Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Biased Giants Fanatic

Biased Giants Fanatic

An interesting SF Giants blog.

He noticed Matt Cain's mysterious disappearance, too.

Matt Cain?

Baseball America - Stats

Where'd Matt Cain go?

Was he recalled?

Was he DL-ed?

Nothing. So far.

Bailing III

The first bail trade has likely occurred, and it was sure to raise the ire of multiple owners who believe the bailing team didn't get enough.

This is irrefutable fact, and owners must focus on what to do next. As I wrote here, you must determine whether your top bail piece is worthy of the bailing team's 2nd, 3rd or 4th best available player.

You must also recognize that other teams will bail. These teams will see (hopefully) the best cheap 2006 players come off the board and want to make sure they do not miss out the the next best. They may hastily determine their chances for a money finish are less than those of getting a still very high quality 2006 player ot two. (I'm sure their is some behavorial psychology study that demonstrates this perception to be false, but I am not aware of it.)

With this in mind, hold off a trade with the initial bailer unless it fits as well as your first offer. There will be more opportunities.



From Monday's USAToday Roto chat with Nate Ravitz, a question was posed whether a $1 peralta and Kendry Morales for an out of time Tejada was a good offer.

I believe NR missed the "dumping" portion of the question. (Maybe he was too busy looking for typos!)

While I'd think Tejada would get a little more, Peralta at a $1 is very good, and I suspect Kendry Morales will be a hyped prospect at worst. (Homering in his first minor league AB will do that.)

Maybe NR's obsession with typos has caused him to be biased against Peralta as his first name was clearly mis-spelled at birth. Or less snarkily, it is due to the fact he played unimpressively as a 21-year-old in 2003.

It is a decent dump trade, but one that clearly would send the anti-dumping faction of the league into a tizzy.

Another Point on SP

I compared the ratios in my AL league this season to last season's final standings.

A couple of interesting points. The top team ERA was 4.04 in 2004. This season that would be 9th! From 12 points in ERA to 4 points.

The top WHIP was 1.28 in 2004. This season that would be 6th! From 12 points to 6 points.

Something has defintely happened with pitching. What it is will be hard to ferret out if nationally-renowned writers like Tom Verducci put forward the notion of the birth of dominating pitchers as opposed to strong steroid policy.

Recall the mid-90s when MLB was pushing the notion of tightly wound balls to account for HRs. Turns out it may have been steroids or recovery-enhancement drugs.



The cover story of the latest SI is about the end of the HR era.

As I recall, Mr. Verducci made the case for the new steroid policy having a deletorious effect on HR, but he simultaneously lauded a new crop of dominating young SP.

To me, these two observations can be cause-and-effect. The reason that SP are dominating is that hitters cannot use steroids to help performance. This would be in concurrence with the article.

This statement also supports the idea that steroids were not used to obtain super strength so much as used to speed recovery time, and those players who played everyday are the ones most negatively effected.

Obviously, hitters are the ones who play everyday, but relievers can also be lumped into this categorization.

The one class of player who cannot is the starting pitcher as they only play once every five days! This would have comported well with Mr. Verducci's thesis of the end of the longball era while also addressing the anecdotal evidence of a strong steroid effect. However, it does not do well with his thesis of a new crop of dominating young SP as there performance can be explained by the steroid one and not one of amazing pitching prowess.

There is one variable that Roto players should consider. These everyday players who have been harmed by their prior reliance upon the pahrmaceutical industry for more rapid recovery will adjust. The question how far into this season will it take to occur, and when it does, get ready for some bad pitching stretches.


STLtoday - Sports - Cardinals

Given this VORP calcualtion is based on 2005 only, there was little reason to expect any surprises. Myers, Willis and Garland are among the five mentioned.

What did surprise is the inclusion of two more established SP - Jake Peavy and Josh Becket. These are the two you can acquire without protracted mental anguish.

Both pitchers have two-and-a-half seasons under their belts. Barring arm injuries, both should be quality Roto SP for a few years.

Sunday, May 29, 2005


Jason Schmidt threw a stinker today. Randy Johnson threw a stinker on Friday.

Both pitchers may have their owners ready to move them for less than full-vlaue.

The question is are you ready to pay that? Will you give-up Bruce Chen and Tony Womack for RJ and a scrub? Would you deal Todd Jones and Placido Polanco for Schmidt?

Normally, those kinds of offers would be no-brainers, and if you were a good Catholic, accepting them would entail loads of guilt.


Jayson Werth

The boys at Rotoworld talk of Choi losing value with the return of the former O's minor league catcher, Jayson Werth.

I dsagree. Choi has been shuffled in the line-up all season.

The biggest effect with be the dimishment of Ricky Ledee. His .301 AVg 2 HR and 16 RBI over 100 ABs has helped hide what would have been an easily upgradable spot.

With Werth taking ABs from Ledee, his value will drop, and his owner will have to be fast on his feet to recognize it and move to correct it.

(From experince, the 1st place team would not trade for an upgrade in hitting due to confidence based on Ricky Lede and others of his ilk.)

Bret Myers

Rotisserie Baseball Musing: FYI Myers

His start against the Braves went poorly - 5 IP 4 ER 5 HIT 2 BB 2 K.

He pitched well against Florida, but did not dominate the K:BB ratio.

Combined with his statement of being spent after 104 in that game along with today's game, I cannot conclude he is ready for a Sheetsian breakout. However, he should still be quite valuable - $20 valuable versus $35 valuable.

One more less than impressive start (defined by K;BB ratio) and I will conclude he will be in for stretch of 2004 Myersian starts.

Aaron Hill

Yahoo! Sports - MLB - Aaron Hill

Where else can you read multiple posts on Aaron Hill but on a Rotisserie baseball blog?

I wanted to revist him because he is hiting so well, and I did not offer unequivoal support for immediate activation.

In hindsight this was wrong. No one who misses out on a 15-32 (activated prior to first game), 13-28 (normal next day effective activation) or 11-24 (needed 3B or CR eligibility) can say it was wise.

However (and you had to sense that was coming), he has no HR and no SB so far - just as my initial analysis suggested would occur.

All said, his fast start will force the Jays into a tough decision - not so much sending him back to AAA but making room to keep him up when Koskie returns. I smell trade.

DH Considerations.

