Season Analysis

2012-2013 Off-Season Recap

TeamKey DeparturesKey AdditionsBreakdownGrade
Aaron Conference East Division
Florida FlamingosNoneNoneThe Flamingos finished with 89 wins in 2012, and hope to maintain that momentum this season and reach the playoffs for the first time since 2005. Wright, Rizzo and Brantley is a fun middle of the order to watch, but their secret sauce will is their starting pitching (which has been heavily invested in over the recent years): a full year of Archer, Maeda, and Ketchner will be hard to get through. Look for 93 wins and a playoff berth from the Flamingos this season.D
Holbrook HawksRF Bubba Bell, RP Chris Perez, SP Diego Lorenzo, SP Carlos Zambrano, 3B David FreeseC John Jaso, C Geovany Soto, RP Jesse Carlson, RP Wilton LopezThe signing of Valadez in the 2010 off season was hailed locally but was viewed skeptically nationwide, as we're now hearing rumbles of "losing a step", which is bad news for Hawks fans who's team owes him $70M through 2016. The lineup is a little deeper than Florida's, but the pitching is a step behind (even with Keuchel entering the rotation this year) and the Hawks will finish with 84 wins out of the playoffs.C-
Philadelphia Brotherhood3B Eric Chavez, SP Sean West, SP Travis Wood, RP Arsenio Pernes, C John Phelps, RP Francisco Rosario, 2B Kevin FloresC Dioner NavarroStar pitcher Travis Wood became too expensive and the Brotherhood had to let him go, and were unable to replace the void he left in the rotation, and will likely pull up the rear in a tougher AC East, netting about 65-70 wins.D
Pittsburgh ChampionsC Ramon Hernandez, RP Randy Flores, RP Chris Narveson, 3B Jung-ho KangSP Josh Johnson, LF John Raynor, C Nick Hundley, RP JP Howell, 2B Brad Emaus, 3B Mike Young, CF Pepe Alicea, 1B Yonder Alonso, 3B David FreeseThe Champions have successfully infused their roster with youth - Ciolino at the top of the order and Bruce in the middle are huge pieces - but despite the important signing of Johnson for the rotation, they will need a bit of luck to surpass Florida this year. They will be close enough to fight for the division through September, but may not qualify for the tougher Wild Card spot.B+
Aaron Conference Central Division
New Orleans VoodooSP Roy Halladay, CF Ben Francisco, C Julio Palacios, CF Antonio Aviles, RP JP Howell, RP Brandon Morrow, SS Jose Lopez, SP Felix CuevasNoneNew Orleans will need to conjure up some serious supernatural Voodoo to have a chance in 2013. Look for management to push a hard and fast rebuild before fan interest and revenues fade. Remaining key pieces like Valdez, Votto, and Haren will likely go before July 31st.D+
Omaha Mammoths1B Eric Hosmer, SP Ryan Vogelsong, CF Pepe Alicea, C John Jaso, RP Felix DoubrontCF Matt Kemp, SP Tyson Ross, C Julio PalaciosOmaha took a small step backwards after the 2011 title and were eliminated in the first round last year. However, the signing of Kemp and the trade for Tyson Ross provide key upgrades to fend off the up and coming SunRays, netting another division title in 2013.A-
Orlando SunRaysRP JJ Putz, SS Jayson Nix, LF Josh Hamilton, RP Alex Serrano, RP Wilton Lopez, 2B Jason Giambi, RP Cody AllenSP Roy Halladay, 2B Jason Bartlett, CF Antonio Aviles, RP Jonathan Papelbon, 2B Kevin FloresManagement flew the Turkeys down to Orlando and rebranded the franchise, which few fans batted an eye about, as the team has yet to see the playoffs in the history of the UBA. 2013 will be a good season and the future is bright, but they are not deep enough behind Kershaw, Longoria, Price and Stanton to overtake the Mammoths this year.B
