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 Phillies Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of The 700 Level.

1. When I draft Domonic Brown this year, I want balloons, streamers and Megan Fox to fall from my ceiling.  Not metaphorically.   So what can we expect of him this year?  Use superlatives, exclamation marks and hyperbole.  Thank you.

Well, based on this pic of the Phillies’ new HD scoreboard, they’re anticipating Ben Francisco doing quite a bit of time in right this season. Of course, the all-knowing scoreboard doesn’t give Roy Halladay much love (3.41 ERA my uncle!) and refuses to acknowledge that Yunel Escobar was traded to the Blue Jays, so perhaps it can’t be trusted for fantasy advice after all. I think Brown will eventually emerge as a very good player with eleventy categories of production, but I’m not banking on superlatives this season. He’ll lose PT and ABs to Francisco, almost definitely a significant amount early on, but Brown will eventually emerge from the platoon like Jayson Werth did from the tremendous shadow cast by Geoff Jenkins! I just don’t have the first clue whether or when that will happen in 2011.

Even in the process of breaking up with Jayson Werth for most of the 2010 season and all of the off-season, the Phillies never handed this job to Brown, keeping him hidden on the bench, not getting meaningful ABs anywhere, and they’re speaking warmly about Francisco this winter. I’m hoping they’re confident enough in Brown that they feel they don’t need to coddle him, but rather challenge him to play his ass off in spring training and rightfully inherit a fan group in the right field stands.

I suppose you wanted something substantive and not all hedgy, so I’ll make something reasonable up. His totals won’t be gaudy this season, but his stats per fantasy game started could help in a pinch after the All-Star Break, especially the speed. I obviously wouldn’t pencil him in as anywhere near a starter in a fantasy OF, but if you’re feeling deep in the late rounds (and you should be if you follow your trusty Razzball tiers), he could be a rewarding stash-and-see, which is what I’m usually looking for late. Just be ready to wait, as most signs are currently pointing to Francisco. Long spring ahead though…

2. Roy Halladay will win the Cy Young with Cliff Lee finishing in 2nd and Oswalt a distant third.  Of course, the argument will be that Oswalt should’ve won it with Lee finishing 2nd but the Phillies bullpen blew any game the starter didn’t go nine innings.  Or is that being unfair to Lidge and he’ll be a fine fantasy closer this year?

I’ve been burned by Lidge before, both in not trusting him in 2008 and trusting him in 2009, so this one’s tough. I’ll give a firm answer though—Lidge should be a fine fantasy closer in 2011. Opportunity is king, and he’ll have plenty of that on a team that could win 100 games this season despite a key departure and a few unknowns. The Phillies offense lost production in Jayson Werth, and we don’t know what we’ll get from the current corner outfielders or Jimmy Rollins, so we could see some close games. It’s possible a healthy Lidge will see the NL lead in save opps.

He also has a well-known next-in-line commodity (and so should his drafters), so Ryan Madson should be stashed at the first signs of re-Lidge’n, and yet no one in the bullpen is likely to challenge for saves unless Lidge melts down (good for fantasy owners, not so much for Phils). It’ll take a pretty loud string of blown saves or an injury before Lidge is yanked from the closer role though, because Charlie Manuel has well-documented loyalty to him after 2008, giving him a much longer leash than his stuff has commanded since then. He may hurt you in WHIP (to the degree a closer can), but the saves will be there if he stays healthy, which can be an issue.

And yes, that’s the presumed pecking order for Cy this season. Each of the Phillies Big 4 should make a capable #1 starter for fantasy purposes. Take that, rest of the NL East. Those four should account for more save opps than their human rotation counterparts, with low runs against through the first seven or eight innings and limited exposure to save opp blowing middle relievers. Of course, their combined 50 complete games could account for some S-eepage.

3. I still love Chase Utley even if his health has betrayed us recently.   And by ‘us,’ I mean me.  Can Utley have one more year of 30/20 and compete for the MVP?

Sure, hindsight being 30/20, Utley wasn’t quite up to snuff last year. And while I think he’ll probably be just shy of both those marks in 2011, that’s still pretty good. I probably still wouldn’t take him as a first rounder (I don’t like any risk in round one) if drafting today, but he’ll make a fine second pick as long as he stays healthy. If I had a fantasy blog, it’d probably be called “As Long As He Stays Healthy.”

4.  One more aging superstar question.  While I’m still optimistic about Utley, I’m not on Jimmy Rollins.  His career slide looks like it’s in full effect.  Do you have any hope for him to give us one more 150 game, top shortstop in the league year?

