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DG18 08-28-2019 09:03 PM

The United States Baseball League - Baseball's New Beginning
Major League Baseball was unable to recover after a player's strike resulting from a failure to agree to a new CBA, leading to the league's demise after the 2021 season. Between that and Rob Manfred's "juiced baseball" controversy, fans began to lose interest and trust in one of the country's most popular professional sports leagues.

Fortunately for baseball fans, a group of wealthy investors and business tycoons began assembling new professional baseball teams to participate in exhibition games around the country and overseas. After a few years of these teams establishing themselves, the United States Baseball League was born!

Western League:
Pacific Division: Los Angeles Vandals, Oregon Impact, San Jose Seals, Spokane Comets
Mountain Division: Boise Bobcats, Denver Foxes, Las Vegas Gamblers, Omaha Emeralds
Southwest Division: Austin Jackals, New Mexico Scouts, San Antonio Scorpions, Tulsa Thunderbirds

Eastern League
Northeast Division: New York Heroes, Philadelphia Robins, Rhode Island Salukis, Richmond Spartans
Midwest Division: Chicago Monarchs, Columbus Classics, Indianapolis Naturals, St. Louis Shockers
Southeast Division: Charlotte Vipers, Memphis Owls, New Orleans Explorers, Orlando Waves


In this dynasty, I have created a 24-team fictional league with most of the same settings as the default MLB quickstart. All minor leagues are enabled, and the designated hitter rule will also be applied to both leagues. I started the simulation in 2022, and after a few years I will pick a team to manage and then delete all the league history to start fresh.

Hitter/Pitcher Aging Speed - .750
Hitter/Pitcher Development Speed - 1.200
Talent Change Randomness - 125
Scouting Accuracy - Normal
Player Eval Settings - Default
Trade Difficulty - Hard

DG18 08-29-2019 09:03 AM

Columbus Selects Miller as GM
The Columbus Clippers of the newly-formed United States Baseball League have selected 29-year old Grant Miller as the first general manager of the franchise. The Clippers will get ready to compete in the inaugural season of the USBL, where they will battle for a Midwest Division title along with Indianapolis, Chicago, and St. Louis.

DG18 08-30-2019 11:24 AM

2024 Opening Day Roster

(Age, B/T, Salary)
Starting Pitchers:
Min-ho Lee (27, R, $10,000,000) - Lee has almost no velocity, but he does have maybe the league's best knuckleball. We have him locked up for 5 more years so hopefully he can become a steady presence at the top of our rotation.
Julio Lambruschini (39, R, $14,500,000) - Lambruschini is at the twilight of his career, and while he doesn't look like a big strikeout guy, he should be a solid #2.
Jeff Arnoff (34, R, $2,750,000) - Pretty average across the board but should be able to eat innings in the middle of the rotation. He got hit hard at the end of Spring Training so that's something to keep an eye on.
Jared Hooper (32, R, $599,500) - Best pitch is a splitter, but his stamina isn't great so he might have to convert to the bullpen depending on how things shake out.
Andy Castillo (24, R, Minimum) - Castillo is starting the year as our #5 starter, but we think he has a bright future as a flamethrower. He already throws in the upper 90s with solid control, so if he can develop his offspeed more he could turn into a good pitcher. He struggled at the beginning of Spring Training, but his last few outings were great which shows that he has a high ceiling.

Relief Pitchers:
Prince Thomas (36, R, $2,250,000) - Good fastball/slider combo with a sidearm delivery, so he could be useful to get right handed batters out.
Jim Potvin (28, L, $1,500,000) - Decent stuff, not a whole lot of control but he also has enough stamina to serve as a long relief man if needed.
Steve Steen (28, R, $1,125,000) - Good strikeout pitcher but also lacks control.
Jake Jones (29, R, Minimum) - Pretty good stuff but also has the potential to get rocked if he isn't fooling anybody. Jones has three pitches and enough stamina where he could serve as an emergency starter if needed.
Eric Cottle (25, L, $1,375,000) - Cottle will be our left handed specialist out of the pen, although he has good enough stuff where he could probably get righties out too.
Curt Koonts (26, R, Minimum) - The hardest thrower on the staff, Koonts can light up the radar gun, but lacks a great secondary pitch.
Gabe Baker (26, R, $4,000,000) - Baker only throws a cutter and slider, but it's good enough that hitters can know what's coming and still have trouble finding the barrel. He'll start as our closer this year.

Damon Ahernfeld (30, R, $1,125,000) - Below average hitter for the most part, but he is good at taking walks. Had a rough spring but nobody else really impressed so he'll open the season as the starter behind the plate.
Vinny Cortez (40, R, $1,625,000) - Basically just a slightly worse version of Ahernfeld across the board. Probably won't be able to play much behind the plate at his age but he's a servicable backup.

1B Jose Ariza (39, R, $7,500,000) - Doesn't hit for average, but Ariza should be a powerful slugger in the middle of the lineup.
2B Kevin Dickerson (27, R, $2,500,000) - Won't hit for extra bases much, but Dickerson is a solid fielder and excellent baserunner that could lead the team in steals.
2B Jordan Limas (26, R, $599,500) - Limas is a better hitter than Dickerson and will likely get the starting nod at the beginning of the season unless he starts to slump. He also has no power, but he's good at slapping singles and getting his bat on the ball.
IF Jesus Arrellano (29, R, $1,062,500) - Arrellano would better serve as a utility infielder, but we don't really have any better options at 3B so he'll start for now. He's another guy with zero power but hopefully he can just get on base at a good clip.
IF Nick Oropreza (28, S, Minimum) - Oropreza was the last man to make the Opening Day roster, and I basically just liked that he is a good defender and a switch hitter. He's not someone we want to rely on but he might be a good role player.
SS Tony Palacios (30, R, $8,000,000) - Decent hitter and a very good fielder at shortstop, Palacios will be a big factor for our infield defense. He's not a slugger but he's got more power than a lot of guys at his position.

LF Ricky Heller (28, R, $937,500) - Heller's best attribute is probably his clubhouse presence as a leader, but he's got a little pop in his bat as well.
CF William Lizarraga (26, R, $599,500) - Lizarraga can't really hit at this point, but he's an excellent outfielder and baserunner.
OF/1B Ryan Walker (34, L, $1,625,000) - Walker is probably best served as a bench player, but he has a disciplined approach at the plate and is also an above average defender in the outfield.
RF Myles Fenty (41, R, $21,000,000) - The best hitter on a team usually isn't 41 years old, but Fenty is expected to lead this team in the middle of the lineup. He probably has the most power in our lineup, so hopefully he still has enough gas left in the tank to contribute.
OF Joe Maynard (30, L, Minimum) - Below average across the board.

Injured List:
LF Alex Roberts (28, R, $1,187,500) - Roberts was expected to start the year as our starting left fielder, but suffered a concussion in Spring Training and will miss most of April.

The preseason predictions have us finishing in second place at 78-84. Chicago looks to be the best team in the division by far, while nobody is optimistic about St. Louis or Indianapolis. The New York Heroes are expected to be the best team in the Eastern League, while Oregon and Omaha have good ballclubs in the West.

DG18 08-30-2019 11:58 PM

Mid-April 2024 Update:
Record: 4-9 (2nd place, 4 GB)

Overview: Well, a pretty awful start to the season. I guess the only silver lining is that we're still in second place because Indy and St. Louis have found a way to be even worse. It took a while for the bats to get going, as we only scored 3 runs combined in the first series of the year. Since then, things have gotten better, but our pitching hasn't been good enough to win many low-scoring games.

Myles Fenty has been as good as advertised, as he is currently leading the USBL with 7 home runs. Outside of him, nobody is hitting for much power, which has made it tough to score runs. Overall, only two of our starters have an OPS above .800, which isn't going to cut it. So far Jesus Arrellano has been getting most of his at bats from the lead off spot, and while he has been drawing a fair number of walks, he strikes out too much and doesn't have enough speed to be great at the top of the order. Tony Palacios and Jordan Limas haven't been much better, so for now we don't really have any better options.

Starting pitching has been inconsistent so far, as everyone outside of Jared Hooper and Min-ho Lee have gotten rocked at least once. Lee was removed from his second start with a mild shoulder strain, but is expected to return within a week, when we will have to make a decision on who will be removed from the rotation. For the most part, the bullpen has been very good, but we may need to find another lefty if Jim Potvin doesn't get it together soon.

Injury Report:
Min-ho Lee should return to the rotation soon after a brief stint on the IL. His shoulder injury was minor, and shutting him down was more of a precautionary move if anything.
Unfortunately, we don't have the same good news about LF Alex Roberts, who is still recovering from a concussion. We thought he would be back by the end of the month, but at this point his estimated return is unclear. Head injuries are nothing to mess with, so we'll make sure he is 100% before bringing him back.

