Your man, Grey, loves a piece of cheap tail like Ice Cube loves a nappy dugout. (In fact, I might love cheap tail more. This is totally debatable between Ice Cube and I. Anytime you want to grab a podium, Cube, and go word for word. Bring. It.) If you’re in a keeper league (or any league for that matter), you probably got Shoppach for the price of a Capri Sun with a missing straw, but you’re probably thinking, “Well, this year was nice. How about I dunk him back into the free agent pool cause he’s a catcher and a fluky one at that?” Yo, check yo’self before ya wreck yo’self, fool. “So you’re saying Shoppach’s a dream keeper?” Nah, this shizz is neither black nor white. It’s Grey, son. This year isn’t as fluky as you might think. In his last full year of Triple-A, Shoppach showed power hitting 26 home runs. His current .270 average is a bit fluky though. That will come down a bit and with Victor Martinez lurking on the team, Shoppach could be the recipient of a quick hook in ’09. All of this portends to less value for Shoppach. Not to mention, keeping catchers is a risky and not usually a fruitful exercise. So why keep Shoppach? Because a $1 catcher who could easily hit 20 HRs is a bargain, no matter how you slice your keeper pie. Anyway, here’s some more keepers to keep and not keep for next season:
Nate McLouth – Was not a Hirame (that’s a whitefish in a sushi bar, usually fluke). McLouth is a solid bet next year for 20/20/.270. We shall call him, Lastings McHunter.
Chad Billingsley – (<–Early 2009 Cy Young pick. Then again I picked Bedard and Peavy for this year. Hmmm… Anyway!) Billingsley has about a K/IP, he’s cut his walks, he plays in a cavernous caverny cavern thing, he plays a majority of his games against the Padres, Giants and the Diamondhacks, his team should provide offense for wins, he’s going into his third year in ’09 which is usually the time starters come into their own and he’s only going to be 24 at the start of 2009. Holy heffin’ hey! I will be gushing further this offseason, but right now I have to change my sock.
Jose Valverde – As with anything in fantasy baseball, there’s a time and a place for anything. Is there a time and a place to keep Valverde? Perhaps. I’m having a hard time deciding when that time and place would be. If your other choices are Willy Aybar and Freddy Sanchez? Then, yeah, I keep this schmohawk. If you think keeping a closer who could explode at any moment is a good move, then I got a $400 million dollar bridge to sell you.
James Loney – In the preseason, I was briefly excited about this schmohawk. Why? I haven’t the foggiest. Maybe when I go over my 2009 predictions in the offseason someone can say, “Hey, Grey, Mark Grace looks at Loney and says Loney looks a lot like me, but with less power. And that’s me reminding you!” (BTW, The Hardball Times took a look back at first basemen and used our rankings to compare and contrast. Color me awesome. We will also be taking a look back in the offseason to compare and contrast ourselves against ourselves. Will the mirror be kind? Stay tuned…)