Category Archives: Pickups

NL Roundup (4/28)

By nichols33

NL East:

Atlanta: Jo-Jo Reyes is struggling and Tommy Hanson has 29 Ks in 20.6 innings in AAA. If Hanson is available in your league, go get him. He could be a two start pitcher in week 5 if the Braves call him up.

Florida: Hanley Ramirez dodged a HUGE bullet on Monday night. He was hit in right hand by a John Maine pitch. At first I thought for sure it was broken but he was back on te bench, all smiles, a few innings later. X-Rays were negative and Ramirez will be back to mashing soon enough.

Matt Lindstrom has be horrendous and the WBC curse may be the cause. Lindstrom was injured during the WBC and has not been the same since. Leo Nunez would be the Marlins closer should Lindstrom lose the job. Neither warrant consideration in leagues of 12 teams and under.

New York: David Wright is struggling. He is striking out at an alarming rate. But there are signs he is about to bust out of his slump. He is starting to go the other way a bit more, hitting deep line drives to center. He just missing some pitches as well, fouling them off instead of putting them in play. Expect week 5 to be the start of this notorious slow starter’s MVP runner up season (Pujols might win the next 5 MVPs).

Philadelphia: Brad Lidge has a bum knee and Ryan Madsen got the save on Monday night. Watch this situation closely. The Phillies win a ton of games and will provide ample save opportunities for any closer.

Washington: Joe Beimel is going to be the closer when he comes off the DL next week. Joel Hanrahan has been the worst closer in baseball in this young season. The Nationals won’t get too many save opportunities for Beimel, but he’s worth a look in large leagues.

Don’t look now, but Adam Dunn has hit HRs in back-to-back games. This could be the start of a hot streak for Mr. Dunn where he hits 4 to 5 HRs in a week.

NL Central:

Cincinnati: Going into the season, the Reds looked to have one of the better starting rotations in the league. But so far they’ve been pretty erratic. Up until tonight’s start, Harang was the only one putting up consistent solid starts. Edison Volquez, Jonny Cueto, Bronson Arroyo and Micah Owings has all had flashes of brilliance but also some flashes of Oliver Perez.

Chicago: Derrek Lee is done. He had a great career but he is done. He’s hit 8 HRs since last May. He has no power and is hitting .209 this year. If you own him, see if his name can get you anything for him. I don’t think you can name a starting 1B I would not trade him straight up for.

Houston: Jose Valverde is going on the DL and manager Cecil Cooper has said he’ll play the match-up game when choosing who will close games out while Valverde is out. LaTroy Hawkins may get some saves in the interim.

Milwaukee: Mike Cameron is on fire. Cameron is hitting .328 with 5 HRs and probably most telling 12 BBs to 13 Ks. Don’t expect this to last but see if you can ride him until he goes back to hitting .250 and striking out 3 times for every walk.

Pittsburgh: Did you know Freddy Sanchez was hitting .359?!?! Neither did I, that hasn’t to be the quietest .359 month I’ve ever seen. Sanchez is capable of winning a batting title so if you need average and runs and have plenty of power already in your lineup, Sanchez may be a nice fit.

St. Louis: Quick, who leads the NL in wins? Some of you might have guessed Chad Billingsly and you’d be correct, but how many of you said Joel Pineiro? Both Pineiro and Billingsly have started the season 4 and 0. Expect Billingsly to continue his dominance of the NL while Joel Pineiro should come back down to earth.

NL West:

Arizona: Ouch….Stephen Drew just hit the DL and news came out that Brandon Webb will not be ready for another 6 weeks. Drew is an early candidate for bust of the year. If you got him this year you got him early, let’s hope he gets healthy and continues to develop into one of the top offensive shortstops in baseball. As for Webb, MRIs have revealed no structural damage, just fluid in the shoulder. If you are a gambling fantasy player see if a frustrated owner will give you Webb for $0.25 on the dollar. 3 and 1/2 months of Webb could propel you to a championship.

Colorado: Ian Stewart has played 5 games at 2B. In some leagues that makes him 2B eligible and if Stewart can stay in the lineup day after day he could be a top 10 2B in mixed leagues.

Los Angeles: Andre Either is an on-base machine. He has a .429 OBP and is on pace to drive in 154 runs. Obviously he’ll cool down, but this 27 year old is taking the step!!

