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We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2011 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2011 Diamondbacks Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Venom Strikes.

1. I’m a little silly for Brandon Allen.  That was written with reckless a-Brandon!  Sorry, that’s terrible.  So what’s your best guess for his playing time?  Is Juan Miranda really the starting first baseman?  Nady?

It is really tough to gauge what the Dbacks want to do with Allen.  I am going to guess it will all depend on how his spring goes.  I know they want to give him a shot in the outfield, but that is quickly filling up and his playing time with the addition of Nady remains to be seen.  I thought he would be the guy they wanted to build around after the rumors last season surfaced that they were going to decline the option on Adam Laroche, but then they got Miranda, eventually did decline Laroche’s option and have said Miranda will be the guy at first.  As for Nady, he is another wild card.  I don’t know what they want to do with him yet.  Again, I think the Dbacks are going to play a wait and see approach with a lot of their roster as spring progresses.

2. I think this is the year we see the Stephen Drew that everyone’s been waiting for.  I have absolutely nothing to back that up.  Care to venture a reason?  Or just think I’m nuts and Drew’s going to keep being slightly better than mediocre?

I have nothing to backup your prediction either unfortunately.  Drew really started coming on middle of the season in 2010.  He started out really really slow and I thought he was headed towards bust-ville.  Then…he busted out.  I think this HAS to be his year otherwise the Dbacks may end up losing patience with the shortstop.  He is headed into his fifth season.  I think it’s time to put up or shut up.

3. Justin Upton seems like a nice candidate to have a huge bounce back season… At least that’s what I keep trying to tell myself but when the GM tries his best to trade him away it worries me.  Is Upton’s shoulder going to be an issue again?  Will he bounce back?

The whole issue with the trade rumors I think was a direct result of trying to send Upton a message.  Perform or you are gone.  Upton was never clear on why his name was thrown around but has said he wants to be here.  He needs top prove it on the field.  The strikeouts need to be reduced and he needs more productive at-bats.  I’m not sure we were ever in danger of seeing Upton leaving the Dbacks via trade, at least not this season.  I haven’t heard any recent updates on his shoulder, but I am fairly certain if it becomes an issue during the season again and he is under-performing, then he may not be in a Dbacks uniform in 2012.

4. Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson both have my heart aflutter.  (That’s the most manly aflutter a person can have, btw.)  What kind of seasons do you see from each of them?

Kennedy had three different seasons in one in 2010.  Started out very good, surprising as we were not expecting it.  Then we expected it to continue and it didn’t.  He struggled the middle months of the season before finishing off strong.  He is probably the number one or two in the rotation though.  Dbacks will count on him to be an innings eater and oh yeah, get some wins.  I love the addition of Hudson.  He was a very surprising performer after being traded by the White Sox.  I expected him to falter at some point in September last season, much like we saw Enright do, but he was consistent.  I think he is in the right place and I expect big things from him in 2011.

5. Listen, I know mustaches.  Clay Zavada’s is a thing of beauty.  I heard it invented electricity.  Pat yourself on the back for even seeing that mustache on TV.  But can his mustache in its infinite power fix Zach Duke?

Zach Duke played for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Just leaving that team and going anywhere should power his game.  At least the Dbacks won’t get beat by him anymore.  My question is will we see the Duke that the Pirates gave up on or the Duke that was the rookie of the year candidate?  They say a change of scenery sometimes helps.  I just wonder what happened in Pittsburgh to the point where they were no longer interested in him?  As for Zavada’s mustache, I really hope we get to see it on the field someday again.  He really struggled in 2010 down in the minors.  That thing is a work of art.

  1. BKK says:

    Got nothin, just wanted to be the first to post a comment. I am sure itr won’t happen again.

  2. Ned Shakehaft says:

    Perform or we’ll find someone else seems to be the theme here. Sounds like a team that’s sick of losing. Thing is, I’m not sure they’ve got enough even if everyone plays up to potential. Wouldn’t be shocked to see an entirely different team come September.

  3. Yep, I said it! says:

    I’ve been thinking about both Juan Miranda and Mitch Moreland as sleepers this year. How would you guys compare these two? They are both sitting there as free agents in my deep dynasty league. Hmmm….. I only have room to grab one if I drop Rich Harden. Thoughts anyone? Cheers!

  4. Grey

    Grey says:

    @BKK: Fourth!

