The other night I took pictures of our sunset. Wanna see?
I am just done with politics for the time being, and needing something to write about that held my interest, I decided to do a bit of research. (The sunset is just eye candy.)
On Wednesday last I noted that Delmarva will likely be a member of the revamped South Atlantic League with a new roster of opponents. And seeing that we had a stacked team in 2019 – one that secured the first Delmarva playoff berth since 2005 – I was curious what some of the opposition would look like.
So what I did was determine what sort of low minor league teams each of these systems had. Granted, there will be quite a bit of turnover as something like 250-300 minor leaguers will be consolidated to their best 180, but in general I believe the teams will still reflect the status of their systems. I went through the won-loss record of each team at this level and each of the three lower levels – short-season A, rookie, and Dominican League. When a team had multiple teams at a level (as they often do, particularly in the DSL) I added three wins to the better team since the worse team still has some talent which would displace players on the better team, making them more successful.
Long story short: if you ranked the twelve teams in the SAL, this would be the order they come in based on their parent organization’s record at these levels:
- Down East Wood Ducks (Texas)
- Delmarva Shorebirds (Baltimore)
- Charleston RiverDogs (Tampa Bay)
- Lynchburg Hillcats (Cleveland)
- Columbia Fireflies (Kansas City)
- Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Chicago Cubs)
- Fayetteville Woodpeckers (Houston)
- Salem Red Sox (Boston)
- Carolina Mudcats (Milwaukee)
- Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (Chicago White Sox)
- Augusta Greenjackets (Atlanta)
- Fredericksburg Nationals (Washington)
If you set up the divisions as I had them, the order would be as follows:
South: Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, Fayetteville, Kannapolis, Augusta
North: Down East, Delmarva, Lynchburg, Salem, Carolina, Fredericksburg
If there were a Central, this would be Down East, Fayetteville, Carolina, and Kannapolis. That would be a slaughter for Down East. Otherwise, the class of each division would be Charleston, Columbia, and Myrtle Beach in the South and Down East, Delmarva, and Lynchburg in the North. Those would likely be the teams battling it out for each half’s championship.
While the SAL was sort of random about the number of times each opponent played each other – we would sometimes see a team like Hagerstown or Lakewood 25 or 30 times a season and didn’t see Rome for years – assuming they play a full season of 132 games, I would suspect the schedule might work out to 8 games apiece against teams in the other division and 16 or 17 against divisional foes. Delmarva could make three eight-game trips to the south each season (say, Fayetteville/Kannapolis, Charleston/Myrtle Beach, Augusta/Columbia) while teams coming from the south could have their trip here paired up with Fredericksburg. A nice thing about six per division is that no cross-division games are necessary on any given day.
We’ll see how the season develops, but as we approach what would normally be the halfway pole between seasons, this is a good way to kindle the hot stove.