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

BirdWatcher 03-22-2019 03:28 PM

Harry Lyerly and the Denver Brewers of the WPK
 
This is a continuation of the following thread from the OOTP19 Fictional Simulations subfolder: http://www.ootpdevelopments.com/boar....php?t=289570\

Just wanted to get this set up here but will actually start posting on this later tonight and this weekend.

You will notice that the focus has shifted from Ruben Souffront to Harry Lyerly. There will be more explanation later but suffice it to say that it appears Souffront's career with the Brewers has come to an end (though certainly not his WPK career). With the emergence the past few seasons of young fireballer Harry Lyerly as a fascinating character I decided that he would be the appropriate focus at this time.
Let's hope I haven't just jinxed him the way I did Souffront. ;)

BirdWatcher 03-22-2019 10:42 PM

The Denver Brewers of the W.P. Kinsella League
 
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So, who are these Denver Brewers and what is this W.P. Kinsella League?

Let's start with the league and work our way down from there. The W.P. Kinsella league is a professional baseball league of the highest order (think, MLB level) based in the continental U.S. (There are hopes, nay, aspirations, of the league eventually spreading outside the confines of the U.S., but for now that is where we play.)

The league was founded in 1965 with 20 teams, 10 each in two sub-leagues. These leagues are the Shoeless Joe League and the Moonlight Graham League.
(Okay, I just remembered that I intended to refer to the WPK from now on as the W.P. Kinsella Association so that I didn't get myself caught up in this leagues within a league linguistic conundrum. Well, I'll work on that.)

The Denver Brewers are one of the 10 franchises in the Moonlight Graham League (hereafter generally referred to as the MGL, while the Shoeless Joe League will usually be referred to as the SJL.) The Brewers are owned, as they have been since their inception, by Steve Lester. Lester has a reputation of not liking to open his pocket book too wide and of meddling in the affairs (thus far particularly when it comes to the spending of the budget) of the team in ways that aren't always comfortable for the G.M. He is also, paradoxically, someone who puts winning first. On the other hand, he is at least known to be a fairly patient man so that tempers some of his other personality traits a bit.

The Brewers play in a market that is considered above average by WPK standards and with a fan base that has shown good loyalty. Though the Brewers got off to a decent start as a team, finishing in 2nd place in the MGL in the league's inaugural season (albeit with a modest 87-75 record), the club, which jettisoned some of its veteran players and was starting several players at a very young age, fell to 8th place in 1966 and lost 90 games. They then began a gradual ascent upwards, finishing in 7th in 1967 with 80 wins, were back up to 2nd in 1968 with 90 wins, and finally won the MGL in 1969 with a 98 win season, only to be swept by the Columbus Whalers of the SJL in the WPK World Series.
The Brewers would again win 98 games in 1970 and this time they carried their success into the post-season, winning the team's first WPK championship by defeating the Jacksonville Wolf Pack of the SJL in 5 games.
In 1971 the team took an even bigger step forward in the regular season, as they set a new WPK record for team win total for a season with 108 (previous best was 104, achieved twice.) Unfortunately, the teams offense went on a bit of hiatus the last few weeks of the season and that carried into the WPK World Series and proved to be the Brewers undoing as they failed to win back-to-back crowns. They were, in fact, swept in the series by the 93 win Washington Night Train.

Which pretty much brings us up to the present. The off-season is in full swing, awards for the 1971 season have been handed out (more about this soon), and arbitration hearing and free agency filing dates approach.

BirdWatcher 03-22-2019 11:33 PM

And who is Harry Lyerly?
 
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Some of you might be familiar with Harry Lyerly, even if you weren't following along in the previous thread about the Brewers.
Lyerly was the source of some controversy (here: http://www.ootpdevelopments.com/boar...d.php?t=295788)
as a young pitcher with very poor movement who nevertheless had rocketed up to being the 3rd best prospect in the WPK, based largely, it seemed, upon his terrific, bat-missing, stuff and potential for good control.

