Monday, May 31, 2010

Stephen Strasburg Trade Value

With the recall of Stephen Strasburg iminent, interest in acquiring him should skyrocket. There a many factors involved in properly valuing him. The biggest one is what his expected performance is, but there are others that are actually known with certainty.

Are you in a keeper league? What categories count? Is there an innings limit? IF you answer "Yes, "Ks" and "Yes", Strasburg's trade value increases over his trade value in 2010.

While expected performance is unknowable, there is another unmeasurable but relevent factor to consider. Should his owners expect a premium for the lost opportunity cost of holding Strasburg for two months in a reserve slot?

My answer is "Yes" but good luck realizing that cost is you have had Strasburg occupied 33% of your reserve spots for the past two months.

John Ely Impressing

John Ely Impressing | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball:

"True to the scouting reports, Ely isn’t lighting up radar guns — his fastball is averaging 87.9 MPH. However, he’s not using the pitch much (about 32 percent), and when he does, he gets strikes (70.1 percent, 64.4% MLB average). Ely’s bread-and-butter is his changeup. According to Pitch F/X data from, he has pulled the string about 41 percent of the time."

FWIW, Ely was ranked in the 8-11 range as a White Sox prospect.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: New York Yankees & Cliff Lee

Yankees likely will make run at Lee — in offseason -

"But having their eyes on Lee does not mean the Yankees will be at the forefront of the derby come July 31. Consider these reasons:"

Why trade prospects for Lee when you can overwhelm in in free agency and keep the picks? Of course, this assumes a fully healthy rotation. If CC, Burnett or Hughes is lost for the season, all bets are off.

With the Yankees' depth at catcher, the team has the marquee prospect that the Seattle organization needs.

MLB Trade Rumors: Roy Oswalt to AL?

MLB - On Roy Halladay's perfect game and Buster Posey's imperfect call-up - ESPN:

"The three teams that might be the best fit on paper to get Oswalt: the Twins, the Tigers, the Angels. And the reason why the Tigers might make the most sense is that they're more willing than other teams to spend money -- and the question of how much other teams are willing to absorb Oswalt's remaining salary could be the deciding factor in any trade talks with Houston."

1st, I have serious doubts the Astros will trade Oswalt due to his marquee value as an Astro and that pesky no-trade clause and option for 2012. That said, I don't see the Angels as contenders given Kenry Morales' broken ankle the org's lack of an obvious replacement at 1B.

MLB Trade Rumors: Atlanta Braves

Chat: Chat with Jayson Stark - SportsNation - ESPN:

"J.B. (Dunmore, PA) Oswalt has mentioned the Braves as a team he's accept as his new employer. Is there any possible deal the Braves could work out that the Astros would accept and that would free up the salary budget necessary for the Braves to pull the trigger on a deal?

Jayson Stark (1:25 PM) I dealt with this topic in Rumblings and Grumblings, too. Talked to Frank Wren this week. And while he wouldn't discuss Oswalt specifically, or any specific deal, he said the Braves wouldn't be involved in any deal for a starting pitcher. He said they need to use their bullets on their areas of need, and those areas can be summed up in one word best I can tell: 'Offense.'"

Grey on Casey McGehee

Casey McGehee's emergence can be traced back to hitting adjustments he made in 2008 - ESPN:

"Even if you think you have a player figured out, they can still change things and make themselves a different player. That's what McGehee did, and why I should have changed my opinion on him. He's legit, and should continue to be. And I should have seen it sooner"

But would you trade for him if the other team was asking 5th round value?

The Buck Stops Here Prospects: Prospect Hot Sheet: Prospect Hot Sheet: May 28:

"Arencibia's power will play anywhere. He has smacked seven home runs through 38 games this season, including two in two games at Round Rock the past two days. In addition to the homers, Arencibia went a robust 6-for-10 with four doubles. But for a catcher with terrific power—he has crushed 21 and 27 bombs in the past two seasons—his downside is steep, as illustrated above by a lower on-base percentage than batting average. But if you're looking for signs of improvement, there's this: Arencibia is on pace to shatter his previous high for walks in a season (26), and his .313 on-base percentage would be his highest since his Florida State League days."

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Let The Clamoring Begin!

Tyler Colvin » Splits » 2010 » Batting | FanGraphs Baseball

Cubs rookie Tyler Colvin hit his 5th HR and now sports an AVG nearing .333. Whilst the call for more ABs rises, keep in mind this was mainly done against right-handed pitching. A mere 3-14 with none of his 5 HRs against lefties.

Do You Believe?

Bud Norris’ 2010 Season | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball: "Norris has whiffed 11.13 batters per nine innings this season, second-highest among starting pitchers with at least 40 innings pitched"

That is a skill and a half. Bud Norris is a closer in waiting

How To Spot Closers

Baltimore Orioles lose to Oakland Athletics, 7-5 -

"Reliever Cla Meredith entered and immediately served up a back-breaking three-run double to Kevin Kouzmanoff that gave the A's a lead they didn't hand back."

8th inning and Meredith fails. Wil Ohman's grip on Orioles' closer role tightens.

AL- & NL-Only: Hold Your Fire!

Chat: Chat with Keith Law - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Brigg (Worcester, PA) Do you think we'll see a string of call-ups over the next week or two now that the Super-2 deadline has passed?

Klaw (12:13 PM) There's no fixed deadline, so I'm not sure what has 'passed.' I do think that between June 1st and 15th you'll see a bunch of these guys come up."

Friday, May 28, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: New York Yankees Hitter?

Chat: Chat with Jayson Stark - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Jason (NY) Do you think Yanks need to go out and acquire a bat? If so, who? I understand that Arod and Tex will come around, but their bench does look mighty thin.

Jayson Stark (1:29 PM) I don't see the Yankees chasing a big bat -- and there might not be one on the market to chase, incidentally. I see them looking for an outfield bat who could plug into the No. 2 hole if it looks as if Nick Johnson isn't coming back. The name I tossed out there in Rumblings this week was David DeJesus. Someone like that."

MLB Trade Rumors: New York Mets

Vladimir Guerrero of Texas Rangers is more than a pale imitation of the old Vlad: He's the Impaler once more - Buster Olney - ESPN:

"The Mets are within two games of first place, and what's great for them, going forward, is that the trade market is shaping up nicely for them. There will be lots of starting pitching available, whether it's Roy Oswalt or (perhaps) Cliff Lee or Ben Sheets or Jake Westbrook or Fausto Carmona or Kevin Millwood or Ted Lilly -- and so it'll be a buyers' market as the Mets look for a pitcher"

Jeter's defense on the decline

Jeter's defense on the decline - Yankees Blog - ESPN New York:

"Basically, what this means is that Jeter has made seven fewer plays than the average shortstop would have made, on balls hit to the left of where a shortstop would play. Or in simpler terms, Jeter is missing out on some balls that are ending up as base hits to center field.

That's shows signs of decline from the previous two seasons in which Jeter was rated -1 (2008) and +2 (2009)."

Repeat after me. "Just because you have found a way to measure something doesn't mean it has a predictive quality."

Or more simply, "Defensive metrics are useless."

Clamoring For ABs

Bronson Arroyo, Reds bullpen shut out Pirates | | Cincinnati.Com: "Chris Heisey's pinch-hit homer in the eighth off Brendan Donnelly made it 4-0. The Reds have four pinch-hit homers, two by Heisey"

Chris Heisey has been a great add to the Cincinnati Reds' bench following the wrist injury to Chris Dickerson. 280/357/760 will have fantasy experts clamoring for full-time ABs.

Not sure I agree. The righty-hitting rookie has reverse splits in his 25 ABs - 1-14 vs southpaws and 6-11 versus righties. Overexposure seems to be a high risk.

Chris Tillman to Start

Baltimore Orioles prospect Chris Tillman to start Saturday against Toronto Blue Jays -

"Chris Tillman, 22, lost the fifth starter's competition to Hernandez in the spring and was demoted to Triple-A Norfolk, where he is 5-4 with a 3.12 ERA in 10 starts."

No news here for mixed leaguers. AL-Only need to weigh the costs of adding a bad ratios starting pitcher against the upside that he will improve significantly on last season's 1.50+ WHIP

Thursday, May 27, 2010

When Stanton arrives...

When Stanton arrives, expect Florida Marlins to do some shuffling - Florida Marlins - "When outfielder Mike Stanton is promoted from Double A to the Marlins -- likely in early-to-mid-June -- it will affect the role of Cameron Maybin, Chris Coghlan or both."

I'd trade either if I could get full-time ABs value for either.

