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-   -   Harry Lyerly and the Denver Brewers of the WPK (https://forums.ootpdevelopments.com//showthread.php?t=300500)

BirdWatcher 03-23-2019 10:10 PM

Smart signs with San Francisco
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Will Smart signed a 2-year deal with the San Francisco Velocity.
Brewers fans were a bit unhappy to hear that he officially would not be returning to the team next season.
On the other hand, with the signing the Brewers get a compensation pick in the supplemental 1st round of the upcoming amateur player draft.

BirdWatcher 03-23-2019 10:13 PM

Brown headed to Philly
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Veteran lefthanded relief pitcher David Brown, formerly of the Denver Brewers, signed a 1-year contract to pitch for the Philadelphia Mud Hens of the SJL.

BirdWatcher 03-23-2019 10:25 PM

Brewers sign veteran superstar reliever de los Santos
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According to inside sources, the Denver Brewers did not have any intentions making any significant free agent signings this off-season as recently as three weeks ago.
But as they saw their nearest rivals, the Phoenix Speed Devils, shore up their bullpen with signing after signing, and given the loss of their star closer Miguel Solis for big portions of the past two seasons, the Brewers had a change of heart and went after the dominant veteran reliever Jose de los Santos.
The much traveled de los Santos, a 3-time All-Star and the 1970 MGL Reliever of the Year, may not be young anymore but still has a great reputation as an ultra-durable power pitcher who is great at inducing ground-balls when he isn't recording strikeouts. In other words, the perfect fit for the Brewers staff.

The signing also seems to have rejuvenated the Brewers fan base as Spring Training approaches.

BirdWatcher 03-23-2019 10:43 PM

Chad Brown extended for 7 years
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Chad Brown, the Brewers All-Star shortstop, today signed an extension to his contract which will extend his time in a Brewers uniform for 7 years beyond the 1972 season, which was the last season of his contract before this extension.

Although Brown is entering his 8th full season as a big league player and Brewer, he is only 25 and just entering his prime. (He turns 26 in August.) The new contract will keep him in Brewers purple until age 33, although the team does have a buyout option on the last year of the contract.
News of the extension for the locally extremely popular Brown further energized the Denver fan base ahead of the upcoming season.

BirdWatcher 03-24-2019 07:36 PM

Spring Training Storylines
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The 1972 Spring Training exhibition season is underway now.
And given that the Brewers have won the MGL in each of the past 3 seasons and are coming off a 108 win season, it is probably not a surprise that there aren't a lot of roster spots up for grabs.

Still, there could be a few interesting decisions to be made prior to Opening Day.

One young player who wants to make those decisions even a bit tougher and has been impressive early on in the Brewers exhibition games in Arizona is outfielder Paul Mackins. Mackins is a 25-year old borderline prospect but earns great praise for his strong work ethic and has some solid basic skills. He has looked good at the plate thus far this Spring and has shown some good plate discipline. He is a plus defender in leftfield (though his arm is just average) and he has good speed on the base paths (though also still a bit raw). Should Pat Rondeau struggle, or should injury befall one of the Brewers outfielders, Mackins has at the very least made a good case that he should be the first man promoted from AAA Chester to fill the gap.

The area where things are perhaps least settled is the last spot or two in the bullpen. Eric Singer, the recently acquired Jose de los Santos, and Liann-wei Hua are givens. Miguel Solis is expected to be able to return to action in a few days and depending upon how he looks coming back from his most recent injury, he should have an important late-game role once again. Jaden Francis is pretty much assured a spot also.
With lefty Matt Helm serving as the primary swing-man between the 'pen and the rotation, that leaves at most 1 open slot (barring injury to any of the above listed relievers).
25-year old Dave Duncan has been impressive in his limited appearances as a Brewer thus far. Sam Pruiett is thought to have set-up role potential. Jordan Stephens is an intriguing option if and when he fully masters his cureveball. Stephens ability with a bat and as a thirdbaseman adds to the intrigue and his potential value. Then there is former 1st round draft pick (#16 overall) Justin Bismark, who has quietly moved his way up the system since being selected in 1966 and who the scouting staff sees as profiling as a consistently solid middle reliever, even if no more than that.

