Although I did state that I was attempting this as a way to make OLs more challenging, the basic problem I'm having is that I'm getting bored. I just play one team at a time. As we discussed elsewhere in this forum, my last team was an attempt to see if I could make the playoffs with a bigkahuna-type of team. We scored 8.7 runs per game and indeed made the playoffs (unlike your recent Coors team, I didn't win the WS). My current team is just the opposite: 2.50 ERA and an anemic offense.
That said, I didn't choose Carter, Nehf, Steele (and Joss, for that matter) for this team because I've used them ad nauseum, while Punto and Pettis are two of my favorite real-life players (and Punto especially is cheap).
Maddux is undoubtedly too expensive for a $70m team (I'm actually using him out of the bullpen right now, just for fun; he just picked up a 3-inning save). I would improve my chances by scrapping him. I was actually thinking of dropping him for Joss, which would add 106 stud innings for about $2m.
But you're right: I can clearly make some changes to improve my chances of making the playoffs. Thanks.