Tag Archives: Brian Fuentes

AL at a Glance 4/9

by mrCane

Before we start this, I want to point out that everything we know can end without warning.  Nick Adenhart, a 22 year old pitcher from the Anaheim Angels was killed this morning when his car was struck by a van.  I obviously don’t know Nick, his friends, his family but want to acknowledge the tradgedy of what took place.  No one deserves to pass at the age of 22.

So far in this young season there have some performers who have stood out.  Many are people you would expect by their draft position, others are nice surprises.  Some we can expect this trend to continue, while others are much less likely to continue with their current performance.

Adam Lind has 2 HR including his 6rbi game against Detroit.  He is a kid I expect will continue his current trend, though not at this pace.  Two Detroit pitchers, Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello, have had very similar results.  The difference between the two is many owners drafted Verlander as a top 40 pitcher while Porcello in any league but a keeper probably went undrafted.  Fantasy Advice:  Ride the Lind wave, I feel like he is going to have a very good year; say 20hr 85rbi.  Verlander you should dump and get as much as you can from any owner willing to pay for the name.  Porcello is a guy strictly for keepers as he plays on a team with an awful bullpen.

Most of the Minnesota pitching staff has been medicore, which is suprising because they were at home against a lowly Mariners offense.  Glen Perkins was the one exception going 8IP 1ER.  Brandon Morrow finally got his first save of the year after his loss of control in his first appearance.  Fantasy Advice:  I like all the Minnesota pitchers, mostly for matchups.  Francisco Liriano, Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey are all guys I start every week.  Glen Perkins and Nick Blackburn are decent larger mixed league options for the right match up.

A couple things I want to point out from the Orioles verse Yankees series.  An offense of Brian Robers, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Aubrey Huff will cause fits for many of the teams in the AL EAST, and this is without Matt Wieters who hasn’t been called up yet.   Adam Jones in particular looked good, driving the ball to right center off Sabathia.  While CC looked bad, AJ Burnett was able to be quite effective going 51/3 IP with 6 strike outs.  The notoriously slow starters Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira both homered.  Nick Swisher even got the start and took advantage with a home run of his own.  Fantasy Advice:  Jump on the Jones bandwagon, I have been since spring training.  He will be 20/20 this year.  Be patient with CC but Burnett is a guy I never like on my team, deal him after a few good outings and avoid the DL stint.

Tampa Bay pitchers Matt Garza and Scott Kazmir looked great against the Red Sox.  With James Shields Tampa has 3 top 30 starting pitchers.  Throw in the ever steady Andy Sonnanstine and David Price waiting in the wings; Tampa has the horses to repeat as Division champs.  David Ortiz performance thus far is discouraging, even with the very small sample size.  The Red Sox and fantasy homers need Big Papi to approach 30hr this year to justify his draft day value.  Fantasy Advice:  Look for a guy like Garza, you might be able to still get him cheap, you won’t in a couple weeks.  If you can get some name recognition from a Big Papi fan, deal the slugger away.  It kills me as a sox fan but I think Ortiz is only good for 25hr this year, not worth his draft day price.

Kyle Davies was a source of hype as a sleeper pitcher and he lived up to that bill in his first start.  Unfortunately he was matched pitch by pitch by John Danks.  Jim Thome was a slugger I targeted late on draft day.  I feel Thome is a lock for 30hr with the possibilty of hitting more depending on his health.  The Royals pitching with Meche, Grienke and Davies is actually a formidable 1, 2, 3 combination with a closer to slam the door.  Fantasy Advice:  Danks I like to be a top 35 pitcher by years end and Davies seems like a viable larger mix league option now. 

The Cleveland Indians will not win the AL Central.  They don’t have the pitching to pull it off.  Carl Pavano is their third starter and Cliff Lee will regress from last years stellar performance.  Their offense is good, evidence by Grady Sizemores 2 hr game, but not great with lots of guys who strike out.  Kevin Millwood looked good in his first outing and has an offense to back him up.  Nelson Cruz is on the board with a 2 hr game, he may have finally arrived.  Fantasy Advice:  Sell sell sell Cliff Lee if you can, while I don’t think is as bad as his first start, I do see a 4 ERA and 12 wins, not what you expect if you draft him as your number 1 pitcher.  Kelly Shoppach is the guy behind the plate, check your waiver wire for a 20hr catcher. 

