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Old 01-28-2018, 03:04 PM   #161
Paulie123
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4 June 2047

Steve Creeper
@nevertoooldforminecraft

Shaping up to be another great season for the #Magpies. If nothing else proving that last season wasn’t a fluke #wedeservedit
7:42PM - 4 Jun 2047

Severino Guadalajara-Smith
@sabermetricjedi

@nevertoooldforminecraft we’re again building on the foundations of elite defense. Our .729 defensive efficiency and 2.88 team ERA lead the #WesternLeague. Absolutely loving the pitching performances of youngsters @RobinsonOrtizSCL (3.44 FIP, 2.5 K/BB), @theonlyJorgeCruzSCL (2.46, 3.2) and @MrJulioMartinezSCL (2.44, 2.4)
7:45PM - 4 Jun 2047

Bruce Aussie
@baseballnoob

@sabermetricjedi whats ‘FIP’?
7:46PM - 4 Jun 2047

Severino Guadalajara-Smith
@sabermetricjedi

@baseballnoob Fielding Independent Pitching
7:49PM - 4 Jun 2047

Bruce Aussie
@baseballnoob

@sabermetricjedi okay thanx bud. whats ‘pitching’?
7:51PM - 4 Jun 2047
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:09 PM   #162
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10 June 2047

GM’s notebook - Series 21 and 22

Denver 0-6 Magpies
Denver 5-7 Magpies
Denver 2-4 Magpies
Magpies 4-3 Austin
Magpies 6-2 Austin
Magpies 10-1 Austin

- The contract agreed with Enrique Limón is a fantastic result. I was expecting to have to pay him a good $5m-$6m per year more during his arbitration period. That saving will be a big help keeping our budget under control over the next few seasons.
- Michael O’Quinn went 2-3 with a HR and a walk in the 6-0 victory over the Snow Sox. His eye is exceptional: 39 walks from 260 PA.
- Kevin Cantrell celebrated his contract extension, agreed the day before (see next post), with a solid day on the mound (7 IP, 3 ER) in the second game of the Denver series.
- Guillermo Díaz appears to be well and truly out of his early-season slump. He’s upped his average now to .266.
- Philip Givens just keeps rolling on. His excellent 8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 8 K performance completed the sweep at home to the Snow Sox.
- Robinson Ortíz looks like a keeper for the rotation: he’s now 6-1, 2.86 this season.
- Orlando Gonzáles hit 2-3 with 2 HR, 2 walks and 5 RBI, and Jeremy Williams threw 8 innings for just a single run, in the 10-1 rout of the Tycoons.
- After that tremendous week, we’ve closed the gap on the Sharks and the Brown Bears to just 2 games.
- I keep banging on about how strong our North Division is at the moment, but just to illustrate the point again: we remain 3rd in the division but have the 3rd best record in the entire State Capitals League.
- We’re comfortably in the second WL wildcard spot, however: we have a 9-game lead over nearest challengers the Snow Sox.

This week: 6-0
Record: 42-24, 3rd place, 2 GB from Madison, Lansing
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:11 PM   #163
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6 June 2047

onlytheboxscore.com/Magpies
Cantrell contract extension a good move for Magpies
Posted by Janet Calamity, @calamityjanet

Earlier today the Magpies announced that they had agreed terms on a 3-year, $45m contract extension with rotation leader Kevin Cantrell. The deal buys out Cantrell’s two remaining years of salary arbitration and first year of free agency for only a small increase in annual value on the $14.8m he will earn this year.

It looks a good move by the Magpies, locking up their #1 starting pitcher for less than he probably could have commanded had he played the free agent field in the couple of years’ time. Coming off the back of Enrique Limón’s extremely club-friendly extension, agreed last week, the deal suggests the Magpies have built a young, strong core that has bought into the organisation’s ethos and who are keen to stay together and grow as a team.

The question mark in the past with Cantrell has been his control, but over the past eighteen months he has made a marked improvement in this aspect of his game. His BB/9 rate has fallen from 2.89 in 2045 to 2.30 in 2046 and 1.83 since he joined the Magpies in the offseason. At the same time, he has maintained his strikeout rate at about 6.7 per 9 innings. The result is a guy who seems to have now worked out how to throw his four pitch arsenal (fastball, curveball, splitter and his tricky knucklecurve) increasingly effectively. Still only 27 and entering his prime years, Cantrell is the man the Magpies want to lead the charge towards a second SCL title.
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Old 01-30-2018, 07:04 PM   #164
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15 June 2047

FANGRAPHICS
Live feed: Minute-by-minute coverage of today’s SCL first year player draft, brought to you by Pythagoras Sohcahtoa.

