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Old 08-02-2018, 08:27 PM   #1
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Expansion story, Charlotte Rebels

Started a fictional players real teams league, simmed 2017 without a job to get a year in, started an expansion team for 2018.

2017 - Pirates beat Twins in World Series
Single season records established, .394 AVG, 240 hits, 67 home runs, 92 stolen bases

2018 - Charlotte Rebels and Maine Lobsters(yeah sounds like a minor league team but w/e) join league, pick up their bad pitchers and 2 to 3 decent hitters in expansion draft. Pirates beat Cubs in series.

My team the Rebels goes 60-102, posting an ERA of 5.08 and a batting average of .246. A few hitters establish themselves as standouts for the team;

Marco Fuentes(1B, 33 years old) non roster spring invitee after a .235 BA 10 HR season for the Angels, hits .297 with 16 HRs and 71 RBIs

Pablo Vasquez(3B, 27, LHB) 3rd round expansion pick, had unimpressive cup of coffee with Nationals in 2017, hits .278 with 11 HRs and 38 RBIs. The 2 form a rangy but error prone corner infield and an expansion team passable heart of the order by seasons end after I've shuffled everyone around, I figure they can drive in more runs with a legit leadoff man.

Matt Kimmey(DH, 40. LHB) My free agent "splash"($1.9m) for my first year, hits ,271 with 13 HRs and 43 RBIs. Takes a paycut($1.6m) for a 1 year extension by the end of the year.

David Ramirez(SS, 28, RHB) Rule 5 pick(I played alot of them my first year), team captain and an adequate defender whose weak arm makes him more suited to 2B, he hits .273 with 9 HRs, signs a $950k extension before arbitration.

Greg Thurlow(IF/OF, 24, SH) Another Rule 5, he hits .269 with 6 HRs and 36 RBIs in 105 games, 75 starts, showing an adequate glove and a sparkplug personality which seems to make him the perfect pinch hitter, including hitting a walk off solo shot to win a game against the Twins.

Vincent Rodriguez(RF, 29, RHB) One more Rule 5 pick, he hits .235 with 13 HRs and 58 RBIs, but his ability to draw a walk(lead team with 81, next highest being Kimmey with 69. Also struck out 129 times to lead team, ouch) and his cannon arm(lead Major League outfielders with 17 assists) endear him to the organization.

Pitching is expansion team level, but some players show promise;

Adam Higganbotham(28, RH RP) A late expansion pick, he posts a 2.47 ERA in 73.0 innings, striking out 6.5 and walking 3.8.

Angel Hurtado(26, RH RP) Coming from the middle of the draft, he posts a 3.38 ERA over 93.1 IP, striking out 6.0 but walking a whopping 5.0.

Mario Cassiano(23, LH SP) A spring training waiver claim, he starts 10 games and posts a 4.18 ERA, striking out 5.6 and walking 3.5 in 64.2 innings. The team expects the young groundballer to compete for a spot in the opening rotation next year and get better with experience.

And the crowing jewel of the otherwise dismal season;

#1 draft pick Jerrod Jacobo(21, RH SP) Rated 4.5 stars by OSA and 5 by the Rebels scouting staff, he rates a potential 5 for stuff and 4 for movement and control. In 9 starts and 47.0 innings pitched at AA, he posts a 3.83 ERA and does even better in 7 starts 44.0 innings pitched at AAA, going 3.07. He's not quite ready to dominate pro hitters yet, striking out 5.0 and walking 5.2 at AA, but improving to 6.1 and 3.1 at AAA.The team plans to keep him in AAA for all of 2019 for more seasoning.

The team goes into the offseason with hopes for improvement in 2019, will post that recap tomorrow.

Last edited by BaseballGoodToMe; 08-02-2018 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 08-03-2018, 01:49 PM   #2
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2019 - Cubs beat Red Sox in Series

Meddlesome but forgiving owner Mark Belanger(really?) gives my below average market team a slight boost to scouting and player development budgets, and some room for free agents, so I start working on improving the team to fulfill the owner goal of not sucking completely.


I move my 2nd and 3rd round picks from last year for packages to build a better future team.

2nd round pick Kevin Mickle(23, RH CL) to the Cubs for 5 minor leaguers, an OF who projects to be Rob Deer with speed, 3 slick glove middle infielders, and a fireballer with possible control issues.

3rd round pick Chris Flynn(23, RH SP) to the Orioles for a less flashy but more consistent OF prospect.

Free Agency

Eddy Carranza(2B, 33 SH) 2 year veteran from the Champion Pirates, .254/.330/.408 in 2017, .271/.362/.405 in 2018, with 15 and 11 HRs respectively. Performs as expected in 2019 going .274/.361/.434 with 15 HRs.

Bryan Wegner(37, Corner OF/DH, RHB) Owner said get a power hitter, so I grabbed a guy who should go for mid 20s, having hit 26 and 27 the previous years, with averages of .247 and .299. Disappoints in 69 games hitting .220 with 12 HRs, I ship him to Cubs along with minor league filler for 2 back of rotation prospects.