Lyerly, who was originally selected by the Brewers in the 4th round of the 1966 amateur player draft, out of Jackson State in Jackson, Mississippi, was not expected to be more than a marginal big league pitcher at best. The thought when he was drafted was that with his great stuff and very good fastball, combined with a decent sinker, he might someday work his way into a big league bullpen as an injury replacement for a short period of time. His early work in the minors was spotty, but he did show continuous improvement in his velocity. Then something odd happened (well, random talent change, really) and Lyerly developed a fourth pitch to go along with his great fastball, solid sinker, and poor changeup: a knuckle curve with very good potential. At the same time his velocity moved up into the upper echelon (99-101 mph), and the scouting staff reported that it appeared his control had better potential then even earlier thought.

And, all of sudden, as mentioned above, he was one of the top prospects in the WPK. But that propensity to give up the longball, that poor movement. Could be possibly overcome that to have success at the big league level?The first test of that came in the 1969 season, when due to injuries on the starting staff, Lyerly got the call to come up to the big league club. When he was brought up in mid-June it was felt that it would just be a brief stint to get us through until others returned from injury and to see what he might be able to do. Well, it turned out that what he could do was impress the heck out of everyone and earn a permanent spot in the rotation. In his 18 games started from that point until the end of the season he finished with an 8-3 record and a 2.99 ERA but even more than that he struck out 9.7 batters per 9 innings pitched and put up 3.4 WAR. This included several games where he reached double digit strikeout totals, eventually setting a new team record with 14 K's in a game.
He had earned a spot in the 1970 rotation though the general feeling was that a full season in the bigs might start to reveal his weaknesses more and that he was due for a bit of let-down. Boy, was that wrong. Lyerly finished the 1970 season with an 18-9 record, a 2.44 ERA, a league-leading 239 strikeouts (including 4 more 14-K games), a 1.02 WHIP, 6.6 WAR. For his fine season he was awarded the MGL Pitcher of the Year award and his first All-Star game appearance. All at the tender age of 22. He did see some statistical decline in 1971, partly due to an elbow issue (bone spurs) mid-season which sidelined him for over a month, but when it was all said and done he finished with the exact same fine ERA at the prior year (2.44), a 14-6 record, led the league in strikeouts (in spite of pitching far fewer innings than his nearest competitors) with 183, and K/9 at 8.8 and finished 6th in the Pitcher of the Year voting.

He will be 24 entering the 1972 season and already has a WPK career record of 40-18 with a 2.58 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. Can he continue his brilliance going forward or will his propensity to give up homeruns catch up with him? (There are some indications that moving from OOTP19 to OOTP20 has led to some lowering of expectations for him with our scouting staff.) Only time will tell.
Stay tuned.

stevem810 03-23-2019 08:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BirdWatcher (Post 4457873)
This is a continuation of the following thread from the OOTP19 Fictional Simulations subfolder: http://www.ootpdevelopments.com/boar....php?t=289570\


You will notice that the focus has shifted from Ruben Souffront to Harry Lyerly. There will be more explanation later but suffice it to say that it appears Souffront's career with the Brewers has come to an end (though certainly not his WPK career). With the emergence the past few seasons of young fireballer Harry Lyerly as a fascinating character I decided that he would be the appropriate focus at this time.
Let's hope I haven't just jinxed him the way I did Souffront. ;)

Can you post (or link) the Streak's career stats?

BirdWatcher 03-23-2019 10:30 AM

4 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by stevem810 (Post 4458572)
Can you post (or link) the Streak's career stats?

Yes, absolutely.
Below you will find screenshots.

