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Center of the universe for all things Mulligan in M7 B8 W9 A12 F18 Champs 98T1 99T2

  • Checking my 2014 predictions

    It’s time to check the predictions made last year in the 2015 Mulligan State of the Nation.

     

    M7 - The East beach Sharks have us by 25 PB points so it’ll be a tough chore to repeat as Division Champ but this team can sustain the gains from last year and compete to the end. A wild card team at the least.

    It’s not hard to figure out what went wrong last season: Everything? The offense scored only 624 runs on the way to an 80 win season, seventh best in the circuit. Giancarlo Stanton was a beast with a slash line of .302/.401/.613 with 48 HRs and 113 RBI. Mike Trout was a bust with .217/.301/.460, adding 33 HRs and 89 RBI. Bryce Harper contributed a .299/.356/.392 while hitting 8 HRs and being hurt a lot. No one else did much with the stick which was foreseeable but with the Big Three becoming the Big One and his two sickly brothers we were doomed. The pitching was solid, especially the bullpen, with a 3.35 team ERA but it all added up to a .500 record.

    B8 - A 4 way race with Berthoud, Aurora and Watauga should yield a wild card spot and pursuit of the ever elusive B8 Championship.

    It was a three way race as Berthoud collapsed early and the Mulligans grabbed the second wild card spot (83-77) and finished third in the Division. The offense underperformed, scoring 635 runs with Mike Trout having the only good year with 27 HRs and .290/.377/.510 (still a disappointing year for him). Josh Donaldson hit 21 HRs and had 106 RBI but by rough count left 1200 men on base. The team didn’t do much until management gave up and traded Josh Harrison and Carlos Beltran, which triggered a sprint for the finish and the capture of the last wild card slot. The pitching was solid with a 3.45 ERA. The fifth starter duo of Matt Shoemaker (9-2, 1.57 ERA in 115 innings) and Kevin Gausman (3-9, 2.69 ERA in 130.3 innings) pitched great but bizarrely split their luck unevenly.

    The highlight of the season was upsetting Watauga 4-3 in the first round before losing to Aurora in the LCS.

    W9 - The run-prevention side of things should go well while the offense is a question mark after a solid core. I like this team to grab another Division title.

    Wrong. An 80-80 record didn’t come close to my prediction, as six teams in the W9 Senior Circuit were better than that. This time the blame goes not the offense (656 runs scored) or the pitching (561 runs allowed) but on the manager or bad luck. Our Pythagorean win total was 92 so we were 12 wins shy of where we should have been. Andrew McCutchen (.329/.415/.548 with 22 HRs, 103 RBI and 100 runs scored), Justin Upton (.261/.331/.478 with 29 HRs and 104 RBI) and Josh Donaldson (.252/.307/.457 with 32 HRs and 103 RBI) had solid seasons for the offense. The pitching was very good with a 3.17 team ERA. The theme was pitching well doesn’t necessarily lead to wins: King Felix (12-11, 2.51 ERA in 247.7 innings, 309 Ks), Chris Tillman (13-11, 2.66 ERA in 226.7 innings), Jered Weaver (11-11, 2.91 ERA in 207 innings) and Shelby Miller (12-11, 4.12 ERA in 188 innings) should have won more with that run support and a good bullpen. The first base defense certainly didn’t help with 5 firstbasemen, all rated, combined for 43 errors, including Joey Votto’s 10 errors in 67 games. All in all, a disappointing season.  

    A12 - The pitching will carry this team a long way. A lot of times the Mulligans have a very good 5 man rotation but fall in the playoffs to teams with 2-3 excellent starters, a victim of being built more for the regular season than the playoffs. This team will run a stud out there for every playoff game and I’ll pick them to win it all again.

    The offense was good, scoring 719 runs with a balanced attack. The defense was adequate with a 3.72 ERA and the 86-74 record put this team right where it wanted to be in the playoffs. The pitching, predicted to carry the team instead pushed us into an early grave in a four game blowout of a sweep by Ivanhoe. All four starters were putrid: Yu Darvish (8.31 ERA), David Price (8.10 ERA), Francisco Liriano (6.35 ERA) and Jon Lester (5.14 ERA) all threw batting practice. We gave up 6 runs per game while scoring 2.5. A debacle.

    F18 - This time I will be right when I predict a lottery berth.

    I nailed this one. Our 73-87 record for 7th worst in F18 put us solidly in the lottery. Onward and upward.

    Champs - A tough division with Aberdeen and Santa Barbara being rebuilt and ready to go and Glen Ellen can never be counted out. Hoping to get into the playoffs and take our chances.

    The playoff hopes never got too far once the games started as we finished 78-82, 9 games out of the second wild card. The offense was mediocre (649 runs) as was the pitching (643 runs allowed) and this team was never in it. Justin Upton led in the major categories: 28 HRs, 81 RBI and 93 runs scored. Blah.

    98T1 - The pitching and defense should be great and the offense good enough. The rest of the division looks to have lost a step, Can I screw this up?

    Yes and no. The 98T1 Mulligans took their first Division title with a 101-59 record. We then scored 4 runs in 4 games to get swept in the playoffs.

    99T2 - The division looks stacked and this team has some gaping holes. We may be sellers at the trade deadline on the way to a non-playoff season.

     

    As predicted we finished 10 games out of the playoffs with a 78-82 record (One of five 78-82 teams, I had the most road wins and got the 11th draft pick despite tying for the 7th worst record). Also, I only made one trade for an FA upgrade. A completely wasted year.

  • State of the Mulligan Nation - 2015

    Another year of assessing my teams and prognosticating on their future. Another year of PB, which at the highs can be just a great hobby. At the lows it can be frustrating. Overall, it’s great. Here goes nothing!

     

    M7 – A Division title and a surprising trip to the M7 Championship series where we received an unsurprising beatdown. This year’s team has the same strengths but even stronger: very good pitching and a good defensive squad. The weaknesses are the same too as the offense will be sporadic. Giancarlo Stanton will help Mike Trout this year but there are holes.

    Age: 5/35 are 30+

    C- Suzuki (Vogt)

    1B – Morneau (Belt)

    2B – Panik/Flores

    SS – Cozart

    3B – Castellanos

    LF – Harper (Eaton)

    CF - Trout

    RF – Stanton

    The offense is improved and, outside of Castellanos, the defense is solid.

    The rotation looks passable:

    Tyson Ross

    Madison Bumgarner

    Chris Archer

    Francisco Liriano

    Fernandez/Hale/Nelson

    The bullpen looks great: Wade Davis, Cody Allen, Jeurys Familia, Zach Putnam, Jared Hughes, Justin Grimm, Antonio Bastardo, Blaine Hardy Jenry Mejia, and Justin Wilson. It’s not my usual style but we may run a 4 man rotation and use the pen to allow the starters to stretch further.

    The East beach Sharks have us by 25 PB points so it’ll be a tough chore to repeat as Division Champ but this team can sustain the gains from last year and compete to the end. A wild card team at the least.

    B8 – A wild card and a first round exit at the hands of archrival Berthoud. A balanced team should be back in the hunt again, snatching a wild card berth and taking our chances.

    Age: 10/35 are 30+

    C- Santana (Hundley)

    1B – Pujols

    2B – Harrison/Flores/Weeks

    SS – Reyes (Owings)

    3B – Donaldson

    LF – Rasmus/Escobar

    CF – Trout

    RF – Beltran/Harrison

    The offense should be improved and good enough with a solid core and decent platoons. The defense should be solid.

    Hamels

    Gonzalez

    Miller

    Shoemaker/Gausman/Minor – 3 guys for 2 spots

    A solid bullpen: Craig Kimbrel, Darren O’Day. Cody Allen, Tommy Hunter, Anthony Varvaro, Brad Brach, Chris Hatcher.

    A 4 way race with Berthoud, Aurora and Watauga should yield a wild card spot and pursuit of the ever elusive B8 Championship.

     

    W9 – Last year yielded another Division title (5th in last 6 years) and a Game 7 loss in the Championship series. Alpine, Newark and Bedford are strong this year so we have our work cut out for us.

    Age: 8/35 are 30+

    C – Mesoraco (McCann)

    1B – Votto/Kraus

    2B – Kendrick

    SS – Rollins

    3B – Donaldson

    LF – J. Upton

    CF – McCutchen

    RF – Bruce/Niewenhaus/Holt

    A bit thin but a good core offensively. Overall, a good defensive squad.

    Felix

    Tillman

    Weaver

    Miller

    Gausman/Garcia/Mejia

    A very good rotation will make or break our year.

