Thursday, May 31, 2012

Who is Hot, & Who is Not, AL Version

By Corey R. Cunningham
Will Middlebrooks, 3B for the Boston RedSox is Hot, he is hitting .316 BA, 6 HR, 21 RBI, 13 R, and 2 SB. Middlebrooks was in a tough position once Kevin Youkilis was activated from the Disabled List, however, it looks as if Bobby Valentine has figured out a possible solution. A-GON in RF, Youkilis at 1B, and Middlebrooks at 3B. However, it is a good thing they do not play Interleague play to often, as they would have a huge problem with DH David Ortiz added to the mix.

Matt Moore SP, Tampa Bay Rays is Not, the young southpaw phenom from last year’s playoff race has had a tough ride so far in the first two months pitching for the Rays. He is 1-5, with a 4.76 ERA, 58 K, 28 BB, and a WHIP of 1.46.

Brett Lawrie, 3B for the Toronto Blue Jays is Hot, and continues to hit the ball after a late start of the early season. Lawrie who played strong to a seasons end in 2011. Lawrie is hitting .283, with 4 HR, 21 RBI, 24 R, and 7 SB. Lawrie will continue to get the nod at 3B, and with no worries, will be the 3B of the future for the Blue Jays.

Jason Kipnis, 2B for the Cleveland Indians is Hot. He is batting .280, with 8 HR, 30 RBI, 34 R, and 11 SB. Looks as if Kipnis might be a 5 tool player the Indians have been looking for. Carlos Santana, has the power, however, the BA lacks with him, and with Grady Sizemore not being able to get off the DL the past 3 years, it looks as if Kipnis has taken over as a fan favorite in Ohio.

Drew Smyly, SP Detroit Tigers was Hot, now going Cold. Smyly is 2-1 with a 3.46 ERA, 50 K, 15 BB, and a WHIP of 1.24. In Drew's first 6 games, he gave up a total of 6 ER, while in just his past 4 games, he has given up a total of 15 ER. In the past 3 of 4 games, the opponents that Smyly faced where in his favor, however, they did get the best of him. Use Smyly in a cautious situation, if you need to trend SP, you can do it with Smyly.

Mike Trout, OF Los Angeles Angels is Hot. Trout was called up by the Angels, to bring some spark to the offense, and that he has. He is batting .303, with 5 HR, 16 RBI, 21 R, and 8 SB. Trout is the 5 tool player the Angels have been looking for, and will occupy the CF position full time in 2013.

Tommy Milone, SP Oakland Athletics is Hot. Milone was acquired from the Nationals, and is 6-4, with a 3.64 ERA, 35 K, 16 BB, and a WHIP of 1.13. With a poor offensive lineup coming from the A's, Milone's Win total is surprising, and a list of "W" from the following teams: Kansas City, White Sox, Angels, Rays, Detroit, and Angels.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Confidence in Colby?

Is it time to own Rasmus again? Some are still clinging to hope he brings back his numbers from 2010. His last week got me to consider him once again. Over his last 7 games his slash line is 9/27 with 3R, 2HR, 5RBI and 2SB. Overall he is hitting .234 with 18R, 5HR, 20RBI and 5SB. Those numbers put him as the 75th best OF to date. That’s not what fantasy players are looking for.

Like I stated earlier his 2010 numbers are still in the back of everyone’s mind and in the front of some because he is still owned in 32% of leagues. A season hitting .276 with an OPS of .859 that included 23HR and 12 SB is what keeps him on everyone’s radar. Some even remember the 5 tool phenom from High School when he broke Bo Jackson’s Alabama HR record. Then went on to be the Cardinals’ 1st round pick n 2005.

He is still only 25 and may still put it together but it will take at least a month of consistent hitting to make me pull the trigger on him this year. I do like the power speed combo he possess and has shown in the past but one must think he is missing something in the mental part of the game to bring it all together on a constant week in week out basis. The pros over the last month are that he has increased his walk and decreased his strikeouts. Some of the higher projections for him this year were a 25/85 guy with 15 SB. Like I said “the high projections”. My projections were as follows: 55/15/54/.265/9 which to date still seem inline from what he has accomplished through the first 40+ games. Rasmus may be useable due to injuries on your team so keep him pegged as a bench player for the time being.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The 2012 All-Blimp Team

The 2012 All-Blimp Team*

*greatest weight: height ratios

C – Rod Barajas (6’2”, 250 lbs, 3.38 lbs/inch)

1B – Prince Fielder (5’11”, 275 lbs, 3.87 lbs/inch)