Sharkn20 03-24-2019 07:45 PM


Originally Posted by BirdWatcher (Post 4458687)
As was the case at the end of the 1970 season, the Brewers have two players who are honored with Gold Glove awards for their defensive prowess during the 1971 season. And it is the same two players.

Firstbaseman Bobby Erbakan earns his third straight Gold Glove award.

And catcher Kevin Curtis has now received the MGL Gold Glove for his position in both of his full seasons with the team. The feeling is that Curtis is a big part of why the Brewers have easily had the best pitching in all of the WPK the past two years.

Why u don't have Erbakan playing 2B? I dont know ur team very well yet but he looks a stud for that position... :)

Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

BirdWatcher 03-24-2019 07:58 PM

Spring Training Storylines, pt. 2.
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Another interesting thing to watch this Spring has less to do with 1972 and more to do with the future a year or two ahead.

Tanner Yurek, the 31-year old 2-time All-Star secondbaseman for the Brewers, who after having a fine 1970 season, struggled at the plate for much of 1971, is signed through 1973 but the team has an option on his contract for that last season. Yurek has long been a fan favorite and it would be an unpopular decision to part with him, but his batting contact abilities have clearly slipped and his defense is fairly average. Yurek has been one of the more reliable power bats in the lineup (and also has had a knack for hitting big walk-off HR's and hitting HR's in bunches- he is still the only WPK player ever to hit 4 in one game and he also has a 3 HR game). But with the Brewers starting to get more power production from other positions, this might not make him as valuable as it has in the past.

Danny Roman is the most immediate contender to take over his job. Roman had a fine rookie season in 1971, finishing with a slash line of .284/.380/.402 and collected 17 extra base hits in 274 plate appearances. His ability to work a walk exceeded expectations and his OBP was among the best on the team. Roman is also a much better fielder and can turn the double play with the best of them and while he is still a bit unfinished in his technique, he has top-of-the-line speed, base-stealing, and base-running abilities.

Then there is 23-year old Jonathan Koch. Koch has better defensive range than either Yurek or Roman, is nearly as good on the pivot as Roman, and has much more potential upside in terms of hitting for contact and power (gap mostly, but some HR power potential as well). He likely will never draw as many walks as Roman or Yurek, but isn't likely to strikeout much either. On the down side, in spite of his great natural speed, he isn't likely to ever be anything more than a below average base-stealer and base-runner.

It will be interesting to see who emerges as the secondbaseman for the Brewers going forward.
And on top of that, a few of the more talented prospects at the lower levels of the organization are also natural second sackers.

BirdWatcher 03-24-2019 08:15 PM


Originally Posted by Sharkn20 (Post 4460124)
Why u don't have Erbakan playing 2B? I dont know ur team very well yet but he looks a stud for that position... :)

Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

That's a great question.

Erbakan actually came up as natural outfielder and probably could have been a very successful leftfielder at least. But he was blocked all the way around there. And honestly, at that point firstbase was a weakness both at the big league level and in terms of prospects.
At that time Tanner Yurek was a star secondbaseman and so that position was blocked also.

I kind of expected someone to challenge me on this earlier, given that such a talented fielder is probably being wasted at such an unimportant defensive position. Part of this is probably my own bias: I've always liked great defensive first basemen. Whether it was Keith Hernandez when I was a kid, or later watching Todd Helton for all of those years here in Denver.
Plus, we have played at a park that favored left-handed hitters and in a league where many of the most talented hitters hit from that side. So I've always felt that it might be a bit more important a defensive position in that context. And it certainly feels like I've seen him rob hitters of a lot of doubles down the line over the years. In addition, whether it is actually in the game or not, I like to imagine that with some infielders with great range but also some error issues (shortstop Chad Brown, in particular) Erbakan's defense has perhaps helped to save some errant throws along the way.

Finally, I don't have many other options there. Though, admittedly, I did trade a potentially pretty good one (Steve Hobza) away not long ago. Though Andrew Kennedy could be our starter there and do a fine job, albeit not likely winning any Gold Gloves like Erbakan does.
He is still pretty young, so a position change in the next few years, if that makes sense, is still a possibility.

Thanks for asking! :)

BirdWatcher 03-24-2019 10:55 PM

Spring Training Storylines, pt. 3
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While keeping a close eye on the more established Brewers players, the scouting staff has come to the conclusion that this might the year Bobby Erbakan really breaks out at the plate. His two homeruns in today's 5-3 victory against Charlotte, one driven into the rightfield stands and the other pulled over the leftfield fence, did nothing to dispel this notion.