Enough Is Enough

Twitter / Jon Heyman: not sure where june 4 rumo ...:

"...not sure where june 4 rumor started. but mid june better guess for strasburg considering 100 big-league IP target."

Jeez, just bring him up and let him pitch. This emphasis on preserving arms has reached an extreme.

Given there is no definitive proof that babying pitchers preserves them, we have reached a point of stupidity.

Sleeper SP

John Ely, Los Angeles Dodgers' newest starter, is short on stuff, but not results - Buster Olney - ESPN:

"...when the Dodgers and White Sox discussed a Juan Pierre trade in December and Chicago presented L.A. with a list of available pitchers, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti asked his scouts about Jon Ely, looking for information beyond the fact that Ely doesn't throw very hard.

'Our reports pretty much described him perfectly,' Colletti said. 'He doesn't have overwhelming stuff -- but he's an ultracompetitive strike-thrower, and he pretty much figures out a way to win a game.'"

Fantasy players love the radar gun.

Waiver Claim Uses

Baseball Statistics and Analysis | FanGraphs Baseball:

"June is just around the corner and Super-2 arbitration eligibility is going to expire shortly for a number of top prospects. As a result, you could see a few big names in the Majors within the first two weeks of the month. Let's see how they're currently doing in the minors."

1. Strasburg - already rostered.
2. Jeremy Hellickson - eh
3. Buster Posey - definitely
4. Carlos Santana - definitely
5. Pedro Alvarez - maybe.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Prince Fielder to Red Sox

Chat: Chat with Jerry Crasnick - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Mitchell (Milwaukee, WI) Do you see Prince Fielder being traded at the trade deadline?? If so to who?? What about a prince for clay bucholtz and lars anderson deal to the sox?

Jerry Crasnick (12:07 PM) Mitchell, With the Brewers going nowhere, I assume that Doug Melvin will explore the trade landscape for Fielder provided that owner Mark Attanasio is on board. I really don't see the Red Sox as a fit. The DH and first baseman are the two best hitters on the team right now. And it would be extremely difficult for them to part with Clay Buchholtz, the way he's pitching right now."

Presuming the Brewers insist on receiving Clay Buchholz. Given this is a finance-driven decision for both teams - the BRewers to avoid paying and the Red Sox on the hook to pay, elite prospects for an overweight 1B seems unlikely.

Lars Anderson and Josh Reddick would head the package.

MLB Trade Rumors: Setting The Stage

John Ely, Los Angeles Dodgers' newest starter, is short on stuff, but not results - Buster Olney - ESPN:

"And perhaps some of the teams lagging in attendance, and in the standings, will be more aggressive than we're accustomed to. Remember how some agents moved quickly early in the last offseason, to grab the dollars when they were available? Well, one executive speculated that perhaps you will see some teams look to dump salary quickly, because it appears that there are going to be very few teams willing to take on significant dollars."

Unlucky Pitchers

BIS: Taking BABIP one step further - The Max Info Blog - ESPN:

"3- Cole Hamels

Hits Allowed: 60
Expected Hits: 51

Conclusion: Hamels is bound to catch a break at some point. His BABIP of .316 would be 55 points lower if the normally-good Phillies defense had performed well for him."

Frank Mata Stats

Frank Mata » Statistics » Pitching | FanGraphs Baseball

The Orioles' called him up yesterday. Click the link to see how he did prior to this season.

Not too impressive.

Do You Believe?

Is Delmon Young About to Break Out? | Community – FanGraphs Baseball:

"What’s hurting Young right now is a .247 BABIP, which is helping drive his .250 batting average. In ‘07, ‘08, and ‘09 he posted a .338 BABIP and his career BABIP, over almost 2,000 at-bats, is .334, so we have a decent idea of what his BABIP could rebound to. Once Young, a career .288 hitter, sees his BABIP rebound, he could see his some of his progress start to pay off."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Roy Oswalt & Why Newspapers Are Dying

Where will Astros' ace Oswalt end up? | Baseball | - Houston Chronicle:

"But if a trade were to happen today, we present you some possible destinations – as well as long shots – for the three-time all-star:"

The writers go on to list three teams - Dodgers, Mets and Yankees - and their top prospects as "prize trade chips". There is no way Oswalt's $31MM over two years is getting any of those "proze trade chips". The fact this was written shows why the internets eat the lunch of the newspapers.

Dead Wood

Hideki Matsui keeps dropping in lineup; will he fall all the way out? -

"There are strong indications that Brandon Wood will be placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday or Wednesday because of a hip flexor strain, a setback that will give the struggling third baseman a chance to find his swing in the minor leagues."

Macier Izturis is the immediate add. I am concerned about the shoulder though.

Do You Believe?

Jose Bautista's hot start has a lot to do with adjustments to swing timing - ESPN:

"The key is going to be watching as the word gets out more about Bautista's newfound ability to crush heaters, as he'll start seeing more of a steady diet of offspeed stuff going forward."

The bad part is he is barely over .240. I'm not buying him but would sell into the recent positive press.

Just getting anything of value for Bautista is more than expected at season's start.

Why scoring is down in the AL

Why scoring is down in the AL, and why it might stay that way - Tim Marchman -

"...At the margins, the value that teams such as the Boston Red Sox and Seattle Mariners are placing on defense probably encourages these trends. A slight preference for fielding over hitting removes a few players like Jermaine Dye from lineups and adds a few like Casey Kotchman, leading to fewer balls falling in for singles and fewer balls clearing fences. Tip your cap to the math wizards here...Strikeout rates have risen to the point where they may actually be affecting hitters' ability to get on base...."

Striking out is OK if it accompanies a lot of HRs.

Baltimore Orioles Closer Update

Dave Trembley still Baltimore Orioles manager; Andy MacPhail and Peter Angelos meet -

"With Simon injured and Michael Gonzalez and Jim Johnson already on the DL, the Orioles have no obvious answer for closer. Lefty Will Ohman, who has not allowed an earned run in 14 2/3 innings this season, will most likely pitch the ninth inning, with save chances also potentially going to Cla Meredith and whomever is recalled from Norfolk."

Do You Believe?

Will Venable’s Power/Speed Combo | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball:

"With fewer hits falling and Venable hitting for less power, ZiPS calls for a .247/.309/.395 rest-of-season line. I think it’s possible that he bests that modest projection. If he hits around his career mark in the majors (.254/.325/.430, .335 wOBA) and continues to steal bases, Venable is a decent option in NL-only leagues.

Venable is a solid major league hitter–accounting for the constricting confines of Petco, his bat has been 13 percent better than the league average since 2008 (113 wRC+). That being said, placing faith in the Padres’ right fielder continuing his 2010 mashing would be misguided."

Mike Cameron lite - .250s, 15 HRs, 25 SBs

Monday, May 24, 2010

Buy Low?

Steve Pearce » Statistics » Batting | FanGraphs Baseball

Pittsburgh Pirates' 1B Steven Pearce has walked more times than he K'd through Sunday and has a decent LD% and BABIP that do not indicate good luck. His HR/FB is 0%.

Is the improved batting eye a reason to buy now?

MLB Trade Rumors: Oswalt To Washington

Nationals Journal - Nationals GM Mike Rizzo is mum on Roy Oswalt report:

"First, the Nationals would have to part with pieces of a farm system they have made a priority to stock. Second, they would have to take on Oswalt's contract, and Oswalt, 32, is owed $15 million this season and $16 million next year. Third, Oswalt would have to green-light a trade to Washington."

The second and third points are the largest stumbling blocks, but the Washington Nationals have a plethora of "disappointing" prospects in their system that would be top propsects in the Astros system. Michale Burgess? Chris Marrero? Justin Maxwell? Ross Detwiler? Colin Balester?

Baseball America rated Burgess' arm the best outfield arm in the system. Given Oswalt's salary (the equivalent of a house with super high local taxes), this is the best the Astros will do prospect-wise.

Milwaukee Brewers Closer?

Five pitchers combine to get the job done for Brewers - JSOnline:

"One of the more encouraging signs Sunday was Hoffman showing that the tinkering he and Peterson have done might have worked. His pitches were sharp with downward action rather than the horizontal movement that caused his balls to creep back over the plate and become batting practice."

For 2010, I'd prefer Trevor Hoffman and waiver priority. For 2011? The only bullpen worth stashing is Zach Braddock.

Baltimore Orioles Closer?

Baltimore Orioles closer Alfredo Simon doesn't expect strained hamstring to keep him out long -

"The best in-house option likely would be left-hander Will Ohman, who hasn't allowed a run in 24 games spanning 14 2/3 innings. Simon, who will be treated in Baltimore on Monday and re-evaluated Tuesday, said this isn't the first time in his career that he has had a hamstring injury."

