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Old 11-02-2018, 08:42 PM   #481
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The overall number of transactions (both large and small) was surprising low this off-season, but that didn’t mean it was uneventful. The Brunswick Legends embarked on a full-scale tear-down, gutting their starting rotation. And one notable free agent made Braeland his home, at least for the upcoming season.

Here are some of the noteworthy baseball developments that transpired since the Downie Chiefs won the United Cup back in April:

Noteworthy Retirements:

Two players of note retired at the end of last season. They won’t appear on the Hall of Fame Ballot for another three years, but they both offer compelling cases for induction. Here are their stats/achievements:



• Seven-time All-Star;
• Two Satchel Paige Awards (1941, 1943);
• Two-time United Cup Champion (1939, 1944);
• Four-time Pitcher of the Month



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• Seven-time All-Star;
• Four-time Batter of the Month
• Highest career OBP: .439
• 35-game hitting streak (1938; second longest in ULB history)



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Management Shakeups

May 10 – Well that Didn’t Last Long – Pulberry Dumps Manager after One Season

The Pulberry Trolleys fired rookie manager Wildemar Aquino on April 14 after guiding the club to a 54-100 record in his first year. The Trolleys elected to dump the 56-year old despite three years remaining on his contract.

On May 10, Pulberry signed another rookie manager, Luke Mitford. The 62-year old Mitford spent the previous 12 seasons as an itinerant bench coach, spending one season with Cambria, three with Wolseley, three with Brunswick, three with Kingston and the last two with Wolseley again. As a bench coach, he was a member of seven playoff teams and three United Cup champions. He reportedly signed a 5-year deal worth $17,936 per annum to manage the Trolleys.



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May 13 – Cobourg Hires New General Manager

57-year old Denzel Seamon’s tenure as the Cobourg Red Stockings’ general manager has come to an end. During his seven seasons overseeing the Red Stockings, the club failed to reach the playoffs and finished above .500 just once. Thus, Cobourg decided to make a change. On May 13, they signed 58-year old Oliver Richards to a 1-year deal (worth $7,296). It’s his first management position anywhere in ULB.



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May 17 – Barons Part Ways with Zachary Smith; Sign Rookie Manager

After three seasons at the helm, 53-year old manager Zachary Smith (402-368) was not retained by the Stratford Barons. Although Smith led the Barons to the playoffs twice and reached the United Cup in 1948-49 (before falling to Wolseley), the club fell to third place last season, 15 games out of top spot. On May 17, the Barons hired 56-year old Xavier Ahernfeld to take his place, giving him a 3-year deal ($7,808 per). It’s Ahernfeld’s first management position anywhere in ULB.

As for Smith, he was hired by the Embro Suns on May 10 as their new bench coach.



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Trades and Signings

April 21:

The Wolseley Unions and Brunswick Legends completed a blockbuster deal:

To Wolseley – 33-year old LHP Anastasio Rodríguez (72/72)

To Brunswick – 25-year old C Armando López (45/45) and 23-year old CF Carl Patton (21/66).

Knee-jerk reaction: The once dominant Legends have officially embraced rebuilding and set about tearing down their pitching core. The first to go was the biggest: three-time Satchel Paige Award winner Anastasio Rodríguez, who is now a Wolseley Union and immediately becomes their ace. His best pitch is his sinker (55/55) to go along with a forkball, slider and changeup. While his stuff is pedestrian (45/45), his movement and control are jaw-dropping (70/70). While his brilliance will be missed, his talents were being wasted on a non-playoff team. At any rate, I don’t think too many in the clubhouse will miss him, as he had a long-standing reputation as a disruptive influence.

In exchange, the Legends get a couple of potentially very useful players. López originally signed with Wolseley as a free agent out of Panama back in April 1949. He is developing solid batting skills with impressive pitch recognition and patience. He is projected to be a bench player but I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes a starter at some point. Patton appears to be the real prize however. A third-round pick back in 1948, Patton’s only deficiency appears to be power. He has excellent contact skills, a smooth swing with quick hands with blazing speed and excellent defense and range in the outfield. The Legends have him listed as a centerfielder, even though they have Rookie of Year runner-up Cameron Osmotherley currently installed there. Either could shift to leftfield without missing a beat.



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May 4:

The Braeland City Monarchs and Cambria Cannons consummated a four-player deal:

To Braeland City – 30-year old RHP Rizal Doctolero (63/63)

To Cambria – 24-year C Alexander Pyatt (38/49), 24-year old C Juan González (20/39) and 24-year old minor league CF Bradley Gilsthorpe (20/34).

Knee-jerk reaction: After three outstanding seasons as Braeland City’s stopper, 32-year old RHP Samuel Hollier endured somewhat of a down year this past season. So the Monarchs made a move to beef up their bullpen by shifting their six-time all-star to middle relief and installed Doctolero as their new stopper. Doctorlero is very good at inducing ground balls with a serviceable cutter and curveball. While his stuff is merely average (45/50), he has very good movement (65/65) and control (55/55). He was second overall in saves in the ULB last season with 20.

In return, the Cannons get three rather underwhelming players. Pyatt is a former first-round pick from 1946-47 and has a very good bat to go along with respectable defense. But he won’t unseat Cambria’ current catcher, 32-year old Heung-su Park, who is second only to Stratford’s Aaron Skidmore as top catcher in the ULB. But Pyatt should be a very decent back-up. Taking Doctorlero’s spot for Cambria will be 25-year RHP Keith Roche (41/64), a former 10th overall pick from 1947-48.



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May 19:

The Cobourg Red Stockings and Brunswick Legends agreed to a three-player deal:

To Cobourg – 34-year old LHP Daniel Pierson (46/46) and 23-year old RHP Harry Dinsmore (51/69)

To Brunswick – 26-year old 2B Gavin Saunders (39/44)

Knee-jerk reaction: The exodus of pitchers continues as Cobourg acquires two more of Brunswick’s original rotation. Pierson is a three-time all-star who pitched a no-hitter against Kingston last season. But his best years would appear to be behind him. He has below average stuff (30/40) with good movement (55/60) and control (60/60). He has four pitches in his arsenal, but none are impressive (his cutter is his best – 40/50). He is considered a borderline starter – Cobourg has him on the bubble as their No. 6 pitcher heading into spring training.

But Dinsmore may be the real prize soon. He has excellent movement (65/70) to go along with acceptable stuff (50/50) and control (40/50) with three pitches: fastball (45/50), curveball (35/50) and changeup (55/55). When fully developed, Dinsmore is projected to be a serviceable back-end rotation option. He’s currently slotted in the No. 5 spot in the rotation. Interestingly, both Dinsmore and Pierson were acquired by Brunswick from the Sherburn Tigers in a trade back in January 1950.

Saunders, a former fifth-round pick, is also a borderline starter, but he will lead off for Brunswick in spring training. Saunders has an incredible eye at the plate (75/75), thus he should draw a good number of walks. He is competent defensively (50) and should be a very good base-stealer (80).



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May 29:

The Wellington Athletics and Brunswick Legends finalized a three-player deal:

To Wellington – 34-year old C Maurice Evans (39/39)

To Brunswick – 34-year old LHP Gavin Hewat (45/45) and 20-year old minor league LHP Ron Killingworth (27/65).

Knee-jerk reaction: A minor deal that sees 12-year veteran Maurice Evans shipped out of Brunswick to serve as 22-year old C Declan Bugbie’s back-up in Wellington. While Evans is good at putting the ball in play, he does not have a good stroke and makes a lot of outs. His days as an everyday player are mostly over. His departure allows recently acquired Armando López to take over catching duties for Brunswick.

In return, the Legends get a mediocre starter in Gavin Hewat. He has good control (55/55) but weak stuff (40/40). He finds himself currently the No. 4 pitcher in Brunswick’s watered-down rotation. Killingworth is a future stopper that may be the key piece in this deal from Brunswick’s perspective. A fifth-round pick in 1948-49, Killingworth has good stuff (45/55) and movement (50/60) but still needs to work on his control (35/50). With some refinement and experience, he could become a formidable reliever one day.



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August 14:

The Braeland City Monarchs sign 44-year old RHP Satchel Paige (60/60) as a free agent to a 1-year contract ($60,000; $5,000 All-Star bonus; $5,000 Satchel Paige Award bonus).

Knee-jerk reaction: With the real Satchel Paige at loose ends after the Cleveland Indians released him at the conclusion of the 1949 season, it seemed like the perfect time to import him into the United Leagues to play for the Monarchs, although it will be kind of surreal seeing him play in an opposing park that’s named after him (Wolseley).
In this game, the scout views him as a relief pitcher – “a real worm killer who will generate a high number of groundballs. He can mix six different offerings, although none of them grade out well. He has good control and can throw all his pitches for strikes. Paige should be able to step into a closer’s role.” The Monarchs are banking on him being much more than that. We shall see.



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The War Gained chart essentially reflects the moves made by the Brunswick Legends, shipping out the likes of SP Anastasio Rodríguez (8.6 WAR), SP Daniel Pierson (3.6) and C Maurice Evans (1.7) to the Wolseley Unions, Cobourg Red Stockings and Wellington Athletics respectively. The Pulberry Trolleys saw two pitchers retire: Chris Sappington (3.0) and Wayne Smith (0.2). That pulled them down in the chart.

Heading into the 1950-51 season, the big question may be: How dominant will the Wolseley Unions be? They already led the United Leagues in Starter ERA, Bullpen ERA and FIP last season. Now with the best pitcher in the United Leagues in Anastasio Rodríguez added to the fold, will they surpass 104 wins in a season? That is the most any team has won in the ULB. That mark has been reached three times thus far: the Embro Suns in 1942-43, the Kingston Pelicans in 1945-46 and the Braeland City Monarchs in 1948-49.

And in the Eastern League, will Satchel Paige live up to the hype and lead the Monarchs to their first championship? Will a modestly revamped pitching staff finally help the Cobourg Red Stockings end their post-season drought? And of course, will the Downie Chiefs pick up where they left off and successfully defend their United Cup championship? Or will they prove to be a one-year wonder (like the 1946-47 Queensland Eagles)?

So many questions. We may begin to get some answers soon, as the teams embark on the 14th annual Coconut Leagues.

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Old 11-06-2018, 09:26 PM   #482
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Braeland’s unofficial National Holiday – Opening Day – has finally arrived. But as the teams settle on their final rosters and embark on their 14th season, it’s time to look at the results of the recent Coconut Leagues held from August 28 to September 28.

Towards the end, I’ve posted the various player and team rankings, and several career leaderboards.

Eastern League Results





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For the second straight year, the Wellington Athletics finished on top of the Eastern League standings with 20 victories. But also, for the second straight year, they are predicted to be a player in the East during the regular season. Still, the race is projected to be tight, with only 15 games separating first from last place; with perhaps as many as five teams in a serious hunt for a playoff spot.

In perusing both the Eastern and Western League project top performances, what struck is the fact that at least six ‘top’ pitchers are predicted to lose 20 or more games this season, with 11 more projected to lose either 18 or 19 games. I’m not sure what to make of that but perhaps it means things will be very volatile in the ULB this year.

With that said, a couple of young pitchers are projected to make an impact this season.
24-year old RHP Logan Belsey (19-26, 4.11 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 4.44 FIP – 58/80) was drafted 4th overall by the Queensland Eagles back in 1948-49 and will be entering his third season in the ULB. The Eagles have anointed him as their No. 1 starter for this season and is already rated as the fourth-best pitching in the entire United Leagues. It will be interesting to see how he fares on a team that is expected to finish near the bottom of the standings. Belsey is a groundball pitcher who led the Eastern League in strikeouts last season (150) and is considered an extremely hard worker.

As for 24-year old RHP Magtanggol Jaojoco (26-13, 30 SV, 3.77 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 3.67 FIP – 54/65), he enters the Stratford Barons’ rotation this season in the No. 3 spot. Jaojoco was drafted 6th overall back in 1945-46 and is currently rated 19th overall among pitchers. The Barons are banking on him playing a key role in their quest for a return to the playoffs this season.



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Western League Results





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The Balmoral Giants came out on top in the West with a 21-9 record, the best in all the Coconut Leagues. They are also projecting to finish in the first division. What makes this surprising is the lack of real impact players on their roster and the paucity of talent in their farm system, the worst in the United Leagues.

Another young pitcher appears for the first time on the Top Pitchers projection list. 24-year old LHP Larry Kovnats (23-23, 4.20 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 4.43 FIP – 52/73) was drafted 3rd overall in 1948-49 and has now been installed as the Hespeler Stars’ top starter. Kovnats is a strikeout artist that led the United Leagues last season in strikeouts (157) and K/9 IP (5.8). Like his counterpart Logan Belsey in the East, Kovnats is a groundball pitcher who is known for his work ethic.



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Uniform Update

The Downie Chiefs and Stratford Barons have updated their logos and uniforms for the 1950-51 season.



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To round out the snapshot of the United Leagues, here are the top players and pitchers and top 20 prospects as updated on Opening Day. Also included are the latest leaderboards for a slew of offensive and pitching categories.







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Leaderboards



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Old 11-13-2018, 06:46 PM   #483
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December 1, 1950

Eastern League: Legends, Red Stockings Surge Out of the Gate





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Offense: .252/.352/.382 (AVG/OBP/SLG – 8th/4th/5th)
Pitching: 3.47/3.68/2.32 (Team ERA/Starters’ ERA/Bullpen ERA – 2nd/2nd/2nd)
Defense: .715 (2nd)
Chemistry: Content

Last season, the Brunswick Legends suffered their second consecutive losing season, and with the departure of stars like LHP Anastasio Rodríguez, this year was expected to be no different. Their performance in spring training and the projections for the upcoming season all pointed to a second division finish for this once proud club. But the Legends have defied expectations by starting the season off with 8 straight victories and claiming first place in the Eastern League after the first two months. Brunswick boasts the best record in the United Leagues thus far; but whether they can maintain this pace over 154 games remains to be seen.

Four players on the squad stand out in the early going. On offense, 34-year old 1B Stuart Bentham (.374/.463/.578, 9 HR, 38 RBI, 33 BB, 2.6 WAR) is off to an even hotter start than he did last season. He racked up 6.2 WAR last season – he is on pace for 7.5. As well, 30-year old RF Marcus Peyto (.302/.516/.917, 9 HR, 35 RBI, 32 BB, 2.0 WAR) is enjoying a great start, after two down years. Both are currently rated as the top 1B & RF respectively in the ULB and hit No. 3 & No. 4 in the Legends’ lineup.

But the biggest surprise is the pitching staff. The bullpen has been solid throughout, while 23-year old RHP Mhelter Pilapil (7-4, 2.81 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 139 ERA+) has bounced back after a rough year (3-13, 7.06 ERA, 1.87 WHIP, 58 ERA+). The former second-round pick has admirably performed as Brunswick’s ace thus far. And former first-round pick 27-year old RHP Dan Turner (5-3, 3.59 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 108 ERA+) has eased into the rotation as the No. 5 pitcher quite nicely.

Player of the Week Awards:

November 13 – RF Marcus Peyto (.481, 13 H, 1 HR, 7 RBI)
November 20 – 1B Stuart Bentham (.385, 10 H, 2 HR, 11 RBI)

Current Injuries: None.

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Offense: .285/.352/.411 (2nd/5th/3rd)
Pitching: 3.53/3.74/2.28 (3rd/3rd/1st)
Defense: .693 (6th)
Chemistry: Unhappy

The Cobourg Red Stockings were tied for last place at the end of October, but then put up the best record in the ULB in November to take over second place, just 2.5 games back of Brunswick. The difference has been their pitching staff. While there is still room for improvement, it bears no resemblance to the train wreck it was at the start of last season. Their bullpen is the best in the East and second only to the Fort Richmond Generals overall.

Right now, their top two starters are doing the heavy lifting. 22-year old LHP Bill Budd (7-3, 2.13 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 182 ERA+) stepped into the No. 1 spot this season and the second-year pro has been the real deal. 30-year old RHP Luis Cruz (7-3, 2.61 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 149 ERA+) has settled in very nicely as the No. 2 man, winning Pitcher of the Month honours in November. Now, if the rest of the rotation can pick things up just a little more, then this could be a special year in Cobourg.

The offense has been more spread out than it was last season, which is a good thing. One reason is that 29-year old SS John Medley (.339/.426/.500, 2 HR, 27 RBI, 31 BB, 7 SB, 2.0 WAR) is enjoying a bit of a bounce-back year. Last year, he earned 3.6 WAR; this season he’s on pace for 5.7. 25-year old 1B Harry Doxey (.338/.382/.493, 6 HR, 35 RBI, 17 BB, 1.7 WAR) is off to his best start in his third full season. Doxey was selected 6th overall back in 1946-47.

Current Injuries: None.

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Offense: .267/.342/.396 (4th/6th/4th)
Pitching: 3.40/3.15/4.91 (1st/1st/6th)
Defense: .731 (1st)
Chemistry: Happy

If something special could be in the works for Cobourg, then something really special could be brewing for the Wellington Athletics this season. The Athletics are brimming with young talent, especially on offense. If they were to all blossom quickly then they will soon find themselves in first place. Their Pyt. Record sits at 32-23, just a half back of the Legends, whose Pyt. Record is 31-23. So it will be interesting to see where they end up come March.

Wellington’s outfield has the potential to be best in the United Leagues very soon. It is led by last year’s Rookie of the Year winner, 23-year old LF Matthew Floyd (.321/.399/.565, 10 HR, 37 RBI, 25 BB, 2.9 WAR – 73/80). Floyd is showing no signs of a sophomore slump. He is joined by two rookies: 25-year old CF Jim Mars (.305/.387/.489, 4 HR, 27 RBI, 26 BB, 1.4 WAR – 54/60), a second-round pick originally by the Hespeler Stars in 1948-49; and 23-year old RF Wayne Emmert (.261/.341/.344, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 16 BB, 0.5 WAR – 39/70), a third-round pick from 1947-48. If Emmert can get acclimated to the big leagues quickly, then Wellington’s outfield could be set for years to come.

But perhaps the biggest surprise has been the starting rotation. Although No. 1 starter 24-year old RHP Bert Morrow (5-4, 2.98 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 128 ERA+) is out for a month due to injury, the other four starters have been solid. 28-year old RHP Scott Wheeler (6-4, 2.48 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 154 ERA+), 25-year old RHP Troy Conlin (4-4, 3.81 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 100 ERA+), 27-year old RHP Wilfried Schop (7-2, 2.96 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 129 ERA+) and 26-year old RHP Matt Price (3-5, 3.79 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 101 ERA+) have all contributed to Wellington’s rotation as being the best in the Eastern League in the early going.

Noteworthy:

November 28 – 23-year old C Declan Bugbie (.301/.340/.432, 4 HR, 40 RBI, 11 BB, 1.4 WAR) was front and center in Wellington’s 13-2 triumph over the Balmoral Giants, going 5 for 6 on the day. Bugbie doubled in the 2nd, singled in the 4th, hit two RBI singles in the 6th and a two-run triple in the 8th before flying out in the 9th. Mathew Floyd went 4 for 6 with two runs and an RBI in the same game.

Current Injuries:

RHP Bert Morrow – November 27 – hamstring strain. Out for: 4 weeks.

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Offense: .285/.366/.438 (1st/1st/1st)
Pitching: 4.16/4.29/3.66 (7th/8th/5th)
Defense: .687 (7th)
Chemistry: Happy

The Braeland City Monarchs started the season off wildly inconsistent, being swept by the Brunswick Legends in the first four games of the season and then going just 5-11 in the first half of October. They bounced back since then to get to .500, but the pitching has to get better if they hope to make their fourth consecutive playoff appearance.

44-year old RHP Satchel Paige (3-5, 3.97 ERA, 1.54 WHIP 98 ERA+) has not been terrible, but the Monarchs no doubt are hoping he gets acclimated to his new surroundings sooner rather than later. No. 3 starter 29-year old RHP Okura Suzuki (7-3, 2.74 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 143 ERA+) has been outstanding but the rest of the staff needs to step it up.

There’s been no hand-wringing over the offense however, as the Monarchs are perhaps the top offensive team in the ULB in the early going. Leading the way has been Christopher Dainty (.400/.523/.561, 4 HR, 24 RBI, 39 BB, 3.4 WAR). While he may not have won any player awards so far this season, the 28-year old catcher is on pace to break the season record for WAR with 9.7. Danny Trowbridge currently holds the record of 9.3, set in 1945-46. 25-year old 2B Patrick Lidgate (.322/.419/.604, 11 HR, 46 RBI, 34 BB, 3.0 WAR) is not far behind and is the lynchpin of Braeland City’s stellar offense.

Player of the Week Awards:

October 16 – 1B Dean Witherden (.444, 12 H, 1 HR, 5 RBI)
October 30 – 1B Dean Witherden (.500, 14 H, 2 HR, 4 RBI)
November 6 – LF Daniel Tantoco (.500, 8 H, 2 HR, 3 RBI)
November 27 – 2B Patrick Lidgate (.375, 9 H, 2 HR, 7 RBI)

Current Injuries: None.

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Offense: .253/.358/.362 (7th/3rd/8th)
Pitching: 4.04/3.91/5.24 (6th/4th/7th)
Defense: .694 (5th)
Chemistry: Content

The Stratford Barons are essentially treading water until their young stars can establish themselves in the majors. There is lots of room for optimism that they can. While established stars like 37-year old 2B Jake Walker (.370/.489/.448, 1 HR, 27 RBI, 42 BB, 2.2 WAR) continue to set the pace for the club, the lineup sees two youngsters getting regular playing time: 20-year old rookie CF Sherwin Carasig (.291/.333/.438, 5 HR, 27 RBI, 12 BB, 0.7 WAR – 38/62) and sophomore 23-year old SS Alan Tennant (.218/.383/.293, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 50 BB, 1.3 WAR – 55/75). While Carasig is a former 9th overall pick from 1947-48, Tennant wasn’t selected until the fourth-round in 1946-47. Tennant, a native of New Zealand already has a Top Fielder Award to his credit and is steadily developing his skills at the plate.

The rotation also sees a couple of youngsters forming the heart of Stratford’s future. 24-year old RHP Magtanggol Jaojoco (7-5, 3.00 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 129 ERA+ – 56/65) was quickly promoted to the No. 1 spot after beginning the season as the No. 3 starter. He is on pace for 20 wins in his first full season in the rotation. Also getting a spot in the rotation this season is RHP Ted Smith (3-1, 2.68 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 144 ERA+ - 50/54). Like his fellow countryman Alan Tennant, the 23-year old Smith from Christchurch, New Zealand is making steady progress and should prove to be a reliable arm in the rotation.

Player of the Week Awards:

October 23 – CF Sherwin Carasig (.462, 12 H, 2 HR, 8 RBI)

Current Injuries: None.

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Offense: .268/.358/.412 (3rd/2nd/2nd)
Pitching: 4.32/3.99/6.26 (8th/5th/8th)
Defense: .687 (8th)
Chemistry: Content

Much like the Barons, the Embro Suns are a team in transition, waiting for their young talent to establish themselves in the majors and make the club a playoff contender once again, something this team hasn’t been for five seasons now. But it may take a little longer than Stratford’s efforts however. Nevertheless, Embro has by far the strongest farm system with a majority of their top talent already in AAA.

They have also taken advantage of other club’s oversights. For example, 24-year old CF Orlando Morales (.236/.309/.399, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 16 BB, 0.5 WAR – 39/63), a former third-overall pick by the Balmoral Giants back in 1947-48, was grabbed by the Suns in the Rule 5 draft this past off-season. He is rated 25th overall among prospects and is batting 7th in the lineup. Indeed, the Suns’ batting lineup is currently the strength of the club. While 36-year old 1B Jim Friend (.261/.392/.446, 8 HR, 32 RBI, 36 BB, 1.2 WAR) is showing signs of slowing down, 27-year old SS Rafael De La Cruz (.350/.421/.510, 6 HR, 28 RBI, 27 BB, 6 SB, 2.2 WAR) is off to the best start of his five-year career and is perhaps finally delivering on the promise that the Suns saw when they signed him as a free agent out of Columbia back in 1946. He earned 2.2 WAR in each of the past two seasons; he has already racked up that much in the first two months. He also enjoyed a 20-game hitting streak in October.

But if this team is going to take it to the next level, they are going to have to see some improvement in the pitching. The bullpen is awful and the rotation, while not terrible by any means, could be better. 31-year old LHP Arthur Bence (4-5, 3.52 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 110 ERA+) has been Embro’s best starter thus far. 24-year old LHP Carl McBroom (4-2, 3.90 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 99 ERA+ – 51/56) is holding down the No. 5 spot while 25-year old RHP Juan Rivas (2-2, 6.46 ERA, 1.79 WHIP. 60 ERA+ – 56/66) has regressed and barely hanging on as long relief. If the young fireballers can figure it out and if the talent down in AAA force themselves onto the big-league roster, then this team could be a playoff contender as early as next season.

Player of the Week Awards:

October 9 – RF José Maldonado (.536, 15 H, 2 HR, 3 RBI)

Noteworthy:

November 4 –25-year old 3B Keon-chae Cho (.303/.381/.431, 5 HR, 35 RBI, 23 BB, 1.7 WAR) enjoyed a great day at the plate, going 5 for 5 against the Stratford Barons. Alas, the Barons still held on to win 7-6.
Cho hit a two-run double in the 1st, hit an RBI single in the 3rd, then singled in the 6th, 7th and 9th innings. In all, he accumulated 3 RBI and 1 R.

Current Injuries: None.

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Offense: .256/.339/.375 (6th/7th/6th)
Pitching: 3.82/4.00/3.08 (4th/6th/3rd)
Defense: .705 (4th)
Chemistry: Unhappy

The Downie Chiefs appear to be suffering from a championship hangover, as they definitely have not been the dominant team they were last season in their run to the Cup. But they remain just 3.5 games out of a playoff spot in the tight Eastern League and there is still time to get on a roll.

Offensively, the lineup has been slow out of the gate, but 24-year old Dominic Dudding (.327/.416/.518, 6 HR, 30 RBI, 31 BB, 2.5 WAR) is off to a hotter start than he did last season, despite shifting to 2B from 3B this season.

The pitching has been more steady, especially the bullpen. Their ace, 28-year old RHP Kelii Pelanekelina (5-5, 2.46 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 154 ERA+), continues to lead the way.

Downie has the second highest ranked farm system and a number of young prospects will soon be making their case for a spot on the major league roster. 23-year old CF Conor Bing (.241/.333/.276, 1-2B, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 0.1 WAR – 50/71) was recently promoted to serve as the fourth outfielder. His best position is CF, so the Chiefs have some decisions to make as they already have the top centerfielder in the United Leagues in Alfonso León (.290/.364/.462, 4 HR, 30 HR, 25 BB, 2.1 WAR). León could shift to right field if needed.

Knocking on the door is 22-year old IF/OF Louis Revill (34/77), currently in AAA. He would fit in quite nicely at either 1B or 3B. Down in AA is 19-year old IF Freddie Ogburn (20/70), whose strongest position is 3B. Bing, Revill and Ogburn are all former first-round picks.

Current Injuries: None.

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Offense: .257/.331/.371 (5th/8th/7th)
Pitching: 3.94/4.01/3.48 (5th/7th/4th)
Defense: .711 (3rd)
Chemistry: Happy

The Queensland Eagles may be in last place, but they are not directionless. Like other teams above them in the standings, the Eagles are easing in a number of young prospects onto their roster. While some are still finding their game, others have hit the ground running. That perfectly describes 24-year old 1B Ryan Conisford (.327/.376/.510, 8 HR, 35 RBI, 17 BB, 1.9 WAR – 51/62), who joined the major league roster late last season and is now firmly entrenched in the No. 4 spot in the lineup. All the former 14th overall pick from 1947-48 has done so far is win back-to-back Rookie of the Month honors. But others have just arrived. 24-year old Rod Dennis (.357/.389/.548, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 5 BB, 0.8 WAR – 50/71) has taken over leftfield and is hitting just ahead of Conisford, while 24-year old Perry Jordan (.239/.325/.328, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 9 BB, 0.3 WAR – 33/66) is riding the pine, waiting to take over second base as 26-year old Bob Sobel (.238/.281/.287, 7-2B, 17 RBI, 9 BB, -0.2 WAR) continues to struggle.

