Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Jerr Crasnick's 1st Half Surprises

Major League Baseball's first-half surprises - ESPN: "Boesch led the Double-A Eastern League with 28 home runs for Erie last season. But Baseball America ranked him as only the 25th-best prospect in the Detroit chain, in part because of a 'stiff, mechanical uppercut swing' with its fair share of holes."

Over course, you heard about Boesch here.

MLB Trade Rumors: Philadelphia Phillies

Inside the Phillies: Two injuries could put Phils on spot | Philadelphia Inquirer | 06/30/2010:

"On Tuesday, Noworyta was at Lehigh Valley, which is where the Phillies' top prospect, Domonic Brown, now resides. A major-league scout said he'd be shocked if the Phillies dealt any of their top-level prospects in an effort to get an infielder. The scout said they may be willing to part with some second-tier guys to get someone like Baltimore's Ty Wigginton, a career .270 hitter with power who will be a free agent after this season. Wigginton can play second or third base. Even if Utley and Polanco get healthy sooner than expected, Wigginton, 32, has the kind of bat that would be a real boost for the bench.

The scout said he considers double-A Reading shortstop Freddy Galvis and Lehigh Valley outfielder John Mayberry Jr. second-tier prospects. IronPigs closer Scott Mathieson and current Phillies reliever Mike Zagurski also could fit into that category.

Florida third baseman Jorge Cantu is another potential free agent who could be on the trading block, but it might take more than a second-tier prospect to get him.

Scour the rest of the infielders who are potential free agents - the list includes Baltimore's Cesar Izturis, former Phillies third baseman Pedro Feliz (now in Houston), and Colorado's Melvin Mora - and you'll be unimpressed.
That just accentuates the fact that the Phillies could be in serious trouble if Utley and Polanco are out for an extended period of time."

Wow. Normally, local coverage of trades possibilities don't include anything close to knowledge of the market, the team's prospects or the possible players to be had.

MLB Trade Rumors: Atlanta Braves

June's latest MLB news and notes - MLB News - FOX Sports on MSN: "The Braves are pitching-rich, and potential trade partners are certain to ask for arms in return. It remains to be seen whether Atlanta would deal away a top pitching prospect, such as Mike Minor or Craig Kimbrel."

NL East-leading is surprising enough. If reliever Craig Kimbrel lands the Braves a legitimate power-hitting righty hitter, I'd be more surprised.

NL HR Leader Cory Hart?

MLB Trade Rumors: Cliff Lee

Market for Lee is wide open this time - MLB News - FOX Sports on MSN: "The Rangers would be the favorite if their ownership situation resolved by the July 31 non-waiver deadline, which is unlikely. The Twins’ supposed big chip, catcher Wilson Ramos, has only a .580 OPS at Triple-A. The Reds are deep enough in prospects, but their attendance does not appear to support a payroll addition of even Lee’s magnitude -- and besides, the team probably is more in need of bullpen help.

No club is an obvious favorite. Some team could slip in and grab Lee"

I like the Reds. The team can offer up blocked majopr-league ready prospects likes Yonder Alonso, Todd Frazier, Chris Heisey and Juan Francisco. Maybe even the back from the dead catcher Devan Mesoraco.

Here are John Sickels' pre-season Top 20 Cincinnati Reds prospects for 2010.

Injury Blog: Boston Red Sox Trifecta

Dustin Pedroia expected to miss six weeks; Victor Martinez, Clay Buchholz may miss limited time - ESPN: "Three top Boston Red Sox players were bitten by the injury bug during their weekend series against the San Francisco Giants. Let's see what the future holds for the trio of Sox stars."

Click through for more thorough explanations of the injuries to Pedroia, Martinez and Buchholz.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: New York Mets

Twitter / Jon Morosi: #Mets aren't a serious pla ...

Per Twitter:
"#Mets aren't a serious player for Oswalt, I'm told. #Astros #MLB"

MLB Trade Rumors: Oakland A's

A's weigh options - "One scout said he thought second baseman Mark Ellis was one of the A's more marketable trade chips. The A's could consider dealing Ellis if they were sold on Adam Rosales as an everyday second baseman. And the team faces a decision on whether to exercise Ellis' $6 million club option for next season."

The Ben Sheets signing looks like a $10MM minus (1-season remaining/season)*$10MM mistake.