Uehara would have been obvious. Wil Ohman?

In this case, the mad rush to pick-up orioles' relivers isn't going to be won be the team that gets there first.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Future Shock: Always Bet on Tools

Baseball Prospectus | Future Shock: Always Bet on Tools:

"While the use of statistical analysis has grown in leaps and bounds, especially from the college side of things, tools still rule the day when it comes to the draft, so let's focus on the best tools from the top prospects available, beginning with position players."

With regret, I allowed my Baseball Prospectus subscription expire. No longer was I finding its regular baseball coverage interesting outside of Future Shock and Under The Knife. And its fantasy coverage has always been so poor I couldn't read it.

Throw-in some free content, linked above, and access through ESPN Insider, and I could no longer justify the subscription.

The Next Carl Crawford?

The Next Carl Crawford | FanGraphs Baseball:

"Both McCutchen and Crawford are guys whose most obvious tool is speed, but then offer a surprising amount of punch at the plate."

But will McCutcheon crap out at 15 HRs per season?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: What Does Roy Oswalt Want

Cincinnati.Com | Cincinnati Enquirer | Cincinnati Reds » Reds intrigued by Roy Oswalt:

"Oswalt has reportedly said he’d prefer to go to St. Louis, Texas or Atlanta."

Wow. Talk about limiting the Astros chances of rebuilding.

MLB Trade Rumors: Tampa Bay Rays

The Houston Astros face four major obstacles in trying to trade right-hander Roy Oswalt - ESPN:

"When the trade market starts in earnest, some executives believe that the Rays will market Andy Sonnanstine, who is a longtime starter currently working out of the bullpen. Tampa Bay's rotation has remained intact, with each of the five starters making all of their scheduled starts, meaning that the Rays are one of the few teams with starting pitching depth. The Mets would be a potential fit for a Sonnanstine deal, and there were brief talks during the winter about a trade between the two teams."

Honestly, what do the Mets have that the Rays need that the Mets don't need themselves?

MLB Trade Rumors: Toronto Blue Jays

The Houston Astros face four major obstacles in trying to trade right-hander Roy Oswalt - ESPN:

"8. Rival executives say that Toronto's asking price for their veteran relievers is still very high, with the Jays wanting one or two top prospects in return for Jason Frasor or Scott Downs."

Larr Anderson for Jeff Bagwell 2010 edition coming your way!

MLB Trade Rumors: Roy Oswalt

The Houston Astros face four major obstacles in trying to trade right-hander Roy Oswalt - ESPN: "All it takes is one aggressive team at the right time and right place to make a deal, but it remains to be seen if that team will emerge. Generally speaking, most of the executives I spoke with on Friday believe that Houston will be very hard to satisfy in an Oswalt trade. 'They're not just going to give the guy away,' said one GM. We'll see.

The Reds are among the teams that are interested,"

Juan Francisco to Houston for Roy oswalt and cash.

Irrational Exuberance?

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

"Ubaldo Jiminez (mt olympus) am i a top 3 starter for the rest of the season?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto (3:04 PM) No. But top 5? Yeah"

Trade Ubaldo Jiminez!

Posada Out; Is Cervelli Worth a Pick-up?

Posada Out; Is Cervelli Worth a Pick-up? | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball:

"Cervelli is relatively young, and his development has been delayed by some kooky injuries (a broken wrist in the Johnson collision that torpedoed his ‘08 season and a concussion sustained on a backswing in ‘09 among them). But .413 wOBA start aside, he’s probably more of an adequate offensive catcher than any sort of breakout star. Those in mixed leagues might want to turn to someone like L.A.’s Mike Napoli (owned in 47% of Yahoo leagues) or Arizona’s Chris Snyder (13%) instead"

I decided a singles-hitting scrapper with a .400 AVG so far would breakdown under full-time catching load and went with Max Ramirez for a couple of weeks in a 16-team mixed league with OPS.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Another Mid-Season Call-Up

Keith Law: Top 25 MLB prospects update -- Stephen Strasburg, Carlos Santana, Buster Posey - ESPN:

"20. Kyle Gibson, RHP, Minnesota. Gibson was a probable top-10 pick in last year's draft before a stress fracture in his pitching arm caused him to tumble to the Twins, who deserve credit for taking a risk that already appears to be paying off, as he's getting ground balls, missing bats and avoiding walks for the Twins' high-A affiliate. Previous ranking: No. 89"

Prospect Hot Sheet: Trade Deadline Add? Prospects: Prospect Hot Sheet: Prospect Hot Sheet: May 21:

"Dayan Viciedo is batting .294/.325/.523 with nine home runs in 40 Triple-A games. He's been a masher at home, benefiting from a hitter-friendly park in Charlotte to the tune of .327/.383/.691, and he's crushed lefthanded pitching. A defensive liability last year at third base, Viciedo has moved to first base and made just one error."

if Paul Konerko gets dealt....

Quality Waiver Wire Fodder

Max Scherzer dominates in first outing at Toledo | | The Detroit News:

"Other than that, he was lights out with 10 strikeouts and a fastball that topped out at 97 mph in a 4-0 Mud Hens' victory."

Max Scherzer threw 97 in a AAA start. He isn't hurt.

Where Does He Rank?

Baseball America | Blog | Baseball America Prospects Blog | Thursday Dish: Teheran Terrific In Debut:

"Expectations are through the roof for Strasburg, but so far he's given every indication that he's the real deal. He's now thrown 18 1/3 scoreless innings through three Triple-A starts, and his combined numbers between Double-A and Triple-A are plain filthy: 40 1/3 innings, an ERA of 0.89, 49 strikeouts and 10 walks. At this point, the only question mark around Strasburg is whether schools and government offices will be shut down for his major league debut."

ESPN Fantasy Focus hosts talk about Top 25 starting pitcher for Steven Strasburg. Overall, 168 and 41 by SP.

I believe. Do you?

Jason Heyward is a brilliant talent, but his ability to adjust is what sets him apart - Buster Olney - MLB blog - ESPN:

"...the rate at which Heyward makes his adjustments is absolutely stunning. You remember Heyward's first month in the big leagues -- a lot of power, a lot of strikeouts. He had 26 punchouts in 75 at-bats, which is not unusual for a player so young.Well, in May, he basically has stopped striking out. His walk-to-strikeout ratio this month: 9 to 3."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Really? Mike Moustakas Being Recalled?

Chat: Chat with Keith Law - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Kit (Olathe, KS) Supposedly the Royals are seriously considering calling up Moustakas as early as this weekend, what part of the process does this fall under? Do you think he stays at 3rd?

Klaw (1:43 PM) I think you asked this on Twitter - I can't find anything about this, and it seems ... well, particularly nuts. They didn't like Gordon's defense at third, so they're replacing him with a pillar of salt? (OK, the pillar has a 7 arm, but still...)"

Week Seven Trade Possibilities

Week Seven Trade Possibilities | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball:

"David Price – Over-hyped in 2009, Price fell off the radar for a lot of fantasy owners heading into drafts this year. He has rewarded fantasy owners who did not give up on him with a fantastic start, as he is 6-1 with a 1.81 ERA. However, by xFIP, Price is not substantially better in 2010 than he was a season ago, when he finished 10-7 with a 4.42 ERA. This year’s xFIP is 3.98 while it was 4.49 in 2009. I would be a shade more aggressive shopping Price at this point than either of the hitters mentioned above."

MLB Trade Rumors: New York Yankees DH

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Wednesday Update:

"If the White Sox decide to begin tearing their team apart, look for right-hander Jake Peavy to be made available and the Yankees to make a strong push for first baseman Paul Konerko, who they would use as a designated hitter"

Top 10 Player?

Jason Heyward, Andrew McCutchen and Elvis Andrus have the talent to maintain their hot starts - ESPN:

"Let's take a look at other notables I ranked quite a bit better than the consensus:

Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates: He's the No. 10 hitter on our Player Rater, and I see no reason why this can't continue. McCutchen is not raw. He doesn't strike out too much, isn't overpowered by right-handed pitching, doesn't rely on home splits … he's a monster. I could see him stealing 40 bases and hitting 20 home runs as soon as this season. I ranked him 29th overall, but the staff average was 44. Whether to rank McCutchen or the ailing Jacoby Ellsbury higher was an easy call for me. It's the one who's playing, and running."

Better than Justin Upton.

Q&A: Bryce Harper Draft: Early Draft Preview: Draft Q&A: Bryce Harper:

"Q: What players in the big leagues to you look up to?