New York Daily News - Baseball - Bill Madden: Time for baseball to designate AL-only rule to scrap heap

This is two months late but important - always adjust pitchers values upward and downward when they change leagues.

NL pitchers going to the AL will be worse. See Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright.

AL pitchers going to the NL will get better. See Roger Clemens and Pedro.

In the case of Tim Hudson, he has pitched a couple of runners-allowed abundance and still has an ERA well under 4.00. I guess having only 7 hitters in the line-up does wonders for keeping runners from being plated.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Mark Prior

ChicagoSports.com - As bad as it looks

If he is out two months then get him in a trade - either as part of a bail if his salary is not too high or a regular deal.

If he is back this season, he could be just the push your team will need in the last 6-8 weeks.

I rode Brad Penny and Javier Vasquez a few years ago to the top based on stellar Septemebers. Another team bailed and got Jason Schmidtt and rode him into 4th place!

Getting quality starting pitching is a very good way to sneak-up on other teams esp. when you unload top hitting for it.

Bailing II

Rotisserie Baseball Musing: Bailing

Inevitiably, the first bail trade will expose the differences in player evaluations amongst the bailing teams and those in contention.

And if your offer wasn't accepted, you often acquire explanatory powers for the difference in standings. The bailing team will acquire a player or two whom the rejected teams can't believe was accepted over their offer i.e Chase Utley was not preferred over Jose Castillo.

Then the now intellectually-dimished bailing team asks for said better player for his 2nd and 3rd tier bail 2005 players. Here the offer-receiving team must decide to take the sloppy seconds for the better bail piece or decline the offer in hopes of another team bailing and grabbing their top offerees.

After the loaded language of the prior two paragraphs is dismissed, you must determine first if a fit still exists. This is mainly determined based on your needs. Was the 2nd piece going to be an upgrade for a middle infielder but that upgrade was dealt to the other team? Do you know have to fill-in that 2nd piece with your utility or DH who is better than the middle infielder you wanted to upgrade?

If this is the case, then hold-off. Other teams will bail once the first cheap keepers begin to redistribute to the teams in the lower echelons of the league.

Friday, May 27, 2005

FYI Myers

Philadelphia Inquirer | 05/27/2005 | The Deciding Factors:

"...because Manuel made the questionable decision to remove Myers, who had told Manuel that he had nothing left after 104 pitches..."

Be careful. A stretch of pre-2005 Bret Myers may be coming....
So the big news about Curt Schilling is that the Sox were told he could return from his ankle injury in 2 to 12 weeks, and now it looks like it would be closer to 12.

This isn't news. As he has been out for 4 weeks already, there is little doubt his stay would be closer to 12 weeks. He only needs to go 15 more days for that to be true!

I said here that having him for the final three months is good. guess what that would be 9 weeks! Again showing the recent reportts were not news.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


As we round towards Memorial Day weekend, the bailing will begin. The last or 2nd to last place team will announce first.

In less than a week, the first balance-shifting trade will occur. The balance shift occurs not at the bottom of the standings but towards the top where the bail recipient will have eradicated at least one team flaw whether it is a draftday mistake (getting JJ Hardy instead of Bill Hall), a season-ending injury (Mark Loretta) or spending money on almost any NL closer!

For those still competitng, this first trade will alter any projections for the team that receives the largess. Say the team in 1st place has ridden Pedro, Dontrelle Willis, Brandon Webb, Brandon Lyon in pitching and Bobby Abreu and a bunch of Abraham Nunez types (nothings who have hit multiple HRs this year with a couple SBs).

Your analysis of this team is it has crested and is bound to crash. But wait! This team flips a couple of Abraham Nunezs and Brandon Webb for a two decent hitters and a good SP who are running out of time.

All of a sudden the inevitable crash has been forestalled and a team that had been on top due to an unusual confluence of good breaks and extraordinary starts is now much more solid going forward.

And you begin to panic while you await the next competitive balance earthquake and/or try ot get yours before someone else.

Over the next several days I will examine further bailing.

Ted Lilly

Rotisserie Baseball Musing: USATODAY.com - Five guys to grab before they heat up

No sooner do I question his candidacy as a buy low candidate than he pitches an excellent game against the Red Sox.

If you have a player that has done poorly and want him to do well, ask me to write something negative about him, and Presto! He has a great game.

Of course, the Hunt Imprimatur has guaranteed that Lilly cannot be had as a buy low candidate. Lilly can be had for a player similar to Lilly's pre-DL stint draft salary of $12.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Roto Times Fantasy Sports

With Tyler Walker having settled nicely into the SF closer's job, offers are starting to come in. As he was plucked from the pool, his current owners have nothing to lose by dealing him for a player considered of higher quality (def: higher quality = drafted and at full-value of $20+ or cheap but obviously would meet the first criteria.)

And to do so would not be a negative. What I would advise though is to examine the saves category. The one point I have not seen anywhere regarding the entire closer messes in the NL is that the current standings may have no relation to the ones at season's end. Why?

25-30 saves is likely leading the category right now. Look at some of the closers who are either hurt or have no chance of getting saves - Brazoban 11, Lyon 13, Graves 10. There are also many relievers with multiple saves such as Hawkins 4, Reyes 3 even Brian Bruney's 4 could be lumped here as he has walked 17 in 23 innings and may not be long for the job. Even Todd Jones with 7 will no longer ganrer 100% of the saves in Florida when Mota returns.

With those names in mind, look at the teams leading the category. Chances are very good that those teams have at least one of those closers, and possibly two.

If this is the case, then you must "adjust" the standings for the current closers on each team as the standings do not reflect where the saves will come from for those teams going forward!

And it is this advice that I have yet to see. Once done, you will have at your fingertips information the other teams in your league do not possess, and you can use this to your advantage.

Maybe you keep Walker as a result even if Luis Gonzalez is offered because you can gain several points versus what you won't gain without him.

USATODAY.com - Five guys to grab before they heat up

USATODAY.com - Five guys to grab before they heat up

I like the hitters Mr. Hunt suggests, but on the pitchers, I am more concerned.

Perez claims he hurt his shoulder while asleep. First that sounds like Jeff Kent's washing the car injury froma couple years ago - something the club or player says to cover a more contract/career-damaging cause. And if it really was hurt while asleep, is there anything he can do to avoid doing that?