Keith Law: Top 25 MLB prospects

Keith Law: Top 25 MLB prospects update -- Domonic Brown, Desmond Jennings and Mike Trout top list - ESPN

"23. Brett Lawrie, 2B, Milwaukee. I don't think he'll ever be above-average defensively at second, and he's pretty maxed-out physically, but his bat looks like it's going to play just about anywhere in the big leagues, and his offensive downside is very limited. Previous ranking: No. 47

24. Jordan Lyles, RHP, Houston. He probably lacks the ceiling of most of the arms on this list, but there's a chance for three pitches here and his performance at 19 in Double-A has been remarkable -- especially for a guy many teams didn't see as a top-5 rounder when the Astros took him in the sandwich round in 2008. Previous ranking: No. 60"

MLB Trade Rumors: Adam Dunn

Dunn deal has appeal :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: White Sox: "But [White Sox GM Kenny] Williams is working against the Los Angeles Angels, who are starting to turn up their efforts to acquire Dunn. And most of the Sox' highly regarded pitching prospects were dealt in previous trades to acquire Jake Peavy and Juan Pierre."

As if the Los Angeles Angels have any prospects the Nationals would want. (cough, cough) C Hank Conger (cough, cough)

Future Shock: Monday Ten Pack

Baseball Prospectus | Future Shock: Monday Ten Pack: "Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs (Double-A Tennesee)
After getting plunked in back-to-back games Friday and Saturday, Jackson needed a day off on Sunday, but he got the day off for all the right reasons, as it was time to pack his stuff for a move to Double-A. Jackson had clearly become too good for the Florida State League, batting .410 in his last 20 games while slugging .783, and scouts who have seen him of late are absolutely baffled as to how he lasted 31 picks in last year's draft. He strikes out more than one would like, but that might be the only hole in his game, as he's a patient hitter with at least average raw power, well above-average speed, good center field skills, and a strong arm. Right now, it's a nearly perfect combination of tools and production, and if he can keep producing in the Southern League, next year's spring training could be interesting."

I'm guessing a Top 25 hitting prospect next March.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Under The Knife: The Red Sox Report

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: The Red Sox Report: "There's a fracture, but it's at the midpoint of the bone, so it should have minimal effect on his grip. It's going to end up a pain tolerance issue, once they have the swelling out, and Martinez could avoid the DL. Given the rest of the team's injury struggles, the decision may end up being as much about the roster as the injury. We'll know more today after Martinez makes it through the iPhone-like line to see the Sox team doctor."

Click through as updates on Pedroia and Buchholz are not behind the subscription wall.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Dan Haren

Baylor is feeling skipped over in managerial mix - The Boston Globe: "Dan Haren, RHP, Diamondbacks — Scouts from the Yankees, Twins, Nationals, Cardinals, and Tigers all came out to watch his last start, a 9-3 loss to the Yankees in which he went seven innings and allowed six hits and three runs. It will be interesting to see whether the Diamondbacks wind up dealing their best starter and whether anyone will break the bank to get him."

With more guaranteed years of control than Cliff Lee, Dan Haren's value should meet or exceed Lee's. What three months time and decreasing fetches Lee is TBD.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Salvation for Wade Davis?

Wade Davis’ Lack of Whiffs | FanGraphs Baseball: "All of this sounds very pessimistic, but it’s important to keep in mind that Davis has logged 111.2 innings at the major league level. He could certainly make adjustments to his game in the coming months that lead to improved results. But to earn back that power pitcher label, Davis needs to re-discover his breaking stuff."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Greatest Line in 2010?

MLB: The idea of trading with the Diamondbacks has a lot of evaluators wondering - ESPN: "Over the last five years, the Florida Marlins has spent about $150 million on payroll. Only one other entity in baseball has been working under similar numbers during that time, and its name is Alex Rodriguez -- he has made $143 million in that time."

Arizona Closer Change?

New York Yankees top Arizona Diamondbacks in 10th inning:

"They had a lead thanks to - not in spite of - their bullpen. Blaine Boyer pitched a gritty three innings, Sam Demel dominated in a 1 2/3-inning stint and Juan Gutierrez had an emotional and effective eighth inning...But Heilman couldn't get the job done in the ninth."

The Arizona Diamondbacks' closer will change again. Sell Aaron Heilman if you can.