3:59PM

Well, there you have it, folks! The 2047 SCL draft is over. Well done if you stuck with this feed all day - you’ve seen the next generation of baseball talent take their first step towards the big leagues. Many will never make it. Some will make it very soon. But they all join the SCL on draft day. So long, and see you all this time next year.

2:25PM

4th round, pick 28: Des Moines Magpies select RF Mike Howard

High school left-handler who makes decent contact, but lacks power and plate discipline. Plays both corner outfield positions well, and is lightning quick round the basepaths. Durable lad with a strong work ethic, reaching the major leagues is a long-shot but not impossible. FANGRAPHICS projection: 1*.

1:01PM

3rd round, pick 28: Des Moines Magpies select SP Jason Jones

I like this choice. Good, tough young lefty who has been imperious against mediocre high school opposition. Very good fastball which tops out at 93mph and includes a splitter and changeup in his repertoire. His main weakness is to hang his changeup over the plate and give up the long ball. FANGRAPHICS projection: 2.5*.

12:33PM

3rd round, pick 7: Des Moines Magpies select RF Keith Moss

Finally a hitter picked by the Magpies! Durable high school lefty who makes reasonable contact with reasonable power, but lacks plate discipline. Has a cannon arm and can play at either outfield corner. Has a chance of making a major league roster in a platoon role and plenty of time to develop. FANGRAPHICS projection: 1*.

12:02PM

2nd round, pick 28: Des Moines Magpies select MR Wade Kelly

Same old, same old from the Magpies - another talented reliever joins the organisation. His star pitch is his deceptive circlechange, which has bamboozled even top quality college opposition. What makes him so tough to face is his ability to control exactly what part of the plate he’ll put his pitches. He’ll probably be battling for a place on the roster in spring training next year. I think we can safely say that a veteran Magpie reliever or two will be plying their trade in a different state in the not-too-distant future. FANGRAPHICS projection: 4.5*.

11:21AM

2nd round, pick 3: Des Moines Magpies select SP Rhys Nunn

Talented young Aussie who has good control over a four-pitch arsenal which features a curveball, slider and changeup. The big question mark over the college graduate is his stamina, and a future as a quality middle reliever seems most likely, but the Magpies may try him in the rotation one day anyway. I’m told the Magpies didn’t plan to focus on pitching particularly in this year’s draft, but the pool was shallow on hitters and all the best players remaining when their picks have come round are pitchers. FANGRAPHICS projection: 4.5*.

11:00AM

1st supplementary round, pick 33: Des Moines Magpies select MR Gabe Copeland

Hot stuff relievers all the way for the Magpies! Copeland is only a tick less talented than Ken James. He’s another flame-thrower with a superb fastball-slider combination who has dominated college hitters over the last year. He too could move quickly into the major leagues. DePodesta will surely now look to move at least one of his bullpen arms - goodbye Manny Gallegos? Wow, that’s two top talents the Magpies have landed. FANGRAPHICS projection: 5*.

10:56AM

1st supplementary round, pick 32: Des Moines Magpies select MR Ken James

Nice first pick in the draft from the Magpies, this. James was the top relief pitcher in the draft and it’s a surprise to see him fall this far. He regularly hits 99mph on his fastball, and pairs that with a lethal slider. On raw talent, he could become one of the top closers in the league. The Magpies will probably promote him straight into their major league bullpen. FANGRAPHICS projection: 5*.
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Old 01-30-2018, 07:06 PM   #165
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15 June 2047

(Reproduced courtesy of SCL At-Bat, the number one app for all the latest SCL news and scores)

Padilla acquired by Magpies; Gallegos and Jenkins join Phoenix
Starter Padilla becomes Magpies’ top prospect

By Tim Curtain, 11:07PM, 15 Jun 47

As the Magpies stocked up on flame-throwing relief pitchers in this morning’s first year player draft, it seemed clear that some of their veteran pitchers would get moved on. No-one, however, expected that to happen as quickly as later that same day.

