Tag Archives: CC Sabathia

Can C.C. Sabathia be overworked?

si-cover-cc-sabathia2By nichols33

Owners of C.C. Sabathia are going through another tough April this year as Sabathia is struggling a little bit early in the season. His struggles are not as bad as last year; last year after 5 starts he was 1 and 3 with a 10.13 ERA…this year 1 and 2 with a 4.73 ERA. Will Sabathia turn it around like he did last year and become one of the best pitchers in baseball post-April or are his early season struggles a sign that his past is catching up to him?

In 2007 Sabathia threw 3,581 pitches, good for the 6th most in baseball that year. Last year, including his one playoff start, Sabathia threw 3,814 pitches (106 pitches per start). That was 132 more than any other pitcher in baseball (Lincecum threw 3,682). That included 5 games where he threw over 120 pitches including a 130 pitch complete game on August 18th versus the Astros where the Brewers won 9 to 3.

Now the Yankees just signed Sabathia to a huge contract including a salary of $15 million this season and you would expect them to be cautious with their new investment, right? Through 5 starts Sabathia has thrown 537 pitches or 107.4 pitches per start. He’s on pace to throw more pitches this season than last!?! Well, at least the Yankees may give him a break in October when they are watching the playoffs on TV.

Some may say “hey, C.C. Sabathia is a big man and his body can handle the work,” after all he is listed at 6-7, 290 lbs. The guy is a workhorse, no doubt, but you have to wonder if this work is going to catch up to his prized left arm.

If I owned C.C. Sabathia, I would wait for him to throw his next gem and try and see what I could get for him. His previous pitch counts and fact that the new Yankee Stadium is playing like a little league field all lead me to believe C.C. is in for a disappointing season.

What’s your take?

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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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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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Evaluating Trades

mrCane

Probably one of the gray areas in fantasy baseball even amongst friends is whether or not trades are fair.  Now lets be honest, the idea is to give up as little as you can and get the most in return.  If I can trade a hot John Danks for a cold Dan Haren, I’m going to do it.  As long as no managers involved are undermining the league, or as we in fantasy say “in cahoot’s”, then managers should be allowed to trade who they wish.  When you have more seasoned owners, trades like this don’t take place.  So to acquire good players you need to trade something in return.  You need to identify your teams needs and match them as best you can with other teams to find a good fit.  The most successful owners can think more than one step ahead and use one trade to spring another.  Here a couple trades I saw recently that were worth examining.  At face value they don’t look fair.  But many times in fantasy we can’t look at these things in a vacuum.

Ryan Howard straight up for Edison Volquez. 

I’ll start by saying I’m not a fan of Volquez this year, especially not for Ryan Howard.  But, it is important to understand what kind of league we are looking at.  In a mixed 5×5 Howard is a monster and Volquez, though very good is not a top 20 pitcher.  So what are some of the reasons an owner would make a trade like this.   They might be in a league where pitching is heavily favored.   Most leagues you find will wait on pitching in drafts, this league could be different.  In shallow leagues, say an 8 team you can find a very good 1B at eighth on the depth chart (Justin Morneau, Adrian Gonzales or Kevin Youkilis) so that could be a factor.  There is a chance that the league is required to pitch a high number of innings, that requires more starters, therefore SP hold more value.   We can’t always look at everything in a vacuum remember.

Fantasy Advice:  I wouldn’t have made the trade but then again I’m not a big Volquez fan.  If I’m trading a top 20 player I’m getting a top 10 pitcher in return.  Most important, know your league and the owners in it!

David Wright and Randy Winn  for Adrian Gonzales, Alexi Ramirez and Magglio Ordonez. 

This looks to me like highway robbery.  We are getting 3 top 50 players for the price of a top 5 player.  We need to understand both teams rosters, league rules and scoring to get a full grasp of how this can benefit both teams.  If the team acquiring Wright has great depth but lacks that superstar, trading surplus to address a need a third makes sense.  I think getting a player other than Randy Winn should have been attempted, maybe it was. 

Fantasy Advice:  If I’m trading David Wright for those guys I’m excited.  Alexi Ramirez could be a top producer behind the big 3 at short and he still qualifies in most leagues at 2B.  Again, if I’m the team acquiring David Wright I want someone with more upside than Randy Winn….Justin Upton, Adam Jones come to mind.

Last year Ryan Braun, Ryan Howard, Carlos Beltran, Brad Hawpe, CC Sabathia and Roy Oswalt all got off to bad starts.  Making trades to acquire these guys while their stock was low could have been a huge payoff.  This year, look for those slow starters with good track records.  Chances are if you like them now one bad month shouldn’t change your mind about them.  Just know good owners won’t trade them for .50 cents on the dollar, but .85 cents on the dollar is a nice return.

As the season moves along we at Fantasy Baseball Advisors would like to offer our fantasy trade advice just email us at fantasyadvisors@gmail.com with all trading needs.

