This is the first installment of "The Cats Mewlings" from Las Vegas. Maybe this will generate some interest by other owners to get some perspective on their teams in the blog. If there are questions about my actions just leave them in WC and will try to answer them in the next edition, 20 games or so.
The first 10 games have been very trying and the empty bottles of Pepto is filling up the recycle bin quickly. Our opening series in Seattle was more or less a fact finding mission as the coaching staff really didn't know what to expect of the retooled offense as well as the pitching staff. As it turned out, we felt we should have won 3 games in the series. Scoring runs in Safeco is not easy and Seattle is a good team but that 1-0 loss was hard to swallow. As a coach I committed a cardinal sin in the fourth game, or at least I think it is. I started the opening day tandem, low and behold they got shelled.
Yes, I set up the pitching staff as tandems for the first 10 games but forgot to insert Louie Martin as the #1 starter for the fourth game and it cost me. Really, I didn't trust the abilities of the two rookies in the rotation to go deep into games. The intention was to have a rotation of three tandems and a #1 starter as my pen was outstanding last year. Of course that in itself is a problem because I don't really have that proverbial #1 starter. But the idea was to be able to get to the 7th inning and let the pen take over to close the game out. I think it was/is a sound idea personally. It actually worked in my opinion but not sure about the pairings. The starters did outstanding jobs but their seconds didn't hold up their end of the bargain all that well. I have abandoned the tandem rotation for the time being, it may be re-institutionalized at a later date.
The advanced standings will show you the telltale woe of the team at the moment, we really haven't been blown out of any games. However, the 1-4 record in 1-run losses says it all along with the runs scored. The retooled offense just isn't getting the job done! Is it them though or the tough early schedule that is the problem? Seattle, Boise and New York shows to be not as easy as one thinks. In Vegas, you have got to put the ball in play and run like the wind or hit it over the wall. So far none of that has happened to my and the rest of the coaches liking.
So what is up with the offense? Well putting the ball in play doesn't really seem to be the problem. 71 strike outs in 357 AB's isn't all that bad but could be better. The power offense is nowhere to be seen, 18 doubles and 7 taters is all they have to show so far with a total of 92 hits. Ok, so Seattle and Vegas isn't exactly the hitting mecca of the World but where was the offense in Boise where they only had one decent game? The stolen base department has been a problem also, not sure what to make of that.
It is still early in the season and I am not jumping into any unwarranted decisive moves as of yet. About the only thing I have done is shifted the batting order around trying to find a combination that works. Still trying to find a lead off hitter that gets on base is a top priority at the moment. Another 20 games I should be able to make a better analysis of what to do.
Meanwhile back on the farm. The Bipster and I have kept a close watch on the AAA team, especially Zeke McDonald as we think we will need him later in the season. Also the three prospect pitchers we are high on who have gone 5-0 combined in 6 total starts so far. Last years #1 pick, Benji Pena , is blazing a trail in Low A ball so far. Of course we have our eyes trained on a couple other future stars also.