Thursday, June 30, 2005

Melky Cabrera

As Big Stein does not have enough Yankee-ographies to fill all the air time on his YES network, the AAA Columbus Clips are on.

Melky is batting second and looks like he is wearing a jersey one size too big.

A decent swing as he turned on an inside pitch and hit a groundball to secondbase.

If it weren't for this blog, that wouldn't have been worth commenting upon. - MLB- Inside Dish: Reds want young pitcher for Dunn - MLB- Inside Dish: Reds want young pitcher for Dunn

According to the article, the Reds want a lot more than a young pitcher.

The price is so high that any player's name could be substitued for Dunn's name. Basically, it makes this report meaningless.

Ezequiel Astacio, Chris Burke and Jason Lane for Dunn? That package would land almost any major league player.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Ronny Cedeno

The Cubs recalled their top SS prospect from AAA Iowa yesterday. He put up numbers that are worthy of taking a chance on him - 7 HR, 10 SB, .371 AVG, .552 SLG.

This appears to be his breakout minor league season as he surpassed his previous minors-high HR of 6 and is hitting almost 100 points higher than he did in 2004 (.279). Heck, he hit 68 points higher in 2004 than he did in 2003 (.211).

What makes these improvements relevant is Cedeno is only 22 years-old. He has progressed as he got older and is still young for a AAA player much less a major league one.

I would not expect Dusty to play him barring an injury to Neifi Perez, but Ronny has been mentioned in trade rumors for Preston Wilson. A trade there would obviously make him an instant contributor to any NL squad.

Grab him if you can. The upside is too high, and if he can be had for a single-digit bid, all the better. - Surprises among best fantasy pitchers - Surprises among best fantasy pitchers

The Hunt imprimatur has been bestowed upon Mark Beuhrle just as mine was done earlier this week.

Joe Blanton? Use the Hunt imprimatur to get a lot for him. Surprisingly, Dan Haren, the top Oakland starter not named Rich Harden, did not make this list of the top 20 pitchers over the past several weeks.

Brett Tomko

San Francisco Giants : News : San Francisco Giants News

Back when the SF bullpen was in flux following the Benitez injury, I zeroed in on Brett Tomko as a possible SP-to-closer candidate.

Now he is basically removed for no apparent reason, and Righetti says the move may be "good for him" and that "maybe more teams will want you" if he performs well in his new role.

I wonder if "another team" has inquired about him as a reliever and have asked the Giants to determine if he can do it before acquiring him and finding out he can't make the adjustment.

Melky Cabrera Promoted to AAA

Stanton Throws a Sinker, and the Yankees Go Under - New York Times

Oh boy. The Times guesses the Yanks may have done this to showcase him. I hope not.

Yanks' need may center on Encarnacion: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Yanks' need may center on Encarnacion: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

This looks like a win-win deal for both teams. The Marlins rid themselves of Encarnacion and open up ABs for Jeff Conine or, less likely but possible given the Marlins 2003 decision on Miguel Cabrera, for Jeremy Hermida.

The Yanks get rid of Paul Quantril and get a CF better than anything they have on their roster regardless of how much Encarnacion's defense may have slipped since his Detroit days.

Both teams address needs and rid themsleves of players they do not like.

Encarnacion would be a definite high $$$ FAAB bid.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - MLB - Pirates' ace Perez on DL after kicking laundry cart - MLB - Pirates' ace Perez on DL after kicking laundry cart

Unbelievable. First he hruts himself by sleeping incorrectly, and now he does it by kicking a laundry cart.

I wonder if there were witnesses. - MLB - Pirates' ace Perez on DL after kicking laundry cart - MLB - Pirates' ace Perez on DL after kicking laundry cart

Unbelievable. First he hruts himself by sleeping incorrectly, and now he does it by kicking a laundry cart.

I wonder if there were witnesses.

Buehrle on Maddux's pace to join all-time best

Buehrle on Maddux's pace to join all-time best

If you didn't know it yet, Buerhle is a $30 pitcher. Get him before others realize it.

Monday, June 27, 2005 - MLB- Inside Dish: Burnett blockbuster in the works? - MLB- Inside Dish: Burnett blockbuster in the works?

This is, no doubt, the biggest trade rumor to date. Burnett would be a max FAAB pitcher in the AL, and whomever the Marlins get would also be serious FAAB players.

Rosenthal reports Baltimore is one club but who is the other? If the report has weight, then a look at AL teams with a young SP, quality reliever and a left-handed hitting OF is the first place to look.

This criteria precludes many teams. The Yankees can use Wang as the SP, but who fills the other two spots? There are no relievers, other than Tom Gordon, who fit the "quality reliever" criterium and, as for " left-handed hitting OF", there is none. If there were, he'd be playing already. (However, the Yanks could use Juan Encarnacion who would be an upgrade in the OF even in CF.)

If the Red Sox wanted to deal Trot Nixon and Bronson Arroyo, that would do it, but do the Sawx feel confident Burnet can succeed in the AL much less sign him to a new contract? With Brandon Moss doing well in AA at 20 years-old, the Sawx have OF in the system, but Trot is considered a quality teammate so I don't know if the Nomar magic would be repeated.

Toronto could do it. Batista or Lily would qualify. Dave Bush or Brandon league would too. Gabe Gross bats from the left side as does Frank Catalonotto. Too bad Florida didn't need a 2B as Orlando Hudson would have made this the team.

Tampa Bay? Puh-leaze. Lamar would want Florida to add Jeremy Hermida and Josh Willingham.

Minnesota could match but do not need a SP and would certainly not resign Burnett to the Pavano-esque deal necessary to keep him.

The White Sox have the relievers with the emergence of Cliff Politte. Takatsu or Marte would work for the Marlins, but fitting the criteria exactly for SP and OF could be tough if Florida stuck to major leaguers. If the criteria expanded to AAA and AA prospects, the the White Sox are the team.

The Royals are out.

The Indians, though, could do it as they have a few relievers (betancourt, Riske, Howry, Rhodes) and a left-handed hitting OF (Gerut ). Meeting the SP is tough unless the Marlins wanted Elarton . Jake Westbrook maybe, but then the deal becomes one so loaded with talent that it would approach stupidity for the Burnett-acquiree.

Detroit can meet all three with a reliever such as German, Rodney or Percival, a SP like Jason Johnson or Mike Maroth and a LOF like Nook Logan. With Magglio returning, the OF will get very crowded, and Nook could step-in for Pierre next season.

Seattle is out and so is Oakland.

Texas could do it with Laynce Nix filling the LOF criterium, Ricardo Rodriguez as the SP but the "quality reliever" would be tough.

Anaheim could meet the reliever requirement with Donnelly and could do the OF with Davanon. Chone Figgins could also meet that objective and fill-in Pierre's spot next year. Washburn would fit the SP. That would appear to be a lot though.

