A commentary about sports, media, and interpersonal relationships encountered throughout everyday life.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mark Teixeira to the Yankees; 8 years $170+ million

Just got word from a more-than-reliable source at a more-than-reliable sports network who informed me that the Yankees have just locked up Mark Teixeira to a ridiculous 8-year, $170+ million dollar contract.

I'll be back with more about Tex's new-Yankee value later on. For now here's a list of links with the story rundown:

Again, more on this later... I just wanted to get the news out as quickly as I could.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A.J. Burnett Brings His PWR/GB Stats To The Bronx


The story is covered in length by the New York Post's George A. King III here.  The most interesting excerpt I found, though, was this:
"And the Yankees, who had $88 million come off the books after a very discouraging 2008 season, still have money to chase Derek Lowe, Ben Sheets, Andy Pettitte and possibly Mark Teixeira or Manny Ramirez."
Now, before getting to the fantasy impact of A.J. Burnett's arrival, I have to weigh in and say that I cannot see the Yankees chasing Derek Lowe or Mark Teixeira of all the names listed above.  Its been made apparent that the 5th spot in the Yankees rotation belongs to Pettitte, if he wants it.  If not, enter Ben Sheets.  It's about as simple as that.

Again, I'm not going to pick up the Manny Ramirez torch, but, as I outline here, I think Manny would absolutely accept the same offer the Dodgers made (2 years, 50 million) if it was offered by the Yankees.  He would then be the team's full-time DH and clean-up hitter for 2009-2010.

Aside from all this housekeeping, let's get down to the meat-and-potatoes of this post: A.J. Burnett.  In Ron Shandler's 2008 Forecaster, he classifies Burnett as a PWR-GB (Power-Ground ball pitcher).  Essentially, this classification is defined by a pitcher whose GB rate is over 50% and who limits balls in play by strikeouts, walks, or both.  In Burnett's case, let's take a look at the numbers:

2006: 135 IP, 118 K's, 39 BB
2007: 165 IP, 176 K's, 66 BB
2008: 221 IP, 231 K's, 86 BB

Okay... so his BB/9 for 2006-2008 are 2.6, 3.6, and 3.5; which aren't the greatest... but aren't horrible either.  I like to see semi-consistent numbers here because we'll have an indication of what to expect in 2009.  His K/9, on the other-hand, is ridiculous (2006-2008): 7.8, 9.6, and 9.4.  Again, a pretty good model of consistency over the past three seasons.

Consistency, statistically-speaking, hasn't been the problem with Burnett.  Consistency, medically-speaking, has.  For this reason, drafting Burnett will always be a risky situation.  Judging his fantasy value is easy.  If healthy, he'll be dominant in a fantasy league.  However, is drafting Burnett the most cost-effective approach to winning?

Looking at the difference in offense, the 2007 Yankees scored 215 more runs than the 2007 Blue Jays while batting, as a team, 31-points higher (.290).  The bullpens, tell a bit of a different story, though.  IN 2007, the Toronto bullpen features a 2.94 ERA in 425 IP, nearly an earned-run less than the Yankees' 3.79 ERA in 543 IP (thanks for Baseball-Reference for the help).

While the Yankees' 2009 bullpen will not be a carbon copy of their 2008 counterparts, there is no, I repeat: no, way they're going to put up a 2.94 bullpen ERA.  And while Burnett won't necessarily need the help from the bullpen... it would definitely be a nice cushion to fall back on for those rough nights.

Listen, all this is arbitrary at this point.  Entering the 2009 baseball season, A.J. Burnett is going to be ranked in the Top-10 starting pitchers of every fantasy board.  I would try to avoid being the team that drafts him because of the injury problems.  There are two ways to avoid this problem: (A) draft a better SP early and put the pressure on your opponents to pull-the-trigger on Brunett, or (B) draft Burnett with a pick, then draft a high-end SP with the following pick for insurance.

If you're like me, you're allergic to the high-maintenance fantasy pitchers like Burnett, and likely choose 'Option-A.'  I enjoy seeing people forced into drafting players they don't whole-heartedly love... and leaving a Burnett out on the table should put a rival in that more-than-precarious situation.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

J.J. Putz, Aaron Heilman, and Brandon Morrow: The Anatomy of a Trade... Fantasy Style


Before we get ready to Rock-and-Roll, let me throw a few good articles about this story your way:
  • The ESPN crew chronicles the path if this deal from Wednesday night into Thursday morning, here.
  • The NY Daily News' Adam Rubin, too, follows the development of this deal on his blog.
  • Finally we have our old reliable(s): John Heyman and Ken Rosenthal.
Now that you have the news about how vastly improved the Mets' bullpen is, let's get down to the fantasy values of these players:

J.J. Putz's value is non-existent in most mainstream leagues.  I played in a Roto-League last year that gave a decent amount of weight to the holds category.  To be honest, I used a few Mets (Pedro Feliciano, Joe Smith) during the course of the season and they all did a more-than serviceable job during their respective tenures on my team.  In a league like the one I'm speaking of, Putz would be a GREAT catch, and here's why:

2006: 2.30 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 1.33 K/IP
2007: 1.38 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 1.14 K/IP
2008: 3.88 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 1.22 K/IP

Look at that strike-out to innings pitched ratio!  That's ridiculous!  This is a guy who, as Ken Rosenthal says (in the above link), wants to be a closer... and deserves to be.  However, he's going to have to suck it up and enjoy his lack of fantasy value this season while he sets up for K-Rod and the Mets.  That all said, the second K-Rod goes down with an elbow, shoulder, or fore-arm injury... dive onto Putz head-first... because he's that good.  Fantasy Diagnosis: Pass... but monitor K-Rod's health throughout the season.

Aaron Heilman's wish has finally been fulfilled; he's now a starting pitcher!  After finding his "home in a relief role" in 2007, Heilman faced eviction in 2008 (Ron Shandler's 2008 Baseball Forecaster).  In 2005, 2006 and 2007, despite Mets' fans' hatred of Heilman's attitude and relief pitching, he put up decent... and improving numbers:

2005: 3.17 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 47.4 GB%
2006: 3.62 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 47.6 GB%
2007: 3.03 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 48.1 GB%

Then... 2008 happened:

2008: 5.21 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 24.3 GB% (thanks to MetsGeek for the stats help).

So, Mets' fans were finally justified for their hatred of Aaron Heilman... but was 2008 a fluke or a sign of things to come in Seattle?  My best guess is that 2008 was a fluke.  My reasoning is based less on numbers and more on history.  Heilman's age (30) is not the typical age of decline in major league players.  In fact, this is considered the prime of his baseball life (the time in his career when he puts up his best numbers).  Second, the most successful relief pitcher conversions have been predominantly ground ball pitchers.  Examples of this include Miguel Batista, Adam Wainwright, Derek Lowe, and Braden Looper.

