Leroy Wiffle Association

Big Unit Bashers 2017 Preview

March 19, 2017

Grant Reynhout goes into the 2017 campaign as the owner of the Big Unit Bashers, his 4th season as an owner.  The Basher franchise has a career 21-29-2 record in 3 years reaching the finals in 2015.  The bashers have a 10-18-2 record against the 6 franchises' coming back in 2017, two of those 6 being new.  The Bashers are happy to see the Sultans go after going 1-5 against them last season.  This is the first year Grant will go into the season without Jon Gibson on the roster.  After a lackluster effort in the 2016 season and the first round of the playoffs the split was inevitable.  Since Jon was such a big part of the Basher franchise through the years its necessary to give him a shout out on the basher preview.  Jon leaves the team with a very comfortable lead on many statistical categories for the franchise.  His 55 homers lead the franchise with 13 being next by Jack Hillegonds.  He finished with a 0.478 batting average and a 1.175 slugging percentage in 33 games played for Grant.  He ended up with a 16-16-1 record in those games which included a 5.35 E.R.A. and 87 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings pitched.  It's going to be weird seeing them on different teams, but i think the split was necessary for both sides to start fresh moving forward and refocus.  

 

Grant will enter the 2017 with a new direction as he went with Marty Rasala in the first round.  The 3rd pick in draft was a safe and smart pick for Grant as Marty proved to be one of the top prospects of the league moving forward.  His second round pick was a huge gamble that could go either well as he scooped up the hard hitting Mike Fiene.  His last pick was the very inconsistent Nathan Zuidema.  I took everyone on each team and added up the career stats.  Here are some numbers for the Bashers roster career wise and how they sit among-st the rest of the league. 

 

The Bashers roster is a career 39-64-7, a .379 winning percentage.  The only team with a roster record percentage under 0.480.  This team has no one who has won on a consistent level throughout their career.  For them to change that everyone is going to have to buy in.  Everyone starting with Grant has to take every pitch seriously.  This team can't take shortcuts in batting, pitching, or fielding.  They have to limit damage when things get out of hand on the mound and must take one pitch at a time through out the season.  Grant has created a culture of a half ass effort that derailed the 2016 season for his team.  He has to change that and expect more out of himself and his team.  Everyone forgets that when he signed Sam Staal last year after week 1 he and Sam went off in games 3 and 4.  Grant won player of the week in that week pitching 5 shutout innings and defeating Matt Dykstra and Brett Detmar of the Bombers 2-0 then following it up with a win against Andrew Sitter and Fantastic.  Grant can compete in this league, but if he doesn't hold himself to give his all every week, every game, every at bat.  If that is the case again this season will once again derail.  

 

Let's take a look into the batting of this team.  If we look at the roster as a career the numbers aren't good.  A 0.327 average which is the lowest among all seven teams, as well as a 0.616 slugging percentage.   Based on RBI and runs the team looks to average around 5.51 runs a game which isn't enough with the average sitting at just above 7.  The only team with a lower runs per game rate is the Bombers current roster.  This team has to find way to get runs and Grant has to utilize his roster the right way to capitalize.  Although the very poor career numbers this roster had a decent 2016.  Mike had an insane 1.077 slugging percentage hitting 20 homers and had the best batting ranking at season's end.  He would have won batter of the year, but fell just short of enough at bat's and innings pitched to qualify.  Marty finished with a .443 batting average and Nathan was right behind at .438.  They finished 2nd and 3rd respectively in the league last year and if they can both find a way to get on and let Mike do his thing with his power this team could make a lot of noise from the plate this season.  With the widening of the fields and a mound moved back 3' which will encourage more pitch to hit pitches, this team will have plenty of opportunities to take advantage of their diverse roster of both contact and power.  The X factor is Grant, in 2015 he hit 0.333 in 108 at bats with 27 runs scored and 36 hits.  In 2016 he hit 0.210 in 157 at bats with 13 runs scored and 33 hits.  Which grant will show up this year because if he hits 0.300+ this could team could go from worst to first in batting. 

 

Next up is pitching, which could eliminate everything positive i have said about this team so far.  Pitching is the reason every owner and preview has this team in the lower part of the standings.  This team's roster has a career 10.79 E.R.A. combined.... the next is Fantastic 4 at 7.55.  This roster averaged giving up around 9.96 runs a game when you take shortened games into consideration.  Remember they only averaged 5.51 runs a game from hitting so it doesn't take a mathematician to figure out this team won't win games this season if they play like the have the past years.  The roster has a combined 0.474 opponents batting average which is basically every other at bat getting a hit.  Marty showed a lot of promise from the mound last season and if he can curtail that and help the other guys learn to at least throw strikes those numbers will drop.  I said it in the first paragraph and I'll say it again, this team has to learn to pitch every at bat like its the first at bat.  If they give up a run or two, they have to buckle down and attack the next batter and not give up and let it turn into 6-8 runs for that inning.  Keeping themselves in games will be the only reason this team competes this season.  If they can get to the end of the game and its a 2-3 score game in the final few innings they can let their bats win them some games.  If they let games get out of hand, the bats will fall as well and it could be a repeat of the 2016 Wonders yet again.

 

All in all this is one of the most intriguing teams to me.   Nathan claims to want to make a difference this season, but also says he might have an internship that will limit his playing time.  Mike claimed he would never show up the season, but I hope he does.  He is a riot to have out their and overall great batter and player for the league who could make a difference for this team.  Marty will come and give his all, he knows this season is going to be an up hill battle and hopes Grant comes to play.  I'll finish with one negative and one positive that will determine this team's success.  The negative being this team has no superstar.  Marty could be that, and Mike is a superstar hitter, but currently this team has no proven star that can rise up and win games.  The positive for this team is cap room, Grant has a ton of space.  Their is 5 new comers already signed up for week 1 and Grant will have the ability to sign any of them if Marty, Mike, or Nathan seem to not fit his goals for the season.  I hope this team competes, I hope they take pride and prove everyone wrong, but like we have always said it will start and end with Grant.  Time will tell if he can bash his bad habits and return the Bashers to Star status.  

 

Check out the Team Page: http://leroywiffle.wixsite.com/home/bigunitbashers

 

This will present the roster as well as some basic roster information. It will give some stats of the Basher Franchise year to year. A team picture will be present after the season starts.

 

Next is the Team History Page: http://leroywiffle.wixsite.com/home/bigunitbasherhistory

 

This will present the history of the franchise including leaders in every general, batting, and pitching category. It will give a year to year breakdown of the franchise with past logos and records. Finally it gives head to head matchup records against all other franchises' through the years with run differential.

 

Finally is Player Pages: This will include bio as well as career stats and awards through the years.

 

Mike Fiene : http://leroywiffle.wixsite.com/home/mikefiene

Marty Rasala : http://leroywiffle.wixsite.com/home/martyrasala

Nathan Zuidema : http://leroywiffle.wixsite.com/home/nathanzuidema

Grant Reynhout : http://leroywiffle.wixsite.com/home/grantreynhout

 

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