July 1, 2029
♦ I think it’s fair to say that the Gamblers are one of the bigger surprise teams in the Brewster this year. They’ve lost Mingo Boone and Hiroyuki Rin to season ending, major injuries and they’re still in first place. How? A really balanced offense, and one of the top bullpens in the league. Still, it’s been a bit confusing that with two big time starters going down they haven’t sniffed the Trade Block for almost a month.
♦ Jesus Feliciano is proof positive that sometimes a pitcher just isn’t cut out to be a starter. Unfortunately for him, between Huntsville and Atlantic City, he’s spent the better part of his career proving just that. In his first year as a closer, he’s been absolutely filthy. Kudos to Ryan Scott for avoiding the temptation to return him to the rotation to mask the injuries there.
♦ Observers around the league chuckled at the Gamblers’ plan to start Rule 5 Draftee Sosho Konu at shortstop, but the plan has worked out as expected. Despite his horrific offense (55 OPS+, wowza), he’s actually producing a +0.2 WAR based on his outstanding defense at shortstop. Of course, this impacts the pitching staff positively as well.
♦ If the Gamblers are overachieving, it’s fair to say the Blazers are underachieving. Weird to say, given their offensive production (2nd in runs), and pitching production (2nd in runs allowed). It just seems that a team that talented should be winning more. Point to their two major warts offensively- they aren’t hitting homers, and they aren’t drawing walks.
♦ John Callahan has been active on the trade market, dealing Craig Browning today and looking for a new home for Dani Lopez . Seems like deja vu for Lopez, as he keeps getting squeezed out by a teams top prospect (first William Moreland in Des Moines, now Ettienne R. LaFitte with the Blazers).
♦ Don’t look now, but Montreal looks to have found another young starting pitcher. Lefty Cam Palacios is leading the Blazers in wins (11) at the mid-point, and posting a wonderful WHIP (1.19).
♦ Since the Blazers moved Anastasio Santana to second base four years ago, he’s posted double digit +ZR’s in every season, and he’s well on pace to do it again this year.
♦ One thing I’ve liked about Tyler Simmons’ approach to his surprising W-L record this year is that he’s taking it with a grain of salt. The ‘Canes are out-winning their pyth, and everything points to a second half slump. While some might be tempted to go all in on 2029, Simmons is taking the long view approach.
♦ Remember all that talk that Bertram Hahn would never develop enough to be worthwhile?
♦ This isn’t looking great for 35 year old Benjamin Franklin Pierce, even though all scouts insist the tools are still there.
♦ Hasn’t Jefferson Darcy proven all he needs to prove at the AAA level?
♦ Brooklyn is exactly what you’d expect from a .500 ballclub. They need multiple upgrades in order to make a real run. In the Robins’ case, they need a power hitter, and they need some relief help (ideally a proven closer). They’re trying to deal from among their many pending free agents, which doesn’t give them a lot of negotiating power in acquiring true impact players.
♦ Nathan Forrest is like a cockroach. He just won’t die.
♦ Why did the Robins’ trade for Edgardo Jaso if they weren’t going to use him? This team needs power, and there sits Jaso on the bench.
♦ Is reality finally setting in for catcher Sam Adams? Always appeared he was outplaying his talent, but season after season the results were there. Now…not as much.
♦ That the Jimmies are 39-43 at the midpoint as an expansion team is impressive. That they are doing it with the league’s worst pitching staff is amazing. The struggles of Jose De La Cruz are mind-boggling. It seemed he would be a really nice building block for their staff, instead he’s closer to a demotion or change of scenery deal.
♦ On the flip side, it’s been exciting to see Hyun-hi Son pitch admirably as a starting pitcher in his rookie year after being mostly a reliever in the EBA.
♦ The Jimmies have a stud closer in Felipe Soto, the Robins need a stud closer. Just saying.
♦ Holy hell, Don Logan is one hell of a player.
♦ How is Cisco Reyes doing this?
♦ It is odd to say the least to see the Kraken struggling like this. Below an expansion team? How has this happened?
♦ For one thing, Frank Thomas III batting .247? Is this bizarro world Brewster?
♦ Catcher Juan Castillo, a five time all-star, is also having the worst season of his Kraken career.
♦ Some good news? Billy Chapel, Jr. is himself again after a tough 2028 season.
♦ Steve Metcalf is the Kraken’s fifth starter. He’s started 13 games, and sucks big time. He has an endurance of “1”. Something smell fishy here?
♦ So, there are certain situations that I know will never get better without some bold moves. I kind of want to give up my team, take over the Hawks, move them back to Washington (as the Bobwhites), and make them great again. Who here even remembers the sheer dominance of the Bobwhites way back in the day? The current Hawks are pathetic. C’mon, Tim- make something happen!!! Wakey wakey, hand off snakey!
♦ Sancho Delgado is never going to be a top-line starting pitcher, and I’m still not quite sure why.
♦ Rafael Cruz is your #3 starter? Can you show me where your bathroom is, I don’t feel so good.
♦ Well, at least you can say that Jacky Voorneveld is doing pretty well. I mean, not Elroy Hinson good, but pretty good.