Sunday, December 28, 2014

Santa brings DFW exactly what they wanted!

The Spurs got the Christmas gift that was #1 on their 'Wish List' when they landed catcher Devin Mesoraco.  They filled a giant need at catcher when the Spurs didn't resign veteran catcher AJ Ellis.  "We are ecstatic to have Devin!    The sky's the limit when it comes to Devin's ability.  He's a good reciever and can hit for power", stated the skipper of the Spurs, Red Robbins.  The Spurs have lacked power at catcher since they traded Victor Martinez.  AJ Ellis hit a combined .223 with 11hr, 55rbi in two seasons as the starting backstop.  In getting Mesorco that will definitely add more production at the catcher's spot.  DFW acquired Mesoraco & LVI 9th from LVI for DFW's 2nd & 6th round Draft picks.  DFW didn't want to part with the 20th overall pick, however couldn't pass up the chance to get
Devin Mesoracoa caliber player like Mesoraco. 
In another move to help fill the hole at second base DFW traded their 5th to GRK for veteran Brandon Phillips and 10th.  The team hopes Phillips can find his old form after battling injuries last season. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Back to the Drawing Board for Spurs

With the winter meetings about to start DFW will attempt to correct the ship wreck the 2014
season turned out to be.  after a successful 2013 where the Spurs won 96 games and eventfully lost to
TRY in the LCS,  they finished 70-92 in 2014.  on paper DFW was projected to win over 90 games
again.  they traded their 1st round pick to LVI for pitcher Jordan Zimmerman hoping he could step in
and be the ace of the rotation.   DFW added starting pitchers Chris Archer in with their 2nd round and
Scott Feldman with their 4th round pick to go with veteran hurlers Doug Fister and Derek Holland. 
they also added veteran closer Huston Street.   the good news was rookie Chris Archer and Scott
Feldman live up to par.  archer was 11-7, with a 2.47era which was second in the NASBL in ERA
with a 2.47 just behind A.Griffin.  feldman was 14-9, with a 3.74era.  Zimmerman had a rocky year
going 10-19, with a robust 5.26era.  between Zimmerman, Fister and Holland they combined for a
29-48, with a 5.15era.  Huston Street had 30 saves, however he was 4-7, with a 4.42era and 9 blown
saves!  Street also gave up a whopping 17 hr in 57ip.  For the Spurs to get back in a winning mode
Zimmerman and the rest of the staff have to revert back to their 2013 form. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Chows Add an Arm and a Bat

Illinois Times - Are the Chows going to make a run at their second postseason appearance in franchise history?  It is starting to seem that way.  The Chows have traded their 1st and 5th round picks in separate deals.  While holes and question marks remain - the club is better now than it was last week.  However the Chows say they are not "all-in" for this season - rather they are looking at it as the opportunity to start a postseason run of several years.

The deals - Illinois traded its First Round pick for Zack Grienke
Illinois traded its 5th round pick for Josh Reddick

"We centered on guys that would help us this year and the next few years down the road.  Despite his injury Fernandez is absolutely not on the trading block.  Getting Grienke gives us a formidable Big Three in the rotation this year with Zack, Lester and Samrdzija.  We expect Fernandez to be back healthy enough next season to make it a Big Four - he will not have a full season but should be able to qualify for postseason play. Grienke being only 30 years old has a few more good years in the tank. We were leaning toward SP with that first pick - there was not going to be anyone there at 5 that we were as certain on for the next 5 years or so as Grienke.

Josh will be our RF vs. R.  The outfield mix for the Chows is crowded with everyone having a role.  We are going into the draft with Upton, Crawford, Davis and Reddick.  The outfield is not totally set but we saw 5th round as good value for Josh.  He is only 27, plays good D and hits righties very well.  the type of player a contending team should value.  CF continues to be concern at the point.  It is possible the Chows add two more OF before opening day.

Our roster is now set at 16 with two players on the bubble to be our 17th keeper.  We feel we have the flexibility to add one more guy if the right deal comes along.  One more SP, a 2B or a CF would be the guys we would add if available.  Realistically we would be looking to do another pick for player type deal.  Our biggest trading block to a non-contender is probably Gyorko and to be honest he has regressed so much that his value is no longer strong.  We are not interested in trading Fernandez - all trade talks seem to be teams wanting him."

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Haymakers Add Another Former First Round Pick

Troy, NY:  The Haymakers continued to turn over their roster the other day, this time picking up former number one overall pick Eric Hosmer from the Bulldogs for closer Drew Storen and a round 5 pick.  Hosmer will take over at first base in what has seen a number of players man the position over the past few years, and makes two time Haymaker James Loney expendable.

With Hosmer, the team will now have three gold glove players in the infield which will help the weak pitching staff a good amount.

