2036 Des Moines Kernels Preview

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2036 Des Moines Kernels Preview

Post by ae37jr » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:00 pm

Is This The Year?
Many have called into question Des Moines decision to not trade away the dynamic duo of "Bunk" Moreland and Cisco Arreola. As a fan of teams trying to do what others say they can't. I'm here to "De-bunk" those rumors and tell you why Des Moines WILL win make the playoffs this season.
Ragnar Lothbrok (9/6/8 Ratings)
Elwood Blues (9/6/6 Ratings)
Mario Mendez (6/7/10 Ratings)
Mario Villarreal (8/6/7 Ratings)
Patrick Patchett (7/6/9 Ratings)
Johnny Tucker (7/6/7 Ratings)

Rule #1 in building a playoff team is that you have to have an ace. Frankly, I don't see one here. But what I do see here are 6 solid BBA starting pitchers. With a good defense, which they have, Des Moines has a well enough starting staff to compete for a wild card. What I like here is that despite having 5 competent starters, the Kernels went ahead and signed veteran Mario Mendez. As a guy who knows Mendez well, I can tell you first hand that he is a captain in the clubhouse. His veteran leadership will go a long way with this young team. It also allows Des Moines to pick one of these starters to pitch out of the pen and also covers them in the event of an injury. Tucker is the most likely choice to head out to the pen. If it were up to me though, I would use Patchett in the stopper role. One negative about this group is that all 6 are right handed. So they will have a tough time against certain teams.

Enrique Vazquez (9/7/7 Ratings)
Rafael Maldonado (7/7/7 Ratings)
Jose Perez (9/6/7 Ratings)
Colt Anderson (10/6/7 Ratings)
Gilberto Tovar (10/6/6 Ratings)
Abel van Gastel (10/5/5 Ratings)
Yasuhiro Aoki (10/5/5 Ratings)
Ulbert Vleugel (9/5/5 Ratings)
Jaime Moreno (6/4/9 Ratings)
Duane Coutts (7/5/8 Ratings)
Mike Childs (7/4/7 Ratings)
Gustavo Fring (7/6/5 Ratings)

This bullpen probably needs a little work to be considered playoff worthy. To start with, Enrique Vazquez has already gone down for the year. You could say he was the only plus pitcher the Kernels had in the pen. Don't get me wrong, there are some serviceable pitchers here and it's not what you would call a dumpster fire. But to make it to that next level, they are going to need to add a piece or two here along the way. Jefferson Riles could be an option at some point. But I'm not even sure he is a difference maker. Des Moines does have six 40 man roster spots open. It might be a good idea to give the waiver wire a good long look on opening day. Teams often hastily throw away decent relief pitchers this time of year.

Cisco Arreola (6/7/10/8/9 Ratings)
Leonard Hale (5/7/5/4/7 Ratings)

First observation here.... Cisco lumped a bit, going from a 7 to 6 contact. He also had a .975 OPS and nearly won his second straight Silk award. So I wouldn't be too quick to write him off. He's still the most elite catcher in the BBA until Hsin Mei says otherwise. Backing up the future hall of fame catcher is Leonard Hale. I know this is probably the least important backup catcher gig in the league, but they can't find anyone better then this bum? On top of being a mediocre at best hitter, he is one of the worst fielders you could possibly find. Again, playing armchair GM. If I were at the helm, I'd just get the best defensive catcher I could possibly find. Doesn't matter if he even owns a bat. And have him sub out for Arreola late in games. Not because Arreola is a bad catcher. Cause he is not. Just to save his legs and keep his stamina up for the long haul.

Willie Carter (7/8/7/5/7 Ratings)
William Moreland (8/7/10/6/6 Ratings)
Declan Crashaw (6/6/5/2/8 Ratings)
William S,. Hardy (6/5/3/8/6 Ratings)
Manny Montanez (5/4/7/8/9 Ratings)
Ernesto Garza (7/7/6/5/7 Ratings)
Pat Holland (5/5/6/5/6 Ratings)
Dong-soo Chon (5/6/6/8/4 Ratings)

Willie Carter projects to be the first baseman and Ernesto Garza at third. Both players are about average. But here is the thing. Carter was a 3rd baseman coming up through the Kernel system. He seemed to be decent at it till 2032 in A-Ball where he posted a -13 zone rating. Des Moines quickly moved him across the diamond. Meanwhile in AAA, Oliverio Luna is ready for the show. All three of these guys bat right handed so it's tough to map out a platoon system. But Moreland is lefty and struggles against lefty pitching. I am not suggesting that they platoon Bunk. Just merely saying that he could get a day off from time to time against a tough lefty and there is enough playing time to have Moreland, Carter, Luna, and Garza occupy DH/1B/3B. And whichever guy is not starting, will provide a solid bat to come off the bench late in the game.

Up the middle Dong-Son Chon and Wild Bill Hardy might be the best double play duo in the league and continually make the Kernels pitching staff better then they are. Des Moines added veteran Manny Montanez to split some time with Hardy and Chon. I like the move. It adds some power to the lineup without compromising defense much.

Dave Brunskill (6/6/6/6/7 Ratings)
Armando Castaneda (7/6/2/6/9 Ratings)
Roberto Miranda (7/6/2/7/8 Ratings)
Manny Ramirez (6/6/3/6/7 Ratings)
Roberto Lopez (5/5/7/8/4 Ratings)
Joao Silva (6/5/6/4/10 Ratings)

Roberto López completes the trifecta of amazing up the middle defense. Like Chon though, he can't really hit a lick. He does have occasional power, but a .289 OBP just isn't going to cut it. I would have loved to see Des Moines get Abdelwahab Kamade. Just seems like a guy that would fit thier system of great defenders while adding immeasurable offense. Brunskill will try to rebound from a miserable season in LF. Adding a pair of right handed professional hitters in Casteneda and Miranda to platoon with him was an excellent idea. I wouldn't even rule out Jocko forcing Brunskill to the bench if he continues his struggles. Rounding out the team in RF is Joao Silva. Silve is just keeping the seat warm till Long Chamberlain III is ready. Though not imminent, there is a chance it could happen post all star break. It would be a great second half addition to bring in a bat like "Ding Dong's".

So there it is folks. Your 2036 Des Moines Kernels. Will this year be the year they break the playoff slump? Only time will tell. But I will say that Edward has made some solid moves and has the team going in the right direction to achieve that goal. Like every other team, it will depend on a wide variety of factors. Omaha and Yellow Springs look very tough atop the always tough(but never the best ;) ) Heatland division. Madison is always tricky and Twin Cities is no slouch either. So it will be an uphill battle no doubt. The team needs to stay health and have some guys preform at career high levels. But this is the BBA. Anything is possible.

My prediction....82-82
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Re: 2036 Des Moines Kernels Preview

Post by RonCo » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:10 pm

Mendez was a nice pickup, and I kind of like the top three or four bullpen arms, but yeah they could use some depth.
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Re: 2036 Des Moines Kernels Preview

Post by 7teen » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:41 pm

ae37jr wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:00 pm
But this is the BBA. Anything is possible.

My prediction....82-82
I would agree that anything is possible. But I'm not sure about that! :headscratch:
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