2044.1: First Half Pleasant Surprises

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2044.1: First Half Pleasant Surprises

Post by Rubaboo » Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:23 pm

The first half of 2044 is in the books. The Aztecs currently sit at 45-41, good for third place in the JL Frontier, trailing division leader Calgary by 10 games and 6 games back of second place San Antonio. The have been ups and downs through the first half, as there always are, but for now let's focus on the good side of things. The pleasant surprises. The small talk topics you can bring up during awkward pauses.

Pleasant Surprise #1: Marvin Isworth
2043 was a decent year for Isworth. He was asked to vacate his home at 2B to cover SS for the season. He struggled defensively, but was far from a black hole at the plate and generally registered a solid B+ campaign, posting a career high 2.3 WAR. The calendar flipped to 2044, the Aztecs signed Wagaw Fakiki's glove to live at SS, moving Isworth back to the comfy confines of second base and has he ever responded positively. Isworth has already topped his career high WAR, posting a 2.7 in the first half of 2044, good for second on the team and trailing the team lead by only 0.1. He's hitting .321/.370/.446 to post a career high .815 OPS currently and has a +3.9 ZR to top it off. The team is floundering a bit, but Isworth's unexpectedly strong first half has helped. If he can keep it going he might be able to help pull the team out of the midsummer quagmire that it seems to find itself in on an annual basis.

Pleasant Surprise #2: Gerard Wagner
Wagner? A pleasant surprise? What would be surprising about Wagner pitching well at the end of the bullpen, has he has for the majority of his career? Well, scouts have been pounding Wagner all season. His stuff is going, his control is going, etc. He's actually lumped from 8/7/7 to his currents of 5/7/6 in the course of 18 months. It sure looked like Gerard passed 30 and decided to give up on life. Amidst all the ratings falling, however, he has done what he's always done - pitched his ass off. Wagner started out the season setting the table for Bob Glenn at the back of the Aztec bullpen, but an injury later, Glenn is in the rotation and Wagner is doing his thing. Mexico City needs him to continue to do so. To call the rest of the bullpen anything but 'Meh' for the first half of 2044 would be overly complimentary.

Pleasant Surprise #3: Luis Gracia
Ahh yes, the Shoeless Special. I don't know what they were thinking in Sacramento when they let this guy walk this offseason, but the Aztecs must surely be happy to have him going to the mound every 5th day. He current leads the Aztec staff in wins and FIP and has been a stabilizing influence for the younger guys in the room. There was talk after Gracia signed that the last two years of his three year contract were fake years, team options tacked on by the team to swell the value that he would never see, but if he finishes 2044 like he pitched in the first half there's a very strong chance he pitches 2045 in Mexico City as well.
Fred Holmes
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Re: 2044.1: First Half Pleasant Surprises

Post by shoeless.db » Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:21 pm

You want to know what we were thinking? Really? It’s fairly obvious we weren’t thinking.
Sacramento Mad Popes
-- Pacific Champs 2040, 2042, 2043
Life is a bit more beautiful when time is measured by the half inning rather than the half hour.

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