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The Cubs.  The lovable losers.  The trade first and ask questions later…ers…

Say what you want about what the Cubs are doing, but I liked their blockbuster deal with the A’s.  John Kruk was slamming it on Sunday Night Baseball (while my boy Rick Porcello got a bitch slap of regression), but then again I’m a Brewers fan and not a Cubs fan!

Last year, the Cubs sold Scott Feldman for current pickup of the year nominee Jake Arrieta.  So that’s one thing they’ve done right!  Both the Shark and Jason Hammel weren’t re-signing, and this ridiculous emergence from Arrieta eases the pain of rebuilding a rotation.

But we don’t really care about Wrigley politics, we just want some nasty stats on our fantasy teams.  Arrieta has been absolutely unbelievable (only Clayton Kershaw has been better the past month) and he had back-to-back no-nos through 7 prior to Sunday’s start.  How legit is this breakout?  Is Arrieta a sell high?  I’ve seen the highlights and bits of some of the previous starts, but I wanted a deeper look into his stuff and decided to Profile how he looked in yesterday’s great outing against the Nationals:

First Inning: Arrieta’s first offering is a fastball at 93 dipping low to Denard Span.  Another fastball at 94 is hit to center, and Justin Ruggiano takes a terrible path to the ball and it sails over him for a double.  Wow, utter BS double there and should’ve been an error… So early on Arrieta has to buckle down, and pours in a strike to Anthony Rendon.  A low cutter (Arrieta’s go-to) at 91 gets a weak grounder between first and second, with former Gold Glover Darwin Barney making a great play to get the out.  One out, Span now on third, and 94 heat is in there to Jayson Werth, then a nasty, NASTY curveball at 81 gets a horrific whiff, 0-2.

Arrieta-Curveball

“Augustus, save some for later!”  Slider at 89 is low – at least that one was more slider-ish than the cutters I’ve seen, and the 1-2 curveball is hit to third – Luis Valbuena bobbles it and forces him to make the out at first.  Span scores off one major then one minor defensive miscue.  Bases clear, and first pitch huge breaking curveball is inside on Adam LaRoche, change-up low, cutter in the zone is fouled off, another cutter barely stays high and outside, 3-1.  Arrieta then goes to the fastball at 94 and it misses by a millimeter low and outside.  Both last two were tough calls – probably the right ones – but no benefit of the doubt.  Ryan Zimmerman takes a first-pitch fastball for strike one, a hanging cutter that stays shoulder high is fouled back on a weird-looking high swing, then Arrieta bounces a 93 MPH fastball for a wild pitch.  So right off the bat – Arrieta is looking awesome yet a tad off and still only given up the unlucky run.  1-2 pitch is a slider that is grounded weakly to short, ending the inning.

Second Inning: Man, Arrieta gave an interview heading to the 2nd and he carries himself like a really intelligent guy.  Just adding that in.  First pitch fastball is fouled back by Bryce Harper, then a change-up gets Harper to have to slow his bat mid-swing and Harper flies out lazily to center, one down.  Ian Desmond takes a 94 MPH four-seamer off the edge for a ball, Arrieta hits the same spot with a cutter getting a foul, another cutter fouled back, cutter again with a lot more break ends up in the dirt, 95 MPH fastball nipped foul, then the 2-2 curveball hung a bit and stayed in the zone with Desmond guiding it to center for a solid single.  I didn’t see the need for Arrieta to throw a curveball there, Desmond wasn’t too close on the fastballs and cutters.  But it’s man on first, one down, and a fastball is fouled off by Wilson Ramos.  Cutter gets a very late waving swing through it 0-2, then a 94 MPH four-seamer somehow doesn’t get the call – I guess a smidge low – 1-2.

Arrieta-Fastball

That fastball is nasty, and the ability to command that pitch with some sink on the outside corner 0-2 is pretty sick.  Following arguably his best heater thus far, Arrieta goes fastball inside fouled off, 1-2 curveball dips low, then the 2-2 cutter on the hands is squibbed towards the hole, but Barney had him shaded up the middle and makes the unassisted double play.  Good stuff.

Third Inning: First pitch 93 MPH fastball is in there to opposing pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, then another fastball is tipped weakly towards first, and Arrieta has to sprint to cover barely getting the out.  Nice defense from Jake the Snake (oops, wrong sport…).  Back to the top and Span takes a curveball that skips to the backstop, nice backdoor cutter gets the outside upper corner, another cutter gets in on Span’s hands up in the zone for a tip foul, change-up flutters outside, and the 2-2 cutter is chopped to short, two down.  Power cutter at 91 dips in the dirt, then Arrieta is a tad high with it to Rendon, then the 2-0 cutter barely nicks the inside corner, 2-1.  Looked outside, but good to see Arrieta get a call.  Then Arrieta looks like he hits the outside corner with a change-up but it’s barely too far out, then a 3-1 fastball on the hands gets a weak grounder to short to end the inning.  That four-seamer was at 95, and even on 3-1 when Arrieta has to give in, he’s tough to hit.

Fourth Inning: Werth hits a cutter foul, a perfect fastball low and inside is in there at 95, 0-2.  Arrieta then dials up a cutter slicing out of the zone at 91 for a three pitch strikeout.

