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This one goes out to the guy – one of the three TB fans that can actually be seen at a game – who was holding up the sign ‘Free Russ Canzler!’ last year.  You didn’t see that sign?  Yeah I didn’t either, mainly because it wasn’t there but since I don’t have cable I can’t verify that.  Can someone please tell me why a team that has been in the playoffs for 3 of the last 4 years doesn’t get more people at the actual ballpark without offering a Zimbear?  But back to what I had to say, Canzler was never going to see the light of day in Tampa Bay (How about I just go eat some hay. I could make things out of clay, and lay by the bay…) because he is not good at defense.  But this is a fantasy baseball blog, why should we care about defense?  Good question, hypothetical reader and the answer is simple: The Rays play real baseball against real teams…sorry, you expected more?  Oh, well Canzler has to play somewhere in order to be useful.  Their OF is full, the position he played in AAA is covered by Evan Longoria and they found their DH for the year in Luke Scott.  Also, the Rays are one of the top fielding teams in baseball.  There’s a reason a guy like Casey Kotchman got a shot to start at 1B for them last year and it wasn’t for his bat or his rapier-like wit.  They field a strong defensive ball club and Canzler was anything but a strong defender.  He racked up 13 errors at third base alone in 2011; fine numbers if he were a Milwaukee Brewer, but not for a utility role in TB.

So as the story goes, Canzler was traded to Cleveland in February for two meat pies and a 6 month subscription to Vibe magazine (every word after ‘February’ is still pending verification).  But why should we get excited about a soon to be 26 year old with only five major league plate appearances on his resume?  Sing it with me now:  Opportunity, opportunity, is knockin at your door…sorry, I started doing the jitterbug there for a second.  Russ has a healthy walk rate and has exhibited strong power numbers over the last two years, posting a .279 ISO in AA for the Cubs and a .215 last year in AAA for the Rays.  With a minor league K% rate above 20 percent, he’ll most likely saddle you in a totally non-sexual way with a .260 average.  That’s a’ight, but the ISO is what has me interested and also that I can’t tell you who is going to bat 6th in that lineup.  I can tell you Travis Hafner probably bats 5th when he’s healthy *Snickers*…the laugh, not the candy bar.  Sorry, the last time Hafner played in over 130 games was 2007.  Plus, Grady Sizemore needs a bench friend to swap funny doctor visit stories with over the course of the year.  I also can’t tell you whether Kotchman holds down the job at first all year.  I could go into extreme detail, but let’s just say his average from last year had a lot to do with his ground ball rate and how well that played on Tampa Bay turf.  He won’t be as bad as he was in Seattle but surely not as good as he was for the Rays.  With Lonnie Chisenhall looking more and more like he could use a AAA stint to start the season,  the Indians could use a little pop in their lineup.  Right now, Canzler is unowned basically everywhere — ESPN, Fleaflicker, Yahoo.  If he can get a starting job, he might land in a prime RBI slot.  With enough at-bats, 18 HRs and 90 RBIs is attainable.  Yeah, I know it’s not that exciting, but wait there’s more!  Alright, actually there’s not.  I just always wanted to say that.

  1. PublicEnemy#1 says:
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    Thoughts on Andrew Cashner? I play in a 16 team league that uses Sv/h as a category and currently have Storen, AReed and Gregerson in my pen. I’ve been offered Cashner for Josh Reddick. Reddick is probably the first guy off my bench to replace an OF/U player.

    • artie says:
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      @PublicEnemy#1, I play in an 18 teamer and I grabbed him…. for the holds, but i also don’t trust Street to stay healthy.

      • PublicEnemy#1 says:
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        @artie, Thanks for the reply. Cashner must be highly though of in SD considering what they gave up to get him. I wonder if he has the upside of a guy like Robertson or Clippard.

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @PublicEnemy#1, depends on what there is in the hitters pool outside of Reddick but I do like Cashner this year.

