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I’m admittedly not a fan of rookie catchers. There’s not a long history of success, Piazza and… Um… Well… Benito Santiago. Granted in fantasy baseball, you don’t need a whole lot from a catcher for him to have a good year. But this is something you can work to your advantage. Rudy’s catcher projections for the BAO are 47/13/57/.273/2. (That’s Best Available Option from waivers, not a pork bun. The BAO is basically saying if you drop Posada, this what you’re probably going to get off of waivers.). Some close statistical fits: Paul Lo Duca, Johnny Estrada, AJ Pierzynski. So if Geovany Soto gets you 67/25/87/.285/7 (which are unreal numbers, but I’m going with the ceiling for this experiment to prove a point), this puts you waaaaaay above the BAO for catcher. As I understand these honkytonk numbers, you are a plus 20/12/30/.012/5 from crap. And, by crap, I mean that’s if you pickup LoDuca, Estrada or Pierzynski. If you were to pickup Salty, and he gets better numbers than those three schmohawks, then you are ahead of the game. “What do I do with these geeky numbers, Grey? My eyes are bleeding!” Yeah, I know. I like to leave the numbers to Rudy, but I’m proving a point here. So if you have a glaring weakness, say your fifth OF is Luke Scott, you trade Soto for Torii Hunter and pickup Salty. Now the other guy’s psyched because he got Geovany Soto, who’s, like, better than gravity and can cure blindness, and gave you Torii Hunter, an aging outfielder. Well, if you paid attention, you just made your team better by trading Soto for Double I because the difference between Torii and Luke Scott is more than Soto and Salty. Soto would have to significantly outperform his projections to match the expectations of Torii. If you could get a reliable player who’ll fill a need, take it. Okay, here’s some more guys to buy and sell for your fantasy baseball team:

BUY

Wladimir Balentien – Wlad the Impaler got the call from the Mariners and I say he’s an immediate pickup in AL-Only leagues and worth a flier in deep mixed leagues. As with any flier, there’s plenty of risk so don’t drop anyone you might regret.

Chase Headley – No, he didn’t get called up yet. No, he’s not doing that well in the minors right now. Edmonds, which I believe is Slavic for injury-prone, is the only thing standing in Headley’s way.

Ian Stewart – I’ve already mentioned that Tulowitzki’s injury might force Atkins over to 2nd and Stewart into the bigs. I’d put that ‘might’ at about forty percent chance of a Stewart sighting. In fifteen team leagues and NL-Only, he must be owned now unless you want to risk missing him when he does get the call. In other leagues, ‘waiver’ at your risk, but when he gets the call he will be snatched up as fast as Jobacum.

Reggie Willits – If you need speed and Red Bull ain’t cutting it, here ya go. He’s supposed to be batting in the two hole going forward.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia – Three games a week are enough to show I care. (BTW, I hate The Beatles.)

Dioner Navarro – Anything goes when it comes to Navarro. (Love Big Daddy Kane.)

Randy Wolf – 37/11 K/BB ration is very good. Pitching in Petco is excellent. Cheap starters on waivers are priceless worth the guckin’ famble.

Scott Baker – Rare when I tout an AL starter, so, ya know, check him out. But be cautious, in his next start he gets the Tigers and he has a sore groin. (I really never thought I’d be writing ‘sore groin.’)

Melky Cabrera – What, you don’t like 15/15 players? He gets there with ease. Sure, I just traded him away, but I also never touch a public bathroom door handle, you gonna do everything I do?

Santiago Casilla – I’ve had him on a team for about two weeks. 7 IPs/0.00/.90/9Ks Your starters can’t start every day. Why not boost your stats while they’re sitting?

Shane Victorino – People are starting to get annoyed with his slow start and lack of playing time. I say buy. Rudy just traded Capps for him. I think it’s a great trade.

Moises Alou – He’ll be back on Friday night. He’s an immediate add in deep leagues.

Robinson Cano – He won’t be a buy low guy for the entire season. You should try and steal him from someone.

Ryan Howard – He won’t bat under .200 for the entire season. He will hit 40 home runs. Go after him.

Rafael Betancourt - Sure, he’s blown a couple of saves, but Borowski isn’t good when he’s healthy. If you can get someone to throw-in Betancourt in a trade, do it.

