Unread Questions for 4/1/08
Hey guys, I’m in a 20-team mix OBP SLG league. What do you think about G. Sherrill and Hafner for Adam LaRoche and Bobby Jenks…. We play net saves. I get the Jenks half and need saves. Other than Sherrill I only have Marmol, Qualls and Foulke as possible save guys. Thanks
I’d do the deal. Although I fully expect Hafner to have somewhat of a bounce back year, in the neighborhood of .280-30-110, the drop in OPS from 1.098 in 2006 to .836 last season is more than a bit concerning. Now LaRoche is no Hafner, but he’ll post solid corner infielder numbers, figure around 25 HR and 90 RBI. But the key here is the huge upgrade at closer. In a 20 team league, owning an elite stopper gives you a huge advantage over the competition. In fact, at least to start the year, only about half the teams in your league will have the “luxury” of owning more than one of them! And there are some bad closers out there. For all the talk about Sherrill being a sleeper, let’s remember that 2007 was the first season his ERA was under 4, let alone under 3! Not to mention he has absolutely no experience saving games. Durability is another issue. Sherrill’s never thrown more than 45 2/3 innings in a single year, so don’t be surprised if he fades down the stretch, that is if he’s still the closer.
Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com
12 team 14×14 (we penalize a lot). Do I start H. Kuroda against SD, or P. Martinez against FLA? What about the rest of the season? I think Kuroda is looking like a pretty strong KO. Thanks guys, Ed in Chicago
Pedro is the better option. In 57 career innings at Dolphin Stadium, he has posted a 1.89 ERA and 0.93 WHIP while opponents have batted just .206 against him. After you also consider his 67 strikeouts and 5-2 in Miami, he is definitely a more reliable choice than Kuroda, who will be making his MLB debut in San Diego. I would go with Pedro for the season, as well. Kuroda may face the same rough adjustment period in joining a new league that Dice-K encountered last season. Pedro isn’t dominant anymore, but he is solid across the board.
Kyle Stack, MLB.com
I am in a 12 team mixed league, 6×6 (R, HR, RBI, SB, OBP, SLG% x W, SV, ERA,WHIP, K, K/9). My starting pitchers are Peavy, Smoltz, A.J. Burnett, Adam Wainwright and Manny Parra. My relievers are Joakim Soria, Rafael Soriano, C.J. Wilson, Brian Fuentes, and Bobby Howry. We start 2 SP, 2 RP, and 3 P. Is this a solid group of starters to have, or should I look to pick up some guys who might be a little healthier than Smoltz and Burnett, or should I be targeting perhaps some more consistent closers? Thanks.
Your starting rotation looks pretty solid to me here. Peavy is as good as they come, and I think Smoltz has another solid year or two left in his tank. As far as health is concerned, Burnett is always a bit worrisome, and apparently the Jays had him on a less vigorous routine this spring so that he could gradually work his way back up to mid-season arm strength. I’d keep an eye on him over his first six or eight starts to see what kind of velocity he’s throwing with (he also claims to he developing a good changeup to use as an out pitch, so you should watch his K numbers as well). Then there’s Wainwright, who I think has the stuff to be a top-level pitcher down the line…it’s just a matter of when. Still, all things considered, I wouldn’t worry too much about your staff. Bullpen-wise, you’ve got three real hit-or-miss candidates in Soria, Soriano and Wilson. Wilson is my least favorite of the three, so I’d pick up Joaquin Benoit and/or Kazuo Fukumori to be safe (tough to know which is the logical successor if Wilson struggles). Soria converted 17 of 21 save attempts last year, so the question with him is more about how often the Royals will be in position to win games. As for Soriano, he may have the best stuff of the three, but keep an eye on the elbow issues that arose at the start of the spring. All that said, I think you’re in pretty good shape here.
Corey Gottlieb, MLB.com