Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Under The Knife: Late Spring Training Hurts

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Late Spring Training Hurts:

"While the physical demands are different, a knee is a knee. I'm not saying that Berkman is headed for microfracture surgery now, but that's going to be an option that's discussed if this continues to be an issue. Arthritis is something that doesn't just get better, meaning Berkman had better get used to this ... and Astros fans had better as well."

Who To Drop For Beltran

FakeTeams - Fantasy Baseball Coverage:

"I would drop one of either Cameron Maybin or Dextor Fowler to do so. So, my question is this - who would you drop to pick up Beltran?"

Neither. Click through to vote.

The Value of Relief Pitchers

RotoSynthesis: The Value of Relief Pitchers for ERA, WHIP, Ks and Wins:

"In other words, if you project your 70 IP middle reliever to win five games and strike out a batter per inning, he's gold in your low innings cap yahoo league in four categories. And he's got a chance to be a closer and five-category monster like Rivera"

Tout Wars auction recap

Tout Wars auction recap: What the hell is Behrens doing? - Roto Arcade - Fantasy Blog - Yahoo! Sports:

"But I'll remind you: there was a plan. Not a live-blogger-approved plan, but a plan nonetheless. There had only been modest improvisation in my bidding to that point. Here's what I'd managed to purchase in descending order of price:

$45 Hanley Ramirez(notes)
$42 Chase Utley(notes)
$30 Kevin Youkilis(notes)
$27 Adrian Gonzalez
$21 Jose Reyes
$19 Johan Santana(notes)
$17 Brian Wilson(notes)
$17 Heath Bell(notes)
$15 Carlos Marmol(notes)"

NL Tout Wars: Nate Ravitz

Did the Say Nay Kid reveal his team on Tuesday's podcast? If not here is a glimpse.

Nate Ravitz $
Ramon Hernandez 8
Jesus Flores 2
Adrian Gonzalez 28
Casey McGehee 10
Adam Dunn 23
Dan Uggla 21
Ryan Theriot 16
Freddy Sanchez 10
Matt Kemp 38
Eugenio Velez 3
Tony Gwynn 7
Delwyn Young 3
Chris Dickerson 7
John Bowker 2
Dan Haren 28
Billy Wagner 17
Trevor Hoffman 15
Takashi Saito 3
Mat Latos 8
Brad Penny 4
Dan Runzler 1
David Bush 3
Anibal Sanchez 3
Logan Morrison
Oscar Salazar
Esmailin Caridad
Jarrod Washburn

Major batting AVG issues. A zero 2nd catcher. One everyday OF. Surprisingly good pitching

Do You Believe?

Chat: Chat with Rob Neyer - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Brian (NYC) So...are you buying Carmona's resurgence this Spring?

Rob Neyer (12:21 PM) On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is more Steve Blass Disease and 10 is another Cy Young candidacy, I'm probably at 6, maybe 6.5 ... that is, guardedly optimistic."

With fantasy drafts wrapping up over the next two weeks, Carmona's efforts are huge. Do you toss him for a $1 and hope someone else rosters him? Do you bid $2 and hope no one else believes?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

1st Up To Close

MLB -- Buster Olney: For some reason, the push to get back by the opener is over-emphasized - ESPN:

"Matt Lindstrom appears to be in a better position to close games at the outset of the season, given that he's a few weeks ahead of Brandon Lyon, and given that he's throwing his fastball in the upper 90s and complementing that velocity well with secondary pitches."

10 Players To Have

FakeTeams - Fantasy Baseball Coverage:

"Jason Grey is one the few ESPN writers I like to read on a regular basis, and yesterday he posted his list of 10 players he would 'love to have this season'."

1. Justin Upton

2. Gordon Beckham

3. Billy Butler

4. Howie Kendrick

5. Chris Davis

6. Stephen Drew

7. Brett Anderson

8. Andrew McCutchen

9. Mat Latos

10. Wade Davis/Brian Matusz

Gammons: Six teams to watch

Gammons: Six teams to watch | News:

"So it's an easy choice where to start the list of teams training in Arizona that are better than you may think:"

Mixed League Draft Results

My only Rotisserie style mixed league.

1. (11) Ryan Howard
2. (14) Joe Mauer
3. (35) Ben Zobrist
4. (38) Justin Verlander
5. (59) Adam Wainwright
6. (62) Jason Bay
7. (83) Gordon Beckham
8. (86) Andrew McCutchen
9. (107) Carlos Peña
10. (110) Brian Fuentes
11. (131) Julio Borbón
12. (134) Elvis Andrus
13. (155) Brett Anderson
14. (158) Carlos González
15. (179) Chris Pérez
16. (182) Stephen Strasburg
17. (203) Jorge De La Rosa
18. (206) Kevin Gregg
19. (227) David Price
20. (230) Mat Latos
21. (251) Kyle Blanks

Fearless Liriano Prediction

Noise: Twinkies' Liriano, exceptional, cream-filled value - Roto Arcade - Fantasy Blog - Yahoo! Sports:

"Many cautious owners still consider Leery-ano tempestuous. However, the chances of him becoming a distressed asset are minimal. Based on his lowly ADP, owners won't be second-guessing.

With his confidence high, velocity back and slider snapping, he could finally deliver a mammoth return.

Liriano's evil twin may finally be dead.

Fearless Forecast: 159.1 IP, 11 W, 3.88 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 153 K"

Are You Crazy?

Gammons: Six teams to watch | News:

"Why are Cubs fans in such panic? Everyone was a genius when they were in first place; now everyone's dumb. They need Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez to have big production years, as Alfonso Soriano is now a six-hole hitter who they say can't steal bases any more."

Ryan Howard steals more bases than Alfonso Soriano in 2010.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Keith Law: Breakout Players

MLB - Keith Law: From Colby Rasmus to Matt Wieters, Keith Law makes his annual prediction of breakout players. - ESPN:

"Matt Harrison, LHP, Texas Rangers: Harrison hasn't been fully healthy since Texas acquired him in the Teixeira trade in 2008, fighting a sore shoulder and then thoracic outlet syndrome. He showed up this spring pumping gas, 94-95 in short stints with a good cutter, and appears to have won a rotation spot as a result of his rediscovered stuff. Even if Harrison is league-average this year, it would be a huge upgrade over his performance in the majors to date, and a big boost to the Rangers' chances to win that division."

MLB - Keith Law: Breakout Players

MLB - Keith Law: From Colby Rasmus to Matt Wieters, Keith Law makes his annual prediction of breakout players. - ESPN:

"Travis Snider, LF, Toronto Blue Jays: Somehow Adam Lind's reputation for defensive incompetence has rubbed off on Snider, but it's certainly not fair to the latter, as Snider's a better runner with a better arm, and the Blue Jays have shown that they can improve a player's defense as long as he's not hopeless at the position. Snider's calling card is his bat, though -- he's short and direct to the ball but strong, with power arriving now and some average and patience to come in the future."

NL Tout Wars Team - Chris Liss of Rotowire

RotoSynthesis: RotoWire's NL Tout Wars Team:

"Just got back from CitiField where Tout was held this year. Erickson did the AL, while I did the NL one. The live blog from the NL is here. Here's my team (13-team NL only 5 x 5).

C Russell Martin 14
C Miguel Montero 15
1B Todd Helton 15
2B Kazuo Matsui 11
3B Ian Stewart 18
SS Orlando Cabrera 16
CI David Freese 9
MI Edgar Renteria 8
OF Justin Upton 34
OF Jason Heyward 14
OF Colby Rasmus 18
OF Melky Cabrera 8
OF Jermaine Dye 3
U Pedro Alvarez 4
P Johan Santana 25
P Aroldis Chapman 5
P Brad Lidge 11
P Randy Wells 6
P Homer Bailey 7
P Kris Medlen 3
P Joe Blanton 11
P Jon Garland 4
P Felipe Paulino 2
R Mike Jacobs
R Kyle Kendrick
R Jason Giambi
R Pedro Martinez"

How the Yankees ruined Joba

BP: How the Yankees ruined Joba - The Max Info Blog - ESPN:

"In naming Phil Hughes their fifth starter and sending Joba Chamberlain off to an unspecified role in the bullpen, the Yankees tacitly acknowledged that in their frantic efforts to protect Chamberlain's health by limiting his innings, they had failed to develop him properly."

Sleeper SP

Gammons: Tales from Spring Training | News:

"One of the fun debates on the west coast of Florida is rating the three young, big arms on the Rays. I polled six scouts, five had it 1. Wade Davis, 2. Jeremy Hellickson and 3. David Price, and the other had it Hellickson/Davis/Price."

Absolute Must Read On ADP

RotoSynthesis >> ADP: Seasons of Change:

"Don't be sucked into drafting players in any round based on what happened last year - or - simply because cheat sheets and ADP data suggest you should go a particular direction. There are many instances where a player drafted two or three rounds earlier than his ADP slot will be profitable. Can you every really err by simply taking the player you want? I don't think so."

Defintiely click through and read the whole thing.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mixed League Auction Results: The Hitters

To finish the three-part rollout of my mixed league auction team at Yahoo!'s Roto Arcade Pro-Am, here are my hitters. (12-team, H2H, 6x6, Holds and OPS)

C Jorge Posada $2
1B Mark Teixeira $35
2B Kelly Johnson $3
SS Troy Tulowitzki $33
3B Chone Figgins $16
CR Ryan Howard $41
MM Jason Bartlett $11
OF Hunter Pence $13
OF Shane Victorino $13
OF Adam Jones $13
UT Alberto Callaspo $2
UT Michael Brantley $1

Outfield Auction Values

Shuffle Up and Deal: Roaming the Outfield - Roto Arcade - Fantasy Blog - Yahoo! Sports#remaining-content#remaining-content:

"Just outfielders today, gamers. If you want the Utleys and the Longorias, click here. If you want the Lincecums and Halladays, head over here. If you want the Flying Molina Brothers, you'll have to wait.

Don't take the prices too literally, as always – the important thing is to note how the players relate to each other, and seeing the clusters of talent. In a mixed-league auction, add a few bucks to the stars here (you'll make it up when the lower-class talent goes for less, and it will)."

Click through for values and for the links to infielders and SPs.

Injury Situations To Be Watched

FakeTeams - Fantasy Baseball Coverage:

"As we approach the end of Spring Training, there are a number of roster spots and position battles which are slowly winding their way to completion."

