All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: AAA Coverage
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:59 am 
Offline
Single-A
Single-A
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:47 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Pyeongtaek, South Korea
Lakers Review

This new segment will focus on covering Duluth's talent in the minor leagues.

Part One: Racine’s front men

Just 2 games behind Grand Rapids after a 2-1 over Kyoto and an opening win against Thornton, the story of the week in Racine is the recent roster shakeup directed from the Front Office. With top-notch pitching from the frontmen, Racine is 4th AAA ERA at a respectable 2.7. This is due largely to the talents of Jeffrey Mendoza, pitching 2.1 as he recovers from his shoulder rehabilitation. Mendoza, along with Orlando Trujillo, were recently promoted to Duluth, draining the Lakers of their top throwers. Here’s a rundown of the front 5:

Masamichi Kono
Image
Masa Kono is truly an example of how talent can only get you so far.

Showing his chops in his third AAA season, the AAA All-Star recovered well from last season’s pedestrian showing, dropping his ERA down to an impressive 2.18. With a monster collection of strikeouts, Kono is mirroring the 1.20 WHIP that got people talking back in 2025. His poor control, however, holds him back significantly. It’s a pity, too—the 27-year-old starter will never make in in PEBA with his often unpredictable outsiders. You’ll often see a devastating slider followed by a changeup over the umpire’s head. His lack of finesse will keep him from competing on a PEBA front.

Felipe Soriano
Image
Fresh from demotion following a 5.24 ERA/1.61 WHIP over 41 games with the Warriors, Soriano returns to Racine after a promotion last year. With a well-developed arsenal, Soriano’s three AAA stints have all been respectably in the 2.3 ERA range. His awful curveball could have used cultivation as a younger pitcher—his breaking balls have a painful habit of leaving the stadium. Due for arbitration, it’s highly unlikely he’ll be returning to Minnesota next year.

Junji Toiguchi
Image
The second Japanese starter for the Lakers, Toiguchi is in his fourth year at AAA here in Racine, after similar performances in AA. While he has improved his WHIP in the last three years, “Gucci Gucci” also suffers from poor control, especially when tossing forkballs. He just doesn't have the intellect to adapt. A solid farm player—not a reliable reliever in PEBA.

Fernando Gusman
Image
In his second go at AAA, Gusman demonstrates significant improvement in his game from his last attempt at Racine. Sporting a 2.70 ERA after his return from A Ball, Gusman is held back only by the utter atrocity that is his changeup—possibly the worst in AAA. For some reason, he just can’t get it over the mound. Still, his masterful control of every other pitch has even the bench coaches confused. Like Soriano, he’s held back from PEBA proficiency by a bad pitch that eats at his BB/9.

Gabriel Jimenez
Image
Acquired in a trade with Shin Seiki that sent all-star closer Jesus Lopez across the pond, Jimenez makes his debut with Racine tonight after an average performances (3.7 ERA) over 15 starts for Kyoto (He kept his Rodan jersey just long enough to lose to his future team—luckily, he wasn’t the starter and avoided the L). His list of injuries makes his promotion hopes dubious—but if he can get his secondary pitches under control, he may change some minds.

CONCLUSION
With Racine's two top pitchers called up ahead of schedule to cover the demotion of Soriano, one can't help but wonder if the pool was drained too soon. But one thing's for sure, Warrior Hall is making big changes and exploring solutions to the pitching vacuum plaguing their relievers. We'll see if the gambit pays off this August. With mediocre front-men remaining behind, Racine needs fresh talent, and fast, or the program will stagnate.

Expect a lot of changes in the Racine front-5 over the summer as GM Ricky McCoy disassembles the team and rebuilds. AA hopefuls Bob Hodge and Jorge Zamora look ready for AAA. Likewise, 21-year-old Andres Cruz, a A leader from Kingston, was recently acquired in exchange for cash and a 4th-round pick. Look for him on the Racine roster next year if his numbers stay the same.

