Monday, April 30, 2012

Rookie Madness Weekend...

By Corey R. Cunningham

This weekend featured 3 rookies from around the league. Two of the three rookies all is familiar with in Mike Trout of the Angels and Bryce Harper of the Nationals. Another Nationals rookie made his debut this Sunday afternoon against the Dodgers, Tyler Moore.

Harper debuted Saturday against the Dodgers and went 1-3 with a 2B and an RBI. Harper who batted seventh in the lineup also played LF during the game. Harper came into Sundays game batting seventh and started in CF making a great catch against the center field wall with a ball crushed by Juan Uribe. Harper then made a shift from CF to LF during the late innings due to substitution issues. Harper faced a south paw Sunday in Chris Capuano, Bryce went 1-3 with a BB and a K.

Tyler Moore made his debut Sunday against Chris Capuano as well, and he received his first MLB hit of his career with a sharp single. Moore also crushed a ball in his first AB of the season, yet just a routine fly short of the outfield wall. Moore who was in AAA Syracuse just Saturday playing a double header received a call to play Sunday, with Jayson Werth being a late scratch before the game and Michael Morse still out. Tyler Moore was not available on yahoo fantasy sports before the game started, yet I am not sure he is worth a pickup just yet. If he stays in the MLB he might just be a fourth OF. In 2010 and 2011 Moore crushed 31 HR a piece in High A Potomac and AA Harrisburg. He had a total of 84 HR, and 336 RBI during his 5 year minor league career. Keep Moore in mind, and he may get another couple of looks during the week as well.

Mike Trout made his second start of the season for the Angels on Sunday at Cleveland against veteran RHP Derek Lowe. Trout went 0-3 Sunday with a walk in the game. For the second straight game, Trout batted in the lead off position, however, failed to produce for the second game in a row. Trout yesterday went 0-4 with a K. It is hard to judge production just on a game or two alone, however, Trout who batted over .400 in AAA.

Give Trout, Harper, and Moore a chance to produce. However, adding them to your roster if available is tough for prospects who might get the ticket back to AAA. I think Harper is the safest of the 3. Trout should get the starting nod in 2013 and spend the rest of his career in the MLB, Moore perhaps will get another week, then demoted again, and as for Harper, I believe if he can keep his plate discipline, he should be just fine to add to your roster.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Time To Stream...2 Start SPs

Some veterans, some rookies, and some previous no names to choose this week to stream. Buchholz, Hughes and Buehrle get the weakest offenses this week. Milone gets the toughest, but now ranked as the 20th best SP in Yahoo leagues he may be the real deal and will shoot up the added list by next weekend with a couple of strong performances. The unknown Below will be filling in for Fister while he is on the DL. He gets two home match-ups against anemic offenses. Remember these are SP owned in less than 50% of leagues that can bolster your pitching categories this week with 2 starts.
Clay Buchholz 49% Owned (OAK vs. Milone, BAL vs. Hammel)
Tommy Milone 22% Owned (@BOS vs. Buchholz, @TB vs. Moore)
Duane Below 3% Owned (KC vs. Hochevar, CWS vs. Sale)
James McDonald 2% Owned (@ATL vs. Minor, CIN vs. Latos)
Phil Hughes 11% Owned (BAL vs. Matusz, @KC vs. Mendoza)
Hector Noesi 1% Owned (@TB vs. Moore, MIN vs. Hendriks)
Kyle Drabek 29% Owned (TEX vs. Darvish, @LAA Wilson)
Mark Buehrle 49% Owned (ARI vs. Collmenter, @SD vs. Richard)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

From A Bee To An Angel

By Corey R. Cunningham

Mike Trout has been called upon by the Angels from AAA Salt Lake. This comes hours after the Angels GM Jerry Dipoto flew to Cleveland and notified long time veteran OF Bobby Abreu he was being released by the team. Abreu was almost traded twice during the past couple weeks, once to the Yankees, and once to the Indians, however, he was retained by the Angels.

Mike Trout will be called upon to add some youth to the line up and according to the Angels, he will play every day. He will play all 3 OF positions. Trout carries a 1.091 OPS down in AAA Salt Lake, compared to any of the 4 OF for the Angels; Bourjos .512 OPS, Abreu .593 OPS, Wells .696 OPS, Hunter .760 OPS. Trout who played 20 games in AAA, played just 13 games in the OF, and none at RF. I believe Trout will only play RF when Hunter needs a day of rest.

