Saturday, September 30, 2006

Pedro Martinez

Wow! Out eight months for rotator cuff surgery.

When the burning of Theo Epstein in effigy occurs this off-season, I hope someone recalls the Red Sox refusal to go more than three years, and that only because of market pressures.

Omar Minaya went four years and wrapped him up. One great season as a .500 club (2005) and half of another is all the Mets will get for their first $38 million.

When the accolades pour over Minaya, remember the Pedro's contract.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Worth Watching

From this morning's Daily Herald in Chicago"

"Jerry Owens made his first major-league start Wednesday, and the 25-year-old outfielder also got his first hit (single) and first stolen base, both in the third inning.

The White Sox want to add speed to next year's roster...

"I try to use my speed as much as possible," said Owens..."

Hopefully, you were able to add Owens cheaply after I gave a heads-up two weeks ago.

Hopefully, you have been able to maintain whatever standing you had when you did!

Hopefully, he will make two appearances more as an OF than DH so he qualifies at OF for next year's drafts!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Nook Logan

Natspos manager Frank Robinson has shown a proclivity for centerfielders who are fast with little pop and no concern about OBP skills.

Peter Bergeron and Endy Chavez fit that bill, and current CF Nook Logan does also.

With the impending departure of Frank Robinson. Nook Logans' 2007 prospects for a starting gig have diminished.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Gammons is Back! - INSIDER - Peter Gammons Blog#20060926#20060926

ESPN's senior baseball wirter, Peter Gammons, has his first blog entry up since his brain aneurysm.

Good to have him back, and I can see his unflagging optimism hasn't taken a hit.

He writes that the Tigers cannot be dismissed this off-season despite play-off inexperience, a horrendous team OBP and a limping-to-the-finish-line second half.

David Weathers

The Enquirer - Weathers in dark about 2007 return

David Weathers wants to return to Cincy next year.

For Roto players, all this will do is keep the closing situation muddled.

Narron has on and off confidence in Weathers as the closer.

The problem comes when he loses that confidence, switches roles, and then switches back.

If Weathers returns, I see the same thing happening in 2007 as happened in 2006 - Weathers, Coffey, Guardado, Committee, Weathers.

Hopefully, the Reds put down $20 million on a closer and force themselves into keeping one player in the role all season.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

2006 Minor League All-Stars Minors: 2006 Minor League All-Stars

A very handy list to have as the off-season quickly approaches.

Joey Votto's return to the top of the prospect heap is notable. 20/20 1B with OBP skills is the perfect mixture of sabremetrics and fantasy skills.

Too bad he won't be able to loosen Rich Aurilia's hold on Jerry Narron, I mean, 1B.

Boof Bonser

Twins rookie starting pitcher Boof Bonser, the third piece acquired from the San Francisco Giants in the increasigly horrendous AJ Pierzynski trade, pitched another September gem last night.

He went six and two-thirds innings and allowed just a run on two hits and two walks while striking out five.

For the month, he is 4-0 in 32.2 IP with 27 strikeouts and $30+ ratios - 2.20 ERA and 0.95 WHIP.

Back in February, I thought he'd be a good candidate to break into the majors as a middle reliever. At the time, I figured he'd be blocked from the rotation by Santana, Radke, Silva, Liriano and Baker.

"...I can see Bonser getting a bullpen role after striking out more than one per inning in AAA Rochester. His strikeout rate increased for the third season in a row last year. He gave-up too many HRs (22), but a foot-wetting in middle relief seems right..."

Given the injury to Radke, the general ineffectiveness of Carlos Silva, and the looming TJ surgery threat for Liriano, Bonser has locked-up the nominal 3rd or 4th starter spot for 2007.

With good ratios, expect Bonser to take the spot RHP Scott Baker occupied last off-season. Just hope he doesn't take-up Baker's spot as one of the most disappointing 2006 sleeper picks.

(Here is my original post on Bosner from February 20, 2006.)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Esteban German

Esteban German is shaping up as a very nice 2007 end-of-draft $1 player.

He will qualify at 2B, 3B and OF in all leagues. With a .426 OBP in 250 ABs so far, expect him to be involved in all fantasy discussions/criticism about the Royals.