On the pitching staff, 25-year old RHP Logan Belsey (3-6, 4.46 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 86 ERA+) and 23-year old RHP Stiofan Micklethwait (4-7, 5.14 ERA, 1.82 WHIP, 74 ERA+) are struggling in the early going. Although Belsey has improved a little of late, Micklethwait has lost his last five starts - badly. No. 2 starter, 33-year old RHP Pi-ao Quian (8-4, 3.20 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 119 ERA+) has been the Eagles most consistent pitcher thus far.

Current Injuries:

RHP Bartolo Sánchez – September 6 – torn meniscus (knee). Out for: 2 weeks.

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Old 11-18-2018, 11:20 PM   #484
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December 1, 1950

Western League: Tight at the Top





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Offense: .266/.344/.418 (4th/2nd/1st)
Pitching: 3.26/3.37/2.27 (2nd/2nd/1st)
Defense: .730 (2nd)
Chemistry: Happy

The Fort Richmond Generals appear to have shaken off their heat-breaking loss in the Western League Pennant Series last season where they went up 3 games to none against the Wolseley Unions only to lose the next four, bringing the season to an end. They have started the season off strong, buoyed by outstanding performances from a slew of veterans.

Despite earning nods to the past two All-Star Games, 29-year old C Louis Wearne (.305/.392/.689, 17 HR, 39 RBI, 22 BB, 2.8 WAR) was actually regressing over that time. But not this season. He has blasted out of the gate and earned his second career Batter of the Month honor in October. After earning 9.0 WAR in 1948-49, 28-year old CF Dylan Moyne (.281/.361/.510, 11 HR, 31 RBI, 22 BB, 2.3 WAR) endured an off year last season when he could only muster 3.6. Thus its nice to see the former first overall pick enjoy a bit of bounce-back. And former third-round pick 23-year old 1B Daniel Paterson (.331/.393/.588, 9 HR, 38 RBI, 17 BB, 2.1 WAR) is proving to have been a shrewd selection as he builds upon his rookie season.

The pitching staff and particularly the bullpen is doing its share as well. The starting rotation though is being carried largely by two pitchers: 28-year old RHP Ch’ang-chieh Li (7-4, 2.24 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 169 ERA+) who has taken over the No. 1 spot and No. 2 starter, 31-year old RHP Roberto Taváres (8-3, 2.65 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 143 ERA+). Now if only the rest of the rotation can pick up the slack, then this club would be absolutely jaw-dropping.

Player of the Week Awards:

October 9 – C Louis Wearne (.524, 11 H, 3 HR, 7 RBI)
October 30 – SS Nobuyoshi Yoshida (.583, 14 H, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 6 R)

Current Injuries:

RHP Reese McLaughlin – March 14 – torn flexor tendon (elbow). Out for: 7 weeks.

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Offense: .278/.361/.415 (1st/1st/2nd)
Pitching: 3.64/3.59/4.03 (3rd/3rd/5th)
Defense: .690 (7th)
Chemistry: Unhappy

The Wolseley Unions have remained in lockstep with the Generals for top spot in the West, but their offense has not been as uniformly consistent as has Fort Richmond’s, despite their strong play in the first two months. The Unions’ top two players are living up to their billing though: 29-year old LF Carlton Hawking (.326/.466/.544, 9 HR, 30 RBI, 46 BB, 2.7 WAR) and 26-year old C Éric Denis (.365/.433/.518, 5 HR, 31 RBI, 20 BB, 2.6 WAR) are both off the best start of their careers. But there is a steep drop after them. Ironically, 28-year old 3B Burt Willey (.329/.428/.457, 2 HR, 36 RBI, 29 BB, 1.6 WAR – 51/51) is also enjoying the best start of his career, but finds himself playing back-up to 21-year old 3B Carlos Ortíz (.433/.446/.717, 4 HR, 20 RBI, 3 BB, 0.9 WAR – 52/52), who was called up on November 1. Ortíz was a free agent signing out of Venezuela back in April and won Rookie of the Month honors in November.

The pitching has remained competitive, with 27-year old RHP Jeremy Albury (7-5, 3.08 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 127 ERA+) regaining the No. 1 spot in the rotation from newly acquired 34-year old LHP Anastasio Rodríguez (3-5, 3.69 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 106 ERA+). Interestingly, last year’s Western League Satchel Paige Award winner, 32-year old RHP Bill Blair (4-5, 4.10 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 95 ERA+) has been struggling and is pitching out of the No. 5 spot of late.

Player of the Week Awards:

November 6 – C Éric Denis (.706, 12 H, 2 HR, 7 RBI)

Current Injuries:

RF Dustin Rogers – November 17 – bone chips (elbow). Out for: 5 weeks.

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Offense: .257/.339/.382 (5th/4th/5th)
Pitching: 4.91/4.64/6.50 (8th/8th/8th)
Defense: .692 (6th)
Chemistry: Content

Thanks to a strong October, the Hespeler Stars are right in the thick of things in the West, but it appears to be more of an illusion than reality. Their Pyt. Rec is only 21-33, a difference of +7. Quite frankly, their pitching staff is in disarray, with their young pitchers like 24-year old LHP Larry Kovnats (4-6, 5.42 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 72 ERA+ - 45/72) and 25-year old Paul Woodruff (6-3, 4.46 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 88 ERA+ - 45/45) still wildly inconsistent. 30-year old RHP Ian Peter (6-3, 3.98 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 98 ERA+) is the best of the lot at the moment. Peter, the No. 3 starter, was signed as a free agent in the off-season.

The offense is essentially being carried by one player: 27-year old SS Zhao-hui Qian (.309/.380/.488, 8 HR, 30 RBI, 25 BB, 2.0 WAR). Qian, a former second overall pick from 1945-46, was acquired last season in a trade with the Wellington Athletics and is off to the best start of his six-year career. But joining him on the big-league roster back in mid-October was their top prospect, 23-year old CF John McMurray (.236/.281/.361, 1 HR, 15 RBI, 8 BB, 4 SB, 0.3 WAR). The first overall pick from last season got more comfortable hitting in the No. 4 spot against RHP (.278/.320/.423) in November.

Player of the Week Awards:

October 23 – SS Zhao-hui Qian (.417, 10 H, 4 HR, 7 RBI)

Current Injuries: None.

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Offense: .249/.326/.345 (7th/6th/7th)
Pitching: 3.09/3.09/3.07 (1st/1st/2nd)
Defense: .717 (3rd)
Chemistry: Content

The Balmoral Giants are another team that appears to be overachieving in the early going, as their offense is one of the weakest in the West. However, their pitching staff has been one of the strongest.

The offense is decidedly unremarkable and boasting the weakest farm system in the ULB will not help things in the foreseeable future. 32-year old LF Carlton Broadbent (.257/.311/.399, 4 HR, 17 RBI, 12 BB, -0.1 WAR) is enduring by far the worst start of his career. Only 27-year old CF Yo Yoshida (.311/.349/.417, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 10 BB, 4 SB, 1.4 WAR) is enjoying a start far surpassing his previous efforts.

But the pitching has been surprisingly strong out of the gate. Third-year starter, 30-year old LHP Ricardo Cruz (6-4, 2.59 ERA, 1.3 WHIP. 149 ERA+) has been as good as anyone in the United Leagues, yet the Giants have placed him on the trading block (for the second time, no less). No. 3 starter, 25-year old RHP Rodrigo González (8-3, 2.37 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 163 ERA+), enjoyed a sensational October, winning Pitcher of the Month honors.

The bullpen has been ‘bolstered’ by two recent waiver claims: 40-year old LHP David Cooling (0-0, 5.06 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 76 ERA+) from Braeland City and 32-year old RHP Tom Mayor (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.63 WHIP), who was picked up from Cobourg.

Current Injuries:

SS Francisco Rodríguez – September 24 – bone chips (elbow). Out for: 2 months; suffered setback November 1.

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Offense: .273/.342/.400 (2nd/3rd/3rd)
Pitching: 3.78/3.84/3.52 (4th/4th/3rd)
Defense: .708 (4th)
Chemistry: Happy

The Cambria Cannons are neck in neck with the Giants, but their chances for continued progress is a little more optimistic than Balmoral’s. They have one of the stronger farm systems in the ULB and boast the No. 1 prospect in 21-year old OF Sam Tite (20/80). He is currently in AA for the second season in a row, but deserves to be in AAA based on his performance last season (6.2 WAR).

It appears that 27-year old LHP Jamie Wigley (5-4, 2.39 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 160 ERA+) has firmly entrenched himself as Cambria’s ace, after being their No. 3 starter last year and at the start of this season. Wigley was originally a 6th round pick back 1942-43 by the Fort Richmond Generals before being acquired almost a year ago in a trade. The Cannons have also recently promoted their top pitching prospect, 20-year old LHP Bill Southon (1-0, 2.02 ERA, 1.50 WHIP – 22/52) to take over the No. 5 spot. Sothern was originally selected 15th overall in 1947-48 by the Wolseley Unions and served as a trade chip a couple of times before landing in Cambria.

The offense is ably led by 30-year old SS César Ruíz (.332/.403/.597, 10 HR, 40 RBI, 26 BB, 2.8 WAR), while 24-year old 1B Carlos Correa (.374/.374/.538, 10 HR, 25 RBI, 16 BB, 1.9 WAR) continues to blossom in his second season as the No. 3 hitter in the lineup.

Player of the Week Awards:

November 27 – SS César Ruíz (.417, 10 H, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R)

Current Injuries:

RHP Reece Leavers – November 29 – partially torn labrum. Out for: 4 months.

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Offense: .267/.325/.394 (3rd/7th/4th)
Pitching: 4.37/4.37/4.36 (7th/7th/6th)
Defense: .732 (1st)
Chemistry: Unhappy

The Pulberry Trolleys started off the season well, taking 3 of 4 from Fort Richmond and 2 of 3 from Balmoral to finish the first week of the season tied for first place with the Wolseley Unions. But then they quickly reverted to form, going 18-29 the rest of the way. As usual for this franchise in recent seasons, their top producing player has been relegated to back-up.

29-year old SS Roland Binns (.356/.404/.576, 8 HR, 23 RBI, 10 BB, 2 SB, 2.0 WAR – 64/64) and 25-year old SS Francis Jones (.367/.446/.582, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 12 BB, 1.3 WAR – 68/68) are the top two players on the team, with Jones ranked slightly higher. But Binns has been outplaying him in the early going. Neither player is the problem, other than that they are rated only for the SS position. Binns to me would be a tantalizing piece for a contending team, but Pulberry has not placed either player on the trading block.

The Trolleys outfield is shaping up to be a mighty fine one with two promising rookies on the roster and a stud waiting in the wings down in AAA. Second-year starter 25-year LF Ellis Dibble (.291/.365/.417, 1 HR, 15 RBI, 22 BB, 1.1 WAR – 55/65) has been joined by 23-year old CF Cooper Tyson (.259/.298/.389, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 10 BB, 1.6 WAR – 57/80) and 24-year old RF Gerard Koerner (.320/.378/.477, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 12 BB, 1.1 WAR – 47/66), a 4th-round pick back in 1947-48. If they can get acclimated to the majors, then the Trolleys outfield will be an enviable one. But their top prospect will soon be knocking on the door. 22-year old OF John Oldknow (23/80) was a 2nd-overall pick back in 1946-47 and is thriving in AAA. He is rated 13th overall among all prospects. If he presses the issue, then Pulberry will have another potential logjam. Fortunately, Gerard Koerner is very versatile and can play 1B, 2B and 3B in addition to anywhere in the outfield. The Trolleys are currently weak at 1B and 2B so there should be room for all concerned.

But the Trolleys really need to add quality pitching if they want to contend. 32-year old RHP Lenny Tennison (3-3, 3.55 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 107 ERA+) is the lowest-ranked ace in the United Leagues, but he is as good as it gets right now. They plucked 29-year old LHP Mo Goldstraw (4-6, 4.06 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, 94 ERA+) off waivers back in early October from the Generals, but he is a stopgap at best. Their best pitching prospect is 21-year old LHP Dermott Rathbone (20/51), a 2nd-round pick from 1949-50, but he is still in AA and a long way off.

Player of the Week Awards:

November 13 – SS Roland Binns (.536, 15 H, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 5 R)

Current Injuries: None.

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Offense: .251/.334/.375 (6th/5th/6th)
Pitching: 4.05/4.07/3.91 (5th/5th/4th)
Defense: .706 (5th)
Chemistry: Unhappy

The Kingston Pelicans are also in the throes of a player controversy, as 32-year old C Danny Trowbridge (.294/.395/.385, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 19 BB, 0.9 WAR – 66/66), the main cog of a once mighty franchise has been relegated to back-up. Taking his place is 24-year old C Carlos Camasura (.316/.366/.451, 4 HR, 19 RBI, 11 BB, 1.1 WAR – 62/76). The 2nd-round pick from 1944-45 was Trowbridge’s backup the past three seasons but it appears the Pelicans are prepared to make him their regular starter. It will be interesting to see what Kingston does with this situation – if they do anything at all.

The offense overall has been lacklustre compared to last season, when they led the Western League. 35-year old 2B Katsunan Chikafuji (.310/.441/.466, 5 HR, 14 RBI, 27 BB, 2 SB, 1.8 WAR) is as good as it gets right now.

The pitching staff however, is being bolstered by two strong performances thus far. But both 30-year old LHP Patrick Denman (8-4, 3.38 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 116 ERA+) and 26-year old LHP Dana Listman (4-7, 3.03 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 129 ERA+) could benefit from a more robust offense (not to mention the rest of the pitching staff pulling its weight).

Player of the Week Awards:

October 16 – RF Mo Spenceley (.448, 13 H, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 6 R)
October 20 – C Carlos Camasura (.500, 6 H, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 5 R)

Current Injuries: None.

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Offense: .235/.308/.333 (8th/8th/8th)
Pitching: 4.31/4.18/4.99 (6th/6th/7th)
Defense: .683 (8th)
Chemistry: Unhappy

For those wanting to watch a good train wreck or horror show, the Sherburn Tigers should fit the bill. The Tigers have done a good job at avoiding the acquisition of talent, and it shows on who’s left on their roster.

26-year old C Quim Cypriano (.263/.367/.382, 4 HR, 26 RBI, 25 BB, 1.1 WAR) leads a very weak lineup, and 24-year old 2B Jack Burt (.304/.336/.411, 12-2B, 23 RBI, 10 BB, 0.6 WAR) is in need for some strong bats to follow him in the lineup. 24-year old LF Noah Teale (.220/.296/.335, 3 HR, 27 RBI, 21 BB, -0.1 WAR) has regressed severely from last season and there’s absolutely no prospects down on the farm to help out. With the second weakest farm system in the ULB, its going to be a long-season (if not seasons) in Sherburn.

Two pitchers have performed admirably so far. 26-year old RHP Jesús Chapa (6-5, 3.27 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 120 ERA+) remains one of the top pitchers in the United Leagues (No. 3 overall), while 23-year old RHP Ben Buschlen (5-5, 3.27 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 120 ERA+) is that rare player on the roster who has prospered since joining the Tigers.

Current Injuries:

RHP Lenny Freke – October 16 – herniated disc (back). Out for: 1 day.

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Old 11-26-2018, 08:15 PM   #485
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CAMBRIA, Dec. 6 – The Hotel Severnlea overlooking Cambria’s Cardigan Bay played host to the United Leagues as representatives from each of the sixteen charter members converged in the hotel’s grand ballroom to hold the 14th Annual Amateur Draft. All eyes were on the Pulberry Trolleys as they had the first selection this season. As second-year scouting director Elijah Wedemeyer and his support staff took their place at the Trolley’s drafting table, long-time General Manager Marcus Dejyothin spoke with reporters just before the proceedings began. While acknowledging the depth of talent in this year’s draft class, Dejyothin was reluctant to tip his hand as to which way the Trolleys were leaning.

“There are a number of ways you could go and you wouldn’t be wrong; the class is really that strong“, observed Dejyothin, who was now entering his 14th year as Pulberry’s GM. “But our approach has always been to go with what we feel is the best talent available on the board. And that is even more important now with the first selection overall. We realize this could a game-changer for the franchise, so we are determined to get it right.”

Following the Trolleys with the next two picks were the Hespeler Stars and Queensland Eagles.

Here is a brief overview of the 16 players taken in the first round:

1st Pick – Pulberry Trolleys:



IF/OF Aidan Thirkettle (20/80) – 22-years old; 6’-2”, 200 lbs.; Bats LH/Throws LH.

With a tantalizing field of talent to choose from, the Trolleys ultimately went with the speedy Thirkettle from Wellington. Thirkettle has the chance to be the complete package: a superior talent with outstanding contact, impressive power and an uncanny eye. While versatile, he is projected to be an elite right fielder with game-changing speed.

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2nd Pick – Hespeler Stars:



IF/OF Bill Spaeth (20/80) – 20-years old; 5’-10”, 180 lbs.; Bats RH/Throws LH.

The Stars select the Queensland-native Spaeth, who has above-average contact skills, a smooth swing, quick hands and good pitch recognition. He may never be an elite defender, but he won’t embarrass himself either and has a high ceiling both in the field and at the plate.

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3rd Pick – Queensland Eagles:



RHP Derek Tarn (20/76) – 18-years old; 5’-11”, 165 lbs.; Bats RH/Throws RH.

The Eagles select the first pitcher of the draft, the young Tarn from Wolseley. When fully developed, his repertoire should include an above-average changeup, a sinker with good life and an average curveball. His pitches have plenty of movement that should help keep the ball in the park. He has the potential to be ace one day.

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4th Pick – Sherburn Tigers:



RHP Bradley Strawson (27/73) – 23-years old; 5’-9”, 180 lbs.; Bats RH/Throws RH.

Sherburn also selects a pitcher, this time Strawson from Douro. He boasts five pitches, with a plus sinker as his best. His offerings have plenty of movement to cut down on the long ball. With three quality pitches, he has the potential to one day anchor a rotation. Immediately following the proceedings, Strawson became the first player of the draft class to be promoted to the big-league roster. The Tigers have penciled him in as their No. 5 starter.

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5th Pick – Wellington Athletics:



IF/OF Paul Pateshall (29/71) – 22-years old; 5’-10”, 175 lbs.; Bats LH/Throws RH.

Wellington takes the smart and speedy Pateshall from Balmoral. Pateshall has good pitch recognition who projects to be a .330 hitter with the ability to bunt and steal at will. Although not a defensive whiz, his skills are still above average. Scouts feel he has good potential with a very promising future.

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6th Pick – Cambria Cannons:



IF/OF Doug Martin (20/69) – 18-years old; 6’-0”, 170 lbs.; Switch Hitter/Throws RH.

The host team goes with the strong, lean Doug Martin from Pulberry. Martin should prove to be an aggressive hitter with game-changing speed. While he may never develop into an elite defender, he should be solidly above average in the field and has the potential to be an impact big leaguer one day.

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7th Pick – Balmoral Giants:



IF Erik Perry (20/68) – 22-years old; 5’-11”, 185 lbs.; Bats RH/Throws RH.

Perry’s game should be a well-rounded one with outstanding defense at 2B and excellent speed on the base paths. If he follows through on developing his contact and discipline at the plate, scouts feel the Stratford native can hit .310 at the major league level.

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8th Pick – Brunswick Legends:



SS Jean-Pierre Ferré (20/67) – 21-years old; 5’-10”, 165 lbs.; Bats RH/Throws RH.

The first and only non-Braeland player selected in the first round, the Canadian-born Ferré looks to be a future lead-off hitter if he follows through on his promise. With great contact and ability to lay off bad pitches, Ferré projects to be a .330 hitter and draw 70 walks-a-season. With good defense and speed, the Legends are hoping he will be a future star-caliber shortstop.

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9th Pick – Cobourg Red Stockings:



RHP Brian McDaniel (32/80) – 21-years old; 5’-8”, 165 lbs.; Bats RH/Throws RH.

The Red Stockings take a reliever from Fort Richmond with their first pick of the draft. McDaniel projects to be either a top-flight reliever or stopper, with an off-the-charts curveball and hard cutter. With great command and stamina, McDaniel could also find himself starting on occasion, especially if he were to develop even a modest third pitch.

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10th Pick – Kingston Pelicans:



RHP Lester Beddoes (28/74) – 21-years old; 6’-1”, 195 lbs.; Bats LH/Throws RH.

The Pelicans follow Cobourg’s lead, in taking a reliever in the first round as well. This time, it’s the young Beddoes from the small town of St. Pauls Station. Beddoes’ greatest strength is his movement, which should generate a lot of ground balls and keep the ball in the park. With a sinker with good life and a great slider, he also has the potential to be a top reliever or future stopper.

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11th Pick – Embro Suns:



3B Adrian Flynn (20/70) – 21-years old; 5’-9”, 180 lbs.; Switch Hitter/Throws RH.

Flynn, the second Wellington-native selected in the first round, is an infielder with a nice compliment of offensive skills and decent, if not spectacular, defense at the hot corner. He has improving pitch recognition and could make consistent contact if he fully develops.

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12th Pick – Stratford Barons:



IF/OF Matthew Channing (20/61) – 22-years old; 5’-11”, 180 lbs.; Switch Hitter/Throws RH.

Channing from Downie is an incredibly versatile and capable fielder that can play anywhere in the outfield and most of the infield. With above average contact skills, a smooth swing, quick hands and good pitch recognition, Channing could develop into a .310 hitter to go along with his dazzling speed. The Barons have made him a centerfielder to start things out.

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13th Pick – Fort Richmond Generals:



IF/OF Greg Cusack (25/67) – 22-years old; 6’-1”, 185 lbs.; Bats RH/Throws RH.

The Generals follow the Barons in taking a versatile and speedy defender for their first pick. Cusack, who hails from Stratford, can play anywhere in outfield and may win a few awards. On offense, he has the chance to develop into a solid contact hitter to go along with outstanding bunting skills and game-changing speed.

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14th Pick – Braeland City Monarchs:



RHP Dara Eaddy (20/67) – 18-years old; 5’-10”, 160 lbs.; Bats RH/Throws RH.

The final pitcher selected in the first round is taken by the Monarchs – the young Eaddy from Kingston. Eaddy figures to be solid groundball pitcher with plenty of movement on his changeup, cutter and curveball. With further refinement, he has the chance to become a top-half-of-the-rotation starter.

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15th Pick – Downie Chiefs:



IF/OF Blair Stone (25/63) – 23-years old; 6’-0”, 185 lbs.; Switch Hitter/Throws RH.

Downie selects the very athletic Stone from Queensland. A solid fielder blessed with amazing speed and smarts on the base paths, Stone also has the potential to be an above average hitter, with good contact and some pop. The Chiefs will have him starting in centerfield down in AA.

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16th Pick – Wolseley Unions:



IF Rusty McLaren (20/64) – 19-years old; 5’-11”, 180 lbs.; Bats RH/Throws RH.

With the final selection of the first round, the Unions tab Rusty McLaren from Hespeler. McLaren has an abundance of talent, especially at the plate where his good contact is complimented with power, patience and discipline. Although not projecting to be a great defender, he should nevertheless find a home at 3B and not embarrass himself.

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Here are the standings at the end of games on December 31:

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Old 02-12-2019, 11:55 PM   #486
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December 31, 1950

Looking Back: The 1940-41 Amateur Draft

It’s been a while since I reviewed a previous draft as I felt that it would be better to let a few more seasons go by before trying to make assessments on subsequent drafts. But it now feels like sufficient time has gone by to look back at the 1940-41 Amateur Draft.

Overall, the draft was by no means a bust, as it produced two bona fide stars: a top-20 position player and a pitcher that is currently the top-rated hurler in the ULB. But beyond them, there was a definite ‘ho-hum’ feeling to the rest of the draft. That said, I suspect this draft will look better when it’s compared to the 1941-42 draft (but that will be for another day).

Cream of the Crop:



C Aaron Skidmore – 1st overall pick originally by the Hespeler Stars.

Career: .271/.416/.427, 1221 H, 212-2B, 16-3B, 154 HR, 719 RBI, 710 R, 1148 BB, 714 K, 4 SB, .844 OPS, 135 OPS+, 141 wRC+, 57.4 WAR

Achievements:

• 9-time All-Star
• 1 Babe Ruth Award (1948-49)
• 2 Top Fielder Awards
• 1 All-Star Game MVP honor (1946)
• Eastern League Pennant Series MVP honor (1948-49)
• 2 selections to the All-Braeland Team
• 1 United Cup Championship (1946)

What the original scouting report said:

“Skidmore has plus contact and power potential to go along with tremendous plate discipline. With a little work, he should be a serviceable defensive catcher.”

Comments: Aaron Skidmore spent all of 5 games and 25 at-bats in AA before being promoted to the majors late in the 1940-41 season. He earned four all-star selections while with the Stars before being traded to the Stratford Barons in July 1945 in exchange for two mediocre pitchers (Hespeler also paid $8,300 to the Barons for the privilege!) The trade immediately paid dividends for Stratford, as Skidmore led the Barons to a United Cup Championship in 1945-46, while the Stars have yet to get a sniff of the post-season. Skidmore established himself as one of very best players (not to mention catchers) in the United Leagues, averaging 6.8 WAR per season from 1944-45 to 1949-50. He was bested only by Kingston Pelicans’ C Danny Trowbridge during that span, who averaged 7.97 WAR. While he may be enduring a bit of down year offensively this season, he is still rated 13th overall among all position players and 2nd overall among catchers (behind only Braeland City’s Christopher Dainty).

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RHP Roberto Taváres – 5th overall pick originally by the Sherburn Tigers.

Career: 143-113, 2 SV, 3.27 ERA, 293 GS, 2397.1 IP, 156 CG, 21 SHO, 1.36 WHIP, .286 BABIP, 3.14 FIP, 55.3 WAR, 122 ERA+

Achievements:

• 7-time All-Star
• 1 Satchel Paige Award (1944-45)
• 1 Top Fielder Award
• 1 selection to the All-Braeland Team

What the original scouting report said:

“The 21-year old RHP from Venezuela projects to be another keeper, as Taváres has consistent, above-average stuff, wonderful movement and great command. “

Comments: On October 6, 1941 as he embarked on his rookie season with Sherburn, Taváres was named the No. 1 prospect in the ULB. While he experienced some growing pains that first season (5-10, 2 SV, 5.61 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 4.23 FIP, 71 ERA+), he quickly lived up to that lofty billing. He did so while playing for a team that finished in the second division six times out of the eight seasons he toiled for the Tigers. But along with RHP Jesús Chapa, the Tigers boasted perhaps the most formidable pitching tandem in the United Leagues until he was shipped off to the Fort Richmond Generals after the 1948-49 season. Before that, he won a Satchel Paige award in 1944-45 and was runner-up in 1948-49. Since joining the Generals he shows no signs of slowing down, as he is currently rated the top pitcher in the ULB. And now that he is playing for a playoff-caliber team, his counting stats should only improve. He has more than lived up to his original billing.

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There were a few other players selected in the first round that are enjoying fine careers:



3B Jorge Arredondo – 3rd overall pick originally by the Wolseley Unions.

Career: .289/.357/.417, 1455 H, 211-2B, 74-3B, 96 HR, 643 RBI, 797 R, 542 BB, 417 K, 161 SB, .774 OPS, 112 OPS+, 116 wRC+, 33.4 WAR

Achievements:

• 3-time All-Star
• 1 Top Fielder Award

What the original scouting report said:

“The Cuban-born infielder should be a good although not great hitter. There are concerns over his plate discipline and below average fielding. He should be a proficient base-stealer.”

Comments: It took a few seasons, but Arredondo finally made his presence known during the 1945-46 season, when he racked up 5.8 WAR, batting .319/.382/.465 with 13 HR, 91 RBI, 88 R and 66 BB. But the following year, he slumped badly and the Wolseley Unions shipped him off to the Brunswick Legends for RHP Hun Park. Wolseley would win a United Cup a couple of seasons later, but Arrendondo quickly rebounded, averaging 5.6 WAR over the next three seasons. In addition to earning three all-star selections thus far with Brunswick, Arrendondo has settled in as one of the top third basemen, second only to Cobourg’s Alexander Tolmie and 20th overall among all position players in the ULB.