Lilly has book-ended good starts (his first of the season and last) with completely crappy ones. I don't trust the shoulder.

Buying low also includes believing the low point is caused by something within the players control - getting in shape or adjusting to a new league- or out of it like bad luck. It does not include injuries as a reason to buy low.

A Related Note on Baseball America

I still wonder if their initial whiff on Ian Stewart caused them to over-react to Chris Nelson and rate him too highly in their Top 100.

Not to complain as their high rating led to his selection #3 overall in my minor leaguer draft. I had him as a late pick in that draft. As a result, Ryan Howard fell to me at #6. So far, no contest there.

Baseball America - Prospect Hot Sheet

Baseball America - Prospect Hot Sheet

I am somewhat surprised that Kevin Goldstein left Jeremy Hermida off the Top 20 Hot Sheet. He is in AA and has all the sabremetrics that make minor league projecting easy. To date, .315 AVG 10 HR 9 SB 41 BB .466 OBP and .591 SLG

Not to mention that he is a player who has been projected to develop power as he got older. Just like Miguel Cabrera.

Maybe Hermida played the ugly step sister to Jeff Francoeur for so long that he is overlooked. (Francouer's 2005 at AA - .284 AVG 6 HR 8 SB 9 BB .325 OBP .486 SLG)

(Disclaimer: I took Francoeur three years ago in my minor league draft and would have taken Hermida two years ago in the Top 5. I dealt for him this past off-season in a prospects for Burnitz trade (Hermida Cory Hart and Jayson Nix). That is a .333 I can live with!)

USATODAY.com - One final step to baseball stardom a major one

USATODAY.com - One final step to baseball stardom a major one

Mr. Beaton is reaching when he includes Ryan Howard in a failed rookie article.

MacPherson, Hardy and Bartlett were given a fair chance to keep starting roles that were given to them. (In Bartlett's case, he earned it, too.)

Ryan Howard was not given anything despite earning a shot with a good Spring Training, and after starting 1-18 in his only-called-up-until-Thome-is-back time with the Phils, finished 5-9 with a HR.

Howard was included because his 2004 minor league numbers were the gawdiest and would lend some sex appeal to this article, but in fact, he did not belong in it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

AL Closers

While the NL has been a mess, the AL seems to be impervious to the chaos occurring in bullpens across the Senior Cirucit with the exception of KC.

Oakland and Detroit have had injuries but no one left Street or Urbina undrafted so while these clubs hae experienced closer changes by injury, there was no scramble to grab the other arms in their pens.

Anaheim may qualify as KRod was so dominant as a set-up man and received so much positive hype coming into his first season as a closer that Scot Shields could have been initially overlooked.

Myers Update

Bret Myers pitched 7 shutout innings tonight against the Marlins, a team Philadelphia beats as often as the Mets beat the Braves. Well not quite as bad as that but bad enough.

He only gave-up 2 hits but walked three while only striking out 3. This certainly doesn't support the k and BB rate analysis in the prior post, but one thing should be noted.

Myers issued the three walks and allowed one of the two hits in the first two innings! This means he bore down and allowed only one-hit over the next five innings. This is something elite starters do regularly.

As a matter of fact, Tim Hudson did exactly that tonight allowing 6 runners in the first three innings and only two more over his next six for the W.

One down and Atlanta to go for my complete conversion.

Messes in the Bullpen

This was certainly the year to punt saves in NL leagues. With the mess in Chicago, San Francisco and Cincinnati to injuries in Florida, St Louis, and Colorado to ineffectiveness in Milwaukee and Atlanta, any team could have grabbed multiple closers for nothing. (Personally, I lost Mike Adams but gained Tyler Walker.)

I have no doubt this will lead many teams to punt saves at the draft next year. However, I wonder whether or not this year's morass will repeat itself.

With so many pitchers getting a chance to establish themselves as closers, wouldn't it be more likely that their will be less turnover next year? I can see this because the 2005 closer crop will be inexpensive and proven.

This is soemthing I will be watching for the next 10 months.

Brett Myers Revisited

Brett Myers : Rotoworld.com - Brett Myers Biography from Rotoworld.com

He has been magnificient this season, and he gets a chance to show this is for real tonight against Florida with whom the Phils have played putridly for two years and Sunday in Atlanta. If he comes out of these unscathed, I will be an official convert.

What I would be hoping for is something similar to what Ben Sheets did last year. He was a medicore pitcher for a couple seasons (2002 and 2003) who broke through in 2004 will absolutely unGodly numbers - sub-1.00 WHIP and sub-3.00 ERA in 237 innings!

This was more dramatically illustrated in his non-4X4 category, strikeouts, where he whiffed 264 - 107 more than the previous season in only 16.1 more innings! Myers appears to be doing the same as he has already struckout 71 in in 62.1 innings - 61% of his 2004 total of 116 in only 35% of the innings pitched (176). If he threw the same number of innings in 2005 and kept the 2005 strikeout rate, he'd k 204!

If he maintained his 7 innings per start average over a full-season of 34 starts and maintained the 2005 k-rate then he'd k 275! Assumptions can fail but these are fairly simple ones and clearly point towards a Sheets-like breakout.

Sheets also exhibited increased control as his walks dropped from 70 to 43 to 32 from 2002 to 2004. Myers does not have this three-year parallel as his walks increased from the 2003 to 2004 season (76 to 108). However, they have dropped greatly in 2005 (14 in 61.1 innings). Assuming that rate remains steady, matching last years 176 innings would yield 40 BBs and maintaining the average innings per start of 7 over 34 starts would mean 54 BBs.

His 2005 pace certainly looks like Ben Sheets even on his walk rate, but remember there are a lot of assumptions working here - namely assuming his 2005 performance-to-date continues for the remainder of the season.


I called the Graves reassignment early yesterday afternoon over in the comments section on mlb.com's fantasy blog based on the Jimenez cut. It signaled the beginning of a major shake-up which had been reported as imminent in last Thursday's local papers.

After Graves blew-up on Sunday, I felt he'd be next.

The question is who else, if anyone. My belief is either Dave Miley will be fired or Austin Kearns will be dealt.

Miley has not kept his team happy especially by playing DWI Freel over Jimenez and Keanrs - both of whom complained in the press.

