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Should I drop Carlos Beltran at this point?
Also, Jason Bay is now available.
After Magglio Ordonez went on the DL, I picked up Gaby Sanchez to play in my utility spot to replace him. Should I stand pat with Gaby Sanchez, or take a chance on Domonic Brown instead? Also, if needed, I could release Ty Wigginton to make room for him and keep Sanchez.
"Especially because, presumably, the Yankees are going to sign Dunn, which places those draft picks down towards the bottom part of the first round anyway."
They are? I'll defer to others with more informed opinions, but I cannot see the Yankees doing that. I just don't see that happening at all.
Dunn is clearly a 1B / DH if his value is to be maximized, but how would the Yankees ever play him there? Tex has first base locked up for many more years. The DH spot is open now, but an aging Jeter / A-Rod are going to need to use that spot at times in the years to come, and that is to say nothing of Jesus Montero. Based on what he has done in Triple-A, I imagine Montero is the full-time DH next year. And with all of that established, why would the Yankees ever sign him to a long-term deal?
My thoughts exactly. Now that I would expect the Cubs front office to do anything with those picks, but nevertheless...
After he racked up zero fantasy points in my league last year -- 3-16 with six strikeouts -- would it be a good idea to dump Ty Wigginton in my utility spot and pick up someone like Andres Torres, Drew Stubbs, or Nate McLouth?
I think you're hitting on part of the reason. I see two big reasons why Sheets is more of an attractive trade candidate than Matsuzaka:
(1) Sheets is a free agent at the end of the year, while Matsuzaka has about 20 million guaranteed coming the next two years (and more in incentives if he pitches well).
(2) Matsuzaka has a full no-trade clause in his contract. Given that he is already with a top team, I doubt he's going to be willing to accept too many trade offers.
What ERD do you have for Brandon Webb?
In all honesty, in the past few months who has seriously contended that he would?
In his latest rehab start, apparently J.A. Happ's velocity and strikeout went up big time. Any idea if there is a physical issue or more likely mentally driven after being kept in Triple-A because of his struggles?
Will Polanco's return from the DL be much like his first return? By that I mean some painkiller injection and then fight through the pain, or has he really healed?
I'm still trying to find a solution at third base. I've got Aramis Ramirez and Ty Wiggington right now, and Ramirez seems to really be coming around. Should I just stick with Wiggington or should I kick the tires on Placido Polanco when he returns?
Need some advice here on outfielders. I currently have a glut of them right now, and the stockpile I have is really limiting me in other areas of my roster, so I think I need to let one or two of them go.
Right now I have seven outfielders on my roster, though one of them is on the DL. They are as follows: Jayson Werth, Carlos Quentin, Magglio Ordonez, Angel Pagan, Hideki Matsui, Jose Guillen, and Carlos Beltran (DL).
I would like to trim those seven down to four or five, but I don't know who to cut right now. Any advice?
He's a top 20 outfielder in our league, and I own him.
Same goes for Aaron Harang...
Maybe so, but that's not always true.
Anything on the injury to Kevin Millwood?
Would you dump Miguel Olivo to pick up Buster Posey?
Yeah, in many ways PECOTA has been my savior. It paid off big-time with Magglio Ordonez and Colby Lewis. Plus, I got Ubaldo Jimenez in like the fifth round just because everyone was so afraid of taking a Coors pitcher.
Iannetta really baffles me, honestly. It's hard to blame PECOTA too much for that one, given the way Rockies handled that. How in the world do you justify sending down a guy one week into the season after he had productive years in the past and you just gave him a long contract extension? Even now he's played his way into a glorified platoon with Olivo, and honestly I still figure he could be a fantasy steal if he had more playing time.
I'll add to the sob story here... I drafted Grady Sizemore, Nate McLouth, Jack Cust, Chris Iannetta, Josh Beckett, James Shields, Max Scherzer, and J.A. Happ. Truth be told, it's a wonder I'm even competitive at this point.
Here's my question... did Congress pass a law making it illegal for the Rays to get either Shields or Davis a win? By my count, they are winless in their last twelve starts. For one of the best teams in the majors, that's hard to fathom. Meanwhile, I'm watching fantasy opponents go out and pick up guys like Craig Stammen straight out of Triple-A and then go out and get a win for a last place team over a first place team. Frustration.
Are you going to do a column for those who have overachieved their SIERA projection?
Indeed, if that subscription is not canceled by now, the whole thing is a joke.
Well, after checking the numbers, Olivo is the #4 catcher in our league right now in fantasy points. The problem, though, is that no catcher really does anything special, based on our scoring system. Olivo is #4 overall, and he is basically averaging 13 points for week for me now (the power is nice, but the strikeouts are killers).
Now, admittedly, there really aren't really any quality starters out there to pick up day-to-day in our league. With that said, though, the structure of our league is basically such that it's pretty hard for a pitcher to lose points. Even if a guy can go out, get five innings, give up six runs, lodge two or three strikeouts, and then get the loss, they'll still pick up four or five points. That's not much, of course, but with three of those a week and I'll exceed what I'm gaining on average with Olivo.
Besides, if possible, I'd like to get a few more pitchers on my roster. It's loaded on healthy pitchers, but there are quite a few decent options out there on the DL -- like J.A. Happ, Erik Bedard, Rich Harden, and Felipe Paulino -- and I'd like to have the space to add some of those guys moving forward.
One more note on those four you named specifically...