Arrieta-Cutter-1

That’s Arrieta’s first, but he’s looked sharp yet again through-and-through.  Werth looked all confused after that pitch ala Joaquin Phoenix on Letterman.  Fastball outside is hit foul by LaRoche, cutter goes inside, then a change-up at 89 is hit hard to center, caught a step in front of the track on the run by Ruggiano.  Best contact thus far, but good to see Ruggiano can catch a baseball (hah, sorry that’s mean…).  Fastball is low to Zimmerman, curveball shoots vertically down the zone to just low 2-0, another sinking fastball at 94 goes low, and heater again at 94 is an inch too high for a four-pitch walk.  That last one was close, but that was Arrieta’s worst attack.  Harper swings under a cutter on the outside edge 0-1, a fastball at 94 pretty far outside is chased and hit foul, then Arrieta throws that nasty curveball again and Harper swings way over top it for out numero tres.  Nasty pitch, and both Ks thus far have been this inning and both on three pitches!

Fifth Inning: Still a 0-1 game, and Desmond hits the first-pitch cutter to left for a leadoff single.  Not a horrible pitch, but Desmond sat on it.  Fastball is swung through by Ramos, then a cutter on the hands is flared to center, and Ruggiano decides to pull up on it for a single.  Geez, looked like Ruggiano could’ve made that catch.  I will defend it a tad with Zimmermann coming to the plate – no need to give up a triple on a misplay with the pitcher up – but horrible CF play.  Zimmermann showing bunt all the way nips a high cutter foul, another high cutter is bunted foul, then cutter times three is bunted foul again for the world’s easiest K.  TGINL!  One down, and a nasty first-pitch cutter on Span’s hands is barely tipped foul, 0-1.

Arrieta-Cutter-2

That’s how to start a big at bat!  And that might’ve been a whiff and C misplay as well, I can’t even tell!  Then a change-up at 89 is hit pretty hard to center, but caught by the world’s worst CF for the out.  Good thing Span doesn’t have any power!  So Arrieta is almost through it, with two down and runners now at the corners and the first-pitch cutter is sliced foul by Rendon.  Fastball is way low, another cutter is fouled, then cutter again at 89 almost front doors him, 2-2.  Fastball is fouled off, cutter again is barely inside and low, then the payoff cutter on the outer half is emergency poked to second for an easy groundout.  Big bounceback there from Arrieta.

Sixth Inning: At 71 pitches, Arrieta is hoping for a quick inning and a chance to leadoff the 7th.  He starts Werth with a curveball low, cutter barely misses outside, 95 MPH heat is microscopically low, but Arrieta again at 95 fights back a few inches higher, 3-1.  But the 3-1 cutter floats outside, and it’s a leadoff walk.  Ruh roh.  Perfect 91 MPH cutter nipping the outside black on LaRoche gets Arrieta up 0-1, fastball is way outside, cutter at the letters is fouled off, 1-2 curveball sweeps into the dirt, then that awesome cutter at 89 on the outside edge is grounded to second, one down.  Werth advances into scoring position and Zimmerman takes a fastball low, cutter is in there, then cutter again at 92 barely stays on the outside black, 1-2.  One of Arrieta’s best on the day.  Then the 1-2 is that sinking 95 MPH heat and it locks Zimmerman up at the knees.  Huge pitch.  4 Ks now, and Harper swings late and under the cutter just like he how started his last AB, 0-1.  Backdoor curveball at 79 drops in there, 0-2, 93 MPH fastball is way high, cutter at 90 dips low, then cutter again served up with extra nastiness runs in on the hands of a swinging Harper to end the inning.  I saw it on Sportscenter as well – Harper fails to break his bat in frustration and throws his helmet and gloves.  Unfortunately Arrieta is pinch-hit for, as he was really finding his groove.  Even though this wasn’t quite the 9 or 10 K outing we’ve seen from him the past month, this was a pretty dirty start.

Final Line:  ND  6.0 IP  90 Pitches (58 Strikes)  1 ER  4 Hits  3 Walks  5 K  Gamescore: 62  Gamescore+: 64.8

Final Analysis: Wow.  Just, wow.  Really really impressive, and the first inning earned run should get Arrieta at least 3-4 free steak dinners from teammate Ruggiano.  With all the relatively weak contact – along with that leadoff double scoring a .1 since that should never have gotten down – Arrieta scored favorably in his Gamescore+.

Arrieta’s got awesome stuff, starting with a 93-95 MPH sinking four-seamer.  Great movement when he needs it, as highlighted with that 0-2 pitch in the 2nd.  Then the huge debate – is his signature pitch a cutter or slider?  I think it’s a cutter, as its movement reminds me of the pitcher I comp him to below.  Fangraphs lists it as a cutter, a pitch he has used 24.2% of the time (and probably 25.8% since a small percent have been logged as a slider).  At 89-92, it’s got some ridiculous cut to it, sometimes pouring in on lefties’ hands, then diving low to righties.  His curveball at 78-80 was sharp as well – not commanded as well as the cutter – but it had consistent break.  The final 5.5% of his pitches are change-ups, and I think he needs to scrap em.  Or as the Guru would phrase, “cram em!”  At 87-89, they just don’t have enough separation from the heat, and look like hanging cutters.  National hitters were able to center them up, and with all the various movements of the cutters, I think he needs to abandon that pitch for a while.