      • PublicEnemy#1 says:
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        @Oregon Nut Cups, The hitters pool is thin, but I do have Trout and IStewart on my bench as well. It’s an auction keeper leaugue where we’re allowed to keep a guy at his purchase price for two additional years. So I’m holding onto Trout for dear life. There isn’t much in the way of full time at bats available on waivers outside of some lower tier catchers like Saltalamacchia and Buck.

        With that in mind, is it more valuable to keep Riddick and his upside hitting in the middle of the A’s order?

        • Oregon Nut Cups

          Oregon Nut Cups says:
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          @PublicEnemy#1, I’ve never heard ‘upside’ and ‘middle of the A’s order’ in the same sentence before :) Since I don’t necessarily trust that Reddick gets full-time at-bats, I think it’s a good trade. I’d go Cashner.

          • PublicEnemy#1 says:
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            @Oregon Nut Cups, Haha. Maybe I’m drinking too much of the spring koolaid with Reddick. They do have a bit of a logjam with Crisp, Cespedis and The Lispers Nightmare also in the mix and Manny on the way to fill the DH role.

  2. Tony says:
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    good read, love hearing about an under the radar guy on my tribes squad, im having supper with my dad sat, i’ll throw the name out there and he’ll actually know one of the “new players” thats on the field this year. Every year in Ohio it takes me half the season to learn all the new tribe players since its like the triple A team just keeps moving up, oh and we keep bringing pieces of dump like Grady and Pronk back for “another run”. I like the Youth movement. Here’s to Asdribble having another great year and Carlos “i can’t play the guitar” Santana having another great yr…..Russ Canzler do your thing, we’ll embrace you here in Ohio.

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Tony, Hopefully he gets his shot. Given the state of affairs at 1st, DH and left field, I don’t see how it could hurt.

      • Tony says:
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        @Oregon Nut Cups, ya clevelands an interesting shituation. GO TRIBE.

        • Oregon Nut Cups

          Oregon Nut Cups says:
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          @Tony, They got a little playoff happy last year with those trades. Hope it doesn’t bite them in the bippy down the road but only time will tell.

          • Tony says:
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            @Oregon Nut Cups, I agree. I hope Ubaldo rights the ship this year. He had that one magical half, which everyone remembers and drools upon, but you dont want to have your entire career hinged upon one half of baseball? do you ubaldo? SHAPE UP!!

            I just hate that I know how insanely hot they were last yr first half and that’s hard to repeat, maybe impossible? It’s going to take some major stepping up from some young guys to compete with what the tigers did in the offseason….

            Pomeranz plus the other piece(s) the tribe gave up could hurt down the road, time will tell.

            • Oregon Nut Cups

              Oregon Nut Cups says:
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              @Tony, I like Ubaldo this year. Mid 3 ERA, high 3 if unlucky. Talent is still there but he was never ‘that guy’ that he was for that half season. Basically, he’s a Greinke pitcher not a Halladay pitcher. There are worse things to be.

              They’ll definitely need someone that’s not Asdrubal, Santana, or Choo to step up. If those three are in line with their projections, their pitchers pitch to their norm and they have some others step up, they should have a good year. Playoffs is another subject entirely, of course, with those Tigers around.

  3. 3FingersBrown says:
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    @Oregon Nut Cups, Nice call on Canzler. I’m not sold on Chisenhall at 3rd and that lineup has a lot of question marks.

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @3FingersBrown, I believe in the franchise first and the player next. Tampa Bay’s castoffs aren’t half bad usually, with their ability to evaluate talent. I feel Canzler just didn’t fit a need for them at the time. Hopefully Cleveland realizes that and gives him a shot over Cunningham/Duncan.

  4. Giant JJ says:
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    I have to dump one for canzler. Who do I drop… E young, N Mclouth, L Martin?

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Giant JJ, I like the assortment you have. I’d hold for now until we know who is starting and who’s not

  5. Aaron says:
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    Great post, thank you.
    I added Canzler to my watch list.

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Aaron, No problem and thanks!

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