    Another good, deep bullpen: Mark Melancon, Jake McGee, Allen, Hughes, Hunter, J.P. Howell, Rafael Soriano, Hardy, Fernando Rodney, Brach.

    The run-prevention side of things should go well while the offense is a question mark after a solid core. I like this team to grab another Division title.

    A12 – This team won its 3rd A12 Championship in its 5th trip to the finals in 12 years of ownership.

    Age; 12/35 are 30+

    C – Mesoraco (Vogt)

    1B – Mauer/Carter

    2B – Utley/Weeks

    SS – Desmond

    3B – Donaldson

    LF – K.Davis/Choo

    CF – Eaton

    RF – Nava/Jay

    DH – Wright

    The offense looks ugly at first but with a few platoons and the current offensive environment it should be at least average. Good defenders at most positions and decent at the rest.

    Price

    Lester

    Zimmerman

    Darvish

    Peralta/Liriano

    The rotation is backed by: McGee, Burke Badenhop, Koji Uehara, Bryan Morris, Brandon League, Jordan Walden, Bastardo, Brach and Hatcher. Another deep, versatile bullpen.

    The pitching will carry this team a long way. A lot of times the Mulligans have a very good 5 man rotation but fall in the playoffs to teams with 2-3 excellent starters, a victim of being built more for the regular season than the playoffs. This team will run a stud out there for every playoff game and I’ll pick them to win it all again.

    F18 – I picked this team to struggle last year and they made a surprising playoff appearance. That was mainly due to us sucking less than the competition as we won the first wild card slot with 83 wins.

    AGE: 5/35 are 30+

    C – LuCroy (Castro)

    1B – Vogt/Butler

    2B/SS/3B/DH – Part of not being ready for primetime is that this squad is more a collection of talents than a team right now. These guys will mix and match in the infield:

                    Rendon/Panik/Bogaerts/Turner/Castellanos/McGehee/ Baez

    We can field a decent defensive squad but most times we won’t be pretty to watch.

    LF – Harper/Pollock

    CF – Jones

    RF - Bruce

    All told the offense will be scrappy but crappy.

    Sale

    Ventura

    Cashner

    Eovaldi

    Minor/Anderson/Sabathia

    Not a top notch rotation.

    Bullpen: McGee, Familia, Allen, Shawn Tolleson, Scott Atchison Drew Pomeranz.

    This time I will be right when I predict a lottery berth.

    Champs – The best record in the league followed by our 2nd Champs Championship in 12 years in the league.

    Age: 8/35 are 30+

    C – Mesoraco/McCann

    1B – Santana

    2B – Murphy/Weeks

    SS – Tulowitzki

    3B – Alvarez/Bogaerts

    LF – Harper/Braun

    CF – McCutchen

    RF – J.Upton

    The offense should be productive and the defense adequate.

    Bumgarner

    Archer

    Miller

    Cashner

    Gausman

    A good rotation leading to a solid bullpen:

    Allen, Tolleson, Trevor Rosenthal, League, Hatcher, Grimm, Howell and Vic Black.

    The pitching should up to the task but may need some mid-season trade help.

     A tough division with Aberdeen and Santa Barbara being rebuilt and ready to go and Glen Ellen can never be counted out. Hoping to get into the playoffs and take our chances.

    98T1 – Staggered to the finish line to win 87 games and miss the playoffs by 2 games. A terrible managing performance.

    Age: 9/35

    C – Wieters/Hanigan/Hundley/Conger

    1B – Freeman

    2B – Beckham/E.Herrera

    SS – Desmond

    3B – Longoria

    LF – Braun/Byrd

    CF – Jones

    RF – Stanton

    The offense should be solid and the defense excellent.

    Kershaw

    Sale

    Lohse

    Bailey

    Carasco/Pomeranz

    A quality rotation backed by:

    Allen, Familia, Adam Warren, Walden, Santiago Cassilla, Shawn Kelley and Tom Kahnle.

    The pitching and defense should be great and the offense good enough. The rest of the division looks to have lost a step, Can I screw this up?

    99T2 – A Division title with 96 wins before a second round exit may be the highlight for awhile.

    Age: 8/35 are 30+

    C – Mesoraco (Saltalamacchia)

    1B – Gonzalez

    2B – Holt/E.Herrera

    SS – Tulowitzki (Gregorius)

    3B – Donaldson

    LF – Beltran/Holt

    CF _ Crisp

    RF – Cuddyer/Bruce

    DH – Carter

    There’s some pop and we’ll be dangerous at full strength but this offense won’t carry us too far. The defense will be mediocre as well.

    Strasburg

    Gray

    Lohse

    Cashner

    Pomeranz/Nelson/Buchholz

    We’ll run out a good starter most days, followed by:

    Allen, Familia, Walden, League, Hatcher, Black, Josh Edgin and Brad Ziegler will help.

    The division looks stacked and this team has some gaping holes. We may be sellers at the trade deadline on the way to a non-playoff season.

  • Draft Oddity

    I had a pretty successful season last year and as a consequence my draft slots are all very similar:

    M7 - 17

    B8 - 15 

    W9 - 18

    A12 - 19

    F18 - 14 (Also #7 acquired in a trade)

    Champs - 20 (And 19)

    98T1 - 14

    99T2 - 18

     

    It will be interesting to see if I get the same guy a lot or if the drafts in each league are very different. I think there will be a lot players who get chosen in round one and that the standard deviation will be wide.

  • Checking Those Predictions

    M7 - Prediction: A borderline lottery team, dreaming on next year

    The M7 Mulligans not only didn’t make the lottery, they won 92 games and the division title before going to the Championship series. We finished first in pitching with a 2.98 ERA and 11th in offense with 654 runs scored.  The offense wasn’t too bad considering we gave 1398 AB’s to INN players. The core is still young and while Harper and Fernandez were hurt much of this season and won’t help much next PB season there is still a lot to like with this club.

    B8 – Prediction: Another wildcard playoff appearance would be a welcome result in this beast of a division. Once in, who knows?

    Spot on prediction as the B8 Mulligans won 91 games and a wild card spot before getting bounced in the first round of the playoffs. We were tied for 7th in runs scored and 4th in ERA. Next year’s team looks like they may get caught in the dreaded middle.

    W9 - Prediction: A division title leading to playoff mayhem

    A solid prediction as the W9 Mulligans won 103 games and a division title before losing in a 7 game Championship series. We were 11th in scoring and 2nd in ERA (2.95). Next year’s team has some holes and may take a step backwards.

    A12 - Prediction: This team should reclaim the division title but doesn’t have the offense to go much further

    Right about the division title but wrong about the offense. We were 2nd in both scoring and ERA on the way to the A12 title. The 6th and final game went 22 innings before Chase Utley singled in the winning run. Next year’s offense will definitely struggle unless a quick patch job takes place.

    F18 - Prediction: One more year in the wilderness and then the young infield takes root and this team is back in the fray

    Another prediction I got wrong but I’m not taking the blame: this team wasn’t very good but the competition was even worse. 83 wins got us the FIRST wild card slot in a weak circuit. The F18 Mulligans were 7th in runs scored and 11th in ERA before losing to Lima in 6 games in the first round. A still young squad may get a little better next year.

    Champs - Prediction: It’s a tough division but anything less than a first place finish has to be considered a disappointment

    This Mulligans team did win the division with a league-leading 98 victories. The #4 ranked offense and the second best ERA on the way to the Champs league title. This team is still young and should be competitive again next year.

    98T1 - Prediction: Not the powerhouse that last year’s team was, but the entire division is off a little so this team should take the division title before taking its chances in the playoffs

    Wrong again. This team didn’t even make the playoffs with an 87 win season. A rotation of Kershaw-Sale-Lohse-Bailey-Verlander in a 24 team league should’ve done better but … while Kershaw was fantastic (27-2, 1.21 ERA, 288 K’s) Lohse and Bailey combined to go 16-26 with a 4.25 ERA. Overall the offense was 7th and the pitching 5th in the league. Only one answer: a lousy managing job. On paper the team looks good next year but after the fiasco this year, who knows?

    99T2 - Prediction: With a few division rivals in flux these Mulligans should win the division

    I got this one right as these Mulligans won 96 games and the division title before exiting in a second round loss to eventual champion Newark (Déjà vu all over again). We had the 2nd most runs scored and the 7th best ERA; a solid performance all around. The nucleus for a good team is still there but a new outfield is needed.

     

     

     

     

  • State of the Mulligan Nation

    M7 Mulligans (56-104)

    After the first year under Mulligan management this team is still lacking in enough overall talent to compete now but is well positioned to get there soon.

