Thursday, April 28, 2011

The New Charlie Morton Show

Before I embark on a nice long trip to the Sunshine State I want to leave you with someone to ponder over the next 2 weeks. I saw a nice comparison of Charlie Morton’s delivery and Roy Halladay’s. Morton is on record stating he changed his entire mechanics in the off season to resemble Halladay’s.  One rival scout had this to say, “Morton has copied his windup perfectly, from the way he starts to the way he finishes. It’s almost identical.”
He has dominated two of the better offenses this year in St. Louis, Cincinnati for wins. This week he only gave up 4 hits and 1 earned against the Giants. He is now in the top 3 among SP for GB% and has learned to get an out on 1 pitch instead of working the count to each hitter and increasing his pitch count unnecessarily. I’m not saying he will be an all-star and have an ERA well under 3.00 but he is no longer the old SP for the scrapheap, to me he has value and I have picked him up today in a few leagues. Here are a couple of nice snippets for you to compare.
While on vacation the site will be down until May 9th because this is a one man gig for the time being. Anyway, yours truly hopes to get to see the Rays on Wednesday and then the Marlins on Friday.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fix My Team

There are countless fantasy sites out there that offer advice and Fantasy Baseball Vision is no different.  What does make the Vision unique is our new Fix My Team feature.  The major difference with our service is that you will get a response from our contributors rather than just one source.  The major players with big budgets will give you one answer or make it boilerplate.  Let’s say you are unsure whether trading Ian Kinsler for Jay Bruce and a draft pick is a good idea in your Dynasty League.  The Vision will give you different viewpoints and of course our take on the health of Kinsler.  Getting multiple points of view provides the most value and that is what we aspire to do….Sounds great, but what does it cost?  Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch.   We want you coming back for more and telling your friends to build our traffic and to build our brand. Our goal is to bury Yahoo, ESPN, and CBS…that was a joke…don’t sue me corporate giants.
Fix My Team is broken into Trade Valuation, Lineup Management, Keeper Concerns, and even Drafting Options.  Please try it today by clicking on the comments or sending your concerns here Fix My Team.
Trade Valuation
Trading is an art form. Nothing challenges fantasy owners more than executing the perfect trade. How do you make your team better while being able to offer something of value to your trading partner? All the while your trading partner is trying to do the same thing for his team. You don’t want to start with your best offer, but you don’t want to make a lowball offer that stops all negotiations before they even begin either. The easiest way to get trades made is by making trades that help both teams. If you see an owner is low in saves and you have an extra closer, offering a closer may make sense. Finding common ground on players to trade can be a grueling process with many different variations.
Fantasy Baseball Vision is here to help. If you have a trade you are thinking about offering or if you have been offered a trade that you are considering why not runs it by an objective observer first. Offer up your dilemma and then get the one on one attention that those big sites wouldn’t even dream of offering. Within a 24 hour period, we will respond to your inquiry and either give you the extra confidence in pulling the trigger on the move you are debating or tell you to step back from the ledge and hold on to what you have.
Far too often fantasy baseball owners get caught up in trying to win a trade or getting the most value for their players. Which is fine, but at the end of the season, the most important stat is not how many trades you win, but if you win your league. Nothing is more satisfying then making a trade that leads to a fantasy championship. Why not have someone in your corner to help you get there?
Lineup Management
Fantasy Baseball would be real easy if you could just draft a team, set your lineup at the start of the season, never touch it again and waltz to a league championship: boring, but easy. But as you know, many times the team you drafted looks a lot different than the team that you finish the season with. Players may get injured; experience hot or cold streaks or in general may outperform or underperform what was expected of them. Because of this, during the course of the season you will need to decide who to drop from your roster, who to add, who to bench or who to start on any given day/week. That’s where we come in….
General Managers have a staff of scouts and other executives. Managers have coaches. Why should you be making these same types of decisions by yourself? Lets us help. You may not choose to go with our advice but at least you get another perspective on the situation.
Please try it today by clicking on the comments or sending your concerns here Fix My Team.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Evolution of Darwin

Are we seeing the next Ryne Sandburg in Chicago? No, but we are seeing a player that is able to hit to all fields, has a good eye, and has succeeded at every level. Here is what one scout commented on Darwin last year, Darwin has the best baseball IQ among Cubs prospects, and is first in competitiveness among all Cubs prospects. Here is a little snippet from his resume. Darwin won State Championship in High School. He then went onto Oregon State and became PAC-10 Freshman of the year. In 2006 he helped the Beavers win the College World Series. From there he played on Team USA which won a gold medal at the World University Games. After that accomplishment he went back to OSU and won a 2nd CSW.
Let’s look at his number throughout his career. In college he was a .311 hitter with an OPB of .392 as a 3 year starter. He was drafted in the 4th round of the 2007 draft and started in Rookie ball and quickly moved up the ladder. His career minor league numbers are solid. In 423 minor league games he hit .286 with a .334 OBP. So in 2 ½ years he makes it to the big leagues. He now has just about taken over completely at 2B for the Cubs. In 50+ games in the MLB he has continued hitting. To date he has a .279 BA to go along with a solid .321 OBP. He has never shown any power on his journey, with 5HR being his high water mark but he is someone who is gritty, competitive, a winner, and a producer. He did hit his 1st MLB HR last night. In deep leagues he worth a look and in NL only leagues he is a must have with both 2B and SS eligibility. Should be statshed for your Dynasty Team too.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Yesterday's Rundown

They call him Pronk...don't know why...but is hitting lights out right now.