In the end, I think Heilman will have good success in Seattle as a starter and is definitely someone I would consider drafting in the back-end of my fantasy baseball draft (if not someone I follow on waivers for a good portion of the first month of the season).  Fantasy Diagnosis:  Draft and hold in the later rounds.  He has the potential to be a surprising sleeper candidate.

Brandon Morrow is best known for filling for J.J. Putz for a majority of his injury plagued 2008.  He finished the year with 10 saves for Seattle en route to a 3.34 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.  However, that's not the Brandon Morrow that sticks out in my mind...  the Brandon Morrow I remember from 2008 is Brandon Morrow, "The Starter," who nearly No-Hit the New York Yankees in his first major league start (broken up in the 8th, box score here).

Fantasy baseballers generally felt that Morrow was going to be 2009's Joba Chamberlain, a guy who would have value no matter what role he fulfilled.  With J.J. Putz's departure, however, Morrow's role becomes somewhat more solidified as the closer for the Seattle Mariners.  Morrow's not thrilled about this, as he wants to be a starter in the majors, but the arrival of Heilman and trade of Putz leave him with the role (unless Seattle trades/signs another closer... which is not going to happen... they're clearly in rebuilding mode right now).

Personally, I'm with Morrow.  After I saw him physically handicap the Yankees last September, I was excited to see more of what this kid had to offer from a starter's perspective.  As it stands now, he'll have to settle for being a great closer on a bad team.  Fantasy Diagnosis: As a closer, Morrow has value, but his true worth comes as a starter.  If you're in a deep keeper league draft and hold Morrow for the future.  Otherwise, 2009 may not be the year you truly see Morrow shine his brightest.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

C.C.'s Yankee Fantasy Value


Late last night, Yankees' GM, Brian Cashman, departed Las Vegas for San Francisco to meet with C.C. Sabathia and agent Greg Genske.
  • Tyler Kepner of the New York Times is keeping the story updated here.
  • Joel Sherman, of the New York Post, broke the story here.  
  • And I'd be remised if I neglected to mention Peter Abraham's on-going Yankee coverage at the Winter Meetings (which you can find here).
Now that all the background information is covered, let's get down to business.  From a fantasy perspective, I can't see Sabathia's value increasing or decreasing.  The Yankees' offense, on a good day, is just as good as the offense the Brewers put on the field.  After the All-Star break, however, the Brewers slumped badly with a .753 team OPS.  The Yankees, on the other hand, featured a .794 team OPS.  Both aren't great... but if you had to choose the lesser of two evils, it'd be the Yankees.

While Sabathia will definitely benefit the Yankees by delivering a bona fide ace to the Bronx for, arguably, the first time since Roger Clemens donned the pin-stripes, I'm not sure the same can be said for the Yankees' impact on Sabathia.

He returns to the AL, where he struggled in the first half of 2008.  While this may be due, in part to pitching for the disappointing Cleveland Indians, I don't wholeheartedly buy into that.  Let's not forget that the American League Cy Young, Cliff Lee, came from the same team that allegedly handicapped Sabathia.  Here's Sabathia's numbers over the past 3 seasons facing AL East opponents.  I adjusted the numbers to reflect Sabathia's numbers against AL East teams excluding the Yankees:

2008: Home v. AL East Opponents (excluding NYY): 1-0, 1.29 ERA, 1.14 WHIP
2007: Home v. AL East Opponents (excluding NYY): 3-1, 2.78 ERA, 1.33 WHIP
2006: Home v. AL East Opponents (excluding NYY): 3-1, 2.19 ERA, 0.83 WHIP

Aside from 2008's skewed numbers (due to the Cle-Mil trade mid-season), Sabathia has proven his worth against AL East opponents.

To me, this trade won't improve or hinder C.C. Sabathia's numbers.  He will, barring injury, be the same stud pitcher he's been over the past three years.  However, looking at this deal from a team v. individual perspective, the Yankees have come out the winners over Sabathia's non-monetary gains from this deal.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Nick Swisher's Impact on Yankees Offensive Plans

Nick Swisher to the Yankees... hmm...  I thought I read something about that over a month ago.  Oh, that's right... I did... on this blog.

Despite the contention of readers that Nick Swisher was not a "Girardi Guy," he was acquired this past week by the pinstripes to play a little centerfield and a little first base (as forecasted by yours truly).  Where does this deal leave the Yankees?  Well, there's a couple different avenues they can travel to solidify Swish as either a first baseman or an outfielder.

As it stands now, Melky Cabrera is on the outs.  He's really never been anything more than a 4th outfield that the Yankees tried to make a CF.  I don't know if it was because of the "Got Melky?" shirts or the "el Leche" calls by John Sterling, but either way, the Yankees were stubborn in not realizing what this guy was: a AAAA baseball player.

Next we have everyone's new Flavor of the Week, Brett Gardner.  It's uncanny how much Yankee fans don't learn.  Starting Brett Gardner in center next year is starting Melky Cabrera all over again!  Different name, same game.  I know Girardi loves the kid, but love him off your bench in a pinch-running, defensive replacement role.  This kid is seriously Dave Roberts with less pop.  I know that Yankee fans remember the 2004 play-off collapse against the Red Sox (yeah... sorry to bring that up again).  Do you remember what killed the Yankees near the conclusion of each game?  Obviously, David Ortiz's bat gets most of the attention, but it was Tito Francona's use of Dave Roberts in the late innings.  Roberts would steal second base, and Papi's prowess for clutch hits would bring the speedster in to score.  This happened two nights in a row (Games 4 and 5).  Ironically, the two games that turned the entire series around for the Red Sox.

The trip down memory lane wasn't designed to have you start tearing up in frustration.  It was just used to show you HOW Brett Gardner should be used: off the bench, in late innings, to put pressure on the opposition.  So please, please, please stop with this non-sense about Garnder's role as a starter next season.  Case closed.

Next, everyone's favorite prospect, Austin Jackson.  This kid really, really shouldn't even be considered.  But, as we've seen with prospects like Alex Escobar, after hearing about a young player so much, his name is worth than his ability.  The guys over at WasWatching detail Jackson's minor league report card, noting specifically that Jackson's good... but not what we've all come to expect from such a prestigious Yankee prospect.  With all that said, Jackson may be more valuable to the Yankees in a Padres uniform.  That's right, San Diego, reportedly, would require Austin Jackson in any Jake Peavy deal.  To that I say, sayonara.  

Now, because the Yankees have a noticible lack in CF talent, I motion that they use Swish exclusively as a CF.  He played his entire career at Ohio State there and is more athletic than industry sources give him credit for (though he is a bit shaky at 1B).

If you use Swish in CF and move Johnny Damon to 1B (again, as I suggested here), which he is willing to do, you clear the Damon-Matsui log-jam in LF and open up the Designated hitter position.

If the Yankees do this... they now have the option to bring back Jason Giambi at a discounted rate, or make a run at Manny Ramirez.  Both of whom would look very good in a offense that's shaping up to look something like this:

1.  Damon, 1B
2.  Jeter, SS
3.  Rodriguez, 3B
4.  Ramirez / Giambi*, DH
5.  Matsui, LF
6.  Nady, RF
7.  Posada, C
8.  Can0, 2B
9.  Swisher, CF

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day Manifesto

Last night I could barely sleep.  The feeling was reminiscent of the nervousness/excitement I used to get every Christmas Eve... but, a little over a month away from December 24th, I looked with excitement to 8:30 AM, when I would wake up and vote for Barack Obama.

8:30 AM

Like every morning, my Home Medics Pro Alarm Clock disrupted my sleep with the sounds of waves crashing onto a shore that I've never been to.  I hopped out of bed with an extra pep in my step as I hustled to the shower before letting my dogs out for the first time today.  I looked in the mirror at a day's worth of facial hair growth and decided not to shave... if there was a day 
to look like a hippie-college-grad-Democrat... it was today (thought not hippie-college-grad-Democrat enough to skip the shower).

8:45 AM

Dogs are out and I'm going for the instant gratification of some Honey Nut Cherios.  CNN's Morning Election Coverage blares off my television as I inhale my breakfast and hastily make-up a a few cups of coffee.  I change to News-12, Long Island and wait for the right moment to begin my journey around the block to Bay Shore Middle School, my designated voting center.


That's my dog, Bernie.  He's actually watching the Election coverage with me (the television's across from the wood burning stove in my living room) as he sits on his perch.  While continuing morning routine on this most un-routine of days, I open my laptop and discover the people over at Facebook.com provide a friendly reminder to everyone who's been living under a rock for the past year:


9:45 AM

Now seems like the perfect time to vote.  I will miss the morning rush and avoid the lunch-breakers.  Plus, it's too early for the voting machines to malfunction.  So, I switch off the television, log-off of Facebook, and say 'adios' to my puppies as I trot out of my house and down the walk-way to my car.  It's time to vote.

9:50 AM


It's "go-time."  I roll into the parking lot at Bay Shore Middle School and notice a small sign "prohibiting" any "campaigning on the premises" during Election Day.  Ten feet past the sign, there's a man wearing a business suit with a rubber Barack Obama mask on his head.  I laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation and slowly roll along down the entrance.  He raises his fist to me, his fake rubber eyes meeting mine, and I return the fist raise out of my car's window.  It was a true moment of solidarity...

...I then looked around to make sure no one saw the intimate moment between the masked supporter and myself...

...No one did.  Moving along.

10:10 AM

My guide.  "Vote Aqui," welcome to Bay Shore.

10:13 AM

I'm immediately confronted by a large man who demands my district.  Obviously, my youthful look has already discredited everything I should know.  He might as well of asked my age as I blew past his ignorant, girthy body and entered the Middle School lobby.  The table for District #169 was empty and I hastened my steps until I reached the table.

Perhaps a visual learner, the large man watched from a distance as I passed his "What-To-Do-On-Election-Day" Test.

10:15 AM

My name is signed, and I'm ready to roll.  There's one person ahead of me and I look at the photocopy of the voting booth taped to the wall.  I look through, make up my mind on several candidate (though I already decided on everything weeks beforehand) and nervously tap the wall with the toe of my shoe and pretend to read some dedications on the wall of the school.

10:17:28 AM

The curtain opens.  My turn.

10:20 AM

I click down my last vote and stare at the "Democrat: Barack Obama, Joe Biden" one last time.  To it's left was the 'red-X,' signifying my support.  I stared long and hard wishing I had that ability from the "Cam Jansen" books we read in Elementary School.  This was definitely a different experience from 2004.  I care more.

I gripped the red handle to register my vote and took a deep break.  Crank.

10:30 AM


This is my attempt to look extremely stoic.  Or to have the "Man on a Mission" vibe.  Either way, it does the trick (to me anyway... and don't any of you attempt to say otherwise...).  My vote was cast, it was out of my hands, and I have one thing on my mind:


10:40 AM

Gotta love Election Day.  Exercising your rights and Free Coffee?  What a country!  I walk into the next town's Starbucks and, once asked by the barista for my order, exclaimed: "I just voted.  May I have a free cup of coffee?"  The barista acknowledged my vote (by no official means... I'm sure if I really wanted to I could drive around to every Starbucks on Long Island and do the same thing) and gave me a free "tall" (small for those of us who refuse to use Starbucks lingo) coffee:


The Starbucks was actually out of Whole Milk... but on a day like today... who can complain.  I'll take Free Coffee, Skim Milk, and Barack Obama any day of the week.

11:40 AM


There's Bernie, again, with his brother, Ziggy.  They're both obviously very excited to see me... but only because they both are Obama supporters at heart as well.  It's time to settle in, watch the Election Coverage, and prepare (finger's-crossed) for a huge night for Barack Obama and the Democrats.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Democrat Strategists Leaning on MLB?

Karl Rove is recognized as one of the most brilliant strategists in American politics today.  Some love, most love to hate him... but his strategies can only be acknowledged as scarily brilliant and impeccably planned out.

But that's what he's paid for... so why expect anything else.

My question tonight is:  Who's taking notes from Karl Rove in the Democratic Party?

Two nights ago, the Philadelphia Phillies were on the verge of winning their first World Series Championship since 1980.  For the city of Philadelphia, it would be the first taste of championship glory since the 76ers won the NBA finals in 1983.  However, this potentially glorious moment for the Phillies and Philadelphia sports fans was knocked off course by "Mother Nature."

Despite the steady rain throughout the game, MLB Umpires waited until the Tamp Bay Rays had the opportunity to tie the game... which they did on a Carlos Pena two-out, RBI single in the Top of the 6th Inning.

What happened in the bottom of the inning?  Well... nothing.  Minutes after Carlos Pena tied the game at two, the Umpires called for a postponement of the remained of the game.  It seemed as though the Phillies and their fan-base would have to wait another day to bring a World Series home to Philadelphia.

