††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Virginia Patriots Preseason Look for 2004

 

 

The Pats are set and ready for season #2 of the BrassWorld League and hoping to improve upon our first season of 90-72.Some retooling occurred during the off-season with free agency and trades.This article is an update to our article a few months ago on the Pats plan for 2004.

 

PreSeason Team Look:

 

Catcher

 

Jorge Posada is solid at catcher at .281/.405/.518.Jorge can play most games with Geronimo Gil as the backup when needed.Javier Valentin and Pete LaForest waiting in the minors.LaForest is interesting in that he could be a decent hitter for Tampa Bay if given the chance.

 

First Base

 

The Pats big man is Carlos Delgado.The big guy played 161 games with .302/.426/.593 including 43 HRs and is the heart and soul of the Pats offense.Delgado is signed for one more year.

 

Second Base

 

The Pats traded both of their second baseman in the off season for pitching.Placido Polanco was traded for BH Kim and Todd Walker was traded for CC Sabathia.††

 

This year the Pats will use a 4 way platoon at 2b.Carlos Febles will play vs lhp, while Willie Bloomquist, Jamie Carroll, and Frank Menechino will share the 2b job vs rhp.This set up is not the best, but I guess, it is the price of trading for improved pitching.If anyone has some second base help, the Pats would listen to any offers.

 

ShortStop

 

Nomar is the 6 million dollar man here.Nomarís numbers were .301/.345/.524. Nomar plays every day.

 

Third Base

 

Rookie Ty Wigginton played the entire season for the Mets and finished up with .255/.318/.396 in 156 games; he doesnít fair as well vs rhp, so Willie Bloomquist will play some games at 3b.

 

Left Field

 

Jay Payton had a good season with the Rockies at .302/.354/.512.He is our everyday left fielder.He also is Y4 and we will need to decide on arbitration after the season.

 

Center Field

 

Another trade brought newcomer Milton Bradley to Virginia.Bradley is also Y4 and Arbitration decisions are needed soon.Bradley with limited PA s will platoon with Kerry Robinson and Jason Michaels in CF. This combination of cf/of should provide some nice options for the Pats field manager.

 

Right Field

 

Lefty, Jay Gibbons Y3 will play rf everyday.Gibby played 160 games with the Oís at .277/.330/.456.The Pats are hoping that Gibby might have a breakout season soon.

 

Starting Pitching:

 

The Pats believe their strength is in their starting pitching, and with some offseason trades, Patís management believes that this should continue:

 

Greg Maddux, 36 starts

Tim Hudson, 35 starts

Bartolo Colon, 35 starts

CC Sabathia, 31 starts (acquired in trade)

Solomon Torres 19 starts (recent FA sign)

 

Eric Milton, returning from a knee injury hopefully will return to form next season and youngster Aaron Cook is hoping for a brighter future as well in Colorado.

 

Bullpen:

 

BH Kim is the big off-season pick up here.With 122 IPs he will see a lot of late inning action and possibly a few starts as well.The new bullpen includes Will Cunnane, Danny Patterson, Gabe White, Ron Mahay and Rick White.Jorge Julio returns from last season and hopes to find his rookie season success.Youngsters Grant Balfour and Jon Adkins hope to find a roster spot in the near future.

 

The Pats look good on paper, can this team perform well on the field?Time will tell, we arelooking forward to some good NL competition this season especially in the Aaron Division of the NL.