The Phoenix Raccoons have just announced that they have agreed a hastily-arranged trade with the Magpies which will see the Raccoons acquire two good right arms, starter Derek Jenkins, 29, and former closer Manny Gallegos, 28. Both players have been placed on their active roster, and will head to Phoenix in the morning and be eligible to play in tomorrow evening’s game. The drafting and immediate promotion of Ken James left Gallegos, the Magpies’ closer in the 2045 season, surplus to requirements in Des Moines.

In return for the two major league arms, the Magpies have received starting pitcher Israel Padilla, 18, the SCL #6 prospect, who the Raccoons drafted in the first round of the 2046 draft. The Argentinian righty is an all-round good pitcher: no outstanding strengths but no weaknesses either. He projects to be a quality #2 or #3 starter, but with a bit of luck could develop into a top-of-the-rotation arm. Padilla is probably still at least 18 months away from the majors, but has become the club’s top prospect.

Also moving to Des Moines in the deal is 20-year-old first baseman Max Marshall. The slugger, who was taken late in the first round of the 2044 draft by St. Paul, shows flashes of impressive power, but needs to develop more frequent contact to become a starter on a contending team.
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:16 PM   #166
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16 June 2047

GM’s notebook - Series 23 and 24

Sacramento 2-1 Magpies
Sacramento 5-1 Magpies
Sacramento 3-4 Magpies
Magpies 3-4 Santa Fe
Magpies 9-6 Santa Fe
Magpies 2-1 Santa Fe

- The offense mustered just 7 hits and 1 earned run over the first two games against the Stingrays.
- Guillermo Díaz almost single-handedly won the final game of the series. He went 4-4 with a home run, triple, a walk and 3 stolen bases. Two of those steals came in the 9th and manufactured the winning run.
- Júlio Martínez literally chucked away the opener in Santa Fe, giving up 3 runs in the 9th. It’s his third blown save of the season. He has a .329 BABIP, which is high for the SCL, so he has been unlucky.
- Ken James, our top pick in the draft, has been promoted straight to the active roster. I’m excited about him: he has the potential to be one of the best relief pitchers in the league. Gabe Copeland, selected with our next pick, will be given a little seasoning in the minor leagues, but will probably join the big league roster before long.
- Manny Gallegos and Derek Jenkins have been traded to Phoenix. Israel Padilla joins the minor league roster in return, and gives me my first top-tier pitching prospect.
- James made his debut in the entertaining 9-6 win, throwing a flawless 1-2-3 inning.
- Kevin Cantrell won us the rubber game of the Santa Fe series, only giving up a run in the bottom of the 9th.

This week: 3-3
Record: 45-27, 3rd place, 2 GB from Madison, Lansing
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:19 PM   #167
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17 June 2047

====================
SCLmagpiesnation.com
====================

Experienced free agent reliever Morris signs 1-year contract with Magpies

By Maggie Pye | 17 Jun | 12,835 comments

The Magpies have moved to strengthen the left-handed options in their bullpen by signing free agent relief pitcher Jack Morris for the remainder of the season. Morris, 27, who was the SCL #7 prospect back in 2040, became a free agent last November after a disappointing final season in Baton Rouge when he put up an ERA of 5.18 over a campaign in which he split time between the Deltas’ rotation and bullpen. But he remained unsigned throughout the spring, with teams apparently put off by his status as a Type A free agent and the draft compensation that he would attract.

Now that the 2047 draft has taken place, the draft pick compensation has been removed, and Magpies GM Billy DePodesta has moved quickly to bring Morris to the club. Morris throws a fastball-curveball-splitter combination, but gives up plenty of flyballs and has the tendency to give up home runs. Last season, he gave up a horrible 32 home runs from 125 innings, but the Magpies will hope he recovers to his long-term career levels. DePodesta had the budget room to sign Morris after the trade of Manny Gallegos and Derek Jenkins.
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:20 PM   #168
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20 June 2047

