Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Race to the Finish (NL)

1.  Pawtucket Paw Sox (64-27) - They have been nothing short of dominant and are on pace for 114 wins this season.  With a 24 game division lead, the Paw Sox can afford to rest players already as they prep for a playoff run.

All-Star Count - 7

Most Outstanding Player - All-Star snub Terrel Boyle (1.027 OPS)

2.  Iowa City Hawks (58-33) - A surprise second seed coming off a disappointing record last year.  New ownership and management has instantly turned this team into a contender in the NL.  With a five game division lead there is still plenty of work to be done though.  Iowa City relies on balanced pitching, defense, and offense and look like a safe bet to at least land a wild card spot.

All-Star Count - 3

Most Outstanding Player - HR Champ Antone Grilli (27 HR)

3.  Anaheim Angels (54-37) - Last season's World Series representative from the NL is having another great season.  It has been a season of extreme highs and lows for the defending NL champs though with long winning and losing streaks at different times.  They are clinging onto a slim two game lead in their division and will need a strong second half to snag a high playoff seed.

All-Star Count - 6

Most Outstanding Player - Albert Valazquez (1.037 OPS)

4.  Richmond Flying Squirrels (53-38) - After narrowly falling short of the playoffs last season, Richmond has come out on a mission this season and hold a seven game division lead.  Their young players are coming into their own and Richmond appears to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.

All-Star Count - 4

Most Outstanding Player - Dicky Scheffer (1.080 OPS)

5.  Dover Destroyers (53-38) - A Wild Card team from last season, Dover has aspirations of not only making the playoffs, but taking home the division crown this year.  They trail Iowa City by just five games at the All-Star break. 

All-Star Count - 4

Most Outstanding Player - Steven Peterson (11-2 with a 1.17 WHIP)

6.  Cheyenne Primetimers (52-39) - Holding onto the sixth and final Wild Card spot will not be easy.  Cheyenne may have multiple ways to get into the playoffs though as they are only two games out of the division lead.  Needless to say, they will need to continue to play well down the stretch unless they want to start golf season early.

All-Star Count - 1

Most Outstanding Player - Julio Montanez (9-1 with a 2.96 ERA)

7.  San Diego American Kings (47-44) - On the outside looking in right now, the American Kings will need to continue their good play as of late for the rest of the year.  They are currently running third in their division, but are only five games out of the final Wild Card spot.  This team is built on pitching and they'll need to continue to paint the corners the rest of the way to earn a trip into the postseason.

All-Star Count - 1

Most Outstanding Player - Chris Jarvis (28 Saves)

8.  Mexico City Matadors (46-45) - A playoff team by the skin of their teeth last season, Mexico City is desperately trying to get back to the postseason again.  This team is young and may be a year or two away, but that hasn't stopped them from fighting.  They are currently six games out of the last Wild Card spot.  New GM citizenkyle2 has been more active then anyone pulling off a major league leading 10 trades prior to the All-Star break.

All-Star Count - 0

Most Outstanding Player -Rookie Sensation Henry Weinhardt (97 K's with at 2.99 ERA)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Trades In Review

The half way point of the season is rapidly approaching, and we'll be reviewing some the bigger trades that have gone down so far in Johnny5Bench.

First up...

Pablo Zapata & Skip Kershaw traded to the Texas Coyotes.


Jack Cooper & Lonny Merchado traded to the Arizona Border Patrol. 

Pablo Zapata
Age: 31B/T: R/R
Born: Moca, DO
Position(s): P (ClA)
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Zapata was a target of the Coyotes in season 14 but wasn't able to come to an agreement on a trade. With new Arizona GM, tnicol44, coming in for season 15, a deal was struck that filled needs for both clubs. Zapata was the biggest name involved in the trade and had big shoes to fill. He has taken over for Coyote's all-time saves leader Julian Marquez as the teams closer. In 33 appearances this year, Zapata owns a 3-1 record, converting 21 of 23 save opportunities. His 1.87 ERA and .98 WHIP lead the teams pitching staff this season. Zapata looks be be headed to the All-Star game for the first time since his season 10 appearance with Oakland.

Skip Kershaw
Age: 21B/T: R/R
Born: Iroquois, SD
Position(s): P (SP5)
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Kershaw was more of a throw in to the deal. A decent prospect that hadn't lived up to his talent, is now in his 3rd organization in 4 years. Last year at AA, Kershaw was lit up on a regular basis posting a 6.60 ERA & 1.76 WHIP while coming out of the bullpen. Certainly not encouraging numbers. However, now with Texas, he has turned it around. Moving back to the starting rotation and repeating his time at AA, Kershaw is taking advantage of his second chance, earning himself a 2.55 ERA 1.17 WHIP.

Jack Cooper
Border Patrol
Age: 24B/T: R/R
Born: Groveland, CA
Position(s): SS/IF/OF/DH
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Jack Cooper has all the skills needed to be a good starting shortstop in the Major Leagues. So far this season he has shown flashes of what he could be down the road, but so far as really struggled to put all together consistently. He is hitting just .212 with an OBP of .273. He has never been a power hitter so his 1 homerun is no shock, but the low AVG an OBP really is compared to his career in the minors, where he hit .294 with a .382 OBP. As far as defense is concerned, Cooper has above average range, good glove and the arm strength needed to stay at SS in the majors. Like his hitting, he has struggled in the field. With 16 errors so far he hasn't blown anybody away with his defense, although Cooper leads the American League with a 5.98 RF. 

Lonny Mercado
Border Patrol
Age: 25B/T: L/L
Born: Wolf Lake, IL
Position(s): P (SuB)
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Lonny Machado had been in the Coyotes system for all 3 of his professional seasons. As a late inning pitcher during his 3 year minor league career, Machado has a 3.75 ERA and 1.33 WHIP during that span. Including a 3.23 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in AAA last season for the Coyotes. Machado was the odd man out when the Coyotes had 3 openings in their bullpen they were hoping to fill with youth from the farm. And with that, he was available to help another organization. So far, he hasn't shown much of his potential in the stats department. His 8.46 ERA and 2.01 WHIP this season, show that there is a lot of room for improvement. The major issue for him this year has been the development of his slider. He hasn't been able to throw it effectively, leaving opposing hitters ready to jump on his plus fastball. If Machado can improve his slider he has a shot to be a good Major Leaguer. If not, it'll be more of the same and a shorter ML career than most were expecting.