Sunday, September 12, 2010

1st Trimester Report

No, The Bigs is not having a baby (thank goodness). We're about a third of the way into the season and here's what we're seeing so far:

NL East- Atlanta looks like the best team in the division, if not the entire NL right now. Washington is staying within striking distance. Norfolk and Trenton are non-factors and will battle for third.

NL North- Kansas City is a game above .500 and is leading the division. Minnesota is currently is second. Philadelphia and Fargo have some talent but have underachieved thus far.

NL South- Austin and Huntington are in a dead heat right now. San Juan and New Orleans are below .500.

NL West- In the division of surprises, Vancouver leads the division by a game over Salem. Salt Lake City is only 3 off the pace and always dangerous. Las Vegas is 6 games behind every other NL team. Except for scoring the fewest runs and giving up the most runs in the NL, they're looking great.

AL East- Is this New York's year? They lead Louisville by 5 games. Boston and Scranton are well off the pace.

AL North- Ottawa has not slowed down after a hot start and has the best record in the AL and a six game lead over incumbent St. Louis. Rebuilding Milwaukee is at .500 and Buffalo is surprisingly in last.

AL South- This is going to be a three team race all year. Right now Montgomery leads Mexico City by a game and Monterrey, maybe the most talented team in the division, trails by 4. Charlotte is by far the worst team in the AL.

AL West- This could be a wide open division. Anaheim is leading the division at .500. Boise is a game back and Cheyenne and Seattle are three back.

IFAs: We've already had 7 international players receive bonuses of at least $10 million. The biggest so far was to CF Julian Mieses, who received $18,9 million from Atlanta. Minnesota grabbed two pitchers in Anibal Sojo ($12.2 million) and Enrique Castilla ($14.9 million)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Limits Lose Porter...More Pressure On Staff

The Austin City Limits have lost Week 1 POW and offensive linchpin Rich Porter for an 11-day stint.

Porter strained a calf running down an 8th-inning single by Salt Lake City's Red Karl in Austin's 5-4 Thursday PM2.

The Limits can ill afford Porter's loss. Through 28 games he's hitting .386 with 10 doubles, 5 homers and 23 RBI, with 6 steals tossed in. He's also played an error-less CF with 3 "+" plays. Other key players are struggling: 1B Jimmie Williams has been invisible, hitting .204 with 11 RBI; RF Ken Keagle is well below his usual pace at .257; and 2B Julio Rosa weighs in with an anemic .583 OPS with a measly 2 RBI.

This means the pitching staff will have to shoulder even more of the load. The good news is the team ERA is down nearly a half-run a game from last year's 3.78. New closer Rey Jung is 11-for-11 in saves with a 0.73 ERA; Matt Skinner has embraced his new setup role with a 1,75 ERA in a whopping 25 and 2/3 innings; Jason Sprague is showing there's still life in his 33 year-old wing at 4-0, 2.56; and ace Louie Feliz has been excellent at 5-1, 2.72.