McLain's career was effectively over a couple of years after 1968 with serious arm troubles (among other issues). Marichal only had one good year after '68. Gibson and Jenkins had a few good years left after '68 (though Jenkins was a young man at the time). Those were four legendary pitchers, but not necessarily four guys who went on to have great success long-term after 1968.
The point is that I'm not so sure that those four, on the whole, don't in a sense showcase the need to lighten the load on pitchers. A guy like McLain, for example, was only 24 years old in '68, and after yet another high inning workload in '69, the guy was basically terrible on the mound with lots of arm issues. Maybe with lighter workloads in '68 and '69 he's not washed by the time 1970 rolls around?
I wouldn't put too much into raw innings pitched. As the previous commenter indicates, that's not exactly the same thing as pitch counts, and when you start talking about comparing players from another generation everything gets much more muddled.
Specifically, I would just tend to think those four would probably be bad fits to illustrate a larger point. You're talking about four Hall of Fame pitchers in an era where run scoring was at historical lows. Given that, I would imagine what you would really have is a lot of short innings, hence the innings pitched wouldn't produce near the number of pitches in a given outing as you would probably expect now.
All of the examples I used were based on the 2010 projections, simply because they would be more familiar within the current context than than the hits and misses of a year ago. If anything, my mistake was assuming someone of your vast intellectual prowess could recognize that.
In any event, I'm done with this one. Frankly, you are just wasting your time here and the time of everyone else who actually enjoys reading the site.
Thank you, that was exactly what I was saying. I never said PECOTA was the end-all, be-all of baseball knowledge, and as I mentioned then I'm more than aware of the inherent unpredictability at play here.
And frankly, again, I'll reiterate my point about if it's that bad here, why even read? Even if the subscription itself is free, it's still a massive waste of your time on something that is apparently worthless; time which you could otherwise be using to read ever-more profound baseball analysis.
One final point: if indeed you are receiving the subscription for free and not paying like the rest of us, that was something done by one of the authors here as a good-faith gesture in an attempt to win you back over. If you still don't like the final product, fair enough, don't read the site. However, if someone made a good-faith gesture to you to give you six months of a free subscription, the least you could do would be not publicly bash the authors and their work product on the site itself. That's not you having objections to the work product as much as you just having the need to be an ass in a public forum.
Well, if it's all that bad, I suppose the pressing question is... why then are you still paying to read BP?
Couple of questions...
(1) What do you think about just not having a catcher on my roster? I've got Olivo now who has done well enough (he's probably about the fifth catcher in our league), but he's averaging 13 points a week and I can probably do better than that just by picking up random starting pitchers. A couple of guys in our league have gone that route and I have a hard time saying it's a bad strategy.
(2) In terms of the overall pecking order at second base, where do you put Rickie Weeks?
Eh, I kind of disagree. PECOTA definitely had its fair share of misses this year to be sure (Wieters, Sizemore, McLouth, etc.), but it also had more than it's fair share of hits that no one else saw coming. Colby Lewis, anyone?
The problem isn't PECOTA, the problem is the inherent unpredictability of player projections. Every system, no matter how accurate, is going to have quite a few big misses.
Take your pick... go after one of the value third baseman, or take another chance with Aramis Ramirez?
I'm leaning towards Ramirez now. I watched him twice this past weekend and he looked much better.
I've got Scherzer going against him on Saturday, so I picked up Kawakami as a bit of an insurance option. I figure that mixed with his decent strikeout rate out to give me at least a couple of points -- and it will probably be literally a couple. I had three roster moves left to make, and with Paulino going on the DL I had a space to use.
"Watch what happens the next time Hanley dogs it."
That's exactly what I was thinking. There won't be a need for Fireworks Friday.
Why the rush to dump Gonzalez and hire Valentine? Admittedly Gonzalez may not have been great, but it's hard to argue he was doing a poor enough of a job to justify firing him before the All-Star break.
Besides, exactly what about Valentine's resume screams, "HIRE ME NOW!!!"? He basically has a .500 all-time record, never even won his division, only has two playoff appearances in fifteen years, and hasn't managed in the majors in eight years. I'm not necessarily saying he is a bad choice, but I really cannot see any reason why I would rush to fire a guy like Gonzalez so I could hire Valentine midseason.
From Bobby V's perspective, though, you have to love this deal. Aside from the crazy owner -- which is admittedly a big negative -- he gets a ton of young talent (Ramirez, Johnson, Stanton), a new ballpark in a couple of years, and it's not like he has to worry about fan expectations because the Marlins have no fans. For a guy who has basically spent the past decade going back and forth between ESPN and Japanese Pacific League, it's hard to ask for much more.
I picked up Beltran earlier in the week and frankly I feel quite lucky. I almost drafted him way back when, but someone else picked him up and stashed him on the DL all year, and for some reason released him a couple of weeks back. I added him as soon as I saw the news on the rehab assignment.
I don't think anyone has a clue of what to expect with Beltran, but if you can pick him up as a free agent or a cheap trade, it's hard to see him not being a good play. He ought to hit fairly well if nothing else, and that alone ought to justify a roster spot even if he has terrible defense in the real world. At worst it seems like a low risk, high reward option.
I imagine it will be hard to get him in the near future, though. He's owned in about 65% of Yahoo! leagues, and you're right, with one good night at the plate that will go through the roof. If he goes 3-4 with a homer and a double, I'd bet his ownership rate will be over 85% in another day or two.
Would it be a smart move to pick up Justin Masterson and Kenshin Kawakami for one-off starts this weekend?
Also, you mention Tommy Hanson and his inconsistency, based on that would be it be a smart move to deal him if you could give a high-end hitter in return?
