Jan 15 2041: Season Report: 2040 - by ongzr1 on May 26th, 2019
2040: The Palm Bay Swallows won the IV.1 League Championship and promoting to LL III, a feat last achieved by the 2006 West Dunwich Yellow Jackets. Despite this amazing achievement, 2040 was a statistically average year - the pitching remained solid and the offense anaemic. The Swallows do not expect to stay in LL III in 2042, and will look to rebuild the squad in 2041 as the existing set of ageing veterans gives way to a 3rd generation of Swallows.
C - Igarashi and Feliciano shared the slot, combining to post decent numbers both at and behind the plate. Feliciano, in what was probably his final year with the Swallows, posted a team 2nd .825 OPS with 70 RBI. His 40.3% CS rate led the league. Igarashi showed promise with a .275 BA, and a respectable .790 OPS.
1B - At 1B a Russo-Sugi*beep*a platoon was necessary to maintain production. Russo did well against lefties, hitting .291. Sugi*beep*a, brought in midway through the season, acquitted himself well, hitting .281 overall, with 46 RBI.
2B - Casillas had a forgettable season at the plate, hitting a measly .229 after a standout 2039 season. He shared the 2B slot with Butcher, who played against left-handed pitchers. Butcher's offensive performance wasn't much better but he proved promising in the field, turning 38 DPs to Casillas' 41.
3B - Aguilera was the team's lone offensive bright spark this season, and was also the only one to post a BA over .300 (.301). Nelson played against LHPs.
SS - Jauregui remained the everyday SS and posted a respectable .269/.322/.380 line, with 67 RBI and 84 runs scored. He did extremely well in the field, with only 16 errors to 90 DPs turned - second in the league.
OF - Yuh was the standout offensive performer in the outfield, posting a team-leading 88 RBI and 28 HRs. Ikeda also did well at CF, posting a .280 BA. Sweet was another offensive powerhouse, contributing 84 RBI. Messina disappointed at the plate.
DH - Burke and Law both disappointed at DH, highlighting again the team's offensive weakness.
SP - The starting battery of Ramirez, Gonzalez and Scherer powered through most of the season staying strong. The fourth slot changed hands between Silinas and Iglesias before it was finally claimed by Valdivia, who performed admirably in the role. Gonzalez, in particular, deserves praise for a 269.2 inning season in which he maintained a 2.24 ERA and 3.30 FIP, allowing just 11 HRs.
MR - Korey Martini did well in the MR slot, posting a 3.00 ERA over 93 innings of work, and chalking up a 6-4-2 record.
CL - This season saw the departure of Pagano, who had taken over the role from arguably the Swallows' all-time greatest closer, Dustin Mayfield. Sid Sullinger earned 44 saves with an overall opposing BA of .183. It remains to be seen if he will keep that spot with the impending promotion of Edgar Segovia.
The pitching corps looks set to get a boost with the impending promotion of Edgar Segovia from the 'AAA' Orioles. Also set for promotion is Perry Conte.
As for field players, Nicolas Delgado may be called up for duty at 3B, which has been somewhat of a revolving door at the Swallows for some years now.
After stagnating at LL IV for four years, promotion is certainly welcome. It would, however, have been more welcome three years prior. Three years on, the core team is ageing and the engine of the Swallows' success - its pitching corps - is particularly vulnerable in that regard. For these reasons 2041 is likely to be a year of rebuilding, and a drop to LL IV is almost all but expected. The Swallows only hope for a respectable run at LL III before the team can be rebuilt and rejuvenated again.
Nov 04 2032: Season Report: 2032 - by ongzr1 on July 21st, 2017
The Swallows began the season with a view to rebuild, fielding the youngest ever major league squad with an average age of 26.5 years. The youngsters did not disappoint. Dominant pitching made up for a slightly inconsistent offense, allowing the Swallows to coast to promotion to LL V once again. Despite a disappointing postseason, the Swallows have plenty to look forward to in 2033.
C - Feliciano had a great year both offensively and defensively. Posting a team-leading 35 HR and 139 RBI, Feliciano recorded his most successful season with the team yet. He also clinched the Golden Glove award, with a CS rate of 45.5% and zero errors. At just 26 years of age, Feliciano holds plenty of promise for the years ahead.
1B - Sloan was the everyday first baseman and topped the team's BA with a .312 record. He scored a team-leading 113 runs and recorded an impressive 106 RBI. Rookie Russo filled in at times, but managed only a mediocre .231 BA.