That segues into the reason I think Kearns could be dealt. His b&m partner was cut so why not clear out one more? This time via trade as Kearns is younger, cheaper and more talented.

There could be nothing but X-files-esque conjecture on my part, but I thought it worth sharing.

Loretta to have surgery Tuesday on left thumb

SignOnSanDiego.com > San Diego Padres -- Loretta to have surgery Tuesday on left thumb

Ouch! After establishing himself as a $20+ 2B, Loretta tears a thumb ligament.

The question is who will benefit. Geoff Blum is the obvious answer, and he should be grabbed if available - low double digit HR and multi-position eligibility (2B/SS/3B) is always welcome.

The less obvious player is Damian Jackson. He may not provide a contributive AVG, but he has more position eligibilty than Blum and should provide double digit SB.

Double digit SB is always more valuable than double digit HRs in 4X4, and for that reason, given the choice of the two, I'd go with DJax.

Danny Kolb

Braves bats come to life in return home | ajc.com

He is the most likely reliever to emerge as the Atlanta closer.

"The three stikeouts is definitely a good sign," pitching coach Leo Mazzone said. "Putting [Kolb] out there showed we have confidence in him and we still to."

Kolb did get a very shaky save - leadoff HR to Chris Woodward, a triple, and walk and a SB. This is still cause for concern but if Coach Leo is saying positive things about Kolb then that is what you need to place the most emphasis on.

Hopefully, no one dealt him or conversely, someone acquired him on the cheap.

The Cincinnati Post - Reds plan to use closer du jour

The Cincinnati Post - Reds plan to use closer du jour

The Cincinnati bullpen looks like it will mirror the situation in SF with a couple two/trhee relievers getting a chance to claim the role.

""Without pinpointing one guy, we'll look at the matchups and different things like that and hopefully somebody will run with it," said Miley. "But we do have some options in mind and some guys will get some opportunities."

I'd still lay odds on Wagner but I do hold some concerns as he has had a couple appearances just like the ones that led to Graves' reassignment. (May 9 and April 30 - combined 1.0 IP 8 ER 9 runners)

Hopefully, Dave Miley has Wagner in mind as one of his options, but you should be ready to pounce if there are indicators pointing to other pitchers.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Ryan Wagner


I am in agreement with the gents at Rotoworld. There doesn't seem to be any other options.

Joe Valentine handled the role last September but is in the minors. I'd watch him though.

Matt Belisle is a dark horse. He is a "failed" starter so may improve if he knew he'd only have to rear back for an inning. He is currently a swingman so, even in the pen, he is expected to preserve himself for multiple innings of work.

I'm not grabbing him right now but am ready to cut bait on Tom Glavine if necessary.

The Talented Mr. Roto's Daily TRUM - Fantasy commentary: May 23, 2005

The Talented Mr. Roto's Daily TRUM - Fantasy commentary: May 23, 2005:

Check this example of Roto prognostigation!

"Aurilia may not get any chance to play in Cincy again.
With Jimenez's reassignment, I sense a major overhaul in Cincy. Danny Graves certainly seems to be in line for the brunt of that attack.
Posted by: May 23, 2005 01:55 PM "



Too scary. I ranted on Rotoworld's premature ejac...annointing of Adam Bernero, and now Nate Ravitz has picked-up the same meme.

To copy-and-paste as I do not have any experience with linking to USAToday and how quickly it expires.

"Peoria, IL: Hi Nate. I am one of the lucky fellows who drafted Dan Kolb. I am wondering what the word is on who his replacement is going to be - and will he ever get his gig back finishing games? Should I cut him loose and find someone else? The guy obviously has a good track record but has turned into a train wreck this year.

Nate Ravitz: I expect that Leo Mazzone will get Kolb straightened out in the next couple of weeks and he'll get the job back. They don't have good alternatives. Bobby Cox has not been averse to using a committee in the past. The one thing I know for sure is that Adam Bernero is not the new closer, despite what has been erroneously and irresponsibly reported on some fantasy sites."

This in addition to this weekend's Rotowolrd blurb.

"Braves manager Bobby Cox used Chris Reitsma to close out a four-run lead against the Red Sox tonight. Reitsma gave up two runs before getting the job done.
Adam Bernero set him up by pitching a scoreless inning for the second night in a row. Reitsma has been very shaky lately, giving up nine runs in 3 1/3 innings over his last four appearances. That's the main reason indications were that Bernero would take over as the primary replacement for Danny Kolb. Cox may be leaning the other way now, although Reitsma needs to show a lot more than he did tonight to secure the job." (bold text mine.)

Nice rowback. Maybe the Rotoworld guys can get a job at the NYT?


Kansas City Bullpen

What a nightmare! And for two years running!

1. The ball gets rolling when Jeremy Affeldt, their second best starting pitcher turned closer, gets hurt.

2. Then a reliever will get a save, and teams everywhere run and pluck him from the free agent pool.

3. The reliever then blows his next save opportunity, and the question arises whether this reliever will retain the closer role.

4. After a week or so of guessing whether this reliever will retain the job and turning down trade offers for this said cheap closer, another save opportunity arrives, and the KC manager uses a different reliever for the save.

5. Repeat steps 2-4.

For two years this has been the pattern. In 2004, Mike MacDougal, Shawn Camp, Jaime Cerda, Justin Huisman, Ryan Bukvich and Nate Field turned the screws. This year, Mike MacDougal, Ambriorix Burgos, Mike Wood and Mike MacDougal again have caused the Roto pain.

I wish there was some method of seeing through this morass of incompetence, but there is not. (Notice that the 2004 relievers aren't any good in 2005 either.)

My method is to make minimal effort to pick-up the one-save-opp du jour if I have an open roster spot at the time but to take no extraordinary efforts. This means I do not try to trade for another team's open roster spot or leave a roster spot open in hopes of something happening sometime in the near future.

Nor do I lose any sleep if a close competitor grabs him. Bid on Burgos? A move that must be done by someone but no loss to me. Replace a DL player with Mike Wood? Gotta do it but not by trading a good reserve player to get him.

This is also the method I use with Colorado closers. However, KC is not COL, and I must be willing to change course if something arises to alter this inexplicable pattern of gross incompetence.

