2036 Madison Wolves Preview

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2036 Madison Wolves Preview

Post by usnspecialist » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:36 am

OVERVIEW:
After putting up a spirited challenge for much of last season before fading towards the end, Madison is looking to come out firing on all cylinders in 2036 in an effort to not only make the playoffs for the first time since 2033, but actually do some damage once they get there.

ROTATION:
Reports out of Madison have indicated that they are looking at jumping on the growing trend of moving away from a traditional 5 man rotation, following recent playoff success of San Fernando (who rode the 6 man to a Landis in 2034 while in Havana) and Brooklyn (used the “opener” to reach the Cartwright in 2035). Indications are that Madison is going to use their starting pitchers in their traditional length, but that they are going to heavily weigh matchups and pitchers are likely to go more than the traditional 4 days between starts. There are 7 men who figure to earn double digit starts this year with 2 of the big names being Mario Gonzalez (6/7/8 Ratings) and Jose Cavazos (7/7/6 Ratings), both of whom came over from Jacksonville in an offseason trade. Both gentlemen are rather long in the tooth and nearing the end of their careers, but they can still contribute to a winning club. The other veteran mainstay of the club is Jody Nunez (8/6/6 Ratings), who came over in the deal for Luis Maldonado. While Nunez has been on a bit of a downward trajectory in Madison, his veteran presence is crucial to the overall success of a staff, and he is a future pitching coach in the making. The supporting pieces that will ultimately decide how far Madison goes this season are a mixture of veteran journeymen and young potential. James Robinson (9/5/6 Ratings) is probably the best of the bunch, with Brandon Mant (9/5/5 Ratings) and Ken Vazquez (7/6/7 Ratings) filling out the rest of the rotation. Lefty-killer Andy Cantrell (6/7/6 Ratings) will likely see spot start duty against extremely imbalanced teams, but his best role is probably in the pen.

BULLPEN:
In addition to all of the members of the rotation outside of the Gonzalez/Cavazos/Nunez trio, the bullpen will be anchored by Sean Spits (10/5/5 Ratings) in the closer role, with Hector Diaz (10/3/9 Ratings) being the best of the rest so to speak. Spits is a promising young talent who has electric stuff but not much else. He is aided greatly by pitching in the cavernous new park that Madison built prior to last season, as it mitigates the lack of movement on his pitches. Diaz is an even bigger example of that same principle, as he is a very interesting test case for whether pinpoint control can counter razor straight pitches.

INFIELD:
The infield for Madison is centered around 2 names that have become synonymous with the Wolves organization, Mons Raider (9/6/2/9/9 Ratings) and Jon Mick (8/7/10/6/7 Ratings). While not nearly on the level of the immortal Puckett/Kengos duo, Raider and Mick epitomize the thunder and lightning combination that is poised to wreak havoc on the Frick League. Raider is not only best basestealer in the league, he is probably the most potent weapon on the bases the Brewster has ever seen. His offensive profile is different than most 1B, but certainly no less effective as it would be no surprise to see him in the top 5 of the Silk for years to come. Mick has transitioned to the DH spot to allow for Raider to hide his inferior glove, but his bat is still potent and he is poised to earn his giant extension he signed last season. The big shiny new acquisition in the Wolves infield is rookie catcher David Katzenbogen (4/5/5/6/4 Ratings). The youngster has the potential to be the best defensive catcher in Brewster history, with a combination of arm and game calling ability that is unmatched. He will need all of that value behind the plate to offset his AA quality bat which should see him anchor the 9 hole for the duration of his time in the major leagues. The most intriguing names in the rest of the infield are 19 year old rookie Ross Quicker (7/8/5/5/8 Ratings) at 3B and 20 year old second year man Jharod Thealer (7/6/3/9/8 Ratings) at 2B. Quicker was flown through the ranks after being drafted with the 30th overall pick in 2034 and has the potential to be a solid complimentary piece for Madison even at this age. Thealer fits the Madison profile of a slap hitter who is not afraid to take a walk, and the team felt comfortable enough with him last year to push Raider over to 1B. The SS spot is going to be manned by a great glove/no hit guy in Oliver Burrell (6/6/4/5/7 Ratings), whose bat will see him fighting it out with Katzenbogen for the 9th spot in the order but whose glove will have him in Zimmer contention year after year.