The team still has a number of players rumored to be on the move, and is currently beginning their planning for what will be a busy draft for Troy.  The team is currently sporting the 2nd, 18th and 19th overall picks in the draft and will most likely be looking to re-build on young talent.

EdCouch wins 4 games to one to advance to the world series!

Here is a very quick recap:

Game 1: Ross vs Buchholz
Game 2: Griffin vs Iwakuma
Game 3: Cobb vs Strousburg
Game 4: Garza vs Greene
Game 5: Ross vs Buchholz

Ed takes the series 4 games to 1 and the series was closer than the outcome as all games were one to three run games.

GAME 1-  Ed wins 10-7. Ellsbury  leads off with a triple and LVI scores 2 in the top of the 1st. Braun and Carpenter double and score is 2-1, then in the bottom of the 2nd Rayburn rolls the 1-8 straight shot and Ed scores 4 to take a 5-2 lead. After LVI cuts the lead to 5-3, Ed scores 2 in the 6th and 7th to take a 9-3 lead. With the score 10-5 going into the 9th LVI scores 2 and makes a threat but Ed holds on to a 10-7 win.

GAME 2-  Ed wins 3-0.Tyler Ross pitches 5 shutout innings(longest start of the series) and Ed cruises to a 3-1 victory, though LVI does have the tying run at the plate a many times.

GAME 3-  LVI wins 5-3. With a 3-2 lead in the 4th, LVI pulls Strasburg , and hold Ed down and Nathan gets the 5 out save and LVI wins 5-3.

GAME 4- Ed wins 3-1. With Ed leading 2-0 in the bottom of the 3rd, Longoria hits the 4-9 straight shot of Cy Young candidate AJ Griffin and Ed pulls him(wasn't pretty in the club house). With a 3-1 lead, Ed brings in Kenly Jansen for his first appearance to get the 6 out save for a 3-1 victory,


- Ed wins 7-5.  Ed dinks and dunks a 6 run top of the 1st, and in the bottom of the 1st LVI scores two and has two runners on with NO OUTS and Garza is pulled without getting ONE out(once again, clubhouse was not a pretty sight) as LVI starter Buchholtz records only 2 outs. With the score 7-2 after 3 innings, LVI brings in Nathan and he pithes 7 innings(was tired after 4th inning) and his line was: 7 innings 2 hits, 1 walk and 10 k's to shut down the mighty Ed offence as LVI scores 2 off Jansen to make it a 7-5 game and with the go ahead run at the plate, Jansen gets the final out to record the 7-5 victory.

Range Ratings Preview. .

For all those GM's that haven't joined the modern world of news reporting and communication, date line Twitter and here is the annual Strat range ratings preview.  You will note that I added my estimated error rating after some of the range ratings.

Some real surprises in the middle infield with Cano at a 2, Kipnis at a 4, Altuve a 3, Andrus a 2, Hanley back to a 4, Reyes stays a 3, N.Walker drops to a 3 and Y. Escobar drops to a 4, Zobrist drops to a 2 are disappointing.
On the upside Kinsler, Dozier, Crawford, A . Escobar, Lemahieu get 1's and J. Peralta gets a 3.

Donaldson, Lucroy, Markakis , Dyson and Lagares are new 1's.

As for the draft, the rising for J . Harrison, Springer, Panik, D.Santana, Hamilton, Ozuna and Kairmier.

Without further a do, the range ratings preview-

BALTIMORE: Rookie Jonathan Schoop receives a 2 at 2B(9:21am)

BOSTON: Rookie Catcher Christian Vazquez receives a 2 behind the dish with a -4 arm.

CHICAGO (AL): AL Rookie of the Year and Silver Slugger Award winner Jose Abreu gets a 4e9 at 1B

CLEVELAND: Three ratings for Carlos Santana: C-4 (0 arm), 1B-3e9 and 3B-5e38

DETROIT: In his first year with the team, Ian Kinsler receives a 1e9 at 2B for the first time in his career

HOUSTON: All-Star 2B and Batting Champ Jose Altuve repeats his 3e11 Also AA stealing *4-6 (19-14)

KANSAS CITY: Jarrod Dyson gets a LF-2, CF-1b2 along with AA stealing *3-7 (19-15)

LOS ANGELES (AL): David Freese 3B 5b4

MINNESOTA: Joe Mauer earns a 3 at 1B in his first full season not catching(11:53)

NEW YORK (AL): The Captain Jeter gets a SS-4 in his final season

OAKLAND: Ex-Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson is a 1e25 b2 this year

SEATTLE: Dustin Ackley gets a LF-2 with a +2 arm in his first season as a full-time outfielder

TAMPA BAY: Yunel Escobar falls from a 1 last year to a 4 at SS

TEXAS: Elvis Andrus falls to a 2e20 at SS this year

TORONTO: Jose Reyes will be a SS-3e22 this year with AA stealing *4,5 (19-13)(1:08)