GM’s notebook - Series 25

Madison 5-7 Magpies
Madison 1-3 Magpies
Madison 5-2 Magpies

- Right fielder António Fernández hit 2-3 with 4 RBI in the series opener. He’s hitting .317 this season.
- P.J. Hendrickson’s season is still improving. He went 7.2 innings for a single run in game 2. The win drew us level with the Brown Bears but we’re still 2 games behind Lansing.
- Philip Givens (8-3, 1.99), Jorge Cruz (5-1, 0.95), Michael O’Quinn (.736 OPS, 8 HR), Enrique Limón (.843 OPS, 5 HR), Guillermo Díaz (.811 OPS, 10 HR) were all selected for the Western League roster for the SCL All-Star game.
- At the all-star break, we have the SCL’s third best record. We’re still only third in the North Division but we’ve closed the gap on Lansing and Madison.
- Lansing shipped Rich Nelson, one of their big offseason free agent signings, to Salem, in return for starting pitcher Chris Faulkner and a fringe prospect. Their pitching did need a little help, but I’m not sure Faulkner is the answer, and losing Nelson has massively weakened their outfield.

This week: 2-1
Record: 47-28, 3rd place, 2 GB from Lansing
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:23 PM   #169
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29 June 2047

GM’s notebook - Series 26 and 27

Magpies 2-6 Baton Rouge
Magpies 3-1 Baton Rouge
Magpies 9-1 Baton Rouge
Carson City 0-4 Magpies
Carson City 8-1 Magpies
Carson City 5-2 Magpies

- The Eastern League won the all-star game 8-3 in Carson City. Enrique Limón, Michael O’Quinn and Guillermo Díaz all started the game and between them had 5 of the Western League’s 7 hits. Philip Givens and Jorge Cruz each pitched a scoreless inning.
- Limón is the SCL stolen base leader with 26 so far.
- Trailing 1-0 entering the 7th inning in game 2 against the Deltas, António Fernández pinch hit a 2-run homer to give us the lead, and followed it up with a double in the 9th. He’s having a cracking year.
- Díaz and Felipe Ríos each homered and hit a double in the 9-1 hammering in the rubber game of the series.
- Givens returned from the all-star game and got straight back on the wagon with a complete game shutout in the series opener against the Rattlesnakes.
- Al Elliott hit 4-4 in the same game. He and Fernández have been a fantastic platoon in RF (.947 and 1.045 OPS respectively) since Bob Miller’s injury - if this carries on Miller will be on the bench on his return to the roster.
- Ken James gave up the first runs of his major league career in our 9-1 thrashing the following day. Unfortunately those runs came in the form of a grand slam.

This week: 3-3
Record: 50-31, =2nd place, 3 GB from Lansing
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Old 02-01-2018, 05:23 PM   #170
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29 June 2047

(Reproduced courtesy of SCL At-Bat, the number one app for all the latest SCL news and scores)

The renaissance of Al Elliott
Magpies outfielder rediscovers former glories

By Tim Curtain, 6:36PM, 29 Jun 47

At age 27, Magpies right fielder Al Elliott could hardly be described as over the hill. But when he hit free agency for the first time at the end of last season, he was not exactly inundated with contract offers from SCL teams. At a time when it seemed far from certain he’d make it back to the bigs, the 2-year, $5.2m offer he received from Magpies GM Billy DePodesta was the only serious one on the table.

Elliott burst onto the scene in 2040, just 2 years after being drafted in the second round by the Adventurers. Called up in late August, he put up a 118 OPS+ and helped the Adventurers secure a place in the Eastern League wildcard game. He was excellent over the next 4 seasons, claiming OPS+ marks of 127, 145, 105 and 123, and helping the team win the North East Division in 2042. Then, suddenly, the wheels came off. He struggled to a .629 OPS mark in 2045. There was little improvement the next year, and Boston shunted him to Sacramento just before the trade deadline. He somehow managed to fare even worse there, not even putting up an OPS of .600.

DePodesta saw something in the left-hander that he liked, however, and moved quickly to get his man when it was clear Elliott could be had cheaply. A backup bat prior to Bob Miller’s unfortunate injury, Elliott has since cemented a spot hitting at #5 in the Magpies lineup. Maybe this is just a purple patch and a regression is just around the corner. Maybe he’s been lucky. Maybe he’s been helped by the club’s decision to allow him to hit almost exclusively against right-handed pitching. Whatever the reason, Elliott is showing that his major league career isn’t over just yet, and the Magpies are reaping the benefits of his 2047 renaissance.
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Old 02-01-2018, 05:25 PM   #171
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5 July 2047

