The Montreal Minute(45:3): 2044 Batting Review

GM: Herb DeSpain

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The Montreal Minute(45:3): 2044 Batting Review

Post by HerbD » Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:59 pm

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..... Bats Silent Most of Season, Aldo the Exception! .....

To say the Montreal Blazers hitters were an overall disappointment in 2044 would be an understatement. GM Herb DeSpain certainly thought they had players capable of finishing better than 15th in batting average and on base percentage. To make things worse it seemed the teams best hitters were either not hitting well at the same time or simply didn't hit the entire season. It was 3B Eduardo Gonzalez that got off to the hot start at the plate while the rest of the team was still in hibernation. Gonzalez hit nine homers over the first month of the season then something happened to his game. "Eddy got caught up in hitting the long ball," explained Blazers' GM Herb DeSpain. "Happens all the time. A guy starts hitting homers and starts to get some press for it and then he tries to hit a homer every time he goes to the plate. That's not Eddy's game." "Eddy" hit just .196 over the next two months but did manage to slap 15 homers. By July first his batting average was down to .229 but he had 24 dingers.

2B Lineu Aldo's season started completely different from Gonzalez's. Aldo began the year hitting just .222 in April and seemed to get better as the season progressed. Aldo finished the season with a BBA best 98 extra base hits while finishing among the top dozen hitters in OPS+. He made the All-Star game and was named the Player of the Game after hitting a grand slam. He was without a doubt the top hitter on the team in 2044 earning him a three year, $35 million dollar extension that would buy out his arbitration years.

In a disappointing season Aldo was more the exception than the rule. OF Manoell Whanon(.241/.288/.375) and C Joe Bradshaw(.219/.304/.438), and SS Orlando Lopez(.211, .249/.300) were brought in to infuse the offense but that didn't happen. "We gave up a lot of young pitching to bring these guys in and they simply did not perform as we expected." DeSpain noted. They were not alone. Most of the Blazers' free agent signings and waiver claims also did not do much to stand out. A couple of rookies did get the attention of management. Peter Crocker(.268/.330/.512) and Gilberto Villanueva(.262/.304/.438) combined for 27 homers and 98 RBI and should improve after a season of experience. "I took calls on Crocker all season," said DeSpain. "But I told them no every time. I hope he works out!"
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