ARIZONA: Ender Inciarte debuts with a 2 and a -1 arm in all three OF spots

ATLANTA: FreddieFreeman falls to a 2 at 1B after two years at a 1

CHICAGO (NL):JorgeSoler The rookie debuts with a RF 3 and a -3 arm

CINCINNATI: Jay Bruce drops to a RF-2 with a -4 arm after four consecutive 1's.... Also a 1B-5

COLORADO: Charlie Blackmon earns a 3 in all outfield spots to go along with a 0 arm

LOS ANGELES (NL): Andre Ethier earns a 3 (2 basic) in LF and RF and a 4 in CF. His arm holds at a -1

MIAMI: Marcell Ozuna gets a 2e6 with a -3 arm in all three outfield spots

MILWAUKEE: Jonathan Lucroy gets a 1 and a 0 arm for his defense behind the plate this year. At 1B, Lucroy gets a 4

NEW YORK (NL): Lagares earns his first Gold Glove and his first 1e8 in CF. His cannon arm gets him a -4

PHILADELPHIA: Centerfielder Ben Revere falls to a 3 with another +3 arm

PITTSBURGH: Starling Marte gets a 1e8 (2 basic) in LF and a 2 (3 basic) in CF along with a -3 arm

ST. LOUIS: Matt Adams improves again this year and gets a 2e12 at 1B

SAN DIEGO: Will Venable gets a 2e0 in LF and a 2e0 (1 basic) in both CF and RF

SAN FRANCISCO: Brandon Crawford goes back to a 1e24 (2 basic) at SS for the World Champs

WASHINGTON: Asdrubal Cabrera gets a 2B-2e3 and a SS-4 for his play in both D.C. and Cleveland(4:10pm)

BALTIMORE: The newly departed Nick Markakis won the AL Gold Glove and reclaims his first 1e0 in RF since 2011(9:30am)

BOSTON: The rookie Mookie Betts debuts with a 3e36 (4 basic) at 2B and a 4e1 (3 basic) in both CF and RF. OF Arm is an even 0

CHICAGO (AL): In his first season on the South Side Adam Eaton gets a CF-2e6 along with a -1 arm

CLEVELAND: Jason Kipnis' struggles knock him down to a 4 (3 basic) at 2B from a 2 last year

DETROIT: JD Martinez In his breakout season in Motown, JD Martinez gets a 4e6 and +1 arm in both LF and RF

HOUSTON: Rookie outfielder George Springer gets a 2e15 (3 basic) in RF, 3 in CF, and a -2 arm

KANSAS CITY: After Dyson, the rest of KC's 1's - Perez, Hosmer e13, Escobar e16, Gordon e2, Cain e3 (CF and RF)

LOS ANGELES (AL):Kole Calhoun is a 2e2 (with a -2 arm) in RF this year and his play earned him an AL GG finalist nomination

MINNESOTA: Versatile rookie Danny Santana earns a 3e11 at both SS and CF. Also a -1 OF arm

NEW YORK (AL): Current Free Agent Chase Headley gets a 3B-2e11 and 1B-3 for his play in NY and SD in 2014

OAKLAND: Josh Reddick earns himself another 1e8 in RF. Also a CF-3 and -4 arm

SEATTLE: Last year's big FA signee Robinson Cano is a 2B-2e10 this year; first time not a 1 since 2009

TAMPA BAY:Kevin Kiermaier gets a RF-1e11 as a rookie. Also a CF-2 and -3 arm

TEXAS: Adrian Beltre retains his 3B-1e15 for the 10th consecutive season

TORONTO: At only 23 years old Anthony Gose gets a 1e3 with a -3 arm in all three OF spots this year(12:36)

ARIZONA: Aaron Hill will get a 4 at both 2B and 3B. First time in his career he will have worse than a 3 at either

ATLANTA: Now in St. Louis,Jason Heyward will get his third consecutive 1e2 in RF. And with a -4 arm

CHICAGO (NL):Javier Baez will get a 3e34(4 basic) at 2B and a 3e29 at SS in his rookie season

CINCINNATI: Third Baseman Todd Frazier gets a 3B-2e13 and 1B-3e22 in his first All-Star season

COLORADO:DJ Lemahieu gets both his first 2B-1e8 and Gold Glove Award(He will have SS,1B and 3B high ratings)

LOS ANGELES (NL): Dee Gordon gets a 2B-3e14 in his first full season there. Also AA stealing *3-7 (18-15)

MIAMI: Slugging outfielder Giancarlo Stanton gets his first RF-2e7 since his rookie season and gets a -3 OF Arm

MILWAUKEE: Khris Davis will get a LF-3 but a +3 arm this season

NEW YORK (NL): Lucas Duda claims first base all by himself this year and earns a 1B-3e9. If you're adventurous a LF-5, +3 arm

PHILADELPHIA: Marlon Byrd gets his best rating since 2005, he's a RF-2e7 with a -1 arm

PITTSBURGH: Second Baseman Neil Walker gets a 3e6 (2 basic) this season

ST. LOUIS: Jon Jay gets the unique rating of a 2e3 in CF and 3 in both LF and RF... OF Arm is a +2

SAN DIEGO: Jedd Gyrorko gets his second consecutive 4 at 2B

SAN FRANCISCO: Rookie Joe Panik earns a 2e20 (3 basic) at second base in his first season in the majors

WASHINGTON: We round out Day 2 with a 1, Denard Span gets the 1e5 in CF and has a -1 arm


EXTRA BONUS: Kershaw is the first pitcher with an 8 endurance rating since Cliff Lee in 2010.

