5/22/20

ORWBL Off-Season Review: NL Edition

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1FS-Cj6ESGds1taWF0YcAaOpvsVpPFkeS

Despite orwbl.com being dormant since August, a lot has happened in our wiffle world over the last 9 months. Let's recap. Here is every announced transaction for the upcoming season, team-by-team, along with some thoughts about the moves.


Granger Panthers

No announced transactions.

Spin: 

As of this post, Granger hasn’t made any moves. Despite falling in the NLCS, the Panthers ended the summer hoisting the Hometown Cup with practically the same team they used in ORWBL. They swapped Brett in for the kid during their championship run so maybe that’s the move in ORWBL, too? Regardless, moves probably weren’t necessary. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.


New Carlisle Newts

+ OF Garrett Ruiz from the Mechanics.
+ LF Connor VanOverberghe from the Goats.
+ P Aidan Cotter from the Mechanics.

- C Danny Hernandez to EA.

Spin:

The youth movement is on in New Carlisle. After narrowly losing in the World Series last summer, the Yankees of Wiffleball lost Danny Hernandez early before signing a trio of established young players late in free agency. Ruiz and Cotter have flirted with New Carlisle’s team in past tournaments, but VanO is freshly Newtered. All three players have extensive ORWBL experience, notably serving together as key cogs on a 2018 Muffs ORWBL team which won 17 games. In all, these additions will give the Newts some much-needed regular season depth as they chase their 4th ORWBL ring. 


Elkhart BFAM

+ OF Austin Traxler from the Landsharks.
+ Some softball player B Terry keeps talking about.

Spin

Trax is a big pick up. Walt and BLT willed the BFAM to a 19-5 record in Elkhart’s inaugural season. Adding their M.O.B. teammate gives them a bonifide third guy with needed wiffle experience. His combination of left-handing hitting and athleticism will fit right in with the BFAM. Additionally, BLT has brought up the signing of Mikey Namisnak who apparently is good at swinging a softball bat. While it’s unclear whether he will be as good at swinging a plastic bat (which is obviously much harder), the reigning MVP seems confident in his abilities. Good enough for me.


Rolling Prairie Emery's Army

+ C Danny Hernandez from the Newts/Cult West.

Spin:

EA Part III will feature the usual suspects from Rolling Prairie in J-Law, Ryan Murphy, and Kevin May. Rumors of the return of Part I star Eric Johnson are circulating, however it is the addition of Danny Hernandez which is especially intriguing. The highly esteemed Cult West star joins an aging Rolling Prairie team with something to prove after an uninspiring sequel in 2018. The historically-great EA will assuredly be smashing brews, but it’s a question of whether those will be celebratory or mournful drinks. Adding Hernandez gives EA consistency, depth, and star power the 2018 team lacked. Overall, a great snag.


Lynn Street Leprechauns

+ OF Levi Miller from the Landsharks.
+ P Mikey Smith from Landsharks.

Spin:

Less than a year after trading 2018 MVP Bailey Rhed away to the Heat, Lynn Street GM Nick “Hinkie” Brassell was back at it this offseason signing two Landshark staples in Levi Miller and Mikey Smith. Levi developed into a star in his two seasons as Saugany Lake’s manager and his presence in left will give Lynn Street the lockdown outfielder they’ve lacked for years. In joining together the legendary Smith brothers, Mikey and Mookie will give Lynn Street a solid one-two punch on the mound. Hitting-wise, both studs will project to have big seasons at Rocko’s. Look for Mikey Smith as a sleeper candidate for Most Improved. The Process continues. 


Great Lakes Godfathers

+ P Whit Huffer from the Warsaw Whitecats tournament team.
+ Other Whitecats
+ OF John Premetz from the Club Ripped WWBC team.

- Granny's Quilt to the Mishawaka Meatspins.

Spin:

After spending the last four seasons in the American League, the new-look Godfathers will enter 2020 as a National League team. In large party because of Al-favorites Granny’s Quilt rejoining the league, Great Lakes’ needed to add depth to their veteran squad. In signing World Wiffleball Hall of Famer John Premetz, Whit, and a few other Whitecats, President of Baseball Operations Matador did just that. Matador’s beastly presence was concern enough for opposing players without having to worry about a man-cat meowing at them. Whit’s dancing knuckleball coupled with his cat-like antics give the ‘Fathers a new feel heading into 2020. It remains to be seen how often Premetz will be able to contribute to the Godfathers, but the World Wiffle legend will surely be a good add when present. The savy vet's attendance will have a big impact on Great Lakes' 2020 outlook.


Union Mills Goon Squad

Josh Trim from the Brew Crew Hometown Days team.

- OF Zach Christy to the Cyclones 

Spin: 

The kids are back and... pretty much the same as ever. They lost Zach Christy to the Cyclones in what looked to be some high-school drama (classic wiffleball ruining friendships stuff, been there). That’s sort of a shame given that he was one of the Goon Squad’s key contributors last year. He’ll presumably be replaced by Brew Crew standout Josh Trim whom Union Mills signed in late March. Year One is always the toughest, and with a year of experience under their belts the Goon Squad didn’t need to drastically overhaul their roster. The future is bright. Plus, even if it isn’t they have some nice grass on their field. So, there’s that.