Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gordon Beckham

ESPN - Peter Gammons Blog: "Scouts in Arizona are convinced that Gordon Beckham, the eighth pick in this past June's draft out of the University of Georgia, will be the White Sox second baseman by June, as are Chicago's minor league people."

With the lack of power production in the middle infield in the American League, Beckham could be an above-average fantasy 2B.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Your 2009 Florida Marlins Starting 3B: Emilio Bonifacio

Emilio Bonifacio deal puts Dan Uggla's status in question -- South Florida

"A Luis Castillo-caliber defender, Bonifacio may not even open the season on the major league roster, much less depose Uggla from his regular spot.

'Specifically, we're really going to take a look at him at third base,' Beinfest said. 'We talked internally about Bonifacio, [Cameron] Maybin and Hanley [Ramirez] in the same lineup, and we're getting to where we want to be in terms of speed. ... Whether it's the first week in April or soon there after is up to Emilio, but we traded some good players to get him and we think he'll be an everyday guy.'"

Is this the Chone Figgins model finally being copied from the successful Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Whither Dan Uggla?

At a fire sale price of Josh Willingham and Scott Olsen, the Florida Marlins acquired 2B Emilio Bonifacio and some fringy prospects. The question is what happens to Dan Uggla, the Marlins' current 30+ HR 2B.

Does he go to 3B? Does he go to another team? Where does Jorge Cantu go? Etc.

Florida Marlins trade Willingham, Olsen to Nationals - Baseball -
"The acquisition of Bonifacio, a singles-hitting switch-hitter and defensive whiz in the mold of former Marlins second baseman Luis Castillo, fits with the team's stated desire to improve defensively. The Marlins have been one of the worst fielding teams in the majors the past several seasons.
What remains unclear is how the Marlins intend to use Bonifacio (he can also play the corner outfield positions), and what it means for current second baseman Dan Uggla, whose annual salary is expected to increase to about $5 million through the arbitration process.
Unless overwhelmed by an offer, the Marlins plan to keep Uggla."

Friday, November 07, 2008

MLB Trade Rumors: Matt Holliday

I can't believe the Cards would deal three more years of Ryan Ludwick in a deal for one year of Matt Holliday. And Ludwick would be just one of the pieces going back to Colorado.

Phils, Cards lead pursuit for Holliday - The Denver Post:

"O'Dowd dropped a single hint Wednesday that he might be able to get an All-Star in exchange for Holliday. Turns out that is outfielder Ryan Ludwick, who hit 37 home runs last season."

Thursday, November 06, 2008

MLB Trade Rumors: Matt Holliday

This looks like its heading down the Johan Santana pathway - a superstar who is dealt for multiple middling prospects.

"Open-minded" about trading Holliday - The Denver Post:

"Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd increased the likelihood Matt Holliday will be traded with his admission Wednesday he doesn't have to receive a proven starter in return. O'Dowd is looking for the best deal, not the best pitchers, with multiple opposing executives predicting that Philadelphia and Oakland are the most likely trade partners."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

MLB Trade Rumors: Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox - Agent Boras pitches value of his client, Red Sox catcher Varitek - The Boston Globe:
" appears the Red Sox will talk with the Texas Rangers about their two young catchers, Taylor Teagarden and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who could be in play if the Sox are willing to give up the right pitching prospect (likely Clay Buchholz or Michael Bowden)."

I can't see the Red Sox leaving their catching solely in the hands of Jason Varitek for more than two seasons. Because of that, the Red Sox will acquire a young, near-major-league/major-league ready backstop this off-season.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

MLB Rumors: Cleveland Indians

After a strong year, suitors may be plentiful for Casey at the bat - Cleveland Indians Major League Baseball News -

"If the Indians add a third baseman, be it Blake or someone else, Jhonny Peralta would stay at short and Asdrubal Cabrera at second. If they add a second baseman, they would have to move Peralta to third and Cabrera to short."

Given the utter weakness of power at SS, I prefer Jhonny Peralta with SS-eligibility. If it means signing Casey blake, then the Indians have to do it!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

MLB trade Rumors: Detroit Tigers

So much for closing at the end of last season.

The place might be the thing - The Boston Globe:

"Another player the Tigers are dangling is setup man Fernando Rodney. They are desperately looking for someone to close."

Friday, October 31, 2008

MLB Trade Rumors: Next To Go Florida Marlins

Now that 1B Mike Jacobs has been dealt, AA 1B Gaby Sanchez will be given the 1B job. He has always hit well in the minors with a dose of speed (17 steals last year). Sanchez won't hit as many HRs as Jacobs, but he could be more valuable overall with a higher AVG and 10+ steals.

Next to go, and open up fantasy opportunities?

Florida Marlins trade Mike Jacobs for relief |

"The Marlins, who will increase their payroll from $22 million to the $35 million range, also are expected to deal reliever Kevin Gregg. Matt Lindstrom is expected to replace Gregg as the Marlins' closer, with Nuñez in the mix as a set-up man."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

MLB Trade Rumors: Brian Roberts

With free agency opening in two weeks, expect trade rumors to begin circulating about Baltimore Orioles 2B Brian Roberts. He is a 2009 free agent and the Orioles would be expected to entetain offers for him just as the team did last winter. However, this article from this morning's Baltimore Sun may nix those rumors.

Markakis, Roberts still high on O's to-do list --

"Roberts has said he wouldn't be interested in having contract talks once spring training begins. That's why it was expected this offseason that the Orioles would gauge Roberts' interest in staying long-term and entertain trade talks if a deal couldn't be reached. A number of teams, including several clubs that expressed interest in Roberts in the past, are looking to acquire a second baseman. But MacPhail said the Orioles' focus is to retain Roberts, not trade him."

With C Matt Wieters and SPs Chris Tillman and Brian Matusz close to joining the O's, retaining Roberts seems more plausible than it did last winter. The O's could be competitive in 2010.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

MLB Trade Rumors: Mike Jacobs To Kansas City | 10/28/2008 | Royals notebook: Jacobs remains on radar; Moore spikes Teahen trade rumor:

"That search could lead back to Florida, which continues to seek an acceptable return for Jacobs after talks with the Royals apparently stalled over health concerns regarding minor-league pitcher Carlos Rosa.

The Marlins have payroll issues and are also pitching Jacobs, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, to Toronto and Seattle."

Wow, when news broke last week in the Miami Herald that the Royals and Marlins had a trade for Jacobs break down because of a medical issue with a minor league pitcher, I never thought it would be one as good as Rosa. Now, I have to think an arbitration-eligible 1B with a sub-.300 OBP will fetch a much better package than I would have imagined.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

MLB Trade Rumors: Mark Teahen To Cleveland | 10/26/2008 | Royals exploring deal to send Teahen to Indians for outfielder

Last night, MLB Home Plate reported Royals' GM Dayton Moore unequivocally denied there was any truth to the Mark Teahen trade rumor. Whether Teahen offers an upgrade at 3B to internal or external options isn't so important as the fact this is the second trade rumor floated that involved the Kansas City Royals. The first involved Florida Marlins' 1B Mark Jacobs (whether he reps an upgrade to Kia Ka'aahuie is more debatable.)

The signal I receive is the Royals are going to try an advance its rebuilding by acquiring proven major leaguers with a couple/few years of control. The Royals offense was putrid, and there doesn't appear to be help on the way at the upper levels of the organization.

Monday, October 27, 2008

MLB Trade Rumors: Matt Holliday

ROCKIES LOOK TO TRADE THEIR STAR LEFT FIELDER - New York Post: "The Rockies have informed teams that left fielder Matt Holliday has joined fellow NL West standout Jake Peavy of the Padres as available. An executive who speaks regularly to Colorado officials described the Rockies as very motivated to do a deal."

This means there is going to be a full-time job opening in Coors field! Right now, I'm betting Ryan Spilborghs will get a $10-$20 boost in NL-Only leagues. CF Dexter Fowler is the sexier pick.

I'd be happy to lose on Spilborghs at $20, Fowler at $15 and take a $5 flyer on Seth Smith.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Christopher Carter Chat: Chat:

"Q: Tristan from California asks:
Assuming they both make the A's top ten prospect list, who will be ranked higher: Carter or Weeks?

A: John Manuel: Great question, since they are opposite players. I'll take Weeks for now because he's a middle of the diamond player and I believe in the bat."

With the sudden drop in power in the majors, why doesn't the player with Carter's power get more love than a middle infielder with a fraction of that? One more and Carter will be tied for the minor league lead. he has 39 now.

Monday, August 18, 2008

2009 Top Minor League Draftee: Gordham Beckham

He won't be Matt Wieters exciting, but a SS with pop and fast-tracking can't be ignored. From Kevin Goldstein's Future Shock: Monday Ten Pack at Baseball Prospectus (above the subscriber fold):
Gordon Beckham, SS, Low-A Kannapolis (White Sox)
The eighth overall pick in June, Beckham didn't sign until last week, and he hadn't played for nearly two months, so a slow start could easily be excused. No excuses are necessary though (so much for the rust factor), as in his first weekend as a pro he went 7-for-11 with a double, a home run, four walks, and no strikeouts. Beckham has all the tools and abilities to be a star-level player, combining contact skills with above-average power, and just enough in the way of both speed and arm strength to become at least an average shortstop. Just as importantly, all of his skills are advanced enough to project a quick rise to the majors, and Beckham should be up in Double-A by mid-2009, if not earlier.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Joba Chamberlain Prognosis

From Will Carroll's free UTK Wrap at Baseball Prospectus:

Is this a smokescreen? The Yankees pushed back the start of Chamberlain's throwing program from Wednesday to Friday, with the explanation from Joe Girardi that it was simply a matter of location. One source told me that the rehab was going to be so short that he felt that the delay was to set him up for slotting back into the rotation. We won't really know for a week or so, but with the Yankees sliding back, there's also a chance that this is nothing more than conservatism. Once Chamberlain is throwing, the program he's on will tell us pretty much everything we need to know. Is he throwing full-out, or is it a light session? Is he using all of his pitches, or is he being limited in some way? They'll also be looking for a return of any pain or tension in the shoulder. It's a binary situation—once he throws, we'll know. I'm not going to read anything into this delay... yet.