31-year old Mario Soto was called up to take over for the injured Lee in the rotation. His first start went well, but he was rocked his last time out against New Orleans, giving up 9 runs (6 earned). He will make at least one more start, and could stay in the rotation depending on how he and everyone else does this next week.

Around the League:
-Omaha has gotten off to the hottest start in baseball, and they have been led by SS Scott Kessler who is off to a torrid .441/.500/.610 slash line on the season. They have three other hitters well over .300 in Tim Barth (.382), Javon Watson (.355), and Harold DeYoung (.377).
-New Orleans and Rhode Island have each gotten off to a 10-4 start in the Eastern League, as they lead their respective divisions. Salukis LF Ramon Mendez leads the EL with 17 RBI, and Explorers 2B Jason Colford has led New Orleans with a .404 average this year.
-The Heroes aren't leading the division as expected, but that could change soon as they return RF Nick Kitzler to the lineup after he missed 2 weeks with a knee injury. Kitzler looks to be one of the best young stars in baseball, and will certainly be in impact batter in New York's lineup.
-Richomnd will be without 21-year old SP Carlos Guerrero this year, as he suffered a torn rotator cuff in his first start of the year. The next week, they also lost SP Carlos Miranda for the year, who posted a 3.24 ERA in his first 3 starts.
-Comets LF Rafael Cervantes had a 5-hit game in a wild 15-11 victory over Las Vegas, and he has continued to swing a hot bat, as he leads the Western League with 6 home runs to go with a .385 batting average.
-Spartans CF Hector Sanchez went 6-6 against Orlando, but the Waves still defeated the Spartans in a 4-3 contest.
-Vandals C Josh Shulman went 6-7 against Omaha, as he has been one of the best-hitting catchers in the league with a .365 average.

DG18 09-02-2019 12:35 PM

April 2024 Update:

Record: 10-17 (3rd, 6 GB)
The rest of April wasn't very kind to us, as we're 7 games under .500 and own one of the weakest lineups in the Eastern League. We're dead last in runs scored, and either 10th or 11th in every other major offensive category. Myles Fenty has accounted for 12 of our 20 home runs, but even he has struggled to reach base consistently. Ricky Heller has recently emerged as our leadoff hitter, and Joe Maynard has also started to hit for some power after sitting the bench at the beginning of the season. Pretty much everyone else has disappointed so far - 1B Jose Ariza is still looking for his first home run, and the rest of our infield (Palacios, Limas, and Arrellano) hasn't done much with the bat either. At least these guys have flashed the leather, as we are 2nd in the league in defensive efficiency.
Pitching has still been inconsistent at times, but the return of Min-ho Lee has been huge for us, as the South Korean knuckleballer has thrown 17 shutout innings since his return to the starting rotation. The middle of our rotation has been fine for the most part, but Julio Lambruschini has struggled mightily. The biggest red flag to me is that he has only struck out 8 batters in 26 innings, and if he doesn't improve soon we may have to cut our losses and release him. The bullpen has been good for the most part, although closer Gabe Baker blew a few saves at the end of the month. Unfortunately the bullpen hasn't even gotten to protect many leads, since we usually don't score enough runs early in games.

Injury Report:
LF Alex Roberts was sent to AAA Dayton to begin a rehab assignment, and will hopefully be called up soon. He was expected to be a starter heading into this season, and hopefully he will provide a spark to the offense.
SP Mario Soto hit the IL with a strained hamstring after his most recent start, and will miss about 2 weeks with the injury. He will probably stay in AAA for now, but is likely to be called back up if some gets hurt or if we give up on Lambruschini.

LHP Jim Potvin was sent to AAA after a disastrous start to the season, and he has been replaced in the bullpen by lefty Bryce Beranek. The 25-year old was pitching to a 2.45 ERA in AAA, although has control has been a major issue so far (9 walks in 8.2 innings between AAA and USBL).

Around the League:
-Orlando lost RP Mike Patterson for the season with a torn labrum. Patterson was off to a good start this year, as he had a 2-0 record with 1 save and a 3.60 ERA.
-Salukis RF Scott Byrd collected 5 hits over San Diego in a 4-3 victory, and he has started to hit the ball well, slashing .287/.365/.485 with 4 home runs.
-Impact SP Davon Wooldridge is out for the year with a torn UCL that will require Tommy John Surgery. Wooldridge was 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA in 29 innings, and is a huge loss to Oregon's rotation.
-Emeralds catcher Kyle Mulder is out 6 weeks with a sprained knee. Mulder is hitting .276/.368/.379 on the season, and was an early favorite to make the All-Star game as one of the top catchers in baseball.
-Seals SS Edgar Guzman will miss 3-4 weeks with an intercostal strain. The shortstop has struggled out of the gate, hitting just .253/.317/.333 on the year.
-Heroes SP Brandon Willoughby shut out San Jose, and has continued his excellent season by improving his ERA to 2.05. Willoughby has struck out 54 batters in 48.1 innings, walking just 5.
-The Heroes have signed C Sal Ventura to a 4-year extension worth $76 million. Ventura has swung a hot bat this year, hitting .292 with 5 home runs on the season. But he hasn't been as good as their 1B Mike Boardman, who roped 5 hits against Spokane and improved his season line to .356/.448/.789, to go with 10 early home runs.
Monthly Awards:
WL Batter of the Month: Comets LF Rafael Cervantes - .330, 10 HR, 27 RBI, 24 R
EL Batter of the Month: Waves LF Scott Head - .442, 13 HR, 23 RBI, 26 R
WL Pitcher of the Month: Thunderbirds SP Willie Hernandez - 1.96 ERA, 30 K, 46 IP, .190 OPP AVG
EL Pitcher of the Month: Heroes SP Brandon Willoughby - 2.05 ERA, 54 K, 48.1 IP

Columbus April Awards:
Batter of the Month: RF/DH Myles Fenty - .222/.342/.596, 12 HR, 18 RBI, 17 R
Pitcher of the Month: SP Min-ho Lee - 31.1 IP, 0.86 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 24 K, 6 BB

Minor League Batters of the Month:
CF Juan Viera (AA) - .282/.395/.465, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 11 R, 3 SB
SS Gianlorenzo Gioberti (AAA) - .297/.370/.500, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 10 2B, 7 R
1B Steve Gayman (AA) - .304/.400/.406, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 9 R

Minor League Pitchers of the Month:
SP Andres Ortiz (AA) - 24.2 IP, 1.09 ERA, 20 K, 0.93 WHIP
RP Marcos Archuleta (AAA) - 10 IP, 0.00 ERA, 11 K, 0.40 WHIP
SP Bernie Toscano (AA) - 1.88 ERA, 24 IP, 22 K, 1.13 WHIP

DG18 09-02-2019 10:17 PM

Mid-May Update

Record: 18-22 (2nd, 4 GB)
The month of May started with a bang, as we went on a 6 game winning streak to pull our record within one game of .500. Things have cooled off since then, but pitching has continued to be the backbone of our (limited) success. Min-ho Lee has given us three more excellent starts so far this month, and Jeff Arnoff tossed a one-hitter against St. Louis. Andy Castillo has done a good job of preventing runs recently, but his walks are really concerning, and I'm worried about how long he'll be able to keep this up. Overall, the back end of our bullpen has continued to be dominant, which has been great when our offense has been able to build a lead early.
Offensively, we're still really weak, but we are no longer last in runs scored which is an improvement. William Lizarraga has started to swing a hot bat with a .358 OBP in May, and his excellent defense makes him a valuable asset when he can also hit. Myles Fenty and Joe Maynard have continued to be our main sources of power, although Jose Ariza finally went deep for the first two times this year. The main change to the lineup is the addition of Kevin Dickerson to lineup in favor of Jordan Limas at second base. Dickerson is a weak hitter, but he has been better at reaching base, and his speed makes him a big threat on the basepaths.

Injury Report:
Alex Roberts made a big impact in his brief return to the lineup (5-15 with 4 doubles), but he has missed the last week with a minor knee injury. This wasn't serious enough to warrant a trip to the Injured List, and he shot return to the lineup shortly.
Min-ho Lee was removed after 4.1 innings in his last start with a sprained ankle, but he should be fine to make his next start.
SP Jared Hooper was taken out after giving up 5 runs in 3.2 innings in his last start, and is dealing with an oblique injury. He should be ready to make his next start, but this is something to keep an eye on if he continues to struggle.
Lefty reliever Eric Cottle is also dealing with an oblique strain, and we decided to give him a rest and put him on the IL. We're hoping he can return to the bullpen soon, but for now we have called up Marcos Archuleta to take his spot.

IF Nick Oropeza was optioned to AAA after Alex Roberts returned from the IL. He's hitting just .200 in the minors and at this point isn't much more than organizational depth.

