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    Wingate Gladiators - Season II

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    Bumstead
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    Wingate Gladiators - Season II

    Post by Bumstead on Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:07 pm

    Media Guide
    Billy Hillfinder, Team Correspondent

    2011 has arrived and the fans of the Wingate Gladiators are expecting big things this season. Jeff Palin, General Manager, has juggled the roster around and put together a pretty solid group for this year.

    Projected Lineup will be:

    1. George Lewis, SS - acquired from Phoenix for Stanley Hemenway and Carlos Rivera. I don't think the fans realize yet how good this kid is going to be. He can literally play almost anywhere on the field and defend at an above average level. He should be a high-average hitter with just enough pop to keep the other teams honest. He should be a real candidate for ROY.
    2. Dave Bruce, 3B - Had one of the best seasons in the league last year and is the career leader in AHIBA in walks. This guy gets it done everyday. Should get most of the reps at 3B this year as Sun Min plays more 1B. Bruce has started to hit for a bit more power than the experts thought he would; it will be interesting to watch this year. I will take the over on his career high of 19 HR's last year.
    3. Tim Christensen, LF - The cornerstone of this team. Had a 30/30 season last year and shouldn't have a problem doing that again. Should be in the running for MVP at the end of the year, barring injuries.
    4. Sun Min, 2B/1B - The ball just jumps off this guy's bat. Pitchers hate to face him but with the hitters Wingate has around him, they don't have much choice. Min could challenge for the HR title in the Sluggers League and be a contender for MVP if he really turns it on.
    5. Mel Wright, DH/RF - Lot's of pop from this guy. A spot was cleared for him during the off-season so he should get lots of AB's again this year. He told me his goals were to hit .300 and pop 30 HR's. I hope he does.
    6. Ronald Berry, C - Lead the team in RBI's last season. This guy is going to be a special player and he should just get better and better the next few years.
    7. Se-tol Pak, 1B/DH - had kind of a down season last year after his massive 2009 season. He's really worked hard in the off-season to get his bat back to its 2009 form.
    8. Richard Bly, RF - Signed as a free agent in the off-season, this guy played in the World Series the last 2 years, winning 1 of them. He's got some pop and hopefully getting out of a pitcher's park and into a more neutral environment will bring his average up a bit. He's a fine defensive OF and should help improve the team in that area.
    9. Felix Michaud, CF - Wingate plans to let this kid roam CF every game this season for the most part. Defensively, he's one of the best CF's in the AHIBA3 league. Offensively, he was a bit of a surprise last year as he maintained an OPS of .758 for the season despite slumping a bit at the end of the year. He should have a real opportunity at a Gold Glove this year.

    Significant Contributors:

    1. Joseph Lewis, 2B/1B - Joseph will most likely play against every lefty that Wingate faces and as the season goes by, he may force himself into the lineup more and more.
    2. Luis Rodriguez, 2B/SS/3B - tremendous utility guy who could win a GG at 2B or 3B if given a full year at those positions. His ability to hit consistently will determine how much he plays.
    3. Tom Manning, OF - Manning got hurt in Spring Training but should return in May to resume his role in the lineup against LHP and 4th OF.
    4. Carlos Trujillo - in Manning's absence Carlos will operate as the 5th OF and provide some spark off the bench. He may have made the roster anyway as he has really mashed the ball this spring. It will be interesting to see if he forces the manager's hand to get him in the lineup a bit more often than the current plan.
    5. Manuel Pena/Arturo Silva, C - The word is that Pena has won the backup job coming out of spring training but I'm sure we will also see Silva as the season progresses. Pena is outstanding defensively while Silva is about average defensively and brings more offense than Pena at this point in their respective careers.

    25th man - I was under the impression that Tim Anderson had won the job as the 25th man on this team but Mr. Palin told me that he felt something might change in that regard. Trade brewing? I don't know but I will report on it as soon as the dust settles.

    Starting Rotation:
    1. Spike Horn - was there ever any doubt. Well according to Jeff Palin there were some worrys during the negotiation process, but Spike is back and is resuming his Ace status on the team. He was really close to winning the Cy Young last season and I look forward to watching him make a run at it again this year.
    2. Murray Clay - reigning ROY. If he can cut down on the walks he could challenge these guys for the Cy Young award. Clay really pitched well down the stretch last season, especially while Spike was nursing an injury.
    3. David Marino - acquired in the trade that sent Yataro Kouki to Baltimore, Wingate is expecting big things from David this season. He appears to have really good control and to be an extreme ground ball pitcher. If he lives up to his billing, he will be another candidate for ROY.
    4. Jimmy White - Jimmy pitched really well down the stretch last season. He's a workhorse and hopefully he can put a full season together and really show how good he is in 2011.
    5. Zak Thorson - Zak is a young guy who is still developing. If he can cut down on the HR allowed frequency, he will have a very good season indeed. It should be fun watching him progress through the season.

