Monday, January 16, 2017

Early Tight Races (83' NXPL Update)

Youngblood playing many roles with Tigers.
The 1983 NXPL Season has been rolling for about a month now, and the pennant races in both leagues (especially the American League) are really close, with no clear favorites.

My Detroit Tigers entered this season, as the defending American League Champions, after losing the 1982 NXPL World Series in seven hard-fought games to the St. Louis Cardinals. It's a computer league in which consists of 15 other owners like myself, in which we make the moves necessary to improve our teams from year-to-year; We get to be the Owners, General Managers & Managers, all rolled into one.

Last season, it didn't take me long to feel a nice flow with my lineup & team -- and for the last two seasons, my two starts to the seasons, consisted of 7-3 & 8-2 starts... this year, however, I came out of the gate at 5-5, while I have had trouble trying to get Ben Oglivie & Jason Thompson going at the plate.

The team as a whole, has been playing better of late, with the team going 11-9 since, while only trailing the first-place Baltimore Orioles & Chicago White Sox, by a single game at 16-14. My Tigers have actually played much better on the road (7-3) compared to my managing at home (9-11), hopefully we can get that straightened out.

We still have a stellar pitching staff, with Tom Seaver rebounding in 1983 for us (joining the staff) with Mario Soto, Dan Petry, Joaquin Andujar & Walt Terrell. Here is how they stack up...

  • Dan Petry, who won 20 games for us last season, is off to a superb start at 3-1, 1.60 ERA, 19 K's (through 6 GS, 1 CG & 45 innings). 
  • Joaquin Andujar, who has the weakest APBA grade of the bunch, has certainly not been showing that much, while he also has a 3-1, with a 2.18 ERA & 23 K's in 41.1 innings. 
  • Tom Seaver: The Hall-of-Famer is 3-1, 2.78 ERA, 26 K's in 35.2 innings. 
  • Mario Soto: 2-3, 2.98 ERA -- leads the team with 40 K's & a .898 WHIP! He has had bad luck so far, one game for example, he cruised through 6 scoreless innings & then gave up 4+ runs, or the Tigers lineup is just not doing enough to get him that victory.
  • Walt Terrell: 2-2, 2.97 ERA, with 15 K's in 30.1 innings.
Other than Soto, the entire rotation has already pitched a complete game, including one by spot-starter/reliever Dave Rozema; Plus 3 shutouts!

Starters ranked by WHIP (Walks + Hits / Innings Pitched):
  • Soto -    .898
  • Andujar -    1.040
  • Terrell -    1.220
  • Petry -    1.222
  • Seaver -    1.262
For the hitting, Ben Oglivie had a multi-homer game, while producing 3 homers last series, to finally lift his batting average over .200 (.222) -- he does rank among the team's RBI leaders (12).

  • Lance Parrish was last season's MVP, it will definitely be difficult for him to repeat 1982, which was his best MLB season, but 83' was a down-year for him; His 83' NXPL Season has so far been a productive one, while leading the team with 5 HR & 14 RBI (tied)... while batting .246, although his .275 On-Base Percentage definitely could use a lift.
  • Bill Madlock leads the team with a .329 batting average, .420 OBP & .855 OPS! He has produced 2 HR & 11 RBI, while scoring 11 runs as well. 
  • For Alan Trammell & Lou Whitaker, 1983 is the year that they broke through offensively & would continue to improve at the plate for years to come; These two batted near the bottom of my lineup last season -- this year, they bat near the top. Trammell ranks 2nd in Batting Average (.315) while leading the team with 7 doubles -- he has yet to hit a home run & only has 5 RBI though. Whitaker is 3rd in batting (.309) with 1 HR, 14 RBI (tied for team lead) while also leading the team with 14 runs.
  • Entering the 1982 NXPL Draft, I selected George Wright, who had a decent 1982, but a pretty good 1983 Season (.276 BA, 18 HR, 80 RBI & 8 steals; .746 OPS) -- plus he brings solid defense for an outfielder. Wright went above & beyond in 82' for me, and has been a blessing for my 83' team as well (.283, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 11 runs, 4 doubles & 2 triples). For people not in-the-know, Wright, played the majority of his short MLB career (1982-1986) with the Texas Rangers.
  • Joel Youngblood has been an excellent jack-of-all-trades, coming off the bench, or platooning in left or at third -- he's done his job well! Youngblood is currently batting .258 with 3 homers, 8 RBI & 8 runs, with a .814 OPS in 66 at-bats.
While those players have done well, I need Oglivie (like mentioned above) to step up along with Jason Thompson, Kirk Gibson & Mookie Wilson.

There is still plenty of season, so while we are starting to show some encouraging signs for what's to come this season, I hope & expect to see more positive outcomes.


  1. Joel Youngblood was a handy player. I take it you must have traded Jack Morris at some point?

  2. ps--I lived in San Antonio from 78 to early 84, and remember the G Man well! He was an exciting player!


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