3B Jesus Arrellano was optioned to AAA as he has continued to struggle at the plate. We called up Erick Villapando to take his spot, as he hit the ball well in AAA, slashing .296/.377/.388 in 28 games.

We shipped C Vinny Cortez to Las Vegas in exchange for minor league OF Adrian Anders. Cortez is going to retire after the season anyway, and Anders has slugged .559 in AAA so far. This move was mainly done to accomodate the addition of C Billy Wittig, who was on a hot streak in AAA. We have gotten nothing out of Damon Ahernfeld behind the plate, so Wittig might get the chance to crack the starting lineup if he continues to hit.

RP Jake Jones signed a 1-year extension worth $1.3 million. Jones has been lights out so far, and he took a cheap contract to stay in Columbus.

Around the League:
-Seals SS Josh Bennett went 5-6 against the Vandals to raise his batting average to .364 on the year. Bennett started the year in AAA, but has been great since receiving the call to the USBL.
-Scouts SP Adam Padilla shut out the Austin Jackals, striking out 4. Padilla has a 2.81 ERA on the season to go with his 4-1 record.
-23-year old Jackals SP Sam Tomlin shut out the Seals, improving his ERA to 3.25 on the year.
-Thunderbirds SP Nate Girgenti shut out the Foxes, striking out 7. Girgenti has been excellent this season, striking out 50 batters in 57 innings and pitching to a 1.74 ERA.
-The Vandals will be without closer Dorian Skinner, who will miss 6 weeks with a partially torn labrum. Skinner has 6 saves this year in 16 relief appearances.
-Impact 1B Josh Vinson ended his hitting streak at 21 games, going 0-4 against Boise. Vinson is hitting .363/.433/.567 with 7 homers in 2024.

DG18 09-06-2019 10:10 AM

May 2024 Update
Record: 28-27 (2nd, 4.5 GB)
Who saw this month coming? After a dismal month of April, we are right back in the division race. It's still early, but May was a really encouraging month and hopefully a sign of good things to come.

May was marked by three hitters that made their debuts for the Classics. LF Alex Roberts returned from injury and has simply scorched the ball, as he already has 12 extra base hits in 77 plate appearances. We called up C Billy Wittig, and in limited playing time he has already made an impact, putting up an .878 OPS. Finally, our newly-acquired 3B Corey Neu has been great, and he closed the month by hitting for the cycle. Neu ended his cycle in perhaps the most exciting way possible - A bases-clearing triple to win the game. While the newcomers did well, we shouldn't ignore some of the other guys. Myles Fenty smacked 12 more home runs in May to remain the USBL leader, and both William Lizarraga and Ricky Heller improved on their opening months.

Our 1-2 punch of Min-ho Lee and Jeff Arnoff has continued to be great, but the back end of the rotation hasn't quite lived up to expectations. Andy Castillo posted 3 quality starts in May, but gave up a combined 10 runs in 5 innings in his other two. Jared Hooper and Julio Lambruschini may be running out of opportunities, because we have a few pitchers that have been doing very well in AAA. Fortunately, the bullpen has mostly been able to pick up their slack, as Baker and Jones have been especially dominant at the end of games.

In an effort to fill our hole at third base, we traded IF Erick Villalpando to Oregon in exchange for Corey Neu. This was an easy decision, as Neu was hitting well for the Impact and our scout loved him. He lacks the versatility of Villalpando, but his bat should be much better.

Injury Report:
I'm tired of writing about Min-ho Lee here, but our ace missed another start with a minor back injury. Fortunately, Jimmy Embleton filled in and pitched a gem, but we need Lee to stay healthy if we want to have any chance.

Lefty Brice Beranek is on the Injured List with a strained shoulder, and his return is unknown. Fortunately, Eric Cottle was activated in time to return to the bullpen.

RP Prince Thomas is out two weeks with an elbow injury, and we have called up 24-year old lefty Miguel Aguilar to take his place. Aguilar has a 2.35 in 30.2 AAA innings on the year.

Around the League:
-Thunderbirds LF John Crammer went 5-6 against Omaha, leading Tulsa to a 4-3 win. Crammer is hitting .277 with 5 home runs this year.
-Impact SP Jake Guerra tossed a 2-hitter against the Scouts, improving his ERA to 2.43 on the year.
-Heroes SP Dan Lusk shut out the Explorers 2-0, improving his ERA to 2.62.
-Explorers 1B Han-wu Huie went 5-5 against the Explorers, continuing his great season. Huie is hitting .293/.391/.541 with 13 home runs and 46 RBI.
-Salukis LF Ramon Mendez is out for the year with a ruptured MCL. The 22-year old was hitting .260 with 6 homers.
-Spartans CF Hector Sanchez finally ended the longest hitting streak of the season at 31 games. Sanchez is hitting .328 on the season, although he is still looking for his first long ball.
-Vipers CF Victor Aguilar went 5-6 in a crushing 17-0 defeat over the Explorers. Aguilar is batting .261 with 14 home runs and 45 RBI. The next day, 2B Brandon Goolsby did the same in a 16-6 win over New Orleans. Goolsby is hitting an impressive .339/.403/.511 with 8 home runs.
Monthly Awards:
WL Batter of the Month: Comets LF Rafael Cervantes: .361 AVG, 9 HR, 25 RBI, 33 R
EL Batter of the Month: Heroes 1B Mike Boardman: .337 AVG, 10 HR, 33 RBI, 23 R
WL Pitcher of the Month: Emeralds SP Danny Leal: 4-1, 1.60 ERA, 45 IP, 40 K
EL Pitcher of the Month: Monarchs RP David Stone: 9 SV, 0.00 ERA, 18 IP, 19 K

Columbus Awards:
Batter of the Month: RF/DH Myles Fenty: .273/.380/.618, 12 HR, 20 RBI, 20 R
Pitcher of the Month: SP Min-ho Lee: 30.2 IP, 0.59 ERA, 0.42 WHIP, 27 K, 1 BB

Minor League Batters of the Month:
LF Ben Grates (AAA): .286/.393/.561, 7 HR, 23 RBI, 20 R, 6 2B
C J.P. Miller (AA): .267/.371/.567, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 9 R
RF Adrian Anders (AAA): .300/.390/.580, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 8 R

Minor League Pitchers of the Month:
Evan Downey (AAA): 44.2 IP, 2.01 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 34 K
Gilberto Jimenez (A): 32.2 IP, 2.48 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 30 K
Josh Lawrence (AA): 28.2 IP, 1.88 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 31 K

DG18 09-10-2019 10:08 PM

Mid-June 2024 Update:
Record: 34-35 (2nd, 4.5 GB)
Right now it feels like we're in that awkward position between buying and selling as we approach the Trade Deadline. At 34-35, Columbus is just 4.5 games out of the division race behind Chicago, but a -38 run differential suggests we should just be happy to be this close. Offensively things have picked up, especially with Joe Maynard who is hitting .353 this month. We also moved Jordan Limas back into the starting lineup at second base, and he has responded with an .808 OPS in June. One change we will be making is replacing William Lizarraga with Ricky Heller in center field. This is a pretty big hit to our defense, but Heller has been so much better at the plate this year. We'll see how it goes for a few weeks, but if Heller can hold his own in center he might be able to keep a starting spot.

June hasn't been quite as kind to our pitching staff, which explains the losing record this month. Brice Beranek and Jake Jones have been getting rocked in the bullpen, and the back end of our rotation has continued to struggle. One bright spot has been Jared Hopper. who has given up just 3 runs in his last 4 innings of work.

Injury Report:
I'm getting really tired of writing about Min-ho Lee here, but the lefty is back on the Injured List after leaving his last start with elbow inflammation. That's now 4 times where Lee has left a game with an injury, and at this point it's hard to know how much he will be able to contribute moving forward. When he's on the mound, he's been the most effective pitcher in the Eastern League, but sadly his arm is made of glass. His latest injury should only cause him to miss one start, but his injury history this year has been very concerning.

Myles Fenty missed a few games with a sore knee after legging out a double, but he has since returned to the lineup.

Joe Maynard missed a few games with a minor ankle injury, but he has also returned to the lineup and is having his best month of the season.

Prince Thomas returned to the bullpen from the IL, and we sent Marcos Archuleta back to AAA.

