Lackey @ Happ
King Felix @ Axelrod
Hanson @ Harrison – keep an eye on Hanson, but ditch for now
Phelps @ Scherzer
Worley @ Tillman – risk/reward on both
Bauer @ Cobb – not going for Bauer yet in vanilla leagues
Colon @ Bedard – Colon was awesome last year, take a shot
Nolasco @ Niese
Detwiler @ Leake – Detwiler worth watching but tough matchup/ballpark
S.Miller @ Vogelsong
Corbin @ Fiers
Villanueva @ Teheran – Villanueva worth watching, but bad matchup
Ross @ Garland – play the over
Burnett @ Kershaw
Mendoza @ Lannan
Lester @ Dickey
Sabathia @ Verlander
De Vries @ Hammel
Masterson @ Price
Anderson @ Norris
Iwakuma @ Sale
Weaver @ Darvish
J. Fernandez @ Laffey – Fernandez is an elite prospect and not a bad debut matchup
Strasburg @ Cueto
Samardzija @ Hudson
Kennedy @ Gallardo
Wainwright @ Cain
Locke @ Ryu – Ryu showed some promise in his debut, give him a shot
Volquez @ Chacin
Shields @ Hamels
W.Chen @ Buchholz – risk/reward on both, I’m not a fan
Kuroda @ Jimenez
Correia @ Big Erv
Hellickson @ Ogando
Harrell @ Saunders – Harrell not as enticing on the road
Estrada @ Jackson
Latos @ J. Garcia – Garcia has tremendous home splits in his career
Harvey @ Halladay
Maholm @ Slowey –
Wandy @ Cahill
De La Rosa @ Bumgarner
Time for my inaugural two-start pitcher post for 2013. Every Friday, I’ll run through some of the more interesting two-start pitcher options for the following week and come to a decision as to whether I’d pitch ‘em or ditch ‘em. Keep in mind that I’ll only be covering the tougher calls. You don’t need me to tell you that you should start Mat Latos or Madison Bumgarner!
OK, let’s get started.
Wei-Yin Chen (@BOS, @NYY)
The way the Yankees are hitting right now, the @NYY matchup actually seems like a favorable one, and while going into Fenway is always scary, note that Chen went 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA in three starts vs. the Red Sox last year and was 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in his two Fenway Park outings. Chen pitched well enough in his 2013 debut for me to trust him next week. Pitch.
Paul Maholm (@MIA, @WAS)
Fresh off a strong performance versus a solid Phillies’ lineup, Maholm has one ultra-favorable matchup and one risky matchup next week. The fact that he wasn’t nearly as effective away from Turner Field last year makes this a somewhat tough decision. But much like Milone, at this point in the season I’ll roll the dice and say pitch.
Ubaldo Jimenez (vs. NYY, vs. CHW)
Kudos to Ubaldo for handling the Blue Jays on the road, but it’s going to take more than just one start to convince me that he’s back to his old form. He’s the kind of guy who can blow up at any moment, and it’s not like this pair of matchups is ideal. Jimenez is someone to keep a close eye on, but I’m still skeptical. Ditch.
Ervin Santana (vs. MIN, vs. TOR)
Big Erv’s 2013 debut was a mediocre one as he struck out eight but also served up three homers. The vs. MIN matchup is intriguing, and I might take a chance on him there in a daily league, but the vs. TOR start could be a disaster. In a weekly format, I’ll take the conservative route and ditch.
Clayton Richard (vs. LAD, vs. COL)
I actually started Richard in Tout Wars for his road matchup against the Mets, thinking that the Amazins’ lineup was weak enough to warrant pitching Clayton, even though he was on the road. Apparently not. He’s back to being a strict home play, but the good news is that he’ll be at Petco for both of next week’s starts. The bad news is that both the Dodgers and Rockies have dangerous lineups. I’ll lean towards giving Richard another chance since he’s at home, but if you’re scared off by his awful showing against the Mets, I totally understand. He’s a real toss-up.
Lucas Harrell (@SEA, @LAA)
The fact that Harrell pitched well versus a high-powered Rangers’ lineup is encouraging, and I did like him as an under the radar pick going into the season. But his ERA on the road last year was nearly two and a half runs higher than his ERA at home. The Angels’ lineup is no slouch and I expect the Mariners’ offense to be much improved from last year. I’d be wary of Harrell next week. But if you want to take a chance on him, that’s fine. Another toss-up but this time I’ll lean in the ditch direction.
Jorge De La Rosa (@SF, @SD)
De La Rosa has been a 411 favorite for awhile now and you’ve got to like this set of matchups. That said, he got roughed up by the Brewers on Tuesday and it might take him some time to get back in the groove since he’s coming back from a major injury. I’d take a wait and see approach with him until he strings together a few strong performances. But he should get a lot better as the season rolls along.
Brett Myers (vs. NYY, vs. CHW)
He got bombed in his season debut at Toronto, so it’s simply too hard to trust him right now unless it’s an especially favorable matchup. These aren’t favorable matchups. Ditch. However, Myers could work his way up to being an intriguing PoD/two-start pitcher option at some point in the near future.
Nova @ Fister – Fister’s awful spring is a concern but not enough yet to bench him
Vargas @ Holland
Hendriks @ Arrieta
Doubront @ Johnson
McAllister @ Moore – keep an eye on McAllister though…
Straily @ Peacock – Straily pitching for his job
Beavan @ Quintana – Quintana has major strikeout potential
Marquis @ Francis
Westbrook @ Zito
Sanabia @ Hefner
Haren @ Bailey – both are somewhat risky here but it’s early…
Feldman @ Minor
Miley @ Lohse – conservative minds may bench Lohse and I won’t complain
J.Sanchez @ Greinke
W.Davis @ Kendrick – my sleeper breakout of the season makes his debut, but I’ll wait and see on Davis
Blanton @ Arroyo – keep an eye on Blanton; great ratios
Porcello @ Pelfrey – Porcello had a huge spring and is still only 24
Guthrie @ Floyd
M. Gonzalez @ R. Hernandez – sad face that Jeff Niemann is not in this spot
Maurer @ Griffin – wait and see on Maurer
Dempster @ Pettitte
Myers @ Buehrle
Wood @ McDonald – McDonald still has upside despite awful second half last year
Stults @ Gee – Gee a sleeper breakout candidate this year
LeBlanc @ Zimmermann
Lee @ Medlen
***ZACH SAYS “I’d take a shot on Buehrle, one of the most overlooked yet steady pitchers in the game. He’s the type of guy who if you own him, you pitch him. Hard to play matchups. Agree on rest.”
