Thursday, August 25, 2011

Season 15 Previews: Huntington Riverdogs

After only their 2nd season without a playoff appearance in Season 13, the Riverdogs came back in seaso 14 to claim their 9th division title. Can they make it an even 10 this season?

Houston Riverdogs

Last season: 89-73 (1st in NL South, 4th seed in NL, lost in 2nd round to Salt Lake City)
Offense: 11th in NL
Pitching: 7th in NL

Key additions: P Kid Johnstone (FA-Scranton)
Key losses: None

Analysis: This team will look very similar to last season's division winners. 3B Che Bong, LF Yorvit Terrero, and C Angel Marquez all had very good all-around seasons. RF Andres Paniagua led the team in HRs and RBI. 1B Quentin Fletcher and 2B Marc Phillips are both talented but need to chip in more.

Their veteran rotation will be anchored by Kenneth Graves and Fred Carter. The Riverdogs have high hopes for rookie starter Fred Norman. Their bullpen is solid and deep, led by closer Larry Driskill, and the Johnstone signing makes it deeper.

Outlook: Again, a team that doesn't look like a big-time contender on paper, but I don't see anyone in the division who looks like an odds-on favorite to beat them. And if they can get into the playoffs, who knows?

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