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Wow, assembling this week’s list of players made me dizzy with enthusiasm. No. I’m lying. To help write this post, I have a hired a shadow writer sorta speak. Readership meet my shadow writer — Vodka. Vodka, meet readership. What did you say? Drink more? Silly you. You’re already empty! Let’s get this thing started before I get prescribed anti-depressants.

I’ve become abnormally scared of Astros’ hitters lately, since the entire lineup performed seppuku in front of Yu Darvish, and then, thinking that wasn’t enough, continued the trend for the rest of the week. But at-bats are at-bats. Right now sharing a platoon with Adam Lind Jeff Francoeur Rick Ankiel from the left side, Brandon Barnes will be trying to prove that he is simply not a bench guy. He did dominate the Texas League last season with a .944 OPS. Promoted to AAA, he provided a slash of 323/383/477. Even with solid defense, he’s quite old for a prospect (26) and doesn’t have much of a ceiling. But the floor isn’t terrible, and if he continues to get starts, I think a 270/330/400 would be the high end. Worth a gamble if you are light in the outfield.

Well, looky what I did. The minute I mention Mark DeRosa as someone to not really pay attention to, what does he do? He gains my attention of course. Well, not too much attention, after all, he is hitting .154, which, yes I know, is in only 18 plate appearances. But let’s not forget that in 101 at-bats last year he managed to reach a lofty .188 BA. So yeah, he probably won’t help you there. But he is part of a platoon at third until Brett Lawrie comes off the DL. And though he most likely doesn’t throw helmets to the ground with as much style and grace, what he can do is provide spotty power, if you are desperate for such a thing. I know I am in a few leagues, which is why a new vodka bottle has been opened. He will most likely provide you with 10+ homeruns if he gets 150-300 PA’s, but his rate stats won’t be pretty. Then again, with that many PA’s, it might not hurt you anyhow if the power is there. Something to think about.

All clueless managers have ‘Inception’ like totems to keep their reality in line with their stupidity. Dusty Baker has his toothpicks, Jim Tracy has his line-up cards, and Jim Leyland has Don Kelly. And most likely a weak bladder. The guy doesn’t really do anything special, but I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this guy in the three-hole, or five-hole, when really he should just be in a hole. He doesn’t do anything particularly well, and in 365 career games, we know what he is. Basically a 230/280/340 guy, which is semi-acceptable… for a shortstop. But I mention him only because if Victor Martinez continues to struggle, using my wizardry powers, ah screw that. Just basing this on what I’ve seen Leyland do in the past, I’m pretty sure some at-bats will filter to Kelly. If he does start getting playing time, the rate stats, like DeRosa, will not help. But he could give you 10 homeruns and 5 stolen bases with whatever RBI’s and Runs go with that. I don’t know, maybe 40/40 if your lucky. I know it doesn’t show, but I love deep leagues. I swear.

A personal favorite of mine, Max Kepler stands at 6-4 and is a left-handed hitter and thrower that plays the corner outfield spots. Now 20 years old, the Minnesota prospect was signed out of Germany in 2009. So far, he is considered very athletic for his frame, but will most likely end up in left-field or first base. Kepler already has good control of the strike-zone and has good natural power that is getting more consistent. His European background will buy patience developmentally, and the best comp I can give you is Shawn Green if it all comes together.

Once holding tempered upside in the Colorado rotation, Esmil Rogers now finds himself in the Blue Jays’ bullpen. Back in 2010, you could pinpoint his troubles more with misfortune then anything else. In 2011, that simply was not the case. His inflated walk rate caught up to him, and while he’s always had pretty filthy stuff, MLB hitters just don’t care if you can’t throw it down the middle once and while. But this is a guy who has consistently thrown better than his ERA indicates, and he did a decent job after moving to bullpen last year. He put up a career high 9.50 K/9 and had a stable 3.25 BB/9, a career low. If he continues to harness his stuff in this role, there could be some strikeout potential here for you to bank on. His FIP was 3.48 in 2012, and if he can bring that down a little, 85+ strikeouts ain’t too shabby a thing to slot into your third or fourth reliever spot.

Most of the bullpen news in Cleveland usually goes to either Chris Perez and Vinnie Pestano. It could be because Joe Smith has the whitest name ever, or perhaps he just does his job consistently well, but doesn’t do anything really special at the same time. He can be counted on for a 3.00 ERA, minus or plus a quarter of a run, and is capable of a good, but not great, 7.00 K/9. While he is unlikely to get you any saves, he could vulture some wins, and not hurt you in any particular way. In deep leagues, sometimes having a neutral player has value. And I give you a neutral player with a very neutral name.

