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Preseason Team Snapshots: Cowlitz Bambinos

Management

Brian Whitten (Majority Owner)

Hunter Whitten (Minority Owner)


Depth Charts

Lineup (S = Constant Starter)

S. Colton Titus

S. Erik Titus

3. Tyler Traver


Pitchers

Co-1. Erik Titus

Co-1. Colton Titus


Fielders

1. Tyler Traver

2. Erik Titus


Strengths

Where to begin? Offensively the Bambinos have a former multi All-Star and Batting Crown winner in Tyler Traver as their third option in the lineup, a multi All-Star hitter that crushed the Cup-winning homer last season in Colton Titus and another multi All-Star and JAL 22 Batting Crown winner in Erik Titus. On top of that, Erik bats lefty and Traver is a switch hitter. Both Titus brothers can hit for power or contact and Traver, though his numbers have dipped in recent seasons, is still a respected deep ball threat. At pitcher, Cowlitz is the only team in the league with two All-Star level arms. Colton is known for his overpowering velocity and occasionally mixes in extremely hard-breaking curve and screwballs. Erik also throws heat (though a bit less than Colton) but is often more consistently accurate and mixes in occasional riseballs. Although Brian Whitten has enough talent to let wins manifest themselves, he does a great job of not getting complacent or letting the players get lazy. Whitten is also arguably the best manager in the league at knowing precisely when to make a pitching substitution and tweak the lineup, before or in the middle of a game.


Concerns

Let's be clear, Colton Titus IS a reliable player for the Bambinos BUT he does miss games now and then. JAL 18 was the last time he played a complete season. Since then, he's missed at least 2 games each season. Because the Bambinos have been stacked with talent all these seasons, it often doesn't matter and we hardly notice his absence. For example, in JAL 22 the team won the championship despite him being inactive on the Playoffs gameday. As much as we can say losing Gage Metzger to the Bison won't matter, it may hurt a little if Colton misses a couple games again this season. When the team had Metzger, they were still two ace-level pitchers deep with he and Erik. Now if Colton (or Erik) were to miss a gameday, the margin for error at pitcher is gone. If Colton's out and Erik isn't pitching well, they're stuck to ride it out (like a normal team with only one ace, LOL). Metzger's .360 average in JAL 22 and .355 in JAL 23 was also one of the most underrated individual stats in the league. Him gone from the lineup now means Tyler Traver needs to step his game back up from the poor .188 average he had last season, especially if Colton (or Erik) are out for a game.


Grades

Batting: A

Pitching: A

Fielding: B-

Management: A

Roster Sturdiness: A-


Overall: A


Plan (probably)

Rotate Colton and Erik as the starting pitcher as equally as possible during the regular season, even if one of them gets hot and is outplaying the other. This will 1) keep them both in a rythm come playoff time and 2) limit the amount of reps and scouting other playoff teams in the American Conference will have against them. Tyler Traver has a history of pulling himself out of the lineup if needed, but he (and Whitten) should resist the urge to do so in JAL 24 (at least during the regular season) to try and get him back in a groove and hitting over .200 again. Whitten has hinted at the possibility of signing a fourth player to replace Metzger and — if they indeed do — should give him as many rookie reps as possible against lower caliber teams, given the assumption Cowlitz should be able to win those matchups regardless.


Opponents

Lynx x2

Wrecking Crew x2

Lawmen

Sasquatches

Express

Fog


Projected Wins

5.8

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