San Deigo: I’ve read a number of reports where people are alarmed at Chris Young’s radar gun readings. Last night he was consistently in the mid 80s topping out around 87 mph. News flash, that’s Chris Young. Yes he’s 6’10” but he’s never thrown hard. Young is a spot specialist and has 3 real good games this year and 2 blow ups including last nights 5 BB, 7 ER loss in Colorado. His two bad games have been in Philly and Denver. Young may be this year’s Wandy Rodriguez where you start him at home and avoid him on the road.

San Francisco: Pablo Sandoval has been behind the plate in Barry Zito’s last two starts. His bat is going to play much better at C when compared to 1B or 3B if he can get catcher eligibility.

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Filed under Injuries, NL News, Observations, Pickups, Prospects

Diamonds in the Rough – Fantasy Sleepers

by mrCane

Before the draft there is always talk about sleepers.  This year guys like Nelson Cruz, Chris Volstad and Josh Johnson come to mind.  Now that we are in week two many owners will go into panic mode, cutting guys they had previously thought so highly about.  In many roto leagues it is difficult to understand your teams weaknesses until the first month is complete (assuming its not H2H).  Its ok to make some adjusments before then, but waiving guys simply because they are batting .200 is unjust.  If this same hitter was playing well and went into a 2 week slump but it was June, you would never think twice about keeping them.  Here are some names who have recently been cut, and might be your Diamond in the Rough.

Kelly Shoppach/Ramon Hernandez – Both catchers coming into the year were seen as sleepers.  With Shoppach now in an opportunity to surpass last years AB’s, 20 hr is still a reasonable expectation.  Hernandez playing in that little league park in Cincy should be able to hit just under 20hr.  Now neither player is going to crack to the top tier, but in virtually all leagues, both guys should be owned.

Chien-Ming Wang –  I think people forget that Wang had a major foot injury and didn’t pitch for quite a long time.  I’m not the biggest Wang fan because of his lack of K’s but he should be owned in all AL-only leagues and deeper mixed (say 12 teams or bigger).  If you recall, in 2007 Wang had an ERA north of 5.00 for the month of April.  He finished the season with 19 wins and a 3.70 era. 

John Maine – Maine didn’t come into the season as hyped as last season, but people were optimistic he could be a servicable 3rd or 4th starter depending on the league.  He still has nice strikeout potential, and in match ups (assuming you have a bench) could be more valuable.  Two very important points about Maine; good offense, great bullpen equals wins.

Billy Butler/Pablo Sandoval  – Both of these portly men have been declared by many minds as very good hitters.  One NL scout said Sandoval could flat out hit.  Butler is a little different because he has played this tune before.  No matter how disappointing the first week is, these guys don’t get cut.  Both should hit about .285 reach 15hr and drive in 80 rbi.

These are just a couple names, and there could be others.  In a 15 team mixed league I’m in one owner cut Kelly Johnson the second day of the season.  Keep your eyes open on the waiver wire for players who can help your team.  Chances are if you liked them a couple weeks ago, you should give them a chance to prove their worth.

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Week 2 Two Start Pitchers

By nichols33

For those of you planning your lineups in leagues where you set your lineup on a weekly basis (Mon to Sun), here are the two start pitchers for next week (April 13th to the 19th):

Must Starts: Scott Kazmir (vs NYY; vs CHW), Jon Lester (@ Oak; vs Bal), Chad Billingsly (vs SF; vs Col), Yovani Gallardo (vs Cin; @ NYM), Edinson Volquez (@ Mil; @ Hou), A.J. Burnett (@TB; vs Cle), Zack Greinke (vs Cle; @ Tex), Gavin Floyd (@ Det; @ TB), Ted Lilly (vs Col; vs StL), Chris Carpenter (@ Ari; @ ChC), Javier Vazquez (vs Fla; @ Pit), Kevin Slowey (vs Tor; vs Ana), Mike Pelfrey (vs SD; vs Mil)

Start under most circumstances: Chien-Ming Wang (@TB; vs Cle), John Danks (@ Det; @ TB), Matt Garza (vs NYY; vs ChW), Ubaldo Jimenez (@ ChC; @ LAD), Randy Johnson (@ LAD; vs Ari), Chris Volstad (@ Atl; @ Was), Kyle Davies (vs Cle; @ Tex), Glen Perkins (vs Tor; vs Ana)

Worth a gamble if you need a 5th starter for the week: Max Scherzer (vs StL; @ SF), Jamie Moyer (@ Was; vs SD), Vicente Padilla (vs Bal; vs KC), Zach Duke (vs Hou; vs Atl)