We called up lefty reliever Jim Potvin back up from AAA in favor of Brice Beranek. Both lefties have been terrible this season, but Potvin is at least coming off a few good outings in the minors.
Around the League:
-Comets SS Aaron Balic went 5-6 against Columbus at the beginning of the month, and he is among the league leaders with a .352 average. This was the 20th game of his hitting streak, which eventually came to an end at 24 games against Chicago.
-Vipers RF Rick Pecina ended his hitting streak at 24 games with an 0-4 performance against Las Vegas. Pecina is hitting .349/.414/.583 with 12 home runs.
-The Heroes traded 1B Tom Lutz to Denver in exchange for RHP Bill Burmeister. At the time of the trade, Lutz was batting .238/.360/.456 with 11 home runs, and Burmeister had a 2.62 ERA with 75 strikeouts.
-Charlotte LF Russ Rock is out for the year with a torn meniscus. It's disappointing we won't get to see Rock make a run at history, as he was hitting .391 on the year.
-Heroes SP Dan Lusk is out 2 months with a strained oblique, putting his excellent season on hold. He is 7-4 with a 2.88 ERA.
-The Vipers suffered another major injury, as CF Victor Aguilar is out a month with a strained hamstring. Aguilar is hitting .273/.373/.567 with 19 home runs.
-Monarchs SP Alex Jimenez threw his first shutout of the year against the Vandals, improving his ERA to 3.43.
-Naturals SP Alex Isaacs is out for the year with a shoulder injury. The 25-year old finishes with a 4.05 ERA and 38 strikeouts.

Draft Results (Age):
1. RHP Jason Ruttenbur (19)
2. RHP Bill Saintlouis (19)
3. CF Andy Aguirre (20)
4. SS Mike Carlton (18)
5. SS Danny Yennie (20)
6. RHP Gabe Perez (21)
7. RHP Dante Perdomo (21)
8. C Taylor Lopez (19)
9. CF Justin Fugate (20)
10. SS Brian Alexander (18)
11. RHP Justin Hardy (18)
12. C Jerry Zavala (21)
13. LHP Joe Taylor (21)
14. SS Jerrod Callender (23)
15. RF Luis Bugarin (18)
16. RHP Tymon Tzannetakis (18)
17. CF Leo Chromy (21)
18. RHP Eric Baer (23)
19. RHP Louis Beau (20)
20. RHP Brad Halbrook (18) (did not sign)

DG18 09-13-2019 05:58 PM

June 2024 Update:
Record: 41-41 (2nd, 7.5 GB)
In terms of wins and losses, June wasn't a bad month, although we are falling further behind the Chicago Monarchs in the standings. However, the injury bug hit hard, as LF Alex Roberts, SP Jimmy Embleton, DH Myles Fenty, and 1B Jose Ariza all went to the Injured List, with our home run leader Fenty likely missing the rest of the season. With these injuries, we've had to rely on a few new players, such as OF Ben Grates who has taken over in left field for Roberts. Grates isn't off to a hot start (5-25 with 2 HR), but we think he has a bright future and is likely to be a big part of our plans in the new few years. We also inserted Bernie Toscano into the rotation, who had a 2.50 ERA in AAA before getting the call to Columbus. He has replaced Julio Lambruschini, who will be pitching out of the bullpen until things turn around, if they ever do.

Nobody had a huge month, but Tony Palacios has finally come around with the bat as he hit .302 in June. Meanwhile, Ricky Heller has struggled of late, and the center field experiment didn't really work out, as we have since given the starting job back to William Lizarraga. Although Lizarraga's offense leaves a lot to be desired, he is one of the best defensive outfielders in the league, and we can't afford to lose his defense.

Injury Report:
SP Jimmy Embleton left his last start with a shoulder injury, and he has been diagnosed with a partially torn labrum. We're hoping he will avoid surgery, but he likely won't return until September at the earliest.

DH Myles Fenty suffered a torn meniscus running the bases, and the rest of his season is in doubt. He could potentially return if we make a postseason run, but his season is likely over. We hoped keeping the 41-year old at DH would help him stay healthy all season, but unfortunately his regular season likely comes to an end with 27 home runs in just 77 games.

LF Alex Roberts has missed the last week with a torn thumb ligament, and he will stay out of the lineup for at least one more week. After a hot start since returning from a concussion, Roberts has since cooled off quite a bit.

1B Jose Ariza will be out until the end of July with a strained groin. Ariza has finally started hitting the ball, as after going homerless in April, he now has 9 on the year. We have since called up Eli Lopez and Uwe Tucker who will be getting most of the reps at first base, with OF/1B Ryan Walker seeing some time there as well.

We traded 2B Kevin Dickerson to St. Louis in exchange for minor league SS Mike Killian. Dickerson was losing playing time to Jordan Limas at second base, and Killian is a defensive wizard in the infield. He has struggled in AAA, but has a slash line of .269/.400/.433 in AA this year.

Around the League:
-Owls SP Dan Bone tossed a shutout against the Explorers, allowing only 2 hits. Bone has a 1.79 ERA in 7 starts.
-Seals 3B Tyan-Yu Long went 5-5 against the Impact, raising his season average to .292.
-Shockers SP Valentin Primaticcio is out 3-4 weeks with a strained back muscle, which hurts St. Louis as he has been one of their leading pitchers with a 3.43 ERA.
-Scouts LF Dakota Stengel snapped a 22 game hitting streak against Oregon. Stengel hasn't homered in 2024, but he does have an impressive .304 average.
-Denver SP Jeremy Marcum signed a 5 year extension worth $79.1 million to stay with the Foxes. Marcum has a 2.91 ERA in 14 starts.

WL Batter of the Month: Impact 1B Josh Vinson: .390, 6 HR, 22 RBI, 27 R
EL Batter of the Month: Owls LF Ryan Fertig: .406, 9 HR, 23 RBI, 19 R
WL Pitcher of the Month: Seals SP Jonathan Steckler: 38.2 IP, 2.56 ERA, 26 K
EL Pitcher of the Month: Monarchs SP Bobby Hysaw: 36 IP, 2.25, 48 K
Columbus Organization Awards:
Batter of the Month: SS Tony Palacios: .302/.342/.472, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 9 2B, 13 R
Pitcher of the Month: SP Jared Hopper: 33 IP, 2.18 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 19 K

Minor League Batters of the Month:
CF Victor Aleman (A): .333/.433/.544, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 13 R, 2 SB
RF Ted Toben (A): .316/.402/.494, 4 HR, 16 RBI, 11 R
SS Jose Barrientos (AA): .288/.377/.346, 3 2B, 4 RBI, 7 R, 3 SB

Minor League Pitchers of the Month:
SP Andres Ortiz (AA): 30.2 IP, 1.17 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 28 K
SP Evan Downey (AAA): 39.1 IP, 1.60 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 38 K
SP Jonathan Albarran (AA): 26.2 IP, 2.02 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 27 K

DG18 09-14-2019 12:04 AM

All Star Break 2024 Update:
Record: 42-46 (2nd, 7.5 GB)

It has quickly become apparent that without Myles Fenty, our offense is completely anemic. The beginning of the month began with 5 straight losses which involved us scoring a combined 9 runs. We did take the series finale at Philadelphia right before the break, but based on the current trajectory of our season we think it is time to sell. For that reason, we made the biggest trade of our young franchise...

RP Gabe Baker will shipped to Oregon in exchange for a pair of minor leaguers; 3B Glen Gault and CF Jimmy Batt. Gault is hitting .276/.355/.433 in AA, while Batt has torn up A-ball with a .349/.396/.480 slash line. We did have to throw in one of our decent prosepcts in CF Manny Rentas, but he has disappointed this season anyway and we feel that Batt is just as good, if not better. Losing Baker hurts, but he is set to be a free agent at the end of the season, and at just 27 years old he will probably command a high salary. With this move, it's likely that we move a few more pieces before the Trade Deadline. The only other impending free agent worth anything is SP Jeff Arnoff, so he is likely to be traded if we don't finish the month of July strong.

We signed a pair of international free agents: 2B Melvin Ramirez out of Cuba, and C Carlos Perez from the Dominican Republic.

Injury Report:
LF Alex Roberts returned to the lineup just before the All-Star game, and 1B Uwe Tucker was shipped back to AAA.

Around the League:
-Shockers SP Pat Hammer tossed a shutout against Charlotte, improving his ERA to 3.63 in 18 starts.
-The Shockers sent a pair of minor league prospects to Boise in exchange for left handed starter Sergio Torres, who had a 2.34 ERA for Boise this year.
-The Foxes acquired SP Cho-Yun Ping from the Spartans in exchange for 3 minor leaguers. Ping has a 3.64 ERA in 121 innings this season.

Western League All Stars:

Eastern League All Stars:

DG18 09-18-2019 12:10 AM

July 2024 Update:
Record: 48-60 (3rd, 17.5 GB)
A month ago I wasn't sure if I wanted to go all in this year or start the rebuild early. That question has been answered, as a 7-19 July has completely knocked Columbus out of contention. Our offense without Myles Fenty just isn't good enough to compete with the best teams in the league, and our average pitching staff isn't nearly enough to make up for it. One bright note is that Julio Lambruschini had his best month of the season, and has been moved back into the rotation.