I would like to see Trumbo and Trout play everyday for the Angels as it gives them youth, compared to Wells and Hunter, however, production is most important and Wells and Hunter have a combined 30 years, compared to Trumbo and Trout of up to 4 years. I am not a fan of Bourjos, even though he will add R, and SB. I believe Trout will be a permanent OF fix for the Angels.

Trout held a .403 BA in AAA, along with 31 H, 21 R, 4 2B, 5 3B, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 6 SB, .623 SLG, and .467 OBP. Trout should be drafted in your yahoo league immediately if he has not been so far. Trout will get his first start of the 2012 season against the Indians tonight, facing RHP Jeanmar Gomez who is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA, and 6 K. No guarantee where Trout will hit tonight or play for that matter, however, take a look at the leadoff position thus far for the Angels, they hold a .195 BA, with .250 OBP, not exactly what you’re looking for in your leadoff hitter(s). Give Mike Trout a line of 2-5, 2 R, 1 SB for tonight.

Washington Nationals Bring Up Harper

By Corey R. Cunningham

The Nationals announced on Friday, they are bringing up young talented OF Bryce Harper who is currently in AAA Syracuse. Harper will be filling the role left by 3B Ryan Zimmerman who went on the DL retroactive to April 21st.

To my surprise, Manager Davey Johnson announced, he will be playing Harper in LF and will be batting him seventh. According to the Nationals they needed a left handed bat in the lineup. Harper I guess fits that particular role and will get his opportunity. No shocker to me, they did not bring up Bryce Harper on Friday, why you ask, due to South Paw Clayton Kershaw. I am not a Harper fan at all, and if he is ready, then he is ready, but why not bring him up against Kershaw? Cause he is a left handed batter against a lefty? Poor excuse for a guy who will need to hit left handed pitching in the near future. I just think they didn’t want him going 0-3 with 3 K.

Harper was slated to start the season with Washington, however, the Skipper convinced Rizzo to give Harper some time at AAA Syracuse. Harper did manage to hold a .286 BA through spring training. Harper has 20 games in with the Syracuse Chiefs, most of them in CF, some in RF and only 2 games played in LF. He is only carrying a .250 BA, with 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 SB, and 1 CS. He did strikeout 14 times, compared to getting 9 BB.

Harper will face RHP Chad Billingsley on Saturday. Chad is 2-1, with a 3.04 ERA, 19 K and a 0.93 WHIP. Harper might have a tough task ahead of him, as Billingsley has pitched better to left handed opponents this year thus far. He has allowed just a .182 BAA, with 10 K. My prediction for Harper on opening night 0-3.

Friday, April 27, 2012

An RP Worth a Look To Start

With Chris Naverson on the shelf for the rest of 2012, the Brewers will shuffle their rotation and will send Marco Estrada to the mound on Saturday for his 2nd start of the season.  He is no stranger to starting; he has 10 starts throughout his career though he has been mainly used in long relief.  
Estrada is pitching his best at the moment and had a stellar start last week against the Rockies. He went 5 innings giving up 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB while striking out 9, that includes the side in the 1st inning. On the season through the 6 games he has pitched; he has a 2.45 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP. He is absolutely dominating right handed hitters to a tune of .130 BAA. Not to mention he will pitching a majority of his games against  pathetic NL Central line-ups.
With his RP/SP eligibility he is attractive to slide into your line-up. With Naverson out for the season, Estrada could earn a permanent spot in the rotation with a good showing against the Cardinals. Beware though he could be skipped next week with an off day for Milwaukee on Thursday.  I will be picking him up today in a couple of daily leagues and you should too if you need some pitching help this weekend.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Minor League Quick Hits…

By Corey R. Cunningham

-         Andy Pettitte debuts for AA Trenton, going 5 IP, and allowing 4 R, 3ER
-         Hagerstown Suns Steven Souza drives in 9 RBI, 1 shy of SAL record
-         Will Middlebrooks hitting .377, 9 HR, 27 RBI
-         Matt Laporta hitting .364, 5 HR, 12 RBI
-         Lonnie Chisenhall hitting .316, 4 HR, 12 RBI
-         Brian Bixler hitting .429, 2 HR, 4 RBI
-         Mike Trout hitting .419, 1 HR, 13 RBI
-         Anthony Rizzo hitting .373, 7 HR, 19 RBI

The above named players are tearing up minor league pitching. I would be checking in daily to see the daily scoop for these guys. If you have room on your roster for one of these top slugging minor leaguers I would try to stash them by the end of May. Finally for all you dynasty leaguers, they will be yours for as long as you wish to keep them.

