Sep 28, 2008

Power Rankings @ 105 games

1. San Antonio fighters (73-32, Run Differential: +196, Prev Rnk: 1)
The fighters were the top dog in the last power rankings, and San Antonio has spent the last 50 games cementing their status. Darren Charlton (41 HR) and Alex Langston (32 HR) have powered the fighters to a team total of 225 HR, good for second –highest team total in Griffey. Opponents have also had difficulty scoring against the fighters – San Antonio has relinquished only 412 runs, the lowest total in the NL.

2. Monterrey Rancheros (69-36, RD: +118, PR: NR)
The Rancheros acquired SP Ed Miller from Montreal, and Miller has responded with a 2.70 ERA in 56 innings in Ranchero green. As a result, the previously unranked Rancheros have vaulted to the #2 spot in the power rankings and Griffey’s second best record thanks to NL’s top ranked pitching staff (WHIP: 1.25).

3. Cheyenne Duck Snorts (67-37, RD: +159, PR: 5)
Cheyenne’s heavy hitting and improved pitching have propelled the Duck Snorts to the top ranking in the AL. Led by Lou Young (1.011 OPS, 29 HR) the Duck Snorts boast the AL’s highest home run total (218) and rookie Norm Rapp (10-5 record, 1.13 WHIP) has bolstered a flagging rotation. Cheyenne recently lost starter Orlando Romero from the rotation for the season due to a strained groin, so it remains to be seen whether they can maintain pace.

4. Pittsburgh Ponies (64-40, RD: +131, PR: 2)
Like the Duck Snorts, the Ponies have also battled injuries to their vaunted rotation, losing Marlon Cummings for the season. Still the Ponies have maintained what is undoubtedly Griffey’s best rotation – Pony stalwarts Matt Ross and Dean Bukvich have already claimed Pitcher of the Week hardware in S9. Thus far, Pittsburgh’s success has been tempered by a middling offense, which has posted a .799 OPS to date.

5. Atlanta Ripettoes (64-41, RD: +100, PR: 6)
The Ripettoes' second-year SP Max Guillen has impressed thus far in S9, posting a 13-4 record, 2.83 and garnering Pitcher of the Week honors. The Ripettoes certainly consider themselves capable of cutting down the fighters, but a trade to strengthen the offense, which ranks in the middle of the pack of most categories, may be necessary. Look for Atlanta to be players in a big trade before the transaction deadline.

6. Fargo Fuzznuts (68-37, Run Differential: +59, PR: 7)

7. New York Cyclones (62-43, RD: +109, PR: NR)

8. Cincinnati centipedes (59-45, RD: +89, PR: 3)

9. Chicago Cubs (55-50, RD: +91, PR: 8)

10. Tampa Bay Lazer Beams (59-46, RD: +32, NR)

Sep 7, 2008

S9 Power Rankings - 50 Games

1. San Antonio fighters (31-18, Run Differential: +75)
The NL champs from S6 are off to a bold start in challenging the reigning NL Champs Fargo. The fighters boast a Griffey-best run differential of 75 runs and a 4.5 game lead in the NL South over the upstart Monterrey Rancheros. San Antonio is again paced on offense by Darren Charlton and Dwight Meyers (21 HR and 17 HR, respectively), but Harry Pena (3.89 ERA) has made his much-anticipated ML debut, providing the fighters with a dominant mound presence as well.

2. Pittsburgh Ponies (33-16, RD: +67)
The Ponies, featuring Griffey’s best team WHIP (1.20) also boast Griffey’s best record. True-to-form from past seasons, Griffey’s first two Pitchers of the Week have both been Ponies (Matt Ross and Dean Bukvich). However, due to a middling offense, the Ponies have had mixed results in asserting themselves head-to-head against other AL frontrunners. The Ponies swept a three Chew-baccas early in the season, but have since dropped series against Tampa Bay and Cheyenne.

3. Cincinnati centipedes (28-21, RD: +70)
Despite being only second-place in their own division, the centipedes superior run differential and relative health have earned them an early-season seeding higher than division-leading Fargo. Further, the centipedes already shocked Griffey’s reigning champs with an early season sweep. Cincinnati also features the NL-best team batting average (.289).

4. Charleston Chew-baccas (29-20, RD: +69)
Under new management, Charleston has made a departure from the slow starts of seasons past and currently cling to a one-game lead in the tightly contested AL South. Despite playing in a hitter’s park, the Chew-baccas are second in the AL in team ERA and WHIP. While Frank Lee has battered opposing pitching for 20 HR and a 1.078 OPS, the offseason loss of All-World catcher Javier Marquez has slowed the offense somewhat, relegating the team to the middle-of-the pack in most offensive categories.