Jeff Clement - He needs 5 starts or 10 games played. Started yesterday, there’s plans to start him again today. Kenji’s getting a “rest.”

Homer Bailey – If Matt Belise throws a game like he’s capable of, say, two and two-thirds innings with 7 runs allowed, Bailey will be up.

SELL

Brian Burres – Seems worth a pickup in a 30 team AL-Only league, anyone else should use extreme caution. Caveat emptor for those reading in Latin America.

Emil Brown – He’s sitting on 4 walks in a hundred at-bats. Francoeur has five walks. Emil simply had a good RBI month.

Armando Galarraga – *GEEKY NUMBER ALERT* He has an unsustainable BABIP. (Stands for Better Avoid Because I said Pho.)

Jayson Werth – Is he (pinkie to mouth) Werthless? No, but he’s not better than Victorino. He’ll be a faint memory in about a month.

Cliff Lee – I wrote in the comments on one of our posts, “His composite preseason numbers come out to about this: 12-8/4.68/1.43/130. That’s according to every noteworthy fantasy expert. Not simply us (we’re not that egotistical). Rudy goes over this stuff pretty in-depth, but you can start here for a primer. Does this mean Lee can’t breakout because no one saw it coming? No, it doesn’t. It just means there’s less of a chance.” And that’s me quoting me! If you can get Manny for Lee, I’d do it. (Which reminds me, whatever happened to Buddy Lee? I’m no advertising expert, but he was like the first cute advertising icon that wasn’t racist. He was a trailblazer. An icon. He stood for something — dungarees.)

  1. I mentioned in the previous post’s comment that Putz’s velocity was down from 97-101 to the low-to-mid 90s. Well, Betancourt is in the same boat. He’s throwing his fastball at 91-92 when last year he was at about 97.

    Also, I’ve seen Headley play in AAA Portland a couple times and he looks awful at the plate.

    Also 2, how can you hate the Beatles?

  2. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @JonBBT: 1. Borowski’s down to 75. 2. Edmonds is 87 years old. 3. I also don’t like The Backstreet Boys.

  3. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    I hope you’re wrong about Soto, because I’m trading him and Andrew Miller for Furcal (since I had Tulo who just strained the tendon of my heart). Then I’m picking up Matt Treanor on the wire. (relax… it’s an NL Only league people)

  4. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @IowaCubs: Wrong? That’s a great trade for you even if Soto pans out. Well played.

  5. I’m riding Soto all the way to moneytown! Yeeeee haw!!

  6. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    As an owner of Smoltz and Gallardo — which is to say, the proprietor of a M*A*S*H* unit for pitchers — will Bailey ease my pain? Really? He looked so bad last year. And that hair.

    p.s. if you haven’t heard, to quote Die Hard, the quarterback is toast. The quarterback in this case being Gallardo. Done for the year, alas.

  7. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Bailey is in the minors, and he’s giving up home runs there (but has looked good in other peripherals). But he’s one (maybe two) bad starts by other Reds pitchers (Belise) away from getting called up. He could definitely have value. He will not replace Smoltz and Gallardo. He won’t replace Wolf at this point.

    Yes, alas.

  8. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    He ended up demanding Greg Maddux and Soto for Furcal, which I’m fine with now that I have Jobacum.

  9. iowacubs –
    i like that trade. furcal looks great this year and i’d bet on him before soto. (maddux is a 5th or 6th starter…)

    rudy

  10. john says:
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    lets say Shane-o passes waivers and I contemplated picking that frustrating Hawaiian back up..whos worth dropping? Quentin, Double E, Jackson, Hafner, Parra…I think I have soured on the Flyin’ Hawaiian so much, that I’m not sure I’m willing to give up any of these guys despite my moderate need for runs.

  11. Hank

    Hank says:
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    Oh man I’m so hosed. Gallardo to the DL! I traded fur Tulo, just before his agent announced the severity of the injury! Woe is me.

    My current staff is: Volquez, Cueto, Sherzer, Bailey, Sheets, Billingsley, Young, Gallaraga, Jurrjens, and Saunders.

    My starting SS is Keppinger

    What should I do with Gallardo (we only have one IR spot=Tulo), or more specifically who should I pick up, any more prospects worth looking at? 12 team h2h, there is not a lot out of SP on waivers, and available SS are Lopez, Barmes, and that’s about it.