Here is one for you... I traded Angel Pagan for Pablo Sandoval last night. Your thoughts?
My thinking was that Pagan wouldn't continue his hot play of late, and the return of Beltran (who I picked up as a free agent) will cut into his playing time. Sandoval has had some struggles this year, but even so his low end is pretty comparable with what Pagan has done this year, and if he gets things together then that is a steal.
Also, one more for you, would you consider dropping either Juan Rivera or Carlos Quentin for any of these value picks?
All right, so add Chacin and Norris and drop who?
Also, in terms of free agent pitching available, there is basically none. The guys in my league have gone so pitching crazy that even prospects who get called up from Triple-A are getting added to teams, even if it's basically just a one-off start before going back to the minors.
Just to give you a couple of names, though, right now the two most productive (in terms of fantasy points) starting pitchers available on the free agent market right now are, by far, Jhoulys Chacin and Tom Gorzelanny.
Our league has a roster of 23 players plus two DL spots. You can play ten hitters on any given day -- the eight defensive positions and two utility spots -- and up to eight pitchers can go on any given day. In terms of raw size of the pitching staff, it can go as high as you want it, though of course you're going to have to sacrifice hitters to do it. And, of course, unless you have a player for each specific position, you have to leave that space empty.
The point value of our league for pitchers is very simple. You get 10 points for a win, negative five points for a loss, and two points for a strikeout. You can gain / lose some points for some other things (earned runs, walks, quality starts, etc.) but those point values are very small, and so really at the end of the day you get points by getting wins and strikeouts and the rest is just fluff.
Hope that helps, let me know if you need some more info.
I drafted Happ and have carried him on the DL -- which, in hindsight, given the length of his injury was probably a fairly dumb move -- and I have been planning on adding Bud Norris in the next couple of days. Bedard is available so I could add him in the future as well.
The problem I have at this point is roster space, and if I'm going to add some of these pitchers I'm going to have to drop others. I've got Tommy Hanson, Max Scherzer, Josh Beckett, and James Shields, and obviously I wouldn't cut any of those guys. On the other hand, though, I've also got Wade Davis, Carlos Zambrano, Felipe Paulino, Ted Lilly, Vicente Padilla, Wandy Rodriguez, and Rich Harden, and some of those guys will have to bite the dust to make room for any more additions. Who should it be, if any?
So, let me get this straight... "The biggest mistake I ever made was firing my manager to keep my GM happy. And I'd do it again!"
Can anyone logically explain that one?
After drafting Chris Iannetta, I picked up Miguel Olivo when the Rockies sent Iannetta down to Triple-A. I've held onto Olivo since then, with decent results, but he has really struggled as of late. I was hoping to trade him, but no one was willing to give up anything.
Here is my question, of the following catchers, who would you go with. Olivo, Yadier Molina, Buster Posey, or Matt Wieters?
Any thoughts on the value of Aramis Ramirez at the moment?
Is it safe to say at this point that Beltran would have likely been better off just going the Sizemore route last year?
Unfortunately, all of those guys are taken in my league (I already have Paulino), but I have a question for you nevertheless:
I have Justin Masterson and Joe Saunders going on Sunday, but Tim Wakefield is available and I can pick him up for his Saturday start (I also have Padilla going against him for the Dodgers that day). However, to pick up Wakefield, I'll have to drop one of either Masterson or Saunders. Is it worth it to drop one of those two to pick up Wakefield, and if so which one?
I love the historical discussion, but with regard to the 2010 Red Sox I really cannot get too worked up over anything at the moment. They are only two games back of the Yankees and they've been able to do that with all of the outfield injuries, virtually no production from Beckett, and a slow start by Lackey. Besides, the Sox still have, what, 25-30 games left against the Yankees and Rays?
I think it's a given that a very deserving team will get left out in the AL East, but that was considered a given by most anyway. Regardless, it's going to be one hell of a race, and it's going to go down to the final weekend. The Yankees play the Rays and Sox thirteen times over the final three weeks of the season, including a three-game series in Fenway, so this may very well go down to the last out of the last game.
Any other major SIERA under-performers / over-performers you guys have come across?
What are the odds that J.A. Happ gets moved to the bullpen upon his return?
Obviously "x" is supposed to be six. I hate typos.
One of the statheads will have to confirm, but I want to say no. My understand is that SIERA only has x variables
(1) Plate appearances
(4) Ground Balls
(5) Fly Balls
I'm pretty sure FIP does include some sort of league adjustment, though, but I'm not sure if is used to take league ERA into account.
A few more things I'd point out with Jimenez:
(1) As of this writing, Jimenez is currently on pace for approximately 32 wins (against 3 losses) and approximately 226 strikeouts. And that comes in Coors Field, playing on a .500 team. Having someone argue that, given that, he's overachieving and will see some regression to the mean should be by no means surprising.
(2) Jimenez also leads the league in PAP. Granted this is an era where teams tend to not try to kill their starting pitching, but even so.
(3) One more luck factor to through in there... Jimenez has gotten incredible support from his bullpen (despite the injury to Huston Street). He has turned it over to the bullpen with a lead 11 times, and they have gotten him a victory all 11 times, even though several of those games were very close when Jimenez went out. All told, in the approximately 25 innings that the Rockies bullpen has picked up for Jimenez, as a group they have an ERA of approximately 2.1.
All right, thanks man.
One more follow up on Beltran... is it possible that, at some point, he could have the same surgery done that Sizemore had, or will it be two completely different things at this stage?