It didn’t take long for Brian Fuentes to raise doubts about his ability to close games in the AL.  With two great arms in back of him (Jose Arredondo, Scott Shields) he won’t have much of a leash with Mike Scioscia.  Oaklands young guns, Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson, are both in the starting rotation and Brad Ziegler is the closer with Joey Devine out of the picture and in Dr. Andrews office.  Fantasy Advice:  I’m not sold on Fuentes, if you have a spot on your bench I would grab Arredondo.  Stay away from the young Oakland pitchers, though they will have good outings, they will be inconsistent and frustrating.

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Closing Time (3/30)

rick-vaughn1By nichols33

A look at who is going to be getting save opportunities division by division. Average Draft Position courtesy of CBSSportsline.com.

AL East:

Boston: Jonathan Papelbon is downplaying concerns over his arm.  (ADP: 53.74) New York: Mariano Rivera is locked and ready to go. (ADP: 82.57) Tampa Bay: Troy Percival has looked very strong this spring coming off an injury shortened season. Take him late, but expect a trip or two to the DL. (ADP: 209.87) Toronto: B.J. Ryan is the man in for the Blue Jays. His poor spring might be a bit concerning but he is a very solid 2nd closer, not so much as your one. (ADP: 141.78) Baltimore: George Sherrill (ADP: 222.29) has looked horrible this spring and has even been quoted as saying he wouldn’t mind if Chris Ray (ADP: 231.02) started the season as the closer. Avoid both unless you are really digging for saves.

AL Central:

Chicago: Bobby Jenks is the big man for Ozzie. Lower end #1 closer, great #2. (ADP: 135.99) Cleveland: Kerry Wood is going one closer after Jenks in most drafts. I might take him ahead of Jenks but wouldn’t fault anybody for going the other way. Be sure to have a good back-up, Wood already has been injured. (ADP: 137.08) Kansas City: Joakim Soria is a top 5 closer. If Kansas City is as improved as Peter Gammons is saying…..more save opps! (ADP: 119.16) Detroit: Joel Zumaya is on his way to the DL. Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon (ADP: 230.60) are stinking it up…..avoid everybody in Detroit. Minnesota: Joe Nathan is money. Has a case to be the first closer taken. (ADP: 76.12)

AL West:

Los Angeles: I like Brian Fuentes this year, I like him a lot. Yahoo.com has concerns with his low velocity this spring, but I’m not. The Angels’ style of play is condusive to close games and lots of save opps for Fuentes. (ADP: 129.22) Texas: Frank Francisco is a sleeper, draft him as your 2nd closer and watch him outperform the 10 closers taken right before him. He’s going far too late. (ADP: 197.58) Seattle: Brandon Morrow is being moved to the bullpen and immediately jumps up to a top 15 closer. Only injuries are holding him back from being a top 6 closer. (ADP: 146.11) Oakland: Joey Devine (ADP: 199.10) and Brad Ziegler (ADP: 219.04) are going to split closer duties to start the season. Devine has the better stuff and will most likely be the one to take the job full-time at some point this season.

NL East:

New York: KRod is ready to take the big apple by storm. His celebratory style is going to win the fans over so long he converts the majority of his early season save attempts. The Phillies fans are going to HATE Rodriguez. (ADP: 47.53) Philadelphia: Brad Lidge is closing in on the consective save record after converting every save last season. Should be the 5th or 6th closer taken. (ADP: 85.55) Atlanta: Mike Gonzalez (ADP: 183.81) appears to have the job over Rafeal Soriano. But his velocity issues this spring are concerning. Nothing more than a back-up closer or a 2nd closer in a deep league. Florida: Matt Lindstrom (ADP: 203.30) still hopes to be ready by opening day after his WBC injury. Leo Nunez will get any save opps if Lindstorm is not ready but Lindstrom is the man when he is back. Washington: Joel Hanrahan is going after guys on the DL, guys who are pushing 50 years young….don’t make that mistake. He has no competition and the Nationals improved offense may keep them in more games this year….if their pitching hasn’t yet give up 10 runs. (ADP: 217.17)

NL Central:

Chicago: The Cubs have named Kevin Gregg (ADP: 199.92) the team’s closer over Carlos Marmol (ADP: 128.70) ruining a number of Fantasy team’s draft. You had to see this coming….Sweet Lou loves the veterans. Marmol will be the closer by July 1st…..mark it dude. Cincinnati: Francisco Cordero is a quality #1 closer. Nothing else to say. (ADP: 159.70) Pittsuburgh: Matt Capps is underrated. He is going after Chad Qualls, Trevor Hoffman and Huston Street in some drafts….why I do not know. (ADP: 188.72) Houston: Jose Valverde is one of the last #1 closers on the board. He, along with Broxton, should close out the run of top end closers. (ADP: 132.66) Milwaukee: Trevor Hoffman (ADP: 186.38) is going to start the year on the DL. Carlos Villanueva will get the saves to start the season. St. Louis: Chris Perez (ADP: 229.78) was sent down to AAA earlier today leaving Jason Motte (ADP: 225.44) appears to have won the job but Ryan Franklin could get some save opps.