    Notable pitchers available: Chamberlain, Garland, Arroyo, Silva, L. Hernandez, Gorzelanny, D. Cab, Guthrie, Glavine, Pedro, Pelfrey, Robertson, Parra, Garza, Slowey, and Doug Davis.

  12. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @john: Didn’t you just drop him? Why don’t you let it ride for a little while with Quentin and see what happens? That’s unless you really needs steals, then drop Quentin for Victorino. But I think you just did that, right?

  13. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Hank: Ouch. You have to drop YoGa, he’s useless this year.

    I’d pick up Barmes because his unknown is more interesting to me than Lopez’s known.

    Your staff is very young already and there’s really only young guys on your waivers, huh? Grab Parra and hope he turns his wildness around or grab Chamberlain and hope the Yanks (a team starter ERA of 5.25) shove him into the starter role that The Stein wants for him. I’d lean toward Parra.

  14. john says:
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    Oh yea..that was just a purely hypothetical…I’m just expressing the bad and not so fuzzy feelings I get deep inside me (bad lunch?) when I think about Victorino/Manuel

  15. I think we are seeing an Estban Loaiza circa 2003 season out of Cliff Lee. We don’t expect anything from him going into the season and continue to wait for things to turn horrible.

    Watching him pitch it sure seems like he has figured something out. His control has been wonderful, 32 k – 2 bb.

    Kobayashi’s time as closer is coming soon.

  16. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @2&Fro: re: Lee — maybe but his value can’t get any higher than it is right now. I still say trade him.

    re: Kobayashi — You’re saying this after he gave up a home run to Sexson? And Betancourt blew the save because of a Blake error? I’m confused. Please elaborate.

  17. brett says:
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    Sell high on Volquez? (Maybe for Cano… ?) Somehow I don’t think he’s going to be very good in a few months.

  18. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @brett: That’s exactly the kind of trades you should be making. Yes, Volquez for Cano would be great.

  19. You’re right about the Sexson homer and Blake error. Does make my comment seem pretty dumb. But Betancourt is not pitching well this season and I don’t think the closer role is where they actually want him to pitch. Kobayashi has pitched well so far (yesterday aside) including a couple time in the last week coming in a getting the wins after saves were blown (Saturday, Yesterday). He seems definitely to be next in line.

  20. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @2&Fro: Nah, I didn’t think it was dumb, just was wondering what your thinking was.

  21. stros says:
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    Whats going on with Brad Hawpe, his power has disappeared completely. Do you think he gets it going or were last years big numbers caused by something else?

  22. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @stros: Yeah, he sure hasn’t done much, but none of the Rockies have really. Once the weather starts heating up, he should be fine (as long as he doesn’t get injured — I’m talking to you, Tulo). He hit one home run last April and 7 in May. Of course, there’s no reason to start him when the Rockies are facing a lefty. His splits are atrocious.

  23. brett says:
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    Although Volquez has struck out 6 Braves in 3 innings so far.

  24. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @brett: Yeah, his stock will be sky high, if you need Cano go for it.

  25. BSA says:
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    OK, Here is my team – where to go now that Gallardo gets dropped very shortly.
    Mauer, Varitek, Morneau, Kinsler, Renteria, ARam, Longoria, Figgins, Damon, Kemp, Quentin, Wells, Thome, Beckett, Hudson, Bedard, Gallaf*inrado, Volquez, Cueto, Fuentes, Ryan, Papelbon. As stated, other times, H2H ten team league. I was thinking Church or Lopez. Any other ideas?

  26. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: In a ten team league, I’m thinking there’s got to be someone better than Church or Lopez.

  27. BSA says:
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    Just based on today’s “buy” list and the fact that I feel pretty good at 3rd base we got Wlad, that cheap guckin’ famble Wolf, and Bailey. I am sure we have someof the others who are conisdered hot right now. I would love to get Cano but I also want Miggy Cabrera. Both guys are on the same team and he wants Beckett and Cueto for Miggy so I don’t see much opportunity there.
    Talkin’ the other day about vetoing trades and I am in voting right now for my Halladay/Bedard trade, can you believe someone has a objection. Must be the same jerk who asked for Tek and I said I want a pitcher so he told me where I could stick Tek. Just a hint – Tek won’t fit there!
    Guess he must still be ticked that he forebode my first loss of the season at his hands and I spanked him as well as each team I have played so far this season.

