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Who Knew?  Apparently, everyone.  I may have been the only one rooting for Aaron Heilman; Lou definitely was not.  Well, open that window and throw Heilman out.  Sean Marshall has been named the Cubs fifth starter.  As I said somewhere in the comments in the last couple of days, I like whoever comes away with the 5th starter job for the Cubs.  They’re gonna win games.  Know what I mean, Paula Dean?  But what can we actually expect from Sean Marshall?  Well, let’s put it this way since we’re talking about the Cubbies.  I’d prefer to have Sean Marshall on my fantasy team for where he’s going to be drafted compared to Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly, Rich Harden or Ryan Dempster.  From Marshall, you should expect a low 4 ERA, a 1.35 WHIP and decent Ks.  As with any fifth starter, Sean “Puffy” Marshall may get skipped on occasion, but he’ll also face off against lower tier starters potentially helping him with wins.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Chris Getz – We move over to the South Side and stay with the Chi-Town theme.  Getz will be the starting 2nd baseman gig for The Pale Hose.  He’ll probably bat 9th or 1st depending on the breeze that is circulating through Ozzie’s office.  Unlike Marshall, I don’t get Getz.  If he gets 500 ABs, maybe he reaches 7 HRs and 10 SBs.  If you’re thinking those numbers look a lot like Kelly Johnson, you wouldn’t be too far off.  Only Getz could hurt you in average as well as RBIs and Runs if he bats ninth.  In AL-Only leagues and deep leagues, I could see you looking, but the league would need to be Cousteau deep.  For what it’s worth, ZIPS likes him more giving him about 10/12 and .275 (they only gave him 393 ABs, so I’m projecting their stats up).  I think you’ll be miserable if you own him.

Chris Perez – Sticking with the newly-established Chris theme, Perez was shutdown.  This seals the deal on him not opening the season as the Cards closer.  Jason Motte and Ryan Franklin are still battling it out.  I think it goes into the season with those two sharing duties until one guy pulls away.  If one guy pulls away.  Motte has better stuff, so he’s more attractive.  Franklin has seniority, so LaRussa does what he do.

John Lannan – Will be the Nats opening day starter.  I sure hope his family can get seats!

Marlon Byrd – Hit his first home run of the spring.  I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating.  If Byrd and Murphy do a righty/lefty split, they could produce 20/20 numbers in a daily league platoon.

Francisco Cordero – Coco Cordero is looking like Coco B. Ware.  Maybe he’s favoring his ankle, maybe he’s just trying to give you agita.  He’s still very much the closer.  All he needs to do is turn in one solid performance and he’ll be deemed fine.  Well, one solid performance not followed by two lousy outings.

John Danks – 17/4 K/BB this spring.  As I said in my starters to watch, Danks is one of the few AL pitchers I’d look at late in mixed leagues.

Josh Outman – Recognize, aptronym!  Unrecognize, A’s starter.  Recognize, there’s five seats on the A’s rotation bus and everyone that can throw a baseball is playing musical chairs.  Unrecog–  Oh, forget it.  Outman’s pitching well in spring training.

From Around The Web

  1. Steve says:
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    How do you feel about Marshall compared to Wandy and Guthrie?

  2. Tony says:
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    F-Cordero was dropped in my league (as mentioned yesterday) do i drop Gamels or Spillborough to snap him up? Right now I have it pending to drop Gamels? I love the rookie potential, but for some reason if Spillborough locks up that job i see good things out of him…?

  3. PhillyYorker says:
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    I draft next, Danks or Josh Johnson?

  4. cockyphoenix says:
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    Outman, eh? I like it, but it’s no Staff Sergeant Max Fightmaster. Maybe Prince Fielder if he gets a little quicker with the glove?

    I just drafted in a very deep h2h league (10 team C 1B 1B 2B 2B 3B 3B SS LF LF CF CF RF RF OF OF UTIL UTIL and some pitchers… 10 P with min. 2 RP, 1 BN). I targeted outfielders early and often realizing that 8 per team was going to spread the position thin, but I still ended up a little short in the form of Ryan Spilborghs (sup Tony?). How many AB’s do you all see him getting this year? It currently looks like he might get the CF job, so 400+? Any less than that and I need to look for a 9th OF.

    @Tony: obviously asking about the same guy I am not sure, but if they give Spilborghs PA’s, I expect him to produce. I also heard Gamel is having problems on D that might keep him in the minors.

  5. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    Edit: It’s Paula Dean. Why do I know this? Cuz my company was trying to do a private label coffee for her. We turned her down after she insisted that we roast our coffee in butter. Just wrong.

    I watched Marshall the last three years in AAA; several times last year in Des Moines. I’d exercise caution with him. He’s found his control this spring training, using his changeup more than his lolipop curve, which hopefully will cut down on his HR rate and cause more ground balls. Either way, he could easily regress.

  6. Tony says:
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    @cockyphoenix: yeah i thought BILL HALL was hurt and that was going to open the gate for gamel, but apparently hall has been playing?

    I like spills, 1 he’s a rocky, 2, he had a nice stat line over 233 ab’s last year, batted .313 6HRS 7SBS, and that was platooning. Give the guy some confidence, a full time gig, and who knows? In colorado he could easily hit .300 15-20HRs and 12 SB’s? Not too shabby… I’d like him more if Holliday was still there…. Hopefully TULO picks up the slizzack this year, since i own him too!