So who does Jake Arrieta remind me of you may ask?  Well it’s none other than my boyfriend Corey Kluber.  Porcello is my “boy” but Kluber is my boyfriend.  I’ve fought for both since May of last year (remember all the drop Kluber questions I had through the first month this year…?), and both are reaping rewards.  The similiarity with Kluber is that ridiculous cutter.  Kluber uses them 26.4% of the time and the pair’s velocity on both that pitch and the four-seam are nearly identical.  The sharp, ridiculous movement, the debate if it’s a slider… it’s all there.  And since it’s been Facebook-official for a while that I’m in a relationship with Kluber, I had to move Arrieta into a similar range.  Yup, you’re seeing that right in my rankings.  I’m absolutely all in, and wish I had seen Arrieta’s first or second start this year.  I watched a few outings last year, where the cutter wasn’t a big part of his arsenal (6.1%).  Why I slept on Arrieta too much.  About the only knock on him is the lack of run support (as seen in this start) from the awful Cubbies.  This isn’t a Jesse Chavez breakout with a sudden implementation and success of the cutter; Arrieta’s cutter is dynamic along with more dynamic stuff (and much better control to this point).  Unfortunately, it’s too late to buy him low in all likelihood, but if you can try to sneak him in a combo deal, you’re gonna love the second half.

Razzball Baseball

JB’s Updated Top 100 SP

(rankings based on 12-team Roto, and from this point to the end of season – green for risers, red for fallers)

RANK SP, TEAM
1 Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
2 Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers
3 Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals
4 Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
5 Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees
6 Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox
7 Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals
8 Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds
9 Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
10 Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers
11 Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers
12 Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies
13 Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves
14 David Price, Tampa Bay Rays
15 Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies
16 Hisashi Iwakuma, Seattle Mariners
17 Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals
18 Scott Kazmir, Oakland Athletics
19 Mat Latos, Cincinnati Reds
20 Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians
21 Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox
22 Homer Bailey, Cincinnati Reds
23 Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals
24 Jeff Samardzija, Oakland Athletics
25 Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs
26 Garrett Richards, Los Angeles Angels
27 Anibal Sanchez, Detroit Tigers
28 Sonny Gray, Oakland Athletics
29 Mike Minor, Atlanta Braves
30 Alex Wood, Atlanta Braves
31 Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays
32 Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers
33 Tim Hudson, San Francisco Giants
34 Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
35 Yordano Ventura, Kansas City Royals
36 Andrew Cashner, San Diego Padres
37 Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh Pirates
38 Alex Cobb, Tampa Bay Rays
39 James Shields, Kansas City Royals
40 Michael Wacha, St. Louis Cardinals
41 Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels
42 Rick Porcello, Detroit Tigers
43 Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants
44 Doug Fister, Washington Nationals
45 Jason Hammel, Oakland Athletics
46 Josh Beckett, Los Angeles Dodgers
47 Wily Peralta, Milwaukee Brewers
48 Lance Lynn, St. Louis Cardinals
49 Ervin Santana, Atlanta Braves
50 Kyle Lohse, Milwaukee Brewers
51 Tyson Ross, San Diego Padres
52 Zach Wheeler, New York Mets
53 Jake Odorizzi, Tampa Bay Rays
54 Ian Kennedy, San Diego Padres
55 Danny Duffy, Kansas City Royals
56 C.J. Wilson, Los Angeles Angels
57 Alfredo Simon, Cincinnati Reds
58 John Lackey, Boston Red Sox
59 Marcus Stroman, Toronto Blue Jays
60 Henderson Alvarez, Miami Marlins
61 Tyler Skaggs, Los Angeles Angels
62 Nathan Eovaldi, Miami Marlins
63 Tanner Roark, Washington Nationals
64 Matt Garza, Milwaukee Brewers
65 Phil Hughes, Minnesota Twins
66 Mark Buehrle, Toronto Blue Jays
67 Collin McHugh, Houston Astros
68 Kevin Gausman, Baltimore Orioles
69 Hiroki Kuroda, New York Yankees
70 Ryan Vogelsong, San Francisco Giants
71 Jesse Chavez, Oakland Athletics
72 Jose Quintana, Chicago White Sox
73 Mike Leake, Cincinnati Reds
74 Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee Brewers
75 Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros
76 Jesse Hahn, San Diego Padres
77 Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians
78 Shelby Miller, St. Louis Cardinals
79 James Paxton, Seattle Mariners
80 Andrew Heaney, Miami Marlins
81 Vance Worley, Pittsburgh Pirates
82 Roenis Elias, Seattle Mariners
83 Drew Smyly, Detroit Tigers
84 Bartolo Colon, New York Mets
85 Marco Estrada, Milwaukee Brewers
86 Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners
87 R.A. Dickey, Toronto Blue Jays
88 A.J. Burnett, Philadelphia Phillies
89 Tom Koehler, Miami Marlins
90 Jason Vargas, Kansas City Royals
91 Drew Hutchison, Toronto Blue Jays
92 Wade Miley, Arizona Diamondbacks
93 Francisco Liriano, Pittsburgh Pirates
94 Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants
95 Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox
96 Dan Straily, Chicago Cubs
97 Dan Haren, Los Angeles Dodgers
98 Rubby De La Rosa, Boston Red Sox
99 Aaron Harang, Atlanta Braves
100 Jake Peavy, Boston Red Sox

