Boardwalk Empire - 2037.1 - Atlantic City 2036 Recap

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Boardwalk Empire - 2037.1 - Atlantic City 2036 Recap

Post by Joshua Biddle » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:31 pm

Gamblers Enter Offseason Following 90-72 Campaign, Cartwright Cup Appearance

The Atlantic City Gamblers entered the 2035 campaign with mixed optimism internally, but general pessimism from most of the BBA media contingent. Somehow, despite the general lack of expectations and a pitching staff that underwhelmed, the Gamblers’ offense propelled the team to a 90-72 (.556) record, a third place finish of five teams in the Johnson League Atlantic, and clinched the second of three available Johnson League wildcard positions. The Gamblers coasted to a 3-1 series win versus the Montreal Blazers (94-68) in the Geohegan Round, and a 4-2 series win versus the Jacksonville Hurricanes (99-63) in the Doubleday Series, before meeting their fate in the Cartwright Cup 4-2 versus the eventual champion Rockville Pikeman.

The Gamblers’ moves during the 2035-2036 offseason looked to be positive on paper, but the extent to which they contributed will likely go down as mixed. Left fielder Alfredo "Savage" Salazar (3 years, $54 million), who was coming off of a 2035 season far off of his career norms (.257/.370/.406, 67 R, 15 2B, 14 HR, 52 RBI, 26 SB, 1.3 WAR in 436 AB), had a comeback season, hitting .267/.365/.519 with 98 runs scored, 29 doubles, 2 triples, 33 home runs, 107 RBIs, 16 stolen bases in 19 attempts, and a 3.7 WAR in 524 at-bats. Salazar went on to win the JL Batter of the Month Award for the month of May (.327/.393/.700, 21 R, 5 2B, 12 HR, 29 RBI, 3 SB in 110 AB); was selected to the 2036 BBA All-Star Game; and won the 2036 BBA JL Doubleday Series MVP Award. Unproven right-handed starter Rogerio Vázquez (4 years, $22 million), a first round draftee by Atlantic City in the 2025 BBA Amateur Draft, impressed with his best season to date as a full-time starter, finishing the season 16-10 with a 3.84 ERA, a 1.35 WHIP, a 4.37 FIP, 112 strikeouts, and a 2.7 WAR in 187 1/3 innings pitched (31 starts). Right-handed starter Luis Soto (4 years, $27.9 million) was the biggest disappointment by far, finishing the season a dismal 8-8 with a 6.08 ERA, a 1.43 WHIP, a 5.11 FIP, 82 strikeouts, and a 0.7 WAR in 124 1/3 innings pitched (23 starts), also missing portions of the season due to various injuries.

A power-oriented, run generating offense keyed Atlantic City’s surprise campaign, finishing with 867 runs scored (5th in the JL), 563 extra-base hits (5th in the JL), and 257 home runs (4th in the JL). Despite finishing with a .257 batting average (10th in the JL), the team ranked favorably in slugging percentage (.459 – 5th in the JL) and walks (552 – 4th in the JL). The Gamblers had four players who eclipsed 30 home runs – 1B Adrián Salazar (41), RF Stanley R. Perimutter (36), LF Alfredo Salazar (33), and CF Ricardo Hernández (30); two that eclipsed 100 RBIs – 1B Adrian Salazar (126) and LF Alfredo Salazar (107); and five players that scored 90+ runs – CF Ricardo Hernandez (113), LF Alfredo Salazar (98), 1B Adrian Salazar (94), 2B Keith "P" Dean (92), and RF Stanley R. Perimutter (92). SS Derrek Kennedy, who lost his full-time gig as the team’s full-time second baseman due to the emergence of rookie 2B Keith Dean, slotted in as the team’s starting shortstop versus left-handed pitching, recovered from a slow start with a strong August and September. Kennedy finished the season hitting .246/.288/.462 with 49 runs scored, 16 doubles, 2 triples, 18 home runs, 59 RBIs, and a 0.5 WAR in 342 at-bats. Kennedy’s numbers were a bit of a downtick in batting average and on-base percentage, but an uptick in slugging percentage. Jose Vela, an above average defensive shortstop, manned short against right-handed pitching despite a meager at-best bat (.236/.257/.373, 6 HR, 33 RBI). The team expected more production from 1B Gustavo Aguilera, who finished the season hitting .260/.290/.439 with 41 runs scored, 17 doubles, 15 home runs, 51 RBIs, and a -0.3 WAR in 346 at-bats. The 21-year old’s performance was an uptick from his 2035 campaign (.235/.287/.412, 36 R, 16 2B, 13 HR, 40 RBI, -0.7 WAR in 311 AB), and his playoff performance was encouraging, winning the 2036 BBA JL Geohegan Round MVP Award; Aguilera finished the playoffs hitting .364/.386/.745 with 9 runs scored, 3 doubles, 6 home runs, 8 RBIs, and a -0.1 WAR in 55 at-bats.