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C Heung-su Park – 7th overall pick originally by the Fort Richmond Generals.

Career: .295/.361/.449, 1212 H, 232-2B, 32-3B, 113 HR, 560 RBI, 616 R, 414 BB, 175 K, 4 SB, .810 OPS, 131 OPS+, 132 wRC+, 37.8 WAR

Achievements:

• 4-time All-Star
• Hit for the cycle (1947)

What the original scouting report said:

“The South Korean native is projected to be a very good contact hitter with plus-plus power. Not a good runner, he should however be a steady defender behind the plate.”

Comments: Like Arrendondo, it took Heung-su Park a few seasons to find his groove. But starting in the 1944-45 season, he became a model of consistency, averaging 5.4 WAR over the next six seasons. The Generals traded him to the Cambria Cannons after his break-out season for four players that ultimately made no impact in the majors whatsoever. Cambria on the other hand have been set at the catcher position ever since. And while Park is no longer a Top 20 player and is having a bit of a down year, he still ranks 6th among catchers in the ULB.

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LHP Patrick Denman – 11th overall pick by the Kingston Pelicans.

Career: 129-99, 11 SV, 3.45 ERA, 230 GS, 2032.2 IP, 149 CG, 16 SHO, 1.38 WHIP, .277 BABIP, 3.47 FIP, 37.7 WAR, 119 ERA+

Achievements:

• 2-time All-Star
• 1 Satchel Paige Award (1945-46)
• Western League Pennant Series MVP honor (1945-46)
• 1 selection to the All-Braeland Team
• 1 United Cup Championship (1943-44)

What the original scouting report said:

“Great stuff and aggressive, positively filthy movement and superb control. Throws 5 types of pitches, with his splitter and forkball (both 40/50) the best right now. “

Comments: Denman spent a few seasons in the minors before sticking with the big club for good in 1943-44 and winning a United Cup with the Pelicans that season while pitching out of the bullpen. Back in 1941, he was rated the 7th overall prospect and delivered on that promise during the 1945-46 season when he became Kingston’s undisputed ace, setting the record for wins in a single season (27-6, 2.29 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 3.51 FIP, 182 ERA+), a record that still stands. He would win the Satchel Paige Award for his performance and enjoy another excellent season the following year (20-12, 2.92 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 2.75 FIP, 117 ERA+). But while he would finish third for the Satchel Paige Award in both the 1946-47 and 1947-48 seasons, his performance has seen a definite drop-off, coinciding with Kingston’s falling playoff fortunes. While his play has improved this season, it seems his days as a Top 20 pitcher are behind him.

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Biggest Draft Disappointments

There were more than a few players from the first round that I could single out as being out-and-out busts. Here are the ones that stood out for me:



OF Ellis Rothwell – 6th overall pick by the Balmoral Giants.

Career: .291/.327/.372, 187 H, 33-2B, 8-3B, 1 HR, 66 RBI, 77 R, 35 BB, 38 K, 7 SB, .699 OPS, 95 OPS+, 100 wRC+, 2.1 WAR

What the original scouting report said:

“Rothwell has the potential of above-average contact and all-star caliber speed on the base paths. He will not be a power threat and he tends to swing at anything that’s near the plate. He should be a serviceable though not a spectacular fielder.”

Comments: In October 1941 Rothwell was rated the No. 5 prospect in the United Leagues. But one year later, he fell to No. 44. While he earned two AAA all-star selections during that time, injuries began to sap his promise in 1945. Torn biceps, fractured ankles, dislocated fingers and partially torn labrums all took their toll before the Giants traded him to the Hespeler Stars in 1948 in a minor deal. He is now playing for Wolseley’s AAA farm team after becoming a free agent in April 1950, but unfortunately it appears any realistic chance of him getting back to the majors is long gone.

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OF Sean Murchie – 8th overall pick by the Downie Chiefs.

Career: .275/.303/.350, 637 H, 89-2B, 29-3B, 9 HR, 201 RBI, 232 R, 94 BB, 159 K, 55 SB, .653 OPS, 90 OPS+, 88 wRC+, 5.3 WAR

What the original scouting report said:

“Murchie should be a fairly decent singles hitter with solid defense and an excellent base-stealer. As with many prospects in this year’s draft, patience at the plate is not a strong suit.”

Comments: Murchie was promoted to the major league roster early in his career and became Downie’s starting leftfielder for three seasons starting in 1943-44. But he was never able to live up to his lofty draft selection and when OF Howard Dumbrill, a 2nd overall pick from 1943-44 took over in 1946-47, Murchie went by the wayside. Although his skills have not deteriorated to any great degree in the years since he was drafted, Murchie has never been able to translate them into any sustained success. Since his release by the Chiefs back in 1948, he has tried to reboot his career with both the Stratford Barons and Fort Richmond Generals (twice). But he was released each time and is currently a free agent.

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RHP Arthur Collier – 13th overall pick by the Stratford Barons.

Career: No major league statistics.

What the original scouting report said:

“Above-average stuff, positively filthy movement and pretty good command. Throws a fastball (40/50) and a curveball (25/50); but Collier’s changeup is rated as 20/20, so he will need to work on improving it to have a realistic chance of becoming starter.”

Comments: Collier was never able to develop a decent third pitch, and while he remained a Top 100 prospect as late as October 1946, he could never find any consistency, constantly shuttling between Double-A and Triple-A while being part of 5 separate trades between 1941 and 1945. The Fort Richmond Generals have seen fit to sign him to four straight Triple-A contracts, so perhaps there is still an outside chance that Collier will get a taste of the majors before he finally calls it a day.

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Later-Round Standout



LHP Arthur Bence – 37th overall pick (Round 3, Pick 5) originally by the Sherburn Tigers.

Career: 87-80, 8 SV, 3.37 ERA, 177 GS, 1537.0 IP, 91 CG, 13 SHO, 1.29 WHIP, .265 BABIP, 3.68 FIP, 23.5 WAR, 121 ERA+

Achievements:

• 2-time All-Star
• 1 Satchel Paige Award (1946-47)
• 1946-47 Triple Crown

Comments: There really wasn’t a late-round pick from this draft that could be called a true sleeper pick. Two players from the fifth round were potential contenders: C Geoff Lemoine (67th overall pick) and IF Neil Boyle (78th overall pick). Lemoine won the 1942-43 Eastern League Rookie of the Year Award while Boyle earned an All-Star selection (1944-45) and two Top Fielder Awards at second base. But neither enjoyed sustained success and have been fringe players for a number of years.

So for this category, I’ll go with Bence. Two years after his selection, the southpaw was rated the 15th overall prospect and earned his first All-Star selection in 1945-46. But it was after his trade from Sherburn to the Wellington Athletics that saw Bence reach stratospheric heights. Going 22-10, 1.93 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 2.89 FIP, 173 ERA+ in 1946-47, Bence not only won the Eastern League Satchel Paige Award, but also the Triple Crown (20 wins, 1.09 ERA, 142 K). Although he has not come close to that incredible performance before or since, he has remained a steady No. 3-type starter. His career continues with the Embro Suns, who acquired him in a trade back in January 1950.
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January 9, 1951

Eastern All-Stars Win a ‘Scorcher’ in the Nation’s Capital



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Braeland City, Perth (BP) – With clear, blue skies and afternoon temperatures shooting up to 85F, the Eastern All-Stars hosted their Western counterparts at Kings Park in Braeland City. A full house of 27,000 was on hand under the unrelenting skies to witness the Easterners take the 14th annual All-Star Game, their 8th victory in the annual mid-season classic and their second in a row.

Despite the respective League’s very best hurlers taking the hill, it was the bats that made the most noise, scorching the pitchers in the early going and racking up 15 runs on 24 hits collectively. But the heat also got the fielders as well as a record five errors were committed, four by the ‘home’ team. (It surpassed the four errors made in the 1948 All-Star game).

“They weren’t fooling them today, that’s for sure”, opined Eastern League manager, Bill Bouchet of Downie, on the pitchers’ lack of success. “Fortunately, our guys were able settle down quicker and hold off [the Western League’s] hitters until we had built up a lead. Otherwise, hit could have been a longer day that it was.”

On a day that saw 19 different batters collect at least a hit, Player of the Game honors went to Cobourg Red Stockings’ CF Raymond Williams, who hit a triple and drew a walk, collecting 2 runs and 3 RBI over four innings of work (and one official at-bat). He’s the first Red Stocking to win Player of the Game honors in an All-Star game since three-time all-star Matthew Lane did it exactly 10 years ago.

“Yeah, it’s a pretty cool moment,” acknowledged Williams, after accepting his honor. “You always want to make a positive impact of some kind, whether it’s a hit or a great catch or whatever.” When asked if the hot weather had any impact on the game or not, Williams replied, “It didn’t for me. Whether the sweltering heat was affecting the pitcher’s grip on the ball though, I couldn’t say. But it seemed everyone was seeing the ball very well today, so maybe there’s something to it.”

Below is a summary of the notable plays:

Bottom of the 1st:
RHP Roberto Taváres gets the start for the Westerners, but receives a rude welcome by his Eastern counterparts. Stratford’s Patrick Lidgate and Stratford’s Jake Walker lead off with back-to-back singles, putting runners on the corners. Next up is Cobourg’s Raymond Williams who smacks a line drive triple into right field, cashing in both runners. With one out, Brunswick’s venerable Stuart Bentham bloops a single just fair into shallow left field, scoring Williams for the East’s third run.
Western League 0 – Eastern League 3

Top of the 2nd:

The West responds right away as Wellington’s RHP Scott Wheeler takes the hill for the second inning.
With two out, Wheeler gives up back-to-back walks to Kingston’s Katsunan Chikafuji and Roberto Taváres before Fort Richmond’s Dylan Moyne reaches 1B safely on an infield hit, loading the bases.
Manager Bill Bouchet then gives the hook to Wheeler in favor of Wellington’s RHP Finlay Capstick.
But a throwing error by SS Jake Walker and a single by Balmoral’s Carlton Broadbent score three runs before the inning is over.
Western League 3 – Eastern League 3

Bottom of the 2nd:

Downie’s Dominic Dudding leads off with a first-pitch single, causing manager Tony Fay to bring in Wolseley’s LHP Axel MacKay to replace Taváres. But a four-pitch walk to Patrick Lidgate and back-to-back sac flies by Jake Walker and Raymond Williams scores Dudding, returning the lead back to the Easterners.
The East adds another run when Wellington’s Matthew Floyd draws a full-count walk and Stuart Bentham singles in Lidgate from 2B.
Western League 3 – Eastern League 5

Bottom of the 3rd:

Sherburn’s Ben Buschlen gives up a lead-off double to Brunswick’s Marcus Peyto. With two out, Patrick Lidgate singles into shallow left-centerfield. Peyto dives into 3B, but CF Dylan Moyne throws the ball away, allowing Petyo to score.
Western League 3 – Eastern League 6

Bottom of the 4th:

The West’s pitching woes continue when Fort Richmond’s RHP José Rodríguez walks Raymond Williams and hits Downie’s Howard Dumbrill to lead off the inning. Although Queensland’s Ryan Conisford hits into a 4-6-3 double play, Williams reaches third base on the play and scores on Cobourg’s Alexander Tolmie’s first-pitch double. Downie’s Alfonso León then singles home Tolmie for the East’s 8th run.
Western League 3 – Eastern League 8

Bottom of the 5th:

Facing Balmoral’s RHP Rodrigo González with two out, Howard Dumbrill crushes the first pitch he sees for a solo home run, 390 ft. into the right-centerfield bleachers.
Western League 3 – Eastern League 9

Top of the 8th:

Brunswick’s RHP Lao Chen takes the mound for the East to start the inning. Kingston’s Carlos Camasura battles Chen for nine pitches before drawing a walk to lead off. With one out, Wolseley’s Make-make Kamaka doubles, putting runners on the corners. Chen is then replaced by Cobourg’s LHP William Say.
But Cambria’s Wenceslas Jasmin draws a four-pitch walk to load the bases. Wolseley’s Éric Denis then singles home both Camasura and Kamaka.
Up next is Fort Richmond’s Nobuyoshi Yoshida, who doubles home Jasmin.
With Denis at 3B, Pulberry’s Gerard Koerner launches a fly ball to dead centerfield. Denis breaks for home, but a tremendous throw by CF Howard Dumbrill cuts down Denis at home plate to end the inning.

In the top of the 9th, the Westerners try to keep the momentum going when Wolseley’s Carlos Ortíz singles and Pulberry’s Roland Binns reaches safely on an error with two out. But LHP William Say induces a 3-1 groundout from Cambria’s Edmund Boswell to end the threat and the game.
FINAL: Western League 6 – Eastern League 9

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Here are the complete All-Star rosters:

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February 1, 1951

Eastern League: Suns, Chiefs Surge; Monarchs ‘Scrap’ Paige





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Offense: .289/.357/.419 (1st/3rd/1st)
Pitching: 3.64/3.59/3.97 (3rd/2nd/4th)
Defense: .706 (4th)
Chemistry: Content

Baseball fans in this most easterly of the United League cities are holding their collective breath, as their Cobourg Red Stockings have taken over top spot in the Eastern League with just 48 games left to play in the regular season. Never before have the Red Stockings been this competitive this late in the season. But they will have to fend off the likes of the Embro Suns and defending United Cup champions Downie Chiefs, who are both surging in the second half of the season. The closest the Red Stockings have come to reaching the playoffs was back in 1946-47, when they won 81 games and finished one game back of the Brunswick Legends for the wildcard. But this year, Cobourg boasts a nicely balanced team that appears to have everything in place to finally end their 13-year playoff drought.

The offense is led by the Big Three: 24-year old CF Raymond Williams (.324/.399/.543, 16 HR, 77 RBI, 48 BB, 7 SB, 4.9 WAR), 29-year old 3B Alexander Tolmie (.331/.421/.499, 14 HR, 62 RBI, 62 BB, 4.5 WAR) and 25-year old 1B Harry Doxey (.346/.390/.527, 11 HR, 74 RBI, 33 BB, 4.3 WAR). But the rest of the lineup has been pretty consistent all season long as well.

There’s no question who is Cobourg’s pitching ace, as 22-year old LHP Bill Budd (13-7, 2.70 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 146 ERA+) has started to blossom and is now rated No. 8 among all pitchers in the United Leagues. His assumption as the No. 1 starter has taken pressure off 30-year old RHP Luis Cruz (11-8, 3.04 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 130 ERA+), who continues his steady play for the second consecutive season. But the apparent emergence of 27-year old LHP Hank Bennett (13-6, 3.90 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 101 ERA+) in his second full season as a starter gives further cause for optimism that Cobourg may finally reach the playoffs.

Six Red Stockings qualified for the All-Star game: SP Bill Budd (1st appearance), SP Luis Cruz (1st), RP William Say (1st), 1B Harry Doxey (2nd), 3B Alexander Tolmie (4th) and CF Raymond Williams (4th).

Player of the Week Awards:

December 11 – 1B Harry Doxey (.556, 20 H, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 9 R)
December 25 – 1B Harry Doxey (.452, 14 H, 2 HR, 8 RBI)
January 15 – 3B Alexander Tolmie (.526, 10 H, 3 RBI)

Noteworthy:

December 20 – The 18th CYCLE in ULB history was achieved by Cobourg’s 1B Harry Doxey against Embro, helping the Red Stockings defeat the Suns 4-2. Doxey singled in the 1st, hit a solo-shot off RHP Jim Hogue in the 3rd, hit an RBI double in the 5th, struck out in the 7th and hit an RBI triple in the 9th. In all, he drilled 4 hits in 5 at-bats, collecting 3 RBI, 1 R.



Current Injuries: None

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Offense: .264/.357/.406 (4th/2nd/3rd)
Pitching: 3.87/3.71/4.80 (5th/4th/7th)
Defense: .698 (6th)
Chemistry: Happy

A much-improved starting rotation has helped the Embro Suns move into the wild card spot, just 3.5 games back of Cobourg. The Suns have been laying low over the past four seasons, going 302-314 over that span. This season they are on pace for 82 wins. But with such a competitive field in the East and only 10 games separating first from worst, that may not be enough to return to the playoffs.

24-year old LHP Carl McBroom (8-5, 3.15 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 125 ERA+) has moved up to the No. 3 spot in the rotation. He has improved with each passing month and appears set to deliver on the promise the Suns had in him when they drafted him 6th overall back in 1944-45. His emergence now gives Embro three solid starters in the rotation, to go along with 31-year old RHP Aaron Saunderson (11-10, 3.50 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 112 ERA+) and 31-year old LHP Arthur Bence (11-9, 3.34 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 118 ERA+). But unless the bullpen improves its overall play, the Suns will be vulnerable.

27-year old SS Rafael De La Cruz (.326/.400/.464, 11 HR, 50 RBI, 49 BB, 13 SB, 3.8 WAR) has emerged this season as Embro’s top offensive player. But the lineup appears to be in flux. With 36-year old 1B Jim Friend (.264/.393/.436, 14 HR, 61 RBI, 68 BB, 2.1 WAR) no longer the dominant offensive force he once was, the Suns do not have a Top 20 position player. Thus the club is hoping that their young promising stars, such as 25-year old 3B Keon-chae Cho (.272/.343/.407, 11 HR, 66 RBI, 40 BB, 2.1 WAR) and 24-year old RF José Maldonado (.287/.381/.470, 13 HR, 46 RBI, 60 BB, 8 SB, 2.0 WAR) can return to the form they showed last season, when they earned 4.0 and 4.1 WAR respectively.

Three Suns were selected as All-Stars: SP Arthur Bence (3rd), SS Rafael De La Cruz (1st) and RF José Maldonado (3rd).

Player of the Week Awards:

January 22 – LF Rizalino Ringor (.524, 11 H, 2 HR, 4 RBI)

Noteworthy:

January 19 – Almost a month after Cobourg’s Harry Doxey achieved it, Rizalino Ringor (.272/.431/.388, 6 HR, 33 RBI, 89 BB, 2.1 WAR) hit for the CYCLE as well, the 19th in ULB history. Going 4 for 5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 3 R, he helped the Suns trounce the Queensland Eagles 12-3. Ringor hit an RBI triple in the 1st, singled in the 3rd, flied out in the 4th, doubled in the 6th and hit a solo home run off RHP Harvey Heseltine in the 8th.



Key Trade: January 26 with the Braeland City Monarchs:

To Embro – 31-year old CF Ricardo Castellanos (42/42) and 20-year old minor league SS Tom Ewin (20/30)
To Braeland City – 25-year old 3B On Tsao (48/48)

Knee-jerk reaction: One of four trades made by the Monarchs leading up to the January 31st deadline, this deal sees the 4-time all-star Castellanos head to Embro to add some outfield depth and playoff experience. He will serve as the Suns’ fourth outfielder, while Ewin has a decent chance of one day becoming a bench player in the majors, with average offense at best to go along with solid defensive skills at shortstop. Embro deemed Tsao expendable as they have promoted their top prospect, 22-year old Moromao Nakagawa (34/66 – rated No. 2 overall prospect) to the major league roster with the view of having the Braeland City-born Nakagawa take over the hot corner one day soon.

With Tsao on board, the Monarchs have him platooning 3B with 25-year old IF Andy Mack (.282/.331/.429/, 8 HR, 48 RBI, 20 BB, 1.5 WAR). For now, Tsao will face RHP, while Mack will be in the lineup against LHP.



Current Injuries: None

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Offense: .256/.350/.384 (7th/4th/5th)
Pitching: 4.08/4.22/3.47 (6th/6th/2nd)
Defense: .708 (3rd)
Chemistry: Unhappy

The Brunswick Legends have started to fade a bit in the Eastern League standings, after sporting the best record in the ULB after the first two months. That was largely due to an overachieving rotation, so their recent struggles are not entirely unexpected. But with the race in the East tightening and a playoff spot still in play, the Legends decided to go ‘all-in’ by beefing up their pitching with a couple of veteran acquisitions.

But the Legends appear to have a keeper in 23-year old RHP Kent Dundon (14-6, 3.28 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 121 ERA+), who came on strong in both December and January, winning back-to-back Pitcher of the Month honors. The New Zealand native was originally a 4th overall pick by the Hespeler Stars back in 1946-47 and has moved up to the No. 2 spot in the rotation. Brunswick also boasts one of the top bullpens, led by No. 1-rated stopper, 29-year old RHP Lao Chen (9-2, 11 SV, 3.25 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 122 ERA+).

34-year old 1B Stuart Bentham (.355/.440/.561, 19 HR, 70 RBI, 59 BB, 4.3 WAR) continues to perform at a high level on offense. He remains the top-ranked first baseman and leads the East in SLG (.561) and OPS (1.001).

Three Legends were selected to the All-Star game: CL Lao Chen (2nd), 1B Stuart Bentham (10th) and RF Marcus Peyto (5th).

Noteworthy:

December 12 –6-time All-Star LF Terry Aspden (.205/.352/.315, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 15 BB, 0.1 WAR) announced that he is retiring at the end of the season. The 14-year veteran, who spent the first 6-1/2 years of his career with the Queensland Eagles before being traded to Brunswick in January 1944, won two Top Fielder Awards while with the Eagles and a United Cup Championship in 1944-45 with Brunswick. To this point he has career line of .276/.370/.423 with 117 HR, 780 RBI, 888 R, 826 BB, 57 SB, 27.3 WAR. In 126 AB over 35 playoff games, Aspden batted .310/.400/.437, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 21 R, 21 BB. While not a serious Hall of Fame contender, he nevertheless has enjoyed a fine career.



Key Trade No. 1: January 19 with the Stratford Barons:

To Brunswick – 33-year old RHP Kelvin Hutchinson (53/53)
To Stratford – Two minor leaguers: 19-year old CF Mo Brinklow (20/49) and 20-year old RF Arthur Horton (20/30)

Knee-jerk reaction: The first of two trades made with the Barons sees Stratford’s No. 3 starter become Brunswick’s ace. The one-time all-star has had a respectable, if not great, career. The former 7th overall pick from 1937-38 is a groundball pitcher who should benefit from having an above-average defense supporting him. Although his four pitches are nothing special (his fastball is the best at 45/45), he can throw them all for strikes.

In return, Stratford gets two players originally drafted in the mid-rounds. Brinklow is a speedster with decent defense at centerfield while Horton also has impressive instincts on the base paths to go along with great pitch recognition. But both will need some further refining in the minors if they hope to have a shot at reaching the majors.



Key Trade No. 2: January 24 with the Stratford Barons:

To Brunswick – 32-year old RHP Charlie Gilbert (55/55) and 21-year old minor league C Tim Willey (20/30)
To Stratford – 26-year old OF Lance Oakley (31/38)

Knee-jerk reaction: Brunswick acquires another starter from Stratford looking for a fresh start. Gilbert, a two-time all-star, had his greatest success with the Kingston Pelicans, who drafted him 16th overall back in 1939-40. But in recent years he has struggled and was pitching out of Stratford’s bullpen at the time of the trade. He is now Brunswick’s No. 4 starter. He is also a groundball pitcher who has nice movement (60/60), but everything else about him is average. Willey was the final pick in the 1948-49 draft (16th pick; Round 10). He has no speed and is barely average defensively; but has a keen batting eye with good bat speed and barrel control. He has a chance to be a bench player one day.

Oakley is a former 1st-round pick from 1945-46, but a torn ligament back in 1948 put him out of commission for almost 10 months and dampened his progress. But the Wagga Wagga, Australia native still has incredible defensive and base running skills. While he has good strike zone judgment, he is not viewed as an everyday starter. He becomes the Barons’ fourth outfielder, just as he was with Brunswick.



Current Injuries: None

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Offense: .260/.343/.384 (5th/6th/6th)
Pitching: 3.60/3.63/3.45 (1st/3rd/1st)
Defense: .714 (2nd)
Chemistry: Unhappy

The Downie Chiefs came alive in January to get within a game and a half of the wildcard. The Chiefs have seen improved play all across the board, but the pitching staff in particular really stepped it up to bring the team back to relevance. But then disaster struck. Downie’s top two starters, Kelii Pelanekelina and Joong Ling, both fell to injury two weeks apart in January. A day after Ling went down, 35-year old RHP Harley Bracher (7-11, 1 SV, 4.90 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, 79 ERA+) was injured. While the loss of Bracher may be addition by subtraction, it meant that the Chiefs were faced with replacing three-fifths of their rotation only days away from the trade deadline. In the end, Downie opted not to seek reinforcements via trade, but used other means to tide them over until their stars return from the DL. First, Downie brought up 28-year old journeyman RHP Virgil de Gilde (6-3, 3.13 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 123 ERA+) from AAA when Pelanekelina went down, then promoted 27-year old career minor league RHP Dexter Blackstock (20/20) when Ling was lost. Lastly, they claimed 35-year old LHP Gavin Hewat (9-11, 4.46 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 88 ERA+) off waivers from the Brunswick Legends, after that club acquired their two new pitchers from Stratford. Hewat now serves as their No. 1 starter for the time being.

But if Downie wants a realistic chance of returning to the playoffs and defend their crown, they will need to get back their top two starters soon. Both 28-year old RHP Kelii Pelanekelina (8-9, 2.33 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 165 ERA+) and 31-year old RHP Joong Ling (8-4, 2.77 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 139 ERA+) continue to be two of the top pitchers in the Eastern League this season, with Pelanekelina leading the League in eight pitching categories.

After slow Octobers (for them), 25-year old CF Alfonso León (.345/.403/.560, 15 HR, 74 EBI, 42 BB, 6.2 WAR) and 25-year old 2B Dominic Dudding (.332/.411/.534, 13 HR, 69 RBI, 55 BB, 5.3 WAR) have really turned it on and are two of the hottest players in the United Leagues right now.

Six Chiefs were selected as All-Stars: SP Joong Ling (2nd), SP Kelii Pelanekelina (3rd), RP Bill Lafontaine (2nd), 2B Dominic Dudding (4th), LF Howard Dumbrill (2nd) and CF Alfonso León (4th).

Player of the Week Awards:

December 4 – 2B Dominic Dudding (.706, 12 H, 1 HR, 5 RBI)
December 18 – CF Alfonso León (.435, 10 H, 1 HR, 5 RBI)

Current Injuries:

RHP Kelii Pelanekelina – January 14 – elbow contusion. Out for: 2 more weeks
RHP Joong Ling – January 25 – oblique strain. Out for: 2 to 3 more weeks.
RHP Harley Bracher – January 26 – hamstring strain. Out for: 4 more weeks.

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Offense: .253/.358/.357 (8th/1st/8th)
Pitching: 4.44/4.33/5.35 (8th/7th/8th)
Defense: .690 (8th)
Chemistry: Content

Despite the tightness of the standings in the East, it appears that the Stratford Barons have no interest in competing this season, having traded two of their long-time pitchers away to Brunswick. That may not be such a bad idea. A number of the Barons’ once prominent players are approaching the end of their careers. While 38-year old 2B Jake Walker (.353/.456/.443, 2 HR, 55 RBI, 72 BB, 3.6 WAR) continues to play at a high level, both 42-year old LHP Ryan Borden (5-10, 4.30 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 91 ERA+) and 40-year old LHP Joel Fearn (11-9, 4.14 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 95 ERA+) are finally showing signs of regression, after years of stellar play. Between them, they have compiled 448 wins, 13 all-star appearances, three Satchel Paige Awards and were members of two United Cup Championship teams. Borden was also selected to two All-Braeland Teams. The two pitchers have been rotation partners for 12 straight seasons. If this is the end for both of them, it’s been an incredible run.

To replace pitchers Kelvin Hutchinson and Charlie Gilbert that were traded away, the Barons moved 24-year old RHP Bill Wolf (8-6, 3 SV, 5.35 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 73 ERA+) from the bullpen to the No. 5 slot in the rotation and promoted 22-year old LHP Robin Wadsworth (42/64) from AAA to be their middle reliever. Wadsworth was a 16th overall pick back in 1948-49.

Two Barons qualified for the All-Star team: C Aaron Skidmore (10th) and 2B Jake Walker (11th).

