The hardest division in the league, which includes last year’s world champs, looks to be just as intense again. For that matter, it probably will be that way for the foreseeable future. My favorite team is also being covered here. I’ll do my best not to be biased about the Yankees, and I think I’m pretty good at keeping my emotions away from the reality of the team. That being said, I think the Yankees are going to win 120 games this season. (You can check out the NL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)Please, blog, may I have some more?
The name says it all, it’s what everyone keeps asking for, NSVH. It sounds like a spin-off of CSI, or Law and Order. Except with really geeky dudes who shouldn’t really have an actual head-shot of themselves for use as their avatar. We know who they are, and pointing fingers isn’t polite unless it’s the one that I normally get from people at the retirement home I frequent for volunteer duties. Much love Shady Acres. So this week we delve into the numbers game, the ones that mimic me and steal my Nutella sandwich. These projections are highly irregular and tougher than most other stats in the pretend game. The fluctuation of personnel by teams is mind boggling and makes me look goofy. So in the chart below I am giving you the top-60 NSVH chaps with some pertinent stats that help all. During the year, I’ll get into more of the sustaining stats, but since we aren’t there yet, I can’t just make them up. Those tendency stats that I am referring to (Inherited Runners, Inherited Runners Scored, and Appearances with Lead) are my way of determining both closer and set-up guy efficiency. How they are used and when they are used. So those that are looking forward to that, hooray for you. So without further adieu, here are some projections for the top NSVH guys for this year.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Japhet Amador is a giant man, standing at 6-foot-4, weighing in at 315 pounds. In the Mexican League, where he’s played for the last four years, they called him El Gran Burrito. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto once remarked that Amador is welcome at the Presidential Palace anytime, as long as Amador brings his own snacks. When Jose Altuve heard the Astros signed Amador, Altuve was thrilled. No more walking around for Altuve; Amador will just carry him around in a baby bjorn. I watched video of Amador and I’ve never seen such a slow bat through the zone. He looks like a Mexican Meat Loaf in a celebrity softball game. I swear, Amador stopped to eat one of those spicy dried mango candies halfway through his swing. His power is huge, but I’m not sure he’d gonna be able to catch up to anything. Last year in the Mexican League, he hit 36 homers and he’s 27 years old. The Mexican League is supposedly comparable to Triple-A, only instead of buses for transportation, the teams pile into a Toyota Tercel. Right now, he looks pegged for Triple-A, but since the Astros have Robbie Grossman, Marc Krauss, Jesus Guzman and J.D. Martinez vying for everyday ABs, anything could happen. I’d take a flyer on Amador in AL-Only leagues, and wait and see in mixed leagues. Best case scenario, he gets the DH job and hits 25+ homers and .220. The worst case scenario, you draft Altuve and Amador accidentally sits on him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw recently in spring training for 2014 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Taijuan Walker was shut down for a week due to a bursa in his right shoulder. Isn’t a bursa a type of Ethiopian bread? Sounds more like Somalians are holding my beautiful, upside starting pitcher captive. Only Captain Phillips can get me out of this mess…by being taken captive for two hours of a two hour and twenty minute movie and then being saved by characters we don’t even empathize with. Snooze. True story, schmue story, give Phillips a hidden machine gun in his rectum and let him shoot his way out by farting! This is starting to sound bad for Walker. I haven’t moved him in my top 80 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball yet, and, since I only have him down for 170 IP in my projections, I’m not changing anything, but I’d definitely be careful about pairing Walker with lots of other risk. As of right now, Walker will not be ready to start the year in the rotation. Anyway, here’s what else I’ve seen in Spring Training for fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The closer news is kind of like that pond back in the woods by Me’ma’s house. You know the one where you and your first “girlfriend” from Canada used to meet up and read scripture. Stagnant is the term for all you wordsmith’s out there. Spring training games just literally got started this week and the battles that are going on for unnamed closer spots; Rangers, White Sox and Astros, are still a hmmm situation. So until someone actually gets hurt, assassinated, or decides that baseball is no longer fun for him… we are at a stand still. Updates are always good though, and fun. It’s like Sudoku or the aggravation of doodling little numbers next to each box, stupid little numbers. They make it look all messy like a 4-year-old is doing it and you get all self conscious and hide it form the guy sitting next to you on the plane. It’s okay, admitting it is the hard part. Just say it to yourself and give yourself a wink in the mirror. So here is the slightly adjusted list of closers, the addition of Fernando Rodney not only adds legitimacy and tilte to the lefty’s swagger. So have at the list for this week and hopefully we will have some more news or will make up some stuff that’s more interesting in the upcoming weeks.Please, blog, may I have some more?