Dropped Out: Justin Masterson, Cleveland Indians (I just can’t trust him at all)Jon Niese, New York Mets (DL… again…), Chase Whitley, New York Yankees (turrible!), Chase Anderson, Arizona Diamondbacks (barely made the ranks the past few weeks, having walk/effectiveness issues), Travis Wood, Chicago Cubs (walking everyone in sight lately)

  • Just how good has said boyfriend Corey Kluber been?!  Can’t really move him up, already had him pretty aggressively up there, but hopefully that helped out a few owners get through a mid-season puberty with a few extra Klubes.
  • I almost forgot to change Samardzija and Hammel’s team!  Not too much changes for me for those guys – they’ve gotta pitch a little better in the move to the AL, but they’ll get more run support.  Still a great park.  They both should be pretty happy campers with the move.
  • Yikes on the Andrew Heaney experience.  What’s annoying is I’m usually not too big on the rooks.  Obviously a drop in shallows, but it sounds like the Marlins still have him as their 5th starter.  They can get by with a 4-man rotation until after the All-Star Break, and Heaney might be right back up.  I am holding in most of my leagues, but it’s irrational and I had to move him way down.
  • I still really like Anibal – but coming off a rough start and with the disappearing Ks… Disappointing.
  • Also still like Alex Cobb, and might float some really lowball offers and hope to strike gold.  But had to move him down.
  • Porcello!  Rough 1st inning last night, and an unlucky extended 6th (hit and run got a grounder through, then a double play not turned before 3-run homer).  Ugh, but of course I’m not moving him.  Regression to the mean from the back-to-back shutouts.
  • Wacha is getting an MRI today… Hopefully we get some good news on a recovery.  Scary, but I’m an optimist and won’t move him into the waiver wire abyss or out unless it’s rough news.
  • I’m a big James Paxton fan – he looked awesome to start the year.  Will be making rehab appearances the next few weeks, and I’m bullish on him making an impact.
  • Jesse Hahn probably should’ve been ranked last week, but I wanted to see last Monday’s start (vs. CIN 5 IP 0 ER 9 K) and he followed it up with a pretty strong QS yesterday.  He is on the short list of the next PP subject.
  • I’m surprised no one has commented on Wade Miley being absent on the rankings.  Sure his ERA blows, but he’s racking up some big Ks which has pushed him in.  A little more in-depth on his numbers: 1 – Giving up way too many HRs (16.8% HR/FB), with Chase Field a big factor.  5.64 home ERA (3.19 on the road) with 12 HRs allowed to 5 on the road in the same amount of innings.  2 – LOB is an extremely low 68.7%.  3 – Slider usage is up to an even 25%, up from previous high of 16.4% last year.  4 – The slider is getting hit at a .192 average with a preposterous .139 ISO.  Erstwhile, his change-up has a .390 batting average against.  Suffice to say, Miley can lean on the slider in the second half and I think be a really good road pitcher. (stats were looked up late last night, unsure if yesterday’s start was incorporated)
  • He hasn’t been great in the Minors (or in his early stint this year in the Majors), and I might be guilty of writing my own narrative, but I just have a feeling Dan Straily is going to be interesting in the second half.  Moving to the NL, has good stuff, and the narrative part is “he’s fired up since the A’s gave up on him!”  Worth a shot in deepers.

Thoughts on this Arrieta surge?  What’s got a craw in your fish in the rankings?  Shoot your thoughts below, and as always, may your pitchers bring you low ratio Ks!

From Around The Web

  1. John says:
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    Nice writeup. And ranking too. For those of us that did not watch the game, comforting to know it was poor D that cost him, though he will be pitching in front of that D all season.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @John: Haha very true. But funny that even a 1 ER game was kinda a down game, and it wasn’t his fault! Stupid Ruggiano.

  2. Sean says:
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    Whose value would rise the most if you were in a league using QS instead of wins?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Sean: Whew, good question. Tough to say Arrieta since I already moved him way high… Cashner… Eh… I think Henderson Alvarez would be a big one.

  3. Grey

    Grey says:
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    Wow, Arrieta ranked 25th… Can’t argue it either… He looked like he turned a serious corner with the cutter usage…

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Grey: No argument from Grey! ? I did my job this week! Thanks boss, hope you had a good 4th!

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        You too!

  4. Tio says:
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    JB… love the analysis as always.

    I watched much of the start… Great call on the leadoff Span double. A MLB CF needs to make that catch. It also seemed that the HP Umpire was very stingy on balls/strikes. Arrieta hit the edge of the low zone several times early and did not get the call.

    I think we are seeing a guy put it together… plus the move to the NL will certainly help vs. AL East offenses + DH like he saw in Baltimore. The pedigree was always there, so this shouldn’t be a huge shock. I have bought in and am holding.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Tio: Thanks man! Yup I commented on a lot of the calls throughout, but I don’t think it cost him too much overall. Ruggiano was the main pooper. Good call buying in! Why watching as much baseball as possible helps with rankings, and even though I watch more than anyone I know (almost straight through every night), I didn’t catch an early Arrieta start. So mad. I bet that cutter looked that nasty right away and I could’ve led the bandwagon!

  5. Tio says:
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    Also – putting a plug in for some A. Cobb analysis. I am really confused how bad/inconsistent he has been this year.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Tio: Interesting, that’s a really good call. I looked at the peripherals last week and nothing was appalling. Velo looks good too. I’ll def keep an eye out for his start late this week.