Player of the Week Awards:

January 8 – RF Nicky Willis (.542, 13 H, 3 HR, 9 RBI)
January 29 – 2B Jake Walker (.542, 13 H, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 6 R)

Noteworthy:

December 22 –2B Jake Walker saw his 22-game hitting streak come to an end when he went 0-4 against the Brunswick Legends. Nevertheless, the Barons prevailed 8-6 in enemy territory at Babe Ruth Park. It’s the longest hitting streak thus far this season.



Current Injuries:

2B Jake Walker – January 29 – strained hamstring. Out for: DtD, 2 to 3 more weeks.

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Offense: .259/.334/.377 (6th/8th/7th)
Pitching: 3.79/3.80/3.72 (4th/5th/3rd)
Defense: .705 (5th)
Chemistry: Happy

Far from being left behind in the standings, the Queensland Eagles have company. While the Wellington Athletics and Braeland City Monarchs have regressed, the Eagles have been making modest improvements. That is starting to show in the standings. Queensland played .500 ball over December/January and their Pyt. Record has them at 54-54 (-3). They are only 7.5 games back of a wildcard and given the parity currently in the East, anything is possible. But it appears the Eagles are more focused on developing their young budding stars first before taking a serious stab at returning to the playoffs.

On that front, things seem to be going well. Two of their three all-stars this season are rookies: 24-year old 1B Ryan Conisford (.328/.384/.498, 15 HR, 65 RBI, 37 BB, 3.9 WAR) and 24-year old LF Rod Dennis (.339/.380/.498, 7 HR, 34 RBI, 20 BB, 1.9 WAR). Of the four Rookie of the Month honors handed out thus far this season, Conisford has won three and Dennis, one. But it’s not all about the greenhorns. 32-year old C Elijah Sheppard (.281/.374/.431, 11 HR, 52 RBI, 50 BB, 3.0 WAR) is enjoying his best season in three years.

The pitching staff continues to make modest improvements, thus giving hope to the Eagles’ fan base. While 33-year old RHP Pi-ao Quian (12-9, 3.47 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 112 ERA+) continues his consistent ways, 25-year old RHP Logan Belsey (7-13, 4.11 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 94 ERA+) and especially 23-year old RHP Stiofan Micklethwait (8-11, 3.65 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 106 ERA+) are improving as the season wears on.

Three Eagles qualified for the All-Star game: SP Pi-ao Quian (5th), 1B Ryan Conisford (1st) and LF Rod Dennis (1st).

Current Injuries: None

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Offense: .272/.342/.405 (2nd/7th/4th)
Pitching: 3.63/3.46/4.44 (2nd/1st/6th)
Defense: .722 (1st)
Chemistry: Happy

Wellington Athletics’ management must be pulling the hairs out of their heads right now, as they seem to be doing everything right but are not seeing the expected results in the standings. Wellington was still near the top of the standings at the end of December, but a disastrous January has knocked them for a loop. That month included an 8-game losing streak. Nevertheless, their overall play has actually improved over the course of the season. One clue to the disparity may be found in their Pyt. Record: 61-47 – a whopping difference of -10. And of their 18 losses last month, 9 of them were by a single run. So hopefully things will turn in the Athletics favor soon, as they have assembled a talented team and they are by no means out of the race in the East.

Whether it’s via the draft, trade market or free agency, GM Rick Stewart seems to have the Midas touch. Draft selections such as 23-year old LF Matthew Floyd (.304/.361/.541, 21 HR, 72 RBI, 37 BB, 4.5 WAR) and 22-year old C Declan Bugbie (.318/.352/.478, 10 HR, 85 RBI, 21 BB, 3.7 WAR) are both building on impressive rookie seasons. And players acquired by trades, such as 25-year old CF Jim Mars (.316/.380/.476, 9 HR, 63 RBI, 42 BB, 3.4 WAR) and 26-year old RHP Troy Conlin (7-9, 3.59 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 108 ERA+) are quickly becoming key pieces. Finally, free agent pick-up 24-year old 2B Vaiga Bultarro (.325/.374/.493, 7 HR, 56 RBI, 30 BB, 3.8 WAR) has firmly entrenched himself at second base in his second full season with Wellington. The American Samoan is rated 4th overall among all second basemen in the ULB.

Six Athletics were elected to the All-Star game: SP Scott Wheeler (1st), RP Finley Capstick (2nd), C Declan Bugbie (1st), 2B Vaiga Bultarro (1st), LF Matthew Floyd (1st) and CF Jim Mars (1st).

Key Trade: January 23 with the Hespeler Stars:

To Wellington – 30-year old RHP Ian Peter (50/50)
To Hespeler – 26-year old RF Edgardo Barrón (38/39)

Knee-jerk reaction: When No. 3 starter 28-year old RHP Wilfried Schop (9-6, 3.21 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 121 ERA+) went down to injury in early January, GM Stewart saw an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. By getting Peter (10-8, 3.82 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 103 ERA+), the Athletics not only acquired a capable veteran pitcher to fill in the gap, but also unloaded a player that no longer fits into their plans. Barrón (.277/.349/.383, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 22 BB, 0.9 WAR) enjoyed a couple of strong seasons with Wellington in 1946 and 1947, but then quickly declined offensively. He was the odd man out in the outfield the past couple of seasons with the arrival of LF Matthew Floyd, CF Jim Mars and RF Wayne Emmert. But Barrón is still an award-winning defender with tremendous speed and decent offense ratings. So perhaps a ‘change of scenery’ will help him get back on track.



Current Injuries:

RHP Wilfried Schop – January 3 – sprained ankle. Out for: 3 more days.
RHP Bert Morrow – January 26 – herniated disc. Out for: 1 more week.

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Offense: .269/.347/.415 (3rd/5th/2nd)
Pitching: 4.43/4.51/4.10 (7th/8th/5th)
Defense: .691 (7th)
Chemistry: Happy

Give General Manager Adam Trelawny this much: when things didn’t transpire the way he had hoped, he didn’t waste any time changing course. As a result, the Braeland City Monarchs not only ended the Satchel Paige experiment after just 4 months, but also completed three other trades that have substantially changed the make-up of the team. The decline of the pitching staff began late last season, and although the Monarchs made the playoffs, they had to settle for the wildcard after holding down first place for most of the season. After they were swept by the Downie Chiefs in the Pennant Series, Trelawny imported Satchel Paige during the offseason in the hopes that the legendary hurler could spark the rotation for at least another playoff run. But the 44-year old Paige (7-12, 4.56 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 87 ERA+) never got comfortable and the problems plaguing the team were more than one pitcher could solve. Now the team appears set on rebuilding on the fly. On offense, they boast some of the finest talent in the United Leagues and added to it via trades. But the pitching staff will need to see a significant infusion of talent if Braeland City wants to get back to the playoffs sooner rather than later.

Despite the upheaval, the Monarchs are blessed with an incredible core of talent in the lineup. 25-year old 2B Patrick Lidgate (.292/.373/.505, 17 HR, 67 RBI, 52 BB, 4.0 WAR) is enjoying another outstanding season, while 28-year old C Christopher Dainty (.356/.464/.505, 7 HR, 46 RBI, 62 BB, 5.1 WAR), 27-year old 1B Dean Witherden (.351/.391/.514, 15 HR, 56 RBI, 29 BB, 3.6 WAR) and 29-year old SS Simon Flatt (.269/.368/.434, 10 HR, 49 RBI, 59 BB, 3.0 WAR) are all enjoying career years.

But only 29-year old RHP Okura Suzuki (11-9, 3.78 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 105 ERA+) can be said to pitching with any consistency this season. With the trades, he inherits the No. 1 spot in the rotation.

Four players represented the Monarchs at the All-Star game: SP Okura Suzuki (2nd), C Christopher Dainty (3rd), 1B Dean Witherden (3rd) and 2B Patrick Lidgate (2nd).

Key Trade No. 1: December 23 with the Fort Richmond Generals:

To Braeland City – 26-year old LF Jesús Rodríguez (51/51)
To Fort Richmond – 25-year old IF Derek Reed (42/44)

Knee-jerk reaction: A trade that benefits both teams and both players. Rodríguez and Reed were utility players for their respective clubs but after the trade they have become everyday players. Rodríguez is a smart and speedy baserunner with decent defence on the outfield corners. His ratings suggest he should be a formidable hitter, but with a crowded outfield in Fort Richmond, he had difficulty cracking the lineup. That shouldn’t be an issue in Braeland City, at least for now, where he has been slotted into the No. 3 spot in the lineup between Witherden and Lidgate. But the Monarchs will have a decision to make when 25-year old OF Daniel Tantoco (2.96/.326/.482, 13 HR, 29 RBI, 8 BB, 1.1 WAR) returns from the DL.

Reed is an outstanding infield defender with moderate speed and good contact skills. However, he does not have quite the same offensive abilities as Rodríguez. But he is now the Generals’ starting second baseman as it appears they have lost patience with 27-year old IF Brad Richards (.237/.327/.295, 1 HR, 17 RBI, 35 BB, 0.7 WAR).



Key Trade No. 2: January 28 with the Fort Richmond Generals:

To Braeland City – 26-year old LF Jake Stunt (50/50)
To Fort Richmond – 30-year old LHP Nicholas Grimes (57/57)

Knee-jerk reaction: With the departure of CF Ricardo Castellanos two days earlier to Embro, Braeland City installs Jake Stunt as their new leftfielder and lead-off hitter. Stunt is an award-winning defender at leftfield with tremendous speed. He has respectable offensive ratings but had been regressing since he racked up 3.8 WAR two seasons ago. The Monarchs are banking that a fresh start will do him good. With Stunt’s departure, Fort Richmond has shifted 23-year old Daniel Paterson (.288/.348/.495, 14 HR, 57 RBI, 29 BB, 2.0 WAR) to leftfield and given 29-year old Brian Earle (.222/.290/.289, 1 HR, 13 HR, 6 BB, -0.2 WAR) another chance to become their everyday starting first baseman.

Grimes strengthens an already strong pitching staff and will serve as Fort Richmond’s No. 3 starter. Grimes is a workhorse with very good movement and control. 24-year old RHP Danilo Narvaez (2-0, 2.13 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, .229 BABIP – 28/42), a second-round pick from 1945-46, was promoted from AAA to take his place in the Monarchs’ rotation.



Key Trade No. 3: January 30 with the Kingston Pelicans:

To Braeland City – 29-year old LF Luca Bewick (47/47)
To Kingston – 44-year old RHP Satchel Paige (56/56)

Knee-jerk reaction: Despite the embarrassment of shipping off Paige to Kingston after having made a big splash of bringing him to Braeland, the Monarchs nevertheless bit the bullet and moved on. Paige moves on to a team that enjoyed a strong January (16-9) and is now 6 games out of a playoff spot. Kingston has installed him as their No. 3 starter. Despite his struggles, Paige is still a capable pitcher with good control and an eclectic assortment of pitches. 25-year old OF Benjamin Nishikawa (.266/.309/.484, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 4 BB, -0.1 WAR – 29/29) takes over leftfield from Bewick full-time. Nishikawa was a 16th overall pick back in 1944-45.

Meanwhile, Bewick becomes Braeland City’s everyday rightfielder. Bewick is a two-time all-star with good defense, decent speed and respectable offense. He was regressing a bit with Kingston the past couple of seasons, but he too gets a fresh start with a new team. To replace Paige in the rotation, the Monarchs promoted their top pitching prospect, 23-year old RHP Taylor Folkard (27/50), a 16th overall pick from 1949-50. He is rated 49th overall among prospects and takes over the No. 5 spot.



Current Injuries:

RHP Freddie Trerise– January 4 – torn elbow ligament. Out for: 6 to 7 more months.
LF Daniel Tantoco – January 6 – fractured foot. Out for: 1 more week.

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Old 03-02-2019, 01:52 AM   #489
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February 1, 1951

Western League: Unions Dominate; Race for Wildcard is ‘On’





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Offense: .280/.359/.428 (1st/1st/1st)
Pitching: 3.61/3.53/4.14 (3rd/4th/2nd)
Defense: .698 (7th)
Chemistry: Happy

The Wolseley Unions are on pace for their second consecutive first place finish, after going 37-16 over the past two months, dramatically separating themselves from the rest of the pack. Based on record, they are by far the most dominant team in the United Leagues and the only Western League team to boast a winning record against the East, going 16-8 thus far (the Pulberry Trolleys are next with a 12-12 record). But they will face an interesting test starting in February as the Unions spend the entire month on the road playing the Eastern League teams. The first three games are against the Cobourg Red Stockings followed by three against the Downie Chiefs, two of the hottest teams in the Eastern League. Adding to the challenge is that they will be without their No. 2 starter, 27-year old RHP Jeremy Albury (13-9, 3.35 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 119 ERA+) who is lost for the season with a torn labrum suffered in the 5th inning in a game against the Pulberry Trolleys on January 29 (the Unions won 7-0). 33-year old RHP Hun Park (1-0, 1 SV, 3.07 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 129 ERA+) takes his place in the rotation.

The lineup is strong almost from top to bottom, with only 28-year old CF Howard Ockey (.237/.319/.349, 6 HR, 45 RBI, 43 BB, 1.1 WAR) having a down year. The offense is still led by 29-year old LF Carlton Hawking (.316/.448/.559, 21 HR, 67 RBI, 88 BB, 4.6 WAR) and 26-year old C Éric Denis (.341/.400/.469, 9 HR, 56 RBI, 33 BB, 4.2 WAR). But 21-year old rookie 3B Carlos Ortíz (.364/.421/.617, 11 HR, 44 RBI, 23 BB, 2.7 WAR) has not only established himself as the third-best rated third baseman in the United Leagues, but has also emerged as a leader in the clubhouse, something the Unions have seriously lacked. He was a free agent signing from Venezuela last year.

But all eyes will be on the pitching staff to see how they respond to the loss of SP Albury. 34-year old LHP Anastasio Rodríguez (10-11, 3.14 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 126 ERA+) is still one of the top-rated pitchers in the ULB (neck and neck with Fort Richmond’s RHP Roberto Taváres) but is having a bit of a down year, especially compared to his award-winning campaign last season. And the remaining stalwarts in the rotation have been up and down from month to month this season, namely 25-year old LHP Axel Mackay (10-6, 3.55 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 112 ERA+), 31-year old RHP Kai Tosh (12-4, 3.83 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 104 ERA+) and 32-year old RHP Bill Blair (8-6, 3.95 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 100 ERA+). But having a stronger defense playing behind them wouldn’t hurt either.

Seven players were selected to the All-Star game: SP Jeremy Albury (3rd), SP Axel MacKay (1st), CL John Palm (10th), C Éric Denis (4th), 2B Make-Make Kamaka (1st), 3B Carlos Ortíz (1st) and LF Carlton Hawking (6th).

Player of the Week Awards:

December 25 – SS George Kimpton (.438, 14 H, 1 HR, 6 RBI)

Current Injuries:

January 29 – RHP Jeremy Albury – torn labrum. Out for: 4-5 more months.

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Offense: .263/.337/.389 (3rd/3rd/4th)
Pitching: 3.34/3.29/3.75 (1st/2nd/1st)
Defense: .720 (1st)
Chemistry: Ecstatic

Despite the Fort Richmond Generals being a remarkably balanced team, they have fallen 9.5 games back of Wolseley and have played barely .500 baseball since October, going 41-37. Thus the trades to bring in 30-year old LHP Nicholas Grimes (9-12, 4.16 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 95 ERA+) and 25-year old IF Derek Reed (.313/.333/.383, 1 HR, 19 RBI, 7 BB, 0.5 WAR) from Braeland City to try and bolster the roster. But whether they can help the Generals hang onto the wildcard spot much less catch the Unions remains to be seen.

With Grimes on board, the Generals now have four pitchers in the rotation that are rated in the Top 20. But while 31-year old RHP Roberto Taváres (15-7, 2.54 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 151 ERA+ - 1st overall) and 28-year old RHP Ch’ang-chieh Li (10-9, 2.77 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 139 ERA+ - 6th) are living up their billing this season, Grimes (7th) and 28-year old RHP Nicky Sherlock (11-11, 3.62 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 106 ERA+ - 13th) are having their struggles.

The more serious concern though is on offense. While not terrible by any means, the lineup is not as robust as it could or should be. Only two players are standouts this season: 26-year old SS Nobuyoshi Yoshida (.336/.388/.440, 7 HR, 53 RBI, 34 BB, 5.1 WAR) and especially 29-year old C Louis Wearne (.302/.399/.643, 29 HR, 73 RBI, 50 BB, 5.5 WAR), who is enjoying the best season of his seven year career. Wearne also has an outside chance of breaking the season home run record of 39, set last season by Kingston’s Dean Bishop. Wearne needs 11 more home runs over the next 47 games to break it.

Eight Generals were selected to this year’s All-Star game: SP Ch’ang chieh Li (3rd), SP Roberto Taváres (8th), CL José Rodriguez (3rd), C Louis Wearne (3rd), 1B Daniel Patterson (1st), 2B Nobuyoshi Yoshida (2nd), CF Dylan Moyne (5th) and RF Brandon Robinson (3rd).

Current Injuries: None.

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Offense: .255/.329/.361 (7th/6th/7th)
Pitching: 3.40/3.20/5.21 (2nd/1st/6th)
Defense: .712 (2nd)
Chemistry: Unhappy

With the recent struggles of the Fort Richmond Generals, the wild card chase is now wide open. Among the teams benefiting from that is the Balmoral Giants. The Giants do not have the lineup to seriously compete with the other playoff contenders in the West, but their pitching staff, particularly the rotation, has been one of the best in the United Leagues this season.

Their three top starters are in the ULB’s Top 20: 31-year old LHP Ricardo Cruz (12-9, 3.18 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 123 ERA+) and 26-year old RHP Quintiliano Galeo (9-12, 3.53 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 111 ERA+) are rated Nos. 4 and 11 respectively. But the big story has been 25-year old RHP Rodrigo González (16-7, 2.52 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 155 ERA+), who is rated 19th overall. González is enjoying a phenomenal sophomore season and has pitched himself into the Western League Satchel Paige Award conversation. Not bad for someone who was drafted in the 7th round back in 1944-45.

To his credit, 33-year old LF Carlton Broadbent (.307/.365/.492, 13 HR, 56 RBI, 29 BB, 1.7 WAR) has really turned it on offensively over the past two months, after a slow start to the season. But other than Broadbent, only 25-year old C Dominic Pipard (.294/.366/.390, 5 HR, 37 RBI, 38 BB, 2.8 WAR) and 24-year old RF Roy Belknap (.265/.322/.404, 9 HR, 56 RBI, 34 BB, 1.4 WAR) are making any significant contribution on offense.

The Giants sent three players to the All-Star game: SP Ricardo Cruz (1st), SP Rodrigo González (2nd) and LF Carlton Broadbent (9th).

Player of the Week Awards:

January 8 – LF Carlton Broadbent (.417, 10 H, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 8 R)
January 29 – LF Carlton Broadbent (.462, 12 H, 3 HR, 9 RBI)

Key Trade: January 7 with the Stratford Barons:

To Balmoral – 34-year old RHP Denzel Vyse (56/56)
To Stratford – 24-year old minor league RHP Dylan Cluett (20/20)

Knee-jerk reaction: Balmoral’s bullpen has been lagging behind the strong play of their rotation. With that said, it’s hard to see how the addition of Vyse will improve things appreciably. Vyse is a ten-year veteran with good movement and only so-so stuff, with his best pitch being his sinker (55/55). He has been up and down from season-to-season, and this season has been a ‘down’ one for him. Add the fact that he has ego issues that can have a negative impact in the clubhouse and you have to question the wisdom of the trade on Balmoral’s part.

With the departure of Vyse, the Barons have promoted 22-year old LHP Robin Wadsworth (42/64) from triple A. Cluett, a 5th round pick from 1947-48, becomes the Barons third-best pitching prospect. He is a borderline starter with poor stuff and control, good movement and a decent cutter.



Current Injuries:

September 24 – SS Francisco Rodríguez – Bone chips (elbow). Setback – required surgery in November. Out for: 1 more day.

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Offense: .267/.336/.401 (2nd/4th/2nd)
Pitching: 3.62/3.40/4.62 (4th/3rd/4th)
Defense: .709 (4th)
Chemistry: Happy

A strong December propelled the Cambria Cannons into a tie for the wildcard with the Fort Richmond Generals, but a poor January prevented them from taking it over. The Cannons appear to a team that is a year or two away from seriously competing for a playoff spot, but a weak field in the West after the Wolseley Unions could see Cambria sneak in earlier.

Like the Giants, the Cannons have an unexpected pitcher in contention for the Satchel Paige Award. 27-year old LHP Jamie Wigley (12-8, 2.23 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 174 ERA+) has simply been outstanding in his second full year in the majors. He leads the Western League in 6 pitching categories. But the club is also enjoying the blossoming of 21-year old LHP Bill Southern (6-1, 1.94 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 200 ERA+), who has moved up to the No. 4 spot in the rotation. Southern pitched a 4-hit shutout against the Braeland City Monarchs in his last start (Cambria won 4-0).

30-year old SS César Ruíz (.321/.404/.578, 16 HR, 66 RBI, 47 BB, 4.5 WAR) remains head and shoulders above his teammates as well as one of the best players in the entire United Leagues. But 24-year old 1B Carlos Correa (.297/.343/.483, 17 HR, 47 RBI, 29 BB, 2.2 WAR) and 27-year old LF Edmund Boswell (.266/.341/.498, 15 HR, 58 RBI, 33 BB, 1.9 WAR) continue to progress.

Five Cannons headed off to the All-Star game: SP Jamie Wigley (1st), 1B Carlos Correa (1st), 2B Wenseslas Jasmin (7th), SS César Ruíz (2nd) and LF Edmund Boswell (1st).

Noteworthy:

January 5 – 33-year old C Heung-su Park (.265/.364/.429, 11 HR, 40 RBI, 50 BB, 2.7 WAR) showed flashes of his old self when he went 5 for 5 against Pulberry, helping his club defeat the Trolleys, 6-5. Park hit an RBI single in the 1st, singled in the 3rd and 5th, hit an RBI single in the 7th and singled in the 9th.

January 25 – To 34-year old 2B Wenceslas Jasmin (.326/.405/.393, 2 HR, 25 RBI, 51 BB, 3.2 WAR), his first inning single against the Braeland City Monarchs was just another hit. But for those that keep track of such things, it was much more. Facing SP Okura Suzuki in the top of the 1st, Jasmin connected for his 2000th hit, a 3-1 single into centerfield. He becomes the 7th player to reach that plateau. Jasmin would go 2 for 5 on the day. But the Monarchs got the last laugh, defeating the Cannons, 4-3.



Current Injuries:

November 29 – RHP Reece Leavers – partially torn labrum. Out for: 8 more weeks.
January 7 – SS César Ruíz – oblique strain. Out for: 5 more days.
January 31 – SS George Lasseter – elbow inflammation. Out for: 2-3 more weeks.

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Offense: .256/.340/.381 (6th/2nd/6th)
Pitching: 4.12/3.93/5.11 (5th/5th/5th)
Defense: .703 (5th)
Chemistry: Happy

The Kingston Pelicans were sinking in the Western League standings until a red-hot January catapulted them back into the wildcard chase. Like Balmoral and Cambria just ahead of them, the Pelicans are a flawed team that have a chance to taste the post-season if the Fort Richmond Generals continue to flounder. While Kingston made some moves to try and bolster their playoff push, the trade deadline came and went without dealing their disgruntled former star catcher, 32-year old C Danny Trowbridge (.285/.387/.354, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 27 BB, 1.1 WAR – 57/57). Trowbridge has not made any trade demands, so it appears the Pelicans are content to relegate him to being a little used backup. At any rate, it would be interesting to see how he would fare as a starter for another team in need of a catcher.

On the other hand, his replacement is certainly justifying his place as the starting catcher and No. 3 hitter in the lineup. 24-year old C Carlos Camasura (.338/.405/.45, 8 HR, 47 RBI, 36 BB, 3.9 WAR – 67/72) is rated No. 3 overall among catchers and is one of two Kingston players rated in the Top 20 overall among position players (No. 13). The other, 35-year old 2B Katsunan Chikafuji (.317/.422/.571, 20 HR, 60 RBI, 50 BB, 4.5 WAR), is rated 15th and is enjoying his best season in 5 years. But the rest of the offense has been lacklustre. After a sensational season when he set a new record for home runs in a single season, 36-year old 1B Dean Bishop (.215/.371/.415, 14 HR, 68 RBI, 68 BB, 1.9 WAR) has regressed severely, perhaps for good.

But there’s really no one on the pitching staff that inspires enough confidence to think that the Pelicans can make a serious push for the playoffs. 30-year old LHP Patrick Denman (13-8, 3.44 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 115 ERA+) and 26-year old LHP Dana Listman (10-11, 3.32 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 119 ERA+) are the only consistent pitchers on the staff. But they are now joined in the rotation by a 44-year old RHP Satchel Paige (7-12, 4.56 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 87 ERA+), so we’ll have to see how that pans out.

Two Pelicans made the All-Star team: C Carlos Camasura (1st) and SS Katsunan Chikafuji (11th).

Player of the Week Awards:

January 15 – 2B Katsunan Chikafuji (.421, 8 H, 3 HR, 9 RBI)

Noteworthy:

January 29 – The Pelicans were overwhelmed by the Sherburn Tigers this day, losing 13-6. But the Tigers could not figure out Kingston’s Carlos Camasura all afternoon, as the catcher went 5 for 5. Camasura hit an RBI single in the 1st, hit a two-run double in the 2nd, singled in the 4th, hit a solo home run of RHP Ben Buschlen in the 7th and singled in the 9th.



Current Injuries:

January 13 – LHP Phil Wiebe – torn back muscle. Out for: 4 more months.
January 26 – SS Ryoma Hakui – foot contusion. Setback. Out for: 1 more week.

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Offense: .258/.332/.389 (5th/5th/3rd)
Pitching: 4.58/4.45/5.36 (8th/8th/8th)
Defense: .702 (6th)
Chemistry: Unhappy

As anticipated, the Hespeler Stars have tumbled hard since their 17-13 October. Right now, it’s difficult to get optimistic about their short term future, as the team as a whole is so underwhelming in terms of talent and direction. General Manager Roy King has been at the helm of the franchise for its entire existence, and next to GM Marcus Dejyothin of Pulberry, it’s hard to find a more scattershot and aimless management performance than his.

The pitching staff is a complete mess, with 26-year old RHP Stephen Tindall (9-9, 3.97 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 100 ERA+) displaying any sort of competence. 24-year old LHP Larry Kovnats (7-11, 4.41 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 90 ERA+) appeared to be making some modest improvements in December and January, but now he is gone for rest of the season due to injury.

27-year old SS Zhao-hui Qian (.327/.383/.507, 16 HR, 55 RBI, 41 BB, 8 SB, 4.5 WAR) remains the lone stand-out on offense. But it’s not simply by default – Qian is one of the top shortstops (No. 3) in the United Leagues and is enjoying his best season by far. Another positive is the play of 23-year old CF John McMurray (.267/.317/.434, 8 HR, 49 RBI, 25 BB, 6 SB, 1.7 WAR). The 19th overall-rated prospect continues to grow in the No. 4 spot in the lineup. But alas, there is very little else to get excited about on this squad.

Two players represented the Stars are the All-Star Game: SS Zhao-hui Qian (1st) and LF Bart Warwick (3rd).

Player of the Week Awards:

December 11 – SS Zhao-hui Qian (.500, 11 H, 2 HR, 5 RBI)

Key Trade: January 7 with the Queensland Eagles:

To Hespeler – 33-year old RHP Francisco López (47/47)
To Queensland – 34-year old IF/OF Hao Wang (33/33)

Knee-jerk reaction: López (4-8, 3.39 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 116 ERA+), a former 9th overall pick back in 1940-41 is a fairly decent pitcher with average stuff and control to go along with very good movement (55/55). He was Queensland’s No. 5 starter at the time of the trade, but will now pitch in the No. 3 spot with Hespeler. Queensland has promoted 23-year old Gael Yule (20/39) from AAA to take his place in the rotation. Yule was a 6th-round pick back in 1948-49.

For López, Hespeler gave up very little, as Wang (.260/.340/.406, 6 HR, 29 RBI, 28 BB, 0.6 WAR) is no longer an everyday player. He is currently the backup to Queensland’s all-star rookie, 24-year old LF Rod Dennis.



