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There’s been much consternation going on around these parts ever since I ranked Chase Headley 34th in my Top 100 Keepers for 2013 and Beyond post that came out last week. Wait, is that the correct word? Consternation? Does constipation work better? There’s been much constipation… hmmm. Decisions. Let’s just go with both. Actually, now that I think about it, no one really cared about that ranking. However, there were some eyebrows raised at not including a second baseman, whose name rhymes with Rick Danklin. But I don’t want to talk about him anymore. I already wrote about him here. ARE YOU NOT SATISFIED? And even though I also talked about Chase Headley in the same post, I want to examine him a bit further for a few reasons. And I also want to examine both your consternation and constipation. My friends call me ‘H’. As in Preparation H. But not really. Not at all. This will never be mentioned again.

So, onto the reasons why Headley is this week’s focus — it has come to my attention that I have yet to spotlight any player on the Padres. Now, you could surmise that the reason for this is either because the Padres are a horrible team, of which said team has about close to zero star power as a team can have, an ingredient necessary for this Bear/Bull series. OR, that I’ve done what any serious writer does in this profession, and that is to take my hometown bias, stick in a lock box with Al Gore’s Social Security plan, (yes, I know that joke is dated by like 20 years. Do you know any other lock box jokes? Didn’t think so.) and purposefully produce neutral pieces for the benefit of you, the readership. It’s totally that last one, cause I’m that good bro. And it doesn’t hurt that the Padres are something wonderful. Shhhh. Also, let us come to the fair conclusion that Chase Headley has not had a good first half. Let us also come to the conclusion that at first glance, the evidence we have to support Headley producing a very strong second half mostly relies on data from last years second half, which might not be who he really is anyhow. That’s the easy way to do things. But we don’t do easy here folks. We do it hard and rough. Just the way your mother likes it Trebek.

…One only has to look at his career .333 BABIP compared to his .281 BABIP this season to feel better. You are the one, so go look. After a putrid June, Chase is already hitting close to .300 the last few weeks with improved plate discipline. And there doesn’t seem to be any huge discrepancies with his batted ball profile either.  Don’t forget, last season, in the first half, Headley hit 267/368/413. Second half? 308/386/592. Not saying that’s a ‘how’. More like, ‘it’s happened before.’

Suffice it to say, based on that blurb from my midseason buy/sell, I believe in a resurgence. In fact, if you haven’t noticed, I think the resurgence is happening this very moment. What makes Headley an even better buy-low is that everyone is defaulting that last year’s second-half assault was all smoke and mirrors, and that he really is only a 270 hitter with a few homeruns. While he may not be a 300 hitter with 30 bombs, I don’t think arriving at the lowest denominator is a rational conclusion. Something in the middle actually ends up being quite a valuable asset at the hot corner.

Whoa whoa wait. It’s time for a Chase Headley GIF intermission.

A Chase Headley Homerun

We can call it a Headrun. Right? Right? RIGHT.

Foremost, let’s analyze his BABIP. As stated above quite plainly, there is a huge discrepancy with Headley’s luck on the balls he puts into play. In 3,208 plate appearances, he has a .334 BABIP, which is certainly a sample size we should all be comfortable with. In June, when he suffered from a 183/270/257 line, his BABIP stood at .235. It would be fair to think that these two occurrences are quite related. And it’s no surprise that so far in July, his .379 BABIP has fueled a 293/398/476 slash. When regression happens, it certainly happens. Obvious statement is obvious.

Are you ready for some more dreamboat intermission action? Of course you aren’t. I’m not even ready and I know what’s about to go down.

Where I come from, they call that sexy. Yes, I come from San Diego. Shut up.

Another Headrun. It’ll catch on. Trust me.

The following is the expression I’m assuming that’s on your face right now.

Cool story bro.

Now that the BABIP section is out of the way, and, along with my personal Chase Headley circle-jerk, let us enter into evidence his batted ball profile, which I also touched lightly in the blurb above. And if you know anything about me, touching lightly requires a large amount of restraint.

LD% GB% FB% HR/FB
2011 21.9 45.8 32.3 4.3
2012 19.5 48.5 32.1 21.4
2013 20.9 45.1 34.0 9.3

Now, if there’s one thing that sticks out from this table, its the abnormally low 9.3% HR/FB rate sitting right below an abnormally high 21.4% HR/FB rate, which, strangely enough, sits below an abnormally low 4.3% HR/FB. It’s my general conclusion that all three numbers are inaccurate in terms of Headley’s true talent level. Those are some fightin’ words. I know. In fact, I feel like déjà vu is going down. With Matrix cats. Let’s take another trip in the Razzy time machine and have archived-Jaywrong tell us what’s up. Here, in my sleeper post for Yonder Alonso, I use Chase Headley as a proxy, but the information is just as useful here, as it gives us clues as to why that 4.3% HR/FB was folly.

