Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Chicago Capone Bootleggers Season Preview

Chicago has generated intense excitement from the fans. Most games are already sold out as this potent lineup gets ready for the homeower. Currently in Spring Training, all roster spots are cemented except 1. The coach has stated that this last spot is wide-open between the remaining pitchers and position players. "The 25th player is not going to be crucial to us."

C-Ray Winn An average catcher and pitch caller; this should be offset by his high BA and OBP. Expect him to bat in the bottom part of the order. Cam Stockton will back him up and primarily be used as a late inning defensive/pitch calling catcher.

1B-Larry Turner This rare 5 tool firstbaseman does it all. He hits for power, contact, steals bases, plays good defense, and is only 23 years old. Turner is expected to redefine the leadoff position.

2B-Ismael Guillen This 23 year old second baseman has future MVP written all over him. He will be a fixture for the next 10 years at the cleanup position.

3B-Adam Snavely This All-Star 3B signed a 5 yr/7.2 mil contract in the offseason. He brings gold-glove defense and all-star offense. A traditional #4 hitter, he will be batting in the 3,5, and 6 spots. Terry Durham was picked up on waivers and will back up 3B, 1B, LF, and RF. Durham is disappointed to not be starting, but is very excited about the playoff outlook for the team.

SS-Damian Song This 23 year old SS has been handed the starting spot. He was highly touted coming out of Korea and is a major impact player. A future #3 and #4 hitter when he fully develops; he will be batting in the #2, and 5-8 spots. R.J. Guerrero, the past starter will be the back up, able to play every position defensively and an average bat.

LF-Cristobal Ozuna The 29 y.o. LF signed a 4 yr/6.3 mil. contract extension in the offseason. He could have been a superstar on most other teams, but chose to stay in Chicago and win the World Series. Ozuna should be a middle of the lineup hitter, but will be relegated to the bottom of the order.

CF-Davey Shultz The veteran 31 y.o. CF is the leader of the team. He is an above average hitter but he is known for his shutdown defensive ability and superstar diving catches.

RF-Junior Bennett The 28 year old has been handed the starting RF position. After 2 MVP season in the minors, this late bloomer will be batting in the bottom of the order. He is not spectacular in one given skill, but is easily above average in every catagory.

Veteran Stu Jordan is the odd man out. Age has caught up to him. Still a great hitter, he is suited more to a DH role now. Jordan has formally requested a trade and Management is actively trying to oblige. If a trade doesn't happen, them Jordan will be the first pinch hitter off the bench.

The pitching staff is weak after the first 2 starters, but is backed up by a quality relief staff.

SP #1-Danny Borland the highly acclaimed All-American makes his ML debut and will be the ace of the staff. This high control flamethrower will be a major fixture for Chicago.

SP #2-Vladimir Figureoa is also making his major league debut at 22. He could end up being a staff ace, but will have to overcome his nagging injuries.

SP #3-Brent Sheffield the veteran left hander hopefully will bring some stabilty to the #3 spot in the rotation.

SP #4-Craig Durbin occupies the #4 spot. This veteran is strong against lefties, but can falter when facing right-handed batters.

SP #5-Andy Bagley will be starter #5. He has outstanding control and will be expected to not win games, but pitch well enough for the potent lineup to power the team to victory.

MR-Nate Trammell will be one of the top middle relievers. A great minor league career as a starter was ruined by an arm injury. Trammel has rebounded; although he does not have the stamina to go 7+ innings, he can easily pitch 4-5 innings.

Setup-Jimmie Alfonzo will be the primary setup man. This wily 33 year old veteran will anchor the bullpen until they can get to the closer.

Closer-Steve Shaw is new to Chicago and new to the majors. Chicago traded their low A highly touted SS/3B for this shutdown closer. Shaw must do well from the start, or he might be sent down to AAA for more seasoning.

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