Tag Archives: Aaron Harang

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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Observations (4/13)

By nichols33

Citi Field, the new home of the New York Mets, plays big…..real big. Both David Wright and Carlos Beltran smoked balls to dead center but they were just a can of corn for center fielder Jody Gerut. Down the lines are short but power alley to power alley, that place is big. Comparable to Petco park in San Diego.

Josh Johnson and Johan Santana had a good ole fashion duel in Miami on Sunday. One of the best games I’ve had a pleasure to watch recently. Johan struck out 13 Marlins and was only done in by a Daniel Murphy horrendous error. Johnson matched him frame for frame going the distance and nearly pitching a shutout. Peter Gammons predicted Johnson to win the NL Cy Young award this year. Some of Gammons’ recent predictions have been WAY off, but this one may come to fruition.

The Padres pitching staff after Jake Peavy and Chris Young might as well be a page ripped out of the yellow pages. Who are these guys? Frankie De La Cruz, Jae-Kuk Ryu, Kevin Correia, Luke Gregerson, Justin Hampson, Cla Meredith, Edwin Moreno, Edward Mujica, Luis Perdomo, Walter Silva!!??!?!? Bueller? Anyone?

Kevin Gregg will not be the closer for the Cubs on May 1st. It was ridiculous that he even won the job in the first place but you can see the frustration in Lou Pinella’s face as he watching Gregg pitch. Gregg had a 4 run lead last night versus the Brewers and had to strike out Prince Fielder who was the tying run to end the game. Carlos Marmol looked unhittable in the 8th.

Aaron Harang is an ace again. He threw a complete game shutout yesterday versus the Pirates after a very nice start against the Mets on opening day. He looked very good against the Mets in bad weather and followed that up with the gem yesterday. Harang will get a number of starts against poor teams like the Pirates, the Astros and the Brewers and is a low end #1 fantasy pitcher.

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Observations (4/6)

By nichols33

Aaron Harang threw the ball pretty good today. He had good location pretty much staying on the outside corner all day against all of the left handed bats the Mets put up against him. Good to see he has his control early. He threw a lot of pitches but he looked good.

Johan Santana is off to a good start. His change up was on today and he didn’t give up a hit until Jay Bruce’s double of the wall that nearly left the yard. The Mets bullpen came in and did just as expected shutting down the Reds for 3.3 innings. If Santana doesn’t win the Cy Young award in the NL this year, I’d be really surprised.

Chris Ianetta’s homerun off of Brandon Webb would have left any park including Yellowstone. Webb could not spot his fastball and was pitching behind in the count nearly every batter. Aaron Cook was far worse if possible. Hopefully for Webb, his control will come back in his next start and he’ll keep the ball down. His ball stayed up an awful lot today.

Tony Clark started for the Diamondbacks at 1B today and hit 2 HRs. Chad Tracy played 3B and Mark Reynolds was on the bench. I’d expect these three guys to split the ABs for these 2 positions. Bob Melvin also started Eric Byrnes over Justin Upton. Interesting stuff, but I’d expect Justin Upton to get more at bats than Byrnes. Conor Jackson and Chris Young will likely start nearly every day at the other two OF spots.

Chad Qualls looked real good today. He was throwing strikes and throwing hard. He is a very solid closer in all leagues and could be top 10 by the end of the year.

CC Sabathia really struggled today. The Orioles got a lot of good wood on the ball and really waited for Sabathia to throw strikes today. If that wasn’t tough enough it seems like every little dribbler in the infield found a hole or bounced off the ends of the infielders glove. The Yankee’s infield defense was not doing CC any favors today.

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Opening Day

by mrCane

One of the best day’s of the year, besides draft day of course, is baseball opening day.  It’s when fantasy owners finally get to the see rosters they’ve assembled put into action.  Some teams and players will get off to amazing starts while others will inch out of the gate.  Keep your emotions stable and enjoy the ride.  Here are just a couple of things to look for today, opening day.

Aaron Harang gets to take on Johan Santana and the NY Mets.  It will be interesting to see how Harang fares after his awful 2008 season.  On the other side, Johan is not pitching in nice weather right now.  I will be curious to see if the cold has any effect on his arm tightening up over the course of the game.  Remember that Johan did have elbow stiffness earlier this spring.  A couple other young players to watch are Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, who I predict will both struggle a great deal with Johan.  I think the mets take this one 4-2.