Sounding like a character straight out of Game of Thrones, Storm Throne was drafted as a junior from Omaha. He stands at 6-7 and has a live fastball that clocks consistently in the mid-90’s. Projected as a reliever due to lack of good secondary pitches, right now, he is very much a project. Pitching for the White Sox Rookie League team, he’s shown iffy control, but has shown a little promise with keeping the ball in the park and the ability to strike hitters out. He’ll need to develop some kind of off-speed or breaking ball pitch to be relevant  If he’s able to get one to average or plus, Throne could achieve elite reliever potential. Keep tabs on him, if only because his name sounds awesome. We should all root for guys in baseball with awesome names. In fact, I think next week I’ll talk about Zebulon Sneed. I’m not yanking your chain, that is a real baseball player. I’ll tell you about him next time!

 

  1. Mike

    Mike says:
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    Great stuff, Jay. Rogers was a lot of fun to watch when he was here in Cleveland.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Mike: thanks Mike. Looking forward to your next post!

  2. The Dredd Pirates says:
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    hey do you like i get castro samarjda i just hit my keyboard at random hope i spelled the name right and as i digress i give latos zimmerman jordan not ryan and nelson cruz.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @The Dredd Pirates: Hah, that’s a good strat for typing his name! Depending on who the replacements are, yeah, I’d do that.

      • The Dredd Pirate says:
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        @jaywrong:
        of i’m fine cruz is just a utility and my starting pitching would be if he accepted bum samarjda aj griff J-Fer Ryu I would think it would be good plus helps my k’s and i’m on the it’s so jaywrong it’s jaywright fantasy plan who comes to razzball for help from rudy and grey thats nonsense…I’ll just rise above with samarjah-crap can’t remember how to spell it and yonder alonso and will venibale.. or just crash and burn and call my team the jaywrong all star’s haha.

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @The Dredd Pirate: Hah, yes, we certainly have our likes and dislikes.

          If your team does crash and burn, that badge of honor sounds appropriate!

  3. Jim says:
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    With Marmol out as closer in Chicago and Fujikawa on the DL, who do you like as the Cubs’ closer? Camp? Russell? Somebody else?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Jim: I’d say Camp. Russell will get some LH matchup saves here and there too.

  4. Mountain Man says:
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    Good article. Sorry but this is off-topic.

    I was thinking of picking up Billingsley for the Padres matchup on Monday, but if he is just going to plunk someone in the 1st and get ejected why should I bother. Anyone got opinions a out what will go down?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Mountain Man: Thanks. Yeah, not a fan of Billingsley. If he gets ejected like that, might be his best start of the year.

      The Quentin/Grienke thing was idiotic and all sides. Retaliation, in this case, is just another way to say hissy fit. I frankly don’t care, just as long as the issue resolves it quickly, or the umps make it clear that they aren’t in the mood.

      • Mountain Man says:
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        @jaywrong: Thanks. Yeah, prob won’t bother. He’s not good anyway. Best thing would prob be to just hit the first guy in the ass, get ejected, and both sides move on. I cannot imagine that the Dodgers will just let it go though. Having a son that plays ball and watches the games with me, I don’t like any of it.

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @Mountain Man: I totally agree.

  5. The Guru

    The Guru says:
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    Nice work, Jay. Do you own a Zebulan Sneed jersey?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @The Guru: That’s prolly the idea of the year right there.

  6. Dan Pants

    Dan Pants says:
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    Nice, we both worked Game of Thrones references in this Saturdays posts. Keep up the good work.

    Shomer shabbos!

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Dan Pants: Great minds…

  7. Alex says:
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    Choose two going forward: Bailey (BOS), Casilla (SF), Santos (TOR), Cashner (SD).

    • Alex says:
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      @Alex:

      Not sure how “deep” those guys would be considered. Do we think Cashner is going to get into the rotation this season?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Alex: Casilla, Cashner, Santos, Bailey in that order.

      Cashner might at some point, that’s always been the goal. But I feel like it’ll be a post-allstar break type of thing.

  8. Jack Full of Hate says:
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    would Barnes be a stash in a 20 teamer, or is the upside not worth sitting on a guy that should be available for a while, unless he gets crazy hot

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Jack Full of Hate: Sup Jack. Yeah, for your bench? I think he is. I have Kotsay on my bench in a 20 teamer… so yeah, would love to upgrade that spot, if only a little.

      • Jack Full of Hate says:
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        @jaywrong: Sup JayMoney. i told you I would still read your articles. I like a good back and fourth

  9. Fratstar says:
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    Given their shoddy performances thus far…would you consider trading Votto or Stanton for an ace pitcher?

    ie., Hamels?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Fratstar: Maybe Stanton, since there are some things I’m reading about his shoulder being iffy… never a good sign. Even then, I’d stick with them. You don’t want to sell low, and elite hitters are always more valuable than elite pitchers. So unless you’re blown away with an offer…

  10. Dave the Barber says:
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    Hey Jay,

    I’m in a 14 team league and we have one MI slot. A guy that just joined the league offered me Gallardo, Neil Walker, and Asdrubal for Peavy and Weeks. What do you think I should do?

    Thanks,
    DTB

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Dave the Barber: yeah, I like that trade for you.

      • Dave the Barber says:
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        @jaywrong: Thanks. I’m worried about Gallardo though.

