Unreads for 4/14/08
12 team 5×5 mixed keeper league.
I was offered Delmon Young and Boof Bonser for Ben Sheets and Justin Upton. Do I do the deal?
I’m pretty stacked at SP with Sheets, Harang, Hill, Billinglsey, Owings, Jurjjens, and Kazmir and Lackey on the way.
Brian in Philly
I would rather have Sheets and Upton than Bonser and Young. Let’s talk about your pitchers first. Your staff has great potential, but you’re obviously trying to make due without Kazmir and Lackey. So why would you trade your most productive pitcher (Sheets) up to this point? Look, we all know that Sheets is prone to injury. He hasn’t started more than 24 games since 2004, but he has averaged a 3.64 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and nearly a strikeout per inning in those three seasons since his breakout year of ’04. Those are numbers that any fantasy owner should be pleased with from a starter. Bonser is off to a good start, but, like any pitcher, he’s not guaranteed to stay healthy. His first two seasons in the Majors have suggested that he can be a respectable strikeout pitcher (220 in 273 innings), but his ERA (5.10) and WHIP (1.53) last season should be a notice of caution. Basically, you should value the elite production you will get from Sheets – even if he makes fewer starts – more than the likely mediocre to slightly above-average production you will get from Bonser.
As for Upton and Young, Upton probably has more power potential. You might be thinking that you can sell high on Upton (.400, five home runs, 11 RBIs), but who’s to say he can’t remain productive? Arizona seems willing to play him in right field every day and, considering he bats primarily sixth or seventh in a very good lineup, Upton has a great shot to drive in lots of runs. Also, think of his raw power. Arizona’s Chase Field has ranked in the top half of the Majors the last five seasons in home run rate.
Young is a good player, but he doesn’t possess Upton’s power nor does he show more plate discipline (one walk every 24 plate appearances this season). Upton has drawn a walk every 10 trips to the plate this season.
Stick with Sheets and Upton and continue to enjoy their productivity.
Kyle Stack, MLB.com
Guys, great job as always. 10 team 6×6 (obp and k/9) mixed keeper league (6 keepers). Off to a slow start with Martin, Konerko, Victorino along with Francis, Lilly among my starters – plus Wainright last night and Rollins hurting. Rest of my team is A-Rod, Justin Upton, Ichiro, Francouer, Sheffield, Kinsler, Haren, Hughes, K-Rod, Accardo, Corpas, Acosta, Marcum and BJ Ryan on the DL.
Lilly and Francis will be on the bench this weekend for me. When do you start to drop slow starters?
PS – did you know that the Rays spokesperson who commented on Al Reyes is named Rick Vaughn? Good to know the “Wild Thing” got a job.
You pose an interesting question about struggling pitchers. There are two schools of thought here. The first says wait out the first month and analyze performances. The second says don’t wait, because if you do, you’ll probably miss out on getting a good replacement from the waiver wire. The problem is both of these suggestions can help you, or screw you. Make your decisions on a case-by-case basis. The way I see it, you have three pitchers of major concern – Lilly, Francis, and Hughes.
First off, I’d give Hughes at least a month. I know his ERA is 9.00 and his WHIP is 2.18, but you’re in a keeper league and Hughes could be a diamond in the rough once he starts locating his fastball, at least that’s what the Yankees think. Also, at 7.36 K/9, he’s got the highest strikeout ratio of the three aforementioned pitchers and that’s not a fluke. Last year, he struck out 58 batters in 72 innings.
I’d keep Lilly on the bench and see how he does in his next start. If he loses, dump him. He’s struggling with his command and leaving too many pitches over the middle, which is why he hasn’t lasted longer than 4 2/3 innings in any of his three starts. As a result, he hasn’t been able to get his K/9 up to his career average of 7.64. Still, if he reestablishes his control, he can win 15 games this year.
Francis is the easiest decision. Hang onto him for his next start at PETCO against the Padres and see how he does. If he can’t do well in a pitcher’s park against a mediocre lineup, then dump him. It’s hard to argue with his stats. In two starts, he’s allowed six homers, which is unacceptable. And yes, both of those starts came against a Diamondbacks team that’s absolutely crushing the ball, but that’s no excuse for a 9.53 ERA and a 2.03 WHIP. He’s never had an ERA lower than 4.16 and he pitches at Coors.
Hope this helps you. Oh, and don’t worry about Wainwright, I think he’ll have a good year.
Milosh Marinovich, MLB.com