Fortunately for Royals fans, that discussion will not focus solely on what a horrid team they are. With Ryan Shealy, Mark Teahan, Dave DeJesus, Alex Gordon and Billy Butler, the Royals offer opportunities for solid fantasy sleepers.

In the background will be Esteban German. Given the chance he would likely steal 20+

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Russ Martin Or...

FakeTeams :: Russ Martin Or...

Because I can't stop perserverating on the 2007 Rockies, a team that may be able to nearly duplicate the rookie success of the Marlins - in a way only a major league team can.

Three rookies starting - SS, C and CF- in the heart of the team.

What the Marlins did was unprecedented and likely to not occur again.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Danys Baez

Baez likely done with Braves

'They signed [Bob] Wickman already, and I want to be a closer,' said Baez.

I have been acting on this information all season.

He said the same thing after being dealt to the Dodgers in the Spring.

It is comforting to see his mindset has not changed.

If you are in a keeper league and can add him, do it. There are few nicer off-season feelings thans to see pool pick-ups turn into closers.

Jeff Baker

Obviously, I am in the midst of a mini-perseveration episode. I can't stop blogging about the Colorado Rockies.

Last night, OF Jeff Baker hit his 4th HR in 35 September ABs.

There is a little reason to doubt he will enter this off-season as the 4th OF/platoonmate of RF Brad Hawpe.

With CF being the Rockies top off-season priority, one can read that a right-hand hitting OF has been filled internally.

That filler is Jeff Baker.

The top internal candidate for CF is Jeff Salazar with the above-linked article reporting that the organization likes Coc0 Crisp and Gary Matthews Jr as trade/free agent options.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Jeff Salazar

I see Jeff Salazar is hitting .250 in his first 28 major league ABs. I am not surpised, but I checked to see how he was doing drawing walks.

There I was somewhat surprised. He has drawn seven bases-on-balls for a .405 OBP.

I went and checked current Rox CF, Cory Sullivan, and he has drawn 30 BBs in 377 ABs with 97 Ks. Under some vague impression that he had improved his plate discipline, I checked his 2005 numbers.

Call me "mis-impressed." In 378 ABs, he walked 28 times and struck out 83 times. Not the type of improvement anyone would expect to lead to Jeff Salazar being denied the chance to fill that centerfield hole for the major league minimum in 2007.

Cory Sullivan did increase his XBH from a paltry 23 in 2005 to 38 this season with 10 triples, though.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

ARod to Angels?

LA Daily News - Angels notes: Money no object to get A-Rod

When I read yesterday's quotes by California Angels owner Arte Moreno about the intention to make a big acquistion this off-season, I wondered who.

This morning the speculative race is on, and the name mentioned is Alex Rodriguez, a perfect fit for the Angels.

What the price would be, and the LA Daily News speculates - Ervin Santana, Scot Shields, Chone Figgins and a high-level prospect.

That is outrageous, but the offer has to start somewhere. That one does hit on what the Yanks needs are - a SP, RP, 3B and minor league depth.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Sam Walker's Fantasyland is in the new bargian bin at

I thought the regular discount was a good price, but, given the book is not time-dependent, it is a good way to spend the price of a super-sized #1 at an NYC McDonalds.

Bob Wickman

The Braves signed current closer, and now 2007 one, Bob Wickman for next season.

I like the move as the braves were clearly in need of one prior to acquiring Wickman, and he will not retard any pitchers' development with just a one-year deal.

Those I feel bad for are those NL-only leaguers who bid enormous sums of FAAB hoping Wickman would retire or sign in the AL next year and avoid any penalties.

Off-Season Preparation

From today's regular 2 PM Minor League Chat on SPORTSNATION - Chat-12940(Insider): "Jim Callis(CTU Los Angeles): Where am I today isn't this my chat?

Chris Kline: This is indeed Jim's chat, but we're on deadline at the BA headquarters today and Jim is editing our Minor League Top 20 prospects for each league from Triple-A down to the rookie levels. So you guys will have to deal with me today . . . I have The Roots cranked up on the old iPod, so let's get rolling . . . "

If you are only capable (or willing) to buy one minor league magazine in the off-season, the Baseball America issue that ranks the Top 20 prospects at each level in the minor leagues is it.