Hammel @ Price – not convinced Hammel will repeat but let’s see how it goes
Masterson @ Dickey –Masterson was terrible on the road last year, terrible
Darvish @ Harrell – Harrell was outstanding at home last year, let’s try it out
Iwakuma @ Parker
De La Rosa @ Estrada
J. Garcia @ Cahill – bullish on Garcia this year but his career home/road splits are ugly
Bumgarner @ Ryu – let’s see what Ryu has
***ZACH SAYS “I’ve got no issues with any of these. I’d be a bit hesitant to pitch Harrell but Cory’s reasoning is sound.”
I have to admit, I was pretty annoyed to not have won money in NFBC last season… first-round pick Jacoby Ellsbury effectively missed the entire season after being run over by Reid Brignac, and would-be #1 starter Daniel Hudson was awful for nine starts before undergoing Tommy John surgery, among other challenges my team faced during the season, and yet I finished in fourth place, only 2.5 points out of the money. I got the performances I needed, so with a little bit better luck on the injury front, I would’ve gotten paid. I want to get paid this year.
So, I went into this year’s draft totally focused on carrying out my gameplan to build a winning team. My priorities were:
* Focus on categories over positions… given two comparable players I would let position scarcity be the edge, but I didn’t want to take a lesser player in the interest of position scarcity;
* Focus on power over speed, particularly in the early going… it takes a lot of speed to lead the league these days, but there’s also a lot more of it available, particularly in the late rounds. Power is scarcer, and one homer helps in four categories, whereas a steal only helps in one. I got caught short on power in my Tout Wars draft and didn’t want to make that mistake again here.
* Stay disciplined in following my rankings but be aggressive about getting “my guys”, being mindful that 24 picks would go by after each of my odd-round pick, before I got to pick again. I was going to take the player I thought was the right fit at that point in the draft, who best fit my needs at that moment, and try to not worry as much about ADP or other outside considerations.
With those goals in mind, with trusty wingman Derek Carty by my side and a full flask of Balcone’s blue corn whiskey courtesy of Will Carroll, here’s who we took:
1.3 — Miguel Cabrera (3B)
My first choice in our pre-draft KDS rankings was to pick third, because even though I valued Ryan Braun as the #1 overall player, I felt the difference between him, Mike Trout and Cabrera was so small that any of them were perfectly worthy choices. So, I decided to let the market make the choice for me and take the “best available” with this pick, and then be closer to my next pick on the 2/3 wheel. There was a 2 in 3 chance I’d get an outfielder with this pick so most of my pre-draft planning was based on that, so while I was mildly surprised to get Cabrera, I was not at all unhappy to take him.
2.13 — Jacoby Ellsbury (OF)
My original plan was to go for three power-first bats here and come out with as many homers as I could, but I didn’t want to completely punt speed either. So, after taking Cabrera first I knew I would need more steals with my next two picks, and I felt that made Ellsbury the clear-cut best choice. Even after last year’s debacle I wasn’t afraid to take him again, as I feel he’ll hit close to .300 with 15 or so homers, 40 or more steals and a ton of runs. Of course, I would have taken my man Edwin Encarnacion with this pick had he been available, then hoped for Ellsbury at 3.3, but E5 went at 2.10… my hat’s off to the team that took him.
3.3 — David Wright (3B)
I wanted power with some speed, and it came down to Wright or Paul Goldschmidt. As a first baseman Goldschmidt would’ve fit my roster better, but in my estimation his upside this year is pretty similar to Wright’s floor, and we know what Wright’s upside is. I wasn’t psyched to fill up my corner with the 43rd overall pick in the entire draft but I took who I felt was the best player. I won’t say that was a mistake, but in hindsight it did create some tactical challenges later on, given that injured third baseman Pablo Sandoval and David Freese fell well past the point where I would’ve taken them had my corner spot been available.
4.13 — Aroldis Chapman (CL)
When I have good closers, my teams have generally done very well. When I don’t, they don’t. I was determined to stay ahead of the pack on closers in this draft, and even contemplated taking both Kimbrel AND Aroldis at the 4/5 wheel, on the off chance that Kimbrel somehow fell to me with this pick; he went at 4.6, making it closer than I thought it would be. Ben Zobrist and Carlos Santana were considerations here too but I wanted an elite closer and didn’t want to take the chance of Aroldis not getting back to me at 5.3.
5.3 — Matt Holliday (OF)
Zobrist and Santana went on the wheel, so I also considered Matt Wieters here, as well as Jimmy Rollins and the all-around offense of Alex Gordon, but I wanted the best and most proven power bat left on the board (who will also provide a plus average and chip in a handful of steals too). Holliday is 34 years old and has some injury concerns, but he finished the spring in good shape and should provide solid value here assuming he plays 145 or 150 or so games.
6.13 — Alex Gordon (OF)
I might have taken Mat Latos, Jordan Zimmermann or Yovanni Gallardo as my #1 starter with this pick, but all three came after the board after I took Holliday. Given that I had seriously considered Gordon at 5.3 before taking Holliday, I was thrilled to take him here, and barely considered any other player once those starters were off the board.
7.3 — Ian Kennedy (SP)
I waited on starters as long as possible but didn’t want to go past this tier, so it came down to Kennedy or Brandon Morrow as my “soft ace.” I’m a big Morrow fan and recognize that his upside is higher than Kennedy’s, but he’s also more injury prone and has yet to put together a full season comparable to what Kennedy has done over the past two. Plus, knowing that I’ll be cycling in plenty of other starters throughout the season, I wanted an anchor I could pencil in and forget. I think Kennedy’s true value is somewhere between the past two seasons, so this is fair value. Morrow went at 7.14
8.13 — Howard Kendrick (2B)
Miguel Montero would’ve been tough to pass at this spot but he went at 8.9, and potential #2 starter Doug Fister with the next pick, so I opted to get a start on my middle infield with long-time favorite Kendrick. Even if his huge spring doesn’t portend any real growth this year, he’s still a solid bet for 25-30 total homers and steals, a strong average and decent run production. I strongly considered Rickie Weeks here too but prefer Kendrick’s offensive balance and relative predictability.