Ben Zobrist finished off the week with 6R, 6H, 3HR and 7RBI. When he makes contact he seems to drive in runs.
James Shields had his 2nd complete game victory, this one courtesy of the Jays or recently the “K”ays. Shields scattered 4 hits, walked 2 and fanned 7. His WHIP is now one best in baseball at a few ticks under1.00. He is currently owned in only 67% of leagues. I will be grabbing him in all leagues where he is available.
Ricky Romero had 10 K in 7 strong innings but was the hard luck loser pitching against James Shields.
Max Scherzer proved once again why he is one of the best #2 SP in the AL. He pitched 8 innings giving up only 4 hits to the struggling White Sox. He only walked 3 and struck out 7 for his 4th win on the year.
David Wright gets two jacks yesterday to go along with a SB for good measure. As soon as I crap on the Mets they pull off 4 wins in a row. Oh yeah, 3 were against Arizona so I crap on you again…trade your Mets players.
Stephen Drew is the poor man’s Tulo. He now has the 2nd most RBI for any SS in baseball. Throw in his .344 BA while batting cleanup and you have yourself a great find at a weak position. Remember when he wasn’t supposed to be as good as his big bro J.D.?
Mike Stanton gets a long HR for the 2nd time this year. He nearly doubled his RBI with that one swing. Until he cuts down that 40% K rate he is just another Kyle Blanks to me.
Danny Espinosa  smacked 3 hits yesterday raising his average to .281 for the year. If you didn’t know it he also leads all 2B in RBI as of yesterday with 14. He is only owned in 22% of leagues…worth picking up to replace your weak MI.
Mariano Rivera blew his 2nd save of the year. Is father time starting to whisper in his ear?
Travis Hafner collected 2 more hits for the tribe. Did anybody draft this guy last month? Now hitting close to .340 and healthy for the first time in 3 years. He is available in over half of all leagues and should be owned.
The Cubs trio is now at 230AB with one HR. I need some type of meter like the old Shawon-o-Meter for Dunston’s BA back in the day to keep track of these guys lack of power.
Arthur Rhodes the other 40+ year old lefty, picked up the save in Feliz’ absence for Texas. That is back to back saves for two different 40 year olds.
Mike Napoli  goes yard again. How many Naploi owners are glad he is out of the Halo’s organization and away from Scioscia? We all knew he could hit, why didn’t Scioscia?
Don’t look now but the Bo Sox are near .500 and the newbies Gonzalez and Crawford are starting to hit. They had 5 combined hits against the Angels.
Jason Heyward says bat me in the 2 hole and I will produce 3 hits and 3 RBI with an HR and 2 Runs. By golly that is what he did. This move up in the order will get him extra Abs and more chances to produce. If you own him good for you, if not… ouch.
Brian Wilson gets rocked again and takes the loss. An ERA near 10.00, maybe time to lose the beard.
The San Diego offense is now the worst I have seen in a decade. No one is worth owning. They actually have two starting position players now batting less than .100 after last night’s game. What is the term for batting halfway under the Mendoza Line? How about the Mendoza Fault Line…because something has gotta give way.
Me likey all Oakland’s SP ERA right now. Trevor Cahill 2.30, Brett Anderson 1.63, Gio González 1.80, Brandon McCarthy 2.10.
Lance Berkman gets two more hits to take his BA up to .377 When are you going to pick him up and put him in your CI spot. I have told you for 2 weeks now.

New Closer to Grab

Neftali Feliz was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with rotator cuff inflammation. In his place, Darren Oliver stepped in and picked up the save Saturday night. Oliver has been a premier set up man in Texas over the last couple of years.  Over the last four years, since being placed in the bullpen exclusively, he has maintained an ERA under 3.00 and a WHIP under 1.15. He will be a nice pick up over the next dozen games. If Feliz doesn’t come back on time, bonus for you.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Yesterday's Rundown

