Thursday, February 28, 2008

Texas War Eagles "State of the Team"


-We had 9 players get 400+ AB's last season......7 of them hit .300+.....another 7 of them had 20+ HR's while only 2 cracked the 40HR barrier
- 24 year old 2B Guillermo Montero has smacked 290 career HR's , since hitting .353, 72HR, 178RBI and winning MVP in season 5 his production has dropped to .291, 68HR, 147RBI in season 6 and .267, 39HR, 119RBI last year. Texas GM jimorome76 had only this statement for the media and refused questions, "We have encouraged Guillermo to hire Jose Canseco as his offseason trainer."
- #3 SP Victor Machado has all the potential in the world but he has had trouble settling down, 33 starts and only 12 quality starts
- #4 SP Rueben Calvo had a breakout season going 14-6 with a 3.57 ERA
- Al Remlinger had a breakout year on offense batting .310 with 25 HR and started games at 2B, 3B, SS, RF, and CF
- RF Matthew Ritz violated the innocence of LH pitchers around the league all season long, hitting .418 with 28 HR, a .528 OBP and .849 SLG %.


Overall I know the season wasn't wasted but ultimately without bringing the WS trophy home it has to be considered a failure. In many ways it is frustrating because we did have a lot of success, but there were so many times when we weren't firing on all cylinders that it becomes clear to me that we are frequently underachieving, but also appear to have far more potential for success than I thought we ever would. Many of our veteran stars had production that was well below their capabilities and/or historical standards. The number 2 slot lineup spark plug Guillermo Montero was not the same player this year. He had a huge drop in BA, HR and RBI's while walking less and striking out significantly more. Number 2 SP Victor Machado and number 3 SP Vin Gandarilla both saw their ERA's skyrocket into the mid 4's this year, hope they got it out of their system.


Offense- Lots of good things happening on offense next year. Montero is still growing and should have a huge comeback season. SS/CF leadoff hitter Julio Uguetto should finally be 100% recovered from the massive ratings hit he took from an injury in season 5. The emergence of Al Remlinger allows us to buyout SS Brian Gagnes contract next year and save around $5 million. Young LF Victor Aparicio had a solid rookie season and should add much more of a power stroke next year, I expect 30+ HR's and he is a legit SB threat who could settle into the #2 hole vs LHP with Montero dropping to the cleanup spot. All of those positives and we still have RF Matthew Ritz, 1B Donovan Forbes and C David Joseph consistently putting up .300/.400/.600 seasons.

Rotation- Maybe not the best rotation in the league but certainly an A-list rotation. Veterans Richard Kim and Vin Gandarilla have no excuse not to win 20 games. #3 SP Victor Machado is still young but is overdue for a good season, he has proven he is capable and has the skills to be a #1 or #2 on some staffs. #4 SP Reuben Calvo will have to prove that last seasons 14 win 3.57 ERA season was no fluke. It looks like #5 will be Ernie Andrews who won 4 of his 7 starts and had a 3.32 ERA while striking out 40 in 43 IP.

Bullpen- Not much is changing in the pen. Only two guys are getting close to the end of their rope. Setup A Vince Fleming is one of my all time favorite players and has been a great value for years. We will bring him back next year. We are losing out on closer Juan Alomar now that his contract is up. He has been a high dollar bloodsucking underachieving leech for far too long now. Makes me wonder if we're losing out on a closer or closing out on a loser.......