Tuesday, March 8, 2011

MONCLOVA ACEREROS (2010 record: 52-50)

Which Monclova Acereros team will we see in 2011? Monclova’s first-half club that went 20-33 and finished one game out of last place in the LMB North? Or the Steelers side who battled to a 33-19 record and came in 2.5 games behind second half champ Mexico City?

The Acereros are an intriguing team, with a good number of proven veterans sprinkled through the lineup. 1B Pedro Valdes (.324/16/68) is the best of a middling batting order. 3B Efren Espinosa is back from a .318/12/50 season, LF Leo Arauz (.305/6/53) has his best years behind him but is still fairly productive, CF Donzell McDonald (.301/12/65 with 19 steals) has been one of Mexico’s best leadoff hitters for years, while C Saul Soto (.301/9/45), 1B/OF Abraham Valencia (.291/12/57 for Campeche) and 2B Hector Garanzuay (.248/6/47) are all decent batsmen. Monclova is capable of putting together a good batting order.
The pitching staff is workmanlike: Nerio Rodriguez (9-7/4.13) is 40 but can still get strikeouts with 88 in 100 innings lasdt year, Roberto Novoa (6-0/3.97/5 saves) did well both starting and closing, Oswaldo Verdugo (6-7/5.50) was 29-6 in three years for Yucatan before a tough 2010 and Jasiel Acosta (9-5/4.79) is a decent veteran lefty.

Manager Gerardo Sanchez’ Acereros could surprise and slip into the playoffs, but it's less likely now with Puebla joining the LMB North in 2011.
-Copyright 2011