Cliff Lee is going to get pounded by the Texas Rangers.  Look for Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz to have big games.  Micheal Young is over at third base adding to his eligibility this year.  Let’s see how Travis Hafner responds to offseason shoulder surgery.  I predict Hafner hits less than 20hr, say 17 this year. 

Ricky Nolasco is going to have a day with the Washington Nationals.  The Nationals have far too many guys who whiff, most notably Adam Dunn.  Nolasco should strike out 9 while the Marlins kick this season off with a win.  Its time to Cameron Maybin excite fantasy managers across the nation.

Toronto and Detroit square off where Justin Verlander will no doubt lose to Roy Halladay.  I don’t like Verlander this year, not one bit.  There are about 40 or more pitchers I would take before him.  I think Verlander struggles to get through 5IP and then the Detroit bullpen gets lit up by the Toronto bats.

In a battle of Aces, King Felix duals Francisco Liriano with two teams who’s offenses need work.  I like the Twins in this, because they are at home and their team has the ability to manufacture runs when needed.  Twins take this one 3-2 on opening day.  I am curious to see who the Mariners send out to the mound in the 8th and 9th inning if they are ahead. 

Another battle of aces are Roy Oswalt and Carlos Zambrano.  I like the Cubs all the way in this one.  Lance Berkman is still struggling with his shoulder and without him in the lineup, its a different Astros team.  Soriano was red hot to end the spring and Oswalt got off to a slow start last year, it will be interesting to see what happens this year.

These are just some of the games that are going to be fun to watch in what should be another great fantasy baseball season.  Good luck to all!

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Overrated and Underrated Part Deux.

by notebookguy

Here’s a look at some more guys that are going too early in drafts and guys that are hanging around too long in the draft.
As always Average Draft Position(ADP) courtesy of mockdraftcentral.com and all round estimates are based on a 5×5, 15 team league.

Overrated

Carl Crawford, OF, Rays, ADP 29.3
His 3 year averages of .300 BA, 12 HR, 71 RBI, 84 R, and 44 SB are nice numbers but he has been consistently declining since 2006 with his OPS going from .830 in 2006 to .719 in 2008. A one hundred plus point drop in OPS is alarming, even more so when the player was quoted last year as saying he felt like “the oldest 27 year old ever”. Not exactly an encouraging quote from a guy you are gonna’ be relying on for SB’s. He goes nearly a round before Brian Roberts, Matt Kemp, and Alex Rios and 2 rounds ahead of Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino I’d rather wait and take any one of these players. Use that 2nd or 3rd round pick on a big bat or a big time ace then grab a player that will be as good or better than Crawford a round or two later.

All Closers

I can not stress this enough.  They are one category players.  Papelbon, Lidge, K-Rod, and Nathan all are usually off the board in the draft in the 5th or 6th round, that is a wasted pick.  You can not pass on a player that helps you in 4 or 5 categories for a guy that is a one category specialist.  If you have a choice between Papelbon and Dan Haren, take Dan Haren.  Brad Lidge and Magglio Ordonez, take Magglio Ordonez.  There is a popular misconception out there that closers help you in WHIP and ERA as well, it’s a myth.  Most leagues require 900 IP as a minimum.  A closer pitches 60 innings, that is 7% of the MINIMUM IP, most teams exceed that number so it’s even less a percentage than that.  This will have a very minimal affect on a teams WHIP and ERA.  Another mark against closers is that a third of the closers that start the year as their teams closers don’t end the year as their teams closers.  That’s an awful lot of volatility for one category.  Now I’m not saying punt the category, you never want to punt a category, I’m saying be patient, you’ll be able to get saves late in the draft and off the waiver wire once closers start imploding.

Derrek Lee, 1B, Cubs, ADP 73.63

.301 BA, 17 HR, 67 RBI, 71 R, 7 SB is his 3 year average.  Now I really shouldn’t need to say more, but just in case you don’t understand why that’s not worth a 5th or 6th round pick, I’ll expound.  Those numbers look eerily similar to players like James Loney(ADP 96.45), Conor Jackson(205.72), and Carlos Guillen(226.31) who all go MUCH later than D. Lee.  That 2005 MVP caliber season is a distant memory, do not trick yourself into thinking he may rebound into that type of player again, not going to happen.  He is 33 years old this season, an age when a player starts exiting his prime, it could get worse from here.  Let someone else pay for the name.