_________________
Richard "Ricky" McCoy
Duluth Warriors GM, 2028-


(Drew-newbie GM with big dreams!)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: AAA Coverage
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:40 am 
Offline
Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:27 pm
Posts: 6515
Location: San Francisco
This is an excellent way to truly get to know your organization - write about them!! Then you take the time, digest, get into the brain thoughts, ideas and patterns, that help you develop the talent that will be the future stars!!

_________________
Michael Topham, President Golden Entertainment & President-CEO of the Aurora Borealis
Image
2019, 2021, 2022, 2023 PEBA Champions


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: AAA Coverage
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:19 pm 
Offline
Single-A
Single-A
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:47 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Pyeongtaek, South Korea
Lakers Review

This week, we look at the Racine bullpen--an abnormally tall set of relievers. Racine has an experienced class of club guys--half of them from the region--and most follow the same story of hitting the glass ceiling somewhere south of Warrior Hall.

Andy Carter
Image

A recent call-up from the Cherries, Carter pitched all over the franchise in 2028, including 7 innings over 5 games during the mass-casualty of relievers just a month back. His dazzling 1.03 ERA over 26 innings at Racine gave the front office confidence in his coverage after 4 relievers went down, but when the injuries healed he was sent back to Racine with a commendable 2.57 ERA over 7 innings in relief. A Chicago native, the 23-year-old was drafted straight from high school and has been with the club for five years. He keeps his walks down with a refined, finessed fastball that tops out at 93 mph, but his arsenal is unimpressive for such a controlled pitcher. If he can keep his streak alive, look for him at Spring Training next year. Carter shows the most promise of any Racine reliever.

Caleb Garrett
Image
Another Chicago native and home-grown Duluth prospect, Garrett joined the program a year before Andy Carter. Like Andy, he stepped up in Duluth after the slew of bullpen injuries, and stepped back down to AAA afterward. With only 6 innings pitched for the Warriors, we didn't get to see what sort of heat Garrett was capable of--though he has put up solid numbers back in Racine; the highest of his three seasons there by far at 2.79 ERA. A high school track champ, Caleb doesn't pitch fastballs--but makes up for it with above-average cutters and sliders. He's a known leader in Racine and a popular presence across the club, but it's unlikely he'll put on the green uniform in a non-emergency role.

Hisamitsu Nakamura
Image
Tall, like Garrett, 6'3" Nakamura is a towering presence on the mound. He has an impressive fast and breaking ball, but he lacks the stance and control to avoid a high BB count. After bouncing around franchises in 2024, Nakamura hit a wall in AA and hasn't really found a way around it, despite a professional performance in A and Short Season. It's a pity--he can pitch forever and pick off a long leader like a Russian sniper. He's best suited as a reliever helping younger prospects on their way up, and plays acceptably at Racine.

Dave Henderson
Image

In his third attempt to prove his value to Warrior Hall, the Washington-born southpaw is even taller than his already-unusually-tall bullpen teammates at 6'3". He pitches consistently around the 3.0 ERA mark in Racine, but has twice come up short of the Major League standard. With just two pitches--a changeup and slider--and unimpressive control, most speculate a demotion to make room for the rising stars in the Class of 2028 down in A and AA.

Mike Thompson
Image

With one solid season back in 2025 with AA at 2.75 ERA, Thompson has been unable to keep up with AAA pitchers. Also clearing six feet, Thompson has a wide arsenal but fails to keep the batter on their toes. Unable to break 4.0 ERA in AAA, Thompson will likely share the same fate as Henderson unless he can seriously step up his pitching in the second half of the season.