2B - Bowden remained the first choice 2B and continued to produce consistently for the team, earning 112 RBI. Jaramillo acquitted himself well when called upon, with a .290 BA, and a .323 average with RISP.
3B - 3B proved a difficult hole for the Swallows to fill, with Feliciano fully focused on his role as catcher. Zamora was given a chance to prove himself, but failed to impress with a .230 BA. Rodriguez fared little better with a .247 BA. Spahn batted .248, down from a strong start to the season. 2033 will probably see one of the trio released, but it is anybody's guess as to who it should be.
SS - The Swallows stuck with veteran Mata at shortstop. Despite being brought in mainly as a defensive acquisition, Mata proved his offensive chops with 91 runs scored and 70 RBI.
OF - Kip Law made his debut as the everyday CF, winning the Rookie of the Year award. Law hit 10 HRs and scored 63 RBI. Del Toro continued his good work at RF, with 12 OAs, some coming at extremely timely moments. Del Toro equaled his RBI tally of 105 last season, and pushed to score 100 runs, with a team-leading .967 OPS. This is now his 4th consecutive season with over 100 RBI, made even sweeter by winning his first All-League nomination. Yuh did well at LF, posting a .282 BA, with 92 runs scored and 89 RBI. Sweet showed plenty of promise as well, batting .283 over 106 ABs.
DH - Reed took up the DH role, batting .301 and scoring 103 runs. At 32 years of age, it remains to be seen if he will stay on with the Swallows in 2033.
SP - The starting pitching was by far the bright sparks in the Swallows' 2032 season. Leading the field with 23 Ws, Ramirez won the Cy Young award, earning a 3.00 ERA over 264.1 innings of work. In that time, he allowed just 10 HR. It's easy to forget that Ramirez is just 24 years of age, and the Swallows look forward to many more good years. Ibarra also had a season which would have been award-winning in almost any other year: a 22-4 record with 170 Ks and a 2.99 ERA. Rex Campbell absolutely impressed in his debut performance, handily running away with the Rookie Pitcher of the Year award. Campbell earned an amazing 2.81 ERA over 217.2 innings of work, with 2 shutout games. He improved his game dramatically over 2032 and has developed into one of the team's most reliable starters. Rounding up the starters was veteran Kim, with a 3.28 ERA and a 16-6 record.
MR - Scherer was a stalwart of the bullpen, earning a 15-6-5 record with a 3.14 ERA. Leach also had a decent 10-3-2 season. Silinas and Iglesias did not perform particularly well, but have time to improve and develop.
CL - Mayfield made history by earning a Swallows all-time record of 48 saves in a single season. Pagano was equally excellent in a set-up role, with a 1.77 ERA.
With the promotion of so many young players, the Swallows finally broke the AAA deadlock. This "Class of 2032" includes Kip Law (OF) and Rex Campbell (SP). 2032 was not a great year at the draft nor the waiver wire.
Having experimented with a young team, and exceeded expectations, it now remains to be seen if the young ones can prove themselves at LL V. The Swallows will likely stick with the 2032 lineup, taking on only perhaps a couple of power hitters for the DH role.
Years of financial prudence have brought the Swallows from a measly $6m purse to a war chest which now boasts nearly $50m. The Swallows might therefore feel comfortable in retaining players despite the massive salary increases that are expected.
Nov 01 2031: Season Report: 2031 - by ongzr1 on May 4th, 2017
After a disappointing end to the season, the Swallows drop to LL VI again. In the three occasions that the Swallows have been promoted, they have never successfully maintained position in LL V.
The pitching remained solid but was severely let down by an anaemic offense. Only one Swallow ended the season with a BA above .300.
Once again Palm Bay found itself in a lopsided league where its performance in the East would have easily earned it 3rd place in the West Division. The Swallows will be disappointed to drop despite doing well in terms of RD.
C - Feliciano outperformed Valencia through the season, but was frequently rotated to fill the hole at 3B, with Valencia the beneficiary at C. Valencia had another forgettable season, batting .246. He is also showing signs of deterioration defensively, albeit posting a still-decent 45% CS rate.
1B - Sloan was the everyday 1B and by far the best offensive contributor on the team. Batting .313, he scored a team-leading 90 runs and 26 HR.
2B - Bowden began the season with heavy expectations resting on his shoulders. While his batting average fell to .237, he hit 24 HR with 94 RBI, with many of those runs coming at crucial moments, earning him 9 POTG awards.