More 2011 Hot Prospects Prospects: Futures Game: Futures Game: World:

"Brett Lawrie, 2b Double-A Huntsville (SL)
Lawrie is the highest-drafted Canadian ever, going 16th overall in 2008, and profiles as an offensive second baseman. He has the strongest hands and quickest bat in the Brewers organization."

2B eligible with power and speed. You tell me how highly anticipated Brett Lawrie's debut will be in 2011.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ask BA: Quickest 2010 Draftees To Fantasy Rosters Prospects: Ask BA: "Among the first-rounders, Cal State Fullerton shortstop Christian Colon (No. 4, Royals) should be the first position player to get to the majors. JC of Southern Nevada outfielder Bryce Harper (No. 1, Nationals) will need more time than most fans think, as I detailed in the June 1 Ask BA. The quickest high schooler will be The Woodlands (Texas) High righthander Jameson Taillon (No. 2, Pirates)."

Under The Knife: Beltran's Clock Ready to Tick

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Beltran's Clock Ready to Tick: "They'll be very controlled, perhaps not so much as the simulated games he's been in, but Beltran will have very specific steps and tests at each point. He'll have the DH option in most games as well, something he won't have when he makes it back to the Mets. Watching how often he needs to play there is going to be a big tell for his progress"

Next Year's Hot Prospects Prospects: Futures Game: Futures Game: United States:

"Brett Jackson, ofHigh Class A Daytona (FSL)
Jackson lasted until the 31st pick in 2009 because teams weren't sure
how much he would hit, but he has fared well in the pitcher-friendly
FSL. He's also one of the best athletes in the Cubs system."

The Futures Games rosters are up. Smart fantasy owners watch and pounce.

How Target Field is hurting Mauer & Morneau - The Max Info Blog - ESPN

How Target Field is hurting Mauer & Morneau - The Max Info Blog - ESPN: "Mauer, who has yet to hit a home run in the new park, has the opposite problem-- NOT getting balls up in the air. Mauer is putting more balls on the ground, especially the ones right down the heart of the plate, which he crushed (.571 BA) last year. This season that average has dipped to .364, and the number of ground balls has doubled."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Boston Red Sox

Gammons: Red Sox find their personality | News:

"Matsuzaka returns Thursday in Colorado, while the returns of Beckett and Ellsbury have no current timetables. Epstein has been looking for another outfielder and more depth for the bullpen, with no luck. Texas wouldn't even discuss David Murphy, and the Royals are waiting to think about whether they would trade David DeJesus or Rick Ankiel.

'I'm not certain exactly what we need right now,' says Epstein. 'We'll see in another month. In the meanwhile, we've really played well and gotten important contributions from people like Darnell McDonald, Nava, Hall and Scott Atchison.'"

Anticipatory Feeling

McLane: Astros open to deal before trade deadline | Baseball | - Houston Chronicle: "With Roy Oswalt due to make $16 million next year, the Astros’ ability to trade the ace righthander or their ability to receive top prospects in return might depend on how much of the salary the Astros are willing to eat."

If Oswalt is dealt, I got a felling that he is going to be on fire with a change of scenery!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Houston Astros Make Sleepers

Astros call up ex-No. 1 pick Castro from Round Rock | Baseball | - Houston Chronicle: "Unlike last year, when call-ups tended to wallow on the bench, the Astros committed — at least verbally — to giving Jason Castro and Chris Johnson playing time to see if they are capable of handling a major league role in the near and distant future."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The 2010 Season Is Year of the Rookie

The 2010 season is a great time for young players - ESPN: "Here is a team of players 24 years old and under who are thriving or could soon thrive in the big leagues:
C: Carlos Santana, 24, Indians
1B: Ike Davis, 23, Mets
2B: Neil Walker, 24, Pirates*
SS: Starlin Castro, 20, Cubs
3B: Pedro Alvarez, 23, Pirates
OF: Mike Stanton, 20, Marlins
OF: Austin Jackson, 23, Tigers
OF: Jason Heyward, 20, Braves
RHP: Stephen Strasburg, 21, Nationals
RHP: Mike Leake, 22, Reds
LHP: Jaime Garcia, 23, Cardinals**
RP: Drew Storen, 22, Nationals"

For fantasy, the question is whether these players will be expected to be starters in 2011. My guess is all will be drafted with the exception of Neil Walker, who I do not believe will hit enough this season.

