If these players are on your league's waiver wire, they might be worth considering, depending on the format in which you play.
Welcome back to our weekly walk through some of the players who may want to keep an extra eye on in your leagues. Mike and I will be tackling this topic on Thursdays again and focusing on a singular hitter and pitcher in four of the more popular formats: shallow mixed, deep mixed, NL-only and AL-only. These are certainly not the only players who are worth pickups, but it gives us a nice opportunity to write about players we have close tabs on in our leagues.
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Examining a handful of players who might pique your interest in deep leagues.
Introductions are for strangers. Let’s get right to it.
Trevor Bauer, SP, Indians
In last week’s Deep Impact, I was all like, “guys, you should totally pick up Marcus Stroman because he’s going to get the call soon.” Then he did. This week, I implore you to totally go pick up Bauer, because it’s going to be his turn in very short order. Yes, the Indians have turned to Josh Tomlin over Bauer in the interim, but the odds of Tomlin pitching well enough to stay in the rotation long-term aren’t great. Add in that the Tribe could look to replace Danny Salazar soon, and there should be plenty of opportunity for Bauer in the majors moving forward.
Everyone ihas their sights set on last year's breakout stars, but these players who hurt your team in 2013 might help it in 2014.
In any draft or auction it is always hard to resist the temptation to take the big breakouts from the year that just passed. After all, they are on the upswing… supposedly. Their breakout may have led you to a title or you may have just missed getting them and had to suffer through them cleaning up for an opponent, but you’re determined to not miss out again this year. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with taking the recent breakout—well unless it was built on a mirage of poor supporting skills—but there can also be value in the garbage bin.
On the opposite end of the shiny breakouts is the thrown-out trash: the previous year’s failures that sunk a team to the bottom of the standings and left them spending their entire free agent budget by May 1. Those toxic assets are far down on the list for those they burned and they aren’t exactly hot targets for the rest of the league, either. Alas, every year we see guys rise from the ashes like a phoenix to be the late-round steal that pairs with an aforementioned breakout to carry a team to the title.
Toronto's nightmare season continues with a blown lead against Los Angeles.
The Tuesday Takeaway Ben Lindberghwrote on Monday that while “Toronto is still disappointing … the Dodgers are on their way to being about as good as expected.” Never was that more evident than in the middle match between those teams on Tuesday night.
The Blue Jays jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning, on an RBI double by Jose Reyes and a run-scoring single by Jose Bautista. The Dodgers charged back in the top of the third, on an RBI double by Andre Ethier and a run-scoring single by Mark Ellis. But the Blue Jays countered those equalizers with two more runs, on a homer by Mark DeRosa and a sacrifice fly by Brett Lawrie, in the ensuing half-inning.
Cleveland and Baltimore are playoff contenders, but not because of their men on the mound.
The Thursday Takeaway
If there is one thing that stands between the 2013 Indians and the organization’s first postseason berth since 2007, it is a lack of dependable pitching.
The Tribe entered play on Thursday ranked fifth in the majors in runs scored and sixth in True Average, a considerable improvement from last year, when Cleveland placed 22nd and 18th, respectively, in those categories. The Indians’ fielding also has been markedly better this year than it was in 2012, enough to bump their park-adjusted defensive efficiency up from 24th to 12th in the league. Unfortunately, while the pitching is on the right track—with the team’s ERA down from 4.78 to 4.38—it still ranks near the bottom of the pack (27th).
Shoulder surgery can be a death knell for pitchers, but it has not stopped Danks from reinventing himself as a reliable starter.
Shoulder injuries are a very scary thing for pitchers. Fans get frustrated at pitchers that go the rest-and-rehabilitation route, which almost inevitably only delays the surgery that most of those pitchers undergo. It is tough to blame teams and pitchers for going the conservative route after looking at what happened to the likes of Brien Taylor, Mark Prior, and, most recently, Johan Santana. And we can now add another pitcher to that fray: John Danks.
Danks had his 2012 season cut short by a shoulder injury that was initially diagnosed as small tear that would not require surgery. May became June, which became July, and August brought along a surgery that included repairing a shoulder capsule tear, damage to his rotator cuff, and a debridement of his biceps tendon. Worse yet, all of this happened in the first season of Danks’s latest contract extension, which will pay him $57 million through the 2016 season.
In last week’s edition of TLPAotW, commenter dbertelli asked, “Who are the all-time hitter record holders for number of plate appearances of more than 10 pitches?” The answer is these guys, with the caveat that “all-time,” in this context, means “since 1988,” which is as far back as Retrosheet pitch-by-pitch data goes: