Week 14 has come to a close in the Bull League, and the Rimouski Fighting Moose are on top of the weekly team power rankings. But, the St. Petersburg Admirals are close behind, as both teams surged ahead to 1st and 2nd and the Nevada Speeders fell to 4th. The Minneapolis Ravens stood pat at 3rd again this week.
The home stretch has arrived and less than 3 weeks remain on the regular season schedule, meaning teams like the Chicago Pit Bulls (25-57), who have been realistically out of the race for some time, will soon become mathematically eliminated, and the field of contenders will narrow.
The Detroit Motorheads, Louisville Sluggers and Norfolk Sharks are among the other teams who have extremely long odds at a wild card.
The Fighting Moose are 50-32, with the third-best record in baseball, but had a stellar week, going 4-1. On Monday, they dropped game 3 of a 4-game set with the Pit Bulls, then won game 4 to split the series 2-2. After a travel day, they swept provincial rivals, the Montreal Metros in the Battle of Quebec, to go 6-4 on the season against them. They play the Metros one last time in their final series of the season.
However, the injuries are beginning to stack up for the Fighting Moose, who have the highest payroll in baseball this year. Big swinging Alan Isimo is hampered by an undisclosed day-to-day injury suffered last week in the Metros series. Three top starting pitchers are all out, including William Febres, Mo-ruo Chen, and Andy Boyles, adding up to nearly $30 million in annual salary out of the rotation and on the DL. Three-time MVP Dao-zi Ling is also out with a fractured ankle and will not return unless the team makes the playoffs. Closer Marc Garland has been out with an elbow ligament tear since April and will not return until 2019.
Catchers Catch POTW NODS
Top BL catchers Earl MacPherson and Les Groves have been named Players of the Week for week #14. Groves, the Louisville top draft pick from 2017 was an impressive .588 at the plate, with 3 homers and 7 RBIs as the Sluggers stacked up runs against the New York Dragons last week.
Meanwhile, Norfolk Sharks catcher MacPherson batted .565 with five homers, 16 RBIs, in just 5 games over the week, including a 3-for-4 performance against the Admirals in which he homered twice and drove in 6 runs.
After a flurry of trades in the beginning of July, the remainder of the month was looking quiet. But as injuries stacked up and wild card races heated up, several trades were triggered in the last week of July just before the deadline.
The action started on July 26, when the Toronto Nomads confirmed a deal with the Detroit Motorheads that sent promising prospect infielder Ronnie van der Wal – the “Flying Dutchman” – right-handed reliever Glen Talbert, and 21-year-old prospect Matt Hagopian to the Motorheads in return for slugger Brian Chambliss and infielding prospect Jose Rodriguez. Continue reading “Trade Winds Blow at Deadline”
The Calgary Inferno and the Louisville Sluggers both announced they have agreed on a four-player swap that is expected to solidify the Inferno bullpen for the second half, and improve the speed and defense of the Sluggers prospect pool.
The Sluggers sent veteran RHP David Johnson to Calgary, where his 2.89 ERA, and strong performance against right-handed batters will be useful for the Inferno, who currently rank 9th in the AEL for bullpen ERA. Calgary gave up three minor league prospects in return. Continue reading “Sluggers, Inferno in Player Swap”
Earlier this evening, Chicago announced two major trades and the Toronto Nomads joined them with a deal of their own. But there is late-breaking news that two more trades were completed today, making this the busiest day for trades in league history.
This season, teams are not waiting until the trade deadline to make their move and jockey for better positions going into the second half of the season, which starts imminently. Continue reading “Two More Deals Cap Busy Day for Trades”
Little Sluggers News
The Clearwater Sluggers have maintained their clutch on the top spot in the Florida Rookie League weekly team rankings once again, but the Naples Admirals and Jacksonville Beach Ravens have made impressive strides to catch up. The Admirals and Ravens were 5th and 6th in last week’s rankings, but have improved to 2nd and 3rd respectively for […]
The Bull Oceanic Winter League (BOWL) has nearly wrapped up it’s first season of developmental winter baseball, after the last of the regular season round-robins games finished yesterday. The knock-out round starts on Wednesday, with the single game semi-final matchups: Lagos-Algiers and Tunis-Melbourne.
Although the end of the preliminary round is still weeks away, the Bull Oceanic Winter League (BOWL) already has two emerging power teams that are seemingly locks for the playoff round when it starts February 20. The Algiers Berbers, which is made up of minor league players contributed by the Nevada Speeders and the Battle Creek […]
The AA-level Heifer League final playoff round was decided in the fourth game last night, as the Savannah Buccaneers smashed the Nashville Misfits 11-5. The win marks the first Heifer Cup victory for the Anchorage Aces affiliate, capping one of their best seasons since the Heifer League started in 2013, with a team record .264 […]
The Nashville Misfits shutout the Anchorage Sky Chiefs 2-0 in Game 4 of the best-of-five Pasture League Championship Series tonight, and will now advance to face the Savannah Buccaneers in the Heifer Cup. The AA-level affiliate for the Battle Creek Attack, the Misfits are going to their first Heifer Cup, after making the playoffs two previous […]
The AA-level Heifer League’s regular season has come to a close, and the four divisional title winners will move on to the two-round playoff starting tomorrow. The four playoff teams are the Barn League’s Savannah Buccanners, and the Spokane North Stars, and the Pasture League’s Nashville Misfits and the Anchorage Sky Chiefs.