BONUS #10: Cincinnati's Billy Hamilton gets a CF-1e3 in his first full season

BONUS #9: Brian Dozier earns his first 1e16 (2 basic) at second base this season. Also an A stealer *2-5 (17-12)

BONUS #8: Xander Bogaerts gets a 4e17 (3 basic) at SS and 4e37 (5 basic) at 3B

BONUS #7: Jose Bautista earns a 3e5 (2 basic) in RF and 4 (3 basic) in CF. Also a cannon -4 arm(He will have high 1B rating)

BONUS #6: In his first year in St. Louis, Jhonny Peralta finally gets back to his first SS-3e13 since 2007

BONUS #5:  Hanley Ramirez will be a SS-4 this season... No OF rating quite yet #StratRatings

BONUS #4: Utility man Ben Zobrist gets a 2 at 2B, LF, and RF, a 3 at SS, and a 4 (3 basic) in CF

BONUS #3: Anthony Rendon's MVP caliber season gets him a 2 at 3B and 3 at 2B

BONUS #2: Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison gets a 2 at 3B, 3 at 2B, LF, and RF, and a 4 at SS. Also a -1 OF arm.

BONUS #1: @YasielPuig The LA outfielder is our top requested rating.. He's a 2 in RF and 3 (2 basic) in CF. All with a -5 arm

Trade winds are starting back up..

It is that glorious time of year where the EdCouch GM starts the process of reviewing his teams needs and looking to reshape the team, and though this annual process can be painful, he sees it as a necessary process in finding the pieces to put the puzzle back together.
The team has 7 starting pitchers and is looking for help at SS and CF/LF. In a most aggressive move, EdCouch attempted to trade Cy Young(real life) winner Kluber to Georgia Roadkill and at the time of this article no deal has been made. This is indication that any player is available for trade and if GM's have any trade suggestions feel free to make suggestions, as this is the glorious time of year when anything can be possible!

Note: My next post will be the range ratings preview

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Roadkill brass making deals during "dead" period

The Roadkill front office is taking advantage of the temporary NASBL playoff delay to make several deals acquiring former GRK alumni Edwin Encarnacion & Chase Headley along with Dexter Fowler & Dioner Navarro. "Moving On" include Cespedes, Sandoval, Lawrie & Feliz. GM Miller stated "Dexter will leadoff & provide solid CF. EE will DH & is the protection we've needed for Stanton. We still believe in Wieters for the long-run but Dino will carry the load this season with Santana moving to 1B".

Headley is the wild card. He will likely be the opening day starter at 3B. Anthony Rendon will replace fan favorite Brandon Phillips at 2B. It's rumored that Yovani Gallardo or Jesse Chavez & draft picks could be packaged for an upgrade at Closer.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Turbulence and Trade winds in Troy turn into Roster Turnover

Troy, NY:  The Haymakers failed to make the postseason for the first time in three years in 2014 and rumor was that GM Ken Anderson was not happy about the status of the team and the chemistry in the clubhouse.  Two days after announcing that a number of players were available for trade, Troy has made two blockbusters that have effectively reshaped the team and possibly the future of the team.  A total of 12 players and two picks exchanged hands and effectively puts Troy on the rebuilding block for the future.

  Gone are the likes of players who would have been interesting to watch for the Haymaker fans: Edwin Encarnacion, Dexter Fowler, Chase Headley, Scott Kazmir, Russell Martin and Greg Holland.  The players coming to Troy are former first round picks Pablo Sandoval,Yeonis Cespedes, and Matt Cain along with Wilson Ramos, D.J. LeMahieu, Brad Miller.
   "We were looking to shake things up and build toward 2015 and beyond." said GM Anderson, "We may not be contending next season, but watch out for the Haymakers in the near future."
     Troy also received two second round picks, the GRK round 2 and the LVI round 2. They now own five of the top 32 picks, including three in the top 20.  With a number of quality players available, the team should fill out nicely come March.

