April 2006

Unread E-mail of the day for April 12 2006

Mike in Ohio writes:


I just thought I’d respond to I believe an e-mailer
that wanted to bench Johan.  I follow the same
philosophy in fantasy baseball and football;  Never
Bench Your Studs.  You do not want to have Santana on
the bench on the day he has his typical outing.  I’ve
got Manny in a few leagues, and he’s not leaving my
starting lineup no matter the start he’s having.
He’ll be okay. 

Also what do you think of this trade.  I traded Miguel
Cabrera and Brandon Webb for Scott Rolen, Bob Howry
and Ryan Dempster.  My relief pitching was weak with
only 1 closer and only Pollite really for holds.  I
believe in the end, Rolen will put up similar numbers
and my starters are solid.

I’m glad I get my dose of the 411 daily


Hi Mike, I think this is a high-risk, high-reward trade for you. On the plus side, if Rolen’s hot start is for real and he can continue to produce at this level, he’ll be similar in value to Cabrera and maybe even more so if he steals a few bags. Plus, Dempster pitched better out of the bullpen last year than as a starter, so he could be an undervalued closer. However, we here at the 411 believe Webb will be a breakout pitcher this year, and if the Marlins are able to generate any consistent offense, Cabrera could put up huge value. Plus, Dempster’s stats were somewhat deceptive last year, as his high walk rate could spell a rise in ERA this year. Howry will help with Holds but I don’t think that’s tremendously valuable as setup men and worthwhile middle relievers tend to emerge throughout the season (think of Matt Wise last year). This isn’t a bad trade for you by any means, but you’ve accepted a very significant amount of risk for an early-season deal. I hope it works out!


Mike, First off AMEN! on what you said about never benching your studs. Secondly I agree with Cory’s breakdown about the trade, but I really think you could have done better. If you exhausted all 11 other owners and they weren’t budging and this was the absolute best you could do then I like but don’t love. If you didn’t do the legwork and pulled the trigger because of saves and holds without the season being 10 games old I think it was a mistake. You can get holds on the wire and Dempster is dangerous. What I do like is that you got Rolen and if he stays healthy this trade could work in your favor, but I personally would have waited to see if I could do better. I’ve seen a heck of a lot worse trades made. In fact I probably made them myself!

Unread E-mail of the day and Pitch or Ditch Week 1.

Britt writes:

Standard 5×5 NL only 25 Man roster 12 team league keeping closely with the Founders

What is the long term for this season prognosis on the following guys I drafted at the end of our draft yesterday?  I am hoping good things.

Reggie Abercrombie – $3

Anderson Hernandez – $1

Carlos Martinez – $1

Matt Diaz – $3

My season could hinge on these guys success or lack thereof.  Thanks!  You guys rule!

Abercrombie has a chance to win significant playing time in the Marlins outfield, and he has a nice combination of speed and power. However, he’ll turn 26 this summer and has never played above Double-A before this season, and he has serious plate discipline issues. His window of opportunity is very small and might close quickly.

Hernandez has been over matched offensively so far in his young minor league career, but the Mets love his defense and his offense did improve as he rose throughout the minors. He won’t delivery any power, but could eventually hit for a passable average and steal a few bases. His glove will keep him in the lineup, in any case.

Martinez could emerge as a fantasy factor this season, simply because the Marlins bullpen is in apparently disarray as new manager Joe Girardi tries to sort out the pieces. His future is probably as a setup man, but there are plenty of setup men with value in unmixed leagues.

Diaz is a career .315 hitter in the minor leagues but has never gotten much of a chance in the Majors due to his poor defense. The Braves will platoon him in left field and at first base and he has a chance to earn more playing time if LaRoche or Langerhans struggle… an excellent sleeper in NL-only leagues.


I agree with Cory’s breakdown, but disagree with one thing in your e-mail. The part about your season possibly hinging on these four players. Without seeing your complete team I am going to say you could cut these four guys today and still win your league and on the flip side you will not lose it because of these four. Cory in the past and to this day myself have been in deep non mixed leagues and know that you need to make moves during the season to make up for some of the risks you took on draft day. Hope for the best with these four but don’t go to sleep at night worrying about them and don’t hesitate to farm or cut them if the better player comes along even if it is a veteran.

Here is Pitch or Ditch from Week One from Bryon in Iowa

Here are the pitch or ditch results for last week.  You both grabbed 3 pitchers.  One of you chose well, the other chose poorly.  As a refresher, I only count the pitchers that you disagree on.

Player W L IP H ER Walks K ERA WHIP
Trachsel 1 0 6 3 1 1 6 1.50 0.67
Bush 1 0 7 2 1 2 7 1.29 0.57
Cain 0 0 6 7 4 3 5 6.00 1.67
Totals 2 0 19 12 6 6 18 2.84 0.95

Player W L IP H ER Walks K ERA WHIP
Wakefield 0 1 3.67 7 7 3 3 17.17 2.72
Padilla 1 0 6 4 1 2 5 1.50 1.00
Wang 0 0 4.33 7 2 3 3 4.16 2.31
Totals 1 1 14.00 18 10 8 11 6.43 1.86

Cory beat Mike at every stat.  Is that a sign of things to come?  Is Cory looking to de-throne Mike?  Find out all season long.  As for the awards…Basically I forgot to write something up earlier and I don’t have time now.  So, I apologize for not having some smart donkey comments to rip on both of you.  If you two could just take a few jabs at each other that would be great.