Andre Ethier continued his season opening hit streak to 19 against the woeful Cubs who threw 230 pitches yesterday. His .385 BA is nice but I want a #3 hitter and 6th round pick to be a little more than 20HR 80RBI with no wheels. I can pick up Seth Smith any time I want off waivers.
Ryan Raburn is a guy I own every year for a period of time. I like the 2B and OF eligibility for my daily leagues but he only produces when I have him benched or cut him loose. He is gone now so of course he goes 2-5 with a HR and 4 RBI. So now I will go with Ty Wigginton and his multi-position eligibility to hurt me when I start him and mock me when I bench him…can’t wait for the let down. Let’s see what last night gave me…ooohhh an 0 for 3 in the middle of a near no-no by Nasty Sanchez.
Jose Bautista  hit his fifth home run of the season and finished a single shy of the cycle. He went 3 for 3, walked twice and scored four runs.
Hanley Ramirez is hovering around the Mendoza line and his GB% is pushing 70%. The guy is on top of everything and the daily scorecard looks like 5-1 and 6-1 put outs every day.  For all of you who had the 1st overall pick in your league and took Hanley to show your intellect and cleverness by not picking Albert you might want to pick up Jed Lowrie or Maicer Izturis until the storm blows over. Both are still widely available. Once Hanley gets below .200 for a week straight the trade offers will be a flowin’.
Mets and D’Backs had no one with a multi-hit game. I expect the same on Saturday.
 Alex Gordon you have served your purpose well (in some type of Darth Vader voice) filling in for Longo when I plucked you off waivers. (Now my voice) What top 20 pitcher can I finagle someone out of in exchange for Gordon this week? “Hey look you need CI help and he went 2-4 again last night, he is still hitting .370…uh yeah the Royals ARE that good…David Price for Gordon you say? Sure that seem like it would work for both of us.”  I will let you know later this week who I got for him.
The Rangers line-up: Everyone got a hit all but 3 had an RBI and Run. Mixem’ matchem’ tradem’ with your friends.
Carlos Gomez got a whiff of Braun’s new contract and went 3-5 with a HR. He does all that hitting and he doesn’t get a SB like he is supposed to? He is still not worth owning. OK pick him up and when he gets 3 hits all of next week we can talk again.
Ryan Braun says to Carlos…anything you can do I can do better. See my contract proves it. He went 3-4 with a HR too.
Yovani  Gallardo can hardly put back to back innings together(let alone outings) without getting rocked. He does get the Win thanks to double digit run support.  I think this guy needs a commercial or something to loosen him up.
Lance Berkman keeps on hitting. 2-4 and 2 R last night in the tornado. If he could swipe a couple of bases he would lead all hitter in Yahoo rankings…What the…who the…yeah, I’m still plugging him in at CI like I posted a couple of weeks ago. I know, I know, he is going to run after some fly ball and either pull hammy or dive and tear something…just quick talking about it. Oohhmm  oohhmm oohhmm.
Peter Bourjos bats leadoff and picks up his 2nd SB.  If Scioscia keeps him up in the batting order he gains more value…I’m talking to you who missed the Sam Fuld run last week.
J. Lester goes 6 without an ER and out duels Haren and denies Haren his 5th Win.
Cole Hamels goes 8 IP with only 4H and 8Ks. He is just another cog in the well oiled pitching machine we call the Phillies.
Michael Pineda got a good look at King Felix the night before and decided to replicate what he saw. Pitch in, pitch out, keep em off balance. He goes 6 IP with 5Ks. He now has an ERA at 1.74 and a WHIP at 1.07. Last chance to get a fresh Pineda, only owned in 60% of leagues. It will be 90% next week.
Chipper Jones gets another hit and a Run last night. What is the over/under date for when Chipper breaks?

Friday, April 22, 2011

And Now Batting 3rd....Starlin Casto

Last week I posted that the Cubs 3-4-5 hitters had 1 HR in 160 AB, that is now 1HR in 191 AB for the season. I also posted that Starlin Castro could eventually end up as a middle of the order hitter down the road.  Maybe Mike Quade, the Cubs manager read my blog (hey I can think big) because he moved Castro to the 3 hole in the 2nd game of the Cubs Padres double header.  Though he only went 1-4 he is a good fit for the light hitting Cubs at this time. So far this year Castro has a LD% and FB% nearly equal at 23% leaving a GB% near 50%. He has only K’d  5X this year in 80ABs. So overall, the kid makes contact,  he places the ball all over the field and is still hitting at a .375 clip on the year. Sounds to me like the perfect fit for a CUBS team looking for a spark from the middle of the order. If he cements himself into that 3 hole his value for fantasy purposes get a big boost. He will start producing RBIs by the boat load. The power will come with age but for the moment enjoy the RBI boost. Finally this from Jim Hendry the Cubs General manager, "Castro is a good enough offensive player and he can hit anywhere down in the lineup". This move may just stick for the rest of the year and then for a decade to come.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Slow Starters...What To Do?