    @Ned Shakehaft: Maybe, but it’s not like their team is comprised of aging vets like Carlos Lee that they should trade away.

    @Yep, I said it!: I like whoever gets first for the Diamondbacks better. Moreland’s okay, but his upside isn’t very up.

  5. Eddy says:


    So how many drafts are you guys doing this year? Any leagues you and Rudy doing separately? When’s the first draft?

    Feed me some fantasy drafts, Grey!

  6. Dingo says:

    I like his optimism about Stephen Drew, but it’s not exactly that he started off slow and then took off. He had a solid April & May, poor June & July, and great August & September. Hopefully that was a sign of genuine improvement and not just month-to-month variation.

  7. Brian Lynch says:

    Deciding between Rickie Weeks (15th round) and Hamilton (8th round) as my last keeper, losing the round where you drafted them. Both have similar risk/bust potential, and leaning toward Weeks due to round value. Thoughts?

  8. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Eddy: We already did one with the guys from CBS. Think we’re doing five or six more. We’re number one on the LABR waiting list, we’ll see on that. Would mean going to spring training.

    @Dingo: Yeah, it’s not great how many ABs he’s already has in the MLB, but could breakout, hopefully.

    @Brian Lynch: Hamilton

  9. Cole says:

    I had a mock thursday where I picked 4th. I took Longoria-Parker 1st rd only to have the top 1Bs gone by the 2nd rd. I went with Kemp, and on the wrap around had the choice between Heyward and Upton. I knew I was going to be loosing runs from my 1B slot with the next tier (I got Dunn early in the 5th) so I went with Heyward. Was he a better pick than Upton in that sich?

  10. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Cole: I would’ve went Upton from those two, I probably wouldn’t have went with a 2nd OF though.

  11. GopherDay says:

    @Cole: See if you can get a MI there. Reyes would probably be better for you than Heyward/Upton.

  12. Cole says:

    @Grey: I know you would have liked a guy like Kinsler there, but I am targeting Phillips around the 5th or Hill around the 8-9th, and punting on SS.
    Something to note: I have yet to see Dan Hudson or Shaun Marcum get out of the 9th round in mocks. Kind of killing their sleeper attributes.

  13. Cole says:

    @GopherDay: Yeah I am having a hard time taking an SS or 2B early. I have been going 1B/3B/OF/OF or P. Do you know if there is a razzmock planned for this week on mdc?

  14. vinko says:

    Great work as always! Have an afternoon drink on me.

  15. Greytech Drafting says:

    Justin Upton Inspired…

    12team 5×5

    c Iannetta
    1b Miggy
    2b Kinsler
    3b ARod
    SS Elvis
    2b/ss Brignac
    1b/3b Alvarez
    of Upton
    of Bruce
    of Sizemore
    of Snider
    of LoMo
    util Reynolds
    p Hamels
    p Scherzer
    p B Anderson
    p Volquez
    p Thornton
    p Kimbrel
    p Sale
    p McDonald
    p Frank x2
    be Raburn
    be Fred Freeman
    be Aroldis


  16. Wilsonian says:

    I’ve got a keeper trade question. I’m in a miniscule 8 Team H2H league where I’ve got a stockpile of keepers, but we only keep 5. Here are my worthy guys:

    Fielder, Utley, Longoria, Wright, CarGo, Kemp, Holliday, Lincecum, Kershaw, Josh Johnson, Verlander, Hamels

    You told me to keep Fielder, Utley, Longoria, Wright, Kemp. It has come to my attention that Howard is also available. Basically, I’m wanting to know what you thought if I dealt CarGo and a late round draft pick for Howard and an early round draft pick.

    If I did this, I would keep Fielder, Howard, Longoria, Wright, Kemp. We play two UTIL positions, as well, so I’d be stacked in that respect. What do you think? I kinda like the idea.

  17. LMack says:

    Whats the best way to convince my league mates to hold our draft as an auction?

  18. Eddy says:


    Wow, that’d be fantastic of you guys can do LABR.

    I hope we’ll get a peak at some of these teams eventually!

  19. NewBVick says:

    reckless a-Brandon HA! I gatta admit I couldn’t focus on the rest after I read that. Though I share your man love for Kennedy at his ADP right now.

  20. mindicohn says:

    Quick keeper question. 10 team 5×5 roto$ 260 auction. Keep 5 of these
    Tulo 21
    Cano 22
    Liriano 8
    price 12
    larks 12
    Pence 14
    Marmol 9.
    Cano liriano and tulo seem obvious.not sure rest.
    -natalie green.

