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I tend to go for safe starters in the front of my staff.  Last year, I had F-Her and Oswalt anchoring my pitching staffs.  Then I’d grab a guy like Jonathan Sanchez around pick 200 because he had upside.  He had downside too.  Wild, can’t-hit-the-broad-side-of-a-barn downside.  I mention this because Edinson Volquez can have the same downside as Filthy Sanchez.  Doesn’t really matter to me.  He’s also got the Ks that I crave.  If I’m in an Italian movie, the subtitles under my mustache read, “Mama mia, those Ks!”  So what can we expect of him in 2011 fantasy baseball?

First, the big question.  Without an injury to someone, is Edinson in the rotation?  I mean, there’s Aroldis, Arroyo, Cueto, Leake, Wood and Bailey.  I’m not worried; Edinson’s in.  (Wood or Leake will probably be out waiting for an injury. (It made me squirm writing Wood, Leake and injury in the same sentence.))  Now is Edinson in the strike zone?  Probably not.  To paraphrase the old-timey minor league baseball fan, “Edinson is wilder than any turkey oughta be.”  Last year, his BB/9 was 5.03.  That’s insannnnnnne, Crazy Eddie.  Luckily, that’s even a bit above where he usually is and pitchers returning from Tommy John surgery do need a bit of time to regain some modicum of control.  In September, his K:BB looked a whole lot more favorable at 31:8 in 27 2/3 IP.  Not saying his control is totally out of the woods, but it should be closer to 4 BB/9.  Still bleh, but the Ks are the nice thing here.  Last year, his K/9 was 9.62.  For starters with more than 60 IP, Edinson ranked fifth.  Right behind, Yovani and Lester.  That’s not a small sample size talking either (as they also say at the Puppetry of the Penis).  Edinson’s good for it.  In 2011, I could see a year that falls between 2008 and 2009 as far as performance.  Say 13-9/3.80/1.35/190 in 185 IP.  This is all assuming Dusty doesn’t throw him in a 22-inning game for the final 13 innings.

  1. Ian says:
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    Oh hello January Grey. Can’t wait for the rankings!

    In the meantime…..I’ve been waiting for an excuse to move on from ARod as one of my three keepers. Is Gonzo’s move to Bean Town a good excuse to kick AssRod to the curb?

  2. big o says:
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    a whip-killing machine .

  3. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Ian: It’s tomato-tomahto. If there’s a lot of 3rd basemen kept then keep A-Rod.

  4. i’ve been snagging volquez at the very end of mocks so i kind of wish you wouldn’t draw attention to him. but i suppose that’s your job.

    i think the reds have to give him a rotation spot, they traded josh hamilton for him.

  5. Hector says:
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    Do we give any credence to Voltron’s ground ball rate for ’10, or are we talkin’ small sample size

  6. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @wily mo: I’ve seen him going at the end of drafts that’s why I’m drawing attention to him.

    @Hector: Small sample size.

  7. Eddy says:
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    ***The 4th Razzball Mock is open***

    It’s taking place this Thursday, January 6th, at 7 pm EST.

    password is schmohawk.

    P.S: It’s 3 rounds longer (25 rds instead of 22 rds) simply because I didn’t realize that I could modify the draft set up to mock (hehe) that of ESPNs. So now it’s set up EXACTLY like an RCL.

    Hope to see you there!

  8. Joe says:
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    Hey grey, I know this a bit off topic, but last year my league was ruined by pitcher streamers. I did a cbs league for cash and just want to make sure this type of thing does not happen again. Is there a way to join leagues that limits this like with an innings cap or something? I can’t seem to find a clear answer on this and the streaming is totally absurd.

  9. Steve says:
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    @big o: Guess I won’t be scooping you by taking him.
    Would be nice to do it at least once.

  10. Tony says:
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    @Joe: set an inning max and once a team reaches it their pitching stats STOP tallying…. I think in the RCL’s it was 1100? I can’t remember.

    Teams have to throw quality starters, pick and choose on starts more, and can’t just keep dropping and adding to accumulate.

  11. SwaggerJackers says:
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    Hey January Grey, enough Sleepers let’s get this rankings show on the road.

  12. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Joe: What Tony said. Can set it at 180 starts total or 1200 IP thereabouts.

  13. sean says:
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    Interesting take on CarGo on Rotographs — http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/projecting-carlos-gonzalez/ — He was so red hot for almost all the season that people forget he had such a low walk rate (32 BB in 587 PA) and such a high swing-and-miss rate (think Frenchy and Vlad bad). He could be in line for a major regression instead of being that late first/early second rounder that most have him pegged for…

  14. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @sean: Great segway, Cargo extended 7yrs 80mil.