3B - Neither Norris nor Zamora were able to hold down the 3B position. Instead, Feliciano was rotated to his old position as the Swallows fought to stay up.
SS - Porter remained the first choice SS, despite his continued decline in performance. He batted a respectable .282 but getting on base failed to materialise in runs scored. He's also clearly losing his base-stealing ability, stealing 49 and getting caught on 20 attempts. Mata was about even with Porter defensively, with a lower BA but with an ability to hit with power, hitting 11 HR in 237 ABs.
OF - Del Toro did well, but did not put up the kind of numbers needed to get the Swallows going. He ended the season with a SLG of just .823, although that was enough to bring in a team-leading 105 RBI. Del Toro did well defensively, with just 4 errors but 15 OAs. Rookie Yuh did very well, holding down the LF position with a .285 BA. He led the team in strikeouts but managed to find timely hits, batting .318 with RISP. McLaughlin and Yuen were about equal in offensive output, but McLaughlin eventually got the CF position due to his superior defensive range. The team made a huge investment in both players in terms of playing time and expects them to be big contributors in the near future.
DH - Reed continued at DH, doing well, but again, not nearly well enough to support the ailing offense. He batted .287, scoring 88 times.
SP - The starting battery this year comprised Reese, Yin, Ibarra and Higashio, with Ramirez stepping in from the MR position late in the season. All four starters performed decently, with ERAs in the range of 4. Luis Ibarra was the most consistent, attaining a 17-14 record with a 3.76 ERA. He also led the time in strikeouts, with 169 Ks.
MR - Ramirez was the MR for most of the season, and continued the fine Swallows tradition of having a strong bullpen. Ramirez ended the season with a 3.66 ERA and an 11-5 record. Mayfield also performed well as set-up man, with a 3.76 ERA.
CL - Fumagalli was the team's standout performer of the 2031 season. In an amazing run, he maintained a zero-run record well past the All-Star break. He helped the East to an All-Star game win, closing the game with 2 Ks. He eventually ended his season with a 1.39 ERA, a WHIP of 0.910, earning 45 saves. An absolutely stand-out season.
For the third year running, the bottleneck at AAA continues. Both Campbell and Scherer look set to get some playing time next year. Silinas was also recommended to the bigs but might have to wait for space to open up. Meanwhile Rodriguez will enter the fray to fight for the 3B spot alongside Norris and Zamora. At least one will likely be cut.
The Swallows will be using the next year for a serious overhaul of the team. Performance is expected to drop, but is to be expected.
In particular, the Swallows have had the good fortune of assembling a decent starting battery each year almost entirely from free agents. With both Scherer and Campbell coming up, it might be remiss not to give them a chance instead.
Mar 04 2031: Season Report: 2030 - by ongzr1 on February 25th, 2017
The Swallows promoted back to LL V without much trouble, although the team was not at its best. Palm Bay maintained its form quite consistently throughout the season, though it was only in the second half that star individual performances were readily recognisable.
C - The team settled into an effective platoon between Feliciano and Valencia, who took RHPs and LHPs respectively. Both ended the season with an even .259 BA, but Feliciano was the better slugger with a .422 SLG and 50 RBI on 11 HR. Both maintained stellar defensive statistics, combining for a 50% CS rate.
1B - Although Allen Myers was initially brought in to step into the shoes of the departing Irwin, Teshuan Brooks eventually filled the role with confidence. Brooks ended the season with a .809 OPS, 89 RBI and 16 HR, and looks set to continue into the 2031 season.
2B - 2B has always been a difficult role to fill for the Swallows ever since the departure of Paul Jennings back in 2025. But finally, in 2030, a player worthy of Jenning's performance has emerged. Bowden started the season slow, but got hot and stayed hot, hitting for a .317 BA and a 1.006 OPS, losing out narrowly to Del Toro for 118 RBI and 36 HR. An absolutely instrumental player with a team-leading 14 POTG awards. However, there is speculation that this was a one-off season for Bowden. We shall see in 2031.
3B - The 3B position was filled by a platoon of a young and promising player, and an old veteran brought in to steady the ship for a year. Quezada, the latter of the two, did not disappoint, batting a team-leading .335 BA. The rookie, Zamora, acquitted himself well, achieving a .766 OPS and 10 HR over just 284 ABs. Although neither was amazing defensively, Zamora looks set to continue in the position. Quezada was released to make way for new talent.