So waited they did.  The Phillies.  The Rays.  The fans.  All waiting another 24-hours for the potential conclusion of the 2008 World Series.

But the game never resumed. In fact, Major League Baseball declared the game postponed (again) THREE HOURS before first pitch. Here's an excerpt from MLB.com on the story:

Bob DuPuy, MLB's president and chief operating officer, called the resumption of play on Wednesday night "problematic" even though the weather is supposed to be better.

"It's going to be less wet, less windy and less cold than today, but it's still problematic," he said. "The Commissioner wants to avoid what happened last night and that the game is finished with full integrity."
So the weather is going to "be better," but Bud Selig wants to avoid "what happened last night."  Is it that far fetched to wonder how in the world last night can be repeated if the weather is going to be vastly improved from the night before?

Here's the underlying story that's being ignored:  Barack Obama's 30-minute commercial.

This commercial was threatened to proceed a re-run of COPS or King of the Hill rather than a World Series game... and, better yet, a potential SERIES CLINCHING World Series game.

Funny how that worked out, huh?

Don't get me wrong here.  I support Sen. Obama.  I'll be voting for him a week from today when the polls open.  But this seems a little too blatant for me to just ignore.  The postponement of this game for two-days will not guarantee Sen. Obama's commercial receives the FOX Sports audience (typically blue-collar Joe "Six Pack" / Joe "the Plummer" types) rather than the Simpson's audience (college kids... you know... the one's voting for him already).

If I'm giving the Democratic Party too much credit here... then I'm (not) sorry.  If this was some sort of strategic move, kudos.  If not... it's still interesting to suppose what was going on behind the scenes in the Commissioner's Office as Bud Selig and the Fox exec's rooted passionately for the Rays to tie the game before they inserted their feet in their respective mouths.

Luckily for them, Carlos Pena saved the day and will now receive the AL MVP and a seat on soon-to-be President Obama's cabinet.  

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

No Lapel Pin? John McCain Obviously Hates America...

America is in trouble.  Yet... three days ago a Cedar Rapids reporter asked Sen. Barack Obama the following question after the Senator delivered a speech at a ralley in Waterloo, IA:
“Is this a fashion statement? Those have been on politicians since Sept. 12, 2001.”
The question referenced the fact that Barack Obama neglected to wear an American Flag lapel pin during the rally.  Despite the obvious fact that Obama was jacket-less (therefore, lapel-less), he humored the reporter with an answer to his absurd question.

Fast-forward to tonight: the Second Presidential Debate at Belmont University in Nashville, TN.  

All the propaganda that you've been receiving in your e-mail inboxes from the GOP about Obama's non-verbal message of "hating America" through not wearing an American Flag lapel pin is somewhat questioned.  Looking at the close-ups on my television I found a great deal of humor in America's favorite war hero, John McCain's lack of an American Flag lapel pin.

Do I think he hates American for not wearing this pin?  No, of course not.  What kind of idiot would that make me?

If I were a betting man...  I'd go out on a limb to say that Barack Obama and the Democratic Party won't be sending out absurd e-mails about the audacity of McCain's lapel pin-less jacket on October 7, 2008.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Week 5 Desperation: Ahman Green

I know a lot of fantasy-laden offenses have BYEs this week.  So I decided to take a look in fantasy purgatory and see who no-one owns and who may have a good start in Week 5.

This week, I'm going back to my roots.  When Ahman Green left Seattle and joined the Green Bay Packers, I relied on this bearded-wonder to carry my fantasy squads into the playoffs year-after-year.


This week, Green's ankle is finally healthy enough for real game action.  His first assignment, as Steve Slaton's number two, is the Indianapolis Colts.  The Colts sport one of the worst rush-defenses in the NFL thus far, and I see Green finishing the day with about 30 rushing yards and at least 1 TD (around 9 points in generic fantasy football leagues).

Also, Matt Shaub is out and Sage Rosenfels will be under center for the Texans.  All the more reason to expect Houston to run the ball all-over the Colts lackluster run-stop.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New York Yankees 2009 Off-Season Make-Over

I've spent the last day and a half looking over the off-season rumblings and grumblings over at MLB Trade Rumors and couldn't help but put my two cents in on the Yankees' off-season game plan.

First, let's get it clear that the Yanks have a lot of payroll being freed with the assumed departures of Jason Giambi, Bobby Abreu, Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte, and Carl Pavano (not to mention minor contracts of Morgan Ensberg, Kyle Farnsworth/Pudge Rodriguez, LaTroy Hawkins, Chad Moeller, Chris Woodward, etc).  All together, we're looking at a freed-up 75 million (according to Peter Abraham) for this off-season.

Now... going into the off-season here's what the Yankees are rolling with offensively:

Catcher - J. Molina / J. Posada*
Firstbase
Secondbase - R. Cano
Thirdbase - A. Rodriguez
Shortstop - D. Jeter
Left Field - J. Damon
Center Field -
Right Field - X. Nady
Designated Hitter - H. Matsui
* - Posada plans on catching about 120 -130 games in 2009.  I don't really see this as a realistic expectation.  He had surgery just past the All-Star Break; so I can only see him realistically playing a little more than half the season at most.  Also... wouldn't it be a little bit risky/irresponsible of Joe Girardi to play a 38 year-old catcher coming off shoulder surgery 120 games?

The starting rotation, on the other hand, is much more worse off:
1 - Chien-Ming Wang

Essentially, the Yankees would be surrendering before the season even started if they neglected to improve that God-awful pitching staff.  No joke: I'd make a case that the rotation listed above would be among the worst in baseball.

Because Brian Cashman and the Yankees recognize this, C.C. Sabathia is the Bronx Bombers' number one target entering the 2008-09 off-season.  However, Sabathia is not (repeat NOT) coming to New York.  As SI's Jon Heyman notes, Sabathia "loves" the National League and is currently building a home in Orange County, near his family.  While the Yankees will, inevitably, bring a huge offer to the table for Sabathia, I can't help but think that the Dodgers and the Giants are going to be the top-two destinations where Sabathia will end up.

This brings us to a flurry of second tier options for the Yankees to consider.  It's been made absolutely clear that Yankees' co-chair, Hank Steinbrenner, loves A.J. Burnett.  I think this deal gets done as soon as Brian Cashman and the Yankees' brass realize that C.C. to N.Y. is not happening.

Today, Buster Olney, acknowledged something that I've been pushing to Yankee fans for a while now: Derek Lowe in Pinstripes.  Think about it: Two of the best sinker ballers in the league (Wang and Lowe) on one team with a decent-enough infield to make it work.  I would love this move for the Yanks, and think Lowe would love to come back to the AL East and take on his former team, the Red Sox (afterall... if you can't be in L.A., why not N.Y.C.?).