Slow starters at every position…What to do?…Ride out the April showers and hope for May Flowers? With nearly 10% of the season in the books we are starting to get a decent sample size of what may be to come for the rest of 2011. The following players were all drafted in my pert league with their draft position shown and league standings next.
All the hitters listed are or were recently below the Mendoza line and now it is time to decide whether to keep them for the rebound in May or have then continue to hurt the owner’s team across the board. No one player will win or lose your league but one player can bring down a category after a prolonged dry spell. There are many other “stars” that could have been placed on this list but the ones listed are ones that are owned universally and drafted in the mid-rounds of most leagues. Yes, some of these players are on Dynasty Teams and I would never expect you to give up on them but for standard non-keeper leagues it time for some tough decisions.
SP Wandy Rodríguez Drafted at 154-Owner’s team is in 12th place. His team is getting clobbered in ERA at the moment and it is not being helped by Wandy’s near touchdown ERA. Wandy has been a notorious slow starter over his career. He has only 4 wins in April over the last four years. If he doesn’t come around after his next 2 starts he is not worth keeping. The damage he has caused will be hard to make up. Remember he plays on the 2nd worst team in baseball. The Wins will be hard to muster. Available Alternative: Randy Wolf only owned in 7% of leagues and is pitching for a contender in a weak Division.
C Matt Wieters  drafted at 119-Owner’s team is in 5th place. His team is near the bottom of the categories in HR, RBI and is in last in AVG. When does the Wieters hype end? Maybe not yet. He has changed his stance and is not lunging into pitches.  Many above average catchers can be had to stream in and out of your line-up every week. Available Alternative: Another hyped Rookie who is currently red hot Wilson Ramos, who is owned in only 6% of leagues.
1B James Loney  drafted at 302-Owner’s team is in 2nd place. He is currently above average in all offensive categories and does not need the light hitting first baseman to stream in at and out at his CI spot. Loney needs to be dropped in all leagues, not even worth a bench spot. Available Alternatives for CI: Mark Trumbo owned in only 4% of leagues. He has much more upside and will be the starting 1B in Halo land for another month.
2B Ben Zobrist  drafted at 136-Owner’s team is in 6th place. His team is well above average in all offensive categories and probably drafted Zobrist for his position flexibility. So far Zobrist is striking out at over a 30% clip. No contact means no production in fantasy terms. I would keep Zobrist on the bench to see if he improves over the near future and maybe he will start to run more. 30 days from now if he is still hovering around the Mendoza line he needs to be scrapped. Available Alternatives: Wilson Valdez is still starting in place of the injured Utley and is only owned in 7% of leagues. Potent offensive around him and he is hitting well over .300 to date.
3B Pedro Alvarez   drafted at 94- Owner’s team is in 7th place. His team is dominating in the offensive categories. He needs pitching help and Alvarez could be great trade bait on name recognition alone. In other leagues, if Pedro is bringing down your team just hold the course. He is still batting clean-up and has high upside at a fairly weak position. If you can muster a great trade there is a few candidates to slip in at 3B. Available Alternatives: Alberto Callaspo in Anaheim has doubled in team ownership this week. He is now owned in 26% of all leagues. 
SS Elvis Andrus  drafted at 95-Owner’s team is currently in 5th place. I have never been a believer in Andrus and the hype. I’m sorry but a starting SS with zilch in HR last season does nothing for me, especially at such a high draft pick. This owner’s team is struggling in the Offensive categories and is last in AVG so far. Might be hard to move this guy because the consensus on this Elvis seems to be polarizing, many think highly and many think garbage. He could packaged in a trade with some pitcher to get a player that can help in a couple of specific categories. Available Alternatives: Wilson Valdez as listed above has 2B and SS eligibility.
OF Mike Stanton   drafted at 60 – Owner’s team currently in 4th place. His team is faring well in the power categories but needs some steals. As long as the power holds and Stanton shows the 50 HR potential he could easily be moved for some speed. As a 5th round pick you have to be a little upset with his production to date.
OF Austin Jackson   drafted at 213 – Owner’s team is currently in 1st place-That would be yours truly. I actually own Jackson in 3 leagues this year and I am ready to kick him to the curb. I thought his contact rate would improve over last year but to no avail. I drafted him for his 100+ Runs and 20+ SB. I do not feel too burned over where I drafted him but really have no use for him more than a bench player.
OF Vernon Wells   drafted at 282 – Owner’s team is in last place. What to say about Wells…Get rid of him anyway possible.
Best Alternatives for OF at this point: Jeff Francoeur won’t last on waivers after this week, get him now. Pat Burrell is always a good source of power and could used in the right situations in daily leagues. Finally, Hideki Matsui is worth owning and playing when Oakland is on the road in hitter friendly parks.
This was originally published last week at Profanatsy Baseball. I made a few tweaks since its first publication but the overall sentiment still stands true. Newly signed Jerry Sands may still be available after a flurry of pick-ups this week.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Yesterday's Rundown

James Shields goes the distance against the slumping Pale Hose. Nice line of 9IP 4H 1R 1ER 1 BB 9K to even his record at 1-1. It was his first CG in three years.
Matt Wieters had his best game of the season. He was 2 for 3 with 3R and 4RBI. Half of the Orioles are hitting under .240 so far. It’s time to move Wieters up in the order Buck. Quick note: Wieters is 5 for 5 with 8 RBI this year with RISP. I call that clutch Buck. Buck, are you listening or um reading?
Roy Halladay gets rocked last night. 6.2 IP 10H 6R 6ER 2BB 3K. I guess he gets rocked once every season. Once in spring, once in summer, and once in fall. That should still put him at 20-3 for the season.
Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Casey McGehee go 6 for 12 with 5R and 5 RBI. Is there a better 3-4-5 hitter group in the NL?
Brett Gardner goes 0-4 and is now hitting .128. How many of you reached for him in your draft thinking 100+ runs and 50SB? Ok I did in one league. His playing time is going to get drastically cut if they Yankees fall back to .500 on the season.
Mariano Rivera blows 1st save and get s a visit from the pitching coach while on the mound. 1st time that has happened since Buck Showalter was managing in 95’.
 NY Mets score 1 run. Trade away all your Mets players now. Trust me, they are that bad.
Josh Johnson has pitched 27 innings so far and only allowed 10 hits. Does anyone smell a no-no coming? He is now at 1.00ERA and a WHIP under 0.60. Why don’t I own this guy?
Drew Stubbs gets the HR-SB combo. He should have a dozen more combo games like this one.
I think the entire Angels team scored against Texas at home. Peter Bourjos, Maicer Izturis, and Mark Trumbo all go yard.
Cleveland 12-5 v KC 11-6 can those records be right? Bruce Chen is now 3-0 2.42ERA and 1.15 WHIP. KC fans whisper to each other “Greinke who?” Billy Butler doubles his career SB mark last night. I told you he would be running this year…get me 10SB Billy.
Pablo Sandoval now has an OPS over 1.000 after last night. OK I am convinced, the sophomore slump is behind him and I will try and target him in trades this week.