A: I like Robinson Cano a lot. He's a great hitter. That's why I like him. I love his swing. He has one of the prettiest swings in baseball. I like Josh Hamilton. I love Joe Mauer. Back in the day, I love Mickey Mantle, Pete Rose, George Brett. Growing up, my dad was a huge Reds fan. I look up to all the older players, how they played the game."

Very humanizing interview.

Fantasy Conflict of Interest

When it comes to Hanley Ramirez, the saga should end today - Buster Olney - MLB blog - ESPN:

"As Ramirez spoke with such utter disrespect for Gonzalez and his teammates on Tuesday morning, the rest of the world learned what a lot of his teammates have felt for a long time: Ramirez doesn't really care what other people think. He plays the way he wants to play, he has his own agenda, and sometimes that mirrors what is good for the team and sometimes it doesn't. There is no evidence that this is going to change -- and given the stubbornness and defensiveness that he showed on Tuesday, it seems more likely that Ramirez will go into a shell, rather than have some epiphany about playing hard."

All fantasy owners of HanRam want him to play. Any defense of him cannot be disentangled from that.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Law On Boesch

Chat: Chat with Keith Law - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Markos (Chi) Brennan Boesch -- obviously his numbers will fall in the weeks ahead, but what can we expect long-term from this guy? Everday LF or is he Marcus Thames?

Klaw (1:28 PM) Below-average as an everyday guy. I'm not calling him a fluke but I do smell fish..."

I'm guessing three seasons to establish himself as a regular of the better side of a platoon. Once arbitration hits, all bets are off.

How Long, Asdrubel?

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Wednesday Update:

"Cabrera should be out until about the All-Star break, but shouldn't have any long-term consequences."

MLB Trade Rumors: Cubs Looking For Relief

CUBS IN BRIEF: Hendry looking, but no relief in sight :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Cubs:

"And none since the season started. Potential targets in Toronto (Jason Frasor, Scott Downs) and San Diego (Heath Bell) don't figure to go anywhere soon with those teams off to strong starts."

The irony is teams now have 7 or 8 relievers each and none are any good.

Ugly in Milwaukee Pen

Hoffman blows save vs. Reds; Macha must now pick new closer - JSOnline:

"The numbers tell the story as to how awful Hoffman has been. In 14 appearances, he has allowed 21 hits and seven walks over 13 innings, with only eight strikeouts. He is 1-3 with an atrocious 13.15 earned run average."

Carlos Villanueva or Todd Coffey - recent efforts mean nothing when you don't have any options.

Yes, steroids help pitchers

Yes, steroids help pitchers--if they know how to use them - ESPN:

"After controlling for variables such as the month of the season and whether pitchers had Tommy John surgery or were knuckleballers, Addona and Roth found that steroid use increased average fastball velocity by 1.07 MPH, and the results were strongly significant. The effect was more powerful for relievers than for starters, and increased with age: 35-year-old relief pitchers who used steroids, for example, boosted their AFV by 1.44 MPH."

Why You're in 1st in AL-Only

Surprise and terribleness:

"Last year it felt like the Jays sent the ghost of Alex Rios over to Chicago and, well, if that's true it seems the rest of his body made the trip this year. Rios is hitting the ball hard and stealing plenty of bases—two things he seemed to partially forget last year. If only Aaron Hill, Adam Lind, Wells and Rios had synchronized their monster seasons, the Jays could have had an offense worthy of the AL East."

In an AL-Only format, Alexi Rios is one of a handful of players that would account for a team over-performing. Amongst the others are John Buck, Ty Wigginton, and Andruw Jones.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Is Jose Bautista The New Ben Zobrist? | FanGraphs Baseball

Is Jose Bautista The New Ben Zobrist? | FanGraphs Baseball:

"The sample size isn’t large enough to claim that Bautista is for real, but it is too large to simply ignore the performance and assume he’ll go back to being the player he was prior to last fall. He is one player worth keeping a close eye for the rest of the 2010 season."

Joe Sheehan Hits The Nail On The Head

Joe Sheehan:

"There are collectives whose business model is built on generating traffic while not paying, or paying an absurdly small amount, for content. They can do this for two reasons: the sheer number of people who want to write for a living, and the conviction that the public won't be able to tell the difference between what they're getting and what they could be getting."

And some of them clamor for Big Gov't and have those writers on as sub-contractors who wouldn't qualify for health insurance....

Regardless, I think Mr. Sheehan is one to something. Mr. Carroll should follow suit.

MLB Trade Rumors: Los Angeles Angels

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Monday Update:

"The Angels have no plans to make a major trade for help, especially if it means giving up pitching prospect Trevor Reckling."

Am I the only one who thought this pre-emptive statement was meant to drive-up interest in Reckling rather than discourage it?

Under The Knife: Brad Lidge Update

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Monday Update:

"If there's good news, it's that Lidge didn't blow up his retro eligibility. That's not really good, since a pen session caused the same pain and inflammation that had shut him down earlier."

Mixed leaguers shouldn't waste a DL or roster spot on Lidge. NL-Only are stuck.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Under The Knife: Andre Ethier Update

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Monday Update:

"Ethier injured the finger during batting practice, but it's unclear exactly where the break is. If it's distal (toward the fingertip) then it's less integral to the grip. If it's closer to the hand, it's tougher. As a lefty hitter, it's his bottom hand, so with each swing, it's going to be either pushed against the knob of the bat or have to edge over it and be even more exposed."

Triple Crown leader. Andre Ethier Triple Crown leader.

Fantasy Beat: Scherzer Demotion A Positive

Baseball Prospectus | Fantasy Beat: Scherzer Demotion A Positive:

"One more thing to remember: Scherzer's ERA is 7.29, but his SIERA is 4.92. Even with his struggles, he was nowhere near as awful as his ERA suggested, and if he is promoted again and has his arm slot in order, both the ERA and his SIERA are going to drop back to the levels we expected him to be at when the year began."

I'm not as convinced as the young man from BP. Even a 4.92 ERA would make Scherzer a harmful SP in all formats.

MLB Trade Rumors: Chicago White Sox

Chicago White Sox lose 5-3 to Kansas City Royals -

"As for Pierzynski, 33, he can become a free agent after this season. But his slow start makes it difficult for the Sox to receive full value in compensation. The Rangers, who lead the AL West, have three young catchers in Max Ramirez, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden, but none have emerged as a dependable starter"

Saltalamacchia has Steve Blass disease. Teagarden has failed to hit, and Ramirez has been deemed a defensive liability as a catcher. Acquiring Pierzynski makes a lot of sense for the Rangers. The question is at what cost.

Name Game OFs

Andrew McCutcheon or Carl Crawford?

This seems parallel to my recent comparisons of Elvis Andrus and Jose Reyes.

Right now, I wouldn't trade McCutcheon for Crawford. I would try to get McCutcheon and another piece for Crawford and expect to break even on the OFers portion.

Time To Eat Crow

Sleeping in Seattle: Ken Griffey Jr. snoozes as Seattle Mariners keep losing:

"Not only have the Mariners done a pratfall of major proportions, but just about every move GM Jack Zduriencik made over the winter has blown up in his face."

Expected Win and adjusted averages and any other fancy pants stat produced in the last decade can never change the fact that baseball teams win by physically crossing home plate more often than their opponent.

Irrefutable. A 23 year old statistics whiz without wisdom can not change that.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Baseball HQ FREE WEEK:

"To get complete access to,
beginning Sunday, May 16:
1. Click here to log in.
2. Use these access codes:
USER NAME: millwood45
PASSWORD: pujols77"

What Is .70 On the Dollar?

Jose Reyes’ Sluggish Start | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball:

"Jose Reyes is a mess at the plate. But fantasy owners can do little else but wait — he’s far too talented to trade away for sixty or seventy cents on the dollar. For non-owners, this wouldn’t be a bad time to make an offer. Perhaps you can pick Reyes up at a discount from someone whose patience has run thin."

Elvis Andrus?

LA Angels New #1 Prospect Chat: Prospect Hot Sheet Chat With Ben Badler:

"A perennial all-star. I've been hooked (pardon the pun) since the first time I saw him, and it's hard not to like a guy who's that athletic, that young and who is already a good hitter. For me, Mike Trout's the best prospect in that farm system, and I'm not sure there are more than 20-25 prospects in all of the minor leagues who are better than him."

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Fantasy Issues: Buying high

Fantasy Issues: Buying high - Matt Lutovsky - Fantasy Source Fastball - Sporting News:

"There's always a handful of players, usually veterans coming off a down year or two, who fantasy owners love to mock and kick around. I'm willing to bet you could still get Vernon Wells for pennies on the dollar in a package deal.

