Mar 2, 2008

Northeast Division Preview

All-Star Team

C—Victor Martinez, Dobermans. 1B—Adrian Gonzalez, Breakers. 2B—Robinson Cano, Huskies. SS—Orlando Cabrera, Blackhawks. 3B—Alex Rodriguez, Breakers. LF—Matt Holliday, Knights. CF—Carlos Beltran, Breakers. RF—Eric Byrnes, Knights. DH—Miguel Cabrera, Knights.

SP—Brad Penny, Blackhawks. SP—Roy Oswalt, Dobermans. SP—Javier Vazquez, Huskies. SP—Dan Haren, Dobermans. RP—Bobby Jenks, Knights.

Selections are based on players' win shares totals for the 2007 season, as per The Hardball Times. Win shares account for batting, pitching and defensive prowess, while also rewarding durability.

Cape Cod Breakers
Record: 101-61, 3rd place. Playoffs: Got swept 4-0 in finals

C—Jason Varitek#, Brian McCann*
1B—Adrian Gonzalez*, Billy Butler
2B—Brandon Phillips, Dustin Pedroia
3B—Alex Rodriguez
SS—Troy Tulowitzki, Stephen Drew*
LF—Nick Swisher#
CF—Carlos Beltran#, Joey Gathright*
RF—J.D. Drew*, Franklin Gutierrez
DH—Jack Cust*
UTIL—Esteban German

SP—Johan Santana*, Tim Hudson, Kelvim Escobar, Scott Baker, Jeff Suppan, Shawn Hill
RP—Mariano Rivera, Troy Percival, Russ Springer, Brett Tomko

On The Farm: LHP Franklin Morales*, 1B Joey Votto*, RHP Craig Hansen

Breakers will make the playoffs again but will not make it to the finals.

Easton Dobermans
Record: 64-98

Additions: RHP Yovani Gallardo, RHP Phil Hughes, C Geovany Soto, RHP Andy Sonnanstine, 3B Mark Reynolds, 1B Daric Barton, RHP Kyle Kendrick, OF Norris Hopper, OF Skip Schumaker, OF Juan Rivera
Key Departures: RHP Jered Weaver, RHP Ian Snell, LHP Chuck James

C—Victor Martinez#, Chris Snyder, Geovany Soto
1B—Paul Konerko
2B—Orlando Hudson#, Marcus Giles
SS—Edgar Renteria
3B—Hank Blalock*, Mark Reynolds
LF—Carl Crawford*
CF—Coco Crisp*
RF—Norris Hopper, Skip Schumaker*, Fred Lewis*
UTIL—Alfredo Amezaga#

SP—Roy Oswalt, Dan Haren, Ben Sheets, Barry Zito*, Yovani Gallardo, Phil Hughes, Randy Wolf*, Noah Lowry*
RP—Brian Fuentes*, Damaso Marte*, Luis Ayala, Brian Tallet*

On The Farm: 1B Daric Barton*, RHP Anthony Reyes, LHP Jeremy Sowers*, RHP Andy Sonnanstine

The Dobermans outlook this season should be of a rebuilding effort, as we make our climb toward being a .500 team. But that may prove to be difficult. Management is focusing on the strong starting pitching that we have and building the team through pitching and defense. The infield looks strong, and just looking to get a little stronger in the OF department. We made the trade of Snell to acquire more decent players in the draft and already have a 10-man rotation, so he shouldn't be missed too much. (At least their pitching arms should be well rested LOL!). A few more missing pieces and I think we can become a playoff team once again in the near future.

