Manny Ramirez is no stranger to controversy removing him from the field, which makes it even stranger that controversy may end up putting him back on the field. The Rangers, who have Manny playing in their minor leagues, have been insistent that they have no need for Ramirez on their major league squad. However, that could change with Nelson Cruz accepting his 50 game suspension. I want to address a larger point in that over-the-hill sluggers are sometimes worth the gamble, even when they seem unlikely to produce. Yes, I’d take the same approach with Alex Rodriguez (Steamer projects a decent .258/.340/.438 line for him). I know it tends to be unpopular because they aren’t as exciting as younger players, but, depending on the size of your league, they still have value. If you have any doubts about a player being productive at an unlikely age, I’ll give you my Exhibit A: David Ortiz, who is likely well into his seventies. If Manny gets another chance in the majors, I wouldn’t expect Ortiz-like production, but something similar to Steamer’s A-Rod projection seems reasonable. That would be helpful at removing some of the weight from losing any fantasy baseball players to a suspension. Anyway here are some less controversial players I’m following in OPS leagues:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Drafting Michael Bourn? That’s a paddlin’. Focusing on steals in an OPS league? That’s a paddlin’. Drafting a SAGNOF who hurts your OPS and doesn’t steal bases? Oh, you better believe that’s a paddlin’! In all honesty (which implies that I’m rarely honest with you?), I feel sorry for fantasy owners who were counting on him for stolen bases. Don’t you feel that way too, Matt Kemp? They had their fantasy teams left cold and ashamed, lying naked on the floor. No, let’s not get into Rihanna right now. But I really don’t know where to start with Michael, so I’ll begin at the beginning and go on till I come to the end, then stop. His current .288/.341/.381 line is fine in OBP leagues, but hurts in leagues that use slugging. The fact that he only has 13 steals is puzzling, considering that he’s a guy you would pencil in for 50 a year. Perry Farrell told me to note that Bourn’s been caught stealing seven times, a potential indicator of less speed. To make a not-so-long story short, I wouldn’t count on Bourn turning his season around. Anyway, here are some other guys I’m watching in OPS leagues:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Albert Pujols and his owners are not not not gonna have a good time the rest of 2013 thanks to a partially torn plantar fascia ligament in his foot. It must be hard to stamp out fasciasm when it affects one’s foot – especially when the leader of the movement is so menacing. Pujols has clearly been a shadow of his former self but he still has been the 6th most valuable 1B (not counting guys with other position eligibility) according to our Season-to-Date Player Rater. For those of you without a built-in replacement at 1B like the Angels (Mark Trumbo), I recommmend just playing matchups via the Hitter-tron and hope you luck into a few hot streaks. Or, if you’ve got surplus at a position, trade for a dependable 1B to save yourself the joy of deciding between the Yonder Alonsos on the waiver wire.
Anyway, here are some other notes from the weekend. (And a shout-out to Grey ‘Iron Man’ Albright who is taking a night off with the Cougar’s family whom, I assume, live in a pink house somewhere in Indiana)…Please, blog, may I have some more?
No worries, fantasy owners: Alejandro De Aza may not speak Swahili*, but this past month his numbers have been music to fantasy owners’ ears. With a .350/.418/.567 line in July, a strikeout rate that has decreased every month of this season, and already reaching a career high in home runs, there are many reasons for optimism. Yes, he struggled early on this season, but he seems to be rounding into form with an approach that attempts to hit for more power. And why not? After all, he plays in a park where Adam Dunn bunted for a home run** last year. I, for one (unless I can speak for more than one?), am embracing the slightly more homer-friendly De Aza. If he continues to steal bases, then he will add to the scarcity of players who steal bases, but don’t destroy your OPS (you know who you are). For the rest of the season, I believe that he will be able to maintain his current .278/.336/.444 line, which represents a slight dip in OBP with a nice bump in slugging. Anyway, here are some other guys I’m dreaming about in OPS leagues:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Maybe I’m paranoid, but we have to be masters of reality and understand that he won’t be able to continue this wizard-like production. I’m not exactly trying to declare war on Yasiel Puig, but, like any new found glory, it’s all downhill from here. Don’t make me choose my friends over you, Yasiel! He’s truly been a fantasy baseball catalyst, but he has a very low walk rate and his strikeout rate is rising to worrisome levels. He will continue to be hit or miss, although I unfortunately see him missing much more often. Let’s address the giant Sandoval in the room: his .472 BABIP is preparing him for a head on collision. Another factor is that his hip injury has shown that he’s no iron man. I’ll temper expectations a bit by saying that a certain player had a comparable 1.105 OPS last June, only to fall to mediocrity afterwards. Shout out to whoever names that player