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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:28 pm 
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By Hamish Campbell
The Edinburgh News
10-03-2028

Edinburgh – After the delirious locker room speeches, the “how’d you do it?” interviews, and the bubbly champagne showers in the clubhouse, the Scottish Claymores woke up Monday morning to a daunting reality.

The franchise record 96 wins, the team’s first playoff berth in a decade, and first PEBA playoff berth ever are in the past.


What's in the present: a best-of-five playoff series against an Arlington club that had to scratch and claw its way into the second Imperial League Wild Card slot.

The Bureaucrats present a number of issues for the Scottish, not least of which is that they’ve proven through the regular season that they can beat the Claymores. The teams split their season series 6-6, with Arlington taking their most recent series (in late August) 2-1.

A second even more pressing issue is that Arlington has better starting pitching, including one crucial piece that Scotland is missing: a bonafide staff ace.

“The Bureaucrats have Motoyuki Hatsutori, who is the real deal,” said Malcolm Wilkes, the Imperial League columnist for PEBA Weekly. “But Scotland lost their ace back in June when Francisco Robles blew out his shoulder. Their No. 2 starter, Carlos Pérez, is a decent enough pitcher, but he ain’t Hatsutori.

Allen Guthrie, who they signed as a free agent to replace Robles, also has done a remarkable job, but he’s no one’s idea of an ace. And Roger Keller, the other free agent starter who kept the Claymores afloat, blew out his shoulder in September and won’t be available until next season.”

So, does Scotland have enough elsewhere to offset their starting pitching issues? Let’s take a position-by-position look at the two teams to see how they stack up.

We’ll start with the infield, looking at their OSA talent grades, their key stats, and then an assessment on who has the advantage:

First Base
Chae-ku Yi, Arlington. Talent grades: 5, 7, 8, 7, 7. Stats: .256/.328/.458, 31 HRs, 89 RBIs, 2.9 WAR, 4 fielding rating. Overall: 3.0 Stars.

Joshua Ligonier, Scotland. Talent grades 6, 8, 7, 5, 4. Stats: .251/.294/.430, 6 HR, 24 RBIs, 0.6 WAR, 10 fielding rating. Overall: 3.0 Stars.

Advantage: Arlington.


Second Base
Alejandro Morales, Arlington. Talent Grades: 4, 5, 6, 5, 5. Stats: .238/.302/.408, 13 HRs, 42 RBIs, 2.8 WAR, 9 fielding rating. Overall: 2.5 Stars.

José Escobido, Scotland. Talent Grades: 8, 7, 3, 6, 7. Stats: .339/.410/.474, 10 HRs, 46 RBIs, 6.2 WAR, 7 fielding rating. Overall: 4.0 Stars.

Advantage: Scotland.

Shortstop
Pablo Garza, Arlington. Talent Grades: 5, 4, 3, 5, 7. Stats: .244/.286/.300, 6 HRs, 37 RBIs, 2.8 WAR, 10 fielding rating. Overall: 2.5 Stars.

Naomi Honma, Scotland. Talent Grades: 4, 5, 5, 6, 4. Stats: .266/.320/.426, 16 HRs, 58 RBIs, 4.4 WAR, 10 fielding rating. Overall: 4.0 Stars.

Advantage: Scotland.

Third Base
Hirohisa Inoue, Arlington. Talent Grades: 6, 7, 3, 5, 6. Stats: .235/.270/.330, 2 HRs, 26 RBIs, 0.3 WAR, 7 fielding rating. Overall: 2.0 Stars.

Orlando Barrón, Scotland. Talent Grades: 7, 5, 2, 7, 6. Stats: .227/.301/.316, 2 HRs, 37 RBIs, 1.1 WAR, 7 fielding rating. Overall: 3.0 Stars.

Advantage: Even.

Catcher
Marvin Hansen, Arlington. Talent Grades: 9, 4, 6, 4, 6. Stats: .323/.353/.486, 20 HRs, 73 RBIs, 6.0 WAR, 9 fielding rating, 7 catcher ability. Overall: 4.0 Stars.

Jason Aaron, Scotland. Talent Grades: 4, 3, 6, 5, 5. Stats: .237, .278, .390, 14 HRs, 46 RBIs, 1.9 WAR, 8 fielding rating, 7 catcher ability. Overall: 2.0 Stars.

Advantage: Arlington.

Left Fielder
Luis Aguilera, Arlington. Talent Grades: 3, 4, 8, 8, 4. Stats: .212/.326/.395, 15 HRs, 41 RBIs, 2.4 WAR, 9 fielding rating. Overall: 2.0 Stars.

Don Mercer, Scotland. Talent Grades: 8, 7, 9, 5, 7. Stats: .290/.331/.523, 39 HRs, 110 RBIs, 6.4 WAR, 9 fielding rating. Overall: 4.0 Stars.

Advantage: Scotland

Center Fielder
Sean Peters, Arlington. Talent Grades: 7, 7, 9, 3, 4. Stats: .264/.302/.449, 24 HRs, 86 RBIs, 3.3 WAR, 4 fielding rating. Overall: 2.0 Stars.

Jack Flynn, Scotland. Talent Grades: 7, 7, 2, 4, 10. Stats: .270/.300/.367, 2 HRs, 45 RBIs, 2.9 WAR, 8 fielding rating. Overall: 2.5 Stars.

Advantage: Arlington

Right Fielder
Rob Davidson, Arlington. Talent Grades: 6, 7, 6, 6, 4. Stats: .283/.330/.470, 28 HRs, 82 RBIs, 4.8 WAR, 6 fielding rating. Overall: 2.5 Stars.

