Sunday, October 27, 2013

NASBL Post Season Kicks Off

The 2013 NASBL post season is set to kick off with a pair of compelling matchups.

Less Filling - Dallas Fort Worth Spurs (96-66) at Grundy County Grizzles (84-78)

Jack Howard's Grizzlies were able to bear down and win their 3rd division title out of the past 4 years, thus earning homefield advantage for the 1st round of the playoffs.  The Grizzlie's less than dominant final record may be a bit deceiving, as Grundy County led their division nearly from coast to coast.  Grundy moved into 1st place with a win in the 7th game of the season, and never relinquished the top spot in the standings.  GCG's offense is keyed by the righty/lefty power attack of long-time Grizzly Miguel Cabrera (.301/36/116) and mid-season acquisition Josh Reddick (.244/36/83), while the rotation has a north/south flavor of its own in the resurgent Bartolo Colon (11-8, 3.61) and another in-season acquisition, lefty Cole Hamels (11-13, 4.13). 

Grundy will pit their balanced attack against 2-time NASBL Champion Red Robbins' wildcard DFW Spurs.  Like their opponents, the Spurs present a balanced power attack on offense (22 HR each from lefty/righty outfielder duo / NFL running back descendants Andrew McCutchen and Jason Heyward, and 22/23 HR from lefty/righty first-base duo Anthony Rizzo and Michael Cuddyer.)

Tastes Great - Springfield Isotopes (96-66) at EdCouch New Potatoes (104-58)

Ed Killmer's New Potatoes made quite a splash in their first year in the league, leading the NASBL in scoring with 898 runs and finishing 2nd in run prevention behind only the 111-win Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.  Fittingly enough, the New Potatoes offense is keyed by 2013 #1 overall draft selection Mike Trout (.328/25/111), while 2nd year closer Kenley Jansen (4-6, 2.98, 33 saves) put on his own admirable display of kid-power in the 9th inning.

Up against the New Potatoes will be Doug Sherlag's perrenial powerhouse Springfield Isotopes.  Like their 96-win wildcard brethren in the Less Filling conference, the Topes will march an army of 20HR hitters at their opponents, in that familiar left-right-left-right cadence.  AJ Pierzynski (27), David Wright (21).  Brandon Moss (21), Carlos Gonzalez (20).  On the hill Springfield will rely heavily on Cy Young candidate Clayton Richard (16-2, 2.32), while Springfield's brace of no-hitter hurlers Chris Capuano and Trevor Cahill will head to the pen to support an already strong corps led by setup man David Hernandez (5-2, 1.31) and closer Aroldis Chapman (5-4, 2.98, 31 saves).

Good luck to all!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Chows Trade Up to #1 Pick

Illinois Times - Illinois is on the clock!  For the first time in franchise history the Chows will be picking first in the NASBL draft.  "We are extremely excited to move up.  When it became clear that we had the second pick we wanted to move either up or down.  There is one guy we really, really liked above all else and a few guys we saw as pretty equal."

In exchange for the #1 pick, Illinois sends Slatington Wilson Ramos and the Chows first selection (#2 overall).  "We look at this as a vote of confidence for Salvador Perez.  We had two fine catchers, which is a nice situation to be in.  However we are committed long-term to Salvador Perez.  This is the second straight year we moved up to get our guy.  Last year we really wanted Perez and moved into a position where we thought we could get him.  This year we know who we are going to take.  Without a 2nd pick, the draft prep room will be pretty low key this year."

Chows GM Sherlag would not tell us yet who he is planning on taking.  The Chows holes seem to be 2B, 1B, SP and Closer.  While the club has some OF depth, the lack of power on the roster makes it tough to rule out going that direction.  Inside sources confirmed that the Chows are not looking at a closer with the first pick.