Brett Anderson dominates the Red Sox going 8 IP with 4H 0R 0ER and 8K to pick up the Win.

Brandon Beachy gets the first Win of his career. The Rookie, you should keep on your radar if not own, went 6IP allowing on 2H while picking up 7K. Getting 4HR from his teammates let him settle down and pitch effectively.

We have an Ichiro Suzuki sighting. He is starting to get hot after a slow start. He finished his night 4 for 5 with 3R 2RBI and 2SB. He is still hitting under .300 but that shouldn't last long after nights like this.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Franklin Is Out Of Closer Role

It's actually thumbs down for you boss.

Ryan Franklin is out as the Cardnials Closer for the time being. I am surprised it lasted so long. In my last Closer Report I predicted he would be the next closer to go. His line is on the scarey side: 4BS 1S 11.57ERA and a WHIP over 2. He did K 2 batters in his 4+ innings of work, yippie skippy. Anyway, there are a couple of guys who will step in and get a chance, Jason Motte and Mitchell Boggs  are the only two I see taking over. I like then in that order.

Jerry Sands...Come on Down...You're the Next LF in Dodgertown

No word as of yet if he kept that coveted #68
The 7-9 Dodgers made a plucky move by calling up the highly advertized prospect Jerry Sands from Triple-A last night. He started in left and batted 7th between Loney and Barajas. It looks as though he will get time at both LF and 1B for the next couple of weeks.
The dude was ripping up AAA pitching to date with a slash line of .400/.422/.875 which included two doubles, a triple, five HR, and 17 RBI. Even in spring training he was hitting major league pitching and finished with a .313 BA. Last year in A and AA he smashed 35 HR in only 137 games. His fielding is below par but if he can hit that is all we care about as Fantasy Managers. With the Dodgers having no one and I mean no one in LF that can hit and Loney batting below the Mendoza line the guy is getting playing time.
When I saw he was in the lineup I went directly to Yahoo to start adding him but he was nowhere to be had…not because other managers scooped him up…because Yahoo had not added him yet at the start of the game, or in the 3rd inning or in the 6th inning. Let the frenzy begin tomorrow morning I guess.
Hey Yahoo I have an idea…how bout’ putting every player that is on a team’s 40 man roster in your waiver wire so incidents like this do not happen. Then hire me to run your Fantasy Baseball Department. To give Yahoo some credit, while searching for Sands I came across this guy; Sandy Rosario was listed though he is not on any team. He does have some good stats though; 2G 1IP 9H 6R 6ER 54.00ERA 10.00WHIP 2HR 0K .818BAA Talk about getting lit up!! .818BAA yikes.
Back to Sands; he singled in his 1st AB and then followed that up with a SF for an RBI. His next AB he worked the count full and finally K’d swinging. No bad for a debut.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Yesterday's Rundown

Grady Sizemore returns after 11 months off and shows off why he was a onetime 30/30 player.  If you are in a weekly league line up league or you did not have the cohunes to play him (like me) in his 1st game back you missed the spoils of his productive day. I wont make the mistake again and am looking forward to his productivity. He showed the power is still there but what about his wheels? Lets hope he doesn’t blow a tread.
Andrew McCutcheon batted leadoff yesterday and started the game with a long homer. He then gave the Bucs the lead for good with a single in the 8th. He can hurt you in so many ways. Gotta love the power/speed guys. I feel he loses some value by leading off instead of hitting in the three hole. Either way his owners like the production.
Gaby Sanchez got 2 more hits yesterday and is now hitting near .340. If anyone in Fla could get on ahead of him he would have 3x the RBI this year. He is a very good pick-up at your CI spot if you are struggling and he is only owned in half of all leagues.
Tommy Hanson pitches well enough to Win and with 9Ks but loses this game because of no run support. Just shows how fickle getting Wins can be in Fantasy.
Jacoby Ellsbury helped Boston win consecutive games for the first time this year with his 3rd digger, a three run shot. He now has as many HR as SB…I guess he has the potential to be a 50/50 guy right?
Carl Crawford is only not hitting his weight; he isn’t even hitting his girlfriend’s weight. He is now down to .127 on the year.
Danny Espinosa gets 6 RBI in the two games and has moved into the lead-off spot. The move up increases his value and will continue to climb if he will continues to get on base, especially when Zimmerman returns in a week.
Michael Cuddyer gets back to back starts at 1B after I tell you he is on the verge of gaining 2B eligibility. I still picked him up in a couple of leagues.  
There is a new closer in town (or State) and Minnesota is shooting caps, Matt Capps that is. 3 up, 3 down, 1st save. Sorry Nathan owners for drafting a closer so early while coming off major arm surgery.
Sam Fuld gets two more hits. Now take a clue from Forrest and “Run Sammy Run”. Does any team but TB have their lead-off man as a catcher of the DH? Just askin’.
Nick Hundley the best hitting catcher in Baseball…wait he can’t be…nobody owns him. He is only 1 of 3 catchers with an OPS over 1.000 If you didn’t know that now you do…go pick him up…now, I’m waiting.
Does any other Billy Butler owners hear Judge Smails say “Billy Billy Billy this is a biggie, don’t let me down” when he is at bat with RISP? I do and he let me down yesterday 0-3 but still hitting over 350.
Dan Haren becomes 2nd 4 Win pitcher this year. Now has 1.16 ERA and a WHIP under a buck to boot.
Carlos Gonzalez had the most hits on the day in the Majors yesterday with 4 but the stat of the Cubs/Rockies game was that the Cubs 3-4-5 hitters: Marlon Byrd, Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena have 1HR in 160 ABs so far this season. Owners might want to avoid owning any Cubs SP at this point because they will be getting no run support this season. Unless Zambrano starts he has as many HR as the 3 previously mentioned.
The Oakland/Detroit game had a combined starting line-up with one guy hitting over .300, Miguel Cabrera. I have officially given up on Austin Jackson. I was completely wrong on this guy; he isn’t running because he can’t get on base and Ks more now than ever.
Matt Kemp is my MVP for the first 1/10 of the season. How many owners are glad they are not getting “Kemped” (a word that describes getting placed much much lower in the BA than you should because your manager is clueless) by Joe Torre this year? If he can get the power stroke going he is a legit 40/40 guy this year.
The Giants go hitless and without a base runner the last 6 innings of the 12 inning game against Arizona. Just look at they were facing though: Juan Gutiérrez, David Hernández, J.J. Putz, and Josh Collmenter. With those dominating household names no wonder. Remember when I predicted the Giants go .500 this year?
C.C. Sabathia doesn’t get the Win again!! GRRRRRRRRR!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

