Monday, August 22, 2011

Season 15 Previews: Atlanta Bandits

We head to Atlanta, who has made the playoffs an astounding 11 straight seasons. Can they make it 12?

Atlanta Bandits

Last season: 91-61 (2nd in NL East, #5 seed in playoffs, lost in 1st round to Huntington)
Offense: 8th in NL
Pitching: 1st in NL

Key additions: None
Key losses: IF Cap Herrera (FA-Ottawa)

Analysis: Again, this is a team that stood relatively pat. Their offense will be based on speed yet again- slugging 1B Tony Javier is the lone big-time home run threat. Their entire outfield (Neifi James, Steve Lofton, Butch Russell), stole at least 30 bases, but can they get on base enough to take advantage of that speed? They've got some talent, but I question how the offense fits together. However, they still win games.

The pitching always seems to be at or near the top of the NL. Kaz Whang and Santiago Perez didn't put up gaudy win totals, but they're both stud pitchers. Like the other top teams, they have rotation depth (Roy Walker and Mike Lowery are both very solid) and a good deep bullpen.

Outlook: I'd love to say this is the season where it doesn't come together, where they just don't have enough offense to make the postseason. However, this team has earned the benefit of the doubt and I'll believe it when I see it. They somehow always find a way to be in the mix.

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