I Am Not Alone: Pujols May Disappoint - Free Preview:

"Albert Pujols returns less than $30 in 5x5 value. Might as well start at the top, tossing the consensus #1 pick under a bus. Heck, the ADP #1 has never finished #1 in the six years we've been following ADPs. Pujols has been a model of consistency and excellence and has been able to maintain that excellence despite a series of nagging injuries. But now he 'has a pain in his lower back that he's never experienced before,' according to Tony La Russa, and a bad back can stop the strongest of sluggers. The Cardinals may also be in a position to give him more rest during the season."

Been thinking the same thing. Have we been lulled into a false sense of security after Pujols has succeeded with a torn UCL and planta fasciitus?

Out Of Options: Fox, Maier, Patterson, Wood & Other

Baseball America | Blog | Baseball America Prospects Blog | Out Of Options: Fox, Maier, Patterson, Wood & Other Position Players:

"we can take a look at a handful of players who enter the 2010 season with no minor league options remaining. For these purposes, we're going to focus only on players who played in Triple-A in ’09 on their third and final option. For such a player, his organization must decide in the next two weeks if it's in or out. For keeps."

Good stuff. Click through to read about the Seven led by Brandon Wood

Joe Sheehan's Guys

Baseball Prospectus | Events | Chat with Joe Sheehan:

"Fred (Houston): Hey Joe, Care to share some of 'your guys' for this season?

Joe Sheehan: I've been including some of these in the pieces I've been writing for Rotowire, but off the top of my head...Trevor Cahill, Drew Stubbs, Alfredo Aceves, Rickie Weeks, Dexter Fowler, Chris Outfielder Young. Ruben Gotay if finds his way to the majors."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fangraphs on Chris Tillman

AL $ Option: Chris Tillman | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball:

"Taken as a whole, there’s more to like than dislike in the Tillman package. If you squint just right, you could see this young pitcher find his old dominant strikeout rate, push the groundball-to-flyball ratio back to his normal (if mediocre) levels, exhibit his new-found control once again, and drastically improve his results. That’s all without the intrigue of the new pitch added in."

Speed Sleeper

Francisco Liriano keeps up torrid K pace in spring game Thursday - ESPN:

"Speaking of speed, Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez stole his MLB-leading ninth base of the spring Thursday. Another telling stat, however, is that he has drawn only one walk. Ultimately Gomez needs to follow the path of Michael Bourn and become more patient to become a big-time base stealer."

In mixed leagues, Carlos gomez is typically the last Sb-only regular standing.

More Mixed League Auction Strategy: Spend on RP

Here are the RPs I drafted in Yahoo!'s Roto-Arcade Pro-Am. Format: 12-team, H2H, 6x6 with Holds and OPS.

Jonathan Papelbon $20
Mariano Rivera $19
Matt Thorton $7
Luke Gregerson $5
Joba Chamberlain $3
Jon Rauch $4

Real Auction: 12-Team NL-Only

Real Auction: 12-Team NL-Only | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball: "I ended up with the following team:
Ryan Doumit – $13
Jason Castro – $1
Adam Dunn – $25
Clint Barmes – $10
Troy Glaus – $14
Stephen Drew – $17
Rafael Furcal – $9
Mark DeRosa – $11
Jason Bay – $26
Michael Bourn – $19
Nate McLouth – $16
Chris Young – $8
Scott Hairston – $1
Justin Maxwell – $4
Luke Gregerson – $1
Jason Marquis – $2
Tim Hudson – $6
Jorge de la Rosa – $9
Ubaldo Jimenez – $21
Brandon Webb – $10
Heath Bell – $16
Felipe Paulino – $2
Chad Qualls – $18"

Fool's Gold: ABs for Cubs Rookie

Looks like Tyler Colvin has won job with Chicago Cubs -

"'First, Tyler Colvin has had an outstanding spring,' Piniella said. 'He has played well enough to make this team. The concern is we don't want this young man to make this team and just sit. So if he's on our Opening Day roster, he's going to get some playing time. He's not just going to sit.'

That means Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd and Kosuke Fukudome will see less playing time, at least early in the season."

Don't forget Xavier Nady. No way Colvin gets regular ABs.

Mixed League Auction Strategy: Punt SP

In the Yahoo! Roto-Arcade Pro-Am, I punted SP. Here are my SPs along with draft values:

Stephen Strasburg $7
Rick Porcello $4
Mat Latos $2
Shaun Marcum $2
Felipe Paulino $1
Jorge de la Rosa $2
Homer Bailey $1

(format: 12-team, H2H, 6x6, Holds 6th pitching category)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Another Contender For Top AL Tout Wars Draft

Rotowire's Jeff Erickson

Joe Mauer 30
Taylor Teagarden 1
Miguel Cabrera 35
Ty Wigginton 10
Ryan Garko 1
Aaron Hill 23
Derek Jeter 27
Alberto Callaspo 12
Coco Crisp 10
Nolan Reimold 16
Jeremy Hermida 6
Jermaine Dye 3
Desmond Jennings 1
David Ortiz 12
Rick Porcello 10
Andy Pettitte 7
Cliff Lee 16
Joaquim Soria 20
Daisuke Matsuzaka 7
Joe Saunders 4
Ricky Romero 6
Gio Gonzalez 2
Derek Holland 1
Michael Taylor
Elijah Dukes
Brandon Snyder
Shaun Kelly

AL Tout Wars Post Draft Winning Roster?'s Matthew Berry

C Matt Wieters 17
C Tyler Flowers 1
1B Billy Butler 23
3B Mark Teahen 13
CI Nick Johnson 13
2B Brian Roberts 23
SS Cesar Izturis 3
MI Alexi Casilla 1
OF Adam Lind 26
OF Curtis Granderson 24
OF Rajai Davis 17
OF Rick Ankiel 6
OF Randy Winn 2
UT Hideki Matsui 13
P Justin Verlander 25
P J.J. Putz 2
P Josh Beckett 21
P Gil Meche 3
P Chris Perez 11
P Wade Davis 7
P Tim Wakefield 1
P J.P. Howell 1
P Fausto Carmona 5

Jim Johnson
Fernando Perez
Jose Mijares
Joey Gathright

Garrett Jones Or Lastings Milledge

Baseball Prospectus | Events | Chat with Joe Sheehan:

"Joe (Pa): Best guess for Garrett Jones slash line this year? Or Milledge?

Joe Sheehan: Jones: .235/.310/.420. Milledge: .285/.340/.455"

If I had to accept both, I'd say you're wrong.

AL Tout Live Blog, starts Friday at 3:30pm

AL Tout Live Blog, starts Friday at 3:30pm right here |

If I only had a fantasy blog 12 years ago....

Infield Auction Values

Shuffle Up and Deal: Raking the Infield - Roto Arcade - Fantasy Blog - Yahoo! Sports:

"You're going to draft a bunch of infielders this year, so here are some prices to get you started. We'll price the outfielders at the end of the week.

Don't get too hung up on the actual dollar amounts; the key is noting how the players relate to each other. Your intelligent, respectful disagreement is most welcome, but support your angles; if something looks wrong, suggest what ranking tweak would make it right, and why"

Will Brett Lawrie Stay at 2B?

Chat: Chat with Baseball America's Jim Callis - SportsNation - ESPN:

"zach (chicago) Triunfel or Lawrie? Will Lawrie stay at 2b?

Jim Callis (2:59 PM) Lawrie and yes."

Brett Lawrie made it to AA as a teenager. That augers well. Nevermind BA ranks him as the best power hitter in the organization.

An easy decision: Heyward makes the cut | News

An easy decision: Heyward makes the cut | News:

"Jason Heyward's big lefty bat eventually made it a foregone conclusion, and a Friday morning meeting with Bobby Cox made it official: Heyward will be the Braves' Opening Day right fielder."

I expect to see some uptick in his draft value as this question no longer suppresses his value.

Sleeper Closer

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Mid-Week Update: "The Orioles are at least considering giving Jim Johnson a share of the closer's job to start the season, as Mike Gonzalez has yet to reach 90 mph with his fastball this spring."

For $12MM over two years, Jim Johnson owners better hope Mike Gonzalez is hiding an injury. For those who haven't drafted yet, let's hope we know by draft time.

Rookies Not Named Strasburg, Heyward or Chapman

Keeper Corner: Rookies that can make a difference | Fantasy Baseball 101:

"Let’s take a quick look at six players who can help you later in 2010:"

Kyle Drabek. click over to see the other 5

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Detroit Tigers Sleepers

"Austin Jackson has come into camp and done exactly what the Tigers needed him to do in winning the center-field job decisively; he has a .444 OBP this spring, and evaluators say he appears to have developed much better pitch recognition. The Tigers love the presence that Johnny Damon has had in their camp, and Rick Porcello appears poised to ascend to the next tier of pitchers."

From Buster Olney.

MLB Trade Rumors: Toronto Blue Jays

Expect Jays to Cash in Current Talent for Future | FanGraphs Baseball:

"Would the Jays trade a 28-year-old who is under contract for at least one more season at a reasonable salary? It depends on the return, of course, but while I think it’s unlikely I wouldn’t completely rule out an Aaron Hill trade. It could come after the season, too."

Since Hill pulls all his HRs, the Jays may find themsleves trying to deal a 15 HR 2B in July.

Why Zach Greinke Will Disappoint

MLB -- Buster Olney: Fausto Carmona may have re-discovered his groove, which is Cleveland's best chance - ESPN:

"The Royals are thinking about using Alberto Callaspo as their No. 3 hitter. This would mean that K.C.'s front four spots in the lineup would look like:
David DeJesus
Scott Podsednik
Billy Butler"

Between everything going right for Greinke peripherals-wise in 2009 and this kind of line-up in 2010...

My Outrageous MLB Predictions

RotoSynthesis : My Outrageous MLB Predictions:

"Delmon Young and Jeremy Hermida each hit 20-plus HRs and bat .290-plus."

What?!?!? Aramis Ramirez

MLB -- Buster Olney: The Atlanta Braves and Detroit Tigers are among a trio of hot spring stories, but three others are down - ESPN:

"It's still unclear how much the Cubs are going to get from Aramis Ramirez at the outset of the season, because at the moment he is not physically capable of playing third base."

Fantasy Sleeper SP?

FakeTeams - Fantasy Baseball Coverage:

"Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy threw 5 shutout innings vs the Padres, giving up two hits while striking out eight. He could be a sleeper in NL-only leagues on draft day. He average a strikeout per inning in the minors."

Whoa! Jose Reyes

Focus needs to be on closing stretch, not on Opening Day -

"The days of stealing too many bases have to be in the past. If Reyes and the Mets manage the situation the proper way, Reyes will have plenty of stolen bases, somewhere in the 30-40 range, and they can be big ones. It’s about managing the speed to make the most of it."