Current Injuries:

January 8 – LHP Miles van den Bogaert – torn flexor tendon. Out for: 5 more months.
January 14 – RHP Rodney Gabrielson – sore elbow. Out for: Dtd; 5 more days.
January 26 – LHP Larry Kovnats – radial nerve decompression surgery. Out for: 5-6 more months.

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Offense: .260/.324/.384 (4th/7th/5th)
Pitching: 4.41/4.42/4.36 (6th/7th/3rd)
Defense: .713 (3rd)
Chemistry: Unhappy

Although the Pulberry Trolleys are not sitting at the bottom of the standings, they are sure playing like it. January was capped off with a 2-10 skid, and their Pyt. Rec. of 41-67 is the worst in the United Leagues. They have recently switched to ‘rebuild’ from ‘neutral’, but it has seemed that they have always been in rebuild mode.

The pitching staff is pitiable, composed entirely of castoffs from other teams. Only 33-year old RH relief pitcher Morgan Tice (5-2, 3 SV, 3.32 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 116 ERA+) is pitching with any competency.

Things are a little brighter on offense, where the club boasts some fine young talent. 23-year old rookie CF Cooper Tyson (.262/.312/.436, 9 HR, 29 RBI, 29 BB, 3.6 WAR - 58/80) bounced back nicely in January (.283/.333/.547), after he struggled in November and December (.239/.293/.390). And 23-year old 3B Makani Kahale (.304/.335/.450, 9 HR, 41 RBI, 21 BB, 5 SB, 2.7 WAR - 60/69) is nicely progressing in his second season in the majors.

Five Trolleys were selected to the All-Star Game: RP Morgan Tice (2nd), 2B Gerard Koerner (1st), 3B Makani Kahale (1st), SS Roland Binns (6th) and CF Cooper Tyson (1st).

Player of the Week Awards:

January 22 – LF Ellis Dibble (.571, 12 H, 3 HR, 8 RBI)

Current Injuries:

January 29 – LHP Allan Fidge – strained forearm. Out for: 5 more weeks.

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Offense: .251/.314/.359 (8th/8th/8th)
Pitching: 4.50/4.31/5.35 (7th/6th/7th)
Defense: .689 (8th)
Chemistry: Feuding

With the Sherburn Tigers it’s become utter chaos, as the team has hit rock bottom and it does appear that things will change for the better any time soon. The Tigers just do not have any stand out talent on their roster and there’s not much on the horizon either.

Sherburn does have a decent tandem at the top of the rotation in 27-year old RHP Jesús Chapa (10-10, 3.41 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 116 ERA+) and 24-year old RHP Ben Buschlen (12-9, 3.28 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 121 ERA+), but that’s it.



On offense, there are a few players that are contributing at least something. 24-year old 2B Jack Burt (.307/.350/.435, 0 HR, 51 RBI, 28 BB, 2.3 WAR) has been consistent, but he appears to be ill-suited as a No. 3 hitter. 26-year old C Quim Cypriano (.270/.344/.407, 9 HR, 55 RBI, 35 BB, 2.0 WAR) is enjoying a season that is practically a carbon copy of last year. And while it is modest, 27-year old RF Louie Pate (.306/.346/.443, 8 HR, 50 RBI, 20 BB, 1.4 WAR) is having his best season yet in his 5-year career.

One young player on the roster though will be interesting to watch. 25-year old IF/OF Bill Sharkey (.282/.316/.395, 6 HR, 28 RBI, 14 BB, 7 SB, -0.1 WAR) was selected in the Rule 5 draft last June from the Cobourg Red Stockings and is on Sherburn’s major league roster. Sharkey was originally a 12th overall pick back in 1947-48, but did not see a lot of playing time with the Red Stockings. Since joining the Tigers, his offense has been very promising, but he has been atrocious defensively in centerfield (-7.5 ZR). Fortunately, Sherburn has just shifted him over to first base where he has felt more comfortable playing in the past. So it will be interesting to see if he thrives there from here on out.

SP Ben Buschlen (1st) was the lone Tiger selected to the All-Star Game this year.

Player of the Week Awards:

December 4 – 2B Jack Burt (.583, 14 H, 7 RBI)
December 18 – C Quim Cypriano (.625, 10 H, 2 HR, 6 RBI)

Current Injuries:

January 13 – RF Javier Serrano – elbow tendinitis. Out for: 1-2 more weeks.

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Old 03-19-2019, 09:47 PM   #490
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Old 03-22-2019, 10:50 PM   #491
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March 26, 1951

Eastern League: Chiefs, Suns Playoff Bound





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It was a tale of two halves for the Downie Chiefs, as the team struggled to a 38-43 record from October to December, then went 49-24 the rest of the way to take top spot in the East for the second year in a row. They were easily the hottest team in the United Leagues over the final three months, with the Fort Richmond Generals next with 44 wins.

Downie’s offensive leaders remained the same, but they both reached stratospheric heights this season. 25-year old CF Alfonso León (.342/.407/.611, 32 HR, 126 RBI, 71 BB, 6 SB, 9.7 WAR) enjoyed perhaps the greatest season ever by a player in the history of the United Leagues, surpassing the single-season WAR mark of 9.31 originally set by Kingston’s Danny Trowbridge in 1945-46. He also set a new season record for Total Bases with 366. The old mark of 361 was held by Hall of Fame member Okura Ito, achieved back in 1938-39. In all, León led the Eastern League in seven offensive categories and finished second in three others.

But 25-year old 2B Dominic Dudding (.335/.423/.559, 23 HR, 109 RBI, 87 BB, 6 SB, 8.1 WAR) was no slouch either, leading the East in Runs (119) and second only to León in WAR. With León and Dudding batting 3rd and 4th in the lineup respectively, they comprise the most formidable one-two punch in the United Leagues today.

Biggest Surprise:

When Downie’s ace 28-year old RHP Kelii Pelanekelina (9-11, 2.87 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 137 ERA+) was lost to injury back in January, the Chiefs called upon 28-year old RHP Virgil de Gilde (11-5, 3.40 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 116 ERA+) to take his place. de Gilde performed admirably in his time in the rotation, going 4-0, 2.76 ERA, 1.39 WHIP in February alone. It was a sweet ride for the journeyman pitcher, who has spent most of his time in the minor leagues. Originally signed out of The Netherlands by the Queensland Eagles to a minor league contract in May 1939, de Gilde was once rated No. 27 overall among prospects in the ULB as late as October 1945, but was never able to stick with a major league club. Although a member of the 1946-47 United Cup Champion Queensland Eagles, he saw his greatest major league action after he was claimed off waivers by the Embro Suns in June 1947. Starting 27 games that season, he went 11-11, 5.20 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, 81 ERA+. Returning to the minor leagues, he eventually signed on with the Downie Chiefs in April 1950. Selected in the Rule 5 draft by the Fort Richmond Generals in June of that year, he was returned to the Chiefs in October before getting his break this past January. Unfortunately, de Gilde will not be on the Chiefs’ playoff roster, as they have stuck with 35-year old RHP Harley Bracher (8-13, 5.04 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 78 ERA+), for reasons that are not clear to me.



Player of the Week Awards:

February 5 – 2B Dominic Dudding (.571, 12 H, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 6 R)
March 5 – CF Alfonso León (.440, 11 H, 3 HR, 6 RBI)

Current Injuries: None.

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The Embro Suns remained within striking distance of a playoff spot all season long and made their push in the final two months. Facing the Cobourg Red Stockings in a critical four-game road series to end the season, the Suns lost the first game 4-3 to fall two games back of Cobourg for the wild card. But Embro came storming back to take the last three games (7-6, 5-4 and 6-2) to capture their first playoff appearance in five seasons.

The offense enjoyed the emergence and resurgence of 28-year old SS Rafael De La Cruz (.320/.397/.449, 15 HR, 65 RBI, 68 BB, 15 SB, 4.8 WAR) and 28-year old LF Rizalino Ringor (.302/.451/.454, 13 HR, 58 RBI, 124 BB, 6 SB, 4.1 WAR) respectively. Ringor enjoyed a fantastic 1943-44 season with the Wolseley Unions (5.6 WAR) before leaving to serve in the Braeland Armed Forces in World War II. Returning in time for the 1945-46 season, he struggled to regain his form before being traded to Embro in August 1948. Last season was his best in years (3.8 WAR) and he continued to improve this season.

The pitching rotation is developing a sturdy top three. 31-year old RHP Aaron Saunderson (19-12, 3.29ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 122 ERA+) enjoyed a nice bounce-back season, while 25-year old LHP Carl McBroom (14-7, 3.31 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 122 ERA+) and 31-year old LHP Arthur Bence (15-13, 3.35 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 120 ERA+) provided able support.

Biggest Surprise:

28-year old SS Rafael De La Cruz was signed by the Suns as free agent out of Columbia with high hopes that he would develop into one of the top shortstops in the ULB. That did not happen in his first four seasons, but it appears his fifth year is the charm. De La Cruz earned his first selection to the All-Star Game this year and finished in the Top 3 in singles (143) and stolen bases (15). If he can just shore up his wobbly defense (.947 PCT, 4.52 RNG, -6.8 ZR, .957 EFF, 34 E), then he should become the complete player Embro was banking on when they signed him.



Noteworthy:

March 18 – 36-year old 1B Jim Friend (.277/.393/.442, 18 HR, 92 RBI, 91 BB, 3.0 WAR) joined elite company in the ULB, becoming the 8th player to reach 2000 hits. He follows Cambria Cannons 2B Wenceslas Jasmin, who reached the milestone back in January. Friend went 2 for 3 with 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB in Embro’s 9-5 win over the Stratford Barons. Facing the Barons’ RHP Alberto León, Friend got his 2000th hit when he singled for the second time in the game, driving in the 5th run of Embro’s decisive 6th inning that broke open a 1-1 tie.



Current Injuries:

March 23 – LHP Carl McBroom – neck stiffness. Out for: DtD; one more day.

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A disastrous February ultimately sunk the Cobourg Red Stockings, as the club fell from first to fourth place. Although they recovered in March and held onto the wild card with four games to go, they dropped 3 of 4 games to Embro, handing the Suns the wild card. It’s the second time in four years that they have come up a win short of ending their playoff drought (they finished one game back of the Brunswick Legends in 1946-47). Although their 83-71 record is their best mark yet, it’s providing little comfort considering how Cobourg was in the driver’s seat and squandered it.

The reason for the collapse is no mystery, as the pitching staff faltered down the stretch. However, 30-year old RHP Luis Cruz (15-11, 2.98 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 135 ERA+) enjoyed his second solid season as Cobourg’s ace, winning his first All-Star selection. And 22-year old LHP Bill Budd (19-12, 3.15 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 128 ERA+) is on the cusp of stardom.

Their offense has long been their calling card and this season was no different. 24-year old CF Raymond Williams (.328/.418/.576, 30 HR, 121 RBI, 88 BB, 12 SB, 8.1 WAR) enjoyed another sensational season where he finished in the Top 5 in twelve offensive categories. Remarkably he is rated only the second-best centerfield and position player in the United Leagues, as Downie’s CF Alfonso León topped all players this season. But he wasn’t the only one, as 25-year old 1B Harry Doxey (.347/.388/.513, 16 HR, 105 RBI, 48 BB, 5.6 WAR) enjoyed his best season yet and is second only to Brunswick’s Stuart Bentham as the top first baseman in the ULB.

Biggest Surprise:

29-year old 3B Alexander Tolmie (.334/.421/.525, 24 HR, 101 RBI, 91 BB, 6.7 WAR) has often been the forgotten member of Cobourg’s offense the past couple of seasons. Selected first overall back in 1942-43, Tolmie appeared to be on the cusp of great things when he put up 5.5 WAR in 1947-48, his fourth season in the bigs. But he inexplicably regressed the following year. But this season he broke out of his funk and earned his first All-Star selection in three years. He is the top-rated third baseman in the United Leagues, ahead of Brunswick’s Jorge Arrendondo.



Player of the Week Awards:

February 26 – CF Raymond Williams (.480, 12 H, 3 HR, 12 RBI)

Noteworthy:

February 11 – 22-year old LHP Bill Budd (19-12, 3.15 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 128 ERA+) delivered what proved to be the second-best pitching performance in the United Leagues this season when he 1-hit the Kingston Pelicans, leading his team to a 6-0 victory. Budd went 9 innings, giving up just a lone single to SS Charlie Cockin with two out in the 8th inning. His game score was 89. Just nine days later, Nicky Sherlock of the Fort Richmond Generals would surpass it with a score of 90.

March 4 – The Red Stockings had a field day against the Queensland Eagles, defeating them 12-4 on 17 hits in the Eagles’ home park. Five of those hits came off the bat of 29-year old SS John Medley (.316/.395/.422, 5 HR, 62 RBI, 82 BB, 26 SB, 3.7 WAR) who went 5 for 6 with 2 R on the day. Cobourg’s lead-off hitter singled in the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 6th innings, tripled in the 8th and grounded out in the 9th.

Current Injuries:

March 3 – RHP Ramón Ortíz – torn UCL. Out for: 5-6 more months.
March 16 – 2B Gijsbert Jacobse – strained oblique. Out for: Dtd, one more week.
March 22 – RHP Fergus Hirst – bicep tendinitis. Out for: One more week.

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The Brunswick Legends continue to progress, enjoying their first winning record in four seasons and their best mark since 1946-47, when they also won 82 games and reached the playoffs. Although they started off quick in October and November, boasting the best record in the ULB, they could not keep it up despite adding some veteran arms before the trade deadline. But their farm system is getting stronger (4th overall) and they have some fine players on the roster. But with their top players now in their thirties and an overall lackluster pitching staff, it’s hard seeing them returning to being the dominant team they once were anytime soon.

Outside of a few young pitchers, the Legends’ staff is rather non-descript. 23-year old RHP Kent Dundon (15-13, 3.95 ERA, 1.69 WHIP, 103 ERA+) won back-to-back Pitcher of the Month honors in December/January but really struggled after that, going 1-7, 5.61 ERA, 1.97 WHIP in his final 10 starts. On the other hand, 23-year old Mhelter Pilapil (13-9, 3.95 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 103 ERA+) bounced back from a rough January (0-3, 6.11 ERA) with a 5-0, 3.92 ERA February. If both can find some consistency, then Brunswick might crash the playoff party next season. In the bullpen, 29-year old RHP Lao Chen (11-3, 15 SV, 2.76 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 147 ERA+) stands alone. Chen has quickly established himself as one of the best relievers/stoppers in the United Leagues in just his second season. The Tiawanese Chen signed a minor league contract with Brunswick back in 1947.

The stalwarts on offense remain the same. 34-year old 1B Stuart Bentham (.348/.442/.554, 27 HR, 97 RBI, 95 BB, 6.0 WAR) still ranks as the top-rated first baseman in the ULB. Although 29-year old 3B Jorge Arredondo (.285/.385/.440, 21 HR, 87 RBI, 97 BB, 15 SB, 5.4 WAR) was not quite the force he was last year, he’s rated behind only Cobourg’s Alexander Tolmie among second basemen. The No. 1 right-fielder in the United Leagues, 30-year old RF Marcus Peyto (.291/.392/.507, 24 HR, 93 RBI, 92 BB, 4.2 WAR), enjoyed a nice bounce-back season.

Biggest Surprise:

Acquired in the off-season in a trade that saw 34-year old LHP Anastasio Rodríguez shipped out to Wolseley, 23-year old rookie C Armando López (.256/.386/.356, 4 HR, 61 RBI, 87 BB, 3.3 WAR) was not expected to start the season off with the big club. But Brunswick must have liked what they saw in spring training, as they moved the non-roster invite onto their 25-man roster and he never looked back. Soon, veteran C 34-year old Maurice Evans was traded to Wellington and López was entrenched as their everyday catcher. In return, the Legends got their strongest performance from the position since Evans’ 1945-46 season. López has great strike zone recognition, a quick bat and decent defensive skills. It will be interesting to see how he progresses from here on out.



Player of the Week Awards:

February 12 – RF Marcus Peyto (.375, 9 H, 3 HR, 9 RBI)
March 12 – 1B Stuart Bentham (.462, 12 H, 3 HR, 10 RBI)

Current Injuries:

February 1 – RHP Kelvin Hutchinson – torn UCL. Out for: 7 more weeks.

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It’s telling just how mediocre the Eastern League was this season when the Stratford Barons, who ranked from 6th to 8th in no less than 16 batting and pitching categories (last place in nine categories alone), still managed to finish the season with a winning record and just 6 games out of a playoff spot. The Barons gave up slightly more runs (760) than they scored (753) and hovered around the .500-mark all season. But the fact remains, this is a team that is getting long in the tooth and things will probably get worse before they get better. The Barons have the 5th strongest farm system, but I’m not sure if it’s strong enough to fill the many holes on the roster that will soon appear.

The stalwarts on the team mostly had down years, especially pitchers 42-year old LHP Ryan Borden (5-14, 4.68 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 86 ERA+) and 40-year old LHP Joel Fearn (16-11, 4.23 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 95 ERA+), and at their age, it doesn’t appear that’s a trend that will change. Even 31-year old C Aaron Skidmore (.256/.420/.408, 14 HR, 86 RBI, 126 BB, 5.2 WAR) had a down year and 27-year old LF Roberto Ríos (.254/.386/.359, 8 HR, 49 RBI, 110 BB, 11 SB, 3.4 WAR) regressed for the third straight year, after earning 8.1 WAR back in 1947-48. Only 38-year old 2B Jake Walker (.351/.465/.465, 7 HR, 86 RBI, 112 BB, 5.3 WAR) maintained his level of excellence at the plate, winning his first Eastern League Batting Title.



Biggest Surprise:

But there is optimism for this team for sure. 24-year old RHP Magtanggol Jaojoco (20-12, 3.83 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 105 ERA+) is shaping up to become Stratford’s ace of the future. But 21-year old rookie CF Sherwin Carasig (.301/.360/.445, 11 HR, 91 RBI, 52 BB, 2.8 WAR) made others stand up and take notice when he made the team out of spring training and looked comfortable at the plate all season long while acclimating himself in centerfield. His hard work paid off when he was recognized as Rookie of the Month in March.



Current Injuries:

February 28 – LHP Ryan Borden – Biceps strain. Out for: 1-2 more weeks.

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The Wellington Athletics may have been a team that was treated cruelly by fate this season (their Pyt. Rec. this season was 86-68, a difference of -12), but they did themselves no favors by slumping badly in both January and March (a combined 16-32) and effectively eliminated themselves from the wild card chase in a very evenly matched East. One step they can take to improve is being more competitive on the road next season. They were a lousy 29-48, the second-worst road record in the United Leagues (Pulberry was 27-50).

But a look at the individual parts makes one believe that Wellington’s future should be much rosier. Despite not having any elite pitchers, the pitching staff led the East in a slew of categories, getting solid performances out of 24-year old RHP Bert Morrow (11-9, 3.26 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 122 ERA+), 26-year old RHP Troy Conlin (12-12, 3.45 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 115 ERA+) and 28-year old RHP Wilfried Schop (12-8, 3.02 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 131 ERA+). And now with 30-year old veteran RHP Ian Peter (14-13, 3.56 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 114 ERA+) on board since a trade in late January, the staff should continue their steady ways next season.

The offense was uneven throughout the season, but that was mostly due to youth and inexperience in the lineup. The Athletics have a core of young talent that should soon rival anything the best teams in the United Leagues have to offer. Former first-overall pick 23-year old LF Matthew Floyd (.312/.369/.553, 30 HR, 113 RBI, 54 BB, 11 SB, 6.7 WAR) is a superstar in just his second season and sophomore 23-year old C Declan Bugbie (.317/.351/.489, 15 HR, 109 RBI, 30 BB, 5.2 WAR) is an all-star himself. Add the incredible rookie season by 25-year old CF Jim Mars (.325/.395/.481, 12 HR, 82 RBI, 66 BB, 5.2 WAR) who got stronger as the season wore on and the promise shown by 23-year old rookie RF Wayne Emmert (.239/.316/.356, 7 HR, 53 RBI, 50 BB, 1.3 WAR) and it’s not hard to predict great things for this ball club going forward.

Biggest Surprise:

Second-year 2B Vaiga Bultarro (.300/.354/.434, 8 HR, 78 RBI, 46 BB, 4.0 WAR) made his mark in the United Leagues this season, just two years after signing with the Athletics out of American Samoa. Although the 24-year old slumped towards the end of the season, Wellington should be set at second base for years to come. Bultarro is an above average batter where consistent contact should be his calling card. He is blessed with phenomenal speed (70-70-75) and was outstanding in the field this season (.988 PCT, 5.75 RNG, +10.0 ZR, 1.037 EFF).



Noteworthy:

February 12 – He may be only a rookie, but CF Jim Mars has already made quite an impression in the United Leagues, earning his first selection to the All-Star Game and picking up Rookie of the Month honors for February. He also put the longest hitting streak of the season, going 23 games. It ended when he went 0-3 with 1 BB against the Balmoral Giants. Nevertheless, the Athletics prevailed 3-1.

Current Injuries:

February 24 – RHP Gavin Duckering – oblique strain. Out for: one more week.

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After six months of baseball, it’s safe to say that the road to the United Cup will not run through Braeland City this season. General Manager Adam Trelawny’s attempt to try and patch up a troubled pitching staff with a 44-year old Satchel Paige (11-16, 4.11 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 98 ERA+) for another playoff run proved to be short-sighted and merely delayed the inevitable. Trelawny began the tear-down before the trade deadline, but he is largely left with a team that is blessed with an abundance of talent in the lineup and a dearth of quality arms.

30-year old RHP Okura Suzuki (16-11, 3.90 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 104 ERA+) is a two-time all-star but is not someone you want to anchor a rotation long-term. The only young arms in the organization with any promise are two raw rookies: 23-year old RHP Taylor Folkard (4-2, 5.30 ERA, 1.85 WHIP, 77 ERA+) and 24-year old RHP Danilo Narvaez (4-4, 5.73 ERA, 1.81 WHIP, 71 ERA+). Monarchs fans can only hope that they both get acclimated to the major leagues next season. Folkard was a 16th overall pick in 1949-50 and Narvaez was drafted in the second round back in 1945-46.

But the offense is much, much stronger. In fact, many of the players got stronger as the season wore on rather than fading. 28-year old C Christopher Dainty (.342/.444/.528, 16 HR, 79 RBI, 83 BB, 7.0 WAR) enjoyed the best season of his 6-year career and is the top-rated catcher in the United Leagues today. 25-year old 2B Patrick Lidgate’s (.301/.381/.541, 28 HR, 100 RBI, 75 BB, 7 SB, 6.7 WAR) season was a carbon copy of last year. Meanwhile, both 27-year old 1B Dean Witherden (.333/.378/.503, 22 HR, 78 RBI, 44 BB, 4.4 WAR) and 29-year old SS Simon Flatt (.270/.359/.422, 13 HR, 68 RBI, 73 BB, 3.3 WAR) continue to improve steadily each season.

Biggest Surprise:

26-year old LF Jesús Rodríguez (.314/.393/.541, 19 HR, 72 RBI, 45 BB, 10 SB, 4.1 WAR) spent two seasons as a depth player with the Fort Richmond Generals but the Monarchs were shrewd to give him a chance to start on a regular basis when they traded for him in late December. But it’s fair to say that Rodríguez surpassed even the most optimistic predictions of his impact on the team. The former 2nd-round pick hit the ground running and is rated 3rd overall among all leftfielders. He is now batting cleanup, between Patrick Lidgate and Christopher Dainty. Not bad for a one-time fourth outfielder.



Noteworthy:

February 18 – It just wasn’t the Cobourg Red Stockings’ day, as the Monarchs pummelled them 11-0 and outhit them 22-4. Collecting 5 of those 22 hits was LF Jesús Rodríguez who went 5 for 6, with 2 R and 2 RBI. Rodríguez singled in the 1st, hit an RBI single in the 2nd, doubled in the 4th, flied out in the 6th, hit a solo-shot off RHP Max Dunston and singled in the 9th.

Player of the Week Awards:

February 19 – LF Jesús Rodríguez (.520, 13 H, 2 HR, 8 RBI)
March 19 – SS Simon Flatt (.520, 13 H, 1 HR, 5 RBI)

Current Injuries:

January 4 – RHP Freddie Trerise – torn elbow ligament. Out for: 4-5 more months.

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The Queensland Eagles ended the season with a whimper, but last-place finishes could soon be in the rear view mirror if all their young prospects fully develop. They don’t seem to have quite the bevy of young talent as Wellington or even Braeland City has, but it seems the real issue is that their young pitchers are not blossoming as they should or could be.

The pitching was stronger overall than the lineup was, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. 25-year old RHP Logan Belsey (10-18, 4.33 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 92 ERA+) set some impressive records but took a step back in his third full season. More on him a little later. Supporting him is 23-year old RHP Stiofan Micklethwait (11-15, 3.47 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 115 ERA+), who made some modest gains this season. Both are former first-round picks and any future success the Eagles have will rest with them.

On offense, Queensland is looking to a pair of rookies to become the heart of the lineup: 24-year old 1B Ryan Conisford (.297/.353/.460, 22 HR, 91 RBI, 52 BB, 3.7 WAR) and 25-year old LF Rod Dennis (.325/.374/.492, 13 HR, 55 RBI, 37 BB, 3.0 WAR). Both enjoyed outstanding rookie campaigns, but they will need reinforcements if Queensland’s offence is going to lift the team out of the basement.

Biggest Disappointment:

RHP Logan Belsey (59/76) has quickly established himself as a strike-out artist with four outstanding pitchers: fastball (55/60), curveball (50/60), changeup (70/70) and sinker (60/65). He has the stuff (55/60), movement (65/70), control (40/55) and stamina (70) to be an ace in this league. He set a new record for strikeouts (as noted below) as well as strikeouts per 9 IP (6.56) beating the old mark of 5.75 set by Hespeler Stars’ Larry Kovnats last season. So why is he struggling so much? His FIP is 3.37 and BABIP is .287 so there doesn’t appear to be any red flags there. But from his 92 ERA+ mark, he is definitely pitching below the average. He gave up 167 walks, which is high, but not extreme for this league. Perhaps he’s still working on his control. If he can get a handle on that, then he may finally become the dominant pitcher the Eagles hoped he would be.

Noteworthy:

February 27 – Although he didn’t get the win, his achievement came in a 15-inning epic that saw the Eagles finally prevail 6-5 over the mighty Wolseley Unions. RHP Logan Belsey went 8.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 9 K on 142 PI. With his 9 strikeouts, Belsey surpassed the old mark of 173, set by Oscar Burruss back in 1941-42. The record was set when he struck out 1B Wen-huan Liu in the 8th inning for his 9th and final strikeout on the day.



Current Injuries:

March 5 – CF Zak Kidd – strained oblique. Out for: DtD, 5 more days.
March 7 – RHP Bartolo Sánchez – shoulder inflammation. Out for: 4 more months.

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Old 03-22-2019, 11:05 PM   #492
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Still one of the most best worlds I've ever seen created.
Thank you so much, Mike!

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Old 03-31-2019, 06:00 PM   #493
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March 26, 1951

Western League: Unions, Generals to Battle for Pennant for Fourth Straight Year





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The Wolseley Unions finished in first place for the second straight season and will square off against the Fort Richmond Generals for the fourth straight year, but there is a cloud of uncertainty surrounding the team as it prepares for the Western League Pennant Series. Wolseley will be without their top two starters, who happen to be two of the top pitchers in the United Leagues. 34-year old LHP Anastasio Rodríguez (14-15, 3.14 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 126 ERA+ - No. 1 overall) suffered a back injury in a game against the Hespeler Stars in mid-March, while 27-year old RHP Jeremy Albury (13-9, 3.35 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 119 ERA+) suffered a torn labrum in a game against the Pulberry Trolleys back on January 29. That will be a tough blow as they face a Fort Richmond team that closed the gap between them from 9.5 to 3.0 games in the final two months of the season.

