Jul 21 2046: Three Ducks Named 2046 All-Stars - by Rdub29317 on July 31st, 2020
With the 2046 All-Star game having come and gone, three Indianapolis Ducks were selected to be in the game as part of the East division team.
Second baseman Joseph Elrod is a nearly 10 year veteran of the organization, and he received his second All-Star not of his career this year, making the starting lineup. After a season where he struggled hitting the ball in the first half of last year, he has looked much more like himself this season, with a career high OPS and on pace for his first 20+ home run season of his career.
"Joseph is a pro," club manager Alden Lemon said about his All-Star, "at the plate he goes about his business and does a great job for us. His walk and strikeout rates are fantastic, the stuff you dream about being able to rely on as a manager. This year he has been great and I am really happy for him to receive the All-Star recognition he deserves."
Ducks reliever Julio Olivia made it onto the All-Star pitching staff for the East, and he is a name that might surprise some people to have gotten an invitation. However, despite coming out of the bullpen, Olivia has pitched more innings in the league than any Duck this year, and he has proven his value with numerous quality outings. After pitching in the Legends League during the prime years of his career, and winning a Cup Championship in 2038 to boot, the tail end of Olivia's career has ended up with him in Indianapolis, and earning his first ever All-Star appearance at any level at age 34.
"It's a cool honor," Olivia said, "I've done a lot of cool things in my career, pitched at the highest level. But to be an All-Star, that's a high-level distinction to earn at an individual level, and I am really proud to say that in my career I was able to become an All-Star. That means a lot to me."
The final All-Star for the Ducks is the guy most Ducks fans definitely thought they'd see in this spot after his tremendous start to the season: Designated Hitter Ivan Ventura. After his first year as a starter last season, earning Rookie of the Year honors at age 25, the Hammerin' Hawaiian has taken another step forward this year to establish himself as one of the best hitters in the league. This year Ventura sits in the top 6 in the whole league in home runs, slugging percentage, and OPS. He's on pace to beat almost every hitting stat he established last season, except for home runs. He's already blasted 16 over the fence this year, compared to 12 all of 2045.
"Ivan is someone that we really decided to invest in last year and to see him grow into an All-Star is everything we envisioned for him." said GM Rdub29317. "He's been fantastic for us this year, and we truly feel his best baseball is yet to come."
Congratulations to Joseph Elrod, Julio Olivia and Ivan Ventura, your Indianapolis Ducks 2046 All-Stars!
Jan 15 2046: Ducks Rookie Ivan Ventura Named 2045 VI.30 Rookie of the Year - by Rdub29317 on June 13th, 2020
The Indianapolis Ducks didn't make the playoffs this year, but one standout performer came home with some hardware at season's end. Designated hitter Ivan Ventura took home the VI.30 Rookie of the Year award for his play for the Ducks this season.
"It's a tremendous honor for me," Ventura said at the award ceremony. "It was a long journey for me to get to this point in my career to get to play in the majors. While a championship would have been sweeter, it always feels good for the work you put in to be recognized."
The 25 year old Hawai'i native played his first full season in the majors this year, and posted a .280/.355/.439 line with 12 home runs. Ventura is highly praised by scouts in the Ducks organization for his hitting skills and they expect him to continue to grow and produce at a high level in the coming years.
Jul 16 2045: Ducks’ Benton and Acosta earn All-Star Honors - by Rdub29317 on May 13th, 2020
Congratulations are in order for two Indianapolis Ducks today as star centerfielder Jeremy Benton and newcomer third baseman Jose Acosta were named as VI.30 All-Stars and participated in the All-Star game this week.
“Both of these guys have had great seasons so far, and we are excited to see them honored heading into the second half of the year.” Indianapolis GM Rdub29317 said.
The 34 year old Benton has been a staple in the organization since he was drafted, and has been a staple at the All-Star game throughout his career. Being selected as a starter this year marks his 13th consecutive All-Star appearance.
“It never gets old.” Benton said, “The game is always a great time, and to be honored as one of the best among your peers is truly a special thing.”
Acosta’s journey to the game took quite a different route than Benton: after being drafted as a highly regarded senior out of Baylor, Acosta was released by the team that drafted him before ever playing a single game for them in the majors. He then bounced around from team to team looking for a home. After a couple of solid seasons in Orem, they released him before the end of the 2043 season. The next year, at age 30, he was not on any team’s roster.