   The new look team is currently if flashing a good amount of young talent and planning to look like the following (although a lot can change in the course of the offseason):

C: Wilson Ramos
1B: James Loney
2B: D.J. LeMahieu
3B: Pablo Sandoval
SS: Alcides Escobar
LF: Yeonis Cespedes
CF: A.J. Pollock/B.J. Upton
RF: Alex Rios/Josh Hamilton
DH: Josh Rutledge/Brad Miller
Rotation: Madison Bungarner, Jon Niese, Josh Collmenter, Matt Cain, Dillon Gee

After eight seasons in the NASBL; the future in Troy is looking positive.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

NASBL 2015 Base Draft Order for Non-Playoff Teams

The base draft order for non-playoff teams will be:

1)  Slatington Bulldogs
2)  Troy Haymakers
3)  Georgia Roadkill
4)  Dallas Fort Worth Spurs
5)  Illinois Chow Chows
6)  Outlaw Josey Wales
7)  Pocono Chin Music
8)  Springfield Isotopes
9)  Shawnee Crows
10)  Canyon Country Cannons

Picks 11-16 will be in order of playoff exit.

Usage played a role in the draft order, as TRY narrowly edged out GRK due to 2 overusage points by GRK's Alex Wood.  In addition, SHA fell from 7th to 9th due to 70 points of overusage by various players.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Tastes Great First Round Results LCC/LVI

The Tastes Great #2 seeded Lehigh Valley IronPigs hosted the #3 seeded Lake Champlain Cannibals in the first round of the 2014 NASBL playoffs and the series proved to be an interesting contest.  

The Cannibals earned their ticket to the postseason by pounding out 861 runs in the regular season and led the league in homeruns and stolen bases.  The IronPigs path to the postseason came while riding the arms of their pitching staff.  The Pigs staff led the NASBL with a team ERA of 2.87 for the season.  This would be the classic battle of irresistible force vs the immoveable object.  Which law of physics would succumb to the pressure?  

Game 1 – Clayton Kershaw vs Clay Buchholz:  The Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs nipped the Lake Champlain Cannibals 3 to 2 at The Pig Pen in a hard fought contest.  Lehigh Valley came up with 1 run in the 7th inning.  Lake Champlain out-hit Lehigh Valley 7 to 4, but Lehigh Valley ended up with more runs.  Koji Uehara(1-0) was the winner allowing no runs in 2 and 2/3 innings. Clayton Kershaw(0-1) was the losing pitcher.  He allowed just 4 hits and 2 walks in 8 innings. 
IronPigs lead series 1-0

Game 2 – Shelby Miller vs Hisashi Iwakuma:  Lake Champlain came through with the game-winning runs in the top of the 8th inning plating 2 runs utilizing 2 base hits.  Troy Tulowitzki led off and he lashed a single.  Ryan Zimmerman came next and he popped a two-run clout over the fence.  Jason Kipnis dug into the batters box next, but he struck out.  Brian McCann got his chance to keep things going, but he went down on strikes.  Drew Stubbs got his turn next, but he was a strikeout victim.  Neither team was able to score until the 6th inning.  Alex Torres(1-0) went 1 inning allowing no runs for the win. Torres got relief help from Bobby Parnell who gained credit for his 1st save.  Hisashi Iwakuma(0-1) suffered the loss.  Although losing the contest, he whiffed 12 batters in 9 innings. 
Series tied 1-1

Game 3 – Steven Strasburg vs Hideki Kuroda: Lake Champlain took the lead for keeps in the bottom of the 6th inning with 2 runs on 2 hits.  After an out was recorded, Ryan Zimmerman started the attack as he doubled.  Brett Gardner came next and he drew a walk.  Carlos Quentin then drew a walk to load the bases.  Christian Yelich followed, but he was set down on strikes.  Freddie Freeman stepped into the box and ripped a base-knock.  Hanley Ramirez got his chance to keep things going, but he went down on strikes.  Lake Champlain had 11 hits for the game and Lehigh Valley had 8.  Tony Watson(1-0) went 2 innings allowing 2 runs for the win. Watson got relief help from Bobby Parnell who gained credit for his 2nd save.  Paco Rodriguez(0-1) suffered the loss in relief.  He gave up 2 hits and 2 walks in 2/3 of an inning. 
Cannibals lead series 2-1

Game 4 – Zach Greinke vs Clayton Kershaw:  Second baseman Robinson Cano blasted a homerun and had 2 RBI at Creutzfeldt-Jakob's where the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs beat the Lake Champlain Cannibals by the score of 7 to 6.  Lehigh Valley took the lead for good in the top of the 2nd inning plating one baserunner utilizing 2 base hits.  Lehigh Valley finished with 12 hits while Lake Champlain ended up with 9.  Zack Greinke(1-0) went 6 innings allowing 3 runs for the win. Greinke got help from Koji Uehara who was credited with his 1st save.  Clayton Kershaw(0-2)suffered the loss.  He was knocked around by Lehigh Valley, allowing 9 hits and 2 walks in 5 and 1/3 innings.  'I just wanted to give my team a chance to win.' said Greinke, 'I got burned on a couple of pitches. But we won the game, and that's all that matters.'
Series tied 2-2