A 40 SB Reyes? With 15+ HRs, around Derek Jeter value.

Full Steam Ahead, Jose Reyes!

Reyes fields grounders, takes swings, declares he is ready to go -

"Reyes said doctors told him he had a virus that caused the overactive thyroid."

Back to worrying about hamstrings. Reyes value is back to where it was pre-thyroid scare.

Phil Hughes Rules

Yanks need new rules for Hughes -

"This is the one the Yankees seem to be leaning toward most: Limit Hughes to four-inning starts early, and take advantage that Aceves and Mitre are both stretched out, so one of them could back up those starts. Heck, even Chamberlain is stretched out and can give the Yankees some extra innings early, and Chan Ho Park has starting in his background and can give multiple innings early, as well."

Ugh. More unproven theories.

All Questions Answered Day

All Questions Answered Day | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball:

"A reasonable question would be something like “Who would you rather have, Matt Holliday or Nick Markakis?” A bad question would be “Who would you rather have, Albert Pujols or Adam Moore?”"

Of course, feel free to ask me, and I'll answer too. And I won't say soemthing like, "Was this already asked at Fangraphs?"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rotowire Fantasy Sports today

Jeff Erickson (Jeff_Erickson) on Twitter

"Starting Monday we're going to host a new show, RotoWire Fantasy Sports Today, on XM/Sirius new fantasy channel. M-F 11-2 ET XM241/Sir125."

Buh-bye Blog Talk Radio.

Remember Choi?

Remember Choi? | FanGraphs Baseball:

"Choi celebrated his 31st birthday eight days ago. Presumably his Major League career is over. The ending was pretty bland and in 100 years Choi is going to be less than a footnote in baseball history."

From Korea Times:

"The defending champion Kia Tigers have re-signed their two biggest bats, locking up Kim Sang-hyun and Choi Hee-seop Friday.

Kim signed on for 240 million won for the upcoming season while Choi will earn 400 million won.

Kim gets a 362 percent raise from last season while Choi's salary was doubled.

Choi, the former major leaguer, signed a 350 million won contract with the Tigers midway through the 2007 season but after a bad year in 2008, his salary was cut to 200 million won last season.

But in 2009, both players were among the league's biggest power hitters and helped the Tigers to their 10th Korean Series trophy. Kim recorded a .315 batting average with 36 homers and 127 RBIs and Choi hit .308 with 33 dingers and 100 RBIs.

Bumgarner optioned to Triple-A

Bumgarner optioned to Triple-A Fresno | News:

"The Giants optioned left-hander Madison Bumgarner to Triple-A Fresno on Tuesday, removing him from the competition for the No. 5 starter's role."

The 1st good break of the year. I feared he would make the team and pitch two or three stinkers before bad news broke.

Florida Marlins 1B

Gaby Sanchez building a strong case for earning starting job with the Marlins - South Florida

"Sanchez pointed out that he hit 16 home runs in 85 games at New Orleans last year, an improvement over the 17 he hit in 133 games at Carolina in 2008.

'Given a lot of at-bats, he may be a 20 home run guy,' Gonzalez said. 'Fifteen to 20 in his first year, I will take that. I am not worried about it.'

Sanchez feels he has made a strong case for earning the job.

'So far, not much I could do more. I feel like I have been hitting the ball well and seeing a lot of pitches,' Sanchez said. 'When we get down to the end, which is pretty soon now, basically whatever happens happens.'

With third baseman Jorge Jimenez going back to the Red Sox, it appears what will happen is Sanchez will get the job, since Cantu is now a lock for third."

Ervin Santana Injury

Twitter / Home:

"injuryexpert Ervin Santana's elbow is acting up again ... this is a very bad sign for Angels fans."

Prediction: The Angels fall apart in 2010 and finish 3rd or 4th in the AL West.

A SP Sleeper Down?

MLB -- Buster Olney: Joe Nathan's injury gets the attention, but these could be equally significant - ESPN:

"Rich Harden's fastball the other day was clocked at 84-88 mph. Not good."

Projecting Chapman

Projecting Chapman | FanGraphs Baseball:

"So, in addition to asking what kind of innings totals we are expecting from Chapman, and what kind of component FIP statistics you project, I’m going to duplicate Tango’s question as well."

Great in 1st couple months. Trade then in non-keepers or as a bail piece in keeper leagues

Matt Thorton Value

MLB Features:

"This may finally be the year in which the White Sox' best reliever gets the most saves. Matt Thornton has been a monster the last two years, posting a 2.71 ERA, 10.6 K/9 and a baserunner an inning, while picking up just five saves. Bobby Jenks is always a health risk because of the weight he carries, and specifically this spring because of a calf problem carried forward from 2009. J.J. Putz won't be in the mix for three months or so. This isn't exactly earth-shattering information, but because Thornton hasn't saved games, you might be able to get him cheaply depending on your league. I went to $7 for him in an 18-team mixed league with an inflation problem, and I expect him to return a lot more than that."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nationals' Willie Harris

Nationals' Willie Harris still hopes to become a regular guy -

"Riggleman plans to pencil Harris's name into the opening day lineup in right field, a designation that typically implies ownership of a position."

Great batting eye. Good side of a platoon. Ability to play (then qualify) at multiple positions.

Excellent end-game draftee in NL-Only leagues

Plenty of Sleepers

Plenty of sleepers flying under the radar -

"These guys are temporarily paralyzed by the players ahead of them, but could be solid contributors if injury, ineffectiveness or a trade gives them an opportunity to play regularly."

The Closer Report: American League Edition | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

The Closer Report: American League Edition | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball:

"Welcome to the first official RotoGraphs Closer Report for 2010."

Take An Ace Early?

Jays wonder if Marcum will stop the rain - The Globe and Mail:

"But Marcum's not up to controlling any gods – baseball or otherwise – despite pitching on a turn that has him lined up to start the season opener in Texas on April 5, which kind of makes him the nominal ace, no? All he wants to do is stay healthy."

He's the #1 in Toronto and also on the list in mid-teens SP draftees who will help in a hitting-heavy strategy.

Scout On Drew Storen

MLB -- Buster Olney: The Twins have changed, but now MLB must consider the A's and Rays - ESPN:

"Heard this from a talent evaluator, about the Nationals' Drew Storen: 'Pretty impressive. Great sinking fastball. His fastball, to me, is a lot like [Josh] Johnson's fastball -- he doesn't throw as hard, but the action on it is the same. I could see he and [Stephen] Strasburg being around together for a long time.'"

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sleeper 1B In Seattle

MLB -- Buster Olney: The Twins have changed, but now MLB must consider the A's and Rays - ESPN:

"The Mariners are going to play Chone Figgins at second base and Jose Lopez at third, writes Geoff Baker; Figgins is hitting No. 2 in the Seattle lineup, behind Ichiro, and Casey Kotchman appears to be the No. 3 hitter."

I gambled on him in an AL-Only 4x4. Unfortunately, I did the same last season.

Whither Aroldis Chapman?

After dismal 2009, talented Tampa Bay Rays want to get back to winning ways:

"Chapman has scouts in agreement about being the Reds' best pitcher right now. 'There's no way they can send this kid out,' said one veteran scout."

Anyone Notice This in Spring?

Minnesota Twins OF Delmon Delwyn Young - 5 HRs
Toronto Blue Jays C J.P. Arenciba - 0 Ks in 15 ABs with 3 HRs.

Owners play it safe in AL LABR draft

Owners play it safe in AL LABR draft -

"In addition, speed burners Rajai Davis and Julio Borbon went for $22 and Juan Pierre for $20."

Fantasy Baseball: Draft Strategy-Playing For 2011

Fantasy Baseball: Draft Strategy-Playing For 2011 - FakeTeams:

"In my NL-Only 4x4 keeper, two teams are employing the strategy this draft. I am guessing the draft inflation will be incredible up and down the Stars, Almost Stars, and Everyday ABs ladder."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Adrian Gonzalez & Baltimore Orioles

Don’t be so sure slugger will be traded to Boston -

"Baltimore definitely can form a package headed by an elite young pitcher (the Orioles wouldn’t part with Brian Matusz, but Chris Tillman or Jake Arrieta) and the type of fleet outfield prospect in Xavier Avery that San Diego wants to add to play in its spacious park. Nevertheless, while the Orioles are willing to go big on a free agent, Baltimore officials do not believe the team is ready yet to begin using its prospect base as a way to challenge the Yankees and Red Sox."

We'll see if a prospect or two emerges during the season.

Keith Law - Stephen Strasburg belongs in Washington

Keith Law - Stephen Strasburg belongs in Washington - ESPN:

"A realistic estimate of the Nationals' savings in 2013 from keeping Strasburg from reaching super-two status that year is $4-5 million, which, discounted back three years, is probably not that much more than the revenue they'd gain from having him make an extra few home starts this year."

Top prospects go cheaply in NL LABR auction

Top prospects go cheaply in NL LABR auction -

"In addition to Strasburg and Heyward, the NL owners dipped into the prospect pool frequently, with Logan Morrison ($8), Aroldis Chapman ($6), Ian Desmond ($5), Buster Posey ($3), Jason Castro ($3), Pedro Alvarez ($3), Juan Francisco ($2) and Starlin Castro ($2) going in the regular auction."

Cristian Guzman's Arm

Nationals Journal - The trouble with Cristian Guzman's arm:

"'The first ball that was hit to him, he did a nice, crisp throw over there to first base,' Riggleman said. 'He looked real good. The ball to his right, it just looked like he was thinking, 'I'm not going to air this ball out.' For whatever reason he didn't want to really let it go. The result was, it's not a good throw."

The groundwork is being laid to give the starting SS job to Ian Desmond.

Chapman or Hamels?

Chapman or Hamels? - FakeTeams:

"I have Cole Hamels and was offered Ardolis Chapman for him I'm in a rebuilding mode, and while Hamels is having a solid spring, so is Chapman. I've never been a big believer in Chapman but now am buying into the hype. I originally turned this offer down, but am now reconsidering. This is a league where salaries do not matter and once a player is on your team, he is on your team for the duration of his career unless you trade/drop him. Who would you rather have for this year and beyond?"

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ron Shandler: Condemning Fantasy

Ron Shandler: Condemning Fantasy:

"Of course, there is always the potential for too much of a good thing. And the obsession of Fantasyland protagonist Jed Latkin does the hobby no favors. But behind his overly ambitious behavior resides no less of a 'real' baseball fan than any of us."

