Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Outlaw Installs Whiskey Bars in the Dugout & Bullpen

Reeling from criticism that the Wales were wound too tight emotionally to put away last year's TGLCS after building a 3 - 2 series lead, GM Hildebrant proclaimed that there has got to be big changes in clubhouse attitudes this year. Apparently the beer that flowed in the bullpen wasn't enough to relax the high-pressure players and prevent the team's stunning LCS collapse that ended the year in bitter disappointment.

"This year, we are going to supplement the bullpen beer with whiskey in the clubhouse and the bullpen. And to be clear, imbibing will be mandatory. We won't tolerate slackers on this team," announced the GM.

Veteran leader Big Papi Ortiz addressed the team after he announcement. "We're here to play baseball. You know what I'm saying? This ain't no bar. Oh wait. Maybe it is."

Sunday, February 19, 2012

McCutchen dealt to Spurs in Blockbuster deal!

The Hawaiians continue their busy offseason after their most disappoiting season in years.  Andrew McCutchen, the offensive juggernaut and defensive genius was dealt to Dallas Fort Worth late Sunday night. Honolulu sent McCutchen and their 7th, 11th and 12th round picks to Dallas for the Illinois 1 (4th overall), DFW, 3rd and 4th round picks as well as DFW's displaced closer Carlos Marmol who became expendable with the emergence of Francisco Rodriguez. Though technically a 4 for 4 deal, it was clearly a move designed to net HHA some early round talent.

According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the blockbuster deal has been in the works for over a week.  "Hawaiian's GM Stan Pietruska has been looking to move swiftly in acquiring draft picks to facilitate a quick rebuild. This move continues on that path" stated Olney via Twitter just a short time ago.  Honolulu will now feature Austin Jackson in centerfield.  HHA now has 12 picks in the first 6 rounds including 6 of the first 33 picks and 8 in the first three rounds. With holes in the infield and outfield its expected to be a busy war room on draft day on the islands.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Musical Chair Picks

Perhaps never in the history of NASBL has there been as much movement predraft.  This week saw several deals take place which are reshaping the draft.  The Honolulu Hawaiians, long rumored to be in the market for a forst baseman, maybe Eric Hosmer or Freddie Freeman, sent lefty specialist Darren Oliver to Slatington for first baseman Casey Kotchman. This is Kotchman's second stint with the Hawaiians as he was with the club from 2007-2009 getting released after hitting below .230 with only 3 homers.

The Hawaiians hope to have Kotchman get on base more and they especially want the veteran first sacker to flash the leather over at first. With that deal done and Hosmer and Freeman most likely no longer on  the horizon for the Hawaiians, it became apparent that the Hawaiians would be seeking pitching. The Georgia Road Kill, long rumored to be enarmored with Michael Pineda were sitting at 5 and soon became worried that the Hawaiians would take Pineda. Georgia then moved up to the #2 pick and gave up Sean Marshall in the process to Slatington.

This deal, now all but cementing that Pineda wont be available, triggered yet another deal where in the Hawaiians sent their first rounder, 3rd overall to the Pilots. The cost was steep as the Pilots gave up Mark Buerhle, annother former Hawaiian, and swapped a very early third for a very late 4th and  two very late picks.  That deal sees Buerhle also return to the Hawaiians after a several season hiatus. Hawaiians management believes he can contribute this season.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

NASBL Round 3/4 Draft Order

The base Round 3/4 Draft Order is determined by the amount of Free Agent Money accumulated throughout the year. For 2012, the order will be:

1. TRY
2. LVI
3. OJW
4. LCC
5. GRK
6. ILL
7. DFW
8. PCM
9. GCG
10. SHA
11. SPR
12. SPL
13. HHA
14. SBU
15. NJT
16. VFS

Performance / Fun Award notes:
-The $3,000 "award" for highest winning percentage that does not make the playoffs went to frequent award winner LCC, who managed to miss the playoffs with a 102-win regular season (adjusted to slightly under 101 wins due to overusage.)
-The $2,000 award for 2nd highest winning percentage that does not make the playoffs went to DFW (78 wins.)
-4 teams (ILL, PCM, SHA, and HHA) earned $500 each for having more road wins than home wins.
-VFS earned the $50 awards for both most wins by a pitcher (Ubaldo Jimenez, tied with LCC's Jonathan Sanchez with 23) and most losses by a pitcher (Tommy Hanson, with 21.)
-SPR's Adam Dunn earned his owner a $50 FA money consolation prize for his league-leading 188 K's
-Adrian Beltre's league-leading 27 GIDP earned Mark Hildebrandt and OJW a $50 consolation.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Springfield Times Annual NASBL Mock Draft

Springfield (AP) – This year’s NASBL draft belongs to the Slatington Bulldogs. Via a combination of a rough season last year and various trades, the Bulldogs have secured three first round picks, including the top two picks in this year’s draft. Three teams (Shawnee, Springfield, and Troy) do not have selections in the first round of this year’s draft. This year’s draft appears to have a number of quality pitchers, but it also appears to lack a significant number of offensive difference makers.

Since the last day of the NASBL season, the twitters have been ablaze – what will Slatington do with the first two picks in the draft? Without further adieu, the following is the Springfield Times’ Annual First Round Projections.

#1) Slatington Bulldogs – Dustin Ackley (2B)
The Times finds it interesting that despite numerous trades this offseason, the Bulldogs still fail to have a carded second sacker on its roster. This will change when the Bulldogs opt to grab Dustin Ackley with the 1st overall pick.

