June 2008

Fave Five Chick Flicks!

OK Jeanne in Hollywood, now it’s your chance to shine! Next week’s Fave Five will be chick flicks… this should be an easy one, assuming RoboCop is a chick flick? :-)

Post your lists now, along with your suggestions for the next week’s Fave Five, which will be selected from those posted here on the blog. Just keep them clean, OK? This is a family show no matter what Casey says. :-)

Thanks,
Cory

Sleepless_in_seattle.jpg

Unread for 6/19

Greetings from Sweden!

12 team 5×5 with one catcher spot…who do you use? Clement or Flores? Is either of them worthy of my only Util slot?

Regards,
Bertil from Sweden

Hey Bertil,

First of all, neither player is worth a utility spot in a 12-team league. There should be much better options on your waiver wire.

As for your empty catcher spot, I would go with Clement while keeping an eye on Flores. Flores is batting .298, but he is just 7-for-32 (.219) since June 8. His batting average has dropped 40 points since June began, and his .370 BABIP suggests he may have been hitting a little bit over his head. He hit just .244 with four home runs in 180 at-bats with Washington last season, so there isn’t a reason to think he will continue to light up box scores.

You might as well take a chance on Clement, who hit .287 with nine home runs and 23 RBI in 24 games with Triple-A Tacoma in May and June. He also hit 20 home runs and drove in 80 runs for Triple-A last season, so there is reason to think that he can significantly improve the .160 batting average he posted with Seattle in 16 games earlier this season. He also will get the opportunity to play every day as Seattle is low enough in the standings that it wants to see what some of its younger players are capable of.

With that said, Flores and other catchers might seem appealing if Clement goes into another deep funk at the big league level. I would monitor this closely and look for any signs of power from Clement, including doubles. Depending on your place in the standings in your league, you might not be able to afford to be very patient with Clement. Just keep a close eye on Clement and Flores, and, remember, find a more productive first baseman or outfielder for your utility spot!

Kyle Stack

Fav 5 Dynamic Duos

Siano

 
#1 Ruth and Gehrig. Put the m+m boys and any other so called duos in a lineup to shame. The #3 and #4 hitters in greatest lineups ever. Murderers Row, nuff said.

 
#2 Montana to Rice. Pure chemistry. Made football look graceful and were money time and time again.

 
#3 Jordan and Pippen. Great example of a duo. Couldn’t be nearly as successful without each other. Leaned on each other and took every variable associated to a major team game and excelled at each.

 
#4 Tenacious D. KG and J-Bulls only form the greatest rock band on the entire planet!!!!!

 
#5 Blue cheese and hot sauce. Just put this dynamic duo on anything especially any form of chicken. 

Stern

 
1. Coffee and A Smoke

2. Greygoose and Tonic

3. Bacon and Eggs

4. Hans and Chewy

5. Ari and Lloyd

 
Honorables:

Simms and Bavaro

PB&J

Meatballs and Spaghetti

Page and Plant

Jerry and George

Corey Haim and Corey Feldman

Bo and Luke Duke

Schwartz

 
5. Magic and Kareem

4. Absolut Citron and 7-up

3. M&M’s

2. KG and JB (Tenacious D)

1. Chocolate and peanut butter

 
Honorable mention to Mantle and Maris, and Whitaker and Trammell
 

More Unreads

Hey Guys,

Neighbor Steve here.

In my 5×5 12 team mixed:  Scott Baker was dropped.  Would you pick him up and drop a bat like A. Ethier?  Is Ethier a Mon./Thurs. guy in a 12 team league?
G. Meche and C. Morton are also available–would you take either of them over Baker?

