So, we had our first July 31st trading deadline deal, and it paid off for all the A’s fans who paid Oaktown’s own, Bubb Rubb, to break into Billy Beane’s office and turn his iCal forward a month. “Any ideas what you want to do for the 4th of July, Billy?” “I celebrated last month with some friends.” Screen spirals out and slam cuts to Bubb Rubb, maniacally (bubb)rubbing his hands together. When the A’s are playing like it’s playoff baseball in September, don’t say your mustachioed over-the-internet friend didn’t warn you. So, the trade that went down was Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel for David Addison Leave Me Alone Maddie Russell, who I will get to after this lede. Samardzija and Hammel both gain value going to the A’s, which isn’t often the case with an NL pitcher going to The Land of Milk and Honey-Flavored DHs. Wrigley isn’t a great place to pitch — one day it’s overcast with winds blowing straight out, another day winds are just swirling overhead like a toilet bowl genie. As we’ve seen in the past, pitchers can do just about anything in a short period of time. Could Hammel and Samardzija completely poop the sheets? Fo’sho. Likely? Prolly not. O.co is like Petco and Metco, a big cavernous wasteland for hitters and they have more foul territory than Roseanne Barr’s privates. Samardzija brings strikeout stuff to hitters that aren’t as familiar with him and could be the 2nd half’s Kazmir. Yesterday, in his first A’s start, he had a line of 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks. Dividends paying out quick there. Hammel keeps the ball down and O.co will love him. This trade only really hurts Tommy Milone, who was shipped to the minors. The A’s just made themselves a serious contender and having a friend in Bubb Rubb pays off once again. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Let’s look at some potential homerun decliners based on the following “Power Score” or expected homerun (xHR) formula and compare it to their actual homerun totals. Here is the formula:
Plate Appearances(PA)*Contact Rate(Ct%)*Outfield flyball rate(OFFB%)*Homerun per Outfield Flyball ratio(HR/OFFB).
Make sense? Sure it does: How many homeruns does a player hit per outfield flyball? How much of their contact results in an outfield flyball? How much overall contact does a batter make when swinging the bat in a plate appearance? This should provide us with an expected HR total.
The below lists are ranked by the largest actual HR-expected HR differentials. Their HR related performance (PA, Ct, OFFB, HR/OFFB) is listed along with their average homerun and flyball average distance and rank.
Two contingencies worth noting at this time: 1) Our samples size still isn’t huge and 2) We’re not taking into account platoon hitters, i.e. Scott Van Slyke as a right-hand hitter only raking against left-hand pitchers. So when I extrapolate the data, keep this in mind. In other words, if Scott Van Slyke consumed more playing time against right-hand pitchers, there’s a good chance his performance/power would drop off.
Here are the top potential HR decliners (I think you will see the value of this xHR comp immediately):Please, blog, may I have some more?
Hitters cheat all the time. Some take PEDs, some cover themselves in pine tar like a pre-industrial shaming party. Sometimes they’ll guess fastball or slider or change. Sometimes they’ll guess outer half or middle-in. Some just cheat on their wives. The one guy who has kept all his cheating on the field is the most respected player since the late Tony Gwynn. Derek Jeter married himself to the New York Yankees and they don’t care how many women he has as long as it’s only one at a time in the press. It’s a good thing for the Yankees PR department he isn’t a switch hitter. It does, however, make A-Rod sad and jealous.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’d like to begin this OBP roundup by mentioning one of my favorite points that’s been discussed in the comments before: OBP and OPS are worth looking at in leagues that don’t use them. For example, if a player has a high OBP, then he has a greater likelihood of getting runs relative to a player with a lower OBP. The same goes for OPS or slugging, either of which can be a proxy for players who get homers, extra base hits, and rbis. These stats obviously have more value in leagues that use them, but they should be given attention in leagues that do not include them because they suggest which players have more value and are likely to retain their value over the course of the season. Anyway, time for a good ol’ fashioned OBP roundup:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Hold onto your Taco Bell-made Doritos hat because yesterday Eric Hosmer hit a homer. Sung like J.J. Fad, “The S is for super, the Homer is for about freakin’ time!” More of an 80’s rock kid? Hosmer’s been Poison so far this year, but look what the cat dragged in! Prefer the punk scene? After Billy Butler goes to the bathroom, they say the john’s rotten. Okay, that had nothing to do with Hosmer, but I’m a man of the people and the people in my head demanded a punk reference. The Royals power has been so bad this year, Lorde released a remix titled, “Blue Jays.” At the forefront of the Royals abomination has been Hosmer. Entering today he had two homers. Who do you think you are, Robinson Cano? His homers per fly ball is abysmal, but his ground ball to fly ball ratio is about the same as previous years, his line drive percentage is fine, his at-bats per homer was around 30 for every year, except this year where it’s at 129. The only true red flag in his numbers is he’s hitting a ton of infield flies. I think that might’ve been him pressing due to the homer drought and now that cloud of doom can lift. I don’t think he’s suddenly going to jack 30 homers and start walking around in a crown like Jerry “The King” Lawler, but I also don’t think Hosmer will stay this terrible forever. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Gerrit Cole, one of the better young pitchers in the game, landed on the DL Sunday with “right shoulder fatigue”. What does this mean for the Pirates? Well, they have been playing much, much better of late, and this is gonna put a wrench in their chances of making a run at first place in the division. Yes, they are still eight games back, but with Gregory Polanco likely getting called up this week, if they had a push in them, now was the time they were going to have to make it. Instead, 2013 All-Star Jeff Locke, who was so bad post-break that he finished the year in the minors, will fill the void left by Cole and his 6-3 record.
Fantasy baseball owners are also going to be affected by this. The Pirates hope Cole will only miss one start, but this sounds like it could develop into a multi-week recovery. Concern arose when Cole, who normally throws in the 95-98 MPH range, was showing decreased velocity in the mid- to-late innings of games. Assuming the Bucs fall further out of contention, the team will be in no rush to bring back their 23-year-old stud. For what it’s worth, the Reds’ Tony Cingrani landed on the DL in May for the same reason (left shoulder fatigue) and missed just the minimum time, but he hasn’t been good at all in the weeks since. For now, fantasy owners will just have to stash Cole on their DL and hope for a speedy recovery.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Years ago, the movie industry left Mickey Rourke for dead. He couldn’t get a job with anyone. His face looked like pot-holed road that a Doberman took a dump on. His attitude was more disagreeable than Jack’s white supremacist gang from Breaking Bad. The rumors were he gave up acting prior to his last few movies and what you saw in those last few was simply a cardboard cut-out of Rourke that he bought in Chinatown in the 80’s. When Darren Aronofsky found Rourke for The Wrestler, Rourke was ice fishing in a tenement in West Virginia. The ice was methamphetamine and he’d toss a fishing line out a 4-story window and try to fish it out of a drug dealer’s hidden stash. Then The Wrestler happened and he acted well enough to distract from his face. Suddenly, the contracts started streaming in and Rourke was hot again. Then a funny thing happened. He brushed off the cardboard cut-out for his next few movies and started calling Marisa Tomei at four in the morning to see if she wanted to go get waffles and blow him. In the life cycle of Mickey Rourke, Nelson Cruz is now receiving acclaim for his performance in The Wrestler. At 33 years old, it is possible Cruz could have a career year, but he is 12 homers from his career high. What does he get the rest of the year? 15 homers? Maybe. That means you already got the bulk of his stats and it’s barely June. He’s also a .270 hitter that is currently hitting .313, so what does he do the rest of the year? 15 homers and a .260 average? That’s Khris Davis. If you have someone in your league with visions of Diner and Rumble Fish, I’d absolutely explore offers selling Nelson Cruz. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Cause you got a build up of wax in your eyes and haven’t been digesting the non-verbal medicine I’ve been doling out about Khris Davis, he’s getting a lede. This is coming to you from a tough love perspective, so whatever I say I don’t wish to offend or denigrate. Y’all seem like good people. Some of you I would even consider friends. Friends that I’ve never met and friends that when you called me to make plans I’d lie about other plans I didn’t have to avoid you, but friends nevertheless. You all have good souls. Each and other one of you. Now, it’s time to unload on you. Damn, in the middle of softening the blow, I forgot what the blow was. Well, you should own Khris Davis. I know that was part of it. He’s been out-homering Chris Davis. Everyone knows there’s only one way to spell Khris Davis. Spelling it with a C is for cream puffs. Even that should be khream! Is Khris the answer to your season? Prolly not, but he is capable of 30 homers and he has 10 as of right now. Plus-minus that shizz and you have a bunch more homers in his bat. Oh, and four of those homers came in the last eight games. He is only 26 years old so there might even be a chance here for huge upside. I.e., his ceiling is unknown. All that is known is that he’s hit for power everywhere he’s played. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Hate on me all you want, but I’ve been a full-fledged, die-hard New York Yankees fan since birth. [Jay’s Note: Could be worse… you could have been a Red Sox fan…] I may have been born and raised in the land of palm trees, bikinis and coked-out debutantes (Los Angeles), but my father, a Brooklynite, instilled in me his love for the men in pinstripes.
