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Ervin Santana is likely headed to the DL and we hate to be the ones to say, “I told you so,” but we did. We told you 20 risky pitchers to be careful of for 2009 fantasy baseball.  Rudy said this about Ervin Santana, “Santana bounced back from a Homeschooled 2007 (1-10, 8.38 ERA on road) to have a career year in 2008.  He’s maintained steady pitch counts the last 3 years but his growing over-reliance on his slider (21% in ‘06 to 33% in ‘08) and near-abandoning of the changeup (9.6% to 3.9%) make him a riskier than average proposition in 2009.”  And that’s me quoting Rudy!  If you’ve drafted Ervin already, Rudy put the kavorka on you.  To reverse the hex, you need a buzzard’s wing, seven bottles of Tabasco, a beetle and a solid three other starters.

The Angels are being optimistic saying they don’t think Ervin Santana will miss a lot of the season.  An arm injury in spring training is exactly what you don’t want from a starter.  Me being optimistic says Ervin will have a similar fantasy impact to John Lackey of last year.  Say 20 starts, decent peripherals.  Then again, don’t be surprised if you hear similar things about John Lackey’s elbow.  With this news, Ervin Santana moves to the top 40 starters and out of the top 100 overall.

In other fantasy news, A-Rod injury is requiring surgery after all.  I removed him from the top 20 overall, where he was briefly at 23, and placed him 40th on the top 100 and updated his projections.  He’s now a risky pick in the 4th round and I’d look elsewhere.  A-Rod seems like a good guy to trade for in June when the owner who drafted him is falling behind in the standings and is fed up with waiting around.

  1. Ross says:
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    hey grey been a while! offered victorino for mclouth. you think last season was a stepping stone or an abberation for mclouth?

    also my pitching staff is in order of overall super-ness : billingsly, roy o, zambrano (worried), josh johnson, harang, cueto, jered weaver with broxton, soria, bell and qualls for saves. leaguemates giving me shit for it cuz i didnt reach for johan or the like. what do you think? 10 team h2h

  2. Mowses says:
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    For what it’s worth, Pelfrey is on the list too and and also hurt, though it’s not related to his pitching arm.

    I had my first draft yesterday and picked a-rod in the 3rd round. Maybe a little early but i was able to get Zimmerman as replacement later. I won’t draft a-rod in my other leagues though.

    How does draft day strategy vary when you play you play a H2H points league?

  3. Nick says:
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    Hey Grey back for more advice for fantasy baseball 2009…had my draft last night and I’m pretty satisfied. I’m currently studying abroad in London so I had to draft at 2AM while it was 10PM in the US. Also had some problems with my internet which kicked in auto-draft for 2 players but all in all I think I’m alright. Here it is…

    Yahoo H2H League of 10 teams. Following is my picks in round order with the pick # in brackets.

    1. (3) José Reyes SS
    2. (18) B.J. Upton OF
    3. (23) Chase Utley 2B
    4. (38) Jake Peavy SP
    5. (43) Aramis Ramírez 3B
    6. (58) Adrián González 1B
    7. (63) Josh Beckett SP
    8. (78) Chad Billingsley SP
    9. (83) Hunter Pence OF (auto-pick although round 9 is not bad?)
    10. (98) Bobby Abreu OF
    11. (103) Carlos Peña 1B
    12. (118) Bobby Jenks RP
    13. (123) Raúl Ibañez OF
    14. (138) Adam Wainwright SP
    15. (143) Mike Napoli C (auto-pick, def could have gotten him later)
    16. (158) Erik Bedard SP
    17. (163) Torii Hunter OF
    18. (178) Kevin Slowey SP
    19. (183) Jered Weaver SP
    20. (198) José López 1B,2B
    21. (203) Joey Devine RP

    My biggest problem I see as of now is closers. I only have 2 and Devine doesn’t look like he is going to do anything based on the recent news. There is not much available so looks like I’ll be waiting for the first few weeks to go by before making a wire pickup.

    Thought it was really funny to see A-Rod go first round pick 2!seriously? I’m also dealing with amateurs though…

  4. Kevin says:
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    I don’t think A Roid is going to slip all that far. No way do I want one of my first two or three picks to have that much risk though.

  5. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Ross: Hey, man, good to see you! Victorino and McLouth are so similar there’s no reason to make that trade. Your pitching’s fine. I’d hold tight.

    @Mowses: In general? I’d go for guys that are steady producers and veer clear of guys that are very streaky.

    @Nick: I like your team a lot. Not having any closers isn’t ideal in any league, but it’s almost doable in a H2H league. Either way, you should be able to find plenty of closers in a 10 team league where the guys are amateurs. 198 for Lopez is insane. Overall, you did well, good draft.