SP Jeff Arnoff was traded to the Vandals in exchange for two players: Catcher Michael Decker, and RHP Cesar Lara. Decker was hitting .244/.287/.305 at the time of the deal, and he will take over as our primary catcher. His hitting isn't much better than Billy Wittig's, but he should provide a significant defensive boost behind the plate. Lara had a 2.92 ERA and 23 strikeouts in Rookie ball this year.

With the acquisition of Decker, we sent C Damon Ahernfeld to Tulsa in exchange for SS Robert Reyes. Ahernfeld wasn't going to get any playing time at this point, and while Reyes won't do much at the plate, his versatility in the infield could be useful. He has been sent to AAA for now.

RP Prince Thomas was traded to the Foxes in exchange for a pair of minor leaguers: 1B Jose Tapia and RHP Matt Stotler. Tapia was hitting .320/.397/.541 in AAA, and although he is already 26 we think he could take over at first base if we decide to move Ariza over the offseason. Stotler has also had success in the minors this year, and projects as a future starter, although he has been used mainly in relief this season. To take Thomas's spot in the bullpen, we called up veteran reliever Jim Miers, who had a 1.30 ERA in AA.

Injury Report:
RHP Jimmy Embleton is nearing a return, and should begin a rehab assignment shortly with hopes of returning to Columbus before the end of the season.

SP Jared Hopper missed his last start with a strained oblique, and will likely miss at least one more as he recovers. We called up lefty Miguel Aguilar to temporarily take his spot.

OF/1B Ryan Walker is out one weeks with a strained back. Walker has actually become an asset, as his OBP has improved to .316 (which is somehow above average for this team).

LF Alex Roberts unfortunately continued his streak of bad luck with injuries, as an inside pitch fractured his thumb. He will miss at least a month, but should return before the end of the year. Adrian Anders has been called up to AAA to take his place.

Around the League:
-Scouts RP Luis Moncada is out for year after posting a 1.86 ERA in 36 relief appearances.
-Jackals SP Carlos Salinas is out for the season with bone chips in his elbow. He finishes the year with a 1.99 ERA in 9 starts.
-Heroes RF Nick Kitzler went 5-5 against the Salukis, raising his average to .334. Kitzler has 15 home runs this year, as he seems to be one of the best young players in the league.
-Waves SS Craig Leh hit for the cycle against the Owls, leading the way in a 19-0 win. Leh is hitting .249 with 7 home runs and 61 RBI.
-Foxes SP Billy Boltz shut out the Foxes, evening his record to 8-8 and dropping his ERA to 2.83.
-Shockers SP Sergio Torres shut out Columbus 7-0, allowing just two hits. after getting traded from Boise, Torres has a 1.74 ERA for St. Louis.
-Owls LF Ryan Fertig's great season comes to an early end, as the 31-year old needs elbow surgery. He finishes was a .342/.468/.631 stat line, including 24 home runs.
-Seals SP shut out the Vandals for his 11th win of the season, reducing his ERA to 3.33.
-Seals 3B Tyan-yu Long went 6-6 against the Bobcats, improving his average to .319. Unfortunately, he later suffered a knee injury that will keep him out for most of August.
-The Bobcats traded RF Jim Smith to Austin for SS Ben Bishop.
-The Shockers traded RP Dylan Daniels to the Scorpions for a pair of prospects. Daniels has been excellent in 2024, as he has an incredible 48/2 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
-Jackals SP John Robinson is out for the season with a torn flexor tendon. He finishes with a 7-4 record and a 2.70 ERA.
-The Robins traded LF William Aleman (.303/.370/.419, 2 HR) to the Naturals for SP Glenn Schachter (6-5, 4.20 ERA, 98.2 IP).
-The Spartans traded RP Alejandro Falacheira (4.30 ERA, 2 saves) to Rhode Island for a minor league pitcher.
-The Bobcats received RF Jacob Thomas (.270/.392/.456, 10 HR) from Indianapolis in exchange for RF Fortunato Cartazo (.246/.345/.325) and a prospect.
-The Scouts received RF Scott Byrd (.234/.309/.387) from the Salukis for RP Jay Shetley (3.31 ERA in AAA).
-Foxes SP Cho-yun Ping threw a shut out for his new team, defeating the Bobcats 7-0. Ping has a 1.82 ERA in 4 starts for Denver.
-The Vandals received young 3B Randy Maestas from the Gamblers for SS Jose Renteria (.266/.352/.368).

WL Batter of the Month: Impact 1B Josh Vinson: .400 AVG, 9 HR, 27 RBI, 27 R
EL Batter of the Month: Vipers RF Rich Pecina: .404 AVG, 6 HR, 22 RBI, 22 R
WL Pitcher of the Month: Foxes SP Jeremy Marcum: 38 IP, 2.61 ERA, 29 K
EL Pitcher of the Month: Waves SP Zhu Seah: 29.2 IP, 0.91 ERA, 24 K
Columbus Organization Awards:
Batter of the Month: RF Joey Maynard: .273/.324/.364, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 11 R, 2 SB
Pitcher of the Month: SP Min-ho Lee: 34.2 IP, 2.86 ERA, 23 K, 1.18 WHIP

Minor League Batters of the Month:
3B Chris Rathert (AAA): .313/.463/.542, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 12 R
C Jon McCray (A): .377/.426/.590, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 11 R
1B Steve Gayman (AA): .253/.330/.421, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 12 R

Minor League Pitchers of the Month:
SP Jason Ruttenbur (R): 29.2 IP, 0.91 ERA, 27 K, 0.96 WHIP
SP Gabe Perez (S A): 27.1 IP, 1.32 ERA, 23 K, 1.10 WHIP
SP Evan Downey (AAA): 36 IP, 2.00 ERA, 28 K, 1.14 WHIP

DG18 09-18-2019 07:57 PM

Mid-August 2024 Update:
Record: 52-68 (3rd, 19 GB)

Generating runs has been a huge issue without Myles Fenty and Alex Roberts, as we have slipped further behind in the standings. At this point, our record isn't really what matters, as the main goal is developing young players and getting ready for next season. The biggest positive note over the last few weeks has been the play of OF Ben Grates, who is hitting .295/.392/.636 with 4 home runs in August. We're hoping Grates is someone we can build around next year, as he raked in AAA and is primed to become a slugger in the middle of our lineup. Unfortunately, we can't say the same about 3B Corey Neu, who has struggled mightily since his first month as a Classic. Neu is hitting just .178 in August, but despite his struggles, we're still happy with his plate discipline. Hopefully he will finish the year strong, or else we may have to look for other options at the hot corner heading into next season.

The trade of Jeff Arnoff left a gaping hole in the rotation, as Bernie Toscano has shown that he is probably not capable of being a USBL starting pitcher. Julio Lambruschini has gone back to his old ways of giving up bombs, and if we can't find a way to dump his contract he may be cut after the season. The one bright spot recently has been Andy Castillo, who has given up just 5 earned runs in 12.2 innings this month. Castillo hasn't had the best season, but at just 24 years old he has held his own most of the time and will probably return to the rotation in 2025.

OF/1B Ryan Walker returned to Columbus after recovering from his back injury, and we sent Adrian Anders back to AAA.

Injury Report:
RHP Jimmy Embleton was activated from the Injured List and was sent to AAA. He will make a couple more starts there, and will likely come up to the bullpen once the minor league season is over. Embleton is certainly deserving of a spot in our rotation, but at this point in the year there isn't really a reason to push him to throw more innings.

Around the League:
-Salukis 3B Danny Quinones went 5-5 against the Spartans. Quinones is hitting .271 with 13 home runs and 47 RBIs.
-Bobcats pitcher Raul Felix tossed a three-hitter against the Spartans, lowering his ERA to 3.26 in 26 appearances.
-Explorers SS John Switzer went 5-5 against the Seals. It was one of the few good moments for Switzer, who is batting just .224 this year.
-Comets 1B Christian Rucker blasted 3 home runs in a 13-1 win over Memphis. Rucker has spent most of this year on the bench, but he now has a .287 average and 7 home runs in 27 games.
-Jackals SP Andre Britton threw a shutout against the Classics, allowing just 5 hits. This got Britton in the win column, as he was previously 0-10 despite a fair 4.79 ERA.

DG18 09-18-2019 11:36 PM

August 2024 Update:
Record: 56-79 (3rd, 26.5 GB)
The Trade Deadline definitely hurt our chances to win now, but ever since then the wheels have completely fallen off. It really doesn't matter since we aren't going to the postseason anyway, and with some of our injuries this month was understandable. The best part of this month was the performance of Ben Grates, who was by far the best player on the team in August. Grates hit .318/.404/.682 in August, including 7 home runs and 4 stolen bases. His development will be a key to any success we may have next year, and to see him hit this well after a bad start is very encouraging. Nobody else stood out this month, as each of our regulars had an OPS below .700. I think they're all ready for the season to be over too.