Having not quite reached his 27th birthday, Ruben could still be a productive WPK player in the right situation. The reality is that the Brewers have superstar Ryan Rodgers in leftfield, young top prospect Joe McPhillips competing now for the centerfield job this coming season, and the power/speed/defense combination of Antonio Puente in rightfield. Adding in one of best pure hitters in Andrew Kennedy, who primarily plays leftfield and gives Bobby Erbakan days off at firstbase, this leaves at most one spot in the outfield mix for the 1972 season.
And two players competing for that spot: Souffront and Pat Rondeau. While Souffront is a bit younger, hits for more power, and likely has a bit more upside than Rondeau, Rondeau is the more versatile player and the better fielder (a very gifted defensive outfielder!), has nearly the same impact on the base paths (though his raw speed has diminished a bit of late), and is considered the better contact hitter, rarely striking out.
Souffront has shown poor plate discipline in his career and hits into more double plays than one would expect of a player with his incredible speed. And while he is not a bad fielder overall (and has a very strong arm), he is prone to gaffes in the field that often cost his team.
Perhaps most importantly, Rondeau is the better bargain of the two. Rondeau is arbitration eligible this off-season, as is Souffront, but it should take much less to sign Rondeau, who has one more year of arbitration eligibility after this, while Souffront is potentially a free agent at the end of the 1971 season.

The Brewers have explored trading Souffront already this off-season (you will notice that he is currently angry) but couldn't find a deal that really made sense for the team. So at this point it appears that they may simply non-tender him and let him test free agency a year early.

BirdWatcher 03-23-2019 10:41 AM

1971 Gold Glove Awards
 
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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.

BirdWatcher 03-23-2019 12:32 PM

1971 Reliever of the Year Award
 
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The 1971 MGL Reliever of the Year award went to Phoenix's dominant veteran closer, Pat Brooks. This is the second time Brooks has won this award (also won in 1968.)

But Brewers reliever Eric Singer did come in second in the voting.

BirdWatcher 03-23-2019 12:36 PM

1971 Silver Slugger Awards
 
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Two Brewers players were awarded Silver Slugger awards for the 1971 season.

Thirdbaseman Jamison Bash, in his first season as a Brewer, won his 4th Silver Slugger award with a great season at the plate.

Shortstop Chad Brown received his first such honor as he had a terrific season with the bat and finished 3rd in batting average in the MGL.

BirdWatcher 03-23-2019 12:49 PM

1971 Rookie of the Year award
 
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Randy Keisel of the Baltimore Lords was awarded this year's MGL Rookie of the Year award. Keisel is a strong defender at second and also led the league in doubles with 37 while putting up a very respectable slash line of .297/.345/.435 and finished the season with a 5.7 WAR.

Brewers starting pitcher Steve Green finished 3rd in the voting and might have finished higher if he hadn't missed the last month+ of the season with triceps tendinitis.

BirdWatcher 03-23-2019 12:59 PM

1971 Pitcher of the Year
 
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Brewers ace Cheol-han Lee received his 3rd career Pitcher of the Year award, his 1st in a Brewers uniform.

Lee received 19 1st place votes, with only teammate Daniel Torres, who for the second year in a row led the MGL in ERA, stealing the final 1st place vote from him. Torres finished 4th in the voting.

As a testament to how strong Brewers pitching was, 4 of the 9 pitchers listed on ballots were Brewers, with Harry Lyerly finishing in 6th and reliever Eric Singer finishing tied for 9th.

BirdWatcher 03-23-2019 01:08 PM

1971 mgl mvp
 
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Jamison Bash was named the 1971 MGL MVP, and garnered all but 2 of the available 1st place votes. It was a resurgent year at the plate for the veteran thirdbaseman in his first season in Brewers purple.

The only other player to receive any 1st place votes was the Brooklyn Ace's dynamic centerfielder, Felix Lopez, who led all of the WPK in batting average at .366, hits with 234, and tied for best in stolen bases with 43.

Brewers Ryan Rodgers and Chad Brown also received points in the voting.

BirdWatcher 03-23-2019 06:17 PM

Souffront, Smart, Brown all now free agents
 
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Three members of the 1971 Brewers team have filed for free agency: Ruben Souffront, whom the Brewers non-tendered prior to the arbitration hearing deadline, swingman Will Smart, and reliever David Brown.