GM’s notebook - Series 28 and 29

Magpies 5-2 Olympia
Magpies 1-3 Olympia
Magpies 6-4 Olympia
Salem 2-1 Magpies
Salem 11-2 Magpies
Salem 2-1 Magpies

- Júlio Martínez snared save #20 of the season on our first evening in Olympia. Jeremy Williams (8-7, 3.04) threw 8 innings of 2-run ball.
- That was enough to give Williams the WL pitcher of the month award for June. In total he went 5-0 with a 1.96 ERA. That’s his first career pitcher of the month accolade.
- Jorge Cruz has a 0.88 ERA from 41 innings of relief this year. He’s like having a second closer.
- Al Elliott hit 3-4 in the 6-4 victory in the deciding game of the Olympia series, pushing his batting average up to .343. That would be third highest in the SCL if he had enough plate appearances.
- It may have been in a losing cause, but P.J. Hendrickson’s 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K line against Salem was pleasing to see.
- Kevin Cantrell and Don Rich were awful in the 11-2 defeat, giving up 9 runs between them.
- I need to be patient with rookie catcher Walton White. His defence has been great (1.058 EFF), but his hitting has been raw (.286 OBP).
- Williams threw 7.1 innings without allowing any runs in the final game, but was let down by an offense that had an absolute stinker in the Ironclads series.
- Lansing, however, have lost 5 on the spin so we actually gained a game this week.

This week: 2-4
Record: 52-35, 3rd place, 2 GB from Lansing, Madison
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Old 02-01-2018, 05:28 PM   #172
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6 July 2047

Tony Smashie
@DJTony

Hey, listen up #Magpies fans! Who thinks we should trade @OrlandoGonzalesSCL before the deadline? Let me have your shout outs, dudes! Groovy! #yeahbaby
7:02AM - 6 Jul 2047

Severino Guadalajara-Smith
@sabermetricjedi

@DJTony that’s a tough one. Wouldn’t myself. Downside: free agent come fall, .704 OPS is not great. Upside: +4.2 ZR on defense, clubhouse leader. #whatwillbillydo
7:11AM - 6 Jul 2047

Tom Student
@letsgetlashed

@DJTony how can you be so chirpy so early in the morning, man! #freakshow #gobacktobed
8:55AM - 6 Jul 2047

Genghis Troll
@nothingbettertodo

I hate you @DJTony
9:03AM - 6 Jul 2047

Tony Smashie
@DJTony

Guys, you gotta get your groove on, spend life living! Get up and rock! Go Magpies! #youngatheart
9:05AM - 6 Jul 2047
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Old 02-02-2018, 04:46 PM   #173
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12 July 2047

GM’s notebook - Series 30 and 31

Magpies 3-6 St. Paul
Magpies 0-5 St. Paul
Magpies 10-9 St. Paul
Phoenix 3-8 Magpies
Phoenix 2-6 Magpies
Phoenix 2-5 Magpies

- The 10-9 win in St. Paul, which halted the losing streak at 5, was a cracking game. After we fell 6-2 behind in the 2nd, the offense, led by 4-6 Orlando Gonzáles, fought back, and we took the lead in the top of the 8th. Júlio Martínez sent hearts racing by letting the bases get loaded up in the bottom of the 9th, but finally grabbed save number 22.
- Kevin Cantrell had a second consecutive bad start in the game. He needs to get his mojo back. St. Paul’s future hall of famer Sam Jordan hit his 400th career homer.
- Dave Dodd hit 3-4 on opening night against the Raccoons - is he finally coming into some form?
- Jeremy Williams (8 IP, 2 ER) beat our recently departed starter Derek Jenkins (7 IP, 6 R, 4 ER) in the second game of the series.
- Phoenix (34-59) may be the worst team in the Western League, but that was still a great sweep, with three convincing wins.
- In an effort to get the offense going again, Jeremiah Harvey is now playing shortstop every third day against righties in place of Matt Anderson. Harvey definitely won’t be traded at the deadline; I’ve realised that his versatility (he’s played 1B, 2B, SS and LF) has been extremely valuable to us this season.
- We’ve overtaken Madison by a game now, but still trail the Sharks by 3. At the moment it’s looking like we’ll have a rematch against the Brown Bears in the wildcard game; we have a 7-game cushion on Denver in the chase. But tomorrow we start a 3-game series in Lansing and have the chance to close the gap.