Do a little research and target these players. There's nothing wrong with taking advantage of other owner's doubting natures."

You got to believe! Elvis Andrus

The Next Houston Astros PR Move Prospects: Prospect Hot Sheet: Prospect Hot Sheet: May 14:

"So is Koby Clemens for real? We're still not sure. We have to give the Astros' Double-A Corpus Christi 1B credit where it's due. Clemens, 23, brought his numbers up to .271/.360/.568 with nine home runs through 32 games after hitting .421/.524/.737 with three doubles and a homer this week . ."

Sun Setting On This Prospect

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Beltran Gets Moving:

"Eric Young Jr. has a stress fracture in his tibia and will head to the DL. He could be out as much as two months."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Name Game with SSs

Elvis Andrus or Jose Reyes?

I'm going with Andrus and have done exactly that in a 12-team Yahoo! league.

Orioles Closer

Alfredo Simon pitched on consecutive days. Koji Uehara's closer potential took a mortal wound.

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

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

"Joe (Philly) Will Grady Sizemore turn it around, or cut bait and go with Brad Hawpe?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto (3:13 PM) No, I don't think he will - talked about that in my column today. That said, unless you're playing in some mutated pussycat type league where you only start 3 OF, I wouldn't just drop him. Trade him - even if you have to take 50 cents on the dollar. Anything is better than nothing."

I'd be benching Sizemore for Hawpe. Just as I have been benching Ben Zobrist and Gordon Beckham for Alberto Callaspo.

Mixed leagues are won by doing just this.

Murphy's Fantasy Laws

Frustration and fantasy baseball:

"Frustration has its part in fantasy baseball, one we must learn to deal with for the sake of the computer screens we might otherwise hurl objects toward. Below is a collection of some of the more hair-pulling situations every fantasy baseballer will eventually counter. For your enjoyment"

Phil Hughes Explained?

Chat: Chat with Keith Law - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Phil (DC) After the 2008 season, it seemed like expectations on Phil Hughes were being tempered -- maybe he wasn't as good as the Yankees had predicted. This season (and last) he's been the real deal. What's his ceiling at this point? Thank you.

Klaw (1:06 PM) Number 1 or 2 starter ceiling. He's a different guy now - the addition of the cutter not only gives him another weapon but offsets the straight four-seamer; he seems to have benefited from the apprenticeship in the bullpen, which may be tied to his increased confidence and aggressiveness. I saw him several times prior to 2009 and he was primarily a two-pitch guy whose fastball didn't move and who didn't handle adversity well; now he's a 3-4 pitch guy with the cutter to keep hitters from sitting on the four-seamer and who doesn't seem so easily fazed. I'm not sure that the starter->reliever->starter thing was ever the Yanks' plan, but it's working out and I hope it encourages more teams to break in young starters as relievers."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Under The Knife: Brad Lidge

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Back To The Drawing Board?:

"Don't read too much into the trip back to Philly. The soreness sounds like scar tissue breaking loose, but there's a chance that this could be analogous to the Joe Nathan situation in the worst case."

Week Six Trade Possibilities

Week Six Trade Possibilities | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball:

"Jeff Niemann – Like Hudson, xFIP paints a much bleaker picture of Niemann’s early-season results than his ERA. Both his FIP and xFIP are nearly identical to 2009, when his ERA was 1.67 higher than his current 2.27 mark. Niemann is throwing his splitter twice as often as last year, and with good results, too. But it seems unlikely that his fine pitching early in 2010 has more to do with the change in his repertoire than Niemann simply being the recipient of good fortune."

This is a great idea.

Do You Believe?

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

Peter (Seattle) Should I trade Carlos Lee & Chase Headley for Carlos Gonzalez?

Eric Karabell (3:04 PM) It seems like a lot to spend, but then again I trust Lee will hit more than 20 home runs this season. Sure, his bat has slowed some, but he was fine last season. Seems like just a bad start to me, and he's been better in May. Gonzalez is probably the best player in the deal, but it seems lopsided."

If you believe Carlos Gonzalez is a 3rd round selection or better, then do the trade. Mixed league, of course.

NL-Only OF Sleeper?

Cincinnati Reds' Johnny Cueto, Boston Red Sox's Daisuke Matsuzaka pitch well; Chris Heisey enjoys first big game - ESPN:

"The Reds also got a big performance from rookie outfielder Chris Heisey, who homered among the first three hits of his career and scored two runs. Heisey emerged as a key organizational prospect last season, and there's an opportunity in center field because Drew Stubbs is hitting .185."

Don't forget Chris Dickerson had hamate bone surgery, either.

Did the Yankees Err in Trading Jackson for Granderson? -

Did the Yankees Err in Trading Jackson for Granderson? -

"Mr. Granderson, with his .225 batting average and $5.5-million salary, remained on the disabled list with a strained groin."

The answer is "Yes". Whether it was Austin jackson, Phil Coke or Ian Kennedy, the New York Yankees took a risk that Granderson's 2009 was a fluke.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Back-Up Closer in Arizona

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: A Tiger of a New Stripe:

"The Diamondbacks are also actually looking to trade for a reliever."

Can't be good for 9.00 ERA Juan Gutierrez, can it?

Fantasy Zombie?

Baltimore Sun Orioles notebook: Trembley calls on batters to be patient -

"The Orioles' best options at Triple-A are left-handed outfielders Corey Patterson and Jeff Salazar and switch-hitting third baseman Josh Bell, who has struggled against lefties. With the Orioles facing consecutive left-handed pitchers on Tuesday and Wednesday, it makes sense the organization wouldn't promote any of those hitters until Thursday, the earliest.

Candidates to be demoted to Triple-A include outfielders Lou Montanez, Nolan Reimold and Luke Scott, all of whom have minor league options available and are struggling to bat .200. Few Orioles' hitters right now are considered safe."

Really? Corey Pattersona nd Jeff Salazar?

Top 10 middle relievers

TMI Power Poll: Top 10 middle relievers - The Max Info Blog - ESPN:

"This week on the TMI Power Poll we look at middle relievers. It was the most hotly contested Power Poll yet, with six different guys receiving at least one first-place vote."

Surprising to see Tim Stauffer. I guess seeing Luke Gregerson and Mike Adams filled my quoat for Padres in any Top 10 list.

A Look at the NL Rookie Race

A Look at the NL Rookie Race | FanGraphs Baseball:

The Next Big Call-up: Stephen Strasburg, RHP, Washington
2010 First Half Star: Jason Heyward, RF, Atlanta
2010 Second Half Star: Jason Heyward, RF, Atlanta
2010 Overall AL ROY: Jason Heyward, RF, Atlanta"

Has Heyward banked enough hype to withstand a mediocre 4.5 remaining months?

Whiter The Real Sizemore

Chat: Chat with Rob Neyer - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Chad ((MN)) What can be attributed to Grady Sizemore's slow start. Not a single HR and we are at May 10th. He was a regular 30-30 guy. Is it the lack of talent around him that he's just not seeing the pitches or is he still a little hurt from his injury last year?

Rob Neyer (1:13 PM) My guess is that he's just physically not the same as he was, and maybe never will be. Which makes me a little sad."

Sizemore was a .270 hitter before he got hurt. The next drop from there is into irrelevence.

Someone Believes!

Ben Zobrist hasn't hit a homer for fantasy owners in 2010, but he still has value - ESPN:

"When is it time to start panicking about struggling players? Is early May too soon? Do we wait for Memorial Day? After watching Tampa Bay Rays No. 3 hitter Ben Zobrist closely the past few days, my short answer on him is that I'm not particularly worried. He'll hit. The Rays think he'll hit. But that big goose egg in the home run category does stand out."

Mixed leaguers shouldn't have Zobrist active. Personally, I think the book is out on Zobrist thanks to the exposure of his hitting secrets via Mechnx.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

David Wrong

MLB -- Buster Olney: Teams are all attacking David Wright in the same way -- and it's working. - ESPN:

"Clearly, he is not comfortable at the plate; scouts are noticing that he is flinching at breaking pitches, a tendency that they believe started after Wright was beaned last summer in a game against the Giants"

Do You Believe?

Scherzer’s Slow Start | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball:

"But, given Scherzer’s checkered health history, the drop off in velocity is troubling and should be monitored. Scherzer hasn’t shown the same ferocious fastball with his new club."

His .346 BABIP and 59% Strand Rate or the decrease in velocity measured by Pitch F/X data?

MLB Trade Rumors: Lance Berkman To Chicago?

Chat: Chat with Bruce Levine - SportsNation - ESPN Chicago:

"Mike (Joliet) Great Bruce, I know already Kenny has called other teams and ask for players already. Do you know any names that he has ask for?

