Friday, April 30, 2010

Mike Leake Thought

The Cincinnati Reds' rookie has made his 1st start a distant memory. My question is how many innings do the Reds let him throw this season.

The latest thoughts on the best prospects in baseball

The latest thoughts on the best prospects in baseball:

"It's a small sampling, but Saunders has been disappointing in Triple-A Tacoma. I made up my mind to be aggressive with his preseason top-100 ranking, but I'm having second thoughts. His stock is falling."

Drafted him figuring Milton Bradley would wear out his welcome.

Drop Carlos Beltran for Who?

Chat: Fantasy Sports w/Matthew Berry - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Ethel Mertz (Anytown, USA) I am thinking about dropping Beltran for Eric Young, is this the craziest idea since getting the poison out?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto (3:13 PM) Not at all. Nate and I have been discussing EY Jr. on the podcast the last two days... Speed to burn, they'll play him at 2b and in the OF - they want him in the line-up and his being there allows them to bat CarGO in middle of line-up"


Format may not even matter.

Panicking On Dotel?

Pirates Notebook: No closer issue with Dotel:

"Manager John Russell and pitching coach Joe Kerrigan informed Dotel in the afternoon that he would have the day off after pitching two of the three games in Milwaukee, including a two-inning appearance the previous day."

I'm still adding Evan meek if I could.

Closer Ready To Change?

Octavio Dotel

"Octavio Dotel was a medium-priced low-risk signing that they could move out of the closer’s role without too much backlash, but the Bucs could also gain from pumping his value up and trading him to a contender, so they may give him some leash yet."

Good luck with the National league version of the Baltimore Orioles' bullpen

A Point Missed In The Ryan Howard Signing

Chat: Chat with Keith Law - SportsNation - ESPN: "kl (philly) klaw, in all seriousness, if the phillies did not extend howard, he would be a free agent, and someone would give him that contract.

Klaw (1:15 PM) First of all, he wouldn't be a FA for two years, so there was no urgency. Second, who's giving him that contract? The Yankees? Kind of occupied at 1b. The Dodgers? I believe Jamie is getting first base in the divorce. Boston? Youkilis, Lars, Rizzo, and a FO that's pretty in tune with things like aging patterns. Cubs? More likely to cut than add payroll. Texas? No money now, and they have Smoak. What would be the realistic market for Howard? It seems pretty limited to me."

What is overlooked is the Phillies have made the market for elite 1B much more complicated for the teams who have pending free agent 1B.

Do these teams cripple their financial flexibility to keep, Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder or Adrian Gonzalez? Or do they let them walk and hurt their own short-term competitiveness?

Either way the Phillies get added value from the Howard deal, no?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Do You Believe in Bud Norris?

Bud Norris » Statistics » Pitching | FanGraphs Baseball

Bud Norris has a 11.72 K/9, a .415 BABIP and a 60.6% Strand Rate. or do you give more credence to his 6.62 BB/9 and 0% HR/FB rate combined with a 27.1% GB rate?

Under The Knife: More On Carlos Beltran

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Bracing For a Return:

"So why the brace? The theory must be that the knee not only lacks cushioning, but that the cushioning has led to some laxity. If the joint is flexing a bit more than normal, the bruising would have a larger pattern. A brace could make that smaller or perhaps direct some of it towards an area where the knee is more cushioned or even just a bit less damaged. Beltran and his doctors seem to be doing everything possible to avoid the next step, which is microfracture surgery."

Say buh-bye in mixed leagues for 2010.

Who Might Replace Trevor Hoffman?

Who Might Replace Trevor Hoffman? | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball:

"Villanueva, on the other hand, is killing it this year and also took up the closer mantle late last year when Hoffman went down. His career xFIP is misleading, as he’s racked up 27 starts worth of innings which most definitely had a higher xFIP than he’s put up as a reliever."

I'm guessing Hoffman does not lose but one or two Save Opportunities. Who gets those one or two chances is a guess.

Carlos Beltran Update

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Mid-Week Aches and Pains:

"Newsday is reporting that Carlos Beltran may not be back until the All-Star break. The brace he's been fitted with is something of a red herring, though"

Four weeks of the season with a wasted DL spot. Another nine to go?!?!?!?

One More Take On Ryan Howard

Baseball Prospectus | Ahead in the Count: Ryan Howard and the New MORP:

"The reality is that Howard falls somewhere between these two extremes. The contract is far from spectacular, but it is unlikely to be an albatross. The deal will ultimately come down to two primary factors, neither of which can be properly estimated by either group of commentators: the rate at which Howard ages, and the rate at which the price of a win inflates. Obviously, if Howard ages gracefully and produces well into his thirties, the Phillies are probably going to be getting a great bargain. Equally obviously, if he tanks, the Phillies are in trouble. If major-league salaries inflate the way that they did during the middle of the 2000s, Howard is going to have plenty of leeway to age without being useless; if salaries hold steady like they have over the last few years, Howard is not only going to need to maintain his production, but might need to learn to pitch, too, in order to be worth his salary."

See all the smarter-than-thou posturing rests on assumptions.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Under The Knife: Brett Anderson

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Mid-Week Aches and Pains:

"Anderson's best case is shutting it down for a couple weeks and coming back in late May. More likely, he'll spend a month on the shelf and take a couple weeks to get back up to speed."

Deep AL-Only FA Watch

Twins' Justin Morneau pulled with tight back |

"If Punto's recovery is prolonged, it could eventually provide an opportunity for third-base prospect Danny Valencia, who got off to a slow start for Class AAA Rochester but went 4-for-5 on Monday to raise his average to .246."

Given Alexi Casilla's fall from Grace, Valencia would be a nice grab if Punto's hip requires surgery.

Baltimore Orioles New Closer

Baltimore Orioles manager Dave Trembley says closer is ‘whoever can get outs' -

"Trembley said some in the organization believe Simon, 28, could close games with his mid-90s fastball and fearless demeanor."

The nightmare bullpen.

Do You Believe This or That?

Homer Bailey » Statistics » Pitching | FanGraphs Baseball

Homer Bailey has a 8.7 K/9, a BABIP of .402 and a strand rate of 66.1%.

Are you buying low or selling?

Austin Jackson: Sell

Austin Jackson racking up hits, strikeouts - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN:

"The bottom line is that Jackson will not, cannot continue hitting .500 on balls in play, and that if he does keep striking out once or twice in every game, his numbers are going to drop like an anvil in the Detroit River."

In mixed leagues, cut him.

A Nice Back of the Envelope Value Test

MLB -- Buster Olney: Ryan Howard is elite, but his deal was oddly timed - ESPN:

"Here's one simple barometer of whether or not this was a good deal for the Phillies: If Philadelphia were to put Howard on the trade market today, with almost seven years and $164 million remaining on his deal, how many offers would it get?
The answer, in all likelihood: zero."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ackley Report on 2B

Baseball Prospectus | Future Shock: Changes In The Wind:

"Dustin Ackley, 2B, Mariners: The second overall pick in the 2009 draft might just be the most interesting defensive case in the minors. He was primary a first baseman during his college career at North Carolina, but that was because he was recovering from Tommy John surgery and couldn't throw. He's a plus-plus runner with up-the-middle athleticism, and while most teams thought center field was his most logical landing spot, the Mariners' initial play is second base, a position he has no experience at. While he's been struggling with his bat at Double-A this year, scouts say he looks surprisingly comfortable with the glove."

What Are the Phillies Thinking?

What Are the Phillies Thinking? | FanGraphs Baseball:

"In other words, Howard will need six seasons that were better than his 2009 season, except over his 32-37 years. I’m not sure I would lay even money on him achieving even half of that. This contract is both incredibly risky and unnecessary since Howard was already signed through 2011. Say hello to baseball’s newest worst contract."

I'm not a big fan of paying top dollars for extensions that don't kick in for years. That is an enormous risk!

Do You Believe Like Me?

Steve Gardner chat (4/26) - Live Blog Live Blogging:

"11:17[Comment From Bruce (NJ)Bruce (NJ): ]
Thanks for the chat Steve. It is must read for me every week. I was wondering your thoughts on a couple of pitchers who seem to be pretty widely available in leagues and are off to fast starts. Could you rank- Neimann, Colby Lewis, Jamie Garcia, Doug Fister, Carmona, and Dana Eveland.

11:22Thanks for being here every week. Those are some pretty decent pitchers there. At this point, I've really liked what I've seen from Garcia -- and with the Cardinals being the class of the NL Central, he should continue to have success. I'd put him ahead of Niemann and Colby Lewis because of the difference between the NL vs. AL.

I'm not as sold on Fister, Carmona and Eveland as I am the others. They're going to have to produce consistently for several more starts before I put them in the same class as the first three. And yes, I know Garcia doesn't have much of a track record, but he has better offensive support and he's in the NL."

Colby Lewis, Jeff Neimann and a distant 3rd, Fausto Carmona.

Hughes Or Wood

Chat: Fantasy Baseball with Tristan Cockcroft - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Nick (Boston) Brandon Wood is killing me at CIF in an AL only league. Will he hit soon or should I dump him? Worth taking a shot on Rhyne Hughes?

Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM) I haven't been a Brandon Wood fan since he was rising the minor league ranks. He hasn't gotten a ton of opportunities, though I'd say enough of them to be able to tell he's more flawed a prospect than we might have thought five years ago. This might sound like a risky swap, and I might ease it in by shedding someone else and rostering both, but I could absolutely see Hughes outperforming Wood this season. Wood's batting average is not going to be good."

De facto, I made just this decision when I dealt Brandon Wood for Eric Chavez, J.P. Arencibia and Brett Morel and then waived Chavez to pick-up Rhyne Hughes.

Next Closer

Chat: Fantasy Baseball with Tristan Cockcroft - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Bruce (MD) That was a cheating answer. What is your non-cheating answer?

Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:41 AM) I don't agree with you, but OK. The bottom line is that the NEXT answer is a much less valuable one to the majority of fantasy owners. Probably Juan Gutierrez. After that I'd really need to see an injury to a current closer for a change to happen, or a cold spell that isn't apparent. I still believe Daniel Bard has what it takes, if Jonathan Papelbon were to get hurt."

Fantasy Sports Insurance

This week's Baseball HQ Radio show had this on. Click the link on the side for the show (@ 24:00 and runs for about ten minutes) or the link below for insurance rates.

Fantasy Sports Insurance :: Fantasy Baseball:

"Please choose a coverage option below:
OPTION 1: One player spends 60 days on the Disabled List due to injury
OPTION 2: Two players spend a total of 90 days on the Disabled List due to injury
OPTION 3: Three players spend a total of 115 days on the Disabled List due to injury"

Monday, April 26, 2010

Do You Believe?

What We Learned In Week Three | FanGraphs Baseball:

"In fact, Tyler Colvin’s wFB/C (runs above average per 100 fastballs seen) is second highest in baseball, behind only Ryan Braun. He’s been below average against soft stuff, so don’t be surprised if pitchers start feeding him a steady diet of breaking balls in the near future. His minor league track record suggests that he’ll have trouble making the adjustment when they do, but there are few doubts left that Colvin can hit a big league fastball."

Sit Rick Porcello?

Mixed Sunday results for David Price, Rick Porcello, Mike Pelfrey - ESPN:

"Porcello has allowed 33 hits and a .393 batting average against, and should be benched by fantasy owners until he turns things around."

Unless I misunderstand the use of BABIP for pitchers, shouldn't the expert fantasy advice be to start Porcello?

It's Like A Car Accident You Can't Stop Looking At

Two Days of Madison Bumgarner | FanGraphs Baseball:

"Having been armed Sunday with a Jugs-brand radar gun — thanks to Bubblegum Baron/Hefty Lefty Rob Nelson and his “connections” — I’m able to announce with some certainty that Bumgarner was a tick or two higher in terms of fastball velocity, pitching in the 89-92 mph range for most of the game.

That’s not to say, however, that his outing was fantastic. Yes, he only allowed a single run on only four hits, but walked as many as he struck out (three of each) and conceded a couple of fly balls that, were they struck by anyone besides Sean Kazmar, might have been more damaging. Moreover, his fastball showed little in terms of movement, nor did his secondary pitches pose much of a challenge to the Portland batting order."

I gambled Madison Bumgarner was done when, much to the teeth-gnashing of my league mates, I dealt Bumgarner for Jeff Francouer, Tyler Colvin and Michael Burgess in an NL-Only 4x4 keeper league.

Still, I want him to either do well or crap the bed.

MLB Trade Rumors: Javier Vazquez

Vazquez Takes Another Loss as Angels Top Yankees -

"For whatever reason, the evidence continues to mount that he can't pitch in the American League—or at least not for its New York chapter. Mr. Vazquez lasted just 3 2/3 innings Sunday, taking the loss in the Yankees' 8-4 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels, which gave them their first series loss of the season."

Cut bait now before this meme is widespread. Better a 10% discount than a fire sale.

Rhyne Hughes: Baseball America 2008

Tampa Bay Rays #28 Prospect in 2008 Baseball America Prospect Handbook.

"Hughes was drafted by the Pirates in the 50th round in 2003 and committed to Mississippi before leading Divison II juco players with 18 homers in 2004. After turning down Pittsburgh as a draft-and-follow, he signed with the Rays but hit just .250 with 11 homers in his first two pro seasons.

He became one of the system's biggest surprises in 2007, leading the Florida State League in batting before he was promoted to Double-A at the end of July. FSL observers compared him to Keith Hernandez and James Loney, and managers rated him the best defensive first baseman in the circuit.

Hughes works the count until he gets a pitch he can handle, preferring stuff on the outer half that he can drive to the opposite field. He's strong but he may need to pull the ball more often to provide the power teams want at first base. A two-way player in junior college, he also has a strong arm for his position. Hughes was hit in the face by a pitch and missed the last week of the season, but he's fine now and will return to Double-A to start 2008."

Hughes is unranked in the 2007, 2009 and 2010 Baseball America Prospect Handbooks.

A Great Fantasy Resource: Daily Baseball Data

Daily Baseball Data:

"With the ever increasing popularity of daily fantasy baseball contests and baseball betting, full season statistical projections and weekly schedule analysis are no longer enough. Players need tools to help evaluate and forecast what will happen in today’s games. How will performance be affected by factors such as the weather, the opposing starting pitcher, and team lineups? Daily Baseball Data was created to help players analyze and answer these questions."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Boston Red Sox And Catchers

Boston Red Sox - Sox must hope that the problem isn’t catching - The Boston Globe:

"The consensus among baseball people is that old standby Pudge Rodriguez, Joe Mauer, Yadier Molina, and Jeff Mathis can at least deter a running game. Rodriguez, who leads the National League in hitting for Washington but who came out of Friday’s game with tightness in his back, has had only one steal attempt against him this season."

Pudge Rodriguez is this decade's Don baylor. He will hang on for years and be on a contender half way through the season.

Why I Added Rhyne Hughes

Get to Know: Rhyne Hughes - Matt Lutovsky - Fantasy Source Fastball - Sporting News:

"Well, it's because of the 'Tip from a Pro' about Hughes from Ben Zobrist:

'Look for this up-and-coming, unheralded first baseman [Rhyne Hughes] by midseason. If they give him an opportunity to play, I think he will do well. I work out with him in the offseason, and I believe this guy is legit.'"

The former Tampa Bay Ray' porpsect hit 35 HRs between AA & AAA in 2009. When I saw Zobrist recommend him, I immediately thought, "Maybe Hughes is usign the same hitting technique Zobrist used."

In an AL-Only league, Hughes is a must add. There is a lot of time in mixed format though.

Boston Red Sox Hubris?

Early troubles have Boston Red Sox thinking of a few changes: "Publicly, the Red Sox hierarchy is insisting it's too early to start contemplating wholesale changes. Privately, however, they have already reached two conclusions:
1. In seeking to tighten up the defense by bringing in Adrian Beltre and Marco Scutaro at third base and shortstop respectively, and Mike Cameron to play center field, they underestimated how vulnerable they would become in the most important defensive position of all: catcher.
2. They cannot afford to wait half a season - as they did a year ago - for Ortiz, now 34, to start producing at DH."

