Unreads for 4/15
12 Team 5×5 Weekly Head to Head league. Looking at waiver wire possibilities to improve my pitching staff, which is Harang, Hudson, Hill, R. Johnson, Lilly, F. Rod, Jenks, Sherrill, CJ Wilson.
After a couple of starts I’m looking at starters on the waiver wire like Lee, Maddux, Westbrook, Germano, E. Santana, Millwood.
Am leaning toward dropping Lilly to get something off this list, but thought I’d get an expert opinion.
Thanks guys, love the show!
Dan in Denver
I’d hang on to Lilly. As bad as his first three starts have been, let’s point out that he faced the hard hitting Brewers and Phillies in two of those outings. Resist the urge to overreact this early in the season. Lilly is not waiver wire material. Don’t get me wrong, he’s no sure thing either. In fact, last year was the first season in Ted’s career that he’s posted an ERA below 4. But he’s a solid source for strikeouts, having fanned at least 160 in three of the last four years. Owning pitchers with high strikeout rates is especially important in head to head leagues, where consistency is key. I’m not sure if this is a weekly transaction league, but that would further enhance Lilly’s value, as piling up K’s by using the pitch or ditch strategy is a lot more difficult when you can’t sub in pitchers on a daily basis. If there’s a hitter worth dropping, I have no problem with you picking up another pitcher off the wire, with Maddux (low ERA and WHIP, safer) or Big Erv (strikeouts, more upside) being my two choices depending on your needs. Looking at this staff, I’d probably lean towards Santana, as Harang and Lilly are your only fully reliable strikeout guys. I think Hill will get his act together, but you always have to be concerned when a pitcher drafted in the top 10 rounds is temporarily demoted to the bullpen. As for the Unit, anything you get should be considered a bonus considering his age and injury history. Santana was impressive all spring, and has certainly looked good so far. He’s worth a flier. Maybe 2008 will finally be the year!
Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com
What’s with Gabe Kapler this year. Is this just a hot start or could he be a super sleeper this year?
He has shown 20 hr power a few years ago (1999-2001) but then it disappeared. This is the same guy that considers weight lifting as his primary job and baseball as a hobby.right?
Pat in LA
As a longtime Bostonian, I feel it’s my duty to pledge my unconditional loyalty to anyone who’s helped the Red Sox climb back into the realm of greatness. That said, I cannot in good conscience advise you to believe in Gabe Kapler’s insane early numbers. True, he’s been flat-out fantastic in his first 10 games, hitting at a ridiculous .423 clip with 4 bombs and 11 RBIs in just 26 at-bats. Nevertheless, take a look at the guy’s track record: most recently, he was managing the Single-A Greenville Drive, and in ’05 he was released from Japan’s Yomiuri Giants after lasting just 38 games. He hasn’t posted double-digit homers since 2001, and he’s finished a season hitting over .300 just once in 12 years. No question, it’d be a great story if the almost 33-year-old reemerged this season after years as a relative baseball nobody, but I just don’t see it happening.
Corey Gottlieb, MLB.com
I am in a 9 Team league (But it is NL Only – so it’s legit). I have Ryan Freel as my third baseman (with Nomar on the DL). So, I have a huge hole at third. I’ve been offered Garrett Atkins and Randy Johnson for Cole Hamels and Willie Taveras. If I did the deal, I would replace Taveras with Lance Berkman (who is in utility) and replace Berkman with Kaz Matsui (when he gets of the DL). What do you think of the deal? Would you pull the trigger or sit tight?
Whoa, there are lots of moving parts to this question. There are other details that should be known before definitively say ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ to the trade. What is your scoring system? What does the rest of your pitching staff look like? It’s tough to think of this in a vacuum, so ask yourself ask yourself the following questions: Which of these players can have the greatest positive impact on my league’s scoring system? Do I need power at third base or can I live with Nomar’s powerless bat when he comes off the disabled list? Can my starting rotation function productively without Hamels and with the questionable health of Randy Johnson? There is no question that Atkins is an upgrade over Nomar or Freel. Nomar can hit for a good average, but his power is rapidly declining. It also may be tougher for him to find his hitting stroke initially, considering he is coming off of a hand injury. Freel is a plug-in guy at third and the outfield, so he won’t play consistently. Atkins has averaged 27 home runs and 115 RBIs the last two seasons – with outstanding hitting averages – so he will be a very good contributor offensively, except for steals.
Taveras is a great source for steals and can score plenty of runs at the top of Colorado’s lineup, but Matsui can give you similar numbers if he can play every day. Matsui’s health has always been a major concern, so think about whether you are willing to take that risk.
You’re essentially looking at Freel or Nomar/Taveras OR Atkins/Kaz Matsui. I would be more comfortable with Atkins/Matsui. And if Matsui gets hurt again, you could sub in the speedy Freel at the utility spot.
Hamels is a rock for your staff, so you must consider if you can afford to let him go. Since Garrett Atkins is the main man coming back to you, think of this question: Is Atkins’ production at third more valuable to you than Hamels’ production on your staff? Which is more easily replaceable?
Randy Johnson looked good in his first start, but maintain some perspective: he was facing the abysmal Giants. He did struggle with his control as he walked four batters, but he also struck out seven. His strikeout numbers will be impressive, so you just hope he can keep taking his turn in the rotation.
You have to ask yourself some of the questions I mentioned, but if I had to give you an answer, I would say pull the trigger. Acquiring Atkins is too tempting of an upgrade to pass up.
Kyle Stack, MLB.com