Bruce Levine (1:08 PM) Berkman would be one. Adrian Gonzalez would be one. Any qualified left-handed hitter who could drive in runs will be looked at and talked about."

If only the questioner knew where the "e" and "d" were when setting verb tense.

Sorting Winners From Losers in 20101

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

"P. Lease (Answer, ME) Lightning round - Rest of the year : A-Ram or Wiggington?

Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:56 AM) Aramis Ramirez."

If Ramirez is done, then you won't win by thinking he is the player he was a couple years ago. Not that I would take Wigginton over him, but I wouldn't trade for Ramirez.

Underperforming Hitters To Target

Fantasy Baseball: Underperforming Hitters To Target - FakeTeams:

"Today, I bring you the hitters you should target in trades or free agent pickups, as they should improve upon their current BABIP in the near future."

Paul Konerko is a fluke because most of his hits are not in play.

Lidge Has Stiffness in Right Elbow

The Zo Zone: Lidge Has Stiffness in Right Elbow:

"So what changed in a matter of hours? Lidge said he felt stiffness in his right elbow after picking up a save Sunday against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. Lidge said the stiffness carried into Monday, when he played catch before the game."

Ready! Pick-up Jose Contreras! Aim! Fire!

Would You Trade...

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

"Phil (Madison, WI) Would you give up Heyward to get Francisco Liriano?

Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM) If it's a redraft league, unquestionably yes. If it's keeper, unquestionably no. How about that split in answers?"

Agree, but a mixed keeper league has so much available talent that a legit Liriano in 2011 may be more valuable. In that case, I'd still do the trade.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Alcides Escobar SBs Explained

Milwaukee Brewers' Alcides Escobar has no stolen bases this season, disappointing fantasy owners - ESPN:

"Almost 90 percent of his plate appearances this season have come in the 8-hole, and batting eighth basically means the brakes are on, according to Brewers manager Ken Macha.

'He hits in front of the pitcher right now,' said Macha. 'So if he's on first with nobody out or one out, the pitcher is bunting. If he's on with two outs, I don't want him running and making the last out, leaving us with the pitcher leading off.'"

Under The Knife: Beltran's Moment of Truth

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Beltran's Moment of Truth:

"Beltran is scheduled to run this week and his response to this is make or break, no pun intended. If his knee holds up, it's expected that Beltran's bat can remain productive. How they'll work him into the lineup remains to be seen."

A Look at the AL Rookie Race

A Look at the AL Rookie Race | FanGraphs Baseball:


The Next Big Call-up: Carlos Santana, C, Cleveland
2010 First Half Star: Austin Jackson, OF, Detroit
2010 Second Half Star: Justin Smoak, 1B, Texas
2010 Overall AL ROY: Brian Matusz, LHP, Baltimore"

Disagree on Matusz. If he goes 9-11 or 11-10, Smoak will produce better and win the award.

Must We Always Allow Even Trades

Revisited: Must We Always Allow Even Trades? - FakeTeams:

"So we are getting close to the time of year when trade offers and counter offers will be buzzing around. Last season I made a post about whether even trades should always be allowed."

If your rules allow the veto, you either use it or get rid of it.

Which Prospect? Prospects: Prospect Hot Sheet: Prospect Hot Sheet Chat With JJ Cooper:

"Nate (new jersey): Jason Heyward or Mike Stanton for the next 10 years?

J.J. Cooper: Heyward and it didn't really take any time to think about it. Stanton is a great prospect—as good a power prospect as I can remember, but Heyward has Stanton-esque power and combines with it one of the best, most patient batting eyes we've seen in years. The likely best case scenario for Stanton is that he could hit 40 HRs several times and be one of the best sluggers of the next decade. Is it going too far to say that Heyward's best-case scenario is to put up A-Rod like numbers at the plate."

Brian McCann - Buy Low

Brian McCann - Atlanta Braves - Game Log - MLB - Yahoo! Sports

For a 2nd season, Brian McCann has demonstrated that LASIK is not 100% effective. Last year, the Braves' catcher was forced to wear goggles after a 9-45 start to the season. He finished with 19 more HRs and a .295 AVG the rest of the way.

Buy low and expect a repeat of history.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

More Disappointing Than Zobrist?

Colorado Rockies' Eric Young Jr. running out of time to keep job - ESPN:

"What a disappointment. Julio Borbon has not only lost his leadoff spot, as Elvis Andrus is set for the next decade, but I see no reason to roster him at this point. He's still owned in 47 percent of ESPN standard leagues, despite last stealing a base April 21 in that Red Sox series that everyone was running wild. Borbon's not going to play when Nelson Cruz comes off the DL, so just move on."

Prospect Hot Sheet: May 7 Prospects: Prospect Hot Sheet: Prospect Hot Sheet: May 7:

"Lawrie held his own through April, hitting .250/.337/.409, and has come alive in the first week of May, despite being one of the Southern League's youngest players."

Outside of Mike Stanton, there isn't much to see hear for fantasy 2010

Ben Zobrist: Buy Low?

Ben Zobrist » Statistics » Batting | FanGraphs Baseball

Is there a more disappointing hitter in 2010 than Ben Zobrist? A middle infield eligible player whose 2009 slashstat line was 297/405/543 and its 2010 counterpart is 259/336/361 says there is not.

A quick look at his luck based components says buying low may not be wise unless it is at a substantial discount to his pre-season value.

A BABIP of .326 in 2010 matches his 2009 one. His LD% of 21.7% is close enough to 2009's 20%.

The biggest factor in favor is a 0% HR/FB rate, but playing against that is a decreased FB rate.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Which Prospects Should We Wait For in 2010? Prospects: Prospect Hot Sheet: Prospect Hot Sheet Chat With JJ Cooper:

"Norm (VA): Outside of Strasburg, are there any other 'franchise' type players that will be called up this year?

J.J. Cooper: Mike Stanton will qualify when he gets promoted. If Jesus Montero gets the call I'd put him in that group."

Will Starlin Castro Succeed?

Castro Called to Cubs | FanGraphs Baseball:

"I can find 27 examples of a middle infielder debuting in the Major Leagues at 20, but just 7 examples in the last 30 years: Wally Backman, Roberto Alomar, Wil Cordero, Luis Castillo, Jose Reyes, Jose Lopez and Elvis Andrus."

History says Starlin Castro will.

Untradeable Players

Fantasy Baseball - Javier Vazquez heads list of players who shouldn't be traded right now - ESPN:

"I watch every game the team plays, have seen Lidge pitch in person and on TV, and I still don't know for sure. Every pitch he throws is analyzed so closely in an effort to prove he's either back … or belongs on the DL or in Double-A. Ryan Madson's injury accelerates the need for Lidge to return to normal, but I also think Jose Contreras has earned the right for ninth-inning work because he hasn't walked anyone all season but has 14 strikeouts and is overpowering hitters. Persuading a fellow owner to trade for Lidge, following his historically bad 2009 season (worst ever for a closer), is certainly a challenge."

I took Karabell to town a day or so ago. Now I praise him for an excellent idea.

MLB Trade Rumors:

If the Houston Astros do decide to deal either Roy Oswalt or Lance Berkman, leverage could be an issue - ESPN:

"Rival executives say the Mariners and White Sox are actively looking for offensive help."

Fantasy Baseball players to dump

Fantasy Baseball players to dump include David Ortiz, Chipper Jones and Mark Buehrle - ESPN:

"So without further ado, here's my all-monkey-fighting team. Guys that are owned in way too many ESPN standard 10-team leagues. Guys that, if you don't drop or trade them now, will have you cursing to the point that your mom will have to wash your mouth out with soap.

Russell Martin, Los Angeles Dodgers (93 percent):"

Michael Saunders ABs

Mariners Blog | Milton Bradley out at least five days, likely much longer on restricted list | Seattle Times Newspaper:

"Michael Saunders has been called up from Class AAA in his place. Saunders is to arrive at 6 p.m. tonight, but won't be starting in left field. Ryan Langerhans is slotted to go in left tonight, though the team will start with a platoon arrangement between the pair while Bradley is out. If Saunders earns more time, the team is ready to give it to him."

A sure add in AL-Only leagues. He bats left-handed so he will creep towards the watch list in mixed formats with five OF slots.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Grey On Using #1 Waiver On Starlin Castro

Chicago Cubs' Starlin Castro may not produce enough for fantasy leagues this year - ESPN:

"Without a good steals projection, what we're left with is a shortstop who can hit for batting average with some gap power at present, with little in the way of homers and steals. There's some pop coming down the road, but it's not here yet. Thus, despite the excitement of his major league arrival and his deserved lofty prospect status, his current fantasy utility is not that great."