Pettitte looks to get another 3-4 starts in the minors before rejoining the big league club, and it’s a good thing they resigned him after losing Sophomore SP Michael Pineda for the year.

Middlebrooks will more than likely get the year at AAA as long as Youkilis is on the roster for the Red Sox, however, an interesting note, perhaps next year, the Sox let go of David Ortiz, hold onto Youkilis for a DH role and have Middlebrooks for a starting 3B. Youkilis will come a lot cheaper than Ortiz.

Laporta and Chisenhall have both seen time in the MLB, however, Laporta more so than Lonnie. The Indians are hoping this is Laporta’s last stint in the minor leagues and he gets it going permanently. He has struggled mightily in the big leagues and he needs to be an everyday player for the Indians.

Mike Trout will probably see a September call up with all the 5 OF the Angles have in Vernon Wells, Torii Hunter, Bobby Abreu, Peter Bourjos, and Mark Trumbo. Trout should be the leadoff hitter for years to come for the Angels.

Rizzo is still raking the ball in AAA Iowa, and once again has the spot occupied by Bryan LaHair and Jeff Baker taking turns at 1B. Theo will make the call for Rizzo once he is good and ready, and believe me, Theo wants him up permanently.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New A's 3B

If you are in need of some at bats in the near future from a player that qualifies at 1B, 2B, and 3B you should keep your eye on Luke Hughes. He was claimed off waivers from Minnesota this past Sunday and according to A’s manager Bob Melvin Hughes will get a long look at 3B. With Donaldson hitting less than .100 and Sogard under .175 at the hot corner both have been a disappointment   this season filling in for the injured Scott Sizemore.

Hughes is not the type of hitter to bolster your squad across the board but with his position flexibility and recent vote of confidence from his manager you might be able to pick up some counting stats. A good pick up if you have room on your bench in daily leagues. You might just catch some of that Aussie magic in the short term. Do not let today’s absence from the line-up discourage you. He caught the same bug that has been around the A’s locker room for the last few days.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mat Latos...A Buy Low Candidate

Cincinnati’s prize off season acquisition Mat Latos, has been struggling so far this season. To date Latos is winless with an ERA well over a touchdown and his WHIP is just a shade under 2.00.  His BAA is a staggering .328 and nearly all the inherited runners he left for his teammates have scored. He has also given up a 2 R triple to an opposing SP and has failed to even garner a single QS this season.
With all that bleakness hovering  over Latos he has come to the conclusion that he must just trust his stuff and not try and pinpoint every pitch and be too fine. He is a power pitcher and needs to throw heat.
If you thought that maybe his velocity is down think again. He has actually increased his average velocity in all 3 starts this year. Then you might think his velocity is down from the last couple of years. That would be wrong also. Average velocity in 2012 starts: Game 1 (91.5), Game 2 (92.8), Game 3 (93.8). Latos actually pitches better as the season progresses.
He pitches tonight against the Giants where he was 0-1 with a 3.15 ERA last year in 3 starts. If he comes off average at best tonight I would start seeking out his owners and try trading for him on the cheap. At 24 years old with Cincy’s lineup behind him he is a sure bounce back candidate for the rest of the year. Just remember in April 2011 he was 0-4 with a 4.98 ERA.

Depth for your Fantasy Team…

By Corey Cunningham
Add On 
Detroit Tigers SP Drew Smyly might be getting the attention of some fantasy owners who are in need of spot starts, or perhaps SP depth. Smyly, a 22 yr old Southpaw, was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2010 draft by the Tigers. I have followed Smyly through this year as far as production, and I had my eye on him during my minor league draft. I did not take Smyly during my draft because I read several articles where he was on the verge of making the starting rotation out of spring training.

Smyly has done threw 16 innings of work, and against very good offensive lineups in Tampa Bay, Kansas City, and the Texas Rangers. Smyly now has a 1.12 ERA, with 15 K and only 6 BB. Drew will draw opponents of the Yankees, White sox, and the Mariners in his next 3 starts. If you need to add SP depth, or perhaps have an extra slot due to DL problems, I would take a look at Drew Smyly.