But the Unions still boast the top offense in the West led by their big three: 29-year old LF Carlton Hawking (.314/.448/.551, 29 HR, 97 RBI, 129 BB, 6.5 WAR), 26-year old C Éric Denis (.331/.388/.467, 14 HR, 85 RBI, 46 BB, 5.4 WAR) and 28-year old SS George Kimpton (.296/.371/.473, 19 HR, 87 RBI, 75 BB, 7 SB, 4.9 WAR). And 21-year old 3B Carlos Ortíz (.340/.399/.550, 12 HR, 56 RBI, 36 BB, 3.5 WAR) made a big impression in his first season, taking over third base from 29-year old veteran 3B Burt Willey (.277/.367/.417, 8 HR, 59 RBI, 49 BB, 1.9 WAR) and batting fourth in the lineup.

Biggest Disappointment:

28-year old CF Howard Ockey (.240/.335/.337, 7 HR, 55 RBI, 68 BB, 1.6 WAR) played primarily centerfield this year for this first time in his career and the move seemed to have negatively impacted his play. Although defensively capable, he struggled compared to his starts in rightfield (.966 PCT/-0.9 ZR in CF - .981 PCT/+9.1 ZR in RF). But it really affected his performance at the plate, going from 4.7 WAR last year to 1.6 this year in comparable at-bats (462 to 483). It was his worst season since his days with the Balmoral Giants four seasons ago.



Player of the Week Awards:

February 26 – LF Carlton Hawking (.478, 11 H, 2 HR, 7 RBI)

Current Injuries:

January 29 – RHP Jeremy Albury – torn labrum. Out for: 2-3 more months.
March 18 – LHP Anastasio Rodríguez – herniated disc. Out for: 4 more weeks.

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With the Unions entering crisis mode with the loss of their two aces, the Fort Richmond Generals took advantage by stepping it up in February and March to close the gap between themselves and Wolseley and more importantly, separate themselves from the likes of the Balmoral Giants and Cambria Cannons who had gotten to within a few games of the Generals by the end of January. Fort Richmond enters the playoffs as a nicely balanced team with few weaknesses – and no injuries.

The Generals have a solid lineup but 26-year old SS Nobuyoshi Yoshida (.348/.399/.464, 10 HR, 78 RBI, 49 BB, 10 SB, 7.8 WAR) emerged as one of the United Leagues elite players with his spectacular play in the field and at the plate. Although he is ranked second among shortstops in the ULB behind Cambria’s 31-year old SS César Ruíz, he easily outplayed him this season. In fact, he won his first Western League Batting Title.



But it’s the pitching staff that makes this team really dangerous. 32-year old RHP Roberto Taváres (21-10, 2.40 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 164 ERA+) enjoyed perhaps the best season of his 10-year career and 28-year old RHP Ch’ang-chieh Li (15-22, 2.78 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 142 ERA+) was sensational once again. Also boding well for Fort Richmond is that 30-year old LHP Nicholas Grimes (17-13, 3.36 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 120 ERA+) finished the season as one of the hottest pitchers in the United Leagues, after struggling a bit following his January trade from Braeland City.

Biggest Surprise:

Much like Yoshida, 29-year old C Louis Wearne (.297/.403/.576, 34 HR, 90 RBI, 80 BB, 6.9 WAR) enjoyed the best season of his career. Originally selected 6th overall back in 1943-44, Wearne emerged as an All-Star in 1946-47, but in 1948, he began to struggle. Last season, his WAR rating fell to 3.5 after peaking at 5.5 two seasons earlier and his defense became suspect. But this season he found his groove and for a time threatened to break the home run record, set last season by Kingston’s Dean Bishop with 39. Although he suffered a power failure in the final weeks in the season, Wearne is now ranked 2nd overall among catchers, behind only Braeland City’s Christopher Dainty.



Player of the Week Awards:

February 5 – SS Nobuyoshi Yoshida (.481, 13 H, 2 HR, 10 RBI)
February 12 – LF Daniel Paterson (.500, 13 H, 1 HR, 4 RBI)

Noteworthy:

February 19 – At Generals Stadium, Fort Richmond prevailed over the Cambria Cannons, 2-1 in 12 innings on 12 hits. Five of those hits came off the bat of SS Nobuyoshi Yoshida who went 5 for 6 on the day. Yoshida flied out in the 1st, singled in the 4th, 6th, 8th and 10th innings. In the 12th, he doubled with one out and scored with winning run on 1B Brian Earle’s two-out single.

Current Injuries: None.

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The Balmoral Giants were unable to overtake Fort Richmond after getting to within two games of them by the end of January. Instead, the Generals got hot and the Giants treaded water as they have for most of the season. Balmoral finished with a winning record for the first time in 3 seasons, but it may be a while before they do so again. The Giants have one of the most anemic offenses in the United Leagues and the worst-ranked farm system. 33-year old LF Carlton Broadbent (.308/.372/.525, 24 HR, 87 RBI, 48 BB, 3.1 WAR) remains their best player, and while he can still rake he is a nightmare defensively (.968 PCT, 2.58 RNG, -13.2 ZR, .936 EFF) drawing down his overall value. Their other star player, 32-year old SS Francisco Rodríguez (.322/.358/.395, 5-2B, 11 RBI, 10 BB, 0.9 WAR), was decimated by injuries this season.

It’s the shame the offense has been neglected for so long, as the Giants actually had a rotation that was one of the best in the West. 31-year old LHP Ricardo Cruz (17-14, 3.16 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 127 ERA+) and 26-year old RHP Quintiliano Galeo (12-17, 3.33 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 121 ERA+) each enjoyed their best seasons thus far. Their overall stats would have been even better if they had a more competent offense supporting them. Balmoral actually led the West in fewest runs allowed per game with 3.7. But the offense only mustered 3.9 R/G, second worst.

Biggest Surprise:

25-year old RHP Rodrigo González (21-10, 2.78 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 144 ERA+) enjoyed a respectable debut in his rookie season last year, going 7-7, 3.97 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 102 ERA+ in 16 starts. But this past season, he emerged as Balmoral’s best pitcher before his season ended in mid-March due to injury. It has been noted earlier that González was drafted in the 7th round back in 1944-45. So it will be interesting to see how he fares in the seasons to come – especially if the Giants can add some punch to their lineup.



Current Injuries:

March 17 – RHP Rodrigo González – partially torn labrum. Out for: 5-6 more weeks.
March 18 – 1B Clyde Whitaker – torn hamstring. Out for: 6 more weeks.

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Like the Balmoral Giants, the Kingston Pelicans were unable to capitalize on a vulnerable Fort Richmond team when they faltered badly in February. But they went 41-31 in the last three months of the season overall and finished 77-77 for the second consecutive season. But the Pelicans could stand an infusion of talent, especially on the pitching staff if they want to seriously push for a playoff spot. Their farm system isn’t the most robust in the United Leagues (12th overall), so that is one area they could definitely focus on.

The offense was led by a resurgent veteran and an emerging superstar. 35-year old 2B Katsunan Chikafuji (.318/.415/.551, 26 HR, 100 RBI, 67 BB, 6.2 WAR) enjoyed his best season in 4 years, leading his team in nine offensive categories and the Western League in RBIs. He is rated 13th overall among position players. Right behind him (14th overall), is 24-year old C Carlos Camasura (.326/.406/.476, 11 HR, 65 RBI, 64 BB, 5.6 WAR) who emerged as one of the United Leagues best catchers in his third full season. But the Pelicans also had several players regress this season. The most dramatic was 36-year old 1B Dean Bishop (.213/.359/.419, 19 HR, 70 RBI, 89 BB, 2.2 WAR), who was unable to replicate his terrific season last year, when he hit a ULB-record 39 home runs and racked up 7.0 WAR (plus his 7th Top Fielder Award). But despite his age, the scouts are still upbeat about his abilities, so perhaps he will rebound next year (like he’s done before).

The pitching staff is not terrible, but there really are no standouts on the roster and there hasn’t been for a while now. Still, 31-year old LHP Patrick Denman (20-12, 3.85 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 105 ERA+) won 20 games for the first time since 1945-46 (when he also sent 20-12). And No. 2 starter, 44-year old RHP Satchel Paige (11-16, 4.11 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 98 ERA+) appeared to thrive after his trade from the Braeland City Monarchs, going 4-4, 3.20 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 127 ERA+).

Biggest Surprise:

For this I’m going with C Carlos Camasura, whose name appears throughout this writeup on the Pelicans. Camasura emerged as Kingston’s top catcher amid controversy, as nine-time All-Star 32-year old C Danny Trowbridge (.283/.387/.348, 1 HR, 15 RBI, 32 BB, 1.1 WAR) was still very much an elite offensive player. But the Pelicans stuck with Camasura as their starting catcher despite a couple of mediocre campaigns. Scouts insisted that he had the tools to be a premier catcher in the United Leagues. Those claims were validated this season when the Cobourg-native emerged as the No. 3 catcher overall, behind Braeland City’s Christopher Dainty and Fort Richmond’s Louis Wearne. In contrast, Trowbridge has been relegated to being Kingston’s No. 3 catcher. He really needs to find a new home to prove that he can still play.



Player of the Week Awards:

March 12 – 2B Katsunan Chikafuji (.571, 12 H, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 6 R)

Noteworthy:

February 8 – For the second time this season, C Carlos Camasura went 5 for 5 in a game. This time it was against the Brunswick Legends, against whom he racked up 1-2B, 1 RBI and 2 R. Camasura hit an RBI double in the 1st and then singled in the 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th innings. However, the Legends prevailed, 9-6 at home.

Current Injuries:

January 13 – LHP Phil Wiebe – torn back muscle. Out for: 2 more months.
February 11 – LHP Rob Hutchence – torn UCL. Out for: 5 more months.
March 20 – 2B Katsunan Chikafuji – strained back. Out for: 2-3 more weeks.
March 23 – RF Mo Spencely – broken hand. Out for: 4 more months.
March 24 – C Carlos Camasura – bruised thigh. Out for: DtD, 2 more days.

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The Cambria Cannons quickly became also-rans after a hot December and fell into the second division. But there is more optimism attached to this club than one will find with either the Balmoral Giants or Kingston Pelicans. Their farm system is much more robust (6th overall) and they boast the No. 1 prospect in the ULB: 21-year old OF Sam Tite (24/80), a second overall pick from 1948-49 who is currently in AAA. They also have 17th overall prospect in 20-year old OF Calvin Hanbridge (20/62) in AA and 21st overall prospect in 21-year old LHP Bill Southen (7-8, 3.37 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 118 ERA+), who just completed his rookie season. Both Hanbridge and Southen were former first-round picks as well. The arrival of Tite and Hanbridge to the major league club will be a welcome sight, as the Cannons currently have one of the weakest outfields in the ULB. Only 27-year old LF Edmund Boswell (.266/.328/.494, 21 HR, 78 RBI, 39 BB, 2.3 WAR) enjoyed a productive season.

31-year old SS César Ruíz (.318/.410/.556, 20 HR, 91 RBI, 71 BB, 6.0 WAR) led the way once again on offense for the Cannons, although his overall performance was a step down from his rookie season last year. And 24-year old 1B Carlos Correa (.301/.350/.486, 23 HR, 71 RBI, 41 BB, 3.2 WAR) emerged as one of the top first baseman (6th overall) in the ULB in his sophomore season.

The pitching staff had a few pleasant surprises this season. One was 25-year old RHP Masami Fujihara (10-14, 3.95 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 101 ERA+ - 45/45) who was Cambria’s No. 2 starter in the rotation in his rookie campaign. What’s noteworthy is that Fujihara was the final pick of the 1944-45 Amateur Draft (8th round, 15th pick – not sure what happened to the 16th pick). Scouts say he has very good control (55/55) but below average stuff (40/40) who is more suited as a spot starter or long reliever. We shall see.

Biggest Surprise:

For the second season in a row, I’m going with 28-year old LHP Jamie Wigley (15-10, 2.44 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 163 ERA+). As promising as he was in his rookie season last year, the former 6th-round pick was just sensational in his sophomore season. He led the Western League in game starts (35) and WAR (7.3). His ratings would suggest that he should not be all that successful in the major leagues. While he has good control (55/55), his stuff (45/45) and movement (35/35) are not impressive. Scouts say: “He can mix four different offerings, although none of them grade out well. His secondary pitches aren’t great, but he somehow manages to throw them all for strikes on almost any count.” He is perhaps the most unlikely No. 1 starter in the ULB – and one of the most successful.



Player of the Week Awards:

February 19 – SS César Ruíz (.500, 8 H, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 5 R)
March 5 – LHP Jamie Wigley (2-0, 18.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 5 K)

Noteworthy:

March 10 – Trailing 8-7 at The Paramount entering the 9th inning, the Cannons rallied for 6 runs in the top of the 9th and prevailed 13-9 against the Sherburn Tigers. Going 5 for 6 in the game was 33-year old C Heung-su Park (.275/.371/.437, 16 HR, 58 RBI, 69 BB, 3.9 WAR). Park hit a solo-shot off Jesús Chapa in the 2nd, singled in the 4th, hit a two-run double in the 5th, hit an RBI single in the 7th, singled in the 9th and flied out later in the 9th as well.

Current Injuries:

November 29 – RHP Reece Leavers – partially torn labrum. Out for: 6 more days.
March 24 – RF Seung-jae Park – back tightness. Out for: DTD, 4 more day.

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It was another desultory season for the Hespeler Stars as they failed to reach even 70 wins for the fourth year in a row with no sign of when they are going to turn the corner.

The pitching staff was a shamble with only 27-year old RHP Stephen Tindall (13-14, 3.71 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 110 ERA+) enjoying any kind of consistency.

There were a couple of bright spots on offense on a team that could use a lot more. Former first overall pick, 23-year old CF John McMurray (.273/.326/.455, 12 HR, 71 RBI, 39 BB, 12 SB, 2.8 WAR – 49/68), won two Rookie of the Month honors this year and is a definite candidate for Rookie of the Year. He led the Western League in triples with 18. On the negative side, he is considered as a ‘disruptive influence’ in the clubhouse (huge ego).

Biggest Surprise:

Perhaps it was having John McMurray follow him in the cleanup spot all season, but whatever it was, 27-year old SS Zhao-hui Qian (.316/.376/.477, 17 HR, 75 RBI, 62 BB, 10 SB, 5.8 WAR – 64/65) returned to the form he briefly flashed while with the Wellington Athletics three seasons ago, earning his first selection to the All-Star game in the process. Qian is a former second-overall pick back in 1945-46 and is one of the top shortstops in the ULB (3rd overall). He has been outstanding in the field (two Top Fielder Awards thus far), but it appears that he is ready to lead with his bat as well. That’s good news for a club that is sorely lacking in leaders of any kind.



Current Injuries:

January 8 – LHP Miles van den Bogaert – torn flexor tendon. Out for: 3 more months.
January 26 – LHP Larry Kovnats – radial nerve decompression surgery. Out for: 3-4 more months.
February 26 – Edgardo Barrón – torn flexor tendon (elbow). Out for: unknown.
March 24 – RHP Francisco López – back tightness. Out for: 2 more weeks.

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The Pulberry Trolleys avoided their second 100-loss season but it was another squandered season where management once again failed the players and fans. Productive players like 29-year old SS Roland Binns (.293/.346/.456, 10 HR, 39 RBI, 21 BB, 4 SB, 2.1 WAR) continue to languish as utility players while management steadfastly refuses to enter the trade market to relieve bottlenecks and address a plethora of weaknesses.

The team does have some exciting rookies that appear ready to take the next step and help this ballclub. 25-year old RF Gerard Koerner (.291/.357/.411, 3 HR, 54 RBI, 41 BB, 2.6 WAR) and top prospect 22-year old OF John Oldknow (.200/.242/.422, 5 HR, 15 RBi, 5 BB, -0.1 WAR) are ready for a larger workload next season. But while lead-off hitter 23-year old 3B Makani Kahale (.288/.316/.416, 10 HR, 57 RBI, 27 BB, 6 SB, 2.4 WAR) enjoyed a fine sophomore season, 25-year old SS Francis Jones (.284/.357/.435, 8 HR, 46 RBI, 44 BB, 3 SB, 2.4 WAR) took a step back from his all-star season last year.

The pitching staff is the worst in the United Leagues with only 32-year old RHP Lenny Tennison (10-17, 3.98 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 100 ERA+) showing any signs of consistency all season. But scouts consider Tennison a borderline starter masquerading as an ace.

Biggest Surprise:

It’s one thing to arrive with hype, it’s quite another to deliver on that hype. And 24-year old CF Cooper Tyson (.263/.320/.429, 13 HR, 46 RBI, 4.7 WAR – 59/80) delivered. While he naturally experienced some growing pains at the plate, he showed his promise throughout the season. Scouts say that he should become a .350 hitter and use his speed to stretch hits. But his defense was just jaw-dropping: .986 PCT, 4.57 RNG, +24.4 ZR, 1.047 EFF with just 9 errors. Those same scouts say he is destined to be an elite starting centerfielder. With his first season under his belt, I’d say that’s a pretty safe bet.



Current Injuries:

March 20 – LHP Quentin Teague – elbow tendinitis. Out for: 5 more weeks.

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If the Sherburn Tigers haven’t hit rock bottom yet, then they must be pretty close. The Tigers endured their worst season yet, falling below 60 wins for the first time. What makes this situation especially troublesome is that the team has no standout players on offense and only a couple of decent pitchers. They have the next-to-last ranked farm system and what prospects they have are toiling in AA. This club represents the toughest rebuild project in the United Leagues. At least Pulberry has a crop of young talent reaching the major leagues with a surplus of decent players that could be flipped for decent pitching. But the Tigers have neither.

The ‘decent pitchers’ continue to be 27-year old RHP Jesús Chapa (16-13, 3.43 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 118 ERA+) and 24-year old RHP Ben Buschlen (14-15, 3.44 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 118 ERA+), who both deserve better run support.

The offense overall was utterly abysmal, with practically every player either regressing from last season or continuing their ineffective ways. Ironically, only the catchers showed some productivity, with 32-year old back-up C Neil Voigt (.313/.363/.584, 12 HR, 37 RBI, 11 BB, 2.1 WAR) enjoying a bit of a rebound after a couple of down years. Still, his reputation as a divisive force in the clubhouse makes you wonder if he’s worth it. 24-year old 2B Jack Burt (.303/.346/.424, 50-2B, 66 RBi, 40 BB, 8 SB, 2.9 WAR) had his moments, but his season was a step back from last year.

Biggest Surprise:

Only one player on the roster improved upon his play from last season: 27-year old C Quim Cypriano (.294/.357/.445, 13 HR, 77 RBI, 44 BB, 3.6 WAR). In fact, the Brazilian has made steady progress since he became Sherburn’s starting catcher three seasons ago. Cypriano may never become an elite catcher in the United Leagues, but his outstanding work ethic is paying off. His teammates could learn a thing or two from him.



Player of the Week Award:

March 19 – CF Won-ho Kim (.391, 9 H, 2 HR, 8 RBI)

Current Injuries:

February 13 – LHP Lucas Nott – strained forearm. Out for: 6-7 more weeks.
March 6 - RHP Bradley Strawson – torn elbow ligament. Out for: 3-4 more months.
March 20 – LF Noah Teale – fractured foot. Out for: 4-5 more weeks.
March 22 – LHP Luke Henty – mild hamstring strain. Out for: DTD, one more day.

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Old 04-03-2019, 11:10 PM   #494
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Downie Chiefs (87-67) vs. Embro Suns (84-70)
Season Matchup: 9-6 in favor of Embro

Downie: Runs scored – 760 (3rd in East); runs against – 678 (2nd)
Embro: Runs scored – 762 (2nd); runs against – 717 (4th)

Two teams that started the season off slow will face each other for the Eastern League Pennant. The Downie Chiefs were 5 games below .500 on December 31 and 6 games out of a playoff spot before turning it on in the second half of the season, winning 49 of 73 games and capturing top spot for the second consecutive year on the third last day of the season. Meanwhile, the Embro Suns used a 16-9 January to propel them into the wild card conversation and took three of four games from the Cobourg Red Stockings at the end of the season to lock it up. It marks the first playoff matchup between these two clubs. The Chiefs are the defending United Cup Champions, winning it all in their very first playoff appearance. The Suns, however, are making their sixth appearance and are still seeking their first pennant. In the playoffs, they are 0-4 against the Brunswick Legends (including two sweeps) and 0-1 against the Stratford Barons. 45-year old manager Ryo Ichikawa has been at the helm for seven seasons. He managed the club to back-to-back playoff appearances in his first two seasons and leads them again after a five-year absence. Chiefs manager 55-year old Bill Bouchet has been at the helm since Day 1 back in 1937 and looks to lead his club back to the United Cup.

The two clubs are reasonably healthy. Only Embro’s 25-year old LHP Carl McBroom (14-7, 3.31 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 122 ERA+) is dealing with some neck stiffness, but should be ready to go for his start in Game 2.

With Downie gunning to repeat and Embro looking to end their Pennant drought (as well as give their future Hall of Famer, 36-year old 1B Jim Friend (.277/.393/.442, 18 HR, 92 RBI, 91 BB, 3.0 WAR), his first taste of United Cup action), the series should be a dandy. Play Ball!

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Game 1 – March 27

Downie’s Gibson Ballpark hosts the first two games with 30,244 in attendance for Game 1. It’s partly cloudy, 73F with a gentle breeze blowing from left to right (11 mph).

The Chiefs’ No. 2 starter takes the hill – 31-year old RHP Joong Ling (12-5, 2.82 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 140 ERA+). It’s his third playoff start after going 2-0, 2.81 last year. Embro responds with their No. 3 starter, 31-year old LHP Arthur Bence (15-13, 3.35 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 120 ERA+). This marks his first playoff appearance in his 8-year career.

Top of the 1st:
The Suns get to work quickly. Leading off, SS Rafael De La Cruz doubles on the second pitch he sees and reaches third base on a wild pitch. 1B Jim Friend then smacks a deep fly ball into centerfield, allowing De La Cruz to tag up and score without a throw.
Embro 1 – Downie 0

Top of the 3rd:

SP Arthur Bence leads off with a walk and moves up to 2B when Rafael De La Cruz is hit by a pitch. With one out, LF Rizalino Ringor singles into centerfield. Bence guns it for home and beats out the throw made by CF Alfonso León.
Embro 2 – Downie 0

Bottom of the 3rd:

SP Joong Ling and LF Howard Dumbrill lead off with back-to-back singles. With two out, 3B Dominic Dudding connects on a line-drive single into rightfield, scoring Ling for the Chiefs’ first run.
Embro 2 – Downie 1

Top of the 4th
:
CF Orlando Morales triples with one out. C Scott Weller follows with a deep fly ball to rightfield, allowing Morales to score easily.
Embro 3 – Downie 1

Bottom of the 8th:

RHP Domingas Frias relieves Arthur Bence to start the inning. However, 22-year old rookie 3B Louis Revill connects on a one-out solo home run, 386 ft. into the right-centerfield bleachers. But Frias is able to get out of the rest of the inning unscathed.

In the bottom of the 9th, Frias strikes out Howard Dumbrill on a full count and induces a 4-3 ground out from 1B Robin Duerden. Next up is Alfonso León, who pounces on Frias’ first offering. But it stays in the park and is caught deep in centerfield by Orlando Morales to end the game. The Suns take Game 1.
FINAL: Embro 3 – Downie 2



Player of the Game: Arthur Bence goes 7.0 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 124 PI (1-0, 1.29 ERA; Game Score: 57).

LF Rizalino Ringor went 3 for 4, 1-2B, 1 RBI.

For Downie:

Joong Ling lasted 6.0 IP, with 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 92 PI (0-1, 4.50 ERA; GS: 50).

3B Louis Revill went 3 for 4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R.

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Game 2 – March 28

The weather has cooled off a little as the two teams prepare for the second matchup at Gibson Ballpark. 30,209 fans return to see if their Chiefs can rebound from their Game 1 loss. It’s partly cloudy, 64F with the breeze continuing to blow left to right (11 mph).

Downie’s ace, 28-year old RHP Kelii Pelanekelina (19-11, 2.82 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 137 ERA+) makes his fourth career playoff start. He went 3-0, 0.67 ERA last year, while winning United Cup MVP honors. Embro tabs their No. 2 man, 25-year old LHP Carl McBroom (14-7, 3.31 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 122 ERA+). This will be McBroom’s first career playoff appearance.

Top of the 3rd:
Carl McBroom singles with one out then advances to second base when SS Rafael De La Cruz reaches safely on an error, as 1B Robin Duerden’s throw to 2B sails wide. Facing LF Rizalino Ringor with a 2-2 count and two out, Kelii Pelanekelina is charged with a balk, forcing in McBroom for the game’s first run.
Embro 1 – Downie 0

Top of the 5th:

C Scott Weller doubles the lead when he pounces on a 1-0 pitch from Pelanekelina and slams a one-out solo home run, depositing it 417 ft. into right-centerfield.
Embro 2 – Downie 0

Bottom of the 5th:

Downie gets something going when rookie RF Connor Bing leads off with a single, then advances to 2B on a deep centerfield sac fly by SS Mac Medley. Next up is 3B Louie Revill who punches McBroom’s 1-0 offering 334 ft., just over the leftfield wall for a 2-run home run.
Embro 2 – Downie 2

Bottom of the 6th:

LF Howard Dumbrill leads off with a single. Downie then loads the bases with one out when CF Alfonso León singles and 3B Dominic Dudding draws a walk. With two out, Mac Medley draws another walk, forcing in Dumbrill as the Chiefs take the lead.
Embro 2 – Downie 3

Bottom of the 7th:

Downie breaks it open in the 7th. C Whatahui Inoke leads off with a walk, then reaches 2B after SP Kelii Pelanekelina lays down a successful sac bunt. Embro elects to intentionally walk Howard Dumbrill, but 1B Robin Duerden smacks a first-pitch double into left-centerfield. Inoke scores, while Dumbrill rounds 3B. The relay throw from SS Rafael De La Cruz to home is not in time as Dumbrill scores Downie 5th run. That brings McBroom’s afternoon to an end.
34-year old RHP Yin-ti Shih comes on in relief, but immediately surrenders a single to Alfonso León. Duerden advances to 3B, but LF Rizalino Ringor’s throw to home plate sails over C Scott Weller’s head, allowing Duerden to score.
Embro 2 – Downie 6

Top of the 8th:

Embro loads the bases when 1B Jim Friend, Rizalino Ringor and RF José Maldonado lead off with back-to-back-to-back walks. Keon-chae Cho then grounds into a 5-4-3 double play. Friend scores on the play but the Suns are unable to generate any more runs.
Embro 3 – Downie 6

Bottom of the 8th:

Connor Bing leads off with a walk. Mac Medley follows with a long single into centerfield. Bing races for 3B and beats out Orlando Morales’ throw. Louie Revill follows with a single of his own, scoring Bing.

In the top of the 9th, 33-year old RHP Carl Luscombe comes on in relief of Pelanekelina. Luscombe gives up a lead-off single to Orlando Morales as well as a one-out single to PH Frank Adams. But SS Rafael De La Cruz immediately hits into a 6-4-3 double play to snuff out the rally and end the game. Downie ties the series up.
FINAL: Embro 3 – Downie 7



Player of the Game: Kelii Pelanekelina picked up game honors. He went 8.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 133 PI (1-0, 2.25 ERA; GS: 62).

3B Louis Revill stayed hot. Today he went 2 for 4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R.

1B Robin Duerden went 2 for 5 with 2-2B, 2 RBI, 1 R.

For Embro:

Carl McBroom had a rather rough first playoff outing. He went 6.1 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 95 PI (0-1, 8.53 ERA; GS: 33).

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Game 3 – March 30

The Series heads up to Embro, where Speaker Stadium will host the next three games. Embro’s reputation for sunshine and heat is well earned and today is no different, as 26,717 ‘Sun worshipers’ have congregated under clear, sunny skies (85F), with just a slight breeze blowing in from right (10 mph).

Embro’s ace, 31-year old RHP Aaron Saunderson (19-12, 3.29 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 122 ERA+) gets the start for the Suns, while No. 3 starter, 35-year old LHP Gavin Hewat (16-13, 4.03 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 100 ERA+) responds for Downie. This is Saunderson’s first playoff appearance since he went 2-3, 2.72 ERA, 1.25 WHIP in 6 starts for the Queensland Eagles four seasons ago on their championship run. Hewat last pitched in the playoffs as a member of the 1947-48 Wolseley Unions. In 3 games, he went 0-1, 1 SV, 2.08 ERA, 1.15 WHIP. This will be his first playoff start.