Couple of questions for you, Will:
(1) With Aramis Ramirez, exactly how far back did the thumb injury date? It was my understanding that didn't happen until around late May. Does "that Cubs fans expected to see all year" mean that he will be back to his typical .300 TAv production like he's had most of his career with the Cubs?
(2) I guess what I don't get with Beltran is what to expect when he returns. Is this going to be a deal to where he gets back and then they shut him back down after a couple of weeks? Or will it be a situation to where he can still hit like crazy but be terrible defensively, useless on the basepaths, and getting pretty much every other day off? What is the general thinking here?
I think the Gibson argument is a bad one for three reasons:
(1) There is no way to reasonably compare the offensive production from 1968 to what we have in the modern era. There were literally TEN pitchers that year that posted an ERA of 2.08 or lower, and seven of those guys were under 2.00. There was a reason they lowered the mound after that year.
(3) Luck probably didn't not factor THAT much into Gibson in 1968. He had a BABIP of .230 (the Cards' team BABIP was roughly .260), and a lot of pitchers posted lower BABIPs than that in the 1960's. All in all, most of the models I have seen that tried to base his predicted ERA in '68 based on independent variables have him somewhere around a 2.00 ERA, so you're only talking about a difference of about eight-tenths of a run per nine innings, whereas the difference between SIERA and ERA for Jimenez is almost three times that much. Now obviously that is comparing slightly different things (I don't know about SIERA for Gibson in '68), but I do think it is very telling that there wasn't THAT much luck built into Gibson's '68 campaign.
(2) Obviously luck is a random variable and like any random variable if you cover a large enough of a sample you will see individual cases with extreme outcomes, particularly over relatively short periods. And if you have a period of extreme luck matched up with someone with the skills of Jimenez, you can see some truly amazing numbers posted. And you could, perhaps, have that luck over the course of an entire year (which is still a fairly short span in the big picture). I don't think Matt is trying to say it is outright impossible, just that there is a lot of luck involved here and that it would take an occurrence of ungodly improbability for this streak of Jimenez to continue, particularly at Coors Field.
I like Jimenez, but I think you've got it right, there is just no way that any of this is sustainable. No pitcher is going to be able to have that low of a BABIP, etc. And furthermore, it's just common sense... 12-1 with basically a 1.0 ERA is not sustainable in any environment probably, but certainly when the pitcher is playing at Coors Field on a .500 team (and one that can struggle at times with walks, i.e. see the no-hitter that featured six walks).
Either way, though, it's been a great ride and a joy to watch. I love seeing things in baseball I've never seen before, and I'm pretty sure I've never seen someone his dominant for this long in my lifetime.
It's funny, I actually picked up Lewis as a free agent after 23 rounds. I wanted to take him because PECOTA was high on him, but I really couldn't justify taking him after he'd washed out of five MLB teams and was exiled to Japan for a couple of years. Suffice it to say I was thrilled with his high strikeouts, eight quality starts, and six wins (and must needed for me too after drafting Sizemore, McLouth, Cust, and other 2010 fantasy superstars).
On the other hand, I just couldn't see that holding up, especially in the AL, in a hitter's park, and on a glorified .500 team.
Now if I can just find a way to convince someone to take Carlos Quentin off my hands...
Call me crazy, but I honestly figure the DL stint is probably the best thing that could have happened for him. With the kind of ungodly terrible year he has had, a couple of weeks away probably cannot hurt. I thought he might be a little overrated coming into the year, but through almost three months he has practically played only up to the .1 percentile of his projections. Maybe it's just plain mental at this point?
Also, is his real issue at the plate just an inability to make contact? I've seen about 15 of his PAs this year -- admittedly, uber-small sample size -- and honestly I'm not sure I've seen him put a single ball in play. If so, maybe it could be a vision issue?
(1) Vicente Padilla got hit pretty hard in his Triple-A start a couple of days ago. Are the Dodgers having to rush him a bit quicker than they would like because of the Billingsley injury? It just seems like if he was hit hard in Albuquerque, a start five days later against the Red Sox at Fenway is a bad idea.
(2) How does Happ fit into the Phillies' rotation when he returns from the DL? Given the lingering injury to his throwing arm, I would imagine they would take it very, very cautious, no?
I noticed in our fantasy league that Carlos Beltran is now available as a free agent. One of the players drafted him back in April and has kept him stashed on the DL until now, but apparently decided to cut him this morning.
Based on what Will has been writing, it looks like he may return sometime around mid-June. What should be the play with him? Is he worth picking up on a flyer?
Here's a question for you: I traded Colby Lewis for Jayson Werth... thoughts?
And on the Colvin thing, honestly I think Stone was probably just trying to start something with the cross-town rivals. He probably still has sour grapes from his own departure from the Cubs' booth. Admittedly you can make countless criticisms of the Cubs, but it's hard to see one of them being the manager's insistence on playing a guy who has always hammered lefty pitching instead of a rookie. That's scraping the bottom of the barrel.
Am I the only one who is counting the days 'til the premiere of the White Sox reality show on MLB Network?
That has got to be far better than what we saw last year with the Philles' bullpen.
The scoring for pitching in our league is fairly high and driven by strikeouts and wins. The problem is, though, that everyone is focusing so much on pitching now that hitting has become undervalued. It has gotten to the point where even if a kid gets called up from Triple-A, he's immediately added as a starter. Now, pitching can be a boon if your guy can get the win, but if not you're in trouble, especially with a guy who is only going out once a week.