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CC vs. Lincecum, who’s the pick?

by mrCane and notebook guy
mrCane: Why I’ll take Tim Lincecum:  Let me start by saying there is a reason why we draft hitters before pitchers, because they are sure bets.  With that being said Tim Lincecum should be the top pitcher taken in this years draft, partly because Johan has some elbow trouble, but mostly because he is the best pitcher available, more so than CC Sabathia.  I know what your saying, he’s small, he’ll breakdown….well Pedro was small too.  At the age of 24 Pedro’s numbers were 3.70ERA  1.20WHIP  222K   216IP
…..if your paying attention Lincecums were much better at 2.62 ERA  265K  1.17 WHIP 227IP.  Now if Lincecum follows in Pedro’s footsteps this upcoming year will be historic because Martinez had a ridiculous ERA of 1.90 at the age of 25!
Why do I compare Lincecum to Pedro?  For obvious reason’s, they are built more like chess players instead of baseball players.  Both are listed at a very generous 5’11” and neither top 190lbs.  Right now Tim Lincecum has a 97mph fastball, and that’s not even his best pitch. He uses one of the most devastating curves in the game to give opposing batters no chance, evident by his 265K.  Size is not a problem!
Last year Lincecum had a better ERA, more strike outs, better k/9 ratio and a Quality Start % of 79 compared to CC’s 71%, threw 200 less pitches leaving the only slight ( no pun intended) against Timmy; his frame.  Lets not get too crazy and compare him to a future hall of famer but lets no write him off because he doesn’t way 290lbs(not a typo).  How can we decline Lincecum the honor of #1 rated pitcher because he’s too small but Sabathia doesn’t get the same ridicule with his over indulgence of nutrients?  I’ll take the next best thing as Sabathia crumbles (much like in the playoffs, 7.92 career ERA!) in the New York pressure cooker while Lincecum coasts in the NL West.
notebookguy: Why I take CC: CC Sabathia is now the number 1 pitcher in fantasy baseball due to Johan Santana’s elbow injury.  In CC’s 8 seasons, hard to believe considering he won’t be 29 until the end of July, he has averaged 32 starts a year, making 30+ starts every year but one, in which he made 28 starts.  Why is this important?  Outside of the closer position, starting pitching is the most volatile spot on your fantasy baseball team, and this guy is as sure a thing to be out there every 5th day as they come.  It’s not just his reliability that makes him so great, he’s also got the numbers to back it up.  A 3 year average of 32 starts, 16 W, 211 K, 3.03 ERA, and a 1.14 WHIP shows that he helps immensely in all 4 starting pitching categories.  His track record is impeccable, he’s still in his prime, and he pitches for a very good team in a park that favors lefthanded pitchers.  What more do you need?
The argument against Lincecum is simple, no track record.  His numbers were the best in the game last year, there is no arguing that, but he jumped 80 innings over his previous career high, never a good sign for a 24 year old in his first major league season.  There is no telling how the extensive work load of last season will effect him but looking at pitchers with similar jumps in their workloads from previous seasons is not encouraging.  His size is also a concern.  He is a little guy with a violent windup, not usually a good combo for longevity.  He also has a horrendous offensive team supporting him, Bengie Molina hitting cleanup?  I need a little more offensive support than that for my ace.
I’ve heard the comparisons to Pedro Martinez and to me, that’s just foolish.  Pedro Martinez is the best pitcher I’ve ever seen in my 20 odd years of watching baseball.  He was Sandy Koufax in the STEROIDS era.  When guys were hitting 60+ HR’s Pedro had an ERA under 2.  He struck out 300 guys a year.  Tim Lincecum has had one very good season and his numbers didn’t sniff what Pedro did in his prime.  Don’t believe the hype, go safe with your ace, and take the Big Man in the Bronx.

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Filed under Draft Position

Young Guns

By dtb23

young-guns1

Projecting young pitchers into the fantasy world is not an easy task. There are countless factors that owners need to consider before they draft a “future ace”. Some of the obvious factors include; run support, home ballpark, historical work load, age, size, past injuries, number and quality of pitches in their repertoire, control, strikeout potential, etc…

My advice is to build your starting rotation around pitchers with a pedigree. The young prospects can be used to compliment the veterans when the match ups are favorable. Owners need to be extremely cautious down the stretch run as young pitchers often wear down due to the increased number of games.

The following list identifies pitchers with enormous potential who will likely be factors in 2009.

Max Scherzer – SP Diamondbacks

Max Scherzer is a strikeout machine. He overpowered major league hitters in 2008 when he compiled 48 strikeouts in 32 innings. The fact that he doesn’t have a complimentary pitch to go along with his devastating heater may limit his effectiveness but the major concern is his health. His violent delivery and past shoulder issues make him a prime candidate to miss time in 2009. When healthy he will produce.