Santana will be a Top 10 catcher. Jason will be a Top 10 OF and Stephen Strasburg will be a Top 10 pitcher. The others will be mid- to late-round selections.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Like More/Like Less Than Pedro Alvarez

Pedro Alvarez has upside, but he shouldn't garner much mixed-league interest right now - Fantasy Baseball - ESPN:

"Five third basemen I like less than Alvarez for the remainder of the season
Jhonny Peralta, Indians
Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays
Jeff Keppinger, Astros
Alex Gordon, Royals
Brandon Inge, Tigers

Four third basemen I like more than Alvarez for the remainder of the season
Chipper Jones, Braves
Kevin Kouzmanoff, Athletics
Gordon Beckham, White Sox
Casey Blake, Dodgers"

This is useful if only to provide starting points for intuitive valuations. Maybe the question is who would you drop amongst these 3B to add Alvarez?

Sam Demel is still raw, but he could work his way into save situations for the Arizona Diamondbacks - ESPN

Sam Demel is still raw, but he could work his way into save situations for the Arizona Diamondbacks - ESPN: "While Demel is behind players such as Drew Storen and Andrew Cashner as a general pitching prospect, his team situation gives him at least a chance to be the better fantasy option in the weeks to come if things break right. Sometimes it's more about being in the right place at the right time. For that reason, Demel bears watching."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Some Demel

A’s Acquire Conor Jackson | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

"Demel, meanwhile, is expected to join a wretched D-Backs pen that ranks dead last in xFIP (5.16) and Win Probability Added (-6.88). A third-round pick in the 2007 draft out of TCU, Demel has missed lots of lumber as a pro (10 K/9) but has usually struggled to locate (4.5 BB/9). While the righty didn’t crack BA’s list of top 30 A’s prospects heading into 2010, Demel has added a cut fastball to his low-90’s fastball, changeup and erratic slider. In 28.2 IP with Triple-A Sacramento, the 24-year-old had 8.8 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a characteristically strong ground ball rate (49.4%; his overall GB% in the minors is 54.5). Demel’s worth monitoring, particularly if Arizona shops Chad Qualls to a team that focuses more on his very good track record and 3.56 xFIP this season instead of his bloated ERA."

Buck Showalter As Manager

Baltimore Orioles reach out to Buck Showalter, source says - ESPN: "Former Yankees, Diamondbacks and Rangers manager Buck Showalter, now an analyst with ESPN, has been contacted by the Baltimore Orioles about their managerial position, a source confirmed Wednesday."

If he did take the job, I'd be curious if he'd adapt from his previous Do Not Steal Bases philosphy of the late 90s to the current Steals and Defense one so in vogue in the second decade of the 21st century

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ask BA: How High Machado In Florida List Prospects: Ask BA: "This draft had three players who clearly stood above the rest, but only two of them will be their team's top prospect right away. JC of Southern Nevada catcher Bryce Harper (No. 1 pick, Nationals) and Florida high school shortstop Manny Macahdo"

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Under The Knife: Jacoby Ellsbury Update

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Friday Update: "The statement issued by the Red Sox is tiptoeing around the fact that twice they missed something when it came to Ellsbury. This is a world-class medical staff and this could have happened to anyone, but it did happen to the Red Sox. Ellsbury came out pretty strongly earlier, but was able to get back on the same page... or should we say get back in line? Ellsbury's two distinct rib injuries—separate areas and separate traumas—leave a lot of holes in how this played out. Right now, Ellsbury will head to Tempe to work with the API team to try and get him back to a point of comfort and function. That's going to take at least a couple of weeks and will likely require a rehab assignment to get him some swings. We could be looking as long as the All-Star break before we see Ellsbury back in the Sox' lineup."

FWIW, medical staffs are as in control of their patients as school teachers are in control of the students they teach, and we've seen how that has worked out.

MLB Trade Rumors: AL West

From Buster Olney, the new Peter Gammons.

Also within the AL West, I recently heard this: there is a sense among some rival executives that the Seattle Mariners figure to be among the more aggressive sellers. They've got the big fish in the pitching market, of course, in Cliff Lee. The Mariners got crushed again on Monday and are now 16 games under .500.

Lee has been dominant on fielding-independent performance, as Geoff Baker writes.