  15. sean says:
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    @Joe: You can limit streaming in CBS leagues by joining weekly rather than daily leagues. Otherwise, CBS, unless you pay and create your own custom league, only has MINIMUM IP and not maximum.

    What I found the most frustrating was that there were 3-4 streamers in some of my CBS leagues. It meant that they could stream and essentially punt ERA/WHIP BUT still end up with a 3-4 instead of a 1 in those categories as long as they were better than the other streamers. This scary because they are almost guaranteed the 10 in W/K. That’s like having a 7 in 4 categories, which is basically the target for a balanced team…

  16. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @sean: I miss uncle Jimi.

  17. Joe says:
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    The same thing happened to me man, CBS has such a solid interface but it was 3-4 streamers in every league. It ruins the fun so much, it isn’t even worth playing. Are there daily leagues with innings caps that like all people can join on any site really? I dont have a ton of friends that play and would like a league I can join online for money and it be fair, I don’t have the time to stream 10 leagues like the people did in ours, but I also really want daily roster moves… suggestions?

  18. Eddy says:
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    @sean:

    I can’t really see CarGo regressing as dramatically as people think. I think that a .280/ 25-30 HR/ 90-100 RBI/ with 20 SB is completely doable.

    Granted, I don’t think those stats are 1st round numbers, but they’re definitely 2nd round numbers.

    I’m still wondering why people use the fact that he performed extremely well at home as a deterrent. I mean, isn’t this expected? When you play 81 games in one of the top 3 hitter’s parks in baseball, you’re bound to completely outperform your road stats.

    I think a comparison to an Alfonso Soriano in his prime (2002-2006) is a perfect example of how CarGo will play out.

    Regardless, like I’ve said many times on her before, I’m loving the fact that I keep him in the 13th for my H2H league next year!

  19. Spartacus says:
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    Hey Grey,

    Just got an interesting offer in my keeper league. Let me know what you think.

    I Give:
    Konerko at $9
    Ian Stewart at $2

    I Get:

    Chris Carpenter at $8
    Curtis Grandersen at $15
    Brian Matusz at $7

    I can only keep 9 guys and I am on the fence about keeping Matusz for this year. In terms of pitching i already have Haren, CC, Lester
    and i have a Dunn in my 1B slot already (OBP league). And the only OF keeper I have is Holliday.

    Thanks,

    Sparty

  20. NoonTime says:
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    @Joe:
    Did you do the razzball leagues last year? Some of those are money leagues as a side gig to going for the sweet jacket! They are standard 5×5 roto though and not H2H. My suggestion is to keep reading/commenting here and you can probably find an opening in a good league. (granted you should prefer to be the only razzballer in your big money league)

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @sean: I already have an overrated post written for him.

    @Joe: Yeah, all my roto leagues have maxes. Daily moves or not.

    @Spartacus: Looks fine for you.

  22. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Love keeping him for 10 bucks though.

  23. SwaggerJackers says:
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    @Grey: I know you can’t accurately write your rankings until Beltre and Bartolo Colon sign but try your best.

  24. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Yeah, that’s not bad.

    @SwaggerJackers: Colon is a big wild card. Emphasis on big, wild and, I guess, card.

  25. sean says:
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    @Eddy: I totally agree with you. I don’t even think it’s a question of regression; it’s a question of replication. Ask those who drafted Matt Kemp last year. He has a lot of the same issues that CarGo has (low walk rate, high swinging strike).

    I don’t think you can draft ANY OF these days thinking that he’s going to give you first-round return. Cargo, Hamilton, Braun, Kemp, and Crawford all have significant risk of putting up 12th round numbers or not finishing a season due to injuries; risk to me that far outweighs the reward.

  26. JoeC says:
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    @Sean
    I can’t see Braun ever putting up “12th round numbers”. He’s a pretty consistent stud who will give you at least 2nd round numbers (of course, to get him, you’ll have to draft him in the 1st round).

  27. Mike from Jersey says:
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    @JoeC: @sean:

    Braun has played 150+ games 3 years in a row. He is entering that “magical” 27 year old season. And is in a pretty loaded lineup (weeks fielder hart mcgehee surround him, and i think im missing some one.)
    The Brewers new manager was on the Angels staff, and he has already stated he wants to run a lot. There’s a better chance that he puts up top 3 numbers than 12th round. I think Braun goes back to 2009, .315-33-115-22

  28. Brede says:
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    Have 2 picks coming up in a keeper. Which 2 would you pick of these: Gallardo, Haren, Granderson, Jeter, Hamels, Rasmus and BJ Upton

  29. i’m officially downgrading alfredo simon for next year

  30. just noticed that all three of dunn, reynolds and carlos pena are switching not just teams but leagues this offseason. a lot of times hitters who switch leagues have slow first halves while they adjust to a bunch of unfamiliar pitchers (which is also something to think about amid all this adrian gonzalez euphoria, by the way, in addition to the labrum surgery a lot of people seem to be forgetting he had). is that still likely to be the case with the all-or-nothing squad, or do they not care as much who the pitcher is?