Making the Team: Fernando Martinez

Making the Team: Fernando Martinez - FakeTeams:

"‘FMart’ has played at least two different levels in each of his professional seasons, including a brief stint with the big club last year at the age of 20."

21-years-old. Post-hype sleeper already

Stephen Strasburg Will Start In...

Twitter / Mark Zuckerman: Stephen Strasburg and Drew ...: "Stephen Strasburg and Drew Storen will each open 2010 at Class AA Harrisburg."

For those of us with the #1 pick in minor league drafts, a sigh of relief.

One2Watch4: Carlos Gomez

One2Watch4: Carlos Gomez - The Max Info Blog - ESPN:

"While Gomez’s patience at the plate was disappointing during his time in Minnesota, he did show improvement. From 2008 to 2009 his 1st pitch swing percentage dropped by nearly seven percentage points. His percent of pitches taken also increased from 45 to nearly 49 percent. Both numbers could still improve further, but it’s a start."

After last season, Carlos Gomez is likely a $1 draftee in NL-Only leagues.

Brandon Wood Auction Value

Los Angeles Angels infielders, young pitchers hold key to Jason Grey's 2010 LABR success - ESPN:

"CI: Brandon Wood, $15. Perhaps the most questionable pick I made, even though I also had Izturis for insurance. Sometimes the price spent on a player depends on when his name is tossed for bidding and what's left at the time. When Wood was nominated, really all that was left at third base was Garrett Atkins, Edwin Encarnacion and Kevin Kouzmanoff. I wanted no part of Atkins, and correctly foresaw bidding wars developing on the other two that would push them beyond Wood's price, and I wanted to save the extra couple bucks so I didn't need to get any $1 pitchers. As for Wood, I point you to Brendan Roberts' fine take on Wood. I have seen Wood make some subtle adjustments that I think are going to allow him to stick in the majors, and even if he does hit just .250 with 20-25 homers as Brendan projects, that works for this price in AL-only play. And again, I also have Izturis if it doesn't pan out."

I have been debating raising Wood to $15 for 2010 and 2011.

Friday, March 19, 2010

AL-Only Draft Strategy

Los Angeles Angels infielders, young pitchers hold key to Jason Grey's 2010 LABR success - ESPN:

"Across the board it seemed the positional depth in a 12-team league was as shallow as it has been in recent seasons, lending itself to an offense-heavy approach to avoid the part-time players or ones with questionable job security. When I go heavy on offense, I usually wind up being the first one done filling out my hitting spots, because I absolutely don't want to be fighting over the scraps at the end. That approach seemed especially important this year."

Too Much Hype? Gordon Beckham

Chat: Chat with Baseball America's Jim Callis - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Justin (Chicago South Side) I have heard numerous Michael Young comps for Gordon Beckham. Do you see Becks putting up some of Young's numbers over his career?

Jim Callis (2:19 PM) I think Beckham will put up better numbers. He has more power and more patience."

If Beckham hits in a run-producing spot, Michael Young is a floor comp for production with upside.

MLB Trade Rumors: heath bell

Twitter / Bob Nightengale:

"The Twins have been extensively scouting SD closer Heath Bell for possible trade."

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo! I don't want to witness Luke Gregerson going for $20+ in NL-Only keeper leagues!

Sleeper SB: Luis Durango

5'10, 145 lb left fielder with the San Diego Padres.

11 extra base hits in 456 AA ABs in 2009
20 extra base hits in 406 A-/A+ ABs in 2008

High-Stakes CardRunner's Poker League

RotoSynthesis : High-Stakes CardRunner's Poker League:

"The league is a 10-team AL-only with the standard lineups and five bench spots. One catch is that you can use your auction dollars to fill bench spots, and there's only a draft to fill the remaining spots once everyone runs out of money. Here are the results:"

Poker Players drafted Matt Wieters for $21 and Joe Mauer for $40.

More On Chicago Cubs Prospect Lee Hak-Ju

Keith Law - Chicago Cubs prospects Lee Hak-Ju, Kyle Burke and Jesus Morelli are making a case for a call-up as spring training rolls on. - ESPN:

"Lee Hak-Ju is one of a half-dozen Korean prospects currently in the Chicago Cubs' farm system, and was the only Korean player to rank among the top-10 prospects in any of the 30 organizations this offseason. Lee is an exciting prospect with a chance to have four above-average to plus tools, with power as the lone exception, and he should stay at shortstop long-term between his athleticism and impressive feel for the position. He has good bat control and bat speed, with an approach aimed at contact rather than power, and he's a well above-average runner."

Am I the only person who thinks every lower level SS sprospect is going to be moved from the position?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fantasy Sleeper SP

RotoSynthesis >> Quick Thoughts on Some Rotation Candidates:

"Speaking of Mets starters, you may have heard or read that Mike Pelfrey has added a new pitch – a split-finger fastball."

Madison Bumgarner Bringing Worry

Chat: Chat with Baseball America's Jim Callis - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Phil (Grand Rapids) Scale of worried are you about Bumgarner? 1 equals 'Don't worry, still an ace in the making.' 10 equals 'Just waiting for the surgery announcement.'

Jim Callis (2:09 PM) Starting to get more worried . . . I don't think he's necessarily hurt. But the fact that he's living in the high 80s after finishing last season there is bothersome. I'll put a 4 on my worry."

I am concerned the velocity hasn't returned.

Which Order

Chat: Chat with Matthew Berry - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Jackie (NY) Hey TMR rank these 3 pitchers for this year... Millwood, Latos, Wade Davis

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto (11:49 AM) Davis, Latos, Millwood. And that's even if Latos doesn't make the rotation."

Latos, Davis, Millwood. Although I think Davis may be Millwood. So really Latos and the whoever.

Back-Up Closer

Chat: Chat with Matthew Berry - SportsNation - ESPN:

"James G (Milw, WI) Hey Matthew! Happy St. Patricks Day! JJ Putz has looked good this spring. Do you think Thorton or Putz will take over for Jenks once he loses the closers position? Thanks!

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto (11:31 AM) I still like Thornton more, but yeah... he's a lefty so I could see them going to Putz. If I was handcuffing Jenks today, I'd probably still go with Thornton, but as Putz continues to pitch well, that could easily change. A lot will depend on what happens during the season."

Elijah Dukes Released: A Sleeper Is Born!

Elijah Dukes Released | FanGraphs Baseball:

"Eitherway it looks like the Nationals will go with some combination of Justin Maxwell, Mike Morse and Willie Harris in right."

Justin Maxwell is the one to watch.

Smartest Reason I've Seen To Keep Strasburg In Minors

Baseball Prospectus | One-Hoppers: Don't start Strasburg's clock yet:

"The Nationals will probably have to overpay a few free agents to come to DC if they want a shot at respectability, and even in a best-case scenario are a few years away from contention. They could use all the savings they can get their hands on, and having an ace pitcher who makes the league minimum is a heck of a savings plan."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Strasburg Fever Is Catching!

Chat: Chat with Rob Neyer - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Jason (St Louis) Man, does Strasburg look good. Give us a prediction on what kind of stat line he puts up this year.

Rob Neyer (12:16 PM) I think Mark Prior's rookie season is a decent guide, but with maybe a bit of extra oomph. I'm not ready to suggest that Strasburg is already a Cy Young candidate. But I get the feeling that he's not far off."

Fantasy Baseball Geeks » Not on my Team – Shortstop

Fantasy Baseball Geeks » Not on my Team – Shortstop:

"I will be going position by position before the season starts flagging three players that will not likely land on any of my teams and then will briefly explain why."

Shallow League Results

A little unwieldy, but usable, no?

Pos Edit Batters Edit Opp Status % Started H/AB R HR RBI SB AVG
C Matt Wieters
(Bal - C) CUtilBN 92% 102/354 35 9 43 0 .288
1B Ryan Howard
(Phi - 1B) 1BUtilBN 97% 172/616 105 45 141 8 .279
2B Robinson Canó
(NYY - 2B) 2BUtilBN 94% 204/637 103 25 85 5 .320
3B Gordon Beckham
(CWS - 3B) 3BUtilBN 75% 102/378 58 14 63 7 .270
SS Miguel Tejada
(Bal - SS) SSUtilBN 51% 199/635 83 14 86 5 .313
OF Julio Borbón
(Tex - OF) OFUtilBN 64% 49/157 30 4 20 19 .312
OF Jason Kubel
(Min - OF) OFUtilBN 79% 154/514 73 28 103 1 .300
OF Álex Ríos
(CWS - OF) OFUtilBN 58% 144/582 63 17 71 24 .247
Util Carlos Peña
(TB - 1B) 1BUtilBN 85% 107/471 91 39 100 3 .227
Util Juan Pierre
(CWS - OF) OFUtilBN 23% 117/380 57 0 31 30 .308
BN Garrett Jones
(Pit - 1B,OF) 1BOFUtilBN 30% 92/314 45 21 44 10 .293
BN Alcides Escobar
(Mil - SS) SSUtilBN 14% 38/125 20 1 11 4 .304
BN Martín Prado
(Atl - 1B,2B,3B) 1B2B3BUtilBN 24% 138/450 64 11 49 1 .307
BN --empty-- - - - - - - -
DL --empty-- - - - - - - -

Trends Pitching
Pos Edit Pitchers Edit Opp Status % Started IP W SV K ERA WHIP
SP Roy Halladay
(Phi - SP) SPPBN 97% 239.0 17 0 208 2.79 1.13
SP CC Sabathia
(NYY - SP) SPPBN 97% 230.0 19 0 197 3.37 1.15
RP Jonathan Papelbon
(Bos - RP) RPPBN 97% 68.0 1 38 76 1.85 1.15
RP Trevor Hoffman
(Mil - RP) RPPBN 83% 54.0 3 37 48 1.83 0.91
P Justin Verlander
(Det - SP) SPPBN 96% 240.0 19 0 269 3.45 1.18
P Stephen Strasburg
(Was - SP) SPPBN 53% - - - - - -
P Mike González
(Bal - RP) RPPBN 59% 74.1 5 10 90 2.42 1.20
P David Price
(TB - SP) SPPBN 42% 128.1 10 0 102 4.42 1.35
BN Mat Latos
(SD - SP) SPPBN 3% 50.2 4 0 39 4.62 1.30
BN Trevor Cahill
(Oak - SP) SPPBN 1% 178.2 10 0 90 4.63 1.44

2010's Kendry Morales

Brandon Wood has inside track on third base job -

"But the Angels believe that with regular playing time, Wood has the potential to hit 15 to 20 home runs and cut down on his strikeouts. They think Wood is major league-ready defensively."