    Lineup:

    C – Mauer (Suzuki)

    1B – Belt (Morneau, Smoak)

    2B – Bloomquist (Flores)

    SS – Cozart

    3B - ?? (Castellanos, Davidson)

    LF – Harper (Urrutia)

    CF: Trout (Eaton, Marisnick)

    RF – Stanton (Choice)

    Long outfielders and short infielders hopefully some of the depth plays well enough to become trade chips. Also, hopefully M7 gets more/more active GM’s who want to trade.

    Rotation:

    Jose Fernandez

    Bumgarner

    Liriano

    Archer

    Cingrani

    (Turner, Mejia, Webster, Tyson Ross, Thornburg, Nelson))

    Bullpen:

    Justin Wilson, Cody Allen, Anthony Swarzak, Antonio Bastardo, Jeurys Familia

    Injured Reserve:

    Vizcaino, Casey Kelly

    Prediction: A borderline lottery team, dreaming on next year.

    A load of good young arms from which a rotation can be extracted, led two young aces in Fernandez (21) and Bumgarner (24). A year of development and the acquisition of a good young DP combo should put this team into contention as soon as next season. Next year’s draft should be loaded with shortstops …

    B8 Mulligans (105-55, 2nd place, Lost in the Championship series 4-2)

    Coming off of a 119 win season that ended with a first round loss, the B8 Mulligans tried it the other way by making the playoffs as a wildcard and making the Championship Series. Management, unhappy with the lack of success either way gave up a fortune in talent to acquire Mike Trout this offseason and will take another run at it from this direction.

    Lineup:

    C – Santana (Hundley)

    1B – Pujols (Helton)

    2B – Kendrick (R.Weeks, Bloomquist)

    SS – Reyes (Owings)

    3B – Donaldson (Davidson, Flores)

    LF – Beltran (Gomes, Urrutia)

    CF – Trout

    RF – Victorino

    As a whole this lineup should be moderately productive for at least another year.

    Rotation:

    Hamels

    Miller

    Gio Gonzalez

    Dickey

    Cingrani

    (Turner, Straily, Thornburg, Gausman, Nelson and Lincecum)

    Bullpen:

    Kimbrel

    Hunter

    O’Day

    Allen

    Mazzaro

    Cecil

    Grilli

    The Mulligans have had the best pitching staff in B8 for a few years and this group should be close. This could be the worst staff we send out there for the next five years.

    Prediction: Another wildcard playoff appearance would be a welcome result in this beast of a division. Once in, who knows?

     

    W9 Mulligans (101-59, 2nd place, First round exit)

    The W9 Mulligans have been uncharacteristically quiet on the trade front this offseason. Partly due to a team that didn’t need much tweeking but largely due to seven unmanaged teams and no liquidity. This team is built on pitching and remains an enigma offensively.

    The Lineup:

    C – McCann/Mesoraco

    1B – Votto (Helton)

    2B – Kendrick

    SS – Drew/Forsythe

    3B – Donaldson

    LF – J.Upton

    CF – McCutchen

    RF: Bruce

    Bench: Gomes, Denorfia

    One would imagine this team can score. One would be wrong.

    Rotation:

    Felix Hernandez

    Miller

    Parker

    Tillman

    Weaver

    (Garcia, Mejia, J.Johnson, E.Johnson, Billingsley, Gausman)

    Bullpen:

    Melancon

    Hochevar

    Howell

    Webb

    Allen

    Mazzaro

    McGee

    (Hunter, Soriano, Rodney)

    A very good, deep pitching staff.

    Prediction: A division title leading to playoff mayhem.

     

    A12 Mulligans (80-80, 4th place)

    The A12 edition of the Mulligans has been retooling for two seasons after winning five of six division titles and two A12 Championships. Pitching has been stockpiled while the outfield has gone fallow (it’s always something getting neglected).

    Lineup:

    C – Mauer/Mesoraco (Bethancourt)

    1B – Morales

    2B – Utley (R.Weeks)

    SS – Desmond

    3B – Wright

    DH – Donaldson (Don’t be surprised to see him all over the field) (Dunn, Carter)

    LF – Soriano (Urrutia)

    CF – A.Garcia (Marisnick)

    RF – Joyce/Khris Davis

    This offense should score enough to make the team competitive. Last year’s squad scored 747 runs with 213 HRs while playing 2-3 INN players most days.

    Rotation:

    Darvish

    Minor

    Price

    Lester

    Miller

    (Liriano, Archer, J.Johnson, Morrow, Anderson)

    Bullpen:

    Perkins

    Grilli

    McGee

    B.Parker

    Thornburg

    Walden

    (Workman, R.De La Rosa)

    The stout starting staff should allow the thinnish bullpen to get by.

    Prediction: This team should reclaim the division title but doesn’t have the offense to go much further.

     

    F18 Mulligans (70-90, 4th place)

    The Flagship Mulligan franchise has been rebuilding for three years and, while an excellent draft class provides hope for the future, it appears one more year of struggles awaits.

    Lineup:

    C : Castro/Lucroy

    1B – Butler (Smoak, Teixeira)

    2B – Phillips (Profar)

    SS – Profar (Bogaerts)

    3B – Rendon (Castellanos)

    LF – Harper (Pollock, Urrutia)

    CF: A.Jones

    RF – Bruce (A.Garcia)

    DH - ??

    The outfield looks productive but those young infielders developing is the key to next year.

    Rotation:

    Sale

    Minor

    T.Wood

    Cashner

    Gallardo

    (Eovaldi, Turner, Ventura, Webster, Anderson, Nelson, Pomeranz)

    Bullpen:

    Allen

    Reed

    McGee

    Thornburg

    Dunning

    Familia

    Good rotation, thin bullpen, great future.

    Prediction: One more year in the wilderness and then the young infield takes root and this team s back in the fray.

     

    Champs Mulligans (54-96, 4th place)

    It’s been a tough couple of years rebuilding in a very competitive division but the Champions League Mulligans are ready to contend again.

    Lineup:

    C – McCann/Mesoraco (Grandal)

    1B – Santana (Carter,Teixeira)

    2B – Murphy (Punto,R.Weeks)

    SS – Tulowitzki (Bogaerts)

    3B – Alvarez/Valencia (Davidson)

    LF – Harper/Marte (Urrutia)

    CF – McCutchen

    RF – J.Upton

    The offense has usually under performed with this squad but management is stupidly optimistic this year.

    Rotation:

    Bumgarner

    Chacin

    Miller

    Archer

    Cashner

    (Turner, Cingrani, Gausman)

    Bullpen:

    Scheppers

    Cotts

    Howell

    Rosenthal

    D.De La Rosa

    Allen

    Thornburg

    Siegrist

    A good, young, deep rotation backed by a good, young, deep bullpen. The pitching will be the key to this season (And should be pretty good going forward too).

    Prediction: It’s a tough division but anything less than a first place finish has to be considered a disappointment.

     

    98T1 Mulligans (99-61, 2nd place, swept in the Championship series)

    A team that feels a Championship got away from them last year; this year’s team isn’t as strong as last year’s version.

    Lineup:

    C – Wieters/Pierzynski

    1B – Freeman

    2B – Beckham/Ackley (Espinosa)

    SS – Desmond (Forsythe)

    3B – Longoria (Davidson)

    LF – Braun (Urrutia)

    CF – A. Jones (Amarista)

    RF – Stanton (Tuiasosopo)

    Not as potent as last year’s offense they should still score enough runs to compete.

    Rotation:

    Kershaw

    Verlander

    Sale

    Lohse

    Bailey

    (Milone, Morrow, Nelson, Warren, Pomeranz0

    Bullpen:

    Scheppers

    Cots

    Allen

    Lindstrom

    Casilla

    Burton

    Walden

    (Familia, Carasco, R. De La Rosa)

    A top shelf rotation backed by a solid and deep bullpen should keep these Mulligans in the hunt.

    Prediction: Not the powerhouse that last year’s team was, but the entire division is off a little so this team should take the division title before taking its chances in the playoffs.

     

    99T2 Mulligans (90-70, 2nd place, first round exit)

    The Mulligans have won six of the last eight division titles, with two Championship series losses and one 99T2 Title.

    Lineup:

    C – Saltalamacchia/Mesoraco

    1b – Gonzalez (Carter)

    2B – K.Johnson/Franklin

    SS – Tulowitzki (Gregorius)

    3B – Donaldson (Davidson)

    LF – Beltran/Raburn (Urrutia)

    CF – Crisp

    RF – Bruce

    DH – Cuddyer

    Some holes but this offense should be good.