Chicago Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo needs to get a serious look from fantasy owners. Even though Rizzo is still in AAA Iowa, he has been killing the ball. Rizzo has homered in 4 straight games thus far, bringing his HR total to 7, with 19 RBI, 25 H, 2 2B, and a .368
BA. I know it’s hard to have a spot occupied by a player who is still in the minors, but the thing is, when he is called up, you will already have him.

Here is my situation; I drafted Paul Goldschmidt in one of my leagues, however, his poor starting production has hurt his playing time. I also drafted Adam Dunn, and Brandon Belt to occupy 1B from time to time as well. I did draft Rizzo, again I will hold onto him from now till he is called up. Belt is having the same problem as Goldschmidt in his production/playing time. I went to the FA wire and picked up Mat Gamel for the time being. I believe every championship team needs an anchor at 1B, and thus far I have not found mine.

Houston Astros 2B Jose Altuve is owned now in 31% of yahoo leagues and is on the rise. The 22 yr old is off to a hot start for the Astros, and he is not the only one contributing. Altuve is batting .321, with 6 RBI, 7 R and 3 SB. Altuve has 56 AB flip flopping from the 2nd and 8th hole in the batting order and needs a little respect from fantasy owners. The position is already a weak one, and Altuve will add more depth to your roster as well as stats. Pick up Altuve right now, and don’t think twice about it.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Quick Pick up for Spot Starts...

By Corey R. Cunningham
3B/SS Kyle Seager for the Seattle Mariners, yes he is multi position eligible. For a team that does not produce a whole lot of offense, the Mariners as of now have some quality guys to pick up off the FA wire. I have noticed many Mariners still lay on the wire itself. I recently acquired Seager to fill a hold I had after dropping Derek Lowe from his last start.

Seager will produce as of now in most of the offensive categories, R, H, RBI, HR, TB, and AVG. Right now Kyle has a .292 BA, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R and 1 SB. Seager has been batting manly in the 5th batting position with occasionally getting the nod in the 6th spot, and he manly has played 3B all year, except for a start at 2B. Kyle played enough games in 2011 at SS to become eligible for that position this year, however, he has not started their and most likely won't, pending injury.

If you need a bench player, or perhaps a MI/CI player, you might want to consider drafting

Kyle Seager for another couple of weeks.

SP Drew Pomeranz for the Colorado Rockies. Even though Pomeranz struggled mightily in his first start back from the DL on April 15th, you might want to consider using a roster spot on him. The next 3 out of 4 games on paper are favorable for Pomeranz as his opponents coming in order are (pending weather) @ Milwaukee (not in Coors Field could be a great thing), Vs. NYM, Vs. Dodgers and @ San Diego. The Dodgers I would say as they are off to the hot start would be the most unfavorable matchup for the young Southpaw.

Pomeranz was the piece of gold the Rockies wanted in exchange for Ubaldo Jimenez. Even though Colorado is not exactly the best pitchers park, Pomeranz has the stuff to be a dominant pitcher in that park. If you don't have Drew on your minor league roster in any dynasty league more than likely he will be on the FA list due to his numbers. Pomeranz stands with a 0-1 record, 10.38 ERA, 3 K, 2 BB, and a 2.54 WHIP. Do not let these numbers fool you as Drew has the ability to conquer and overcome.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fix My Team

There are countless fantasy sites out there that offer advice and Fantasy Baseball Vision is no different.  What does make the FBV site unique is our 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 a simple yes or no.  Let’s say you are unsure whether trading the injured Chris Young and a draft pick for Jay Bruce is a good idea in your Dynasty League.  FBV will give you different viewpoints and of course our take on the health of Young.  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.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Digging for Gold in the Desert

By Corey R. Cunningham
Arizona Diamondbacks 1B Paul Goldschmidt has been seeing the bench more than the field lately. Goldschmidt has been getting relieved by no one other than Lyle Overbay, yes, Lyle Overbay the long time Blue Jay and Pirate.

I thought off the bat, Overbay and Goldschmidt would flip-flop in the order pending who was on the mound. After Overbay got a start versus a left hander, I realized I was wrong. Goldschmidt had been benched the past 3 games, with receiving a pinch hitter award here as of late. Goldschmidt as of now has a K: AB rate of 1:3. I know this is not good, but Goldschmidt has to be better than Overbay.