No, the Red Sox knew how crappy there offense would be and counted on their catcher to make-up some of the difference. And they drank the defense stats Kool-aid.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Do You Believe, Again?

What’s Different About Barry Zito? | FanGraphs Baseball:

"Zito doesn’t get that many groundballs — he’s at about his usual rate of 38% at the moment. But as for the flyballs… yes, so far he’s been very lucky to not give up any home runs, which is why his xFIP is 4.79 so far this season."

Angels’ Brandon Wood

Angels’ Brandon Wood has night off -

"In Brandon Wood the Angels trust … for now. That will change in the very near future if the struggling third baseman doesn't emerge from a season-opening slump in which he's batting .087 with four singles and 15 strikeouts in 46 at-bats."

Ready! Shoot! Fire!

Brandon Wood will be "officialy" off the fantasy radar as a 4A.

AL-Only Pick-Up?

Punto goes on disabled list, will have MRI |

"Hughes, from Perth, Australia, has played all over the infield and some outfield in his minor league career but moved back to second base this year. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he will use Hughes at second and could use him in the outfield if he needs to."

Recall Luke Hughes was all the rage in the minors a couple seasons ago.

Grey Smoak

Texas Rangers prospect Justin Smoak, called up Thursday, will hold his own this season - ESPN:

"In AL-only play, you want to go all-in here if he is miraculously still available in that format. In mixed-league play, I'm looking at him as a potential upgrade of your corner infield or DH spots rather than displacing your current first-base option, given the quality of the top players at the position, unless your current first baseman is of the caliber of players such as Aubrey Huff, Daric Barton, Troy Glaus or Gaby Sanchez, just to name a few. Smoak can outproduce all of those options for the balance of the year."

Stephen Strasburg Bowman Card

In case you haven't clicked through this AM's Hot Sheet link to Baseball America.

Prospect Hot Sheet: April 23 Prospects: Prospect Hot Sheet: Prospect Hot Sheet: April 23:

"So who is the real Lars Anderson? The Red Sox 1B could do nothing right with Double-A Portland in 2009, but he's been one of the best hitters in the minors in 2010 in his return to Portland. He hit .333/.474/.944 this week with three dingers in 18 at-bats, raising his overall line to .292/.352/.625 in 13 games."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Do You Believe?

FakeTeams - Fantasy Baseball Coverage:

"He currently hits in the worst hitters park in the majors-Petco Park, so I am not sure we will see a big jump in HRs from Headley. He could hit 15 or so, but if he can steal 20+ bases, he will provide value to fantasy leaguers in 2010."

Selling High

Chat: Chat with Matthew Berry - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Cattie (ND) Everyone keeps telling me to sell high on Vernon Wells, but is it really selling high if everyone knows it? What do you think he could be worth?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto (3:58 PM) Think he winds up with 20-25 home runs and a .270 average"

In mixed leagues, selling high on Vernon Wells means someone actually taking him in a trade.

This Season's Argument For Small Sample Size

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

"Jason (Bmore) Borbon or Action Jackson

Jim Callis (2:48 PM) Borbon."

Chicago Cubs Ace Prospect

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

"Matt (Chicago) Do any of the Cubs' top SP prospects(Cashner, Jackson,Carpenter) have the type of ceiling to front a rotation?

Jim Callis (2:10 PM) Cashner does, especially if he keeps pitching like he has to start this season."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bryce Harper Make-Up

What we mean when we say 'makeup' - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN: "It's impossible to find any talent evaluator who isn't blown away by Harper's ability on the field, but it's equally difficult to find one who doesn't genuinely dislike the kid. One scout called him among the worst amateur players he's ever seen from a makeup standpoint, with top-of-the-scale arrogance, a disturbingly large sense of entitlement, and on-field behavior that includes taunting opponents. 'He's just a bad, bad guy,' said one front-office official."

Wow. Not a nice thing to say about a 17-year-old. Good job, Mom and Dad.

1B Prospects

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

"Mendel (Fl) NL EAST first basemen: Ike davis, Gaby Sanchez, Logan Morrison or Freddie Freeman?

Jim Callis (2:51 PM) Logan Morrison."

Two Phillies Add Cutters

Two Phillies Add Cutters | FanGraphs Baseball:

"Over the past weekend we had the interesting reverse of this story with some suggesting that Kyle Kendrick’s and Cole Hamels‘, before they pitched very well on Sunday and Tuesday, high ERAs were due to them adding the cutter....But as the season progresses these new-pitch pitchers are interesting to check out because adding a new pitch can have a large effect as Carson, Matt, Mike and I talked about in a recent podcast."

Kendrick seems most likely to reward the gambler with positive returns.

Zambrano: Back-up Closer?

Piniella: Zambrano to Bullpen | FanGraphs Baseball: "If Piniella’s rash and irrational decision stays in place, they become virtually nil."

Carlos Zambrano is the Cubs back-up closer?

Qualls And Gutierrez

Poor 9th inning sinks Arizona Diamondbacks in loss to St. Louis Cardinals:

"'I was kind of anticipating that one; it's a good question,' [manager A.J.] Hinch said. 'When you continually get it handed to you a little bit, it gets frustrating. I'm sure he's wearing it in a tough way. But there aren't a lot of non-competitive situations in this league.'"

I can't believe Gutierrez is going to get a second chance after his 4-run blown save 1st one a week ago.

MLB Trade Rumors: AJ Pierzynski

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Wednesday Update: "Trade speculation is heating up regarding slumping White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, particularly since he can become a free agent at the end of the season and heir apparent Tyler Flowers is doing well at Triple-A Charlotte"

So let's pretend Pierzynski poor hitting, which seems to be the reason to trade him, is ignored by other teams. Where can he go?

Fantasy Trouble/Opportunity

BP: Filling five problematic positions - The Max Info Blog - ESPN: "That said, a number of teams have problem positions -- but also on-hand aid they should plug and play."

Here are the 5 problem areas identified. Fantasy players be on alert.

Atlanta Braves at 1B
San Francisco Giants 5th starter
Cleveland Indians C
Chicago White Sox DH and C
Oakland A's outfield and DH

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why Vernon Wells Had a Good Night

The Closer: Reyes breaks out of slump - The Max Info Blog - ESPN:

"Vernon Wells continues his hot start to the 2010 season and has done so of late by looking for, and connecting with, offspeed pitches. All three of Wells' hits Tuesday came against offspeed stuff, his fourth game in his last eight with multiple hits off offspeed pitches."

But can he continue to do so?

Too Smart For Their Own Good?

In addition to injuries and a crappy record, the Red Sox saw eight bases stolen on them last night. Is this the harbinger of a crappy season to come?

Stephania Bell & Lance Berkman Injury

Chat: Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Travis (Nashville) Hey Starphania, good to have you here! How 'good' do you feel about Berkman coming back? Reservations about plugging him back in right away?

Stephania Bell (3:06 PM) Travis: I don't feel particularly good. He's been hitting the ball well in his rehab games (but only had 2) - and even he admits that's not like facing the big league guys. The bigger concern is that his knee is still sore and still swelling to some degree. So what happens when he presses more? Probably not good things. Can he play through it? Maybe..but it doesn't sound like he's ready to be out there every day. Definitely need to keep an eye on him if daily league."

MLB Trade Rumors: Adrian Gonzalez to Boston?

Chat: Chat with Rob Neyer - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Matt (San Diego) How likely is it that Adrian Gonzalez will be traded to the Red Sox?

Rob Neyer (12:26 PM) Somewhat likely, with him and Youkilis making a most excellent 1B/DH combination. But this assumes Papi's benched, plus a few other things ... It could work, but doesn't seem a perfect fit."

With the Red Sox decimated by injuries, I highly doubt the team will be in a position to sacrifice prospects.

Brian Roberts Injury

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Woe Are The O's:

"Roberts saw a back specialist and came away with discouraging news. The herniation is a real problem and may yet need surgery, but baseball operations president Andy MacPhail told reporters that Roberts was looking at 'weeks, not days.' That's better than months, but that's what enough weeks strung together end up as."