This week: 4-2
Record: 56-37, 2nd place, 3 GB from Lansing
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Old 02-02-2018, 04:48 PM   #174
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13 July 2047

onlytheboxscore.com/Magpies
DePodesta has assembled the WL’s leading pitching staff in Des Moines
Posted by Shawn Sycophant, @shawnsycophant1

No part of the Magpies roster has seen as much change during the Billy DePodesta era as their pitchers. Of the 13-man pitching corps he inherited when taking over as GM just 18 months ago, only 2 remain: P.J. Hendrickson and Don Rich (Tommaso Chigi and Robinson Ortíz were at the club but languishing on the minor league roster). The guys that DePodesta has put together since then have formed the Western League’s premier pitching staff, with a team ERA of just 3.08.

While we’re eulogising about the pitching, let’s not forget the role the Magpies’ league-leading defense plays in supporting them and keeping the runs down. That’s a big part of the club’s recent success. But by any standards, the pitchers have been excellent too.

Let’s start with the bullpen, the SCL’s best, whose collective ERA has hovered around 2.00 all season. Júlio Martínez has excelled in his first full season at the club, but the team effectively have two elite closers, so good has all-star set-up man Jorge Cruz been. The Magpies have had the 8th and 9th innings locked down. Wesley Weaver is having a terrific first year as a professional. Rich has walked just 4 hitters in 38 innings. Chigi hasn’t given up a run since returning to the active roster a few weeks ago.

The rotation has been nearly as good, despite losing staff ace Mal Brown for the year. Kevin Cantrell isn’t a true ace, but has led the team well. Philip Givens regularly goes deep into games, and free agent signing Jeremy Williams has exceeded expectations, putting up career-best figures when throwing out of the rotation. The only under-performer has been lefty P.J. Hendrickson, but he has returned to better form of late, putting up improved numbers as his high BABIP has steadily regressed.

Not all DePodesta’s moves have panned out - Jorge Chávez springs to mind - but the end result has been a pitching group comparable to any other in the league, and which has been at the heart of the Magpies’ attempt to defend their SCL championship.
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Old 02-02-2018, 04:50 PM   #175
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18 July 2047

GM’s notebook - Series 32 and 33

Magpies 2-1 Lansing
Magpies 0-2 Lansing
Magpies 0-3 Lansing
Bismarck 2-5 Magpies
Bismarck 0-7 Magpies
Bismarck 0-6 Magpies

- Baton Rouge traded fringe centre field prospect Jim Decker to Bismarck. The remarkable thing about that is that it’s the 7th time Decker has been traded in under 4 years. His travels include a spell on our minor league roster for the first half of the 2044 season, before he was shipped to Atlanta.
- António Fernández’s 8th inning RBI single brought home platoon partner Al Elliott for the clinching run on day one in Michigan.
- The Sharks’ ace Carlos Lara thumped us in game two. He threw 8.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 14 K, only denied the no hitter by being taken off the mound one out away. He’d thrown 128 pitches by that point but the Oceanic Stadium crowd were not happy he didn’t get the chance to close it out.
- P.J. Hendrickson threw 6.2 fantastic scoreless innings in the rubber game, but we lost after 3 unearned runs scored following Jeremiah Harvey’s fielding error at first base.
- Jeremy Williams (10-7, 2.63) was magnificent in the 7-0 win over Bismarck: 8.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K.
- Robinson Ortíz was even better in the final game of the series, throwing 8.1 innings but for just 1 hit. The kid is a keeper.

This week: 4-2
Record: 60-39, 3rd place, 2 GB from Lansing
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Old 02-03-2018, 01:49 PM   #176
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GM’s notebook - Series 34 and 35

Magpies 5-10 Denver
Magpies 6-8 Denver
Magpies 0-1 Denver
Austin 1-8 Magpies
Austin 2-5 Magpies
Austin 2-3 Magpies