  21. Tony says:

    @mindicohn: tulo, cano, liriano, PRICE & PENCE….. larks is???

  22. mindicohn says:

    Oops. Latos. Stupid autocorrect.

  23. Tony says:

    @grey: would you rather have a Votto & R. Zimmerman or AROD combo or a Wright & Teix or Prince Combo?

    And which combo would be your favorite?

  24. Tony says:

    @grey: Looking into Hommy Tansons stats a little more. There are some things I’m concerned with: He had a K/9 of over 9 almost thru July then in August and Sept it was in the 5 K/9 range? Fatigue? He did however lower his ERA from 4.13 to 2.51 in the second half, didn’t get any wins to show for it, but nonetheless…. I dont know some thing is a little wonky. I know you love the guy, but does any of this alarm you? There’s positives and negatives in the stats. I wish it was just more HE GOT BETTER IN THE 2ND HALF, clear cut…..

  25. Vinnie says:

    Grey, promise I’m gonna buy you that daiquiri this year. At some point, could you do a post about guys who get a significant bump in a league that uses OBP instead of BA? That would be worthy of at least three little umbrellas in said fruity cocktail…

  26. Greg Gallagher says:

    Hey Grey, I drafted this team in a yahoo public league, what do you reckon:

    C – M Wieters
    1b – M Cabrera
    2b – B Phillips
    SS – S Drew
    3b – R Zimmerman
    OF – M Kemp
    OF – A McCutcheon
    OF – D Stubbs
    UTIL – A Lind
    UTIL – J Tabata
    Bench – R Kalish, J Lowrie
    SP – F Liriano
    SP – M Scherzer
    SP – J Sanchez
    SP – H Kuroda
    SP – D Hudson
    SP – P de la Rosa
    SP – J Chacin
    SP – M Minor
    SP – B Norris
    RP – K Gregg
    RP – JJ Putz


    Greg G

  27. Grey

    Grey says:

    @vinko: Thanks, Vinko!

    @Greytech Drafting: That offense makes me think the people you were drafting with weren’t good. If they were, well played. I like it. The pitching is okay, was a good start, but you need more starters.

    @Wilsonian: Keep CarGo.

    @LMack: Nude pics of their wives and/or girlfriends.

    @Eddy: We’re not there yet. We’re no Sandlot Shrink, whoever that is.

    @NewBVick: Thanks!

    @mindicohn: First three, Latos and Pence. Sexy username.

    @Tony: Votto & R. Zimmerman

    @Tony: He tired a bit, beefed up this winter and will now win a Cy Young. He’s gonna be great, not worried.

    @Vinnie: Maybe

    @Greg Gallagher: No idea how many teams.

  28. Wilsonian says:

    @Grey: would you keep CarGo over Utley, then?

  29. Mr2Bits says:

    Grey : What minor league player or players would you lose to scoop up some of the top 50 list?

    Dayan Viciedo – 3B
    Jacob Turner – P
    Yunesky Maya – P
    Adeiny Hechavarria – SS
    Mike Trout – OF

  30. Greg Gallagher says:

    @Grey: Apologies, 12 teams. 5×5 roto scoring.

  31. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Greg Gallagher: Team looks really solid. Definitely top three team. Not sure how you got Kemp, Zimmerman and Miggy but well played.

    @Wilsonian: Nope

    @Mr2Bits: Turner…

  32. Greytech Drafting says:

    @Grey: thanks for the review! the league has a pitching preference so i had to go with my perception of value and pitching instincts. in the league i’m prepping for i think i can get away with the pitchers since this would be fairly representative of what i would’ve drafted pre-razzball and i have a good track record with pitching.

    i doubt i could pull off this particular offense but i think it could be close.

  33. Smokey

    Smokey says:

    @Mr2Bits: Maya or Viciedo. I swear I’m not bias against Cuna.

  34. Greg Gallagher says:

    @Grey: Thanks. I had the third pick, took Cabrera with it. I was surprised Kemp fell to me early in the third round, hasn’t happened in any mock I’ve been in. Some of them have been fiascos – Crawford went fourth overall in one, and CarGo FIRST in another…..!?! People are strange.

  35. Eddy says:


    In the forums some of the users were kind enough to shed a little light on deep-league strategies. I’m doing a 14-team and 16-team league for the first time this season, and it’s Yahoo! settings, but with MI/CI as well. And H2H.