The Gamblers’ pitching staff was expected by industry experts to be below average at best, and putrid at worst. The truth probably ended up somewhere in the middle, with some bright spots, but plenty of duds. The Gamblers finished with a 4.73 ERA (9th in the JL), a 5.15 starters’ ERA (12th in JL), and a surprisingly good 3.97 bullpen ERA (5th in JL). The previously mentioned struggles of Luis Soto did not help the starters’ ERA, though he maintained his role as #5 starter throughout the season. Conversely, the previously mentioned Rogerio Vázquez was the bright spot of the Gamblers’ rotation. Right-handed pitcher Carlos Rodríguez started the season as a starter with high hopes for success with his six-pitch arsenal, but he struggled to the tune of a 2-1 record with a 7.29 ERA, a 1.44 WHIP, a 4.92 FIP, 30 strikeouts, and a 0.3 WAR in 33 1/3 innings pitched (6 starts). Rodriguez, however, was solid in middle relief, where he finished the season 4-3 with 7 saves in 11 opportunities (.636 save percentage), a 2.95 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP, a 4.42 FIP, 53 strikeouts, and a 0.3 WAR in 61 innings pitched (40 appearances). After a rough start for the pitching staff, yet the team surprisingly remaining in contention, the Gamblers opted to call up left-handed starting pitcher Francisco Barrera and highly touted former first round pick right-handed starting pitcher Dusty “Skid Row” Welch. Barrera had some experience with the Gamblers from the 2034 season, but the initial plan for the season was to give Barrera and Welch the full season with Class-AAA Brooklyn, before the necessity for any serviceable starting pitching necessitated their promotion and adding Welch to the 40-man roster. Welch finished the season 8-6 with a 4.13 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP, a 3.98 FIP, 103 strikeouts, and a 2.4 WAR in 124 1/3 innings pitched (20 starts). Barrera disappointed finishing 7-9 with a 5.23 ERA, a 1.35 WHIP, a 4.60 FIP, 92 strikeouts, and a 1.6 WAR in 134 1/3 innings pitched (23 starts). Right-handed reliever Afalawas Erevu was solid during the season, pitching primarily in the setup and closer role, finishing the season 4-4 with 17 saves in 20 opportunities (.850 save percentage), a 2.04 ERA, a 1.21 WHIP, a 4.11 FIP, 59 strikeouts, and a 0.5 WAR in 53 innings pitched (53 opportunities). Right-handed starting pitcher/relief pitcher Javier "Shark" Venegas moved into the closer role during the second half of the season, finishing 3-3 with 15 saves in 16 opportunities (.938 save percentage), a 3.14 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP, a 5.05 FIP, 35 strikeouts, and a -0.2 WAR in 28 2/3 innings pitched in relief (30 appearances).

With the offseason nearly underway, it remains to be seen what moves the Gamblers will make as they seek to recapture the same success that earned the franchise a chance to play in the postseason.

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Re: Boardwalk Empire - 2037.1 - Atlantic City 2036 Recap

Post by RonCo » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:42 am

Nice review
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