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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:00 am 
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Hey it's always a possibility, Mike! Although I would be incredibly surprised if this stitched together team has more than 90 wins in it to be honest. Who knows? Maybe I'll even get to do my first sell off this year! haha

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:31 am 
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Notes from Down on the Farm

A scary sight occured last week as perennial all-star center-fielder Miguel Yanez collided with the Alleghenies' second basement Carlos Garza. The play was the end of a fantastic day at the plate for Yanez who went 2-for-2 with a walk and a stolen base. When he first went down, gasps went up from the stands and play was stopped for more than five minutes while trainers looked on, checking on the center-fielder's condition.

Over the radio-only broadcast, beloved color commentator and known dramatist Mike Michaelson of KWYJ Jacksonville sounded visibly distraught while Yanez's condition was sussed, going so far as to say that "if Miggy's hurt, there goes the season," on the fourth day of Spring Training. Michaelson later recanted his tearful tirade via twitter, saying "we have a GREAT team! I hope you all will tune in as we play you through all 162 games in 2028!"

Luckily, all the gnashing of teeth was for naught as the Featherheads' staff has announced that there were some nagging spasms but Yanez is otherwise hale. The given time frame for recovery is currently set at 6 days so a DL stint will not be necessary.

"We're going to handle Miggy with kids' gloves -- especially this early in the season," commented manager Hector Santana after the game. "Fact is, he came in as healthy as he ever has been and already looks ready so we're not that worried about him being ready for opening day."

Cheers from last week:
  • After an exhaustive search, Ken Hannahs and company went on a hiring spree, rounding out their coaching staffs for the 2028 season. They hired 7 new coaches in the period of a week.
  • 6 new minor league free agents were brought on as well -- some who may even see the majors sometime this year.
  • Jose Trejo has started off the spring with a bang, throwing 7 innings in the first week of play and limiting the opposing team to only a single earned run while striking out five. With free agent acquisitions Iwane Sato and Bill Gallagher taking up coveted rotation spots, it's yet to be seen where Trejo's spot on the team will be, but if he keeps up strong results like he has so far, it's safe to say that he'll force management's hand.

Jeers from last week:
  • Top prospect Luppe Van Dam had one appearance out of the 'pen last week, giving up four earned runs in 1 2/3rds innings.
  • Mushanokoji Matsumoto has not impressed early on in Spring. With a lowly slash of .231/.375/.231, we hope he can turn it around soon.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:36 am 
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Only a hiccup for Van Dam

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:11 pm 
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Yamamoto Signs One-Year Contract

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The Crystal Lake / Florida connection remains strong as veteran catcher Yorihide Yamamoto (39) signed a team-friendly one-year contract to make his way to Jacksonville. "I couldn't be happier to be calling myself an F-Head," Yamamoto mused through his japanese translator. "The climate is going to be nice on my knees."

It seems clear to outside observers that Yamamoto will serve as spell to Hudson and as the veteran may only have 50 or so games per year, but with the season approaching quickly, theres always a chance for the ageing veteran to get more playing time than originally thought. "I'm here to do what I can to help Florida attain their 13th straight pennant. Anything less is a failure in my eyes."

Yamamoto was chagrined that a reunion with his best friend, Yogi Robles, wasn't in order however. "It seems my age is catching up with me. Yogi's a spry 37. He leaves as soon as I arrive. What gives?!" Yamamoto vowed to get his revenge with a drum of gatorade if given the opportunity.

Yamamoto is a two time all-star and a one time champion with the Crystal Lake Sandgnats.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:10 pm 
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:clap: epic!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:55 pm 
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Surprise DFAs and Signings Mark End of the Featherhads' Spring Training

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In a surprising coup, Hannahs has made his made some dramatic decisions in regards to his pitching staff. Bullpen stalwarts Junior Castillo and Bob Witney have both been DFAd and put on waivers. While not definite, these moves seem to spell an end to the one time promising but ultimately underwhelming tenures of the two relief pitchers.

Once a promising prospect and first round pick in 2020, Witney has struggled to find success at the major league level. This was in no small part due to his inability to avoid hard hits. With a career BABIP well above league average and an anemic 4.7 k/9 rate, it was imperative that Witney have a strong spring if he wanted to find himself back in the 'pen this year. Despite an obviously small sample size, Witney performed in-line with the train wreck fans had seen last year. A .417 BABIP accounted for hard hit balls and a 2.44 WHIP sealed the deal.

Perhaps the more suspect of the two waives was that of Junior Castillo. While his spring was not amazing, the hard-throwing right-handed pitcher had built a name for himself with Florida fans, racking up 253 innings of relief work over 163 appearances and had very recently signed a one-year extension of 8.12 million dollars. However, that was before GM Hannahs returned.