We had to bring up a few pitchers due to minor injuries, and one bright spot was Miguel Aguilar who had a solid 3.32 ERA in 3 starts this month. Aguilar has been inconsistent at the big league level, but he has a chance to earn a rotation or bullpen spot next year. The bullpen's performance was pretty poor, but Curt Koonts did a good job (1.54 ERA) in the few high-leverage appearances he had in August.

Injury Report:
LF Alex Roberts suffered a minor setback, and will miss at least one more week as he recovers from a thumb fracture.

Speaking of thumb fractures, RF Joe Maynard was also hit by a pitch, and he could miss the rest of the season. At best, he could return for the final week of the year.

SP Min-ho Lee is out 2 weeks with strained triceps. Lee has been maybe the best pitcher in baseball when healthy, but staying healthy has been a big problem all year.

Ben Grates suffered a minor calf strain last week, but he is considered day-to-day and should return to the starting lineup soon.

RHP Julio Lambruschini returned from his injury, and he has been placed back in the starting rotation.

SP Bernie Toscano was sent back to AAA, and we called up Stephon Russell to take his spot in the rotation. Russell pitched well in his USBL debut, allowing just 2 runs across 6 innings.

RP Manny Marin was released, and we called up righty Matt Stotler to take his spot in the bullpen.

Rosters expanded to 30 on September 1st, so we called up the following players: 1B Jose Tapia, IF Robert Reyes, LHP Brice Beranek

Around the League:
-Explorers 1B Han-wu Huie's hitting streak ended at 25 games against the Owls. Huie is hitting .295/.378/.523 with 28 home runs.
-Foxes SP Billy Boltz shut out the Scorpions, improving his ERA to 2.63. The 28-year old has struck out 176 batters in 212 innings.
-Scouts C William Guerra ended his hitting streak at an even 20 games against the Seals. Guerra is hitting .308 with 5 home runs on the year.
-Vipers SP Bob Weise is out for the rest of the regular season with a sprained ankle, although he may return if Charlotte makes the postseason. Weise has a 2.92 ERA in 135.2 innings pitched.
-Scorpions SP Dan Weaver threw the first no-hitter in USBL history, as he defeated the Comets 4-0. Weaver is now 6-3 with a 2.68 ERA.
-Bobcats SS Ben Bishop's hitting streak came to an end at 22 games, as he went 0-4 against Spokane. Bishop is hitting .342 since getting traded from Austin in July.
-Gamblers SS Jose Renteria ended his hitting streak at 20 games against Tulsa. Renteria is hitting .304 with a pair of home runs since being traded from Los Angeles.
-Impact SP Matt Mosman is out for the year with an elbow injury. Mosman was 10-7 with a 3.57 ERA.
-Heroes SP Bill Burmeister shut out the Owls, allowing just 2 hits and striking out 8. The righty now has a 2.41 ERA with 152 strikeouts.
-Comets CF Aymeric Patitucci went 5-5 against the Emeralds, raising his average to .296. Patitucci also has 12 home runs and 65 RBI's this season.

EL Batter of the Month: Robins 1B Adam Rhom: .324 AVG, 13 HR, 33 RBI, 24 R
WL Batter of the Month: Comets SS Aaron Balic: .407 AVG, 6 HR, 25 RBI, 35 R
EL Pitcher of the Month: Vipers RP Jesus Catala: 14.2 IP, 4 K, 1.84 ERA, 11 SV
WL Pitcher of the Month: Thunderbirds SP Nate Girgenti: 41 IP, 44 K, 1.54 ERA
Columbus Organization Awards:
Batter of the Month: LF Ben Grates (stats above)
Pitcher of the Month: RP Curt Koonts: 11.2 IP, 1.54 ERA, 7 K, 1.20 WHIP, 5 SV

Minor League Batters of the Month:
LF Steve Harty (R): .323.393/.458, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 5 SB
1B Uwe Tucker (AAA): .290/.355/.458, 5 HR, 15 RBI
SS Jerrod Callender (S A): .306/.415/.469, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 7 SB

Minor League Pitchers of the Month:
Evan Downey (AAA): 40 IP, 2.70 ERA, 41 K, 0.90 WHIP
Anthony Roy (A): 33.2 IP, 2.94 ERA, 40 K, 1.13 WHIP
Shane Webster (R): 35 IP, 2.31 ERA, 43 K, 0.71 WHIP

DG18 09-19-2019 09:27 PM

Mid September 2024 Update:
Record: 58-90 (3rd, 34.5 GB)

It's nice that we share a division with the worst team in baseball, because we would be in a distant 4th place just about everywhere else. Alex Roberts and Min-ho Lee returned to the lineup this month, but that doesn't matter much at this point. The rest of this season will just be spent trying to evaluate talent (or lack of talent) heading into 2025.

Around the League:
-Comets LF Rafael Cervantes hit three home runs in a win over the Emeralds. Cervantes leads baseball with 55 bombs on the season, and also has a significant lead in RBIs with 149.
-Monarchs SP Alex Jimenez shut out the Classics, lowering his ERA to 2.92 on the year.
-Waves 3B Willie Nolasco rips 5 hits against the Owls in a 15-3 win. The 28-year old has a .321 average since getting traded from the Comets.
-Shockers 2B Brendan Bentley went 5-5 against Columbus, raising his average to .311 on the year.
-Heroes 1B Mike Boardman missed a week with a bruised knee, but the slugger should be back for New York's playoff push down the stretch.
-Impact SP Jake Guerra is out with a sore shoulder. The righty will likely miss the remainder of the regular season, but could return for the playoffs.

DG18 09-21-2019 06:19 PM

2024 Regular Season Update:
Record: 65-97 (3rd, 37 GB)

All things considered, the Classics finished the season pretty strong by going 7-5 in the final 12 games of the year. The overall record is disappointing, but given our injuries and trades, it's also understandable. The most encouraging part of the month were two of our young guys, Corey Neu and Ben Grates, finishing the year on a high note. This was especially good for Neu, as he struggled for most of the second half. His close to the season gives me confidence that he can be a quality third basemen moving forward.

The other highlight of the end of the season was Min-ho Lee securing the ERA crown. While injuries were a problem all year, Lee had an incredible season when he was healthy, and he was able to pitch enough innings to earn the award. Keeping him healthy could be difficult in the future, but he should be our ace for the next few years if he keeps this performance up.

Injury Report:
2B Jordan Limas suffered a quadriceps injury and missed the final two weeks of the season.

LHP Miguel Aguilar missed his final start of the year with a shoulder injury, but his injury is also minor.

Around the League:
-Heroes RF Nick Kitzler missed the final two weeks of the regular season, but he will be active for the postseason. Kitzler was one of the top young players in the league, hitting .333 with 29 home runs.
-Monarchs 3B Andy Alderman suffered a bruised wrist, and he will miss the opening round of the playoffs. He hit .266 with 33 home runs in the regular season.
-Salukis SP Derrick Jensen threw a shutout against the Spartans, allowing just 6 hits in a 5-0 win. Jensen won 11 games in 2024, pitching to a 3.48 ERA.
-Foxes SP Cho-yun Ping shut out the Gamblers, striking out 8. Interestingly, Ping went 8-4 for both teams he pitched for this season (Richmond and Denver).
-Monarchs C Bobby Coleman ended the season on a 20-game hitting streak. Coleman hit .351 on the year with a .398 on-base percentage.
EL Batter of the Month: Waves LF Scott Head: .412 AVG, 11 HR, 32 RBI, 24 R
WL Batter of the Month: Impact 1B Josh Vinson: .343 AVG, 10 HR, 19 RBI, 25 R
EL Pitcher of the Month: Explorers SP Michael Simpkins: 34.1 IP, 0.79 ERA, 35 K
WL Pitcher of the Month: Comets RP Bobby McMurtrie: 14 IP, 0.64 ERA, 21 K, 10 SV

Columbus Awards:
Batter of the Month: 3B Corey Neu: .319/.421/.495, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 12 R, 3 SB
Pitcher of the Month: SP Min-ho Lee: 24.2 IP, 1.82 ERA, 22 K, 0.73 WHIP

DG18 09-21-2019 08:39 PM

2024 USBL Leaders

DG18 09-22-2019 12:36 AM

Western League Division Series:
Spokane Comets vs Oregon Impact

Game 1: Comets defeat Impact 6-4
Oregon SP Mike Martavo and Spokane hurler Crispino Rodriguez struggled out of the gate, as the game was already tied 4-4 after just two innings. The pitchers settled down after the rough start, and the Comets put across runs in the 5th and 6th innings to win Game 1 at home. C Pedro Reyes led the way for Spokane, driving in a game-high 4 runs.

