Monday, August 30, 2010


... SALEM LIGHTS ... (98-64 in S8)

KEY ADDS: Jumbo Mendoza, Damaso Maduro, Horacio Benitez, David Fitzgerald
KEY LOSSES: Diego Hernandez, Jesse Woodson, Edgard Tarraga, John Wang, Michael Zhou

Salem's clubhouse this offseason resembled more of a train station. People coming, people going. A ton of talent left SAL this season, which includes the likes of Tarraga, Hernandez, and Wang, among others. They got more prospects back than anything in those deals. The majority of their new talent will come from AAA, especially super stud 2B Santo Rijo. Rijo was the main reason Hernandez became expendable. Guys like Tomas Ramirez and Damaso Maduro are expect to contribute right away. The core nucleus remains, with guys like Denny Gaston, Bill Barkley, and Geronimo Elcano still lingering around. Oh yeah, did I even mention S8 Cy Young winner George Garcia?

ONE KEY QUESTION: Salem's pitching staff got extremely young this offseason. Are they ready for the ML work load?


... VANCOUVER VOODOO ... (86-76 in S8)

PAYROLL: $118.4M
KEY ADDS: Heinie Roberts, Jim Bailes, David Wang, Jonathan Rivera, Donnie Bird
KEY LOSSES: Orber Aparicio, Stan Fitzgerald, Gerry Dixon, Donaldo Martinez, Haywood Richard

Remember when you played a game as a kid, and you got to do a "do over"? Well, that's exactly what Vancouver did. They redid their entire team. Almost started from scratch. Heinie Roberts (from Cincinnati), Jonathan Rivera (from SD), and Jim Bailes (from Monterrey) lead the brand spanking new VAN lineup. And as far as pitching goes? They paid a fortune for the services of David Wang. This team will battle it out with SAL the entire season for the top spot in the AL West.

ONE KEY QUESTION: Did Vancouver get name tags for all the new guys at the first Vancouver team meeting?


... LAS VEGAS VEGAN VAMPIRES ... (86-76 in S8)

KEY ADDS: Pat Chen, Milton Shuey, Max Rodriguez
KEY LOSSES: Paul Wang, Leo Friend

I think Las Vegas is the most patient team we've had in Shoeless Joe. While other teams are signing a ton of players, spending a truck load of money, trading off their entire ML team, there sits Las Vegas. Making small moves, nothing big. Developing their young talent from within their farm system. For example, Tony Prieto and Mark Martin. Prieto began his career in Las Vegas, and you can guarantee he'll end it there. Martin was a big time IFA signee 5 seasons ago, he now is one of the main contributors on this team. Vegas has one of the best bullpens in the AL with Kiki Perez and Alex Guzman.

ONE KEY QUESTION: Does Las Vegas have enough firepower to keep up with the likes of Salem and Vancouver in the AL West standings?


... OKLAHOMA CITY REDHAWKS ... (77-85 in S8)

KEY ADDS: Lazy Smith, Pedro Rodriguez, Gerald Vining, Pedro Jacquez
KEY LOSSES: Michael Kobayashi, Don Saipe, Andruw Merrick, Al Lopez, Robert Henley

Ladies and gentlemen, Pedro Rodriguez has entered the building. S9 will forever be known in OKC as the season that P-ROD came to town. He's the leader of this club, and it'll go as far as he takes it. However, it came at a hefty price. The loss of Merrick and Lopez, that is. Pedro Jacquez was a nice sign to help bolster that lineup. Lazy Smith and Gerald Vining will definitely help the OKC pitching situation. Player to watch this season: Jeff Sweeney. He's got a ton of potential, and this season could be when he begins to showcase his talents. This team could go far, but they find themselves in a tough division.

ONE KEY QUESTION: Will the acquisition of P-ROD be enough to move OKC up the AL West standings?


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