Chase Headley was once a highly thought of prospect who arrived in 2009 and put up two okay seasons, and then two-thirds of an ouchie season. That ouchie season, in 2011, was a 4 HR effort. Granted, that was only in 113 games, but his ISO stood at .110. But there were some statistical indicators here that we should have paid attention to. First, we shouldn’t have accepted that ISO level as normal, even considering the home park effect. If you go back season by season over a four year period, Headley’s ISO actually goes up. .110->.111->.131->.151. And, if you go even further back, in 186 AA and AAA games, his ISO was roughly around .250. Second, his HR/FB rate in 2011 was at an unheard rate of 4.3%. The MLB average was 9.7%. There’s hitting in PetCo. And then there’s being incredibly unlucky with your FB% combined with hitting in PetCo. 

An easy counter argument here would be that Headley’s flyballs are going at an average distance of 280.09 feet. In 2012, the average was 304.47 feet. 2011? 284.44 feet. So it’s easy to see which number doesn’t belong. But we have to remember context. Now, I’ve already admitted that 2012 may be an outlier, but we’re not that far apart. Why? Because flyball distance and HR/FB correlate with each other. Take, for instance, the fact that Headley’s own teammate, Carlos Quentin, a Grey favorite, who has an average flyball distance of 281.61 has a HR/FB rate of 13.0%. Does this mean that Headley’s rate will inflate by a large margin, ala 2012? Probably not. But regression demands, just like it did in 2011, that his HR/FB rate will move closer to the league average of 10.7%, and quite possibly above that mark. And, so again, its a question of luck. In this specific case, flyball luck.

In fact, that appears to be the ongoing theme so far. When you look at both his BABIP and HR/FB, luck is the issue.

In terms of his plate discipline, there aren’t really any red flags. All numbers are generally gravitating towards Headley’s career norms. He’s swinging a bit more, to be expected from a slumping player. His Z-Contact% has been trending down, with his SwStr% trending up, which may be troublesome. But I”m encouraged that his BB% has jumped in July to 13.7% from 9.0% in June, and that his BB/K has risen from 0.41 to 0.56 in the same time span.

So his BABIP, batted ball profile, and plate discipline are all trending in the right direction. Granted, I could be wearing an optimist shade of glasses. I could be biased. But I’d like to think I”m not. We have plenty of data here to say that 2012 was fluke, but we also have data to say the same thing about 2011 and the first half of 2013. So that certainly doesn’t leave us with the 95/31/115/286/17 third baseman from last year. But for a buy-low option this year, and if the luck-dragon has his way, over a full season, we are looking at the profile of a 80/25/90/285/15 hitter.

Padres or not, that’s a pretty good player. And that’s who you are buying for the second half and beyond.

Final Verdict:

Jaywrong is a 30-year old Korish writer who finds solace using Makers Mark as a vehicle to impress women, and also has an affinity for making Jennifer Lawrence GIFs. You can follow him @jaywrong, read his blog Desultory Thoughts of a Longfellow, or, you can find his GIFs at his tumblr, named Siuijeonseo.

From Around The Web

  1. harkrider says:
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    thoughts on trading Marte for Altuve. Neither would be keepers. Or I can pick up Nick Franklin off waivers for Xander Bogaerts (who I picked up for when he gets called up)

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @harkrider: Depends on how your position alignment works, but I’d rather have Marte by a bit. I like Franklin, so I’d try that and see where it goes.

  2. MB says:
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    Hey man, as an ddict looking at next year. Which 5 to keep? Xander, J Fernandez, Freeman, Bautista, Braun, Cano, Grandy, Alvarez, A Gordon?

    appreciate it

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @MB: Braun, Cano, Alvarez, Fernandez, Gordon.

      If Xander gets called up this year and shows something, I might be tempted to switch him out with Gordon.

      • MB says:
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        @jaywrong: So basically I am not going to like my team next year haha

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @MB: heh, yeah, if you don’t like some of those guys, you might just have to like what they do instead.

