Phil Hughes was named the Yankees’ fifth starter. The good news, he’s a solid fantasy 4th starter with 3rd starter appeal. He can put up over an 8 K/9 with a near-4 ERA. Rudy’s Hughes’s (say that fast seventeen times) starter projections have him at 10-5/4.18/1.32/130 in 140 innings, which brings us to the bad news. There’s no way the Yankees throw him for more than 140 innings. That could mean instituting a new “Hughes Rules” doctrine, where he’ll be skipped on occasion, won’t throw more than five innings, won’t start after August, can’t eat after midnight, etc. Anyway, here’s some other fantasy baseball news:
Aroldis Chapman – Dusty will be deciding between Aroldis, Travis Wood and Mike Leake for the fifth starter job. Honestly, if you would’ve said, name the one that is not a professional baseball player out of these three: Travis Wood, Mike Leake or Jimmy Fakename. I would’ve had no idea. Would love to get a glimpse of Dusty Baker’s decision making process for picking a fifth starter. I know there’s equal parts eeny and meeny. There might also be a dunk tank. I’ve compared Aroldis to a young Randy Johnson. Wanna see where? Here, “His stuff is wicked awesome and his control is wicked awful. But he wouldn’t be the first guy to struggle there. Hello, Randy Johnson. That’s a tall order, literally. But he’s someone I’m excited about in keepers and deep leagues. He should be owned in keepers from the jump. In one year leagues, I’d take a flier on him in the final rounds to see if he breaks camp. If he doesn’t, then you drop him. Please, blog, may I have some more?
On Sunday, Akinori Iwamura was carted off the field. (No, it wasn’t some sorta Japanese custom when a player makes an out.) So Reid Brignac may get some short-term value if the Rays play him. Right now, they don’t seem committed to that plan. And, frankly, I can see why. He hasn’t exactly been tearing it up in Triple A. The Rays should go to Ben Zobrist aka The Best Home Run Hitter In The World With The Last Name Zobrist. With shortstop eligibility and potentially 2nd base, Zobrist will have value getting everyday at-bats. Much has been made of Zobrist’s out-of-the-blue power surge. The only explanation that seems to be out there is that he worked in the offseason with Jaime Cevallos, The Swing Mechanic. (Turns out he helped Little Jake Current too!) Honestly, I don’t think it matters much for Ben Zobrist since he already has shortstop eligibility. It’s worth a flier to see if the power continues. Just don’t cut anyone too worthwhile for that flier, including Little Jake Current — he’s got power to all fields! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Troy Percival – Hit the DL and made J.P. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ohmigod, Grey’s totally going against Rudy’s risky pitcher post? They are so fighting. I hope Rudy rips off Grey’s stache. $5 says it’s not real. Uh-hum. I can hear you, random italicized voice. I’m actually typing you! My bad. So, yes, Jon Lester is a risky pitcher. But at this point, he’s also a buy. His ERA’s 6.31. That’s ridunkiculous from where it should be. He’s pitching well (minus some ill-timed long balls), tremendous K-rate, solid walk rate. A pitcher who is pitching well and has a 6.31 ERA is such a crazy buy, that I wouldn’t be surprised if his owners weren’t even selling. But, on the other hand, they’re smarting from his earned runs. They may see LaTroy Hawkins or Jason Bartlett and be like, “Hey, Lester’s killing me, why not take a guy that at least has been good?” That’s why you prey on those suckas. This is why you have brass balls and you just chucked one at your mean lady neighbor who keeps bugging you when you turn the Dropkick Murphys to eleven and put it on repeat. I’m a sailor peg!!! And I lost my leg!!! I love that song. Wait, what was I saying? Oh, yeah. Lester — get him, within reason. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy and Sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Justin Duchscherer – If he’s on waivers and you can stash him on your DL, stash away. 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?
