The DL slot in many fantasy leagues is one of the most misused and misunderstood positions on fantasy baseball teams. For most people, it’s believed to be where the hopes and dreams of their teams like Mike Morse, Chris B.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Though I do believe there should be a one Mariner maximum when it comes to fantasy baseball bloggers and I’ve already filled that need with my Olivo post, it’s hard to ignore what Kyle Seager has done over the last couple of weeks. Blame Mike Carp for using fugu as a shoulder wrap for this article if you’re angry. The ESPN crowd is slowly coming around to him at a 5.5% ownership clip but for the most part they just haven’t found the need for a Mariners hitter on their roster that isn’t posing for a last supper painting. Yahoo owners do have him already with an 18% clip, but that’s mainly for his shortstop eligibility where as long as you have a pulse and you’re not Alex Gonzalez, you’re probably on someone’s team. Actually, if there were a zombie Phil Rizzuto (Spelled ‘Rirruto’ in cursive for Billy Madison fans), they’d probably pick him up too. In Fleaflicker leagues, he’s at 9% owned. All that said, let’s take a look at why I’m eager for Seager in AL-only and deeper leagues.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m going to talk about seemingly the most derisive topic since we had to choose a side on ‘great taste’ or ‘less filling’ for Miller Lite. I’m gonna speak about average, or ‘how many hits a player gets divided by their true at-bats which excludes their walks, sac flies, sac bunts, and HBP’ for all of you who need things spelled out. So let’s get one thing clear: your entire team does not need to hit .300 unless you’re playing in a 1 team league. Looking over at this Razzball link, we can see that your team needs to hit anywhere between .265 and .270 to be successful for the year. For all you guys and 4 girl readers out there, that equates to about 26.5/27 hits per 100 ABs. We’re not talking large numbers here, but if you want to, we could by adding a couple of zeros on the end. It doesn’t really change the topic, but feel free to. For a little experiment on how this works, I’m going to review my deep league thoughts columns (search Razzball for them by ‘Deep League Thoughts’ if you’d like to read them. Yeah, I just whored myself a bit) and my perfect team in which I have to start 2 at every position. When I’m non-specific about a target – such as in the 1B post – I’ll take the lowest average estimated player to further prove my point. Don’t hate me if I’m right and all you see is the inside of my nose as I look down on you; it’s only because I’m quite tall. Now since I have to pick one source for my numbers, I’ll be using Bill James’ 2012 projections. Though my league also includes two UTIL slots, I didn’t include it in my series seeing as it can be filled with any position so I won’t include them in the stats. If I had, I might’ve filled them with guys who hit for high average just to make you happy. I’m just that giving! See you in about 18 cell rows:
Deep League Thoughts Roster
The best team in a standard 12 team ESPN league – which is about as close to the league I’m describing is going to come – is hitting one point higher than me. Or at least I thought they were until I noticed the part where Grey says ‘These are all for one catcher leagues. If you have two catcher leagues, the counting stats go up a little bit and down a little on average.’ And that’s me quoting Grey, mimicking his ‘that’s me quoting me’ quoting style with bold italics for emphasis! To keep with the Q theme, it looks like our average met our quota. In fact, when you consider this team essentially rosters 2 more hitters than a standard ESPN league, this team might be ahead of the curve at this point. If you’re wondering about the counting stats and how they line up because you REALLY don’t like that this crazy idea just might work, I’ll save you the math trouble. Based on projections, this team is going to be at or above league average in runs (1191 vs 1045), RBIs (1195 vs 1008) and HRs (360 vs 261). The only category we’re lacking in is stolen bases as we estimate to get about 145 vs the need for 186. Considering the leg up we have on the other categories, we get to trade from strength or be ready for when SAGNOF is coming to town.Please, blog, may I have some more?
First off, let me just state this post could be jumping the gun. Hell, I might be winning the 10K marathon because I started the week before everyone else did (which would explain why I had time for so much beer as I went). I know that, I own that. Now that we’ve clarified I’m trying to show the skill of clairvoyance, let’s review.
