Monday, March 7, 2011

MINATITLAN PETROLEROS (2010 record: 44-60)

The Petroleros were not one of the more interesting teams in the Mexican League last season, finishing 16 games under .500 and drawing just 74,529 fans in 53 games. However, under new manager Victor “El Loco” Meza, things in Minatitlan will be anything but boring in 2011. Meza, a longtime star in the Cuban National Series, was as renowned for his flamboyance and temper as for his playing ability. He won’t have an easy time lighting a fire under this team, though.

Minatitlan hit .298 as a team to finish eighth in that category, but they didn’t score many runs. 1B Carlos Rivera (.373/16/82) is the top returning batter, while CF Frank Diaz (.338/13/66) gives strong support and SS Rolando Acosta (.327/7/50) is one of Mexico’s most underrated infielders. The Petros will be helped if OF Amaury Cazana (.380 in 29 games) is able to play for a full season.

Minatitlan pitchers had a 5.63 ERA in 2010. Enrique Quintanilla (7-8/4.17) and Francisco Cordova (7-6/4.67) head the rotation and reliever Isidro Marquez (3-3/3.61/17 saves) broke Ramon Arano’s Liga record of 812 games pitched last June, but most Petros pitchers were of the “duck-and-cover” variety.

At least Meza’s players won’t dare sleepwalk through games. In Minatitlan, that’s progress.
-Copyright 2011