And yay I'll have some PITCHING this year!! I grab myself an upgraded rotation in the form of

Kenny Dahlen(30, RH SP) Posted the lowest HR/9 in the league's inaugural season of 2017 with 0.3, sporting low 4 ERAs and 1.2-1.3 WHIP numbers, he's not a fireballer but he's not too wild. Goes 14-10 in 32 starts, posting a 3.74 ERA with 6.4 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, and a 1.36 WHIP.

Sean Wilner(27, RH SP) Coming from my division rivals the juggernaut Boston Red Sox, he was the winningest pitcher in the Majors with 18, sporting 7.5 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, and a 3.96 ERA in 27 starts, steadily improving off an injury plagued 14 start 2017 and coming into his prime. Expected to start Opening Day but goes down in Spring Training. Looks promising in 3 September starts, K/9 of 7.0, BB/9 2.9, 1.50 WHIP. Better luck next year.

Paul Moreau(30, LH SP) A 33 start workhorse for the Padres in 2018, he doesn't strike many guys out or give up walks or the longball. Posts impressive 3.35 ERA and 1.25 WHIP n 18 starts before an injury takes him down for the second half.

Eddie Evans(30, RH SP) A last second gamble for a relatively cheap #4 or 5 starter, this injury prone(5 starts in 2017, 11 in 2018) starter does make it out of spring and onto the roster, struggling through 5 starts and nagging injuries before the Oakland A's take a chance on him, a struggling Vincent Rodriguez, and slugging minor league corner infielder Carlos Acosta, sending me some minor league filler along with

Jerry Johnson(SS/CF, 26, LHB) Looks like a light hitting defensive specialist, but man can he play the field. An 18 rated shortstop, his lowest defensive rating outside of catcher is a 14 OF arm. Not only that but he shows some surprising promise as a batter with the Rebels, going from .200/.236/.280 with 1 HR in 106 at bats in Oakland, to .269/.319/.437 with 10 HRs and 5 triples in 307 at bats for Charlotte.

And finally the Rule 5 nets me

Carlos Cantu(RF/3B, 28, LHB) A tools guy with questions about putting it all together, he brings blazing speed and a cannon arm, earning his place in my plans with a .275/.319/.375 line hitting 10 HRs. He proves not much of an asset in the running game, stealing 17 bases while getting caught 14 times.

My free agent binge makes my owner change the budget before spring, from a slight increase over last year in player development and scouting, to a slight decrease.

An early injury to Matt Kimmey moves the error prone Fuentes from 1B to DH, and the equally error prone Vasquez from 3B to 1B, where he shines, taking my defense from a minus to a plus.

Fuentes(.294/.370/.444, 21 HRs 83 RBIs) and Vasquez(.291/.345/.398, 16 HRs 80 RBIs) keep hitting, joined by Cantu, Carranza, Johnson, and 27 year old RH C Ian Gingras, and afterthought pickup in a package deal for a utility man to fill the catcher position, who improves immensely on his previous year with Cleveland(going from .257/.320/.340 with 6 HRs to .281/.337/.427 with 11 in 40 fewer at bats), earning himself a 1 year extension.

Thurlow goes .247/.314/.377 with 14 HRs in 494 at bats as the starting 3B.

Ramirez falls off the map with a .221/.273/.334 line in 317 at bats, getting bumped from the starting lineup into a utility man and locker room leader role, not being offered arbitration after the season.

Angel Hurtado emerges as the team's closer, saving 30 of 33 with a 1.69 ERA, allowing a .176 AVG, and a 1.10 WHIP over 48.0 innings.

The #2 pick in the 2019 draft nets

Zach Kohler(22, RH SP) More polished but with a little less upside than Jacobo coming in, he had actually failed to sign with the other expansion team in Maine as last year's #2. He goes straight to AAA and looks solid, with a 4.01 ERA but 7.7 K/9 and 1.37 WHIP. Scout tells me he's major league ready during the offseason, he's expected to compete for it in Spring Training.

Jacobo impresses in a full year at AAA, leading the Lebanon Eagles to an IL championship with a 2.88 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 30 starts. He's not looking like the fireballer everyone expected out of college, getting it done with 5.6 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9. He may get a call up in 2020 if he'll be a difference maker, but want to polish him up a bit more.

Team improves to a 73-89 record, with AVG rising to .259 and ERA dropping to 4.46. Going into the offseason I feel like I've got some pieces in place to make a run for the AL wildcard spot.
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Old 08-04-2018, 07:37 PM   #3
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2020 - In Progress

The owner gives the following goals going into the offseason;

Don't suck completely - Should be easy to improve on 2019, especially with more scouting and player development budget, a generous free agent allowance for a small market team, and Zach Kohler now scouting as a Major League ready 4/4 stars.