With a month and a half left, Joba can be a difference maker in the fantasy season if he returns quickly.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The 2009 #1 and #2 Ranked Prospects

ESPN: Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Keith Law - SportsNation:

"Will (NY): Whos the early favorite for number 1 on next years 100?

Keith Law: (1:30 PM ET ) Wieters.

Shawn (NYC): Best SP in the minors is...

Keith Law: (1:31 PM ET ) Price, bar none."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

David Ortiz: Sell Now?

Baseball Prospectus | Articles | Under The Knife: A Failure to Communicate?:

"David Ortiz is out of the lineup for the Sox. I'm told his wrist is still an issue, but that he's having dificulty 'mentally much more than physically.'"

I see no reason to risk Ortiz not being 100% over the next 45 games. If someone offers fair enough value, trad ehim.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Todd Helton

Baseball Prospectus | Articles | Under The Knife: Contenders Contending... with Injuries:

"The Rockies won't make it official, but sources tell me that Todd Helton is done for the season. The hope is that he'll be ready for spring training."

Great news for those relying on Ian Stewart or worried about the playing time of Jeff Baker. Both should be regulars for the rest of the season.

Friday, August 08, 2008

BaseballAmerica: Prospect Hot Sheet Prospects: Prospect Hot Sheet: Prospect Hot Sheet: Aug. 8

FWIW, David Price is #2 this week.

The 2nd Most Exciting Fantasy Prospect

David Price threw five no-earned-runs innings last night to pick up his third consectuvie win and run his professional W-L record to 11 and 0. His Double-A line is 57 IP with 1 .89 ERA, 55 Ks and 16 BBs. he looks ready for Triple-A.

Along with Baltimore Orioles' catcher Matt Wieters, Price is one of the most anticipated prospects in fantasy baseball. He has the potential to be a Joba Chamberlain-esque reliever over the rest of 2008 if Tampa Bay promotes him.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

How Will The New York Mets Fill Their Rotation Hole?

Lose out on Hit-Allowing Machine Livan Hernandez? No problem!

Baseball Prospectus | Articles | On the Beat: The New Crew:

"The Mets seem to be the fron runners to sign Freddy Garcia as a free agent after the right-hander, who has missed the entire season while recovering from shoulder surgery, threw in front of scouts Tuesday in Miami."

Monday, August 04, 2008

Closer Speculation: Cleveland Indians - Indians manager wants new closer by spring:

"Asked Sunday if spring training would be a proper place to conduct the search for a closer, Wedge said, ''No, that would not be a good idea. If we don't feel like we can find someone [on the roster] in the next couple of months — and that would be tough to do — we need to go out and get somebody. And I know that's easier said than done.''"

Yowser! Nothing in the Cleveland bullpen can close? Then it is time to place all of them on waivers and hope to make a big August trade. Rafael Betancourt anyone?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Gang of 20 fitting in with rebuilding A's

Gang of 20 fitting in with rebuilding A's:

"Chris Carter, who was part of the Haren deal, saw action at third and in the outfield at Class A Stockton because Sean Doolittle, a compensation-round pick in 2007, was at first base. Doolittle was moved up to Midland this month - and Matt Spencer, from the Blanton trade, is now getting some action at first. Carter's doing just fine, though - the 21-year-old is leading the California League with 27 homers, and the A's are hoping to get him to winter ball after the season to continue his maturation."

As the only non-4A amongst the top five minor league HR hitters, he is one to watch. If he can actually play either OF or 3B, then he will be a top rpospect at this time next season.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Jamie D'Antona: The Next Great 4A To Break Through?

From Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus (free for all through the 28th!):

More Than Just A Four-A Guy: Jamie D'Antona, a 26-year-old corner infielder, has had an explosive .367/.407/.612 season at Triple-A Tucson, but he's been written off by many as just a minor league performer, although at least one scout is convinced that D'Antona has big-league value as a bench player. "You know, I always thought he was overrated back when he was grouped with [Carlos] Quentin and [Conor] Jackson back in the day, but now I'm convinced that guy could help somebody off the bench," explained the scout. "He's developed some feel for hitting, and somehow his swing plane is much shorter this year. There's no doubt in my mind that he'd torch left-handers in the big leagues right now—maybe he could be a Wes Helms kind of guy who will always hit southpaws but come up short everyday against righties—that might be a career."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Chan Ho Park: Back-Up Closer

Dodgers' Kershaw to be recalled and start tonight - Los Angeles Times:

"Torre said the decision to call up Kershaw was made before the Dodgers went into the All-Star break. The move would let Chan Ho Park be the Dodgers' setup man and backup closer, something he thought necessary when Takashi Saito was hurt."

Too bad for Kuo.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Grant Balfour: Closer-In-Waiting

Rays' Percival returns to closing, grooming - St. Petersburg Times:

"Though Grant Balfour will relinquish most of his closing opportunities to Percival, both Maddon and Percival believe the hard-throwing Aussie has the stuff to be groomed as the team's future closer."

So much for Dan Wheeler.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Adrian Cardenas: The Next Who?

FOX Sports on MSN - Ken Rosenthal - Aging Manny may be expendable for Red Sox:

"The Blanton trade had barely been announced when teams started calling the A's on Adrian Cardenas, the second baseman they acquired from the Phillies. Cardenas, 20, is a Carlos Baerga-type offensive player whose long-term position is in question."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Closers

Since Matt Capps went to the D.L., the Pirates have cooperated by winning some close games and providing good fantasy info on the new closer. it is Damaso Marte who has save dboth games.

The picture isn't too clear in Cleveland though. Joe Borowski waived DFA'd last week, and the team has yet to win. My guess is Masahide Kobayashi, but the bullpen has been so bad that I'd like verifiable proof to cement that belief.

In Chicago, Bobby Jenks hit the D.L. In the mean time, Scott Linebrink, Matt Thorton and Octavio Dotel have saved games. A committee seems obvious, no?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

MLB Trade Rumor: What Is Matt Holliday's Price?

Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus told Jeff Erickson on Fantasy Focus of the worst trade rumor he heard. The Colorado Rockies asked the Tampa Bay Rays for David Price and two other players for Matt Holliday.

There is no chance the Rays do that. As a matter of fact, one might think Chuck LaMar was in control of the Rockies.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Penciling In LaPorta in LF

After the Indians' blockbuster bail trade, most have penciled Matt LaPorta into the LF spot in Cleveland's 2009 outfield, but don't forget about Nick Weglarz. He is a walk machine in High A and could be the reason we see LaPorta moved to 1B in 2010.

Here is what Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus said about Weglarz in this week's Ten Pack:
Nick Weglarz, LF, High-A Kinston (Indians)
In a recent conversation with a scouting official, I was told that he believed Weglarz was on the brink of really taking off. He saw an exaggerated trigger in Weglarz’ swing early in the year, and that trigger has slowly been reduced of late. Over the weekend, his tremendous raw power made some in-game appearances, when he hit his eighth home run of the year on Saturday, and went into double-digits with two more yesterday. Now at .270/.396/.448 as a 20-year-old in High-A, Weglarz remains well ahead of schedule, with more than enough time to continue making adjustments.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

C.C. Sabathia Trade Rumors

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports the Brewers are waiting on the Indians response to their offer of Matt LaPortsa, Taylor Green and OF Lorenzo Cain. It also speculates the signing of SP Jeff Weaver to a minor league deal is a precursor to the possible trade of Sabathia or SP Paul Byrd.

The Cleveland Plains Dealer agrees. It also reports the Philadelphia Phillies ar epushign hard with a package of lower level prospects including 2B Adrian Cardenas. The Los Angeles Dodgers are also involved the the CPD speculating 3B Blake DeWitt or Andy LaRoche at the ehad of the offer.

With C.C. scheduled to pitch Tuesday, expect something to happen within 36 hours or the rumors will continue until his next scheduled start on Saturday July 12th. And every fifth day after until the 31st.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

MLB Trade Rumors: Boston Red Sox

From John Perrotto at Baseball Prospectus:

"The Red Sox are considering looking for bullpen help before the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline and the left-handed Fuentes is among the relievers they will likely try to deal for."

What do the Rockies need that the Red Sox can offer? jed Lowrie fits the bill but that seems incredibly high for a middle reliever.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

WTF?!?! Brett Myers To AAA

I wasn't expecting this when I checked the MLB transactions. The Phillies have sent Brett Myers to AAA. He is safe to cut now.

ESPN - MLB Baseball Transactions - Major League Baseball: "Optioned pitcher Brett Myers to Lehigh Valley of the International League (AAA); agreed to terms with shortstop Anthony Hewitt."

Monday, June 30, 2008

Brett Gardner Called-Up

Now out the the DH-less NL, the Yanks made the move expected when Matsui was DL-ed on Friday. Grab Gardner as a flyer on SBs. If he gets on-base and Matsui has surgery, then gardner will be a valuable asset in AL-Only leagues this year. | Holly Hill's Brett Gardner called up to New York Yankees:
"Gardner is scheduled to drive from Scranton to New York Monday and be in uniform for the Yankees 7:05 p.m. series opener against the Texas Rangers. The former Holly Hill Academy, St. George Post 105 and College of Charleston standout has been on the radar for a promotion to the big leagues for some time. In 80 games with Triple-A Scranton this season, Gardner was batting .287 with three home runs, 29 RBIs, 34 stolen bases and had a .412 on-base percentage. His play and injuries to New York outfielders Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui opened a door in the Bronx Bombers’ outfield."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Chris Davis Recalled

Anyone in an AL-Only keeper league has to grab this guy. Now.