San Antonio ArmadillosRP AJ Ramos, RP Andrew Bailey, SP JT Thomas, SP Scott RichmondLF Salvador Valdes, SP Yu DarvishThe Armadillos have finished with 100+ losses 2 of the last 3 seasons, and are unfortunately not out of the dark in 2013. Under the circumstances, the 17th ranked farm system won't help them dig out of this hole they're in any time soon. After watching Spring Training unfold, insiders are noting tension in the clubhouse as fuel to the fire that management will have to resolve to be remotely competitive in 2013.B-
Aaron Conference West Division
Cardiff Bay BarrageRP Rob Musgrave, 2B Aaron Hill, SP Ryan Bicondoa, 2B Skip SchumakerRP Brandon Morrow, SP Ubaldo JimenezAfter 2 seasons of 99 losses each year, the Barrage won't be able to turn the corner hard enough to make the playoffs in 2013, but the future is bright, as top prospects Arenado, Judge, Tanaka and Seager have been working their way through the system nicely. Look for the likes of Watkins, Morales and Encarnacion to be on the block if the Barrage are looking to bolster the farm further in July.C
Palo Alto PrankstersSS Cliff Pennington, 1B Gustavo Carrasco, 1B Billy Becher, LF Delmon Young, RP Taylor Buchholz, C Kurt SuzukiRP AJ Ramos, C JC BoscanEeking out the division 2 years straight, the Pranksters continue to pull from their endless supply of homegrown talent to add rookie southpaw Carlos Martinez to their rotation and a timeshare of Chris Carter and Manuel Fontanez at first to replace Becher. Look for another 100 win season out of Palo Alto this year.B
Portland Sea DogsRP Cesar Herrera, 1B Amaury GarciaNoneTo take the division, the Sea Dogs will need their rotation to remain healthy and dominant. Roark must defend his pitcher of the year crown, and Wolf, Waino and Hernandez can't miss a beat. Save for Carpenter, their lineup is much weaker than divisional foe Palo Alto, so the division is a toss up, with the loser likely taking the Wild Card spot, as history continues to repeat itself. B
Yellowknife ThievesLF John Raynor, 2B Brad Emaus, 1B Russell Branyan, C AJ Pierzynski, 3B Mike Young, RP Casey Fien, SP Antonio Franco, SS Alexei Ramirez, CF Rocco Baldelli, RP David HernandezNoneAfter 100 losses in 2012, the Thieves didn't add any pieces to help themselves in 2013. Look for an improvement of about 10 wins in 2013, mainly projected based on 22 yr old SS Diaz looks to take the next step into superstardom. C-
Ruth Conference East Division
Atlanta BanditsRF Shihei Ageda, 1B Mark Hamilton, RP Anthony Lerew, LF Craig Gentry, RF Luis FonsecaSS Luis Cruz, 2B Rickie WeeksThe Bandits locked up young ace Strasburg this offseason, but didn't make any significant moves to the roster to improve upon last season's 92 losses. If the Bandits get off to a slow start, look for vets like Belliard, Sizemore, and Gonzalez to be on the block.C-
Charleston RebelsRP Jonathan Papelbon, RP Kenneth Trapp, SS Mike Morse, SS Zach LutzC Kurt Suzuki, 3B Erick Aybar, SP John Gragg, RF Delmon Young, SP Ryan Bicondoa, SP Carlos ZambranoThe Rebels' lineup is scary from 1 through 9, but the rotation isn't as strong as it once was behind Hernandez after Hamels was traded to the Spartans last season. This is still a division that requires perfection to supplant NYC from the top, so look for the Rebels to take another step back to 85 wins in 2013.B