After examining all the possible spots, Detroit makes the most sense and can meet the criteria.

But could it really be Detroit?!?!??!?!

Wes Bankston

Minor League Baseball: Stats: Stats

The starting 1B for the Montgomery Biscuits of the Southern League got off to a late start due to a knee injury. When he recovered the DRays assinged him to High A where he clearly demonstrated an ability that was unchallenged - .387/.513/.629.

He was promoted to AA and has gotten off to an impressive start - .316/.393/.544.

He hit 3 HR in 62 High A ABs and has 3 in 79 AA ABs. His plate discipline has suffered in the upward move going from 15 BB/62 ABs to 10/79 ABs, but I suspect he will further improve in AA.

He is a player to watch for next year's minor league drafts. Heck, he may be one to keep an eye on for a September call-up. Travis Lee is not the long-term answer.

Big Stein

Across the NY papers is the news that the Big Stein has called a powwow in Tampa to address the mess that is the 2005 Yankees.

The very fact that he is bringing in three factions - Levine, Cashman and the Tampa Yesmen - illustrates the main problem - too many voices. To resolve this problem is easier written than done. He must unite the management of the team.

As these are the New York Yankees, the team should be run from New York. If Big Stein can't do that, then this plunge to irrespectability will continue. The team will not be respectable until the sycophants surrounding Sir Bluster-lot in Tampa are made to face those they undercut in New York.

And if this doesn't happen, then there is no solution. Given Big Stein has allowed this to happen, I do not believe there is any way to fix the Yankees. How doesl Stein loose himself from the sychophancy that he has encourgaed? Is he even capable of recognizing it after decades of aggrandizement?

And if I am wrong, exactly what can be done with a team full of 10-figure players who can't play defense?

My suggestion would be to pursue a blockbuster with a player who other teams consider valuable. This precludes dealing Tony Womack, Bernie Williams, and Jason Giambi.

It does mean dealing Arod or Sheffield, and after watching Sheffield stink in the OF, it really means ARod. With Texas pick-up a third of his salary, the Yanks would only have to kick in enough to get him down to $12 million or so. At that level, he is will have a good contract.

Which is all well and good, but the question is whether the rest of baseball even wants to deal with the Yankees.

And if that is the case, then this Tampa powwow will be meaningless. it will be another example of fawning sychophancy which only exacerbates the current problems.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

New York Daily News - Baseball - Mets Bossing Yankees around

New York Daily News - Baseball - Mets Bossing Yankees around

The biggest mistake the Yankees' brass can make is failing to recognize that a Ken-Phelps-for-Jay-Buhner trade circa the 21st century is not what the team needs.

I can't name the Phelps portion of this modern day blunder but I can guess on the Buhner side. His name is Melky Cabrera, a 20-year-old CF at AA Trenton.

In his first season, he hit 2 HR. Last season he hit 8 HR. This year, he has 9 HR already with only two errors.

Keep him in mind, regardless of the organization he is with next draft, as he should be a hot rookie by 2007.

Saturday, June 25, 2005


A couple walks and a SB already. I'm beginning to coalesce around the equivalent of pre-2005 Brad Wilkerson - .260 AVG, 20+ HR and 12-15 SB.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Kearns wants Reds to explore trade

Kearns wants Reds to explore trade

The Reds need to solve their OF logjam.

And if O'brien is telling Kearns there is no interest in him, then the Reds are liars, too. - ROCKIES / MLB - ROCKIES / MLB

Is Dan O'Dowd drinking the same water as Chuck Lamar?

A ready-for-caffeine AAA SS in Josh Wilson and a highly-lauded AA SP who is 20-years old for a middle reliver with a funky delivery (read: can get hurt anytime) and O'Brien asks for Guillermo Mota too?

And what are the Cubs doing refusing to part with Wellemeyer and Cedeno? Wellemeyer will never be successful pitching in Colorado so there will be no 2nd-guessing there, and Cedeno is behind Barmes and a plethora of other middle infielders so the same applies to him.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Todd Helton

Todd Helton : - Todd Helton Biography from

The biggest $40 Rotisserie mystery is what is wrong with Todd Helton.

This off-season Helton reacted with righteous indignation and threats to sue over comments made by a STL commentator that he had used steroids.

As his numbers had been gaudy, he fell under automatic suspicion (fair or unfair, but mostly unfair at the time.) As he is considered a great person, he was given the benefit of the doubt, and the STL commentator was forced to backpedal.

Now, as we near the halfway point, TH has a very good OBP of .382 but is considerably lower than his typical .400+. Where the concern arises is his SLG is way down. He's essentially Jason Kendall right now.

Given the sample size (242 AB), I feel confident in stating there is something wrong. Has a hole materialized in his swing that is now exploited? If so, I'd expect his power to remain but his AVG to stay low a la Frank Thomas.

If he is battling a back injury, I'd also expect the precipitous drop in SLG from it's .600+ levels. Think Don Mattingly.

Is it possible he is driving the ball with authority and sluggin .405? Not likely.

A benign possibility is he isn't getting anything to hit due to the weaker line-up around him. However, he isn't walking at any higher rates than previously - 19.8% this season vs 23.2% in 2004, 19.0% in 2003). This indicates his batting eye has remained the same.

Did he use recovery-enhancing supplements? It is possible as there are numerous reports that recovery in the thin air of Colorado is slower and can therefore be quickened with nutritional supplements.

Frankly, I don't know, but I'd wager on these two horses - Back injury or lack of supplementation.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Ryan Wagner

Yahoo! Sports - MLB - Box Score

Why is he still in the majors?

He threw another stinkbomb this afternoon. Maybe send him down and recall Austin Kearns?

It's Money for Nothing as Yanks' Starters Labor - New York Times

It's Money for Nothing as Yanks' Starters Labor - New York Times

Why are the Yanks surprised Pavano has been a hit machine in the AL?

He only struck out 139 in 222.1 innings last season in the NL. He made 31 starts. using a back-of-the-envelope calculation of three pitcher's slot appearances per start, he faced the pitcher 91 times. Interpretted as striking out 48 in the other 744 batters (31 starts x 8 hitters x 3 plate appearances per game). That is 6.4%.

In comparison, RJ faced the pitcher's slot 105 times, and he struck out 185 of the 840 other hitters (22%).

Or more helpful, would be 10-12% for top SP ( 31 starts, 170 K, 220 innings).

NOTE: I have made-up the metrics involved in this post.

Jonny Gomes : - Jonny Gomes Biography from

Jonny Gomes : - Jonny Gomes Biography from

Further more, he stole 7 bases in 8 attempts in AAA this year, so expect a handful of them over the rest of the year.

He looks like a $25 hitter right now.

Jonny Gomes : - Jonny Gomes Biography from

Jonny Gomes : - Jonny Gomes Biography from

For whatever reason, Rototimes players stats did not include yesterday's game for Gomes.