Yahoo! Sports - MLB - Inside Dish: Astros could get plenty in return for Lidge

Yahoo! Sports - MLB - Inside Dish: Astros could get plenty in return for Lidge

What was unthinkable until Yahoo posted this article has come to pass - Brad Lidge is now tainted with Traderumoritis.

This afflication usually takes two forms. The first is the annoying trade offer where the acquistion-minded team asks for the newly ill player and offers a a utility infielder or 7th inning reliever and a DL player for the afflicted player. An example for Lidge would be Scott Linebrink and Jeff Bagwell.

The second is the even more annoying rebuttal to a fair trade offer - "He could be traded!". This inevitably leads to the first form in the guise of a counteroffer.

A corollary of traderumoritis is the hyperinflationary effects on the afflicted player's back-up. Whether it is Jason Ellison (he of the shockly low RBI total of three in 90+ ABs and 2 HRs!) or Chad Qualls, these back-ups have taken on values that make them unobtainable at almost any price.

As we head towards Memorial Day, be prepared for an epidemic of this illness.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Aaron Hill Revisited

He went 6-12 this weeend - an extremely good debut. However, it was without a HR or SB, and therefore, right up the Reed Johnson alley I placed him in.

He also only gained 3B-eligibility today. For those teams without a middle spot or DH to easily activate him and/or those teams who have room for him at 3B or corner, he couldn't have been activated for any games earlier than tomorrow. This means the 6-12 would not have been captured regardless.

An additional positive is thes 6-12 start will have caught the eyes of other owners and makes him more atractive in trades.

And even here, my initial analysis was right on, and I quote, "If someone else wants to pay more than a Reed Johnson or Mark Ellis, then trade him."


UPDATE - I mistakenly said "Russ Johnson" instead of "Reed Johnson" in my analysis of Toronto SS/3B Aaron Hill. I have corrected the post and hope no one came away from the post believing Hill was the equivalent of Russ Johnson and yet worth blogging about.

Imagine reading blogs entries on John Flaherty or Lenny Harris or Mark Redmond.

Or imagine trying to think of utterly worthless players in a AL/NL-only blog. Those players are few and far between

Saturday, May 21, 2005

BostonHerald.com - Boston Red Sox & MLB: Doctor upgrades Schilling: Timetable for return remains uncertain

BostonHerald.com - Boston Red Sox & MLB: Doctor upgrades Schilling: Timetable for return remains uncertain

Just like when King Arhtur and his knights ate Robin's minstrels, there is much rejoicing!

A June return is the tentative timetable, and the opportunity to grab Schilling from his despondant owners is quickly fading.

While I see nothing wrong with having Schilling for July, August and September, espeicially if you ahve managed to remain in the middle of the pack, I would nevertheless be concenred to see his injury updates get progressively worse.

This is usually an indication of a greater problem. Exactly like the Bonds situation.

When drafts occurred the "whisper" return was mid-May, and then all Hell seemed to break loose! Another knee surgery and then a frick-in' infection and then IV anti-biotics. Now he looks like he could return in July!

Friday, May 20, 2005


Schadenfreude is one of the most common emotions in the Rotisserie baseball.

Who doesn't feel good when the 1st place team loses their closer or their top power hitter?

Who doesn't feel satisfaction when the players on the team ahead stop playing over their head?

Who isn't happy when someone turns down a generous trade offer from you only to see the player you tried to acquire come up lame?

This schadenfreude comes up all the time. The issue is not its existence but how you handle it. If you show too much, then you risk damaging furture Roto relations with the other team. If you show nothing, then the other team may think you don't care. Oops, that doesn't belong here. (I can't help but think of Rosie Perez and Woody Harrelson in White Men Can't Jump. "I, too, have felt thirst.")

Anyhow, Roto etiquette would say you don't rub your competitiors faces in their bad luck - no matter how frustrating and annoying they were prior to their turn for the worst.

This brings me to the Atlanta closer role. If you drafted Reitsma or traded for him in anticipation of Wednesday's announcement, then you surely felt cheated when Adam Bernero's name was bandied about everywhere as the likely successor.

Were you faulty in your analysis? No, what occurred was a surprise to everyone - not Kolb being removed as any Roto player looking to grab saves on the cheap hopes for- but that it was done with no lead-up from Atlanta management.

For that, you cannot be faulted, and thus should not displace the anger towards the team that picked-up Bernero because he looked like a good longman for a winning team. (read: the same wins in fewer innings than a SP on bad team would bring.)

Just move on to the next bullpen waiting to blow - Danny graves and the Cincy Reds!

Aaron Hill

Baseball America - Top 10 Prospects: Toronto Blue Jays

My gut tells me Hill will be similar to Reed Johnson - .280ish with high single digit HR and SB. he does have the beneift of SS eligibility and will gain 3B eligibility when Toronto plays again.

As I do not see rapid HR and SB accumulation, I'd advise holding off activating him. He could play poorly at the outset which would likely lead to Hillenbrand seeing time at 3B and Catalonotto getting close to FT DH ABs.

If your league has rules that prevent a team from protecting ROY-eligible minor league draftees once they have been activated to your active roster, then definitely wait.

If you have a middle infield opening (say Rey Sanchez or Jason Bartlett's slot) then Hill would be a good activation if he gets off to a a decent start.

If you can move him from reserves to active without any 2006 costs and have the slot available, activate him.

If someone else wants to pay more than a Reed Johnson or Mark Ellis, then trade him.

Jason Lane

Yesterday's Houston Chronicle carried the news that Astros manager Phil Garner took Jason Lane aside and informed him he'd see some more time on the bench in favor of Orlando Palmeiro, the .349 singles-hitting OF.

As someone who has had Jason Lane for years, first as a minor leaguer taken 4th overall then for the entire 2004 season where he barely surpassed the ROY ABs requirement in a full-season, I was disappointed. I had thought Houston had moved on to retarding the development of another top prospect, Chris Burke.
Not only disappointed but wrong too.

I decided to read the Garner quotes directly despite my now-budding disgust. (Orlando Palmeiro should not be in the majors much less playing ahead of any player with 5-HR capability! Garner thinks I've forgotten the 10+ years of his demonstrated managerial skill in MLW because of a hot three months in 2005?)

What I read surprised me. I had the dinstinct impression that Garner is only going to give Lane a little time to get himself back on track. My spirits were uplifted!