Former Lobo Davis called up by Rangers:

"Former Longview Lobo baseball standout Chris Davis was called up from the Texas Rangers' Triple A affiliate in Oklahoma City Wednesday and will be in uniform tonight when the Rangers take on the Houston Astros at Houston's Minute Maid Park."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Who Is The Back-up Closer in Colorado

According to John Perrotto at Baseball Prospectus, it is Taylor Buchholz.

Baseball Prospectus | Articles | On the Beat:

"The Rockies would go with set-up man Taylor Buchholz as their closer if they trade Fuentes rather than Manny Corpas, who finished last season in the role."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Alcides Escobar

On yesterday's Baseball Prospectus Radio, Will Carroll interviewed Gord Ash of the Milwaukee Brewers. In the course of a discussion about the Bre Crew's AA bomb squad, Ash said the team wouldn't hesitate to call-up SS Alcides Escobar if J.J. Hardy were lost for an extended period of time.

The 21-year-old has 20 SB in 25 attempts. He has also improved his slash stats over last season, 327/360/436 in AA versus 306/331/366 in High A/AA in 2007. He has always been toolsy with a great glove. To see the SLG increase is encouraging.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Brett Gardner

Baseball Prospectus | Articles | Future Shock: Monday Ten Pack:

"Brett Gardner, OF, Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre (Yankees)
Gardner just keeps on plugging along. He had two hits on Friday and three more on Saturday, and while he went without a safety on Sunday, he made up for it with four walks, a pair of stolen bases, and three runs scored. Now batting .292/.408/.436 in 73 games for the SWB Yanks, Garner is an 80 runner with outstanding defense and on-base skills. While Melky Cabrera is a popular player and all, doesn’t it seem like Gardner could provide more production both offensively and defensively at this point? It might not be the most popular decision, but if the Yankees are going to make a run at the postseason, it might take some risky maneuvers."

Appearing in Baseball Prospectus will get the drum beating for Gardner.

Cheap Steals - Manny Burris

If Omar Vizquel really loses his job, then grab Manny Burris. he could steal 15+ over the rest of the season.

Zito trying to refine his altered delivery - San Jose Mercury News:

"Shortstop Omar Vizquel is batting .171 and on the verge of losing the starting job to Emmanuel Burriss, but Manager Bruce Bochy said Vizquel would start Tuesday when the Giants begin a three-game series in Cleveland"

Of course, Vizquel could say his job under the basbeall's Veterans Protection Act. He need only go 3-10 or something like that to get his manager to back-off.

Friday, June 20, 2008

C'mon already! Promote Matt Wieters!

Matt Wieters, the Baltimore Orioles top pick in 2007 and the team's overall best prospect has tore up High-A in June. The question is why hasn't he been promoted to Double-A yet.

A look at his monthly splits makes the case strongly that High-A is no longer a challenge. In April, his slash stat line was 338/419/606. The power was excellent, but I can see an arguement that his OBP was hgih enough given his AVG and maybe he should stay a little while longer and work on his eye.

In May, he improved on that count as his slash stat line went to 337/442/579. A 105 point spread etween AVG and OBP passes the eye test.

So far in June, he has continued to improve with a 373/507/510. Any player with a 500+ OPP has concquered the level. The fact his SLG has continued to go down is a sign the league just won't throw him much to hit. The fact his is taking pitches demonstrates, Wieters is mature enough not to press.

Move him to Double-A and start the hype maching heading into the 2009 fantasy baseball drafts!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Next Great Yankees Hitting Prospect

Don't let his 285/361/448 season slash stat discourage you. Look at his monthly splits.

268/359/348 zero HRs in April
280/371/490 three HRs in May
323/348/554 with four HRs so far in June.

ESPN: Chat with Scout's Inc.'s Keith Law - SportsNation:

"Brendon (Guilderland NY): You aren't a melky fan, you aren't a gardner fan...are you an Austin Jackson fan?

Keith Law: (1:14 PM ET ) Yes. Ultimately, these guys are all keeping the spot warm for him."

The Next Great Yankees Hitting Prospect

Don't let his 285/361/448 season slash stat discourage you. Look at his monthly splits. 268/359/348 zero HRs in April. 280/371/490 three HRs in May, and 323/348/554 with four HRs so far in June.

ESPN: Chat with Scout's Inc.'s Keith Law - SportsNation:

"Brendon (Guilderland NY): You aren't a melky fan, you aren't a gardner fan...are you an Austin Jackson fan?

Keith Law: (1:14 PM ET ) Yes. Ultimately, these guys are all keeping the spot warm for him."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

David Ortiz

Baseball Prospectus | Events | Chat with Will Carroll:

"Cal (Cambellsville, OH): Will, Red Sox nation patiently awaits Big Papi's return. He's now wearing the splint and beginning range of motion exercises. Are we looking at a couple more weeks, or longer? Ideally, we'd like to see him ready for the Yankees that first long weekend in July.

Will Carroll: I think a bit longer. All Star break? A bit before? Really too early to tell just yet, but I dont think it goes much beyond that."

Begin trying to buy low now.

Monday, June 16, 2008

2009 Top Five Prospects?

I am surprised to see Andrew McCutcheon on the list and a litle more surprised to see Jason Heyward make the list with just low A experience. Prospects: Prospect Hot Sheet: Prospect Hot Sheet Chat With Ben Badler:

"Q: john from denver asks:
If you had to predict the Top 5 prospects on next years preseason list,who would you pick?

A: Ben Badler: Maybin, Rasmus, Heyward, Price, McCutchen and Wieters are all in that discussion."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

BABIP Bullpen Leaders

Here are the top relievers by BABIP for those who have appeared in 10 or more games along with their k?9 and BB/9. Regression to the .300 BABIp should be expected espeically for those allowing more walks and striking out fewer batters.

Troy PercivalTBA8.91.70.137
Mariano RiveraNYA90.60.171
Billy SadlerSFN7.25.90.176
Dan WheelerTBA6.43.80.179
Carlos MarmolCHN13.43.10.197
George SherrillBAL8.84.70.203
Bryan CoreySDN4.71.80.205
James JohnsonBAL53.90.206
Doug SlatenARI4.830.206
Scott SchoeneweisNYN3.43.40.211
Matt ThorntonCHA10.63.30.211
Francisco CorderoCIN105.60.212
Brian ShouseMIL5.82.70.212
Jose ArredondoANA6.200.212
Taylor BuchholzCOL72.20.216

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Will Erik Bedard Be Traded?

Buster Olney says it as well as anyone else could. Mariners' GM Bill Bavasi would be fired before he could deal Bedard. Why allow him to make the decision to deal for him and then let him try to erase the mistake? What makes anyone think he wouldn't compound that mistake with another?

"Seattle fired its hitting coach. The Mariners got some temporary relief, in extra innings, as Ryan Divish writes. John McGrath thinks that the Mariners should consider swapping Erik Bedard. Interesting thought, but in order to make this happen, Bill Bavasi would have to effectively wave the white flag and acknowledge that giving up the package for Bedard was a mistake -- and that would be a very difficult thing to do less than four months into the season."

Monday, June 09, 2008

Buying Low: Nick Swisher And The Chicago White Sox Hitters

From Steve Gardner's chat at USA Today:

Sparks,Nevada: Greetings Steve. From this point forward who is more productive. Konerko, Swisher, or C.Pena? Thanks

Steve Gardner: I drafted Konerko and Pena on my AL LABR team and I've since traded both of them, so that shows you where I stand to some degree. Of course, I they still have some value since another owner was willing to trade for them, but I don't see how it can go much lower. Konerko seems to be heating up a little (two hits in each of last three games), but his wrist has been bothering him for a while now. With Pena, we just might have to chalk up last season as a fluke since he's back to his old ways, striking out and hitting a handful of homers. I'd be the most confident in Swisher putting up the best numbers from here on out. He's healthy and young enough that he's not set in his ways. Plus, he gets on base. He's also had at least one run scored in each of the past 7 games.

I happen to agree on Swisher. As a matter of fact, I am very bullish on all the White Sox hitters and would recommned buying them low. As the temperature rises, U.S. Cellular will start turining flyballs to HRs. Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Orlando Carbera, Juna Uribe. You name the White Sox hitter, and I like him.

Conversely, the South Siders' pitchers scare me. What works for their hitters will also work for the opposing team's hitters. I'd sell high on Gavin Floyd, Jose Contreras and John Danks. Of the three, I like Danks the most, but, if you can get Nick Swisher for any of them, I'd do it.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Jordan Schafer

Jordan Schafer continues to make-up for time lost to his 50-game HGH suspension. Last night, he hit two HRs. Since returning, he has hit three HRs and stolen three bases to go along with six walks.

With the Braves struggling in the OF, and a pitching staff coming apart at the seams that coudl lead to a rebuilding focus, I wouldn't be surprised to see Schafer playing full-time a lot sooner than the lost fifty games would make you think.

Does this excellent production post-suspension dispel the belief that Schafer's 2007 breakout was PED-fueled?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

2008 Major League Draft

Major League Report will be covering today's 2008 First Year Player's Draft in real-time. This is a new site set-up by MLB Front Office founder Brad Stewart. It focuses more on real-life baseball than MLBFO did. Check it out as its draft coverage should be excellent if it follows that standards set at MLBFO.

For a dump of draft-related links, head over to Fake Teams. At 11;30, there will be links to all the major coverage of minor league prospect sites.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Gaby Sanchez Prospects: Prospect Hot Sheet: Prospect Hot Sheet Chat: June 3: "Q: Max from Florida asks:
When do you see Gaby Sanchez being called up and what will his major league impact be? Same question for Chris Volstad?

A: Ben Badler: Scouts I talk to like the bat but question the glove. He's not a third baseman in the big leagues, so he's going to have to play first base. The guy can crush a fastball, but he really, really struggles with offspeed pitches, and I think that big league pitchers will be able to exploit that weakness with more regularity than Double-A pitchers."

Gaby Sanchez was a sleeper pick of mine before the 2007 season. He was an older draftee out of U. of Miami and had crushed Low A. With Mike Jacobs blocking him at 1B, I thought he'd move quickly. He did not as High A proved more challenging than I had projected.