Souffront we have already talked about here. He was long a management favorite and the team hopes only the best for him in the future. Smart, who was signed as a free agent by the team back in the winter of 1968, pitched very well as an occasional starter for the past few years. But in a crowded staff there just was not room left for him and it was decided to let him see if he couldn't find a better fit elsewhere. Veteran lefthanded reliever David Brown showed little sign of decline at the age of 36 and was a valued member of the Brewers 'pen since 1967. It was a difficult decision to let him walk, but with a number of younger arms having earned a chance at least for role on the big league club, management reluctantly decided to say goodbye to Brown.

A few other long-time Brewers farm-hands, Bobby Arends, who had pitched parts of 3 seasons in a Brewers uniform from 1967 through 1969, and Tony Maldonado, are now on the open market. Arends had 15 starts as a Brewer during the 1968 season and actually fared quite well (9-5, 2.55) but has never been considered talented enough to crack the rotation in any permanent way. He's a high-quality individual, very well liked, and the team hopes the best for him in his future.
Maldonado was part of the WPK's inaugural draft and has spent his entire professional career in the Brewers minor league system. While he has never earned a spot on the Brewers active roster, the thought is that he has enough talent that with the right organization he could provide some value on a big league roster.

BirdWatcher 03-23-2019 06:37 PM

Former Brewers prospects shine in SJL in 1971
 
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Two former Brewers prospects, Jordan Gallardo and Chris Martin, had wonderful seasons in the Shoeless Joe League this past season.

Gallardo, who was signed by the Brewers out of the Dominican Republic way back in 1965, was a consistent star with the bat during his 5 seasons working his way up the Brewers farm system. The hard working and intelligent outfielder was a favorite of Brewers management but with the crowded and talented outfield crop of the Brewers he was pretty much blocked from promotion above AAA Chester. Therefore he was traded to the Pittsburgh Roadrunners (appropriate for a player with his great speed) in a deal that brought the Brewers thirdbase prospect Mike Foster, last winter. Gallardo was given plenty of starts between centerfield and rightfield for the Roadrunners this past season, providing excellent defense and solid enough hitting, and came in 2nd in the Rookie of the Year voting for the SJL. The Brewers are happy to see Gallardo thriving but also happy to see him doing it in the other league.

Chris Martin was chosen by the Brewers as a youngster in the inaugural draft in 1965 and though he was far from being big league ready at that time it was felt that he had great potential. Unfortunately, he struggled a good deal in his few years as a Brewer prospect and was traded away back in the summer of 1966 (a trade that brought the Brewers Josh McEwen, who had a key role in the bullpen for a few years, and then highly rated prospect Rob Ibarra, who has made the big leagues but has experienced serious injury issues which have dulled his talents). It took quite a few years, but Martin has certainly come into his own the past few years and put together a great season for the Milwaukee Cadets in 1971 at the age of 24, finishing 3rd in the SJL Pitcher of the Year voting. The Brewers have to consider him one who got away.

BirdWatcher 03-23-2019 06:49 PM

Brewers extend Hua, Rondeau, avoid hearings
 
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The Brewers made it a priority to sign both Liann-wei Hua and Pat Rondeau prior to the arbitration hearing deadline to avoid the uncomfortable and adversarial process.

Hua, one of the rising stars of the Denver bullpen and its most prominent lefthander with the departure of David Brown, is a bit of a steal at 37K a year. With the recent changes in the WPK labor rules (which increased the minimum service time a player must play before being free agency eligible to 7 years and added an extra year to arbitration eligibility) Hua has 3 more years of arbitration eligibility remaining.

Rondeau has just 1 year of arbitration eligibility after the 1972 season and his role with the team beyond 1972 is in doubt but he remains an important member of the outfield for now as youngster Joe McPhillips enters what is expected to be his first full season in a Brewers uniform.