Anyway, I actually went ahead and pulled it off.
I took the PECOTA spreadsheet and came up with a "Expected Fantasy Points" column by pegging all of the projections to my league values, and by that measure Cabrera comes out a good 130 points higher for the remainder of the year projections.
Beyond that, the real concern I had with Jimenez is what he does moving forward. In our league Jimenez has been slightly more valuable to date, but every time he goes out I worry about sustainability. Here's a guy with a 13-1 record on a .500 team that plays in Coors Field, and when I run him through the aforementioned PECOTA spreadsheet, he comes out as "only" the 15th best pitcher in baseball. Obviously PECOTA isn't the word of God, but I tend to think there will have to be some regression to the mean there and there this is no way Jimenez' early start is sustainable. Based on that, I liked Cabrera more just because my thought was that he was more likely to keep his performance at his current level.
One more for you... thoughts on a Ubaldo Jimenez for Miguel Cabrera trade?
Is it worth it to drop Casey Blake for Barton?
What should be done with Nate McLouth?
Pick one in a power-friendly league... Headley, Stubbs, or Barton?
Harris from Major League:
"Vagisil. Any one of them will give you another two to three inches drop on your curve ball. Of course if the umps are watching me real close I'll rub a little jalapeo up my nose, get it runnin', and if I need to load the ball up I just..."
"I haven't got an arm like you, kid. I have to put anything on it I can find. Someday you will too."
I think Moyer could pass for a good Eddie Harris at this age.
Count me in on Strasburg. At this point it's like the kid who keeps playing a video game on rookie mode even while winning by 50+ each game. At some point you just have to move on.
Ditto, great call. Paulino made the Cubs look bad all night.
Well, average strikeouts is fine. The more the better, obviously, but average strikeout rates and wins will be point generators in my league, at least to the point to justify a roster spot.
The problem I have with Norris (and Paulino) is that if they are going to lose or get a no-decision more often than not (which they will on the Astros), that really puts them walking a fine line. With that, even an average strikeout night is likely going to be a disaster.
I can still shuffle things a bit in the days to come, so I'm going to wait and see a bit. Having Norris and Jurrjens on the DL buys some time, and the guys that I have at the back-end of my rotation are solid players but not necessarily guys I am overly invested in, like Carlos Zambrano, Joe Saunders, Ted Lilly, and Joe Blanton.
The good news is that the top of my rotation is pretty solid. I've got Ubaldo Jimenez, Tommy Hanson, James Shields, Josh Beckett, and Max Scherzer, so if I can round it with solid guys throughout the rest of the staff I can probably have the best pitching rotation in my league. On the flip side, though, I had a weak draft on the hitting side (Sizemore, McLouth, Cust, and Iannetta), so I know I'm going to have to win with pitching, making this aspect all the more important.
I'm wary of Happ, but I've kept him on my roster for this long in a DL spot, so I figure I have nothing to lose by kicking the tires on him when he returns.
The big problem that I have is that there are no available pitchers left in my league. The value of pitchers (unintentionally, but nevertheless) is basically so high that even Triple A call-ups get claimed almost immediately, so any legitimate starter is locked down at this point.
I'm going to keep looking for something better, but as of right now I don't know how much better I can find. Bud Norris is available, but I worry about the bad team there, and so is Vicente Padilla, but he's got forearm issues of his own. Any thoughts on those two relative to Happ and Jurrjens?
Hate to say I called that one on Sizemore, but I had a sinking feeling about his prognosis every time I read something about him.
How bad does it have to be for the Indians now? Attendance is shaping up to be several hundred thousand lower than expected, the team is on pace lose 100+ games, and about the only proven star you have in your organization is now out for the season and is facing potentially career-threatening knee surgery. Ouch.
What would the Cubs get in return for Lee, both in terms of players / prospect and relief on his contract?
I would tend to think almost nothing. The fact that the Cubs do not consider dealing him a major move, mixed with the fact that they are seemingly content on converting Nady to a first baseman tells me that they think his value is practically zero. Even if the injury to Morales is a lot more severe than most think now, I really cannot see why the Angels would give up much for him.
Sue the guitarist?
I'd just add "BP" to it in some way then.
Could the Cubs / Angels trading Lee rumors be stemming from the heightened concerns over Morales?
And as for your handle, just go with @WillCarroll. Build up the name, and besides it's probably easier for people to find you that way.
Was the back issue the ultimate root of Beckett's early-season mediocrity, or were those two things independent of each other?
I picked up Paulino this morning. He's always a guy that has intrigued me because of his strikeout potential, but my concern is just him playing on a terrible team. Same concern goes for Bud Norris. And I actually plan on picking up Hammel tomorrow to prepare for next week. I saw him pitch a couple of weeks back and I found him to be pretty impressive, despite the lack of results.
Speaking of Jair Jurrjens, he is a free agent in my league right now and I actually plan on picking him up probably sometime next week (assuming no setbacks). What do you expect his impact to be, and how would you compare his return to that of J.A. Happ?
I've got Pagan now, but should I expect his playing time to decrease substantially when / if Beltran returns?
I still don't understand the Zambrano move. Even granting the fact that the Cubs needed a set-up man for Marmol, why move your #1 starter and the guy making nearly 20 million a year into that role?
It just seems to me like there was a whole lot more driving that move.
My concern with Kubel has been the new ballpark. After watching my Yankees play there and see the dimensions up close, that places just looks like a power hitter's graveyard. Any thoughts?