The Yankees' fantasy rotation should be completed by bringing Andy Pettitte back with a one year contract.  If Pettitte decides against playing baseball in 2009, the Yanks have Phil Hughes to fall back on as their 4th or 5th starter.

These signings give the Yankees a rotations looking something like this in 2009:

1 - C. Wang
2 - A. Burnett
3 - A. Pettitte
4 - D. Lowe
5 - P. Hughes

This looks MUCH better than the monstrosity listed above.  I know a lot of people are probably reading this and wondering: "Where's Joba?"

The Joba situation is a tough one.  Jorge Posada, as a guest on YES' CenterStage a few weeks ago, comment that Joba's shoulder should not be overlooked.  Like a young Mariano Rivera, and Kerry Wood after him, Joba may be destined for a role in the bullpen as Mariano's heir apparent.

Think of it this way; in 2009 Mariano Rivera will have a platoon of Phil Coke, Jose Veras, and Edwar Ramirez in the middle innings with Damaso Marte (lhp) and Joba Chamberlain (rhp) doing their best Mike Stanton and Jeff Nelson (circa 1996-1999) impersonations.

I don't know about you... but I think that group has the propensity to be one of the best and most talented bullpens in baseball entering 2009.  Combine that with a healthy season from Phil Hughes in the starting rotation and the Yankees are sitting pretty as a play-off contender once again.

Turning back to the offense for a moment; there's obviously some holes that need filling:

Catcher:  Obviously, this is going to be a weird set-up for 2009.  Jose Molina will be back in the Bronx as will a recuperated Jorge Posada.  However, the Yankees are going to need a serviceable platoon partner for the first part of the baseball season.  The free agent crop of catchers is extremely thin...  maybe bringing in a guy like Greg Zaun or Paul Lo Duca would be the best idea.  This way, you can just drop them onto waivers and let them spend the remainder of their one-year deals in Triple-A once Posada comes back to the bigs.

First Base:  Big Tex (Mark Teixeira).  It seems obvious right?  The thing is... do the Yankees want to financially handicap themselves with another outrageously expensive contract?  I really don't think that's what Brian Cashman's looking to do this off-season.  In fact...  I believe that Cashman acquired Xavier Nady this past year for two reasons.  First, to fill in for an injured Hideki Matsui (and platoon with a defensive liability in Johnny Damon) and, second, to take over at first base when Jason Giambi's team option is declined during the off-season.

Also, Johnny Damon wants to be thrown into the first base mix next season, according to NY Daily New writer Mark Feinsand.  To me, this move makes the most sense.  To his credit, Damon goes all-out in the outfield, but a lot of times... this leads to injury.  I think moving Damon to first keeps his bat in the line-up, which is what the Yankees really need to keep their offense functioning (despite what my friend, and fellow blogger, Mike Plugh has to say about Damon's offensive inabilities).  This move also keeps Nady and, possibly, Matsui in the two corner outfield positions; drastically improving the Yanks' outfield defense.

Second Base:  I think Robbie Cano will be back in 2009.  The only thing I attempt to trade him for is a young Center Fielder... because the CF market is extremely dry this offseason.  A few examples of CF that would fit the bill for possible trading would be the Brewers' Corey Hart, the White Sox Nick Swisher, or maybe the Marlins' Cameron Maybin (with a package of players, of course).  The only other chance the Yankees have is to cross-their-fingers and hope the Brewers buy-out Mike Cameron's team option for 2009... thereby making him a free agent this off-season.

If any of these moves are made... look for the Yankees to lock up formet AL East Second Baseman, Orlando Hudson or a serviceable stop-gap like Mark Ellis.  Though they could just slide Wilson Betemit in a 2B, I don't trust his durability in the long run.

Third Base and Shortstop:  A.  Rod, Jeter.  Case Closed.

Left Field:  I think Hideki Matsui will be back in the LF fold next spring, with Nady moving to RF and Damon getting most of his playing time at 1B.  However, I think that the Yankees' big splash this off-season will come with a guy who can play a little LF and a little DH, splitting time with Matsui and Damon in the OF.  For now, though, we'll stick with Godzilla in left because his contract and increased batting average last season make this look like a smart idea.

Right Field:  The Yanks aren't going to pick up Bobby Abreu's team option; instead shifting Xavier Nady from LF to RF (because it's more cost-effective).  Pretty clean-cut here.

Center Field: The Yankees, historically, have always had very good Center Fielders... but this season they have nothing.  For this reason I would really like to see them trade Robbie Cano for one of the names listed about (especially if they can't sign Mike Cameron for a few years while Austin Jackson figures things out down on the farm).

Designated Hitter:  Manny Ramirez.  The Yanks are going to save a lot of money when they don't get Sabathia, and they realize all the talent they can rope with their new freed-up cash (rather than spend it all on one Teixeira).  Combine all this with the fact that Hankenstein wants an offensive spark in the worst way... and you're got Manny Being Manny in the new ballpark in the Bronx.

I think signing Ramirez to a 3 year deal would be well-worth the offensive presence he brings to the Yankees' line-up.  If the team does this... look for a murderer's row that looks something like this:

1.  Johnny Damon, 1B (lefty)
2.  Derek Jeter, SS (righty)
3.  Manny Ramirez, DH (righty)
4.  Alex Rodriguez, 3B (righty)
5.  Xavier Nady, RF (righty)
6.  Jorge Posada, C (switch)
7.  Hideki Matsui, LF (lefty)
8.  Nick Swisher, CF (switch)
9.  Orlando Hudson, 2B (switch)

Combine that monstocity of a line-up with the improved pitching staff and bullpen in 2009, and I can definitely see the Yankees getting back into the play-offs in 2009.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday in Chicago: Weather Update

The White Sox and Tigers just started the first game of their double-header on Sunday.  However, unless this is the fastest game in American League History (which is unlikely due to the offenses involved), I can't see Johnny Danks starting a second game tonight.

From a fantasy perspective, look for Danks to have two-starts next week... which would be AWESOME for any championship/play-off games in the upcoming scoring period.

I'll update this as I get info.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Weather Warnings: How the Weather Could Influence Your Pitching Rotation

I found this useful article on CBS Sports...  I thought it might be useful for anyone who's unsure of pitching match-ups for the rest of this week and for next week's scoring period:

Twins @ Orioles
BALTIMORE -- Relentless rain forced Minnesota and Baltimore to play a doubleheader Saturday.