    Rotation:

    Strasburg

    Lohse

    Wilson

    Cashner

    Gray

    (Thornburg, J.Johnson, Matsuzaka, Nelson, Pomeranz)

    Bullpen:

    Melancon

    Nathan

    Balfour

    Allen

    Walden

    Ramos

    Gorzellany

    Familia

    The back of the rotation may be thin but the deep, talented bullpen should pick up the slack.

    Prediction: With a few division rivals in flux these Mulligans should win the division.

     

  • Mulligans State of the Union - March 2012

    Heading into the 2011 season it’s a mixed bag in Mulligan Nation. Three teams will undoubtedly be very good and competitive, two more should do pretty well and one is a complete rebuild. That leaves one team that was supposed to be rebuilding but a strange league may change that.

     

    B8 – Coming off a 103 win Division title with a first round sweep exit from the playoffs, this Mulligans squad is significantly better than last year. B8 is a great trading league and the Mulligans gave up a lot of talent in Mauer, Heyward, Reyes, Freeman, Maybin and a bunch of picks for Lincecum, Felix Hernandez, Tulowitzki, Freese and Ramon Ramirez (separate deals). Added to the 103 win core it gives us a lineup of:

    C – Santana

    1B – Pujols

    2B - Rickie Weeks

    SS - Tulowitzki

    3B – Freese/Hannahan

    LF – Seth Smith/Joyce/Lillibridge

    CF – Kemp

    RF – Beltran

    This team should score a lot of runs (Last year’s edition was 3rd in B8 in runs scored) and has a decent bench as well.

    The rotation is set with:

    Lincecum

    King Felix

    Hamels

    Gio Gonzalez

    Dickey

    Lots of quality innings in that group. The pen is solid with:

    Downs/Putz/Motte/Ramon Ramirez/David Hernandez/Francisco Liriano

    The Mulligans were #1 in pitching last year and are improved. While the Mulls look good we have tough competition in Greenville (Great young team!), Aurora and the always tough Berthoud Bears.

    Prediction: Triple digit wins and then the crapshoot begins in the playoffs.

     

    W9 – Following a third straight Division title and being swept in the W9 Championship this Mulligans entry made a few moves to shore up a few holes. The key additions are Jered Weaver and Michael Young. The offense looks solid with:

    C – McCann/Olivo (but mostly McCann)

    1B – Votto

    2B – Kendrick

    SS – Drew/Theriot/Hairston

    3B – Young

    LF – Bruce

    CF – McCutcheon

    RF – Justin Upton

    They should improve on last year’s 4.5 runs a game mark.

    The pitching is again a strength, with the arrival of Weaver helping to compensate for an injury shortened season for Johnson. The rotation:

    Weaver

    King Felix

    Garza

    Garcia

    Billingsley (with a sprinkling of Josh Johnson in there)

    The bullpen is once again a strength:

    Marshall/League/Ramon Ramirez/Affeldt/Belisle/MacDougal/Ayala

    Wilton Lopez/Soriano (Roogies)

    It will be tough to improve on last year’s 3.04 staff ERA but this crew has a chance.

    Prediction: A tough battle with Tokohoma and a quickly turned around Bedford Park squad but a fourth straight Division crown should be had and then? Who knows?

     

    A12 – This is a strange one. After three years of rebuilding the A12 Mulligans won 5 of 6 Division titles, making the Championship series 4 times and winning it all twice. The last 2 years I didn’t like this team much but, running on fumes, we still won the Division and made the Championship series, losing both times. Now it really is time to take a step back and rebuild but it’s been tough to trade players with value now because it seems almost every owner in A12 doesn’t think they can win and sees themselves as rebuilding. Greenville may go undefeated. Well, simple math will tell you that someone has to win every game and you can’t have 19 teams in the draft lottery so we’ll see what transpires this season. It may be like the old Army gag where everyone else takes a step back and you find you’ve volunteered to make the playoffs. We’ll see.

    The lineup:

    C – Mauer/Kotteras/Mesoraco

    1B – Berkman

    2B – Rickie Weeks

    SS – Desmond

    3B – Wright

    OF – Damon, Bay, Soriano, Andruw Jones, Joyce, Lillibridge (Bodies but not much sense to it)

    Bench: A. Dunn, Darnell, Roberts

    The rotation:

    Lester

    Price

    Cahill

    Liriano

    Jerome Williams

    With Happ, Minor, Volquez, Outman, Burnett, Carasco in the wings.

    With a decent bullpen:

    Marshall/F. Rodriguez/Adams/Walden/Lopez/Dunn/Thompson

    Prediction: As you can see, a lot of players who were horrible last year, some after many years of solid production. Still with the opposition not going for it … Nah, We will stink and likely be 4th in the Division, on the lottery fringe.

     

    F18 – A team that is truly stripping down and rebuilding. Also, my favorite team right now. I do love to rebuild. After averaging 98 wins for the first 15 seasons of PB (106 for the first 11) this edition of the Mulligans will be lottery bound. Lots of good young talent gives hope for the future.

    C – J. Montero, Lavarnway, Conger, Lucroy

    1B – Butler, Smoak

    2B – Hill

    SS -?

    3B – A Rod, Chisenhall, Morel, Stewart, Darnell

    OF/DH - Pence, Rasmus, Bruce, Joyce, L. Martin

    Pitching (Not sure where the line is this year for starters and relievers):

    Josh Johnson, Arrieta, Hochevar, Peacock, Turner, Peavy, Oswalt, McGowan

    Liriano, T. Wood, Pomeranz, Sale, Minor, Hagadone

    Reed, Salas, Bastardo

    There is something in there and it’ll be fun to see how the youngsters develop. The average age is 25.6.

    Prediction: We stink and make the lottery easily. If the young pitching develops it could be a quick bounce back.

     

    Champs – A very competitive league where making the playoffs is always a trick. Last year these Mulligans faded horribly down the stretch and missed the playoffs by 3 games. This year they’re still somewhat caught in the middle. Historically it’s been the offense that has held this team back.

    C – McCann/Santana

    1B – Texeiera

    2B – Rickie Weeks

    SS – Tulowitzki

    3B – Wright

    LF – Morrison/Quentin

    CF – McCutcheon

    RF – Hart

    The rotation is strong:

    Halladay

    Bumgarner

    Garza

    Chacin

    Villanueva/Coke/Delgado

    The bullpen will be even better:

    Putz/Melancon/Affeldt/League/Loe/Walden/Casilla

    Prediction: A division title and a deep run in the playoffs.

     

    98T1 – After four years of current ownership and last place finishes these Mulligans are ready to contend. They’re not where they should be yet but they’re heading in the right direction. It takes a long time in a league that doesn’t see much trading.

    C – Wieters

    1B – Freeman

    2B – Beckham

    SS – Escobar/Desmond

    3B – Longoria

    LF – Quentin

    CF – Adam Jones

    RF – Stanton

    Look for Brett Lawrie to provide a late season spark.

    The rotation has holes:

    Lohse

    Harrison

    Bailey

    Buchholz/Detwiler

    Swarzak/Teaford/Mortensen

    The bullpen is a touch better:

    Sale/League/Walden/Lindstrom/Casilla

    Prediction: A battle with the Girabaldi Gophers for the Division crown with the loser missing the playoffs. I might as well pick me but this team isn’t ready to go too far yet.

     

    99T2 – Coming off 5 of 6 Division championships this Mulligan entry is looking to retool on the fly. Franchise mainstay Joe Mauer was traded this offseason along with Zobrist, Jiminez and Ike Davis for Steven Strasburg and a rookie pick that became Devin Mesoraco. The lineup should be above average:

    C - Saltalamacchia/Hernandez

    1B – Gonzalez

    2B – Espinosa

    SS – Tulowitzki

    3B - ARod/Sizemore

    CF - Crisp

    LF/RF/DH – Beltran/Berkman/Bruce/Cuddyer

    The rotation is a patchwork affair:

    Halladay

    Wilson

    Lohse

    Vogelsong

    Niemann

    Josh Johnson/Strasburg

    The bullpen will need to work harder this year than recently:

    Balfour/Farnsworth/Walden/Sipp/MacDougal/Wright/Wood/Outman

    Prediction: We should win another Junior West title and have a shot in the playoffs (Especially if Johnson and Strasburg are back). I like this team’s chances.