Can Ty Wigginton play decent enough defense to keep his 20+ HR bat in the line-up or can whoever has the better glove hit so poorly that Wigginton is still a net positive?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Will Angels' Wood ever develop?

Will Angels' Wood ever develop? - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN:

"The other day I was looking at Wood's stats and I thought, 'But Glenallen Hill struck out a ton in the minors and he made it!' True. But Glenallen Hill had a breakthrough in Triple-A when he was 24. Wood's been able to cut down the strikeouts some, but he's now 25 and still hasn't put it all together, even in Triple-A. I won't be surprised if he eventually has some decent seasons. I'll be surprised if one of them is 2010."

Answering Sabean on Bumgarner

Giants' Bumgarner takes baby step - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN:

"Just a couple of questions I would ask Brian Sabean, if I had his number and it wasn't one in the morning:

1. Wasn't Dick Tidrow with the club in spring training? If he was, why wasn't this mechanical adjustment made then?

2. Along the same lines, if Bumgarner's drop in fastball speed this spring was due to ill preparation and poor mechanics, then what was the problem last summer, when he mysteriously lost five miles an hour off his fastball?"

Ike Davis POV

A Spike in Ike’s Value | FanGraphs Baseball:

"It’s pretty clear that promoting Davis is pretty much a no-lose situation for the Mets at this point… aside from service time, which is irrelevant for a team serious about contending in 2010. He has the potential to be a Rookie of the Year candidate in the National League, which is great for PR… something the organization could use."

Just think a year ago, he looked like a 1st round bust...

Must Add?

Chat: Fantasy Baseball with Tristan Cockcroft - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Ike Davis (AAA) Tristan -- I am a must add in an NL only keeper league now, right? Any mixed potential here?

Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:35 AM) Absolutely. A must-add in any keeper format and any NL-only, simply thanks to the opportunity he's about to receive. The kid raked during the spring and so far in the minors, and that's a chance well worth taking since it's as cheap as a mere pickup. Though I admit I'm not convinced Davis will be an immediate stud; no Heywards here."

Do You Believe?

FakeTeams - Fantasy Baseball Coverage:

"He's not a player you are likely to target for standard leagues, but for AL-only and keeper leagues there is the potential for him to have a lot of value."

Daric Barton. With Chris Carter at AAA, Barton is forcing Billy Beane to give up on one of his biggest mistakes - Eric Chavez.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kiss of Death?

Angels infielder Brandon Wood makes progress - Los Angeles Times:

"'Sometimes, patience is needed,' Manager Mike Scioscia said. 'I think Brandon is going to contribute this season in a way we need. Maybe not to the fullest of his full potential, but this guy's going to break through."

Skills Win!

Andy Pettitte, Ervin Santana, Wandy Rodriguez pitch well - ESPN:

"The Kansas City Royals activated Alex Gordon off the DL, and he went 1-for-4 in his first start Sunday, but the hitting star was Alberto Callaspo, who had been manning third base. Callaspo homered twice and knocked in six runs. He'll be the regular second baseman with Chris Getz on the DL."

Callaspo has been a contact rate sleeper for a couple years. He is finally breaking out.

More On Huff

Are Huff and Talbot Rosterable? | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball:

"In a standard 12-team league, Huff’s not worth a second thought. But if you’re in an AL-only or particularly deep mixed league, just keep an eye out on him in case his strikeout rate starts to climb. He’s not going to be a guy that will anchor a fantasy pitching staff, but he could be a little bit better than your typical 6th or 7th fantasy starter."

If he has added 3 MPH, th he could be a spot start in mixed leagues.

What Have We Learned?

RotoSynthesis >> Two Weeks In The Books-What Have We Learned?:

"David Huff has added 3MPH to his fastball since last season. It started showing up in spring training and he has sustained the velocity during the season so far. He has to throw strikes and move the ball around to continue to win."

I did not know that.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pictures of Jay Bruce

Intuition vs. Quants

Intuition vs. Quants:

"The debate has unofficially been titled 'Intuition vs. Quants,' with Liss advocating 'intuition' and the poker guys on the 'quants' side."

What is called intuition is really the inability to measure and/or operationally define something.

Under The Knife: Jacoby Ellsbury

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Stacking On The Sox:

"Ellsbury is hoping to return Friday, but his ribs haven't made much progress. He was held out on Thursday when he was having pain with breathing. That's not a good sign..."

We need a new verb to sum-up the lingering, near-15-day-DL type of injury that doesn't put the player on the DL. How about Chipper and it's gerund, Chippering?

As in, "The Red Sox are Chippering with Jacoby Ellsbury's rib cage injury."

Your Choice?

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Friday Update:

"Jim Johnson will handle the closing duties for the Orioles while Michael Gonzalez is on the disabled list."

With my last pick in an AL-Only 4x4 keeper league, I went a $1 on Colby Lewis rather than Jim Johnson. It has bothered me since then despite Lewis' 2-0 start.

Did I make the wrong choice?

(FWIW, I dealt Dustin Pedroia for Bobby jenks and drafted Kevin Gregg.)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Scout on Maybin

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Friday Update:

"Marlins center fielder Cameron Maybin: 'I know he's still young, but I'm starting to become skeptical about just how high his ceiling really is. He isn't getting any better. He takes bad routes to balls and swings at a lot of pitches out of the strike zone.'"

...and his entry song is by Miley Cyrus!

Prospect Hot Sheet: April 16 Prospects: Prospect Hot Sheet: Prospect Hot Sheet: April 16:

"But Bumgarner's dimished velocity in spring training (he's sitting in the mid- to high-80s with his fastball) caused some concerns. Those concerns have reached a crisis level after his first two starts at Triple-A Fresno. Bumgarner had allowed double-digit hits in each of his first two starts and is now 0-1, 14.14 with 21 hits allowed in seven innings."

The Kansas City Royals' Mike Montgomery is #1, but this report on San Francisco Giants Madison Bumgarner is more notable. Too late to sell high on the prospect reports preceding 2010.

MLB Trade Rumors: Adrian Gonzalez to Boston?

Boston Red Sox - Don’t count on covering any bases with Gonzalez - The Boston Globe:

"Adrian Gonzalez isn’t walking through that door any time soon.

There are many reasons for this, but the biggest one is the Red Sox aren’t likely to surrender the package to get a deal done. Of course, desperate times might dial up an urgency to give up the farm, but the Sox have not been inclined to do so.

And now, with the unfortunate health issues of Ryan Westmoreland and Junichi Tazawa undergoing Tommy John surgery, the farm system, while still strong, would be challenged if the Sox had to give up three or four prospects or both Jacoby Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz to get it done."

If Adrian Gonzalez does not get dealt to the American League, he will be one of the better bargains in NL-Only leagues.

Another Tyler Colvin Opinion

Baseball Prospectus | Events | Chat with Kevin Goldstein:

"spf (ill.): the chicago media is gaga over Tyler Colvin, mostly because he's not Milton Bradley. What is his upside? What do you think about his prospects?

Kevin Goldstein: Remember back in the day when Todd Hollandsworth got hot and that certain subsection of Cubs folks (you know the type) got all worked up and wanted him to play more and then when he did, it wasn't so good? It's like that. Colvin is going to have a big league career, but he'll have for more time as a bench outfielder than a starter."

Friday, April 16, 2010

Grab Juan Guitierrez?

RotoSynthesis >> Stay For a Nightcap! Thursday's Games:

"For the second night in a row, Qualls blew the save against the Dodgers."

Some excellent commentary on Qualls in the Comment section from three of the better known baseball analysts.

Do You Believe Like I Believe?

Texas Rangers starting pitchers Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison look sharp so far - ESPN:

"Colby Lewis is a pitcher who could have a bigger impact for the Rangers (and for fantasy teams) this season than most people realize..."

The expert hype on Colby Lewis coming into the season was no secret.

Is He For Real - Jonathan Sanchez

Fantasy Baseball: Is He For Real - Jonathan Sanchez - FakeTeams:

"I'm starting up a new series here at FakeTeams, where I take a look at some players who have gotten off to hot starts, and help to discern if this is really what they are capable of, or whether or not they are performing over their heads."

Elite? No. Rosterable now? Yes.