9.3 — Sergio Romo (CL)
The night before the draft I reviewed the draft picks by the other 11 teams in my league who were in the NFBC main event last year, to find out when they picked closers. I knew who I wanted for my bullpen and wanted to make sure I didn’t wait too long on them, especially since I’d have to go 24 picks after this pair of selections, and expected a big closer run to happen in that time. I only had one starter, and they were drying up a little faster than I had expected, but with four closers having been selected since my last pick I felt the run coming and decided to grab Romo here. It came down to him, Greg Holland or J.J. Putz, but I wanted Romo’s superior ratios even if that means a few less saves, and a greater injury risk, than the other two. Putz went three picks later and Holland at 10.4, with four other closers also going before my next pick.
10.13 — Jon Niese (SP)
I strongly considered Niese at 9.3, but after taking Romo he was my sole target with this pick. Like with the Holliday/Gordon pair, I gambled that my “second choice” player would get back to me 24 picks later, and I was relieved to be right twice. Erick Aybar and Danny Espinosa might’ve made this a harder choice, since I needed a shortstop, but both went between Romo and this pick
11.3 — Adam LaRoche (1B)
Coming out of the break I felt like we were in good shape overall, needing one more starter and perhaps a little more speed, but I didn’t want to lose my focus on power and viewed LaRoche as the most reliable option on the board who fit that need. The next true first baseman (not counting Nick Swisher) drafted after him went over three rounds later, so we definitely avoided “the cliff” with this pick.
12.13 — Marco Estrada (SP)
I had ranked Estrada highly enough that I would’ve taken him at 11.3 had the circumstances dictated it, but I also anticipated he would last until this pick and never really considered anyone else. I had to sweat it out though, as five other starters went between LaRoche and this pick, but this was my target all along for my #3 starter.
13.3 — Neil Walker (2B)
With all of my core needs met through the first five rounds I wanted to start focusing more on positions, but none of the remaining options were particularly interesting to me so I took the best remaining second baseman instead. Of course, this pretty much doomed me to having a relatively weak shortstop, but I didn’t want to over-state the importance of positional scarcity to the point where I felt I would be taking a clearly lesser player. Walker had a poor spring, but played regularly enough that I think his back his healthy, and he’s in his age-27 season.
14.13 — Jarrod Parker (SP)
Not only was Parker my pre-draft choice as my #4 starter, this was the pick where I wanted to get him. Homer Bailey and Jeremy Hellickson were my fall-back choices, but both went ahead of Parker earlier in the round, so there wasn’t much to decide here. I’m not worried about Parker’s health, since he’s already had Tommy John surgery and managed over 215 regular season and postseason innings between MLB and the minors last season without any fade, and I think his killer changeup gives him considerable growth potential in strikeouts.
15.3 — Dexter Fowler (OF)
Speed was starting to become something of a concern but I didn’t want to take a one-category specialist in the Ben Revere or Juan Pierre mode, so we started looking to layer it in 15-20 steals at a time. Fowler stole only 12 bases last year, but stole 27 as a rookie and has vowed to run more this season, and with Tyler Colvin being demoted he should see a significant increase in plate appearances this year, resulting in increased opportunities in his age-27 season. I seriously considered Lorenzo Cain here, and he went with the next pick, but I think we got a steal with this one.
16.13 — J.P. Arencibia (C)
We needed a catcher, we wanted to continue adding power, and we had already built an excellent batting average base with Cabrera, Wright, Ellsbury, Holliday, Gordon and Kendrick, so Arencibia was a natural fit. I considered Alex Avila also but opted for Arencibia’s power upside, especially after his huge spring going into his age-27 season. Jason Kubel or Justin Maxwell were on the radar also, but we needed a catcher more than an outfielder, and both of them went off the board in the next three picks.
17.3 — Denard Span (OF)
As much as we wanted to continue adding power, we didn’t want to forget about speed, and Span was the perfect compliment to Arencibia. He’s not a burner, but should steal 25 or so bases this year, with a strong average to further offset Arencibia’s, and a ton of runs batting atop what looks like a loaded Nationals lineup. Drew Stubbs was a consideration given his speed upside, but while I wasn’t terribly concerned about his poor average, I am concerned about him losing considerable playing time as a result. It was tough to pass Derek Jeter here, given that I still needed a shortstop and he had plummeted well past where I thought he was a great value, but I was more concerned with the speed Span offered.
18.13 — Brandon McCarthy (SP)
I had hoped for Trevor Cahill as my fifth starter but he went in the 16th round, much earlier than I had anticipated. This pick came down to McCarthy or Mike Fiers, so even though McCarthy is a major injury risk, I think he’ll put up excellent numbers when he does pitch, which is a bigger focus for me with my #5 rather than the volume I prioritized with #1 pick in taking Kennedy over Morrow. Jeter went at 18.6 so I waited too long on him.
19.3 — Jose Veras (CL)
I usually look for my third reliever around the 18/19 turn and it was either Veras, Carlos Marmol or Ryan Madson. Marmol is terrible and has Kyuji Fujikawa poised to take his job, and Madson is out indefinitely while recovering from TJ surgery, so I opted for Veras, who has very little competition in the Astros’ bullpen and should put up excellent strikeout numbers along with however many saves he gets. But, with Chapman and Romo as my first two closers, I wasn’t as concerned about his potentially shaky ratios.
20.13 — Jhonny Peralta (SS)
Um, I still need a shortstop. Everyone I like is long gone, so it’s either take Peralta here, or punt a full-timer and take the speed upside but uncertain playing time of Eduardo Nunez or Billy Hamilton. No, I’m not taking Yunel Escobar, that’s not a consideration. I’ll take Peralta and hope he has one of his periodic great seasons, as he did in 2005, 2008 and 2011. Nunez went at 23.9, when I had hoped to get him in the first reserve round, so we’ll be on the lookout all season for a better option.
21.3 — Nolan Reimold (OF)
I was targeting Justin Ruggiano or Wil Venable for my utility spot, since they’d both provide good speed and decent power despite less than everyday playing time. Well, imagine my surprise when both went in the 19th round! Reimold brings less speed to the table than those two, but with Wilson Betemit injured he should play nearly everyday – at least until he gets hurt – and he’s shown flashes of considerable offensive potential throughout his injury-plagued career. Hey, it’s my utility spot. A kid can dream.
