington D.C. Blue Coats (95) - I need pitching and it would help if we put gloves in the budget.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

NL rallies in 9th and 10th for All-Star win

The All-Star game looked like it was going to cruise along without too much excitement. The National League held a 4-2 lead late in the game and the American League was down to its final six outs when an otherwise ho-hum ballgame turned into a classic.

With runners on second and third with nobody out, Louisville's Kareem Raines singled home two runs to tie the game at four runs apiece. Fargo Dirtbags closer Bert Price entered the game and after Raines stole second, got Monterrey's Haywood McDonald to line out. The next batter, Colorado Springs' Jung Zheng, ripped a single into centerfield to score Raines and give the AL a 5-2 lead. Nashville's King Winn then came to the plate and smashed a 2-run home run to further pad the American League's lead.

Now faced with a three run deficit, the NL went to work on a comeback in the top of the ninth. With one out and a runner on first, Fargo's William Bolling singled into centerfield off of Jackson's Josh Dreese. Dreese then struck out Toronto's Dewey Greenwood. Down to their last out, the National League would come back to tie the game when Trenton's Stephen Mills doubled down the rightfield line, scoring Chang and Bolling. Salt Lake City catcher Galahad Paul would follow that up with a single to knot the game at seven.

The American League would leave a runner at second in the bottom of the ninth, sending the game into extra innings. New Orleans CF Don Jefferson would lead off the 10th for the NL and reach base on an error by Raines. Chang would single putting runners at the corners with nobody out when Burkhart grounded to Iowa City SS Wendell Durrington who botched the play, allowing Burkhart to reach base and Jefferson to score and give the NL a lead they would not relinquish. Bolling then singled to load the bases and after the next two batters recorded outs Paul doubled into the gap in left centerfield, clearing the bases and giving the NL a four run lead.

Norfolk's Ariel Lee would get the win while Toronto's Jackson Hayes recorded the save. Charlotte's Larry Stokes suffered the loss for the AL. Paul was named the game's MVP by going 2-3 with 4 RBI.
Galahad Paul
Salt Lake City
Age: 33B/T: S/R
Born: Chamberlain, SD
Position(s): C
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Black edges Simpson in HR Derby

Chicago's Sean Simpson put on quite a show in round 2 of this year's Home Run Derby but it was Nashville's Gregg Black who came out on top in the end. Simpson launched 19 home runs in the second round to advance to the third and final round in a showdown with Black. Black out homered Simpson 10-7 in the final bracket, giving him this year's Home Run Derby crown, even though Black and Simpson both ended up with 33 total home runs for the event.

The event's longest home run belonged to Louisville 1B Ernest Montgomery who hit one 521 ft. Montgomery also finished in third place for the event.
Gregg Black
Age: 31B/T: R/R
Born: Wayne City, IL
Position(s): 2B
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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Atlanta, Trenton Trade Prospects

Atlanta saw a talent that they wanted and Trenton couldn't refuse the offering.

Atlanta gets: CF George Lowe
Trenton gets: LF Magglio Perez, P Paul Ulrich and CF Curtis Smart

Analysis: Atlanta got a hard hitting and solid defensive minded CF in Lowe that can also play 2B and emergency SS if needed. Trenton gets a solid hitting and defensive LF in Perez if he stays healthy. Ulrich could be a long reliever or back of the rotation starter if he also stays healthy. Smart, although listed as a CF may find his calling at 2B in the future. Atlanta, although giving up 3 players in the deal, may have come out ahead but that remains to be seen.

Fargo Bolsters Offense

Fargo acquired a big bat to make their lineup even stronger to match that powerful team from Chicago while Louisville picks up future prospects in the deal.

Fargo gets: C/1B Arnold Hunter
Louisville gets: P Dwayne Malloy, C Daisuke Chang and C Marvin Broadhurst

Analysis: Fargo gets a big bat to add to the lineup in Hunter although his defensive skills are not the greatest. Louisville added a future right-handed SP in Malloy and the likable catching prospect in Chang that made the trade worth it.

Charlotte Shores Defense, Arizona Goes Young

Charlotte made a deal with Arizona with the intent to shore up its defense at 2B and CF while Arizona attempts a youth movement.