  • Great Teams in the Playoffs

    It seems to me that teams that dominate in the regular season aren’t particularly successful in the playoffs in PB. I know I’ve had some real good teams flame out in the post-season. Part of it is the different qualifications for success in each. A team with five very good starters will win a lot of games but be at a disadvantage in the playoffs to a team with three great starters and two mediocre ones. It could also just be the vagaries of a short series. Short series are, as Billy Beane says, a crapshoot.

    I took a look at this year’s PB Trad leagues for teams that won 110 games. No scientific reasoning, just an arbitrary number. Nevertheless it’s a very high number. Here’s how they’ve fared so far this year:

    League Team                                     wins                       Lost to                  Round                   games

    C2           Huntington                       111                         91                           1                              4-1

    G4          Golden Gate                      116                         109                         2                              4-1

    D5           Lima                                 110                         93                           2                              4-3

    W9         Dover                                 110

    A12        San Diego                           110                         92                           1                              4-3

    98T1       Asheville                            119                         94                           1                              4-3

    98T1       Ripple Rock                        112        

    98T2       Boulder                               111                         89                           1                              4-3

    99T2       New York                            123                         96                           2                              4-0

    2000T2  Phoenix                                113                         97                           1                              4-3

     

    So ten teams won 110 or more games and only two are heading for the finals. That’s 20%. With eight teams to start and two teams in the championship round each playoff team has a 25% chance of making the final round. That is strange.

  • Mulligan Nation - Update to last years report

    Prior to the season I laid out the assets and prognosis for each of my PB teams. I’m going to go through the teams and update how they fared.

     

    B8 – The second Mulligan franchise chronologically speaking has been the last one in terms of performance. After making the B8 Championship Series in the 1996 season, the first year of PB, this team has floundered since, making only three playoff appearances (2000, 2002, 2003) since.

    This years B8 edition has a new face of the franchise in Albert Pujols. Along with Carlos Beltran, Vlad Guererro and Joe Mauer this gives the offense a good base to start with. Pat Burrell and J.J. Hardy should be solid contributors as well. Rickie Weeks at second base and Kevin Kouzmanoff/Clint Barmes at third base round out the regulars. All in all the offense should be a positive but we’ll wait and see as they’ve disappointed before.

    C - Joe Mauer

    1B - Albert Pujols

    2B - Rickie Weeks

    SS - J.J. Hardy

    3B - Kevin Kouzmanoff

    OF - Pat Burrell

    OF - Carlos Beltran

    OF - Vlad Guererro

    Bench - Kevin Cash, Clint Barmes, Matt Joyce, Seth Smith and Cameron Maybin.

    The pitching staff features:

    SP – Cole Hamels

    SP – Mike Pelfrey

    SP – Doug Davis

    SP – Dave Bush

    SP – Dustin McGowan/Francisco Liriano/Anthony Reyes

    RP – Brad Lidge

    RP – Geoff Geary

    RP – Scott Shields

    RP – Salomon Torres

    RP – Mike Adams

    RP – Takashi Saito

    The starters from 3-5 may struggle but the pen is being counted on as a strength. The other big boost for the pitchers should be the defense. Last year’s squad committed a horrendous 142 errors. Every starter is rated average to significantly above average with the glove this season so hopefully that will be reflected in the error totals.

    The bench is thin with Barmes backing up second base and shortstop as well as splitting time at third base. Matt Joyce and Seth Smith are the outfield backups, along with Cameron Maybin if Beltran gets dinged up.

    Tampa and the always tough archrival Berthoud Bears should both be formidable opponents in a very tight division race.

     

    The B8 Mulligans went 104-56, winning their division by 7 games over Aurora. The two teams I figured to compete with me, Tampa and Berthoud, were under .500. The offense had a good year, scoring 870 runs, 3rd best in B8. As hoped the bullpen pitched well with a 2.75 ERA and the defense improved dramatically, dropping the error total from 142 to 90.

     The Mulligans beat Aurora in 7games and Aston in 5 to make the B8 Championship series. Unfortunately, that was the end of the line as we lost to Pekin in 5. Pujols batted .200, slugged .250 and left 125 men on base in 5 games. (Pujols was .000 with men in scoring position and, trust me, there were a bunch.) He was still better than Vlad who went 0-22, with 2 walks. The pitching staff, 4th best in the B8 regular season with a 3.62 ERA, had an ERA of 6.40 in the series. Disgrace.

    W9 - Entering the 4th year under Mulligan management the W9 Mulligan squad is set to contend for the first time. This team was built around a great base of young pitching prospects that have blossomed into actual good pitchers. Many of them (Ubaldo Jiminez, Edison Volquez, Jeremy Guthrie and Jair Jurrjens) were dealt for position players (Justin Upton, Joey Votto and Nick Markakis) while the rest form the core of the staff:

    SP – Felix Hernandez

    SP - Chad Billingsley

    SP – Mike Pelfrey

    SP – Matt Garza

    SP – Josh Johnson/Francisco Liriano/Anthony Reyes

    RP – Joey Devine

    RP – Brandon League

    RP – J.P. Howell

    RP – Salomon Torres

    RP – Octavio Dotel

    RP – Ron Mahay

    RP – Sean Marshall

    Dustin McGowan, Phillip Hughes, Andrew Miller, James McDonald and Franklin Morales will continue to hone their skills in the minors for the time being.

    The position players are:

    C – Brian McCann/Miguel Olivo

    1B – Joey Votto

    2B – Howie Kendrick/Omar Infante

    SS – Stephen Drew

    3B – Kevin Kouzmanoff/Rich Aurilia

    OF – Ryan Ludwick

    OF – Nick Markakis

    OF – Justin Upton

    OF – Jay Bruce

    OF – Lastings Milledge

    The offense should be much improved and good enough to combine with the pitching to put the Mulligans into the race for the Division crown. Not bad for a team with an average age of 25.9.

     

    The W9 Mulligans went 99-61, beating Bedford Park by 1 game for the division crown. They were 8th in offense and 6th in pitching. Ryan Ludwick put up a .310/.377/.624 line, with 137 RBI. The top four starters, Billingsley, Felix, Garza and Pelfery, went 50-28, while combined number five starters, McGowan, Josh Johnson and Liriano, went 18-7.

     

    The W9 Mulls beat Dover in 5 games before losing to eventual champ Bedford Park in a 6 game LCS. Again, the bats went dead with a .638 OPS. Still a good year for a young team.

    A12 – Now entering the 7th year under Mulligan management the A12 franchise has had mixed success so far. Three years of rebuilding culminated in an A12 Championship in 2005 and a 7th game League Championship series loss in ’06. Last year was a step-back year but this season should be a good one for the A12 Mulligans.

    The core of this team has always been the offense, with the pitching a more transient affair. The same is true for this year’s version:

    C – Joe Mauer

    1B – Lance Berkman

    2B – Rickie Weeks

    SS – Miguel Tejada

    3B – David Wright

    OF – Manny Ramirez

    OF – Adam Dunn

    OF – Ryan Ludwick

    DH – Jason Giambi

    Bench: Nomar Garciaparra, Bobby Crosby, Kevin Cash, Matt Joyce, Dan Murphy.

    This group should ride their power and patience skills to a very good offensive performance.

    The pitching staff is more of a challenge:

    SP – Jon Lester

    SP – Justin Duchscherer

    SP – Edison Volquez

    SP – Scott Olsen

    SP – Andy Pettitte

    SP – Francisco Liriano

    RP – Brad Lidge

    RP – Francisco Rodriguez

    RP – Mike Adams

    RP – John Grabow

    RP – Jose Veras

    RP – Mike Lincoln

    The back end of the rotation spotty and too lefthanded but the bullpen should be very good and hopefully can carry the staff.

    Ryan Church, Travis Buck, Gaby Sanchez, David Price, David Purcey, Josh Outman, Franklin Morales, Scott Elbert and Phillip Humber will lead the minor league club. There is a good bit of talent and potential for the 2009 staff in this bunch.

    The A12 Mulligans should battle Las Vegas and Brooklyn for the Division title this year.

     The A12 Mulligans had an excellent season, winning the Division crown with a 100-60 record. Hey then went on to win the first round in 7 games over Las Vegas, the League Championship sries in 6 over Vermont and the A12 in 6 games over Orlando.

    The offense was #1 in A12, scoring 946 runs. Manny had 38 HR’s and 146 RBI, Ludwick had 44/132. The pitching was solid, with Jon Lester going 18-6 and the team ERA clocking in at 3.87.

    A good year for the A12 Mulls.

    F18 – The original Mulligan franchise and the flagship of the fleet, winning two F18 Championships and averaging 107 wins for the first 11 years of PB. Last year was a major rebuilding year as the 48-112 record shows. A lot of pieces are in place but as the breakdown will show it will be at least one more year before this Mulligans team contends again.

