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Preseason Team Snapshots: Boston Wrecking Crew

Management

Cameron Morton (Owner)

Matthew Morton (GM)


Depth Charts

Lineup (S = Constant Starter)

S. Cameron Morton

S. Matthew Morton

3. McKinnley Franklin

4. Brady Hoyt


Pitchers

1. Matthew Morton

2. Jeff Mansur


Fielders

1. Cameron Morton

2. Brady Hoyt


Strengths

Boston's biggest strength is at the most important position — pitcher — with Matthew Morton, the reigning Pitching Crown winner. This team is not one dimensional though, as last season the lineup swung a collective .411 average, led by first-time All-Star Cameron Morton (.450). The Crew are also one of the most experienced teams in the league with Matthew (9 seasons), Cameron (7 seasons) and new free agent addition McKinnley Franklin (8 seasons). Although the Morton brothers both hit above .400 last season, their hitting volume tends to come in spurts, which is where the addition of Franklin (.263 last season) could provide a little more invaluable lineup depth if/when they have a slumping game. Another subtle factor toward success is that Cameron and Matthew — the two best players — double as owner and GM of the franchise, so Boston's chain of command is always on the same page and centralized directly on the field.


Concerns

The big question for the Crew heading into JAL 24 is, can the Morton bros sustain their individual successes of last season? Sure, Matthew Morton won the Pitching Crown last season, but his other time winning the award was back in JAL 18 and in JAL 20 & 21 he did not make the All-Star team. Clearly he's regained his confidence and found a "second wind" in his career since joining the Crew, but there's historical evidence to suggest a down season is possible. Cameron on the other hand, had very limited individual career success outside of his Cup MVP performance as a rookie way back in JAL 17 until last season when he earned his first All-Star honors and was runner-up for the Batting Crown. As a result, many people have called his JAL 23 stats a fluke. Even if Cameron swings another good bat this season, will he lead the league in RBIs and hit 10 HR again? Seems doubtful. Will Matthew have a league-best ERA of 6.24 again? Again, that seems tough to replicate in back-to-back seasons. Lastly, outside of the Mortons, Boston lacks depth, particularly at pitcher. Last season the Crew hoped Jeff Mansur would be a solid relief arm, but that did not pan out. Mansur was a liability to pitch, even with a big lead, meaning Matthew pitched almost every inning of the season, a tough workload it appears he will have to shoulder again in JAL 24.


Grades

Batting: B

Pitching: B+

Fielding: C-

Management: B+

Roster Sturdiness: A


Overall: B


Plan (probably)

Stick to last season's script and hope there are no significant dips in production by either Morton brother. Look for a rookie or other "project" player that the team could attempt to develop as a pitcher to provide some depth at the position and relief for Matthew. Work McKinnley Franklin into the lineup when needed to give Matthew breaks (known to get tired faster when pitching and batting) or when he or Cam are slumping.


Opponents

Bambinos x2

Lynx x2

Express

Lawmen

Sasquatches

underdogs


Projected Wins

4.2

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