2 Start SP...Time to Stream

Time to stream again this week. I have each pitcher listed by league and then by whom I feel has the best opportunity to provide quality stats for your team. Most are thinly owned so get what you like and double up on some valuable Wins and Ks. One of favorites this week is the kid in Cincinnati; Sam LeCure. If he pitches well this week I will keep him on a couple of my teams. He will continue to get the call with both Bailey and Cueto out.

Jake Westbrook (STL) -- Tue-WAS (Lannan), Sun-CIN (LeCure)
Sam LeCure (CIN) -- Tue-ARI (Galarraga), Sun-@STL (Westbrook)
Tim Stauffer (SD) -- Mon-@CHC (Zambrano), Sat-PHI (Halladay)
Dustin Moseley (SD) -- Tue-@CHC (Russell), Sun-PHI (Lee)
Paul Maholm (PIT) -- Tue-@FLA (Johnson), Sun-WAS (Lannan)
John Lannan (WAS) -- Tue-@STL (Westbrook), Sun-@PIT (Maholm)
Armando Galarraga (ARI) -- Tue-@CIN (LeCure), Sun-@NYM (Niese)

Bruce Chen (KC) -- Tue-CLE (Carrasco), Sun-@TEX (Lewis)
Fausto Carmona (CLE) -- Mon-@KC (Davies), Sat-@MIN (Liriano)
Carlos Carrasco (CLE) -- Tue-@KC (Chen), Sun-@MIN (Pavano)
Chris Tillman (BAL) -- Mon-MIN (Liriano), Sat-NYY (Sabathia)

Matt Palmer (LAA) -- Tue-@TEX (Wilson), Sun-BOS (Lackey)

Kyle Davies (KC) -- Mon-CLE (Carmona), Sat-@TEX (Ogando)

Jake Arrieta (BAL) -- Tue-MIN (Pavano), Sun-NYY (Burnett)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Need MI Help...Here it Comes

Maybe it’s just me, but I am a lover of position flexibility. I covet players that gain multi-position eligibility before, during and after the season. I am always on the lookout for these types of players. Get ready because one could become available later this week. With the start at 2B this weekend Michael Cuddyer qualifies at that position in addition to MI.  Though his start to the season has been less than stellar, he would gain value with this next start. He has been batting 2nd at times this year but with Mauer now out he could be asked to hit for some power and be a run producer. He is only 2 years removed from a 32 HR campaign. If your team is still looking for an Utley replacement or some power from your dreadful MI spot Cuddyer looks mighty sweet. I’ve grabbed him already in some leagues and may try and deal him from here. He is definitely worth a bench spot and is only owned in 64% of leagues so act quickly.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bilateral Leg Wea....Oh what the Hell, My legs , back and body hurt. Plus I cant hit!!