5. Cheyenne Duck Snorts (30-18, RD: +63)
The reigning AL-champs have scored the most runs of any team on this list, thanks in part to rookie Victor Javier and 2nd-year player Lou Young. Javier, an S7 IFA, has slugged .645 and stolen 8 bases in 24 games; Young has swatted 17 HR, driving in 45. In past seasons, Cheyenne has been paced by a strong pitching staff; however, in S9, Duck Snort pitching has posted a pedestrian 1.50 team WHIP.

6. Atlanta Ripettoes (30-18, RD: +43)
The stark contrast to the Duck Snorts, the Ripettoes have mowed down opposing hitters as evidenced by a skimpy 1.30 team WHIP; however, excluding Raul Trajano who has only 11 at-bats, only four Ripettoes have an OPS above .800. But, when that small company includes Michael Snow and Jerrod Grudzielanek, you can still do pretty well.

7. Fargo Fuzznuts (31-18, RD: +20)
The reigning champs still lead their division and have a sparkling record; however, a pre-season injury to SP Butch Logan and a recent injury to SP Zachrey Spradlin have left the Fuzznuts scrounging for answers for their rotation. Don’t sell the champs short, though – Fargo has a few chips to deal to patch holes, and Spradlin should be back for the stretch run.

8. Chicago Cubs (26-22, RD: +55)
Lead by CF Davey Hernandez (.330/.420/.741) and early ROY frontrunner Gabby Young (.284/.396/.628), the Cubs top the NL in team OBP and SLG. However, the Cubs have suffered bad luck in one-run games (2-8 record thus far), dragging their record down. If the Cubs are looking to unseat the Fuzznuts and pass the centipedes to claim NL North glory, manager erffdogg will need to find a way to overcome this shortcoming.

9. Anaheim Jack A$$es (29-20, RD: +33)
The Jack A$$es have parlayed a solid team WHIP (1.38), into an equally solid record despite mid-tier offense. Mateo Escobar has anchored the rotation with his 3.56 ERA, despite a disappointing 2-5 record.

10. Tampa Bay Lazer Beams (28-21, RD: +25)
The Lazer Beams, under new management, have been a surprise team in the AL South. Tampa Bay has featured a strong bullpen, including Darin Simas (1.05 WHIP), Chris Weaver (1.18 WHIP), and Neifi Small (1.21 WHIP). Veteran Lariel Santana has been revitalized since coming over from Kansas City, posting a 1.197 OPS over 27 games.

Sep 5, 2008

S9 Pitching Leaders, Quarter Pole

Vin Rosario, SA, 7-0
Matt Ross, Pitt, 7-2
Howard Bell, Atl/Kirt Thompson, LAA, 6-1
Terry Torres, NYC, 6-2

Matt Ross, Pitt, 1.23
Kirt Thompson, LAA, 1.93
Robert Wainhouse, Oak, 2.29
Ed Miller, Mon, 2.47
Armando Benitez, CSp, 2.54

Matt Ross, Pit, 65
Dean Bukvich, Pit, 61
Chris McCarthy, Mnt, 60
Bryan Leonard, KC, 53
Kyle Fisher, Chr/Ned Truby, Mon, 52

Matt Ross, Pitt, 0.78
Chris McCarthy, Mnt, 1.01
Robert Wainhouse, Oak/Eugene Brooks, Chr, 1.02
Zachrey Spradlin, Far, 1.08
Tom Jennings, Chi, 1.04

Angel Cedeno, Atl, 15/16
Mike Miles, Pit/Brendan Singleton, Syr, 12/12
Douglas Gagne, Mem, 12/13
Ivan Jones, Hon, 12/14

S9 Hitting Leaders, Quarter Pole

Batting Average
Royce Minor, Col, .416
Art Sauerbeck, SA, .379
Wilfredo Brito, Hou, .375
Javier Marquez, Ari, .373
Alex Santana, Mon/Nash McGee, Bos/Joey Lane, Col, .362

Home Runs
Kevin Swift, Syr, 20
Javier Marquez, Ari/Frank Lee, Chr, 19
Del Polanco, Ari/Gabby Young, Chi/Don Niekro, NYC/Darren Charlton, SA, 18

Don Niekro, NYC, 50
Royce Bagley, Col, 48
Kevin Swift, Syr, 47
Javier Marquez, Ari, 46
Keith Ledesma, Chi/Frank Lee, Chr/Curtis Bland, NYC, 46

Stolen Bases
Brook Wilson, Oak, 48/48
Rigo Castillo, CSp, 25/26
Tomas Estrada, LA, 25/28
Richie Miller, NYC, 24/27
Darren Charlton, SA, 16/16

Hitting Streak
Juan Fernandez, Bos/Don Niekro, NYC (still active), 21
Royce Bagley, Col, 19
Nash McGee, Bos/Cy Nelson, Col/Royce Minor, Col, 18