Bottom of the 4th:
Both Saunderson and Hewat pitch brilliantly, with no earned runs scored in the game. The only damage came in the fourth inning. Embro loads the bases when CF Orlando Morales singles into leftfield, LF Rizalino Ringor draws a walk and SS Rafael De La Cruz reaches safely on an error when 2B Dominic Dudding’s relay is out of the reach of SS Mac Medley (E4). 2B Napana Mamo hits a fly ball to leftfield. Morales tags up at 3B and guns it for home, but LF Howard Dumbrill’s tremendous throw cuts him down at home plate, while Ringor and De La Cruz advance.
1B Jim Friend meekly makes contact but 1B Robin Duerden drops the relay from SP Hewat allowing Friend to reach safely and Ringor to score the games’ only run.
Downie 0 – Embro 1

Top of the 6th:

The Chiefs’ best chance at getting on the board occurs in the 6th. 3B Louie Revill singles and C Whatahui Inoke doubles to put two runners within scoring distance with one out. Gavin Hewat connects for a long fly ball to leftfield. Revill tags up at 3B but is thrown out at home to end the inning by Rizalino Ringor’s perfect throw.

Saunderson completes the shutout in the bottom of the 9th, when he induces a 6-3 ground out from PH Héctor Gutiérrez and back-to-back in-field pop-ups from PH Connor Buswell and Howard Dumbrill.
FINAL: Downie 0 – Embro 1



Player of the Game: Aaron Saunderson pitches a masterful game, going 9.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 117 PI (1-0, 0.00 ERA; GS: 75).


For Downie:

Gavin Hewat was just as effective, going 7.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 123 PI (0-1, 0.00 ERA; GS: 68).

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Game 4 – March 31

26,721 fans return to see if the Suns can take a stranglehold on the series. Once again, the weather won’t be a factor. Sunny, clear skies and the heat (82F) are back, with wind blowing in from right (13 mph).

Embro’s No. 4 starter, 36-year old RHP Myung-gu Son (13-7, 3.70 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 109 ERA+) takes the hill. This will be his fifth start in the playoffs, all for Embro. He has yet to record a victory (0-4, 9.13 ERA, 2.29 WHIP). Downie counters with their No. 4 pitcher, 30-year old RHP Bernie Knowles (11-13, 4.58 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 86 ERA+). Knowles has appeared in 5 playoff games between the Kingston Pelicans and Downie Chiefs, going 1-1, 2.78 ERA, 1.24 WHIP).

Bottom of the 6th:
As in game 3, the pitchers are dominant, breezing through five scoreless innings. Embro breaks through in the 6th with three consecutive singles by SS Rafael De La Cruz, LF Rizalino Ringor and 1B Jim Friend, scoring a run with nobody out. With one out, 3B Keon-chae Cho singles into shallow centerfield to re-load the bases. CF Orlando Morales hits one to left centerfield, but SS Mac Medley snares it and throws Ringor out at the plate. C Scott Weller then hits a towering pop up to 2B Dominic Dudding, but it hits the side of his glove, allowing Weller to reach 1B safely and Friend to score Embro’s second run.
Downie 0 – Embro 2

Top of the 9th:

SP Myung-gu Son keeps the Chiefs off the board until the 9th, when Downie’s two best hitters, CF Alfonso León and Dominic Dudding, lead off with back-to-back singles. After RF Connor Bing flies out to leftfield, SS Mac Medley stuns the crowd with a 3-run home run, 374 ft. to the leftfield bleachers, giving the lead to Downie.

In the bottom of the 9th, RHP Carl Luscombe who took over from Knowles to start the 8th, gives up a leadoff walk to PH Frank Adams. But RF José Maldonado, Rafael De La Cruz and PH Moromao Nakagawa all fly out to end the game. Downie knots up the series at 2 apiece.
FINAL: Downie 3 – Embro 2



Player of the Game: It was a heartbreaking loss for Myung-gu Son, who was outstanding until the 9th. He went 9.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 98 PI (0-1, 3.00 ERA; GS: 63).

Rizalino Ringor went 3 for 3, with 1-2B, 1 BB.

Jim Friend went 2 for 4, with 1 RBI, 1 R.

For Downie:

Carl Luscombe picked up the win, going 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 29 PI (1-0, 0.00 ERA).

Bernie Knowles went 7.0 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 124 PI (0-0, 1.29 ERA; GS: 53).

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Game 5 – April 1

The calendar turns over a new month as the two teams head into Game 5 with the Series all tied up. Things have cooled a little – especially for Embro – with partly cloudy skies, 75 F and a gentle breeze blowing in from right (11 mph).

The Game 1 starters get the call once again this afternoon: Embro’s LHP Arthur Bence against Downie’s RHP Joong Ling, with Bence having won the first matchup.

Top of the 1st:
There’s no pitcher’s duel today, as the Chiefs get to Bence early and often. LF Howard Dumbrill leads off with a bunt. Bence pounces on the ball, but his throw is not in time as Dumbrill reaches 1B safely. After Dumbrill reaches 2B on a ground out, CF Alfonso León singles him home as Dumbrill beats out Orlando Morales’ throw to home plate.
After 2B Dominic Dudding walks and RF Connor Bing strikes out, SS Mac Medley singles home León.
Downie 2 – Embro 0

Top of the 2nd:

Bence get two quick outs, but Downie then pours it on. Howard Dumbrill, 1B Robin Duerden, Alfonso León and Dominic Dudding hit four consecutive singles, scoring two runs.
Next up is Connor Bing, who smashes a line drive double into left centerfield. That scores two more runs as the Chiefs increase their early lead.
Downie 6 – Embro 0

Bottom of the 2nd:

Embro gets something going when 3B Keon-chae Cho draws a two-out walk and RF Orlando Morales singles. C Scott Weller follows with a single as well, scoring Cho from 2B. Arthur Bence helps his cause when he pushes a single into shallow rightfield, scoring Morales.
Downie 6 – Embro 2

Bottom of the 3rd:

SS Rafael De La Cruz leads off with a single into leftfield. With one out, 1B Jim Friend gets all of Joong Ling’s 1-0 offering, crushing it 400 ft. into the jubilant leftfield bleachers for two-run home run.
Downie 6 – Embro 4

Bottom of the 4th:

Joong Ling gets two quick outs, but RF José Maldonado reaches base safely when 2B Dominic Dudding fumbles the line drive (E4) and Rafael De La Cruz is hit by a pitch for the second time in the series. Rizalino Ringor follows with a single to load the bases, but RF Connor Bing’s throw home sails wide (E9) allowing Maldonado to come home safely, getting the Suns to within one.
Downie 6 – Embro 5

Bottom of the 7th:

Rafael De La Cruz leads off with a single. With one out, Cruz successfully steals second, but a throwing error (E2), allows him to advance to 3B. Jim Friend then sneaks a single past 2B Dominic Dudding, scoring Cruz and tying up the game.

Neither team is able to break the tie, forcing extra innings. Downie comes closest when they put runners on second and third base with two out in the top of the 9th, but 3B Louis Revill strikes out to end the threat.
Downie 6 – Embro 6

Bottom of the 11th:

Embro’s Domingas Frias and Kai Torr, as well as Downie’s Carl Luscombe keep the hitters at bay until the 11th. In the bottom of the inning, José Maldonado leads off and connects on Luscombe’s first pitch, sending it 387 ft. into the delirious rightfield bleachers for a walk-off solo home run, completing the comeback.
FINAL: Downie 6 – Embro 7





Player of the Game: Jim Friend got the honors, going 2 for 4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB.

Rafael De La Cruz went 2 for 3 with 2 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP.

Bence did not have his best outing to say the least. He went 5.2 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 122 PI (1-0, 4.97 ERA, GS: 22).

Kai Torr got the win, going 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 14 PI (1-0, 0.00 ERA).

For Downie:

Alfonso León went 3 for 6, 2 RBI, 2 R.

Dominic Dudding batted 3 for 5, with 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB.

Joong Ling lasted 5.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 103 PI (0-1, 5.73 ERA, GS: 33).

Bill Lafontaine was charged with a blown save (3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 B, 0 K, 46 PI, 0.00 ERA), while Carl Luscombe took the loss (2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 29 PI (1-1, 1.29 ERA).

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Game 6 – April 3

The defending United Cup Champions have their back against the wall, as the Embro Suns are one win away from winning the Eastern League Pennant and advancing to the United Cup for the first time. But the series now heads back to Gibson Ballpark in Downie, where 29,867 Chief fans are looking to make their presence felt. It’s partly cloudy, 66F, with a fresh breeze blowing in from left at 20 mph.

The Game 2 starters will square off once again. Downie goes with their ace, RHP Kelii Pelanekelina, who picked up the win and game honors in the previous matchup. Embro manager Ryo Ichikawa sticks with Carl McBroom, who got roughed up in his first playoff start.

Top of the 1st:
SS Rafael De La Cruz singles with one out and steals 2B before LF Rizalino Ringor draws a walk. With two out, 2B Napana Mamo singles into rightfield. Cruz rounds third and heads for home. He beats out the throw from RF Connor Bing for the game’s first run.
Embro 1 – Downie 0

Bottom of the 1st:

LF Howard Dumbrill leads off with a walk and successfully reaches 3B when SS Mac Medley singles down the rightfield line. CF Alfonso León then smacks a line drive single into rightfield, scoring Dumbrill.
Embro 1 – Downie 1

Bottom of the 3rd:

Downie takes the lead when Mac Medley slams a one-out solo home run, 407 ft. to the raucous leftfield bleachers.
Embro 1 – Downie 2

Top of the 4th:

But the Suns come storming back. 3B Keon-chae Cho and CF Orlando Morales lead off with back-to-back singles while C Scott Weller draws a walk with nobody out. SP Carl McBroom then pounces on the first pitch he sees for a line drive single into left-centerfield. Cho scores from 3B, while Morales follows on his heels. LF Howard Dumbrill throws home but Morales beats it out as Embro retakes the lead.
RF José Maldonado immediately singles, loading the bases once again. Rafael De La Cruz then comes through with a sac fly to leftfield, scoring Weller from 3B.
Embro 4 – Downie 2

Bottom of the 4th:

Downie loads the bases themselves when 3B Louis Revill, 1B Robin Duerden and C Whatahui Inoke hit consecutive singles with one out. Although SP Kelii Pelanekelina ground into a 6-2 fielder’s choice, Howard Dumbrill follows with a bases-loaded walk, forcing in Duerden.
Embro 4 – Downie 3

Bottom of the 5th:

2B Dominic Dudding reaches 1B safely when SS Rafael De La Cruz botches the line drive (E6) with one out. With two out, Louie Revill cranks out a run-scoring triple into centerfield to tie the game up once again.
Embro 4 – Downie 4

Top of the 6th:

Scott Weller singles with one out, then advances to 2B when Carl McBroom lays down a sac bunt. José Maldonado then steps up to the plate and crushes a 2-run home run, 396 ft. into the now dejected leftfield bleachers.
Rafael De La Cruz then doubles into leftfield, ending Pelanekelina’s day, but the Suns are unable to capitalize.
Embro 6 – Downie 4

Top of the 8th:

With RHP Bill Lafontaine having taking over from Pelanekelina in the 6th, he gets Scott Weller to fly out to leftfield to start the 8th. But PH Moromao Nakagawa gets all of Lafontaine’s 0-2 offering, driving it 415 ft. into the left-centerfield bleachers for a solo home run.
Embro 7 – Downie 4

Bottom of the 8th:

RHP Domingas Frias takes over from McBroon to start the bottom half of the 8th. Robin Duerden draws a one-out walk and advances to 2B when Whatahui Inoke ground out to the shortstop. Utility infielder Francis Burrow then steps into the box and drives Frias’ second pitch 350 ft. into the rightfield bleachers to get the Chiefs back to within one with a two-run home run.

Frias stays in the game to face the heart of Downie’s lineup, looking to hold onto to a one-run lead. He needs only 8 pitches to get Alfonso León to fly out left field, Dominic Dudding to fly out to centerfield and finally, Connor Bing to fly out to rightfield to seal the deal and end the game. The Embro Suns knock off the defending United Cup Champions to win their first Eastern League Pennant!
FINAL: Embro 7 – Downie 6



Player of the Game: Rafael De La Cruz received the honor, by going 3 for 4, 1-2B, 1 RBI, 1 R.

José Maldonado went 2 for 5, with 1 HR that proved be the difference, along with 2 RBI, 1 R.

Carl McBroom pitched a little better this time, going 7.0 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 120 PI (1-1, 6.07 ERA; GS:43).

For Downie:

The magic wasn’t there this time for Kelii Pelanekelina, as he went only 5.2 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 112 PI (1-1, 5.27 ERA; GS: 22).

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Old 04-10-2019, 12:10 AM   #495
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Wolseley Unions (92-62) vs. Fort Richmond Generals (89-65)
Season Matchup: 8-7 in favor of Wolseley

Wolseley: Runs scored – 781 (1st in West); runs against – 657 (4th)
Fort Richmond: Runs scored – 678 (3rd); runs against – 600 (2nd)

Since the 1947-48 season, the Western League has been dominated by two teams: the Wolseley Unions and the Fort Richmond Generals. The Generals won the first matchup 4 games to 1 back in 1947-48 to win their first Pennant (and United Cup) but its been all Wolseley ever since. Fort Richmond went up 3 game to none last season, but then the Unions ran the table to win their third Pennant before falling to the Downie Chiefs in the Cup Finals. Thus, the Generals are out to redeem themselves after their monumental collapse.

They may get some assistance on the injury front. While Fort Richmond enters the Series healthy, the Wolseley Unions are without their top two pitchers. 34-year old LHP Anastasio Rodríguez (14-15, 3.14 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 126 ERA+) suffered a back injury in a game against the Hespeler Stars in mid-March, while 27-year old RHP Jeremy Albury (13-9, 3.35 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 119 ERA+) suffered a torn labrum in a game against the Pulberry Trolleys back on January 29. They are lost for the duration of the playoffs.

45-year old Manager John Mathis leads his Generals into the playoffs for the third straight year but has yet to win a Pennant himself. Meanwhile, the Unions enter the playoffs for the fifth straight year under 52-year old Tony Fay, who has been with the club since Day 1. These clubs are certainly no strangers to each other and we should be in store for another great battle. Time for these heavyweights to play ball!

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Game 1 – March 27

Wolseley’s Satchel Paige Park is all set for Game 1. 30,415 vocal fans have packed the place to cheer on the home team. It’s partly cloudy (78F) with a slight breeze (11 mph) blowing out to right.

Wolseley’s 26-year old LHP Axel MacKay (15-7, 3.48 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 117 ERA+) gets the honor of starting the first game while Fort Richmond goes with their No. 1 guy, 32-year old RHP Roberto Taváres (21-10, 2.40 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 164 ERA+). MacKay is 2-2, 5.00 ERA in five playoff games. Taváres is 1-2, 4.13 ERA in the three playoff starts with Fort Richmond and the Sherburn Tigers.

Top of the 2nd:
Fort Richmond strikes first. CF Dylan Moyne hits a first-pitch single and SS Derek Reed follows with a walk with two out. 1B Brian Earle then singles Moyne to 3B, but CF Howard Ockey’s throw home sails over C Éric Denis’ head (E8), allowing Moyne to score.
Fort Richmond 1 - Wolseley 0

Bottom of the 8th:

Taváres holds the Unions scoreless until the 8th. SS George Kimpton leads off with a single but is thrown out at second base when 2B Make-Make Kamaka tries to lay down a sac bunt. But LF Carlton Hawking and 1B Carlos Ortíz follow with back-to-back singles. Kamaka reaches 3B and beats out the throw home from RF Brandon Robinson to tie up the game.

Neither team scores in the 9th, sending the game into extras.
Fort Richmond 1 - Wolseley 1

Top of the 11th:

RHP John Palm relieved MacKay to start the 10th inning and continues in the 11th. But LF Daniel Paterson leads off with a first-pitch single and advances to 2B when C Alohalani Illoura draws a walk. SS Ninfa Puzon singles into leftfield, but the ball hits LF Carlton Hawking’s chest and bounces away (E7), allowing Paterson to score and Puzon and Illoura to advance.
Derek Reed then singles into rightfield, scoring Illoura. Finally, Brian Earle flies out to deep rightfield, allowing Puzon to tag up and beat out the throw home.

In the bottom of the 11th, Taváres gives up a line drive single to RF Evan Houk with one out but gets PH Blair Toman and George Kimpton to each fly out to rightfield, ending the game. The Generals take Game 1.
FINAL: Fort Richmond 4 - Wolseley 1





Player of the Game: Roberto Taváres goes the distance to pick up the victory. In all, he went 11.0 IP, 15 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 130 PI (1-0, 0.82 ERA; Game Score: 64).

Dylan Moyne went 2 for 3, 1 R.

For Wolseley:

Axel MacKay was just as good, going 9.0 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 115 PI (0-0, 1.00 ERA; GS: 67).

John Palm took the loss: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 21 PI (0-1, 16.20 ERA).

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Game 2 – March 28

The Unions look to regroup after having dropped the opening game of the Series. It’s another hot day in Wolseley (79F) with clear, sunny skies greeting the players and 30,477 fans on hand. Just a slight breeze blows in from left (12 mph).

No. 1 starter by default, 31-year old RHP Kai Tosh (16-8, 3.47 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 117 ERA+), will make his 13th career playoff start (3-8, 4.09 ERA) for the Unions, while 28-year old RHP Ch’ang-chieh Li (15-11, 2.78 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 142 ERA+) makes his 5th playoff start (4-2, 2 SV, 2.80 ERA), all with Fort Richmond.

Bottom of the 3rd:
On this day, its all Wolseley. The Unions open the scoring in the 3rd, when Evan Houk triples into left-centerfield with one out, then scores when SP Kai Tosh singles him home in the next at-bat.
Fort Richmond 0 - Wolseley 1

Bottom of the 4th:

Carlton Hawking leads off with a single, then advances to 2B when Éric Denis singles into right-centerfield with one out. Next up is 1B Wen-huan Liu, who crushes Li’s first offering, sending it 419 ft. into the left-centerfield bleachers for a 3-run home run.
Fort Richmond 0 - Wolseley 4

Bottom of the 6th:

Éric Denis and Wen-huan Liu lead off with back-to-back walks. Howard Ockey lays down a sac bunt down the third base line and beats out the throw to 1B to load the bases.
Evan Houk follows and smacks a fly ball into leftfield. Denis tags up at 3B and beats out Daniel Paterson’s throw home for the Unions fifth run.

In the bottom of the 9th, Kai Tosh gets 3B Belarmino Barbedo, RF Brandon Robinson and SS Nobuyoshi Yoshida to all fly out to centerfield to end the game and pick up the complete game shutout. The Series is now tied at one apiece.
FINAL: Fort Richmond 0 - Wolseley 5



Player of the Game: Kai Tosh was absolutely brilliant. He went 9.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 97 PI (1-0, 0.00 ERA; GS: 83).

Wen-huan Liu went 1 for 2, with 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R, 2 BB.

For Fort Richmond:

It was a tough day for Ch’ang-chieh Li, as he went 7.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 105 PI (0-1, 6.43 ERA; GS: 40).

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Game 3 – March 30

Fort Richmond plays host for the next three games, with 24,214 in attendance. The day is a scorcher: 84F with clear, sunny skies and only a soft breeze (12 mph) blowing in from right.

Fort Richmond goes with their No. 3 man: 30-year old LHP Nicholas Grimes (17-13, 3.36 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 120 ERA+), who was acquired from the Braeland City Monarchs in late January. Grimes is winless in four playoff starts (0-2, 5.16 ERA, 1.35 WHIP). Wolseley’s No. 3 man, 32-year old RHP Bill Blair (11-9, 4.12 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) will make his 10th career playoff start (5-2, 2.71 ERA, 1.25 WHIP).

Bottom of the 1st:
Fort Richmond gets on the board in the early going. The Generals load the bases when Belarmino Barbedo and Brandon Robinson lead off with back-to back singles and Nobuyoshi Yoshida draws a walk. Daniel Paterson then flies out to deep centerfield. Bardedo tags up on the play and scores easily, but SP Blair limits the damage to a single run.
Wolseley 0 – Fort Richmond 1

Bottom of the 2nd:

Brian Earle bunts down the third base line and beats out the throw to first to lead off. Derek Reeds then singles down the first base line putting runners on the corners. Nicholas Grimes puts the ball in play but 3B Carlos Ortíz’s throw to first base is in the dirt. Wen-huan Liu is unable to come up with it, allowing Grimes to reach safely and Earle to come home. Belarmino Barbedo battles Bill Blair for 13 pitches, including six consecutive foul balls before grounding out to 3B Carlos Ortíz. However, Reed scores, adding to the Generals’ lead.
Wolseley 0 – Fort Richmond 3

Top of the 3rd:

The Unions get to work in the 3rd. With two out, George Kimpton and Make-Make Kamaka hit back-to-back singles before Carlton Hawking doubles home Kimpton for Wolseley’s first run.
Wolseley 1 – Fort Richmond 3

Top of the 4th:

The Unions take the lead in the 4th. Éric Denis and Wen-huan Liu lead off with back-to-back singles. With one out, Evan Houk gets a hold of a 3-2 pitch from Grimes, sending it 335 ft. over the left-field wall for a 3-run home run.
Wolseley 4 – Fort Richmond 3

Bottom of the 4th:

Belarmino Barbedo leads off with a first-pitch single into centerfield. Brandon Robinson then hits the ball back to the pitcher, but Blair’s throw to second base is over Make-Make Kamaka’s head, allowing Barbedo to reach second base safely. Although Nobuyoshi Yoshida grounds into a 3-6-3 double play, Barbedo reaches third base, then scores to tie the game when Daniel Paterson singles into shallow leftfield.

Although both teams threaten in the ensuing innings, timely double plays snuff out the threats, sending the game into extra innings for the second time in the Series.
Wolseley 4 – Fort Richmond 4

Top of the 11th:

27-year old RHP José Rodríguez comes on in relief for Nicholas Grimes to start the 11th. But Éric Denis leads off with a first-pitch double and advances to 3B when Wen-huan Liu flies out to rightfield. After Howard Ockey is intentionally walked, Evan Houk singles into centerfield on the first pitch, scoring Denis for the go-ahead run. RHP John Palm lays down a sac bunt but SP Rodríguez picks it up and throws to 3B Belarmino Barbedo to throw out Ockey. Barbedo then throws to 1B Brian Earle to nail Palm to complete the twin killing and end the inning.
Wolseley 5 – Fort Richmond 4

Bottom of the 11th:

With one out, C Louis Wearne slams a 3-1 pitch 331 ft. into the rightfield bleachers for a solo home run, tying up the game once again.
Wolseley 5 – Fort Richmond 5

Bottom of the 13th:

Daniel Paterson leads off with a single. RHP John Palm is then relieved by 33-year old RHP Hun Park. Louis Wearne then singles Paterson over to 2B, but Dylan Moyne hits into a 1-6 fielder’s choice to put runners on the corners. Next up is Brian Earle, who battles Park to a full count before connecting on a shallow single into rightfield. That scores Paterson for the walk-off win, giving the Generals a 2-1 lead in the Series.
FINAL: Wolseley 5 – Fort Richmond 6





Player of the Game: Nicholas Grimes’ first playoff win still eludes him, but he picked up game honors, going 10.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 157 PI. (0-0, 3.60 ERA; GS: 61).

RHP Nicky Sherlock picked up the win, going 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 11 PI (1-0, 0.00 ERA).

Four players collected at least three hits in the game for Fort Richmond. Daniel Paterson went 4 for 6, 1 R, 2 RBI.

Belarmino Barbedo went 3 for 6 with 2 R, 1 RBI.

For Wolseley:

Bill Blair got tripped up by some unfortunate errors. He went 6.0 IP, 12 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0 HR, 119 PI (0-0, 1.50 ERA; GS: 38).

John Palm took the loss, going 4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 K, 1 HR, 63 PI (0-2, 7.94 ERA).

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Game 4 – March 31

The Generals look to try and get a stranglehold on the Series after pulling out an extra-inning victory the day before. Things have cooled down just a bit: partly cloudy, 72F with the wind now blowing from center (12 mph). 24,284 fans pack the stadium waiting for the action to begin.

The two teams’ No. 4 starters square off. 25-year LHP Gavin Flatt (9-12, 3.77 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 1.04 ERA+) makes his second career playoff start (0-1, 7.36 ERA). Wolseley calls upon their rookie pitcher: 27-year old RHP Robert Kingsnorth (1-2, 4.50 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 90 ERA+). Kingsnorth won the AAA Walter Johnson Award last year (17-9, 2.50 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 146 ERA+).

Bottom of the 2nd:
Fort Richmond gets on the board first thanks to some Wolseley miscues. Dylan Moyne leads off with long fly ball to leftfield but Carlton Hawking juggles and drops the ball, allowing Moyne to reach first base safely (E7). With one out, Derek Reed then slaps the ball towards SS George Kimpton, but Kimpton throws it over the head of 2B Make-Make Kamaka (E6). Both Moyne and Reed are safe. After Gavin Flatt lays down a successful sac bunt to advance the runners 90 ft., Belarmino Barbedo singles home Moyne. Reed reaches third base then races for home. But LF Carlton Hawking cuts down Reed with a perfect throw to home plate to end the inning.
Wolseley 0 – Fort Richmond 1

Top of the 4th:

Gavin Flatt runs into control problems when he surrenders four consecutive walks with one out, forcing in a run. However, he is able to get out of the inning with no further damage.
Wolseley 1 – Fort Richmond 1

Top of the 5th:

Flatt runs into more trouble, loading the bases again. With one out, George Kimpton doubles into leftfield, while Make-Make Kamaka and Carlton Hawking draw back-to-back walks. Next up is Carlos Ortíz, who crushes Flatt’s 2-0 offering 393 ft. into the right-centerfield stands for a GRAND SLAM home run.
Wolseley 5 – Fort Richmond 1

Bottom of the 8th:

C Louis Wearne gets a run back when he connects for his second home run of the Series, a solo shot 411 ft. into the left-centerfield bleachers.

In the bottom of the 9th, Robert Kingsnorth gets the Generals to go down in order, striking out both Derek Reed and PH Ninfa Puzon before inducing a 6-3 groundout from Belarmino Bardedo to end the game and tie the series up at two games apiece.
FINAL: Wolseley 5 – Fort Richmond 2



Player of the Game: Robert Kingsnorth was impressive in first playoff appearance, going 9.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 142 PI (1-0, 1.00 ERA; GS: 69).

1B Carlos Ortíz got one hit but it was big. He went 1 for 3 with 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI, 1 BB.

For Fort Richmond:

Gavin Flatt struggled with his control again, killing himself with walks. He went 6.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 8 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 122 PI (0-1, 7.50 ERA; GS: 40).

C Louis Wearne went 2 for 4 with 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI.

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Game 5 – April 1

Generals Stadium plays host one more time with both teams battling back and forth. The weather won’t be a factor: partly cloudy skies (71F) and a moderate breeze blowing in from center (21 mph). 24,218 fans have come to see if Fort Richmond can take the upper hand in the Series.

The Game 1 starters face each other again. Fort Richmond’s 32-year old RHP Roberto Taváres will square off against Wolseley’s 26-year old LHP Axel MacKay, with Taváres having won the first matchup in extra innings.

Bottom of the 1st:
MacKay gets two quick outs before Nobuyoshi Yoshida bangs one out to SS George Kimpton. But Kimpton’s throws sails over the head of 1B Wen-huan Liu, allowing Yoshida to advance to 2B. Daniel Paterson then threads a single past 2B Make-Make Kamaka. Yoshida advances to 3B and guns it for home. CF Howard Ockey throws home, but Yoshida scores safely.
Wolseley 0 – Fort Richmond 1

Bottom of the 3rd:

MacKay again gets two quick outs to start the bottom half, but Brandon Robinson comes through with a single into left-centerfield. Up next is Nobuyoshi Yoshida, who doubles into deep centerfield. Robinson rounds 3B and easily scores the Generals’ second run.