In any event, I've got Polanco now and picked up Blake. I effectively used them to replace Nate McClouth and Chone Figgins, so hopefully that will be an upgrade. If nothing else, surely it cannot be anything worse than what McLouth did the first two months, and at least moving forward I should get some resolution on Sizemore soon.
Well, the position of Headley really does not make a major difference. I keep him in the utility spot, but he plays every day (two utility spots on the starting roster in my league), so it's a bit of a moot point. I could make him my starting third baseman, but he'd be in the line-up every day regardless.
Of course, though, that is unless you have a better option out there for the utility spot if I move Headley to third. Right now it's a rotation of Headley, Figgins, and Polanco at third -- all three are listed as classified as third basemen in the Yahoo! leagues -- but if there is a better idea out there I'd be open to it.
It seems to me like hitters do get a bigger backlash. I think the casual fan / observer just tends to have bigger problems with the perception of muscled-up, 'roid-fueled sluggers launching homers like it's batting practice.
Aside from Clemens -- and honestly as big of a jerk as he has been, it's no surprise people have taken it hard on him -- I really cannot recall any other pitchers who have generated anywhere near the vitriol that a hitter has for testing positive to / admitting usage of PEDs.
Our scoring system for hitters is very power-friendly. Low batting averages really don't hurt you (nor does high batting average really help), and likewise high OBP really doesn't help either. The big rewards are for power stats... extra base hits, homers, and runs batted in. Strikeouts hurt (-2 points per for that), but that's the only negative point value a hitter can accumulate. Likewise, you get +2 for stolen bases, but that hasn't had any major impact yet.
Put in more concrete terms, a guy who hits .400 by racking up a ton of singles doesn't produce very much. On the other hand, a guy who hits .200 with a .250 OBP is going to be an elite fantasy player in our league if he puts up 35 homers and 120 RBI's.
Also, defensive performance has absolutely no impact on our league. It's all about what happens at the plate for hitters.
Here's my question about Montero...
Can he really be a legitimate MLB catcher? My thinking is that if he cannot, where will he play? DH seems largely out of the question, to me, because that spot will probably be occupied by A-Rod and Jeter in years to come.
Any chance I can get some long-awaited Happ news in this one?
The MRI showed no structural damage to the elbow of Placido Polanco, and he ended up getting a cortisone shot yesterday with the expectation that he would return to the line-up later this week.
Is this something that really expects to heal in the near future with him getting back to 100%, or is this just them trying to numb it up so he can play through the pain?
Better play at third... Casey Blake or Chone Figgins?
For a utility hitter spot, better play... Chase Headley, Placido Polanco, Drew Stubbs, Daric Barton, Jason Kubel, Ryan Sweeney, or Austin Jackson?
Speaking of value pick catchers, where does Iannetta fit at the moment? He's back in the majors, but Olivo has played pretty well and it seems like Iannetta may be getting dealt to the Red Sox.
Here is my question... if Iannetta gets dealt to the Red Sox, what kind of playing time estimates are we looking at. I picked up Olivo after my draft of Iannetta went in the tank, and he has played pretty well for me, but I really don't know if that is sustainable over the long-haul. On the other hand, I really cannot justify adding Iannetta at this point if he is going to spend most of his time on the bench, whether it be in Coors or Fenway.
Okay, I think I get it now. Basically you remove the loose cartilage and there should probably still be a sufficient amount left. If it's extreme, though, then it's microfracture time.
So, with that in mind, does it really make much of a difference if the cartilage is just gone or if the bulk of it is just floating around?
It seems to me like, if there was a significant amount of cartilage floating around, it would be the same end result. You would either have not enough cartilage, thus causing painful bone-on-bone contact, or you would have enough but if a good bit of it is loose then you have to remove it and at that point you don't have enough cartilage. It seems to me like you're headed for a microfracture procedure either way.
Is microfracture the end result regardless, as long as there is a significant amount of loose cartilage, or am I looking at this the wrong way?
That is about what I expected. I drafted him in the final round of our draft, so it's not like I have anything overly invested in the guy. He has only generated 125 points in our league so far, so it's nothing special to date.
The problem, though, is that I really cannot find a better alternative. There are some bigger-name guys out there that probably have more high-end potential -- Aramis Ramirez, Chipper Jones, Michael Bourn, etc. -- but it's really a bunch of guys who have gotten off to very slow starts and have produced even less than Headley, so I am hesitant to make that move. Placido Polanco is available in my league and he is the guy I would like to get, but with him suddenly missing a lot of time I figure it's best to wait on that too.
And oh yes, by the way, the fantasy stuff is addictive. I put off playing fantasy sports for years and years, but it is quite captive. You guys do great work here, as usual for BP, so keep it up.
Is Chase Headley worth keeping at this point? I've had him on my fantasy roster for several weeks, but I cannot say he's really doing anything to justify me hanging onto him. So far he hasn't hit for average, hasn't hit for power, and has struck out a lot.
Any reason to think things will really take a turn for the better?
Could you explain the intricacies of "loose" cartilage? I understand that microfracture surgery is designed to stimulate new cartilage growth, but what can really be done if the amount of cartilage in the knee is adequate but the cartilage is just floating around inside there?
Anything on Happ and his progress? It seems like his recovery has dragged on forever.
My apologies for not replying directly to your earlier thread, but my browser is having issues.
In any event, don't worry about changing your way of doing business. My league is really odd... bunch of first-time fantasy players and a league that places a huge value on starting pitchers (which are much more valuable than hitters, with relievers having almost no value), so at this point basically every even remotely respectable starter is taken, and I highly doubt that is the case with 95% of the other leagues out there.