Twins catcher Joe Mauer, who was held out of the Minnesota starting lineup on Wednesday and Thursday, has now been placed on the 15-day disabled list due to bilateral leg weakness. (Not sure what that is exactly but it does sound better than trilateral leg weakness) The Twins aren’t giving out too much information at the moment, but the condition is often related to nerve or spinal cord issues and can be very serious. Mauer will visit a specialist in Baltimore Friday. Your option as his back up is Drew Butera, (Who?) he owns a brutal .193/.231/.287 career batting line in the major leagues, The Twins are very short on catching depth.
Go get yourself a Ryan Hanigan or Ramón Hernández from the Reds or the Rookie Wilson Ramos in Washington for the time being. This news doesn’t sound good for a guy that squats 3 hours a day to make a living. Let’s look back a month ago…(this is you) hmmm should I draft Catcher in the early rounds who is coming off injury?…what the hell were you thinking.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Last Night's Rundown

David Murphy stepped right in yesterday to get an RBI in Hamilton’s absence. If he is still available in your league grab him now, he will not be around this time next week. With both speed and power he can help any manager’s team.
Alex Gordon is still lighting it up in KC this year. He goes 2 for 5 with a couple of RBI to boot. He now has 6 doubles on the season and his OPS is over 900. Though he already has 3B and OF eligibility, he may qualify at 1B soon. He has 2 games there so far this season.
Denard Span I ask you as to why you have not attempted a stolen base as of yet? Your manager’s are waiting. I will take the BA for now but start running.
Danny Valencia , welcome to your sophomore slump. Yesterday 0 for 4 and for the season: AVG .184  HR 1  RBI 3  SB 0 Owners of Valencia…welcome to your nightmare.
John Danks  8IP, 1ER, 7K, 3BB No Decision. Thanks White Sox bullpen for blowing 3 run 9th inning lead. Both so-called closers Sale and Thornton each gave up 3ER. Ozzie said he is giving Bobby Thigpen a call.
J.P. Arencibia and José Molina are hitting a combine .333…not bad from the C position.  Either one is worth picking up at this point. Both will get plenty of playing time and Arencibia is being slotted into the DH spot here and there when not catching.
Joey Votto is hitting .444 on the year and leading the MLB in R scored. Only went 3 for 4 with an RBI and R for the Reds last night. Albert who?
Heath Bell pitches a perfect 9th and picks up the Win for the Pads last night. Nice stat line for Bell so far…remember if the Pads start to fade Bell gets shipped.
Prince Fielder has now taken over the MLB league in RBI with a HR and 3 RBI last night…what’s that I hear, I think it’s a contract year. Albert who?
Shaun Marcum looked great last night. This is what the Brewers expected to get from the Gallardo, Greinke, and Marcum as the three headed monster. 7IP 4H 1BB 0ER
Kevin Correia in the same game as marcum he looked like a Pirates Pitcher. After a nice start to fool you all into thinking he is ownable he reverts back to a Pirate Pitcher. 6IP 6R 4ER 1K 2BB.
Roy Halladay CG W 9IP 2R 2ER 1BB 9K I’m starting to move closer to the dark side thinking a SP is actually worth a 1st round pick.
A.J. Burnett now has more wins (3) the then the Boston Red Sox (2) who would have thought that?
Josh Johnson takes no-no into the 8th and get the win. 1H 9K to go along for the ride.
Troy Tulowitzki homers again. Now hitting over 300 with 5HR 8R and 12 RBI. He must think its September already. Tulo & Votto early MVP candidates or the name of your favorite florist.
Starlin Castro now hitting near 400 after a 3 for 5 night. I still think this guy can hit for power later on and be a middle of the order guy. I am going to try to fix a trade for him in my dynasty league this week.
Lance Berkman drove in 5 with the help of a Granny off of the over hyped Ian Kennedy. I would pick up Berkman and I would drop Kennedy.
Jonathan Sánchez punched out 9 last night getting a nice win after his team came through to take the lead in the bottom of his last inning. He is now averaging 13K/9 this season. He is a K machine.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Furcal...Finally Down and Out?

Back in February I tried to warn you about his propensity for injury and to avoid drafting him here. Now he is even talking about retiring. His agent stepped in immediately and tried to put that notion to rest...not like he has a vested interest or anything. Here is the quote today from Furcal "I think about retiring if I'm not healthy. I feel so good with my back, now this -- what do you think I am thinking?"
Even if he doesn't retire he will be out at least 6 weeks. In the mean time Carroll will move over to SS with DeJesus moving in at 2B. I remember Harry Caray calling his dad I-Van Dee-Jeezus when he first came up for the Cubs back when I was a kid...I miss Harry and his pronunciations.
If you need a replacement for the injured Furcal I would look at Angel Sánchez in Houston as an option. He is hot right now and might as well ride the streak while he is streaking...figuratively not literally.

Bye, Bye Manny...Hello Sammy

Sam Fuld was the throw-in player in the Garza to the Cubs trade last January. For the Cubs he was an exciting, balls out, speedy outfielder. In his 6 years in the minors he compiled 24 HR 104 SB and a .285 BA .386 OBP. Sounds like a decent lead-off hitter for any team. Well, that team needing a lead-off hitter may have found one, the Rays.
Fuld was never considered a top prospect and was never given a solid look. He got his shot in Chicago after Cory Patterson missed a stretching workout and was then sent down. He instantly became a fan favorite with his all out style of play. Now in Tampa he may have never gotten  a look unless Manny shoots him self in the foot...or um continually in the the ass I guess. This is the exact type of opportunity or paths to the majors that has that feel  good storyline. Now that he gets his chance what does he do? How about 11 total bases last night and a chance at hitting for the cycle. He batted in the 9th only needing a single for the cycle but rapped a double at Crawford in the corner.
Going forward should you own him? Well, if you need a lead-off hitter with some speed he may be worth a look to stash on your bench. He will not get playing time everyday but when he is playing he has value. Could finish the season with 5HR and 20 SB.  He is an above average OF with no fear of injury. If not starting look for defensive replacement and the ability to possibly squeak out an at-bat when not starting. Whether I own him or not he will be someone I root for this season.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Early Closer Report