To quote:

"Palmeiro is doing such a good job (that) I think he needs to play a little bit more, and Jason's not in his groove yet," Garner said. "I'll mix and match them a little bit more. Am I going to play Palmeiro three days in a row and Jason one? Maybe not. Maybe Palmeiro a day or two and Jason a day or two.

"I expect Jason to be our right fielder. I like it when I can insert Palmeiro in key situations (late in games). He (Lane) doesn't have to get hits to play. When I can see his groove coming back, he'll be back in there the majority of the time."

As the past couple season's have made everyone leery of Astros prospects not named Adam Everett, this recent news would offer the discerning Roto player the opportunity to grab Lane on the cheap. Remember, only two weeks ago, Lane looked like a sleeper 20/20 OF, and, with the leverage of 3/4 of the season remaining, he'll only need a couple good games to be right back on that pace.

Myers for Patterson

This is a very tough decision as Brett Myers is pitching so far above anything he's done in the past (1.88 ERA 0.93 WHIP 1.8BB/9 and 1.14K/IP). His prior walk rate was 3.0/9 and K-rate was 0.66/IP.

Corey Patterson carries a hefty value due to his 20+ HR and 30+ SB.

I have no questions about Patterson's ability to maintian that performance this season as he is currently not far from that now.

I can't get myself to imbue the same confidence in Myers. Other than his professional debut in 1999 where he struck out 30 in 27 innings in the GCL, he has never average more than one K per inning. His k-rate was actually declining every single year since it peaked in 2001 at 0.83/IP (with the caveat that the 2002 MLB debut not be used.)

To examine his walk rate, in the minor leagues in was 2.57 and in the majors it was 3.41. These too seem so far out of line with what he has done previously.

Add-in Citizens Bank generousity to hitters, and I cannot conclude Myers will maintain his absolutely, no-doubt-about-it phenomonal 2005 season at the pace he is on, and therefore, would not deal a power/speed player like Patterson for him.

If I owned Myers I would defintely try to deal him for a Patterson-type in hopes the other owner does not read this site.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Rotisserie Baseball Musing

Some things to consider:

1. Is Brett Myers worth Cory Patterson?
2. What is Garner doing with Jason lane?
3. Will Aaron Hill be worth activating?
4. How much schadenfreude should I hope for in the Atlanta bullpen?
5. Kc closer.

Brett Myers

Here is another young pitcher I have questions about. Like Eric Bedard, he's been great.

The issue is whether he will maintain his elite performances and whether to pay via trade for it.

He's throwing another gem today. Three runs is a lot but I am a WHIP-centric when looking to acquire a SP, and he had no walks this afternoon with 8 Ks. ( I know this is 4X4 but I don't disregard stats because they don't directly effect the standings.)

I may have to bite the bullet and risk buying high on him. (Disclaimer: I drafted him #2 overall a few years ago in the minor league draft and have a soft spot for my former draftees.)

Jason Giambi

His Do-or-Die trial is over. In the six games, he hit .320 with a .370 OBP and a .480 SLG.

He passed. One point I'd like to make is he did this while only walking twice.

Normally, you'd expect him to get 5 or 6 walks in the same span of ABs, but with his Yankee career on the line, he became more agressive at the plate. To no ones detriment I might add.

Is it possible the ascendency of OBP coincided with the wide-spread use of performance-enhancing/recovery-accelerating drugs? And if this is so, would the descendency of those drugs lead to a more agressive style of hitting?

After all, no teams wins without putting the bat on the ball. And no hitter can keep his job drawing walks without getting hits - as Giambi was doing prior to the Yankee's ultimatum.

His value will get no lower, and if not for the three games in the NL, he'd get harder and harder to obtain. But pinch-hitting in at least two of the next three games will tamp down the rise in value.


Giants are mile-high after win

Tyler Walker is the SF closer. At the bottom of the article, Felipe Alou says, He's our closer right now. I have to give him that opportunity."

What sent my scrambling to the SFGate was a quote I read in the Rototimes MLB Player News section. The blurb quotes Alou saying, "there's something about him" regarding Walker.

As I said here and more recently here, Alou chose his closer based on the very un-sabremetrically method of a hunch based on physical appearance. And, unsurprisingly, he's been OK.

While the Jamesians lay claim to the last three outs of the games being no more vital than any other important outs that do not end the game, real life demonstrates that getting the outs which ential more pressure are different. What the Jamesian need to acknowledge is they are unable to quantify it.

But the spell of numbers seems too hard to resist. or maybe it is the vested interest each of these statheads have invested in being right that they are unable to change course.

An extra Click or Two

Kolb demoted as closer | ajc.com

Rotoworld, Rotowire and Fanball have three different takes on the new closer in Atlanta with the assertion of confidence the highest at Rotoworld fro Adam Bernero.

After reading blurbs on Rotowire (via Yahoo) and Fanball, I knew I must check the reporting in the Atlanta Journal Constituion.

In it, Bobby Cox is quoted saying the Braves would "piece together" the closer role by committee.

Did Rotoworld jump the gun? I say they did because this morning's blurb positively states Bernero as the closer while the original sources , mlb.com and AJC, quote the Atlanta manager saying a closer-by-committee.

Here lies a common problem with any Roto site. There is always the chance of being wrong. (As I know. See here, 2nd paragraph.) This leads the users of the sites to make strategic decisions that turnout to be unhelpful and could then damage the credibility of the site used.

I combat this possibility by reading every one of those sites with one thing in mind - the writers of those blurbs also have Roto teams and tend to color their analysis based on the players they have on their rosters and the ones on their competitors rosters. If I doubt the analysis or the analysis hints at conjecture, I will read the original source (usually linked in the blurb.) This redundancy is normally enough to lessen the possibility of the blurb writer's Roto biases from providing faulty info.

And in some cases, like Jason Giambi, I will buck the conventional wisdom (CW) and stick with my personal analysis.

Use this as a lesson in caution - check the sources behind the Roto analysis whenever possible.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Dan Kolb : Rotoworld.com - Dan Kolb Biography from Rotoworld.com

Dan Kolb : Rotoworld.com - Dan Kolb Biography from Rotoworld.com


(memo to self: Never write anything down.)

As I have Bernero in none of my leagues, do I now root for his failure?

The run on the Atlanta bullpen will commence in Roto leagues across the land. Leo Mazzone's magic dust has seemed to work on Bernero. (See 2002-2004.)

USATODAY.com - NL closers walking tightrope

USATODAY.com - NL closers walking tightrope

If you're in a long-standing league where Mr. Hunt's column was the only Roto advise available , then you're likely to have a few owners who follow his advice.

To quote the longest-running Roto expert:
"Well, you'd probably like to do what that one fan in Oakland did, giving him not a piece of your mind but a splash of your beer. But that fan got arrested, and legal fees and possible jail time tend to get in the way of keeping up with your fantasy roster. I'd cut him loose if there's any kind of attractive option out there - you have a lot less to lose than the Yankees do."

With Mr. Hunt's imprimatur, you can be assured that an owner will be willing to deal The Giambinator or Giambalco more easily.

Brazobhan Revisited.

Rotisserie Baseball Musing: 04/01/05

The link is to my April 1st posting on the value of Yhancy Brazobhan.

Now that Gagne, YB's value is retained in the closer-in-waiting role. He was successful filling-in and this increases his value, too.

I'd say he is more valuable than a middle of the road starter like Tom Glavine (of the prior years and not of this season-to-date!)

His main impediment is Gagne and his contract. Barring a trade, YB will not see too many saves over the next couple of years.

For this reason, I would seek to deal him for a decent hitter. Something along the lines of Kaz Matsui (still lots of upside) or Placido Polanco (very underrated after screwing Philly or getting screwed by Philly depending on your perspective). Maybe a Hee Seop Choi or Daryle Ward.

I may attempt to acquire if only to test my valuation.

Eric Bedard

He looks like a legitmate break-out candidate. All his numbers are great, and he was a highly-regarded prospect rpior to elbow surgery a couple years ago.

The question is whether he is going to be helpful in August and September as his workload the past few seasons has been very low.

My hunch is that he will fade, as will the Orioles. What this means is his 2005 numbers will be good but his splits (pre-traded for and post-traded for) will only benefit the team that traded him.

If Bedard has no time left on his contract, then I would not pay-up for his current numbers as his performance going forward will not match his previous one. His trade value in August will also diminish as he will be out of time at season's end.

However, if he has time left on his contract for 2006 forward then paying-up for him may be a wise idea as he will still retain good trade value in August even if his numbers begin to worsen.

All said, he should be veiwed as legitmate with the above caveats when trying to acquire him.

BostonHerald.com - Boston Red Sox & MLB: Slow going for Schilling

BostonHerald.com - Boston Red Sox & MLB: Slow going for Schilling

A very good buy low candidate.

As a Schilling owner, I can attest to the feelings of despair he causes. He has been useless for 7 weeks now, and this article extends that period into June.

And that is how you can get him from an even more despairing owner.

When he returns, he will still be able to get 15+ starts which should translate into 8-10 wins and 100 innings of excellent ratios. And these numbers will come at the best time - the end of the season when the standings count!

Too many Roto teams place too much emphasis on performances in the beginning of the year.


No sooner do I post about Dan Kolb then he blows-up in a save opportunity.

I did not watch the game, but I have the scoop from someone who is a current Kolb owner convinced he cannot watch Kolb or he blows-up. (Question: Why watch then?)
He reports that Sosa was warming up in the bullpen whilst Kolb was seeking a guarantee of not being tendered next December.

As intriguing is why Reitsma wasn't up. I know he has had a couple of stinkers the his last three outings. Could he be nursing an injury?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Dan Kolb has looked shaky this season. he cannot seem to keep men off the bases. This alone would seem to merit a closer look at the other arms in the Atlanta bullpen.

Chris Reitsma is the obvious choice to step into the closer role if the braves decide the turmoil of changing closers is necessary. (By my choice of words you can gather I do not believe that is likely right now.)

Adam Bernero has pitched well but I think he will be the longman this season and a good one. Pick him up in lieu of bad starters. he will get as many wins without the extra innings starters give.

The deep sleeper is Jorge Sosa. He was a failed starter in TB, but he had a very good strikeout rate of 9.0 per 9 innings. "Failed starter" and "good strikeout rate" are the key markers to potential closers.

I do not see him getting it first but do see him getting the opportunity in 2006.

In the meantime, Leo Mazzone will srpinkle him with his magic pitching dust and make him a quality middle reliever as Coach leo has done with so many other pitchers.

Roto Times Fantasy Sports

Roto Times Fantasy Sports

Seems my mind runs parallel to the great ones. (See here, here and here.) Sorry, Nate.

One point needs to be considered. This column is not for 4X4 AL- and NL-only leagues.

There is no way a closer can be had for the 4th OF on most Roto teams.

This demonstrates why I started this blog - the lack of advise for the traditional 4X4 format.

Four game hitting streak

Giambi turned in another 1-4. He's going to help some Roto team. (I doubt he'll help whichever team signs him to the minimum after the Yankees cut bait because that team will finish last regardless of his presence.)

The more important question is what is he worth in a Roto trade. A possibly smart place to look is what Jeff Bagwell would have fetched prior to the shoulder surgery announcement but after he stopped playing.

There was a Houston Chronicle article last week that basically painted the injury as a likely career-ending one. Despite this, Bagwell was dealt for Lance Niekro in a league I play in.

If Neikro got Bagwell, then I'd put Giambi's value a little higher than a productive injury fill-in with legitimate pitch selection concerns (2 walks in 68 ABs.)

A decent middle infielder along the lines of Orlando Hudson or one coming off injury like Adam Kennedy. An OK OF like Rondell White. A flawed everyday corner like Darin Erstad (no power) or Aaron Boone (equally struggling).

What I wouldn't deal for him would be a Jorge Cantu (too much upside), Randy Winn (too good across the board) or Cory Koskie (more consistent.)

Monday, May 16, 2005

Jason Giambi

The Yankee organization is doing all it can to destroy him. The press is ready to cast everything he does in a negative light (with instigation from Tampa.)

What this means is there nowhere for Giambi to go but out of the Bronx.

While other experts may say he is done, I am going to withhold judgment until I see signs that other teams are no longer afraid of him. The key will be the number of walks Giambi receives. As long as he gets four balls per AB, other teams are saying he is still someone to be feared.

When he stops walking, in combination with getting no hits, then I will say he is done. This will indicate that other teams no longer fear him and will throw him strikes with impunity.

Until that occurs, I will go so far as to say Giambi is a great buy-low candidate. As he will be gone from the Bronz and likely to land at the other end of the scrutiny continuum (TB, KC, OAK), he will play with a much lesser degree of scrutiny.

This will lead to better results, and I suspect he will fall into a .260-.280 AVG with a .400 OBP and .500+ SLG.

Selling High and Buying Low

This is the time of year when teams in first place need to trade those players who have out-performed and to acquire those players who have under-performed.

The season is old enough for teams to think their results are likely to be due to more than hot starts or luck. However, that is not necessarily the case. Is Brian Roberts really going to go 40/50? Is Eric Chavez really going to hit .190?

"No" is the answer in both cases, but try to trade one for the other and the Roberts owner would think you were crazy. But this is precisely what the Roberts owner should be trying to do.

With Roberts SB, his owner can likely get a little more than Chavez right now. But can he do it?

I say that he cannot, and it is for this reason - the inability to sell high- that the standings right now are no more indicative of the final ones than the ones in the first week.

What can alter this belief would be for the teams at the top of the standings to shrewdly acquire those players doing poorly right now - almost any Oakland A's hitter, Jim Thome, Lance Berkman and such- for those players like Brian Roberts and Dontrelle Willis.

As you can see, I do not advocate dealing hot-performing crappy players such as Shawn Estes or Damon Hollins, but players who other teams can see continuing the great seasons.

Saturday, May 14, 2005


Tyler Walker looks like the closer in SF. He is an imposing pitcher, and a height/weight criteria (6'3 255lb). That seems to be all Alou needs to give him the job. I have an intuitive sense that he will remain the closer.

Brian Fuentes is the closer in Colorado now that Tsao has been DL-ed again for a shoulder injury. I do not expect him to hold the job as he is left-handed. Facing the predominantly right-handed hitting will not withstand any length of time in Coors Field.

I like Ryan Speier but he is currently in AAA. When he was sent down, he expressed a displeasure I'd characterize as "competitve." If given another chance, I believe he'd succeed as he ptiches froma variety of different angles which could help confound the difficulty of Coors Field. Of course, Colorado may not get enough save opportunites to make a difference.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Colorado Closer

Tsao looks to have a shoulder problem. He was babied last Septmeber. He was shut down immediately after winning the closer's job in Spring Training, and he is now experiencing more should discomfort.

And none of this even considers his horrific numbers so far this season. Reminds me of Shawn Chacon's 2004 campaign.

Hopefully, no one paid full price for Tsao. He was a $10 pool pick-up in 2004 in one of my leagues and was drafted for $10 in another. That seems to be the most a Rockies pitcher should fetch. (A refresher on Rockies closers here.)


To follow-up on the posts of the previous couple days, Ryan Langerhans has broken out.

For the first five weeks, he did nothing. Not only that, but Bobby Cox played Pete Orr in the OF. This clearly indicated that the Spring Training hype around Langerhans was misplaced.

No sooner does a Roto team make that conclusion than Langerhans breaks out with 4 HR and 10 RBI. Now he has legitimate Roto value again.

What this shows is how quickly a player can go from worthlessness for 2005 to value for 2005 and 2006.

(This is essentially an issue of levergae. When one HR in a quarter of the season projects to four HR for the season, you have leverage of 4X.

The opposite occurs once you pass the halk-way point. Then a HR will only be worth less than one additional one over the rest of the season. From here, a player has a very difficult time recapturing 2005 value.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

More Bailing

In addition to wanting to focus on 2006, teams that are doing poorly at the moment begin to alter their perception of the teams that are doing well. No longer are those teams the recipients of good fortune that they were for the month of April.

Those teams are now in the midst of acquiring a "truly" good team. And why is that? Because the negativity that the poorly-performing teams have endured and tried to square away with their self-image of being a good Roto player is weakening after 40 days of their team's crappy performances! And 40 days of watching Eric Bedard spin gems, and Brian Roberts hit HRs and steal bases, and Dave Dellucci bat like Barry Bonds for those teams who are doing well!

None of this should change your 162-game projections. If you believe Eric Byrnes is going to have a duplicate 2004 season in 2005, then don't give-up yet. he could easily go on a two-week tear where he does a Brian Roberts impersonation. Or more likely, he can hit 4 HR and steal 4 bases in the next three weeks and reach the end of May on pace for those 15-20 HR and 15-20 SB you projected.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Bail Season

As we near the Memorial Day weekend, many teams have come to grips with their bad April and have begun to entertain the notion of playing for 2006.

This is a common occurence, and one that I believe is premature. There is just too much babseball left. With MLB teams nearing the 40.5 game mark (25%), there is still 121.5 games left!

At this point, MLB teams will begin to adjust to their bad April and promote and demote players. It is here that the poor-start Roto teams should be focused, and it is here where the poor starts are most beneficial due to standings priority for free agent pick-ups and waiver claims.

While I advise against panicking, I don't advise passivity in this regard. A poor-starting Roto team must agressively deplete the free agent pool and waiver wire. Is Freddie Sanchez or Bobby Hill still available? Get them as Craig Wilson's injury will open OF ABs for Makowiak while pushing him away from infield ones. Did a team pick-up Jonny Gomes based on Piniella's assertions that TB needed more HRs only to watch him not play? Trade for him because he will be playing by the All-Star break (Still 80 games or so left in the season!)

Go to Baseball America and catch-up on the hot AAA and AA players so you know who will be called-up (Dan Johnson? jack Cust? Joey Gaithwright? Aaron Hill? Brad Eldred? Matt Cain? and so on.)

There is a lot of baseball left in this season, so do not quit yet. The beginning of July is the better time to seriously consider that as there will be more season gone than season coming.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Threat of a Stolen Base Can Add Value to an At-Bat - New York Times

The Threat of a Stolen Base Can Add Value to an At-Bat - New York Times

This would then mean the hitters in the line-ups of teams that steal bases are more valuable.

Maybe Vernon Wells wouldn't be hitting .200 if there was any semblence of a Toronto running game. Maybe JP should stop mettling.