Charlotte gets: CF Justin Hernandez and Closer Vic Trevino
Arizona gets: MR Paul Schwartz and LF Wilson Hughes

Analysis: Charlotte gets a CF that helps their defense and provides right-handed hitting help for the offense in Hernandez. Trevino provides a strong left-handed closing help in the pen. Arizona gets a formidable left-handed long reliever prospect in Schwartz and a adequate for average hitting LF in Hughes. Both appear to have gotten what they needed in the trade.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Inter-League Report

TBDSN-With the Inter-League play being over, which league and teams fared the best? Does the schedule need tweaked a bit? I thought about several ways of changing the schedule, but alas the 162 games makes it very difficult to make it even out. Currently we play every team with 10 games between each other meaning it is either a 3 game series or a four game series. One team gets an advantge this way because it is either a 6-4 series home or away depending on how the schedule was made. Do some teams get an advantage under the current scenario? Unlike the real world, the schedule doesn't have to be made up considering travel costs and availability at least ( Astros a few years back that had to play something like 35 straight away games.) However the division play is 15 and 15 and is evened out.

Under my best scenario you would play each non-division opponent for 8 games and could be either 4 game sets home and away or a 2 game home/away scenario like the NHL. Inter-League play would have to be in the 2 home/away scenario for 16 games total instead of the current 12 which would be more fun in my thinking and not playing the same raivals each year would be great. The drawback is the final two series of the season where the you would play an extra game against two of your division opponents. Would people complain about being short changed by 1 game in their division? (of course they would, most just like to find something to complain about anyway.)

The North:
Milwaukee Manic Maulers: 3-9
Toledo Greensox: 7-5
St. Louis Silly Nannies: 7-5
Syracuse Slyce: 3-9

Fargo Dirtbags: 8-5
Chicago Snake Tamers: 6-6
Toronto Toros: 7-5
Philadelphia Phantoms: 7-5

NL had a decisive victory with a 28-20 win advantage.

The East:
Louisville Legends: 7-5
Charlotte Blue Devils: 7-5
Huntington Beachcombers: 7-5
New York new york: 4-8

Trenton Traffic: 5-7
Norfolk Destroyers: 7-5
Atlanta Bandits: 7-5
Washington D.C. Blue Coats: 4-8

AL wins with a 25-23 advantage.

The South
Monterrey Sultans: 9-3
Iowa City Cornjerkers: 6-6
Nashville Sounds: 7-5
Jackson Vipers: 4-8

Houston Riverdogs: 9-3
New Orleans Voodoo: 5-7
San Juan Dead Bunnies: 4-8
Austin City Limits: 4-8

AL wins with a 26-22 advantage.

The West
Las Vegas Gamblers: 6-6
Colorado Springs Chickens: 7-5
Anaheim Chiles: 2-10
Seattle Killer Whales: 3-9

Salem Sacrifices: 9-2
Arizona Diamondbacks: 10-2
Scottsdale SLAMMERS: 5-7
Salt Lake City Shakers: 6-6

NL wins with a decisively lopsided 30-18 win advantage.

Overall the NL wins decisively with a 103- 89 win advantage.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Some Interesting Things

I found Deacons blog on Arbitration very interesting, so if you have the time I would head over to the blog and read it. I have my own way of handling Arbitration but it follows his way of thinking. If I want to keep a player, I will offer what he asking long term in most cases. There are some if, ands and buts to go with that however. Some of the things I look at are health, decline risks, available replacements and asking salary. If I don't want to keep them long term then I will let them become a FA and usually let them go right before the hearings start. If I let one go that would have been nice to keep but not long term I set the watch button on the player, if at the end of the FA period he is still available then I might tender an offer to the player. If they clear FA, you might be able to lock the player for a much cheaper long term period even. By the way, I never go into arbitration with a player regardless and I won't go after him in FA either as his asking price is usuaully more than his arbitration demands were.

Some things I have seen that are bad usually involve huge long term salaries where the player has declined or injury has ruined the player. Another is a GM that back-loads a contract, rising salaries as the player gets older, this usually hurts a team more than helps long term. I would rather see a front-loaded contract and would be more beneficial down the road, even on a FA by the way. These types of players usually end up on the trade block and you have to give up a good prospect to get rid of him.

