Zach’s Musings (10/10)
Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of the second wild card. Just look at how crazy the final few weeks of the season were with so many teams still in contention. What I’m not in love with though is baseball’s rushed decision to implement the second wild card this year, prior to the Astros’ move to the AL West and after having already set the 2012 schedule with the idea that there would not be a couple of wild card games to squeeze in. Is it really fair that each of the NL Central teams opened the season with a 1/6 chance of getting a first-round playoff “bye” while the AL West clubs had a ¼ chance of earning this advantage?
As if this isn’t enough of a reason to delay the second wild card rule until 2013, I absolutely hate the 2-3 Division Series format. At least it sounds like this will be switched back to 2-2-1 next year, with the only reason for the 2-3 system being that the old schedule didn’t leave enough room for the extra off-day. But if we waited another year for the second wild card, this would not be an issue. So instead of the A’s, Yankees, Reds and Nationals getting rewarded for outstanding seasons, they had to open their playoff series on the road. I feel especially bad for the A’s, who followed up an outstanding regular season finish that was capped off by an improbable sweep of the Rangers by promptly losing both of their DS road games. Yeah, they’re now home for the remainder of the series and avoided elimination last night, but having to win three games in a row, even at home, is a daunting task. So if Bud Selig happens to read the Fantasy 411 blog, I’m urging you to go back to the 2-2-1 format. From what I read, the 2-3 schedule is a one-year thing. But if it isn’t, the league would be making a huge mistake.
Alright, enough of this non-fantasy stuff. A few notes on some fantasy-relevant news stories from the past few days
Joakim Soria (elbow) looks good playing catch on Tuesday
Remember him? Soria should be fully recovered from Tommy John surgery by the start of the 2013 season, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to target him as a late-round deep league sleeper. The Royals hold an $8 million team option on him, which they almost certainly will decline, and while they might try to re-sign Soria at a cheaper cost, there’s a good chance that they just let him walk. Greg Holland thrived in the closer role this year and I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t remain the club’s closer in 2013. I can easily see Soria pitching elsewhere, maybe even as a setup man.
Jaime Garcia gets removed from the Cardinals’ NLDS roster after an MRI reveals a rotator cuff strain and inflammation
Garcia would be eligible to pitch should the Cards advance to the World Series but I’m expecting the club to shut him down, even if this turns out to be a minor injury. Garcia will be YPNM (your problem, not mine) heading into 2013 drafts unless I can get him in the final couple of rounds. He’s too much of an injury risk for a guy who I doubt will last that long.
Brett Anderson tosses six shutout innings in Game 3 victory over Tigers
Anderson had been sidelined for the past three weeks with an oblique injury but dominated a very strong lineup. Like Garcia, he’s an injury risk, but I’m a lot more bullish on him heading into next year. If the A’s hadn’t made the postseason, he would be totally under the radar since he didn’t make his return from Tommy John surgery until very late in the season, but I still think he’ll be taken after Garcia in 2013 drafts.
Homer Bailey dominates the Giants in Game 3 (7 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K)
Spoiler alert! You’ll see Homer on our 2013 List of 12, which we will post very soon. Inconsistency has plagued Bailey throughout his big league career but we at the 411 still believe in him. 2012 was by far his best season, and keep in mind that he’s still only 26 and was lights out in September (3-1, 2.01 ERA, 42 K’s in 44 2/3 IP). An ideal value pick in the mid to late rounds.
OK, that’s all for this week. I’ll be back with some more thoughts next week. And in the meantime, continue to post your keeper questions here.