Foreword: OH BOY HERE WE ARE. Official Backyard stance is Opening Day doesn’t start for 10 days, because I said so and if you say otherwise you are sorely mistaken. So WITH THAT, 10 Teams in 10 Days attempts a REDUX just in the nick o’ time. Format is revamped, don’t call it laziness call it being unafraid of state changes. 2019’s version of this shenanigans is heavy on “Backyard Projections” because those sound like the sort of thing I could spit out quickly. ALSO have abolished the “Know Your Owner” section cuz uhhhh, I dunno got bored of taking personal shots at everybody? Digs at the contents of the rosters, however, still fair game. Now, let us get to the spitting out:
(Credit for team logo art goes to Brian Smith once again. Brian the world appreciates you. Choose life.)
2018 RECORD: 2-16
PROJECTED 2019 RECORD: 6-10-2, 9th place.
I don’t necessarily see any light at the end of this particular tunnel AT THIS PARTICULAR TIME, but also there’s some pieces here despite the trade frenzies so nobody should take the Morning Wood toooo lightly. They’ve already made some nice moves in spring training. And yanno every season is an opportunity to not give away whatever good players you may have left, grab some youth, hope to scoop up a waiver wire breakout or two, etc. etc. etc. DO THAT BONERZ. YEP same projection as last time on the record front, now with 25% more confidence!
BEAR MINIMUM BLOVIATION: NEW TEAM NAME AND NEW LOGO AND SUCH, LOVE IT. Could end up being a similar sitch to the Rays ditching the “Devil” way back when. Could also be Shane very much making a fool out of me here but YANNO WHAT, I think this roster has really improved following last year’s debacle. Gone are some relative disappointments on both the hitting (Brandon Belt) and pitching (Julio Teheran, Carlos Martinez, Jose Quintana) sides of things, and coming in are some players with some reallll potential (Adalwhateverto Mondesi) The former Bonerz aren’t exactly fully cured but they have indeed managed to surround JD Martinez with some improved complimentary pieces. Would be damn near impossible for me to predict a BYB (Backyard Bracket for the millionth time) appearance for this team, given what’s transpired over the past 2 seasons. HOWEVER I fully expect improvement and a few impressive upsets in 2019. I mean a team’s got to surpass 4 wins in a season at SOME POINT does it not? PARITY! CAPS LOCK!
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD HITTER: 1B/LF Jake Bauers – I very NEARLY put Carlos Santana here because I feel the Backyard underrates him significantly, HOWEVER instead we have Jake Bauers. The Rays seemingly gave up on the guy but the Backyard Blog has not, as we feel Jake will be doing a bit of just about everything in 2019. Which can be a real boon coming out of the 1B position. See also: Myers, Wil yanno when he was at 1B and whatnot before the Padres did that really dumb thing (Hosmer, Eric).
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD HITTER: SS Adalberto Mondesi – I know I sorta sung his praises with the “reallll potential” quip up there but TRUTH BE TOLD I feel Mondesi has a tremendous uhhh floor if you will. Tremendous floor, as in “sent down to the minor leagues to work on some things” floor. Adalberto (dumb name) walks (pun intended) a fineee line with his particular skill set and there ain’t much wiggle room if things get a bit unlucky. Or just REGRESS TO THE MEAN. Yanno just….sayin’…..
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD PITCHER: SP Mitch Keller – I can already tell these selections are going to get kinda hairy but FORTUNATELY didn’t really happen here, as we think Mitch Keller is going to be up by early June and contributing. HELPIN SHANE FOR THE PLAYOFF PUSH that he could then shove in my face (note: playoffs remain likely not to happen).
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD PITCHER: SP Mike Foltynewicz – This isn’t to suggest Folty isn’t skilled or got lucky last year, as I truly believe he’s got the stuff to back up that stuff. What this IS to suggest is that I don’t trust that goddamned elbow one bit. An injury here a throwing program setback there and you’ve got Folty giving you sub 100 IP in 2019. Which would be disappointing. Downright dudly.