I realize as a batter you need to lay off pitches and avoid striking out as much as possible, but then again, an out is an out right? If I get over powered by a 98 mph fastball with strike three, what is the difference if I hit a pop fly to third base with no one on. My point is, Overbay is not producing any better than Goldschmidt and I thought Goldschmidt was the future 1B for the Diamondbacks.

Goldschmidt holds a .200 BA, with 6 H, 4 R, 2 RBI and a HR. He does have 10 K, with 3 BB in 30 AB. He does have 2 multi hit games as well. Only appearing in 7 games thus far this season, with appearing 3 times as a pinch hitter, let’s not get carried away, especially since Chris Young just went out with a shoulder injury.

Overbay is hitting a measly .222 with 4 H, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3 K and 2 BB. Not exactly power numbers by any means for a guy who should be the backup and should only get occasionally appearances starting at 1B.

I was able to draft Goldschmidt in one of my leagues in the first round, and I was proud to draft him, I was in need of a dynasty 1B, and I thought he was it. I am a bit worried about him not starting, but I didn’t expect great average. However, Arizona is use to seeing guys with power, and who strikes out a lot (Mark Reynolds). I will continue to play Paul at my 1B position and you should too. If you have a better option right now, go with it, however, do not drop Goldschmidt.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Getting the Most Attention This Week

There are many reasons to date as to why these particular players have been added so frequently in the past week. We had injuries, unexpected performances, position flexibility, and multi category enhancements.


JORDAN SCHAFER may finally be living up to his potential as a true lead-off man with some pop to his bat. I had him projected at 80/3/45/.277/38 on the season. He may even hit closer to 10 HR by the end of the year.
LANCE LYNN is a former 1st round pick and pitched pretty well last year in relief. He is hot now and may get you a few more starts but as soon as Carpenter is healthy he will be the odd man out.
SANTIAGO CASILLA may get the majority of the saves since Wilson is done. He is worth a pick up if you are in need of saves. Personally I like Romo better as the closer, it is really and a wait and see issue.
JD MARTINEZ was typically the last 3 hole hitter off the board come draft day. I had him projected at 65/16/71/.291/0 and I personally drafted him in 2 leagues this year. He is now owned in over 90% of leagues.
BARRY ZITO virtually went undrafted this year. I did not have him in my top 300 but he has changed his delivery somewhat this spring and it may have helped. I picked him up in a 16 team league last week just trying to catch some lightning in a bottle. Pick up at your own risk.
DANNY DUFFY see Barry Zito.
KYLE DRABEK has pitched well in his two starts but may get bumped when McGowan returns from his foot injury unless he can continue to pitch well. Remember he has not pitched ion the road as of yet. They may be the true test.
OMAR INFANTE is year in and year out one of the most picked up and dropped players in fantasy. Yes I like his position flexibility especially in daily leagues but his OPS is 50% higher at the moment than his career OPS…it is unsustainable.
ADAM LAROCHE is getting more playing time than most suspected due to the Morse injury. As long as there is an opening at 1B in Washington LaRoche is a solid option at CI for most fantasy teams.
FERNANDO RODNEY is the Closer in TB at the moment. As long as Farnsworth is hurt and Peralta struggles he is the man. All I ask is you adjust your cap Fernando.

Notable Minor Leaguers to keep your eye on…

By Corey R. Cunningham
Lonnie Chisenhall 3B Indians AAA- 55 AB, 19 H, 5 2B, 4 HR, 8 RBI, .345 BA
His current spot is occupied by Jack Hannahan; look for Chisenhall to get the call up soon if Hannahan continues his struggles.
Will Middlebrooks 3B Red Sox AAA- 48 AB, 16 H, 3 HR, 11 RBI, .333 BA
His sport is occupied by Kevin Youkilis and I doubt Middlebrooks gets the cull up till next year, when the Red Sox hold an option on Youkilis.
Julio Teheran SP Braves AAA- 2-0, 2.19 ERA, 12.1 IP, 8 H, 6 BB, 12 K
I doubt Teheran sees Atlanta before September, given his struggles during spring training.
Travis Snider OF Blue jays AAA- 44 AB, 19 H, 6 2B, 16 RBI, .432 BA
Snider had his opportunities to play every day for the Jays, however, struggled. If he keeps these stats up, he should be called up by June.
Anthony Rizzo 1B Cubs AAA- 50 AB, 20 H, 5 HR, 13 RBI, .400 BA
Rizzo should see time soon in Chicago, although LaHair is not doing to bad there. I am thinking once the Cubs call up Rizzo, they want to make him the everyday 1B, so they will make his call up a permanent one.  
Brad Peacock SP Athletics AAA- 1-1, 1.50 ERA, 12 IP, 6 H, 4 BB, 14 K
Peacock came to Oakland in the Gio Gonzalez deal, looks as if Peacock is another real deal pitcher the A’s wanted and landed. He keeps these numbers up; he will be pitching in Oakland by May or June