Chipper Jones has already announced he’ll retire after the end of the 2012 season and he just went on the DL to start the year due to…well whatever is ailing Chipper. Seriously, the dude hurt himself putting on a sock at one point in his career. A SOCK for all those who can only read capital letters. Though they could’ve put Martin Prado at 3rd to temporarily hold the spot, the Braves trade for a seldom used free swinger from Cincinatti named Juan Francisco. So the guy who should get the majority of starts at 3rd if and when Glass Chipper gets injured – which happens every other day – is currently less than 1% owned in yahoo, ESPN, and Fleaflicker leagues? While it’s true Jones will eventually come back and play 3rd again, in deeper leagues you have to ask yourself some important questions: ‘How long will Chipper play at age 40′, ‘will he play well if he comes back’, ‘if Juan plays well, does it delay Chipper’s return and does he come back at all at that point’ and ‘where are the question marks, I thought these were questions!!!’? It’s true, the trade for Francisco was due to the ’In case of Glass Chipper break, emergency’ sign above Jone’s locker but it’s clear the Braves don’t want Prado at 3rd in the future full time with this trade. Since 2004, Jones has averaged 122.75 games a season with his highest total coming in 2009 at 143. Chipper has always been a gamer but he’s never been confused with the Iron Man (though he has been confusing blue collar fans everywhere with his Larry the Cable Guy impersonation). The Braves will need a replacement after this season and what better way to do it then to work with the possible future one this year?Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m not putting that title up there to brag. That’s really the name of the league. But within a few rounds of bidding I tittered like a little school girl when Troy Tulowitzki went for $42 and Miguel Cabrera went for only $40 as proof that even Gods don’t do everything right. I mean, have you seen what a platypus looks like? But I digress, the draft didn’t go as perfectly as I wanted but I don’t feel bad about the end result. With it being a 14 team league with no bench positions except for two DL spots, having a strong hitting crew was important; so important I broke a bit from the 180/80 strategy posted here. I overspent by about $20 on hitting and left $3 on the table when it was done. In hindsight, looking over my pitching staff and that remainder on the table, I wish I’d thrown a couple more bucks at Jordan Zimmermann who went for $12, but that’s what auction drafts are for: 20/20 thoughts about a time when you weren’t as strapped for cash as you perceived. For the list of the entire draft results, click here. Fooled! Sorry, they didn’t make the league public but you should still click on that link for random awkwardness. Now without further ado or foofaraw, here were the experts:
Razzball – ONC
FP911.com – Rich Wilson
FP911.com – Paul Greco
RotoRob – Tim McLeod
CBS Sports – Scott White
Fantasy Alarm – Ryan Hallam
Fantasy Baseball Sherpa – Bob S and Scott Swanay
Fantasy Sports Empires – Jeff Boggis
FantasyBaseball.com – Chris McDonnell
FB Tonight – RC Rizza and Todd Farino
FB365 – Charlie Saponara
RotoExperts.com – Dave Gawron
The Fantasy Man – Mike Kuchera
TPFS Baseball – Mike Myers
Full disclaimer here: I was a little nervous at first. I mean, I was drafting to represent Razzball here. I had a quick ‘palms sweaty, mom’s spaghetti’ moment as I had two spreadsheets on the right screen, draft on the left screen with my two hands on the keyboard and my third hand reaching for a slice of pizza. Well, at least that’s what I must’ve been thinking when I ordered one. Barely got a bite when nominations were posted and were alotting 15 seconds to bid. But more to the ‘stop whining ONC, we don’t care just bring us the goods’ point: my offense is stacked. Like a game of Jenga where the blocks haven’t been moved stacked. With there being no bench, that’s important. I can stream pitchers if I need it, but it’s harder to stream hitters. I will probably move a bat in the near future for at least one solid arm to go with my core staff of Anibal Sanchez, Brandon Beachy, Shaun Marcum, and Ubaldo Jimenez but the trade will be on my terms. I wanted guys like Zack Greinke and Madison Bumgarner but couldn’t justify their respective $25 and $20 pricetags. The lone regret of my crew was the dreaded click slip – an embarassment on par with Tara Reid’s nip slip if she hadn’t been too coked out to notice - as I went to nominate Max Scherzer and wound up with Neftali Feliz for a $1. I quickly fixed this, grabbing Henry Rodriguez for K’s and saves potential but did curse at the screen for a bit afterwards. Thankfully, everyone had left work by that time or I might have been visiting HR the next day.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Sing it with me everyone: Tis the season for broke closers. Tommy, Tommy John, John, John, John, John! That sounded great. Except for you in the back. Thought I heard an old mule getting strangled. The regular season hasn’t even started and we’ve lost Joakim Soria and Ryan Madson to the knife. Last time I checked – which was like five seconds ago so don’t even attempt discrediting it – those two didn’t have a long injury history. Throw in Drew Storen and his enflamed joint – hopefully he got his medical marijuana card for that – and you have a year already in flux at closer. In this year of twelve after twenty – sorry, Grey has mandated calling 2012 that for Razzball now – we have only had one closer from the ‘my arm will fall off eventually’ club go down to injury in Andrew Bailey. So what better year for Andrew Cashner to step up and give the San Diego Padres yet another reason to trade Huston Street to a contender by the All-Star Break if he doesn’t break before then (sorry, Pads fans, we know it’s true).Please, blog, may I have some more?