He has been good in Double-A, but the power isn't there despite the presence of OBP. A .410 OBP with a .313 AVG is impressive, but a .453 SLG is not for a prospect who will be 25 in September. He does have 9 SB and a good batting eye with 32 walks and just 33 strikeouts.

Current Marlins 1B Mike Jacobs will be arbitration eligible after the season. I doubt Sanchez gets the chance this season, but there is no reason for Jacobs to block Sanchez next year. As long as Gaby remains in the Marlins organization, he will have some fantasy value in NL-Only formats.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Jordan Schafer Is Back

After serving a 50-game suspension for HGH possession, Atlanta Braves CFer Jordan Schafer returned to action last night and went 2-4 with a triple and a walk. While the lost 50 games hurts his chances to become the regular in CF for the Braves, do not be surprised to see him in Atlanta is he tears-up AA. The Braves currently have Gregor Blanco and Josh Anderson getting regular ABs in the OF.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Brandon Inge

The Detroit Tigers are putting Brandon Inge back at 3B full-time because the $150MM man the team traded for was as much a butcher at 3B as his former team thought he was, and Carlos Guillen wasn't good enough there either. Guillen moves to LF now.

Inge's greatest value is at catcher especially in AL-Only leagues where there is a distinct lack of power from the position. His AVg will not be great, but he should hit enough HRs to make him a fantasy asset.

Off the fantasy field, eventually heads are going to roll for the personnel blunders made by the Tigers this past off-season. Cabrera inability to play defense plus the HUGE financial committment along with the mis-reading of Carlos Guillen's ability to play in the field will hamstring the organization for years.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Who Is Joe Mather?

The Cardinals sent down LF Chris Duncan and recalled 1B/OF Joe Mather, a player who seems like a right-hander version of the Duncan. Mather will be 26 on July 23rd and was hitting 315/406/671 in Triple-A with 12 HRs amongst his 25 XBHs.

Here is what Baseball America said about him in their 2008 prospect book. He was ranked 13th in the Cards organization.

Mather reached Class A in 2004, and for three seasons and more than 1,000 ABs, he stayed at that level, wondering each spring if he was making progress or about to be released. Cardinals officials recognized the potential in his swing, and in 2007 he blossomed. He hit 31 HRs as he climbed to Double-A and then Triple-A. Mather used to gobble ice cream and other high-calorie delights to pack weight on his lithe frame. By last year, he had filled out by 15 lbs and his game matured. Scouts saw the same raw ability in Mather, but they wondered if he would ever add the necessary polish. He put it together when he settled into a comfortable stance and approach at the plate, which led to better strike-sone awareness and more consistent power to all fields. He now has the best power in the system this side of Colby Rasmus, and he doesn't strike out excessively for a slugger. Mather is no burner but has stolen 23 bases without being caught over the last three seasons. He may be better at first base, but he runs well enough ans has enough athleticism and arm strength to play a corner outfield position. The versatility that once kept him playing while he struggled with the bat now opens an alternative avenue to the majors, and he's now just a phone call away. Added to the 40-man roster in Novemeber, he'll probably open 2008 in Triple-A.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What Should The mets Do At The Draft?

From Keith Law's chat:

Jon (CT): For a team like the Mets that drastically needs to rebuild its farm system, what's the best draft strategy?

Keith Law: (1:30 PM ET ) Best player available, rinse, repeat. No more quick-to-the-majors relievers.

No love for Eddie Kunz?

The New Closer In Tampa Bay?

Tampa Bay Rays closer Troy Percival pulled himself from a save situation mid-AB with a hamstring injury. How bad it is is yet to be determined, but Dan Wheeler was brought in to finish the game. He got the save and should be considered the nominal favorite for saves until Percival returns.

Joba Chamberlain First Start

Joba Chamberlain was slated to throw 55 pitches last night in preparation of moving into the starting rotation next Tuesday. Complicating matters was the excellent start by last night's starter Andy Pettitte, who pitched into the 7th.

Joba came in and threw an inning and a third and just 27 pitches. Instead of sending Joba out for the 9th inning with a 4-2 lead, Yankees manager Joe Girardi stuck to the formulaic response and sent his closer out in the 9th. Chamberlain was sent back to the bullpen to throw another 28 pitches and thus remains on target to start on Tuesday.

Why Chamberlain couldn't throw the 9th defies any explanation but the baseball equivalent of a Pavlovian response. Ding! Ding! Our closer must always pitch the 9th in a save situation.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Who Is Jeff Larish?

The Detroit Tigers recalled 25-year-old lefty slugging 1B Jeff Larish to replace DH Gary Sheffield. Here is what John Sickels had to say about him in The Baseball Prospect Handbook 2008:

A 5th round pick out of Arizona State on '05, Larish adapted well to Double-A last year and posted a strong +23 percent OPS. He does two things really well with the bat: hit homers and draw walks. He loves to pull the ball, and this will probably preclude him hitting for average at higher levels. He runs OK for a big guy, and he is a pretty good defensive first baseman as well. I can see Larish as a .240-.250 hitter in the majors, with 25-30 homers in a full year, a good number of walks, and solid defense. He's not a Seven Skill guy, but he should be useful, and he could have a couple of surprisingly good years in him. Grade B-, same as last year.

With AL-Only free agent pools so thin, Larish is a must-grab.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Who Will The New York Mets Draft?

From - Blogs - Buster Olney Blog:

The Mets, who didn't have a lot of depth in their farm system before they swapped a package of prospects for Johan Santana, have decided internally to focus on drafting college players -- rather than high schoolers -- in the June draft. This will be done in the hope that it will fill the talent gap at the middle and top of their minor leagues.

This doesn't sound good. Isn't that what the Toronto Blue Jays for the first several years of the JP Ricciardi regime? And don't the Blue Jays have one of the worst minor league systems in baseball?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Will Carroll's UTK Wrap: Fast Work

Every Friday, Baseball Prospectus provides free-to-all Under The Knife Wrap column. For those who don't subscribe, this is likely to be fresh information. For those who do, Will's Quick Cuts section at the end is new info. Here is a blurb from that:

"Eric Gagne will have a cortisone shot in his shoulder. If he's not better by Sunday, he'll hit the DL. He's not closing for a while either way."

Baseball Prospectus | Articles | UTK Wrap: Fast Work:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

There's A New Rightfielder In Cleveland

From this morning's Cleveland Plain Dealer:

"Right fielder Franklin Gutierrez, sitting for his fifth straight start, was not.
What happened to Gutierrez?

'Ben Francisco happened to him,' Wedge said. 'Benny has come up and swung the bat well and taken some time away from him.'

Francisco is one of the few Indians hitters who looks like he has a clue at the plate, and is hitting .340. He's taken over right field, while Gutierrez appears to be David Dellucci's latest platoon partner in left."

Gutierrez was a sexy sleeper coming off his 2007 season where he hit 13 HRs and stole 8 bases in 271 ABs. Given the RF job this Spring, there was no reason to believe otherwise.

Now that he has struggled for the 1st quarter of 2008, along with the rest of the Indians' offense, he has been supplanted by rookie Ben Francisco. I do not see Francisco as too much of a different player so do not be surprised to see Gutierrez regain those ABs if Francisco struggles as most rookies do.

Both players should be owned in all but the most shallow of AL-Only formats.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

BB/9 Laggards

Here is a list of major league pitchers who have made at least five starts and have BB/9 rates 4.0 or higher. These are guys who could find the next four months of the season harmful to their ERAs.

Tom GorzelannyPIT0.2676.9
Ian KennedyNYA0.3336.6
Miguel BatistaSEA0.3725.9
Jason JenningsTEX0.2875.9
Jeremy BondermanDET0.2655.8
Fausto CarmonaCLE0.2685.6
Steve TrachselBAL0.295.6
Ubaldo JimenezCOL0.3575.5
Oliver PerezNYN0.2695.4
Daisuke MatsuzakaBOS0.225.3
Chad BillingsleyLAN0.3365.3
Edinson VolquezCIN0.2915
Chris YoungSDN0.2735
Jonathan SanchezSFN0.295
Manny ParraMIL0.355
Luke HochevarKCA0.2745
Barry ZitoSFN0.3594.8
Matt CainSFN0.2684.7
Brandon BackeHOU0.2944.7
Tom GlavineATL0.2984.7
Kenny RogersDET0.3514.6
Shawn ChaconHOU0.2774.5
Kason GabbardTEX0.3134.4
Tim WakefieldBOS0.2624.3
Adam EatonPHI0.3154.3
Jon LesterBOS0.2554.2
A.J. BurnettTOR0.3214.2
Gavin FloydCHA0.1934.2
Edwin JacksonTBA0.2884.1
John MaineNYN0.254.1
Erik BedardSEA0.2274.1
Dustin McGowanTOR0.3224
Mike PelfreyNYN0.3414

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Top 11 Catchers By VORP

Following Geovany Soto's inside-the-park HR last night, I was curious to see whether or not he is now the top catcher in fantasy baseball. I used Baseball prospectus' VORP statistic to rank the catchers so far this season.

The case can be made that Soto is the best. I have little doubt he will hold on to a Top 4 ranking going into 2009 fantasy baseball drafts.

Geovany SotoCHN0.3170.4220.61420.4
Brian McCannATL0.3160.3790.57917.7
Russell MartinLAN0.320.4370.4212.7
Ryan DoumitPIT0.350.3820.57312.4
A.J. PierzynskiCHA0.3170.3710.49611.1
Jason VaritekBOS0.290.3620.58.8
Mike NapoliANA0.2580.310.6078.4
Chris CostePHI0.3240.40.5498
Joe MauerMIN0.3190.3980.3977.7
Dioner NavarroTBA0.3660.4040.4527
Jesus FloresWAS0.3530.4760.6186.9

Monday, May 19, 2008

Top K/BB Pitchers

Here is a list of the Top 20 K/BB pitchers. For those familar with Ron Shandler's Basbeall HQ, he calls it "Command Ratio." It is done without regard for the number of innings pitched so that you could find a possible sleeper like Darrell Rasner or Glen Perkins.