NL West:

Los Angeles: Jonathan Broxton should be one of the top closers in the game for the next 5 years. Feel comfortable with him as your first closer. (ADP: 122.75) San Francisco: Brian Wilson has a near 5 ERA last season but is getting plenty of love from the fantasy world. The Giants are improved this year which may open up some vital save opps for Wilson. (ADP: 140.00) Colorado: The Rockies look to be playing it smart and showcasing Huston Street (ADP: 188.01) for trade bait later in the season. Street will start the year as the closer over Manny Corpas (ADP: 242.97). San Diego: Heath Bell is the closer but how many save opps is he going to get in San Diego. They’ll be lucky to win 60 games this year. (ADP: 201.40) Arizona: Chad Qualls excelled in the closer role late last season and will be the closer in the desert to start the season. Be careful though…he is one of those guys who was underrated in February but has swung to the overrated category rather quickly. (ADP: 183.36)

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5×5 Draft Recap – Part 2

By tallkid1

If you have read the “About Us” page on this blog you know that we are 5 guys that have been doing fantasy baseball together for over 10 years and this weekend was a BIG weekend. Saturday was a 12 team H2H points league draft that all 5 of us participated in and Sunday was a 15 team 5×5 Rotisserie league that all 5 of us participated in.

Since the H2H points league is a keeper league that allows draft pick trading it would be tough to explain why we did things where since each team had vastly different situations on draft day. But….the 5×5 draft was a start from scratch 5×5 league with 20 rosters spots where everybody starts. Over the next few days each of us will give a recap of our draft and hopefully provide some insight on what we were thinking and how it all panned out.

Team: Side Burns

Draft Position (Typical Serpentine Draft): 14th

I had the 14th pick in a 15 team league in a snake draft. Not the ideal spot since I miss out on the all of the elite players like Hanley, Pujols and Wright but but ok because I get two of the top 17 picks. I ended up getting Carlos Beltran at pick 14 which I was happy about because of his five category abilities and consistency over the past few years. Then at pick 17 I passed on Matt Holliday and Evan Longoria and grabbed Justin Morneau as I felt he was the safer pick.

I wanted a top 10 pitcher so I grabbed Roy Oswalt (ranked exactly 10th on my list) at the end of the third round and then I took Carl Crawford at the top of the fourth round because I felt he was the best player available (I had been hoping for Brian Roberts but he went a few picks earlier).

At this point I had two outfielders, a first basemen and a starting pitcher so I felt the need to start filling in the infield with solid players (especially since it’s a 15 team league). I took VMart in the 5th, Cano in the 6th and Peralta in the 7th.

In the 8th I grabbed Dice-K but I somewhat regret that pick as Adrian Beltre was still on the board and there were other pitchers like Matt Cain, Jared Weaver, Javier Vazquez and Ted Lilly that I could have drafted in the 9th or 10th round. In fact, I did pick Vazquez in the 9th to round out my third starter behind Oswalt and Dice-k. I then made another pick I wasn’t too happy with taking Brian Fuentes in the 11th. I typically follow the theory that you should punt closers because they tend to be very unstable outside of the top five or so but I panicked and drafted one because there had been a run.

Looking at my team at this point I felt good about pitching but I felt my offense, while mostly balanced, was short on power. So I took Rick Ankiel in the 12th thinking he can add 25+ HR as my 3rd OF. Then I went for the remaining 3B in Alex Gordon and Mike Lowell to fill that position, an obvious weak spot on my team unless Gordon really breaks out or Lowell somehow returns to 2007 form – with either scenario unlikely.

From here on out I wanted to add depth with balanced players that wouldn’t hurt me in any major category so I drafted Casey Kotchman, Scott Baker, Kyle Lohse and Jeff Francouer. Then I rounded out the draft with a few gambles on young players – Brandon Wood, Chris Perez and Matt LaPorta hoping either would break camp with starting spots, if not it’s waiver wire time.