I used to try and put 20M into prospect payroll, but the recent discussion gave me a little pause and I went and checked my other worlds as to how I spent the cash on IFA's. I have been putting less and less into IFA's by the way in all my worlds. In my thinking 10M+ for 1 player is a bit much when I can get 3 or 4 specialty players for the same money to start with. After analyzing what I did in the IFA market I came to some conclusions of how I usually spent the money. A relief pitcher that cost 6M (for ML long) and in most cases less than 3M (ML setup). A defensive 2B, SS or CF that cost less than 7M (ML hitting quality) and normally around 3M (ML defensive only). And the big prize is a defensive PC catcher for about 500K to 1M. Most of the pitchers I go for early in the season as most will wait because they are looking for the big guy. The catcher can be had almost anytime as most pay them no heed waiting on a bigger fish. The others usually come after everyone has spent their money already. At or near the end of the season, I will buy up the remaining cheap IFA's so I can move players out of rookie ball or just to spend the remaining money or move it to player salary and lock up a FA for next season if possible.

As for spending money on scouting, it actually dictates how many and how well you see the players in all realms. I have been spending less and less on scouting IFA's as a matter of fact. There was an article in the forum a few months back where they did a study with IFA scouting from 10M to 20M spent. The 20M saw about 50% more players and about 85+% of all players than the 10M and those in between. The ability accuracy was not enough to warrant a big difference in most cases.

I have done my own study on the amateur draft. I usually spend 18M on college and 14 on HS. I once did 18M on both and was thoroughly disappointed at the results. But I may reverse this trend as I have noticed that HS players are more apt to be the better players overall. With a 18M - 14M split I see about 100+ HS players, less than I expected. At 18M I saw 250 each by the way, I do remember that and the pool wasn't any better. I usually spend 18M on college because they will reach the ML level faster and match my advanced scouting so there is no surprises in abilities. I used to do 16M each, but I never paid attention if I got a 250 even split or not. I may go back to the 16M split again. I know at 14M the trade off could be as much as + or - 4 on the overalls and 16 would be a + or -2 with 18 advanced. The trend I noticed with my current setup is that a HS player might have a higher overall but is placed lower in the rankings. That tells me that player has skewed abilities and caution should be taken. It doesn't happen with every HS player, so to me that means if a HS player is placed first in an OVR weight class, he could be moved up because his abilities are seen lower than they actually are. As for the super players, the 90+ ones, I really don't see much of a difference, though for some reason I tend to see more of them the later I draft which really upsets

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Rumor Report

TBDSN-A rumor came across my desk that warrants dissemination. It appears that a certain anonymous team is being courted by several cities as there may be plans for a move in the near future. The courting cities are Cheyenne, Boise, Oklahoma City and Omaha at this time. However, inside sources tell me that San Francisco and Fresno may also enter the fray as El Paso was turned down with a grunt and the front runner appears to be Oklahoma City.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Big IFA Signings

TBDSN-The IFA picture is shaping up as a spend spend spend motif so far this season. In another world I am in there has only been one IFA signing above 10M and the next highest is 6.8M. Doesn't sound too bad until you realize the season is 2/3 gone already. We are just barely over 1/3 of the way through and we have spent more on 5 players than the other world has total. Oh well, so much for the who cares trivia on to the IFA guys.

D'Angelo Martin we already know about and his whopping 22.4M signing bonus. In 8 appearances though he has a record of 4-1 and performing to all the hype.

Ivan Hernandez and his 15.8M signing bonus hasn't performed quite as well yet. He is 1-0 in 7 appearances so far.

Candy Kreuter will be bringing his signing bonus of 15.6M to play soon enough. The Seattle Killer Whales get a good power hitting and defensive RF for their money.

Del Hernandez has jolted the economy somewhat with his 10.8M bucks. Though that much money spent should have gotten a 2B that could play the position IMHO. So far in Low A he has a .308 average with 1 tater in 18 games.

Tomas Tatis brings his 10M to town with some pretty good stuff as some teams have found out. In two starts so far he as given up 1 hit, that being a solo shot, and has struck out 11.

Yeico Solano has yet to start earn his 9.5M signing bonus. He awaits the Arizona Rookie League to start. Everything points to the fact that he could very well be an All-Star power hitting catcher one day.

Tomas Bennett got his chunk of the pie also as he took home 6.9M. Although he may be attuned to Seattle's park, the numbers are not overly impressive. So far he is enjoying his season in Low A with a 2-1 record in 4 appearances.

Davey DaSilva gets 6.6M for his services. Sporting a 5-2 record in 7 appearances has the Beachcombers hopeful.