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 Post subject: Key players before ST starts
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:11 pm
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Location: Wheeling, WV
To return to playoffs and even more wins--- who do you see as the keys this season?

I'm looking for Morton to a more productive season and finally realize his full potential-- more innings means staying healthy and we need to depend on him as a very good #3.

We need Marte to improve his K rate which implies improvement in his very weak walk rate. His big asset is getting on base often and running.

Walker either improves at the plate or sits more as Barmes plays with Mercer at second. I look for Mercer to show better at the dish. Walker just might be the most important player for the team success this season.

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 Post subject: Re: Key players before ST starts
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:46 pm 
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I think how much the bullpen collectively regresses will be one of the most interesting/important elements to watch. I don't doubt that they'll be good, perhaps very good again. But it's easy to take for granted that the 'pen being historically good at times last year was a pretty significant reason the team won 90+ games. Even someone like Wilson who has some of the most raw talent (as opposed to pieces like Mazarro or Gomez who seemed to have outlier years relative to not having much success at all prior), I think you want to see the K% improve with that kind of increased velocity, can he sustain that low of a BABIP, etc. I'm not too concerned, but I question how regressions like Melancon turning human again might start to affect the W/L record if the run differential doesn't improve.

Gerrit Cole was only in the majors for three months last year, and really blossomed late in the season. How he performs over his first full season will be a pretty significant factor for the next several years of the franchise and how the rotations will be constructed.

Lambo will be the most interesting hitter to me. I feel like you have a pretty good idea on what kind of production you're going to get out of the rest of the line-up, though obviously not without there being a couple questionable caveats that could swing the pendulum (Marte improving his K/BB ratio is certainly one of them, Tabata's health, can Alvarez string together a below average OBP as opposed to a terrible one, etc.) Are you getting close to league average production out of that half of the platoon? If not, how long does that experiment last and what is the next step, AAAA depth or more dreaded RHP ABs for Gaby?


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 Post subject: Re: Key players before ST starts
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:46 am
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Location: Economy, PA
I don't really want to see Mercer playing second. I'd love to see him just take over that shortstop position and be the answer there.

I was hoping they would upgrade Harrison's spot, but I still think he can be productive backing up 2nd and 3rd.


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 Post subject: Re: Key players before ST starts
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:21 am
Posts: 5677
Spitballin'...

Healthy Walker

Better OBP from Marte (which should translate to more steals!)

Good dose of Ground Chuck

Something that resembles average from Locke

Figuring out where Pedro bats [hits consistently] in the order

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