Heard this a whole bunch in the last week: There just doesn't appear to be much in the way of available cash in the trade market, with few teams willing to take on much money. If this holds, it will limit the number of deals that can be made, as well as the size of the deals. The player most directly impacted by this, in all likelihood, is Roy Oswalt, who bears $27 million in salary obligations and is overpriced in the current market.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Under The Knife: Alex Rodriguez

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Monday Update: "Rodriguez is out until Tuesday with an injury variously described as an iliopsoas strain and a hip flexor tendon problem, itself alternately described as a strain and a tendonitis issue. Rodriguez famously had a hybridized version of the FAIL surgery to repair his hip last season, but never had the second part after his surgeons felt it wasn't needed. (The second part was much more clean-up and not nearly as big a deal.) The great part for me is that all of those can be accurately described as 'strained hip' as you see above. The specifics, while unclear, really don't matter. This is a maintenance issue for Rodriguez and the Yankees medical staff. Don't expect this to be a significant issue, thou"

Predicting The Future

Baseball Statistics and Analysis | FanGraphs Baseball: "With the callups of some possible stars in Stephen Strasburg, Mike Stanton, and Jose Tabata, I wanted to take a look at a few guys who, although may have been highly touted, underperformed in the minor leagues relative to their major league track record."

Arizona Diamondbacks Closer

Arizona Diamondbacks could try different options at closer: "Heilman has been effective as a setup man, and no one would be surprised to see him in a closer's role, as least temporarily, at some point.
Hinch, noted Heilman's eighth-inning success in tough environments, notably in New York (Mets) where 'he was one of the best setup men in baseball for a period of time, so he's used to that pressure-cooker."

Sunday, June 13, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Pittsburgh Pirates

Pirates Notebook: Doumit spelled by stint at first: "Team president Frank Coonelly predicted that the July 31 trading deadline will be different for the Pirates this summer than the current management's first two, when many veterans were sent away in what the team described as an attempt to add quantity and quality to the minor-league system."

This is a team with valuable 4th OFers and croner-types that could help a contender and be inexpensive. The Pirates should be looking to trade agressively. Garrett Jones, Ronny Cedeno, Delwyn Young...

Friday, June 11, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Cliff Lee To Yankes

Strain between Chicago White Sox's Ozzie Guillen and Ken Williams seems set to explode - ESPN: "Heard this: There have been zero conversations between the Mariners and Yankees about Cliff Lee."

Bloggers have nothing to fear given this rumor was started by a NY Post sports writer saying the Mariners are ready for the Yankees to ask about Cliff Lee. Yeah, and I'm ready for Hot Actress of Day to ask me to sleep with her.

Buying Delmon Young Yet?

Don’t Give Up On…Delmon Young? | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball: "Overall, there’s reason to be cautiously optimistic about Delmon Young. He’s still getting himself out too often. However, he is starting to tap into the power that he displayed as a prized prospect. Young has a long way to go to ever be an offensive star, but he’s at least keeping his head above water after a few seasons of sub-replacement-level play."

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Free Joe Sheehan

Joe Sheehan: "The following is an example of the coverage you get when you subscribe to The Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter. This is the June 2 edition."

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Deja Vu? Chat: Draft Chat With Jim Callis: "Ty (Chicago): Hayden who? Please, please explain this to me, and to all Cubs fans. Thanks.

Jim Callis: The Cubs saw Hayden Simpson throw 92-97 twice in four days at the D-II World Series, and they think he'll have four average or better pitches, love the makeup, believe he could move quickly. I don't think that was the consensus on him, but the Cubs saw him very well and were afraid another team with multiple picks might draft him before they could pick again. Stunned me, though."

Jordan Zimmermann anyone?

Under The Knife: Brian Roberts

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Wednesday Update: "I'm hearing very bad things about the setback experienced by Brian Roberts, but I haven't been able to confirm them. Roch Kubatko raises the spectre of imminent surgery."

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Why You Should Worry About Stats

Ron Neyer ESPN Chat:

Bob (Seattle) And BP has Jeter at 2.8 WAR. So BR has Jeter at 1.2 and FanG at 1.9. If three different fielding stats result in a WAR difference of 1.6 over 1/3 of a season, it seems that there has to be a fundamental flaw in how the defensive stats are being calculated. Maybe one of them is right - there's certainly a big enough spread to ensure that one is more right than the other.