Overall I have a pretty balanced team with Beltran, Crawford, Morneau and Oswalt leading the pack as players who can help in several categories. However I jumped the gun and left myself hanging at 3B (a shallow position I blogged about!). The bottom line is that you can build a solid team even with such a late pick in a 15 team league.

Projected Finish*: 14th out of 15 (68 total points)

(R: 10, HR: 10, RBI: 15, SB: 3, BA: 9, W: 4, Sv: 5, K: 2, ERA: 3, WHIP: 7)

* Based on Sportsline.com projections

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5×5 Draft Recap – Part 1

By nichols33

If you have read the “About Us” page on this blog you know that we are 5 guys that have been doing fantasy baseball together for over 10 years and this weekend was a BIG weekend. Saturday was a 12 team H2H points league draft that all 5 of us participated in and Sunday was a 15 team 5×5 Rotisserie league that all 5 of us participated in.

Since the H2H points league is a keeper league that allows draft pick trading it would be tough to explain why we did things where since each team had vastly different situations on draft day. But….the 5×5 draft was a start from scratch 5×5 league with 20 rosters spots where everybody starts. Over the next few days each of us will give a recap of our draft and hopefully provide some insight on what we were thinking and how it all panned out.darryl-strawberry

Team: Named after the great Darryl Strawberry

Draft Position (Typcial Serpentine Draft): 11th

Having the 11th pick I was hoping on scoring either Jimmy Rollins or Chase Utley. Well, mrcane was sitting with the 6th pick and we all know he loves Rollins so he went #6. In position #9, dtb23 (a Phils fan) was ready to scoop up Utley but he went one pick earlier at #8. Since I really wanted a 2B or SS I was planning on taking Kinsler….but Ryan Braun fell into my lap at pick #11. I thought about Beltran for a brief moment but went with Braun.

Coming back at pick #20 I was hoping on Evan Longoria but he went a couple picks early so I kind of went a bit early on Dustin Pedroia but I wanted a top 3 2B or top 3 SS and this was my only chance.

Going into the 3rd round I was happy to see a number of SPs flying off the board as my strategy was to put off pitching until at least the 6th round. For my pick in the 3rd I was eyeing Carlos Quentin and Matt Kemp but both went before it got back to me. With Aramis Ramirez sitting on the board I ensured my team of having a strong infield by snagging him in that spot.

For the 4th round I had some power and a bit of speed in Pedroia but I was looking to get a speedster and was eyeing Carl Crawford or Jacoby Ellsbury. Crawford went 3 picks before me so I settled in with Ellsbury.

For the 5th round I really wanted Stephen Drew to fall to me. He went about 8 picks before it got to me so I passed on the temptation to take Rafeal Furcal and instead solidified some power with Adam Dunn. I would have taken Bobby Abreu but he went 5 picks earlier to mrcane. Victor Martinez was also a consideration but I figured I’d be able to get him next pick about 10 picks away.

Turns out I was wrong as VMart went to tallkid1 and I chose Carlos Delgado because 1Bs were flying off the board and he was the only one left that I would be happy on as my starter.

Heading into the 7th I really needed to take some pitching since I planned on starting that in the 6th. There was still a number of “aces” on the board (Billingsly, Lester, Shields, Zambrano, Liriano, Gallardo, and F. Hernadez) all of whom went before my pick. I then chose Scott Kazmir for his Ks and followed up with Josh Johnson for his upside in the 8th round.

9th round I continued my quest to fill out my staff by selecting Joba Chamberlain. I was scouting Brett Myers but he went 2 picks earlier which I was fine with since I got him in my points league draft on Saturday. I really like Myers this year.

For the 1oth I was going to take my 1st closer and planned on Brian Fuentes. Mike Scioscia loves giving save opportunities only to his closer and their style of play really sets up a number of close games  so I think Fuentes is in line for quite a few saves this year. He went 2 picks before me and I reluctantly selected Kerry Wood.

Wood and I have a history. During his prime when he was the next Roger Clemens I once traded Nomar Garciaparra for Wood and Barry Larkin in a keeper league.  Wood proceeded to tear ligaments in his elbow 2 months later and Nomar became one of the top fantasy players for the next few years while I sat with an aging Barry Larkin. I must say I’m not a big fan of Wood.