  6. @Nick: Nice draft. Not sure on the format for Y! H2H. Is it still 3 OF / 3 UTIL with no CI/MI and 2 SP, 2 CL, 3 SP?

    if that’s the case, you definitely came away too light on closers. but i love Peavy/Beckett/C-Bill/Wainwright/Bedard/Slowey. i can see starting 5 (dropping the one with worst matchups) and dominating Wins, K’s with a solid chance at taking ERA/WHIP. even with 2 closers, you’ll probably net a couple ‘wins’ in saves.

    on the hitting, you got some ridiculous bargains. abreu at #98? A-Gonz in the 6th round? Torii in Round #17? Your team seems too SB heavy (it’s only one point out of 5) at the expense of HR/RBI. i think Upton at #18 might have been your worst pick – you already had Reyes! Grab a big bat. I’d look to trade Upton for a Carlos Lee type and/or an OF who can get 25/90 and a top closer.

  7. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    Love that your injury analysis is working so far… thanks, guys.

    I had my first draft of the year last night… feel pretty good about it. I want to pick up Dukes off the wire, and want to know if I should drop Carpenter or Kuroda for him. Current OF is Quentin, Kemp, Victorino and I have Votto at Util. (it’s a shallow h2h league). My pitching is pretty okay with Billingsley, Lackey, Gallardo, Weaver, Harang, Kuroda and Carpenter with 4 closers. Closers: Brox, Qualls, Francisco, Devine.

    Word.

  8. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @IowaCubs: Drop Kuroda!

    He’s so blahtastic he’s making my gums ache.

    Carpenter is high-risk/high-upside, which you should be embracing with both arms in March/April.

  9. Nick says:
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    @ Rudy: Not sure what some of those abbreviations are relating to but Yahoo league formats for pitching is 2SP 2RP & 3P.

    @Rudy & Grey: Currently the available closers are Hanrahan, Frank Francisco, Wheeler & Balfour (maybe Percival will fall off with his old age) R Franklin, Corocan, Ray.

    Would you make a move and drop Devine or someone else for one of them, or wait till the start of the season?

  10. Frank Rizzo says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: I’d echo Rudy’s take on your 2nd round pick Nick. Reyes is a special talent and well worth the #3 pick overall, but you need to make up for the power you just lost out on in the 1st round with a 2nd round HR/RBI guy. Based on ADP you could get a guy like Berkman, Beltran, Carlos Lee, or Fielder in that area.

  11. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Nick: What’s your format? Do you have hitters currently on your bench?

  12. Nick says:
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    @ Grey: format is H2H 10 team. i’ll post my lineup again

    C-Napoli
    1B-A Gonzalez
    2B-Utley
    SS-Reyes
    3B- A Ramirez
    OF- BJ Upton
    OF-Pence
    OF-Abreu
    BN-Pena
    BN-Hunter
    BN-J Lopez

    SP-Peavy
    SP-Beckett
    P-C-Bills
    P-Wainright
    P-Bedard
    RP-Jenks
    RP-Devine
    BN-Slowey
    BN-Weaver

  13. Ashley says:
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    I had my draft yesterday… What do you think?

    Braun’s Bombers

    1. (3) Ryan Braun
    2. (18) Josh Hamilton
    3. (23) Ian Kinsler
    4. (38) Roy Halladay
    5. (43) Nick Markakis
    6. (53) Carl Crawford
    7. (54) Adrián González
    8. (58) Chris Davis
    9. (62) Stephen Drew
    10. (63) Joe Nathan
    11. (87) Joakim Soria
    12. (103) Matt Cain
    13. (118) Ricky Nolasco
    14. (138) Max Scherzer
    15. (143) Chris Young
    16. (158) Randy Johnson
    17. (163) Heath Bell
    18. (178) Jeff Clement
    19. (183) Jered Weaver
    20. (198) Chien-Ming Wang

    The first 5 are keepers from last year. Unfortunately Youkilis didn’t make it to my 58th pick, so I had to take Chris Davis instead for 3B. My SP aren’t really big names, I mostly targeted high strikeout guys.. Except for Wang, but he’s supposedly 100% and is 46-15 over the last 3 years so I figured he’s a decent pick at the 3rd to last pick despite horrible strikeout numbers.

    I’m disappointed that I missed Iannetta, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed with Clement.

    Should I be concerned about Scherzer?

    I’m really not a big fan of Jered Weaver… Brett Myers, Aaron Harang, Cueto, Floyd, Meche, and Masterson are available. Any of them worth owning? Is Masterson getting a spot in the rotation? Because I really like him.

  14. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Nick: Hmm… Not easy choices. I like Weaver, but I’d drop him for Hanrahan.

