Thursday, March 10, 2011

OAXACA GUERREROS (2010 record: 60-45)

It ain’t easy being a ballplayer in Oaxaca. The city itself is more than nice enough, but the Guerreros had to overcome nearly moving or disbanding last season (a workers strike shut down the Oaxaca ballpark for a time and threatened to close it entirely) to finish 15 games over .500 and give a good showing in the playoffs before losing to Puebla in the LMB South finals. Then they lost their manager.

Marco Antonio Vazquez replaces Eddie Diaz as manager (Diaz will scout full-time for Tampa Bay in 2011) and takes over a decent team, including an offense that hit .313 with gap power and a pitching staff that tossed seven shutouts but allowed too many baserunners. A lot of skippers have started with less.

Guerreros RF Christian Quintero (.317/12/77) led with only a dozen dingers but five players had 22 or more doubles. C Erick Rodriguez (.327/10/61) may be the Liga’s best backstop, 3B Victor Mercedes (.336/8/81) has been productive and DH Juan Canizales (.301/10/52) keeps telling Father Time “Not yet!”

Oaxaca’s pitching is not their strength. Rodolfo Gonzalez (10-6/4.89), Rolando Valdez (10-4/5.87) and Serfio Velazquez (9-4/4.41) combined for 29 wins and a 5.02 ERA. Sort of says it all right there.

Puebla’s move to the North will help, but the Guerreros will live by their hitting. Pitching will keep Oaxaca out of the LMB Finals.
-Copyright 2011