Ron Juarez
Image

Seriously, what is in the water in Minnesota? At a towering 6'5", Juarez is the tallest pitcher in Racine and makes sure everybody knows it. He has just two pitches, a nasty curve and a 90 mph fastball. Looking back at his stats, you would wonder why Ron hasn't been given a shot at the Majors--averaging 2.6 ERA before 2028, where he's dropped to about 3.63 over 44 innings. While on-track for another solid performance in May, he lost steam heading into the summer and hasn't recovered it. It's a shame, too--one more good year and he may just have a shot on the Duluth bullpen.


CONCLUSION
Besides being the tallest bullpen alive (seriously every one of them is over 6'0"), all of the Racine bullpen are established AAA presences and clearly a tight unit, as may of them have played ball together for the better part of a decade now. Carter, 23, would be a prime candidate for winter ball this offseason; if he could dump his slider and get some one-on-one mentorship, he might make a reliable middle reliever in the coming years.

Kelsey Buck, the young prospect headed for Duluth in the Esquivel trade, will likely cut his teeth on a reliever role with the Lakers early next season, if he can keep that ERA down.

With all of the talent headed for AA and AA, along with the prospects being assembled by GM Ricky McCoy as the team rebuilds, we should see an up-or-out for some of these pitchers this offseason.

_________________
Richard "Ricky" McCoy
Duluth Warriors GM, 2028-


(Drew-newbie GM with big dreams!)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: AAA Coverage
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:07 pm 
Offline
Triple-A
Triple-A
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:56 pm
Posts: 369
I don’t know if they’re a bullpen, but they might make an NBA backcourt. Do any of them have jump shots?

_________________
Vic Caleca
Scottish Claymores


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: AAA Coverage
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:22 pm 
Offline
Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:27 pm
Posts: 6515
Location: San Francisco
Interesting choice for Buck, who's started all his career and done well - his AA ERA is not chopped liver...

_________________
Michael Topham, President Golden Entertainment & President-CEO of the Aurora Borealis
Image
2019, 2021, 2022, 2023 PEBA Champions


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: AAA Coverage
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:24 pm 
Offline
Single-A
Single-A
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:47 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Pyeongtaek, South Korea
Quote:
I don’t know if they’re a bullpen, but they might make an NBA backcourt. Do any of them have jump shots?


:lol: :lol: :lol: How much CP to export them to an NBA sim?


Quote:
Interesting choice for Buck, who's started all his career and done well - his AA ERA is not chopped liver.


I suppose this is an ignorance thing for me. In your opinion, is it better to put the prospect right in a starter role and limit pitches, or have him in relief?

_________________
Richard "Ricky" McCoy
Duluth Warriors GM, 2028-


(Drew-newbie GM with big dreams!)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: AAA Coverage
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:32 pm 
Offline
Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:27 pm
Posts: 6515
Location: San Francisco
Warriors wrote:
[quote ="Borealis"]Interesting choice for Buck, who's started all his career and done well - his AA ERA is not chopped liver.
I suppose this is an ignorance thing for me. In your opinion, is it better to put the prospect right in a starter role and limit pitches, or have him in relief?[/quote]
I pitch them were I intend them to be in the future. Starters start, reliever relieve, and blasé starters go into relief. I let my guys pitch. I don't know if the game is programed for them to respond to being babied first or not - as we see in real life, but I pitch them.

I'm certain others have differing opinions...

_________________
Michael Topham, President Golden Entertainment & President-CEO of the Aurora Borealis
Image
2019, 2021, 2022, 2023 PEBA Champions


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: AAA Coverage
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:38 pm 
Offline
Single-A
Single-A
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:47 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Pyeongtaek, South Korea
Quote:
I pitch them were I intend them to be in the future. Starters start, reliever relieve, and blasé starters go into relief. I let my guys pitch. I don't know if the game is programed for them to respond to being babied first or not - as we see in real life, but I pitch them.


Interesting! Well, I will probably reconsider Buck then. He's one of my favorite prospects. Thanks for the advice as always, Mike.

_________________
Richard "Ricky" McCoy
Duluth Warriors GM, 2028-


(Drew-newbie GM with big dreams!)


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group