Saturday, August 1, 2009

ML AL North Division Preview

. Saturday, August 1, 2009

Cleveland Blazers
The blazers are back and they are stronger than ever. Armed with very solid lineup further bolstered with off-season moves. Offense will surely not be an issue with the club this season.
Something that will however need to be addressed is the rotation, the front end(starters 1-3) are good but the back end will cause some issues. Overall though, with the additions that will areas of need along with no severe losses. This team is poised to put a stranglehold on the division that if combined with a influx of prospect talent(through the draft and international free agents) may not be released until 4-5 seasons from now.
Key Arrivals: Juan Lopez,Joshua Hines,Carl Lilly & Apollo Page
Key Departures: Kevin Dong & Stephen Becker
Prediction: 1st Place - 92-70

Salt City Jazz
The jazz have to be one of the most perplexing teams in the AL. They're tremendous at the things they excel at, but when there is a weakness. It's beyond glaring.
The team possess potentially the best offense in the division. They also have a fine rotation.
But once you dig deeper you discover a lack of bullpen talent and bench depth.
Combined with a inactive off-season in which the team lost several key pieces.
This franchise as of now won't be in the division race after the All-star break.
Key Arrivals: None
Key Departures: Ricky George,Clarence Brooks & Dante Cheng,
Prediction: 2nd Place - 83-79

Sioux Falls Stonesauruses
The fans in Sioux Falls are excited about the new team. As well they should be, they have a shiny new franchise, shiny new ballpark and a shiny new franchise pitcher.
The team has a nice makeup to it, the pieces they have fit well.
However since the team will be forced to win games 2-1,3-2 and etc close scores. The pitching staff may not be able to get them over the hump. They will hang around in games, the division and playoff hunt potentially.
But without an offensive upgrade at key spots. This team will finish the season offending the fans dreams of a shiny new division crown.
Key Arrivals: Damian Yamamoto
Key Departures: Don Fujiwara
Prediction: 3rd - 77-85

Ottawa Primetimers
How to put into words what this franchise is? hmm... downtrodden.
While the talent of the team is solid, they lack any one "elite" player that can get you over the hump.
For the team to make some noise this season, they will need to play to not make mistakes.
As anyone who is a sports aficionado knows, if you play to avoid mistake then you're not playing to win.
It's entirely possible that this team will make a early run and put a lot of fans butts in the seats.
But once the meat of the season rolls around the team will be exactly what it is.
Key Arrivals: Harry Diaz & Domingo Amaral
Key Departures: Rafael Molina & Pablo Cairo
Prediction: 4th - 66-96