        • jason batteiger says:
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          @Dave the Barber: it’s april; by that i don’t mean it’s early and just wait till it’s not early, i mean gallardo is ALWAYS bad in april. Grey mentioned this on the 12th.

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @Dave the Barber: NP, he isn’t the catch for me. I like the MI upgrades. And Peavy is risky as well.

          • Dave the Barber says:
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            @jaywrong: Hey guys thanks for the input. I’ve owned Gallardo three of the past four years and you’re spot on Jason. Jay you’re spot on too. I should be able to parlay one of them into some kind of trade in the near future (or Rutledge/ D.Espinosa) because there is nothing (save Crawford) on the wire. I pulled the trigger. Here’s hoping.

  11. Fister Furbush says:
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    Entertaining post!

    I have a roster related question for you.

    I’m thinking about grabbing Chase Headley off of the free agent list and I have 4 pitchers in mind that I’m trying to decide who to drop for Headley.

    Jake Peavy
    Brandon Morrow
    Mariano Rivera
    Wade Miley

    Would you drop any one of them for a hard hitting Headley?

    • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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      @Fister Furbush: I would drop any of them for Headley.

      Order would be Miley, Peavy, Morrow, Rivera

      • Fister Furbush says:
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        @Wallpaper Paterson:

        I took your advice Paterson! Thanks for putting it out there and giving me a second opinion. I was leaning towards Miley too.

  12. stynyr says:
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    10-team, H2H, 5×5
    c-Perez
    1b-Ike Davis
    2b-Rutledge
    3b-Longoria
    ss-Lowrie
    of-Braun, CarGo, Choo
    util-Jennings
    util-Alex Gordon
    sp-Kershaw, Moore, Harvey, Minor, Bailey, Cahill, Ryu, Teheran, Jose Fernandez
    rp-Soriano, Janssen, Holland
    dl-Garza, Reyes

    Drop Teheran for someone like Melancon? I know that’s vague but I need some ERA help and I’m lookign at some setup guys to bring it down a bit?

    Also, what do you think about dropping one of my OFs for Fowler? Is that crazy or [Guiness commercial guys]Brilliant![/Guinness commercial guys]?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @stynyr: I’d hold on pitching. Let the sample size grow a bit before you start tinkering.

      I’d prolly drop Jennings for Fowler… but that leaves you at a disadvantage at SB.

  13. Isotopes says:
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    Picked up Duda for next week since he has 4 games at Coors Field but now I have a glut at OF and Utility. Wells, Gardner, Dominic Brown, and Duda for two utility spots. I have Bautista, Rios, and Bourn locked in to my outfield all ready. Head to Head league, what do you think?

    • Fister Furbush says:
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      @Isotopes:

      If you are set on starting Duda, I’d start him and Wells. Dominick Brown is a close third behind Duda. Hope this helps.

  14. joeg414 says:
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    need a extra OF in a daily mixed 6×6 roto league; S.Smith or Reimold?

    • Fister Furbush says:
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      @joeg414:

      Reimold.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @joeg414: Ride Smith while he’s hot.

  15. Visionary1 says:
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    Cmon, This is Deep Impact. If you haven’t heard of Zebulon Sneed before, you don’t deserve to be here.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Visionary1: Truer words have never been spoken!

  16. Ryan says:
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    Would u use Ryu(dodgers) as a streamer or keep him?
    He was great last night but not sure i want to start him at Baltimore this week
    Thanks!

  17. Ryan says:
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    Thanks!!!

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @Ryan: np!

  18. R3velation says:
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    The only whole in my lineup is third base. I’m starting Trevor plouffe right now but Donaldson and manny machado are available. Do I still with plouffe goes the dynamite or pick up one of the latter. Thanks.

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @R3velation: I’d go with Machado.

  19. joeg414 says:
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    I need a Corner for today:Mayberry or Gillaspie?

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @joeg414: purely gut call… Mayberry.

  20. joeg414 says:
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    Gyorko or Marwin Gonzalez as a backup middle inf? 13 team (deep) mixed daily roto

  21. joeg414 says:
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    Luis Jimenez -Angels is also available

    • Jay

      jaywrong says:
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      @joeg414: Gyorko.

  22. Travie McCoy says:
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    Looking for some roster advice to the crowd here. 12t 5×5. Might have gone too all-in on SAGNOF strategy and trying to figure out if I need to tinker. Rotation not a strength either.

    Lineup: Salvador, Goldy, BPhill, Rutledge, Miggy, Hamilton, Choo, Dez Jennings
    Util/Bench: Puma, Pence, Ike, Lowrie, Arencibia, Teix (DL spot)
    Rotation: JZimm, Lester, Shark, Estrada and roster spot allocated to streaming (fairly unsuccessfully thus far).
    Pen: Cishek, Boggs, Herrera, Pestano

    Top FA options that I’m considering:
    Greinke, Moustakas, McCann (over Arencibia?), Everth or Bonifacio (over Lowrie?)

    Is Greinke a must-add? Trade a hitter for a RP or wait it out?

    Appreciate any comments, thanks for reading. Love Razzball.

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