  6. Gonzo_The_Great says:
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    Great writeup JB. I love this kid. I’m in a keeper that’s based on draft picks, and my only wish is that I’d drafted him as opposed to picked him up off waivers. (Weirdly, I actually did draft him in the last round last year, but dropped him after he got sent down to the minors.)

    Which reliever turned surprisingly solid starter should I be more concerned about getting rid of sooner than later? Chavez or Simon? The bottom drops out on both of these guys at some point as the pressure of pitching a full season catches up to them right?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Gonzo_The_Great: Thanks man! Damn, sucks Arrieta looked completely incompetent last year… Yeah I think Chavez is more worrisome. Never thrown that many innings with a newly implemented pitch. Simon has been a starter before and been good in 3 straight years for the Reds. I was too slow to buy in, absence of Ks since these are Roto rankings hurt him too, but I think he’s gonna stay strong.

  7. Clint says:
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    Thanks for the Arrieta piece, JB! I was wondering whether this guy was for real or not as I’ve been getting trade offers left and right since I snagged him on waiver in both of my leagues. So, you basically think we should hang onto him instead of selling high then? He’s bolstering my pitching staff well lately but the longer he does this, the more I’m wondering if I shouldn’t try for a guy like David Price or Tanaka in my keeper leagues using his crazy goodness as bait.

    • Clint says:
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      @Clint:

      One other quickie: how do you see the Cards’ rotation shaping up when Wacha returns (hopefully soon for my sake)? Will Kelly get the 5th spot and C-Mart return to the ‘pen or do you see C-Mart staying on even afterward somehow?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Clint: Awesome, glad I picked the right guy! Yeah he was on a short list the past few starts, lined up perfectly for this week’s edition. Yeah I wouldn’t sell high generally, but for Price or Tanaka?! Yeah I’d def do either of those if you can swindle that haha.

      Hmmmm, good question on the Cards… I think a lot depends on how Kelly does when he’s back in the rotation for Gonzales. I think it’s more likely C-Mart goes back to the pen, since they love having Kelly start, but not feeling huge on it either way… Let’s get Wacha healthy first! Crossing my fingers the MRI goes/went well today.

  8. dp says:
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    Good stuff JB. I’ve been holding arrieta in my 20 team dynasty with 40 player rosters for the past 3 seasons. He’s always had the stuff but his problem has been between the ears. Glad he’s got some confidence now and hope he can keep it up.

    Got a question from that same league. Can keep all 40 forever with no penalties. Have Bundy rostered but need another starter for a push for a championship. Could prolly move Bundy for gray. Should I pull the trigger or is Bundy’s upside too much to give up in a format like this?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @dp: Thanks man! Whewwwwww… Good question. I think my logic would be – Gray is showing success now with Bundy a better ceiling. Gray helps me push for the title, and has a better park, with both young. I think I’d have to take Gray even though you could regret it in a few years. But for now, if you get a title out of it in a 20 team league I think it’s worth it.

  9. Matt says:
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    Yordano for ROS over Fister, Cain, Cole, & Cobb? Really?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Matt: Def yes, debatable, debatable, been bad. I really like Yordano and two of those are right next to him.

  10. Bob says:
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    Would you use the 5th rank Waiver Claim on Mike Minor at this point in the season? Still have faith he will find his way out of this? or just Freely add a Chris Young? Though don’t see him in the rankings.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Bob: Yeah I certainly would. I don’t think Young can stay healthy, why he’s not ranked. Always gets hurt, and not enough Ks for me to ignore the risk. Minor I think turns it around, stuff and velo still look good.

  11. Wacha Wacha says:
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    Hey JB could you pick 3 out of this OF group for the ROS Dickerson, Crisp, Marte, Polanco, K Davis
    10 team h2h categories redraft with OBP Thanks!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Wacha Wacha: Hmmm, good group! While I like what Dickerson is doing, ROS I question his playing time with Cuddyer and Cargo back. But I couldn’t cut him right now at all. Do you own some and some on the wire? Khris Davis I think is the #1 out, then ROS I would take out Dickerson. But it’s a tough call.

  12. No Soup for Yu says:
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    How much better do you like Kershaw than the other Aces?
    Should I trade Scherzer and Morneau for Kershaw in 10 teamer? I already have Abreu at 1B and Longoria at Util…

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @No Soup for Yu: Ummm, a little bit more, but the top 3 are all close. Yeah I’d make that upgrade if you could swing it.

  13. Chris says:
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    Hi JB good stuff thanks!!

    What side do you like

    Carlos Gomez-T Walker and Norris
    for
    Andrus-Khris Davis and Eovaldi

    Thanks

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Chris: Thanks man! I like the Gomez side, because hes the best guy in the deal. Losing hope on Eovaldi and not enough of a return for the Cargo side. Any time!

  14. Clive says:
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    Nice post!

    I’m trying to make a big trade for SP in my keeper league. Would you trade Ventura, Cole, and T Walker (all are late Rd keepers next year) for Sale (also late Rd next year) and Bumgarner?

    I already have Kershaw, Felix, Gio, Bailey, and Iwakuma – so I’m probably just being greedy. But to be able to keep Kershaw and Sale next year, and to have such ridiculous SP this year has me thinking about it.

    Thanks!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Clive: Thanks man! Yesssssss do it! I’d def do that one. It’s not greedy if you can make your team better! Any time!