Game 2: Impact defeat Comets 8-0

After a pitcher's duel for 5 innings, Oregon broke through on a grand slam by 3B Sean Clements. Starter Ramon Perez was excellent, pitching 8.2 innings before closer John Jamerson secured the final out.

Game 3: Impact defeat Comets 6-5
Leading 3-2 in the 6th inning, Oregon's 9th hitter, C Jason Duffield extended the lead by clearing the bases with a double. Things got very interesting in the 9th, as Comets RF Kyle Pickett smacked a three-run homer to make it 6-5. Oregon then brought in former Columbus Classic Gabe Baker, who nailed down the save.

Game 4: Comets defeat Impact 6-1
Spokane got off to a hot start early, as LF Rafael Cervantes and 2B Salvador Rico each hit home runs to build an early lead. That was enough, as Jose Vargas allowed just 1 run over 6 innings.

Game 5: Comets defeat Impact 11-3
The Comets came out of the gates hot once again, this time leading 10-0 after just 4 innings. A pair of home runs by Rafael Cervantes put the game out of reach, and Kyle Pickett added 5 RBIs of his own, as Spokane cruised to a Game 5 victory.

MVP: Kyle Pickett: 9-19, 2 HR, 9 RBI

Denver Foxes vs Tulsa Thunderbirds

Game 1: Thunderbirds defeat Foxes 2-1
Tulsa's Nate Girgenti and Denver's Alexis Fregoso were two of the best pitchers in the league this year, and they lived up to expectations by pitching two great games. With the game tied at 1 run apiece, 1B Tyrese Walton hit a surprising go-ahead home run. Walton hit just 3 long balls all season heading into this game, but he picked a great time to hit a fourth.

Game 2: Thunderbirds defeat Foxes 2-1
Mario Navarro and Billy Boltz matched each other for 8th scoreless innings, as neither team could do anything at the plate. Boltz eventually made it 9.1 innings, but in the 12th Tulsa took the lead on a double by C Pedro Guzman. 1B Tom Lutz evened the score in the bottom half of the inning, but the visiting Thunderbirds scored once again in the 13th on a base hit by RF Austin Nickerson. After blowing the save in the 12th, Adam Moody recovered to close out the game and help Tulsa take a 2-0 series lead.

Game 3: Foxes defeat Thunderbirds 4-1
Foxes LF Matt Garcia came up huge with his team trailing by 2 games, as the veteran went 4-4 with a pair of home runs. Jeremy Marcum turned in a great pitching performance, and starter-turned-closer Cho-yun Ping pitched two scoreless innings to secure the win.

Game 4: Foxes defeat Thunderbirds 10-4
Denver's offense was on fire all game, as the Foxes laced 19 hits, including 7 for extra bases. RF Maurice Sullivan led the way, going 5-6 with a double, home run, and 4 runs batted in.

Game 5: Foxes defeat Thunderbirds 5-0
In a winner-take-all situation, Alexis Fregoso pitched his best game of the season, throwing a shutout and striking out 13. The Foxes were quiet for most of the game, but a 6th inning, 3 run homer by 3B Tom Sullivan gave Denver some breathing room. It wasn't needed, as Fregoso finished the game without allowing a run.

MVP: Matt Garcia: 11-22, 3 HR, 7 RBI

Eastern League Division Series:
Philadelphia Robins vs New York Heroes

Game 1: Robins defeat Heroes 3-2
Both starters turned in excellent outings in Game 1, as Dan Lusk (NY) and Glenn Schachter (PHI) each pitched 7 strong innings. The Robins sent the game to extras on a 9th inning home run by 3B Vicente Flores, and after the Heroes scored once in the 12th, the Philadelphia drove in two to win the game. CF Tom Gillespie drove in C Josh Thompson to put the home team up 1-0 in the series.

Game 2: Heroes defeat Robins 3-2
With his team down in the series, Heroes starter Brandon Willoughby willed his team to victory with a complete game in which he struck out 10 batters. The biggest hit in the game came in the 3rd inning as RF Nick Kitzler hit a two-run blast.

Game 3: Heroes defeat Robins 10-3

Returning home, the Heroes made a statement immediately, scoring 5 runs in the first inning and knocking Julio Pulido out after just 2 frames. New York got most of their production from the bottom of the lineup, as DH Bill Haynes and LF Ron Goldman each drove in three runs.

Game 4: Robins defeat Heroes 8-7
After 5 innings and a pair of home runs by MVP candidate Mike Boardman, the Heroes looked like they were on their way to the ELCS with a 6-1 lead. But in the 8th, Philadelphia exploded for 8 runs, capped off by a three-run shot by LF Ricky Rangel - his second of the series. Closer Bryan Fowler finished the game by striking out the side, and the Robins stayed alive by evening the series 2-2.

Game 5: Heroes defeat Robins 11-2
The Heroes made up for their Game 4 collapse, as they absolutely dominated Philadelphia in the series finale. Brandon Willoughby pitched another gem, and star 1B Mike Boardman hit his third home run of the series.

MVP: Nick Kitzler: 8-18, 1 HR, 7 RBI

Chicago Monarchs vs Orlando Waves

Game 1: Monarchs defeat Waves 6-5

Chicago opened the scoring in the 2nd inning, as light-hitting SS Brad Bierman delivered a two-run double. With the score 5-1 in favor of Chicago, the Waves clawed their way back with a pair of runs in the 6th and 8th innings. Orlando was able to tie the game, but in the bottom of the 8th 3B Gabriel Gois drove in the go-ahead run on his third hit of the game.

Game 2: Waves defeat Monarchs 3-1
Waves starter Jordan Gomez went 7 strong innings allowing just 1 run and striking out 5, and that was enough as Orlando scored twice in the 3rd inning off a double from DH Justin Owen.

Game 3: Monarchs defeat Waves 7-5
Similar to New York, Orlando stepped on the gas immediately after returning home, scoring 3 runs in the first inning. Chicago battled back, scoring 5 runs in the 4th on a string of base hits. 1B Billy Marmour and RF Taketoshi Segawa hit solo shots in the bottom of the 5th to tie the score, but the Monarchs scored two more runs off Orlando's bullpen to win Game 3.

Game 4: Monarchs defeat Waves 4-1
On a staff of great pitchers, Victor Resendez didn't stand out for Chicago this year, but he had maybe his best game of the season in Game 4. By allowing just a signle unearned run over 7.1 innings, he gave more than enough support to his team, as Chicago took a 4-0 lead early on. The Waves managed 10 hits overall, but none went for extra bases and they left batters on base throughout the game.

MVP: Bobby Coleman: 7-17, 2 RBI

DG18 09-22-2019 01:01 AM

Western League Championship Series
Spokane Comets vs Denver Foxes

Game 1: Comets defeat Foxes 3-2

After falling behind early, Foxes LF Carlos Regalado tied it in the 7th with a 2-run shot. Denver couldn't put together any more offense, and in the bottom of the 9th, Rafael Cervantes walked it off for the Comets.

Game 2: Foxes defeat Comets 13-1
The Foxes responded with a Game 1 loss with 4 home runs, as the game was effectively over after a big 4th inning. Matt Garcia had another big game, going 3-6 with a home run and 6 RBI.

Game 3: Comets defeat Foxes 7-3
Alexis Fregoso tied his own postseason record of 13 strikeouts, but it wasn't enough as Cho-yun Ping took his second consecutive loss out of the bullpen. Spokane scored 5 runs in the top of the 9th to take the lead, as they were led by CF Aymeric Patitucci who drove in 3 on a home run.

Game 4: Foxes defeat Comets 5-3
Tied 0-0 after 14 innings, neither team could do anything as both Jose Vargas and Cameron Richens were excellent on the mound. The Comets finally broke through for 3 runs in the 14th inning, but a grand slam by Tom Lutz walked it off for Denver in style.

Game 5: Foxes defeat Comets 5-4
Kyle Picketts 2-run single gave Spokane a comfortable 4-0 lead in the 6th inning, but that would prove to not be enough. The Foxes responded with a 4-run 7th inning, as the Comets bullpen could not hold the lead.

Game 6: Comets defeat Foxes 5-2
A two-run double by Comets DH B.J. Rivera got Spokane on the board, and that was enough as Alex Ramires had his best outing of the postseason. 1B Christian Rucker extended the lead with a home run, and Spokane's bullpen got it done this time, allowing just 1 run over the final 4 innings.

Game 7: Comets defeat Foxes 9-0

The Comets put up 9 runs in the first 4 innings of the game, and by then it was pretty much over as Crispino Rodriguez was locked in on the mound. Rodriguez was fantastic, allowing just 2 hits in the shutout, as Denver never threatened with a rally.