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Mounting Numbers

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Mounting Numbers:

"Zimmerman has a full-on, yet mild hamstring strain that's going to put him in that no-man's land of not being ready to come back quickly, but not being unable to play for long enough to put the DL into play."

#1 Overall Pick in 2011

FakeTeams - Fantasy Baseball Coverage:

"I thought coming into this season a 35-20 season would be a fantastic season for Upton, but 35-40?? That would vault him into the #1 spot ahead of Albert Pujols in 2011 fantasy drafts."

I was on the Justin Upton 1st Rounder in 2010 Bnadwagon back in October, but #1 overall in 2011? Even with a 30/30 season under his belt...

MLB Trade Rumors: Who Goes To San Diego For Heath Bell?

Baseball Prospectus | Events | Chat with Kevin Goldstein:

"Cris E (St Paul, MN): How good is Wilson Ramos? If you were the Twins would you trade him, and when does he have the highest value? Does time in AAA enhance his value or just add risk that he gets injured again or gets exposed?

Kevin Goldstein: He's very good. Now, as to when to maximize his value on the trade market, that's a more complex question. Does time in AAA enhance his value? Some would even ask if a year in the big leagues as Mauer's backup would enhance his value. It's a tough call, but he's probably the most blocked good prospect in the minors."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

OMG! Did Brandon Wood Finally Get a Break?

Mike Napoli gets start for Angels; Maicer Izturis out with injury | The Fabulous Forum | Los Angeles Times:

"Maicer Izturis was in the original lineup at third base Thursday night but was scratched because of tightness in his throwing shoulder. Brandon Wood will get the start at third."

Could this be the news Wood needs to get the ABs every fantasy player believes he should?

Why Frasor Isn't Closing

Griffin: Flawed Frasor hands off closer role to Gregg -

"It took just eight contests, but with all five first batters faced reaching base, with two blown saves and always with a second reliever warming up over his shoulder, the clues were there for Frasor's demise."


View of Astros From Boston

Boston Red Sox - Don’t count on covering any bases with Gonzalez - The Boston Globe:

"They parted with Miguel Tejada and decided to go with rookie Tommy Manzella at shortstop. The transition will take time to yield positive results, but it should. Righthander Bud Norris and third baseman Chris Johnson also will be incorporated into the mix slowly."

I'm not sold on the Astros doing more than spinning their wheels in 80 W mediocrity, but I always enjoy a surprise especially when it comes at the expense of people prediciting the future i.e. the Astros minor leagues can't produce major leaguers because none of the prospects are favs of the prospecting community.

MLB Trade Rumors: Cliff Lee

MLB - Buster Olney: On Stephen Strasburg's debut, the AL West in 2010 and Milton Bradley's maturity - ESPN:

"Some of the scouts who have seen Seattle so far this year indicate that they wouldn't be surprised if the Mariners were to trade Cliff Lee in midseason, because the team's offense looks deeply flawed..."

Casey Kotchamn hitting 3rd against righties is the hammer to the skull kind of hint one needs.

Faith In projections

RotoSynthesis >> Lost in Translation: Why Your Projections and Dollar Values Won't Save You:

"Those conditions are that either that everyone is using substantially similar projections to you, is worse at translating them to dollar values and is very strictly sticking to their dollar values at auction time; or (2) That the projections you're using happen to be right. Both cases are extremely unlikely."

Another piece written several days ago but worth reading.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Head to Head Strategy

Head to Head Strategy - FakeTeams:

"However, for those of you competiting in head to head leagues, here is a trick that I have used very efficiently over the past four or five seasons. I try and draft hitter heavy, and wait to draft pitchers until my entire offense is filled. I then continue to draft pitchers until the draft is complete."

Click through as there are lots of comments too.

Waiting For Chavez

Chris Carpenter struggles, Scott Feldman thrives, Casey Janssen wins - ESPN:

"Oakland Athletics infielder Adam Rosales had his first at-bats of the week Sunday and delivered a home run and four RBIs. Rosales, acquired in the offseason from the Cincinnati Reds, hit for power in the minors. He just needs an opportunity to play more."

Matt Antonelli Progressing

Antonelli progressing from hand injury | News:

"Antonelli hit .378 with one home run and eight RBIs in 37 at-bats with the Padres during Spring Training. Antonelli, the Padres' No. 1 pick (17th overall) in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, will report to Triple-A Portland when the injury is healed."

A complete collapse in ability at AAA over the past two seasons has Antonelli's star going black hole. Only because he plays for the Padres does he merit watching.

If he comes back, I really want to know what happened in 2008 & 2009.

MLB Trade Rumors: Trading Carl Crawford

Yankees in Tampa face 'the perfect free agent' - MLB News - FOX Sports on MSN:

"Meanwhile, the list of potential suitors for Crawford is staggering:"

The link is a few days old but Carl Crawford is going to be one of the best players on the trade rumor market this summer. May as well become familar with the possible scenarios.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

When To Bench Players

Chat: Chat with AJ Mass - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Jon (Chicago) At what point do you bench your non-producing starters for your sleepers? For instance, Choo and Pence are starters while McGehee and Headley on riding the bench.

AJ Mass (11:10 AM) We're talking about benching, and not cutting them, so in a daily league, I'd certainly have no issue making the swap now and riding the streaks out. In a weekly league, you have to be a lot more cautious about making a move. If you have several slumpers, you probably should swap out at least half and hope you make the right calls."

How about Michael Bourn, Julio Borbon, Jay Bruce....

Carson on Colby Lewis |

Carson on Colby Lewis | FanGraphs Baseball:

"All in all, while Lewis showed things like pluck and want-to in his seven-inning return to American baseball, he showed less in the way of groundball- and/or strikeout-inducing stuff. Yes, it’s one start, and, yes, the infield flies are nice, but Hulet could be righter than I’d care to admit if Lewis’s next couple of starts resemble this one."

AL-Only 4x4 auction Values : Rotothink Tank

Roto Think Tank:

"I'm going to throw out the prices from my A.L. 4x4 auction yesterday (about 26% inflation) with no commentary."

Vernon Wells $30 and Delmon Young $24. Which owner is likely to rue overpaying for Week one performances?

More Headley

RotoSynthesis >> Thoughts About Week One:

"Have you watched Chase Headley this season? He looks like a world of pressure has been removed from his shoulders and he's allowing his natural talents to shine. His hitting stroke is short and sweet. Playing regulalrly at 3B following the trade of Kevin Kouzmanoff seems to agree with Headley. Yes, keep him out of LF where he was uncomfortable and it negatively impacted his approach at the plate."

On Aroldis Chapman

Baseball Prospectus | Future Shock: Monday Ten Pack:

"Chapman had better overall numbers than Strasburg, and he was throwing a bit harder as well, getting up to triple digits with his fastball and dominating primarily off of that while also flashing a solid slider. For a guy who has had occasional control issues, that certainly wasn't the case on Sunday, and if that remains the case, he could beat Strasburg to the big leagues."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Mounting Numbers

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Mounting Numbers:

"I'll continue to stick with a May 1 ERD, but the more I hear about this, the more I think Berkman's in the same boat as Carlos Beltran. That means it probably all comes down to pain tolerance, something that Berkman, a guy who looks up to Bagwell, might do more than he needs."

Glad I didn't go $29 on Lance Berkman

First week risers and surprisers

First week risers and surprisers... - FakeTeams:

"Chris Young, Diamondbacks- hitting .292 on the season but that OBP keeps falling. To date, not a single base on balls through 24 at bats- only 3 k's though. And a 3 HR/ 12 RBI week to start things off in 2010 would suggest his value may not be much higher than it is now. Think Carlos Silva, as a hitter: few walks, few k's= good time to get value in a trade"

Panicking Yet?

Brandon Wood is 1-19.

He is my fantasy kryptonite, and I am getting ready to jetti...a little worried.

Another Surprise Fantasy Pick In minor League Draft

Baseball Prospectus | Events | Chat with Kevin Goldstein:

"scarlisle17 (Carrollton, TX): Who are some of the early favorites for Minor League Player of the Year?

Kevin Goldstein: Mike Stanton, Dustin Ackley, Christain Friedrich . . ."

