Will Wrecking Crew Still Be A Playoff Team?
Although the Wrecking Crew franchise has undergone significant changes this offseason to it's management and roster, all-star pitcher Scott Coleman still remains on the team — and at the forefront of it. Because of that, many believe Longview will be "just fine" in JAL 16, maybe not even miss a beat from their back-to-back AC Semifinal appearances over the last 2 seasons. But then there's the others who are expecting to see the team take a step backward in JAL 16. Which will it be?
Besides Coleman, Longview has 2 new players, a rookie, Jesse Gomez and veteran, Kyle Koopman. Both are also new "managers" in the front office. Koopman has played 5 seasons in the league, so by now you know what you're getting out of him each game — a solid role player. Is he a "great" batter? No, he's par for the course — which means if Gomez isn't a great batter either, there's no strong compliment to Coleman's defense and this team could be in a bit of trouble — which means, maybe no playoffs? ..... But then again, lacking offensive firepower is always what the "Washougal" era of this team struggled with, and they still did well.
So really what it seems to boil down to is "Can Scott Coleman be as good this season as he was last season?" If the answer turns out to be yes, then in all likelihood the Wrecking Crew will again be a playoff team. If the answer is no, then there's a lot of pressure riding on Gomez to be a high quality offensive player.
Another factor to keep in mind is that the Wrecking Crew still have 2 roster spots open and plenty of cap room. Word on the street is that they intend to fill at least one more of those spots before Opening Day, but June 17 is coming up quick.