MVP: Aaron Balic: 13-31, 3 RBI

Eastern League Championship Series
New York Heroes vs Chicago Monarchs

Game 1: Heroes defeat Monarchs 7-3

Game 1 was closer than the score indicated, as the teams headed to extra innings with the score tied at 3. Mike Boardman scored the go-ahead run on an error by the third baseman, and New York continued the rally to score 3 more runs. The Monarchs loaded the bases in the bottom half of the 11th, but a bases loaded double play by Jesus Bustos ended their chances.

Game 2: Monarchs defeat Heroes 7-3
The second game had the same score, but this time the home Monarchs came out on top. Despite only having one extra base hit, Chicago cashed in with runners in scoring position, putting together big rallies in the 5th and 7th innings.

Game 3: Heroes defeat Monarchs 8-5
The Heroes only had 10 hits, but 5 of them went over the fence, as their power was enough to win Game 3. CF Joe Johnson hit two from the leadoff spot, which was enough to hold off a late comeback effort by Chicago.

Game 4: Heroes defeat Monarchs 6-1
Jeremy Montz was in control for New York, as the southpaw allowed just 4 baserunners over 7 strong innings. The Heroes got off to a hot start, as they were led by yet another home run by Mike Boardman. Nick Kitzler also had another big game, going 2-2 with a pair of walks.

Game 5: Heroes defeat Monarchs 8-1
New York didn't waste any time, as they quickly got out to a 5-0 lead, showing that they did not want the series to return to Chicago. Dan Lusk threw a complete game, striking out 12, and home runs by Kitzler and Boardman were more than enough to power the Heroes to the Finals.

MVP: Nick Kitzler: 9-17, 2 HR, 6 RBI

DG18 09-22-2019 01:13 AM

USBL Finals
New York Heroes vs Spokane Comets

Game 1: Comets defeat Heroes 7-5

The Heroes got out to an early 3-0 lead, but surprisingly that wasn't enough as 22 year-old Josh Losardo outpitched Brandon Willoughby. Rafael Cervantes led Spokane with his 4th bomb of the postseason, which was enough to offset home runs by Nick Kitzler and Mike Boardman for New York.

Game 2: Comets defeat Heroes 14-1
Maybe New York's time off after a quick 5 game ELCS hurt them, as the Comets were firing on all cylinders in Game 2. A home run by Kyle Pickett got Spokane off to a fast start in the first inning, and everything else was just insurance as Jose Vargas and the Comets bullpen pitched a great game.

Game 3: Heroes defeat Comets 4-3
In the top of the 5th, the visiting Comets put together a 3-run rally, and it looked like they would take a commanding lead in the series. But Mike Boardman continued to carry the Heroes, as his 3-run shot in the 6th gave New York a lead they wouldn't relinquish. The Heroes bullpen was great down the stretch, throwing three shutout innings to finish off the win.

Game 4: Heroes defeat Comets 6-5

Run differential might be overrated, as the Heroes evened the series with another one-run victory. DH Bill Haynes was the star this time, as his 6th inning home run gave New York the lead. A solo homer by Christian Rucker made it a one-run game in the 7th, but once again New York's bullpen nailed down the victory.

Game 5: Heroes defeat Comets 9-1
Brandon Willoughby was much better in his second Finals start, pitching 8.2 innings and allowing just a single run. Mike Boardman and Nick Kitzler each homered again, as the Heroes roped a whopping 17 hits.

Game 6: Heroes defeat Comets 4-2
The Heroes made history with their Game 6 win, as they became the first champions in the history of the United States Baseball League. Trailing 1-0, Nick Kitzler delivered yet another big hit, as he drove in two runs with a 5th inning single. Andy Ness closed out the game with a clean ninth inning, as Spokane's bats were largely silenced after scoring 14 in Game 2.

MVP: Nick Kitzler: 13-21, 2 HR, 6 RBI

DG18 09-22-2019 10:25 AM

Arbitration Decisions:

SP Jared Hopper (161 IP, 4.92 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 105 K, 1.3 WAR) - Hopper is far from being a star, but he was mostly a reliable starter this year and at the very least he can eat innings. We offered him a 1-year contract for $900,000.

RP Brice Beranek (15.1 IP, 8.80 ERA, 2.22 WHIP, 16 K, 0.1 WAR) - Beranek was awful in his time in Columbus, but part of that may have to do with shoulder problems he dealt with this year. Our scout likes him quite a bit, but I'm thinking about trading him. We'll hold off for now, but he won't be too expensive if we decide to keep him.

RP Steve Steen (70 IP, 3.86 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 60 K, 0.0 WAR) - Steen was nothing special this year, but he's a servicable middle reliever. We offered him 1 year at $1.39 million.

C Michael Decker (.235/.292/.328, 3 HR, 67 wRC+, 0.0 WAR) - Decker didn't light it up with the bat after we traded for him, but he's solid behind the plate. We might try to look for someone better, but if not, he isn't the worst option to be a starter.

2B Jordan Limas (.247/.295/.382, 6 HR, 76 wRC+, -0.1 WAR) - The problem with Limas is that his defense did not make up for his poor offense, as he was average at best at second base. We'll probably sign him cheap, but second base is definitely somewhere I want to upgrade this offseason.

3B Corey Neu (.240/.343/.417, 18 HR, 109 wRC+, 2.5 WAR) - Neu was inconsistent after the trade, but he finished the season strong and his ability to take walks makes me think he has the potential to be a solid hitter at the top of the lineup. We offered him a two year contract for $12 million, which would buy out his last year of arbitration.

SS Nick Oropeza (.198/.287/.329, 9 HR, 81 wRC+, 1.9 WAR at AAA) - Minor league depth at best. Non-tendered.

SS Robert Reyes (.186/.238/.220, 20 wRC+, -0.5 WAR) - Reyes did nothing in his short time in Columbus, but his minor league numbers weren't bad and I like his defense. We offered him 1 year at $920,000.

LF Ricky Heller (.229/.304/.361, 12 HR, 79 wRC+, -0.1 WAR) - Doesn't want to negotiate. This is tough because while Heller wasn't very good, he did keep our clubhouse together through the tough times. We might offer something in arbitration, but he is a candidate to be non-tendered.

LF Alex Roberts (.259/.335/.387, 7 HR, 97 wRC+, 0.5 WAR) - Roberts had a terrible second half, but I still think he's at least good enough to hold down a bench spot. We offered him a 1 year deal for $1.5 million.

CF William Lizarraga (.251/.312/.327, 72 wRC+, 1.6 WAR) - Can't hit, but his excellent defense gave him some value. He doesn't want to negotiate, so we'll either go to arbitration or look for a trade. Either way, I don't think he will start in 2025 because Adan Corella was great in AAA.

RF Adrian Anders (.305/.318/.415, 1 HR, 94 wRC+, 0.3 WAR) - Hit the ball well in September, but his minor league numbers weren't great and he's a bench bat at best. Probably going to be non-tendered.

RF Joe Maynard (.253/.299/.417, 15 HR, 90 wRC+, 0.6 WAR) - Maynard's hot start was a nice story, but he's barely above a replacement player. We offered him $925,000 to stick around, but hopefully we find a better right fielder this offseason.

Free Agent decisions:

3B Jesus Arrellano (.206/.297/.268, 1 HR, 54 wRC+, -0.6 WAR) - Arrellano started this season as the leadoff hitter and ended it glued to the bench. Probably going to let him go.

RP Eric Cottle (80 IP, 3.94 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, -0.1 WAR) - Cottle wasn't great this year, but our scout likes him quite a bit. He wants a 4-year contract, so we'll probably let him test free agency.

CF Ryan Walker (.215/.306/.311, 1 HR, 69 wRC+, 0.0 WAR) - Bench bat. We'll let him go.

C Billy Wittig (.223/.309/.301, 1 HR, 67 wRC+, 0.1 WAR) - Probably going to let him go. He's out of minor league options and I want to find a better catcher this offseason.

1B Eli Lopez (.212/.307/.341, 3 HR, 73 wRC+, -0.3 WAR) - Nope

RP Jim Miers (20.1 IP, 3.54 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 15 K, 0.0 WAR) - Might bring back on a cheap deal, but he's below average at best.

RP Jim Potvin (72.2 IP, 6.19 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, 81 K, 0.2 WAR) - Potvin's ability to strike guys out is impressive, but he didn't prevent runs well at all. Probably going to let him test the waters, but he could come back on a cheap deal.

SP Bernie Toscano (90 IP, 2.80 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 74 K, 1.2 WAR in AAA) - Great in the minors, got shelled in the USBL. Letting him go.

1B Uwe Tucker (.266/.358/.449, 15 HR, 134 wRC+, 2.0 WAR in AAA) - Unfortunately, never really given a chance as he only played 3 games in Columbus. Decent hitter but he's going to be 29 so we'll probably let him go.

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