by Brian Budzyn
Mid-Season Report Card
The 1995 BRASSball season is only half through it’s inaurugal season, but the Santa Barbara Outlaws are already almost out of the playoff race. A dismal record of 29-55 leave the Outlaws in second place of the soon-to-be-a-force American League West. As predicted in the preseason, the Outlaws have no trouble scoring runs. The problem remains with the pitching, which is allowing an average of almost six runs per game.
While the team as a whole is struggling, there are a few notable exceptions. The Outlaws midterm grades are in, and they’re not too damn pretty!
Firstbase: Mo Vaughn (.302-17-45) is having one of his typical seasons. A healthy batting average and supplying some power. Exactly what you want from your first-baseman and clean-up hitter. On the down side, Mo has committed eight fielding errors.
Secondbase: Surprising everyone this season is the exceptional play Bret Barberie (.311-6-22). Always a consistent hitter, Bret is putting together a great offensive campaign. His backup, Norberto Martin (.292 BA) had his average hovering around .400 until a recent slump, possibly due to increased playing time
Thirdbase: Scott Brosius is somewhat of an oddity. He was expected to provide some power with a low average. However, he has proved to be the exact opposite. Brosius (.279-4-38) has a knack for driving in key runs which he uses well hitting low in the order. Bill Pecota (.175-1-8) has been a disappointment, but his presence as a veteran leader keep him around.
Shortstop: Felix Fermin (.327-0-22) is bidding for an all-star selection. Felix is tearing up pitching this season trying to keep young Alex Gonzalez in the minors. Fermin’s 16 sac-bunts leads the team.
Leftfield: After posting huge numbers in the first two months of the season, Greg Vaughn (.322-26-54) has tailed off. But keep in mind he is still on pace to hit 52 HR’s even though he has no protection behind him in the lineup. All-Star candidate, no doubt.
Centerfield: Possibly the biggest disappointment as far as the offense is concerned is Brian McRae (.255-3-29 and 18 SB). While he is playing “D” like a gold-glover, his bat has yet to come around. Look for a rebound in the second half.
Rigtfield: The $8 million dollar man Raul Mondesi (.307-18-54) is showing why the Outlaws invested in their future in the young man. He can do it all. Runs, hits, throws…reminds people a lot of Roberto Clemente.
Catcher: Chris Hoiles (.257-17-34) and Joe Girardi (.276-4-17) are the perfect combo at catcher. Together, they have totaled some impressive numbers. Hoiles is among the league leaders in walks with 42.
Starters: Where to begin? Kevin Tapani (6-11, 6.15 ERA), Scott Erickson (6-9, 5.94 ERA), Todd Van Poppel (3-7, 6.91 ERA), and Kevin Ritz (1-7, 9.04) round out the top four starters of the staff. Nuff said.
Relievers: Not much better here. Mike Stanton (2.00 ERA and 12 saves) is the only reliable arm the Outlaws have. Joe Boever (4.33 ERA 52 IP) is getting a lot of work for obvious reasons and is doing an adequate job. Down hill, and down hill fast, for the rest of the pen.
Overall: The Outlaws record tells all. Averaging two losses for each win will not win any fan support. But the Outlaws’ potent offense and lack of pitching can make for some pretty exciting games. If only pitching didn’t count for as much as Yogi Berra says it does…