Game 5 – Clay Buchholz vs. Hyun-Jin Ryu:  Catcher Joe Mauer went deep and had 2 RBI as the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs beat the Lake Champlain Cannibals by a score of 10 to 6.  Lehigh Valley jumped out to the early lead in the first inning as they scored 4 runs on 5 base hits.  Overall Lehigh Valley out-hit Lake Champlain 18 to 7.  The winning pitcher was Clay Buchholz(1-0) who allowed 4 runs in 7 innings.  Hyun-Jin Ryu(0-1) absorbed the loss.  He allowed 4 runs and 10 hits in 4 and 1/3 innings. 
IronPigs lead series 3-2

Game 6 – Shelby Miller vs Hisashi Iwakuma:  Second baseman Robinson Cano connected with a 'big fly' as the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs bested the Lake Champlain Cannibals in 12 innings 5 to 4 at The Pig Pen.  Both teams had scored 4 runs after nine full innings.  Finally, Lehigh Valley prevailed in the 12th inning.  Jayson Werth laced a single.  Two outs later Nick Markakis stepped up to the plate and he stroked a base-hit resulting in an exciting win for Lehigh Valley and a raucous post-game celebration by the home town fans.  Lehigh Valley out-hit Lake Champlain for the game, 17 hits to 14.  The winning pitcher was Koji Uehara(2-0) who allowed no runs in 2/3 of an inning. Hiroki Kuroda(0-1) suffered the loss in relief.  He pitched 2/3 of an inning and surrendered 2 hits and no walks.
IornPigs win series 4-2

Interesting series facts:
  • IronPigs scored 33 runs and Cannibals scored 30 runs
  • Cannibals had some bad luck with fielding, committing 7 errors in 6 games
  • Both pitching staffs pitched to a 4.5 ERA
  • IronPig batters Mesoraco and Mercer destroyed the Cannibal pitching going a combined 13 for 26 with 13 rbi and 4 runs scored
  • Cannibal batters Jason Kipnis and Brett Gardner contributed a combined 16 for 40 with 6 rbi and 4 runs scored
  • Cannibal Cy Young candidate Clayton Kershaw was not treated very well by the IronPig bats, sporting a line of 0-2, 5.40, with 13k in 13 ip
  • IronPig closer Koji Uehara was the MVP of the series sporting a line of 2-0, 1 sv, 5k in 4.2 ip 

Congratulations to Steve and the Cannibals on a fine young season and an extremely enjoyable, netplay series!  Next up for the IronPigs is the mighty New Potatoes. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Pre-Playoff Doldrums

In an unexpected move, LVI GM Burns is considering joining the sellers market for the upcoming season.  He was overheard saying "In-season trades have somewhat crippled our possibilities for success for the upcoming season".

Please consider the following trade pieces for your 2015 playoff aspirations.......

Catcher Devin Mesoraco, the pride of Punxutawney PA hit .272 with 50 xbh in 440 at bats
OF Jayson Werth, 629 at bats with a solid .292 average and better than 1 xbh per 10 at bats
1B Adam Lind, half season card with nifty 354/409/533 split vsR
S Hisashi Iwakuma, 28 starts of very low WHIP
CL Koji Uehara, ho hum, another season of fantastic stats over 64 innings

Most of the other players on my roster could be had if the price was right.  Inquire within....

Friday, September 5, 2014


The Outlaw Nation had grown quite complacent watching the team build through the draft season by season, making a mere four trades over the past five years.  Suddenly the legion of fans woke up with their heads spinning faster than Linda Blair's after a series of five trades involving thirteen players and seven draft picks, including star players David Ortiz, Albert Pujols, and Adrian Beltre, one 2014 first round draft pick (Christian Yelich), and two 2015 first round draft picks.

Before the carnage was over, Outlaw had essentially traded
  • elder star David Ortiz
  • slightly less elder star Adrian Beltre
  • power hitting first-baseman Mike Napoli
  • two great non-keeper cards
  • post-hype breakout Lonnie Chisenhall
  • elder star Albert Pujols
  • young stud lefty closer Jake McGee
  • Lehigh's first round draft pick and Vermont's first and fifth round picks
Analysis of the new world order:

While Ortiz and Beltre have a good year or two left, they are nearing their sell-by dates and Outlaw was going nowhere fast this year.  Outlaw decided to sell high and get young, which we certainly did with two first-round draft picks, Jake McGee and Christian Yelich.  No regrets there even though Ortiz and Beltre will have valuable cards at least through 2015.

Then the opportunity to trade Yelich for the hot post-hype Lonnie Chisenhall presented itself.  We know that Chisenhall wasn't really the .330 hitter he was batting at the time of the trade, but couldn't resist the hot-hitting Indian.  We may regret trading the young center-fielder we need, but we hope to have a .290-.300 BA, 15-20 HR guy at the hot corner for years to come.  Time will tell.

