Due to a 25-game suspension and a hamstring injury, Ruiz hasn't had much of an opportunity to demonstrate whether or not his 2012 power breakout is even remotely sustainable. He should have a chance soon, though. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that Ruiz hopes he'll be able to begin a rehab assignment next week, and then rejoin the Phillies on June 17.
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The Padres are off to a horrible start, so a housecleaning might be forthcoming. Who stays and who goes?
The San Diego Padres, perhaps predictably, have gotten off to a miserable start in 2012. Although expectations were not high coming into the season, almost nothing has gone right for the club. Between injuries and ineffectiveness, not to mention ongoing ownership/television deal issues (I live 15 minutes from Petco Park and cannot watch the team on TV in my home, which might qualify as “charmingly retro” if it weren't so annoying), the Padres are staring at their worst-case scenario only a month into the campaign.
Last week, Kevin Goldsteinsuggested that a “housecleaning in San Diego could be coming.” Reader pobothecat wondered what such a housecleaning might look like, and so did I.
Rob McQuown discusses three outfielder signings this offseason.
As was kindly noted by a reader Monday, the graphics included here are from Graphical Player 2011. The “Mini-Browser” includes the projected stats of the the player along with others at the same position in the same price range, and then a few 2010 minor-league stats (when applicable) and 2007-2010 MLB stats for the player, including some skills stats which help the reader see quickly how lucky vs good the players has been (“Bash” is bases per hit for those without the GP2010 glossary handy – 1.6 is league average). The book works well in concert with the indispensable “Prospectus” book, in that it's fantasy-focused and available earlier. The book's name comes from the fact that each player's historical performance is displayed using trend lines of various stats, so readers can tell at a glimpse how a player had done on a monthly basis in recent years. Some sim-friendly stats familiar to readers of this column are also included, in L/R splits and Scoresheet fielding ratings.
Rob McQuown looks at Value Pick outfielders with 3 newcomers this week replacing a graduation and two disappointments.
Welcome to the List: Not to say that drawing the Outfielders straw in this “Hot Spots” series is limiting, but in there are exactly 11 players rated in the outfield who have between 5% and 20% ownership in ESPN leagues. And it's sort of an odd situation, since CBS Sportsline shows players who are no-brainers at this point like Brett Gardner [ed - a reader pointed out a typo here] and Josh Willingham and Andruw Jones, as being owned in 80% or less of leagues. Just a heads up that there are likely to be more situational plays amongst Outfielders than for other positions, so reading the “fine print” is indicated.
Taking a cue from the Sportsline owners, AA slugger Mike Stanton joins the Value List this week. Obviously, if you don't have bench spots, he's not much use, but he seems to have compensated adequately for the high strikeout rate, and while reading Kevin Goldstein's take is indicated for more in-depth analysis, suffice it to say that he's going to hit homers at any level in any park. He's here in large part due to the struggles of the other Florida outfielders:
Rob McQuown updates Value Picks, as 2 players end up on the shelf and get replaced by Cam Maybin and the "other" Guillen.
Exiting “stage left” this week are Conor Jackson and Mike Cameron. Cameron is still a guy to get after he returns to duty in a month or so, but the injury takes him off the radar for now. Conor Jackson was already on a short leash before going on the DL as a guy without much power or speed. His injury gives Gerardo Parra short-term value with a chance to stick if he hits well again. Carlos Gomez is being edged out of playing time by Jim Edmonds and is now a huge risk, but the speed potential is so great that he stays on for at least another week.
In Delmon Young-style, Cameron Maybin went from 2 straight years of top-10 (overall) status on Kevin Goldstein's top 101 list (and 3 straight years in the top 10 at Baseball America) to undrafted in most shallow mixed roto leagues. This is in spite of hitting .319/.399/.463 last year, as a 22-year-old at AAA(!) The problems are multiple and are summed up by his tepid PECOTA projection:
A few too many wipeouts up, added to a surprise #2 ranking that blew up... in the bad way.
Center field was frustrating in 2009. It was supposed to be one of the deepest positions available, but thanks to either brand-new injuries or lingering ones, the entire top of the list was decimated and center field ended up losing some of its depth. Today we'll get into which rankings were due to problems with the thought process and which ones had more to do with trips to see the trainer.
BP's dirty dozen makes their prognostications to generate the wisdom of at least one small crowd.
Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff predictions for the division standings and the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year) in the American and National Leagues. Each staff member's division standings predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results. In each table you'll find the average rank of each team in their division with first-place votes in parentheses, plus the results of our pre-season MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting. Picking favorites for the Wild Card for the respective leagues initially might have seemed easy, since the selections universally favored the second-place team in the AL East, while all but two voters picked their second-place teams in the NL East to earn the non-division champ playoff team, but a tie in the rankings had to be broken in favor of the team named the Wild Card winner on the most individual ballots, which is sure to upset some people.
For the MVP voting, we've slightly amended the traditional points system in place that's been used elsewhere, dropping fourth- and fifth-place votes to make it 10-7-5 for the MVP Award, and the regular 5-3-1 for the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year Awards (that's 5 points for a first-place vote, 3 points for a second-place vote, etc.). Next to each of these selections we've listed the total number of ballots, followed by the total number of points, and then the number of first-place votes in parentheses, if any were received.
Picking your poison in one of the game's premium positions is a choice best made early.
Center field is a position where you can find many of the best fantasy players around-you've got sluggers who will drive in runs, be driven in by their teammates, hit for power and average, and steal a load of bases. With that being said, the talent level on the list drops drastically near the bottom end, so if you leave it for too long come your league's draft, you'll be stuck hoping that Vernon Wells has one of his good seasons, or throwing up your hands and drafting someone like Willy Taveras or Michael Bourn solely for their stolen bases.