22.13 — Matt Garza (SP)
Derek was pushing for this one for a few rounds so we grabbed him here to stash away until he returns, hopefully sometime in early or mid-May. Like McCarthy, he should produce strong numbers when he’s able to pitch, even though I won’t get a full season out of him.
23.3 — Yasmani Grandal (C)
We still needed a second catcher and assumed we’d be able to grab Chris Iannetta or Wellington Castillo with this pick, but we weren’t watching the board closely enough and Team 1 burned us by taking them both on the wheel at the end of the 22nd round, right after we grabbed Garza. So, we decided to stash away Grandal and hope he plays more or less regularly after he returns in late May… he was clearly the best bat left at the position, if nothing else.
24.13 — Kyle Kendrick (SP)
I’m very bullish on Kendrick this year; he had a huge second half last year after scrapping his slider, which was his weakest pitch. By focusing on his sinker, cutter, curveball and changeup – aka the Brandon McCarthy starter kit – in the second half, he lowered his ERA by two runs, increased his strikeout and ground ball rates, and cut his walk rate. I don’t expect an ace, but as my #6 starter who will get plenty of starts this year against the Marlins and Mets, I love this pick.
25.3 — Colby Rasmus (OF)
He’s 26, healthy, plays in a great lineup in a great hitters’ park, and at times in his career has shown good power, some speed and a decent batting average. I don’t have high hopes for him, but he’s young enough that a breakout would not be a shock either, and he’s in the right environment for it. Plus, he’s only my utility player and 7th outfielder, so the price was right for this upside gamble.
26.13 — Tommy Hanson (SP)
I good-naturedly trashed my friend Doug Cassidy for taking Hanson last year after I warned him of Hanson’s shoulder problems, and I’m still not convinced Hanson is fully healthy this year, either. But reports are he showed more dedication to his offseason preparations this past winter, and for a 26th round pick as my 8th starter, I’ll gamble that he can return to the form he showed from 2009 to 2011, or even 80 percent of that.
27.3 — Phil Coke (RP)
The Tigers’ bullpen is wide open and Coke was dominant during the postseason last year, so maybe he’ll win at least a share of the closer job this year. Or not.
28.13 — Nick Hundley (C)
He’ll do most of the catching while Grandal is out, and believe it or not I’ve been a fan of his for a few years. With mostly unchallenged playing time, in an improved lineup with the fences somewhat moved in, I think Hundley can actually be an asset until Grandal returns. I was actually planning on taking shortstop flier Pete Kozma here and waiting until my next pick to grab Hundley, but amazingly, Kozma went two picks earlier! I didn’t think anyone else would even know who he is!
29.3 — Mike Leake (SP)
He’s the opposite of Clayton Richard, in that he can only be used on the road. But he’s on an excellent team, with a strong offense and deep bullpen behind him, so as my 9th starter he could provide some spot-starting value.
30.13 — Chris Archer (RP)
He’s got a big arm and only has Roberto Hernandez (the former Fausto Carmona) in front of him for a rotation spot. With the 448th pick in a 450-pick draft, what else could I hope to find?
So, my final roster is:
C – Arencibia (16) and Hundley (28), with Grandal (23) on the bench
CI –LaRoche (11), Cabrera (1) and Wright (3)
MI – Kendrick (8), Peralta (20) and Walker (13)
OF – Ellsbury (2), Holliday (5), Gordon (6), Fowler (15) and Span (17)
UT – Reimold (21) or Rasmus (25)
SP – Kennedy (7), Niese (10), Estrada (12), Parker (14), McCarthy (18) and Kendrick (24), with Garza (22), Hanson (26), Leake (29) and Archer (30) on the bench
RP – Chapman (4), Romo (9) and Veras (19), with Coke (27) on the bench
Overall, I think we have an excellent team, certainly good enough to compete for a league championship. We have solid power with a handful of breakout candidates, an excellent base in runs, RBI’s and batting average, and while we did end up short in steals, we should at least be in the middle of the pack and could move up quickly if we can find a strong in-season addition like I did with Rajai Davis last year.
As for our pitching, we have a strong trio of closers, who combine excellent strikeout potential with solid ratios, and although we lack a true ace, I think our rotation is truly six deep, with Matt Garza waiting the wings and lottery tickets Tommy Hanson and Chris Archer also looming as potential contributors.
There’s no one standout part of my team, but there’s no weakness, either… this team is built to win, and I think it can. Now, let’s watch some baseball!
Bold = Pitch
Harrison @ Norris – watch HOU though, they will score more than people think this year
Lester @ Sabathia
Shields @ Sale
Verlander @ Worley
King Felix @ Anderson
Nolasco @ Strasburg
Volquez @ Niese
Samardzija @ Burnett
Chacin @ Gallardo
Cain @ Kershaw
Hamels @ Hudson
Wainwright @ Kennedy
Weaver @ Cueto
***ZACH SAYS “Agree 100%. I’d at least think about pitching Volquez vs. a weak Mets’ lineup, but if you’re afraid to kick off your fantasy season with a 12.00 team ERA, you’re probably better off playing it safe.”
Here are the round-by-round results from last night’s 411 listener league draft. Be sure to catch today’s podcast as Mike and Cory discuss this draft in addition to Tout Wars and overrated/underrated players for 2013.