Clayton Kershaw – SP Dodgers

Clayton has one of the best 12 – 6 curve balls in baseball. The 21 year old southpaw didn’t have overly impressive numbers in 2008, despite a solid September where he was used primarily as a midlle reliever. Owners are hopeful that he will take a major step forward this year. He will benefit from pitching in a large ballpark and in a division with relatively weak offenses. Kid K will eventually be a dominant pitcher and it could be as early as 2009.

David Price – SP Rays

The first overall pick in the 2007 draft dominated hitters at every level in 2008. The 6′ 6″ left hander compiled a 12-1 record at the various levels in the minors. He also averaged a strikeout per inning pitched. The only concern is that Mr. Price was too effective as a relief pitcher in last year’s postseason and the team may may be tempted to keep him there. The more plausible scenario is that David will be a starting pitcher and will continue to impress.

Chris Volstad – SP Marlins

The Marlins have a nice collection of young pitchers. Among them is the 6′ 8″ Chris Volstad. He is only 22 years old and he struggles with his command at times but with the proper guidance he could be a dominant pitcher. Volstad only pitched 84 innings in 2008 but he had an era under 3. Josh Johnson will likely be the ace of Florida’s staff but Volstad should be a solid #3.

Yovani Gallardo – SP Brewers

Gallardo has immense talent. He just needs to stay healthy. Last year he only managed to pitch 24 innings due to a freak ACL injury. In that short period his era was a ridiculous 1.88. The Brewers will look to Gallardo to be their staff ace after Sheets and Sabathia left via free agency in the offseason.

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Big time players with question marks.

By notebookguy

The first 5 rounds of any draft is key to building the core of your offense and pitching staff.  Teams that lose one of their top 5 picks have a hole to dig themselves out of and though it can be accomplished, it’s easier to do your best to avoid being in that situation.  Here are some players that will go in the first 5 rounds of your draft that may dissapoint.  Average Draft Position(ADP) courtesy of mockdraftcentral.com.

Alex Rodriguez, 3B, Yankees, ADP 2.85

I have Arod ranked 5th overall right now behind Hanely, Pujols, Wright, and Reyes.  I did have him 2nd overall behind Hanley until the steroids story broke and now there is word that he’s having trouble with his hip.  The pressure of the steroid story and the hip injury make me shy away from him slightly and go with a surer bets in the top 4.  I’m not saying avoid Arod, I would take him if he slipped to 5, but be wary of his situation with steroids and keep a close eye on the hip news.

Manny Ramirez, OF, Dodgers, ADP 22.85

The idiot savant of hitting turns 37 in May and plays in cavernous Dodger Stadium.  Without the luxury of DH’ing to give his old legs a break you can expect Manny to miss time at various points in the season with a strained hamstring or sore knee as he did in Boston.  Don’t expect a full season like his final 2 months for the Dodgers, you will be dissapointed.  Take players like Prince Fielder, Carlos Beltran, Justin Morneau, Jason Bay, and Carlos Lee before Manny, you’ll get more production and less headaches.  I’d wait till the 3rd round on Manny but he probably won’t make it out of the 2nd round.

Cole Hamels, SP, Phillies, ADP 40.58

The World Series Champion’s ace thew 265 innings last year including the postseason, an astounding 80 innings more than he pitched in any other season in his career.  This is an extremely large jump in innings for such a young hurler and history tells us that players with this big a jump don’t fair as well the following season.  He is only 25 years old and he is one of the best pitchers in the game, but don’t be surprised if that work load catches up with him a bit this year and the numbers are a little down or he misses some time.  I think he’ll be one of the best pitchers in the game for many years, but this year I’d proceed with caution.  Alternatives could be Brandon Webb, Roy Halladay, CC Sabathia, or Dan Haren safer bets with consistent innings over the last 3 years.

Jake Peavy, SP, Padres, ADP 45.21

Peavy was limited to 27 starts in 2008 due to elbow inflammation, 2 words you never want to hear in connection with your ace.  Combine the recent elbow woes with a terrible offensive team behind him and you can see why I think Peavy will dissapoint those that take him as their ace.  Webb, Halladay, CC, and/or Haren are better alternatives then the Pads ace.

Vlad Guerrero, OF, Angels, ADP 42.28

It’s tough to put him on this list.  He guts it out almost every year with knee, shoulder, and back problems getting 520+ AB’s every year he’s been an Angel but eventually the injuries pile up too high and the player succumbs.  I’m afraid that’s where we are at with Vlad the Impaler.  Offseason knee surgery has him taking it slow this spring training and he lost his protection in the lineup with Mark Teixeira cashing his checks in the Bronx.  So a weaker lineup, offseason surgery, and another year off the calender make Vlad riskier than ever.  Great alternatives to Vlad are Nick Markakis, Curtis Granderson, Alex Rios, Corey Hart, Carlos Quentin, and Shane Victorino.  All are younger and in or entering their primes, Vlad is well past his.

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