BirdWatcher 03-23-2019 07:24 PM

Poblano named Seattle pitching coach
 
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Former Brewer Ron Poblano, one of the team's early leaders who finished 2nd in the MGL Reliever of the Year award voting for 1965, has been named the new pitching coach for the SJL's Seattle Alligators.

Sharkn20 03-23-2019 07:27 PM

Off we go!

Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

BirdWatcher 03-23-2019 07:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sharkn20 (Post 4459194)
Off we go!

Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

The tough part now is that I am in the off-season and I try not to hurry too much through the off-season. I want to pay attention to free agent signings and trades made by other teams and take some time thinking through my plan of action for the upcoming season.
But of course, I really want to be playing actual games with OOTP20. So I'm eager to get to the 1972 season.
Fortunately, it is a 3-day weekend for me, so I'll have plenty of time to spend in front of the game.

BirdWatcher 03-23-2019 08:02 PM

Wilson signs with Philadelphia!
 
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Andy Wilson, one of the biggest superstars of the WPK since the league's inception, has signed a 2-year contract to play with the Philadelphia Mud Hens of the SJL.
Until now, Wilson has only ever played for one team, the Portland Wild Things. But after a 100 loss season the Wild Things are in rebuilding mode and the aging star with durability issues was considered expendable.

Wilson is a 2-time MGL MVP, 7-time All-Star, 7-time Silver Slugger award winner, and 2-time Gold Glove at shortstop, which he played earlier in his career. Wilson has primarily been playing second base the past few years but the rumors indicate that he will be moving to third for the Mud Hens. Wilson will be 37 this coming season and is starting to show some signs of aging (his respectable 4.9 WAR in 1971 was by far the lowest of his career), but he remains a force in the game and a dangerous hitter.
Brewers pitchers will be glad to know that they will not have to face him in the regular season this coming season.

BirdWatcher 03-23-2019 08:09 PM

Hernandez signs with Keys!
 
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Reigning SJL Pitcher of the Year Chris Hernandez, one of the most celebrated and beloved players in the WPK, was signed to a one-year deal as a free agent by the San Antonio Keys.

Brewers hitters are happy to see Hernandez remain in the SJL, where he has been one of the most dominant pitchers not named Jake Harris for the past 7 seasons.

BirdWatcher 03-23-2019 08:25 PM

Spinners sign veteran starting pitcher Santos!
 
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The Los Angeles Spinners made a late season push for contention in 1971 and finished with a surprising 100 wins, even though that was only good enough for 3rd place in the MGL, behind Denver and Phoenix.

But with today's signing of veteran starting pitcher Jose Santos the Spinners have put the rest of the MGL on notice that they intend to be a team to be reckoned with in 1972.
Santos provides the Spinners not only a talented former MGL Pitcher of the Year and 4-time All-Star but one of the finest leaders in the game.

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

Quote:

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

Quote:

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

Quote:

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

Quote:

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

Indeed.
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.

BirdWatcher 03-26-2019 11:04 PM

Opening Day at Centennial Stadium!
 
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At their brand new home, the gorgeous Centennial Stadium, the Brewers took on the Baltimore Lords on Opening Day of the 1972 season.
And although they were outhit 12-6, they scraped together a run in the bottom of the 8th inning to break a 3-3 tie and held on for the 4-3 win.
Reigning MGL MVP Jamison Bash provided the winning run by hitting his first homer of the season. Reigning MGL Pitcher of the Year Cheol-han Lee wasn't at his sharpest- allowing 3 runs on 12 hits while walking 3 and striking out 4- but he earned his first win of the season nevertheless. Recently acquired stopper Jose de los Santos pitched a perfect 9th inning for his first save as a Brewer.

The following day saw a marathon pitching duel which finally ended in the bottom of the 12th inning on a walk-off sacrifice fly by Jamison Bash to break a scoreless tie and give the Brewers the narrow 1-0 victory.
Steve Green was masterful for the 8 innings he pitched, allowing just 3 hits (all singles) while striking out 10 and walking 2. Liann-wei Hua was the pitcher of record and pitched a perfect top of the 12th. Hua was one of 3 relievers (de los Santos and Miguel Solis, the others) who provided the Brewers with the combined shutout. Rookie Paul Mackins picked up his first big league hit in the 4th inning on a solid line drive (exit velocity: 102.5 mph) into right center.