I have a hard time believing that BABIP is totally divorced from individual skill. I would probably submit that each individual player, based on his own unique set of talents and abilities, has his own "normal" range of BABIP, and throughout his career you will see variations in that range. Some years it could be wild, but you will have regression to the mean and in most years it would be near the mean.
Here's my thought... a pitcher with a high BABIP for any extended period of time is not likely to be unlucky, he's likely to be a pitcher getting shelled with a ton of hard hit balls, and hard hit balls are more likely to be hits. Same for hitters. Not all contact is created equal. Guys who usually crush the baseball (and / or have good speed on the basepaths) are likely to have high BABIPS. Guys who are slow and / or routinely hit Roger Dorn-style grounders to second are likely to have low BABIPS. And all of that is independent of any notions of luck and random chance.
Good post, but I'm afraid to say that all of these guys are taken in my league, so no immediate help for myself. Definitely keep up the good work, though.
I actually owned Masterson for about the past three weeks or so, but I finally decided to cut bait. His strikeout rate is impressive and it does seem like he is suffering from a bit of bad luck, but there is only so long you can watch a guy who hasn't won a game in a year, playing on arguably the worst team in baseball, get lit up every time he goes out to the mound before you just have to move on.
I honestly think he's better suited for the bullpen. From my amateur hour observations, he seems solid on the first trip through the line up, but after that it's batting practice.
Am I the only one who thinks it a bit of a bad sign moving forward that Jimenez's strikeout rate has really nosedived the past two or three outings?
Anything on Happ and his prognosis moving forward with his bullpen sessions seemingly going well?
Yep, confirmed again... BP is still awesome.
My gut instinct for the past few days has been that I might as well keep him for a couple of weeks longer because I really don't have any great alternatives to replace him. I'll have a DL spot open for him when Beckett / Happ get back, so I shouldn't have to wait too much longer to bury him there (even if the diagnosis remains undetermined in the weeks ahead).
One final question... I drafted Nate McLouth (I know, right?) but he has had a terrible year and is now struggling just to stay in the starting lineup. PECOTA was high on him before the season, but now he has dropped a long ways. There are definitely better players out there in my league that I can get (assuming McLouth doesn't have a breakout). Is it time to cut bait?
Anything on Happ and his bullpen session?
Any thoughts on Juan Rivera?
Playoffs start in my league in September so as long as Sizemore is back and playing well then, I really don't have an issue keeping him. It's hurting to keep him on right now because our league has two DL spots and I currently have Beckett and Happ there, but when Beckett gets back next week or so that shouldn't be an issue. Besides, honestly there really isn't another outfielder that I could pick up that would give me great production anyway.
My concern is really that he is probably too big of a name player for people to just pass on him altogether. If I thought he could clear waivers and sit as an FA for a couple of weeks, I'd gladly do it. My thinking, though, is that someone will take a chance on him, and for whatever reason no one seems to want to trade anyone in my league, so that's not really a viable option right now.
Fair enough. Any timetable on when we may know something more substantive?
I drafted Sizemore in the fourth round of our draft, thinking I had gotten a major steal, but you know how that has worked out.
I don't want to drop Sizemore because of his great potential when healthy, but with his early struggles and the latest by Will Carroll regarding possible microfracture surgery on his knee, is it just time to cut bait with him and get one of the value picks?
The situation with Sizemore seems very bad and the underlying theme in all of the articles seemingly indicates that he will miss a lot of time, but no one really wants to explicitly state that because there is so little hard information out there on the subject. That sound about right?
In any event, even if Sizemore can recover from this, if it's even half as serious as many make it sound, you do have to wonder about just how good he will be. He didn't do well in 2009 with an assortment of injuries, he was off to a terrible start in 2010 before this injury, and if he has to fight through microfracture to return in 2011... well, I just dno't see how he can be a legitimate elite player at that point.
I find that teams tend to be rational in the running game, with a few exceptions, and for the most part are aware of the realistic limitations on the value it can provide your club.
At the risk of needlessly bashing the media, I'd say they are the ones who don't have it valued correctly. Commentators routinely go on-and-on for minutes at a time about the value of the running game and the pressure it puts on opposing pitchers and defenses almost every time someone with even a modicum of speed reaches first base.
I understand there is a lot of uncertainty with Sizemore. That said, he was put on the 15-day DL retroactive to May 17th, and frankly it doesn't seem like he's going to come back at the end of that 15-day stint.
Is it reasonable to assume at this point that he's likely going to miss at least a few more weeks?
I drafted Chipper Jones, but in a bit of a rash decision I dumped him and picked up Aramis Ramirez instead.
Right now I have Ramirez, but both Chipper and Figgins are available as free agents. What's the best play?
When is Zambrano expected to come back into the rotation, and when he does what kind of expected level of performance are we looking at?
I'm assuming he's looking at a massive dive from what was expected. PECOTA had him as a top 50 pitcher in VORP prior to the season, but I'm assuming we won't see anywhere near that level of production later on.
Moving forward in the weeks to come, what are we to make of Jair Jurrjens and Joe Blanton?
Both are free agents in my head-to-head league, and while Jurrjens is on the DL for now, I'm pretty much guaranteed to make the playoffs so at this point I'm preparing for it accordingly, hence I have no real concerns over Jurrjens injury as long as he can return to health by September. Both seem like very high upside players and our league places an unbelievably high value on pitchers (much more than hitters). What do you think?
