September 2007

Rogers Worth the Gamble

Hi Guys:

10 team H2H Non keeper.  Listen to this staff:

Harden
Carpenter
Arroyo
Lowe
Bedard

Needless to say I’ve patched a staff together all year.  I only have Lowe left and don’t trust him.  I’m in playoffs this week and have to hope I survive.  Who can I take for the remaining couple of weeks?  Here are people on the wire– need possibly up to three.

The gamble(r) – Rogers
Greinke
Byrd
Kendrick
Shearn
Lohse
Baker

Thanks!

St. Louis Kurt

Kurt,

Wow!  Accept my deepest condolences.  I think you should play the matchups here, as all of these guys are borderline starting options in a 12 team league, let alone a 10 teamer.  For this week, I like Baker’s upside at Kansas City, and Byrd should be a decent start at the White Sox.  Both clubs have, for the most part, struggled to put up runs all season, ranking next to last and dead last respectively in that category.  After all, Baker’s complete game one hit gem came against the Royals!  I’m also comfortable starting the Gambler at home vs the Blue Jays and at Minnesota after seeing him allow just one run over five innings in his first start back from injury.  The Tigers’ dangerous offense should also provide plenty of opportunities for wins.  As for Kendrick, I’m just waiting for him to blow up.  That could happen this week, as the Phillies’ upcoming schedule, home for the Rockies and at the Mets, is nothing short of brutal.  Lohse is just too scary against those tough lineups while Greinke has two things working against him: his status as a starter is uncertain and the team he plays for is awful.  Shearn is simply too unproven to throw out there.  So my three choices, at least for this week, would be Baker, Byrd, and Rogers.

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com         

A Look Towards ’08

Guys,

Please project the following players stats for 2008:

1)  Manny
2)  Mike Jacobs
3)  Ryan Braun
4)  Jason Bay
5)  Prince Fielder

Thanks and love the show, you guys rock!

Bubba Gump

Now that I know what your favorite movie is, I can answer your question!  Ramirez is obviously on the decline, but a “declining” Manny is still very valuable.  Figure .285-26-90 for 2008.  This is of course assuming he’ll be healthy for close to a full season.

Mike Jacobs was a popular preseason sleeper pick, and although he has shown flashes of production, Jacobs remains far too inconsistent to be viewed as an everyday fantasy starter.  Playing in spacious Dolphin Stadium doesn’t help.  If he goes 275-22-75 next year, consider it a solid season.

Every time I see Ryan Braun’s name following “HR” in the box score (which seems like every day), my only question is how high will this guy go in drafts next spring.  I’m not sure if a half season of brilliance is enough to place him in the top two rounds, but considering Felix Hernandez’s draft position in 2006 (only 12 big league starts in ’05) and where Alex Gordon was taken this year (no prior major league experience), it’s pretty clear that owners tend to overvalue these young emerging stars.  The difference with Braun is that he’s played in the majors for over three months now!  I still expect pitchers to eventually adjust to Braun.  That’s not to say a .300 average with 35 homers and 110 RBI is out of the question for ’08.

Perhaps there’s no bigger fantasy dud this year than Jason Bay.  Though the power numbers aren’t terrible, they’re very disappointing for a player selected no later than the end of the second round in most drafts.  And Bay’s .253 average is easily the worst single season mark of his career.  Bay’s previous low was .282.  So what does all this mean for 2008?  I expect a rebound in the neighborhood of .290-32-100.  Don’t let one bad season scare you away!

As for Fielder, it’s hard to believe the kid’s only 23 years old.  He’s already a monster.  Fielder’s shown great patience at the plate, with a strikeout to walk ratio of 105 to 70.  This is a very good sign for a guy who could easily approach .280-50-125 next season.

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com    

      

Never Bench Konerko

Is Konerko going to be productive for the rest of the season with the team situation & attitude?  I need runs in my playoff battle. Iwamura seems to better fill that need in the chase for the flag?

Also is it time to drop Maine- put waiver claim for Kazmir, but I am number 10 in 10 team league.

Also what about Bedard?  Is he going to be a viable option for the next 2 weeks?