  28. BSA says:
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    Great night in Atlanta – Hudson three hit complete game shutout and the rookie unfortunately loses on four hits and nine strikeouts. worked out better than I thought it would this afternoon trailing my opponent looking at having both pitchers going tonight.

  29. brad says:
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    With Wiggy coming off the DL I need to drop someone, I currently have Rickie Weeks, Eugenio Velez, and Felipe Lopez in the 2b – MI rotation.
    The other droppable guys i have are santiago casilla, sonnanstine, richie sexson, chris snyder.

    Who should I drop?

  30. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    I take it from your comments above that you prefer Salty over Jeff Clement.

    If this has been covered previously, forgive me. I’m still in mourning over Gallardo.

  31. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: Yeah, I had both pitchers going on several teams. (Along with Maine and Wainwright, great night for a lot of my guys.) Good for Hudson, I need him to be strong going forward. Also, there should not be any objection to Halladay/Bedard. That trade’s fine. Tell your leaguemates they need to stop bitching.

    @brad: You have an extra catcher in Snyder? You can get rid of him.

  32. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Grey: I don’t think I every expressly said I like Salty better. I have Salty on a few teams, but only because Clement is not catcher eligible in any league I’m in. If he has catcher eligiblity, I go with Clement, but he may not get the games needed at catcher for a few weeks. Personally, I can’t wait a few weeks for a guy to become a catcher. Also, I don’t like him that much more to make a difference. I think Salty’s better right now *if* he were starting every day But he’s not.

  33. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    I’ve got Salty in my catcher slot and Clement ripening on the bench, biding his time. They’re like a tag team, rinsing the bad taste of Ramon Hernandez out of my mouth.

    In looking around for potential post-Gallardo trades, is this idea nuts? I’d offer Alex Rios for Matt Kemp and Ervin Santana. Am I short-selling here?

    Mitigating factors: I am down to three able-bodied starters at this point (Hamels, Cain, Volquez) and, having won my league three years running, am forced to pay $1.00 for every .50 cents I get back in a trade. Otherwise, no one returns my calls.

  34. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    Edited to add: Taking another look at that guy’s roster, I could probably ask for James Shields and Kemp. I know he lusts for Rios.

  35. mike says:
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    Did any1 watch the Cubs game? I heard Aramis got hit by a pitch on the wrist and got taken out…did it look bad?

  36. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Shields is very solid, but I still don’t make that trade. Can’t you scrounge up Shawn Hill or Wolf or someone? Is the waiver wire that bad.

    @mike: It looked really bad. But I hear it’s day to day. Hopefully he’s back by Sunday. Might be a few days though.

  37. mike says:
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    Day to day i can live with. Its the words broken or fracture that i was afraid of.

  38. Chet says:
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    I am in an NL only league and was offered Fielder for Yunel Escobar and James Loney. I am getting crunched in this league and need HR’s and RBI’s. Is it worth it? Thanks. Love the site!

  39. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Chet: Yeah, you do that trade in a heartbeat then pray it doesn’t get vetoed by your jealous leaguemates.

  40. Brad Hawpe was just let go in my league. Would you drop Melky Cabrera or Michael Bourne to get him?

    It is an OPS league and I already have Sizemore, BJ Upton and Furcal to get me stolen bases.

  41. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @2&Fro: Nah, I’d hold tight. Since you mention OPS and who you have for steals, I’m assuming you’re thinking Bourn. If need be, Bourn will have more trade value down the line than Hawpe.

  42. How about this trade in another standard format? I was offered Markakis and F. Cordero for Holliday. Just lost Gallardo for the season so a two for one isn’t a huge problem.

  43. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @2&Fro: If you need saves, that’s a fair trade. Not exactly a slam dunk but fair.

  44. BSA says:
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    Grey, You’ve seen my pitching staff and know Gallardo has put a clink in my plans of finding a gem in free agency. What about someone like Myers or Bush. Yes, Wolf and Shawn Hill are also out there.

  45. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: Dude, I got about fifteen of my own teams that are hard to keep track so to be honest I got no flippin idea who’s on your staff. Sounds like you’re dropping Gallardo for one of those four. If that’s right, I’d order them Myers, Wolf, Hill, Bush. If you could, grab both Myers and Wolf. Hope this helps.