He has 8 extra base hits of 17 total, and 7 BBs in 47 ABs. His OPS is a gaudy 1.176.

What was Piniella doing when he didn't play him for 9 days in May? Trying to get fired?

Jonny Gomes

Roto Times Fantasy Sports

"Take that! And that! And that!" he said as he pummelled to dead horse.

Gomes is for real. He hit an opposite field HR off Randy Johynson last night. In a year where opposite field power is anecdotally down, to have a right-handed hitter take RJ deep, albeit on an outside pitch up in the zone, says a lot.

Nevermind Gomes has 7 extra base hits of his 14 or that he has 7 BB and 42 ABs.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - Last-place Reds fire manager Dave Miley - Last-place Reds fire manager Dave Miley

Their best player, Adam Dunn, was unhappy after management cleaned house by releasing Danny Graves and demoting D'Angelo Jimenez and Austin Kearns who happens to be Dunn's good friend.

I would expect an uptick in performance and will not be surprised to see Kearns recalled.

Whether the GM and owner can make moves necessary to put a winning team on the field is another issue.

Maybe they should entertain dealing Wily Mo. He is their most marketable player by far and could bring the motherload in return - a major-leaguer and a top hitting and pitching prospect.

What does Cincinnatti need? Edwin Encarnacion is in AAA and should get the first shot at 3B next season. Lopez has SS covered. Ryan Freel is currently at 2B but could continue as a super-utility so 2B is open. 1B is covered by Casey and will be manned by Dunn. Larue catches but he has been doing it for a while so getting an up-and-comer at C would be wise. If Dunn moved to 1B, an OF spot would open, and obviously, pitchers.

Pared down, the Reds could target propsects at C, 2B, OF and pitchers.

Which teams could use a masher in the OF and have the excess to meet the Reds needs?

Texas seems perfect as there are a couple of good middle infielders in Ian Kinsler (14 HR at AAA) and Joaquin Arias (.289 AVG 8 SB in AA). C Gerald Laird is doing well at AAA (.289 11 HR), and the arms in the minors are getting lots of hype (Tom Diamond is lights out at High A and John Danks is doing well at AA). With Hidlago on a one-year contract, there is an opening in the Texas OF.

With Soriano a free agent after this season, Texas may not be interest in dealing Kinsler, and their never-ending search for pitching may cause them to balk on dealing an arm. However, Pena is already major-league proven and would provide quite a bookend to Mench in the OF.

The Yankees would be a good fit with Cano and Wang, and a desparate need to get younger - anywhere, but I doubt the Reds would make a trade that helps the Yankees.

Toronto is a good fit also. Sending Orlando Hudson, Gabe Gross and a young arm would be fair (Bush or League).

Whehther any of this can be done is a different story, but Wily Mo's age and talent open almost any possibility.

Justin Huber

The Royals called-up 1B Justin Huber to replace the $12.5 million great-when-healthy Mike Sweeney.

Huber has taken to full-time work at 1B like a fish to water, a politician to graft, a Democrat to useful idiotness. (Oops, sorry about that. Partisan politics has plenty of blog outlets. It is not needed here.)

There are two important things I'd like to highlight. Thing One is Huber will likely be an asset this season just as Aaron Hill and Jonny Gomes will be. I expect him to hit 5-10 HR the rest of the way with a .260+ AVG.

Thing Two is Huber was a "throw-in" in the Benson trade last season. Recall he was used to acquire 2005 AA 3B Jose Bautisita who the Pirates let get away in the Rule V draft. This is noteworthy because not only did the Mets deal a C, at the time, and now a 1B - both of which are positions of need in the organization, but the Pirates would rather have had Bautista than Huber!

Tteams are bad because they lack evaluative skills and not money. Not because they yankees can spend $200 million. - Boston Red Sox & MLB: Curt set for next step - Boston Red Sox & MLB: Curt set for next step

If you need a bold move to get back into contention, go get him.

The team who has him may be ready to get something, or better put, may be able to get something now that Shill looks ready.

I know I'd accept an Aaron Hill and a top AA/AAA prospect like Ian Kinsler or Brian Anderson for him.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Jonny Gomes

He walked three times tonight. I know I have been cautious about his newly found on-base skills this year in AAA translating at the major league level, as have most Roto experts, but I may have to be more open-minded.

If I am, I'd have to say Gomes will end up a Top 5 vote getter in the ROY voting.

Get him if you can.

Aaron Hill

Yahoo! Sports - MLB - Box Score

Nearly 100 ABs and steroid conjecture finally got Aaron Hill a HR and a SB.

He still has a ways to go to be Reed Johnson though. - Gammons: Ahead of their time - Gammons: Ahead of their time

Who is the rookie that is "nowhere near as strong as he was at the time he was drafted?"

This is quite a tongue-wagger. Can I assume it is a player whose power has diminished in successive years? Can I even assume it is a hitter?

Is it a rookie with no power this season like Aaron Hill?

With steroids tainting every drop in power/weight, did Mr/ Gammons cross a line of responsibility tacking on to an anonymous AL GM's quote that everyone in baseball has noticed??

Guesses: the aforementioned Aaron Hill, Casey Kotchman, Nick Swisher, Dave Dejesus, JJ Hardy, JD Closser, Xavier Nady, Jason Repko.

Bailing V

At this point in the season, teams need to assess where they stand, where the best chances of making-up ground exist and executing the plan without attracting the most attention. This is important because other teams will recognize what you are doing and will take actions to thwart you, either by competing for the same players or making trades to other teams that harm your chances.

For a few reasons, the two worst categories to attempt a big move in are HR and RBI as these two categories are the easiest to track and the ones every team, from the greenest tyro to the crustiest veteran, understand. These are also to two that will cost you a ton. No one is going to give away a 25/100 player. And finally, every hitter contributes HR and RBI resulting in a net gain that is difficult to maintain.

The easisest to make-up ground in are Saves and SBs. If you deal a player with no SB or Svs for one who accumulates those statisitics, then you will always have a net gain in either category. The problem is what you need to deal to obtain a SB guy or a closer. This usually results in some sort of loss in points in other categories.

As acquiring these players is an easy strategy for others to discern, it is also one that is hard to thwart because of the limited number of SB and SV players and the price that must be paid to acquire them. Last season, I dealt Todd Helton for Jason Isringhausen. At the time, I was tied for last in SV with only a struggling John Smoltz. I finished the year at the top of the category - by 11 saves. (I recognize that I had both closers at there nadirs, but to create an big move upward, that is sometimes necessary.)

What also makes this strategy somewhat sneaky is the players traded are usually good enough to distract teams from implementing a strategy to stop you. If you trade a three-category hitter like Todd Helton for a "one-cateogry" player like Jason Isringhausen, other teams have a hard time seeing past the surface stupidity of dealing Helton.