Dave in Jerusalem

Dave,

As bad as the White Sox have been this year, I wouldn’t bench Konerko solely due to his lack of a supporting cast.  He’s still on pace to hit 32 homers and drive in 85 for the season.  Sure Konerko’s run total is low.  But is Iwamura really the answer?  This guy’s a corner infielder who possesses virtually no power.  And his 71 runs scored is only marginally better than Konerko’s 61 runs.  I’m not giving up Konerko’s home run and RBI ability for a slight increase in runs.  Although adding Iwamura to help out in runs is fine, there’s gotta be another player on your roster who is less productive than Konerko!

In a 10 team league, feel free to drop Maine.  I have no idea why Kazmir is on your league’s waiver wire, but adding the D-Rays’ ace would make for a huge upgrade.  Either way, there should be better short term options available than Maine, who’s gone 2-4 with a 7.07 ERA since the beginning of August.

As for Bedard, his status for the rest of the season is up in the air.  An MRI taken earlier this week revealed a strained oblique muscle, and even though Bedard says he wants to come back before the end of the month, the lowly Orioles can ill afford to mess around with his long term health.  If he does return, obviously start him.  On the other hand, don’t be surprised if the team decides to shut him down.

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com   

K-Rod’s a Sure K-eeper

I am in a 12 team H2H league 6×6 with K/9 and OPS.

I want to know who my 4th keeper should be.  I already know that I am keeping Arod/Crawford/Pujols but I’m not sure on the 4th keeper.  Here are my options:

Russell Martin
Eric Byrnes
Hunter Pence
Justin Upton
King Felix
Francisco Rodriguez 

Note- I traded up to get 2 1st round picks before the season to get Arod and Pujols and gutted my draft picks to do so.  Not an easy league by any means.

Aubrey

You’ve got quite a group here, Aubrey.  But as long as there are no values attached to these keepers, K-Rod is the one I’d pick.  There are very few elite closers, so when you have one, holding onto him is a must.  Factor in that K/9 is a category, and K-Rod’s 11.7 ratio looks awfully good.  Although all of your other options are solid, can you really say for certain that any of them belong in the top four rounds?  Through the first half of the season, an argument could be made for Russell Martin.  Not anymore!  Since the All-Star break, Martin’s production has dropped significantly.  11 of his 17 homers, 60 of his 81 RBI, and 16 of his 21 steals came prior to the Midsummer Classic.  Maybe the wear and tear of playing in 131 of the Dodgers’ 138 total games is finally getting to him.  Byrnes is another guy who’s had a terrific all around year, but he doesn’t have enough of a track record to warrant such a high pick.  Go with K-Rod, and let everyone else struggle to choose among the available mediocre closers.

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com      

McGowan’s a Pitch or Ditch Graduate

Hey Guys,

I made the playoffs in my head to head league just pitching and ditching:
IP W L SV R HR BB K ERA WHIP are the Cats.  My current pitching staff is:

SP Tom Gorzelanny
SP Tim Lincecum
RP J.J. Putz
RP Jeremy Accardo
P Joba Chamberlain
P Shawn Hill
P Manny Corpas
BN Brian Bannister
BN Yovani Gallardo
BN Phil Hughes
BN Matt Garza
BN Sean Marshall

We have the following available: Westbrook, McGowan, Arroyo, Greinke, Ian Kennedy, Pineiro

Just trying to pick up best staff I can for the last 3 weeks or just keep pitching and ditching as days come by.

Thanks!!!!
Raf, Boston
Go Yankees!

Raf,

There are a bunch of solid options on the waiver wire but you’ve already got a fine group here.  The one move I’d definitely make is dropping Garza and picking up McGowan.  Even though Garza’s season ERA and strikeout rate are both good, he struggled in August, posting a 5.34 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP.  The Twins offense is weak, ranking 23rd in the majors in runs.  This clearly limits Garza’s win potential down the stretch.  McGowan, on the other hand, has peaked at the right time, allowing three runs or less in ten of his last eleven starts.  As for the rest of the available pitchers, I might consider dropping Hughes and adding Greinke, but I still want to see more of Hughes before dumping him.  With eight starters, the counting stats shouldn’t be a problem.  That’s why you’re better off making ERA and WHIP a priority, especially in a head to head playoff, where the stats reset each week and one bad pitching outing could end your season!

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com 

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