AJ Burnett, SP, Yankees, ADP 99.33

This is a man who loves to get paid, not play baseball.  Burnett’s two best seasons have just so happened to be the years he could hit the free agent market 2005 and 2008.  In Burnett’s six other full seasons since 2001 he has averaged just under 21 starts a season.  So outside of the 2 years he was looking at a big pay day he’s missed a third of his starts in those 6 seasons.  The Yankees were foolish to give him a 5 year 83 million dollar deal and you’d be foolish to take him as your ace or 2nd starter in the 7th round.  He is going to sit back, get out there when he feels like it, collect his checks, and be Carl Pavano: The Sequel.  He goes ahead of solid starting pitchers that will get you 30 starts with real good numbers like Jon Lester, C. Zambrano, M. Cain, Dice K, D. Lowe, and Javier Vazquez; inury/bounce back candidates Justin Verlander, Yovani Gallardo, Adam Wainwright, Br. Myers, A. Harang, and C. Young(Pads); and youngsters that may take another step up Edinson Volquez, R. Nolaso, and Greinke.  I recommend all these starters over AJ Burnett.

Howie Kendrick, 2B, Angels, ADP 124.41

Now a 9th round pick may not sound like much but this part of the draft is crucial, you can’t afford to give away a pick like this.  Anyone can pick pick productive players early in a draft, it’s getting impact players in the 9th-17th rounds that make a draft.  Howie Kendrick is the furthest thing from an impact player.  A 3 year average of .306 BA, 4 HR, 35 RBI, 41 R, and 7 SB, averaging 315 AB’s per season.  Do you really want to take a 2B that plays half of a season with unimpressive numbers in the 9th round?  Wait 100+ plus picks and take Polanco(ADP 229.96), Weeks(ADP 233.36), M. Ellis(ADP 256.36), O. Hudson(ADP 275.91), or Akinori Iwamura(ADP 284.31).  These players will give you more than Kendrick and are more likely to stay healthy, though Ellis and Weeks have had their health troubles, you can afford that risk in the 15th or 16th round, not the 9th.

Underrated

Cameron Maybin, OF, Marlins, ADP 264.2

This speedy prospect is set to be the Marlins CF and leadoff hitter on opening day this year, with the clear #1 pick in this years drafts Hanley Ramirez moving to 3rd in the lineup.  While I agree the move in the lineup is clearly due to Hanley’s RBI potential in the 3 spot, it also shows the Marlins confidence that Maybin can handle the leadoff duties at the major league level.  He will struggle, as most rookies do, with batting average as well as overall consistency, but Maybin can be a great SB and R source and can be had in the 18th round.  30+ SB’s that late is a steal on it’s own, combine that with Maybins overall offensive upside and you will have yourself a gem for one of your last picks.

Rick Ankiel, OF, Cardinals, ADP 221.12

Ankiel does come with injury risks, but the 15th round is a great time to be taking those types of risks.  Ankiel is the starting pitcher turned OF that slugged 25 HR’s in just 413 AB’s last year.  He is smack in the middle of the prime of his career and if he can reach the 500 AB plateau he will hit 30+ HR’s.  Finding a 30 HR bat at this point of the draft is grand theft, snag Ankiel around the 14th or 15th round and possibly get top 25 OF production.

Conor Jackson, 1b/OF, Diamondbacks, ADP 205.72

The Diamondbacks number 3 hitter this year will be Conor Jackson.  A line of .300 BA, 15-20 HR’s, 100 R’s, 100 RBI’s, and 10 SB’s is very atainable hitting in the middle of that lineup in a hitter friendly park.  Jackson will be 26 this season, just entering his prime, is ready to take his game to another level, don’t miss the boat.  He can be had for a 13th or 14th round pick and will far outproduce that spot.

Ted Lilly, SP, Cubs, ADP 199.79

This lefthander is as steady a SP as you’re going to find, how does he go in the 14th round on a regular basis?  He has averaged 16 W, 173 K, 4.07 ERA, and a 1.29 WHIP, that is solid 4 category production.  Injuries are not a concern either as he has averaged 33 starts a season for the last 3 years.  He is 33 years old so don’t expect him to exceed these numbers, but you can expect more of the same steady production for the next few years.  Grab him in the 12th or 13th round as your 4th starter and get borderline 2nd starter stats.

Aaron Harang, SP, Reds, ADP 158.91

Bounce back special on the big right hander this year.  From 2005-2007 Harang was one of the top pichers in the game averaging  14 W, 199 K, 3.78 ERA, and a 1.23 WHIP, great 4 category production.  I give him a mulligan for last year due to injury, he’s 30 years old in his prime, he will bounce back fine.  Grab him in the 9th or 10th round and get borderline ace production.

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