The game never started and was finally called after a delay of nearly two hours.
Saturday's doubleheader will start at 5:05 p.m.

The Twins began the day in second place in the AL Central, one game behind the Chicago White Sox. Minnesota trailed Boston by 5½ games in the wild-card race.

My Take:  Glenn Perkins and Scott Baker are set to pitch today (Saturday the 13th) for the Twins.  They'll be facing Garrett Olsen and Daniel Cabrera... though I'm sure more fantasy players have the Twins young-hurlers than the Orioles' duo for Saturday's double-headers.  Tomorrow, Nick Blackburn and Radhames Liz wrap this puppy up.  

However, according to the weather report for this series, the O's and Twins will probably only get the afternoon game in (there's supposed to be a lot of rain and thunder-storm activity in the area
 tonight).  Tomorrow, there's supposed to much more baseball-friendly weather.  I would look for two games for Sunday, rather than Saturday.  If you're in a daily league, don't bank on Scott Baker and Daniel Cabrera for today's schedule...

Tigers @ White Sox
CHICAGO -- Rain forced the postponement of the game between Detroit and 
Chicago. A makeup date was not immediately set.

Even though batting practice was canceled, the grounds crew worked on the field to dry it out and it appeared the game would start on time. But three minutes before the scheduled 7:11 first pitch, the tarp was rolled out and the field was covered again.

The Tigers were scheduled to start Justin Verlander against Chicago's John Danks on Friday. The series marks Detroit's final appearance in Chicago this season.
It is the AL Central leading White Sox's second rainout of the week. They were also postponed Monday night and then swept in a doubleheader by Toronto on Tuesday.

My Take
:  According to the weather report in Chicago... I don't think either of these games are going to be played.  The first match up pits Kenny Rogers against Javier Vazquez... first pitch is scheduled for 2:55 PM (EST), but 3:00 PM has a 80% chance of precipitation.  The second game, scheduled to take place and hour after the conclusion of the first game, offers a Zack Minor - Lance Broadway duel.  If, and that's a big IF, the first game does get played... I don't think the second one will...

I would say that a double header would be more likely for Sunday... but that weather report isn't much better.  There's a chance that this entire series could be rained out as Sunday has a 70% chance of rain for the entire day (and that's not an exaggeration).  Owners of Javier Vazquez (Saturday), John Danks (Sunday), and Justin Verlander (Sunday) should definitely be prepared for each of these starts to be bumped into the beginning of next week.  If you're in a weekly league... that means two-starts for each at a pivotal point in the fantasy season... so keep you eye on this developing story.

Braves @ Mets
NEW YORK -- Eager to lock up the NL East title after letting it slip away last
 season, the New York will have to wait a day before beginning their taxing stretch drive.

New York's game against the Atlanta Braves was postponed by rain Friday night and will be made up Saturday as part of a single-admission doubleheader beginning at 3:55 p.m.

The tarp stayed on the field all evening Friday and the game was called after a 90-minute delay. Johan Santana (13-7) had been scheduled to pitch for the NL East leaders against ex-Met Mike Hampton (2-2). Pedro Martinez (5-4) was lined up for Saturday against Atlanta lefty Jo-Jo Reyes (3-10).

Now, the Mets are scheduled to play 17 games over the final 16 days of the regular season, without a day off. New York is three games ahead of second-place Philadelphia -- four up in the loss column -- and desperately wants to erase the bitter memories of last September's embarrassing collapse.

My Take
: The Mets are going to have really bad weather all day... but no rain, it seems.  So if 
you have Johan Santana, Mike Hampton (both a 3:55 PM, Easter start), Jo-Jo Reyes, or Jonathan Niese (Game 2 on Saturday)... it seems like all four starters will get their games in.  On Sunday, Ollie Perez and Jorge Campillo may experience a delay due to thunder storming, but they'll get the game in at some point.  Feel free to treat all three games as if they're guaranteed to occur this weekend.

Brewers @ Phillies
PHILADELPHIA -- Cole Hamels gets to rest an extra day. Brett Myers is ready to pitch whenever the Philadelphia Phillies need him.

Steady rain forced the postponement of a key matchup between the NL wild card-leading Milwaukee Brewers and Phillies on Friday night.

The game will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader on Sunday. The first game starts at 1:35 p.m. and the nightcap at 7:35 p.m.

The Phillies won the opener of the four-game series Thursday night to move within three games of Milwaukee.

Scheduled starters Hamels (12-9) and Manny Parra (10-7) will start Saturday. 
Milwaukee will send Dave Bush (9-10) and Jeff 
Suppan (10-8) to the mound Sunday.  Joe Blanton (2-0) and Myers (9-11) will pitch for the Phillies.
My Take: Saturday's game between Manny Parra and Cole Hamels is going to feature an annoying drizzle that could come and go creating several minor delays.  It wont be enough to cancel the game, but it will be annoying and could influence the starts for each of these pitchers.

Sunday both games will definitely be played.  It's supposed to be beautiful... so expect Hammels/Parra (Saturday), David Bush/Joe Blanton (Sunday, Game 1), and Jeff Suppan/Brett Myers (Sunday, Game 2) to all get their games in and stay on regular rest going into next week.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The "Roy Oswalt Situation"

I, like many of you, drafted Roy Oswalt semi-early in my fantasy draft this year (we're in a five player keeper league, so technically I drafted him at the end of the 6th Round)... and he was absolutely putrid for me.

I want to take a look at Oswalt's Pre-All Star Break numbers compared to his Post-All Star Break numbers just to indicate how unbelievably he's been pitching lately:

Pre: 7-8 (sub .500), 4.56 ERA, 1.39 WHIP

Post: 8-1, 1.94 ERA, 0.88 WHIP

It took 4 looooooong months, but Oswalt is finally acting like the ace of the Astros pitching staff and I am loving it!

However, though I am jumping for joy over this turn-around, I'm also wondering 'why?'  What exactly made Roy Oswalt, who many experts deemed 'done' at the beginning of the season, turn his entire game around?

A part of you has to think that it's mental.  Think about the Houston organization:  this is a team that is notorious for extraordinary second half play.  It seems like every year Houston makes a random deal at the trade deadline at clicks for the rest of the season as it chases the Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers.  This season, the Astros currently chase the Phillies and Brewers for the Wild Card (Houston is 3.0 games back of the Brew Crew as of post-time).

With this known, let's look back to last year; a season when Oswalt showed the experts signs that we has slowing down:

6-2, 2.57 ERA, 1.20 WHIP

Is that absolutely putrid?  I didn't think so... I mean... Oswalt didn't win very many games, but that's also a byproduct of the Asros themselves not winning very many games.  You give Oswalt the command that delivered a 2.57 ERA for the second half of 2007, and he'll win more than 10 games in the second half of 2008... that's all but guaranteed.