  15. catalinawinemixers says:
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    Since you love Kluber I got a trade offer for you. I have kinsler and was offered Kluber.

    10 team 6×6 obp and qs

    My team:
    C Mesorasco
    1B chisenhall
    2B daniel murphy
    3b longoria
    Ss Alexei ramirez
    Of McCutchen
    Of Bautista
    Of stanton
    Util dozier
    Util blackmon
    bn kinsler
    bn s. pierce
    Bn votto
    Na arenado (haven’t been able to activate waiting for votto to be dl’d)

    Sp hammel
    Sp arrieta
    Rp rosenthal
    Rp rodney
    P perkins
    P f hernandez
    P keuchel
    P cobb
    Bn kazmir
    Bn mad bum

    I know I’m loaded at 2b I’m just afraid of Dozier dying off in the 2nd half and kinsler has been on fire.

    • catalinawinemixers says:
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      @catalinawinemixers: I already offered him dozier and blackmon for Kluber and he responded with this

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @catalinawinemixers: Yeah with your 2B depth it makes sense… I dunno though, still seems a little steep. I might stand firm at Dozier + someone small. How close to contention is the team wanting Kinsler/does he have a big need there? I dunno if I’d want to help him out even though it makes sense for your team

  16. Ron Swanson's Stache says:
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    I’m going to hack into your system and move Jose Quintana into the top 40 myself

    • Ron Swanson's Stache says:
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      @Ron Swanson’s Stache: If Arrieta can be drastically moved up, there’s gotta be some kind of recognition for Quintana’s consistency for not just this season, but also the past 2 years. 14 QS and great ratios with good velocity

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Ron Swanson’s Stache: Haha well he’s got plenty of recognition! Just moved him up didn’t I? His last 4 starts have been fantastic, but he’s not Arrieta. I sense a bitter White Sox fan mad at the Cubs rank! 6.1% HR/FB in one of the best hitter’s parks. But yes all his peripherals do look better than I remember, he’ll move up more next week. Top 40 though?? Ehhh maybe 50ish.

      • Ron Swanson's Stache says:
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        @JB Gilpin: I’m actually a Yankee fan. But anyway, there should be some kind of profile on Quintana. The dude can pitch and he’s getting better.

        I wouldn’t be so “bitter” if this Arrieta profile wasn’t made after he reached 100% owned in ESPN leagues. Cuz he’s obviously long gone from waivers now

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Ron Swanson’s Stache: Well, I try to do Profiles on guys pitching Sunday afternoons to keep them topical. If you wanna get mad at something, get mad at MLB scheduling or the Cubs rotation plans!

  17. Scooter G says:
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    Which side would you rather have for 10 team h2h redraft?

    A. B Harper
    B. J Morneau and K Davis

    Is Harper a buy low or sell low for you at this point?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Scooter G: I think a buy low, I would take A for the upside, especially since a shallower league

  18. Cold Never Bother Sonny Gray says:
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    Great job JB! Good time to buy Minor? Shallow roster 10 team h2h

    I give K Davis and J hammel and get Minor… Would I get JB approval? I would pick up Calhoun

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Cold Never Bother Sonny Gray: Thanks man! Yup I would if I could. Whoa, def with the Calhoun add! I love Calhoun, I think I like him over Davis and like Minor over Hammel. Stamp of approval!

      • Cold Never Bother Sonny Gray says:
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        @JB Gilpin:

        He wont give up Minor but offered M Cain for K Davis and Hammel… still good? I’ll still pick up Kole

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Cold Never Bother Sonny Gray: Ugghhh, I dunno about that one. I think I would need something better, Cain is really meh thus far. Hammel I only have a tad lower in my ranks

  19. Steve says:
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    Belt or Cron ROS???
    Thx

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Steve: Going upside of Belt there. Any time!

  20. Loving the analysis, JB. Now here comes your question. In a 12-team 5×5 roto I’ve somehow managed to end up with 7 starters: Bumgarner, Roark, Lincecum, Lackey, Gray, Kluber, Ventura. I would love to lose Lackey, Roark, or Lincecum for a reliever since the league has a GS limit, but it’s slim pickings, down to someone like Watson, Boxberger, or O’Day. Which one to drop, which one to pick up, or hold?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Sherm: Thanks man! Eh, I’m holding your starters there. Those back 3 I don’t like too much either… Well, maybe I’d grab Watson if you’re running way over your allotted starts. Would drop Lincecum of the three, but I might try to trade Lincecum and something first while Lincecum is hot.

  21. Joe says:
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    JB would you trade sonny gray and Casey mcgehee for David price?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Joe: Yup I’d have to do that one!

  22. Steve says:
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    Is Carlos Martinez someone you’re remotely keeping an eye on? Lots of buzz about his potential, I’m wondering if I should scoop him up off waivers.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Steve: Certainly, he’s definitely worth a short-term add if you have a roster spot. My worry is since these are for ROS is that Wacha gets back in a month, Kelly gets into the rotation, and C-Mart is back into the bullpen. Wacha got some slightly encouraging news today, but will still be a bit.

  23. Bob says:
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    Calhoun or Pearce? ROS

    Lost Encarnacion to DL

    Starting Santanna at DH till he is back. Pearce having that DH Eligi is helpful. Calhoun sitting against leftys is tough though, since its a weekly league.
    But who do you think has more value?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Bob: Calhoun. Love the mighty ginger. Started against Happ tonight (lefty), and went 1-2 with a walk against him. So I think Calhoun, esp. since over .300 now, might be every day again.