1st, if Wood plays everyday, he's hitting more than 20 HRs. 2nd, Wood has been written off by most fantasy owners thanks to his manager's proclivity to sit young players and destroy their fantasy value.

The same thing was thought about Kendry Morales last year at this time.

How The Mighty Have Fallen: Alex Gordon

Royals’ Callaspo, Maier capitalizing on opportunities from Gordon’s injury -

"There’s even a growing feeling among club officials that Callaspo might be a better option at third base than a healthy Gordon, who, unlike Callaspo, has options remaining and can therefore be sent to the minors without the risk of a waiver claim."

More stunning? Early in the article, Callaspo is called a "run=production bat".

Brian Roberts Fantasy Value

While Brian Roberts hopes for epidural relief from a bad back, where does his fantasy value go?

With stolen bases a plenty, Roberts drops below Robinson Cano. One can argue Roberts falls into the "He Can't Fall Far Enough For Me To Draft Him" category.

This is the one where every fantasy expert assumes everyone else is uninformed and will take a player on name alone while the expert demonstrates his brilliance by passing on the player.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Baltimore Orioles 2B

With 2B Brian Roberts epidural, the Orioles are in the trade market. Fortunately, fill-in 2B seem plentiful.

From the Baltimore Sun:

"The Chicago Cubs, one of the Orioles' favorite trade partners, are seeking right-handed relief help and could move either former Orioles farmhand Mike Fontenot or Jeff Baker. With Matt Albers, Cla Meredith and Dennis Sarfate likely battling for one bullpen spot this spring, the Orioles have extra right-handed relievers.

The Pittsburgh Pirates could make Ramon Vazquez and/or Delwyn Young available, while the Washington Nationals' stock of middle infielders includes Alberto Gonzalez and Eric Bruntlett.

Other second basemen who could be available include the Tampa Bay Rays' Elliot Johnson, the Minnesota Twins' Alexi Casilla, the Chicago White Sox's Jayson Nix, the Kansas City Royals' Alberto Callaspo, the Cleveland Indians' Mark Grudzielanek, the Cincinnati Reds' Chris Burke and the Arizona Diamondbacks' Augie Ojeda."

Bench Depth In Standard Yahoo! League

Is this a good bench in standard Yahoo! league?

OF/1B Garrett Jones
SS Alcides Escobar
1B/2B/3B Martin Prado

Left In My Draft Queue

Standard Yahoo! league:

Left in queue: OF Brett Gardner and SS Evereth Cabrera

Lesson: Do not draft SB early

SB drafted: Julio Borbon 10th round, Juan Pierre 15th round, Alcides Escobar 21st round

Dealing With Fantasy Sleepers Disappointment

Marlins's 1B candidates fighting for job - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN:

"If one of them has to win, Sanchez seems like the obvious choice. Considering his age, right now he's almost as good as he's ever going to be, and the Marlins should take advantage of his cheap talent."

I accept this when subbing "Older Prospect" for 'Sanchez".

Why Leo Nunez Won't Stay At Closer

Baseball Prospectus | Fantasy Beat: Fishing For Saves:

"He also coughed up eight home runs which contributed to boosting his ERA to a gaudy 4.11. The home runs were no accident. Throughout his career, Nunez has been a pretty extreme fly ball pitcher. The results have been all over the map."

Click through and tell me why Leo Nunez isn't long for the Marlins' closer job - at least if the sabre-heads are correct.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Stephen Strasburg Hype Over-Blown?

Strasburg fans two in three scoreless | News:

"Strasburg's third inning was his easiest, as he retired the side in order. He has now pitched five shutout innings this spring."

Five scoreless innings with only four Ks doesn't seem to be efforts that match the press, no?

Josh Bell: Amateur Scouting Report

I saw Josh Bell take batting practice on Saturday at George M Steinbrenner Stadium in Tampa. With tatoos covering both arms, Bell hit everything on the ground from the right side of the plate and everything in the air from the left side.

Sleeper SS

Rizzo: Desmond won't be utilityman - NATS INSIDER:

"Ian Desmond may get some time in the outfield this spring, but once the season begins, he'll remain an everyday shortstop ... either in Washington or Syracuse.

General manager Mike Rizzo said the 24-year-old needs to play every day this season, no matter if he's in the majors or the minors.

'He's [24] years old, and he's going to be an everyday shortstop in the big leagues,' Rizzo said. 'He's going to play every day at shortstop somewhere this season.'"

How To Value Adrian Gonzalez

MLB Trade Rumors: Padres Not Including Adrian Gonzalez in 2010 Promotion Campaign - FakeTeams:

"...appears it is a virtual certaintly that the Padres will deal star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez this season."

The season is six months long. The July 31st non-waivers deadline occurs after four months. In NL-Only formats, this gives a baseline expected value for Adrian Gonzalez of 2/3s his full season value.

While that seems certain given the info relayed on Fake Teams (no bobblehead days for AGonz or Heath Bell), the more uncertain portion is the chance AGONZ will be traded within the NL.

Add that to the 2/3s then multiple your full season value to see what you should pay at an NL-Only auction.

Detroit Tigers' #1 Prospect in 2011

Baseball Prospectus | Future Shock: Future Top Dogs, AL:

"Odds To Be #1 On The Next Top 11:
Jacob Turner 2-1
Casey Crosby: 5-2
Daniel Fields: 30-1"

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The New Twins Closer Will Be...

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Weekend Update:

"It appears left-hander Francisco Liriano will get first crack at stepping into the closer's role with the Twins if Joe Nathan is unable to overcome his torn elbow ligament. GM Bill Smith would prefer to stay in-house rather than pursue an outside option"

Sleeper Steals

MLB -- Buster Olney: People expect Roy Halladay to simply destroy the National League - ESPN:

"So far this spring, the White Sox have 12 steals in seven games. This is Ozzie's kind of club, writes Joe Cowley. I've been telling friends who ask for fantasy advice: Take Juan Pierre, because he might steal 65 to 75 bases with Ozzie managing the team this way."

As long as you're not paying top value for Pierre, I am OK with the dreaming. However, I would not take him anytime sooner than the 8th or 9 round because he is older, and I don't trust him to handle the same load as younger players like Jacoby Ellsbury or Michael Bourn can.

Who Is Brandon Wood?

MLB Features:

"So what you have is Kevin Kouzmanoff's profile without any track record of success. He's not the best third baseman on the roster, either."

BP misses this snark.

Stephen Strasburg vs Miguel Cabrera

Washington Nationals: Stephen Strasburg vs Miguel Cabrera. - Federal Baseball:

"what it was like to face Strasburg, Miguel Cabrera told the reporter, ''What you read about, it's true,' Cabrera said afterward. 'It's real. He's the kind of pitcher you don't see every day...'When he throws the ball,' Cabrera said, 'it's like an explosion.'"

2010 NL LABR Draft Results

2010 NL LABR Draft Results: Bob Radomski From Sandlot Shrink - FakeTeams:

"Here are the draft results for Bob Radomski's team from Sandlot Shrink:

C John Baker8
C David Ross1
1B Derek Lee23
2B DeWitt2
SS Y. Escobar19
3B Headley17
MI Eckstein2
CI Aubrey Huff13
OF Carlos Lee26
OF Pence27
OF G. Parra3
OF Schierholtz9
OF Schumaker10
UT Freese7

Derek Lowe8

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Believe Last Season's Peripherals?

MLB -- Buster Olney: People expect Roy Halladay to simply destroy the National League - ESPN:

"Dombrowski feels like Porcello -- who, as my colleague Jayson Stark noted the other day, is actually five months younger than Stephen Strasburg -- has already advanced from his strong 2009 season. 'He's taken everything in and gotten more comfortable,' said Dombrowski. 'His breaking ball is better. He's taking that experience that he got from last year to the mound, and he just looks like he belongs.'"

Serious sleeper in mixed leagues if you skip drafting pitchers until the 10th round or later.

Joe Sheehan at Rotowire

MLB Features:

"So over the next few weeks, starting today with the AL West and working my way around the leagues, I'll be offering opinions on players who I think can help - or will hurt - your fantasy teams."

Prospects: Ask BA Prospects: Ask BA:

"Among players ranked in the second half of the Top 100, the most upward momentum belongs to Brewers second baseman Brett Lawrie (No. 59), Twins righthander Kyle Gibson (No. 61), Indians righty Jason Knapp (No. 64), Rays shortstop Tim Beckham (No. 67), Rays righty Alex Colome (No. 68), Braves righty Arodys Vizcaino (No. 69), Cubs third baseman Josh Vitters (No. 70), Marlins lefthander Chad James (No. 78) and Cubs righty Andrew Cashner (No. 95)."

More AL LABR Draft Results

NFBC Message Boards: Greg & Shawn's AL LABR League Roster:

"Here are a few of the top dollar values from last night's AL LABR auction:

Alex Rodriguez $42
Miguel Cabrera $37
Mark Teixeira $36
Evan Longoria $34
Jacoby Ellsbury $34
Carl Crawford $33
Felix Hernandez $31
B.J. Upton $31
Kevin Youkilis $30
Joe Mauer $30
Zack Greinke $30
Grady Sizemore $29
Justin Morneau $29
Dustin Pedroia $29
Robinson Cano $28
Nelson Cruz $28
CC Sabathia $28
Justin Verlander $28
Ian Kinsler $27
Josh Beckett $27
Mariano Rivera $27
Adam Lind $27


Friday, March 12, 2010

Jose Reyes' Fantasy Value

Jose Reye's fantasy value takes a slight hit, but he's still a top-5 shortstop - ESPN:

"That's precisely how I view this new information on Jose Reyes. There's no way I'd select him in the fourth or fifth round anymore, but he's still my No. 5 shortstop, assuming further bad news isn't pending. I'd look at him in the ninth round, just before the vibrant, emerging Andrus."

In an NL-Only auction keeper, does Reyes drop under $20?

Fantasy Sleeper SP

San Diego Padres' Mat Latos.

This year there seems to be a ton of single-digit round starting pitchers. Every season, there are starting pitchers who emerge late in mixed league drafts. Latos is one of my bets to be one of them.

I am thinking of comparables like Zach Greinke, Josh johnson and Yovanni Gallardo in terms of excess value over draft round.

Prospect Lightning Round

Chat: Chat with Baseball America's Jim Callis - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Hulk (Hands) Ike Davis or Brandon Allen? Mike Trout or Josh Reddick? Inoa or Mejia?