BirdWatcher 03-27-2019 04:14 PM

***The View from Outside the Park***
 
This is a view from outside the park about, well, ballparks.
New ballparks in the WPK, to be more precise. A new ballpark for every team in the league.

It's a new day in the WPK as nearly every team has the potential for greater attendance numbers than they did previously as they have brand new stadiums/ballparks with larger capacity.

Basically, as I mentioned in the original thread about this league in the OOTP19 fictional subfolder, after failing to figure out how to import customized ballparks into the game when I first tried some time ago, I recently revisited this process and figured it out (of course, it isn't really that hard, once you get it) and therefore I have imported new ballparks into the game for all the WPK big league teams.
Thanks again to folks like Silvam and Adion, eriqjaffe, and nielsoncp for their wonderful creations.
I had been using current MLB parks 3D images for all my WPK teams, just trying to align as best I could with the city/region they are in (so, of course, Coors Field for my Brewers) but keeping all of the ballpark names/dimensions/factors/etc. from the creation of the league.
One result was that the Brewers had a much larger seating capacity, and therefore pretty inevitably led the league in attendance, than any other team. This wasn't something I rigged- it was just how it came out in the league creation process.
It will be interesting to see how this affects the financial realities of the WPK as all teams have potential to increase revenue at an accelerated rate in the next few years.

So, for me it helps immersion into this universe to have ballparks that won't be look like MLB parks that I am familiar with and that my WPK teams can have their ballparks help to create the story of the team going forward. Plus, it makes things a little less easy on me as I won't have the same sort of attendance, and therefore revenue, advantage that I had for the first 7 years of the league's existence.

In the process, I tried to keep ballpark factors more or less in line, league-wide, with previous factors. On a team level there will be some drastic changes, but overall the factors should balance out about the same as they did previously. However, there is a slight shift in that the MGL has ballparks that are, taken as a whole, a bit more hitter friendly than before and the opposite has happened in the SJL.

For our Brewers the biggest difference will be that the old park favored left-handed hitters quite a bit more than right-handed hitters and that has now switched to being fairly favorable for righties and more neutral for lefties. The park does remain a pretty good hitters park which favors power hitters, but that is much the same as before. (Which is what has been most impressive about how dominant our pitching staff has been.)

You have seen the Brewers new home- Centennial Stadium. I'll try to feature the others- in the MGL at least for now- as we head out on the road.

BirdWatcher 03-27-2019 10:22 PM

April 13-15, 1972, versus Portland
 
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The opening home stand continues with 2 games against the Portland Wild Things.

In game 1, Harry Lyerly isn't particularly sharp- especially early on- but the team gave him great run support and he settled down enough to get his first win of the season. Lyerly allowed 3 runs on 6 hits while striking out 8 and walking 4 in 6 innings pitched. Matt Helm pitched a fine 3 innings to pick up the save.

The Brewers suffer their first loss of the season in the second game of the series in spite of mounting a bottom of the 9th inning comeback attempt that nearly succeeded. Daniel Torres struggled in his first start of the season, allowing 5 runs on 9 hits in 5 1/3rd innings pitched. The Brewers scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th to get within one run of the Wild Things, but unfortunately Andrew Kennedy struck out with the bases loaded to end the game.

BirdWatcher 03-28-2019 07:12 PM

April 16, 1972, versus Detroit
 
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The Brewers conclude their initial home stand with a doubleheader against the Detroit Falcons.

In the first game they got a great performance from ace Cheol-han Lee, who picked up the complete game victory, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits with 7 strikeouts and walked 3. Lee improves to 2-0 with a 2.65 ERA. Chad Brown is off to a great start in 1972 and went 5 for 5 in the game. The Brewers take game 1 6-2.

