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The Emerald City Osprey go into the 2011 campaign with guarded optimism. Even though they bolstered their Starting Rotation by trading for Justin Verlander, they still have holes that need to be filled either in the Supplemental Draft in March, or via trade(s). Perhaps the most glaring deficiency is the bullpen. I don't think I can count on 162 complete games, although I might try! Unfortunatly, we'll pin our hopes on the 2 Matt's acquired in the draft. I'm sure that any standout relievers will be gone by pick 11 in the March draft.

The catcher position is one that will need to be addressed as Mike Napoli will be a defensive liability. He is more suited to platoon vs. lefties. If anyone has a surplus of catchers, please feel free to contact me. I'm always willing to make a deal... right now the Napoli's back up is an unproductive Bengie Molina. Pablo Sandoval is not rated as a catcher.

The addition of Jay Bruce, to go along with Josh Hamilton and Jayson Werth, dramatically improves the offense and defense in the outfield over last year when ECO started 2 4's most of the season. Those 4's are now 1's and a 2. Hamilton will be counted on heavily to produce runs. There is a precipitous dropoff after these 3 in the event of injury. ECO might be rolling out Johnny Damon and Raul Ibanez to cover any injuries. Enough said.

The infield has been re-tooled and welcomes new faces such as Adrian Beltre for his first full year in an Osprey uniform. He brings a big bat and will be counted on to help Hamilton in the RBI duties. Free Agent pick up Daric Barton will hopefully be a factor in getting on base ahead of Hamilton and Beltre. FA Mark Ellis is a stop-gap at 2B as ECO is hoping that the nightmare that was 2010 is history for Brian Roberts and he returns to his old self. Rafael Furcal and Yunel Escobar form a serviceable platoon at Shortstop.

The bench is another area of concern as the guys riding the pine are riding it for a reason. Pablo Sandoval, Chone Figgins, David Freese, Raul Ibanez, and Derrek Lee all had off years and will add little production to the 2011 campaign. Placido Polanco and Casey Blake could see some platoon time. The likes of Alfonso Soriano, Tony Gwynn Jr. Christian Guzman, and Jake Fox may be replaced with other players once the cards arrive. Stay tuned!

Overall, there is a sense of optimism in Emerald City. The Osprey have enjoyed success the past 2 years and are once again on course to make a run at the playoffs. We look forward to another engaging season in the SLSL...

Overall, expectations are high in Emerald City as we enter the 2011 season.
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