The easiest place to make-up ground is in ERA and WHIP. It is axiomatic (prior to this season) that middling starting pitchers hurt your ratios. This occurs because their 4.00+ ERA and 1.30+ WHIPs are weighted more heavily than a middle relivers due to triple or quadruple the number of innings pitched. With this in mind, when you trade for a SP, most teams have the reaction that you have just as likely hurt your team twice - once by dealing a decent player and second by getting your ratios hurt.

This stops others from attempting to thwart you. They are not going to begin trading decent players for pitchers who they believe to be risks to their ratios. As a result, you can execute this with minimal competition.

And here is where it is easy to make-up ground. In the ratios the spreads betweent he top an bottom are measured in decimal points. The worst WHIP in my AL league is 1.41. To gain 6 points, I need only improve .07. This can be done easily. I dealt Derek Jeter/Tom Gordon for Mark Buerhle and recieved a bail offer from a team only 10 points ahead of me and the one right at the bottom of the pitching ratios. Doesn't he understand innings pitched and weighting? And is there better proof than receiving a bail offer after a trade that you can implement your strategy without concern for competition?

And what makes pitcher acquistion the best route in June? The fact that hitters will be traded into the league over the next six weeks and you can aggressively bid on them to replace the contributor you dealt for the SP!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Schmidt throws like ace of old

Schmidt throws like ace of old

Giddy would be the way I would describe the Giants after Schmidt's gem.

Jason Schmidt

A W, 8 shutout innings and 8 runners. That is the 4X4 Jason Schmidt that went for $32 in my draft.

Now if he can repeat that performance in his next start, his value should increase beyond the Williams/Hart I gave for him.

After reading tomorrow's SF papers, I'll be able to flesh out the stats.

Friday, June 17, 2005


For the past week, I keep seeing references to Kenny Kelly's AAA OPS of .822

And in all of them, it is used to conclude Kelly won't be any good.

.822 is a good OPS. If there is some data to suggest that it is bad post-supplimentation, then state it.

If there are serious questions about whether Kelly can hit major league pitching (and there are), then use that as the basis ot advise his permanent residnece in the free agent pool.

But to use a statistic which is good, much less one that must be reevaluated given the new steroid policy, is laziness at its best.

Luis Hernandez

Baseball America - Top 10 Prospects: Atlanta Braves

I took him at the end of a minor league draft based upon the glowing write-up as the #7 Atlanta prospect in Baseball America - ".... At least one opposing manager thought he had as bright a future as teammates Jeff Francoeur and Brian McCann...
An improving contact hitter, he has decent pop and should continue to improve his ability to drive the ball as he gains strength and maturity....The Braves thought Hernandez could be special, and now they're convinced that will be the case."

Well, he has stunk so far - .229 AVG with no HR and only 3 SB.

What is intriguing, though, is his improved ability to draw a walk. He had only walked 40 times in 228 games, and last season accounted for 16 or those in 401 ABs.

This year in AA, he has walked 28 times in only 190 ABs.

There is still time for the Braves to be correct.

Corey Patterson

Daily Herald | Sports

The current meme is Chicago seems to have Corey Patterson on the way out. To quote, "It also will be time soon to fish or cut bait with center fielder Corey Patterson. Hendry took Patterson with the third overall pick in 1998, but his erratic performance has members of the field staff shaking their heads. "

Talk about potential for the steroid-driven OBP sophistry leading to a colossal mistake. Patterson is a 25-year-old CF with all the tools. Cutting bait on him would go a long way towards insuring the Cubs go a full 100 years without a World Series title.

This negativity arises because his OBP is poor. I hold the opinion that steroids has everything to do with the OBP/OPS dogmatism that is pervasive in today's baseball strategy.

As this has never existed separate from steroid use, I cannot dismiss the opinion easily.

To support this contention, I use Don Mattingly as an example. He was one of the best players of 1980s. He AVG was always above .300 with 40+ doubles and 30+ HR. What he did not do is talk walks. Normally, he would walk once every 13 plate appearances. Is there anyone who thinks that is good using today's thinking?

He never posted an OPS greater than 1.000. Would he be considered the same now? Heck, Jeff Kent posts similar numbers and no one calls him the best day-in and day-out.

Yet, Mattingly is considered one of the most-feared hitters of the 1980s. (Really all this talk of greatness applies only to 1984-1987.)

If Don Mattingly would not make the cut today, then why dismiss Corey Patterson half-way through the post-steroid era? Only a fool would.

And here is where the next Moneyball can be written. A smart team will attempt to acquire players like Patterson before the rest of the league catches on. Go get speed. Go get a Gold Glove 1B.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Preston Wilson - ROCKIES / MLB

When he is dealt, keep an eye on the transactions as AA OF Jeff Salazaar is the top Rockies' CF prospect.

The team decide to use CF to get more ABs for Mohr and Sullivan, when Holliday returns.

Wouldn't Ryan Shealy owners feel good if the Rockies decided to give him an OF tryout? After all, he couldn't be any worse than Todd Hundley was?

Gagne Is on DL, but Search Is for a Starter

Gagne Is on DL, but Search Is for a Starter

There is a little hope that gagne won't be lost to TJ surgery for the rest of this season, and likely, most of next. However, there is nothing to lose for the Dodgers and Gagne by waiting a week.

He'd be done until then regardless. My guess is he's done for the year, and the focus needs to turn towards Brazoban.

Will he pitch the way he did prior (1.88 ERA 16 K in 14.1 IP) to Gagne's return or the way he did after (5.14 ERA 11 K in 14 IP) Gagne returned?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Rotisserie Baseball Musing: Jason Lane

Rotisserie Baseball Musing: Jason Lane

The window is shut to acquire Lane at his nadir. In the past three weeks, he has hit .341 with 4 HR and 9 RBI.

And at his current pace he could hit 25 HR.

Rotisserie Baseball Musing: Aaron Hill

Rotisserie Baseball Musing: Aaron Hill

After four weeks, I noticed Aaron Hill's line - 0/17/0/.321

I guess I insulted Reed Johnson (5/25/1/.284) as Hill has no HR or SB.

Rays: Surgery looms for Baldelli

Rays: Surgery looms for Baldelli

Wow talk about straight out of left field.

Now that Baldelli will not threaten anyone's playing time, one would be wise to grab Jonny Gomes.

I believe he will hit HRs. If his newfound AVG and OBP skills hold from AAA 9and that is a big IF), then he could be a $20+ player the rest of the season.

Of course, in his efforts to get fired, Piniella could torpedo him. It's not as if that hasn't occurred previously this season.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


So much for the steroids conjecture. Gagne is down with an elbow injury.

In my prior post, what I meant to say was he could have been using steriods as a recovery-enhancement aid versus a muscle-building one in which he would be larger and "cut" like Brett Boone at the All-Sta game a few years ago.