New York City Baseball ClubRP Dennis Sarfate, 1B Adam LaRoche, RP Rafael Gaona, RP Rafael Perez, 3B Wu-shiun Zong, RF Evan FreyRF Jeff Francoeur, LF Norichika AokiEverything went right for NYC in 2012 as they tallied 116 regular season victories, but couldn't take home the trophy, losing the WCS 4 games to 1. Look for Rodriguez and the ageless wonder Cervantes to both be at the top of the MVP race come October, as the Baseball Club looks to fight back into the WCS and change their fate in 2013.C+
Washington GeneralsSP Tyson Ross, LF Laynce Nix, RP Jason Davis, RF Nick Markakis, LF Mike Zuanich, 1B Scott Sizemore, 3B Matt Krimmel, RP Daniel Bard, C Eric FryerRP Cody Allen, 1B Eric Hosmer, SP Sean West, RP Anastasio Castro, SP Jon Lester, 2B Irving Falu, 2B Gordon Beckham, RP Pat Neshek, LF Edgardo Garcia, RP Zach Britton, RP Carlos Carrasco, LF Josh Hamilton, RF Ignacio Lopez, 3B Pablo SandovalAmidst a tear down, previous management was outsted by ownership over details that haven't been made public, but green GM Zullo didn't waste any time getting his hands dirty, acquiring headache reliever Cody Allen and moving Ross for Hosmer. Signings of Lester and West will help solidify the rotation but the Generals still have a couple years of work to do before they enter the playoff picture. Superspec Trout is projected to play a full season in the bigs this year which will be fun to watch, but look for the Generals to top out around 75-80 wins.B-
Ruth Conference Central Division
Eden Prairie LandsharksRP Cla Meredith, RP Juan Rincon, SS Edwin Maysonet, RF Barend de Goedere, RP Andy LeeSP Matt Cain, SP Yuki Takahashi, 1B Hector Garanzuay, LF Brandon GemollThe Landsharks can mash with the best of them, and 28 year old 5 time MVP Morillo is still light years ahead of any other hitter. An average rotation will be saved by a strong bullpen, and the Landsharks will be poised to take the division once again. However, the inclusion of Phoenix into the Central division will definitely muddy the waters.B+
Fargo RageRP Victor Marte, 1B Wilson Betemit, RP Juan Gutierrez, C Daniel UnderwoodRP Arsenio Pernes, 1B Billy Becher, LF Chris Denorfia, CF Rocco BaldelliThe Rage won the Becher sweepstakes but still need more bats and are still missing reliable pitching. With the 25th ranked farm system, the Rage have their work cut out for them to get themselves unstuck from neutral.B+
Phoenix FirebirdsSP Shaun Garceau, RP Zach McClellan1B Jung-ho KangThe Firebirds agreed to join the RC Central to complete divisional realignment, and have the tall order of taking down the Landsharks. They have a leg up as far as pitching is concerned, featuring Torres/Nelson/Greinke which will be tough for most teams to get through, and a lineup centered around Moose, Butler, Davis and Goldy will put up a lot of runs. Depth will probably decide this division, which is nothing more than a coin toss until September.C
Salt Lake BeesSP Yuki Takahashi, LF Norichika Aoki, LF Danny Dorn, RP Matt FarnumLF Danny Dorn, 2B Aaron Hill, SP Travis Wood, C Brian McCann, RP Andy Lee, SP Jason Jennings, C Josh Phelps, 2B Carlos Munoz, 3B Andy LaRoche, RP Juan Gutierrez, RP Brandon Medders, RP Taylor BuchholzThis offseason saw the Bees acquired one of the most dominant young arms in our game from free agency: Travis Wood. Other smaller signings like Aaron Hill, Brian McCann and Andy Lee will help this team win a lot more than the 55 games they mustered in 2012. With their top prospects a couple years away, the Bees aren't there yet, but are moving in the right direction. Takahashi opting out last October gave management the flexibility they needed to start sensibly rebuilding in a tough division to win games in.A-