With nearly 10 games in the book after tonight, it’s time to look at the Closer situations for the league. Some teams have made changes, some teams stated they would use a committee but have reverted back to having just “the man” in the Closer role, and others may still be looking for someone to send out there in the 9th.
Did any of you use my Closer Strategy I posted back in March? If you did you should be leading your league in saves. For me; six teams with five 1st or tied for 1st and one with 3rd place in leagues for saves. Easy points boys.
So far this year we only have only 3 true vulture RP with saves. One each from Marshal CHC, Boyer NYM (who was just designated for assignment), and Lindrstom COL. Sale CHW got one in an extra inning game, Ramirez SFG picked one up while the bearded one was on the DL and Rodney LAA had one before being demoted, then picked up one last night after that 14 inning marathon.  The only two Closers without a Save would be Wilson SFG and Thornton CWS. Here is what the league situation looks like at the moment.
Yankees - Mariano Rivera  - 4 Saves-No competition.
Red Sox - Jonathan Papelbon – 1 Save-No competition but no chances either.
Rays –Kyle Farnsworth- 1 Save -Jake McGee has the promise to eventually take the job but has not been all that impressive so far. At one time this was supposed to be a committee in TB but the team is so bad Saves are going to be few and far between.

Orioles - Kevin Gregg – 1 Save- Koji Uehara could still get chances every week and probably is the better pitcher. With the O’s actually playing good ball, either RP can be of value in the near future.
Blue Jays – Jon Rauch -2 Saves- Frank Francisco got roughed up in his rehab start so not sure what to make of this when he returns. Stick with Rauch going forward.
White Sox - Matt Thornton - 0 Saves-It's clear that both Sale and Thornton have the skills to close but with Thornton’s new 12M contract I think the decision has been made for the next 2 years. But with Ozzie who knows plus Chris Sale has the only White Sox save.
Indians - Chris Perez – 4 Saves-No competition.
Royals - Joakim Soria  – 3 Saves- No competition but has an ERA over a touchdown and a WHIP at a buck and a half.
Twins - Joe Nathan -3 Saves-He’s healthy so Matt Capps is nothing more than a vulture guy at this point.
Tigers - José Valverde – 2 Saves- No competition but will be on a pitch limit this year. After a 60 pitch outing post All-Star break Valverde went downhill.  Joaquín Benoit is a fantastic Holds pick-up and may get a chance or two every month.
Angels - Jordan Walden – 1 Save- He was lurking and is now the man for the Halos.  Fernando Rodney must pitch lights out to even be considered again as the Closer. Rod

A’s – Brian Fuentes – 3 Saves- has done a solid job in place of Andrew Bailey.  Don’t look to see Bailey back for another 2 weeks.
Mariners - Brandon League 1 Save- David Aardsma is expected to return to the Seattle bullpen in late May now. No rush on his return so stay with League for the time being.
Rangers - Neftali Feliz – 3 Saves- He was the closer, is the closer and will be the closer all year.
Nationals - Sean Burnett – 2 Saves- Finally emerged as the one to close out the few and far between Nationals games.
Phillies –Jose Contreras – 2 Saves- Brad Lidge is out for 3 months…drop him now he will be useless going forward.
Mets - Francisco Rodríguez – 1 Save- No completion but still completing anger management classes.
Marlins - Leo Nunez – 3 Saves- lost it to Clay Hensley late last year and may do so again after a couple of Blown Saves.
Braves –Craig Kimbrel – 3 Saves- Jonny Venters was thought of as half the combo to close in Atlanta but the decision has been made to keep Kimbrel full time in the 9th.
Cubs - Carlos Marmol – 3 Saves- No competition but will not pitch 3 consecutive days it looks like.
Reds - Francisco Cordero  - 1 Save- No competition.
Brewers - John Axford – 3 Saves- No competition but an early season shellacking gave owners worries. He still has a ERA over 10 but has pitched better lately.
Astros - Brandon Lyon –1 Save- No competition and I mean NONE. Their bullpen is that bad even with Lyon having an ERA above 12.
Pirates - Joel Hanrahan – 4 Saves - He also leads all RP in Ks so far this year. I own this guy in 5 of 6 leagues…thanks me…you drafted well.
Cardinals - Ryan Franklin – 1 Save- Has blown 3 Saves now and will be the next to get demoted. Be ready to pick up Jason Motte this time next week.
D’Backs - J.J. Putz – 3 Saves- No competition.
Dodgers - Jonathan Broxton - 5 Saves - Leads all Closers with 5 Saves. Pitching well and has no competition unless he completely implodes.
Giants - Brian Wilson – 0 Saves- Came back shaky in both appearances but will be the man all year, sink or swim. You have to read his tweets on Twitter.
Padres - Heath Bell –2 Saves- No competition. Keep in mind he might get traded if the Pads fall out early.
Rockies – Huston Street – 4 Saves- Thanks to Kris "Conehead" Neisen for pointing out my omission of Street in the past. Street had a beautiful 3 inning outing this week. Just a solid pitcher so far with no competition.