Then the opportunity to trade the 32 year-old Napoli and a 3rd round pick for for the 34 year-old, recently injury-prone Pujols presented itself.   How does this fit into the youth movement?  It doesn't, but we figure that the chance at just one, or maybe two great Pujolsian cards could be the difference between an also-ran team and a playoff contender, or a playoff-contender and a World Series team.  We'll take that chance even though we will miss Napoli.

Outlaw Career Wins Leaders

Twenty-three years of Outlaw All-Time wins leaders from 1991 to 2013 including the predecessor NASBL Cleveland Indians and San Diego Padres:

  1.  176, Tim "Chicks Dig the Longball" Hudson, 2000-2013
  2.  113, Andy Ashby, 1994 - 2003
  3.  113, Jake Peavy, 2004 - 2013
  4.    87, Charles Nagy, 1992 -1999
  5.    83, Mark Lanston, 1991 -1995
The NASBL all-time home run leader at his position is also Outlaw's career wins leader!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Fernandez Pitches No Hitter - Solidifies ROY Bid

Illinois Times - Today Jose Fernandez made Illinois franchise history throwing the franchises first no-hitter and narrowly missing a perfect game against Shawnee.  Pedro Alvarez drew a walk and was the lone base-runner.

Fernandez who is not only contending for the ROY but also the Cy Young was sharp from the beginning.  He struck out 11 Crows improving his record to 12-6 and his ERA to 2.56 as the Chows bested Shawnee 3-0.  Amazingly, Fernandez has gone the distance 12 times in 20 starts and this was his 5th shutout on the season.  The Chows lack of power is all that is standing in the way from Fernandez having an even better record.

The Chows crack PR department issued this formal statement: This has been a rough Block III that has taken the Chows out of contention.  Having this gem pitched in late August gave our great home crowd something to remember.  We look forward to Fernandez anchoring our staff for years to come. Congratulations to Jose on this great accomplishment.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

EdCouch makes a flury of trades at the deadline...

At last count the New Potatoes traded 8 players(28% of the 30 man roster) and a few draft picks during the last block and by doing so made a run for the world series for the 2nd year in a row.

The fans are shocked  to see future hall of famer Pujols get traded after one half of a season,  but the Potatoes GM says that the deadline moves have put the team in a good position to succeed,  but only time will tell.

With about an hour remaining before the trade deadline the question remains, are the New Potatoes done?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A.J Griffin, pitching most of his starts at home, has made a home in EdCouch!

By confining A.J's. starts to the cavernous Spud Dome, GM of the Couch Potatoes said his plan was to limit his exposure from those small parks to maximize his success in his inaugural rookie season and by the looks of his first half results it seems to be working!

A.J. has a sparking 12-2 record with an ERA of 2.28 and though he has limited his opponents to 10 home runs(mostly straight shots off his card) he has only walked 28 in 130 innings, The New Potatoes realize that these results will regress to the mean in the second half of the season, but are counting on his success for the rest of the year.

A.J. success has fueled the New Potatoes first half season home game success(the ballpark singles to twenty has kept the New potatoes team OBA, BA and SLG elevated). The New Potatoes realize that these results will regress to the mean in the second half of the season also, but hope to ride the park as far as it will take them!

Thursday, May 29, 2014


One hundred and eight homeruns and two hundred seventy-seven RBI after being picked off the scrap heap in the 7th round of the 2010 NASBL rookie draft (Stratdraft comment: "What the heck, don't cost much!"), Outlaw fans say goodbye to beloved fan favorite Big Papi Ortiz.  With Outlaw going nowhere fast this year, management decided to pull the trigger on a youth movement, netting 22 year-old centerfielder Christian Yelich and a 2015 first round draft pick for the ageless wonder.  Good luck in Lehigh Valley Big Papi.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

AJC "Smart Money on Iron Pigs to Repeat"

On the heels of their correct '13 pre-season prediction the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs would take home the NASBL title, the Atlanta Journal Constitution "AJC" said to expect more of the same as they predict back-to-back titles for the first time in the "Modern Era" of the NASBL. There should be very competitive battles in most divisions except the TG South where the Iron Pigs should clinch early & gear up for another title run. Here goes the AJC picks for the '14 season:

Taste Great East
1. LCC
2. SPR
3. ECN
4. ILL

Taste Great South
1. LVI
2. OJW
3. GRK
4. CCC

Less Filling West
1. DFW
2. SHA
3. TRY
4. SPL

Less Filling Central
1. GCG
2. VFS
3. PCM
4. SLB

TG Playoffs:
LCC over SPR (WC)
LVI over LCC

LF Playoffs:
VFS (WC) over DFW
VFS over GCG

World Series:
LVI over VFS in 6 games

Post-Season Awards
TG MVP Freddie Freeman LCC
TG CY Adam Wainwright GRK
TG FOY Craig Kimbrel OJW
TG ROY Jose Fernandez ILL

LF MVP Miggy Cabrera GCG
LF CY Cliff Lee GCG
LF FOY Greg Holland TRY
LF ROY Matt Harvey VFS

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Many trades shape the EdCouch roster...