Thanks,                                                                                                                                Steve Cozzolino

Hey Neighbor Steve,

The answer really depends on the makeup of the rest of your staff, but I’d definitely pick up Baker if you’ve got the roster space.  In three starts since returning from injury on June 5th, the 26 year old righty has allowed just six runs over 18 innings.  And even though last year’s numbers (9-9, 4.26 ERA, 1.33 WHIP) aren’t overly impressive, let’s note that in 14 starts after the All-Star break, Baker posted a 3.44 ERA, including a dominant month of August (2.59 ERA).  He’s not a big strikeout guy, but the former top prospect is a solid back of the rotation fantasy starter, one who will give you quality starts more often than not.  I wouldn’t touch Meche or Morton.  Meche, the 55 million dollar man, can’t be trusted.  I understand he’s pitched well of late, but the Royals’ ace is just too inconsistent.  Last year was the first in five seasons that Meche’s ERA has been below 4.48.  While he may be a decent add at the moment, over the past three seasons, Meche is 22-16 with a 4.07 ERA before the Midsummer Classic compared to 8-13 with a 4.72 ERA after the break.  Be careful!  Morton’s made exactly one big league start, so I need to see more before recommending him.

As for the player to drop for Baker, I wouldn’t even think about dumping Ethier.  The Dodgers outfielder is slumping mightily in June with a .179 AVG in 39 at-bats.  But on the bright side, 5 of Ethier’s 7 hits this month are of the extra base variety, including two homers, so there’s every reason to believe a turnaround is likely.  Though Ethier won’t provide jaw-dropping stats, an end of season line of .280-20-80 is a reasonable expectation, making him a nice low-end third outfielder or high-end fourth outfielder option in 12 team mixed leagues, definitely more than just a Mon/Thurs guy.  So feel free to add Baker, but not at the cost of Ethier.

Zach Steinhorn

Hey guys,

12 team, 6×6, keeper.  Wondering which player you would rather pick up from waivers and stash on the DL, Weeks or Hafner?

Thanks,
Hack in Rancho Cucamonga

What’s up Hack,

In a vacuum, I like Weeks. Your decision should be weighed toward your offensive needs. Do you need steals and runs? Or are you in need of some power?

Frankly, Weeks was matching Pronk’s power numbers (7 HRs and a .683 OPS vs. Pronk’s 4 HRs and .677 OPS) and he stole 10 bases. Neither player was hitting well as Weeks posted a .210 batting average and Pronk a .217 average. The difference between the two is that Weeks, although slumping a bit offensively, was basically doing what was expected of him before going down with a sprained knee on June 6. Hafner, battling shoulder soreness, had been hitting far worse than what was expected of him. Now, it’s very likely his bum shoulder was the culprit of his underperforming ways, but there is no guarantee his return. While Weeks’ knee injury isn’t especially concerning long-term- he doesn’t need surgery – Hafner’s situation is potentially dour enough that the rest he is receiving on the disabled list won’t be enough to fully heal his shoulder. He might need surgery in the offseason, so considering that a shoulder injury is far more likely to affect a hitter’s performance than a knee injury, I would side with Weeks.

Kyle Stack      

Fantasy Feud and Roundtable

Click on the link below to download the updated feud stats and standings through Week 11:

FANTASYFEUDBREAKDOWN wk 11 (2).rtf

And here’s the latest roundtable discussing pitchers with losing records who are great buy-low candidates.

Enjoy!

Zach

Comparison for consideration

I was asked a question in a recent chat that got me to
thinking about the future value of a certain player. To frame the answer, here
are the season-to-date stats (thru and including Sunday night’s games) of three
speedy American League outfielders, including the player in question:

OF  G   AB   R   H   2B 3B HR RBI  BB  SO  SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS  P/PA  SB% G/A AGE
A   63  218  50  63   6   3   5   23   28   30   33   3   .289  .373 .413 .786  3.68   91.7   1.15   25
B   65  268  43  71   7   4   4   33   18   37   19   4   .265  .309 .366 .675  3.39   82.6   1.35   27
C   69  285  47  84  11  3   3   18   26   29   29   2   .295  .358 .386 .744  3.66   93.5   1.92   34

(G/A = ground outs to air outs ratio. Age as of July 1, 2008.)