  24. Fish says:
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    What did John Kruk have against the trade from Cubs perspective? Anything I’ve read (so far) has been a positive reaction for the Cubs.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Fish: He said something along the lines of (intense paraphrasing) what kind of message does it make to the players and fans that they’ll have to wait even longer for a rebuild. I thought it was a little surprising too. I like the deal for the Cubbies since they were losing both SP anyway. But Kruk, while I like him, says some things I don’t agree with a lot.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @JB Gilpin: it appears he’s the kind of idiot that would actually say that you should be trying to win now. he probably thought it was smart of the Calgary Flames to have held onto Iginla so long too.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @goodfold2: Whoa hockey slam! Which I don’t get at all since I know about… 5 total NHL players… :( Is Jagr still goin?!

  25. KHen says:
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    I see you have Cliff Lee improving each week I’m thinking of trading for him and stashing him. What kind of players would you give up for him? I’m in a keeper league and the manager who owns him wants a high pick or either Xander or Tavares

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @KHen: Yeah, big improvement today with him making rehab starts. I think he’ll have a great second half. Xander I’ve never been too high on and would probably do it if he position eligibility doesn’t hurt ya too bad. If pushing for now I might Taveras too, but I would be much more hesitant on that one. Think Oscar has some awesome upside.

  26. SMLV1 says:
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    Nice to see my Pitching staff upgrading….

    Shields from 39 to 39
    Cueto from 8 to 8
    Fister from 45 to 44
    Ventura from 45 to 44????
    Santana from 34 to 35
    Gio from 28 to 23
    A. Wood from 39 to 30
    Arrieta to 25

    Baby steps!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @SMLV1: Nice! Arrieta is certainly a huge one! Wait, so you think Ventura is too high? I’ve been the biggest on him since he came up last year, so nothing has dispelled me from keeping him ranked high. Only knock is probable innings limit coming his way, but tough to know that right now. Unless you mean he shouldn’t have gone down, and that was only due to Arrieta and Richards (I think he was below last week) moving up :)

      • SMLV1 says:
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        @JB Gilpin: Yeah was confused on why he went down. Thanks for explaining!

  27. SMLV1 says:
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    Sorry Ventura from 34 to 35??

    • SMLV1 says:
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      @SMLV1: Santana from 51 to 49.

  28. bored says:
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    Roster conflicts… I have Skaggs on the DL still. Need to open up a spot for him. Drop Harang, Chisenhall, Teixeira, Grilli, R. Elias? 12 starts a week max, Quality Starts. 12 teams. Prefer not to drop Elias because I am in a dynasty league and I think he should only get better over time. Leaning towards Grilli but saves are hard to come by even though he hasnt really helped my ratios much.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @bored: Yeah Grilli was my immediate thought was well. Joe Smith with yet another clean save tonight and Grilli pitching the 7th, not the 8th… I think he’s still a good bit away from the role and would need a Smith implosion now.

  29. stonepie says:
    (link)

    nice blurb about miley. i picked him up a little while ago, his peripherals are much better than his era. he’s been a mid 3’s era guy for the last couple years and his xfip right is in line with previous seasons. the biggest improvement is the strikeouts like you said. increases in swstr% and first pitch strike definitely help.
    steamer likes him alot ROS

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @stonepie: Thanks man! Yup a guy I totally slept on. He could be interesting if that ERA regresses to his usual numbers, because that would mean he’d pitch like a 3.00 ERA guy with big Ks down the stretch.

  30. Chris says:
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    Would you trade a 5th rd pick for arrietA?

    • Chris says:
      (link)

      @Chris: 10 team i should add

      Have kershaw strausburg Beckett hammels Fister wheeler Verlander gausman

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Chris: Ummm, is it redraft or are there keepers? 5th round in a redraft sounds a little steep for Arrieta IMO

      • Chris says:
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        @JB Gilpin: keeper league i would lose my 5th rd pick next year draft and get back his 11th rd pick

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
          (link)

          @Chris: Well depending on how many keepers, I think I might do it then, since 5th round pick is actually – ya -know 10th round if you keep 5 keepers. If you keep 5 or more I’d prob do it

  31. Janssen with the Stars says:
    (link)

    JB,

    I’ve been offered Cano for Sale and Melky. Im in first place at the moment and my worst offensive position is 2B (Aaron Hill). Do you like the trade? And do you think my pitching staff can take the loss of Sale? Would look like this:

    Zimmerman, Gray, Alex Wood, Archer, Wheeler, Odorizzi

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Janssen with the Stars: Eek, that’s a tough one. Your staff definitely takes a big hit. But Cano is a huge upgrade. H2H or Roto/how are you looking in the standings?

      • Janssen with the Stars says:
        (link)

        @JB Gilpin:

        Yeah, I kinda see him as my anchor too.