          • Robby D says:
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            @jaywrong: If you don’t mind me asking, why Alvarez over Freeman? Isn’t the consistency and higher ceiling of Freeman preferable over the wild swings in ouput from Alvarez?

            • Jay

              jaywrong says:
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              @Robby D: I like the power at 3B, Freeman isn’t very special to me. A 1B who can maybe hit 20 homeruns? Meh.

  3. Robby D says:
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    Ugh, I’m getting hosed in the trade deadline moves. Lost Veras and K-Rod to setup trades and now Moore is on the DL with the dreaded elbow soreness. Who is a good pickup for middle relief innings as a potential closer but who can at least help on K’s and ratios.

    For background I’m in an 8×8 10 team ESPN league where the additional pitching stats are: K/9, QS and Losses.

    My pitching is:
    Bailey
    Lester
    Iwakuma
    Moore
    Cashner
    Streamer-spot

    Cishek
    Veras
    Wilhelmson
    K-Rod
    Clippard (picked up when Moore went down)

    I’m in first place right now and even top 4-5 in most pitching stats, although my offense is stacked and that’s where the bread and butter is for my team. I don’t want to work two streaming spots, so is there a better setup option than Clippard for WHIP, ERA, K’s, K/9 given every closer is taken currently.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Robby D: Hmm. Maybe Joe Smith. Aaron Crow. I’m still keeping an eye on John Axford.

      But honestly, I might just stick with Clippard.

  4. Alex says:
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    Where do I find your to 100 keeper list?

  5. Christophe Lachance-Tardif says:
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    Do you trust Beachy for the 2nd half? If so, would you drop Gallardo for him?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Christophe Lachance-Tardif: I don’t like Gallardo, but I like Beachy much less. I don’t trust him, never have.

  6. Juice_0321 says:
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    My Chris Archer for his Aroldis?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Juice_0321: Yes yes yes. DO IT.

      Haha, can you tell how I feel?

      • Robby D says:
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        @jaywrong: What about his Sterling Archer for Aroldis…

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @Robby D: Does he have abs?

      • Juice_0321 says:
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        @jaywrong: I cant! I dont know you that well. Elaborate maybe!

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @Juice_0321: If you need a closer, which I’m assuming you do, might as well get the best. I like Archer, but he’s due for some regression.

          • Juice_0321 says:
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            @jaywrong: True that Wrong! I am selling high considering his starts against MIN, HOUx2 and the anemic NYY offense.

            • Jay

              jaywrong says:
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              @Juice_0321: I concur fully.

  7. cubjet says:
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    I desperately need a catcher. Who would you trade for Victor Martinez, Bautista or Stanton ?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @cubjet: Hmm, I think from those options, I would rather have an open catcher slot.

  8. cubjet says:
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    I have carlos gonzalez, wil myers, Puig , Stanton and Bautista, so on any given day I am not using one of them. It is a keeper league so I would like to stick with the young guys. It is just trying to get production out of my catcher slot instead of piling up stats on my bench. I am not excited about it, but it is what I have a surplus of.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @cubjet: I hear ya, I understand. But you should be able to pull something better than V-mart. What’s out there? Mauer? Rosario? Especially in a keeper, I’d stay away from Martinez.

      • cubjet says:
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        @jaywrong: It is limited. The few teams that have multiple catchers that are available are out of it and not responding to trade offers. could not get a deal hammered out for the guy who has Napoli. free agents are a lot of hit and miss, soto, aj ellis, mesoraco, Buck. Also we only get to keep 5 guys so it’s not like I’m buying in on Victor for the future. The guy who has him said he would trade him for any one of my outfielders. I have Miguel Montero, who seemed to be coming around but is now sitting out for the second straight night.

        Thanks in advance. You guys are awesome.

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @cubjet: You readers are the awesome ones.

          I’m actually still hopeful for Montero. And I actually own him in the RCL writers league, so at least we’re in this together.

          For what its worth, Bautista is the most expendable here, but honestly, I’d rather stick with what you got. OR maybe stream with the hot guy. I think Soto has been doing some weird things lately. Mesoraco has been looking better.

  9. Chicken Dinner says:
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    Thoughts on Maybin coming back from injury. Drop Ruf for him?

  10. James says:
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    just traded Martin Prado for Austin Jackson… I lost braun for the rest of the season but already swung a goldy plus for McCutchen plus plus trade to fill that need.

