We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2010 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2010 Mariners Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Lookout Landing.
1) I’m actually pretty high on David Aardsma. Others, not so much. Lots of people are predicting a regression of sorts. Which side do you fall on?
I like Aardsma, and I like that the M’s were able to recognize his potential and land him for nothing. With that said, while I expect him to remain a pretty good reliever, you have to expect some regression. I mean, you have to, right? He had one of the most extreme flyball rates in baseball and somehow only managed to allow four home runs. That’s not gonna last, especially when you keep in mind all the balls to the track he surrendered. Safeco and the defense will help him, but I could easily see his HR rate doubling. Best case, he survives the season looking only a little worse. More likely, he starts making people a little nervous, and there end up being whispers about Brandon League. With the fly balls and the walks, Aardsma kind of lives on the edge.
2) I forget where I read it, but someone (I think it was a person, might’ve been a robot) said a great thing about Milton Bradley. I’m paraphrasing — shoot, I can’t even remember where I read it — notice the Mariner fans’ excitement the day after the Mariners got Milton Bradley. A year ago, the Cubs fans were excited about Bradley too. At one point, the Rangers were excited about Bradley. The Padres were excited. And so on. Yet, it never ends well. How will the Milton Bradley era in Seattle end? What do you see from him this year?
I’d say it ended fairly well in Texas and Oakland, and San Diego has nothing but nice things to say about him. But anyway, it’s important to recognize the difference in environment in Chicago vs. Seattle. Here we don’t have that media, that manager, and those fans. Here we have Junior. If any situation is right for Bradley, it’s this one. I don’t expect him to remain perfectly healthy, and he’s not going to be a source of major power, but there’s no reason why he can’t end up at or around his career averages barring a mental meltdown. Better real-life player than fantasy player, probably.
3) F-Her, Cliff Lee — Sweet! Then what? Give me what you think the Mariners rotation will be.
Obviously, everyone focuses on the 1-2, for good reason. Behind the two aces, we’ll go with Ryan Rowland-Smith, Ian Snell, and one of Jason Vargas/Doug Fister/Luke French/Garrett Olson. That’s the four-man competition taking place right now in Arizona. You’re a fantasy site, right? In that case, the only one of these guys worth considering is RRS, as he’s poised to take wonderful advantage of the ballpark and the defense yet again. If Jarrod Washburn can do what he did in 2009, RRS could, too. You can keep your eye on Snell, I suppose, but I’d keep an eye from afar.
I actually discussed this very topic here on my own site. (Note from Grey: That’s actually a great article about Verducci that I think everyone should read.) Bottom line: Verducci’s heart is in the right place, but his analysis is flawed, and the people who’ve investigated his theory haven’t uncovered an effect. So there’s no evidence that there’s anything to this. I will always be a little worried about Felix, but that’s because pitching is dangerous, and he’s my baby. I don’t think we have any reason to believe that his 2009 workload will have a negative impact on his 2010 performance.
5) If the Mariners GM, Jack Zduriencik, started an office fantasy baseball league, what would be the most non-traditional fantasy stat? A) UZR B) Speed to first C) Pitcher First Pitch Strikes D) FRAGU — Fielding Runs Against Glove Upside E) BABIP@SLVSAERLP – Batting Average for Balls In Play @ Sea Level vs. Arbitration-Eligible Replacement-Level Players
Probably OBP. Z isn’t a stats guy. Z is just smart enough to hire stats guys. If Tony Blengino started the pool, though, then we’re talking acronyms with things that aren’t even letters anymore.