#2) Slatington Bulldogs (via Trade from Shawnee) – Michael Pineda (SP)
In a deep pitching draft, Pineda appears to stand alone as the top pitcher available via his combination of youth/performance. Pineda should immediately challenge Cain atop the Bulldogs rotation as the true ace of the Bulldogs staff.

#3) Honolulu Hawaiians – Eric Hosmer (1B)
The Hawaiians have continually struggled at finding a guy to plug in at 1B year in and year out. Every year it seems, the Times predicts that Stan will pick a first basemen. We thought that Daric Barton may have finally been the answer to the Hawaiians 1B issues lat year, but it wasn’t to be. Therefore, the Hawaiians grab probably the top young pure bat in this draft, who happens to be only 21 years old.

#4) Dallas Ft. Worth Spurs (via Trade from Illinois) – Carlos Santana (C/1B)
When the Spurs traded Victor Martinez to the Chows, Red moved up in the draft by five spots. Red surely had someone in mind when he made this deal. It could easily be Victor’s heir apparent, Carlos Santana. In the vein of Victor Martinez, Santana may not be a classic backstop, but he could be the Spurs long term solution at either catcher, where Josh Thole currently holds down the job, or first base, where Robbins favorite Derek Lee’s career may be nearing an end.

#5) Georgia Roadkill – Jeremy Hellickson (SP)
The MLB Rookie of the Year in the American League, Hellickson carries a great pedigree into NASBL. Will that translate into success in such an elite league as NASBL, Johnny Miller will be holding his breath to find out.

#6) Pocono Chin Music – Desmond Jennings (OF)
Jennings may be the most exciting young player in the draft. His combination of speed/defense/power may be too hard for Bill Anderson to pass up with this pick.

#7) Seattle Pilots – Danny Espinosa (2B)
With six carded starting pitchers on its roster, the Pilots look for offense with this pick. The Pilots don’t appear to have an obvious answer at 2B on its roster without wasting Polanco’s gold glove defense at third. Espinosa appears to be the top combination of offense/defense/youth available at 2B in this draft. It is possible that the Pilots go with another second sacker, Jemile Weeks with this pick.

#8) New Jersey Trash Heap – Peter Bourjos (CF)
Bourjos has a legendary reputation on defense in MLB. Defense is something that usually translates well to NASBL. While his offense may be slightly behind his defense at this point in his career, Bourjos allows the Heap to push Seth Smith to DH and there won’t be many balls dropping in the Heap outfield between Bourjos in center and Jay Bruce in right.

#9) Illinois Chow Chows (via Trade from Dallas) – James Shields (SP)
With only two carded starting pitchers on its roster, the Chows need innings. With 249 innings in MLB this season, Shields appears to be the man for the job and Brad Sherlag is thrilled to take him here.

#10) Lake Champlaign Cannibals – Craig Kimbrel (RP)
In order to be an elite closer in NASBL, it helps if you can strike guys out. Kimbrel has the reputation of a guy who can strike anyone out with any of his pitches. He also has 77 innings pitched, which are a ton for a closer.

#11) Vermont Fighting Sioux – Emilio Bonifacio (3B/2B/SS/LF/CF/RF)
Justin Rabidoux protected a full pitching staff (including relievers) on cutdown day. That is good for the Sioux’s pitching staff. Unfortunately, it means there are a lot of holes on its offensive side. It is doubtful that any man could fill all of them, but if anyone can, it is Emilio Bonifacio. Bonifacio played six defensive positions in his 565 at bats, most of them very well. Oh yeah, he also can hit, run, and steal a ton of bases.

#12) Slatington Bulldogs (via Trade from Springfield) – Allen Craig (OF/1B/3B)
Adam Leickel has already put together a solid team at this point, which means the Bulldogs have the ability to take either the best hitter or best reliever available right here. Allen Craig is clearly the best hitter available in this draft, though he has limited at bats. Craig would be a monster in the playoffs at any position the Bulldogs decide to play him

#13) Grundy County Grizzlies – Daniel Hudson (SP)
Great combination of youth, success, and innings pitched. There are many starting pitchers that have had limited MLB success in this draft, but only a couple have had success over a workload of more than 200 innings. At 24 years old, Daniel Hudson is a rare commodity and Jack Howard is thrilled he’s still there for them at #13.

#14) Outlaw Josey Wales – Brandon Beachy (SP)
Beachy is the best strikeout pitcher of any starter available in the draft. At this point, he may be one of the youngest starters available at 24 years old. This combination proves too difficult for Mark Hildebrandt to pass

#15) Illinois Chow Chows (via Trade from Troy) – Phil Humber (SP)
The Chows continue building their staff by taking the best starting pitcher available at this point in the draft, which just could be Phil Humber. At 28 years old, Humber appears to have finally turned the corner under the tutelage of MLB pitching coach Don Cooper. The Chows could also easily choose Corey Luebke or Josh Collmenter with this pick, as well.

#16) Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs – Dee Gordon (SS)
The Champs have the last pick in the first round and are faced with a difficult choice between one of a number of starting pitchers available or one of the few good offensive players still left in the draft. With Hanley Ramirez moving off of shortstop in MLB this season, the Iron Pigs can’t turn down a 23 year old shortstop with the pedigree of Dee Gordon, son of former NASBL player Tom “Flash” Gordon. Kevin Burns takes Gordon, finalizing the First Round of the 2012 NASBL Draft.