    The offense:

    C – Chris Ianetta/Jeff Clement

    1B – Carlos Delgado/Billy Butler

    2B – Aaron Hill/Omar Infante/Ian Stewart

    SS – Miguel Tejada

    3B – Alex Rodriguez

    OF – Nick Markakis

    OF – Jay Bruce

    OF – Lastings Milledge

    OF – Matt Joyce

    OF – Scott Hairston

    OF – Dan Murphy

    OF – Ryan Sweeney

    Bench: Ryan Garko

    Lots of pieces to work with, it should take a year to figure out which are long-term solutions and which are trade bait. The unit should be decent in the interim.

    Pitching Staff:

    SP – Jake Peavy

    SP – Roy Oswalt

    SP – Dana Eveland

    SP – Andy Pettitte

    SP – Nick Blackburn

    SP – Josh Johnson/Francisco Liriano

    RP – J.P. Howell

    RP – Brandon League

    RP – Joel Hanrahan

    RP – Buddy Carlyle

    RP – Mike Lincoln

    RP – Zach Miner

    David Purcey, James McDonald, Scott Elbert, Cla Meredith and Ross Dettwiler will work in the minors this year

    Basically the same story as the position players: a lot of possibilities to work with, a lot of sorting out awaits.

    While this Mulligans squad is better than we thought it would be at this point the presence of powerhouses Windsor and Port Orchard dampen any thoughts of contention this season.

    It was a surprising season for the F18 Mulligans, going 91-69 and making the playoffs. Even with a first round exit versus eventual F18 Champ Burlington it was a good season.

    As predicted there were a lot of offensive pieces to work with and the Mulligans scored 937 runs with only two players with 100 RBI: Markakis (111) and Delgado (102). Likewise they hit 218 HR’s and Delgado’s 27 led the way as the offense was spread widely throughout the roster. There were 11 players with double digit HR totals.

    The pitching was adequate with Peavy, Blackburn, Oswalt and Pettitte going 52-32. Fourteen pitchers had wins and eight had saves as, like the offense, it was a team effort.

    Champs – Like the A12 Mulligans the Champs team came under Mulligan management for the 2002 season. After 2 rebuilding years the team won the Champs Championship as a wild card in 2004. The team has been in the playoffs every year since, bowing out to Palos Hill each year. This year’s team should be playoff bound again.

    The pitching is still the strength of the team:

    SP – Johann Santana

    SP – Roy Halladay

    SP – Jake Peavy

    SP – Carlos Zambrano

    SP – Matt Garza

    RP – Joe Nathan

    RP – Jon Papelbon

    RP – Frank Francisco

    RP – Javier Lopez

    RP – J.J. Putz

    RP – Rudy Seanez

    RP – Brandon League

    It’s a strong starting staff with a very solid bullpen. They should once again be the best staff in Champs.

    The offense has been more sporadic in their performance over the years. This year’s team:

    C – Brian McCann/Miguel Olivo

    1B – Mark Teixeira

    2B – Rickie Weeks/Kaz Matsui

    SS – Troy Tulowitzki

    3B – David Wright

    OF – Adam Dunn

    OF – Curtis Granderson

    OF – Scott Hairston

    OF – Corey Hart

    Bench: Jason Giambi, Omar Infante, Jerry Hairston.

    The offense should be decent but could continue to struggle. On the whole the Champs Mulligans should make the playoffs and have a chance to make something happen.

     

    The Champs Mulligans were 96-64, winning the Division title before bowing out in the first round to eventual Champ Palos Hills.  The offense was good but not great, scoring 826 runs with David Wright (.302/405/539 with 35 HR’s and 134 RBI) and Mark Texiera (.290/392/514, 31 HR’s and 107 RBI) leading the way.

    The pitching was very good with a 3.59 team ERA and the rotation of Halladay, Santana, Zambrano, Peavy and Garza going 74-43.

    98T1 – The newest team in the Mulligan Empire, the 98T1 New York SubPrimes are definitely sub-prime material so far. Picked up just before last year’s draft the Subprimes were brutal last year and don’t really promise to be much better this year. That doesn’t mean that progress hasn’t been made towards a more promising future as the stable of young pitchers looks like this:

    Andrew Miller
    Chris Volstad
    Michael Bowden
    Dana Eveland
    Nick Blackburn
    Sean Gallagher
    Homer Bailey
    Nick Adenhart
    Clay Buchholz
    Ian Kennedy
    Franklin Morales
    Shawn Marcum
    Casey Janssen
    Jeff Niemann
    Scott Elbert

    Brandon League

    Josh Roenicke

    Jose Mijares

    Josh Outman

    Lord knows what we have here but there are a lot of good young arms with the potential to be a good major league pitcher accumulated here. Time will tell.

    Offensively we are not quite as far along:

    C – Russell Martin, Miguel Montero, Jeff Clement
    1B –
    2B – Luis Valbuena
    SS – Brandon Wood, Alcides Escobar
    3B – Evan Longoria, Mark Reynolds, Andy LaRoche
    OF – Carlos Quentin
    OF – Adam Jones
    OF – Adam Lind

    OF – Dexter Fowler

    This team will stink this year relying on Jason Marquis and a slew of INN pitchers and hitters to fill the gaps. Check back next year.

     

    As predicted the SubPrimes stunk as predicted, going 44-116. With the #1 and #3 first round rookie picks the rebuilding will continue.

    99T2 – The only Mulligan team started from scratch was drafted with the future in mind but that future was a while coming. The team stunk the first four years, made the playoffs for a one and done the fifth year and finally won the 99T2 Championship in the 2003 season. After an early exit in 2004 the Mulligans lost in the Championship Series in 2005 and 2006 (The second a 7th game, 13 inning nail biter to Kevin Walton). Last year was a one step back to hopefully step forward again season. This year’s squad features a solid offense:

    C – Joe Mauer

    1B – Adrian Gonzalez

    2B – Orlando Hudson

    SS – Troy Tulowitzki

    3B – Aramis Ramirez

    OF – Manny Ramirez

    OF – Carlos Beltran

    OF – Jack Cust

    OF – Scott Hairston

    DH – Carlos Delgado

     Bench: Jeff Clement, Clint Barmes, Ben Zobrist, Jay Bruce. In the minors are: Alcides Escobar, Andy La Roche, Carlos Gomez and Michael Cuddyer.

    The pitching staff:

    SP – Roy Halladay

    SP – Ubaldo Jiminez

    SP – Tim Wakefield

    SP – Bronson Arroyo

    SP – Scott Olsen

    SP – Josh Johnson/Francisco Liriano

    RP – J.P. Howell

    RP – Frank Francisco

    RP – Will Ohman

    RP – Mike Lincoln

    RP – Jose Veras

    RP – Brandon Morrow

    RP – D.J. Carasco

    Waiting in the wings: John Smoltz, Dustin McGowan and James McDonald.

    The offense should score enough to keep the pitching staff close enough for the bullpen to push the team into the playoffs, if not the Division Championship.

     

    The 99T2 Mulls were 102-58, winning the Division handily before losing in the LCS to eventual champ Newark. The offense led 99T2 in doubles, homers, walks, runs,, slugging and OBP. The pitching allowed the third fewest amount of runs. After rolling over Boston in round one the offense collapsed in the LCS against Newark, posting .199/.328/.342 in 5 games. Another debacle.

  • Mulligan Nation Annual Report

    Entering the 2008 season it appears that 5 of the 7 franchises that encompass the Mulligan Nation have good shots at post-season play.

     

    B8 – The second Mulligan franchise chronologically speaking has been the last one in terms of performance. After making the B8 Championship Series in the 1996 season, the first year of PB, this team has floundered since, making only three playoff appearances (2000, 2002, 2003) since.

     

    This years B8 edition has a new face of the franchise in Albert Pujols. Along with Carlos Beltran, Vlad Guererro and Joe Mauer this gives the offense a good base to start with. Pat Burrell and J.J. Hardy should be solid contributors as well. Rickie Weeks at second base and Kevin Kouzmanoff/Clint Barmes at third base round out the regulars. All in all the offense should be a positive but we’ll wait and see as they’ve disappointed before.

    C - Joe Mauer

    1B - Albert Pujols

    2B - Rickie Weeks

    SS - J.J. Hardy

    3B - Kevin Kouzmanoff

    OF - Pat Burrell

    OF - Carlos Beltran

    OF - Vlad Guererro

    Bench - Kevin Cash, Clint Barmes, Matt Joyce, Seth Smith and Cameron Maybin.