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Soon To Be Position Flexibility

Now into our 3rd week of fantasy many players are gaining eligibility at additional positions. As you know, some of the bigger names such as Miggy and Hanley gained 3B eligibility. LaHair gained 1B, Scutaro gained 2B, and Figgins gained OF eligibility. Here is a list of the next group to qualify at an additional position.

Jesus Montero Catcher 3 more starts

Casey McGehee 1B 2 more starts

Yuniesky Betancourt 2B 1 more start

Elliot Johnson 2B 3 more starts

Mark Trumbo 3B 2 more starts

Ronny Cedeno 3B 3 more starts

Andy Parrino SS 3 more starts

Ryan Doumit OF 2 more starts

These RPs qualify for SP after 1 additional start

These RPs need 2 additional starts to qualify at SP

These SP qualify at RP after 1 or 2 more appearances

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Little Thing Called Pressure...

By Corey R. Cunningham
San Francisco 1B/OF Brandon Belt has put a little pressure on the Giants management and Manager Bruce Bochey. Bruce has told the media, Belt would have a long leash this year, compared to last year; however, it does not seem to be the case through 2 weeks of the season. The Giants have played 9 games thus far through the young season, and Belt has only appeared in 5 of these games, (long leash)?

Belt did go 1 for 3 Sunday at Colorado, with a run scored and a SB, however, his batting average is still under.100 and has only 2 H on the season and has 5 K on the season. Belt has been playing sparingly at 1B for Aubrey Huff and LF for Melky Cabrera and Huff. As of now he is a platoon player, I would still keep him stashed on your bench, and I would hold onto him if you can. Do not give up on Belt just yet, at least not until he gets the ticket back to AAA.

The Chicago Cubs may have a problem, a good problem. Like the Reds had in Cincy with Votto and Alonso, the Cubs have LaHair and Rizzo. The problem you ask, Rizzo is crushing the ball at AAA Iowa, and perhaps he may have found his swing. Rizzo currently as of Saturday has 5 HR, 13 RBI, 7 R, 1 SB through 10 games. He has a .385 BA, .795 SLG, and 1.210 OPS.

The Cubs might want to think about what to do about this good problem. LaHair has 2 HR, 5 RBI, and 2 R. The only problem LaHair has that might cause the Cubs to switch out Rizzo for LaHair is LaHair has 10 K, through 23 ABs, compared to Rizzo who has 8 K, through 39 AB. Not exactly sure when the Cubs would consider bringing up Rizzo, but he is HOT and knocking the ball around in Iowa. There is no OF spot for LaHair to play or a DH spot, so this problem could linger for a while. If you drafted Rizzo, good for you, if you did not and he is available, grab him up right now.

Hit the FA Wire, Like Now!!!

By Corey R. Cunnigham

Houston Astros CF Jordan Schafer is off to a good start, at least the best you can get with the Astros, and the poor offensive line up they bring everyday to the ball park. However, I would still say the Astros can score some runs, looking at them through the first two weeks of the season, they seem to be playing good together.

If you are in need of SB, R, and TB I would suggest going to the FA Wire and grabbing him. He has 5 SB and 8 R scored thus far, and is the leadoff man for the Astros. With J.D. Martinez and Carlos Lee batting 3rd and 4th, Schafer has many opportunities to score a lot of Runs and steal bases. Jordan can also add a Hit or two during each game, as well as drawl a coupled of BB as he had 3 in Saturdays show down.

Seattle Mariner DH Jesus Montero is another hot hitting player. Montero ended his 8 game hitting streak on Sunday, however, the guy is still hitting .323 with 1 HR, and 5 RBI. Although most of his hits are singles, with 1 2B, he is still hitting, and for a team like Seattle who was predicted to finish dead last in the Division and produce little offense, they are hanging on strong and playing games like they should be.

