Sunday, January 27, 2008

Washington Post Season Preview for the DC Whistling Bagers

The team looks really strong this season and should be an immediate division and world series contender. The owner is extremely excited about the good possibility of a first round bye. Here's an in depth look and position by position breakdown:
C: Livan Feliz. With his 100 durability, Feliz projects to be an everyday 2 hitter and an excellent backstop behind the plate. His 89 pitch calling and good arm behind the plate will be a real life saver on the defense and young starting pitchers.
1B: Heathcliff Cameron. Cameron will be the team's 4 hitter because of his 87 power and a particular force against righties with his 95 vs R and 90 BE combo.
2B: Cliff Bonilla. Bonilla was acquired for a projected 2 starter. He will most likely bat 3, but with the added benefit of playing solid defense and providing excellent speed. Despite below average durabilty, Bonilla could end up a 30 HR, 30 SB player.
SS: Heath Baez. Baez plays spectacular defense and provides a completely average bat out of the 8 spot. Baez lacks the sexiness of a power hitter, but his excellent defense and passable bat are extremely valued by the team.
3B: Placido Gonzalez. The team payed a hefty price to acquire 90 overall Placido Gonzalez. He has excellent ratings for a SS, so he should be a strong contender for a gold glove. He also brings a 70 CN 88 PW 85 BE to the team and projects to be a 40 HR candidate out of the 5 or 6 spot.
LF: Fernando Blanco. A 24 year old whose true position is 1B moves out to left. While his defense is neither great nor awful, his strong bat more than makes up the difference. He will hit out of the 5 or 6 spot and could also challenge the 40 HR mark.
CF: Gary Waters. Water's will bat leadoff due to 92 speed and average bat. His glove is well below average for a CF, but hopefully his SB will make up for any errors he makes.
RF: Turner Harding. A 3B with slightly belowe average range, Harding will bat 7, despite very good power and good splits, and should be a gold glove contender in RF.
Bench:Emil Dale will be the bench 2B and CF because of his excellent D, 92 speed, and ability to hit righties. He should see good playing time backing up Bonilla and Waters.Daniel Busby is the backup SS and top defensive specialist.

Nate Hynes will backup at 3B and again provides amazing D. His bat is decent too. Hynes could start on most teams, so we may struggle to get him all the ABs we want to.

Octavio Veras is the bench bat and COF. He's another borderline starter, but the team feels much more comfortable with him as a pinch hitter and bench player. Still looking to unload his contract.

Christopher Goldstein is the backup catcher who should only see limited ABs against righties.

SP1: Santiago Navarro. Ace. Nuff said.
SP2: Pedro Zapata. He's only 23 and more of a 3 starter. He has great pitches, stamina and control. His vs R is only above average but the team believes in him.
SP3: Paul Stahoviak. Paul is a near clone of Pedro Zapata. Both should put up nice numbers this year.
SP4: Anthony Byrne. Another pitcher with strong ratings in every category except for average splits. Hopefully the experiment will work out.
SP5: Jimmie Sheets. A slightly poorer version of Anthony Byrne. If he doesn't work out as a 5 starter, the team only spent 3.6 million on him and will feel fine about moving him to the LRA spot.

The bullpen is the teams strong point with 4 or maybe even 5 SuA guys. We are willing to deal one in exchange for a LRA guy.

I expect the team to win 90+ games and compete for a title. Anything less will be a dissapointment.

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