It usually comes out in the beginning of October. While it doesn't have the simplicity of BA's TOP 100 rankings, it usually includes all those in the 100 with better coverage of each.

A must, must read.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

King Felix

Listening to XM Radio's Fantasy Focus with Jeff Erickson, a caller asked whether he should keep a 19th round Felix hernandez or a 16th round Ryan Zimmerman, and the host responded that Felix Hernandez was a the better protect.

My first thought was, "Go down with that ship!"

My next one occurred after Mr. Erickson rationalized it by citing Hernandez's age and some decent peripherals.

I thought, "Is pitcher's age the same as hitter's age? Do pitcher's who make the pros very early improve the same as hitters who do?"

I do not know the answer, but there is no glimmer on "King" Felix for me.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Colorado Centerfield - Numbers may add up to Crisp

I am not sure the Red Sox can let CF Coco Crisp go with all the holes they'd need to fill, which would include CF if they dealt Crisp.

If not for the trade of CF Adam Stern to the Orioles as the PTBNL in the Javy Lopez trade (recently released), I'd argue that he and top prospect, CF Jacoby Ellsbury, would be a possibility of manning the position.

Unfortunately, that isn't the case.

Putting that aside, do the Rockies have anything that Red Sox would take? The Red Sox need a 1B, a 2B, a SS, and RP. I'm sure Ryan Shealy would have gotten it done, but not Jeremy Affeldt and Danny Bautista- the players the ROX did get for Shealy.

I am sure the Red Sox would ask for Tulowitzki, but they'd officially become laughingstocks following the Matt Kemp request for David Wells.

The Rox should split the job between Cory Sullivan and Jeff Salazar and focus on adding a powerbat either at 2B or via a trade of Todd Helton.

The team's offense should be improved with an entire season of Tulowitzki at SS, Chris Iannetta at C, and Salazar and Jeff Baker as the back-up OFers.

Adding Josh Kashanky as the bat off the bench would also help.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Jason Isringhausen

STLtoday - Sports - Cardinals

Wow! When I read this:
"This certainly is a significant, serious situation at this point," Paletta said. "But I wouldn't call it career-threatening. It may put part of next year in jeopardy, but I don't think it's at a point where it's career-threatening. It may compromise part of next year, depending on which one of those (surgical) options."

I immediately began to think Adam Wainwright may be the best bet for closing, but then recalled that the Cardinals refused to deal him this past July 31 because he is slated to entert he starting rotation next season.

With the Red Sox leaning towards moving a successful closer to the rotation, I doubt the Cards will buck that "trend" and keep Wainwright in the 'pen.

Braden Looper looks like the best bet for 2007, but a free agent signing appears just as likely.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Jonathan Papelbon

My take on the increasingly likely move of Jonathan Papelbon to the starting rotation.

Phillip Hughes

The Yankees and Red Sox are scheduled to play four games in two days - back-back day/night doubleheaders.

I have a very hard time believing the Yankees wiht not burn through all their arms.

As a result, I see a better than even chance the Yankees will have to add a pitcher to start/relieve this weekend or Monday.

And conveniently located is prospect phenom SP Phillip Hughes who is with the team to acclimate to the atmosphere of a major league club.

The moment he is activated, add him. He is worth the risk.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Ask Rotomusing

Q11: Ray asks,"Can you give me your best guesstimate on the dollar values in an NL only roto league for the following players for next year:
Miggy Cabrera
Andy Laroche-LA
Matt Kemp
Russ Martin
Anibal Sanchez"

RM responds,"The first four will all be priced at the very top of draft day salaries.

I'd have all of them in the $40 range of a $260 league.

Martin, Tulowitzki, and Kemp should be in the $9-$17 range with Martin the "surest" bet followed by Tulowitzki and Kemp. Kemp would have the highest upside, but I remain concerned that he hasn't really hit since mid-June.