Montero should not be on the FA Wire, and if he is, no questions asked, scoop him up. He will produce in every offensive category your league has and I would start him every day with confidence. By Mid May or June he should be C and DH eligible which will boost his value.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Time to Stream...This Week's 2 Start SPs

Not many choices this week to stream that are owned in fewer than 50% of leagues. I do like Humber the best this week for 2 wins. The Chi Sox are playing great baseball recently. They have possibly the best defensive infield in the AL which can save a run or two every game. Feel confident is streaming ant and all of these SPs this week.

Philip Humber 6 % owned (BAL vs. Arrieta, SEA vs. Beavan)

Joe Saunders 5% owned (PIT vs. Bedard, ATL vs. Hanson)

Joe Blanton 2% owned (@SF vs. Bumgarner, @SD vs. Bass)

Erik Bedard 47 % owned (@ ARI vs. Saunders), STL Lohse)

Randall Delgado 3% owned (NYM vs. Santana, @ARI vs. Kennedy)

Dillon Gee 4% owned (@Atl vs. Hanson, SF vs. Lincecum)

Last week’s picks came through superbly. A few wins, decent ERA protections and some needed Ks. Some still have a scheduled start today so the good stats will continue to come.

Alvarez 1ER & 3ER

Mendoza 1ER

Westbrook 1 W and 0 ER

Leake 3ER

Doubront 2 ER 6Ks

Narveson 1 W 2 ER

Detwiler 1 W 0 ER 6Ks

Noesi 1 W 6Ks

Volstad 10Ks

Friday, April 13, 2012

Shaken, not stirred...

By Corey R. Cunningham
Atlanta SP Randall Delgado received his first start of the 2012 season on Thursday, at Houston. Delgado was battling all spring long for a fight to get the 5th and final starting spot for the braves with Tim Hudson out at least until the end of April. Delgado was able to beat out top prospect RHP Julio Teheran.

Even though Delgado received his first win with the Braves, it was against the Houston Astros, and the Astros are predicted to have one of the lowest scoring offenses in baseball this year. With aging Carlos Lee playing 1B, and youngsters in JD Martinez, Jose Altuve, and Jordan Schaffer it is hard to predict the Astros will score this year.

Delgado went 5 innings, allowing 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 HR, walking 2 and did get 6 K in the books. Delgado holds a 3.60 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. If the weather plays out right, as well as my calculations, Delgado should be facing NY Mets, Arizona Diamondbacks and the Pittsburgh Pirates in his next 3 starts. None of these starts are automatic wins, however, at least the Mets start he has an opportunity to produce some good numbers. The Diamondbacks like the Pirates can and will hit the ball all over the ball park.

If you have an extra slot due to a player going on the DL, you might want to add Delgado for a start coming up in the next week with the Mets coming into Atlanta.

Once Hudson returns from the DL, look for Delgado to get dropped back down to AAA barring any injuries from any of the starting pitchers now, however, if you can you might want to hold onto him, as come August or September he will be on the roster for the Braves.

Injury Update

Stephen Drew who is recovering from a nasty broken ankle sustained last July and a hernia surgery in October has now played in an extended spring training game. He went 1 for 4 and even played a couple innings in the field turning a double play. Though he may still be a month away from re-joining the D-Backs he is one you should have on your radar going forward.
Every team at some point can use an upgrade at MI during the season and Drew definitely fits the bill. A .270 career hitter with 15 HR power and even double digit SB potential is a nice upgrade. He will fit nicely into the D-Backs powerful line-up.
Throughout his career he has hit anywhere from lead-off to clean-up. Over the last 3 years he has hit over .300 as a leadoff hitter. Not sure where he will hit in Kurt Gibson’s line-up but he has the ability to both be a table setter or an RBI guy. With the absence of a true lead-off hitter in Arizona I feel Drew will slide into that role within the first 5-10 games after returning from his injury.
If you have space on your roster to add a DL player for the next 30 days you should scoop up Drew. He is currently owned in 30% of leagues but as he gets healthier that number will double quickly. Be the first in your league to grab him then you can answer all the “nice pick-up” comments from your league mates.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Is the FREAK Show Coming to an End?

