36.1. Mid-season (Almost) Check-in

GM: Kyle Stever

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agrudez
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36.1. Mid-season (Almost) Check-in

Post by agrudez » Mon Oct 08, 2018 1:47 pm

With 69 games in the bag, the Phantoms have managed to fully overcome a sluggish 14-13 April by putting in a blistering 18-9 May and now 10-5 June - leaving them with a 42-27 record and 2 games up in the Midwest over the Hurricanes.

They have done this despite some things that might have otherwise signaled some downplay from the team, too. For example, after being a top 3 defense last season by most any objective mark - and returning the same squad to boot - they currently have the 12th best BABIP in the 15 team JL with a .304. Presumably, that is a trend that won't continue. Their offense is also way down from last year, clocking in as only the 6th best run scoring unit in the JL and - perhaps most egregiously - only the 6th best HR hitting team in the JL. They have made up some for the latter with a rather surprising twist - considering GM Stever's over disdain for the concept over the years - of being the #1 base-stealing team in the JL. I suppose even a SB curmudgeon has to give the likes of Guzman (31 SBs in 35 attempts), Sullivan (18 in 18) and Torres (18 in 20) the green light.

On the pitching side, Tong and Charles have crashed to Earth after last season's success, but Peithner and Nicto have both been tremendous. In the bullpen, Velasquez was given a lot of money and he's earned it, but the rest of the unit (save Baez) has been underwhelming - as evidenced by the 9th place ranking in the JL thus far. Some good news looms on that front, though, as Flores inches ever closer back to health and prospects like Brinson and Diaz wait on the horizon.

All in all, we're of course happy with where we are at in the moment; however, we also can't help but feel like we can play better than we have been. Much better. As much as I love him, if you would have told me that Torres would have 1.5 WAR more than Yelainen and that Sullivan's OPS would be <.600 I wouldn't have believed you. Of course, things like that (and our unlucky team BABIP) have manifested in our PYTH record (which is 4 games worse than our actual) for an accounting, at least. In the end, we expect more from the team as a whole - and are excited for a slugfest with Jacksonville through the rest of 2036.
League Director: Kyle “agrudez” Stever*
*Also serves as chief muckraker
-Ron, 2025 media guide

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