Sadly, no. I can clearly remember a baffled press box hammering away on laptops after someone said, “Jimmy isn’t out there” when the Phillies took the field for the home opener. He’d been on the field beforehand and was even on the lineup card, but he strained his calf while getting loose. In May, he re-aggravated the injury and headed back to the shelf. Hard to have full confidence in his fantasy production, particularly his speed, after that, although I assume he’s going into the season healthy. We also don’t know how much the Phils will run this year with the great Davey Lopes leaving. SS is looking pretty unpredictable after the top tier, but I have my doubts as to whether Jimmy can make it back there.  However, there’s also reason to think Rollins will bounce back at least somewhat this year. I’ve heard he had a relaxed off-season last year, but he’s really working out this winter to come out in great shape. It’s his contract year too.

5. Which of the following is true:  1) Pat Burrell liked to make love to the Phillie Fanatic to bust out of slumps, 2) Steve Carlton once had a 15-minute conversation that didn’t touch upon conspiracy theories, or 3)  Ryan Howard and Greg Luzinski ran into each other at a Philadelphia-area Weight Watchers meeting.

You bite your tongue.

  1. AL KOHOLIC says:

    yeah,kinda of scred of rollins,but he,ll still put up top ss numbers

  2. m says:

    Fantasy keeper question:
    i can keep of 5 of these for a standard 5×5 deep NL only league (11 teams, 25 rounds). Which ones? Thanks.
    Hiroki Kuroda – 7th rd
    Chris Young (ari) – 7th rd
    Nyjer Morgan – 8rd
    Will Venable – 10th rd
    Ricky Nolasco – 10th rd
    Jorge De La Rosa – 16th rd
    Leo Nunez – 16th rd
    Neil Walker – 18th rd
    Mike Adams – 19th rd

  3. Grey

    Grey says:

    @AL KOHOLIC: I’m not as sure about that.

    @m: dlR, Walker, Krispie… Do you have to keep 5? Nolasco and Morgan… They’re not great, unfortunately.

  4. PhillyYorker says:

    Having seen Mr. Brown as extensively as one could last year, I’ll say there is a big hole in his swing. I wouldn’t expect anything from him this year, playing time or not. It looks like he may be an instance of minor league numbers not translating to the bigs.

  5. Bruce says:

    Heh. Question 5, option 3 could NEVER have happened. If they’d run into each other, the seismographs would have registered at least an 8.5.

  6. Wilsonian says:

    It’s almost that time again…Wilsonian’s next pick in his 16 Teamer is just about up (3 more picks, then it’s me). Again, here’s my team:

    Napoli, Dunn, Hill, Wright, Andrus, Hamilton, Heyward, Lester, Marcum

    Available guys:

    OF – Rajai, Bourn, Tabata, Dom Brown, Cuddyer, Crisp, Huff, Bay, Wells, Swisher, Snider

    SP – Colby, Kuroda, Gio, Dempster, Floyd, Kennedy, Cueto, Romero, Shields, Matusz, Nolasco, Edwin Jax, DLR, Johan

    RP – Street, Broxton, Axford, Thronton, Kimbrel, Perez, Aardsma, Storen, Uehara, Sale, Nunez, Meek, Kuo, Hanrahan, Lindstrom, Lyon

    Can you give me a few guys you would like out of these groups and who I should take?

    I’m leaning either Colby, Gio, Cueto or Romero. I want Tabata, but I think he’ll fall a couple more rounds. I like some of those closers, too, but I don’t like any of them here.

    Thanks, man. Definitely owe you about 3 or 4 daiquiris.

  7. JoeC says:

    Looking over the mock draft in the Yahoo Fantasy baseball mag that you participated in, Grey, a couple of questions:

    1) Kinsler over Uggla? I used to be an Uggla-hater and a Kinsler-lover. That changed after last year. I just cannot stomach the thought of having Kinsler on my team again while he goes on the DL again for half the season. Meanwhile, Uggla has been money, year-in and year-out (500+ ABs for every year of his career). Yes, average risk, but Kinsler is not exactly Josh Hamilton when it comes to BA either. Sure, Kinsler is capable of going 30/30, but he only did that once and his injury history would seem to just about guarantee that’s never happening again. PLUS, power is at a premium and the team you ended up with seems kinda heavy on speedsters and light on power. In my mind, Uggla is the better pick there.