Toledo TroutheadsSS Irving Falu, RP Jesse Carlson, LF Antonio EstolasNoneThe Troutheads have some enviable weapons in their arsenal, namely Larish, Altuve, McCutchen and Kipnis, but don't have the consistent pitching to string together enough wins to be a playoff threat this season. The team managed 91 wins in 2012, but with the addition of Phoenix to the division, expect a win total in the mid-80s in 2013.C
Ruth Conference West Division
Hollywood StarsRP Joaquin Benoit, RP Mike Gonzalez, SP Carlos Carrasco, SP Juan MateoNoneAfter a quick 3 game exit in the 2012 Elite Eight, Hollywood fans were disappointed to see management do little to improve their chances for this season. An aging astronomical payroll doesn't typically end well (their 4 biggest contracts all have multiple years left for players over 30), but losing Phoenix from the division and replacing them with the in-transition Pippins could mean another division title, but with fewer than last year's 98 wins.D+
Oregon DucksRP Henry Owens, CF Ryan Sweeney, SS Lorenzo Martinez, SP John Gragg, SP Jeff Karstens, RP Mike Adams, RP Jason Waddell, SP Jason Jennings, RF Edgardo Garcia, RP Sergio Mitre, SP Clayton Richards, LF Cole Gillespie, SP Jorge Ramirez, SP Ian Kennedy, RP Cole De Vries, 2B Pat McKennaLF Ruben Argamon, LF Luis Fonseca, RF Nick Markakis, 1B Prince FielderThe Ducks nabbed slugging free agent Prince Fielder to add to a strong lineup with Posey, Cano and Martinez, but after Anderson and Harvey in the rotation, Oregon's pitching falls way off. If management gets agressive, the Ducks could surprise a lot of folks this year, but don't go to Vegas on them just yet.A-
San Francisco SpartansCF Lance Berkman, SS Felipe Lopez, LF Brandon Gemoll, 3B Aramis Ramirez, C JC Boscan, SS Garlos Guillen, 2B Carlos Munoz, 1B Craig Stansberry, RP Gio Gonzalez2B Delwyn YoungThe Spartans locked up last season's acquisition Cole Hamels to a long term deal when the offseason rolled around, but that maxed out their payroll, and look to roll into 2013 with a young and unproven lineup featuring Gregorius, Gennett and Realmuto. If they can put any runs on the board, a staff of Liriano, Hamels, Gomez, Nunez, deGrom and Salazar should be able to do a lot of damage, but that's a big if. Look for a third place finish and 83 wins.C-
Seattle SteelheadsLF Chris Denorfia, 1B Michael Aubrey, C Daric Barton, C Rodrigo Moreno, RP Guillermo Moscoso, RP Boone Logan, C Brian Juhl, CF Michael SaundersC Jorge Silva, SP Gio Gonzalez, RF Evan FreyThe Steelheads saw their first 100 loss season in 2012, and have to put in a few years of diligent rebuilding to get themselves back into playoff relevance. Look for any and all veteran assets to be on the move throughout the season as Seattle looks to add to their 4th best farm system in hopes of rebounding a couple of seasons down the road.C
Yakima Valley Pippins3B Andy LaRoche, RP Pat Neshek, 1B Joe Dillon, RF Ignacio Lopez, SP CC Sabathia, SS Jason Bartlett1B Craig Stansberry, RP Jose Alvarez, 3B Wu-shiun Zong, SS Mike Morse, RP Jonathan Broxton, RP Matt Nevarez, SP CC Sabathia, 1B Gustavo Carrasco, RP Felix CuevasYears of playing second fiddle in New York to the Baseball Club, ownership lost interest in competing and instead, like our forefathers, headed west to a now relatively crowded Washington state. Time will tell if competing for fans and revenues with NYCBC was easier or harder than it will be with the Steelheads, but the Pippins are excited for the chance. Smaller, calculated moves were made to the roster this offseason, so most are predicting a similar finish to this year as last, with a win total in the low 80's.B+

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