Rob Neyer (12:46 PM) Well, the other big "problem" -- bigger, probably -- is that R stands for Replacement and everyone seems to have a different definition of "replacement". Might as well stick with comparing Jeter to other shortstops, and acknowledge that he's having a real good year in a bad year (so far) for shortstops. I think it's also fair to compare his WAR this season to his WAR in previous seasons, and acknowledge that he's not been up to his usual standard.

Monday, June 07, 2010

2009 Draft Update: Dustin Ackley

Baseball Prospectus | Future Shock: Monday Ten Pack: "Now batting .251/.408/.359 with everything pointed in the right direction, the only thing to worry about is the same debate that revolved around Ackley going into the year. Some think he'll hit for power, some don't, and with one home run in 167 at-bats, so far the doubters are right."

2009 Draftee Sleeper?

Deep Keepers: Draft Edition | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball: "Ryan Wheeler | 1B | Arizona: How is this for debut numbers from 2009: .361/.462/.540 in 263 at-bats. Sure, Wheeler was an advanced college hitter beating up on younger pitchers, but he’s at it again in 2010… this time in high-A ball. The left-handed hitter is batting .310/.364/.434 in 226 at-bats in the powerful California League. Wheeler isn’t showing a ton of over-the-fence power right now, but he has good raw pop and he has 17 doubles on the year. A report by Baseball America likened his potential to that of the Reds’ Joey Votto."

Prospect Hot Sheet Chat With Matt Eddy Chat: Prospect Hot Sheet Chat With Matt Eddy: "Greg34 (Palm Springs): The middle infield prospects getting some love this week. Of those mentioned, just looking at their bats, who would you prefer long-term between Franklin, Havens, Cumberland and Green?

Matthew Eddy: Tough call at this stage, but it's hard to argue with the overall package that Franklin offers . . . switch-hitter who makes good contact and hits for power."

A great way to start Strasburg Week by reading about those prospects not quite at Strasburg's level.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Adam Loewen Update Prospects: Prospect Hot Sheet: Prospect Hot Sheet: June 4: "Adam Loewen, rf, Blue Jays. We've become accustomed to seeing the light-hitting position player make the switch to the mound. Recent examples include Sergio Santos and Tony Pena Jr. But now the reverse transition is gaining acceptance, and perhaps one day Rick Ankiel, Brian Bogusevic and Mike Stodolka will be regarded as pioneers of the conversion. Loewen, the highest-drafted Canadian ever, is proving himself as more than mere novelty with his play this season. He's batting .288/.384/.494 with seven homers in 170 at-bats for Double-A New Hampshire."

Very impressive slash stats in AA.

AP Or Chris Johnson?

Spin Doctors: Chris Johnson vs. Adrian Peterson - Roto Arcade - Fantasy  - Yahoo! Sports: "If you get the No. 1 overall pick in a fantasy draft, you're not allowed to complain. But that doesn't mean you won't face a tricky decision. For most of us, the choice is between Chris Johnson, holder of the NFL single-season scrimmage yards record (2,509), and Adrian Peterson, holder of the single-game rushing yardage mark (296). Either way you'll get an elite talent entering his age-25 season, and you'll be well-positioned for a title run. In our first Spin Doctors of the season, two experts debate the merits of each franchise back."

Yeah, sign-up for 2010 Yahoo! Fantasy Football is open.

Grey Top 10 2010 Prospects

Texas Rangers prospect Tanner Scheppers and his power arm are on the fast track to the majors - ESPN: "Also note that this list is only for 2010 value, not for the long term, so you won't see names such as Mike Trout on it yet. Also, to highlight some different names, I'm not including players who were recently called up (Buster Posey) or have spent time in the big leagues this year and been sent down (Scott Sizemore)."

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Stephen Strasburg 2010 Value

Fantasy baseball lists, start/sit advice, pickups, drops and Stephen Strasburg from Matthew Berry - Fantasy Baseball - ESPN:

"List 1: Ten starting pitchers I like less than Stephen Strasburg for the rest of the season
1. Ricky Romero, Blue Jays
2. Roy Oswalt, Astros
3. Jeff Niemann, Rays
4. James Shields, Rays
5. Ryan Dempster, Cubs
6. A.J. Burnett, Yankees
7. Chad Billingsley, Dodgers
8. John Danks, White Sox
9. Colby Lewis, Rangers
10. The struggling big-name stars: John Lackey, Javier Vazquez, Jake Peavy and Wandy Rodriguez."