Chris Davis has 42 Ks in 88 ABs. That’s a pace of about 300 Ks. Not sure he gets there, but Mark Reynolds should be worried about his strikeout record. Back when I called Chris Davis a poor man’s Mark Reynolds, everyone and there’s Momma’s boyfriend wanted some Davis action. Back in June of 2008, when Davis was called up, I said, “(It) doesn’t mean he will strikeout 250 times and hit 50 HRs, but it gives you a bit of an idea of what kind of player he is.” Actually, he may strikeout 250 times. And that’s me quoting me linking to me and correcting me! I’m not saying any of this to push people to trade him away, but I think a lot of people thought they were getting a .300 hitter in Davis. He’s not. Average is a bit of a fluky thing, but, with the way Davis is striking out, he’s looking like a .240-.250 hitter. I still think as the weather heats up the homers will be flying, but check your expectations. Anyway, here’s what we saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Grady Sizemore – Sizemore got caught stealing for the 4th time yesterday in 9 tries. Last year he only was caught 5 times out of 44 tries. Grady hasn’t had this much trouble getting to 2nd base since he was a sophomore in high school and was still being ridiculed as Gravy Friesmore. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Alex Gordon revealed yesterday that he would require hip surgery and would miss a few months. Willie Bloomquist owners rejoice! Obviously this isn’t great news for Gordon. That’s 99 red balloons for your fearless leader, Grey. I loved me some Alex Gordon. Though, as fate would have it, I didn’t actually get him on any team. Not by design. I luckily backed up into that one. You can DL him, but I’d cut bait if you have anyone else in the DL slot. Gordon’s not coming back for a while and even when he was around, he was tentative at best. It’s going to be real hard for me to sell anyone on drafting him next year. But I will try! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
LaTroy Hawkins – Notched a save as Jose Valverde was held out of the game because of a sore back. The Astros are making it sound like Valverde’s back isn’t much of an issue. Yeah, and the Orioles wanted Wieters to work on his D. And the Mariners brought Griffey back so they can win games not as a PR stunt. And the Rockies were happy with the value they received for Holliday. These clubs lie through their teeth. Valverde may be fine and Hawkins is a cuddle boy, but all that means nothing if Hawkins is getting the saves. If you have room, own him. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Our weekly Friday Fantasy Baseball Feature, Buy Low/Sell High is back after an offseason layoff. When asked what this fantasy baseball feature did during the offseason, it said this, “Went up to the Adirondacks for some bass fishing with my friend, Clete. Well, one thing led to another and we fell in love.” Alrighty then! To get everyone on the same page, I like the Buy guys. I dislike the Sell guys. Now if Thames is in the Buy section (which he is!) and Lackey is in the Sell section (there too!) that doesn’t mean I recommend you trade Lackey for Thames. Everything’s relative, Einstein. Anyway, here’s some guys to buy and sell for the 1st week of the fantasy baseball season (start the games already!):
Alexi Casilla – Can run, can hit and at MI it pays to find out how much. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Losing Gary Sheffield from your fantasy baseball team is about the best thing that could’ve happened to you if you owned him. This isn’t really a big fantasy story as far as Sheff goes. He was a decrepit ex-roider. (He was a great hitter to watch in his prime and it’s sad when great players devolve into nomadic, expensive NVORPS (negligible value over replacement players). For every neat and tidy retirement like Ripken and Gwynn, there seems to be at least three like this.) The best thing that could happen is he ends his career at 499 homers. Instant karma’s gonna get you. What this does do is open up a spot for someone else. As I said in the comments yesterday, “The Thames runs through it.” Damn, I’m pithy. I’m like Charles Nelson Reilly on The Match Game pithy. RIP, C N R, you were one of a kind… Until me. Marcus Thames is a source of 20 – 25 HRs and a .240 average. Not bad for AL-only but not remarcusable. He usually only plays against lefties, so I’m not sure if Sheff’s departure gives him that many more ABs. He’s a masher to watch. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in spring training for fantasy baseball:
Joey Devine – Now Aching Joey Devine is off to see Dr. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Then one day Jed was hopin’ he could start; and Lugo and Scrappy Doo started fallin’ apart. This is an opening for good ol’ Jed. The kind to keep those taking late MI fliers fed. Said Yawkey is the place you ought to be. So he packed up his Wii to play with Papi. Ortiz, that is. Jed Lowrie is in, Julio Lugo is out and Nomar Garciaparra is so five minutes ago. Yo, whaddup, double play pardner? Not your knee, I assume. And the Jed Lowrie fantasy sleeper post is back on like Donkey Kong. Sure, the Sox are saying Julio Lugo may only be out a month, but he was ‘healthy’ last year and he lost playing time. Do the math! Anyway, here’s some more things I saw in spring training that pertains to fantasy baseball:
Dustin Pedroia – Man, I’m telling you right now (unless you’re reading this sometime in the future. Damn you, Future Boy!) if Dustin Pedroia sheets the bed this year, I’m going to milk that carton at least once a week and twice on Moosday. During the WBC (World Backups Championship?), Pedroia came up lame due to a strained muscle near his rib cage. For those of us playing fantasy baseball that have never seen a “hitter” “hit,” strained muscles near the rib cage can cause pain when a batter swings. If Pedroia is fine fine, he bounces back with no ill effects and still hits his 15 to 18 home runs. Now what if Pedroia is not that fine fine? Say he only hits 12 to 15 home runs. Do you see what a waste of an early pick Pedroia could be? You really want a 2nd round pick that might hit 12 home runs and steals 15? Who are you, Kelly Johnson? That’s giving me The Gas Face just thinking about it. Please, blog, may I have some more?
The guys on this list are going after the 1st ten rounds in your 2009 fantasy drafts. But, for the LP, I would absolutely draft Utley, Phillips, etc. if they fell to me at the right spot. This is a supplement to the top 20 2nd basemen of 2009 fantasy baseball. Please, blog, may I have some more?