Implied! Implied!

MLB Trade Rumors: Adrian Gonzalez and Heath bell

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Friday Update:

"The Padres will hold on to first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and closer Heath Bell if they are as much as within hailing distance of the NL West leaders in July"

I hope not. My NL-Only saw Luke gregersona nd Mike Adams go for a combined $22 on the hopes of a Bell trade. Gonzalez went for a mere $29.

Grey On Carter

Oakland A's prospect Chris Carter close to being big league-ready - ESPN:

"A fun Carter anecdote from when I watched him in Sacramento earlier this week, right after the slugger homered.
Scout No. 1: 'Yeah, he crushed that, but it was a mistake pitch.'
Scout No. 2: 'Isn't that what he's supposed to do with those?'"

Chris Carter is the next big rookie thing for 2011.

Gardner Is Swinging at Nothing

Gardner Is Swinging at Nothing | FanGraphs Baseball:

"Gardner is not going to keep up his .419 wOBA — buoyed by a .380 BABIP and 13 steals on 14 attempts — and probably will not have more walks than strikeouts at the end of the year. But even before this year he was an above-average offensive player and these first 94 PAs suggest he will be even better this year."

Agree Gardner is the real deal. Too bad all the anti-Pierre types have poisoned the well.

Guess we just need Theo Epstein to put an emphasis on taking pitches and playing defens....

Give Up Yet? Start/Sit? Name Game?

On Either Gordon Beckham or Ben Zobrist? I have sat both in different leagues for Alberto Callaspo.

Do You Believe?

Chat: Chat with Keith Law - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Sam (Brooklyn, OH) Is Brett Gardner for real or is this a mirage?

Klaw (1:29 PM) More mirage than real."

AVg maybe, but speed is real. Unless you have an irrational hate of Juan pierre, Brett gardner is for real.

Scout Update On Starlin Castro

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

"'If people are expecting some lively, athletic middle infielder, he's not that,' explained the scout. 'He's an average runner, and his body is thickening up, so for me it ultimately comes down to his bat.'"

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Under The Knife: Jacoby Ellsbury Update

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Pettitte Goes Into The Tube:

"Ellsbury was able to take batting practice on Tuesday and Wednesday, with Wednesday's session going even better. Ellsbury was popping some balls out of the park without any significant pain during or after the session. It's expected that he would need a short rehab assignment, but both Pawtucket and Portland are on the road. Combined with the big series, the Sox are at least considering putting Ellsbury right back into the lineup."

Drives Me Crazy

Am I the only one who listens to internet-driven baseball commentary about how worthless Wins are for Cy Young that a pitcher doesn't even need them? Eric Karabell on Baseball Today is the toadie who spews this extremist non-sense everyday.

Honestly, if you can't sound like you understand the underlying math of various altered statistics, then couch them in the uncertainty inherent in their production.

Of course, if he could do that, he wouldn't sound so bad.

Battle of Prospect Catchers

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

"Jason (St Louis) Wilson Ramos or Carlos Santana?

Jim Callis (2:58 PM) Santana. Ramos is good but not that good."

Plus, Ramos has no real avenue towards regular PT.

Under The Knife: Joe Mauer Update Plus

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Blue Moon Rising:

"Soft tissue heals better because of a number of factors and is much easier to take the weight off over bone, which can be stressed by more than just simple weight bearing. With the progress Mauer has already made, it's possible that he could be back by the weekend, though the Twins are definitely going to err on the side of caution. There's been some talk of using Mauer at DH for a couple days, giving him some additional healing time without the rigors of catching and giving the team a couple more looks at Wilson Ramos. Ramos' play is said to have the Twins brass excited enough to actually discuss moving Mauer from behind the plate on a full-time basis."

If this were reported in NY papers, I'd be convinced the reporter was doing the bidding of ownership to pump up a player's trade value.

MLB Trade Rumors: Chicago White Sox

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Wednesday Update:

"There has been talk about Williams making a major trade with rumors centering on Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez."

Is this fresh or recycled from the pre-season?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Wood, Coghlan Flailing

Wood, Coghlan Flailing | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball:

"At this point, L.A. and fantasy owners alike would be downright giddy if Wood could come close to those numbers. A .245 BABIP hasn’t helped, but he has been bad by any measure. He’s batting .179/.200/.231, and he’s hacking prodigiously. In posting a 2.5 percent walk rate and whiffing 30.8 percent, Wood has chased 41 percent of pitches thrown outside of the strike zone (27% MLB average). The righty batter is down in the count before you can say “Francoeur”:"


Not So Fast II

The Kila conundrum: Finding Ka’aihue a place to play -

"He can play Butler, Guillen and Ka’aihue together — but that means Guillen is in the outfield and a team that spent all offseason working to improve defensively is making a major sacrifice on defense.

So what Hillman could be left with is the tendency to limit Ka’aihue to pinch hitting and a token start once a week. That may put the best lineup on the field but does nothing for the development of one of the Royals’ most important hitting prospects."

The Royals are not exactly a competitive team and certainly one that struggles to score runs. it may be so late 90's/earlu 00's but the Royals need OBP and power.

Ask Greinke.

Not So Fast

Pirates Notebook: Sore ankle sits McCutchen:

"The Pirates, as expected, brought up Steve Pearce to restore their roster to 13 position players and 12 pitchers. He is expected to get bench duty with occasional starts at first base and some in the outfield, Russell said. Pearce, 27, was hitting .349 with 12 doubles, 2 home runs and 8 RBIs for Class AAA Indianapolis, reaching base safely in 21 of his 23 games."

Mixed leaguers yawn. NL-Only? Ready! Fire! Aim!

Interesting that Piearce has the minor league pedigree to justify a Garrett Jones 2009 performance.

Top Picks Per Round Last 5 Drafts Prospects: Ask BA:

"This exercise was more difficult than I expected. Few players have established themselves as full-fledged big leaguers from the last five drafts, and many of the game's top prospects were selected in the first two rounds. Here's what I came up with:
1. Tim Lincecum, rhp (Giants, 2006)
1s. Joba Chamberlain, rhp (Yankees, 2006)"

FanGraphs: Three fast starts to be believed - The Max Info Blog - ESPN

FanGraphs: Three fast starts to be believed - The Max Info Blog - ESPN:

"Naturally, at this time of the year we view players with a certain air of suspicion, and rightly so; Small sample sizes make trusting early season statistics difficult. However, there is a point in time when certain stats can become more trustworthy than others. A study done by Russell Carlton showed that after 50 plate appearances, a player's swing habits can be a reliable guide to what's going on. In the case of Colby Rasmus, his swing habits give us a substantial reason to believe he's a changed man."

Something Smells In Boston

MLB -- Buster Olney: Asking the most pertinent of questions -- to tase or not to tase - ESPN:

"A talent evaluator on the Boston Red Sox: 'It seems like there's something missing with them right now. I'm not sure what it is, but something's going on.'"

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Do You Believe?

Chat: Chat with Rob Neyer - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Ryan (San Jose) Barry Zito has been a wonderful this year. How much stock should we put into it?

Rob Neyer (12:40 PM) I'm cautiously optimistic. I don't think he winds up winning the Cy Young Award or anything, but an ERA in the middle 3's seems reasonable."

Can anyone think of a player who signed a huge contract, stunk for a few years and then pitched well?

Really? This Guy Is A Back-Up Closer?

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

"Ian (ENGLAND!) Lidge falters and ________ steps in.

Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:48 AM) Jeff Parrett. Kidding. The right answer might be 'another-one-of-the-ugliest-closer-jobs-in-baseball.' It sounds like Jose Contreras might get a save chance or two this week, but I think Brad Lidge will lead the team in opportunities. And be better than last year. Though hardly what he was in 2008."

12Ks in 6.1 IP says Jose Contreras' season in the bullpen will be elite.

Untouchable: Robinson Cano

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

"Rob (VA) Some clarification on your Cano trade answer. Are you saying that you don't think people would give up first rd talent in a trade for Cano? Meaning that if you could get first round talent, then that would be the appropriate level to be selling him high right now?

Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:41 AM) I'm tossing names out here, and recognize that's a dangerous thing to do, but if I'm offering up Robinson Cano and being offered back, say, Matt Kemp or Ryan Braun or Tim Lincecum, fantastic, sure. After that? It's going to be a serious debate. Obviously forgetting a few names, but I'd need to be impressed by the offer."

Using Cockcroft's criteria, Cano is untouchable as no one will offer Top 10 picks for a 2B not named Chase Utley.