John Danks is on par. The rest would be impossible to receive for Strasburg.

Get Ready For Post 7/31 Call-Ups Prospects: Prospect Hot Sheet: Prospect Hot Sheet: June 4: "Power and patience have been Reese Havens' strong suits—he has walked in 12 percent of his minor league plate appearances while boasting a .199 isolated power. For a middle infielder in the New York-Penn, Florida State and Eastern leagues, that's pretty darn good. Taken four picks after Ike Davis in the 2008 draft, Havens just might join Ike on the right side of the Mets infield later this season."

Who thinks Luis Castillo can block Havens if the Mets are floundering offensively later this summer?

Line Drive Rates - FakeTeams

Line Drive Rates - FakeTeams: "What may be a little more surprising is how unstable line drive rates can be. According to the Hardball Times, there is some correlation between hitters’ line drive rates from season to season, but not much. So let’s take a look at a couple players who have very low line drive rates (and low BABIP’s, to show they aren’t getting lucky on ground balls and fly balls, either) and figure that if they simply regress to the mean, they ought to play at a higher level than they are now.
It’s worth noting that average line drive rate is in the range of 19%."

Friday, June 04, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Stark Updates New York Yankees

Chat: Chat with Jayson Stark - SportsNation - ESPN:

"Bobby (New York) Jayson, what are the chances Cashman goes against his grain of the last few years and offer up Montero for Lee? Or do they try and grab Carmona from Cleveland? I know the rotation has been soild in the front 4 and Vasquez has come on lately, but you never know what happens between now and July.

Jayson Stark (1:19 PM) No chance. The Yankees will be all over Cliff Lee when he gets out there into free agency. But they're not planning to deal for a starting pitcher unless some major injury changes their plans, from what I'm hearing."

MLB Trade Rumors: Jayson Stark Is hearing

If starting pitchers were stocks, Seattle's Felix Hernandez and Florida's Josh Johnson would be the top-rated commodities - ESPN: "You may not be able to trade for Roy Oswalt in the next 15 minutes. But two clubs that spoke with the Orioles this week say they'd listen to offers on Kevin Millwood right now."

MLB Trade Rumors: Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks: Major renovation in the works?: "Adam LaRoche, right-hander Edwin Jackson, second baseman Kelly Johnson, reliever Aaron Heilman and catcher Chris Snyder are the most logical players to be shopped, in part because they are set to become free agents after this year or next. All figure to have at least decent value on the trade market."

Brian Roberts Update

Baltimore Orioles switch David Hernandez from long-relief to late-game role - "Trembley revealed injured second baseman Brian Roberts' game schedule for the remainder of his time at extended spring training. Roberts, who hasn't played since April 9 because of a herniated disk in his back, will play second base and get four at-bats Friday, serve as the designated hitter and get four-at bats Saturday, take Sunday off, play second base for seven innings Monday, serve as the DH and get four at-bats Tuesday, take Wednesday off and play the full game at second base next Thursday.

Roberts then could go on a rehabilitation assignment at one of the Orioles' minor league affiliates June 11 or 12."

A flyer right now may be a smart move in very deep leagues.

The Next Ian Stewart?

Baseball America | Blog | Baseball America Prospects Blog | Thursday Dish: Young Rockie Arenado Emerging: "Arenado, the Rockies' second-round pick last year, began the year in extended spring training, but since he joined low Class A Asheville two weeks ago, the 19-year-old third baseman has shown why his bat is so highly regarded.
Arenado has a hit in 11 of his 12 games and is batting .380/.414/.560 with as many walks (five) as strikeouts. Sure, he's benefiting from a hitter-friendly environment in Asheville, so the power numbers will probably come down, but Arenado's hitting is no mirage."

How long did it take Ian Stewart to live-up to his Asheville season? (2004 - 30 HRs, 101 RBIs)

Thursday, June 03, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: Chicago Cubs

No Cubs breakup just yet :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Cubs: "If the Cubs look to shed star contracts between now and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, it would be a first in Hendry's eight-year regime -- and might also signal a belief in the prospects who appear to be coming in greater volume than the Cubs have seen in at least two decades."