    I think I got some good ideas of how to tackle the draft, but I just want to run the points the fellow razzers shared:

    – 2 MIs (one of which is SS)
    – 2 CIs (one of which is 3B)
    – 2 OFs
    – 2 SPs
    – maybe 1 closer
    – another hitter

    this was a suggestion as to a good first 10 rounds. Thoughts on this?

    In addition, how high do you use a pick on a SP in a 16-team league? How many should I have before Rd.11? I remember you and Rudy drafted Lincy last year in a 20-team league, something that deviates from your usual strategy.

  36. EMC Squared says:


    14 team keeper/25 man rosters –

    I had Lee, Oswalt, Sanchez, Josh Johnson and Mike Minor as SP but little power. Traded Lee and Pedro Alvarez for Jason Heyward. Thoughts?

  37. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Greg Gallagher: Yes, they are.

    @Eddy: All that seems arbitrary. Why 2 MIs? Why 2 CIs? I believe we drafted Lincecum because there was no bench, so every starter was starting every game.

    @EMC Squared: Looks fine for you.

  38. Eddy says:


    It was to stress that position scarcity becomes even more important as the league deepens. Thus, stacking up on it early was key, as opposed to 12-team leagues where you can punt it.

    What are a few quick tips you’d suggest?

  39. Whiskey Diet says:

    Hey Grey-

    Would you rather have Sale or Bard?

    How high would you take Reyes? Back end of the 2nd/early 3rd feels too risky but that’s when he’s going.

    If you’re outfield were Justin Upton, Pence, Heyward; would you take Elvis Andrus or Krispie Young if they were both available in the 7th? (if you didn’t have a SS)

    Thanks as always. Keep making sense of all this ish it really helps.

  40. Steve says:


    It seems the Cardinals offer was not phat enough for Albert. LaRussa describing it as a potential “spectacular distraction”…

  41. Tom Thumb says:


    I just did a mock on CBS. I hate CBS but my buddy and I are doing a pay league there and so I am stuck with it. Other than AVG, how does this team look?

    Mike Napoli C
    Matt Wieters C
    Miguel Cabrera1B
    Chase Utley 2B
    Mark Reynolds 3B
    Elvis Andrus SS
    Jay Bruce OF
    Matt Kemp OF
    Colby Rasmus OF
    Justin Upton OF
    Ben Zobrist OF
    Adam Lind U
    Mark Teixeira U
    Jonathan Broxton P
    Gavin Floyd P
    Tommy Hanson P
    Dan Haren P
    Jeremy Hellickson P
    Leo Nunez P
    Chris Sale P
    Edinson Volquez P
    Travis Wood P

  42. broadstreetbrawler says:

    First post of the year, thanks in advance for a season of advice Grey and company.

    Votto and Carlos Pena for Dread Pirate and YOUUUUK, which side?

  43. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Eddy: Why not catchers then, they’re the most scarce?

    @Whiskey Diet: Sale… 3rd round… Andrus… No problem.

    @Steve: I can’t imagine any of it affecting Albert.

    @Tom Thumb: No idea how many teams.

    @broadstreetbrawler: No problem… McCutchen and Youk….

  44. Eddy says:


    Because a MI with 10/50 potential is better than a C who’ll get 2 days off a week and hit 25 HR with little SB.

    Anyways, the point is moot.

    As I said before, I’m just gauging different opinions, and this was simply one of them.

    Now I’m looking for yours. What are some tips you could shell out?

  45. Eddy says:


    Or if the schedule isn’t too tight, maybe Rudy or you can do a post about it?

  46. Steve says:

    @Grey: Not beyond the bounds of possiblity that he’ll have a better year than normal, just out of spite.

    Also – Aardsma to miss the first two weeks of the season – League to close in his absence.

  47. Tom Thumb says:

    @Grey: Only 10, sorry. Although I love Utley and Andrus, I think drafting them threw off my OF and SP big time. Alexei and Drew both went unbelievably late as did Hill and Beckham.

  48. Wilsonian says:

    @Steve: I saw on MLB TV that he MAY miss the first month of the season. It’s a full two weeks (and possibly more) before he can put any weight on his left hip.

  49. Dingo says:

    @Steve: Wow – that’s pretty extreme. Can’t the League stay open while Aardsma is gone?

  50. chata says:



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