Jim Callis (3:06 PM) Davis. Trout and Reddick are different players, Trout has a higher ceiling but I'll take Reddick because he's proven a lot more. Mejia."

Agree. The two mets are easy for fantasy players. Reddick is closer but will he get ABs?

AL LABR Draft Results

FakeTeams - Fantasy Baseball Coverage:

"The AL LABR draft was held on Saturday night and the results are trickling in day by day. Here is the draft results for Greg Ambrosius and Shawn Childs from NFBC"

Matt Wieters $18

Prospects: Ask BA Prospects: Ask BA:

"The best bets among players who ranked between 26th and 50th on the Top 100 to rise to truly elite status this season are Tigers righthander Jacob Turner (No. 26), Rays lefthander Matt Moore (No. 35), Rangers righthander Tanner Scheppers (No. 42), Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon (No. 46) and Tigers lefty Casey Crosby (No. 47)."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Nathan's injury could alter team's plans for...

Nathan's injury could alter team's plans for Gutierrez |

"The fallout from Joe Nathan's torn elbow ligament might trickle down to the minors, where the Twins could move former first-round pick Carlos Gutierrez back to the bullpen"

Keeper League Strategies: Player Pool Depth

RotoSynthesis >> Keeper League Strategies: Player Pool Depth:

"Most keeper and dynasty league owners, in my experience, decide who to protect based on very simple criteria. Look at some projections, figure out how much a player might earn in the coming season, and figure out how much profit they'll return based on those projections and their salary"

Jay Bruce Or Nick Markakis?

Chat: Chat with Baseball America's Jim Callis - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Justin (Indianapolis) 5 years from now... Markakis or Bruce?
Jim Callis (2:39 PM) Bruce."

Do I take Bruce all the way $20 for a contract in 2010, 2010 and 2012?

Most Impressive Pitcher This Spring?

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Mid-Week Update:

"Orioles rookie left-hander Brian Matusz has been, in the words of multiple scouts, the most impressive pitcher on Florida's Gulf Coast during the early stages of the exhibition season."

LABR NL 2010: Team Carty

LABR NL 2010: Team Carty:

"LABR NL 2010 — Team Carty

C: Gregg Zaun - $4
C: Nick Hundley - $3
1B: Prince Fielder - $37
2B: Ian Stewart - $22
3B: Andy LaRoche - $10
SS: Ronny Cedeno - $3
CI: Adam LaRoche - $24
MI: Adam Kennedy - $9
OF: Jay Bruce - $23
OF: Elijah Dukes - $20
OF: Ryan Ludwick - $18
OF: Kosuke Fukudome - $6
OF: Angel Pagan - $2
UT: Jeff Clement - $8

P: Ricky Nolasco - $26
P: Joe Blanton - $10
P: Clayton Richard - $8
P: Francisco Rodriguez - $16
P: Takashi Saito - $4
P: Pedro Feliciano - $3
P: Joe Thatcher - $1
P: Kiko Calero - $1
P: John Smoltz - $1
P: Edinson Volquez - $1

RSV: Chien-Ming Wang (SP)
RSV: Kevin Hart (SP)
RSV: Livan Hernandez (SP)
RSV: Fernando Nieve (SP)
RSV: Carlos Silva (SP)
RSV: Brian Moehler (SP)"

NL LABR Results

FakeTeams - Fantasy Baseball Coverage:

"The AL and NL LABR experts draft results are slowly being published with Greg Ambrosius and Shawn Cholds publishing both their AL and NL draft results yesterday. Here are their NL draft results with some commentary:"

Jose Reyes for $26.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New Twins Closer: Rotowire Version

RotoSynthesis >> Nathan Injury Fallout:

"So Nathan’s injury leaves the Twins in a closer by committee situation. Key pitchers like Rauch and perhaps Neshek, if healthy, may be handed the reigns at different points in the season, but it strikes me that if the Twins are in contention, that they have shown in the past the willingness to trade for high profile relievers. To me it is more a question of when, not if, they will shop for another reliever. That adds even more risk when considering the Twins closing options this spring and ought to temper your bids accordingly too."

Replacing Nathan: BP Version

Earlier today, I posted a link to Fangraphs analysis of Who WilL Close In Minnesota. Here is Baseball Prospectus' version.

Baseball Prospectus | Fantasy Beat: Replacing Nathan:

"If Nathan does opt for the surgery, the Twins will have plenty of candidates vying for the closer role. Of the in-house relievers, Jon Rauch has the most experience as a saves guy, but in this case that’s not saying much. He briefly closed in Washington when Chad Cordero went down with an injury (17 saves in 22 chances for the Nationals in 2008) before he was traded to the Diamondbacks. During his time in the closer role in Washington he threw 48 innings, allowed just seven walks and 44 strikeouts while limiting opponents to a .232 batting average. In his career, he’s picked up a grand total of 26 saves. (Nathan saved his 26th game in mid July last year.)"

Who Will Close for the Twins: Fangraphs Version

Who Will Close for the Twins This Year? | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball:

"The front-runner has to be Jon Rauch because of his mythical ‘experience in the role.’ Yes, because he closed for 40 innings in the National League, he’ll probably be the front runner to assume the mantle in Minnesota."

NL LABR: Stephen Strasburg & Jason heyward

Fantasy Windup: Fantasy Baseball News & Strategy -

"Strasburg sold for $9 and Braves outfield prospect Jason Heyward went for $14 in what could turn out to be decent bargains, depending on their playing time."

Tight-lipped A-Rod gives skeptics something to talk about -

Tight-lipped A-Rod gives skeptics something to talk about -

"Alex Rodriguez refused to get into how Dr. Anthony Galea treated him and with what drugs while he was recovering from last spring’s hip surgery, which leaves the feeling that Rodriguez and the doctor have something to hide.

Monday, the Canadian doctor admitted he treated Rodriguez with anti-inflammatory medication while the Yankees’ cleanup hitter was recovering from hip surgery.

Even if Galea, who has admitted using human growth hormone, is telling the truth, there are a lot of questions to be answered."

Spring Training Hype

Owner's Edge MLB - Seth Trachtman - The Warning Tracht:

"After taking part in several real drafts already this season (a fantasy baseball addict has gotta do what he's gotta do) and reading every media outlet that I can get my hands on, the following is a rundown of spring training hype mongers based on media reports and early draft results.

Note: Players and analysis that didn't fit in this space can be found at my blog, You can also leave any questions or comments about this article at the blog."

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Joe Nathan Off-Season Elbow Surgery Details

Baseball Prospectus | Events | Chat with Will Carroll:

"Peter (Mankato): If I recall, Joe Nathan had some chips removed from his elbow in the fall. That's generally not a big deal, right?

Will Carroll: Usually no. All indications are that this is just adhesions (scar tissue), which is uncomfortable, but nothing to be overly concerned about. Nathan's chips were embedded in the UCL, I'm told, so it was a bit more involved than someone like Santana."

What I found interesting is the chips were removed from the UCL. All I kept thinking was the ligament is now "partially torn" with the glue of the chips removed.

Seems my instincts were correct although possibly for the wrong reasons.

Matt Wieters Auction Value

Matt Wieters $21.

I like Wieters a good deal long-term, but this price is assuming a ton of upside for a 24-year-old catcher who earned $9 last year in more than half a season. His Pitch Type Values over at Fangraphs confirm that Wieters could hit the fastball but struggled with everything offspeed. He's talented enough to make the adjustments, but that doesn't mean he's going to come out of the gate slugging. Keep in mind that V-Mart earned $23 in 5x5 last year. To ask Wieters to earn that in his first full season is asking a hell of a lot."

Aubrey Huff: Sleeper?

MLB -- Buster Olney: Potholes on rosters are appearing around camps - ESPN:

"Heard this: Aubrey Huff has struggled at times this spring with the Giants. The problem for Bruce Bochy is that if Huff can't cut it at first base, then there's really no place to play the veteran."

Joe Nathan of Minnesota Twins has torn elbow ligament - ESPN

Joe Nathan of Minnesota Twins has torn elbow ligament - ESPN:

"Nathan has a torn ulnar collateral ligament and will decide whether to have surgery within two weeks, ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney reported.

Surgery would likely cost Nathan all of 2010."

Best Draft Position?

Best place to draft

Click through to read various opinions.

I like the turn because I enjoy reaching for players who I anticipate with not be available when the draft comes back.

Primer On Applying Stats To Fantasy Baseball

On Friday's Rotowire Fantasy Sports Hour, host Jason Thornberry gave an introduction to applying sabermetrics to fantasy baseball.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Who Likes Colby Lewis?

Jason Grey (Jason_Grey) on Twitter:

"My suspicions have been confirmed: I like Colby Lewis."

Will Carroll's HO on Jose Reyes

Baseball Prospectus | Events | Chat with Will Carroll:

"raygu1 (Burlington, NJ): Jose Reyes-please discuss.

Will Carroll: I think because it's the Mets, people are overreacting a bit. This is an easily controllable issue, though it will take Reyes some time to get used to medication ... if that's the route they go. I think the Mets are being very conservative, even gunshy. We'll have to see how he looks when he's back on the field before we have any real idea."

Buster Olney On Ben Sheets

MLB - Buster Olney: On Kurt Suzuki, Trevor Cahill and the hopes for the 2010 Oakland Athletics - ESPN:

"But his greatest impact will be his stuff, and while Brandon Webb -- another star coming back from a season-long injury -- has struggled, Sheets looks great. His fastball was clocked at 92-93 mph the other day, and Suzuki saw hitters buckling when Sheets threw the hard curveball that often serves as his finishing pitch. 'It's a great curve.'"

Toronto Blue Jays DH

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Weekend Update:

"While Adam Lind figures to be the Blue Jays' primary designated hitter, manager Cito Gaston says he wants to find at-bats for Randy Ruiz."

Lind at DH full-time?

Taking the Next Step: Peter Bourjos

Taking the Next Step: Peter Bourjos | FanGraphs Baseball:

"Today I’m just going to approach it in the most back-of-a-napkin method as possible with a prospect who I feel is a tad undersold, and that’s Peter Bourjos, a center fielder in the Angels’ system."

50% Off For New Fantasy Baseball Commissioner Leagues

FakeTeams - Fantasy Baseball Coverage:

"SB Nation has teamed up with to provide Fake Teams readers with a very special offer: you can receive 50% off the regular season price of $180 if you create a new fantasy league using's Fantasy Baseball Commissioner Leagues."