     

    The pitching staff features:

     

    SP – Cole Hamels

    SP – Mike Pelfrey

    SP – Doug Davis

    SP – Dave Bush

    SP – Dustin McGowan/Francisco Liriano/Anthony Reyes

    RP – Brad Lidge

    RP – Geoff Geary

    RP – Scott Shields

    RP – Salomon Torres

    RP – Mike Adams

    RP – Takashi Saito

     

    The starters from 3-5 may struggle but the pen is being counted on as a strength. The other big boost for the pitchers should be the defense. Last year’s squad committed a horrendous 142 errors. Every starter is rated average to significantly above average with the glove this season so hopefully that will be reflected in the error totals.

     

    The bench is thin with Barmes backing up second base and shortstop as well as splitting time at third base. Matt Joyce and Seth Smith are the outfield backups, along with Cameron Maybin if Beltran gets dinged up.

     

    Tampa and the always tough archrival Berthoud Bears should both be formidable opponents in a very tight division race.

     

     

    W9 - Entering the 4th year under Mulligan management the W9 Mulligan squad is set to contend for the first time. This team was built around a great base of young pitching prospects that have blossomed into actual good pitchers. Many of them (Ubaldo Jiminez, Edison Volquez, Jeremy Guthrie and Jair Jurrjens) were dealt for position players (Justin Upton, Joey Votto and Nick Markakis) while the rest form the core of the staff:

     

    SP – Felix Hernandez

    SP - Chad Billingsley

    SP – Mike Pelfrey

    SP – Matt Garza

    SP – Josh Johnson/Francisco Liriano/Anthony Reyes

    RP – Joey Devine

    RP – Brandon League

    RP – J.P. Howell

    RP – Salomon Torres

    RP – Octavio Dotel

    RP – Ron Mahay

    RP – Sean Marshall

     

    Dustin McGowan, Phillip Hughes, Andrew Miller, James McDonald and Franklin Morales will continue to hone their skills in the minors for the time being.

     

    The position players are:

     

    C – Brian McCann/Miguel Olivo

    1B – Joey Votto

    2B – Howie Kendrick/Omar Infante

    SS – Stephen Drew

    3B – Kevin Kouzmanoff/Rich Aurilia

    OF – Ryan Ludwick

    OF – Nick Markakis

    OF – Justin Upton

    OF – Jay Bruce

    OF – Lastings Milledge

     

    The offense should be much improved and good enough to combine with the pitching to put the Mulligans into the race for the Division crown. Not bad for a team with an average age of 25.9.

     

     

    A12 – Now entering the 7th year under Mulligan management the A12 franchise has had mixed success so far. Three years of rebuilding culminated in an A12 Championship in 2005 and a 7th game League Championship series loss in ’06. Last year was a step-back year but this season should be a good one for the A12 Mulligans.

     

    The core of this team has always been the offense, with the pitching a more transient affair. The same is true for this year’s version:

     

    C – Joe Mauer

    1B – Lance Berkman

    2B – Rickie Weeks

    SS – Miguel Tejada

    3B – David Wright

    OF – Manny Ramirez

    OF – Adam Dunn

    OF – Ryan Ludwick

    DH – Jason Giambi

     

    Bench: Nomar Garciaparra, Bobby Crosby, Kevin Cash, Matt Joyce, Dan Murphy.

     

    This group should ride their power and patience skills to a very good offensive performance.

     

    The pitching staff is more of a challenge:

     

    SP – Jon Lester

    SP – Justin Duchscherer

    SP – Edison Volquez

    SP – Scott Olsen

    SP – Andy Pettitte

    SP – Francisco Liriano

    RP – Brad Lidge

    RP – Francisco Rodriguez

    RP – Mike Adams

    RP – John Grabow

    RP – Jose Veras

    RP – Mike Lincoln

     

    The back end of the rotation spotty and too lefthanded but the bullpen should be very good and hopefully can carry the staff.

     

    Ryan Church, Travis Buck, Gaby Sanchez, David Price, David Purcey, Josh Outman, Franklin Morales, Scott Elbert and Phillip Humber will lead the minor league club. There is a good bit of talent and potential for the 2009 staff in this bunch.

     

    The A12 Mulligans should battle Las Vegas and Brooklyn for the Division title this year.

     

     

    F18 – The original Mulligan franchise and the flagship of the fleet, winning two F18 Championships and averaging 107 wins for the first 11 years of PB. Last year was a major rebuilding year as the 48-112 record shows. A lot of pieces are in place but as the breakdown will show it will be at least one more year before this Mulligans team contends again.

     

    The offense:

     

    C – Chris Ianetta/Jeff Clement

    1B – Carlos Delgado/Billy Butler

    2B – Aaron Hill/Omar Infante/Ian Stewart

    SS – Miguel Tejada

    3B – Alex Rodriguez

    OF – Nick Markakis

    OF – Jay Bruce

    OF – Lastings Milledge

    OF – Matt Joyce

    OF – Scott Hairston

    OF – Dan Murphy

    OF – Ryan Sweeney

     

    Bench: Ryan Garko

     

    Lots of pieces to work with, it should take a year to figure out which are long-term solutions and which are trade bait. The unit should be decent in the interim.

     

    Pitching Staff:

     

    SP – Jake Peavy

    SP – Roy Oswalt

    SP – Dana Eveland

    SP – Andy Pettitte

    SP – Nick Blackburn

    SP – Josh Johnson/Francisco Liriano

    RP – J.P. Howell

    RP – Brandon League

    RP – Joel Hanrahan

    RP – Buddy Carlyle

    RP – Mike Lincoln

    RP – Zach Miner

     

    David Purcey, James McDonald, Scott Elbert, Cla Meredith and Ross Dettwiler will work in the minors this year

     

    Basically the same story as the position players: a lot of possibilities to work with, a lot of sorting out awaits.

     

    While this Mulligans squad is better than we thought it would be at this point the presence of powerhouses Windsor and Port Orchard dampen any thoughts of contention this season.

     

     

    Champs – Like the A12 Mulligans the Champs team came under Mulligan management for the 2002 season. After 2 rebuilding years the team won the Champs Championship as a wild card in 2004. The team has been in the playoffs every year since, bowing out to Palos Hill each year. This year’s team should be playoff bound again.

     

    The pitching is still the strength of the team:

     

    SP – Johann Santana

    SP – Roy Halladay

    SP – Jake Peavy

    SP – Carlos Zambrano

    SP – Matt Garza

    RP – Joe Nathan

    RP – Jon Papelbon

    RP – Frank Francisco

    RP – Javier Lopez

    RP – J.J. Putz

    RP – Rudy Seanez

    RP – Brandon League

     

    It’s a strong starting staff with a very solid bullpen. They should once again be the best staff in Champs.

     

    The offense has been more sporadic in their performance over the years. This year’s team:

     

    C – Brian McCann/Miguel Olivo

    1B – Mark Teixeira

    2B – Rickie Weeks/Kaz Matsui

    SS – Troy Tulowitzki

    3B – David Wright

    OF – Adam Dunn

    OF – Curtis Granderson

    OF – Scott Hairston

    OF – Corey Hart

     

    Bench: Jason Giambi, Omar Infante, Jerry Hairston.

     

    The offense should be decent but could continue to struggle. On the whole the Champs Mulligans should make the playoffs and have a chance to make something happen.

     

    98T1 – The newest team in the Mulligan empire, the 98T1 New York SubPrimes are definitely sub-prime material so far. Picked up just before last year’s draft the Subprimes were brutal last year and don’t really promise to be much better this year. That doesn’t mean that progress hasn’t been made towards a more promising future as the stable of young pitchers looks like this:

     

    Andrew Miller
    Chris Volstad
    Michael Bowden
    Dana Eveland
    Nick Blackburn
    Sean Gallagher
    Homer Bailey
    Nick Adenhart
    Clay Buchholz
    Ian Kennedy
    Franklin Morales
    Shawn Marcum
    Casey Janssen
    Jeff Niemann
    Scott Elbert

    Brandon League

    Josh Roenicke

    Jose Mijares

    Josh Outman

     

    Lord knows what we have here but there are a lot of good young arms with the potential to be a good major league pitcher accumulated here. Time will tell.

     

    Offensively we are not quite as far along:

     

    C – Russell Martin, Miguel Montero, Jeff Clement
    1B –
    2B – Luis Valbuena
    SS – Brandon Wood, Alcides Escobar
    3B – Evan Longoria, Mark Reynolds, Andy LaRoche
    OF – Carlos Quentin
    OF – Adam Jones
    OF – Adam Lind

    OF – Dexter Fowler

     

    This team will stink this year relying on Jason Marquis and a slew of INN pitchers and hitters to fill the gaps. Check back next year.