In spite of a fine start by team captain Abel Pennington the Brewers dropped the night-cap in 10 innings, 3-2. Miguel Solis took the loss, allowing a 1-out solo homerun off the bat of Falcons leftfielder James Watson.

Although it is very early in the season and no team is getting too excited about their record at this point, the Los Angeles Spinners have to be happy to be off to a 6-1 start, while the Phoenix Speed Devils, favored to win the MGL this season, have started a disappointing 2-5.

(I'm happy to see that Cheol-han Lee has gone from having the durable label to being considered an Iron Man. Lee is the WPK's career leader in WAR for a pitcher (62.0, his nearest competitor, Jake Harris, is at 54.5). At 31 and signed to the richest contract in the WPK through 1976 (his age 35 season) it is good to know that he is likely to remain a good investment. On the other hand, Miguel Solis, 32 years old and coming off two seasons where he suffered season ending injuries roughly mid-season, is now considered fragile. His contract only lasts through this season and this could likely be his last season with the Brewers.)

BirdWatcher 03-28-2019 10:18 PM

April 19-20, 1972, at Baltimore
 
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The Brewers then head out on the road for the first time in the 1972 season and start in Baltimore against the Lords.
This is their first look at the new home of the Lords, the cozy Community Stadium. Community Stadium seats up to 39,600, putting it a bit below average in the MGL in terms of seating capacity. It plays as a slight hitters park, a bit more favorable to left-handed hitters than right-handers. It is a pretty good place to hit the long ball.

You wouldn't know it was a hitters park though by the Brewers performance there in the two game series.
In game 1 they were shutout by Yin-Ti Lau. The Taiwanese righty seems to often have the Brewers number, and did again on this occasion, limiting them to a pair of singles and a pair of walks, while striking out 7 and getting the complete game shutout victory. Steve Green was not very sharp for Denver in his second start of the season, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits in 7 1/3rd innings pitched and he drops to 0-1 with a 2.87 ERA.

Game 2 saw the Brewers return the favor behind the strong pitching of Harry Lyerly, Liann-wei Hua, and Jose de los Santos. Lyerly allowed just 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7 over 7 1/3rd innings pitched and got the win to improve to 2-0 with a 2.02 ERA. Hua and de los Santos preserved the narrow lead and de los Santos got his 2nd save of the season in the process as the Brewers prevailed 2-0. Some sloppy defense by the Lords in the top of the 9th gave the Brewers a bit of insurance, as Danny Roman reached on a 1-out error by the Lords firstbaseman (after Bobby Erbakan had led off with a double but was out trying to stretch it to a triple), and came home after rookie Paul Mackins singled and the Lords rightfielder, Jeff Crozier, who has a cannon arm, overshot his throw to third trying to erase Roman from the base paths.

BirdWatcher 03-30-2019 10:34 AM

April 21-23, 1972, at Portland
 
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At brand new Riverfront Stadium in Portland, the Brewers face the Wild Things in a 3-game series. Riverfront seats 42,500 and is expected to be one of the better pitching parks in the MGL, especially in terms of homerun suppression.

In game 1 the reputation holds true as the Brewers fall to the Wild Things 1-0, spoiling a pretty good start by veteran lefty Daniel Torres (6 1/3rd IP, 0 R, 6 H, 7K, 3 BB).

Saturday's game 2 is postponed due to rain and rescheduled for Sunday as half of a double-header.

In the first game of the Sunday doubleheader the Brewers hitters come alive and the visitors win 12-2. Cheol-han Lee struck out 15 batters in the game, tying the WPK single-game record and setting a new Denver record, over-taking Harry Lyerly who held the previous record of 14 (something he has accomplished 4 times.) Lee improves to 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA. Rookie Joe McPhillips showed signs of his great potential, being named the Player of the Game by going 4 for 5, collecting his first big league HR (a 3-run shot in the 6th inning) and his first big league stolen base. McPhillips drove in 5 of the Brewers 12 runs.