Chat with Will Carroll

Baseball Prospectus | Events | Chat with Will Carroll

With injury news regarding Joe Nathan and Jose Reyes, I expect some valuable fantasy-friendly information.

RotoWire's AL LABR Team

RotoSynthesis >> RotoWire's AL LABR Team:

"My plan was to be strong at catcher, middle infielder and get a couple power hitters, and I accomplished that. I also wanted a bunch of young, upside pitchers, and I got that, too. The only area I fell short was missing out on closers, but other owners hoarded them, so there are a bunch of people in a similar boat, and it shouldn't be too hard to trade for saves."

$30 for Joe Mauer. $29 for Dustin Pedroia.

Fantasy Sleeper C

MLB - Buster Olney: On Kurt Suzuki, Trevor Cahill and the hopes for the 2010 Oakland Athletics - ESPN:

"He was not kidding, at all, about using Suzuki, who is entering his fourth season in the majors, in the three-hole. Because among a group of Athletics' hitters that are young and inconsistent and still developing, Suzuki's ability to make contact is consistent."

Unlike Hanley Ramirez' move to the heaert of the order, Kurt Suzuki will not see a decrease in stolen base opportunities. He will get the chance to match last season's RBI total from there though

Sunday, March 07, 2010

AL LABR draft - Fantasy Windup: A community for fantasy baseball news and strategy -

A-Rod goes for top dollar, Nathan a bargain at AL LABR draft - Fantasy Windup: A community for fantasy baseball news and strategy -

"Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez was the highest-priced player taken as Rick Wolf and Glenn Colton of outbid everyone at $42. Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera was second at $37."

Joe Nathan Injury News

Will Carroll (injuryexpert) on Twitter:

"Word from Ft Myers is that Nathan's elbow issue was scar tissue breaking loose. Let's see how he does early next week."

MLB Trade Rumors: Adrian Gonzalez

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Weekend Update:

"The White Sox have been gearing up to try to trade for Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, either at the July 31 non-waiver deadline or in the offseason, even before right-hander Jake Peavy started lobbying GM Ken Williams to deal for his ex-teammate."

Are Your Crazy Tribute

From Buster Olney:

"Alfonso Soriano says his left knee is about 80 to 85 percent, but he pushes himself to play. "[It's] not about my contract," Soriano said, "but just more about my teammates and the love that I have for the game. So I don't like to sit down and watch the game. Sometimes I'm sore in my body, but if I can play, I want to play. So it think that's a big problem with me because sometimes I've got pain and I'm not going to shut it down and I just keep playing. Especially with my knee last year, the trainer say I think you need a rest for like two weeks. If you rest for two weeks, it will be fine. I say, no, I keep playing because I believe myself that my knee is going to be better than get worse. … I want to be a little more careful, but I don't want to lose my aggressiveness in the field. I don't want to play just to take care of myself, to not get hurt."

In tribute to BTR's Fantasy Roundtable hosted by Pat DiCaprio of Fantasy Pros 911 and Baseball HQ, am I crazy?

Ryan Howard will steal more bases than Alfonso Soriano in 2010.

NL-only Mock Drafts

NL-only mock drafts proves that National League is shallowest - ESPN:

"The fantasy staff held our NL-only mock draft on Wednesday, March 3, using ESPN Standard rules. Ten teams were drafted, featuring the following positional breakdown: one of each infield position, five outfielders, one 1B/3B, one 2B/SS, one utility player, nine pitchers and three bench spots."

Auction Values Translated From Snake Draft - Free Preview:

"I created a chart containing each player's projected dollar value, slotted into their appropriate cell in a round-by-round snake draft. Here were the average player values by round: I created a chart containing each player's projected dollar value, slotted into their appropriate cell in a round-by-round snake draft. Here were the average player values by round:"

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Top Fantasy Prospects for 2010

Atlanta Braves phenom Jason Heyward checks in as the top fantasy prospect for 2010 - ESPN:

"4. Wade Davis, SP, Rays
Davis could be one of the most undervalued starting pitchers in the American League this season, as he's the favorite to win the Rays' fifth starter spot, and he's ready to take advantage of the opportunity. '"

Killing Fantasy Sleepers

Versatile glove Sean Rodriguez, looking for home with Tampa Bay Rays, shows pop in bat again - St. Petersburg Times:

"The Rays have interest in longtime Rangers INF Hank Blalock for a minor-league deal. …"

Keep Hank Blalock away from the Florida Marlins' 1B situation!

Are Ryan Howard's SB For Real?

MLB -- Buster Olney: How the Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Yankees rivalry is akin to Lakers vs. Celtics - ESPN:

"Year by year, Ryan Howard's body has changed. In the spring of 2007, Howard was just a big guy, pudgy in his body and in his face. But now Howard, who has focused on improving his own nutrition and increasing the intensity of his workouts, has much greater definition -- in his upper body, in his face. After dropping weight before last season, Howard felt much better over the course of the year, and he stole eight bases last season. He wants 10. 'I'm going to try,' he said."

Friday, March 05, 2010

Boxscore: Florida vs. NY Mets - March 5, 2010 | News

Boxscore: Florida vs. NY Mets - March 5, 2010 | News

A couple thoughts:

Florida Marlins 1B Gaby Sanchez went 0-3 with 3 Ks. While Jon Niese and Jennry Meija are not slouches, this isn't the way to win a full-time job.

The New York Mets line-up looked like a B-squad one with David Wright and Jason bay being two of the unlucky three regulars required. Then you realize it was six of their 8 hitters.

Boxscore: Washington vs. Atlanta - March 5, 2010 | News

Boxscore: Washington vs. Atlanta - March 5, 2010 | News

A couple thoughts:

Atlanta Braves rookie Jason Heyward hit 2nd followed by Chipper Jones, Troy glaus and Brian McCann. he also stole his 2nd bag of the Spring.

Washington Nationals rookie SS Ian Desmond hit 9th but was paired with likely starting 2B Adam Kennedy. He drove in two but was also caught stealing.

Boxscore: Philadelphia vs. Toronto - March 5, 2010 | News

Boxscore: Philadelphia vs. Toronto - March 5, 2010 | News

A couple thoughts on the Toronto Blue Jays:

Jose Bautista lead-off again, but started in LF. For a fairly ugly offense, he is one to watch.

Rookie Brad Emaus started at 3B and stole his 2nd bag. See comment on offense above.

Boxscore: Boston vs. Minnesota - March 5, 2010 | News

Boxscore: Boston vs. Minnesota - March 5, 2010 | News

A couple notes:

Minnesota Twins SP Carl Pavano tossed two shutout innings in his Spring debut. His peripherals scream, "Sleeper!"

Or at least, "Better than 2009!"

Boxscore: Tampa Bay vs. NY Yankees - March 5, 2010 | News

Boxscore: Tampa Bay vs. NY Yankees - March 5, 2010 | News

Bigger fantasy news: Tampa Bay super utilityman Sean Rodriguez hits his 3rd Spring HR and continues to draw attention as a Tony phillips-like fantasy asset or New York Yankees P Joba Chamberlain allows 5 ER in his inning and a third of work?

Law On Madison Bumgarner

Chat: Chat with Keith Law - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Jeremy (Las Vegas) Klaw - If Bumgarner is the 5th starter all year for SF, how reasonable of an expectation is this?: 9-7 3.76 era 165 ip 142 K 57 BB

Klaw (12:23 PM) I'll call that the over"

I recently dealt for Madison Bumgarner and don't quite know what to expect. (I am focusing on 2011 though).

Law cals that projection "the over" which means he expects worse. On that, I agree.

Hence I dealt for him with 2011 in mind.

Info on Jose Reyes

"injuryexpert Cont: 'Don't see how severe case of hyperthyroidism would allow a player to play at anything like a pro level prior to treatment.'

Reply Retweet injuryexpert Just off phone w specialist: 'Hypo causes all sorts of muscle problems. Hyper causes 'muscle wasting'.'"

Down On The Farm: Wednesday Afternoon Prospect Chats

Down On The Farm: Wednesday Afternoon Prospect Chats - FakeTeams

"Here are a few of the Q & A from the Baseball America chat with Jim Callis and the Baseball Prospectus chat with Kevin Goldstein:"

Dee Gordon over Starlin Castro!?!?!

Bumgarner or Strasburg

Chat: Fantasy Sports w/Eric Karabell - SportsNation - ESPN

jay (new york) Need Keeper Help!!! Strasburg or Bumgarner? They both have the same draft value...

Eric Karabell (3:33 PM) Well, one of them has a chance to make the team out of the spring. Then again, Strasburg has the far greater upside. Me? I don't think either are worth drafting in a standard 10-team league. In a keeper, go Strasburg.

Strasburg easy, but I have both in my NL-Only.

High Stakes League Hypothetical

Would you trade the #1 pick in the minor league draft Stephen Strasburg for $125 cash, the actual dollar winnings of 5th place? 1st place is $1500.

Cheap Sources of SBs

Time to see if new Chicago White Sox style fits -

"[Chicago White Sox] have the luxury of Juan Pierre, Alex Rios and Mark Teahen for a full spring to experience with the ability to steal bases and execute hit-and-run plays and bunts in perhaps the zaniest situations."

No one is sleeping on Juan Pierre. Alex Rios was still almost 20/20 last season and missed on the HRs. Mark Teahen is the one all are asleep on.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Law On Strasburg Development

Chat: Chat with Keith Law - SportsNation - ESPN

"Just to be clear - I'm saying that I think to continue his [Stephen Strasburg] development as a pitcher he'll need to be in the big leagues. Look at Brian Matusz: He ripped through the minors because hitters there couldn't touch his stuff, so to work on things like command or setting up hitters or turning a quality lineup over three times he had to be in the big leagues. And Strasburg has two pitches better than any of Matusz'."

Keep Who?

Chat: Fantasy Sports w/Eric Karabell - SportsNation - ESPN

Chuck (NJ) Better 3rd protect: young hitter at weak position - Ian Stewart, or young pitcher - Rick Pocello. My other protects are T. Hanson and W. Rodriquez. Thanks.

Eric Karabell (3:07 PM) Well, I don't think anyone should keep three pitchers... In a vaccuum I would say Stewart, and in this case as well, though I do like Porcello quite a bit.

Definitely Porcello. He frees up a 10th round pick to take a hitter rather than chasing SP gambles.

The Next South Korean Star?

Chat: Chat with Baseball America's Jim Callis - SportsNation - ESPN

"Nick (MD) Jim what kind of player do you see Hak-ju Lee becoming? Do you think he has the potential to put up Jose Reyes numbers one day if he reaches his potential?