** Mike’s picks
** (1) South Larson Hamptonians – Ryan Braun LF
(2) Team Gluttons – Mike Trout CF
(3) Bloo Meenies – Miguel Cabrera 3B
(4) Nathan’s Dogs – Robinson Cano 2B
(5) Havalina Lumber Co – Matt Kemp CF
(6) KFred inCal – Andrew McCutchen CF
(7) The Canexicans – Albert Pujols 1B
(8) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Carlos Gonzalez LF
(9) Manhattan Marauders – Prince Fielder 1B
(10) Schwartz Stops – Joey Votto 1B
(11) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Giancarlo Stanton RF
(12) mancrushes united – Troy Tulowitzki SS
(13) mancrushes united – Evan Longoria 3B
(14) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Josh Hamilton CF
(15) Schwartz Stops – Jose Bautista RF
(16) Manhattan Marauders – Justin Upton RF
(17) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Justin Verlander SP
(18) The Canexicans – Bryce Harper CF
(19) KFred inCal – Jose Reyes SS
(20) Havalina Lumber Co – Jason Heyward RF
(21) Nathan’s Dogs – Buster Posey C
(22) Bloo Meenies – Clayton Kershaw SP
(23) Team Gluttons – Adam Jones CF
** (24) South Larson Hamptonians – Dustin Pedroia 2B
** (25) South Larson Hamptonians – Jacoby Ellsbury CF
(26) Team Gluttons – Edwin Encarnacion 1B
(27) Bloo Meenies – David Wright 3B
(28) Nathan’s Dogs – Adrian Beltre 3B
(29) Havalina Lumber Co – Stephen Strasburg SP
(30) KFred inCal – Ian Kinsler 2B
(31) The Canexicans – David Price SP
(32) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Felix Hernandez SP
(33) Manhattan Marauders – Billy Butler 1B
(34) Schwartz Stops – Starlin Castro SS
(35) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Jay Bruce RF
(36) mancrushes united – Adrian Gonzalez 1B
(37) mancrushes united – Matt Wieters C
(38) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Craig Kimbrel RP
(39) Schwartz Stops – Yoenis Cespedes LF
(40) Manhattan Marauders – Cole Hamels SP
(41) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Matt Holliday LF
(42) The Canexicans – Ben Zobrist RF
(43) KFred inCal – Allen Craig 1B
(44) Havalina Lumber Co – Ryan Zimmerman 3B
(45) Nathan’s Dogs – Matt Cain SP
(46) Bloo Meenies – Cliff Lee SP
(47) Team Gluttons – Yu Darvish SP
** (48) South Larson Hamptonians – Carlos Santana C
** (49) South Larson Hamptonians – Mariano Rivera RP
(50) Team Gluttons – Freddie Freeman 1B
(51) Bloo Meenies – Jered Weaver SP
(52) Nathan’s Dogs – Ian Desmond SS
(53) Havalina Lumber Co – Paul Goldschmidt 1B
(54) KFred inCal – Chase Headley 3B
(55) The Canexicans – B.J. Upton CF
(56) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – CC Sabathia SP
(57) Manhattan Marauders – Aramis Ramirez 3B
(58) Schwartz Stops – Brett Lawrie 3B
(59) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Brandon Phillips 2B
(60) mancrushes united – Joe Mauer C
(61) mancrushes united – Aroldis Chapman SP
(62) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Jonathan Papelbon RP
(63) Schwartz Stops – Alex Gordon LF
(64) Manhattan Marauders – Adam Wainwright SP
(65) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Michael Bourn CF
(66) The Canexicans – R.A. Dickey SP
(67) KFred inCal – Madison Bumgarner SP
(68) Havalina Lumber Co – Jason Kipnis 2B
(69) Nathan’s Dogs – Gio Gonzalez SP
(70) Bloo Meenies – Yadier Molina C
(71) Team Gluttons – Max Scherzer SP
** (72) South Larson Hamptonians – Eric Hosmer 1B
** (73) South Larson Hamptonians – Shin-Soo Choo RF
(74) Team Gluttons – Aaron Hill 2B
(75) Bloo Meenies – Austin Jackson CF
(76) Nathan’s Dogs – Jason Motte RP
(77) Havalina Lumber Co – Zack Greinke SP
(78) KFred inCal – Curtis Granderson CF
(79) The Canexicans – Jimmy Rollins SS
(80) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Pablo Sandoval 3B
(81) Manhattan Marauders – Jose Altuve 2B
(82) Schwartz Stops – Desmond Jennings LF
(83) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Rafael Soriano RP
(84) mancrushes united – James Shields SP
(85) mancrushes united – Mat Latos SP
(86) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Fernando Rodney RP
(87) Schwartz Stops – Asdrubal Cabrera SS
(88) Manhattan Marauders – Elvis Andrus SS
(89) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Victor Martinez C
(90) The Canexicans – Ryan Howard 1B
(91) KFred inCal – Ike Davis 1B
(92) Havalina Lumber Co – Alex Rios RF
(93) Nathan’s Dogs – Chris Sale SP
(94) Bloo Meenies – Johnny Cueto SP
(95) Team Gluttons – Josh Willingham LF
** (96) South Larson Hamptonians – Anthony Rizzo 1B
** (97) South Larson Hamptonians – Pedro Alvarez 3B
(98) Team Gluttons – Jordan Zimmermann SP
(99) Bloo Meenies – Kris Medlen SP
(100) Nathan’s Dogs – Joe Nathan RP
(101) Havalina Lumber Co – Yovani Gallardo SP
(102) KFred inCal – Mark Trumbo LF
(103) The Canexicans – Josh Johnson SP
(104) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Paul Konerko 1B
(105) Manhattan Marauders – Carlos Gomez CF
(106) Schwartz Stops – Sergio Romo RP
(107) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Martin Prado LF
(108) mancrushes united – Jon Lester SP
(109) mancrushes united – Carl Crawford LF
(110) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Hanley Ramirez 3B
(111) Schwartz Stops – Melky Cabrera LF
(112) Manhattan Marauders – Hunter Pence RF
(113) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – J.J. Putz RP
(114) The Canexicans – Jim Johnson RP
(115) KFred inCal – Brandon Morrow SP
(116) Havalina Lumber Co – John Axford RP
(117) Nathan’s Dogs – Shane Victorino CF
(118) Bloo Meenies – Matt Moore SP
(119) Team Gluttons – Greg Holland RP
** (120) South Larson Hamptonians – Ian Kennedy SP
** (121) South Larson Hamptonians – Addison Reed RP
(122) Team Gluttons – Todd Frazier 3B
(123) Bloo Meenies – Doug Fister SP
(124) Nathan’s Dogs – Joel Hanrahan RP
(125) Havalina Lumber Co – Danny Espinosa 2B
(126) KFred inCal – Miguel Montero C
(127) The Canexicans – Mike Napoli C
(128) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Roy Halladay SP
(129) Manhattan Marauders – Rafael Betancourt RP
(130) Schwartz Stops – Jarrod Parker SP
(131) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Jake Peavy SP
(132) mancrushes united – Howard Kendrick 2B
(133) mancrushes united – Rickie Weeks 2B
