Monday, March 26, 2012

Season Preview: The Moon Colonists

"I see no reason I can't draft 19 useful players and make a run at it this year"

As last year's captain of this team once said, "Gauntlets were thrown!" Bold words for a guy who entered day 2 of the draft with something like 6 players on this team. Such bold claims deserve fair scrutiny. Unfortunately for this owner, his claim will be scrutinized by me instead.

First, though, we here at the GRBG have received a request to analyze the possible meanings of this team's name. We are happy to oblige. Let's run down some of the possiblities.

Interpretation #1: A poke at Presidential candidate and noted wife-accumulator Newt Gingrich's plan to colonize the heavens, which would have been cool if it wasn't coated in an election pander that basically promised to annex the moon to the state of Florida.

Intepretation #2: A poke at the weight of former Yankee pitcher and noted blood-doper Bartolo Colon, whose density has increased to the point that he has his own gravitational field and is currently being orbited by several pork empanadas.

Interpretation #3: This poke right here:


Unfortunately for this team, tradition dictates that I start with an analysis of the infield. The team's best IF player is the estimable Adrian Gonzalez. The rest of the group consists of two acceptable stopgaps (Geo Soto and Yunel Escobar), one quasi-interesting flyer (possible one-category monster Jemile Weeks), and possibly the single saddest opening day starter in the league (oft-injured SS Jed Lowrie, who appears set to run out at 3B to start the season). The bench doesn't provide much cover either, comprised as it is of Failed Prospect All-Stars Gordon Beckham and Pedro Alvarez.

All in all, the second-best IF player in this group this year is probably Victor Martinez, even taking into account that he's going to miss the year with a blown ACL. Not a good sign.


Muuuch better. Matt Kemp and Justin Upton could pretty much carry the load by themselves. But the team has surrounded them with a couple of fun bounceback candidates (Carl Crawford and Jose Tabata) and one incredibly boring bounceback candidate (Jason Bay). Barring injury, this group will be board-quality.

Starting Pitching

Look, starting pitching is inherently volatile. Guys get hurt, guys lose command, guys get buried in the pen for no real reason. But (with the obvious and important exception of Roy Halladay) this rotation embraces that volitility to a potentially unhealthy degree. In fact, the rotation hits just about every risky catergory of pitcher. We've got Tommy Hanson and Scott Baker, two guys in their mid-20s who have already missed time with both elbow and shoulder injuries. We have not one, not two, but three converted relievers in Neftali Feliz, Alexei Ogando, and Justin Masterson. Is there a pedigreed former prospect with middling performance results? Have you met Homer Bailey?

You get the idea. The good thing is that with Halladay around, they arguably only need three of these lottery tickets to pay off, because they could then play matchups with the other SP slots. But there won't be a lot of time to figure out whether those tickets are paying off, because otherwise the weight of all these high-slot guys will create a strong incentive to sell.


Much like the residents of the Chateau Marmont, this team's bullpen is young, talented, and shallow. There are only two guys who figure to be actual relievers at the start of the year. The good news is that David Robertson and Addison Reed are both K machines. The bad news is that they aren't in line for saves, and there aren't enough enough of them to really prop up the rate stats. I suspect this part of the team is very much a work in progress.


It's not exactly a shock that a team which made multiple win-now trades last year heads into this year with a muddled roster. This is about as extreme of a stars-and-scrubs approach as you can take. If everything goes right, there's more than enough elite talent here to make this team a nuisance. But the odds are that the dealer hands out a couple of bust cards, and this team spends July auctioning off everything that's not nailed down.

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