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Old 02-14-2015, 02:19 PM   #1
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TTWB - Grand Championship Preview

The following preview was written by the TTWB team representative.

To The Wall Baseball started in 2007 and we are now nearing the end of our 22nd season. After starting out with 12 teams, two expansions later we now sit at 20 teams - 2 leagues with 2 divisions each.

League Website: To The Wall Baseball

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

I decided to build a team around OBP, defense, and pitching. With that in mind, Petco Park was the natural choice. Given the extreme nature of the ballpark, I decided to give salary priority to pitching in general, and starting pitching in particular. We spent $35MM on starters and another $11MM on the back-end of the bullpen. In order to accommodate the pitching focus, the Stalkers stacked their lineup with a number of above-average but not great hitters, with Roy Donaldson, Celestino Croner, and Christian Brown as the superstar heart of the lineup. I built the bench to complement this solid lineup, with some speed, some defense, and some pop coming off the bench.

Projected starting lineupp

vs RHP
1 R Celestino Croner CF
2 L Scott Robinson 3B
3 R Christian Brown RF
4 L Roy Donaldson 1B
5 L Carlos Fonseca 2B
6 R Willie Clarke DH
7 R Rob Clark LF
8 R Carlos Peret C
9 R Cliff Morgan SS

vs LHP
1 R Rob Clark LF
2 L Roy Donaldson 1B
3 R Celestino Croner CF
4 R Christian Brown RF
5 R Willie Clarke DH
6 L Carlos Fonseca 3B
7 R Carlos Peret C
8 R Domingo Encarnación 2B
9 R Cliff Morgan SS

Pitching Staff

Starting Rotation
R Randall Anderson
R Paco Rodríguez
R José Hernández
R Elliot Hurlson
L Greg Evans

Middle Relief
Bryan Jones
José Villegas
Dean Taylor

LOOGY/Long Relief/Emergency SP
Robbie Robinson

Michael Williams
Luis Antonio Hernández

Jesús Morales

5 Keys to Winning

1. Give enough work to the three-headed back end of the bullpen. The Stalkers have three closer candidates in Jesús Morales, Michael Williams, and Luis Antonio Hernández. To get the most value out of these three players, TTWB management has to ensure that all three get enough innings to justify the investment.

2. Generate some offense. The Stalkers took a big chance by focusing on cheaper, offensive talent and focusing their payroll on three stars.

3. Can Roy Donaldson succeed in Petco? Donaldson put up big numbers over the past 8 years for Colorado. But now he moves from baseballs most extreme offensive environment to the extreme opposite in San Diego. Donaldson has plus, plus contact ability and may be able to take advantage of a spacious outfield.

4. Can Larry Sexton come back? Sexton was terrible in 2014, with a disasterous .232/.301/.277 split. But the speed is still real and Sexton will only be asked to start against LHP, against whom he still got on base decently in 2014.

5. Elliot Hurlson needs to bounce back to his 2013 form. That year, he went 13-16 with a bad Twins team, but had and ERA of 3.21 on a WHIP of 1.29. Last year, he struck out a half-batter more per nine, but his walks and hits went up too.
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