Fun with unreads (6/5)

Hey folks, since there is no show today and both Mike and Casey are busy with the draft, I’ll answer a few unread e-mails, since no e-mails are being read at all today! I’m sure Zach and crew will post a few more as well, but below are a few that were passed on to me.





1. From Tony from Long Beach:


I’m in a mafia league and am dead last thanks to a few dissapointing players. (Beltran, Swisher, Verlander to name a few) I’m starting to think about keepers and who I might like to trade to improve my keepers. My question is what do you think Ellsbury’s value will be by the end of the season? Could he be at the Crawford level? (60+ steals, 15+ HR, .285+ BA)


Cory: Crawford is an interesting comp but Ellsbury might not produce that much power;
p1jacobyellsbury.jpgIchiro is another comp although Ellsbury might provide more steals but a lower average. The two things Ellsbury has going over both of them are excellent plate discipline (28 walks vs. 23 K’s so far this year) and of course the loaded Red Sox lineup. Add in that he’s younger than either of them, and he might have an even greater upside. However, let’s temper our expectations a bit, because Ellsbury has played in fewer than 90 Major League games, and didn’t show this much power potential in the minors. If he continues at his current pace he looks like a solid second round pick or a great third rounder, but let’s see where we are in September.


* * * 


2. From Mike in Westerville, OH:


Deep 10-team AL/NL points league with emphasis on power over speed, hits over average. 


My team is in the hunt despite been killed by injuries (Hafner, Figgins, Dice-K, Doumit, Correia, ARod, Blalock, Wandy Rodriguez) and underachievement (Hafner, LaRoche, Jose Guillen, Swisher).  I’m currently starting Julio Lugo at my MI spot in place of Figgins, and he’s just killing me.  I’m also starting Adam LaRoche, Lastings Milledge, and Aubrey Huff with Blalock and Hafner on the DL.  I just traded Dice-K, Figgins, Jose Guillen and Julio Lugo for Jimmy Rollins, Kelly Johnson and Paul Konerko.  I obviously start Rollins, and b/c of position flexibility with some other guys it gives me the option to start Johnson and/or Konerko (if he turns it around) over some of my lower-end OF/CI starters. 


I’m not confident that Figgins will be able to run coming off a hammy injury, and if he doesn’t run he doesn’t help much in this league.  I’m also not too confident that Dice-K will return to previous form (I was down on him even before the injury).  Still, do you think I gave up too much?


Cory: You probably did overpay but a little, although it’s not disastrous since your league emphasises power over speed and you got a lot of it. I agree with you that Dice-K will probably suffer some in ERA when he returns, but his strikeout rate should pick up too, to offset his command problems and excellent hit rate. Figgins’ leg problems are definitely a concern, and he doesn’t offer enough of anything else to be valuable without the steals, so I don’t mind trading him. Guillen and Lugo are useful players but not difference makers in a 10-team league. On the other hand, Konerko has been hampered by a hand injury that he suffered at the end of April, but if/when he gets healthy, he’ll probably get back to his usual 30+ homer pace. Rollins has been productive since coming off the DL and Johnson is a solid all-around producer. Think of it this way: you traded Dice-K and Figgins for Rollins and Johnson, which is a pretty fair deal since you got the best player in the deal. Then you gave up Guillen and Lugo for Konerko, which isn’t great, but could pay off if Konerko gets going again. All in all you took on some risk here, but offset some as well.


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3. From Dale A. Sensenig:


6v6 Roto w/OBP & L, 10-team, 3-keeper


My pitching is as bad as Britney’s undergarment choices, or lack there of. How would you rank these pitchers and who do you like most for the rest of the season?


1. John Danks – excellent K-BB rate and solid ground ball rate makes his breakthrough look legit, although the home park is a concern.

2. Johnny Cueto – seems to be finding his form again, although he’s also in a dangerous home park. I think his stuff is good enough that the strikeouts will come back, too.

3. Brad Penny – I’m not a big fan, but he’s the most “proven” of anyone on this list and is better than he’s pitched lately, although he’s no ace in my book.

4. Jair Jurrjens – very polished, great team, great ballpark, but probably lacks the upside of some other guys on this list.