But this isn't really enough for me... his double-play balls are about the same, his walks are going to be about the same, but the hits are what's causing his WHIP rate to be so low.  

What does this mean?  

Well, to me (and I know a lot of people are going to hate this), Oswalt may just be hiding the ball better right now.  Maybe Brad Ausmus is calling a better game.  Perhaps he's throwing more change-ups than rotator cuff tearing/groin straining fast balls.

Essentially what I'm saying here is:  the change might be something that sabermetrics can't measure.  This "Roy Oswalt Situation" could be that he made a mechanical change in his pitching during the All Star Break and has been cruising ever since.

Either way... I'm just happy he's figured this out, because he's picked the perfect time to start acting like the ace of a fantasy rotation.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Entourage 5.1

We come into the opening of Entourage's 5th season in the wake of Medellin, the huge flop project co-produced by E, directed by Billy Walsh, and starring Vince.  Richard Roeper has a few funny lines as he talks about this "straight to DVD" flop, noting that Vince's  "fat suit that makes him look like the love child of Jimmy Glick and a case of Twinkies."

While Roeper, and virtually anyone else who saw Medellin, tear into the film and Vince's career (or lack thereof), the fallen star seems to be doing everything he can to be getting over the Medellin disaster in his own way... as Vinnie Chase reenters out televisions in an orgy with two Mexican hostesses on a remote beach.

We later discover that Vince has not received a job offer in six months!  It really shows too, Vince dons an untamed beard and tattered clothing from living a simplistic existence on the beach with Turtle (who's also enjoying himself...) and (what seems like) dozens of beautiful Mexican women.

Back in the "real" world, Ari and E deal with the Medellin disaster differently.  Ari's even too uptight for Ari.  He seems stiff, irritable, and sour within minutes of being on camera (Jeremy Piffen, again, does a great job characterizing these characteristics).  On the other hand, E has buried himself in building up "The Murphy Group."  We later discover E's motivation for putting his energy into his infant firm is because he blames himself for ruining his best friend's career.

Things start to turn around for Vince's team when fictional director Carl Ertz confesses his interest in Vince to Ari.  From there, all hell breaks loose...

Ari, after pressuring E (who pressures Johnny Drama for Vince's location), displays his loyalty and friendship to Vince by chartering a flight to his hide-away on a beach in Mexico.

During this whole ordeal, we're treated to classic Johnny Drama, who's in the midst of a Five Towns photo shoot (he's made it clear that he wont shoot from the right because it's his "bad side").  Locking himself in his trailer to protest the shoot,  the photographer calls on Ben Silverman, the co-chairman of NBC, to force Drama into the cast photo shoot.  Silverman's efforts are thwarted by Drama, however, as he becomes preoccupied with his 'next' dramatic role: rescuing his marooned brother's movie career.

Within the last five minutes of the episode (yes, it was pretty bang-bang after E and Ari flew to Mexico), Vince is convinced by E to come back to L.A., take lunch with Ertz, and begin the Resurrection of Vinnie Case...

Unfortunately, Ertz is essentially using Vince to knock down the asking price of Emile Hirsch... the actor he originally wanted for the role.  In the end, Vince's crew has somewhat of a "last laugh" as Johnny Drama and Turtle drive-by Ertz's home, smash his windshield, and lay a dead fish on the hood of his car... signifying Aqua Man's return.

Overall, I thought it was a great episode to bring us back into the season.  It didn't drag out the depressed Vin angle and got the group together as a single-unit once again.  I also liked how the separate stories of E and Drama are getting a bit more involved.  Drama's moving himself beyond the roll of comic relief already and I look forward to seeing what the writers have in store for him this season.



Saturday, August 2, 2008

Manny Ramirez... taking attention away from a certain young hurler

Thank God for Manny Ramirez.  Not only does he have the best hair in baseball, but now he's also hogging the Hollywood spotlight and I LOVE IT!  Not because I enjoy living vicariously through the most abominable baseball players, but because it takes some attention off other Dodger players who may be on the cusp of fantasy (and baseball) dominance/stardom/relevance (take your pick).

Look back a few months to how much attention Clayton Kershaw received in May.  Dodger fans and fantasy aficionados treated this kid like the second coming of the Messiah while others (like myself) found more reliable options while Kershaw took his hits before being demoted to Triple-A.

Now, about two month later, I am ready to jump on board the Clayton Kershaw express.  He's pitched two efficient, impressive games in a row and hasn't allowed an earned run in 13.1 consecutive innings.  His walks have been cut down over this span and his innings have increased.

Basically, my official recommendation with this kid is to grab him and watch what happens.  If you have the room, take a flier and cross your fingers that he does exactly what Chad Billingsley did at the end of 2007 (straight up dominate).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Jorge Posada's Cranky Labarum

The Journal News' Peter Abraham has the play-by-play of Posada's injury right here.  Apparently the injury bug decided to absolutely decimate my team this year.  As many of you already know, Posada has now joined a long list of players (John Smoltz, Takashi Saito, etc) who have made this season one of the more difficult ones to manage in recent memory.

However, the Posada injury definitely puts Posada owners in a weird situation.  On the one hand, Posada has been told that he needs surgery, in fact... it's been recommended.  On the other hand, Posada wants to rest for about 10 days and try to come back as a 1B/DH.  Inside sources say that Posada's being pressured to come back by Yankees brass due to his huge contract.

However, I live in New York and, as a result, watch the YES Network and Yankee games on a near nightly basis.  I can put to rest the notion that Posada is being pressured to play by Steve Swindell or any of the Yankee Brass.  Posada is one of the most prideful baseball players in Major League Baseball and the only reason Posada is considering a comeback is because he loves playing the game.

Enough about Posada's pride.  Let's take a look at a few replacement players if Posada realizes that he can't hit either:

Chris Snyder (C, Diamondbacks) was incredible in the second half of 2007.  In 161 ABs, his OPS was .889.  He swatted 6 Homers and netted 31 RBI, while hitting to a tune of .292.  He's a forgotten man in fantasy leagues as he's been on the DL with a testicular fracture (I feel pain just typing that).  I would definitely give Snyder a scouting over the next few games while he re-wins the starting job back from Miguel Montero.