Surprise Fantasy Pick In Minor League Drafts

Baseball Prospectus | Events | Chat with Kevin Goldstein:

"Sanchez101 (Santa Barbara, CA): What are people telling you about Dodgers speedster Trayvon Robinson? Will he be a quality hitter (.275/.345/.450) or more of a Xavier Paul? Over/under on him on 2011's Top 101?

Kevin Goldstein: If he can prove that last year was real and not a product of the Cal League, he'll be in the Top 101. He has far better overall tools than Paul, but the amount of swing-and-miss in his game is a definite issue."

To me at least.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Speculating on Crawford

Boston Red Sox - Don’t count on covering any bases with Gonzalez - The Boston Globe:

"My dark horse candidate for Crawford’s services in free agency is the Angels. They have an older, immobile outfield and could use someone of his athleticism. Crawford also fits into the Angels style of play. He can steal bases and would be a big part of Mike Scioscia’s small-ball approach, but he also can hit some home runs. Of course, every time Crawford goes to New York, he’s going to be mentally fitted for pinstripes, and with good reason. The Yankees can spend the money to make it happen. Not seeing the Sox as a team in the mix."

Predictive Value?

The Closer: TGIF version - The Max Info Blog - ESPN:

"Why Rockies Starter Jorge de la Rosa Won:
- Threw first-pitch strikes to 75 pct of hitters (56 pct in ’09).
- Allowed 27 pct of swings to be hit in play (38 pct in ’09).
- Of 9 swings against his slider, 0 were put in play.
- Retired the leadoff hitter in each of his 7 innings."

This really offers no predictive value. Informatio on whether de la Rosa consistently does this would be more useful.

Colby Lewis Hype Grows?

Seven innings and a W show a lot of the pre-season hype on repatriated Texas Ranger Colby lewis appears justified. However, four walks and three Ks is not the 8:1 K:BB he sported in Japan.

Remain leery in mixed leagues.

Cheap 3B Production?

San Diego Padres' Chase Headley's continued development as a hitter makes him a fine fantasy sleeper - ESPN:

"I'm encouraged by the slow but steady progress Headley has been making and what I've seen of his swing and approach over the past month. I expect him to be more valuable than many fantasy owners expect, and I think he could be of use even in mixed leagues this year, especially if you have the roster depth to optimize his usage on the road."

Perspective On Heyward

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

"Paul (SF, CA) Your comments on Jason Heyward re: Hall of Fame show your complete ignorance of modern baseball analysis. Sure he doesn't have the traditional counting stat totals but his rate stats are off the charts.

Jim Callis (2:30 PM) Ha!"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Do Spring Training Stats Matter?

Pittsburgh Pirates OF/2B Delwyn Young crushed the ball. In his 1st 2010 start, he went 2-2 with two walks.

Chicago Cubs OF Tyler Colvin hit almost .500 over 78 ABs. In his 1st start of 2010, he hits a HR in his 1st AB.

Both players hit well at the end of 2009.

Tyler Colvin Upside?

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

"Matt (Chicago) Please tell me Colvin is going to save us from the scourge of Soriano and his onerous contract. Are you too worried about OBP issue?

Jim Callis (2:15 PM) Unless he murders Soriano, Tyler Colvin isn't going to make that financial commitment go away. I think Colvin can be a decent regular, maybe even a solid regular, but he'll never have a high OBP."

Colvin is on the road to being a good major leaguer who wasn't a fawned-upon prospect.

Mat Gamel's Future?

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Friday Update:

"The Brewers' Jim Edmonds is expected to get the majority of starts in right field against right-handed pitching while incumbent Corey Hart will be relegated to basically playing against lefties"

Hold Corey Hart constant and which lefty hitter takes Edmonds ABs when Edmonds inevitably breaks down?

Last Minute NL-Only Auction Results

For those still drafting on the orignal Draft Day, here are the players I drafted in a traditional NL Rotiserrie league.

There was lots of money chasing a lot of regulars. I decided to go high risk/high reward.

C Carlos Ruiz $6
3B/OF Chase Headley $23
CR Mat Gamel $8
UT Kaz Matsui $18
UT Juan Francisco $3
P Jon Niese $3
P Homer Bailey $3
P Joe Blanton $5
P Jordan Zimmermann $8
P Jorge de la Rosa $7
P Luke Gregersen $8
P Juan Gutierrez $4
P Jenrry Mejia $3

My two minor league draft picks were Stephen Strasburg and Brett Jackson.

Friday, April 09, 2010

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

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

"AJ (NJ) Hi Jim,Two part question. 1) Jordan Danks will be in Chicago ____? 2) His future ceiling is: a) All-Star, b) Solid regular, c) Useful bench player

Jim Callis (2:19 PM) 1. September. 2. Decent to solid regular."

In Case of Injury...

Chicago White Sox want pitchers to hold baserunners closer -

"Tyler Flowers and Jordan Danks, two of the Sox's two prospects, each hit home runs in Triple-A Charlotte's first game of the 2010 season at Gwinnett."

If Aaron Hill Is Seriously Injured...

Filling in for Hill, McCoy singles in first at-bat - Posted Sports:

"McCoy, an infielder-outfielder who made the club after an impressive spring training, is a 29-year-old career minor-leaguer who enjoyed his best season last year at Triple-A Colorado Springs."

Right. Emaus is more likely a longer term fill-in.

The Top 101 Prospects Update, Part 2

Baseball Prospectus | Future Shock: The Top 101 Prospects Update, Part 2:

"96. Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs

Opening Day: High-A Daytona. Tools, tools and more tools—if he can overcome contact issues, he could move quickly."

Law on Gordon

Chat: Chat with Keith Law - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Howie (Golfsmith) What are your thought on the Dodgers fastracking Dee Gordon to Double A?

Klaw (1:31 PM) Mixed. I don't really think it's going to hurt him, but I see him as a one-level-at-a-time guy right now. He's still pretty slight physically and I didn't see an advanced approach that screamed out for a jump to the better pitching of AA."

SBNation Partnership | FanGraphs

SBNation Partnership | FanGraphs Baseball:

"I’m pleased to announce FanGraphs’ newest partner: SBNation! We’ll be highlighting their awesome content right here on the FanGraphs player pages, in the form of player specific related content, and on the home page and blogs.
And from you’ll be just a click away from FanGraphs stats and articles on their player pages and blogs.
We think this cross-integration of our content will help both FanGraphs readers and SBNation readers be even more informed as baseball fans!"

Thursday, April 08, 2010

FanGraphs Scouting: Ian Kennedy

FanGraphs Scouting: Ian Kennedy | FanGraphs Baseball:

"Yeah, it’s only been one start, but I wanted to talk up Ian Kennedy… something I’ve actually been doing since he was traded from the New York Yankees to the Arizona Diamondbacks this past off-season (in the Javier Vazquez deal)."

A whole country is rooting for Kennedy to be better than Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain.

Mike Leake or Jenrry Mejia

Mike Leake or Jenrry Mejia - FakeTeams:

"Who do you think is a better long term keeper, Mike Leake or Jenrry Mejia? The fact that Mejia is being used as a reliever concerns me, but so does the fact that Leake will not have any experience in the minor leagues."

Can Sanchez Hold Off Morrison?

Can Sanchez Hold Off Morrison? | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball:

"“You could move Coghlan to second and put Morrison in left field and there you go,” Gonzalez said. “But who knows, down the road you make a few moves and that plan goes out the window.”"

Casey Kotchman Bubble?

A.J. Pierzynski, Casey Kotchman, Chris Young among sleepers to pick up in ESPN standard leagues - ESPN:

"No, I'm not expecting any power boost, as his new home park and continued lack of loft in his swing plane will preclude that, but he's going to play pretty much every day and hit third in the Mariners' lineup behind Ichiro Suzuki and Chone Figgins. As we saw on Opening Day, that positioning should give him plenty of RBI chances, especially with Kotchman's ability to make contact and hit for average."

Great fantasy article for mixed leaguers.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Colorado Rockies' Huston Street

Colorado Rockies' Huston Street has no major shoulder damage - ESPN:

"Tracy says Street will begin a strengthening program for the shoulder in the coming weeks and begin throwing in a process that should take him sometime into May"

For nothing being wrong, Huston Street is missing A LOT of time.

1st Trade of Season

AL-Only 4x4 keeper league. I exited the draft without a closer and dealt Dustin Pedoria and Trevor Cahill for Bobby Jenks and Jed Lowrie.

Normally, I do not trade so early, but my need was clear, and I had drafted a lot of high AB hitters.

More Brandon Webb

MLB -- Buster Olney: MLB wants to speed the games, but consistency is the key - ESPN:

"Heard this: The D-backs still have no idea when or if Brandon Webb will pitch"

Are You Crazy?

Detroit Tigers OF Ryan Raburn will out-perform Baltimore Orioles OF Nick Markakis. Crazy, but I agree markakis will continue to disappoint. (as I predicted last March.)

Was Fake Teams "that website" where one of the Fantasy Roundtablers saw Itchy Buchholz as a team name?

Brandon Webb Update

From chat

Pete D. (Litchfield, CT) Hello Stephania. Should I wait for Brandon Webb? I'm in a 12-team H2H and my top 3 SPs are Jimenez (COL), Nolasco (FL) and Kershaw (LAD). I'm fine with rolling with my stacked offense (Pujols, Wright, Tulowitzki) and legging it out until May, but only if you say he'll return and show decent value. Thank you.

Stephania Bell (3:03 PM) Hi Pete: If it's my team, I wouldn't be holding a spot for him. The biggest problem I can see is that his problem has not clearly been defined. He's having very similar setbacks to the type he had last year - and that's after a surgery! And in surgery they didn't find much. The problem is still a puzzle - and while the Diamondbacks are saying all the right things, it's hard to have confidence in this situation. I'd be looking for someone else who can produce for you right now.

NL-Only keeper draft tonight and I am leaning towards avoiding Webb at any cost.

Sleeper Seattle OF

Chat: Chat with Rob Neyer - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Troy (Portland) There were two Bradley moments last night that scared me. After catching a fly in left, he looked toward the crowd at some hecklers. After striking out in the ninth, he broke his bat. How long before we see Bradley blow up and will it ruin the rest of the great team chemistry?

Rob Neyer (12:27 PM) I don't know, but isn't that just another reason why he should have been the DH?"

Took Michael Saunders in my AL-Only minor league draft.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Cheap 20/20

Chat: Chat with Rob Neyer - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Jay (NY) Hey Rob! Whats your take on the Corey Hart situation. Could they really decide to play Edmonds every day, or are they just trying to light a fire under Hart early?

Rob Neyer (12:07 PM) I don't see Edmonds playing against lefties, and those guys could be a pretty effective platoon. I suppose that wouldn't sit real well with Hart, but then again he didn't hit real well last season."

Can Edmonds stay healthy enough?

Sleeper C

New chance for A.J. Burnett, Jorge Posada to connect -

"Posada has a tendency to botch late-moving pitches, as was exhibited when a seventh-inning passed ball off a Damaso Marte pitch Sunday night led to the go-ahead run in the Red Sox's 9-7 triumph. And Posada also has a fiery nature. He used to spar with the equally passionate Orlando Hernandez, but El Duque found calm in that storm. Burnett typically does not, something he even admits he must improve upon."

In deep Al-Only, two-catcher formats, Francisco Cervelli could do a nice Mike Redmond impression.

Scouting Mike Leake

Scouting Mike Leake | FanGraphs Baseball:

"The Pre-Game Scouting Report: Leake’s fastball is said to be in the 88-94 mph range and it sits 89-91 mph. It is also said to have natural cutting action and good movement. When he’s on, he should produce a good number of ground-ball outs. As for his secondary stuff, he is said to have a 79-82 mph slider, a solid change-up and a show-me curveball. His control is good, his command is plus. Just 6′0”, he’s athletic, durable, and has good mound presence"

A $1 or $2 in an NL-Only keeper format. Check back at the end of April in mixed formats.

Roster Moves to Regret

Baseball Prospectus | One-Hoppers: Roster Moves to Regret:

"Sending down Brett Cecil. Already looking like a club that might slip from the irrelevancy of fourth place to the ignominy of fifth, the Blue Jays have rounded out their rotation with veteran swingman Brian Tallet and the well-traveled Dana Eveland. While both have their uses, neither presents any real upside value; they'll just help the Jays successfully complete a losing season. Cecil was already the organization's best pitching prospect, and last season's 17 starts in the big leagues showed he's as ready as he'll ever be. Beyond that, an assignment to that hitting haven in Las Vegas is a terrible thing to do to a young pitcher. Skip the oregano, Cecil doesn't need any more seasoning."

Do You Believe Now?

Carlos Gomez and Delmon Young both hit a HR and stole a base yesterday. 1st day flukes or a sign of seasons to come?

Monday, April 05, 2010

Do You Believe?

J.J. Hardy and Luis Valbuena could prove to be nice values in the middle infield in fantasy - ESPN:

"Like Hardy, the Cleveland Indians' Luis Valbuena is another middle infield option with the potential to provide some pop for a cheap price, especially in AL-only formats, where he's been going for under $10 in every auction I've participated in."

Giants' John Bowker

Giants' John Bowker psyched to start in right:

"After hitting .255 with 10 home runs as a rookie, Bowker spent most of last season with Triple-A Fresno, batting .342 with 21 homers."

NL-Only sleeper? Or is the real sleeper the player Bowker beat out, Nate Schierholtz?

Auction Results AL-Only

With 9 players and $79, I used a spread-the-weath strategy. Instead of dropping $30+ on one player and filling in with $1, $2 and $3 players, I spread the available dough amongst the 9 players.

I ended up with $20 Asdrubal Cabrera, $10 Delmon Young, $5 Rick Ankiel, $6 Mark Ellis, $6 Mark Ellis for hitting, and $9 Max Scherzer, $1 Colby Lewis, $9 Matt Guerrier and $4 Kevin Gregg.

I left $9 on the table.

Gammons: Breakout Players

Gammons: Season opens, questions abound | News:

"Which five players could have breakout seasons? Jay Bruce in Cincinnati, the Marlins' Cameron Maybin, the Cards' Colby Rasmus, the Dodgers' James Loney and Buchholz are candidates."

Sunday, April 04, 2010

2010 Predictions

AL East: Tampa Bay Rays
Thought: The Yankees were remarkably healthy last season. No such luck this year.

AL Central: Detroit Tigers
Thought: Target Field will prove the undoing of the Twins organizational philosophy of developing pitchers and playing defense. Hitter friendly and no artifical turf undo.

AL West: Texas Rangers
Thoughts: So prior to 2009, teams couldn't expect to continue to improve if they were out-scored? I doubt that was overturned by the Mariners. Mike Scoscia's run of defying the sabre stats ends.

NL East: Philadelphia Phillies
Thoughts: Just not enough pitching in the division to stop the Phils offense.

NL Central: St. Louis Cardinals
Thoughts: The Houston Astros are going to reach 80 Wins. And continue to flounder.

NL West: Colorado Rockies
Thoughts: The San Diego Padres will be the most exciting 73 Win team this season.

Players who excelled this spring

MLB -- Buster Olney: Pitchers Mike Leake, Fausto Carmona and C.J. Wilson are among the players who excelled this spring. - ESPN:

"1. Mike Leake, Cincinnati Reds: He was told Friday that he has made the Reds' season-opening rotation, and he will be the first player since Darren Dreifort in 1994 to pitch in the majors without touching the minor leagues."

What Joba Has Wrought

MLB -- Buster Olney: Pitchers Mike Leake, Fausto Carmona and C.J. Wilson are among the players who excelled this spring. - ESPN:

"Spoke with some scouts who think that if J.P. Howell does not bounce back from his shoulder problem and the Rays are in need of a reliever late in the season as they push for a playoff spot, they will have an internal solution. 'It wouldn't surprise me if they moved David Price into the bullpen later in the year and called up [Jeremy] Hellickson,' one evaluator said. 'Price could give them a lot of what Howell gave them out of the bullpen, and Hellickson has a chance to be pretty good.'"