5. Justin Duchscherer – exceptional so far, great home ballpark, but has to be considered a major injury and/or fatigue risk.

6. Daniel Cabrera – just when I think he’s broken through, he’ll lay a few eggs. But he’s been more consistent than ever so far this year, and keeping the walks down.

7. Jonathon Sanchez – great strikeout ability, great home ballpark, questionable command, lousy team.

8. Gavin Floyd – great stuff, mixed bag as far as results due to middling command. Home ballpark is scary.

9. Darrel Rasner – doesn’t give up walks or homers, but not a dominator and has limited upside. Yankee offense should provide wins though.

10. Jesse Litsch – Rasner without the offensive support.

11. Justin Masterson – primarily because I question how many starts he’ll get this year.

12. David Price – despite his early success, I’m skeptical he’ll make a Major League impact this year.


Cory: I’ve ordered them above as I like them, with a few comments inserted after each guy.


* * *


4. From Chris in Vancouver:


Hello from the Great White North!  I have a question for ya:  5×5 vanilla 10 team roto.
I Have McCann & Ramon Hernandez as my catchers, and I have been after an upgrade for Hernandez all season.  I have been offered Russell Martin for Jay Bruce & Hernandez.  Do you do this deal?  I am leaning toward not doing it.  Also, Pudge is on the waiver wire, as is PITS.  Would either of these guys be an upgrade over Hernandez??


Cory: I would cut Ramon Hernandez and pick up Pudge; scouts and stats a
Martin.jpggree that Hernandez is a shell of the player he was just two years ago. Pudge is no start but he’s at least semi-reliable. As far as the trade, I would strongly consider it… as great a start as Bruce has produced, Martin looks like a legit five-category producer behind the plate. The power and speed are down a little from last year, but the average is up and his excellent walk rate supports that. I wish Torre would just leave him alone in the #2 spot in the lineup, but I think he’s a budding superstar. Count the two years of track record he has over Bruce, and I’d make this deal.

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5. From Jon in Cali:


What’s the deal with J.J. Putz this year? is he a good buy low candidate right now? do you see him bouncing back?

Cory: He’s not fully healthy and the team stinks. He’ll get better as the year progresses, but don’t expect last year’s numbers again this year.


* * *


Week 1 of this year, I am offered the following trade: I give up Ryan Garko for Tavaras or Ellsbury. Guess which one I chose. Ugh.

Hey Cory,

Speaking of a Mafia 12 tm 5 x5 mixed Keeper League(5 players), what do you think about this deal: I trade E. Longoria, C. Headley, Shields, K. Johnson FOR ARAM, C.C., & Theriot? Would you do that deal? Thanks Neighbor Steve


Here’s my starting rotation (points, 11-team, mixed) in which we get points for IP, wins, ShO, saves, and holds:





-Pedro Martinez

It sounds like a fine rotation but none of these guys are winning consistently (wins is where big points are scored). Should I exercise patience and expect a better second half from the group? BTW, we’re limited to 35 roster moves per year.


Curtis in Texas

Neighbor Steve, I would probably do this deal if you think you can win now. Here’s how I see the math:

Ramirez > Longoria (probably next year too)
Sabathia > Shields (not by much, but clearly)
Johnson ~= Theriot (fewer steals but more power)

Basically you are giving up Headley to buy those two upgrades, but he’s not helping you right now and since you can only keep five he’s probably not someone you would keep anyway. You have my blessing!🙂


Curtis, you have big upside with this group and Hamels certainly started to pay off today. You have two weak spots though: one is depth; you only listed five starters and in an 11-team points league you probably need at least one more to compete with the big dogs. Second, Pedro is not all that valuable in this format; as good as he is, he might only be a 5/6 inning pitcher the rest of the way which will seriously limit his win potential. He’s an asset, but not a big one… of course, with your top four, you should be able to live with that.

Thanks Cory.

I have Jurrjens and Greg Smith on my bench. But my IP limit (1450) means that I need to pick and chose who to start.

My bullpen leads the league in saves: Lidge, Rauch, C.J. Wilson, Street, and F. Cordero. I feel pretty set here.


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