José Guillén, Scotland. Talent Grades: 6, 7, 8, 7, 6. Stats: .306/.390/.532, 21 HRs, 63 RBIs, 4.7 WAR, 6 fielding rating, Overall: 3.5 Stars.

Advantage: Scotland

Designated Hitter
Dave Yarbrough, Arlington. Talent Grades: 8, 7, 1, 9, 6. Stats: .285/.385/.362, 0 HRs, 23 RBIs, 2.7 WAR. Overall: 3.0 Stars.

Yosuke Imai, Scotland. Talent Grades: 8, 6, 5, 7, 6. Stats: .299/.374/.458, 15 HRs, 53 RBIs, 4.3 WAR. Overall: 2.5 Stars.

Advantage: Scotland

Starting Rotation, Top 4.
Arlington
Motoyuki Hatsutori. Talent Grades: 7 stuff, 10 movement, 7 control, 6 stamina. Stats: GS: 32, Record, 12-11, ERA, 2.80, WAR 6.5. Overall: 4.5 Stars.
Roberto Camacho. Talent Grades: 5, 6, 5, 8. Stats: GS: 22; Record, 9-10; ERA, 3.65; WAR 0.7. Overall: 2.0 Stars.
Juan Cervantes, Talent Grades: 5, 7, 8, 4. Stats: GS 32; Record, 11-4; ERA, 3.11; WAR, 3.7. Overall: 3.0 Stars.
Darren Jackson. Talent Grades: 6, 6, 6, 6. Stats: GS, 17; Record, 5-8; ERA, 3.21; WAR, 2.5; Overall: 2.0 Stars.

Scotland
Carlos Pérez. Talent Grades: 5, 8, 5, 7. Stats: GS, 31; Record, 15-11; ERA, 3.09; WAR, 4.4. Overall: 3.0 Stars.
Allen Guthrie. Talent Grades: 6, 4, 5, 7. Stats: GS, 20; Record, 9-6; ERA, 2.77; WAR, 1.7. Overall: 2.0 Stars.
Soichiro Ogawa. Talent Grades: 7, 4, 5, 10. Stats: GS, 28; Record, 18-7; ERA, 4.10; WAR, 1.1. Overall: 1.5 Stars.
Terry Dumont. Talent Grades: 5, 5, 5, 7. Stats: GS, 25; Record, 14-7; ERA, 3.88; WAR, 0.4. Overall: 2.0 Stars.

Advantage: Arlington

Bullpen, Top Four
Arlington
Akio Sai. Talent Grades: 6, 7, 8, 2. Stats: G, 70; 8-6 Record; 32 Saves; 3.27 ERA; WAR, 0.0. Overall: 3.0 Stars.
Tsuramatsu Ito. Talent Grades: 6, 6, 8, 6. Stats: G, 60; 9-8 Record; 4 Saves; 2.78 ERA; WAR, -0.1; Overall, 3.0 Stars.
Enrique Fonseca. Talent Grades: 9, 5, 4, 6. Stats: G, 45; 7-7 Record; 1 Save; 3.24 ERA; WAR, 0.4. Overall: 3.0 Stars.
Jorge García. Talent Grades: 8, 4, 8, 4. Stats: G 47; 2-1 Record; 2 Saves; 2.70 ERA; WAR, 0.6; Overall: 2.5 Stars.

Scotland
Ken Fisher. Talent Grades: 9, 6, 5, 2. Stats: G, 73; 5-3 Record; 38 Saves; 2.45 ERA; WAR, 1.2. Overall: 3.0 Stars.
William Talley. Talent Grades: 8, 5, 6, 2. Stats: G, 48; Record, 1-3; 6 Saves; 2.37 ERA; WAR, 1.4; Overall: 2.5 Stars.
Ángelo Gonzáles. Talent Grades: 7, 4, 6, 2. Stats: G, 50; Record, 2-2; 0 Saves; 3.54 ERA; WAR, -0.1; Overall: 2.0 Stars.
Orlando Moya. Talent Grades: 5, 4, 6, 10. Stats: G 16; Record, 0-0; 1 Save; 2.67 ERA; 0.0 WAR; Overall: 2.0 Stars.

Advantage: Arlington

So, there’s the position-by-position “tale of the tape,” so to speak. If you were keeping track, the tally was Arlington 5, Scotland, 5.

The Scottish advantage, as expected, is on the offensive end, while Arlington has the advantage on the mound – especially with the starting rotation. That shows up in team stats, too, where Scotland ranks at or near the top of the Imperial League in just about every meaningful offensive category, and in the bottom half for most meaningful pitching stats. Arlington ranks towards the middle of the league in both offense and pitching.

So what does it all mean?

Just this: don’t be fooled by the difference in the won/lost records. This series is as tight as a drum, and neither team has a clear advantage.

Just as the race for the post-season was a barn burner in the IL this year, the Wild Card playoffs could be even more so. The barn, the shed, the farmhouse - the whole shebang!

Stay tuned, folks. This should be good.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:18 am 
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I think both IL and SL wild cards are very intriguing match-ups! Pitching v. Hitting... I wouldn't be shocked if both were 5-game series!!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:26 am 
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Go Scotts!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:16 pm 
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Very nice wrap up! The Bears will see you on the other side!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:37 pm 
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A classic pitching vs hitting duel. Should be a fun series and will be very inetresting to see how it plays out.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:21 pm 
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Go Scots! Best of luck Vic, safe travels and thanks as always for the great write-up.

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