OUTFIELD:
The outfield for Madison is a study in contrasts, as the corners are manned by guys with either acceptable bats (LF Lance Robinson (6/6/7/8/8 Ratings)), or magicians with the bat (RF Steve Dempsey (10/8/2/4/9 Ratings)) who are nearly useless with the glove while the CF spot is manned by 2 gentlemen (Niccolo Machiavelli (7/6/3/6/7 Ratings) and Jose Carlos Moreno (6/8/7/5/6 Ratings)) who are outer-worldly with the glove but can struggle at times with the bat. Dempsey is clearly the big name out here, as he has already reached 2000 hits before his 30th birthday, and can be counted on for 200 hits every year like clockwork. Machiavelli got all the attention as the Zimmer winner in CF last year (although some around the BBA feel he did not deserve the honor), but he needs to perform at that level consistently to warrant a spot in the starting lineup. Robinson in left had a promising rookie year, and while he will never be a star he is the supporting type of player that every contending team needs.

PREDICTION:
The Frick league is very competitive, and the heartland in particular is no joke. The good news for the wolves is that outside of some pitching, their roster is mostly in the prime or before the prime years of their career. Unfortunately there isn’t much room for growth in some of those guys, so I am not sure if they can get over that hump without a significant deal. Call it 87-75, just on the outside of the playoffs looking in.
Randy Weigand
Havana Sugar Kings/San Fernando Bears: 2032-
810-649

Landis Champion- 34
Johnson Champion- 34
Frick Champion- 36, 37
Johnson League Southern- 34
Frick League Pacific- 37, 39
,Wild Card- 33, 35, 36, 40

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Re: 2036 Madison Wolves Preview

Post by bcslouck » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:38 am

Solid team. Probably a good prediction.
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Re: 2036 Madison Wolves Preview

Post by RonCo » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:39 am

I'm worried about Madison. Chris seems to be on his game right now, and that bodes poorly for us.
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Re: 2036 Madison Wolves Preview

Post by 7teen » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:37 pm

Great preview Randy. Thanks!

I'll take 87-75 right now and call it a season. I have more to be optimistic about this season at the start than I did a season ago. But I think, without an upgrade potentially at Catcher, that black hole in the offense may be too much. After 1 sim, Katzenbogen is on pace for a -7.6 WAR. Granted my starters ERA was 1st after the first sim so perhaps he's partially the reason. Obviously all of this is small sample.
Chris Wilson

LB Surfers 95-96
FL Pac Champs: 95

Madison Wolves 99-2039
JL MW Champs: 99 to 2009, 17, 20, 21
JL WC: 12
JL Champs: 01, 04, 09, 12
FL Heartland Champs: 32
FL WC: 31, 33
BBA Champs: 04, 09

Portland Lumberjacks 2040-

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Re: 2036 Madison Wolves Preview

Post by 7teen » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:38 pm

RonCo wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:39 am
I'm worried about Madison. Chris seems to be on his game right now, and that bodes poorly for us.
I'm clueless. Glad you think I "have game"
Chris Wilson

LB Surfers 95-96
FL Pac Champs: 95

Madison Wolves 99-2039
JL MW Champs: 99 to 2009, 17, 20, 21
JL WC: 12
JL Champs: 01, 04, 09, 12
FL Heartland Champs: 32
FL WC: 31, 33
BBA Champs: 04, 09

Portland Lumberjacks 2040-

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Re: 2036 Madison Wolves Preview

Post by RonCo » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:58 pm

7teen wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:38 pm
RonCo wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:39 am
I'm worried about Madison. Chris seems to be on his game right now, and that bodes poorly for us.
I'm clueless. Glad you think I "have game"
Just what a guy with game would say!
Yellow Springs Nine
Playoff Regular, Landis Averse

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