I still stand by the assertion that the steroid use was more for overcoming muscular soreness. This supports the fact that starting pitchers who rest five days are excelling as the relivers and hitters, who are used everyday cannot recover as rapidly as "suplementation allowed.

Interestingly, I conjectured Gagne to have been using some sort of now-banned recovery-enhancement aid while completely ignoring that possibility for Jason Schmidt.

Other than a comment on this site, all the reporting about Schmidt has assumed an injury when, in fact, everyone should be remember that the "water" in the San Fransisco clubhouse could be to blame.

How's Dustan Mohr doing in Colorado?

Gagne Isn't Up to Speed

Gagne Isn't Up to Speed

Is he the perfect example of recovery-enhancement drug use versus muscle-building drug use? HE is not a "cut" athlete.

Without the steroid cloud, one can infer the loss of velocity is due to concerns over his elbow or knee, both of which were hurt this Spring.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Nate Ravitz USAToday Chat Chat Transcript

I hate reading statement like this:

West Lafayette, IN: Nate, thanks for taking my question: I'm in a AL-only, roto-keepers league. I'm 8 points out of first in 4th place and want to see if I can make a move without scuttling next year's team. I have three closers with Batista ($21), Hermanson ($4) and McDougal ($1). McDougal's worth is questionable, but should I move Batista or Hermanson hoping McDougal will carry me in saves?
Nate Ravitz: I would say move Batista since he's not a keeper at that price, but relying on the other two would be very risky. I'd be very surprised if MacDougal finishes with 15 saves.

Say what?!?!?! Every closer is a keeper at $21 in an AL-only league. I have a hard time believing Batista went for $21 in a shallow league espeically since the Hermanson for $4 and MacDougal for $1 portions clearly indicate both were drafted. Again, a shallow league would not have drafted MacDougal at all and Hermanson for $4.

I started this blog to counter this type of faulty advice. FWIW, if someone can get a 20/80 hitter for MacD, they should do it.

Another one from the chat:

Camp As Saliyah, Qatar: Nate, What in the world is going on with Jason Schmidt. He was the first pitcher I drafted and he's been the albatross of my staff. Should I try and trade or will he turn it around?
Nate Ravitz: I know his velocity is down and his bullpen is weak, for starters. I'd deal him if you can still get type A value for him, otherwise I'd hold.

While Mr. Ravitz does not say acquiring Schmidt for less that "Type A" value is wise, it is implied.

Would anyone argue that a package of Jerome Williams, Cory Hart and Brian Moehler is "Type A" value?

(Assumption: Type A value means top-notch value.)

Youth Movement

Giants' concession speech? / Cleveland sweeps, S.F. makes changes

Wow! How quickly the Giants went from geezer-ophiles to rookie-dominated.

For years, Giants minor league hitting prospects have languished in the minors or spent brief periods of time as the 25th man. As a result, they have been amongst the less desirable/easiest acquired farm players in the game.

Now, Todd Linden, three seasons in purgatory, and Lance Niekro are hot commodities.

If only I had the prognostigating ability to see this, I'd have never dealt Linden three years ago!

Ryan Shealy

Ryan Shealy : - Ryan Shealy Biography from

He is a Western version fo Ryan Howard- a quality AAA 1B prospect who should be playing in the Bigs but is blocked by a high-paid, productive 1B.

Grab him and hope for a trade - either for himself or, if a truly newsworthy event, a Helton deal. - MLB- Inside Dish: Giants' Schmidt looks hurt - MLB- Inside Dish: Giants' Schmidt looks hurt

No doubt those who dealt Schmidt feel better this AM.

I can't blame them. Now I'll worry about how good Jerome Williams, Cory hart and Brian Moehler will be this year.

Of course, a good start from Schmidt alters that mentality.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Jason Schmidt

Yahoo! Sports - MLB - Box Score

No doubt, I could have held-off acquiring Schmidt. Last night's pitching line was ugly - 6 hits and 3 BB.

However, as I now have vested interest in defending my decision to aquire him, and I do not want to accept the objective conclussion that I made a bad move (google Cognitive Dissonance), I can point to a couple indicators that he has turned the corner.

1st, he struck out 7. This may not mean much as any pitcher can catch any team on a bad day, but he did do it.

Next, the SF Chronicle reports his velocity was up. Again, any pitcher can have a good stretch were his velocity is up after previously having been down, but up it was.

And finally, Jason Ellison misplayed a ball that was ruled a double. If he did not misplay it or it was ruled an error, then Schmidt's line would have been different 0- not necessarily improved but certainly different.

He bears watching, and I will definitely be reading the People's Republic of San Francisco papers.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Cory Hart

Baseball America - Stats

He is one of several Brewers prospects that have brought many accolades to the organization. Among the others are Richie Weeks, Prince Fielder, Dave Krynzel, Brad Nelson, Nelson Cruz, Jose Capellan, Ben Hendrickson.

Hart had great Spring Training but was still sent to AAA for regular playing time. Once there, he stunk up the joint by hitting in the mid-100s for all of April. This clearly removed any luster his hot Spring had provided.

Since then, he has done well, but his power is way down - 4 HR in 212 ABs (as in Brad Nelson's power.) This is a cause of concern as he does not draw walks at a high rate (only 1 per 12 plate appearances), and he is in the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League.

All said, I do like him best amongst the Sounds starting OF of Hart, Krynzel and Nelson. He has SB speed which will make him an intriguing Roto OF, but I do not believe he will have the power he exhibited at the lower levels.

I also believe he will get a shot sometime this season to play with the Brewers, and he may stay-up as the 2005 season is nearing the half-way point. There will be less ratonale to have him get more ABs in a AAA season that ends at the end of August.

When I weighed these beliefs, I included him in the Schmidt trade. If Schmidt bombs, then I will have defitnely dealt players with legit value esp at those salaries, but if Schmidt gets his act together, I will have easily acquired more than I gave-up.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

I pulled the trigger on a Jason Schmidt deal - I obtained him ($32) for Brian Moehler ($10), Jerome Williams ($4) and Cory Hart.

Jason Schmidt

His game last Sunday evening was another stinker.

Is he done? All reports this week center on his decrease in velocity, and Schmidt's statements about having to learn to pitch differently. I do not know what to make of this.

I do note nothing is reported about him being injured, though.

He pitches tomorrow, and here is the dilemma. If he pitches poorly, he can be had cheaply as the suspicion he is pitching hurt solidifies. If he doesn't, then he may not be obtainable for much less than full value and that is a lot.

RJ's velocity rebounded vs MLW this week after being gone for the first two months. Will Schmidt's velocity reappear?

Rays: Gomes wondering just what it takes

Rays: Gomes wondering just what it takes

He plays for the real-life Major League. What does he expect?