    14 team dynasty, so thinking long term. Right now neither are seeing much playing time as primary bench bats (really deep benches and already own a ton of pitching)

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @James: In a keeper? Yeah, I like that deal for you.

  11. T Moore says:
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    Well.. Well …Well…. If it isn’t the Last Great White Hunter, Mr Jay Wrong, returned from his safari…

    Sky had told everyone, you were off killing things the other day..

    Big Game??? Or more of your neighborhood’s pets, again???

    I not sure, I should write on here anymore – as you choose to leave your loyal fans left out on the lurch so much with one flimsy excuse after another anymore…

    My team is in crisis every time you leave… I’m frightened… I’m pouting… I’m panicked.. I’m being ignored… Most of all, I’m confused… Sometimes, it seems, you don’t care one iota about us fans… And getting more personal, me…

    Well…. Here is what has been happening since you last were on..

    Closer-aggeddon has hit me…

    Miggy #1 is out with a tummy strain, again…””(No doubt from overeating at one of those all-you-can-eat places the over round Tiggers like to hit when on the road or at home or in the off season and any other chance they can get… They look more like an semi-pro offensive line football team when lined up than a MLB team with those Buddha bellies of theirs and the way they waddle about on the bases during the games )))..

    I can’t win a game…

    My hitters are not hitting…

    What else???

    What does it matter???? I’m just taking up cyber space on here and wasting my time, it seems

    What makes it all so bad, I know no one else on RazzBall understands me like you do, Mr Wrong…

    Take this morning, when I took the time to quote Milton on the mornng RazzBall show… That nasty little man, Mr Grey, most likely took it was my attempt at tryng to be ‘cool” with some strange lame suburban version at faux Ebonics or something like that, rather than my use of a classic in literature to highlight a point here on RazzBall… It clearly was wasted on him… It all fell into that great void – that is the Morning Razzball Show…

    You certainly would have caught it… You avoid the lowest common denominator approach – the one that our morning host Mr. Grey seems thrive on… Perhaps, that is all he has to offer and I should re-examine my expectations here on RazzBall or at least on the morning show…

    Mr. Rudi is so wrapped up in the those numbers of his, he hardly ever responds.. Tell me the truth??? Is he really real or is he some cyborg computer creation of the evil Dr. Grey???

    Sky, it now is clear, is just killing time until football season starts… He posted about a RazzBall football league/s on a FBB morning show… Can you believe that!!! Well, let me tell you, I quickly let him know what I felt about that… And did not hesitate to add, how I thought you felt about that FF game being mentioned on a RazzBall FBB thread and that you most certainly would not have anything to do with that nasty game either – Was I right???

    And then there is JB! Who is clearly bitter towards you.. (which, I will not abide out of loyalty to you)… Is he jealous??? He is clearly one of the RazzBall’s Morning Show host’s sycophants ( that seem to abound around RazzBall) – a lick spittle of the first order… Fawning on everything Mr. Grey posts and slaving away doing double duty for on the morning show now everyday too – (probably, so Mr Grey can make it to his favorite early early morning opening cocktail lounge for a few wake-me-up pops before starting his day – without being bothered about responding to his commentors in a timely fashion too)… I do feel somewhat sorry for a young person being abused like that… But, let him learn it the hard way.. Its the only way to learn..

    The others, I haven’t met yet… Did not think I needed to, once I had met you, Mr Wrong..

    Perhaps, RazzBall is not for me after all..

    Perhaps, I should take my RazzBall FBB team and like that old FBB team owner of yore just fade fade away…

    Signed; Feeling left out and under appreciated…

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @T Moore: I missed you too.

      – I only hunt people who wear animal ear hats.
      – Your team shall be in crisis no more. So I have decreed. So it shall be done.
      – I’m pretty sure all literature is lost on Grey.
      – Rudy is more Data than Lore, if you get my drift.
      – Sky is always killing time until football season.
      – JB recognizes talent, but realizes he can’t eat it.

      Don’t leave. Stay.

      • T Moore says:
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        @jaywrong:

        Well OK… I’ll stay… But only because, you asked so nicely… And you did fix my team..

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @T Moore: HaZaaa!

  12. Web says:
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    Would you trade Harper? Hes dinged up again and the knee issue doesn’t seem like its going away this season…Any chance they shut him down once they officially fall out of playoff contention?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Web: In a redraft, yeah, I might. In a keeper? I’m holding.

  13. Matt says:
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    Need a MI, I have seager, butler and rizzo to send. He has starlin and alcides. Is Seager for either of those too much to give up?

