Monday, March 14, 2011

SALTILLO SARAPEROS (2010 record: 55-49)

The Saraperos had to hold off Reynosa for the fourth and final LMB North playoff berth with the Liga’s seventh-best season record, but Saltillo made the most of the postseason by winning their second consecutive pennant. The road to another flag won’t be easier with the addition of Puebla in the North.

The Saraperos might be up to the challenge. Saltillo’s batting order will include solid veterans like 2B Jose Rodriguez (.333/12/64), DH/1B Refugio Cervantes (.291/20/90) and OFs Cristhian Presichi (.342/8/58), Jesus Cota (.332/12/47) and Willie Romero (.323/7/56). Romero came to Saltillo in a midseason trade with Yucatan for 1B Sandy Madera and hit .358 for the Saraperos over 31 games. Saltillo manager Orlando Sanchez has a good batting order with a nice combination of power and speed.

Sanchez should probably worry about his pitching, however. Although Danny Rodriguez (4-4/3.97) was the playoff MVP with five postseason wins (including a no-hitter) and ex-MLBer Jose Mercedes (0-3/5.40) pitched a complete game in Saltillo’s pennant-clinching win over Puebla, this is still a staff with a 5.15 ERA. Sometimes games are actually won on pitching, so this is an area of concern for the Saraperos.

Saltillo may earn a three-peat, but they need to outscore opponents…they won’t win on pitching.

-Copyright 2011