J.J. Hardy is an easy buy, which isn’t the same as an easy sell. Hardy’s not exactly promoting a yum-yum juicy chicken burger with a side of 30 homers and 20 steals. He’s cheap. His expectations are low. He’s 27-years-old and averaged 83/25/77/.280 at 24 and 25. Last year, he didn’t tune and check out with Khalil Greene, going off to mullet all over. Hardy started the year dealing with back issues and he never recovered. If you invite Hardy onto your team, you don’t need to put plastic sheets on the bed and hide all the good flatware. With O-Dog currently hurt and his grasp on the #2 spot tenuous, Hardy could be next in line for that spot. If so, 160+ R/RBI is definitely reachable and the power is already there. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Ervin Santana – I was saying the other day something like you should move to the exit row. I didn’t say exit. I was preparing my exit. Now when I see he’s only owned in 26% of ESPN leagues, I’m beginning to think people bailed on him too soon. This isn’t a buy, this is a hold. Format constraints and all that. Please, blog, may I have some more?
On his way to The Stadium That Jane Fonda Didn’t Receive In The Divorce Settlement, Jason Heyward ordered his chariot driver to the side of the road so he could wrestle a wildebeest. Suicide mission or pregame ritual? Doesn’t matter. With nary a scuff to his gladiator sandals, he escaped unharmed. With the wildebeest head shipped off to PETA, Heyward arrived at the game, went 2-for-5 and hit a home run. No doubt, he is the greatest player since RBI Baseball’s Darrell Evans. After the game, Heyward said, “What game? I was commissioned by Al Gore to form cloud cover.” Consider Heyward a 80/20/80/.280/10 guy. If someone offers you better than that, take it. If you’re in a league where someone gives you a top 50 player for him, you’re in a sucker league. And you better beat those suckers. Remember, Jordan Schafer hit a home run on Opening Day last year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Nate McLouth – Hitting eighth. He did hit .010 in the preseason, but I think Cox comes around on him. Could be a nice buy low situation. Then again, I’m not a huge fan of McLousy, so I need to stop touting him. Please, blog, may I have some more?
While the merits of what someone is hitting or not hitting in Spring Training can be debated, where they are hitting or not hitting is important to look at. First, I want you to refresh your pretty little brain with the impact of lineup position on Runs and RBIs. Welcome back! Anyway, here’s some players whose value dips or shoots up (easy, Hamilton) due to 2010 lineup position:
Alexei Ramirez – He tends to start the season slow and he’s slated to bat ninth. That’s a recipe for yawnstipation. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Matt Holliday signed with the Cardinals after it became clear that no one else was signing him. Other than going to the Padres or A’s (again) or some other terrible team/park, I didn’t think it mattered much where Holliday signed. He is in the prime of his career and is what he is. A .315, 15 steal, 25-30 home run hitter. His absurd 28 steals in 2008 looks to be an outlier. As does his 36 homer season in 2007. He’s not signing on for Coors II, The Humidor Breaks. Currently, I have Matt Holliday ranked in my top 20 for 2010. (The rankings begin next Monday. You can hardly wait! No, you!) I ranked him there knowing he was probably staying in The Bootheel. Anyway, here’s other signings and trades and what they mean for 2010 fantasy baseball:
Casey Kotchman – Off to the Mariners. When your career is five years in and your defining moment is an eight month bout with mono as immortalized by Pulling a Kotchman, you got problems. A junket to Safeco ain’t helping the cause. Sorta gives you a good idea about imbalance when Kotchman was a back-up’s back-up on the Sawx and is now the starting first baseman for the M’s. Conor Jackson looks at Kotchman’s power upside and laughs (then coughs from Valley Fever as he pulled his own Kotchman last year.) I.e. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Justin Upton heads to the DL with an oblique injury. For those reading, who just got out of a time machine from the 80s, no one has any idea what an oblique is. And stop wearing Cavariccis. Upton will probably be out more than the required 15 days, because these oblique injuries that no one has ever heard of are tricky. With the Baby Backs out of every race outside of The Greatest 3rd Baseman To Ever Grace the Human Race Race, they’re not going to rush Upton. Does this hurt you to hear? It’s not my intention. But just don’t expect anything until September from Upton. On the bright side, now you have room for Will Venable. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Mark Reynolds – HR yesterday then he was removed with a sore thumb. It doesn’t seem to be anything to worry about. Mini-donkeys get sore thumbs apparently. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Lastings Milledge is about to get called up by the Pirates (We’re not your Pops’ Pirates!) and he should get playing time. Shoot, I could prolly get playing time with the Pirates. Is this still the head case that the Mets and Nats gave up on? Sure. Luckily, the rap scene in Pittsburgh is about as happening as Poughkeepsie’s and there’s no chance Milledge will high-five a fan after a homer, because, well, the Pirates have no fans. Lastings Milledge can give you a two month stretch that looks remarkably similar to what Beltran has done over the last two months, or he can give you a two month streak where he looks like what Beltran should’ve done for the last two months. Will Milledge suddenly be 10 team worthy? Check yo projections at the door. I don’t know. His 2nd half last year was hella strong. (Yo and hella were requests of the 18-29 test audience). So Milledge can give you a ten team worthy outfielder and that’s worth a flier in every league. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Ty Wigginton – Hit a homer on Thursday. Know how many homers he hit last August? 12. Why does he get hot in August? I don’t know. Maybe his moon sign coalesces well with August’s sun sign. Whatever the case. Pick him up in deep leagues and monitor him closely in 12 team or shallower. Please, blog, may I have some more?