(134) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Dan Haren SP
(135) Schwartz Stops – Angel Pagan CF
(136) Manhattan Marauders – Jason Grilli RP
(137) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Carlos Beltran RF
(138) The Canexicans – Chase Utley 2B
(139) KFred inCal – C.J. Wilson SP
(140) Havalina Lumber Co – Jeff Samardzija SP
(141) Nathan’s Dogs – Erick Aybar SS
(142) Bloo Meenies – Hiroki Kuroda SP
(143) Team Gluttons – Alcides Escobar SS
** (144) South Larson Hamptonians – Wilin Rosario C
** (145) South Larson Hamptonians – Matt Harvey SP
(146) Team Gluttons – Chris Perez RP
(147) Bloo Meenies – Tim Lincecum SP
(148) Nathan’s Dogs – Andre Ethier RF
(149) Havalina Lumber Co – Tom Wilhelmsen RP
(150) KFred inCal – Jesus Montero C
(151) The Canexicans – Mike Moustakas 3B
(152) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Huston Street RP
(153) Manhattan Marauders – Adam LaRoche 1B
(154) Schwartz Stops – Grant Balfour RP
(155) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – David Freese 3B
(156) mancrushes united – Michael Morse LF
(157) mancrushes united – Glen Perkins RP
(158) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Mark Teixeira 1B
(159) Schwartz Stops – Salvador Perez C
(160) Manhattan Marauders – Jonathan Lucroy C
(161) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Brandon League RP
(162) The Canexicans – Lance Lynn SP
(163) KFred inCal – Casey Janssen RP
(164) Havalina Lumber Co – Nelson Cruz RF
(165) Nathan’s Dogs – Ben Revere RF
(166) Bloo Meenies – Neil Walker 2B
(167) Team Gluttons – Steve Cishek RP
** (168) South Larson Hamptonians – Mike Minor SP
** (169) South Larson Hamptonians – Alexei Ramirez SS
(170) Team Gluttons – Alejandro De Aza CF
(171) Bloo Meenies – Torii Hunter RF
(172) Nathan’s Dogs – Jonathon Niese SP
(173) Havalina Lumber Co – Brian McCann C
(174) KFred inCal – Bobby Parnell RP
(175) The Canexicans – David Ortiz DH
(176) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Ernesto Frieri RP
(177) Manhattan Marauders – J.J. Hardy SS
(178) Schwartz Stops – Kenley Jansen RP
(179) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Anibal Sanchez SP
(180) mancrushes united – Brett Gardner LF
(181) mancrushes united – Ichiro Suzuki RF
(182) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Chris Davis 1B
(183) Schwartz Stops – Marco Estrada SP
(184) Manhattan Marauders – Alexi Ogando SP
(185) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Dan Uggla 2B
(186) The Canexicans – Ryan Madson RP
(187) KFred inCal – Jeremy Hellickson SP
(188) Havalina Lumber Co – Michael Cuddyer RF
(189) Nathan’s Dogs – Nick Swisher RF
(190) Bloo Meenies – Jason Kubel LF
(191) Team Gluttons – Josh Beckett SP
** (192) South Larson Hamptonians – Brett Anderson SP
** (193) South Larson Hamptonians – Derek Holland SP
(194) Team Gluttons – Ryan Vogelsong SP
(195) Bloo Meenies – Kyle Seager 3B
(196) Nathan’s Dogs – Will Middlebrooks 3B
(197) Havalina Lumber Co – Dustin Ackley 2B
(198) KFred inCal – Josh Reddick RF
(199) The Canexicans – Hyun-Jin Ryu SP
(200) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Andrelton Simmons SS
(201) Manhattan Marauders – Kyuji Fujikawa RP
(202) Schwartz Stops – Manny Machado 3B
(203) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Coco Crisp CF
(204) mancrushes united – Jayson Werth RF
(205) mancrushes united – Justin Morneau 1B
(206) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Derek Jeter SS
(207) Schwartz Stops – Brandon McCarthy SP
(208) Manhattan Marauders – Trevor Cahill SP
(209) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Kendrys Morales 1B
(210) The Canexicans – Emilio Bonifacio CF
(211) KFred inCal – Alfonso Soriano LF
(212) Havalina Lumber Co – Aaron Hicks CF
(213) Nathan’s Dogs – Kevin Youkilis 3B
(214) Bloo Meenies – Wade Miley SP
(215) Team Gluttons – Ryan Doumit C
** (216) South Larson Hamptonians – Lorenzo Cain CF
** (217) South Larson Hamptonians – Marco Scutaro 2B
(218) Team Gluttons – Vinnie Pestano RP
(219) Bloo Meenies – Dexter Fowler CF
(220) Nathan’s Dogs – Brandon Moss 1B
(221) Havalina Lumber Co – Carlos Marmol RP
(222) KFred inCal – Jose Veras RP
(223) The Canexicans – Bruce Rondon RP
(224) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – A.J. Pierzynski C
(225) Manhattan Marauders – Corey Hart 1B
(226) Schwartz Stops – Alex Avila C
(227) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Everth Cabrera SS
(228) mancrushes united – Nick Markakis RF
(229) mancrushes united – Matt Garza SP
(230) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Phil Hughes SP
(231) Schwartz Stops – Homer Bailey SP
(232) Manhattan Marauders – Norichika Aoki RF
(233) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Juan Pierre LF
(234) The Canexicans – Michael Young 1B
(235) KFred inCal – Cameron Maybin CF
(236) Havalina Lumber Co – Carlos Ruiz C
(237) Nathan’s Dogs – Garrett Jones 1B
(238) Bloo Meenies – Colby Rasmus CF
(239) Team Gluttons – Brandon Belt 1B
** (240) South Larson Hamptonians – Mitchell Boggs RP
** (241) South Larson Hamptonians – Wil Myers RF
(242) Team Gluttons – Jedd Gyorko 2B
(243) Bloo Meenies – Tim Hudson SP
(244) Nathan’s Dogs – Jaime Garcia SP
(245) Havalina Lumber Co – Frank Francisco RP
(246) KFred inCal – Josh Rutledge SS
(247) The Canexicans – Domonic Brown RF
(248) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Matt Harrison SP
(249) Manhattan Marauders – J.P. Arencibia C
(250) Schwartz Stops – Brandon Beachy SP
(251) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – A.J. Burnett SP
(252) mancrushes united – Adam Dunn 1B
(253) mancrushes united – Alex Cobb SP
(254) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
(255) Schwartz Stops – Gordon Beckham 2B
(256) Manhattan Marauders – Dayan Viciedo LF
(257) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Carlos Quentin LF
(258) The Canexicans – Clay Buchholz SP
(259) KFred inCal – Lance Berkman 1B
(260) Havalina Lumber Co – Chris Carter 1B
(261) Nathan’s Dogs – Justin Ruggiano CF
(262) Bloo Meenies – Daniel Murphy 2B
(263) Team Gluttons – Evan Gattis C