SS - Rich Porter unfortunately continued on the decline, managing only a .283 BA. His base-stealing remained the team's best, with 61 SBs, but his age is showing in the times he's gotten caught. This will be a difficult position to fill in the future as there are no candidates for SS currently in the minors. 2031 is likely to be Porter's last season and the Swallows will be hard-pressed to find a replacement for this instrumental player.
OF - The outstanding player of last year's season, Oswaldo Del Toro, continued his stellar performance, with a team-leading 121 RBI on 37 HR. His offensive production was followed closely by LF Leonard Sloan, who hit a .326 BA, 96 RBI and 24 HR. The CFs, Stevens and Blanco had forgettable offensive seasons, though they held the fort defensively.
DH - Reed did well at DH, batting for a .305 BA with 88 RBI and 16 HR. He was also an unexpected source of reliable SBs, with 30 SB to 11 CS.
SP - The starting battery this year comprised Cooper, Benedict, Ibarra and Yin. All four did well this season, with a .5625 QS rate. Notably, Ibarra led the team with 164 Ks over 239.2 IPs, ending with a 3.38 ERA. Benedict was the win machine, with 20 wins and a lowest SP ERA of 3.34.
MR - Valentin and Leach took the MR roles. Both did well. Valentin achieved a team-lowest 2.37 ERA, albeit with a 3.85 FIP. Leach on the other hand, had a higher 4.15 ERA but with a team-lowest 2.99 FIP. Valentin earned the RPOTY award.
CL - Mayfield took the SET role, and Fumagalli held the CLR role. Fumagalli earned 38 saves with a team-lowest 0.969 WHIP. Mayfield in turn allowed the team-lowest opponent BA of .185, earning 12 saves himself.
Again the AAA bottleneck continues. Pressure was released somewhat with Zamora and Brooks joining the first team permanently. Yuh and Yuen were also given starting spots, although neither distinguished themselves. Next season will likely feature Rodriguez. Norris seems too far behind to ever earn a spot, seeing as he is already 28.
Although the team enjoyed some standout performances in 2030, it is far from clear if that fine form can be replicated at a higher league level, with older players. Del Toro was probably the most consistent performer, but even he will begin to age soon. Bowden's statistics far outpaced his scouted ability and so it remains to be seen if his performance will be replicated next season. Porter's decline will only worsen. Both Cooper and Benedict were dropped for age and cost reasons. Aiming to stay on in LL V for the first time will already be quite an ambitious ask.
Nov 01 2029: Season Report: 2029 - by ongzr1 on December 1st, 2016
Narrowly missing out on 4th place, the Swallows find themselves headed for the drop. While Palm Bay's performance in 2029 suggested relegation was not unfair, dropping on run differential was still heartbreaking.
Whilst the Swallows improved greatly over their last season in LL. V back in 2024, they still lacked both the offensive and defensive chops to stay afloat.
C - Both catchers had a fairly average season, batting about .250. Disappointingly, the CS percentage dropped to a dismal 28.3%.
1B - Irwin was a shadow of his former self, batting .265. Deputy Reed did little better with .266.
2B - 2B remained a difficult position to field. The Swallows tried no less than four different players, none of whom were able to bat above .220.
3B - The best everyday 3B only managed a .225 BA (De Santis). The fact that Feliciano (a 3B turned C) eventually settled into the everyday 3B slot speaks volumes.
SS - Rich Porter seems to have lost his sheen; the leadoff man struggled this season, managing only a .244 average.
OF - Oswaldo del Toro was the only player worthy of mention this season. Batting .320 with 22 HR and 111 RBI, he was the only bright spot for the team.
DH - Sloan's performance was above average, thought that is not saying much. He managed .272 with 46 RBI.
SP - No starting pitcher distinguished himself this year. The team's starting pitching generally averaged a 4+ ERA.
MR - Luis Ibarra showed his promise in his role in middle relief, earning 12 wins. He maintained a team-lowest 2.78 ERA over 188 innings of work.
CL - No pitcher firmly established himself as the team's closer. Baker, Leach, Pagano all were guilty of heartbreaking come-from-behind losses.
The AAA bottleneck continues to plague the team, with 3 more new players promoting to the bigs prematurely this year.
Brooks, Norris, Mireles continue to struggle to perform during their rare opportunities and could be released next season.
In other news, the team picked up their most promising young player yet - Mike Messina. A left-handed first baseman, he will be trained in the outfield.
The results were expected, but to come so close is still disappointing, and leads to inevitable thoughts of 'what ifs'. The Swallows will simply have to focus on getting back to LL V for 2031.