  31. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Brede: Upton and Gallardo….

    @wily mo: Good call!

    @wily mo: With interleague and pitchers switching leagues, I don’t think it’s much of an issue.

  32. Mike from Jersey says:
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    Hey January Grey. A couple days ago i asked about my keepers, and im pretty set on what im doing, barring pre-draft trade. its a 12 team, h2h points league that gives pitchers more value than most leagues.
    im going with: braun, josh johnson, gallardo, hamels, youk/pedroia. How would you feel about those? Good or need upgrading?

  33. Hennessey says:
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    I haven’t done any mocks so I’m not sure where Drew Stubbs is being taken. If it’s relatively late will there be a sleeper post for him maybe? He hit for hardly any power in the minors and might have had a flukish-type season, so maybe he could even fall into an overrated post. What are your thoughts on Stubbs for 2011?

  34. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: I’m not sure what I’m looking at.

    @Mike from Jersey: Well, all of them are upgradeable except Braun. They’re not bad though.

    @Hennessey: He is getting a sleeper post, it’s already written.

  35. big o says:
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    @Grey:

    the D12 article (the one with the beltre picture) lists a like to razzball
    on the second page ….(link #9)

  36. GopherDay says:
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    The Red’s GM stated that Chapman will stay in the bullpen as their primary lefty reliever.

  37. big o says:
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    @big o:

    edit *
    like = link

  38. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: Ah… Thanks for the heads up!

    @GopherDay: Yeah, that would make sense.

  39. The Vaporizers says:
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    Good morning Grey and Happy New Year.

    I just wanted to find out your thoughts on Jay Bruce. He’s still only 23 and has tons of potential. Do you believe that he will be fully recovered from his wrist injury and put up a home run total in the 40 neighborhood?

    It’s my first year in a dynasty league that has been going on for years, and we keep 6. I am thinking about trading for Bruce by trading a draft round improvement (not involving the first 4 rounds) since his owner will not be keeping him. I would be keeping him over Victorino or Haren (already keeping Lester and Verlander).

    Some people are really high on Bruce, while others lost their belief in him. I am still a believer. Are you?

  40. pjtres says:
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    reports are that beltre is headed to Texas on a 6 year deal…

    do you think beltre can get to 90/25/100/.280 if thats true? or more?

  41. GopherDay says:
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    Beltre close to a deal with the rangers for 6 years….I predict that they’ll regret that deal as soon as next year.

  42. There are probably more leagues with innings limits than not these days.If you join a league with no limits,you have absolutely no legitimate complaint.

  43. Steve says:
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    Gregg to the O’s. Guess he’s the Alfredo Simon handcuff…

  44. mike from jersey says:
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    What do u think of mark teixeria this year? Goes back to 2009 numbers? Are his terribly slow starts too annoying for you?

  45. @Steve: too many choices for jokes there. not even bothering. level 3 complete. well done.

    also. yahoo people not buying volquez as a sleeper? EXCELLENT NEWS

    @mike from jersey: i keep on wanting to think teixeira’s getting old and then looking at his actual age and realizing he’s not at all. he should be himself. unless someone can explain why last year was a real thing. i almost never draft him because of the slow starts, because there’s almost always some other 1B being drafted after him that i like better, and because i’m a red sox fan and the yankee fans get him sooner. but i doubt there’s anything fundamentally wrong with him.

  46. Steve says:
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    @wily mo: You wound me! Not my best. Probably only a ‘Hehe’ on the Albright scale.

  47. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @The Vaporizers: I believe in Bruce and would want him over either of those players.

    @pjtres: Might come close to that, but he manages to sign deals then hit 12 homers so I’m still not a fan.

    @Steve: Hehe

    @mike from jersey: Back to 2009

  48. @Steve: i didn’t mean to wound anybody

  49. sean says:
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    @JoeC: @Mike from Jersey:

    I wouldn’t take him in the first round for two reasons:
    (1) a precipitous decline in ISO each of the past 3 seasons (.310 -> .268 -> .231 -> .197). Typically, the best sluggers put up ISO between .275 and .300. That tells me that Braun is unlikely to return to the 35 HR level that made him a top-5 look; and
    (2) lineup: Weeks (oft-injured); Fielder (exposed inside last year); Hart (inconsistent underperformer); and McGehee (blech).

    Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t punt on Braun if he came to me in the second round, but I think selecting him in the first round, especially over more dependable power sources, is playing with fire. I see him settling in the mold of a Matt Holliday type than a threat for 40 HR, which he would need to approach to return first-round value…

  50. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Does Tall Chris Young in Metco get your mustache twitching?