Urbina & Polanco

For Rotisserie pruposes, both players should be picked-up.

If you have FAAB, then going $20 on polanco should not be worrisome. he will play regularly, will hit near .300 and qualifies everywhere but 1B and C.

There should be little fear on bidding that high for Ueggy. He is a free agent at season's end and wants to close. View him as a play for a 2006 closer.

If you go $30, some teams may consider it nuts, but once the season ends, the closer watch begins. If he signs as a closer, he is a keeper at $30 and will garner trade offers.

Tigers get second baseman Polanco - 6/9/05

Tigers get second baseman Polanco - 6/9/05

This trade makes sense for Philadelphia as they acquire a top-notch closer/set-up man for a player who is a full-time utility player and a free agent at the end of the year. And to boot, Philly never wanted him back this season.

The deal doesn't make a lot of sense for the Tigers, though. Polanco is a good player with the ability to play almost every position, but he will be a free agent at season's end and the Tigers are not a play-off contender this year.

Urbina should have been dealt for players who are at least in the Tigers control for 2006. I know Polanco can be tendered but is he a $5-$6 million player?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Coors Strategy

With a weakened Rockie's lineup and some good pitching performances from visiting teams' starters (Freddy Garcia and Jose Contreras, Mulder and Marquis), one may be asking if it is OK to start middling pitchers when they are in Coors.

The reason to even address this question is it had been axiomatic that you never started any of your pitchers in Coors if it could be avaoided. That meant leaving a SP in the pool if his next scheduled start was in Coors or dealing a pitcher whose next start was in Coors. An obviously, it meant not having any Rockies starters and as few relievers as allowable (the closer and his clear back-up being an exception.)

In a year when the implementation of a tough steroid policy has coincided with an increase in quality SP lines and lowered run production, one time-tested Roto strategy has appeared to lose its luster (LIMA), has the Coors one has also fallen?

I do not believe so - at least not yet. There are still 100+ games left in the 162-game season, and the weather has just spiked upward in the northeast (along with Randy Johnson's MPH on his fastball.)

Let's get to the end of the month before anyone seriously considers changing a ratio-protecting strategy that has existed as long as Coors Field has.

For me, I refuse to abandon it. Here is why.

Tim Harikkala began the 2004 season with 10 hitless and unscored-upon innings with only three bases-on-balls over the first 5 weeks. No doubt this converted someone and bam! His next three appearances covered two innings with four earned runners and six hits.

He finished May with a very respectable 2.65 ERA and 1.06 WHIP over 17 innings. No doubt this converted another team who found him in the pool after the prior convert refound his way and waived him.

However, the month of June rewarded convert #2 and possibly others who would not get him due to lingering doubts about a Coors pitcher but no longer doubted the intelligence of convert #2. Especialliy considering the nightmare ratios the current closer, Shawn Chacon had. His ERA at Juen's end stood at 2.61 and WHIP was 1.10.

With a half-season of excellent Roto numbers, Harikkala had bought some patience from his owner so when he gave-up 5 ER in 2 IP over a two-appearance span in the middle of the month, panic would not have set in. A couple more scorelss appearance by July's-end, and any recent jitters were calmed. His season-to-date ERA was 3.34 and WHIP 1.14.

He continued to make his three-toed sloth's handful of doubting owners seem dumb by pitching an additional five scoreless appearances covering 8 2/3 innings with only 5 runners.

On August 24th, he gave-up 2 ER and 5 hits on the road. A few days later, he gave-up a couple more ERs in Florida, and he ended August with an ERA of 3.43 and a WHIP of 1.15. Excellent numbers and Chacon's ratios were horrendous.

Then the stretch run of September arrived, and Tim H. rewarded his owner with three scoreless innings over two appearances in SF and SD. By now, he had proven to be a reliever who could be a Roto asset while wearing the purple-and-silver of the Colorado Rockies and could be considered a decent filler in any trade.

With his lowered ERA of 3.26 and WHIP of 1.10, he returned to Coors. In three appearances spanning 6 days, he allowed 12 runners and nine earned runs in one total inning. Boom! Any close races in ratios were destroyed.

He did not pitch for 10 days afterwards, and his final five appearances covered five innings with four earned runs and six runners allowed.

This adds to 6 IP, 13 ER and 18 runners in the final three weeks of the season.

While no team can foresee which reliever will explode after pitching so well for 5.25 months, one could have easily avoided these ratio-killing stretch run numbers by never believing in a Coors reliever.

Yankees: Seeking a cure

Yankees: Seeking a cure

This article is one sportswriter's solution to the Yankees problems.

I pu it here for two reasons. (1) It is good and (2) I suspect a lot of player blurbs will be generated from it such as Austin Kearns to the Yanks or Matt Lawton or Chien-Ming Wang will be traded.

This will inevitably lead to any players being mentioned as becoming untradable. Get them cheap if you can! There is nothing in the article attributable to anything other than Mr. Graziano's mind.

2006 Minor League Drafts

Baseball America - 2005 Draft

For NL leagues, Ryan Zimmerman is a must-follow. The Nats drafted him #4, signed him and sent him to AA with the intentions of playing him in the Arizona Fall league.

He should be a top pick in minor league drafts everywhere.

Justin Upton and Stephen Drew will also be visible draft picks. "Visible" means no team, no matter how little attention it pays to the minor leagues, will forget about these two.

The order of the two is yet to be determined. The hype around Upton is so good that I sense he could arrive at the same time as Drew despite the difference in age and experience.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Josh Phelps


Some two-bit blogger says you can take our title? Josh Phelps released!

Take that, Kansas City! We're the worst! We're the worst!

And we took Wayne Townsend #8 after his weekend workouts caused other teams to run away!

We're the worst! We're the worst!

Monday, June 06, 2005

My MoneyBall Thoughts

For the inaugural Baseball column, I will begin with a reference to one of the best books I have read in recent memory, Moneyball by Michael Lewis.

It is a paean to the genius of Oakland A’s general manager (GM), Billy Beane. In it, we learn how he mines the statistics of various draft-eligible players to identify those diamonds in the rough that will allow him to stay at the top of the heap of major league baseball while operating on a, relatively-speaking, shoe-string budget.

In it, we learn that the A’s GM, and by extension the organization, focuses on not making outs as opposed to traditionalist measures of “speed”, “power”, “defense” “projectability” when evaluating players. On-base percentage (OBP) is used as a proxy for the number of times a player does not make an out. Since there are only two places a player can be following an at-bat, on the bench or on base, the percent of time he is on base is a good proxy. (I know a homerun would place the player on the bench but not after successfully being on-base, no matter how brief the interval, as he touches each base in procession on his way back to home plate and from there to the bench.)