Carlos Silva: Why So Good In April?

Carlos Silva » PitchFx » Overview | FanGraphs Baseball

Assuming the Pitch F/DX data is correct, Carlos Silva has stopped throwing a four-seam fastball and switched to a two-seamer. Additionally, it has imporved his change-up's effectiveness as that pitch is being thrown twice as often as it was last season.

There is no change in velocity between the two-and four-seamer and no change in velocity differential between the two-seamer and the chnage up.

Of course, it could just be a lucky BABIP as his May 1st start looked more Silva-esque.

Under The Knife: Jimmy Rollins

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: A Case of the Mondays:

"Rollins is having some specific issues with the calf, and it's probably going to be another week before he's ready for a rehab assignment. That puts his return around the 20th, a bit more than initial estimates. The Phillies were always going to be conservative with Rollins, but the 'catches' he's feeling might lead to even less running when he gets back in order to protect the leg."

No chance Juan Castro continues to produce for another three weeks.

Buy Low and Sell High Pitchers

April ERA-xFIP Splits | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball:

"Which starting pitchers with shiny April ERAs pitched over their heads, and which guys with macabre surface stats got some bad bounces? To find out, let’s look at the starters with the biggest difference between ERA and expected FIP (xFIP) during the first month of the 2010 season (minimum 20 innings pitched)."

I went to The Hardball Times to get April BABIP data and couldn't find it. Then i saw this.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Brandon Wood Watch

Frandsen off to fast start with Salt Lake - Angels blog : The Orange County Register:

"Kevin Frandsen, the Angels new organizational infield depth, batted .467 (7 for 15) in his first four games with Triple-A Salt Lake over the weekend, and the Bees won 3 of 4 in a home series with Portland."

Macier Izturis into Wood's job. Frandsen into Izturis'.

Future Catching Prospect

Baseball Prospectus | Future Shock: Monday Ten Pack:

"Neftali Soto got a lot of attention in 2008 while batting .326/.353/.500 for Low-A Dayton, but as a player whose bat comprised the majority of his value, his stock took a huge hit after he put up a 644 OPS last season in the Florida State League. Repeating High-A this year, only this time in the Carolina League, Soto's bat is showing some signs of life, as he went 8-for-13 over the weekend with a pair of bombs, but that's not the interesting part. What's interesting is that on Saturday, he caught, giving him four games at backstop on the season. He's big, thick, and slow like a catcher, and his arm is plus, so it makes sense, and if he can show any ability back there, his value increases dramatically."

Do You Believe? Wade LeBlanc

Wade LeBlanc » Statistics » Pitching | FanGraphs Baseball

Soft-tossing lefty Wade LeBlanc has taken the fantasy expert world by Storm. His 8.31 K/9 and 2.08 BB/9 look amazing.

His .354 BABIP and 95.5% Strand Rate do not though.

With an 86.7 MPH fastball and a 76.7 MPH change-up complimented by a 82 MPH slider, can LeBlanc's K/9 and BB/9 overcome his BABIP and Strand Rate?

Starlin Castro Coming Soon?

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Monday Update:

"Cubs general manager Jim Hendry acknowledges that Double-A shortstop Starlin Castro will be in the major leagues at some point this season, but those close to the situation believe he could make his debut by the end of this month with Ryan Theriot moving from shortstop to second base."

Grey on Jones

Pittsburgh Pirates' Garrett Jones off to a slow start, but there are signs that he'll turn it around - ESPN:

"Luke Scott was 28 when he slugged .621 in 65 games for the Astros in 2006, and has turned that into some good seasons since. You can also look at a player such as Casey Blake, who had to wait until he was 29 to get full-time at-bats in the big leagues, and he has made the most of it and kept a starting job. Just because it happened late for Jones doesn't mean he can't keep being effective."

Scrappiness Attacks!

MLB -- Buster Olney: Here are ten players who've quietly broken through in the first month - ESPN:

"Craig Counsell again started at shortstop in place of Alcides Escobar. You wonder if this is a point of some debate within the Milwaukee organization. Escobar is a terrific young prospect and the Brewers are banking on him, and on the other hand, Ken Macha has repeatedly replaced him in the lineup with Counsell."

Why Rick Porcello Should Bounce Back. - Free Preview:

"So far in 2010, none of that has happened. Porcello's Dom is indeed up, from 4.4 to 6.1. But he's also getting smacked around, with a 43% hit rate."

At Baseball HQ, BABIP is called hit rate.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Toronto Blue Jays

Arizona is a hot spot for MLB with new law - The Boston Globe:

"I doubt there will be a team better equipped to make a deal at the deadline than Toronto. Armed with 25 area scouts and 21 pro scouts — more than any other team — the Jays will have the most current reports on all organizations...Vernon Wells has underperformed at times during his career, but now, with a healthy wrist, he has looked more like the player who was awarded a seven-year, $126 million deal that runs through 2014.
Wells has a no-trade clause, but would a big-market team like Boston or New York be willing to take on the remaining $86 million (plus $12.5 million this year) for the 31-year-old center fielder?...If the Jays are hopelessly out of it, they’d try to move players such as Lyle Overbay, Alex Gonzalez, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Molina, John Buck, Scott Downs, and Shaun Marcum."

No one is going to Kenny Williams the Jays this season and relieve them of Vernon Wells.

As for Jose Molina, the Yankees and Red Sox may want a quality defensive catcher.

Shaun Marcum? My guess is Phillipe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and Juan Ramirez may not be enough.

Time To Panic?

Tasmpa Bay Rays Ben Zobrist spent last season having his hitting style advertsied across baseball. This year, he is slugging under .400.

If pitchers have figured out how to pitch him, then he can be reserved.

May Breakouts?

May Flavors (extended list) - FakeTeams:

"Here is who I suspect will make some big moves forward in the month of May (this does not include players most likely already drafted in mixed leagues and just sucking at this point)-"

Why Jonathon Niese Should Be Rostered

Jonathon Niese » PitchFx » Overview | FanGraphs Baseball

25 Ks in 29 innings pitched for New York Mets lefty Jonathan Niese is reason enough for mixed leaguers to roster Niese. A look at his Pitch F/X data shows he added a two-seam fastball and cutter.

Isn't the addition of a cutter a typical factor in breakout pitching seasons?

April Booms & Busts

April Waivers bring May Flavors - FakeTeams:

"All waiver wire team for April- guys who were probably not drafted in many leagues at all, even NL and AL only leagues. Then there's a list of guys probably skipped over in mixed league drafts. There's also a big return team- guys probably drafted but paying off big. And just for the heck of it I threw in the April All-Bust Team."

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Under The Knife: Jorge de la Rosa

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: In A Bad Spot:

"The Rockies' Jorge De La Rosa's finger injury is very much the same as the one that cost Adam Wainwright two months a couple seasons ago. The upside?Wainwright was fine once he had healed."

Prospect Hot Sheet: April 30 Prospects: Prospect Hot Sheet: Prospect Hot Sheet: April 30:

"The first big-name hitting prospect to leave Triple-A Sacramento (Athletics) for the big leagues? Not Chris Carter or Michael Taylor, but catcher Josh Donaldson. Sure, it's just because of an injury to A's starter Kurt Suzuki, but Donaldson, 24, was off to a fine start with the River Cats, batting .269/.320/.522 in his first taste of Triple-A and ranking third in the PCL with 19 RBIs, thanks to a torrid last week. Donaldson hit .444/.579/1.000 (8-for-18) with four doubles, two homers and 11 RBIs in his last five games for the River Cats, at least for now."

FWIW, Michael Stanton is No 1 this week

John Perrotto at BP: Milwaukee Back-Up Closer

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Friday Update:

"The Brewers will likely turn to LaTroy Hawkins or Todd Coffey to serve as the closer if they take Hoffman out of that role"

Players Who Win Deep Al-Only leagues

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Friday Update:

"Athletics infielder Adam Rosales: 'I like this guy. He's a good utility player. You can play him all over the infield and he'll catch the ball, and he also has a little pop in his bat. He's really helping that team.'"

He already qualifies at 1B, 2B, SS and 3B in traditional Rotisserie leagues. Last season's major league flop still wieghs heavily on his perceived value.

Grey On Wallace

Florida Marlins prospect Mike Stanton tearing up Double-A pitching and ready to help fantasy owners - ESPN:

"4. Brett Wallace, 1B, Blue Jays: Wallace has gone deep eight times already in his first 20 games at Triple-A, though he's still learning the nuances of playing first base. Lyle Overbay has started to show a little life in his bat of late and needs to keep doing so in order to keep his starting job in Toronto."