Taváres looks to complete the shutout in the top of the 9th. Éric Denis leads off with a walk, but Wen-huan Liu follows and grounds into a 1-6-3 double play. Howard Ockey singles into the gap in right-centerfield, but Evan Houk then hits into a 5-4 fielder’s choice, ending the game and sending the Series back to Wolseley with the Generals up 3 games to 2.
FINAL: Wolseley 0 – Fort Richmond 2



Player of the Game: Roberto Taváres was even better than in Game 1, going 9.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 1 K, 139 PI (2-0, 0.45 ERA; GS: 76).

For Wolseley:

Axel MacKay was effective once again, but just could not get the run support. His line was 8.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 101 PI (0-10, 1.06 ERA; GS: 67).

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Game 6 – April 3

The Series returns to Satchel Paige Park in Wolseley with 30,329 fans ready to cheer on their club. Fort Richmond needs just one more win to capture the Pennant and move on to the United Cup, but the Unions will be playing on home turf as they look to even things up. It’s partly cloudy (72F) with a breeze (19 mph) blowing out to left – perfect conditions for this critical game.

The starters of Game 2 face each again: Fort Richmond’s RHP Ch’ang-chieh Li will try to bounce back from his previous performance, while RHP Kai Tosh looks to pitch the Unions to victory.

Top of the 1st:
Fort Richmond gets on the board first, when Brandon Robinson, Nobuyoshi Yoshida and Daniel Paterson all bang out consecutive singles with one out driving in a run.
Fort Richmond 1 - Wolseley 0

Bottom of the 1st:

George Kimpton ties things up quickly when he crushes a one-out solo home run, 447 ft. to dead centerfield.
Fort Richmond 1 - Wolseley 1

Top of the 2nd:

Dylan Moyne leads off with a first-pitch double, then advances to third base when Brian Earle hits a sac fly to deep centerfield. Derek Reed follows with a single into shallow rightfield, scoring Moyne.
Fort Richmond 2 - Wolseley 1

Top of the 4th:

Fort Richmond extends their lead when Louis Wearne leads off with a single. But he is thrown at second base when Brian Earle hits into a 6-4 fielder’s choice with one out. Back-to-back doubles by Derek Reed and Ch’ang-chieh Li however, cash in two runs before the inning is over.
Fort Richmond 4 - Wolseley 1

Bottom of the 4th:

Wolseley fights back when Carlton Hawking leads off with a first-pitch single and Carlos Ortíz follows with a double. Éric Denis flies out to centerfield, but Dylan Moyne’s throw home sails wide, allowing Hawking to score safely (E8).
Wen-huan Liu then singles into leftfield, scoring Ortíz and getting the Unions to within one.
Fort Richmond 4 - Wolseley 3

Bottom of the 9th:

Down to their last three outs, Wolseley’s Carlton Hawking and Carlos Ortíz lead off with back-to-back singles. With one out, Wen-huan Liu doubles home Hawking to tie up the game. Ortíz rounds third base and tries for home on the play, but 2B Derek Reed’s relay throw from RF Brandon Robinson is on the money and snuffs out the potential winning run at home plate. The Generals get out of the inning without any further damage, sending the game into extras.
Fort Richmond 4 - Wolseley 4

Bottom of the 10th:

Ch’ang-chieh Li runs out of gas, as he gives up a lead single to PH Blair Toman and back-to-back walks to Make-Make Kamaka and George Kimpton, loading the bases with nobody out. RHP José Rodríguez comes on in relief and gets Carlton Hawking to line out to 3B Loïc Billon. But Carlos Ortíz comes through with a first-pitch single into rightfield, driving in Toman for the winning run and forcing a deciding Game 7.
FINAL: Fort Richmond 4 - Wolseley 5





Player of the Game: It was neither pitchers’ best game, but Kai Tosh gets the honors, going 8.0 IP, 11 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 97 PI (1-0, 2.12 ERA; GS: 46).

RHP Shou-xin Chin picked up the win, going 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 17 PI (1-0, 0.00 ERA).

Carlos Ortíz went 3 for 5, with 1 R, 1 RBI.

For Fort Richmond:

Ch’ang-chieh Li went 9.0 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 120 PI (0-2, 5.63 ERA; GS: 47).

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Game 7 – April 4

For the second year in a row, the Wolseley Unions and Fort Richmond Generals have forced a Game 7. This year’s series has gone back and forth with no team able to win consecutive games. Despite the loss of their top two pitchers, the Unions have battled the Generals every step of the way. 30,616 are on hand to see if their team can buck the trend and pull out a second straight victory. Conditions are ideal this afternoon: partly cloudy skies (75F) with just a light breeze (11 mph) blowing in from right.

The Game 3 starters get the start once again. Fort Richmond gives the ball to 30-year old LHP Nicholas Grimes while Wolseley calls upon 32-year old RHP Bill Blair. Neither pitcher got the win in Game 3 that saw Fort Richmond win in extra innings.


Bottom of the 3rd:
Bill Blair singles with one out. Next up is George Kimpton, who hits the ball back to SP Nicholas Grimes, who promptly throws out Blair at second base. But Kimpton beats out the throw to first base, avoiding the double play. Make-Make Kamaka then slaps the ball out to SS Nobuyoshi Yoshida, but his throw to first base sails over Brian Earle’s head (E6), allowing Kimpton and Kamaka to reach third and second base respectively. Carlton Hawking then draws a walk to load the bases. Carlos Ortíz comes through with a line drive single into rightfield. Kimpton scores from third base. Kamaka rounds third on the play and slides home safely, just beating out Brandon Robinson’s mighty throw.
Fort Richmond 0 - Wolseley 2

Top of the 6th:

Fort Richmond finally gets on the board in the 6th when Nobuyoshi Yoshida leads off with double into leftfield. With one out, Louis Wearne immediately singles into rightfield. Yoshida races in from second base and beats out Evan Houk’s throw home.

In the bottom of the 9th, Bill Blair gets Derek Reed to pop out to 3B Carlos Ortíz, but PH Ninfa Puzon line drives a single into centerfield. Manager Tony Fay then calls upon RHP John Palm to get the final two outs.
Belarmino Barbedo hits it out to 2B Make-Make Kamaka. Kamaka throws out Puzon at second base, but Barbedo beats out the double play ball.
Down to their last out, Brandon Robinson steps up to the plate. But he strikes out looking on a 1-2 splitter to end the game and the Series. The Wolseley Unions repeat at Western League Pennant Champions and move on to the United Cup to face the Embro Suns!
FINAL: Fort Richmond 1 - Wolseley 2



Player of the Game: SP Bill Blair held the Generals to a single run, giving his team a chance. In all, he went 8.1 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 119 PI (1-0, 1.26 ERA; GS: 59).

Rookie 3B Carlos Ortíz, who was declared the Series MVP, went 2 for 4, driving in both runs.

For Fort Richmond:

Nicholas Grimes pitched a terrific game but was done in by a single error. He went 8.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 117 PI (0-1, 2.00 ERA; GS: 61).

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Wolseley Unions (92-62) vs. Embro Suns (84-70)
Season Matchup: 6-0 in favor of Wolseley

Wolseley: Runs scored – 781 (1st in West); runs against – 657 (4th)
Embro: Runs scored – 762 (2nd in East); runs against – 717 (4th)

A team appearing in its very first United Cup squares off against a club making its fourth appearance in five seasons. The Embro Suns are now the 7th Eastern League team to get this far (only the Cobourg Red Stockings have yet to reach the playoffs) and did it as the wild card team, knocking off the Downie Chiefs, the defending United Cup champions. Meanwhile, the Wolseley Unions pulled out a seven-game come-from-behind triumph over the Fort Richmond Generals for the second year in a row. This despite the loss of their two top pitchers: 34-year old LHP Anastasio Rodríguez and 27-year old RHP Jeremy Albury.

The Unions dominated the Suns this season. During the regular season, Wolseley outscored Embro, 37-12, taking all six games they played. That included a 12-1 trouncing back on February 24 and back-to-back 4-0 victories in December. So how will the upstart Suns fare against a Unions team that has had their number all year? Will they finally figure out this Wolseley team and continue their magical run or will Wolseley’s depth prove to be too much? It’s time to find out on Braeland’s biggest sporting stage. Play ball!

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Game 1 – April 6

Once again, Wolseley’s Satchel Paige Park plays host to Game 1, with 30,654 fans shoehorned into the Stadium. It’s a perfect day for baseball: party cloudy, warm (73F) and a moderate breeze blowing in from left (18 mph).

26-year old LHP Axel MacKay (0-1, 1.06 ERA in the Western League Pennant Series) gets the assignment to start for Wolseley, while Embro tabs their No. 1 guy, 31-year old RHP Aaron Saunderson (1-0, 0.00 in the Eastern League Pennant Series). This will be Saunderson’s eighth career playoff start (3-3, 2.32 ERA) while MacKay will make his fifth (2-3, 3.09 ERA).

Bottom of the 1st:
Wolseley strikes quickly as 2B Make-Make Kamaka leads off with a triple and scores when SS George Kimpton follows with a first-pitch double.
Embro 0 – Wolseley 1

Bottom of the 3rd:

George Kimpton draws a walk with one out before LF Carlton Hawking singles him over to second. With two out, C Éric Denis singles into right-centerfield. Kimpton charges home and beats out the throw from RF José Maldonado.
Embro 0 – Wolseley 2

Top of the 4th:

Embro gets on the board when LF Rizalino Ringor leads off with a full-count walk and 2B Napana Mamo is hit by a pitch to put two men on with nobody out. With two out, José Maldonado bloops one into no-man’s land in shallow rightfield. Maldonado reaches second base, while Ringor scores. Mamo chugs around third and beats the relay from 2B Make-Make Kamaka to tie up the game.
Embro 2 – Wolseley 2

Bottom of the 6th:

Saunderson runs into trouble in the 6th. 1B Wen-huan Lui leads off with a single into shallow centerfield while CF Howard Ockey draws a walk. RF Evan Houk lines a shot out to SS Rafael De La Cruz, but De La Cruz fumbles it (E6), loading the bases. Axel MacKay then follows with a walk of his own, forcing in Lui to break the tie. With one out, George Kimpton singles in two more runs as Wolseley extends their lead.
Embro 2 – Wolseley 5

Top of the 7th:

CF Orlando Morales gets a run back when he jumps all over Axel Mackay’s 0-2 pitch, sending it 367 ft. into the leftfield bleachers for a solo home run.

In the top of the 9th, MacKay gives up a two-out single to Orlando Morales before he is relieved by RHP John Palm. Palm then gets PH Moromao Nakagawa to fly out to LF Carlton Hawking to end the game and seal the win for the Unions.
FINAL: Embro 3 – Wolseley 5





For Wolseley:

Axel MacKay went 8.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 122 PI (1-1, 1.75 ERA, GS: 61).

John Palm got the save, going 0.1 IP, 2 PI, 6.75 ERA, 2 SV.

For Embro:

Aaron Saunderson went 6.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 1 K, 106 PI (1-1, 2.40 ERA; GS: 35).

Yin-ti Shih went 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 K, 20 PI, 1.50 ERA.

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Game 2 – April 7

30,533 jubilant fans return to Satchel Paige Park looking for their club to make it two in a row. Partly cloudy skies (69F) with a wind blowing in from left (11 mph) set the stage.

Wolseley’s long reliever 33-year old RHP Hun Park (2-3, 1 SV, 3.86 ERA) gets his first playoff start in two years. He is 7-3, 3.89 ERA, 1.47 WHIP in 12 playoff starts. Embro goes with their No. 2 man, 31-year old LHP Arthur Bence (1-0, 4.97 ERA).

Top of the 3rd:
Embro gets something going when SS Rafael De La Cruz and Rizalino Ringor bang out back-to-back singles while1B Jim Friend draws a walk to load the bases with two out.
Napana Mamo drives a single into leftfield. Both De La Cruz and Ringor score without a throw.
Embro 2 – Wolseley 0

Top of the 5th:

José Maldonado leads off with a single and reaches second when Rizalino Ringor grounds out to 1B Wen-huan Liu.
With two out, Jim Friend crushes an 0-2 pitch from Park and parks it 414 ft. into the left-centerfield stands for a two-run home run.
Embro 4 – Wolseley 0

Bottom of the 5th:

Wolseley makes things interesting when George Kimpton leads off with a single to left-centerfield. With two out, 3B Carlos Ortíz singles into rightfield, putting runners on the corners. Éric Denis hits one out to 3B Keon-chae Cho and beats out the throw to first base. That scores Kimpton and moves Ortíz to second base.
After Wen-huan Liu draws a walk to load the bases, CF Howard Ockey lays down an infield single, scoring Ortíz. RF Evan Houk then draws a walk as well, scoring Denis and getting the Unions to within one. But Bence gets Park to fly out to rightfield to finally end the inning.

In the bottom the 9th, RHP Domingas Frias gets two quick outs before walking Wen-huan Liu and giving up a single to Howard Ockey. But Frias ends the game when he snares Evan Houk’s line drive (F1) to snuff out the rally. The Suns even things up as the Series heads to Embro.
FINAL: Embro 4 – Wolseley 3





For Embro:

Arthur Bence went 7.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 BB, 0 K, 128 PI (2-0, 4.50 ERA, GS: 44).

Domingas Frias got the save, 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 26 PI, 3.52 ERA, 3 SV.

For Wolseley:

Hun Park went 6.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 107 PI (0-1, 5.40 ERA; GS: 45).

Shou-xin Chin went 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 27 PI, 0.00 ERA.

John Palm went 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 7 PI, 5.87 ERA.

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Game 3 – April 9

Embro’s Speaker Stadium hosts the United Cup for the very first time and 26,639 fans pack the house to see if the Suns can take advantage of playing at home. It’s a beautiful day (73F), not a cloud in the sky while the wind is blowing in from right at 12 mph. 25-year old LHP Carl McBroom (1-1, 6.07 ERA) makes his third playoff start for the Suns, while the Unions’ 31-year old RHP Kai Tosh (1-0, 2.12 ERA) gets his 15th career start.

Bottom of the 1st:
Embro strikes first when José Maldonado draws a full-count lead-off walk. With one out, Maldonado moves up to second on a passed ball. Rizalino Ringor then draws a walk as well. Jim Friend follows and singles into left-centerfield. Maldonado races around third and scores without a throw to get the Suns on the board.
Napana Mamo then doubles down the leftfield line. Ringor scores Embro’s second run while Friend rounds third and heads for home. But SS George Kimpton’s relay from LF Carlton Hawking cuts Friend down at home plate, minimizing the damage.
Wolseley 0 – Embro 2

Top of the 4th:

SP Carl McBroom ends the top half when he snags 1B Wen-huan Liu’s grounder and throws him out. However, McBroom suffers an injury to his hand on the throw and is forced to leave the game. RHP Juan Rivas comes on in relief to start the 5th.
Wolseley 0 – Embro 2

Top of the 7th:

Embro keeps the Unions off the board until 1B Wen-huan Liu tags SP Juan Rivas for a solo home run, 380 ft. into the rightfield bleachers.
Wolseley 1 – Embro 2

Bottom of the 8th:

Wolseley runs into defensive problems in the 8th. Jim Friend leads off with a four-pitch walk, ending Kai Tosh’s day. But RHP Shou-xin Chin surrenders a single by 2B José Sánchez and then allows 3B Keon-chae Cho to reach safely when he picks up the slow roller back to him and throws it over 2B Make-Make Kamaka’s head. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Orlando Morales hits a long fly ball to centerfield. Howard Ockey’s strong throw home goes over the head of C Éric Denis (E8). That allows Friend to tag up and score.
After PH Moromao Nakagawa is intentionally walked to reload the bases, C Takafumi Ono, who came into the game in the fourth inning, singles into leftfield. That scores two more runs as the Suns pull away.

In the top of the 9th, RHP Yin-ti Shih takes over and gets the Unions to go in order, giving the Suns the Series’ lead.
FINAL: Wolseley 1 – Embro 5





For Embro:

Carl McBroom went 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 51 PI (1-1, 4.67 ERA, GS: 58). His injury was minor: a sore thumb, DtD-1 day.

Juan Rivas got the win, going 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 47 PI, (1-0, 3.00 ERA).

Domingas Frias went 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 7 PI, 3.12 ERA (1 H).

Yin-ti Shih went 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 10 PI, 1.29 ERA.

For Wolseley:

Kai Tosh went 7.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 1 K, 120 PI (1-1, 2.63 ERA; GS: 45).

Shou-xin Chin went 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 15 PI, 0.00 ERA.

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Game 4 – April 10

Embro has taken the upper hand in the Series and are looking to maintain their momentum. 26,640 fans have packed Speaker Stadium to see if their Suns can do just that. Once again, the weather will not be a factor: partly cloudy, 78F with just a gentle breeze (11 mph) blowing from right to left.

Embro gives the ball to their No. 4 starter, 36-year old RHP Myung-gu Son (0-1, 3.00), while Wolseley goes with 32-year old RHP Bill Blair (1-0, 1.26 ERA). This will be Blair’s 12th playoff start, while Son is still looking for his first playoff victory as he makes his 6th career start (0-5, 7.39 ERA).

Top of the 2nd:
Wolseley gets on the board first when Carlos Ortíz and Éric Denis lead off with back-to-back singles. Ortíz beats out RF José Maldonado’s throw to third base on the play, putting runners on the corners. Although Wen-huan Liu grounds into a 6-4-3 double play, Ortíz scores on the play.
Wolseley 1 – Embro 0

Top of the 8th:

SP Son keeps the Unions off the board after the 2nd inning, but he gives up a leadoff single to Make-Make Kamaka, ending his afternoon. RHP Yin-ti Shih takes over and gets Carlton Hawking to fly out to leftfield, but Carlos Ortíz reaches safely when SS Rafael De La Cruz can’t grip the rebounder (E6). Éric Denis then singles into right-centerfield. Kamaka rounds third base and beats out CF Orlando Morales’ throw home, adding to Wolseley’s lead.
Wolseley 2 – Embro 0

Bottom of the 8th:
SP Bill Blair limits Embro to four hits through seven innings, but implodes in the 8th.
CF Orlando Morales and C Scott Weller lead off with back-to-back singles, putting runners on the corners. Next up is PH Moromao Nakagawa, who crushes Blair’s 1-2 offering 365 ft. into the delirious rightfield stands for a 3-run home run, instantly giving the Suns the lead.
The onslaught continues, as José Maldonado smacks a first-pitch single into rightfield. After Maldonado advances to second base on a Rafael De La Cruz sac bunt, Rizalino Ringor draws a four-pitch walk. That sets up Jim Friend, who fouls off 4 pitches before taking Blair yard for another 3-run home run, landing just fair 363 ft. into the now riotous rightfield bleachers. That ends Blair’s afternoon. RHP Shou-xin Chin takes over and gets out of the inning unscathed when Napana Mamo, who singled after Jim Friend’s home run, is caught stealing second base (2-4).

In the top of the 9th, Domingas Frias takes over and gets two quick outs before giving up a double to Make-Make Kamaka. But Carlton Hawking grounds out to the pitcher to end the game. Embro takes an unexpected 3 games to 1 lead in the series.
FINAL: Wolseley 2 – Embro 6





For Embro:

Myung-gu Son didn’t get the win but was effective, going 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 105 PI (0-1, 2.81 ERA; GS: 59).

Yin-ti Shih picked up the win, going 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 19 PI, (1-0, 1.13 ERA).

Domingas Frias went 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 15 PI, 2.79 ERA.

For Wolseley:

Bill Blair’s sterling start crashed in the 8th. In all he went 7.1 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 2 HR, 108 PI (1-1, 3.32 ERA; GS: 34).

Shou-xin Chin went 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 11 PI, 0.00 ERA.

--------

Game 5 – April 11

Speaker Stadium plays host to what 26,726 fans hope will be the last game of this year’s United Cup. The Suns need just one more victory to win the championship, but the Wolseley Unions are no strangers to being behind the eight ball, as they have come from behind to beat the Fort Richmond Generals in each of the past two Western League Pennant Series. It’s hot (79F), partly cloudy with just a light breeze blowing in from right (10 mph).

The starters from Game 1 clash again. Embro’s ace, 31-year old RHP Aaron Saunderson (1-1, 2.40 ERA) looks to rebound from his previous start, while 26-year old LHP Axel MacKay (1-1, 1.75 ERA) hopes to dim the Suns and send the Series back to Wolseley.

Bottom of the 3rd:
The game is a pitcher’s duel, but Embro gets on the board first when Rafael De La Cruz and Rizalino Ringor lead off with back-to-back singles, putting runners on the corners. 2B Napana Mamo grounds out to SS George Kimpton, but De La Cruz comes in to score on the play.
Wolseley 0 – Embro 1

Top of the 6th:

Wolseley finally gets something going when Éric Denis leads off with a single and Wen-huan Liu draws a walk. After Howard Ockey lays down a successful sac bunt to advance the runners, Embro elects to walk Evan Houk. SP Axel MacKay then smacks a deep fly ball to right-centerfield. Denis tags up at third base and scores the tying run.
Wolseley 1 – Embro 1

Top of the 8th:

Saunderson gets two quick outs to start the inning. But PH Alfie Lewis reaches second base safely when SS Rafael De La Cruz’s throw hits the dirt in front of 1B Jim Friend and goes wide. George Kimpton then connects on a groundball single into rightfield, scoring Lewis for the go-ahead run.

In the bottom of the 9th, RHP John Palm gives up a walk to PH Frank Adams with one out. But both Rafael De La Cruz and Rizalino Ringor hit into fielder’s choices at second base to end the game. The Unions get back in the win column as the Series returns to Wolseley for Game 6.
FINAL: Wolseley 2 – Embro 1





For Wolseley:

Axel MacKay lasted just 6.2 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 120 PI (1-1, 1.67 ERA, GS: 59).

Shou-xin Chin got the win again, going 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 2 PI (2-0, 0.00 ERA).

John Palm was credited with the save, going 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 27 PI, 4.66 ERA, 3 SV.

For Embro:

Aaron Saunderson was terrific, but was done in by fielding errors. He went 9.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 136 PI (1-2, 1.88 ERA; GS: 63).

--------

Game 6 – April 13

The Unions grabbed the momentum right back in Game 5 and head back to the friendly confines of Satchel Paige Park, hoping to play two more games. 30,701 fans are on hand to cheer on their team. The weather is ideal: partly cloudy (71F) with just a light breeze blowing in from center (12 mph).

The Game 2 starters both get their club’s assignment. Wolseley’s long reliever 33-year old RHP Hun Park (0-1, 5.40 ERA) gets his second start in the Series, while Embro hands the ball to 31-year old LHP Arthur Bence (2-0, 4.50 ERA).

Bottom of the 2nd:
George Kimpton leads off with a single, then scores when Éric Denis follows him with a double into rightfield. However, Denis is thrown out by RF José Maldonado trying to stretch his double (9-4-5).
Embro 0 – Wolseley 1

Bottom of the 4th:

Wolseley keeps the pressure on as Carlton Hawking leads off with walk. George Kimpton then slams SP Bence’s 1-2 offering 379 ft. into the rightfield bleachers for a two-run home run.
Embro 0 – Wolseley 3

Top of the 7th:

Embro finally gets something going when Rizalino Ringor and José Maldonado draw back-to-back walks with one out. During Jim Friend’s at-bat, Ringor successfully steals third base, with Maldonado advancing to second base as well. With two out, Keon-chae Cho drives a single into deep centerfield, scoring both Ringor and Maldonado, to get the Suns back to within one.
Embro 2 – Wolseley 3

Bottom of the 7th:

But Wolseley comes right back. Éric Denis connects on a lead-off double while Wen-huan Liu receives a free pass. After Howard Ockey advances the runners on a sac bunt, Evan Houk singles home Denis. Liu races around third base and beats out the throw from LF Rizalino Ringor to score the Unions’ fifth run.
Wolseley does it again when SP Hun Park lays down a sac bunt to move Houk to second base and Make-Make Kamaka singles down the rightfield line. Houk rounds third base and scores ahead of RF José Maldonado throw home.
Embro 2 – Wolseley 6

Bottom of the 8th:

With RHP Yin-ti Shih taking over from Arthur Bence, Carlton Hawking leads off with an infield single. George Kimpton then comes through again, this time with a triple into right-centerfield, scoring Hawking.
With two out, Howard Ockey doubles into left-centerfield, scoring Kimpton for the Unions’ eighth run.

In the top of the 9th, Hun Park gets both Rizalino Ringor and José Maldonado to pop-up to 1B Wen-huan Liu before getting Jim Friend to ground out to SS George Kimpton. Wolseley ties up the Series, setting up a winner-take-all Game 7.
FINAL: Embro 2 – Wolseley 8





For Wolseley:

Hun Park was sensational, going 9.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 103 PI (1-1, 3.45 ERA, GS: 71).

For Embro:

Arthur Bence was less successful. He went 7.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 88 PI (2-1, 5.33 ERA; GS: 40).

Shou-xin Chin went 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 22 PI, 3.00 ERA.

--------

Game 7 – April 14

For the fifth time in United Leagues’ history, the United Cup comes down to a Game 7. Wolseley has fought back from a 3 games to 1 deficit to tie the Series, setting up the final showdown. Embro meanwhile, is desperate to try and regain the momentum. The weather is simply beautiful here on the west coast: clear, sunny skies (73F) with a light breeze blowing in from left (12 mph).

The Game 3 starters are called upon to lead their team in the final match. 31-year old RHP Kai Tosh (1-1, 2.63 ERA) takes the hill for Wolseley, while 25-year old LHP Carl McBroom (1-1, 4.67 ERA) responds for the Suns.

Bottom of the 1st:
Wolseley gets down to business, hitting McBroom hard as they send nine batters to the plate. Carlos Ortíz gets the Unions on the board when he crushes a one-out solo home run, 421 ft. to the left-centerfield bleachers.
Carlton Hawking then battles McBroom, fouling off four straight pitches before doubling into centerfield. The red-hot George Kimpton tags McBroom for the second home run of the inning, a two-run shot that sails 382 ft. into the cheering leftfield bleachers.
Although McBroom gives up two more singles and a walk, he is able to get SP Tosh to ground out to third base to end the inning and prevent further damage.
Embro 0 – Wolseley 3

Top of the 2nd:

But the Suns come right back. Jim Friend walks on four-straight pitches with one out then reaches third base when Keon-chae Cho singles into left-centerfield. Orlando Morales then spanks Tosh’s first offering, sending it 383 ft. into the now quiet leftfield bleachers for a three-run home run.
Embro 3 – Wolseley 3

Bottom of the 7th:

Both pitchers keep things quiet the rest of the way until the 7th. Carlos Ortíz leads off with a line-drive single into centerfield. That sets up Carlton Hawking, who jumps all over Carl McBroom’s 2-1 offering, depositing it 384 ft. into the leftfield stands for two-run home run.

In the top of the 9th, RHP John Palm takes over for Tosh. C Scott Weller leads off and grounds out to SS George Kimpton. CF Frank Adams then draws a walk, bringing the potential tying to the plate. But Rafael De La Cruz flies out to centerfield. Down to their last out, Napana Mamo grounds out to 1B Wen-huan Liu to end the game and the Series. The Wolseley Unions come from behind to win their second United Cup!
FINAL: Embro 3 – Wolseley 5





For Wolseley:

Kai Tosh just had that one rough inning. He went 8.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 120 PI (2-1, 2.81 ERA; GS: 61).

John Palm went 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 14 PI, 4.42 ERA.

For Embro:

It was another short outing for Carl McBroom, as he went 5.2 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 2 HR, 119 PI (1-1, 4.70 ERA, GS: 37).

Juan Rivas got the win, going 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 47 PI, (1-0, 3.00 ERA).

Yin-ti Shih went 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 26 PI (1-1, 4.35 ERA).

Starter RHP Myung-gu Son came on in relief, going 1.0 IP, 0 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 10 PI, 2.65 ERA.

--------



Fun Fact: With his United Cup MVP honor this year, SS George Kimpton now has more playoff MVP awards (3) than all-star selections (2). He previously won the 1948-49 Western League Pennant Series MVP award as well as the 1949-50 Western League Pennant Series MVP award.
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