Cliff LeeCLE9.2
Jon LieberCHN7
Scott BakerMIN5.8
Roy HalladayTOR5.7
Kevin SloweyMIN5.33
Jason BergmannWAS5.25
Josh BeckettBOS5.09
Darrell RasnerNYA5
Javier VazquezCHA4.83
Wandy RodriguezHOU4.8
John SmoltzATL4.5
Glen PerkinsMIN4.5
Dan HarenARI4.5
Jesse LitschTOR4.43
Paul ByrdCLE4.4
Hong-Chih KuoLAN4.22
Johnny CuetoCIN4.08
John LackeyANA4
Mike MussinaNYA4
Ervin SantanaANA3.85

Friday, May 16, 2008

Matt Joyce, Detroit Tigers OF

Joyce still slugging, unlike rest of Tigers: "Joyce, 23, was not a huge power guy last season at Double-A Erie. He had 17 homers in 130 games, but the capacity for younger players to get steadily stronger can lead to heftier home-run numbers, and often in a hurry. As a Tiger, Joyce is batting .292 with seven RBIs in eight games."

Hitting from the left side should ensure Matt Joyce continues to see regular ABs. Given the lack of hitting depth in AL-Only leagues, he is a good gamble. On a listless Tigers' team that looks close to mailing the season in, Joyce is a breath of fresh air.

At Fake Teams, there is a summary of what Baseball America and John Sickels said about him in their repsective 2008 prospect guides.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

New Indians Closer

Rafael Betancourt, the darling of sabremetricians everywhere, has proven the Summer of '06 was not a fluke. He really isn't cut out to close.

Despite what numbers on paper say, there are relievers who cannot pitch effectively without the net of another inning or two for their offense to hit. Arthur Rhodes and LaTroy Hawkins are on the list.

Now add Betancourt.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Who Would You Rather Have - Carlos Gomez or Derek Jeter

If Carlos Gomez, Why Not Derek Jeter. - FakeTeams

The link above is to a post at Fake Teams showing a variety of full-time hitters who have walked as much or less than Carlos Gomez of Minnesota. Included is a poll about who is preferrable to own between Gomez and Derek Jeter, a hitter with the same number of walks (5).

Surprisingly, Carlos Gomez is the current leader amongst the voters. I think there is a case there but was surprised to see Jeter doing so poorly nonetheless.

Do you agree?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

AL HR Hitters

Want to know why your AL-Only league isn't going the way you thought it would? Take a look at the HR leaders and ask yourself if this is what you thought would happen almost a quarter of the way through the season.

1. Carlos Quentin 9
2. Kevin Youkilis 8
Mike Napoli 8
Josh Hamilton 8
Manny Ramirez 8
Carlos Pena 8

The last two are not surprising and Josh hamilton could have be predicted to hit 8 HRs by this point, but Quentin, Youkilis and Napoli? No.

What is more telling is the total that leads the AL - 9. In the NL, five players have more than 9 and six players have 9.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hong-Chih Kuo

Los Angels Dodgers' manager Joe Torre used Hong-Chih Kuo to clean-up the mess back-up close Jonathan Broxton made when he took the mound to open the 8th inning with a 3-1 lead. Kuo earned that trust by compiling very impressive strikeout totals - 33 in 24.1 innings. Last night, he finished the 8th and pitched the 9th. He struck out just one and allowed a run on three hits.

If something were to happen that kept closer Takishi Saito out of the role for an extended period of time, do not be surprised to see Kuo get more of an opportunity than anyone would think. Gaining Joe Torre's trust is more important than pure skill.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Freddy Bynum, Starting Baltimore Orioles' SS

Orioles' manager David Trembley announced speedster Freddy Bynum is now the starting SS for his team. This removes the anemic bat of Luis Hernandez from the everyday line-up. Bynum stole 8 bases for the O;'s last season and regularly stole 30-40 in the minors.

Given Trembley's proclivity to run, I expect Bynum to steal 20+ assuming he can hold a regular place in the line-up. While his minor league power was non-existent (career SLG of .361), he has stepped that up in the majors. A 452 SLG over 239 ABs offers some hope that he will be more than a one-category fantasy player.

Over 239 major league ABs coming into this season, Bynum has 14 doubles, 7 triples and 6 HRs. In 2,650 minor league ABs, he hit 13 HRs.

Bynum Now Starter at Shortstop -

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Atlanta Braves Closer: Manny Acosta

The day after being pulled against a lefty in the 9th inning, Acosta was back getting the save. The braves bullpen is unsettled, but Acosta has gotten the save opportunities when they have arisen. Unfortunately there haven't been enough over the past two weeks to give Acosta a large grouping of Saves to get him solidly in the role.

The Braves have four saves since Peter Moylan saved a game on Arpil 11 and hit the DL shortly thereafter with a bad elbow. Acosta has three of those four saves.

I expect him to retain the role until either Rafael Soriano or John Smoltz comes off the D.L. and to regain it when those two go back on the D.L.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Cliff Lee Traded!

A couple days ago, I provided four actual trades for closers to see what the current value is for Saves in AL-Only leagues. There are legitimate reasons to de-value closers in mixed leagues and also in AL- and NL-Only ones, too, but I am not sure that is being practiced outside of "expert" leagues.

Today, I want to provide some market data for the value of Indians' lefty Cliff Lee. He has been nothing but stunning this season with a 0.96 ERA and 0.56 WHIP in 37.2 innings. More remarkable is his K/BB ratio of 16:1. His previous carrer best was about 3:1 when he won 18 games in 2005.

No one believes Lee will keep this up, but one could easily accept that the K:BB signals something very positive. I did and made this trade yesterday. Included are the salaries and contracts because this is a keeper league and those cannot be disentangled from the players values. An A contract has two more seasons after this one. A B has two with the otion of extending the contract before next season, and a C contract runs out after this season ends.

I get $7B Cliff Lee, $1A Willie Bloomquist and $7A Brandon Inge. I dealt $18C Ivan Rodriguez, $5C Erick Aybar, $4A Manny Delcarmen and minor leaguer Mike Moustakas. Additionally, I opened a spot to activate Ben Francisco so Bloomquist goes to the waiver pool at the same time.

I'm feeling some regret as I am not 100% convinced on Lee, and I hold on to minor leaguers way past their rational, expected value. However, this morning's news that Brandon Inge will catch and likely open 2009 as the Tigers' starting backstop is helping salve the wound.

Inge's new tune: I'll catch for Tigers

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

AL Hitting Versus NL Hitting

Power is down in the American league. I don't know why. Without the pitcher hitting, one would think power would always be better in the AL. But is hasn't been so far.

Anecdotally, here is the 1st and last place totals in my AL-Only league versus my NL-Only league.

1st: 39
12th: 24

1st: 53
Last: 24

Where woudl the AL-Only-leading 39 Hrs rank in my NL-Only league? 6th.

Monday, May 05, 2008

What Is The Trade Value OF A Closer?

Here are four trades in which the closer was the main piece being dealt, and what he was fetched in return. There should be little doubt that closers remian highly value Rotisserie pieces.

1. Mariano Rivera/Nick Punto for Ian Kinsler/Rafeal Perez
2. C.J. Wilson/Ramon Vasquez for Paul Konerko/Russ Ohlendorf
3. Francisco Rodriguez/Jamie Burke/Jacques Jones for Carlos Quentin/Miguel Oilvo.Jason Frasor/Mike Lowell (on DL at time)
4. Francisco Rodriguez//Jacques Jones for Bobby Abreu/Matt Guerrier

Friday, May 02, 2008

John Mayberry Jr

With Hank Blalock going on the D.L. with a bad hammy, the Rangers called up OF Brandon Boggs from AAA. What got missed is the Rangers then promoted 2005 1st round pick, John Mayberry Jr., from AA to AAA. He hit his first AAA HR last night.

At the end of February, I metioned that Scott Servais, the Director of Player Development, told John Sickels that Mayberry was likely to be in the majors this summer. The promotion to AAA backs-up Servais' statement.

From Mr. Sickels' The Baseball Prospect Book 2008:
"...has tremendous power/speed potential, and if he can get the strike zone a bit more under control, he will be a Seven Skill player....a thre-way hybrid between jermaine Dye, Mike Cameron and Rob Deer....his ceiling is immense"

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Trade: Tim Lincecum for Jason Isringhausen

In a 4x4 format, a Tim-Lincecum-for-Jason-Isringhausen deal is a lot closer than one would think. Despite Lincecum's early luck in winning games in which he received minimal run support, one can't rely on that continuing all season long. Lincecum also has a much higher-than-you'd expect WHIP based on his ERA of 1.73. His WHIP is an unattractive 1.38.

Isringhausen has lofty Saves totals with 9, but his ERA of 6.00 is a little scary. However, he has no competition in the Cardinals' bullpen and should be expected to get a lot of saves thanks to a middling Cardinals' offense.

On May 1st, I wouldn't make this trade, but, as the season goes on and the categories solidify, I'd definitely deal Lincecum for a closer.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Brandon Wood Starts

ESPN - Athletics vs. Angels - Box Score - April 29, 2008

At least the Angels had the good sense to start Wood at 3B last night. He batted ninth and went 1-2 with a walk and a K. Batting 5th? Erick Aybar. Batting 6th Robb Quinlan? Batting 8th? Jeff Mathis.

How can anyomne claim this team doesn't need the power Wood provides?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Brandon Wood

The Angels called-up 3B prospect Brandon Wood to fill-in for the injured Macier Izturis until Howie Kendrick is activated off the Dl later this week. When izutirs went down, the Angels were forced to move 3B Chone Figgins to 3B and put Robb Quinlan at 3B. Recalling Wood made perfect sense.

