What veteran players biding their time in Triple-A might help a big-league club in 2012?
Imagine that you are Tom Hanks in Cast Away, and that among the little-known details of your character (aside from an obsession with time and a badly rotting tooth) is your quiet but intense lifelong love of the Chicago White Sox.
Well, first, welcome back to civilization, Chuck Noland. Enjoy all the crab legs, and sorry you missed out on Helen Hunt—it’s a game of inches, my friend. Second, you’re probably planning to make a beeline for your favorite baseball publication. Presumably, that is Baseball Prospectus, but then again, you’ve been marooned for a couple of years and may have sustained severe damage to your judgment, which now makes decisions based on survivalist instinct rather than careful consumer reasoning. Some help, in case you haven’t picked up your annual: an admittedly informal and incomplete survey of BP writers suggests that the White Sox are destined to finish somewhere around fourth place in the American League Central, with one of my colleagues asking if he could slot them sixth. Chuck, there are only five teams in the American League Central.
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Can a player's performance one week have any predictive power on how he will perform during the next week?
Full disclosure: I have never really played fantasy baseball, at least in a serious or semi-serious capacity, prior to this season. My lack of participation had nothing to do with ulterior motives like taking a stance against W-L and batting average. I just never got into it. Well, things have changed and, in deciding to try my hand at the massively popular game, I am finding that certain tendencies have awoken that I believed were trained out of my baseball vernacular long ago. For instance, it is becoming increasingly tempting to drop a player after a poor week in exchange for a player in the midst of a hot streak. I mean, I knowJeff Francoeur isn’t going to hit .438/.583/.839, but my goodness, if I had that production or even some semblance of it instead of the .250/.345/.333 from Andrew McCutchen, I might have won both of my matchups so far.
A preview of the Dominican Winter League, taking a look at the teams, stadiums, managers, and players to watch for.
The "National Religion" came back on October 16th, as the Dominican League launched its 56th edition. Reliably praised as having the highest level of talent among the winter leagues, one should expect to watch another mix of highly ranked prospects, mid-level major leaguers, a few recognizable American players, veterans looking for another shot, and some major league stars between now and the end of the Caribbean Series in February. The league format has six teams playing a 50-game regular-season schedule, with the four best records advancing to a long 18-game round-robin playoff, and the two remaining best clubs play a best-of-nine final series to decide the league's champion. Without further ado, here's what this season will bring us:
Tigres del Licey (Licey Tigers)
Home: Santo Domingo
2008-09 record: 26-24, fourth place (tied) regular season; 12-6, first place round-robin; beat the Gigantes in the final series 5-0.
Ballpark: Estadio Quisqueya; strong pitcher's park, with a Park Factor of 92.
Optioned RHP Kam Mickolio to Norfolk (Triple-A); recalled LHP Brian Matusz from Bowie (Double-A). [8/4]
Traded C-S Gregg Zaun to the Rays for a PTBNL or a cash settlement TBDL; purchased the contract of C-RChad Moeller from Norfolk (Triple-A). [8/7]
Our own Carlos J. Lugo is back with his first report from the Dominican, where he breaks down all the stud prospects and tired veterans. Luis Polonia, anyone?
Fittingly, a half-century later, the talent level of the league has never been better. Good young Dominican players populate the rosters of every team, and you can usually find three or four top prospects on the field on a nightly basis. If you add to the mix several veteran players with major league experience, and perhaps the best group of foreign players of the last few years, you're not going to find a better quality of baseball now that the big leaguers will be off until next spring.
On the competition side, the current champions, Tigres del Licey, have a few goals in mind for this season. First of all, Licey is trying to repeat as champions for the first time in more than twenty years. The Tigres won three consecutive titles from the 1982-83 through 1984-85 seasons, but ever since a title revalidation has become elusive for the nation's most storied and followed franchise. If this goal can be attained, then the next one will be winning their tenth Caribbean Series crown, the most in the history of the event.
Carlos Lugo checks in from the Dominican Republic with an update on the Winter League.
The new season of the Dominican Winter League started a few days earlier than usual, in an effort to avoid the past nightmare of having to quickly select the Dominican team for the Caribbean World Series.
The current champion Eagles finished the first half of the season in an unfamiliar position, third place. This was just the second time in the last seven years that the Eagles didn't finish in first place during that span. Bullpen inconsistency has been one of the team's main problems, specifically the lack of a dominant front end, but a timely five game winning streak has returned the Eagles to a tie for first place.