Seek better options: Fausto Carmona (@ KC; @ NYY), Koji Uehara (@ Tex; @ Bos), Jesse Litsch (@ Min; vs Oak), Todd Wellemeyer (@ Ari; @ ChC), Zach Minor (vs ChW; @ Sea)

You are crazy to start: Dallas Braden (vs Bos; @ Tor), Ricky Romero (@ Min; vs OAK), Doug Davis (vs StL; @ SF), Daniel Cabrera (vs Phi; vs Fla), Carl Pavano (@ KC; @ NYY); Walter Silva (@ NYM; @ Phi), Brian Moehler (@ Pit; vs Cin), Carlos Silva (vs Ana; vs Det), Shane Loux (@ Sea; @ Min)

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Early Season thoughts…

by notebookguy

Baseball season is finally here, let’s take a look at some of the early developments.  I know a game or 2 doesn’t mean much but when looking for the next McLouth, Quentin, Cl. Lee, and so on, it’s time to start looking.

Adam Jones, the speedy CF for the O’s, was on base 5 times against CC and the Yanks on opening day, with 3 hits and 2 walks.

Fantasy Baseball Advice:  Jones had alot of hype behind him coming into the year, I was one that was buying it but not completely sold, this is a good start.  If you grabbed him in your draft, see if an overzealous owner is will to buy high, if not, take a wait and see approach, a sleeper for 15-20 HR’s and 20+ SB’s.

Jay Bruce put a nice swing on a Johan Santana pitch to hit it out of the park.  A very encouraging sign for the young left handed slugger considering Santana is the best pitcher in the game and is also left-handed.  Bruce also was hitting 5th after Brandon Phillips, a great spot, better than the 2 hole as it was initially thought to be his spot in the Reds lineup.

Fantasy Baseball Advice:  Love Bruce this year.  Hanging in and homering against Johan is great for the lefthanded hitter as well.  If you snagged Bruce in you draft, nice job, I’d just ride the wave, drafted as a number 3 OF that could produce number 1 OF numbers.

The Braves and fantasy baseball owners alike got a raw deal in the person of Jeff Francoeur last year.  This much hyped youngster came into last season tabbed the next young Brave to explode onto the scene.  He fizzled big time with a Jason Varitek-esque year.  He’s off to a nice start this year though, homering on opening day, driving in 2 more runs already in todays game.

Fantasy Baseball Advice:  Great post hype buy.  Still a very young player at just 25 years old, he could still fulfill some of the promise he showed 2 years ago.  If you grabbed him in the very late rounds of your draft, you may have steal on your hands, at the very least enjoy the nice first 3 games.

Kevin Millwood, you may remember him as a Brave the last time he had much relevance, but he put together a very nice 7 inning, 1 earned run, 5 hits against,  5 K performance for the Rangers on opening day.  He was a borderline ace in his Braves days, he hasn’t been much since signing with the Rangers.

Fantasy Baseball Advice:  If you are dealing with some injuries to your staff, he may be a guy to look at.  He is also useful in leagues with benches that you pick a starting lineup, could be useful to mix in when he has 2 starts.  I am in no way declaring Kevin Millwood is as good as he was back with the Braves, but he could be a useful pitcher with good win potential with that offense backing him up, and can still rack up K’s at times.  His peripherals, WHIP and ERA, will probably be high, but he can contribute to your team.

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Picking Up and Dropping Off

by tallkid1

One of the keys to success in fantasy baseball is making the right pickups at the right time and knowing when to cut bait with players that are eating up roster space over, or even worse, hurting your team with poor play. Below are the most popular roster trends in fantasy baseball in the past week according to our CBS Sports league:

Catchers Most Added: Kelly Shoppach (Cleveland) and John Baker (Florida)

Catchers Most Dropped: Jason Kendall (Milwaukee)

Fantasy Advice:  Catcher is always a thin position, but Shoppach is a low end starter with a potential to be more. But the combination of Victor Martinez at catcher and Ryan Garko at first base could limit his ABs. Baker is a low end backup in fantasy, don’t pick him up unless you’re absolutely desperate. There was a time when Jason Kendall could help you with batting average and SB’s but he’s pretty worthless now hitting .246 with 2 HR and 8 SB’s in 2008. He’s a backup in mixed leagues at best and a low end starter in NL only leagues.