Nomar went for $17 in my NL-only, and I don't expect much more. His career seems to be on the one-year at a time tract.

As for Anibal Sanchez, I suspect the no-hitter and good ERA will lead to a low teens bid."

Nook Logan

Logan may be answer in center�-�Sports�-�The Washington Times, America's Newspaper: "It's still way too early to tell, but Logan in glimpses has shown he might be the Nationals' long-lost answer. "

I have a hard time believing the African-American version of Endy Chavez or Peter Bergeron will do well enough to keep a starting job, but Chavez and Bergeron did log seasons of full-time ABs playing with the Natspos.

A a buck or two now, Nook Logan could provide cheap steals in 2007 or trade bait in the impending off-season.

2007 Sleeper - Future Sox concerns: Speed, starters: "...will be looking for speed at the top and bottom of the order to offset a slow-footed middle of the order...The Sox have more than $99 million committed to 12 players for 2007....also a reason Williams has insisted the Sox will continue to introduce young players from their system to the major-league roster....With manager Ozzie Guillen already having placed a priority on speed for 2007...."

If I have Dowd-ified the quote my apologies.

What this assessment of the Chicago's needs points to is AA CF Jerry Owens, a speed prospect whose star lost some luster following a "mediocre" AAA season where he hit .262/.330/.346 after a AA one with .331/.393/.406.

I will find a positive comparison between the two seasons. In AA, Owens stole 38 bases in 58 attempts. At a higher level, he was 40 of 52.

He also maintained his AB:BB ratio of 10:1 at a higher level.

Is it possible he had an expecially unlucky year with batted balls falling for hits? Maybe.

What makes him attract is the the unpredictability of White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. With the flutter of a butterfly's wings, Jerry Owens could easily become an Ozzie favorite and get ABs next year.

Grab him now while the rest of your league is prepping for football (and I know firsthand how easily football can distract one from baseball!)

Worst case, off-season hype leads to Owens having some trade value.

Best case, you have a cheap source of SB in 2007.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Armando Benitez - MLB - MLB Transactions: "Placed pitcher Armando Benitez on the 60-day disabled list with right knee inflammation"

A Roto gift! The Giants did me a kindness by disbaling Benitez and allowing me the opportunity to fish in the free agent pool for a replacement.

Without the ability to waive an active player, I could only sit and take solace that Armando wasn't hurting my WHIP.

More painful was watching Mike Stanton sit in the pool for several days while accruing saves.

I scanned the list of available free agents and was nonplussed.

I am leaning towards grabbing a more typical arm in the Giants bullpen in the event that manager Felipe Alou defies all his previous SF closing decisions and goes with a younger player - Kevin Correia.

He has bounced between the rotation, bullpen and minor leagues for three seasons. I hope it is time the Giants settle him in the bullpen and see what he can do.

After all, Benitez is no sure thing in 2007 and neither is Mike Stanton. Someone has to save games.

Francisco Liriano

Assuming Twins rookie phenom Francisco liriano needs Tommy John surgery, he will be out for most, if not all, of the 2007 season.

In keeper leagues, this is going to make him one of the most interesting players to come up for bid next draft.

What is he worth knowing he won't contribute at all? Certainly a few draft dollars on future value alone - either for his drafting team or as trade bait later in the season.

Is he worth $10+ bid?

Tony Gwynn Jr

While reading the boxscores from yesterday's PITT/MLW doubelheader, I noticed rookie Tony Gwynn Jr started both games.

That got me to thinking he may be an early sleeper favorite for 2007.

Then I read NBC Sports/Rotoworld that he is going to get an exteneded look for the rest of the season.

Brady Clark has clearly seen his best days, and Corey Hart is not CF. Laynce Nix isn't any good and Gabe Gross isn't a CF either.

For this winter, I'll be considering Gwynn the nominal starting CF for the 2007 Brewers.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Chris Iannetta

Yesterday's Denver Post mentioned that Chris Iannetta and JD Closser will split time for the remainder of the season following the shoulder injuury to Yavit torrealba.

It also stated this would be helpful for the slumping Iannetta.

I have quibbles with a 27 AB major league debut qualifying as a slump, but I will say I expect Iannetta to improve with regular playing time - which was the source of the poor start.