As a result of this focus, the A’s will focus on players with high OBP such as Moneyball lottery ticket, Nick Swisher, or CF Steve Stanley or C Jeremy Brown. While Swisher was a consensus 1st round pick, the other two were reaches where the A’s drafted them. It is this emphasis on hidden value, and the possibility of exorbitant returns that hidden value can unleash, that has made this book such a hit on Wall Street.

And it is from Wall Street that I get into a column on fantasy baseball. On Wall St., there is the theory of market efficiency. It posits that the value of a security reflects all the information available about such security and, if there is new information, it is quickly, if not instantaneously, incorporated into the security’s price.

If this holds true, then there is no need for security analyses, and this threatens the lucrative positions of those employed on Wall Street. Hence, Moneyball serves to reinforce Wall Street’s belief that it is valuable for the analysis it provides. (“See there are always new ways to discover inefficiency. If Billy Beane has found a new way after 150 years of baseball doing things one way, then we can, too. Now pay us the big bucks!”)

So what does this have to do with fantasy baseball? Everything. See if I talk about strategies that have led to a modicum of success in fantasy baseball, then I will have put them out into the “fantasy market” where they will quickly be incorporated into the strategies of my competitors (If you accept that a theory in finance can be correctly applied to that of an unrelated discipline.) And if my competitors use the same strategies that I do, then we will be at a stalemate in our inability to take advantage of asymmetrical knowledge since we would both possess the same frameworks for player evaluation.

As much as my ego relishes the thought of being coronated as an expert, my competitiveness restrains me from disgorging every piece of ego-enhancing wisdom. It is this battle between ego glorification and winning that will be fought with each installment of this column. So stay tuned and on your toes, you never know which side will come out victorious. (For this column, Winning has won. By warning you that I am conflicted, I will have given my competitors a seed of doubt as to whether I am disseminating false information. Even this has the flavor of Wall Street. See Martha Stewart’s proclamations of innocence to MSO shareholders and the government accusation that she did so to protect his stakes in MSO.)

Brandon Moss

Baseball America - Top 10 Prospects: Boston Red Sox

BA had him pre-season #2 and guessed he'd begin in High A.

He began in AA and got off to a start that would have made a High A assignment more intelligent.

But Moss has been on fire. He has his AVG up to .293. The stats sabremetricians like best, OBP, SLG and the adding of the two, OPS, are very good - .370, .497, .866. He has 7 HR - half his 2004 total in 1/3 the ABs.

As we suffer the humidity (and hope it is warm enough now for Randy Johnson to be very good), keep Moss in mind in trade talks. There may be an owner who does not realize how good he is after his terrible April or one who does and will accept him in a bail trade.

Bailing IV

When a team bails, it has two main responsibilities. The first is to improve their team for the following season by acquiring quality low-priced players in exchange for the players whose contracts expire at season's end (or as a result of FAAB, are so high that they are unprotectable i.e. $90 Carlos Beltran.)

The second is to make sure no matter what happens in 2005, on the day after the season ends, he has won the trade! This is the rationalization the other teams in the league use to salve the competitive wounds inflicted by losing the bail battles. Think about it. If someone trades an out-of-time Albert Pujols for a $7 Adam LaRoche, no matter what happens, the Laroche owner wins in October even if you offered $10 Matt Holliday and Jeremy Hermida for Pujols.

Where bailing goes wrong is when the 2nd responsibility is violated by bailing teams trading protectable players to those teams who won the bail battle.

When a bailing team does this, it gives the team who dealt the cheaper player a player that can used to trade, either later in the season or in the off-season, to improve their team even further. This makes the teams which lost the bailing wars to feel even more upset that they lost the bail battle because either their offers were not seriously entertained or pursued far enough by the bailing team.

And to make matters worse, if the bailing team deals a protectable player, he runs the risk of his side losing due to an off-season trade or injury. Think about it. If you deal an $19 Nick Johnson with one more year remaining for a $3 Willy Tavares, and Tavaras tears a hamstring in the off-season or Spring Training, the team with the $19 Nick Johnson wins the trade. If you had dealt an out-of-time Pujols or a $90 Beltran, then no matter what happens to player acquired by the bailing team, the other team cannot win the trade.

If bailing teams do not understand this 2nd responsibility, they will go a long ways towards wrecking the league or causing teams to stop playing.

Brett Myers

6 Ks and 2 BBs. A very nice line.

He's for real. I just need more proof he is closer to 2.24 ERA/1.00 WHIP than 3.75 ERA/1.25 WHIP.

Again, is he a $35 SP or a $20 SP.

Sean Burroughs

There was a lot of hoopla last week when Padres manager Bruce Bochy said he would keep Geoff Blum at 3B when Sean Burroughs returned.

What he said was, "Right now," Bochy said, "I would not change the lineup at this point."

Now that Burroughs has returned and gone 6-11, I wonder if right now, Bochy won't make a change.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Rotisserie Baseball Musing: The Cincinnati Post - Reds plan to use closer du jour

Rotisserie Baseball Musing: The Cincinnati Post - Reds plan to use closer du jour

Wagner blew-up yesterday albeit in Colorado, but 1/3 of an inning and 6 earned runs is too much to look past.

I seriously doubt he'll be entrusted with protecting what few leads the Reds enter the 9th holding.

I don't like Weathers to hold the job, so I am watching the Reds bullpen like a hawk watches the field for mice.

Friday, June 03, 2005 - MLB - Stark: Power outage - MLB - Stark: Power outage

An excellent point made with the injured HR hitters, and given their age, this trend may continue as the wave of 400+ career HRs ride off into the sunset.

What was most interesting (and self-serving) was the emphasis placed on supplementation which I argue is the same as "recovery-enhancement".

This is my theory to explain the drop in HR and in reliever performances. Without supplements, players who must perform every day will not be rested and recovered while those who do, SP, will be.

Oakland A's

Rotisserie Baseball Musing: Oakland A's

Back on February 23, I severely criticized the trades Billy Beane made (link above).

With Dotel's injury, I must pour sand in the wound. Beane should have dealt him, too. This smacks of hindsight, but I did predict the apparency of a lost 2005 would be May 1st, and that would have pre-dated Dotel's injury (DL on 5/17). Not to mention Hawkin's struggles in Chicago (4/24 2nd blown save in a row) and Benitez's injury in SF (DL on 4/27).

There was no better time to strike, but Beane whiffed. (Just like he did in his playing career.) ((Ouch.))

But he can attempt to redeem himself, if that is possible while playing the likes of Mark Ellis, Marcus Scutaro and Frank Menechino at 2B while dealing Mark Bellhorn and throwing Esteban German away without giving him the opportunity to play over the likes of the Three Stinkos.

Back on track. He should preempt KC and deal Hatteberg or Durazo to Anaheim for one of their middle infield prospects (Callaspo, Aybar, Wood, Izturis.....), and a way to improve his hitters would be to send Zito there, too.

