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Old 02-14-2015, 08:48 PM   #1
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USoB - Grand Championship Preview

The following preview was written by the USoB team representative.

The USoB has been in existence since July of 2012. Now in our 11th simulated season, the league has now expanded to 30 teams with our GMs located in many different countries mostly based in North America.We are a fictional league with a fake historical perspective on the United States post cold war with the Russians. Although we have a commissioner, his role is more of president than dictator. The USoB is a democracy with a system of checks and balances paired with committees and subcommittees handling all issues and potential changes. Our league has a very strong message board and writing articles about the team is rewarded handsomely.

League Website: United States of Baseball Community

You can check out the USoB team by visiting: Home Page

USoB's representative Tim [Tom?] Lentz maybe GCL's most inexperienced general manager. Lentz's five seasons in USoB are his only OOTP GM experience over the last decade. Lentz is looking to prove himself as an elite general manager in this year's GCL, but very well could be exposed as the product of inheriting a loaded squad in his home league.

GCL15 introduced the new salary cap format where teams were to construct the best team from the entire field of players with a $90 million salary cap. Lentz took this format and decided to start with adding players with the best bang for their buck.

This has led to Adrián Hernández, Orlando Moreno, and Randy Johnsonmaking up 3/4 of the team's infield, while Jerry Goodwin fills in the DH spot.

Furthermore, Héctor Núñez and António Acuña fill the back-end of the rotation. These six players - along with the entire bullpen and bench - are players brought aboard at the league minimum $550,000.

This strategy allowed Lentz to spend heavily on the other positions on the team. The GM spent big money on Lou Pryor, Ernesto Norales, and Danny Plummer for the lineup. In the starting rotation, the team will be putting Edward Howe, T.J. Christian, and José Álvarez.

Overall, Lentz went with what he felt was the "Best Player Available" at each position philosophy(while taking salary into consideration), rather than building the ideal 1-9 lineup or dominant starting rotation. Time will tell if this strategy pays off, or if it will just expose the inexperience of the USoB GM.

Projected Lineup v RHP
1 R Danny Plummer CF
2 L Randy Johnson LF
3 L Orlando Moreno 2B
4 R Pat Craig RF
5 R Lou Pryor SS
6 R Jerry Goodwin DH
7 R Ernesto Norales C
8 L Paul Anderson 3B
9 R Adrián Hernández 1B

Projected Lineup v. LHP
1 R Danny Plummer CF
2 L Randy Johnson LF
3 R Jerry Goodwin DH
4 R Pat Craig RF
5 R Adrián Hernández 1B
6 R Lou Pryor SS
7 L Orlando Moreno 2B
8 R Ernesto Norales C
9 L Paul Anderson 3B

Projected Starting Rotation
Edward Howe
T.J. Christian
Jose Alvarez
Hector Nunez
Antonio Acuna

Middle Relief
Miguel Esparza
Dirk Nicol

Set Up
Cristián Guerra
Tung-chi Chin

José Estrada

Five Keys To Success

Hitting Rallies - The lineup is not built to manufacture runs on the base paths. Mike Trout is the only true baserunning threat. However, the team is built from top-to-bottom with potential .300 hitters and seven of the nine hitters have the potential to go deep at any at-bat. That potential will need to be realized for the team to reach home plate.

Strikeouts - The team was constructed by putting a minimal amount of money into pitching, a philosophy that GM Tim Lentz doesn't usually support. The pitchers brought aboard are primarily strikeout pitchers. They're also pitchers who tend to struggle with control and can be hit hard at times. They'll need to bring the "A" stuff every night to keep the opponents off the scoreboard.

Bullpen - Lentz went cheap on the bullpen, relying on the eye test rather than recent results. There's a lot of talent in the bullpen, but they'll have to pitch to finally realize that potential to close games out. Otherwise, the team could be looking at many late game disappointments.

Lack of Depth - The team also is constructed by spending minimal on the bench. This will make team fatigue more magnified throughout the season. Expect management to attempt to strategically rotate days off for players in the lineup to reduce the chances of a number of their stars taking the same day off.

Fernandez Bounceback - Héctor Núñez showed what kind of talent he had in 2013 when he posted a 3.21 ERA with 254 K in 35 starts. The 2014 Núñez was nothing like that, posting a 4.58 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP. The team will need 2013 Núñez to show up to solidify the back end of the rotation.
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