- In the first game in Denver, we were cruising at 5-1 entering the bottom of the 8th. Whereupon the wheels fell off. Kevin Cantrell allowed 1 run, Jorge Cruz an uncharacteristic 5 runs, Don Rich 2 runs and Jack Morris 1 run in the bottom of the inning.
- Philip Givens joined in the dreadful pitching party the next day.
- Only P.J. Hendrickson emerged from those awful performances against the Snow Sox with any credit.
- What makes the series even worse was that it has meant Denver have closed the gap in the wildcard chase to just 3 games.
- There were strong words spoken in the changing rooms after the game, and the lads came out firing at home to Austin the next day. Jeremy Williams threw a complete game, Fernando Martínez went 3-4 with 3 doubles, and Guillermo Díaz hit 4-5 with a HR.
- Roberto Caro made his debut in the second game of the Tycoons series after his trade from Annapolis (see next post), and hit 1-4 with a stolen base. Robinson Ortíz stole the show with a sparkling performance (7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K), and Júlio Martínez got save #25.
- Caro is literally taking directly over from Orlando Gonzáles, playing second and batting #6 against righties and #3 against lefties.
- I gave Wesley Weaver a spot start in the final game of the week, and he showed he is pretty much ready to step into the rotation after throwing 6 innings for 2 runs. He’ll certainly be contending for a spot come spring training, if not before.
- The Austin series was a great comeback after the disaster in Denver.
- The big pre-deadline trade involved Carson City sending all-star RF Marcos Osorio to Concord, receiving all-star SP Cedric Gommers in return. Both teams are out of contention but I think Concord did the better deal here. Osorio is only a rental, but 30-year-old Gommers has 4 more seasons remaining on his $24m per year contract, and Concord have shed that weight from their shoulders as they look to rebuild.

This week: 3-3
Record: 63-42, 3rd place, 2 GB from Lansing, Madison
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Old 02-03-2018, 01:51 PM   #177
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23 July 2047

(Reproduced courtesy of SCL At-Bat, the number one app for all the latest SCL news and scores)

Annapolis and Des Moines swap Caro and Gonzáles
Second basemen traded to boost both teams’ playoff hopes

By Buster Oldknee, 9:27PM, 23 Jul 47

It’s one of those trades which seems to suit both parties very nicely. Sources at the SCL Commissioner’s office have told SCL At-Bat that the Mustangs and Magpies have agreed to a trade, which will send veteran second baseman Orlando Gonzáles to Annapolis, and move all-star Roberto Caro to Des Moines. Neither club has yet officially confirmed the deal. The trade reportedly also sees minor league relief pitchers Matt Lyons and Jim Boswell join the Mustangs, and minor league shortstop Dave Kelly become a Magpie.

Annapolis sit just 2 games outside the wildcard spots in the Eastern League, and club insiders say the trade for Gonzáles enables them to strengthen their pitching depth, lower their wage bill, and gain a strong clubhouse presence for the run-in, all without weakening their lineup. Gonzáles and Caro have provided very similar levels of production at the plate this season. For the Magpies, obtaining Caro, 25, makes their roster younger without affecting their offensive threat, as they chase a second championship.

Caro is a contact hitter with good gap power and speed round the bases. His defense is solid rather than spectacular, but he is equally adept playing third base or shortstop as he is his favoured second base position. He will be a direct swap for Gonzáles on the Magpies’ active roster. He earns $10m this year and has two more years of arbitration remaining. The move brings the Magpies’ current annualised payroll spend to $179m, just a shade under their $180m limit. It is likely that GM Billy DePodesta will seek to negotiate a long-term contract with Caro in the near future.

Lyons is an excellent young pitcher who is on track to make a major league roster within the next 12-18 months. The Magpies has high hopes for him, but he was crowded out of contention for a roster spot by the team’s sheer strength and depth of relief pitching. The Mustangs hope that a change of scenery will turbo boost his development.
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Old 02-03-2018, 01:53 PM   #178
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31 July 2047

GM’s notebook - Series 36 and 37

Magpies 9-1 Sacramento
Magpies 2-3 Sacramento
Magpies 1-8 Sacramento
Santa Fe 1-7 Magpies
Santa Fe 0-10 Magpies
Santa Fe 3-4 Magpies