2B – Ty Wigginton (6’0”, 230 lbs, 3.19 lbs/inch)

3B – Pablo Sandoval (5’11”, 246 lbs, 3.46 lbs/inch)

SS – Juan Uribe (5’11”, 230 lbs, 3.24 lbs/inch)

OF – Nelson Cruz (6’2”, 240 lbs, 3.24 lbs/inch)

OF – Marlon Byrd (6’0”, 245 lbs, 3.40 lbs/inch)

OF – Carlos Lee (6’2”, 264 lbs, 3.57 lbs/inch)

DH – Adam Dunn (6’6”, 287 lbs, 3.68 lbs/inch)

SP – CC Sabathia (6’7”, 290 lbs, 3.67 lbs/inch)

SP – Carlos Zambrano (6’5”, 270 lbs, 3.51 lbs/inch)

SP – Tommy Hunter (6’3”, 280 lbs, 3.73 lbs/inch)

RP – Jonathan Broxton (6’4”, 300 lbs, 3.95 lbs/inch)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Some Unexpected Leaders in May

It is time to re-evaluate your line-up by each position going into this holiday weekend. I have calculated the top performers throughout the month of May. Some names might surprise you at each position also that they are actually available at this time in some leagues. If not available you may want to make a play at them through trade or if you feel they have peak trading potential you may want to sell them high this weekend. Here is list of the top performers. At OF Hamilton, Gonzalez, and Braun were the top performers so I went with the 4th and 5th best this month. At 3B all the usual suspects were the top performers but Kyle Seager was around 8th with a line of 4/20/3 .280 owned in 61% of leagues. The top SP was Hamels so I listed the next 3 for your convenience.



Friday, May 25, 2012

In Game Experience...

By Corey R. Cunningham

I attended my first ever AAA game this past night at Fort Hill, South Carolina with the home team The Charlotte Knights, taking on the visiting team Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Traffic was heavy heading south to the stadium, however, I made it in plenty of time, in fact early enough not to have to pay the parking fee of $4.00.

I made my way up to the ticket booth, and believe it or not, the General Admission tickets were just $9.00 for a AAA team and that is compared to a $9.00 ticket for Low-A baseball at the great Municipal Stadium, and for those of you who do not know, that is Low-A baseball.

I purchased a ticket, and waited around for an hour or so, snapping pictures and taking in the moments of my first trip to a AAA ballpark and probably my last trip to this stadium as the Knights are building a brand new stadium coming next year to down town Charlotte.

I was seeking autographs from Lehigh Valley players Dominci Brown, and Scott Elarton as well as the Iron Pigs manager Ryne Sandberg. However, I was not the only person seeking Sandberg's signature. I was not aware until 5:30 pm that their was 2 games during this day, one a make up game starting at the top of the 4th inning, and then another game consisting of 7 innings. The problem; game time for the resume of a rainout game in Lehigh started at 6:15pm, however, the gates were not opened until 6:00pm, yes that's only 15 minutes.

I made my way to the visitor's dugout along with a handful of other people in hopes to grab an autograph or two. A player who I cannot name came out of the Pigs dugout, and as he was walking by a lady asks him, "where is Ryne?", the player replies, "in the dugout, he only signs an hour before game time." The lady replies, "um, the gates just opened up 15 minutes before game time!" My thoughts at the time, and I was also proud of the lady for standing her ground. She asks the player, " you think he will sign during the intermission or after the game?", player replies with, "I doubt it", with a shoulder shrug.

I made the problem aware to an usher, and to a media guy with the knights about having the gates open 15 min prior to game time, he replied with, "come tomorrow". I thought to myself, the nerve this guy has. I know for a fact where I am from 25% of income of ticket sales comes from autographers, and 'we' are always the first ones in and the last ones out.

I am sad to say, I had a horrible experience with the Knights, and more than likely I will be emailing them and letting them know my displeasure with how they handle themselves during this situation. Let it be known, I was not the only person unhappy with the decision of the Charlotte Knights. Lehigh won game 1 5-4, and needless to say after a brief intermission and still no one signing, I left just after first pitch of the second game.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

When Will It Be Rizzo Time?

By Corey R. Cunningham

Anthony Rizzo is still raking at AAA Iowa, and only time or injury will tell when Rizzo will get the nod to be in the MLB lineup with the Cubs. With Rizzo, it is not if he will get called up, however, it is when, and some insight with yahoo last week, had a ring in peoples ear about possibly getting the call during Interleague play.