    I say he’s gonna win the starting gig and should get 500+ ab’s, IMO

  7. Crash says:
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    @Steve: Wandy…then the others. One’s in a division I don’t like to face w/my SP and the other is too wild so far

    @Tony: I’d drop Gamel but keep an eye on the trigger for him. Spilborghs could stick.

    @PhillyYorker: Both not bad bets for ’09 but I like the NL pitcher a little better

  8. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    Hey Grey and Rudy… never been much of a h2h player, but I’ve been suckered into my second h2h league this year. Can you guys do a h2h strategy post sometime? Any suggestions from anyone else on h2h draft stragegy.

  9. cockyphoenix says:
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    @IowaCubs: I’m not a H2H’er either but I was bored last night and joined a draft 30 minutes before it started. I actually am not sure how it works. This league has CYC and GSHR as stat categories, and it looks like it’s a weekly roto matchup (which makes those hitting feats sort of dei ex machinis, but hey, what do I know).

    My guesses are that OBP is much more valuable than AVG, that hitters with poor AVG and good R/RBI/HR and such are worth more (I think I boosted Dunn like 15 places in my H2H rankings), that you need to pay attention to BB a lot more (Holy Pat Burrell, Batman!), and that closers are only necessary to fill required RP spots. Depends on the stat categories, too. My Cristian Guzm’an pick might pay huge dividends one week if he can scratch out another CYC (the only player on my team with one in ’08)

    @Tony: I am confident in Tulo’s recovery. He was doing fine between injuries last year though a bit below his usual production after having stagnated so long, and a rectus femoris tear is a freak accident on par with this: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/105575/bad_surprise_while_refueling/

    I am still trying to figure out how he tore that muscle alone, especially on the pelvic end (the more stationary region of the muscle). He may be the next Chipper Jones for this, or he may be back healthy for some time to come. I suspect that such an uncommon muscle tear may have been previously weakened, and being such an important muscle in the quadriceps it could have been silently nagging at Tulo even before he hit the DL. Where he’s going this year (>10) I like the flier. You always have your Yuniesky types if tossing the dice yields snake eyes

  10. Tony says:
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    @cockyphoenix: I took TULO in my competitive 12 team H2H league in the 6th. He was not coming back. I would have been happy getting peralta later, but I really like Tulo to bounce back.

  11. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Wandy, Guthrie, Marshall, in that order, but they’re all coin flips for some matchups.

    @Tony: Gamel

    @PhillyYorker: Johnson

    @cockyphoenix: Spilborghs will easily get 400 ABs.

    @IowaCubs: Eh, for a late round starter there’s little harm Marshall can cause. It’s not like one should be drafting him early now. Of course Paula Dean had to put butter on her coffee.

    re: H2H — Bleh, why you bothering with that? Guess I could do a H2H strategy post.

    @Crash: Agreed, agreed, agreed, nice.

  12. Maitland says:
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    “I draft next, Danks or Josh Johnson?”

    I like both these guys, probably Danks a little more than most do, though. I like Johnson’s upside more, though. I think it depends on the rest of your rotation, mainly because I think Danks will be a bit more consistent.

    Someone in one of my leagues suggested trading me Jimmy Rollins and Tim Lincecum for Hanley Ramirez. I don’t really want to deal Hanley, but this seems like it would be the deal I would have to consider for the guy, any thoughts?

  13. Tony says:
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    @Maitland: jimmy and timmy would be good value, i’d hate losing hanley tho.

    i doubt you’re gonna beat that value back tho.

  14. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Maitland: I’d definitely do that trade. You’re getting two early second-rounders for a first rounder. That’s a good trade.

  15. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Maitland: That’s good value for Hanley, if you need a top pitcher I could see it.

  16. Crash says:
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    @Grey: agreed.

    Now that I’ve broken my razz posting cherry…I wanna say – great site, guys…you and Oscar May crack me up! Keep up the good work.

  17. If Josh Outman was a hitter, he’d be my automatic #1 pick in Fantasy Razzball.

  18. Eric W says:
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    Ugh John Lannan as the opening day starter if they dont take Stephen Strasburg and actually sign him the franchise should be sent back to Canada.

    @IowaCubs: The best strategy for h2h leagues at least in my opinion is go heavy in 6 categories and punt the rest. In my only H2H league I grab high avg sb and runs guys for batters and then go after closers with low whip and high saves. Then just punt things like HR’s rbi’s wins and k’s and only start one starting pitcher just to meet minimum innings requirements if necessary.

  19. PhillyYorker says:
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    Up again soon (world’s longest draft, done by email, already 12 days old and still have 10 slots to fill)

    Who do you take? Danks, Verlander, Nolasco or C. Zambrano?

  20. vinko says:
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    @Grey: Coco’s line this spring – six games, six innings, 12 runs, 17 hits, two walks, and 18.00 ERA. Thinking of drafting him in the Razzball league!!

  21. Doc says:
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    If Jimmy and Paula Dean made a Buttery Sausage Sandwich in the woods, would the clogging of arteries make a sound?

  22. Doc says:
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    @Grey: What kind of info do you have in front of you when you draft?

  23. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Doc: My rankings and BP for AB projections.

  24. Doc says:
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    Thanks, I’m guessing a subscription to BP is a worthwhile thing?

  25. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Doc: Sure, but I haven’t read anything by them this year, so I’m obviously not endorsing anything but their AB/IP projections. Oh, and Rudy calculates his Point Shares w/ their AB/IP projections.

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