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Old 09-20-2019, 04:32 PM   #16
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Manchester, England
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July 2055

  • 44-67 (11-18 this month)
  • Runs scored: 414 (13th in Eastern League)
  • Runs allowed: 480 (10th)
  • Def: .706 (8th)

Central Division standings
Albany Firefoxes 67-44
Annapolis Mustangs 67-44
Columbus Heatseekers 48-63
Indianapolis Wildcats 47-64
Richmond Eagles 44-67
Trenton Colts 41-70

Month summary
  • Until we ended July in a 1-8 slump, I thought we had turned the corner. But we are just so inconsistent. That’s to be expected from such a young roster, but it’s still frustrating.
  • I did though, continue the makeover of the team, shifting more veterans to other teams and bringing in more youngsters who will hopefully turn into stars. I doubt we will be wildcard contenders next season, but I expect we will be better.

Trades and transactions
  • Sometimes you feel you need to make a trade which you know will be deeply unpopular with the fans, but which you feel is vital for the future of the team. Such a time came in early July. The Lansing Sharks were 1 game out in the Western League wildcard race and felt that the experience of SCL legend David Miller in their lineup could make the difference. Their GM called, and dangled their exciting young left fielder Will Brown in front of my face. The trade came together: Lansing got Miller, RF Ian Britt (whose form had nosedived) and MR Pancho Jaimes (back in the minors) in exchange for Brown (age 23, RHB, 4*). Brown is still developing as a hitter, but is a powerful slugger with a turn of pace. He’s rated 10/10 in left field so immediately gives my defense a big upgrade. He has directly replaced Miller in the lineup. He’s only had just over a year in the big leagues and will be a borderline super-2 at the end of next season. Miller’s departure means that of the big contracts I inherited here, only Ryan Hurley and his 10/5 rights remains.
  • I didn’t want to include Britt in the trade for Brown, but Lansing wouldn’t do the deal without him. His departure left me short of a backup outfielder, so I sent minor league reliever Earl Curry to Providence in exchange for veteran RF Al Elliott (age 35, LHB, 1*), who the Blue Rocks had put on the trading block. Elliott played for me in Des Moines in 2047, but I had traded him when it became clear he would want an excessive contract extension to remain at the Magpies. However, he was only with us for a few days, because...
  • MR Mark Forrest had a mare in a 10-0 drubbing by Augusta, taking his season ERA up to 7.04. Possibly another knee-jerk decision, but I decided to shop him. To my surprise, Augusta showed the most interest, hoping he would provide a boost to their pitching down the stretch. They clearly see something in him that I don’t. The Romans were also looking for a landing spot for RF José Montoya (age 24, LHB, 2*), a good contact hitter who was blocked by their best batter Jesús Gonzáles and languishing in the minors. The final deal was Forrest, RF Al Elliott and veteran reliever Don Rich going to Augusta, while I got Montoya and minor league pitcher Jorge Ruíz. My starting outfield is now a trio of excellent young players: Will Brown in LF. José Arroyo in CF and Montoya in RF. Rory Simmons and Scott Reynolds are the backups.
  • SS Vicente Madrigal agreed a 5-year contract extension, through to the end of 2060, for $19m per year. A lot of money, but that’s our leadoff hitter and shortstop locked down.

Who’s hot?
  • RF José Montoya has been scintillating, hitting .319/.355/.500 in 19 games since arriving from Augusta. He’s already been moved up to the 3-hole in the lineup.
  • MR Nori Okuta (2-1, 2.86 in 21 appearances) has completely justified my decision to fast-track him into the major league bullpen. His ERA would be even lower but for two outings where he got smashed.
  • 1B Robert Numbers has bounced back well from a disappointing June, and now has 18 HR and 46 RBIs to his name this year.

Who’s not?
  • LF Will Brown has unfortunately been in a big slump pretty much from the day he joined us. He’s hitting a dire .146/.183/.225. A very poor trot, but he’s still only 23 and he’ll come good.
  • 2B Ed Shelton (.238/.281/.286) has been given more game time since Bill Lloyd was traded, but is blowing his audition so far.
  • MR Ryan Hurley (2-8, 5.24 FIP) is pretty much demoted to mop-up relief duties now. He again refused to be traded before the deadline, so I’m stuck with him until his contract ends at the conclusion of this season.

Noteworthy individual performances
  • 2 Jul: SS Vicente Madrigal hit 2-3 with 2 HR as we beat Tallahassee 6-1. The homers came in consecutive at-bats in the 3rd and 5th yet were his first of the entire season.
  • 5 Jul: LF Scott Reynolds went 3-4 with 2 HR and 5 RBI in Annapolis. His homers included the decisive 3-run shot in the top of the 9th. CF Rory Simmons was 3-4 with one HR in the game.
  • 14 Jul: RF José Montoya hit 4-5 with 2 doubles in a 4-2 victory over Nashville, taking his batting average to .409 over his first 5 games for us.
  • 20 Jul: SP Haden Monroe (8-8, 3.04) threw 8 scoreless innings to take the win against Providence. He has surprised me with his consistency, and been our second best starter this season after Butch Davis.
  • 21 Jul: Montoya hit 4-5 with 3 doubles against the Blue Rocks. He doesn’t have much power but he swings the bat extremely well.
  • 22 Jul: 1B Robert Numbers went 3-4 with a HR, DBL and BB as we completed the sweep over the struggling Blue Rocks.

Biggest worry
  • The lineup can blow so hot and cold. In particular, our team OBP is only .305, below the league average of .311. We won’t be contenders until that improves.

Roster moves
  • Joe Mathis picked up a 10-game suspension for fighting with Hartford Tarantulas shortstop Chuck Pike. We just went a man short in the pen while Mathis was out.
  • No sooner did Mathis return, than 3B Fernando Galván got himself banned for 5 games for fighting.

News from around the league
  • Bad news from Carson City, as former Eagle pitcher Scott Hale suffered a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament and won’t play again until at least next May. The Rattlesnakes have a narrow lead in the West Coast Division and they will miss him.
  • Lansing brought in more veteran help for their wildcard push, re-acquiring veteran C Jimmy Howard from Augusta, who they had only let go in the offseason. In exchange they sent the Romans their on winter veteran arrival, outfielder Jeff Harrington. A puzzling move from both teams frankly.
  • The odds on the Magpies winning a fourth straight title are shortening by the day. They ended July at 70-41, the SCL’s best record.
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My dynasties:
Part 1 - Oakland A's 2024 and Beyond Dynasty
Part 2 - The Secret Diary of Paulie Beane, Aged 43 3/4
The State Capitals League - The Magpies
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