Iowa City

Unread E-mail of the day.

Larry in Grand Rapids

hey guys!

i worked really hard in the draft to try and build a balanced offense, but
now I’m a little worried that i don’t have that one huge masher in my
lineup.  take a look and tell me what you think.  in addition that that i
also have some bullpen depth i can trade from if need be.  (standard 5X5

J. Posada – C
C Delgado – 1B
C. Utley – 2B
J. Rolliins – SS
E. Chavez – 3B
C. Crawford – OF
T. Hunter – OF
V. Wells – OF
M. Mora – UTL
(Wilkerson, francoeur, sanders on the bench)

should i try and deal for an Ortiz, Manny, or someone similar?

thanks for the help

p.s. If you can see Corey Schwartz, Corey Schwartz can see you.  If you
can’t see Corey Schwartz, you may already be dead


Larry, don’t panic if you didn’t have a perfect draft, that’s hard to do. Your draft is supposed to set you up for the season and you did very well in that regard, including power… you don’t have a masher but between Delgado, Chavez, Posada, Utley, Hunter and Wells, you have balance and depth. I suggest you shop Hunter to a team that needs some speed, in exchange for a more pure power option (Mench, Matsui, etc.), but I don’t think you need to overpay for a Manny or Ortiz, at least not yet.

P.S. — BTW, it’s "Cory", without the "e". Surprise, you’re dead!


I agree

That big bat would be great but it doesn’t need to become an obsession, sent out feelers for guys like Cory mentioned but “slip” it to owners who have big time guys and see if maybe you can steal one.

Unread E-mail of the day.


Hey guys- I really want to play pitch or ditch in my 12-team 5×5 yahoo
league, but I don’t know who to drop on my team; I like all of my
players. What do you think? Here’s my roster:

A. Pierzynski (CWS – C)
C. Tracy (Ari – 1B,OF)
C. Biggio (Hou – 2B)
A. Ramírez (ChC – 3B)
J. Rollins (Phi – SS)
V. Guerrero (LAA – OF)
J. Drew (LAD – OF)
J. Gomes (TB – OF)
G. Sizemore (Cle – OF)
J. Francoeur (Atl – OF)
F. López (Cin – 2B,SS)

J. Bonderman (Det – SP)
E. Bedard (Bal – SP)
M. Rivera (NYY – RP)
B. Wagner (NYM – RP)
F. Cordero (Tex – RP)
S. Linebrink (SD – RP)
J. Duchscherer (Oak – RP)
C. Schilling (Bos – SP,RP)
J. Lackey (LAA – SP)
D. Cabrera (Bal – SP)

Thanks a lot, you guys rock. – Paul in New Haven


It’s unusual to see a roster setup like this with only 12 hitters but 10 pitchers. There should be plenty of pitching depth out there, so I’d rotate out Daniel Cabrera and your two middle relievers — Duchscherer and Linebrink — to make room for your pitch-or-ditch picks. With three rock-solid closers and a very solid rotation, you won’t need the MR’s as much.


I agree

The first thing I noticed was the middle relievers who I like but aren’t necessary and are easy casualties of the pitch or ditch. On days where you don’t like your options at pitch or ditch you can simply pick these guys up for the K’s, WHIP and ERA control or even better the vulture win or save.

Today’s unread e-mail.

After the scary pitching performances of yesterday and the monster lineup of the Cardinals do I start Brett Myers on Wednesday vs. the Cardinals?  Thanks.

Mike from Iowa


I think you do. You are taking a risk with any pitcher against the Cardinals even the Oswalt and Willis’s of the NL. I’m a believer in if a guy is talented like Myers is then he has a good shot to succeed. If he gets hammered guess what? You have 160 more games to bring it down. If this was some kid on the Marlins I’d say pass, but it’s not.


Yes. The Cardinals should be a good offense this year, but I don’t think they’ll be great. Even with Pujols, Rolen and Edmonds, they still carry several more relatively weak bats like Eckstein, Encarnacion (below average for a corner outfielder), Molina, their left-field platoon and whoever is their second baseman. They’re not going to score 15 runs per game, that’s for sure! And while Myers is as homer-prone as Lieber, but he can get the strikeout and that makes him worth starting against just about anyone.

411 league draft results and show news

First a quick response to the nonsense of posting projected standings before a season starts. I think it’s a waste of time for the following reasons. It does not take into account injuries, trades, loss of job due to poor performance, lack of interest of the GM to put in his or her moves and most of all trades. If the league had no transactions I could possibly see something from it, but since I cut Mackowiak today and picked up Todd Walker and Cory picked up Tom Glavine for today’s start it’s all ready a waste of Cory’s time and those of you who read it and thought about it.

Also a quickie on Stray from Wednesday’s draft. If he took Beltran (7Th overall)and King Felix with his first two picks because he thought they were the two best players at those spots then that’s his opinion and his choice to make, but if he took them to be a wise guy and is not taking the league seriously then he took a hit in credibility with me. I’ll be bringing this up on tomorrow’s show so we’ll see what he says.

Tuesday is a big show. We will reveal the results from the predict the first round contest. We will debut the pitch or ditch challenge for 2006 and we will have a lot of games to talk about as Cory and I host together for the first time during the 2006 regular season. Looking forward to it after a great opening day show with Vinny Micucci today.

Don’t forget each day that Cory and I host together I will try and post an unread e-mail for answering.