Being a Yankees fan has many ups, but when it has its downs, it makes you wanna bury your head in the sand. Most of these “downs” are related to the front office spending a gazillion bricks of gold bullion on aging vets (that is the form of currency Hiroki Kuroda used during his formidable years in the 1920s). No matter how many supplements and PEDs and anti-aging hormones these players use, they’ll eventually wither away and get hurt in the process. If only the Yankees had a pill that gave their players Benjamin Button disease. I can picture CC Sabathia as a fat three-year-old baby, probably licking the fluid coming out of his knees. How adorable, he got it all over his face! How many jars of Gerber’s mashed zucchini can you buy for $142 million?
Mark Teixeira had to leave Saturday’s game with renewed wrist “inflammation”. This is not something to be taken lightly. He had offseason surgery on the same wrist and had to miss three games earlier this week before returning Friday. The fact that could only make it through one-and-a-half games before getting hurt again says this problem is not going away. Wrist injuries can completely sap your power (see, Encarnacion, Edwin in April). He’s scheduled to see a specialist on Tuesday to determine the severity of the injury. Don’t hold your breath.
After a promising start to the season in which he compiled a 2-2 record with a 1.83 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, Michael Pineda has been nothing but a pain in the backside for fantasy owners — literally. He’s been dealing with back issues, similar to the one Clayton Kershaw had in spring training, and he had been on track to return within the next few weeks. But that is no more. After a setback in his rehab this weekend, Pineda will be shutdown indefinitely. It’s time for fantasy owners to cut bait, as it’s possible we won’t see him in the Bronx till August.
There may be some good news on the injury front in New York, however. Carlos Beltran‘s attempt to avoid surgery to his elbow seems to be going well. He’s been slowly swinging a bat — progressing from dry swings, to swinging from both sides of the plate, and he took batting practice on the field before Friday’s game. According to Beltran himself, he walked away from that session happier than a big city business man taking his lunch break at a Korean massage parlor. Evidently that was enough proof of good health for the Yankees to send him out on an extended spring training stint in Tampa. He is shooting for a June 10 return when the Yanks visit Seattle to take on the Mariners.
Now on to the rest of the league…Please, blog, may I have some more?
One of the main reasons I enjoy writing for Razzball is that I haven’t encountered another fantasy baseball site where the commenters are this active and generally friendly with each other. Another great thing is that even the comments are worth reading because there tends to be some nice insight. Example A is Principal Blackman, likely a pseudonym for Charlie Blackmon, who said this last week, “How about a little love for Shin-Soo Choo’s .432 OBP & .929 OPS? Both would be career highs (the Arlington effect?), but they are not wildly (unbelievably) out of line with his career averages (.391/.858), and they are right in line with the advances he made last year… ZiPS and Steamer both foresee some regression on the way for him, and indeed a .392 average on balls in play would blow his career BABIP (.352) out of the water. And at the same time, his K% has dipped below the league average, but, on the other hand, he has maintained the improvements he made last year to his already stellar walk rate, and since the beginning of the 2013 season he only has one infield popup (none this year).” Since then, Choo has slumped a bit and had his OPS dip below .900. I expect to see him around that level all year, while maintaining his ~.420 OBP. Anyway, here are some other players on my mind in OBP leagues:Please, blog, may I have some more?