My next few picks I took Ryan Doumit (can’t believe he was still there in the 11th), Matt Capps (wanted to ensure I got 2 guys guaranteed the job), Lastings Milledge (still wish he was a Met, love his power/speed combo) and Oliver Perez in the 14th (Ks!!! and his inconsistency doesn’t hurt as much in a total year tally league like it does in a H2H league).

For the rest of the draft there was slim pickings so I wanted to focus on young upside guys and guys who may be under-valued due to previous injuries. In the 15th I took Jeremy Hermida (great spring, last chance for this one-time stud prospect). I then took Max Scherzer (upside!!) and Todd Helton (great spring, is his back OK?).

I still did not have a shortstop and guys I was targeting for late in the draft (Yunel Escobar, Elvis Andrus, Ryan Theriot) had just come off the board so I continued to punt that category and took Jason Kubel (full time DH in Min, 27 years old). In the 19th I finally took a SS with Christain Guzman over Khalil Greene because I needed the avg more than the power.

I rounded out my draft with Edwin Jackson of the Tigers. I love this guy this year as a sleeper and I’ve so far got him in all 3 drafts I’ve done. I plan on scoring him as well in my 4th and final draft tomorrow night.

Overall I think my team came out pretty good. I wanted a better ace and I think I abandoned stolen bases a bit too much after the Milledge pick but I can pick some SBs during the season. If Josh Johnson and Joba Chamberlain bust out into super stardom this season and Kazmir stays healthy, I will have a real good team and do Darryl Strawberry proud!!

Projected Finish*: 6th out of 15 (81 total points)

(R: 9, HR: 9, RBI: 5, SB: 5, BA: 10, W: 6, Sv: 9, K: 14, ERA: 9, WHIP: 5)

* Based on Sportsline.com projections

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Closing Time

By nichols33wild-thing

One last call for alcohol, so finish your whiskey or beer…..

Here is a guide to let you know who is getting the saves across the league. This list will be updated throughout the year as players go down to injury or lose their jobs.

Keep an eye on some of the on-going battles through the spring. Once the season starts you have to be quick on the trigger to pick up a soon-to-be closer.

closers

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Who’s Playing in the WBC?

By tallkid1

The WBC is now scheduled to take place every four years and it’s good to know what notable fantasy players will be taking.  Here’s a quick list:

USA:

  • B. McCann
  • C. Iannetta
  • D. Jeter
  • C. Jones
  • D. Pedroia
  • J. Rollins
  • D. Wright
  • K. Youkilis
  • R. Braun
  • A. Dunn
  • C. Granderson
  • S. Victorino
  • T. Lilly
  • R. Oswalt
  • J. Peavy
  • J. Guthrie
  • B. Fuentes
  • J. Broxton
  • (G. Sizemore withdrew)

Canada

  • J. Morneau
  • J. Votto
  • J. Bay

Dominican Republic

  • A. Beltre
  • R. Cano
  • H. Ramirez
  • D. Ortiz
  • A. Rodriguez
  • M. Tejada
  • J. Reyes
  • J. Guillen
  • N. Cruz
  • W. Tavares
  • J. Cueto
  • E. Volquez
  • U. Jiminez

Japan

  • D. Matzuzaka
  • Ichiro
  • K. Johjima

Mexico

  • Ol. Perez
  • J. Soria
  • J. Cantu
  • A. Gonzalez

Puerto Rico

  • J. Sanchez
  • J. Vazquez
  • G. Soto
  • M. Aviles
  • F. Lopez
  • C. Beltran
  • A. Rios

Venezuela

  • A. Galarraga
  • F. Hernandez
  • F. Rodriguez
  • R. Hernandez
  • M. Ramirez
  • M. Cabrera
  • C. Guillen
  • J. Lopez
  • M. Mora
  • B. Abreu
  • M. Ordonez

Panama

  • C. Lee
  • M. Corpas

FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE:  Don’t worry too much about the WBC, they only play a 8 games max over a 17 day period so the workload isn’t too much different than spring training – though the competition levels will be much higher.  The biggest concern is with starting pitchers but keep in mind they will be on strict pitch counts through all rounds of the tournament.  If it comes down to a scenario where you’re picking between Jake Peavy, Cole Hamels and Dan Haren then the extra work Peavy will get in the WBC (mixed in with his injury history) might help you lean toward the other guys but it shouldn’t be too much of a factor in your drafting strategy.

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