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.