With a couple hits and an RBI yesterday, expect Iannetta to finish strongly and provide lots of hope for a better Colorado offense in 2007.

Friday, September 08, 2006

September Closers

STLtoday - Sports - Cardinals

With news that STL closer Jason Isringhausen may be shut down for the next week or so to help alleviate hip pain, we have yet another 9th inning situation in September where the new closer is unlikely to close in 2007.

First, there was Pittsburgh closer Mike Gonzalez going on the DL. His replacement is Salomom Torres.

Next was Sanf Fran closer Armando Benitez being shutdown due to arthritic knees. Mike Stanton has filled in admirably.

Then Yankees close Mariano Rivera was shut down for precautionary reasons due to problems with an "elbow muscle". Kyle Fanrsworth is the nominal closer right now, but the Yanks haven't had a save opportunity since Mo's rest began.

Now the Cards are looking at a new closer. Braden Looper is the easy choice, but the team appears to prefer Adam Wainwright - destined for next year's starting rotation.

"I feel a little more comfortable with Wainwright (against lefties) because he's got more things that he can do to get a lefthander out," pitching coach Dave Duncan said. "He does all the things that you look for in a late-game pitcher. He warms up quick. He doesn't really get excited. The ingredients are all there."

Of the four, Wainwright offers the most 2007 value, and, amongst the group of F-graded 2007 closers, he gets a D-.

That makes puts him at the top of this class!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Jeff Salazar

Rocky Mountain News: Rockies & MLB

"Outfielder Jeff Salazar joins the Rockies today and manager Clint Hurdle said he plans to get Salazar playing time in center field. Salazar hit .265 with nine home runs, 39 RBI and 12 stolen bases at Triple-A Colorado Springs.
'His year won't jump out at you, but he finished strong,' Hurdle said. 'We want to see if he is similar or different from Cory (Sullivan, a left-handed hitter like Salazar).' "

The AVG is nothing special but Salazar does take walks.

If he can continue to do so, he will become one of many 2007 sleeper picks.

(I know. He was one of my 2006 ones!)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Dmitri Young

Somewhat surprisingly, the Tigers designated-for-assignment DH Dmitri Young.

I'd be very surprised if it did not involve a relapse into substance abuse. There is no other reason not to have DY enjoy the success of this year's Tigers after enduring the failures.

Froma Roto point-of-view, this may signal that the Tigers want to give OF Brent Clevlen more ABs after his earlier successful 29-AB stint (,379 AVG 3 HR amongst 6 XBH.)

But man! That .226 AVG in AA this year makes positive Clevlen posts difficult to write,

Mark Teahen

Royals 3B Mark Teahen will have season-ending surgery for a torn labrum. All reports says he wll be ready for next season.

That is great news in keeper leagues for one of this season's bust out players.

It is not good news for his owners this season.

With just under 30 games remaining, close races in HR/RBI/AVG have taken a hit as Teahen's owners now have a dead spot on their rosters.

In non-keeper leagues, one can just dip into the free agent pool for a replacement. In keeper leagues.....

In keeper leagues, this is an example of why making very late season pushes is unwise. When every little bit is needed to get all the cards to fall right, one or two missteps puts all that to waste.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Nook Logan

Logan Makes His Presence Felt in Center

Will Nook Logan continue a long tradition of no-hit SB CF begun qith Peter Bergeron, then Endy Chavez and now Nook Logan.

Bergeron was a SB tease since I began playing Rotisserie baseball in 1999. In 1998 in AA, he stole 41 bases with 78 BBs. In 2000, he began a string of double digit steals (barely) that left Roto teams drafting him as a SB sleeper.

By 2003, Bergeron's baseball skill set was clear. He had none.

As Bergeron faded, Endy Chavez took his place with a similar skill set - SB with no power and minimal plate discipline. In 2002, he stole 3 bases with a .296 AVG for the Expos - beginning a run as a cheap source of steals.

2003 brought an 18-steal season with a .251 AVG and a sub .300 OBP. Shades of Bergeron were everywhere.