We here at Deep League Thoughts love things cheap. If the 5 finger discount were legal, we’d be doing it hand over Doug Fister. Over the course of the year, we’re going to keep our eye on the bargain bin FA market, targeting the guys that are less than 5 percent owned and try to sprinkle you with tasty little nuggets of info on these gems. Alright let’s start…sorry, you still have to read…and you have to start a new paragraph to do it. I know, demanding.Please, blog, may I have some more?
As I alluded to in my 3rd baseman posting, first base scares me greatly this year in a deep league format. Outside the big six – Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Joey Votto, Adrian Gonzalez, Prince Fielder, & Mark Teixiera – I see very little reliability from a position that could leave you hurting if you aren’t an owner of one of those guys. Don’t agree with me? Well go look at the 1st baseman that come after those 6 on Mock Draft Central to round out your top ten: Konerko, Hosmer, Morse, & Berkman. Your 11th is Freddie Freeman; the quintessential average first baseman. I know people want to consider Konerko safe, but he’s 36. I prefer not to be the first person in line to find out when the wheels come off guys like him. Then there’s Hosmer – a 22 year old who can’t take a walk. I like his career long term, but even fangraphs is projecting him around 23/13. Steals are nice, but I want 30 HRs from my 1st baseman and I want them now! Round things out with Morse – a person with very little track record though I do kinda trust him – and Berkman. Hey, if I don’t trust Konerko at 36, why would I trust a guy who had his worst major league season in 2010 and hit 24 of his 31 HRs in the first half of his rebound 2011 campaign who is also 36 and won’t have Pujols in his lineup anymore? And was that a long sentence or was it just me? Point being, I do not want to leave the first round without a 1B this year. Taking Teixiera would most likely ruin my perfect draft, but I would grab him nonetheless. However, if I could get one of those first 5 this year, I’d feel comfortable taking a risk on Paul Goldschmidt around the 12th. There are a lot of upside plays later in the draft that I have no problem taking a gamble on, but I want at least one of my first basemen to be an offensive rock for me.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Mike Stanton times 5. That’s really all I want in my outfield this year. Is that so wrong of me to ask for? Sadly I know this is not a reality, not even in a fantasy world so I’ll have to make due with 4 Non Stantons…somehow. I’m not going to lie and say OF is deep in a league setting like this but OF is also where you see the most turnover and opportunities throughout the season. Coach wants Yonder Alonso’s bat in the lineup, so he throws him in left field. The Texas outfield is in the infirmary ward, time to go pick up D.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Now this is a position I am bearish on to a point for 2012. On the one hand, there aren’t many SS I really want to draft. I like Troy Tulowitzki, Jose Reyes and Starlin Castro and that’s really it. The thing is, after those three, I don’t feel like I have a leg up on the competition for 2012 if I draft any of them. What’s the difference between Elvis Andrus and Dee Gordon when we look at expectations for this year? How about comparing Asdrubal Cabrera to Erik Aybar? My perfect team has either Castro or Tulo on it, with the high likelihood that its Starlin on my team. I’d balance him out by going for power from my next SS, take J.J. Hardy in the 11th or 12th. But really, your team is not going to be strong or weak based upon what your SS does this year. If I miss out on those top 3, I’d even talk myself into waiting for the Escobars, Yunel and Alcides, while bulking up elsewhere. ‘Waiting for the Escobars’…sounds like a movie title.Please, blog, may I have some more?