Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Season 15 Previews: Fargo Dirtbags

We move to the North, where Fargo is the reigning division champion. Can they repeat and maybe go further?

Fargo Dirtbags

Last season: 93-69 (1st in NL North, 3rd in NL, lost in 1st round to Minnesota)
Offense: 6th in NL
Pitching: 4th in NL

Key additions: LF Luis Martinez (FA-Ottawa)
Key losses: OF Jamey Hunter (FA)

Analysis: The offense should once again be led by young sluggers C Rodrigo Melendez and 1B Cesar Gonzalez. 2B Raul Vallarta and RF Philip McCartin provide the speed and each scored over 100 runs. They're hoping to get some depth in the lineup through aging stars Martinez and Alex Lim- Martinez will likely start and Lim should be a bench player. Their lineup isn't the deepest, but it's got some talent.

The pitching staff in Fargo, like in Atlanta, is always a quality staff. They have 2-time and reigning Cy Young winner Fausto Almanza (20-4 last season) and the legendary Javier Henriquez anchoring the staff. After the dynamic duo, there are some question marks, as rookie Bryce Washington and veteran Malachi Clifton likely will occupy the #3 and #4 spot. The good news is the starters usually don't have to go past the 6th or 7th inning, as the combination of Garry "Dream Weaver" Wright and Cristian Price is usually lights out at the end. Price was a little too prone to the long ball last year but Wright was tremendous in the "Chris Siddall" role.

Outlook: Not sure if I'm looking at a title contender here, but they'll be in playoff contention. And once you get in the playoffs, you've always got a puncher's chance, especially with 9 Cy Young awards in that playoff rotation.

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