- Enrique Limón started the week by hitting a home run and two triples against the Stingrays. Michael O’Quinn hit 4-5 with a homer and two doubles in the same game.
- Raleigh’s 4-time all-star slugger Bob Patterson has had hit career cut short at just age 29 after suffering a torn labrum in his shoulder.
- We were already losing at the time, but Jorge Cruz got pounded again in the 8-1 defeat to Sacramento. His BABIP has soared to .312 so I think he has been unlucky in recent weeks.
- P.J. Hendrickson is fighting hard to keep his place in the rotation. After starting game one of the Santa Fe series and throwing 7 innings for just a single unearned run, he’s now 7-4 with a 3.51 ERA.
- Roberto Caro has agreed a 3-year contract extension worth $10.8m annually, a modest increase on his salary this year. The final year of the deal buys out his first year of free agency eligibility.
- Robinson Ortíz was excellent yet again in the 10-0 demolition of the Outlaws, throwing 7.1 scoreless innings and fanning 10. Batting at 8 and 9 in the order, Fernando Martínez and Jeremiah Harvey both had 3 hits including a HR.
- Our lead over Denver in the wildcard chase is 4 games.
- Next up we travel to new division leaders Madison. Let’s hope we do better in this crucial series than we did in the last one.

This week: 4-2
Record: 67-44, 3rd place, 2 GB from Madison
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Old 02-03-2018, 01:54 PM   #179
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7 August 2047

GM’s notebook - Series 38 and 39

Magpies 1-2 Madison
Magpies 4-6 Madison
Magpies 8-6 Madison
Baton Rouge 2-1 Magpies
Baton Rouge 1-5 Magpies
Baton Rouge 2-5 Magpies

- Defeat in the opener in Madison was agonising. The winning run came in the bottom of the 13th inning.
- We had another narrow, costly loss in the second game. We put the tying run on first in the 9th inning but couldn’t bring him home.
- Lansing lost Chris Faulkner, the starting pitcher they traded for a few weeks ago, for the season with bone chips in his elbow.
- In the final game of the series, we fought back from 6-3 down to snatch a vital win and avoid the sweep. Our poor results against fellow playoff contenders don’t bode well for our chances if we do make the postseason.
- Kevin Cantrell got two-thirds of the way towards a perfect game on the first evening against the Deltas, but allowing 2 runs in the 7th was enough to hand him an unlucky loss.
- Annapolis have given Orlando Gonzáles a 2-year contract extension at half his current salary. He’ll do well for them if he can beat the ageing curve.
- I’m running out of superlatives for Robinson Ortíz. He’s now 12-4, 2.54.
- Lansing destroyed Bismarck 27-1. Catcher Bill Morris had the game of his life, hitting 4-6 with 3 home runs, a double, 11 RBI and scoring 5 runs. ELEVEN RBIs!
- We made life difficult for ourselves in the rubber game against Baton Rouge by committing 3 errors, but Philip Givens (13-5, 2.39) still got the job done.
- Our run differential is 514-379, giving us a Pythagorean record of 75-42. That would put us top of the North Division.

This week: 3-3
Record: 70-47, 3rd place, 2 GB from Madison
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Old 02-04-2018, 03:21 PM   #180
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9 August 2047

FANGRAPHICS
Chat: Osiris Sabretooth is ready to discuss all things baseball.

11:12

Osiris: Greetings everyone! Sorry for the technical difficulties there, we’re good to go now I think.

11:12

Baseball Park The Of Out: What a race in the North Division this year! Nip and tuck between the Brown Bears, Sharks and Magpies all year! Which of the three animals do you think will win the fight?

11:13

Osiris: The real animals in the wild? I’d say the Brown Bears every time. They’re essentially walking piles of muscle. The baseball teams? Harder to say.

11:14

Fantastic Master Fox: I have a sneaky feeling that whoever finishes second in the South Division, the Tycoons or the Snow Sox, will edge one of those three North Division teams out of the wildcard.

11:14

Osiris: The Sox are an interesting team. I’m not sure they’ve actually played that well yet, but keep winning games. Old man Vince van der Vloet can’t half still hit. I think the North Division trio are better, though.

11:14

Goose Gossage’s Goose: What do you make of the Magpies trading Gonzáles for Caro?

11:15

Osiris: I like that move. Caro has been pretty pants in his first couple of week in Iowa, but he’ll give the Magpies several good years of service.

11:15

The Englishman: Let’s jump to the important questions. What’s your favourite pizza and why?

11:16

Osiris: Quadruple pepperoni with extra pepperoni on top. I quite like pepperoni.

11:16

Osiris: Time to bid you all farewell. Enjoy the rest of your summer!
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