Erbakan, who has been such a wizard defensively at firstbase, began showing signs of increased power last season when he hit a career high 21 homers. But overall his offensive production has lagged behind his perceived talents in that regard. If the scouting staff is correct, that may be changing this year for the soon to be 25-year old budding star.

There is also a perception among Denver scouts that 23-year old rookie Joe McPhillips is starting to turn the corner in terms of plate discipline, which hopefully will soon pay off in better contact rates at the plate. McPhillips is also starting to show signs of increasing power potential and with his already very advanced defensive skills and good speed it appears he could have a long and very successful WPK career ahead of him.

On the other hand, there are some concerns that Harry Lyerly may be in for some reversal of fortune this year as his control seems to be stalling out a bit and his knuckle curve does not appear to be developing to the extent it was once hoped it would. Lyerly calmed fears a bit with a very fine first Spring Training outing, but some doubts about his ability to maintain at the high level he has the past few seasons remain. Still, he is young and the hope it that if he does hit a rough patch in 1972 it will be something the reliant fellow can handle.

BirdWatcher 03-25-2019 12:06 PM

***The View from Outside the Park***
For those of you who have been following along with this thread for some time (starting in OOTP19 subfolders) you might know that I have been trying to figure out how to approach posts here that live outside the reality of the WPK, glimpses behind the curtain, you might say.

So this is what I'm settling on for now- when I want to post something that is clearly from a more game play perspective with what you might call a divinity view of the WPK universe, I will title it as above.

Now, for those of you who maybe haven't been following along prior to this thread, which continues the action started in OOTP19, a few words about my approach.

First, there is a reason that I chose to share all of this in the Fictional Simulations sub-folder and not in the Dynasty Reports sub-folder. Even though this is a simulation in which I do run a single team, as GM and manager, I do not want to put the word dynasty on it. Simply because creating a dynasty is not my goal. In fact it's a bit troubling to me that my Brewers have won the last three MGL titles and I hope that we will have some losing seasons again soon. Okay, that's not really true, completely. I do enjoy winning more than losing and I do intend to mostly do what is needed to make my team better. But I don't want it to be too easy. And I don't want all of my decisions just to make sense in terms of OOTP play, but would rather they make an organic sense within the fictional reality of the WPK.

In other words, I'm good with not always making the logical decision based upon my (still pretty incomplete) knowledge of how the game works. I want my decisions to also make sense in the context of the imaginary baseball world I am becoming immersed in.

So, for instance, the potential decision I have set up regarding the second base job for the Brewers. It might likely become obvious at some point that the smarter move is to cut ties with the veteran Tanner Yurek and his relatively expensive contract in favor of young prospect Jonathan Koch. But Yurek is a fan favorite and an original Brewer. He's honestly never been one of my favorite players on the team. But within the context of the Denver Brewers and the WPK, within that reality, the fact that the fans would be clamoring for his continued presence on the roster is a factor. (Not just because of Fan Interest ratings, either.) It's not the only factor and it certainly won't keep me from letting him go when the time comes. But I also would never want to ignore it and just play this out with an eye towards always winning at the expense of any thought to what would make sense, narratively, in this alternate baseball reality.

Now likely this is all neither here nor there to you, dear reader, but I just wanted to put it out there in case it helped explain anything going forward.

BirdWatcher 03-25-2019 01:01 PM

Ruben Souffront update
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Ruben Souffront was signed to a minor league contract as a free agent by the Los Angles Spinners. It's not clear that Ruben will make the 25-man roster for L.A. on Opening Day- the Spinners have a pretty solid core of position players.
But he is playing quite well in Spring Training games and so hopefully he will have an opportunity to prove himself with another team. Though since it is a team in our league and probably one of the main contenders for the MGL title this season, hopefully he won't do too well against us, at least.