He has been called "Bob Barker" and after completing his 12th trade since the off season began, GM Killmer says the New Potatoes are ready to compete this season and with the addition of Braun,Bautista,Alex Cobb, Eithier and Albert Pujols(at the cost of trading away some fan favorites, very good players and high draft picks) the GM says the team is in a position to compete for the next few years.

Some local critics have mentioned that the ages of the players acquired are 30 or older(exception Cobb) and the GM has taken on some risk of age related regression, but Killmer says that the risk has a very good chance of paying off the next several years.

With LCC having such a great team in the same division, Killmer acknowledges that it will be a close fight for the division and may have to look to the trade wire like he did last year to reinforce the teams bullpen.
It looks like the New Potatoes will have to improve on their 104 wins from last year to have a chance to win the division and to fight for a better record than cross division rival and two time champs LVI, who once again have a stacked team.

The GM is also excited about two of the teams late draft picks, one being the power the crafty veteran Raul Ibanez can add to the current team and the bright future of Willy Pertalta(if he can seem to find the strike zone he should really develop).

As usual only time will tell where the New Potatoes will land, but there is one thing for sure, the fan's are excited about both the current team and the teams chances of competing the next few years!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sioux Acquire Medlen - Announce Intentions

- Burlington, VT

The Vermont Fighting Sioux have acquired front of the rotation starter Kris Medlen from the Troy Haymakers in exchange for Dillon Gee and picks in the 2nd and 4th rounds of the 2015 NASBL Rookie/FA draft. The Sioux also received back TRY's 8th and 10th round selections.

The moment Ken Anderson hung a For Sale sign on Medlen, Justin Rabidoux quickly assigned the Sioux scouting and medical (TOMMY JOHN, hello) departments to evaluate Medlen's immediate and long-term value. The immediate value is clear, another front end starter added to a now (crosses fingers) very top heavy Sioux rotation. Long-term, who knows, and frankly in the NASBL the future, nonetheless the present, is not guaranteed. So the Sioux pushed their chips to the center of the table and declared themselves all in for the 2014 NASBL title. "Heck, if LVI can do it twice, why not us once?" quipped an anonymous VFS front office source.

It's funny how a season and its expectations can change in the briefest of moments. Sitting with the 7th pick in the opening round of the NASBL 2013 R/FA draft, Vermont would've been content with its forecasted selection of Starling Marte. Heck, one can never have enough LHP whooping bats in a division led by Jack Howard's Southside Hurling Grizzlies. But then a funny thing happened, fellow NASBL execs, no doubt scared away by his pending TOMMY JOHN surgery (this will be a theme for the Sioux this year, looking at you too Jarrod), one after another passed on talented hurler Matt Harvey. Rabidoux was more than willing to grab him for this year and beyond, hoping Harvey would have a Cy Young caliber 2014 and then a Strasburg-like bounce back from surgery leading to a successful NASBL career.

Entering the draft the Sioux had 159 of the required 162 starts from a rotation comprised top to bottom of:

Mat Latos
AJ Burnett

Medlen, ready to deal for Vermont in 2014

Jarrod Parker
Eric Stults
Dillon Gee

That group was an ideal Sioux quintet, given Vermont's recent history suggests 81 win campaigns are ideal.

After the draft and Medlen acquisition, the group is now:

Matt Harvey
Kris Medlen
Mat Latos
AJ Burnett
Jarrod Parker/Eric Stults

Having an extra leftie allows Rabidoux to send the southpaws out against LHB-heavy squads.

So after all this questions still abound. Is this enough to topple GCG, DFW and the rest of the Less Filling? Was it worth it to acquire Medlen for two high picks? Drafting Harvey, whose rehab timetable is unknown, smart move? And on and on.

One thing we do know, the rotation entering the draft had a cumulative 13 wins above replacement (data from Fangraphs). The rotation after the draft (not counting Stults) has 19 WAR. Will those extra six fictional MLB wins translate into NASBL? To what extent? If we assume it actually means six more NASBL wins, that is likely the difference between missing the playoffs and being in contention for a division title and wildcard spot. If that's what 2014 holds for the Sioux, they'll happily take that gamble.

This season is setting up as a parlor game of sorts for VFS. A series of dominoes led to the current pitching staff. Without six other GMs passing, understandably so, on Harvey, VFS would not have pulled the trigger on the Medlen trade. With all the dominoes in place, the 162 roll crap game begins - here's to hoping the Sioux keep rolling their point!!