What made no frickin' sense was starting Quinlan at 3B in last night's game while Wood rotted on the bench. I have no idea why the Angels believe this is a smart thing to do with their top hitting prospect. Wood should be a Troy Glaus type of hitter initially, but the Angels apparently have no intentions of letting him play.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Max Scherzer And Another Huge Strikeout RP

The Diamondbacks have called-up SP Max Scherzer. With 38 Ks in 23 IP, there isn't a fantasy expert who won't be talking about him today. He has not yet been added to Yahoo!'s player database, but, when he is, I am going to use my #1 waiver claim on him.

A very deep sleeper for bullpen Ks is Tronto lefty Jessie Carlson who saved yesterday's win after BJ Ryan was used in the 8th inning. I never heard of him and checked my Baseball America Prospect Guide and John Sickel's propsect book. Nothing.

Carlson is a lanky lefty who struck out 81 AA hitters in 70.1 innings of work last season and has K'd 15 major league ones this year in 12.2 innings of work. While I do not expect any more saves, Jessie Carlson looks like the kind of reliever AL-Only-ers can use to preserve their ratios.

To boot, he is a University of Connecticut alumni. Congrats from a fellow alumni!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Rafael Betancourt

Rafael Betancourt saved his second game since Joe Borowski was sent to the D.L. last week. Whatever kernel of doubt remained from his failure in the role in the summer of 2006 has been eliminated.

Now his fantasy owners need to read through reports about Joe Borowski getting the close role back when he returns. If JoBo looks like he really will return to the closer's role, then Betancourt's owners should seriously consider trying to trade Betancourt for full closer value.

To make this easier will be the flood of baseball commentators who look at the numbers and conclude definitively that the Indians would never give JoBo his job back.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Saltalamacchia Has Landed!

TEXAS RANGERS Blog | The Dallas Morning News:

"Saltalamacchia, thanks to the beauty of texting, said his plane from Oklahoma City just landed in Dallas this morning. He'll be at the park today. The club hasn't made any official announcement regarding his call up, but they were scheduled to evaluate Adam Melhuse's bruised right hand today."

Jarrod Saltalamacchia & FAAB

The Official Site of The Texas Rangers: News: Saltalamacchia could return to Rangers:

"DETROIT -- Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia could join the Rangers as soon as Friday night in Arlington.

General manager Jon Daniels said it is a 'distinct' possibility' that Saltalamacchia could be called up from Triple-A Oklahoma after backup catcher Adam Melhuse suffered a bruised right hand in the Rangers' 8-2 loss to the Tigers on Thursday.

Melhuse was hit by a pitch in the dirt and had X-rays after the game. He'll be evaluated on Friday in Arlington."

With the dearth of power in the AL, Saltalamacchia is worth a huge FAAB bid. C and 1B are weak postions in the AL, and Salty qualifies at either.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Rajai Davis & FAAB

The Oakland A's claimed former San Francisco Giant, and major sleeper steals source, Rajai Davis. This set-off a "flurry" of FAAB bidding in AL-Only leagues. I sat it out.

Why? 1st, I would have had to waive Travis Buck or Shannon Stewart if I was successful with my defensive $6 bid. 2nd, Davis was cut by the Giants. 3rd, he was picked-up by a SB-adverse team.

Those very good reasons aside, I still went to bed worried that someone would get Davis for a minimal FAAB bid. My worries were misplaced.

Rajai Davis went for $26! And at least one other team bid $12. Now I feel much better.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

FakeTeams :: The Worst Fantasy Baseball Season Contest

FakeTeams :: The Worst Fantasy Baseball Season Contest

Has your fantasy baseball team had a nightmare of an April? Maybe it is good enough to win a free Baseball Prospectus Annual subscription! Over at Fake Teams, enter your April horror story for the chance to win.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

David Ortiz Trade Update

I decided to pull back on the David Ortiz proposal I received. Honestly, I accepted Grady Sizemore/Casey Blake for David Ortiz/Travis Buck, but the other team did not immediately accept which allowed me to take my cold feet out of the deal. Ortiz has since raised his AVG to .172 with 7 RBIs and a HR.

Interestingly, the Sizemore team did trade him for a power bat - Manny Ramirez. I actually think I did that team a favor because I like Manny a little better - a $20MM contract push plus no concerns about a horrendous season-opening slump.

In my ballot for AL MVP for Baseball Happenings, I voted Manny as the AL MVP through the first three weeks. That isn't really close as the AL is severely lacking in the Triple Crown categories that I think largely determine the MVP vote.

Here is my ballot posted at Fake Teams.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Joba Chamberlain To The Rotation Sooner Rather Than Later

This morning's New York Times has acting Yankees owner, Hank Steinbrenner, saying what most people think about Joba Chamberlain becoming a full-time middle reliever:

“I want him as a starter and so does everyone else, including him, and that is what we are working toward and we need him there now. There is no question about it, you don’t have a guy with a 100-mile-per-hour fastball and keep him as a setup guy. You just don’t do that. You have to be an idiot to do that.”

Oh? Did I mention he insulted his GM, too? In case he just mispoke with the idiot comment, he followed-up with this:

“The mistake was already made last year switching him to the bullpen out of panic or whatever. I had no say in it last year and I wouldn’t have allowed it. That was done last year, so now we have to catch up. It has to be done on a schedule so we don’t rush him.”

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Possible David Ortiz Trade

I was recently offered Grady Sizemore and Casey Blake for Dave Ortiz and Travis Buck. In what may turn out to be a big mistake, I turned it down.

When I prepared my draft strategy for this season, I wanted to land a SB player and a HR hitter with an eye towards one with a good AVG. I landed Ortiz and $44 and figured him to be the perfect fit. To address SB, I bid $25 on Carlos Gomez.

With three weeks of the season nearly passed, those decisions have proven to be at the extremely poor (Ortiz) and extremely good (Gomez). Why did I turn down and offer for the struggling Ortiz that was one that offered no discount for the possibility that Ortiz is hurt?

I am not quite sold that Ortiz is in anything but a pro-longed slump, and I am not ready to toss my entire 2008 hitting strategy to the curb. With Sizemore, I would have excess SBs and need to find HRs while likely taking a hit in AVG by dealing Buck (expected .280)for Casey (expected .260 with job threat) and Ortiz (expected .300+) for Sizemore (expected .280).

Here's to the hope that Dave Ortiz's 2-5 last night with a grand slam marked the long climb towards .300+ and 35+ HRs.

Friday, April 18, 2008

UTK Wrap: Red Sox West

Baseball Prospectus | Articles | UTK Wrap: Red Sox West

Will Carroll's weekly "Under The Knife Wrap" column is up at Baseball Prospectus. It is available to non-subscribers and provides a recap of the week's injuries. There is also newer information contained in the Quick Cuts section at the end.

His estimate for the Erik Bedard and Alfonso Soriano DL stints is just 15 days. For those of us who own either player, from his pen to God's ears.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

AL-Only SS Power


The above is a link to my league's SS. Not sure it'll work, but I was struck by the fact, FACT, that Indians' SS Jhonny Peralta is far and away to top AL SS for HRs. He could very well double the next closest SS's HR output.

Who is that #2 HR-hitting SS? Derek Jeter? Edgar Renteria? Michael Young? Bobby Crosby?

Do you really need that link to work after seeing the contenders for #2?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Joe Crede Sets Example For Eric Chavez

Crede Sets Example For Chavez:

"Crede is about four months ahead of Chavez, and like Chavez, he required an epidural when he first returned to baseball activity because of soreness when running and fielding. Chavez has had two epidurals, but he was trying to come back a little more quickly; Crede resumed hitting five months after his procedure, and Chavez started four months afterward. The setbacks that Chavez has had, Crede said, are to be expected. He had them, too."

This is good news to those of us who thought Eric CHavez was done as a major league player thanks to two epidurals for his back pain. What is the timetable for Chaevz in 2008 though?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New Closer For The Atlanta Braves

With closer Rafael Soriano on the DL, right-handed side-armer Peter Moylan took over the closer role. After one successful save opportunity, he was placed on the DL, too. The new closer is likely Manny Acosta.

I picked him up last week in hopes he would be closing. After Moylan got the 1st chance and converted it, I figured Acosta would just pitch in high leverage innings. However, I stayed away from Moylan at my NL-Only draft because I had same concerns about a reliever who threw 90 or so innings in 80 or so games last year.

Now, I look smarted than I did just a couple hours ago.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Detroit Tigers

With yesterday's embarassing loss to the White Sox which dropped the team's record (and play-off aspirations!) to 2-10, fantasy players have to seriously reconsider whatever lofty expectations they had for this team's players. The obvious place to start is the starting rotation.

When a team is expected to win 95+, there starting pitchers are always good for 12-15 Wins as long as their ratios are close to leagu-average. It is the Wins that make the average ratios palatable. If the Tigers are an 84 Win team (82-68 from this day forward .547 W%)), then who wants Nate Robertson or Kenny Rogers or Dontrelle Willis? How about gambling Jeremy Bonderman finally has a great season?

No one.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Evan Longoria

The Rays have rectified the penurious decision to send rookie 3B Evan Longoria to AAA following his excellent Spring training efforts. Just eleven days into the 2008 season, Longoria will have Super-Two status following the 2010 season and get to take the Rays to arbitration Hell for the sin of greed.

The biggest loser will be those AL-Only fantasy teams that took Willy Aybar with the expectations he would get 6-8 weeks of full-time ABs. Now the best that can be hoped is Elliot Johnson continues to struggle, and Aybar returns in a super-utility role.

In the mean time, scour the waiver wires in hopes that Longoria was dropped by impatient owners. If you can use FAAB to acquire him, then do not emulate the Rays and be stingy. You're not likely to get a better FAAB player this year.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Matthew Berry Interview

I had the opportunity to speak with Matthew Berry of I posted Part I and Part II over at Fake Teams.

Checkout the fantasy focus podcast, the free fantasy info at and the video available daily.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

First Roster "Shake-Up"

I made my first deviation for my AL-Only 4x4 team. No, it wasn't a trade, but it was a change is player assessment.

I drafted Tigers' middle reliever Jason Grilli based on two facts 1. The Tigers had no one to back-up the aged Todd Jones and 2. Grilli was coming off consecutive 50+ appearance seasons. My tenative conclusion was Grilli would get the back-up closer's role.

After his first two appearances, I changed course. He did not pitch in the 8th inning in either one and pitched poorly in both. When $1 Dennis Sarfate was available on the waiver wire, I grabbed him and jettisoned Grilli.

Yesterday, Grilli made his 3rd appearance, and 1st not on my team, and allowed multiple earned runs and hits. Whew! I half expected Grilli's 1st post-my team appearance to be a good one with a win.

Next on the watch list: Eric O'Flaherty

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

New Lefty Saves In Seattle

Mariners | Mariners' pen still leaking as Orioles complete sweep | Seattle Times Newspaper: "O'Flaherty may yet live to pitch another day late in a game. But for now, the high-pressure, late situations will be passed on to fellow lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith and most likely Arthur Rhodes, once he's healthy enough to be called up."

The Mariners' bullpen is a nightmare right now with neither top set-up man, Eric O'Flaherty on the left and Mark Lowe on the right, blowing every opportunity to fill closer JJ Putz' shoes.

If Putz is out for much longer than expected, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Mariners' dip into their prospect pool to get a middle reliever. The big loser would be the Tigers who don't have any reserve prospects to deal.

The top reliever on the market will be the Mariners' for the taking.

Monday, April 07, 2008

New Closer in Arizona?

The Diamondbacks' closer, Brandon Lyon, blew his 2nd of three save opportunities last night. The game went into extra innings, and Chad Qualls closed out the victory. I figured Tony Pena would be next in line as the D'backs used Qualls/Pena/Lyons in two previous games.

However, I never overlook what a manager actually does versus what I think should happen. Qualls successfully converted the first non-Lyons save chance. That counts for something.

Add in that the GM Josh Byrnes dealt his closer from last year for Qualls, and you get an idea that the team has more invested in Qualls than in Pena.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

AL-Only Minor League Draft Help

My Al-Only minor league draft results are posted at Fake Teams along with the results of my NL-Only 4x4 draft.

I hope they help and good luck drafting.

Friday, April 04, 2008

NL-Only Minor League Draft Help

FakeTeams :: NL-Only Minor League Draft Help

I have posted the results of my NL-Only minor league draft for my 4x4 keeper league at Fake Teams. Teams can keep up to five minor leaguers from past seasons, so the penetration into the top minor league tlanet is very deep.

FWIW, my five keepers were 1B Gaby Sanchez, 2B Eric Patterson, OF Seth Smith, SS Elvis Andrus and 2B Marcus Sanders. Noen offer a lot fo big fantasy help, but I am not penalized for having them so I keep'em.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Back-Up Closer Watch

Two things to watch for those looking for cheap saves. The first is the Seattle bullpen and JJ Putz is on the DL with ribcage tendonitis. manager John mcLaren is on record saying it is a committee situation between Sean Green, Mark Lowe and Eric O'Flaherty despite his use of Miguel Batista to close last night's victory.

The second place to watch is Houston. Manager Cecil Cooper used Jose Valverde for a two-inning save in last night's win over the Padres. The teams meet again in an afternoon tilt. I wouldn't expect valverde to pitch so soon. If the Astros' get a save chance, we will get to see who the favorite is a the back-up closer.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Pedro Martinez & Victor Martinez

Will Carroll's Under The Knife Column is up and it has updates on Pedro Martinez and Victor Martinez. In an act of fantasy baseball kindness, the write-up on both players is in the non-subscriber portion of the article as are updates on Josh Beckett, Randy Johnson and Andy Pettitte.

For the executives amongst you, here is a brief synopsis of the first three.

1. Pedro Martinez: Heading to the DL and out for a month
2. Victor Martinez: Not very serious. Back in less than a week
3. Josh Beckett: Ready to go on Sunday.

Click through to read the full blurb on each of the five players.

AL-Only 4x4 Draft Results

This is my AL-Only 4x4 draft results in my long-time keeper league. Any player with an A contract was drafted with the exceptions of Elliot Johnson and Alberto Callaspo, who were taken as DL replacements for Eric Chavez (how the mighty have fallen!) and Danny Richar.

CIvan RodriguezDET18C
CJoe MauerMIN25A
1BKevin YoukilisBOS23A
2BElliot JohnsonTB 10A
SSErick AybarANA5C
3BWilly AybarTB 1A
1B/3BAlberto CallaspoKC 10A
2B/SSJhonny PeraltaCLE22A
OFTravis BuckOAK5B
OFMelky CabreraNYY129
OFCarlos GomezMIN25A
OFShannon StewartTOR6A
OFJose GuillenKC 19B
DHDavid OrtizBOS44A
RPC.J. WilsonTEX7B
RPManny DelcarmenBOS4A
RPEric O'FlahertySEA1A
SPBrian BannisterKC 5B
SPAndy SonnanstineTB 1A
SPJoba ChamberlainNYY13C
SPJustin VerlanderDET129
RPJason GrilliDET1A
RPJamie WalkerBAL1A
RESER (2B)Danny RicharCWS1A
RESER (3B)Eric ChavezOAK2A

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Time For A Closer Change?

Indians/White Sox Boxscore

Joe Borowski had a three-run save chance and allowed a run on a HR and then allowed a hit and a walk. Rafael Betancourt will get the job once the Indians are convinced there is another bullpen arm that can take over the 8th inning work.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Speed Sleeper - Brett Gardner

The LoHud Yankees Blog: "Sanjay asked: Can you name the minor league position player who you believe will make an impact with the Yankees this year? Anybody in particular who has caught your eye?
Brian Cashman: “Brett Gardner.”"

If the GM likes him, then expect to see him in Yankee pinstripes.

AL-Only 4x4 Pitching Sleeper?

I had my AL-Only 4x4 draft yesterday. It is a keeper league, and very few SP were available. The top ones were Roy Halladay, Joe Blanton, John Lackey, Scott Kazmir and Mark Buerhle. They went for $26, $18, $17, $14 and $17 respectively.

One pitcher who did not fetch that type of bid was Mariners' $48MM man Carlos Silva. He went for $3. Looking at this comparison between Silva (as a Twin) and Blanton from 2007 looks favorable towards Silva, doesn't it?

Joe Blanton143.951.22230140
Carlos Silva134.191.3120289

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sleeper Source For 90+ RBI

CANOE -- SLAM! Sports - Baseball - MLB Toronto: Jays looking forward to TO return: "Gibbons unveiled the batting order he hopes will stick at least until Scott Rolen returns to active duty late in April or early in May. Shortstop David Eckstein batted leadoff, followed by Shannon Stewart, Alex Rios, Vernon Wells at cleanup, DH Frank Thomas, Aaron Hill, Lyle Overbay, Marco Scutaro and Gregg Zaun"

Aaron Hill batting 6th? There could be a 90+ RBI 2B emerging.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Deep AL-Only Sleepers

I'm sure most teams are drafting this weekend, and many will have completed their drafts before reading this. There are two players I want to point out for those playing in very deep Al-Only leagues.

The first is Tampa Bays Rays back-up infielder Elliot Johnson. Right now he is known for barrelling into New York Yankees catching prospect Franncisco Cervelli in the 9th inning of an early Spring Training game and breaking the catcher's wrist. Soon deep AL-Only leagues will know him as the Nick Punto of Tampa Bay - double digit steals and multi-position eligibility.

The other is Yankees' middle reliever Ross Ohlendorf. In six major league innings last season, he struck out nine batters. I sense the Yankees want him to be the one to step-up in the 'pen and take over eigth inning duties from Joba Chamberlain.

Ohlendrof is a converted starter so we have yet to see how well his stuff translates as a reliever. If last year's six-inning sample is representative, then he will be an excellent middle relief option on a team that can score runs.

Friday, March 28, 2008

AL West : Angels and Mariners

What is wrong in the AL West? All the serious division contenders have major injury issues that could derail their high expectations.

The Los Angeles Angels have to be reeling following the news that Kelvim Escobar is likely done for the 2008 season. This has the immediate effect of making Ervin Santana, Joe Saunders, Dustin Moseley or rookie Nick Adenhart a permanent 2008 rotation member. And none is expected to pitch as well as Escobar did last season.

That news followed the injury news on top middle reliever Scot Shields. He will begin the season on the DL due to forearm issues. Without a dependable bridge from the 8th inning to closer, Francisco Rodriguez, can the Angels rely on any of those four pitchers to consistently pitch into the 7th or will they be out by the 6th and cause the Angels bullpen to throw two or three innings each night to just get to K-Rod?

Preceding the Shields news was news that ace John Lackey will be lost until mid-May. This left the Angels a starting rotation of Jered Weaver, Jon Garland, Ervin Santana, Joe Saunders and either Dustin Mosely or Nick Adenhart.

That rotation cannot stave off a better Seattle Mariner's team. With a rotation of Erik Bedard, Felix Hernandez, Carlos Silva, Jarrod Washburn and Miguel Batista, the Mariners should win the battle of these two leading Al West contenders.

Unfortunately, the Mariners have some injury concerns of their on at their corners. Richie Sexson has been alluding to injury issues that are the cause of his loss of major league hitting ability, and 3B Adrian Beltre has revelaed that he is playign through a wrist injury that did not heal over the winter.

Given Sexson's production last season, the MAriners' can ably replace it with Brad Wilkerson at 1B while installing rookie Wladimir Balentien in RF. it is replacing Beltre that is more troublesome. Miguel Cairo or Willie Bloomquist can only be consider MaLPinos as regular players.

Another option at 1B would be to move Jose Vidro from the Dh role to 1B and install rookie Jeff Clement or Balentien at DH. It would likely wash with Clement upgrading power at DH and Vidro upgrading the hitting at 1B.