     

    99T2 – The only Mulligan team started from scratch was drafted with the future in mind but that future was a while coming. The team stunk the first four years, made the playoffs for a one and done the fifth year and finally won the 99T2 Championship in the 2003 season. After an early exit in 2004 the Mulligans lost in the Championship Series in 2005 and 2006 (The second a 7th game, 13 inning nail biter to Kevin Walton). Last year was a one step back to hopefully step forward again season. This year’s squad features a solid offense:

     

    C – Joe Mauer

    1B – Adrian Gonzalez

    2B – Orlando Hudson

    SS – Troy Tulowitzki

    3B – Aramis Ramirez

    OF – Manny Ramirez

    OF – Carlos Beltran

    OF – Jack Cust

    OF – Scott Hairston

    DH – Carlos Delgado

     

     Bench: Jeff Clement, Clint Barmes, Ben Zobrist, Jay Bruce. In the minors are: Alcides Escobar, Andy La Roche, Carlos Gomez and Michael Cuddyer.

     

    The pitching staff:

     

    SP – Roy Halladay

    SP – Ubaldo Jiminez

    SP – Tim Wakefield

    SP – Bronson Arroyo

    SP – Scott Olsen

    SP – Josh Johnson/Francisco Liriano

    RP – J.P. Howell

    RP – Frank Francisco

    RP – Will Ohman

    RP – Mike Lincoln

    RP – Jose Veras

    RP – Brandon Morrow

    RP – D.J. Carasco

     

    Waiting in the wings: John Smoltz, Dustin McGowan and James McDonald.

     

    The offense should score enough to keep the pitching staff close enough for the bullpen to push the team into the playoffs, if not the Division Championship.

     

  • First Half Review/Second Half Outlook

    Using the mid-season stats so generously supplied by Kevin I can now compulsively pick apart the offensive performance of my Champs league Mulligans. The whole team has under performed so far with 47 wins versus the Pythagorean estimate of 57 with the runs scored and allowed so far.

     

    I can now see who is under performing and over performing versus their PB averages from all leagues. For the 9 hitters who’ve played the most:

     

     

    HR

    BA

    SLG

    OBP

    OPS

    McCann

    4

    26

    111

    42

    153

    Texeira

    -2

    -30

    -50

    -18

    -68

    Weeks

    -5

    5

    -77

    1

    -76

    Matsui

    0

    -37

    -64

    -16

    -80

    Tulowitzki

    -2

    -22

    -39

    -17

    -56

    Wright

    -5

    -39

    -114

    -19

    -133

    Dunn

    -1

    47

    44

    21

    65

    Granderson

    2

    -18

    -62

    -46

    -108

    Hart

    3

    -2

    25

    7

    32

     

    No surprises as Dunn, Hart and McCann looked to be playing above expectations but I was surprised at the extent of the under achieving by Wright and Granderson. Things have improved tremendously from the first 40 games to the second 40: going from 19 wins to 25, averaging 5.55 runs per game versus 4.35 and being healthier and more comfortably back in the playoff picture. Being 10-19 in one run games doesn’t help either.

     

    All in all, there is reason for optimism in the second half. The pitching remains strong, with bullpen help coming over in a recent trade and the offense seems poised to improve their overall performance in the second half.

  • What Wins

    After losing a League Championship series with a team that had the league in offense and pitching (In a 7 game 13 inning thriller) I wanted to check the correllation between leading the regular season in hitting and pitching and winning the Championship. I measured hitting by runs scored and pitching by ERA.

     

    HittingPitching
    R162
    C221
    S3123
    G441
    D553
    M611
    M792
    B8114
    W937
    B1074
    C11611
    A1241
    M13113
    B1472
    K1553
    C1654
    K17114
    F1852
    Champs25
    Chall110
    98T132
    98T271
    99T115
    99T249
    99T318
    00T1103
    00T2 71
    62
    C221
    S3123
    G441
    D553
    M611
    M792
    B8114
    W937
    B1074
    C11611
    A1241
    M13113
    B1472
    K1553
    C1654
    K17114
    F1852
    Champs25
    Chall110
    98T132
    98T271
    99T115
    99T249
    99T318
    00T1103
    00T2 71
    Mean4.8148154.518519
    Mode11
    Median53

     

    The averages were pretty close but only 9 of 27 teams ranked higher on offense than on defense, 

    with the averages being skewed by 2 teams being 14th in pitching. Only 1 Champion led their league on both sides, Mike Bravard's powerhouse Limon team in M6.

  • Pythagorean Theory

    Bill James introduced the idea that one can estimate the amount of wins a team should have from looking at their runs scored and runs allowed totals. It's not perfect but it's a good indicator of whether a team over or under performed. Over the years it has been very accurate. The difference can sometimes be chalked up to managerial ability but mostly it's luck. Teams with excellent bullpens often over-perform due to winning more close games.

     

    The formula is: 

    Win% = Runs scored (2)/Runs scored (2) + Runs allowed (2)

     

    (Note: The formula wouldn't copy to this page so I wrote it in. (2) = squared)

     

    This is the breakdown for my teams this season:

     

    LeagueRuns ScoredRuns AllowedPyth. WinsActual WinsDifference
     
    B887069597.6788-10
    F18947731100.261022
    W953678051.32543
    A1296275499.1198-1
    Champs79864996.387-9
    99T21014652113.19107-6

    This kind of fits my general perception that I'm not a particularly good game manager. I like the GM side of things much better and think I'm better at assessing and accumulating talent than utilizing it in the actual games. The only league where playing closer to the Pythagorean estimate would've made a difference was B8 where I would've made the playoffs instead of missing out by a few games. 

     

     

  • Rookie Draft Revisited

    As I did last year I looked back at last Spring's PB Rookie draft and took a look at where each player was drafted and their Value Over Replacement Player (VORP)  which is the number of runs over what a replacement level player at the same position would contribute. It's not perfect but it's a pretty good measure of value. The chart below shows how much VORP each player generated and where they were selected. Keep in mind that it's only one year and some players may not have done much this season but will contribute mightily down the line.

     

    PlayerVORPDraft Rank
    Hamels48.85
    R.Martin46.14
    Billingsley40.722
    Markakis38.46
    Tulowitzski37.818
    Pedroia35.931
    Saito3224
    Loney30.730
    Uggla29.810
    Jrd Weaver29.12
    Kinsler27.811
    Kemp23.434
    Villanueva23.133
    Johjima22.29
    Kendrick19.38
    Kouzmanoff18.626
    C.Young15.514
    Ethier13.819
    Napoli13.832
    Miner13.736
    Garza11.321
    Bonser7.317
    Milledge6.425
    Zumaya6.312
    Loewen6.129
    D.Young5.71
    S.Drew2.83
    A.Sanchez2.37
    Humber1.535
    Ianetta0.223
    Pelfrey-0.220
    Adw.Miller-0.627
    Sowers-4.716
    Lind-7.928
    Quentin-10.815
    Barfield-13.613

     

    Biggest bust looks like Josh Barfield while Pedroia and Kemp look like pretty good values for where they were drafted. Keep in mind these are the players who were drafted in at least one first round. Players such as Fausto Carmona (64.0), Jamie Shields (45.4) and Brian Bannister (34.9) were also in this draft.

    We might also start to re-think Colorado pitchers as Manny Corpas (31.8), Taylor Bucholz (16.8), Jason Hirsch (13.2) and Ubaldo Jiminez (9.9) were in this draft and didn't get a first round look.

  • Champs Pennant Race

    Once again the Senior Circuit of Champs is providing us with a great pennant/wildcard race. With 45 games remaining the standings:

    Eastern

    Palos Hills             73-42

    East Bay                61-54

    Cedar Rapids        61-54

    Western

    La Jolla                   65-50

    Glen Ellyn              63-52

    New York               61-54

    Santa Barbara       61-54

    Four teams tied for the last wildcard slot and nobody in the clear except Palos Hills. There was a six team down-to-the-wire finish (with one playoff game needed to decide the last wildcard) last year and it appears that things will be even crazier this year.       

  • Yankee Game

    Today I met Bob Campbell and we went to the Diamondbacks-Yankee game as advertised on the PB forum. It was a nice day and a very good game (at least for the Yankees).

    Bob is the first PB manager I've met in person and it worked out great.

     

    The attached picture is Mark Reynolds striking out to end the game.

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