Jeremy Affeldt

And what will KC do about Afeldt when he returns? I know that question may not be worth answering as he could get hurt quicker than KC gets another save opportunity.

However, I wouldn't be surprised to see him sent with Mike Sweeney in a trade. The LAA Angels need Sweeney's bat and a SP. Affeldt would look very good there.

Kansas City Bullpen Revisited

Rotisserie Baseball Musing: Kansas City Bullpen

Ambriorix Burgos gets the save last night, and KC papers report new manager Buddy Bell is giving the job to Mike MacDougal.

As I previously recommended, stay away. The one confounding factor is Bell is the new mamanger and may not subscribe to the Jamesian stupidity that relievers are interchangable in any role.

This team is a mess and is competing to take TB's title as the worst-run baseball franchise.


Fantasy Baseball - Fantasy Baseball News from

"A lot of people seem to be surprised by how dominant Pedro Martinez has been for the Mets so far this season. He is 6-1 with a 2.62 ERA in 11 starts and has held opponents to an amazingly low .159 batting average, but part of that is due to moving from Fenway Park to Shea Stadium (Pedro’s home ERA from 2002-2004 was 13% higher than his road ERA). Another factor is that he is now able to face a pitcher each time through the lineup, as opposed to a designated hitter. That might not seem like such a big deal, but he’s held #9 hitters to a .037/.037/.037 line (that’s 1-for-27 with no walks and no extra-base hits) this year, getting a strikeout 67% of the time."

A lot of people who can be said to have not realized the full potential of their intelligence.

Any one who has realized this full potential knew the #9 hitter stinks in the NL and the #8 is almost as bad. Neither would be any everyday player in the AL.

Nevermind Pedro struck out more than 200 batters in 2004.

All AL pitchers must be adjusted upwards in value when they move to the NL.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Brian Moehler

Brian Moehler : - Brian Moehler Biography from

Here is an example of a player who causes Roto owners to scream.

He pitches lights out for weeks, but no one takes him from the pool because he is Brian Moehler.

After monitoring his performance and examining his numbers, the Roto owner finally takes him from the pool, and....Boom! 5.1 IP 5 ER and 12 Runners!

That common occurence aside (at least for those teams struggling in the standings), Moehler still looks like a decent play. He only walked two in 5+ innings and that is in line with his prior efforts this year.

As long as his walk rate remains low, I expect him to continue to pitch well enough to help.

Overcoming that terrible line will be tough on the eyes though.

ERA & WHIP Strategy

What has been a tried pitching strategy was to load-up on relievers and carry only 3 or 4 starting pitchers. This is the LIMA strategy (Low Investment Mound Aces). For as long as I played this has always proven to be successful.

This year, it is not the case. So many middling SP are doing well, that the LIMA strategy seems ineffective. Being in last in Ws is expected as teams have loaded up with 6 or 7 SP, but using LIMA, you expect to be at the top of the ratios.

This does not occur as those 6 or 7 SP are pitching lights out and have better ERAs and WHIPs! So using LIMA, you're buried in Ws and the innings-weighted ratios will be hard to surpass.

The anti-LIMA teams should turn around and play LIMA for the next four months. This should be done because proven strategies do not just up and die!

LIMA will be back, but the patience of those who currently use it will be tested as they will take longer to recover and those who don't need to let go of their two-month stars and prepare for the final four months.

Daily Herald | Barry Rozner

Daily Herald | Barry Rozner

This quote from former major league reliever Bob Scanlon on steroid use:

"“At first, I wasn’t aware pitchers were using it, and then I realized there’s more than just muscle to be gained,’’ Scanlan said. “As a reliever, it helps guys bounce back quicker and helps their recovery time, so they could pitch maybe three out of four days, or four out of five."

Support for my recovery-enhancement hypothesis of steroid use.

Wes Bankston - found!

Baseball America - Daily Dish

He was moved to AA. Now where did Matt Cain go?

Also, the first bullet point in Dish Pieces leads with this:

"Devil Rays GM Chuck LaMar just can't figure it out."

And never explains what the "it" is he just can't figure. He complains about compensatory picks given to teams that lose free agents. Is this what he can't figure out? Why other teams get them?

Or can he not figure that other teams have good players who get signed by other teams while he doesn't have any?

My own assessment would be the latter - TB is a horribly run baseball team - but should Mr. Goldstein et al write something that the reader needs to guess upon?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Am I the only one whose hate of (sorry, grows every frickin' time it takes 20 seconds for the page to open?

Must I be forced to wait for the GDF (G..Dam..Fuc...) ads to load?

Please tell me I'm not the only one who types out in the "Approved Sites" section of IE with the cursor positioned over "Never"?

How about everything being an Insider feature? Has anyone read anything by Rob Neyer lately?

Purple Row :: A Colorado Rockies Blog

Purple Row :: A Colorado Rockies Blog

A nice Rockies blog.

I have been thinking about the lack of power in Colorado. It had been axiomatic that playing in COL makes for good-to-great Roto hitters.

Lots of ink is being spilled on Todd Helton's struggles, but I'm more interested in why Preston Wilson can't hit. I am also curious why no Jeffrey Hammonds-type emerged - comes from nowhere and has a outlier season.

The most obvious avenue of exploration is the new steroids policy. I prefer to think of "steroids" as more of a recovery-enhancement tool, but the effect is the same - dramatic decrease in production.

I caution (again) that world class athletes will adjust to their lack of corner-cutting that recovery-enhancement drugs and supplements allowed. This may take a couple more months, but I do expect it to occur this season and be in full effect next year.

Wes Bankston

Baseball America - Stats

Where did Wes bankston go? After his torrid start, I hope to Montgomery and not the black hole Matt Cain fell into.

Baseball America - Prospect Hot Sheet

Baseball America - Prospect Hot Sheet

Here is a simple tool to gauge who some of the next hot minor leaguers to be recalled will be.

Just the AAA - Richie Weeks, Prince Fielder, Josh Willingham, Conor Jackson, Bj Upton, Jonny Gomes, Carlos Quentin.

Of these, I suspect Josh Willingham is the one most likely not to be on anyone's reserve roster. He is a catcher. The bar is so low for positive production from the catcher spot that he should be grabbed right away.


Now that two months are in the books, MLB teams are shaking up their roster, and, as a consequence, those Roto teams that have looked at struggling players are now seeing roster slots opening. (In particular, Luis Rivas was Dl-ed, the M's sent Olivo to the minors and Detroit did the same with Carlos Pena.)

This occurs because MLB teams cannot afford to remain uncompetitive and will eventually replace players doing poorly. The implications for Roto is owners do not need to panic and make bad trades in order to improve the production from that spot. With four full moths to go, missing a week or two from one roster spot will not make any difference.

Keep your eye on the call-ups though. The better performing minor leaguers will be recalled in a wave - Dan Johnson, Chris Shelton, Mike Morse.