Sunday, March 13, 2011

REYNOSA BRONCOS (2010 record: 56-51)

The Broncos are one of those teams that look like contenders on paper until you peek at who other teams have. Reynosa might be a contender in the LMB South, but they’ll scramble to even make the playoffs even though they’ve got a good everyday lineup and a respected manager in Homar Rojas.

Reynosa’s big offseason pickup was LMB batting king Willis Otanez (.393/12/76), who makes the border city his seventh LMP stop in 12 years. Wherever Otanez has gone, he’s hit, and he DH for a team with productive hitters like IF Yurendell de Caster (.339/15/66), 1B Jesse Gutierrez (.326/21/84), CF Leo Heras (.316) and popular 3B Marshall McDougall, who went .286/20/86 for Reynosa in 2009 before spending last year in Taiwan. Potentially this is a stronger batting order than Otanez left behind in Puebla.

The Broncos pitchers were collectively unimpressive in 2010 but finished fifth in the LMB with a 4.66 team ERA, so they weren’t bad, either. Marco Tovar (8-4/3.24) became Reynosa’s most reliable starter last year, Alan Guerrero (4-4/3.38/16) is a sometimes dominant closer and there is hope that ex-KC Royals starter Runelvys Hernandez (2-5/4.63) can be effective, but Reynosa pitchers will have to do it with mirrors.

Rojas has done some good managerial work in the past, but his Broncos don’t have the horses.