So the title has a bit of superlative in it. What was I gonna say, the most kinda good fantasy baseball team? You’ll get over your scoffing, I have faith in you. This is the best 2014 fantasy baseball team that I can put together when drafting from my top 100 for 2014 fantasy baseball and top 400 for 2014 fantasy baseball. Honestly, I could draft another 25 teams from those lists, and they’d all be different, but equally terrific… Well, one of the twenty-five would only be almost terrific, but it would be really hard to tell which one that is. If I took Adam Jones in the 1st round, everything after would change. For this exercise, I’m taking Mike Trout first, because, well, I have him first overall. Until pick 100, I’m taking one guy somewhere in every twelve picks. It would be nice if I was in a league where someone drafted Darvish and Kershaw in the first round and I was able to take Prince Fielder in the 2nd round (which is likely), but since Trout and him are in my first 10 picks, according to the rules I’ve set up for myself, I can’t take them both. Then, as we all know, once you get into the 100′s, there’s wide gaps between ADP and where players are actually taken. People tend to look at team need over value. So for this exercise, once I get to pick #101, I’m going to pick two players every twenty picks. Finally, because there is so much latitude in the last 200, I gave myself free reign to fill up my team. Throughout the draft, I also gave myself the ability to reach to a lower draft pick, but not reach forward. It should still be my ideal team… Or not. Let’s see, shall we? Bee tee dubya, this team is 5×5, one catcher, 5 OFs, MI, CI, 1 UT, 9 P, 3 bench, just like the Razzball Commenter Leagues that are signing up still. (Yes, we need commissioners. I’m shooting for 70 leagues, but we need your help! Wow, I just sounded like FDR.) Anyway, here’s the best 2014 fantasy baseball team:Please, blog, may I have some more?
To answer your first question, no, I am not dead. Secondly, sorry to disappoint you. As we count down the days to draft and when pitchers/catchers report, it’s a virtual ‘pins and needles’ fest for some of the closer battles that could be looming. Some of these battles are going to be very interesting, ’cause battles are awesome and make fools of everyone. Let’s dive into some of those battles, shall we? The Cubs and their smoke-show of a bullpen is first and foremost. Jose Veras looks to be the guy, until Pedro Strop‘s me-mah gets all free paella for every manager named Sveum. The Orioles still really don’t have a closer, and until free agency is kaput, Tommy Hunter is the guy. And the other one to keep an eye on is Colorado… I mean my name is Smokey… so I am firmly entrenched in the bumper crop going on there. LaTroy Hawkins has been called the “closer” for now. I have a feeling that the Rockies, at some point, get all nepotistic and gives it to Rex Brothers. The last situation I would monitor is the effectiveness and trust level that Pittsburgh has with Grilli, who is getting back into the saddle. Mark Melancon is arguably the first non-definite closer for me that is draft worthy over some guys who are low on this list that have the job. So stay tuned conclusionary fans, it’s early and things are always a changin’. Like last year, I will be doing an off-week Holds post to keep all things relievers up to date.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Oh, how we are going to miss Mariano Rivera. I’ve never owned him, but always wished I did. Personally, I’m a Yankee hater, but I always enjoyed watching him work his ninth inning magic like a smooth pick up artist. So now we are left without one of the greatest closers to ever play the game and a permanent fixture on the $12 salad menu. But like all things fantasy, we must move on and start prepping for next season by keeping our minds sharp and our cheat sheets easily accessible. The great mix up called free agency and the winter meetings are just a stones throw away and will hopefully give us some clarity into what comes next.Please, blog, may I have some more?
So the All-Star break has come and swept us away and now its onto the last 19/32 of the season. The chase for saves is becoming more and more concrete as the season grows, and the closepocalypse of 2012 is just a great conversation starter, just like super storm Sandy. The list of reliable closers with concrete gigs is growing and the rankings this week show a reflection of that. There is a huge have and have not factor going on, it’s either reliable and tried and true or it’s a 2 AM special where you’re trying to convince her to give you a Bryant Gumbel. The top of the list remains stout and the names are fairly consistent, it’s just getting to be a very swanky restaurant and the salad menu is expanded to accommodate more guests…so to speak. So enjoy the ensalade and don’t forget to ask for the endless breadsticks.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Matt Cain had his shortest outing of his career with 2/3 IP and 3 ER. At least Bochy had the sense in his giant watermelon-sized head to remove Cain quick enough that yesterday’s damage was that of a bad Heath Bell outing. Wait a second, did I just compare Cain to Heath Bell? I just rang my own bell and answered with, “Holy crap no one wants to be compared to Heath Bell.” Where did it all go wrong for Cain and can Cain (almost stutterer!) get it back to good, assuming you’re not just signing a Matchbox Twenty song? Looking at his K-rate from last year to this year, he’s actually been better this year. His velocity is fine. His xFIP is nearly the same as last year when he had a 2.79 ERA. The only big change is his luck and his walk rate. He’s missing his spots. This can come one of two ways. He can miss his spots off the plate and walk guys or he can miss his spots in the zone and give up hits and homers. He usually works up in the zone. Done it his whole career. If you miss up…up, it’s a ball. If you miss up…down, you’re Sandy Duncan with one glass eye while watching with your other eye as the ball is leaving the park. The Giants are saying he might not be healthy, but I don’t think Cain is hurt. Still could land on the Disgraceful List. More likely, he needs to tweak something in his mechanics. Until that happens, I’d stay away from him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?