Somewhat of a random question...
I saw in my head-to-head league where someone dumped Aramis Ramirez after his slow start. I had Chipper Jones, and in a bit of an impulse move I dropped Jones and picked up Ramirez.
Good move or no? Any thoughts? My thinking was that neither have gotten off to a particularly good start, but at least Ramirez is a good bit younger and will likely see more playing time in the second half of the season.
The average doesn't hurt in my league. It's driven largely by power and RBI's, so a poor average is pretty meaningless.
Any guesses on when Iannetta may be called up? I would want to be sure to get him if I choose to go that route, and if I could reasonably guess when he will be called up I would probably be inclined to pick him up a couple of days early, just to make sure I got him. Besides, with Olivo in a 2-28 slump, he has gotten me all of two points in the past week, so it's not like I'll be losing much by having the spot filled by a guy still sitting in Triple-A.
I have noticed that Iannetta has been tearing things up in Triple-A, and given Olivo's terrible slump I figure it's only a matter of time before the Rockies recognize that the early-season performance of both was merely a small sample size fluke. Iannetta is available, and I will probably try to get him once he gets called back up.
My issue is that I play in a head-to-head league which, thanks to the scoring structure, places a HUGE value on starting pitchers. I keep one roster spot open to pick up random starting pitchers throughout the week, and we have a cap of seven weekly acquisitions, so I need to be able to keep my hitters stable to allow me to maximize points by using my acquisitions on starting pitchers. Thus, spending two roster spots to platoon catchers really isn't feasible, I need a guy who I can plug into the line-up and be guaranteed of a lot of at-bats every single week.
My concern with Iannetta is that if he gets off to a slow start in his return to the big leagues, the Rockies management will flip out and I'll be right back in the same boat I was to start the year. Now, given his terrible production as of late, I know that I will have to move Olivo shortly anyway -- and, admittedly, Iannetta looks to be a good player -- but if this is going to turn into a cat-and-mouse game with regard to playing time, I'm just going to have to think outside the box a bit and get a catcher from somewhere else. What are your thoughts?
Oh, and by the way, thanks for the reply. This is my first year of fantasy sports, if you couldn't tell, but I've been on BP for a little over a year now. I signed up and started reading and I've been addicted ever since. Keep up the good work.
Both Dye and Dukes and looking for work, and to the best of my knowledge neither are playing anywhere. I think Dye could get a job if he lowered his demands, but he was explicitly quoted a few days back as saying he wouldn't play for a losing team and he wouldn't play for 1.5 million either. I think he could get a job if he really wanted it, but good teams have decided against giving him 2 million plus.
In relation to Bradley, the one that still surprises me is Jack Cust. He would probably be a lot more productive than Bradley, and would definitely be a hell of a lot more productive than a lot of guys in the majors. Yet, somehow, he's still tearing things up for the Sacramento River Cats. Go figure.
What is the thinking on Iannetta? I drafted him in my fantasy league and thought he was a solid choice, but Miguel Olivo took away his starting job. I've since picked up Oliva and dumped Iannetta -- Iannetta is still available to me as a FA -- and while Iannetta seems like the better player, it obviously does me no good to have him sitting down in Triple-A Colorado Springs.
What's the general thinking behind Figgins' struggles, small sample size or are there some substantive issues in play?
I know PECOTA was / is fairly high on him, but obviously it has been a bad start. I have a chance to pick him up as a free agent in my fantasy league, and I was wondering what the deal was. I haven't seen the Mariners play this season, so I haven't the slightest clue. Anyone with any insight?
With the Dodgers now having a four game lead after taking a nailbiter today, I feel safe in saying that they hang on and win the West.
That said, the Rockies look to be the wild card, and frankly I'm impressed. They've played great the past two and half months, and as you mentioned luck hasn't necessarily been on their side. I do not, in any way, see this as a repeat of the 2007 squad. It's a legitimate contender, and I wouldn't be shocked to see them having a parade in late October.
All I know is that if I'm the Phillies or the Cardinals, I do not want to get this bunch in a five game series. In fact, given my preference -- based both on the Dodgers struggles the past couple of months, and Torre's recent history of early playoff exits -- I'd rather play the Dodgers than the Rockies.
I generally love the stuff Joe, and this one as well to be sure -- great stuff about Wrigley, and I share the sentiments completely -- but I must say that I just find the whole fiscally restrained Hendry bit a tad ridiculous. He was able to find 30 million dollars laying around to give to Milton Bradley, and it's hard to play the short pockets gambit when you have that much money to give out.
Now, to be sure, I'm sure Hendry was on a very short fiscal leash after the Bradley signing, but that still doesn't change the fact that the Bradley signing itself was a total bust, and it does mean that had he not wasted so much money there, he could have easily made many of the other moves that you talked about. Just take DeRosa, he's only making 5.5 million this year, barely half of what the Cubs had to shell out to Bradley this year (5 million base plus a 4 million signing bonus). They could have just as easily retained DeRosa, let Bradley go be a flameout elsewhere, saved 4 million dollars this year, and then have an extra 21 million dollars laying around for 2010 and 2011.
That's not a problem of tight budgets, but one of bad decision making in the front office. That's not to say that finances haven't hurt the Cubs, but the real problem they face is that the core is aging, the free agent signings haven't really lived up to expectations, and Hendry and company have drafted and developed talent so poorly in recent years that it's not enough to offset the difference of the inevitable decline by the core players.
Admittedly, though, you are right about the Cardinals. Their unexpected surge has really taken it hard to the Cubs.