Dallas Braden threw a perfect game yesterday as every single Rays hitter chickened out and didn’t step on the mound. If you know something gets in a guy’s head, don’t you exploit that? I say you send a pinch hitter, say, Pat Burrell out there JUST to step on the mound. So Braden’s still not someone I’d be excited to own in mixed leagues. His K-rate is poor, though he has, obviously, found some success with his changeup. In his game after his perfect game, Buehrle gave up 5 earned in 6 1/3 innings. So perfect is nice, but it means little. If you happen to own Braden, I’d see what he could get in a trade. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Tim Stauffer – 5 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 1 K. Stauffer filled in for Correia, who missed the start with a family emergency. I’ve owned Stauffer in one NL-Only league for the last couple of weeks, hoping that he would work his way into the rotation. This probably isn’t that opening, but at some point it’ll come for Stauffer. Either way, he’s been great in middle relief, sporting a 0.39 ERA and 0.94 WHIP, with just over 8 Ks per 9. Worth owning for MR ratio help. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Chris Davis was sent down as a tear rolls down Bill James’ cheek. Coming up to take his place, Justin Smoak. Back in June, Stephen took out his incisors, chewed up and spit out some Justin Smoak fantasy value. For those too lazy to go back and read that post, it says, “(Smoak) has a great swing because his hands move together with his body producing a short, solid swing with few holes (his plate coverage is great). Please, blog, may I have some more?
Dallas Braden has 200 major league innings under his belt and his K/9 IP is a little bit over 5. In 180 IP, that’s 100 Ks. In other words, not good. In other other words, blech. In other other other words, there is no such thing as other other other words. Dallas’s 10 Ks is more a condemnation of the Mariners’ hitting (were they wearing their fielding gloves instead of batting gloves?) than something warranting reevaluation of Braden’s status as an okay 4th/5th starter in AL-only leagues. He’s not a mixed league option at this point. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Ian Snell – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 Ks. Before you get any ideas, Ryan Sweeney is the A’s three hole hitter. Ryan Sweeney sounds like the captain of your high school soccer team. Kevin Kouzmanoff is the A’s cleanup hitter. The Padres didn’t even want Kouzmanoff. ‘Nuff said on him. Ellis, Buck and Pennington is the bottom of their order. That’s a lacrosse team. Half of this lineup is playing the wrong sport. Please, blog, may I have some more?
This initial installment is full of fellas who go twice in week one of the 2010 fantasy baseball season. Week 1 is always a “ball and rank ‘em” scenario. Guys who are either on really crappy teams, are fantasy irrelevant anyways, fill-ins for an injured bloke. Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Jays have all but conceded the closer role to Jason Frasor. They must love Frasor’s witticisms! See if you can trade Kevin Gregg for Nadir Bupkus. Otherwise, I’d drop him as soon as it’s official, which it may be by the time you read this. Gregg’s not worth the stack of napkins you’re using until you buy more toilet paper. I moved Frasor up my Closer Look from the other day. His days of brain freezing could be behind him quickly; he can easily be a donkeycorn by May. Gregg isn’t much of a challenge to Frasor and Gaston seems content with Downs in middle relief. Anyway, here’s what else happened over the weekend in fantasy baseball:
Jon Rauch – The Twins are going with the dreaded closer-by-committee. (Rauch moved down that same Closer Look.) Matt Guerrier will see some save chances, Jose Mijares could see some situational saves, but I think Rauch will see the majority. I own Rauch and Guerrier in different leagues. If there’s one bullpen that can pull through losing their closer, it’s the Twins. In years past, I’d say they definitely would ride it out, meaning no trade. But they’re opening a new park and I think they want their fans to think they’re out there trying their best, so I think they acquire a closer, namely Heath Bell. When will they acquire him or someone? Either very soon, or June assuming they’re still in the race. Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Verducci Effect as explained by Verducci, “Pitchers generally feel the effects of abusive increases in workload the next year, not the season in which they were pushed.” So to avoid this, clubs shutdown or skip young pitchers (this applies to those 25 years old and younger). In fantasy baseball, lots of championships are won in September, H2H and otherwise. If you have rookie pitchers, it’s imperative — ooh, strong word — that you pay attention to which pitchers are going to be shutdown or skipped. Anyway, here’s a list of some pitchers who may be shutdown in September:
Mat Latos – The Padres are playing right now so they can draft Nadir Bupkus in 2010, so there’s no reason to push Latos. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jason Bay has been terrible. Like Don Mattingly’s wife in a mugshot terrible. In June, J-Bay hit .230 and 4 homers, but he was hitting the cover off the ball in June compared to July. In July, he’s hitting .203 with 1 homer. This month Garrett Jones has hit more homers during REM sleep. The optimist in me says Bay will hit 15 homers and .300 the rest of the way with ten steals. The pessimist in me thinks he’ll be benched in favor of Chris Duncan. The realist looks at all of his splits and sees a guy that has been consistent throughout his career, minus a season (2007) when he was battling knee problems. The surrealist in me thinks Bay will hit a line drive up the middle that will ricochet off the pitcher and shoot to the 1st baseman who will smack the ball into center, then the ball will slowly roll back towards the infield until God tilts the field and the ball rolls towards the 3rd baseman, but God tilts too far and the field freezes causing the ball to roll back towards the catcher. In all likelihood, Bay’s 2nd half should be somewhere in the realist realm (though it would be cool if the surrealist was spot-on). I think Bay can give you 10+ homers, .280 average and a handful of steals. Right now, I’m actively trying to acquire him in one league. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Erik Bedard – Back to the DL. In related news, George Sherrill was an All-Star in 2008, Adam Jones in 2009 and Chris Tillman is about to be called up. Please, blog, may I have some more?
On July 16th, Padres GM, Kevin Towers, said there’s a 50-50 chance that Jake Peavy would pitch again. Turned out there was a 50-50 chance that he was lying. On July 16th, Peavy’s boot came off and his ankle is healthy. Peavy now says he’ll pitch again this year. Oh, okay. Peavy is the Padres ace, i.e., they’re not going to mess with bringing him back to make sure they win 60 games instead of 58. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Gordon Beckham, the pride of Surrey, wrote little ol’ me a letter last week. It went on for three pages and his penmanship left a lot to be desired, but let me share with you an excerpt. “Hey, Grey, Gordo here. I’m probably not going to be that great for an extended period of time in 2009. But I appreciate you supporting my efforts. Please share with your readers my plate disclipine and above-average speed. I’m probably nothing more than a doubles hitter right now with the occasional dinger (the word dinger makes me giggle). I don’t want to toot my own horn (though if I could, I’d never leave the clubhouse), but when you look at other MIs in your fantasy league, am I really that much worse? As the President of the Debate Club, I once argued in favor of keeping Ben Grieve over Roy Halladay, so what do I know?” Thanks, Gordo! I think he covered everything. At MI, ride the white lightning. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Casey McGehee – When I grow up, I wanna be just like Casey McGehee. Be touted relentlessly by me and do just okay in the major leagues. You wanna be fair? Okay, let’s be fair. McGehee is a serviceable MI. He’s not winning you leagues. But without serviceable MIs, our great sport wouldn’t be nearly as proud. Please, blog, may I have some more?
CC Sabathia left his start with biceps tightness. Or is it bicep? Hmm… Either way, it’s not great to hear about an arm issue with your fantasy ace. Right now they’re saying no tests are even necessary. Give me two hundred CCs of a White Russian and I’m asking this, you pay one hundred trillion dollars for a player and then you don’t send him for tests when he hurts his bicep(s)? Are they joking? Seriously, is this Candid Camera? I thought I saw my Adam Lambert poster’s eyes move. Is there a camera behind there? Send me a signal, throw me a line. Hopefully, tests aren’t necessary because it’s so obviously not a problem. They don’t need to administer tests for how Sabathia feels about his new home park, The Jetstream. To the left, to the left… Now, up, baby, up… He has a 3.99 ERA at home and 3.35 away. His 6 K/9 is more troubling. That would be the lowest mark of his career. Even last year in April when he was struggling, he was K’ing more than one batter per inning. Hopefully in the 2nd half of the year he can rearrange the girth and makes things right. (Fun with anagrams!) Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Daisuke Matsuzaka – Disgraceful List just got one more as the Sawx made room for Smoltz. Neither funny nor that insightful, but you’d think there would be some kind of rule by the MLB that teams can’t just DL someone because they’re ineffective. Please, blog, may I have some more?