    The Bullpen:

    Closer - Min-jae Yi - one of the best closers in the league just keeps getting the job done.
    Setup Man - Mei Wang - this guy would be the closer on most teams in the AHIBA3 league but on this team he just goes out there and does whatever is asked of him. He was a real workhorse down the stretch last season.
    Setup Man - Anthony Cook - newly signed free agent. A lot of "experts" thought Wingate didn't need to go out and spend money on a setup guy, but this guy is 24 years old and really, really good right now. Down the line a few seasons, one can envision Anthony closing out games for the Gladiators.
    Middle Relief - Mark Eaton - worked as a setup man last year and did a fine job. Mark has the ability to pitch multiple innings and should be used better in middle relief this year.
    Middle Relief - Levy Martel - worked effectively in this role last season and is willing to do whatever is asked of him to help the team win.
    Middle Relief/6th Starter - Sherman Chapman - Sherman took it pretty hard when he didn't make the team out of spring training last season. He worked hard this past off-season and earned his spot in Wingate with a really nice spring this year. Due to the trade of Ernesto Morales, Sherman will get the first shot at the rotation should someone get hurt during the season.

    Other Notable Players not on the 25-man Roster:

    1. Oliver Case, SP - that's right, no typo, Oliver Case has been moved into the rotation at AAA this season to see if he can make the conversion. Sources tell me that they saw Case working on a new pitch to add to his repertoire...adding another pitch would certainly make him one tough cookie to face.
    2. Himmi Nsoah - Wingate released Himmi in a salary cap move but the rumor is that Himmi would like to re-sign with the club, hoping for a July or August come-back. I wish Himmi the best no matter who he signs with; that injury certainly took down one of the best pitchers in the league last season (at least up to the point he got hurt). He's got a lot of work ahead of him if he wants to make a successful comeback.
    3. Rick Martin - Rick is headed back to AAA to work on his defense and his consistency in his batting. I know he had his heart set on making the team out of Spring Training but I think the numbers game just got him. I'm sure we will see him as the season progresses up here in Wingate.
    4. Donald Black - Wingate's #1 prospect now that Kouki has been shipped off. He will start the season in A ball this year and hopefully after a short stint there move on up to AA. He already has a 3-hit game this year.
    5. Gohar Kiramijian - this guy was a 7th round draft pick 2 years ago. Jeff Palin says Gohar may see some time in Wingate this season if he continues to develop at his current pace. Gohar had 3 hits in his game yesterday for AA Muncie. He plays LF or RF and should be a higher average hitter with below average power and about average speed.
    6. David Morgan - acquired in the Ernesto Morales trade, Morgan is a fine relief prospect. He could move relatively quickly through the system.
    7. Julio Rivera/Chris Wooten - the teams top 2 draft picks this past season. These two are expected to hit A ball quickly after a month or two in Milan (Rookie League). Jeff Palin felt both players were steals at the point in the draft where each was taken. He feels they will both be key players in the Wingate organization down the line.

    Overall, I believe Wingate has an excellent team and as a former Newspaper reporter I can't resist making predictions. Wingate went 104-58 last season and finished 2nd in the division to Long Island, winning the Wildcard race. With 10 more teams this year and Long Island coming off their 2nd straight World Series appearance, plus the improvement of all the teams in their division, this could really be a dogfight with Long Island and Wingate both winning less games. However, being a bit of a homer, I will predict Wingate wins the division by 2 games with a record of 95-67. Again, Wingate is a better team this year, but the competition is also much improved; the Gladiators could play great and finish 3rd in their division but I think the pitching will put them over the top, plus I see they have about $12M in cap-space to take on a player or two as the trade deadline approaches. One thing about Jeff Palin, he ain't afraid to make trades to try and get this team to the "winner's circle!"
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    PhoenixGM
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    Re: Wingate Gladiators - Season II

    Post by PhoenixGM on Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:47 pm

    Thanks for the great article
    -George
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    AshevilleTom
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    Re: Wingate Gladiators - Season II

    Post by AshevilleTom on Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:50 pm

    PhoenixGM wrote:Thanks for the great article
    -George

    Yes, a very good write up of the Gladiators. Good luck this season.

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    Re: Wingate Gladiators - Season II

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