BirdWatcher 03-25-2019 07:21 PM

Spring Training Storylines, pt. 4
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One potential battle in the Spring camp for the Brewers this year might be for the right to be the back-up catcher this coming season.
Jeff Darden is a durable and hard-working strong defensive catcher who was starter Kevin Curtis (who, incidentally, is a having a great Spring at the plate) backup in 1971. Darden has played pretty well this Spring but has quite limited offensive upside and at 25 years old likely doesn't have a great deal of development left.
23-year old Spencer Wilson is equally solid behind the plate and at least somewhat more capable at the plate, especially as (like Curtis) he has a great eye and should draw an above average amount of walks. He won't likely every hit for much power but he should be capable of putting bat on ball more often than Darden. Like Darden, Wilson's is a left-handed hitter which complements right-handed starter Curtis.

Long-time Brewers moderate prospect Jose Careaga is having a fine Spring at the plate and in the field. Careaga is blocked at thirdbase by veteran slugger Jamison Bash. At 25 and having played mostly at AAA Chester the past 2 seasons, Careaga is understandably anxious to finally get a chance to stick with a big league club. It's just hard to see how that will be the Brewers this season. Careaga is a solid defender and a decent hitter with very good plate discipline who will draw a good number of walks and not strikeout very often. Having been drafted by the team in the 9th round of the 1965 draft, he has proven to be an over-achiever in his minor league career and if he was in a less successful organization he could likely be a WPK starting thirdbaseman already.

Another young outfielder who has had a decent Spring and in another organization might likely be on the 25-man roster going into the new season is Josh Schaeffer. Although Schaeffer does not have the best reputation and is considered unmotivated, he has had a good deal of success in his steady climb up the minor league ladder, mostly alongside the more celebrated Joe McPhillips. In fact, Schaeffer is having a better Spring at the plate than McPhillips, who is thought to be a sure thing to start the season in Brewers purple. Schaeffer has a slash line of .286/.423/.333 and has shown his great eye at the plate. Schaeffer does not have the defensive skills of McPhillips but he is considered a solid rightfielder with a strong arm and he has good speed and base-stealing abilities. It is hard to say what Schaeffer's future holds, but it is pretty clear he should be able to play at the WPK level and even has the upside of a solid starter.

BirdWatcher 03-25-2019 09:57 PM

Puente lost for 5 weeks with hamstring injury
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The first significant injury of the exhibition season has befallen the Brewers as they lose starting rightfielder Antonio Puente for approximately 5 weeks with a strained hamstring.

Given that this means he will not be available for Opening Day this does open up an opportunity for either Paul Mackins or Josh Schaeffer to start the season in a Brewers uniform.
Schaeffer might seem to have the advantage as Mackins has no experience playing rightfield but given that Pat Rondeau is very experienced at that position and will likely start most of the games in Puente's absence, it really could be either of them who is given the chance.

(The only other injury sustained thus far by a Brewer is a small day-to-day bruised shoulder which currently has Jamison Bash out of the lineup. Bash is expected to be fully healed in just a few days time.)

stevem810 03-25-2019 09:57 PM


Originally Posted by BirdWatcher (Post 4460707)
Ruben Souffront was signed to a minor league contract as a free agent by the Los Angles Spinners. It's not clear that Ruben will make the 25-man roster for L.A. on Opening Day- the Spinners have a pretty solid core of position players.
But he is playing quite well in Spring Training games and so hopefully he will have an opportunity to prove himself with another team. Though since it is a team in our league and probably one of the main contenders for the MGL title this season, hopefully he won't do too well against us, at least.

Must be a bit weird for you seeing him in the uni.

BirdWatcher 03-25-2019 10:39 PM

Spring Training Storylines, pt. 5
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With Opening Day not far away, the Brewers have begun to weed down the number of players in camp, sending several pitchers back to AAA, including starting pitchers Eric Johnson and Steve LaCoste, both of whom will provide decent insurance in case of injuries on the big league club, and reliever Jordan Stephens, who is in need of a bit more seasoning before joining the Brewers bullpen.

Somewhat more complicated was the situation with both starting pitcher Jimmy Daniels and reliever Dave Harder, as both were out of minor league options and needed to be put on waivers in order to designate them for minor league assignment.
The Brewers very much hope that Daniels clears waivers as he is a great leader among his peers (considered a captain) and still has the potential, at nearly 25 years of age, to be a back-end of the rotation starter.
On the other hand, if the 25-year old Denver native Dave Harder is plucked off waivers by another club rumor has it that Denver management won't be that upset. Harder was once considered a premium prospect but his second pitch, a slider to complement his very excellent sinker, has never developed beyond sub-par status and his control appears to be a lost cause. Perhaps a change of scenery is what he needs. But at this point he is considered strictly a AAA pitcher by Brewers management.