    2) Not really a question, but I just have to spew with my hate of Sabathia. I don’t hate him personally, I just get the feeling that he’s overrated b/c of his team/Wins. Obviously you have him higher in your rankings than Verlander or Greinke (pitchers who were picked later in that round in the mock draft), but I personally would’ve taken one of those 2 guys. Hey, I play by “feel”! That said, I *love* the McCutchen pick in Round 4.

    3) So what’s up with the Latos pick in Round 7? I thought you were kinda down on him b/c of the innings spike? And 4 pitchers in your first 9 picks? That seems excessive! (great pick on Haren in Round 8 though)

    4) Francisco Cordero. Explain yourself! (I know, I know, SAGNOF, but with those ERA/WHIP totals, eventually the wheels are gonna fall off, right? How can Chapman NOT be the closer by June? (Although to be fair, I’ve said this about Cordero for about 4 years running!))

    5) Danny Espinosa at SS? Yikes. Talk about your appetite for risk! I would’ve foregone that Latos pick and picked up someone like Alexei Ramirez instead. Then you wouldn’t have to depend on what is, essentially, an unproven rookie who could really destroy you in the BA cat.

    6) Love Morrow in the 12th and Chacin in the 15th. But, then again, I’ve always been a sucker for young pitchers who K.

    7) Is this a league that will actually be played out during the season, or was this just a throwaway mock? Who do you think, in your opinion, came out with the best team from this mock? My vote would be for Mike Salfino or Chris Liss.

  8. Grey

    Grey says:

    @JoeC: I’m glad you like and dislike some of the picks. To be honest, the mock was in November and I was half paying attention. I’d take the mock with a grain of salt. It was a total throwaway.

  9. JoeC says:

    Another question: do we have to actually play the season out this year, at least in the NL East? The Phillies are so obviously superior to their division-mates that I think we should just declare it now: the Philadelphia Phillies are the 2011 NL East champs.

    Now of course we still need to find out if the Braves can finish a respectable 2nd place and grab the wild card. And the race in the Central looks interesting between St. Louis and the Brewers. The NL West should again be a slugfest between a couple teams… but man, Phillies in the East. I would stake my firstborn child on that (I should emphasize, firstborn FUTURE child!)!

  10. JoeC says:

    Also, where in the hell is Rudy? I know he got married and all (IIRC), but does that mean we won’t be seeing much of his ‘fro round these parts anymore?

    I miss that guy!

  11. Mike Rofone says:

    Better keeper @ $12. Uggla or Rios.

  12. BKK says:

    @Grey: Do you like Randy Wolf this year at all, I drafted him this morning in a mock with my last pick 25th rd. He kind of fell out of Razz favour last year.

    @Mike Rofone: Uggla for me. Rios can be replaced by a ton of other OFer’s. Uggla, not so much

  13. magicterp says:

    10-team NL only 5×5 H2H. Reigning champ (thanks much to Grey). Standard $260 auction. Due to keeper inflation, we have a few guys each year go in the $45-50 range.
    Could have an amazing nucleus, but do you think I can mine some decent pitching in the auction if I blow my wad on these 5 keepers?
    $31 Votto
    $31 Tulo
    $25 Zimmerman
    $13 Weeks
    $5 Stanton

  14. Giant JJ says:

    Seems everyone is predicting Brown will crash so maybe Ben Francisco is a good guy to target in deep league.

  15. Grey

    Grey says:

    @JoeC: Phillies seem like a safe 1st place, but I think it’s anyone’s guess on 2nd and the wild card.

    @JoeC: He just posted earlier this week:


    @Mike Rofone: Uggla

    @BKK: Yeah, not a big fan. He’s waiver wire fodder.

    @magicterp: You’ll be fine grabbing pitching for cheap. There’s a ton of guys.

    @Giant JJ: If Francisco plays, he’s not going to be worth owning. I think it will be either Brown or a timeshare which will kill both of their value.

  16. Eddy says:


    In the crappy 16 team keeper I joined (the one you’ve helped me with in the forums), would it be wise to trade away Vladdy for SP? If so, what tier should I aim for?

  17. Eddy says:

    ***There are still spots left in the 14 team RCL Razzmock!****

    It’s on Feb. 3rd (Thursday) at 7pm EST.

    password is balboni!

  18. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Eddy: Try for a Hamels tier, but settle for a Marcum tier one.