According to MLBTradeRumors' Catcher Market, the Yankees may be interested in Gerald Laird (C, Rangers) and Ronny Paulino (C, Pirates).  However, I think that the Yanks executing a deal for Rod Barajas (C, Blue Jays) or Greg Zaun (C, Blue Jays) is more realistic.  Both Blue Jay Catchers would serve as rent-a-players because they're both eligible for free agency at the end of the season (Barajas has a team option for 2009).  To me, both of those players aren't worth it unless they're streaking.

For this reason, Jose Molina (C, NYY)may end up being the best option for anyone who needs a Posada replacement this year.  The catcher position is so thin this season, that Molina may put up decent numbers for your fantasy team.  He's never been a full-time starter, but he's proven to be a doubles machine for the Yankees in 2008.  In the limited ABs over the past two years in the second half, Molina has actually put up better numbers than both Barajas and Zaun.  In 2006 he batted .273 with a .729 OPS.  In 2007 (his first season with the Yankees), it was more the same: .294 BA and a .738 OPS.

My official advice, for now, is to grab a guy like Molina or Barajas while you wait it out on Posada's decision sometime next week (when he's eligible to come off the DL).  While you're doing this, scout out Chris Snyder as the best possible heir to Posada's Catcher spot on your fantasy roster.

I just found this video of Brian Cashman talking about Posada's injury:





Seems kind of grim to me.  He's talking about how the "hitting hasn't been there" either.  As a Posada owner, I'm prepared for the worst...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

God Bless You Glen Perkins

Any goober (like myself) that didn't dive all over Jonathan Broxton when Takashi Saito injured his arm last week was in a bit of a pickle for this shortened week.  A few days ago, I gave one short term solution.  This solution wasn't going to get you any saves, he probably wasn't going to get you any strikeouts, in fact, he probably wasn't going to do much... other than pitch beautifully against one of the most fierce offenses in the Majors.

This man is Glen Perkins, the sole recommendation I gave for Saito owners this past week.  Last night, Perkins did his best to make me look like a genius for giving him the nod against Josh "The Great Hambino" Hamilton and the Texas Rangers.

Anyone who took that advice got this nice little stat line added to their Box Score for the week:

6 Innings Pitched, 0 Earned Runs, 3 Hits, 3 Walks, 1 Strike out, and 1 Win

Okay, so he didn't set the world on fire, but he helped your ERA with 6 shut out innings and a 'W' never hurts.  In points-leagues, he was more than serviceable accruing a respectable number for your team, despite not having very many strike outs.

For now...  It's time to say 'Good-Bye' to Glen.  That's right, I want you to drop Glen Perkins from your team.  You have to always remember what some experts refer to as the "Shawn Chacon Rule:" DON'T CHASE WINS!

More second half pitching recommendations to come soon.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Joe Blanton Affair

Baseball really knows how to kick off the second half.  For those who are not aware...  Joe Blanton has been traded from the Oakland A's to the Philadelphia Phillies for a plethora of minor leaguers.

Obviously, Blanton's going to find his way into the Phillies' starting rotation...  which begs the question: Who's Out?  There are three options for this one (keeping in mind the Cole Hamels and Jamie Moyer are, obviously, safe from being 'voted off the island'): Brett Myers, Kyle Kendrick, and Adam Eaton.

Looking at the numbers, Kendrick has been serviceable of late, winning two of his last four before the break.  One of those wins was an 8 Inning, 4 Hit shout-out against the Athletics, where Kendrick really showed the Phils what the 23 year-old is capable of when he puts it all together.  To me, I can't see the Phillies messing with Kendrick's standing as a starter.  He's been improving throughout the course of the season and it would be dumb to mess with his head at such a young age.

Todd Zolecki, of Philly.com, seems to think it's going to be Adam Eaton who gets the boot from the rotation (and the fans seem to agree wholeheartedly).  Over Eaton's last five starts, he allowed 6 earned runs twice and 8 earned runs one time... so... I may have to agree with the Phillies' faithful.  He's already a useless fantasy pitcher... check that... he's a useless starting pitcher, period.  His ERA at home is nearly 7 and this former Mets-killer, is not even useful for that anymore (ERA approaching 8 v. the Amazin's).

The guys at Rotoworld, however, suggest that Brett Myers may be the odd-man-out.  At first, I (a Brett Myers owner) nearly vomited on my keyboard.  He was so close to coming back and now Pat Gillick had to go and screw it all up!  Then, after regaining my composure and taking some Mylanta, I decided to take a look at Adam Eaton and Kyle Kendrick's numbers... in hopes that one of the two were godawful.  As you can see, from the above paragraph, Eaton is definitely worse than Myers (even if it is the HR-happy version of Myers) and should be demoted to the 'pen or placed on waivers (which is definitely a possibility).

So, for all Brett Myers owners out there... I hope you see this before you head over to Rotoworld so your body doesn't undergo the physical reaction that mine just did.  Brett Myers will be back next Monday to start against the New York Mets.  Far from a bold prediction, but I think that now is the time for stating what should be "the obvious."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Takashi Saito Update: Dear Lord No!

So it's not season-ending surgery... but it's a Kelvim Escobar-esque rehab.  Essentially, what the Dodgers have informed us all is that Takashi Saito could have surgery, but, in the interest of the organization's play-off aspirations, he's going to take six weeks off and attempt to rehab afterwards.

So this leaves Saito owners who did not grab Jonathan Broxton in a sticky situation...  Personally, as you 
may have noticed in my last post, I am one of these owners.  Due to the short week, I am looking at favorable match-ups that may pay an immediate dividend for me before considering Saito's long-term replacement on my fantasy team.

The most interesting option to me, is Glen Perkins of the Twins.  He's on a decent role with the Twinkies and is matched up against a somewhat flammable Kevin Millwood.  Though he's facing off against the Rangers, Perkins will be staring down a Home Run Derbied-out Josh Hamilton and two All-Star Game wearied Rangers in Michael Young (who finally ended this madness as I write) and Ian Kinsler.

Over his past three starts, Perkins has been kind of impressive:

June 30:  6.1 Innings, 7 Hits, 2 Earned Runs, 1 Walk, and 7 Strike Outs
July 6:  7.0 Innings, 7 Hits, 3 Earned Runs, 1 Walk, and 3 Strike Outs
July 11:  6.2 Innings, 6 Hits, 2 Earned Runs, 2 Walks, and 2 Strike Outs

In all CBS Sports Fantasy leagues, Perkins has only a 24% ownership.  So, if you're looking for a quick fix for the upcoming short week (and can't get Jonathan Broxton), that's the direction I'd go.

I'll be back on later today with some long term replacements for Saito.  In the meanwhile, take a look at the three undervalued starters I mentioned last week and a few hot July pitchers I mentioned a few weeks ago.