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Old 02-14-2015, 09:32 PM   #1
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USBL - Grand Championship Preview

The following preview was written by the USBL team representative.

The USBL was the original League which began with the 1984 Season. We are currently in 2007. The NBL is another Historical League that we began in 1901 so that we could create our own History. We are currently in 1923. Finally, our Modern League, which is in its 2nd iteration. The current model began with the 2010 Season and is now in 2025

League Website: United States Baseball Leagues

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

With a salary cap of $90 million i had no i idea how many bargains would be available, I was hoping for a few. I took a look at pitching first making that my initial priority, good pitching is hard to beat. I was willing to put 70% of my cap space into pitching if it gave me a good edge. I anticipated that I could skimp on batting and get defensive platoon players as needed. As I ranked the starting pitchers it quickly became apparent that there were some top notch talents available at very low salaries! I ranked Nick Sanders as the best SP available and he was only demanding 5.5m, easy add. Next was Oliver López and Luis Varela both we among the top starters and neither was asking for much, at $8M apiece are tied for my highest paid pitcher.

I rounded out the rotation with Zachary Strong, John Byers & Ernesto Domínguez . I originally had another arm instead of Dominguez & Byers but hat was going to leave me with out any lefty starters so i removed Miller and added these two and in the process added 5M back to my budget.

(That $5M would ultimately go toward adding catcher Carlos Sandoval) Dominguez was the only lefty that had a reasonable salary all the other good ones were asking $17M plus and were only marginally better. Very happy with the starters, 6 of them for total of $23.15M. Since i spent significantly less on the rotation I opened up the wallet and paid for the best closer in the game Félix Masaccio.

Overall the whole staff cost me $33.15 M leaving me over 56M to play with as i started to look at the batters.

Filing in the lineup was actually quite easy Doug Hampton, George Robinson, Enrique González, Matt Morgan, Dan Webb & Carlos Sandoval are all arguably the best at their position and only Dan Webb was a huge dent in the budget.

At $17M Webb is my highest paid player but with plus bat and glove I saw shortstop as the place where the greatest marginal value was to paying up for a player. Jesse Ward at first base is one guy I'm hoping other teams didn't see, hes lights out facing righty batters which isn't reflected in his overall. He is a liability against lefties though so I made sure to have a good pinch hitter in Rob Caldwell and a solid lefty platoon in Joaquín Rodríguez.

Chad Bryan at $550k is the cherry on top and he will be my DH. Overall I favored OBP to Power but still got solid sluggers in Hampton & Robinson and very good defense up the middle with Sandoval, Webb & González. Very optimistic of what this crew can do.

Projected Starting Lineups

Vs. Right
1 R Enrique González CF
2 L Joaquín Rodríguez LF
3 L George Robinson 2B
4 R Doug Hampton RF
5 R Chad Bryan DH
6 R Dan Webb SS
7 L Matt Morgan 3B
8 L Jesse Ward 1B
9 S Carlos Sandoval C

Vs Left
1 R Chad Bryan DH
2 L Joaquín Rodríguez LF
3 R Enrique González CF
4 R Doug Hampton RF
5 L George Robinson 2B
6 R Dan Webb SS
7 R José Portillo 1B
8 S Carlos Sandoval C
9 R Javier Salinas 3B

Projected Rotation & Bullpen

Nick Sanders
Oliver Lopez
Zachary Strong
Ernesto Dominguez
Luis Varela

Middle Relief:
Emilio Gallegos
John Byers
Mal Wallace
Wayne Faulkner

Set Up
Jeremy Arney
Stephen Munoz

Félix Masaccio

5 Keys to Winning: If these 5 things happen, this team will contend for the title or to reverse it – if these things don’t happen the way you expect – you won’t be in the mix.

1. Overlapping talent in the roster selection process, think I nabbed some obvious bargain players and expect some of them to be playing for the competition as well, if Enrique González (modeled after Trout) type is on 75% of the teams its alot harder to get excited about him.

2. John Byers is the wild card, he has great stuff but his lack of control could be a big negative, if he shines in the 5 spot we will be a tough out.

3. George Robinson – His bat against righties could be the scariest situation in the league but the gamble of picking him to be our second baseman will be a potential boom or bust, but he could end up team MVP.

4. With Jeremy Arney and Félix Masaccio owning the 8th and 9th innings if our starters can throw hard for 6 innings just need the rest of the relief staff to hold serve. Going to need my bullpen where I housed an number of lefties to force some pinch hit situations that make it that much easier for Masaccio in the 9th.

5. Rob Caldwell needs to be a power source off the bench.
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