The Cubs play @ Minnesota, Friday June 8th through June 10th, against Detroit June 12th through June 14th, against his old team the RedSox June 15th through the June 17 and @ Southside rivals the White Sox June 18th through June 20th. Rizzo more than likely will play against Minnesota and the White Sox and will occupy the DH role during these games, or swap positions with LaHair and play 1B. I imagine Rizzo will play against Boston at least one game at 1B to give LaHair a day off.

Rizzo hit his 15th HR of the year last night with AAA Iowa. His MILB stat lines sit as this:

43 G, 165 AB, 32 R, 58 H, 10 2B, 1 3B, 15 HR, 42 RBI, 115 TB, with a .352 BA and a .697 SLG

If you have Rizzo, keep him stashed as now is the time to get ready to make room for him in your everyday lineup in June. Make adjustments, make a trade or two, make a cut as well, you want Rizzo in your lineup.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rollins Aint Rollin'

Is Jimmy Rollins worth owning anymore? I currently own him in only 1 league and it is a point’s league. I wanted to know if it was just the point’s league format that is making him look weak against the other SS in baseball or has his time come to be labeled a bench player at best in all formats. Back on draft day he was ranked 7th best SS available. To date he is listed at 18th best on Yahoo. His current line of .295 OBP is higher than his SLG% at .283. That is not what I wanted when I drafted him. So I started to look further back to just see how he has regressed since his MVP year. Excluding last year’s numbers a pretty frightening trend developed. A trend heading due south in all production categories. Here are his BA, his OBP, and his SLG for years 08’-09’-10’-12’
Average           .277     .250     .243     .229
OBP                .349     .296     .320     .295
SLG%             .437     .423     .374     .283
Truly, these numbers are alarming. 50 points off your average in 4 years, 160 points off your slugging in 4 years. As we have seen other 30 something year old SS move to 3B and 2B in their careers, I cannot see Rollins moving to another position and be a productive fantasy hitter.  To date he is no more than a MI at best in terms of fantasy.  MI that are hitting 8th in lineups are more productive than Rollins this year. Dee Gordon has more RBI; Zach Cozart has 3 more HR, Pastornicky is hitting 40 points higher, and Robert Andino has more hits, HR and RBI than Rollins. Yep its time to get off the Rollins train and find some a decade younger to fill the void.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Berkman Out & Adams In…For Now

I am one of the disappointed Berkman owners this year, but only in one League. Now that he is probably out for the season with a meniscus tear, St. Louis has called up the hulking Matt Adams from AAA. In his debut he went 2-4 with a run scored.

He has been red hot tearing up minor league pitching for the last year and a half. In AA last year he finished with a .300 AVG and 32 HRs. This year in AAA he had 9 HR while hitting .340 and his OPS was .978 to date. To me he is built like Babe Ruth’s great grandson with some skills to match.

For most Berkman owners the grab for Adams seems a no brainer but what many are failing to realize is Allen Craig is still on the DL and has been a proven commodity with much versatility. I see Craig getting the majority of the starts at 1B once he is healthy. So do not count on just Adams moving onward. Look for a contingency plan going forward. Since Berkman did have dual eligibility (1B & OF) I am guessing just as many people had him at CI as did others at OF. It’s much easier to fill an empty OF position from the waiver wire than CI usually. You might want to stash Rizzo on your bench if you have room. He will qualify at 1B and should be up in a month.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Time To Stream...2 Start SP

I usually only list 2 start SP that are owned in less than 50% of leagues but I had to add Bud Norris to the list this week. He is the 2nd best SP over the last 2 weeks in Fantasy Baseball behind only Verlander. During that time he has 3Wins, 0.47 ERA, and a WHIP of 0.84 to boot. His last 4 starts have all been ranked as QS too. The two I am targeting the most to stream this week are the previously mentioned Norris and also Erik Bedard. With the Dread Pirate heating up he alone can carry the Pirates to a few Wins this week.
Bud Norris 53 % Owned CHC (Garza), at LAD (Capuano)
Mark Buehrle 45% Owned COL (Moyer), SF (Bumgarner)
Erik Bedard 44% Owned NYM (Santana), CHC (Garza)
Kyle Drabek 18% Owned at TB (Hellickson), at TEX (Darvish)
Tommy Milone 15% Owned LAA (Williams), NYY (Kuroda)
Jerome Williams 8% Owned at OAK (Milone), at SEA (Hernandez)
Clayton Richard 2% Owned at STL (Garcia), at NYM (Santana)
Jamie Moyer 2% Owned at MIA (Buehrle), at CIN (Latos)
Kyle Kendrick 1% Owned WAS (Gonzalez), at STL (Garcia)