Jersey Blackhawks
Record: 70-92

Key additions: 1B Ryan Garko, 1B Jim Thome, SS Orlando Cabrera, 3B Chone Figgins, RF Xavier Nady, CF Reggie Willits, RHP Brad Penny, RHP Huston Street
Key Losses: RHP Joe Nathan

C—Paul Lo Duca, Kelly Shoppach
1B—Ryan Garko, Kendry Morales#, Kevin Millar
2B—Mark Loretta, Felipe Lopez#, Aaron Miles#
SS—Orlando Cabrera
3B—Chone Figgins#
LF—Ryan Church*, Chris Duncan*
CF—Reggie Willits#, Corey Patterson*
RF—Xavier Nady
DH—Jim Thome*

SP—Justin Verlander, Brad Penny, Joe Blanton, Woody Williams, Scott Olsen*, Justin Germano
RP—Huston Street, Kevin Correia, Ryan Franklin, Jonathan Broxton, Dan Wheeler, Joe Beimel*, Zach Miner

On The Farm: CF Josh Anderson*

On paper the Blackhawks look much better going into 2008 than they did in 2007. With a decent blend of speed and power, runs should be a little easier to come by. The top of the rotation (1-3) should be acceptable, but the deep bullpen will have to help out the back-end starters. The bullpen looks ok but will definitely miss Nathan who closed for Jersey for quite a while.

In spite of all this, the Jersey Boys will be fortunate to finish .500 because of the very tough competition within Northeast division. It should be an interesting season with some exciting games at Blackhawk Park, but unless Jersey upgrades their C platoon vs. RHP and a back-end starter, this could turn into a disappointing season again for the Hawks.

Kalamazoo Knights
Record: Chicago went 83-79, 5 games back

Key Additions: 1B Justin Morneau, LF Matt Holliday, RHP Bobby Howry, LF Eric Byrnes, RHP Bobby Jenks, SS J.J. Hardy, 2B Kazuo Matsui, RHP Juan Cruz, RHP Heath Bell, CF Vernon Wells, C Bengie Molina, RHP John Smoltz
Key Departures: 1B Lance Berkman, RHP Fausto Carmona, LF Jason Bay, RF Xavier Nady, LHP Scott Olsen, CF Corey Patterson, C Gregg Zaun, RF Delmon Young, SS Orlando Cabrera, RF Jeremy Hermida, RHP Ervin Santana, 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff

C—Bengie Molina, Jose Molina
1B—Justin Morneau*
2B—Kazuo Matsui#
SS—J.J. Hardy, John McDonald
3B—Miguel Cabrera
LF—Eric Byrnes
CF—Vernon Wells, Rajai Davis
RF—Alex Rios
DH—Matt Holliday, Jayson Werth

John Smoltz, Carlos Zamprano, Cole Hamels*, Jered Weaver, Wandy Rodriquez*, Edgar Gonzalez
RP—Bobby Jenks, Heath Bell, Bobby Howry, Ryan Dempster, Trevor Hoffman, Jamie Walker*, Juan Cruz

On the Farm: RHP Kevin Slowey, C J.R. Towles, LHP Garrett Olson*, RHP Anibal Sanchez

Dean Campbell took over the Chicago team. And he didn’t waste any time making his mark with a number of big trades.

The Knights look to make a run at 1st place in there division in their 1st yr. We have a very powerful lineup and will score runs. Our SP after Zambrano and Hamels is a little weak, but we have a strong bullpen to help them out.

Northeast Huskies
Record: 54-108

Key additions: RHP Joba Chamberlain, SS Yunel Escobar, RHP Shaun Marcum, OF Ryan Ludwick, 2B Jeff Keppinger, LHP Bobby Seay

C—Russell Martin, Josh Phelps
1B—Derrek Lee, Kevin Youkilis
2B—Robinson Cano*, Yunel Escobar
SS—Jose Reyes#, Jhonny Peralta
3B—Ryan Zimmerman
LF—Brad Hawpe*, Corey Hart
CF—David DeJesus*, Ryan Ludwick
RF—Jeff Francouer, Milton Bradley#

SP—Josh Beckett, Javier Vazquez, Jamie Shields, Tim Wakefield, Shaun Marcum
RP—Jose Valverde, Manny Delcarmen, Joba Chamberlain, Brett Myers, Bobby Seay*, Ervin Santana

On The Farm: RF Justin Upton, CF Carlos Gomez, CF Lastings Milledge, 3B Edwin Encarnacion, 3B Andy Marte, RF Ryan Sweeney*, RHP Edinson Volquez

The Huskies hope to be in the playoffs.



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