** (264) South Larson Hamptonians – Adam Eaton CF
** (265) South Larson Hamptonians – David Robertson RP
(266) Team Gluttons – Peter Bourjos CF
(267) Bloo Meenies – Mark Reynolds 1B
(268) Nathan’s Dogs – A.J. Ellis C
(269) Havalina Lumber Co – David Murphy LF
(270) KFred inCal – Jed Lowrie SS
(271) The Canexicans – Sergio Santos RP
(272) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Kelly Johnson 2B
(273) Manhattan Marauders – Tommy Milone SP
(274) Schwartz Stops – Chad Billingsley SP
(275) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – John Jaso C
(276) mancrushes united – Denard Span CF
(277) mancrushes united – Wandy Rodriguez SP
(278) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Edwin Jackson SP
(279) Schwartz Stops – Julio Teheran SP
(280) Manhattan Marauders – Ryan Dempster SP
(281) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Joaquin Benoit RP
(282) The Canexicans – Starling Marte LF
(283) KFred inCal – Bud Norris SP
(284) Havalina Lumber Co – Mitch Moreland 1B
(285) Nathan’s Dogs – Yonder Alonso 1B
(286) Bloo Meenies – Zack Cozart SS
(287) Team Gluttons – Luke Gregerson RP
** (288) South Larson Hamptonians – Jon Jay CF
** (289) South Larson Hamptonians – Michael Saunders CF
(290) Team Gluttons – Leonys Martin CF
(291) Bloo Meenies – Russell Martin C
(292) Nathan’s Dogs – Johan Santana SP
(293) Havalina Lumber Co – Phil Coke RP
(294) KFred inCal – Erik Bedard SP
(295) The Canexicans – Jason Castro C
(296) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Yasiel Puig CF
(297) Manhattan Marauders – Trevor Rosenthal RP
(298) Schwartz Stops – Matt Carpenter 1B
(299) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Drew Stubbs CF
(300) mancrushes united – Jonathan Broxton RP
Heading into my second year in Mixed Tout Wars, I was determined to not make the same mistake I made in my inaugural campaign, overpaying for mid-tier talent which in turn limited me to $1 bids down the stretch. There were far too many guys on last year’s squad who I didn’t even want but was stuck with by default. I would be more patient this time around, draft a few high-end players but also wait for bargains and afford myself the opportunity to land some of my targets in the endgame. Unlike last year, when I exited the SiriusXM studios in midtown Manhattan this time around, I was happy with my roster and was actually looking forward to seeing how the season will play out. Of course, there were a few exceptions, as is always the case in any auction, but on the whole the team I ended up with looked a lot like the “ideal” group I had sketched out when doing my draft prep. Listen, I’m far from an auction veteran, but my general approach is to assign dollar values to each roster slot with certain players in mind and list a bunch of fallback options. Should the price of my top choice at a certain position exceed my expected value by more than a buck or two, I’d move on to my backup choices and use the saved money to secure an upgrade at a different position.
Alright, enough suspense. Here’s the team I ended up with. Keep in mind that this is a 15-team mixed league with OBP replacing AVG.
C Jonathan LuCroy ($11)
I had budgeted about $12 for my #1 catcher and LuCroy was my main focus. A broken hand limited him to 96 games last year, but the Brewers’ backstop put up some nice numbers in those 96 games. At just 26 years of age, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Would I be surprised if he makes a serious run at 20 homers to go along with a strong OBP? Absolutely not.
C Brian McCann ($6)
McCann was not someone I had planned on drafting as I tend to shy away from players rehabbing from significant injuries, but the value here was too good to pass up. Even if he misses the entire month of April, as the latest reports suggest, five months of McCann is well worth the six bucks. I actually purchased McCann before taking LuCroy but still felt the need to go after LuCroy to stabilize my catcher duo. I had allocated $3 to my #2 catcher slot so I overspent by a little, but no big deal.
1B Adrian Gonzalez ($28)
Exactly the price I predicted for A-Gon. Prince Fielder was my #1 target but Adrian sat at the top of my second-tier price range list. At the time, I gambled that Fielder would go for more than the $35 I set aside for him. And I was right, as Tim Heaney bought Prince for $38. The home run total was really the only disappointing part of Gonzalez’s stat line last year, but I expect a rebound in his first full season back in the familiar NL West. Even if he hits 25 homers, 100-plus RBIs, roughly 90 runs and an OBP in the .360 range are all reasonable projections.
2B Dan Uggla ($16)
My least favorite pick, and if I knew at the time that Jose Altuve would go for only $17, I would’ve bowed out on Uggla. But I figured that the switch to OBP neutralizes the main risk attached to Uggla, that is his batting average. In a career-worst season, the Braves’ second sacker still managed to swat 19 homers, drive in 78 and score 86 runs, so the counting stats were there. He did post a quality .348 OBP and sports a career OBP of .343. On the other hand, should he get off to a brutal start, the Braves might reduce his playing time, as his defense is dreadful. So I’m just hoping he hits well enough to avoid that scenario.
SS Jimmy Rollins ($15)
I honestly don’t understand the negativity surrounding J-Roll. Yeah, he’s getting up there in age and he won’t be of much use in the AVG/OBP department. But how many other shortstops can realistically turn in a 20/30 season with 90 or so runs scored? I can’t think of any. And for 15 bucks? C’mon!
3B Aramis Ramirez ($16)
Like McCann, A-Ram is another guy who I never expected to be on my roster. There is some age/injury risk, but there’s no denying that Ramirez is one of the more consistent hitters in the game. And I consider $16 to be excellent value.
CI Kendrys Morales ($11)
Continuing on the value theme, I was very surprised to land Kendrys at this price. He went 22-73 in only 134 games for the Angels last year and now with Seattle, he won’t have to deal with a platoon situation. Oh yeah, and the fences are moving in at Safeco.