Jim Callis (1:59 PM) I'm not saying Lee is definitely that good, but he has that kind of upside. He has plus-plus speed and the hitting/on-base ability to get on base and steal a lot of bases. He also should be a quality defender at shortstop."

Annyeong haseyo. I know I am attending closely to Lee, but should it really be so easy?

Three Reasons To Believe in Chris Young | FanGraphs Baseball

Three Reasons To Believe in Chris Young | FanGraphs Baseball

"At some point we will all experience what I have found to be the worst feeling for a baseball fan, a favorite prospect busting."

Mine is Brandon Wood.

Best Non-Closers Per SIERA and WXRL/LEV

Baseball Prospectus | Expanded Horizons: Best Non-Closers

"1. Michael Wuertz (2.21, 3.13)
Wuertz’s slider is truly a sight to behold, and many hitters have walked red-faced back to the dugout after beholding it dart through the zone for a backwards K. Though pitchF/X data tell us his fastball sits around 91 mph, the slider is more than enough to make him among the most dangerous non-closer relievers in baseball. Because he plays in a pitcher-friendly park and generates plenty of ground balls, he’s likely to continue to succeed in 2010."

For those not so sabermetrically inclined, the English title is "Sleeper Closers".

Target Field: Hitter Or Pitcher-Friendly?

Shooter Now: Mauer's dad says Twins hitters will like Target Field; Span says dizziness not a concern -

"What I really noticed is that there's not much foul territory," he said. "The hitters are going to like that; I don't think the pitchers are going to like it. There are a lot of foul balls that are going to get into the stands that otherwise probably would have been caught."

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Losing Weight Can't Hurt

Spring Training Blog: March 1 - ESPN

"Delmon Young says he has gone from 239 pounds at the end of last year to 207 this spring."

Post-hype sleeper! Post-hype sleeper! Post-hype sleeper!

Third Base Rankings

RotoSynthesis : Third Base Rankings

"14. Michael Young – Safe, solid option, but realize last season was BY FAR his best since 2005 (over the previous three years, he averaged a whopping 13 home runs). And he’s 33 years old."

This is called punting 3B at the draft and being thrilled with getting Young as the 14th 3B off the board.

Boxscore: NY Mets vs. Atlanta - March 3, 2010 | News

Boxscore: NY Mets vs. Atlanta - March 3, 2010 | News

With Chipper Jones and Troy Glaus in the line-up, Jason Heyward hit 5th. Add Brian McCann to the line-up and Heyward moves to the 6th spot.

For the rookie to live-up to the growing expectations, he can hit no lower. Otherwise, his RBIs and Runs will suffer.

Fantasy Sleeper SP?

Hochevar’s Odd 2009 | FanGraphs Baseball

"What changed in July that caused Hochevar to transform from Livan Hernandez to Tim Lincecum for a two month stint? Or, did nothing change and Hochevar’s data simply suffered from the same sample size issues that his May and June did?"

Deja Vu Joe Mauer's Fantasy Value

Minnesota Twins MVP Joe Mauer is the subject of a lot of debate. Despite finishing as a Top 10 player, his draft value is always spoke about as less than Top 10. It reminds me exactly of how Ichior Suzuki is valued - 2nd rounder with late 1st round by the occasion zagger when others zig.

Fantasy Sleeper SP

Jason Grey Blog - ESPN

"Although most scouts agree he would be a lights-out late-inning reliever or closer, [Bud]Norris posted a 2.65 ERA in 19 starts at Triple-A last year, striking out 112 in 120 innings and allowing only six homers in the Pacific Coast League, and he struck out almost a batter per inning in eleven big league outings, so he's going to get every chance to start.

Aroldis Chapman

On Monday's Rotowire Fantasy Sports Hour podcast, Will Carroll relayed everything he has heard about Cincinnati Reds' prospect Aroldis Chapman will open the season with the major league team. Without a single Spring Training game played, take that with the appropriate amount of salt.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Strasburg likely headed to Minor Leagues

All Nats All the Time: Strasburg likely headed to Minor Leagues

"I think it's going to come down to a philosophical decision more so than a performance decision," Riggleman said. "We anticipate that he is going to throw great. I think it's going to come down to, what is going to be best for Stephen Strasburg as an organization. I have been very impressed and I continue to be impressed."

Jose Reyes Hamstring

Mets twosome trots out healed hammys with Niese and Reyes -

"Reyes came to the plate against Tobi Stoner with runners on first and second and drilled the first pitch into the right-field corner. He raced easily to third base, without sliding."

So far so good.

Beware Spring Training Rookie Hype: Yonder Alonso

Reds' Alonso no match for Votto - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN

"For the moment, let's dispense with the notion that Alonso is ready for the majors. He's played only 29 games above Class A, and wasn't outstanding in those 29 games. As John Sickels points out in his new book (which you should buy), as a professional Alonso's got a .211/.326/.296 line against left-handed pitchers ... and was little better while starring for Miami."

FanGraphs Audio

FanGraphs Audio: Roundtable with Cameron and Keri | FanGraphs Baseball

Highly recommend this podcast. It is not fantasy-focused, and I enjoy my "raw data" that way.

Boxscore: Atlanta vs. NY Mets - March 2, 2010 | News

Boxscore: Atlanta vs. NY Mets - March 2, 2010 | News

Jason Heyward: Hitting 3rd goes 1-1 with two walks. Granted Chipper didn't play, but being sandwiched between McLouth/Prado and McCann/Escobar means something, no?

More on Sleeper Ian Desmond

Baseball Prospectus | Future Shock: Nationals Top 11 Prospects

"The Good: The Nationals have predicted a breakout for Desmond for years, and he finally showed why in 2009. He fits the mold of the modern big, athletic shortstop with gap power, a tick above average speed, plus range and a rocket for an arm.

The Bad: Scouts have had five years of watching Desmond struggle until 2009, so not everyone completely trusts his breakthrough. His approach remains overly aggressive, as he looks to attack early and finds himself behind in the count. He frustrates scouts defensively with his ability to make good plays and then boot routine ones."

Like politics, choose whichever story jibes with your bias.

Should You Believe In Julio Borbon?

MLB -- Buster Olney -- The season schedules set up well for some early; others will struggle - ESPN

"Julio Borbon is going to be thrown into the fire this year with the Rangers. I heard this from somebody within the Rangers' circle: "Tell your friends who play fantasy baseball that they should take Borbon."

Dumping Power Draft Strategy

Fantasy Baseball: Dumping Power Draft Strategy

"Here is another draft strategy that could work in either mixed league or NL/AL only league drafts-dump power. The way to employ this strategy is to focus on stud starting pitchers and speed guys early in the draft. For this strategy to be successful, the fantasy owner must win the pitching categories and place very high in stolen bases, runs scored and batting average."

With a HR counting in three hitting categories (four with the 1-1 in AVG but a hit counts the same), I don't think it can be executed successfully without even more luck than is typically required to win.

Alex Rodriguez And HGH

Alex Rodriguez to meet with feds over HGH; doc ties -

"The feds likely want to ask Rodriguez what, if any, treatment he received from the doctor whose specialty is plasma replacement therapy, which is designed to quicken the rehab process."

Am I the only one having deja vu with BALCO and their supplements? Do we know what goes into the plasma replacement?

Fantasy Sleeper: OF

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Weekend Update:

"'The guy looks great, like he did back in the Braves days,' a scout said. 'I thought he had reached the point where you really couldn't play him in center field anymore, but he looks the part again now. Guys tend to lose bat speed when they get heavy, and maybe some of it will come back now that he's trimmed down.'"

For those too lazy to [c]lick through, "the guy" is Andruw Jones - fantasy sleeper value preserved when Johnny Damon signed in Detroit.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Nationals Top 11 Prospects

Baseball Prospectus | Future Shock: Nationals Top 11 Prospects:

Mr. Goldstein is talking about you-know-who.

"The Bad: He's a perfectly sized righty with pitches that rate as an 80, 70-plus, and 60 on the 20-to-80 scouting scale to go along with plus-plus command and control, so it's really hard to criticize any aspect of his game. There are some minor makeup concerns, as he has seemed overwhelmed at times, if not downright uncomfortable with the media spotlight that his talent has generated."

Will Prince Fielder Resign With Brewers After 2011

MLB -- Buster Olney -- Prince Fielder ponders his future, with or without the Milwaukee Brewers - ESPN:

"First and foremost: If Fielder becomes a free agent after the 2011 season, a lot of the big-money teams may not be in play for the first baseman."

This looks like a repeat of the Matt Holliday/St. Louis Cardinals situation, no?

Henderson says Davis could get 75-80 stolen bases

Henderson says Davis could get 75-80 stolen bases:

"Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson spent a good 30 minutes on Saturday at Papago Park talking to Rajai Davis, the A's top base stealer, and afterward, Henderson declared that Davis could steal 75-80 bases this season.

Said Davis, 'Easy. ... Sleeping.'"

Title says it all. Opportunity is a large hurdle for Rajai Davis to steal 75 SBs. The Oakland outfield is extremely crowded, so I chalk up this quote to Ricky Being Ricky.

Baseball Forecaster Likes Ubaldo Jimenez or Jorge de la Rosa More?

With a 53% groundball rate (per Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster) and 198 Ks, Ubaldo Jimenez logged a xERA of 3.31. His ERA was 3.47.

Jorge de la Rosa had a perfectly acceptable 45% GB% with 193 Ks (Ron Shandler's BPV calcuation gives positive credit to GB%>40%), but logged a 4.38 ERA. FF's xERA was 3.56 though.

With a H% of 32 and a positive xERA differential, de la Rosa appears poised to surprise. Ubaldo's H% in 2009 was 29%. That, alongs with a much smaller xERA differential in 2009, signals a worse season in 2010 for Ubaldo.

NOTE: My earlier comparison of both pitcher's using Baseball Prospectus' stats came to a similar conclusion despite much high GB%s.

SIERA Likes Ubaldo Jimenez Or Jorge de la Rosa More?

With a 61% groundball rate (per Baseball Prospectus) and 198 Ks, Ubaldo Jimenez logged a SIERA of 3.67. His ERA was 3.47.

Jorge de la Rosa had a perfectly acceptable 51% GB% with 193 Ks, but logged a 4.38 ERA. BP's Siera was 3.55 though.

With a BABIP of .308 and a positive SIERA differential, de la Rosa appears poised to surprise. Ubaldo's BABIP in 2009 was .280. That, alongs with a negative SIERA differential in 2009, signals a worse season in 2010 for Ubaldo.