    I have Weeks right now. Are either starlin or escobar that big of an upgrade over Weeks?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Matt: I might do Butler for Starlin. Not really a big Alcides guy.

      Starlin can be an upgrade over Weeks, but all of them aren’t really knockin my socks off this year.

  14. Chicken Dinner says:
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    Please rank ROS. Marisnick, Gindl, Ruf

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Chicken Dinner: Gindl, Ruf, Marisnick

      This is clearly who is more advanced right now, not who will be. Otherwise, it would be in the order you listed them.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @EL Burro: I’m leaning Maybin, only because I’m not sure Yelich is quite ready yet. But it’s close. I can’t argue with Grey’s choice, simply because they are capable of putting up pretty similar numbers ROS.

  15. Drexel Hill Dragons says:
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    5×5 H2H-keep 5 for as long as you’d like (give up top 5 picks if keeping 5).

    McCutchen, Tulowitzki, Machado, Puig, Rizzo, Zimmerman
    Darvish, David Price, Greinke

    Who you got?

    Thanks!

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Drexel Hill Dragons: Hmm.

      McC, Tulo, Machado, Darvish, Trade the rest for one elite last keeper. Or keep Rizzo.

  16. frankiemc says:
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    Would you trade Justin Upton for Jordan Zimmerman (non keeper)?

    And would you value Zimmerman or Archer higher for the rest of the year?

    Thank You!

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @frankiemc: If I needed pitching? Yes, I would.

      I have Zim over Archer by quite a large margin in a redraft.

  17. frankiemc says:
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    How about these 2 deals….

    Would yo u trade J. Upton and Soriano for Kemp?

    And Kemp and Harvey for Trout?

    Thank you again!

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @frankiemc: no on the first, yes on the second, bit its close.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @frankiemc: unless you need to do the first one to get to the second. Then yes on everything.

  18. The Dredd Pirate says:
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    Couple ideas one should I do my longo for a guys Headley paired with any of these pitchers Sale/Verlander/NatGio? also then something like Lee for Adam Jones or maybe Lee for Bautista and someone i pretty sure I could get good value for my lee my league overvalues pitching what do you think?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @The Dredd Pirate: I’d do that for Verlander or Sale. Yes.

      I also like Lee for Jones or Bautista, but not if it makes your SP thin.

      • The Dredd Pirate says:
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        @jaywrong: what if I do both have i really improved? I would rather have slightly worse pitching and way better hitting becuase I can stream down the strech only have about 400 innings left and have more points to make up in hitting.

  19. Thorbs says:
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    Great writeup, just traded for Headley/Trout along with Yelich, Hanson, Dahl, Skaggs and Hicks in a massive rebuilding effort. Hope you’re right about Chase!

    How do you think Kennedy will do in SD?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Thorbs: I think Kennedy will be a #3 guy. The PetCo park effects seem to be skewing towards neutral now, but the flyballs still get depressed some. And Kennedy looked like he needed a change of scenery. I’m expecting better than this year, but still not 2011.

  20. Chicken Dinner says:
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    Need OF help. Should I drop Lewis or Estarda for Maybin?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Chicken Dinner: I wouldn’t mind dropping Lewis.

  21. Kimosabi says:
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    Hey bro. Bacon!!!!!!
    Great call on porcello last week. Hope he keeps it up. Soju shots and Samgyeopsal for Jay!

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Kimosabi: I support this action!

  22. Bonghuetz says:
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    Can’t do nothin’ with Headley in this title? How about Hedley Lamar from Blazing Saddles? A little old for the kids and 1 girl who read this site but I’m sure Grey and Rudy’s old asses can appreciate it…

    Best quote from said Hedley:

    Taggart: I got it! I know how we can run everyone out of Rock Ridge.
    Hedley Lamarr: How?
    Taggart: We’ll kill the first born male child in every household.
    Hedley Lamarr: [after some consideration] Too Jewish.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Bonghuetz: while it certainly is a classic, I don’t see a title from that. And unfortunately, I’m just as old as they are.

  23. Alex says:
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    Hey Jay, I am going for it this year. Have Buxton. What do you think about pairing Buxton with rizzo to get Goldy or Votto? or Starlin and Buxton for Tulo? Based on your ranks it seems you like Goldy more but this is ops + avg league.

    Thank you in advance

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Alex: hmm. Based on your format, I’d target Votto. I’m okay with that trade if you’re going for it.

Comments are closed.