Baseball Diamond News

Sunday, February 27, 2005

IBL Team Report - After Draft team Analysis

Well my team in IBL is pretty much set. Within the next 10 days I need to trade or cut one player as I am acquiring CHN Wuertz from SPO as part of a draft deal we made with one another.

My team is going to look like this:

C: BAL Lopez and CHN Barrett - I reacquired Lopez last season and he carried me into playoffs before getting hurt. I expect less from him this season, but I still expect an above average performance from him. Barrett was the #1 pick in the draft in 2000 by the previous owner. Since then his cards have been awful and I am actually looking forward to using his card this season. At some point in the year I expect to make a trade to acquire a 3rd catcher, but for the moment I ran out of space.

1b: NYN Valent, PIT Ward, FLA Conine - Valent was scheduled to be my LF vs. righties this year, but his defense was so poor out there we are planning on using him at 1b. He should provide us with some power and his D range makes him very usable at 1b. Ward was acquired in a trade last year and I regret it to this day. I am hoping he can give me some good PA's off the bench. Conine who I acquired for Palmeiro this off-season will help out vs. lefties and also is very strong defensively at 1b. I also have Travis Lee and Brad Fullmer, but Travis Lee is uncarded and Fullmer mostly DH.

2b: CHN Grudzielanek, CLE Belliard, CIN Freel - Grudzielanek will be my starting 2b vs. righties and will probably bat 2nd this year. Since Grudzielanek was hurt half of last year and was just awful verse lefties I was forced to trade for another 2b this off-season. That 2b is Belliard who kills lefties and we expect him to be able to step in if needed for Grudzielanek if he is hit with a serious injury.

SS: FLA Gonzalez, TB, Lugo, TOR Gomez - For the last 4 years FLA Gonzalez has been the starter for COU, but now he will only play vs. lefties and for defensive replacement. Why? Well after looking over Gonzalez's splits we decided that having him in the lineup vs. Righties would kill any chance of us making playoffs and acquired Lugo. Lugo will be our started vs. righties and if Gonzalez is moved will be our everyday starter with Gomez providing insurance in case of injury.

3b: SF Alfonzo, CIN Freel - Alfonzo is our primary 3b and will get most of the starts there this year. Freel will get about 45-50 games at 3b this year because of his usage need and also his defense is better than Alfonzo. In key games Freel will start vs. righties as he hit them better than Alfonzo did.

LF: TEX Mench, MON Sledge, FLA Conine, OAK Kielty - Coming into the off-season we did not have any LF, now we have 4. We traded a #1 for Mench and have high hopes for him in the future and hope he will be our everyday starting LF, but this season Mench will start vs. lefties in LF this year and also DH a lot vs. righties. Sledge whom we were very surprised lasted until 3-21 was drafted and will start vs. righties. He adds a more power to a lineup that is missing power. Conine will play in LF if either Sledge or Mench get injured and have to be inactive. Kielty can play both LF and RF and will only be used in RF for my team.

CF: CHN Patterson, CIN Freel - In 2001 Patterson was the 6th pick in the draft. He has not yet developed into what I had envisioned, but is getting better and shows signs of major improvement. His defense this year will be better and he will be iron, so him getting injured is not a concern. The major concern is the 160+ k's he had and how that will look on his card. I am hoping his bunt rating is high as last season he was 10-20 bunting for a hit with no one on. Freel will get about 30 starts out in CF for usage reasons.

RF: SD Giles, CHA Ordonez, OAK Kielty - Giles who went from LF to RF this year is my starter vs. Righties in RF. Also Giles has always been a defensive liability, but moving to RF his range went to a C which helps out as a major part of my success will be defense this year. Ordonez who is a liability on the field due to his injury rating will mostly be DH as Kielty will be my vs. lefties RF. Kielty acquired in off-season has a major split, but when playing vs. lefties adds more power and as I stated earlier something we are lacking overall.

Bench: TEX Fullmer, TOR Gomez, CIN Freel - These guys got very little mention above. Fullmer will be a DH only if he actually does something in MLB 05 if not he will be a usage casualty for my team. Gomez is a sub off bench who gets on vs. lefties and allows me to carry a lot of 1b's because of his versatility. Freel will get about 400 + pa's off bench as a super-sub. He can play almost every position and adds a lot of speed to the team.

SP: CHN Zambrano, HOU Oswalt, TEX Drese, BAL Bedard, TB Bell - I was debating going with a 4-man rotation, but after drafting Bedard have decided to go with the traditional 5-man rotation most of the season. Zambrano and Oswalt are my aces and will hopefully have great seasons. Drese was a fa-pickup last season and he ended up having a pretty good year. He gives up a lot of singles, but he also gives up a ton of ground balls and hopefully they can turn into DP’s. With Bedard and Bell we don't have the strongest back end of a rotation, but we will be looking to upgrade during the season if needed. I have a few more sp's but they are for the future and don't have a major role on team and will be talked about after the rp's.

RP: TEX Cordero, FLA Benitez, PIT Gonzalez, ATL Cruz, TB Colome, ATL Reitsma, SEA Mateo, SD Tankersley, CHN Wuertz - This is my strongest part of my team. This season Benitez is going to be my closer and Cordero will be my setup man. PIT Gonzalez is a shutdown lefty who gets both righties and lefties out. Since I have become owner I have never had a lefty reliever that could do that so I am not sure how to use him best yet, but I am sure I will find ways to make him useful. Cruz is going to be my middle relief guy this season and probably log in some major innings. Colome gives up a ton of long balls to lefties so in Wrigley (where I play) you might not see much of him, but he will be used a lot vs. righties as he shuts them down. Reitsma, Mateo and Tankersley are all going to be used in mop-up innings and certain situations, i.e. in big parks Mateo will be used as his weakness is the long ball; Reitsma gets a ton of DP’s so with men on 1st and less than 2 out he will be used. Wuertz does not have many innings and we are hoping he is a long term investment in the pen. He has a high k/9 rating and shouldn't be too hard to get his innings in this season.

Extra Pitchers: STL Haren, COL Francis- Both these guys will get a few starts this year so they can make usage, but neither will help this team until next year at the earliest. If both have fine years in MLB05 then our rotation for the future will look very bright.

So my expectations this year are that we should contend for a wildcard spot again and hopefully do better in coaching and make it further into playoffs. Last year a bunch of mismanagement moves during the last 2 weeks and during the playoffs themselves helped me lose after doing so well all season. I have learned from my prior mistakes and hopefully will not be doomed to repeat them. I expect this team can win between 90-93 games. I need to somehow add about 5 more wins to the team to make them a playoff team and that won’t be easy to do without giving up some of the future, but it will be necessary to win. I am told by MCM owner Sean, “Flags fly forever.”


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