Let’s
see, Player A has the highest OBP and SLG, is a prolific and high-percentage
base-stealer, and is still the youngest of the three. He leads the trio in runs
scored, walks and steals despite having the fewest at-bats, the product of some
early-season job-sharing plus a couple of short-term injury absences. Plus, he
has the best batting eye and hits the most fly balls, perhaps indicating the
best possibility of a future power spike as he ages into his prime, and plays
for the best overall offensive team of the three. Naturally he’s the
first-round pick of the bunch, right?

I’m
sure you’ve guessed by now that Player A is Jacoby Ellsbury, and you can
probably tell that Player B is Carl Crawford and Player C is Ichiro Suzuki. Pretty heady company for a guy who hasn’t yet played 100 career games!

So, what did you pay for their production? Crawford
went in the first round in most drafts this season, usually between 10th and
12th overall, while Ichiro rarely lasted the second round and typically went
off the board between the 20th and 25th picks, with drafters opting for
Crawford’s power upside over Ichiro’s higher average and runs. Ellsbury went
exactly 136th in both my NFBC and 411 listener league drafts.

So
what have owners gotten for their money? NFBC ranks Ellsbury as the third most
valuable player in 5×5 mixed leagues so far this season, with Ichiro ranking 14th and
Crawford 42nd. ESPN has Ellsbury sixth, Ichiro a notch higher than NFBC at 13th, and
Crawford 51st.

Ellsbury.jpg

Now,
let’s be fair about the two veterans… Ichiro is a career .331 hitter who has
never totaled fewer than 100 runs or 31 steals in a season, while Crawford is a
career .294 hitter who has averaged 12 homers and 54 steals over the past five
seasons. These guys are legit stars and worthy of high picks in any format.

Ellsbury, on the other hand, has played in fewer than 100 career games, still has some competition for playing time (although that is gradually
being rendered moot by his awesome performance this year) and has to prove he can maintain his health and production over a full season.

So,
for now, Ellsbury’s present value clearly ranks among the elite, but his future
value is still somewhat unknown. Still, if he keeps up at his current pace,
he’s a borderline first round pick and a centerpiece offensive player with room
for more offensive growth. Congrats to those who have him cheap in keeper
leagues, the mancrush is well-founded!

–Cory

 

Unread for 6/16

Hey guys, I’m looking to upgrade 3rd base and have an opportunity to get Atkins or Longoria. My gut tells me Longoria is the better guy but it will probably cost the same to get either. What are your thoughts on the two?

Thanks,

Jeff in Cleveland

Hey Jeff,

Both are fine options, although Longoria, at 22 years old, is a much better choice in keeper leagues. He has the ability to become an annual first-round pick, although the rookie’s learning curve might be a little higher this year. He’s batting a low average (.252) but he has already shown his power potential with 15 doubles and 10 long balls, driving in 32 runs in the process. Right now, he is a dead pull hitter (eight of his 10 homers have gone to left field) and, batting fifth, he should get a plethora of RBI opportunities with Carl Crawford and B.J. Upton batting in front of him. Longoria projects as a 35-homer, 110-RBI type with the ability to hit over .300, so, like I stated above, he should be a future first-rounder in most fantasy formats.

Atkins is the better option this year. He is batting .309 with nine homers and 38 RBIs and it is plausible that he can match the 27 home runs and 116 RBIs he has averaged the last two seasons. Now that the Rockies offense is nearly back to full health with Troy Tulowitzki’s imminent return, Colorado should be able to improve its ranking as the 24th highest scoring team in the Majors (as of Saturday, June 14). It’s another way of saying they are the seventh-lowest scoring offense, but either way you put it, the Rockies should start scoring more as they get all their key hitters healthy. As the 4th or 5th hitter in the lineup (depending on the day), Atkins will clearly be a beneficiary of an improved Rockies offense.

So, go with Atkins if you are playing in a single-season league, but if you’re in a keeper league, then plan for the future by acquiring Longoria.

Kyle Stack

POD for Sunday-Monday

CORY

Sunday

Pitch: Kershaw (Tigers are erratic), Sabathia, Lilly, Maine, Beckett, Cabrera (even though he’s slumping), Nolasco (yep), Jackson (yep), Cook (yep), Contreras, Baker, Wang, Oswalt, Eveland, Meche (yep), Owings (although he’s running out of chances).