MI Jhonny Peralta ($4)
Not much to get excited about here but I had budgeted $5 for my MI slot and Peralta was one of the players I predicted would fall in that range. I’m expecting something in between his 2011 and 2012 production. If nothing else, he provides me with some cheap power.
OF Justin Upton ($34)
I wasn’t going to leave that draft room without grabbing a legitimate #1 outfielder, and over the past few weeks, I had a feeling that Upton would be that guy. He played a key role in ruining my Tout season last year, but I’m willing to give him another chance. 34 bucks seemed like a fair price to me considering the costs of fellow outfielders Matt Kemp ($37), Jose Bautista ($37), Andrew McCutchen ($37), Carlos Gonzalez ($36) and Giancarlo Stanton ($34).
OF Desmond Jennings ($20)
Jennings was my top choice to fill my #2 OF slot, so I was thrilled to get him for a dollar less than my projected value. He needs to improve his OBP skills but at 26, the best is yet to come. He’ll provide me with tons of speed and even some pop.
OF Jason Kubel ($7)
He faded badly in the second half last year but seven bucks is a fairly small price to pay for 25-plus bombs and 90 RBIs. I’ll take Kubel at $7 over Andre Ethier at $12 or even Nick Markakis at $9.
OF Denard Span ($5)
This was towards the end of the draft and realizing that I was weak in speed, I singled out Span as the player I had to have. Luckily, I was able to snag him for $5 because I would’ve gone as high as $9 for him. I like Span a lot this year as he’ll be batting atop a loaded lineup and should score a boatload of runs, and I’m hoping that all the talk about him upping his SB attempts is more than just talk. But I wish I didn’t have to rely on him so heavily to keep me afloat in the swipes category.
OF Ryan Ludwick ($2)
This pick was kind of by accident, as I was convinced that someone would raise my opening bid and the last thing I needed was even more power. But as a fifth outfielder he’s fine. Are 20 homers and 80 RBIs really too much to ask?
UTIL Cody Ross ($4)
I had four bucks left at the time of my final turn and right after throwing out Ross’ name, I regretted not nominating Michael Brantley, who would’ve been a better fit in my already homer happy lineup. I’ll immediately look to add some more speed to my roster and will probably end up benching Ross to start the season.
SP Adam Wainwright ($21)
This guy is going to have a big year. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes home NL Cy Young honors. Looking at his overall 2012 numbers doesn’t tell the whole story. In 15 second half starts last year, Wainwright pitched to a 3.28 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. Entering his second season removed from Tommy John surgery, I’m expecting him to pick up right where he left off. Being that the price tags of starters like Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, David Price and Stephen Strasburg were all in the upper 20’s, I’ll gladly take Wainwright at a discount.
SP Ian Kennedy ($13)
This was a tad more than I had planned on paying for Kennedy but I’m very high on him as a guy who you can draft as a third or fourth starter and get back SP2 caliber production. I didn’t afford myself a ton of room for profit here but I think $13 is a fair price and I’m a sucker for the K/BB ratio. While 2011 looks like an outlier, I fully expect Kennedy to bounce back from a disappointing 2012 season that still saw him post a 1.30 WHIP to go along with 187 strikeouts.
SP Doug Fister ($9)
The beauty of following the “patient” auction approach is that it can lead to bargains like this one. I normally prefer a higher K option for my third starter slot but playing in a pitcher-friendly ballpark, Fister should provide me with a strong ERA and WHIP. And factoring in the stacked Tigers’ lineup, there’s plenty of wins potential as well.
SP Ryan Vogelsong ($6)
I wasn’t about to chase Vogelsong but I wasn’t about to shy away from him either. There are still plenty of skeptics when it comes to the 35-year-old righty, which is keeping his price down to the level where he can once again return a substantial profit.
SP Wandy Rodriguez ($4)
An underrated starter at a bargain basement price. I’m not too concerned about the drop in strikeouts. Maybe his 175-plus strikeout days are over, but even if he gives me 150 punchouts to go along with a solid ERA and WHIP, this will prove to be a wise investment.
SP Felix Doubront ($1)
A pure lottery ticket. His control needs work but I love the strikeout upside, and he’s only 25. Maybe I could’ve waited until the reserve rounds to draft him. Whatever.
RP Joe Nathan ($15)
I always try to draft at least one elite-level closer, and figuring that Craig Kimbrel would be too expensive, I narrowed down my choices to Jonathan Papelbon, Jason Motte or possibly Mariano Rivera. When the news broke that Motte would open the season on the DL, I narrowed my list to Papelbon or possibly Rivera. Then the bidding on Rivera got to $16 and I couldn’t quite pull the trigger. Then the bidding on Papelbon went through the roof. No way was I paying more than 20 bucks for him. So I snatched up the next best thing for what I consider to be a great price. Nathan proved last year that he’s still an elite stopper despite enduring Tommy John surgery. Yeah, he’s old, but I’m convinced that he has plenty left in the tank.
RP Steve Cishek ($10)
Banking on a closer with such a limited ninth inning track record is risky, but Cishek has the luxury of job security and, as he demonstrated last season, he can clearly get the job done. By drafting Cishek, I accomplished my goal of securing two closers so that I won’t need to fork over a ton of FAAB dollars early in the season on speculative saves sources.
RP David Hernandez ($2)
J.J. Putz has grown very fond of the DL over the past several seasons and Hernandez is one of the more dominant setup men in baseball. See where I’m going?
Ricky Romero – Will probably be my first cut. Sounds like he might not even make the rotation.
Franklin Gutierrez – If healthy, his decent speed could be useful.
Zack Wheeler – Expect a big league arrival sooner rather than later.
Kurt Suzuki – Will hold down the fort as my second catcher until McCann returns.
To sum everything up, while homers and RBIs will not be an issue, I’m a little short in steals and my OBP will probably be no better than middle of the pack. I’m also somewhat concerned about my team’s age, as the majority of my players are over 30. Improving my speed will be a priority in the early going and I might need to swing a power for speed trade fairly soon to avoid falling too far behind in the category. I’m pleased with my pitching staff and am eager to find out if this more balanced spending approach compared to last season will lead to a higher than 10th place finish.
All comments are welcome, but please, don’t be too harsh!
You can view the complete auction results here