first. I think Puig will be closer to Mark Trumbo going forward, which isn’t bad, but isn’t anywhere near what he’s been this year. On a different note, Terse and I will be doing a Reddit AMA tonight at 7pm EST. Y’all should stop by. Anyway, here are some other guys who are putting up somewhat surprising seasons:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So it’s not really the 2nd half mark in the fantasy baseball season, but it’s the All-Star Break so what else are we going to talk about? Hell’s Kitchen? Is it even believable that these people would one day be in charge of a kitchen? There’s Real World castmates who seem like they have their shizz together better than these schmohawks. I like the one guy who shaved his head to tell Gordon, “I’m now ready to get down to business.” I’m from Jersey with a beautiful head of hair. If I shaved my head, it wouldn’t mean I was ‘ready for bidness,’ it would mean I had completely lost my mind. The hair on the top of my head is my 2nd best attribute! Hair above my lip is number one. MasterChef, though, that show is the Sistine Chapel of reality shows. Okay, as with all of the other 2013 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt. If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade the outfielder for the 2nd baseman. Also, things change in fantasy baseball. Daily. I could put Miguel Cabrera number one on the top 100 list for the second half of 2013 and he could get in a fight with a bartender (not Tom Wilhelmsen) tomorrow, then he wouldn’t be number one. See how that works. This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued. It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache. This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half of their season. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today. So while Josh Hamilton did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because he’s healthy to start the 2nd half. The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2013. I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2013: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?
First, Erasmo returns for our rookie nookie needs, then Adam Eaton is called up to see if owning rookies can be better than Viagra. They can. I asked your grandpa. What? We talk. Adam Eaton has that built in ability to…Ugh, I just started singing Invisible Touch in my head. Phil Collins, wherever you are, you’ve polluted my mind! I love Adam Eaton like a brother I never had and never wanted, but would hang out with if I had time between telling Mom that he was wearing her clothes and doing a runway show in the living room. Eaton has 30-ish steal speed and 10-15 homer power over the course of a full season. Well, that full season went out the window with his injury, and now there’s a Native American crying because someone littered with Adam Eaton’s full season. In a half a season, he could still have a huge one. A Starling Marte-type half wouldn’t completely surprise me. That would be the absolute best case scenario. More likely, he’ll get 4-7 homers and 12-15 steals and be primed for a huge breakout next year. I’d still grab him in every single league because he’s got something you just can’t trust. Something mysterious. And now I’m falling, falling for him! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Alex Rodriguez may be a slob like one of us, but I’ve repeatedly told you to pick up Carlos Quentin this season, so I’ve already thrown my dignity out the proverbial window (defenestration, yo!). Instead of trying to trade for third base help, I’m saving my money and I’m hella happy that’s a bargain! Or something like that. His baby’s got sauce, but I’m not going to hold it against him. Instead I’m going to cross my fingers that he is productive for the last couple months of the season. If you’re concerned about his injuries, lifestyle choices, or age, I’d like to point to David Ortiz as an example of an oldie, but goodie. A-Rod doesn’t have elite production left in him, ahem, but he can still reach a .270/.350/.450 line. All I’m saying is that it’s a chance worth taking. Who knows, maybe if he finishes the season strong, owning him will be vogue. Anyway, here are some other guys who have my attention in OPS leagues:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I originally titled this post “SuperNova Destroys Baltimore,” but I was worried it would cause mass panic in the Crab Cake Capital, and those guys already have it rough enough with Hamsterdam running wild. For now, I’ll settle for simply pissing PETA off. Planet destroying exploding stars aside, Ivan Nova‘s star was shining extra bright Friday night as he dominated Baltimore pitching a complete game, giving up just three hits, two runs and striking out 11 Orioles. Ivan “I Vill Crush You” Nova’s only blemish in this game was a second inning home run to Matt Wieters. It looked like Nova would be stuck with the no-decision but new best friend and obvious father figure Vernon Wells hit a walk off single in the bottom of the ninth to get New York their fifth win in a row. It was Ivan’s first career shutout and he now has a 2.95 ERA and 0.94 WHIP with a 22/4 K/BB ratio in his three starts since returning to the majors. You gotta like that! Ivan gets the Royals next time out and he could be worth streaming in most formats, because they aren’t any good. Super Nova is a star worthy of a look, at least until he explodes.Please, blog, may I have some more?