However, Endy had a wonderful 2004 Roto season stealing 32 and hitting .277. The OBP was an awful .318 in 502 ABs, and in 2005, he turned into a pumpkin hitting a bit over .200 and stealing only two in 116 ABs.

Now Nook Logan looks to take the mantle so gloriously held by Peter Bergeron and Endy Chavez.

Logan stole 38 bases in AA Toledo in 2004 and was called up to the Tigers and swiped 8 more in 133 ABs. This made him a good source of cheap steals in 2005.

He did not disappoint his Roto owners as his stole 23. However, he disappeared in September and failed to make the team out of the spring this year.

Now he is in Washington and the team apparently loves his hustle. Given its willingness to stick with SB/low OBP CFs, expect a full-time gig through the end of this month and possibly all of next year.

By 2007, Logan should be a pumpkin again.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Injury of the year - MLB - MLB Transactions: "Placed catcher Michael Barrett on the 15-day disabled list with an intrascrotal hemotoma"

Man, that's gotta hurt!

This season I kept "feeling the pain" of Eric Chavez's double forearm tendinitis, but intrascrotal hematoma?

Only a chronic masterba.....would cringe more.

Yankee Saves

MATSUI READY FOR REHAB AT TRENTON By ANDREW MARCHAND - New York Post Online Edition: Sports: "With Rivera out, Torre went into yesterday's game with the intention of using Kyle Farnsworth as the closer. "

Pittsburgh Closer

Torres slams door on another one-run victory: "Tracy....summoned Torres -- who appears to be replacing injured Mike Gonzalez as closer -- an inning early for the eighth."

With four weeks remaining, Pirates' manager appears to have settled on the veteran to close. Recall immediately after Mike Gonzalez was placed on the disabled list, Tracy used Matt Capps before the 9th inning.

This was the first indication the strike-throwing rookie wasn't the choice to close.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Mariano Rivera

Recall my post from two days ago, I snidely remarked that Joe Torre would pitch Mariano three days in a row following his MRI.

I was wrong. Torre only pitched him that day.

Now, Mo is expereincing continuing discomfort. From the Headline in this morning's NY Post, "Mariano Could Be Out for a While"

"The plan is to rest Rivera for a couple of days - but if he experiences pain again the next time out, Rivera told The Post he would shut it down for a much longer time. "

Given there are only 30 days left in the season, I'd expect any shutdown to last until the last 5 games of the season with Mo tuning-up in games #158, 160 and 162.

In the mean time, expect Farnsworth and Proctor to split duties -
with a little Brian Bruney and Octavio Dotel thrown-in if Proctor and Fanrsworth show the wear and tear of a seaso's worth of abuse.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Tracey Ringolsby

Rocky Mountain News: Columnists: "Next, look for outfielder Jeff Baker ....was given a challenge during spring training to put a healthy season together. He has. And he has produced. Baker is hitting .302 for Triple-A Colorado Springs with 16 home runs and 101 RBI, third best in the Pacific Coast League.
Originally a third baseman, Baker has been playing right field for the Sky Sox and with the second-half struggles of Brad Hawpe, it would seem he will get an extended look in right field with the Rockies this month. Baker could win the right field job next season. He also could wind up being a bench player, sharing right field with Hawpe and backing up Todd Helton at first base and Garrett Atkins at third base. "

From Mr. Ringolsby's must-read Friday column.

It is the kind that typically runs in Sunday papers - covers multiple teams with bits of info from those.

Rockies Call-ups

Rocky Mountain News: Rockies & MLB: "Other players who will join the Rockies when the roster expands to 40 active players today won't join the team until it returns home Thursday. The Rockies don't want to raid the roster of Colorado Springs, which finishes its season Monday. "

With the news the Rox are going to move 3B Ian Stewart to the OF, trade bait converted-3B-to-OF AAA 100 RBI man Jeff Baker is unlikely to be available until the end of next week.

He should be picked-up on the flyer he will be traded to a better situation this off-season.

For the Rox' sake, he'd be a good platoon mate for Hawpe.

For Roto players' sake, he should be traded to a place he'd get the opportunity to play full-time.