1B Derrek Lee was mentioned as was Ted Lilly and Carlos Silva. With Andrew Cashner and Jay Jackson ready to try starting for the Cubs, I can see the latter two. Lee's full no-trade clause and no apparent 1B minor league prospect makes me seriously doubt the current rumors.

MLB Trade Rumors: AL West

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Wednesday Update: "The Mariners are telling teams that left-hander Cliff Lee is not available because they feel they can get back into the AL West race. … The Angels are considering trying to trade for the White Sox' Paul Konerko or the Astros' Lance Berkman as a replacement for injured first baseman Kendry Morales but, for now, will get by with a combination of Mike Napoli, Michael Ryan, Robb Quinlan, and Howie Kendrick, picking a starter based on the opposing pitcher."

MLB Trade Rumors: Cubs and Angels

Chicago Cubs in talks with L.A. Angels to trade Derrek Lee, sources say - "Excellent baseball sources are telling us the Angels and the Cubs may be involved in trade talks that could send Derrek Lee to L.A. The Angels lost their starting first baseman, Kendry Morales"

Those excellent sources used the qualifier "may"? If the Cubs are trading FDerrek Lee, then the Cubs are bailing on the season.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

ERA-xFIP Splits Update

ERA-xFIP Splits Update | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball: "we took a gander at starting pitchers who had significant differences between their respective ERAs and xFIPs. xFIP, based on strikeouts, walks and a normalized home run per fly ball rate, does a better job than ERA of gauging performance in the areas over which pitchers have the most control. It’s not subject to more luck-based factors such as batting average on balls in play, strand rate and home runs per fly ball hit."

Future Closer List Adds One

Chicago Cubs call-up Andrew Cashner has fantasy potential as both a closer or starting pitcher - ESPN: "We've had a couple of players called up to the big leagues recently who have the potential to be future closers for their clubs, such as the Nationals' Drew Storen, who I wrote about May 17, and the Brewers' Zach Braddock (May 27 blog). Well, you can add the Cubs' Andrew Cashner, who made his big league debut with a one-pitch outing Monday, to that list."

Too bas Carmol Marmol began to throw strikes this season. 2011's hot closer-in-waiting is Andrew Cashner.

Or will he be 2011's Joba Chamberlain?

10 Fantasy Hitters Who Improved in May | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

10 Fantasy Hitters Who Improved in May | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball: "One of the hardest things to do is know when it is time to cut loose a player who is struggling in the month of April. Here are 10 batters who rewarded the faith of the owners who kept them, or the foresight of the owners who traded for them, with big comebacks in the month of May."

But tell me who is going to show up in June? The April or May versions of each.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Under The Knife: Kendry Morales Update

Baseball Prospectus | Under The Knife: Tuesday Update: "Examinations the last couple days have the Angels thinking that Morales will be back around the end of August or early September. The chance to get some at-bats at the minor-league level is key, as is the Angels' record at that point. Many have asked if this is a reasonable return time, so we look to the comps. The most recent comp is Scott Sizemore, the Tigers second baseman who snapped his leg at a similar point during the 2009 Arizona Fall League season. Sizemore came back for spring training and the time period doesn't look good."

On Andrew Cashner's 2010 Fantasy Value

Recent Promotions: Cashner & Tillman | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball: "Now Cashner’s not going unseat Carlos Marmol as closer as long as the latter continues to strike out basically half the men he faces, but he could quickly push his way into some 7th and 8th inning setup work. Close to a strikeout per inning with a sub-4.00 ERA is likely, so if your league counts holds, here’s a new candidate to consider."

Name Game With Buster Posey

Giant addition: San Francisco calls up Buster Posey - Roto Arcade - Fantasy  - Yahoo! Sports

Non-keeper, mixed league format.

Buster Posey or Mike Napoli? Mike Napoli.

Buster Posey or Miguel Montero? Buster Posey until Montero proves healthy. Then Montero.

Buster Posey or Matt Wieters? Matt Wieters, but he has disappointed enough to make this closer than it should be.

All Questions Answered Thread

Fantasy Baseball: All Questions Answered Thread - FakeTeams: "Its a long Memorial Day Weekend and I have no plans other than yardwork, throwing back some cold ones, and smoking a few cigars, so toss up your questions and we'll do our best to answer them as quick as possible."

Lots of good stuff in the thread.