Either way, the Mariners will need to shuffle a couple of key hitters who are expected to hit in the middle of their order. Will their starting rotation be enough to offset that loss of offense or will the weakened Angels' rotation and their current offense still be too much?

As for the Texas Rangers and Oakland A's, let just say I don't believe either to be serious contenders barring the ermegence of 3-5 starting pitchers on each team.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

AL-Only Closer/Saves 4x4 Auction Values, Part II

Here are the remaining relievers ranked by Baseball Prospectus' Player Forecast Manager. Note a few of these guys should be downgraded alittle, if that is possible with most dollar values under $5.

AL-Only 4x4 Closer Values Part II:
Reyes AlRP7
Perez RafaelRP7
Neshek PatrickRP7
Wheeler DanRP6
Benoit JoaquinRP6
Okajima HidekiRP5
Shields ScotRP5
Speier JustinRP5
Ramirez EdwarRP5
Peralta JoelRP4
Gobble JimmyRP4
Farnsworth KyleRP4
Rodney FernandoRP4
Embree AlanRP3
Frasor JasonRP3
Delcarmen ManuelRP3
Downs ScottRP3
Britton ChrisRP3
Kobayashi MasahideRP3
Casilla SantiagoRP3
Guerrier MattRP3
Devine JoeyRP3
Linebrink ScottRP2
Dotel OctavioRP2
Bale JohnRP2
Rincon JuanRP2
Janssen CaseyRP2
Crain JesseRP2
Brown AndrewRP2
Cruceta FranciscoRP2
Logan BooneRP2
Bulger JasonRP2
Thornton MattRP2
Glover GaryRP2
Littleton WesRP1
Miller TreverRP1
Fultz AaronRP1
Lewis JensenRP1
Seay BobbyRP1

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

NL-Only 4x4 Draft Results

Here are the results of an NL-Only 4x4 snake draft I did last night. How did I do?

Round Pick Player Position
1. (8) Ryan Howard 1B
2. (13) Brandon Phillips 2B
3. (28) Brian McCann C
4. (33) Chris Young OF
5. (48) Jason Bay OF
6. (53) Francisco Cordero P
7. (68) Justin Upton OF
8. (73) Todd Helton 1B
9. (88) Ryan Theriot 2B,SS
10. (93) Oliver Perez P
11. (108) Brian Wilson P
12. (113) Khalil Greene SS
13. (128) Eugenio Velez 2B
14. (133) Matt Diaz OF
15. (148) Manny Parra P
16. (153) Chase Headley 3B
17. (168) Paul Lo Duca C
18. (173) Jose Bautista 3B,OF
19. (188) Chad Qualls P
20. (193) Geoff Jenkins OF
21. (208) David Weathers P
22. (213) Dave Roberts OF
23. (228) Alejandro De Aza OF
24. (233) Oscar Villarreal P
25. (248) Joel Hanrahan P
26. (253) Kyle Lohse P
27. (268) Jonathan Sanchez P
28. (273) Rick VandenHurk P
29. (288) Brad Thompson P

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Colorado Rockies 2B Jayson Nix

After three seasons in AAA, Jayson Nix has won the starting 2B job with the Colorado Rockies. The immediate effect is the signal the end of Jeff Baker's potential to live-up to the hype of being Clemson University's all-time HR leader when he was drafted.

Baker lost the 2B competition because he cannot hit for a high AVG and doesn't take the walks necessary to make his low AVG palatable. Sure, the Rox will say Nix won on his defense, but Baker hit a mere 209/286/326 this Spring. Nix went 300/475/667.

Baker will stick with the Rox because he can back-up 1B, 3B, LF, RF and now 2B, but his chances of ever fulfilling expectations are done. He would need a solid month or two of play to establish himself, it at all.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Expensive Steals - Carlos Gomez

The twins was given the CF job to Carlos Gomez and sent down his two competitors, Denard Span and Jason Pridie. Go to your leagues and add Gomez as fast as you can.

He is a 40+ SB player readily available.

AL Tout Wars - Top Starting Pitchers

Do you believe in Erik Bedard's 2007 season? The experts in Tout Wars sure do. He went for $33 - one of just two pitchers to crack the $30 mark. The other was CC Sabathia at $31. I would have thought there would be some concern about CC's enormous workload last season.

I would have given that honor - breaking $30 and the most expensive pitcher - to Justin Verlander. He went for $29. Josh Beckett went for $26, which is also the price of the most expensive closer, JJ Putz

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Fantasy Sleeper Opportunity - Matt Diaz

The Atlanta Braves sent up-and-coming outfielders, Brnaodn Jones and Jordan Schafer, to the minors yesterday. This means Mark Kotsay and Josh Anderson will share the CF job at the start of the 2008 season.

More importantly, this move gives LF Matt Diaz the chance to get full-time ABs. With a well-over .300 AVG the past two seasons, Diaz could become a quality asset in AVG.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

NL-Only Closer/Saves 4x4 Auction Values

NL-Only 4x4 Closer Values Part I:
Wagner BillyRP24
Saito TakashiRP21
Soriano RafaelRP21
Cordero FranciscoRP20
Valverde JoseRP19
Capps MattRP18
Cordero ChadRP16
Lidge BradRP15
Hoffman TrevorRP12
Corpas ManuelRP12
Howry BobRP12
Broxton JonathanRP11
Gagne EricRP10
Isringhausen JasonRP10
Wilson BrianRP9
Gregg KevinRP9
Marmol CarlosRP9
Meredith ClaRP7
Bell HeathRP6
Lyon BrandonRP6

Friday, March 21, 2008

AL-Only Closer/Saves 4x4 Auction Values, Part I

AL-Only 4x4 Closer Values Part I:
Putz J.J.RP27
Rivera MarianoRP26
Papelbon JonathanRP25
Street HustonRP25
Nathan JoeRP24
Rodriguez FranciscoRP23
Soria JoakimRP19
Ryan B.j.RP18
Jenks BobbyRP16
Percival TroyRP13
Borowski JoeRP12
Wilson C.J.RP12
Sherrill GeorgeRP10
Betancourt RafaelRP9
Jones ToddRP9
Walker JamieRP9

Thursday, March 20, 2008

AL-Only SP 4x4 Auction Values, Part I

AL-Only 4x4 SP Values Part I:
Robertson NateSP10
Garza MatthewSP9
Hughes PhilipSP8
Gaudin ChadSP8
Schilling CurtSP8
Willis DontrelleSP8
Laffey AaronSP8
Kennedy IanSP7
Wang Chien-MingSP7
Meche GilSP7
Buchholz ClaySP7
Mussina MikeSP7
Duchscherer JustinSP7
Baker ScottSP6
McGowan DustinSP6
Buehrle MarkSP6
Greinke ZackSP6
Garland JonSP5
Westbrook JakeSP5
Sonnanstine AndrewSP5
Cabrera DanielSP4
Washburn JarrodSP4
Millwood KevinSP4
Silva CarlosSP4
Bonser BoofSP3
Santana ErvinSP3
Marcum ShaunSP2
Wakefield TimSP1
Batista MiguelSP1
Litsch JesseSP1

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

NL-Only SP 4x4 Auction Values, Part II

NL-Only 4x4 SP Values Part II:
Santana JohanSP46
Peavy JakeSP39
Smoltz JohnSP32
Webb BrandonSP29
Hamels ColeSP29
Harang AaronSP25
Haren DanSP23
Oswalt RoySP20
Zambrano CarlosSP18
Hill RichardSP17
Lincecum TimothySP15
Martinez PedroSP15
Myers BrettSP15
Sheets BenSP14
Hudson TimSP14
Young ChrisSP14
Gallardo YovaniSP13
Kuroda HirokiSP13
Cain MattSP12
Snell IanSP12
Lilly TedSP12
Lowe DerekSP11
Arroyo BronsonSP11
Bush DavidSP11
Billingsley ChadSP11
Wainwright AdamSP10
Zito BarrySP10
Maine JohnSP10

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

NL-Only SP 4x4 Auction Values, Part I

NL-Only 4x4 SP Values Part I:
Miller AndrewSP9
Penny BradSP8
Perez OliverSP7
Francis JeffSP7
Hill ShawnSP7
Gorzelanny TomSP7
Maddux GregSP6
Hernandez OrlandoSP5
James ChuckSP5
Johnson RandySP5
Belisle MattSP5
Moyer JamieSP4
Reyes AnthonySP4
Carpenter ChrisSP4
Maholm PaulSP4
Germano JustinSP4
Sanchez JonathanSP3
Volquez EdisonSP3
Capuano ChrisSP3
Correia KevinSP3
Pelfrey MikeSP3
Prior MarkSP3
Misch PatSP2
Pineiro JoelSP2
Rodriguez WandySP1
Schmidt JasonSP1
Suppan JeffSP1
Lieber JonSP1
Hendrickson MarkSP1
Bergmann JasonSP1

Monday, March 17, 2008

AL-Only OF 4x4 Auction Values, Part II

AL-Only 4x4 OF Values:
Sizemore GradyCF33
Crawford CarlLF32
Upton B.J.OF/2B31
Granderson CurtisCF26
Hunter ToriiCF26
Rios AlexisRF25
Figgins Chone3B/CF25
Swisher Nicholas1B/LF24
Jones AdamCF24
Guerrero VladimirRF22
Thames MarcusLF22
Young DelmonRF22
Abreu BobRF21
Dye JermaineRF20
Markakis NickLF/RF20
Wells VernonCF20
Sheffield GaryRF20
Gomez CarlosCF20
Ellsbury JacobyCF19
Ordonez MagglioRF18
Ramirez MannyLF17
Matsui HidekiLF17
Bradley MiltonRF17
Cuddyer MikeRF17
Suzuki IchiroCF/RF16
Buck TravisLF16
Matthews GaryCF16
Gutierrez FranklinRF16
Guillen JoseRF15
Damon JohnnyCF15
Hamilton JoshCF15