J.P. Howell has back-to-back blown saves. Joe Nelson hasn’t even sniffed a save opportunity after getting saves when Percival was healthy. Balfour has given up 7 runs in the last five games. Isringhausen hasn’t pitched in June. Dan Wheeler got his first save opportunity on Saturday and blew it. Lance Cormier sounds like a hockey goalie. Who’s leading the Rays bullpen since Percival went down? Lefty specialist, Randy Choate, of course! When asked after the game if he’ll ever decide on a closer, Joe Maddon pushed his Buddy Holly glasses up the bridge of his nose and said, “That’ll be the day.” Where’s Percival when you need him? I would hold one of Howell or Wheeler for now, if you have room. If you’re desperate for saves, I’d put the other five names in a hat then let Akinori Iwamura pick out a name. That’s what Joe Maddon does. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Mike MacDougal – Manny Acta said MacDougal was the new Nats closer. The rest of the league said, “Bring on the ninth!” I’ll put MacDougal’s saves at 2 and his blown saves at 3. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Royals prospect Luke Hochevar was called up yesterday to replace Sidney Ponson in the rotation. But he’s Aruba’s favorite son! You know who I feel bad for? The Royals caterer. With Ponson out of the rotation, who’s going to eat that side of cow he ordered? Hochevar has been lights out so far in the minors with a .90 ERA, .95 WHIP and 5-0. His 30 Ks in 40 innings is solid, not quite crazysexycool. He doesn’t seem like the kind of pitcher that is going to dominate like, say, a Volquez last year. Fortunately, he’s cut his walks this year. As I said with Cecil two weeks ago, you pickup Hochevar to see if dominates. Cause if he does dominate, people will start going gaga goo-goo for him and then you can flip him. Or you take the rookie pitcher’s thunder, slide it next to your lightning and make it rain. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Joakim Soria – Went to the DL. Juan Cruz will fill-in mostly, with Jamey Wright maybe seeing the occasional chance. You’re thinking, I’m not bothering with Cruz, Soria will come back and be fine. Who cares if he comes back and he’s fine? Cruz may take the job and hold it for the next two months while accumulating 15 saves. Or maybe Soria returns fine in a week. All I know is Soria has said his sore shoulder dates back to WBC (Nice, Selig!) so maybe he doesn’t recover that quickly. Add Cruz, ask questions later. Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you drafted Manny this year, then you better make a new plan, Stan because Man-Ram is getting time off for bad behavior. 50 games to be exact. The reason – he came up positive for human chorionic gonadotropin, or HCG, which can be used to boost testosterone levels. Manny seems to be claiming his doctor prescribed it for erectile dysfunction but the drug is most often prescribed for…women’s fertility. Huh? And here we thought Alyssa Milano was the only person in the LA Dodger clubhouse taking those. Maybe Manny got screwed by a bad boner doctor but our money is on Scott Boras. He probably gave those pills to Manny, told him they were Flintstone vitamins, and Manny hallucinated Flintstone faces onto the vitamins. Please, blog, may I have some more?
I already did the catchers, 2nd basemen, shortstops, 3rd basemen, outfielders and starters to target for 2009 fantasy baseball. I skipped the 1st basemen on purpose because I don’t think you should be taking a flier on 1st basemen. You need some anchors for your hitting. Then someone commented yesterday asking for the 1st basemen to target and the course of Razzball history was changed forever, like when Marty got into that DeLorean. I haven’t changed my mind that you shouldn’t be taking a flier on a 1st basemen, but sometimes things are out of your control or you need a corner man or a Utility guy. This is a supplement to the top 20 1st basemen of 2009 fantasy baseball. If you’re feeling especially industrious, click on the players name to read more about them or to see their 2009 projections. Anyway, here’s some 1st basemen to target for 2009 fantasy baseball:
Chris Duncan – Colby Rasmus has moved above him on the depth charts, but I think Duncan still gets 300 ABs and nears 20 HRs. Unless LaRussa doesn’t want anyone coaching his pitching staff. Dave Duncan, “Muahahahahahahaha…” Pause. Duncan, “And you know that!”
Mike Jacobs – He’ll probably hit .250 and batting in the Royals order will do him no favors, but he could hit 30 HRs and have one of those lucky BABIP years and end up hitting .275. Though I wouldn’t team him up with a Dunn, Krispie or Uggla-type. Please, blog, may I have some more?