Upgrade CF - I feel pretty good about my free agent signing here;

Scott Allen(28, CF, RHB) A solid journeyman leadoff hitter for the first three seasons of the league, he should be good for a .270-.280 average, .330 OBP, and 15-30 steals, plus he's a sparkplug.

Acquire a power hitter - A carryover from last year, when I traded Wegner mid season, but I feel like I've got a solution

Matt Watson(27, LF/RF, LHB) The Rob Deer with speed from my trade for Mickle, he hit .252 with a .317 OBP in the Arizona Fall League, leading it in HRs with 8 and SB with 11, and continues to show decent contact through spring.

Find a top prospect - I've got until 2022 on this one, but I'm scouting the guys on the list and their teams for a trade in July.

Have a top 6 farm system - Again not due until 2022, but I'm intending to dump my good guys in their final contract year anyway so doable.

Make the playoffs - A starting goal from the beginning of the team, it's actually build team to make the playoffs. I'm not as confident about this one, expecting to be in the wildcard race before bowing out with a July selloff.

So in free agency besides Allen I add;

Jaime Rivero(C, 28 RHB) Posted a .266/.337/.425 line with 10 HRs in 112 games for the Reds, 2017 and 2018 were less impressive with .194 and .203 respectively but he seems to be coming into his prime. Plan is to start Gingras against right handers, and move him to DH in favor of Rivero's superior defense against lefties. Fuentes isn't a high platoon split hitter but I felt he tailed off in August and September and could use the rest early in the season.

Brian Howell(28, LH SP) Another coming into his prime type like Rivero, the fireballer posted a 3.07 ERA with 9.2 K/9, 3.6 BB/9, and 0.8 HR/9 for Arizona, and I think he can do even better for me as I've got a power pitcher specialized coach promoted from AAA after the Eagle's staff dominated the IL.

My 3 signings give me the 3rd highest WAR added with 9.6, and I also grab a few minor league option guys for Spring Training, including 40 year old DH Bill Flynn, an old but popular player who I figure can help attendance if he manages to stick. He posts a .400 plus OBP but hits around .120 or so, but the Pirates are willing to send me a minor league filler pitcher and;

Jose Barrera(25, 2B/3B/SS RHB) Unimpressive at the plate in short major league stints for the Pirates, he's a superstar with the glove at second, with skills to improve at third and short, and even has some outfield talent and experience. He also hit a promising .320/.355/.418 at AAA in 2019. He starts the league in AAA as my defensive sub infielder spot is won in spring by;

Angel Ramirez(23, 2B/3B/SS RHB) Acquired with Watson in the Mickle trade, he hit .250/.307/.378 at AAA with 13 HRs. Not expecting alot of production from him at the plate but he can come in for Carranza in close games and spot start at 3 positions.

I also open the season with 2 more rookies worth mentioning;

Leo Guzman(26, 3B RHB) Acquired along with a speedy rangey non hitting young outfield project in my first year for a too good for an expansion team reliver, he's progressed steadily and earned his spot out of camp. He scouts as have decent range, somewhat sure hands, with a rocket arm. Could be decent at the plate, but isn't expected to draw too many walks.

John Adelman(23, RH SP) Wins the #4 slot mostly because Wilner drops in the last game of spring AGAIN. Glad I made 2021 a team option year there. The groundballer has some zip on his fastball too, he was one of 2 pitchers I acquired for Wegner last year.

Anyway I'll post more when I reach September.
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Old 08-06-2018, 06:22 PM   #4
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April goes well, winning the first 2 games 4-1 and 3-0, and finishing 11-14 for the month.

Cantu(.273/.356/.351), Carranza(.295/.344/.432), Watson(.253/.279/.515 with 8 HRs 19 RBIs and 6 SBs in 6 tries), Vasquez(.284/.350/.341 with 11 RBIs hitting mostly singles) and Guzman(.313/.343/.594 with 4 HRs 13 RBIs 6 SBs in 8 tries all while gobbling up everything and throwing every hitter out from 3B) are carrying the offense until the other bats can break out of early slumps and catch fire.

Pitching staff looks solid, Hurtado continues to save every chance he gets. Kohler is consistent in 6 starts before an inury sends him to the 60 day disabled list(2.84 ERA, 6.8 K/9 3.1 BB/9 1.1 HR/9). Jacobo looks solid enough at AAA and my 29 and 30 year old expansion picks don't seem to have that passable 5th starter ability they showed in the team's first 2 seasons, plus with fans not liking my new higher ticket prices, I call up the well known rookie for his debut, which he suffers a nagging injury in and leaves during the first inning, struggling in 3 more starts before being shipped back down.

Then the hopeful season turns into a nightmare on Carranza's Chuck Knoblauch moment, turning a sure 3rd out and a scoreless 3rd inning into an 8 run bloodbath and sending the team into a tailspin of bad morale and trade demands.

9-20 in May and Carranza is the first to demand a trade to a winner.

Last edited by BaseballGoodToMe; 08-06-2018 at 06:27 PM.
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