    @Ashley: Solid team, your pitching is a little risky. I’d drop Weaver for Harang. Scherzer is a worthwhile flier in a keeper league, but having cortisone shots in spring training isn’t the greatest sign. I’d hold him for now, but cut him lose in April if there’s still problems. re: JM — Sox are too stacked right now for Masterson to start for an extended period of time.

  15. Ashley says:
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    @Grey: Yeah, I saw your SP rankings and that you don’t really appear to be much of a fan of Nolasco. But I think I saw that he has a 7:1 K:BB ratio in 7 innings this spring, so that’s a good sign.

    And what pitchers aren’t risky? Johan is having elbow issues, Ervin just went down.. That’s why I didn’t even bother to start drafting SP until the 12th round.

    The person I traded Lincecum to is already shopping him around. It’s almost like Lincecum is too valuable for his own good and whoever owns him is afraid of him getting injured or having a mortal season of like 15 wins, 200 K’s and losing his ‘elite’ value.

    SP are scary.

  16. Nick says:
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    @Grey: & hold onto Devine? Is there even a chance he will get saves with Ziegler there?

  17. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Nick: I think Devine gets most of the saves if he’s healthy. Right now he’s complaining of some arm pain. I’d hold him for now.

  18. Eric W says:
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    When I heard the news about Santana my first thought was Rudy and razzball. Now I am scared for my guy Jon Lester.

  19. James says:
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    For anyone who is drafting tonight or just wants to know now. Arod’s surgery went well, no surprises, DR’s believe it was the best option, and he should be back in the expected six to eight weeks – per NY WFAN.

  20. Billy says:
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    I was happy to here the latest on E Santana, when i read the article on risky pitchers, i turned around and traded Santana for Alexei Ramirez…

    thanks guys!!

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @James: Thanks for the update!

  22. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    Is it too soon to cut Devine in favor of Zeigler? Devine could be injured.

  23. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @IowaCubs: I wouldn’t cut him yet, I would try and back him up if I could.

  24. @Billy: sweet.

    @Eric W: Ervin was on the list for breaking pitches where Lester is on for increased workload from previous year. I consider the breaking pitches to be a bigger risk (that’s why I HATE Nolasco this year – sorry Ashley…at Round 13, you are getting a discount vs. projections). I don’t expect a full season out of Lester – maybe a month on the DL with a ‘tired arm’ or something like that…

  25. rhymenoceros says:
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    I’m glad someone is speaking up about Ervin. I’ve never really liked him, even with his improved numbers from last year. The article about Risky Pitchers has been a key piece to my draft strategy. My question right now is what is an accurate K projection for Jonathan Sanchez? I’ve seen numbers from the 160′s to the low 200′s. Which is the more believable number?

  26. sean says:
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    @hiphopopotamus: JOS struck out 157 in 158 innings in 29 starts last year. I don’t see him throwing many more innings than that this year, but he does have the arm for one K/IP

  27. rhymenoceros says:
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    @Ashley: The only problem I have with your team is lack of speed. I know you have Crawford, but he’s a guy I always worry about. Other than that, it looks like you made some good trades. I like Cueto better than Weaver because he’s in the NL and has better K potential. However, his wins, ERA, and WHIP might suffer because of ballpark.

    I do find it funny that you don’t draft SP until round 12 but you’re okay investing early picks on saves (i.e. Nathan and Soria). What is your reasoning there?

  28. @rhymenoceros: I agree with Sean that Sanchez can throw a close to a K-per-inning. I think he’s lucky to get to 120 IP this year let alone 150 IP. It’ll be interesting to see how the two year removed from reliever theory works this year with four contestants: Dempster, Myers, Sanchez, and Wellemeyer. I wouldn’t draft any of these guys period.

  29. Ashley says:
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    @rhymenoceros: Well I took Nathan and Soria after I had every offensive position other than Catcher drafted. And both of them are top-tier closers, so why would I pass on that? There aren’t any aces around in the middle of the draft, just a bunch of guys like Felix, Ervin, Burnett, etc.. So I’d rather take 2 great closers and then draft guys like Cain, Nolasco, and Chris Young later.

  30. Ashley says:
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    @rhymenoceros: And I wouldn’t say my team LACKS speed…

    Kinsler had 26 last year.. Should be good for around 25 again this year. Braun and Markakis are capable of 10-15 each, and Crawford is in great shape and claims to be 100% so I expect 45+ from him.

    So my team has a fair amount of speed.

    But I have 3 seperate offers on the table right now where I’d be getting, BJ Upton, Kemp, or Sizemore for Markakis and some pitching.

    So if I replaced Markakis with either of those 3 guys, it’d increase my SB totals.

  31. sean says:
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    oh, ps, zimmerman = gentile

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