Saturday, April 12, 2008

Season 8 Preview - Chicago Mayhem

The Chicago Mayem took their league leading 113-49 record into Season 7's playoffs . They met up with the New Orleans Cardsharks in the ALCS. This was the fourth straight post season meeting between the two clubs. This has become the biggest rivalry in the American League. The defending World Series Champions were out pitched, made costly fielding mistakes, and the offense never exploded. This was not how the Mayhem expected to end their season.

Season 8 Roster

Pitching Staff: This starting rotation is deeper than any previous year, and probably the deepest rotation in the world. All five pitchers have been the top pitcher in their organization at some point in their career.

SP1: Wayne Christensen went 19-4 last season with 2.92 ERA. Season 6 Cy Young and 4 time All-Star.
SP2: Pablo Pena went 18-10 with an ERA of 3.48 last season. This will be the third season pitching for the Mayhem for this former All-Star.
SP3: Stan Musial had a career season last season. 19-7 with an ERA of 3.47. He has been solid in the playoffs, usually in relief, the past two seasons.
SP4: Juan Encarncion was acquired in the offseason. Sub 4.00 career ERA to go along with a Cy Young and 4 All-Star selections.
SP5: Vladimir Guillen anchored the Mayhem staff for several seasons. His Cy Young season in season 4 where he went 27-1 with a 2.87 ERA is arguably the best season of any pitcher in Edmonds. He had 16 straight playoff appearances without a loss before he lost a game last postseason.

SUa: Pascual Pena brings his high velocity and splits to the mound for another season. He has been very effective in this role, earning him an All-Star appearance in season 4.
CLa: Desi Henriquez has been developing nicely as a true shutdown closer. At 24 years old he the control, splits, and velocity to be the best closer in Edmonds for years to come.

Batting Lineup: This offense has been providing huge run support for several seasons. Opposing managers know that no lead is safe when facing this lineup. This offense has a reputation for scoring 6+ runs late in games to steal a win. The offense is built around "The Four Horsemen" of Plunk, Mullin, Woodward, and O'Brien.

1) Kordell Randolph CF: His baserunning skills have made him a great leadoff hitter since the Edmond's inception. The Mayhem are excited to have this former All-Star lead this lineup.
2) Storm Matthews 2B: He is trying to forget his error in LF in the ALCS that cost the Mayhem the game. He is a great power hitter against righties, which has given him a .300 avg. and an All-Star appearance.
3) Mitchell Plunk 1B: Last season he won his second AL MVP. 5-time All-Star, 4-time Silver Slugger, 2-time Gold Glove that leads the world with a career .351 avg. His post-season numbers are staggering: 57 G, 232 AB, 15 HR, 63 RBI, .422 Avg, 1.203 OPS over six post-seasons.
4) Brad Mullin C: He is coming off his worst season. This former AL MVP, 4-time All-Star, 3-time Silver Slugger has done a great job for the Mayhem over the years.
5) Rudy Woodward DH: He trails only Plunk in career avg. in Edmonds with .337. 5-time All-Star, 5-time Silver Slugger has been a finalist for AL MVP the past 4 season, 3 times being beat out by teammates.
6) Kenneth O'Brien RF: He gets no respect for what he does. Only one All-Star appearance, yet every season he leads the Mayhem in HRs and RBIs. He is one of the top Home Run hitters in the history of Edmonds.
7) Don Spoljaric 3B: He is coming off an All-Star season, but will have to compete with Santiago Soto for playing time.
8) Jon Won SS: Offseason acquisition which will move Donald Zhang to backup SS. Won should provide more offense.
9) Bobby Ray McCartney LF: He will make his rookie debut this season. Good splits and good baserunning have managment optimistic he can have a successful long term career here.

The bench has depth with power hitting Ernest Mitchell, contact hitting Davey Pulido, former lead off man Ralph Henley, and pinch runner Kory Lowe. These players, along with Soto and Zhang, should give Sparky plenty of options late in games.

Season 8 prediction: This team is built to win it all. Anything else will be a disappointment. The Mayhem should be able to win 100+ games and get a first round bye. Mayhem welcome their fifth straight playoff series against Price, Tatis, and the New Orleans Card Sharks. Chicago fans schedule that parade!