Time once again to put our best paw forward and tell you what is going on at "The Scratching Post" as we finish the 23 game stint. An 18-5 record in that time frame would seem pretty good, but the last 2 losses were actually hard to swallow. Both were caused by the injury to Glen Bush indirectly, got to put the blame somewhere. With him missing a start, it caused us to either move the rotation up a day or put in new guy, Felipe Cela, into his slot to start before we thought he was ready. We opted to start Cela, who pitched better than we anticipated, however the game went into extra innings where Coco Hines recieved his first blemish of the season. Coco was forced to try and pitch more than 1 inning which didn't turn out well in the end as expected. Luckily we were getting close to an off day. To compensate for a tired pen, we had to pull Wilfredo Redondo out of his starting rotation job to prop up the pen in the last game. That worked well but the offense took the night off for a 2-0 loss, at least it was better than the disappointing 3-2 extra inning loss the previous night. Maybe next time we put a six or 7 day injury on the DL anyway when it involves the pitching staff.
The pitching staff was further jumbled when we decided to move Adrian Hendrickson down a day to start at home instead of Monterrey. He has pitched better than his record indicates, but is pretty lousy on the road. I equate it to being rookie nerves more than anything at the moment. We are hoping that a home start and a start in St. Louis is just what the doctor ordered. By that time the rotation will be sorted out again.
The defense has been great for the most part. We are tied with New York having the fewest Runs Allowed at 199 in the AL, of course the pitching staff helped. We are second in the league in Plus Plays with 35 and the fewest minus plays with 3. The biggest black mark in this area is the fact that we have committed 28 total errors. Several of them have been caused by the pitchers inability to field or cover 1B properly. The defensive play of Paul Ingram has me baffled a bit though. Jay Hegan has played 3B like a man possessed and very well could be linked to Wally Harvey and Bob Koplove playing 1B this year.
The offense, while not a juggernaut, is getting the job done well enough to win. We have actually went from 1-7 in 1-run games to 7-8. A 6-1 record in this area is a cause for celebration. Though I am not exactly sure whether it is offense, defense or pitching staff that gets the actual credit. As many changes were made and any of them could have turned this facet around.
I looked at the schedule and I guess we will find out how good Austin actually is at Draft time. A three game set in Austin has been circled on the calender.
Speaking of the draft, the Bipster and I didn't put much into scouting because it looked like Glover was going to resign. When I found out that we had 6 picks in the top 83 I wish we had put more money into scouting. After a lot of thinking though and how the previous draft turned out and looking at the our draft board, it looks like money well spent in other areas. A rumor says there is a total beast in the draft, but after looking at my board, there are two possibilities in my opinion and neither is a HS player since there isn't any on my board. My board indicates that it is another HS draft. If that is the case and I see two beasts then I must be seeing something that isn't quite right. I have done the draft with a 20/20 setting and know that there are normally 70 to 80 potential players whose OVR (and I use that term loosely) is 70 and above. This season I have put $10M in college scouting and see a total of 24 possible candidates in this area. Out of those 24, only 15 would I even think about drafting which comparatively would be normal. So, if I see a third, another third is HS at least and there would be 4 to 5 that I wouldn't see at all. All that means is that I have about 15 or 20 potential candidates hiding on my board somewhere. The way I have my board configured, I know where 4 or 5 are hiding and probably 4 or 5 more that I wouldn't consider drafting in the first place. So that leaves me trying to find about 10 possible players and it is a daunting task as Jamie described. You would think they would be somewhere in the mid 60 range, but they aren't as far as I can tell. I am pretty sure I found them in the mid 50 to low 50 range. Talk about fuzzy.
Speaking of Jamie, hope you all don't mind. The wife wanted to give writing on a blog a try, so I let her write a couple articles about my exploits around the house dealing with this team in particular. Yes, I did clean up the War Room...lol It was her idea to rename Cashman field to "The Scratching Post", I liked it anyway. Maybe it would make a better title also. After watching me navigate and has learned about the ratings and stuff she would like her own team, but she wants it in the same World as me to continue our somewhat friendly gaming competition. I told her that it would be highly frowned upon from several perspectives. She understood but walked away in a bit of a huff anyway. Not sure if she is going to write any more articles or not. She found it fun at first but it takes a lot of time and effort and I think she got a bit frustrated with the second one, though that may have been at me instead.