Hannahs originally traded for Castillo back in 2023, but it was obvious from the first press conference when he said that they were looking at a "lean and mean" approach that cutting salary fat was going to be a primary goal in this and future years. It was also clear to those within the organization that any move was on the table.

It seemed instead that the move was not so much for performance, but instead for Castillo's known character issues. Speaking anonymously, a person close to the GM said "look, we can either pay Castillo 8 million dollars to be a problem in our clubhouse or pay him 8 million and not be a problem out of our clubhouse. In the end, we didn't feel that he was going to provide the results to deal with a prema donna who can't throw strikes."

"We wish them the best in the next step of their journeys," Assistant the GM Chris Bowden said to the press. GM Ken Hannahs was unavailable for comment.

Representatives for Castillo and Witney also declined to comment, however after word of the moves were made, a rumor spread that a fire had started in the Featherhead's locker room and that it had originated from Castillo's locker.

------

In brighter news, fan favorite Dave Crocker has been unexpectedly signed to a one-year contract with Florida and will take on his patrol of second base for Florida for the 2028 campaign.

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In remarks during his news conference, Crocker sounded ecstatic. "Honestly, I'm thrilled to be back where I won a championship and had four great seasons. Negotiations were easy for me especially because I knew what I was coming back to here in Jacksonville."

Crocker is the second one year pickup by Hannahs after Yamamoto a few weeks ago and fill an immediate need at second base. A fun fact: both Yamamoto and Crocker played for the Palm Springs Codgers last year.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:05 pm 
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Checking In on the Farm

While F-Head Fanatics are obviously less than thrilled with the results of the first two weeks of the season, there's more baseball to watch. Through two weeks, we've already seen some great performances from prospects at Chesapeake and Beaufort.

Chesapeake Bay Oysters Top Performers

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Leon Brunskill with a .321/.424/.429 split, good for .6 WAR this early in the season. He will regress to his mean, but for now Chesapeake Bay is loving it. "I'm seeing the ball real well right now," Brunskill said of his hot start. "I really felt like I've taken a big step this off-season. I knew coming into the season that there was a chance that I could make opening day, so even though I didn't, I definitely feel like I have a much more professional approach at the plate this year."

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Randy Love is another player isn't taking his demotion with the sort of taciturn doldrums that some respond with. He's also off to a fast start with 2 homers and 11 hits. Many expected him to make the opening day roster, however he was beaten out by Gareth Bugler in Spring Training.

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Top prospects Luppe Van Dam and Kyung-suk Kim are off to fast starts. Van Dam has pitched 13 innings to a 1.38 ERA and Kim is at 14 innings to a 1.93 ERA. Van Dam had a rough spring so it was no surprise to see him down in AAA to start the year, however Kim pitched incredibly well with 16.2 innings pitched to an incredible 0.66 ERA. Kim went into the year as a shoe-in to lead the Loggerdoggers' rotation, however due to his strong spring and impressive stint in Chesapeake, it's now unexpected that that will come to pass.

Beaufort Loggerdoggers Top Performers

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Randall Doane is coming out of the box very strong with the Loggerdoggers. He's negotiated a 0.44 ERA through the first 20.2 innings of the 2028 campaign. Just off the top 100 PEBA prospects, Randall is making a strong case for a mid-season mention. Expect an in-depth look into Doane's hot start in an upcoming interview!

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15th round pick in 2027 Cobus Van Der Kooij is off to a great start as well. While he is no where near a top 100 list, any time you get someone in the 15th round who's pitching this well, you have to be happy. As one half of the fan-favorite Netherlands Duo, Kooij has had undoubtedly a better start to the year. With a fastball touching a mere 90 mph, Kooij doesn't project to a future in the majors however he's helping his team succeed now with a presentable 2.92 ERA over two starts, and just over 1 base runner each inning.

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Xuan-Ling Wang has also been pitching surprisingly well. With his 5.1 scoreless innings and 10.1 k/9, people are at least aware of his presence. There is reason to be wary of his early-season success however as last year he pitched 23.2 innings in relief in Beaufort to a whopping 6.46 ERA.

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The 300th pick of the 2023 draft, David Phillips has been playing very well for Beaufort. After mostly disappointing seasons up until this one, this hot start is exactly what Phillips needed to rekindle some interest in his play. At 25 years old, however, he is nearing the end of his prospect status.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:14 pm 
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Seems to me Love would be entitled to some kind of snit just for being beaten out by a guy named Gareth Bugler. I mean, where’s the dignity?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:20 pm 
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What's the story behind Van Dam's nickname Terrible?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:30 pm 
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I love to see others showing love to their minors too, it really does add to the league if you can read about the emerging boys as well as the PEBA stars

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