It doesn't look like any of the other players likely to be cut prior to Opening Day are yet out of options, though in a few cases, such as Jose Careaga, they are down to their last minor league option.

BirdWatcher 03-25-2019 10:56 PM

Daniels, Harder clear waivers....
...and rejoin the AAA Chester Big Stick.

They are joined there by Justin Bismark who pitched some nice innings for the Brewers this Spring but unfortunately ended on a sour note as he allowed 4 runs on 4 hits with 3 walks in 1 inning pitched in his last appearance before demotion. Still, there remains a good chance that Bismark will be back before too long.

BirdWatcher 03-26-2019 12:06 AM


Originally Posted by stevem810 (Post 4461161)
Must be a bit weird for you seeing him in the uni.

But then he came up against us with men on and two outs and struck out. And I thought, same 'ole Ruben, much as I love him. :p

BirdWatcher 03-26-2019 06:58 PM

Mackins makes the cut, Wilson named backup catcher
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25-year old speedster Paul Mackins will finally realize his life-long dream of playing in the big leagues, as he earns the 25th spot on the Opening Day roster with starting rightfielder Antonio Puente for a few weeks still as he recovers from a strained hamstring muscle.

And, as widely expected, Spencer Wilson replaces Jeff Darden as Gold Glove winning Kevin Curtis' backup at the catcher position.

Of the several relievers battling for the last bullpen spot, Dave Duncan proved victorious with a splendid Spring.

BirdWatcher 03-26-2019 07:14 PM

1972 Pre-Season Predictions
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Opening Day 1972 has arrived and with it the official pre-season predictions.

As was the case in 1971, it is expected that the most dominant teams will be in the MGL, with the SJL predicted winner- the reigning WPK World Champs, the Washington Night Train- finishing with only 93 wins.

The prognosticators believe that 1972 is the year that the Phoenix Speed Devils over-take the Denver Brewers to win the MGL, and they believe Phoenix will be the only team in the WPK to win more than 100 games. As was true in 1971, it is expected that the Los Angeles Spinners will once again finish third, although taking a big step backwards in terms of wins, if the experts are to be trusted.

There is also an expectation that the MGL will be the league with more offensive firepower, which is very different than the first 5-6 years of the WPK, while the SJL is more pitching and defense oriented.

As for Brewers players, the belief is that reigning MGL MVP Jamison Bash will have another solid year at the plate, even at his rather advanced age, as will fellow veteran superstar Ryan Rodgers. As also forecast by the Brewers scouting staff, the feeling is that youngster Bobby Erbakan will break out offensively to become one of the top 10 hitters in the league this season.
As for pitching, only one Brewer is expected to be among the league's best: reigning MGL Pitcher of the Year Cheol-han Lee.

{I should probably note that I forgot until the very last minute to adjust statistical modifiers and these predictions are based upon historical 1972 MLB stats- which is to say, they are very pitcher friendly. The approach I use is to roll a 20-sided die just prior to Opening Day each year to discover what MLB season statistical modifiers should be based upon, with the available range being 1972-1991. This way most years the statistical environment will be one that is pretty middle of the road in terms of MLB history, but with a few real outliers to add a little spice- 1972 and 1987. I forgot to do that before advancing to Opening Day this time. When I did remember to do this process the result was that the league would be based in 1972 on the MLB stats of 1979.}

BirdWatcher 03-26-2019 07:34 PM

Annual Top 100 Prospects List (4 Brewers named)
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The annual top 100 prospects list was also released today and Brewers top prospect Joe McPhillips falls from #12 overall on the 1971 list to #16 this year.

The next Brewer on the list is shortstop Kevin Flieder, who was our 1st round pick (19th overall) in last year's draft. Flieder is #78 on the list.

Josh Schaeffer, who did not crack the top 100 in 1971 (he was #130), rises to number 90.

Jonathan Koch also moves up, from #115 in 1971 to #94 this year.

Unlike the past few years, when Steve Green was one of the top prospects in the game (#7 on last year's list) and Justin Peacock was #58 (with a few others- Eric Johnson and Steve LaCoste were outside the top 100 but within the top 200), this year's list does not contain any Brewers in the top 100.

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