Ditch: Robertson, Maddux, Litsch, Millwood, Bailey, Maholm, McClung, Myers (beyond DTM… it’s as if he never even existed), Boggs, Correia, Redding, Washburn, Campillo, Saunders (Braves are terrible on the road but Saunders is slumping and has a very bad reverse home/away split).

As you can see from the above list I really like the bump I expect some pitchers to get in their first time out vs. some unfamiliar interleague opponents.

Monday

Pitch: Colon, Hamels, Jurrjens, Pelfrey, Weaver, Miller, Verlander, Lincecum.
Ditch: Francis, Silva.

MIKE

Sunday

Pitch: Maine, Beckett, Maddux, CC, Lilly, Litsch, Wang, D-Cab, Oswalt, Eveland, Owings, Contreras, Cook, Saunders

Monday

Pitch: Pelfrey, Hamels, Weaver, Verlander, Lincecum, A. Miller

ALSO NOTE:  Just minutes after Friday’s show ended, J.J. Putz was placed on the 15 day DL, so the guys weren’t aware of this at the time!

Unread from 6/12

12-team, 5X5 mixed Mafia league roster.
 
I’m in 5th with 67 pts. I’m pretty average across the board but feel like I could deal an arm for SB. The first place team, who has 100 pts, is interested. He has Ellsbury at utility, and I think he could afford to deal SB being up 20 already on 2nd place in SB. I was thinking of offering Bedard for Ellsbury (overpaying right?). My pitching staff is Bedard, Lincecum, Volquez, Big Erv, Lilly, Mussina, Wolf, and Gallagher (waiver wire player), with K-Rod, Todd Jones, Howry and Zumaya (DL) completing it. I have other issues like a weak ERA and WHIP and an underperforming offense, but I’d like to unload Bedard since I think I have enough SP to keep up and possibly improve the ERA and WHIP. My outfield: Kemp, C Young, Bruce, Kosuke, DeRosa (Ankiel on bench). I suppose Ellsbury would replace Kosuke, or I’d move DeRosa to 2B (Cano) or MI (K Johnson). What do you think?
 
Chip

What’s up Chip,

Well, I’m on record in previous Fantasy 411 blogs as being a big proponent of Bedard, and I can’t give up on him yet. He has been trading off impressive starts with very poor starts in his last six outings, which is probably his first sign that he is working out his kinks. His next step is to put together quality back-to-back starts. Bedard has a very good chance to make another quality start in his next outing on Saturday at home against the Nationals. He has a 2.19 ERA and 1.11 WHIP at home, so he is doing what is expected of him at one of the best pitcher’s parks in baseball.
 
I like Ellsbury a lot, especially his stolen base rate. The outfielder has converted 29 of 32 steals attempts and his batting average (.281) and on-base percentage (.373) are sustainable. He can easily surpass 50 steals and may finish somewhere in the 60-65 steal range. What you need to remind yourself of is that steals are obviously just one category. Ellsbury has scored 45 runs and can score at least 45 more, but it seems that you need more help in more categories. Trading Bedard isn’t the best route to lowering your ERA and WHIP. The talent hasn’t suddenly withered away from his body, so don’t you think you would want him to help lower your ERA and WHIP once he goes on a hot streak? Don’t forget that he has a 7.9 K/9 rate, so he will be integral to helping you pass other teams in strikeouts. A one-two punch of Bedard and Lincecum gives you a fantastic opportunity to make up ground in pitching, so I wouldn’t offer Bedard for Ellsbury.

Kyle Stack

Great Stuff!!!!!!!!

Click here for Cory’s article which was posted on cbssports.com the other day.

 

Also great news for you Baseball Prospectus readers and 411 fans. There will be a Pizza Feed at my haunt Foley’s on June 30th at 8pm. The 411 crew plus Will Carroll and Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus will be there as well as some special guests.

 
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