The night-cap sees the Captain, Abel Pennington, continue his fine start to the 1972 season (1-0, 1.32) by pitching 6 2/3rds shutout innings, allowing 6 hits, striking out 4 and walking 3. The bullpen (Liann-wei Hua and Miguel Solis) preserved the shutout and the Brewers prevail 3-0. Backup catcher Spencer Wilson (.500/.500/.500), off to a great start, went 4 for 5 in the game with 2 RBI.

BirdWatcher 03-30-2019 10:41 AM

Seattle's Mannarino lost for season!
 
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Taylor Mannarino, having looked dominant in his first two starts of the season (having mostly worked out of the bullpen in his four prior WPK seasons), suffers a torn back muscle and is lost for the season.
It is a tough break for the 25-year old who is thought to have one of the most devastating change-ups in the game.

BirdWatcher 03-30-2019 10:47 AM

Injury prone Ibarra lost for season
 
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Former Brewer prospect Rob Ibarra, now in the Washington Night Train organization, suffered a season-ending injury yesterday (torn elbow ligament).
Ibarra was the 7th player selected overall in the 1965 amateur player draft and was once a highly regarded prospect (as high as #18 on the top prospects list in 1966), but has long been injury prone and many believe he will never reach his earlier potential.

BirdWatcher 03-30-2019 10:56 AM

Spinners sizzle, Speed Devils sputter
 
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Although it is still very early in the season and teams are striving to neither get too excited about early success or too deflated by early struggles, the Los Angeles Spinners fans, at the least, have to be very excited about their team's start as the Spinners are now 11-2 to kick off the 1972 season.

A big part of the Spinners success has been ace starter Jason Wilson. Wilson has had an interesting WPK career, as a pitcher with very average stuff and a four-pitch arsenal where no one pitch stands out as being anything special, but excellent control and movement. In the three seasons prior to this, Wilson went 20-8 with a 1.99 ERA, then 10-21 with a 3.51, and then last season 21-6 with a 2.77 ERA. It's a rare sandwiching of two 20+ win seasons around a 21-loss campaign. But this season Wilson is off to a torrid 4-0, 0.26 ERA start and the Spinners are flying high.

The Phoenix Speed Devils, favored by many to win the MGL, are on the other end of the spectrum, having now dropped 5 straight to fall to 4-10 and currently occupy the basement in the MGL.

BirdWatcher 03-30-2019 12:28 PM

April 24-26, 1972, at Detroit
 
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The Brewers then travel to Detroit to take on the Falcons at East Lake Park (which plays pretty neutral but is a bit more favorable for right-handed hitters than left-handed hitters) in a 3-game series.

The Brewers score 3 runs in the 9th inning to stage a come-back win over the Falcons in game 1 with the final score 5-3. Steve Green pitched pretty well in the start, working 7 innings, giving up 2 runs on just 4 hits while striking out 8 and walking just 1. The big hit of the game was provided by Bobby Erbakan- his 2-out, 2-run double in the 9th gave the Brewers the lead they would not relinquish. It was Erbakan's 5th double of the season.

In the second game of the series the Brewers earned a 4-0 victory in spite of losing starter Harry Lyerly early in the game (he left with 2 outs in the 2nd inning with what was later revealed to be a blister on his pitching finger and should be available for his next start). Matt Helm came in to take over for Lyerly and hurled a fine 4 1/3rd innings for his first win of the season. Bobby Erbakan picked up his 4th stolen base (in 4 tries) in the game.

The Falcons got a great start from their ace Colby Muir in the final game of the series to avoid being swept as they defeated the Brewers 2-1. In spite of pitching well (7 1/3rd IP, 2 R, 7 H, 4 K, 4 BB), Daniel Torres took the loss to fall to 0-2 with a 3.32 ERA. The Brewers only managed 3 hits in the game, but 2 of them were off the bat of Chad Brown (.377/.393/.491) who is off to another good start and is currently 3rd in the MGL in batting average.


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