ESPN New York

NEW YORK Sports Teams, Scores, Stats, News, Standings, Rumors - ESPN New York

As a former member of the SportsBlog Naton, I view ESPN's foray into the fan specific sites with ambivalence. It is big block lettered writing on the wall for SBN, but I have bookmarked the site as I am a NY sports fan looking for info.

As a SBN investor, I'd be clamoring for that emerging markets mogul to buy me as soon as possible and so I can cash out.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Matthew Berry's perfect fantasy draft

Matthew Berry's perfect fantasy draft includes Chase Utley, Justin Upton - ESPN:

"The premise is that I would draft as though everything fell my way. Now, nothing crazy, like Miguel Cabrera falls to the third round. But that, based on the draft results, the player could drop to me up to two picks, and anyone whose ADP is lower than my pick was also fair game."

Sort of cool exercise. Love Ben Zobrist in the 7th. Considering I took him in the 3rd round...

AL-Only 4x4 Keeper Protects

I am off to my long-time AL-Only 4x4 keeper league. Enormous inflation.

Here is my keeper list. I clearly need Saves and breakout performances from my SP. 12 catchers needs to be drafted so I expect to make up a lot of offense from that position.

C Joe Mauer Min 18 B
C Matt Wieters Bal 10 B

1B Casey Kotchman SEA 10 B
3B Brandon Wood LAA 15 11

2B Dustin Pedroia BOS 34 B
SS Yuni Betancourt KC 6 B

OF Jason Kubel Min 19 B
OF Vernon Wells TOR 22 C
OF Julio Borbon Tex 10 B


P David Price TB 10 B
P Wade Davis TB 11 10
P Matt Thorton CHW 1 B
P Clay Buchholz BOS 6 B
P Trevor Cahill OAK 4 B

Are Fantasy Experts an Endangered Species?

RotoSynthesis: Are Fantasy Experts an Endangered Species?:

"I've been debating over on the CardRunners League blog whether a group of smart Wall Street/poker guys would have an edge against top fantasy players based on a more accurate system of converting stats to dollars"

The Roto Arcade Pro-Am, Year Two

The Roto Arcade Pro-Am, Year Two - Roto Arcade - Fantasy Blog - Yahoo! Sports#comments#comments#comments#comments:

"Today, you get your wish. The Roto Arcade Pro-Am recently held its auction, and the participants were kind enough answer questions about their strategies. This year's league is significantly different from the inaugural version, as we're going head-to-head (my preference) and we've added OPS and holds as categories (personal favorites). Just like last season, the 14 league members are a collection of excellent fantasy bloggers and sketchy Arcade commenters."

My team is Oscar Meyer Wieters. Any post with a link to Holy grail quotes is worth reading.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Shaping Up Like Charlie Brown Kicking The Football

Brewers set their roster spots - JSOnline:
"For most of the spring, Macha hadn't been able to say who his No. 2 hitter in the lineup would be, and a reason for that was no one really stepped up to claim that role.

But during the last week, centerfielder Carlos Gomez has become the likely candidate to fill that spot on opening day.

'I think I'm leaning toward Gomez right now,' Macha said. 'I said the lineup kind of forms itself as the year goes on.'"

Cheap steals or Lucy will pull the ball away again.

Buh-bye John Buck

Baseball Prospectus | Future Shock: Grapefruit League Scouting Notebook, Part 1:

"Blue Jays C J.P. Arencibia: 'I'd never seen him before, and I looked at his numbers, but that's nothing like what I saw. He was this big, athletic catcher with power and good defense. He looked like a stud the days I saw him.'"

Buy Really Low?

Hart might spend opener on bench - JSOnline:

"Hart is 1 of 6 (.167) for his career against Jimenez. Edmonds has had more success, though in a small sample size, with three hits in five at-bats - two doubles and a triple, with four runs batted in."

Talk about an extreme example of sample size issues. Regardless, Hart will be the proof that Spring Training stats don't matter.

Prospect Pendulum: Jason Heyward And Madison Bumgarner Headed In Opposite Directions - MLB Fantasy Prospects

Prospect Pendulum: Jason Heyward And Madison Bumgarner Headed In Opposite Directions - MLB Fantasy Prospects:

"My first installment of this series features two of the games best prospects - Jason Heyward and Madison Bumgarner - headed in opposite directions."

Mixed League H2H Results

12-team, 5x5 H2H, daily transactions. This did not go the way I thought it would.

1. (5) Matt Kemp
2. (20) Tim Lincecum
3. (29) Ben Zobrist
4. (44) Ichiro Suzuki
5. (53) Gordon Beckham
6. (68) Adam Wainwright
7. (77) Clayton Kershaw
8. (92) Hunter Pence
9. (101) Julio Borbón
10. (116) Brian Wilson
11. (125) Jay Bruce
12. (140) Billy Wagner
13. (149) Stephen Strasburg
14. (164) Alexei Ramírez
15. (173) Michael Bourn
16. (188) Miguel Montero
17. (197) Francisco Liriano
18. (212) Nick Johnson
19. (221) Garrett Jones
20. (236) Mat Latos
21. (245) Octavio Dotel
22. (260) Chris Pérez

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Tyler Colvin: NL-Only Sleeper?

Tyler Colvin gives Chicago Cubs hope for future -

"If Colvin excels in the 'three games a week,'' Hendry projected, pressure will build for the Cubs to make their right fielder of the future the No. 2 hitter of the present"

12 ABs per week goes to 300 or so on the year. That is enough to bring back $5-$10 of value.

Joba To Be Traded Within Next Week

YFSF: Report: Joba To Be Traded Within Next Week:

"Well, this one is a doozy. There's a report that Yankee brass thinks Joba needs a change of scenery. Apparently, he did not react well to losing out on the 5th spot, and the Yanks feel it's time to move on. There are whispers that the Bombers could get Andrew Mccutchen back from the Pirates. Looks like the Joba era is ending soon"

Riiiiiiiight. Andrew mcCutcheon for Joba? I'll add Phil Hughes!

MLB Trade Rumors: Heath Bell

Charley Walters: Twins, Cardinals are a lot alike -

"It wouldn't be surprising, even though the Twins like Ben Revere a lot, if the minor league center fielder who impressed in spring training this year is the centerpiece the San Diego Padres have required in trade talks for closer Heath Bell. And Revere might be the one top prospect the Twins might have to give up, albeit reluctantly, for Bell.

The Padres also like Twins top prospects Aaron Hicks and Wilson Ramos. But Bell, 32, whose salary this season is $4 million, is eligible for arbitration after the season and, assuming he pitches as he has, he can expect a hefty pay raise and probably would be just a one-year reliever — two years at the most — for the Twins."

Ramos and Revere should get it done.

Reyes, Murphy out for Mets' season opener -

Reyes, Murphy out for Mets's season opener -

"Mike Jacobs is the front-runner to take the job, according to general manager Omar Minaya — adding that rookie slugger Ike Davis is not a candidate."

If John Maine, Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez pitch like last season, who plays 1B won't matter a bit.

NL-Only Minor League Draft Info

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

"Eric (Monterrey, CA) If you were in a prospect draft (i.e NL-only Fantasy League) who would you take 1st between Aroldis Chapman and Starlin Castro? Why?

Jim Callis (2:02 PM) Stephen Strasburg already gone? I'd take Chapman over Castro because I think he'll make more of an impact quicker than Castro will."

Sleeper 1B

M's keep Sweeney, dump Garko - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN:

"According to Geoff Baker's primer, the M's are dumping Garko because:

1. they believe (rightly) that he's a lousy first baseman,
2. which means they're better off with Casey Kotchman playing first base every day, and
3. with Jack Hannahan healthy (enough) they don't have the roster space for both Garko and Sweeney."

Guess who the 12 HR/80 RBI 1B sleeper is?

Scenes from an expert auction

Scenes from an expert auction - Roto Arcade - Fantasy Blog - Yahoo! Sports:

"The annual Tout Wars auctions took place this past weekend; for the fifth year I'm in the 13-team National League group. I've had some decent runs in this exercise (second twice), some respectable finishes (fifth once), and one utter disaster (dead last in 2009). Make of that what you will."