“When Rdub called and said he wanted me to come to play third base in Indy I was surprised,” Acosta commented, “I hadn’t played in almost two years. But this organization said they believed in me, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t take the chance for granted, just play as hard as I can.”
Acosta took the chance to be a Duck and ran with it: he’s posted career best numbers this season in almost every offensive category, and has been as sure-handed as they come at the hot corner defensively. Along with leading the team in batting average, on base percentage and performance with runners in scoring position, Acosta earned his first career All-Star nod at the age of 31.
“Jose has been tremendous for us,” Ducks manager Alden Lemon said about his corner man, “we are really lucky to have him and it’s shocking to me that I took so long for someone to give a man of his talent level a chance.”
“I’ve learned in my career to not take anything for granted.” Acosta said, “The opportunity to be in an All-Star game doesn’t come around often, so I am going to cherish it for the rest of my life.”
May 17 2045: Ducks Pull Off Improbable; Advance Past Group Stage - by Rdub29317 on April 28th, 2020
When looking at the final four games of the Cup's group stage slate this season, Indianapolis Ducks general manager Rdub29317 thought it would take a four game sweep to get the necessary number of wins to advance. So when the first game of the doubleheader on Monday came down as a loss, Rdub thought it was time to shift gears.
"I informed Alden [Lemon] that I think it was best we put our younger pitchers as the starters for the last three games, just to get them some more experience and get our regular rotation some rest going into full-time league play." Rdub commented in a press conference this morning.
At 8-9 entering the final three games, Indianapolis' young arms pulled out three consecutive victories, while increasing the team's run differential enough to earn them a spot in the 2nd round, being one of the final fifteen teams to make the cut of the top 256 remaining.
"Obviously we are really excited," Ducks manager Alden Lemon said, "this is a team that has played hard this year, and we have seen some ups and downs so far, but this is a highlight we will remember for a long time and hope to build off of as well."
Those three young pitchers; Bernie Garner, a 22 year old winter acquisition getting his first taste of major league ball, Colin Crandall, a 23 year old tall and big-bodied righty in his first full year in the bigs, and Xavier Calderon, last year's VI.30 Rookie Pitcher of the Year, all have been in the bullpen for the majority of this season for the Ducks, but are in Rdub's plans to be in the starting rotation in the near future. That timeline may have been bumped up based on their Cup heroics.
"We are certainly excited about what Bernie, Colin and Xavier bring to the organization." Rdub said, "They are not only a part of our present, but we see them as playing a large role in our future."
Indianapolis' 2nd round Cup opponent is the Surprise Desert Foxes, who have been a V.4 mainstay for the last few seasons. That three game series starts with a doubleheader on May 30th.
Mar 25 2045: Change Is The Theme Around Indianapolis Baseball in 2045 - by Rdub29317 on April 14th, 2020
A whole lot is going to feel new around baseball in Indianapolis in 2045. New front office, new stars, new manager, even a new name and new jerseys. The Circle City’s professional baseball club no longer goes by the Hogs, now they are the Ducks, sporting new green uniforms and caps, with some new faces on the roster to boot.
When new general manager Rdub29317 came into the organization last year, he was looking forward to the chance to bolster what was already a pretty solid roster. “I knew I needed to address some areas in the pitching staff and the minor league system” Rdub said, “but once the offseason came around I feel like we were able to do that pretty well and I feel very confident with where this team stands moving forward into this season.”
Only three pitchers return from last year’s group, meaning there are ten new arms in the majors this year, a complete overhaul of the staff that was near the bottom of the league in every valuable category. The most notable addition is 33 year old righty Ivan Valle, who is expected to be the new top starter in the rotation.
The offense got only a couple of tweaks to the starting lineup, adding new starters at just a couple of positions. The most exciting player added seems to be Sung Min Baek, or “Bucky” as he is endearingly called. Bucky is expected to start at shortstop for the Ducks and is a former member of the South Korean National Team.
“Adding a player like Bucky to the lineup to pair him with Joe [Elrod] and Jeremy [Benton] is really exciting,” Rdub said of his new addition, “he is someone we were really excited to sign so we are looking forward to the contribution he makes to the team this year.”
All in all, the additions to the roster added somewhere between $5 and $6 million to the organization’s payroll for the upcoming year, but Rdub says that is money the organization is willing to spend to give them a chance to win.
“Since this team has moved here, there hasn’t been a season where the team has really made a run at promotion. That’s my goal here is to get this organization moving in a direction where there can be winning baseball played here not just now but in the future as well.”