Sticking Points 2040.8: Rockville Leading "First" JL Atlantic Division

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Sticking Points 2040.8: Rockville Leading "First" JL Atlantic Division

Post by aaronweiner » Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:21 am

It doesn't seem to matter to the Rockville Pikemen what happens to the BBA. Change the leagues around, change the divisions, change the teams, expand, whatever, Rockville will find themselves leading the JL Atlantic Division. In the new-look, eight-team JL Atlantic Division, Rockville is on pace to win their sixth straight division title.

"The more things change, the more they stay the same," said Rockville outfielder Lorenzo Palacios. "The more they stay the same the more we keep winning. I like it."

Rockville is once again riding their top three starters, Arthur Dempster, Dan Cannon, and Dave Martin. However, the rest of the staff has had issues; Rockville had a lot of difficulty with the back end of the rotation and their bullpen, most notably Joaquin Romano and Nick Snyder, have both been inconsistent, leading to a current eighth-place standing in runs allowed despite the second best pitching WAR. To fix the rotation problems, Rockville also traded for former 18 game winner Pepe Jaramillo, who has come out on fire since being traded to Rockville.

"It's exciting being on a team as successful as Rockville," said Jaramillo. "It's such a huge change from Charlotte it's hard to compare."

The Pikemen are also second in the JL in runs scored and batting WAR. They're doing this despite the fact that some of their best players have been struggling. Manuel Marino just got his batting average up to .260 this week, and perennial .300 hitter Francisco Flores is hitting just .260 so far this year as well.

What's carrying the Rockville lineup? Well, Palacios is still awesome. And young players have helped: last year's rookie phenom, Julio Barajas, has turned into a sophomore phenom; rookie Willis Roberts has been solid at first base; center fielder Manuel Rivera has been solid at the plate this year. The Pikemen might also get a big lift this year from BBA top ten prospect Bing-de Zhao, who is working on his second base defense at AAA and is almost certain to make the playoff roster.

"We've worked hard to make sure this dynasty has a future, and it's been really amazing to see our young guys come up and play this well," said Rockville GM Aaron Weiner. "We can't wait to see who's next."

The Pikemen are currently 45-29 (.608) on the season with a tough run until the All-Star Break. They'll play New Orleans seven more times, Charm City three and a pair against San Antonio, and their only possible break is a road series against Atlantic City.

"We're just going to keep it up," said Cannon, who may be on pace for his second consecutive Steve Nebraska Award. "We're just gonna keep going. We know what we have to do by now and we're doing it."

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