Thursday, April 2, 2009

AL North Preview

The AL North is arguably the best division in the AL an one of the best in baseball. The North returns three teams that were over .500 and a fourth just under. Unfortunately the division only returns two owners from the previous year with last years division champ and third place teams under new management. Owner bowen_brian returns freshly off his wild card season hopes to turn his team into division champs.

Projected Division Finish

Ottowa Hosers- Owner: Nesman (1st Season)

Nesman takes over a team that won 97 games and is only 2 season past back to back World Series apperances. The team is led by All-Star SS Carlos Guillen who is coming off a season where he hit 38 Hrs and had 122 Rbi's. The pitching staff is led by last years CyYoung Malcolm McCallum. Malcolm is coming of a season where he had 22 wins and a Era of 2.79. The Hosers will have one of the best and oldest pitching staffs in the league leading to some concern on how many years this team will be able to maintain its dominance over the division. With an average offense, the Hosers may be pressed to make some moves near the deadline to get the team back to the World Series. Their minors have some nice players that if called up would improve the team by a couple wins and could be the key to their future.

Projected Wins- 95-100

Tacoma Settlers- Owner: Bowen_brian (12th Season)
Payroll- $58,920,950

Owner Bowen_brian returns for his 12th Season. He is one of the few owners left since the birth of the world. With only one losing season, there seems little reason to think that the Settlers will again be a top team in the divison. Bowen_brian will look for his 6th post season apperance and 3rd in a row. The Settlers will be led by its pitching staff that is led by former Cy Young Del Perez and Cy Young to-be Pedro Castillo. Like the Hosers, the Settlers also have one of the oldest pitching staffs in the league which brings into questin will the experience of this staff finally get Bowen_brian his first World Series? That question really depends on if the offense will be able to score enough runs. Young SS Josias James will try to lead the offense back to prominence. The infield looks set but there looks to be a big problem in OF Depth. If one of the few outfielders on the team goes down then the Settlers could be in big trouble. If Brian_bowen needs to make a trade to strengthen his major league team, his minors hold some solid players that could contribute or be a key chip in a trade. asof right now I just can't put them ahead of the Hosers unless its offense can prove that it will score runs.

Projected Wins- 90-95

Syracuse Salty Dogs- Owner: Soconner3 (1st Season)
Payroll- $72,998,400

Soconner3 takes over a team that won 84 games last season and finished 3rd in the division. Syracuse signed Victor Wirth in Free Agency at a price of $15 million. Some may question if the price is worth the production they will get out of Wirth and a 5 year deal is something the Salty Dogs may regret down the road. Overall their pitching is average but not bery deep. This team will struggle to reach .500 again without a solid bullpen putting extra pressure on the starters. Offensively, the Salty Dogs will be below average. Overall this team will have trouble getting close to the results that the team accomplished last year but there are bright years ahead for this organization as their minors are stocked for the future.

Projected Wins- 65-70

Toledo Mudhens- Owner Doogie1736 (2nd Season)

Doogie 1736 returns for his 2nd season at the helm of the Mudhens. The franchise that has 2 World Series to its record has fallen on hard times and has had 5 straight losing seasons. The Mudhens will probably make it 6 straight losing seasons with the team assembled this seasob. The pitching staff is one of the worst in the world with only one real quality pitcher in Matthew Flores. Rule 5 pickup Ed Vance is a flame thrower with very little control. Offensively the Mudhens have some quality parts but depth will have a problem. The Mudhens may be better served in trading some of these players for prospects, take their lumps and build for the future through the draft. The minors for the Mudhens are above average with a future Cy Young in Frank Houston. This team is about 2 seasons away and if Doogie1736 stays with the team, a playoff apperance might not be too far off in the future.

Projected wins- 60-65

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