  51. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Eh, maybe if he’s on waivers I might get excited. I’m not drafting him.

  52. @sean: i’ve heard tell that braun got plunked on the elbow by hanson sometime last year and seemed off afterwards. anybody know anything about that? is that a real thing or more of a rationalization? raise your hand if you can feel ryan braun’s elbow pain or lack thereof. we need to hear from you.

    if you look at braun’s career page it’s hard to tell the difference between him and votto, in terms of what it seems like he ought to be doing next year, except that braun just had 10 homers go missing last year for no visible reason and nobody likes it.

    his strikeout rate’s been declining steadily at the same time, and walk rate increasing. you have to wonder if that’s connected.

    also, tell me more about this fielder being exposed inside thing. his numbers were normal with the bases empty and horrible with runners in scoring position, so it’s strange. i’ve been eyeing him with the whole one-off-year / age 27 / contract year situation. but if there’s actually a flaw the pitchers found, that changes things.

  53. thinking about fallout from beltre to texas, assuming it happens. winners: beltre, obviously. texas pitchers. losers: moreland, david murphy – michael young may well soak up some of their PT now. (was thinking murphy might get some DH time, but he probably wasn’t if vlad came back either.) also vlad – not going back to texas now, sounds like anaheim instead.

    if kinsler gets hurt again might young sneakily pick up 2B eligibility? wonder if he can still hack the MI.

  54. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @wily mo: They have backup 2nd basemen besides Young, he’s better at SS anyway, much shallower position.

  55. Mike from Jersey says:
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    I put up a forum on rotoworld, telling everyone to check out your site and how good it is. Hope you get more site traffic, janaury grey, be ready!

  56. Eddy says:
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    I saw some talks about the closer situation in Baltimore and I read from that Brittany Ghiradelli (I know that’s not her last name, but it’s close right?) that Koj is the front runner…

    And Bill James and Fans projections are loving Drew Stubbs. I saw that during the last razzball mock and now that I see a sleeper post has been written I’m even more intrigued.

    Btw, one last spot in the Razzball mock! It’s tomorrow at 7 pm EST. Password is schmohawk

  57. GopherDay says:
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    @Eddy: Ah! I thought it was tonight. I’m not sure I’ll be available or not, but I’ll post if I can’t make it so hopefully someone else can fill my slot.

  58. Eddy says:
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    @GopherDay:

    Cmon now, don’t make it two MIAs in a row!

  59. sean says:
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    @wily mo: If you are comparing Votto and Braun, and wondering where the 10 home runs went, look at the ISO. Votto’s has steadily increased every full season in the league. Braun’s has steadily declined since his stellar rookie campaign. Last year Votto was at .276 (4th in MLB) and Braun was at .197 (44th). Both are excellent hitters, but Votto is trending toward more power. Braun’s power appears to be on the decline. My caveat is that this is more of a broad sweeping generalization based upon a single statistic than any definitive answer. I just think that to build a winning fake baseball team, you can’t rely on 35 HR from an outfielder, and if you draft Braun in the first, passing on the usual thumpers on the corners, you’re doing exactly that. You can make up runs and SB speed later in the draft, especially the way that MLB offense is trending; you can make up average later in the draft; but if you mis-account for power and production in the early rounds, you’ve lost your league before you had a chance to win it. As the old adage goes, you can’t ever win your league in the draft, but you can certainly lose it.

    That said, I’m not sure that I wouldn’t pass on Votto in the first round either. Dare I say he’s overrated for 2011. I mean, he can’t really improve on last year, can he? I try to go with more conservative plays early, and I’d like to see Votto put up more than one MVP-type season before I take him in the first round. I won leagues last year because I was able to get an up-and-comer like Votto in the fourth round and Carlos Gonzalez in the middle rounds.

  60. sean says:
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    @Eddy: Brit is the MLB “insider” jock sniffer for BAL. She’s not getting any info that isn’t force fed to her by media relations…

  61. GopherDay says:
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    @Eddy: I know…I have something planned for Thursday and I’m not 100% sure I’m going yet. If I am then no go…

  62. sean says:
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    @GopherDay: You mean you have something better to do with your life than mock draft for the 14th time by January 7, 2011? Bitch please.

  63. Howard says:
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    @Grey Happy New Year! Looking forward to the upcoming rankings. In a keeper league would you deal Beckham and Moreland for Arod and Tex? Or do they have more down-the-road upside as opposed to up-the-road downside? Thanks!

  64. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Howard: Happy New Year! I would take A-Rod and Tex but I’m not sure who would take the other side.

  65. sean says:
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    @Grey: @Howard: Jeff Bagwell for Larry Anderson, anyone?

  66. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @sean: I’m not sure about that Bagwell guy. He needs to beef up a little, otherwise he’s just an OBP guy.

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