  46. BSA says:
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    As I read yours and Rudy’s references to the different teams you have – I wondered, How many does he have, thanks for answering two questions in one.

  47. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: Not sure, probably about the same as me.

    EDIT: I guess he has a few less.

  48. I’ve got 4 – two 12 team 5×5 mixed leagues with other fantasy bloggers, one 10 team 5×5 mixed league w/ friends (including Grey), and my Razzball team. You can click the ‘Our Leagues’ link in the Category section to see our league summaries (except the friend league).

    Surprisingly, it doesn’t take me much more time to manage 4 teams vs. 1. Just lets me root for more players (except those on the Razzball team who I root against)…

  49. scott says:
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    @ Grey — R. Wolf just became available in my league…should I drop R. Hill for Wolf? R. Hill is train wreck…

  50. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @scott: The best thing Rich Hill has done this year is not give up more runs yesterday considering he walked four. Unfortunately, yeah, you have to do that move.

  51. scott says:
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    Heffin’ Hey…I was afraid you were gonna say that…I drafted him in the 9th round….I feel like someone died…

  52. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @scott: I have him on a bunch of my teams too. It’s not a good day, but this news was coming for a few weeks now.

  53. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    Thanks for talking me off the ledge on that Rios for Kemp/Shields trade. I’ll grab S. Hill once Yahoo! gets around to putting Gallardo on the DL. (I know. I should drop him. But I leave no man behind.)

    Meanwhile, the other owner wrote me back: “Kemp IS Rios,” then offered me Ankiel and Santana for Rios. Not Johan. Ervin.

    Sometimes I hate my league.

  54. john says:
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    I think its time to drop Parra hella fast, he just can’t seem to get it together

  55. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @john: He definitely didn’t look great, but I think you should just put him on your bench rather than drop him.

  56. john says:
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    oh fine Grey, I’ll bench him instead in case he decides to get good again

  57. Grey

    Grey says:
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    Should ask, how deep is this league and who are the other options?

  58. Sav says:
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    If Soto finishes the year with an OPS of +950, will Grey finally give him credit?

    Or does he have to do it for like ten years?

    Soto hasn’t even found his groove yet. He’s been pulling everything. Wait until he starts using the whole field and the weather turns warmer.

  59. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Grey: As you might imagine, I enjoyed Shields getting royally reamed tonight.

    Apologies to anyone who owns him.

  60. john says:
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    same “hella shallow” (thats me quoting you) league as before…but pitchers are a bit harder to come by…edwin jackson, blackburn, devine, garland, wellemeyer to name a few

  61. Chet says:
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    I’m in a 4×4 nl only league that doesn’t have K’s as a category. I have Peavy and am worried about his run support. I was trying to get Pujols, but he wanted Ethier as well. Any thoughts?

  62. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Sav: In one catcher leagues, there’s so many catcher options, that if you can move Soto, it’s a smart move. +.950 OPS or not.

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: And last week he threw a shutout against the Sox. His next start will be the Angels. Looong season.

    @john: Keep Parra, those guys aren’t worth it.

    @Chet: I wouldn’t worry about the wins. His ERA and WHIP will help win you those categories.

  63. josh says:
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    is it normal for guys with historically pretty low walk rates to come out of the gates walking a ton? players that come to mind are aramis, rios, garko, figgins, markakis. without looking at all their numbers, i think all of them are way of out whack with their career numbers. aramis has 20 so far, with a career high of 50 in ’06.

    also, can you think of someone recently whose walk rate has dropped a ton? abreu’s was down to 12 from 18 last year, and it’s like 8 this year. i have him on more teams than anyone else (guess a lot of people were reading karabell) and i’m pretty concerned despite passable roto stats.

    am i reading too much into it this early in the season? thanks

  64. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @josh: re: walks — Just as it’s too early to extrapolate good, it’s too early to extrapolate bad.

    re: Lee — I’ve been warning people to trade him.

  65. hey josh –
    it’s rare for an established player to have any real shifts in walk rate. abreu is abreu. if he could walk with a-rod behind him, he could walk with matsui or shelly duncan behind him…

    guys like rios, markakis, and garko are still young and might be increasing their walk rates. markakis is the one of the trio with the least protection. his choice is either to hit .280 with 60-70 walks or .300 with 90+ walks….

    rudy

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