        12 team 5X5 standard roto. I’m currently in first place and pretty balanced through all categories. Offense looks like:

        C-Lucroy
        1B- Pujols
        2B- Hill
        3B- Frazier
        SS- Andrus
        OF- Jones
        OF- Bruce
        OF/Bench- Melky/Marte
        UTIL- Rizzo

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
          (link)

          @Janssen with the Stars: Man… I think since you’re balanced I don’t think I’d do it. Even though it’s a great offer. Will really hurt your SP

  32. longbeachyo says:
    (link)

    Great job, jb! I picked up Arrieta almost a month ago now, and I’ve been loving him. Also just picked up wade miley since Boston decided to be stupid and ship De La Rosa back to the minors. 12.6% swinging strike percentage over the last month has me pretty excited for miley. He seems to be pretty unlucky too. What’s he changed? Also, what do you think about Charlie Morton lately? Is he just getting lucky?
    Keep up the good work man. I read your posts religiously, and still think you should be doing this twice a week!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @longbeachyo: Thanks man! As I mention under the ranks – slider from 16% to almost 25% this year. Then he’s been unlucky with a bad left on base and then given up too many homers. So inopportune homers I think is the biggie for his bad ERA.

      Not huge on Morton, I probably should have him crack the ranks though… A .273 BABIP from a groundball pitcher (he’s getting fewer ground balls, but still) seems unlucky. A few hit into the right places and that normalizes. I dunno, just never trusted him. K rate to be nearly 1 higher than any other point in his career in the Majors seems likely to regress too.

      I will do! Wish I could do more, but these take a good chunk of time and I only have one totally free night to knock em out. Maybe next year, we shall see!

  33. Pope says:
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    JB, your article inspired me to move F. Rodney for Arrieta. It’s a 12 team 5×5 H2H, we keep 2. You like the move? I still have Rondon, Smith, Soria, and Doolittle to close.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Pope: Yup love it! Sucks Rondon got touched up a bit today, but agree you’re fine the the bullpen for a really quality SP

      • Pope says:
        (link)

        @JB Gilpin: For sure, thanks JB

  34. Bob says:
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    Thoughts on Dillon Gee? Will he be in the top 50 now that he is back?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Bob: Yeah he came back faster than I thought, but probably should’ve made the ranks. Def not top 50 though, not enough Ks and injury concerns. 80ish maybe?

  35. Tom says:
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    If Salazar is called up this Saturday, where do you put him in your top 100?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Tom: Whew that’s a toughie… I might actually have to wait a start or two to even crack him in at all given he’s struggled in the Minors too… I’d have to see how his first start back looks

  36. Chris says:
    (link)

    JB keeper league question and playoffs this season

    I am obviously keeping kershaw and strausburg

    I have Verlander wheeler and Guasman I’m done with Verlander trying to trade him for bailey and arrietA with draft picks.

    Who gets keeper status next season
    Wheeler
    Guasman
    Cobb
    Arietta
    Bailey

    Only keep 3 pitchers

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Chris: Man, would love getting that deal if it works!

      So you’d be only keeping one of those 3? Or pick 3 from the list. My top 3 in order to be sure would be…. ya know, I might be crazy, but Arrieta 1. Then Bailey, Cobb.

      • los locos says:
        (link)

        @JB Gilpin: You think Arrieta over Cobb next season? With Bailey going down; I’m on him.

        Based on my team, would you say I need pitching or hitting? Its a 10 team keeper league (HR/RBI/OBP/R/SB & K/9/QS/WHIP/ERA/SV) We get to keep 7 guys total.

        Starters
        McCann, Brian(1B,C) NYY
        Frazier, Todd(1B,3B) CIN
        Kinsler, Ian(2B) DET
        Arenado, Nolan(3B) COL
        Ramirez, Hanley(SS) LAD
        Calhoun, Kole(OF) LAA
        Pence, Hunter(OF) SF
        Rios, Alex(OF) TEX
        Brantley, Michael(OF) CLE

        Bench
        Hosmer, Eric(1B) KC
        Napoli, Mike(1B) BOS
        Chisenhall, Lonnie(1B,3B) CLE
        Machado, Manny(3B) BAL
        Cabrera, Melky(OF) TOR
        Heyward, Jason(OF) ATL

        Active Pitchers
        Fister, Doug(SP) WAS
        Hammel, Jason(SP) OAK
        Kershaw, Clayton(SP) LAD
        Odorizzi, Jake(SP) TB
        Strasburg, Stephen(SP) WAS
        Cishek, Steve(RP) MIA
        Doolittle, Sean(RP) OAK

        Bench
        Gausman, Kevin(RP,SP) BAL
        Verlander, Justin(SP) DET
        Wheeler, Zack(SP) NYM
        Beckett, Josh(SP) LAD

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
          (link)

          @los locos: Yeah I do, and Bailey I still like over Cobb too, I think just more potential. But all 3 are very very very close. I think you’re pretty strong in both, but need more offense over D. Kershaw/Strasburg is a pretty nasty pair of aces.

  37. los locos says:
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    Would you go Jimmy Nelson, Gausman or Odorizzi?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @los locos: I like Nelson a lot, but Odorizzi is #1 for me. Big Ks and pitching really well lately

  38. Mike says:
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    I just traded for Masahiro Tanaka about 10 days ago, so this is driving me crazy.

    If it is really 6 weeks up to the entire season, when do I cut bait?

    If these are my options on the wire …

    Alex Wood
    Matt Cain
    Shelby Miller
    Yordano Ventura

    Do I cut bait for Alex Wood right now?

    Thanks…

    Mike.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Mike: Whewwww, that’s a toughie. Awful break man. At least the waiver wire is aplenty. I think I would for Wood (hah) right now. Tanaka won’t be rushed in the least.

      I hope you stay healthy here on out man!

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