First Basemen Most Added: Travis Ishikawa (San Francisco)

First Basemen Most Dropped: Kevin Millar (Florida)

Fantasy Advice: The 25 year old Ishikawa is a decent sleeper in NL only leagues and a potential decent backup in mixed leagues. He has proven he can hit for some power in spring training and with the Giants lineup being so terrible he could get an opportunity to play a lot. Millar on the other hand is a declining player who was never that valuable to begin with, if you have him on your team get rid of him and pick up a youngster with upside like Ishikawa.

Second Basemen Most Added: Felipe Lopez (Arizona) and Clint Barmes (Colorado)

Second Basemen Most Dropped: Jeff Kent

Fantasy Advice: Lopez is a backup that won’t score you much in any particular category. Barmes is a low end second basemen that could help out in a few categories while hitting in Colorado. Don’t pick either of these guys up unless you’re desperate for a second basemen. Oh and Jeff Kent retired, so don’t draft him or try to pick him up. And if you did draft him, then grab Barmes or Lopez.

Third Basemen Most Added: Emilio Bonafacio (Florida), David Freese (St. Louis) and Brandon Inge (Detroit)

Third Basemen Most Dropped: Troy Glaus (St. Louis)

Fantasy Advice: Bonafacio is another young Marlin who won a starting role this spring. While he’s naturally a second basemen he will play third in ’09 and start the season as the Marlins’ leadoff hitter. While third base is thin this season, there should be no reason to take a chance on Emilio unless you really need some SB’s or if you’re in a large NL only league. Inge is moving back to third base but I’m not sure why anyone would pick him up. His power has declined for the past three years and his batting average has declined for five straight years to a pathetic .205 last year. Troy Glaus has a setback in his rehabiliation from shoulder surgery and is out until at least mid-June, so cut him immediately and look to make a trade rather than pick up his replacement David Freese who is much of an unknown. There are close to 20 other players eligible at third base that are better than any of the top three that are being picked up so it would make the most sense to look to trade to improve at third.

Shorstops Most Added: Khalil Greene (St. Louis)

Shortsops Most Dropped: Bobby Crosby (Oakland)

Fantasy Advice: Greene has good power but his average and OBP are usually pretty low. He’s a decent pickup if you’re in need of a shortstop. Oakland went out of there way to sign veteran Orlando Cabrera to play shortstop this year instead of Crosby so forget about him. The former rookie of the year is a total bust and not worth your time in fantasy.

Outfielders Most Added: Jordan Schafer (Atlanta) and Marcus Thames (Detroit)

Outfielders Most Dropped: Nick Swisher (New York Yankees) and Juan Pierre (LA Dodgers)

Fantasy Advice: Schafer is a high end prospect, pick him up as a 5th OF with potential for much more. Detroit just traded for Josh Anderson from the Braves so that may mean less playing time for Thames than expected by those who have picked him up this past week. Swisher is in a battle for playing time in the deep Yankee outfield, he’s only worthwhile in deep AL only leagues or unless there is an injury to one of his teammates that will create more playing time. Pierre is an odd man out in LA but he could add SBs. If he’s traded to another team he could end up with more value.

Starting Pitchers Most Added: Rick Porcello (Detroit), Dallas Braden (Oakland) and Trevor Cahill (Oakland)

Starting Pitchers Most Dropped: Mike Mussina, Pedro Martinez and Clay Bucholz (Boston)

Fantasy Advice: Porcello and Bucholz are top pitching prospects. The difference is Bucholz pitches for a team with much more depth and therefore he’s headed back to the minor leagues. Porcello on the other hand is the fourth starter in Detroit and has a high upside though you might want to have him as your 6th or 7th starter for now. Keep an eye on the Red Sox pitching staff to see if Bucholz gets an opportunity to return to the team. Cahill and Braden are also young prospects with upside though they’re the best pitchers on the Oakland staff right now (Braden is the opening day starter). Like Porcello they both have some upside though they’re probably a better fit on your team as backups unless you’re desperate. Mike Mussina retired and Pedro Martinez is a free agent without a team, so don’t draft them and cut them if you have them now.

Closers Most Added: Carlos Villanueva (Milwaukee) and Fernando Rodney (Detroit)

Closers Most Dropped: Chris Perez (St. Louis) and Billy Wagner (New York Mets)

Fantasy Advice: Rodney was named the closer in Detroit for the start of the season and is a decent #2 option for saves though his ERA is rarely below four. Villanueva is a decent short term stop gap while Trevor Hoffman is on the DL. Chris Perez was demoted to the minors so you should drop him for now but watch the situation in St. Louis since Jason Motte, who won the job, doesn’t have much experience either. Wagner had Tommy John surgery in the offseason so he shouldn’t be on your team.

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