  19. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    @Eddy: gonna miss this week. That will be 1pm Maui beach time. :-)

  20. Eddy says:

    @simply fred:

    Well aloha to YOU then! That sounds like a great vacation, I hope you enjoy it!

    While you’re over there sippin’ on your coconut drinks, it’d be wonderful if you could also tell Kila Ka’aihue to get his act together as well :)

  21. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    @Eddy: The Big Kahuna says he’s on island time. “Hang loose…”

  22. Eddy says:


    I have a couple of questions:

    Say you already have CarGo, McCutchen and Weaver in the 4th round of a draft. You see Pence and Kershaw there. Who do you take?

    I’m doing a holds league for the first time and I’m looking for a little insight: how many MR should I have on my team to be competitive? Should I go out of my way to get the best (Kuo, Gregerson, Bard).

    If you had to choose an extra hitting category to add into a standard 5×5 H2H league, which would you choose?

  23. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Eddy: Neither. Don’t go out of your way to get the best. 2 MRs. OBP…

  24. Eddy says:


    Thanks, Grey. Looking to pick your brain a little further here: what, then, would you go after in that round?

  25. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Eddy: 1st or 3rd baseman.

  26. Eddy says:


    Already keeping Wright and Miggy in the 1st and 2nd.

    I’m planning on shooting for Hill, and if not, Raburn for 2B later in the draft. And SS in that round are terrible.

    That being said, what would be your game plan?

  27. Eddy says:

    Btw, does anyone remember where Yahoo! gets their rankings from?

  28. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Eddy: What do you mean “get them from?” Don’t they rank players? So you’re in the 4th round with five players? Massively confused at this point. Go with Pence, I guess. But you’re giving me info piecemeal.

  29. Steve says:

    @Eddy: The ether?h

  30. Eddy says:

    @Grey: @Steve:

    They get their rankings from another website. I noticed this last year. I just can’t seem to remember where from. For some reason Rotowire comes to mind.


    Sorry about that. My four being kept are CarGo (13th), Weaver (10th), Miggy (1st), and Wright (2nd). I’m planning on drafting an OF in the 3rd (Upton or McCutch) to join CarGo and then I’m a bit unclear on who to follow it up with in the 4th. I’m pretty confident I can get Hill or Raburn as a 2B later, and I’m definitely staying away from Rollins and Jeter. So the only logical choice is either a SP to solidify the top of my rotation or a 3rd OF.

  31. Wilsonian says:

    Whodja rather have (rank ’em, please):

    Aardsma, Storen, Sale, Thornton, Kimbrel, Nunez, Meek, Kuo?

    We count Ks/9, and I’m looking hard at Kimbrel.

  32. DogHat says:

    5×5 roto, 12 team, looking for a power bat for DH slot 2/3 into draft and you find: Carlos Lee, Derrek Lee, Soriano, Cuddyer, Kubel, Ibanez, Luke Scott, Posada and Dan Johnson all still available. Is this the way you’d rank them?

  33. RemDog Whisperer says:

    @Grey: I know we’ll have to wait and see with Morneau but at this time who would you keep for a final keeper Morneau, Scherzer, or Dan Hudson? Also, if you could only talk to one about their favorite tractor, which would you choose, Oswalt or Charlie Manuel?

    PS Do you think tractor talk played a big role in the Oswalt trade?

  34. Wilsonian says:

    @Grey: with no closers on my roster, and my only starters so far are Lester and Marcum, do you go with Gio or Kimbrel with this pick? There are 22 picks until my next one. I’m fighting with this pick.

  35. Grey

    Grey says:

    @DogHat: Hard to believe in a 12 team league those are the best names, but Carlos Lee, Soriano…

    @RemDog Whisperer: I’d keep Morneau. A big yes on tractor talk, definitely.

    @Wilsonian: Gio…

  36. Wilsonian says:

    @Grey: thanks man, that’s the route I went, especially when one of my buddies, who knows his stuff pretty well, said he didn’t know who Kimbrel was. So I decided to roll the dice and hope the rest of the league doesn’t either.

  37. RemDog Whisperer says:

    @Grey: Thanks. I’m surprised that Garza didn’t make the top 60.

  38. Doghat says:

    2/3 thru our draft is round 20 and the power is gone except for them. Still a lot of speed, saves and pitching left.

  39. Eddy says:


    In a 12 man keeper, if you had to choose ONE rookie to draft in the late rounds, who would it be.

    P.S: Hellickson is excluded, as well as Jennings and Brown for playing time concerns.

Comments are closed.