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Monday, December 10
Gem City Wolfpack

2001 record:
59-103 (.364); 3rd place in NL West

Major additions:
1B Carlos Delgado, RHP Chan Ho Park, RHP Darryl Kile, RHP Jason Isringhausen, OF Reggie Sanders, OF Steve Finley, RHP Jason Johnson

Major loses:
1B Jeff Bagwell, SP Pat Rapp

2001 Review:
Thank God for the Metropolis Avengers. If not for them, the Wolfpack would have plummeted to last place in the NL West just one year after a solid 96-win campaign.

Needless to say, not a lot went right for Gem City in 2001. Its offense was mediocre at best. Its pitching staff put up a bloated 5.80 ERA. Yuk.

There were a few bright spots. On offense, 1B Jeff Bagwell (.282, 36 HR, 120 RBI) turned in another solid campaign. Also playing well were C Ivan Rodriguez (.349, 25 HR, 94 RBI) and SS Barry Larkin (.321, 64 R, 13 SB), although neither played a full season due to injuries.

2002 Outlook:
Assuming injuries do not rear their ugly head again in 2002, the Gem City Wolfpack are poised to make a huge turnaround. The offense appears solid (if unspectacular) from top to bottom, while the pitching staff received a huge overhaul.

A key off-season move was the trade of superstar 1B Jeff Bagwell to the Cook County Maulers. Made expendable by the signing of free agent 1B Carlos Delgado (.334, 41 HR, 137 RBI), the Wolfpack were able to trade Bagwell for RHP Chan Ho Park (21-7, 3.75 ERA, 238 K) and SS Julio Lugo (.284, 15 HR, 67 RBI). Park immediately gives Gem City a top starting pitcher, while Lugo will provide added depth at shortstop for the injury-prone Barry Larkin.

Another huge pickup was RHP Darryl Kile (17-12, 4.36 ERA, 200 K), obtained in a trade of draft picks to Minnesota. Along with Park and incumbent RHP Rick Reed (6-10, 4.34 ERA, 126K), Gem City now has a formidable rotation. Filling out the staff are talented RHPs Albie Lopez and Jason Johnson, either of which could put up a solid 2002 season.

But the Wolfpack were not done there. They also inked RHP Jason Isringhausen (61 IP, 2.21 ERA, 30 SV) to a multi-year deal, solidifying the team’s bullpen. In total, only Rick Reed will retain a prominent role from last year’s feeble squad.

With many of its players nearing the end of their contracts and/or the end of their careers, the future is now for the Wolfpack. And with their retooled pitching staff in place, Gem City should once again be primed for a playoff run.

Projected lineup
SS Barry Larkin
CF Steve Finley
C Ivan Rodriguez
1B Carlos Delgado
DH Greg Vaughn
RF Reggie Sanders
LF Dave Martinez
3B Scott Brosius
2B Adam Kennedy

Chan Ho Park
Darryl Kile
Rick Reed
Albie Lopez
Jason Johnson

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