Can the small sample size of Tim Lincecum’s 2 starts give us answers to the entire season? Well if you believe his velocity cannot increase and his differential between his fastball and change-up continues to narrow and his K rate dropping to go along with his BB/9 increasing, then yes…I have concerns. With only 7.2 IP so far this year he has a line of 0 Wins, 12.91 ERA 2.22 WHIP and most disturbing a .368 BAA. Everyone is hitting Lincecum so for this season.
Last night it was reported Lincecum only hit 92 MPH 4x on the gun. His average is now down to 90 MPH and his changeup is at 83-84 MPH. Once the discrepancy between the two narrows his change-up becomes less effective. Couple this with him scrapping his slider all together this season (to avoid injury he stated) and he is no more than an average 2 pitch SP.  Unless he regains some velocity, brings back the slider, or alters his inventory of pitches he has/will lose significant fantasy value.
I know we are only talking about two games but if he continues with mediocre stuff it is time to start some dialog with your other managers and try to move him based on his past CY Young performances. Today he is worth a top tier OF or MI. Next week if he has two additional lousy starts against the Phillies (he draws Halladay for that one) and then the resurgent Mets (where he had a 12.5K/9 and a 0.69 ERA last year) he may possibly seal his trade value and watch it fade lower and lower for the rest of the year.  In one league I offered up Konerko and prospect Jarrod Parker for Lincecum after his 1st start. The Lincecum owner rejected the offer…today I am glad he did.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Players On Watch During Week 1

By Corey R. Cunningham

Cincinnati Reds SS Zack Cozart had 11 AB. During those 11 AB, he acquired 6 H, 4 R, 1 HR, and 2 RBI. Cozart is off to the hot start that I expected. Cozart is batting in a deep lineup that has the potential to produce high offensive numbers all year. With a lineup surrounding Cozart with players like Phillips, Bruce, Rolen and Votto it’s hard not to say Cozart is a fantasy option, let alone dynasty player.

Houston Astros LF J.D. Martinez had 12 AB. During those 12 AB, he acquired 4 H, 1 R, 1 HR, and 3 RBI. Martinez, just as Cozart as I predicted is off to a hot start. Martinez and the Astros have put some tough competition to start the season off against Colorado. Some expected Houston to have the least productive offense in the league in 2012. I think Carlos Lee, and JD Martinez will have something to say about that.

Seattle Mariners 2B Dustin Ackley had 19 AB. During those 19 AB, he acquired 6 H, 4 R, 1 HR, and 3 RBI. Ackley is being the hitter he as during his college career at UNC, as well as what he should while he was in the minors. Seattle is another team predicted to end of in the lower tier of the offensive stats this year. They have a lot of young talent, Jesus Montero, Justin Smoak, Mike Carp, and Ackley.

Oakland Athletics CF Yoenis Cespedes had 13 AB. During those 13 AB, he has 4 H, 3 R, 3 HR, and 7 RBI. Though off to a sluggish start in winter league ball, some said he was over rated, as of now, I believe he holds water to what his numbers were in Cuba. With the signing of Cespedes, the A’s actually hold some value when it comes to fantasy players. Cespedes might actually be worth a dynasty league option.

Philadelphia Phillies 2B Freddy Galvis had 10 AB. Galvis is batting .000 with 10 AB, 0 H, 1 R, and 2 K. Galvis who was an automatic option to AAA before the start of the regular season has started for the Phillies due to an injury to Chase Utley, and it looks as if Galvis will be the starter for some time to come. This offense I believe can put up numbers, however, the age of the lineup is a bit of some concern.

Kansas City Royals CF Lorenzo Cain had 11 AB. Cain has just 1 H, 1 R through the 11 AB, and is off to an opposite start of what he produced in spring training. I am a big fan of Cain, and hope his bat finds the baseball soon. KC had put Cain in the 2 hole to start the season and as of yesterday, he was down batting 8th. Not sure why the flip flop of spots, however, I feel this could be another Carl Crawford story of batting in every position just to get all flabbergasted.

San Francisco 1B Brandon Belt had 10 AB. Belt has had 1 H, 1 R, and 5 K through 10 AB. Belt struggled at the start of last year after he made the team out of spring training and yet again, it looks as if he is off to the same start. Belt was slotted to start in LF, however, Aubrey Huff who has not been doing so well in the spring has been the starting LF. If Belt does not turn the juice on quickly, he will once again be finding himself on the outside looking it, either on the bench as the 4th OF, or in AAA.