Tag Archives: Johan Santana

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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Votto, Delgado, Beltran, Webb – Observations (4/8)

By nichols33

Brandon Webb is going to miss his next start this weekend versus the Dodgers. Big red flag for all Webb owners. No medical tests are scheduled at the moment and the Diamondbacks are playing it day-to-day. Fantasy Baseball Advice: Bench Webb in all leagues until he throws in a game and throws effectively. This is not good news. Hope for the best.

Joey Votto is good. He is real good. The 24 year old led all rookies in homers last season and he got his season going tonight. After a tough opening day versus Johan Santana, Votto had 3 hits tonight including an opposite field bomb off of Mike Pelfrey. Fantasy Baseball Advice: If you have this guy, sit back and enjoy. If you don’t have this guy….get him while the price is still relatively low.

Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado both had very good springs for both the Mets in Port St. Lucie as well as Team Puerto Rico in the WBC. Normally I don’t pay too much attention to spring stats for established veterans especially stars like Delgado and Beltran. But both of these guys are locked in and putting very good swings on the ball pretty much every at bat. Fantasy BaseballAdvice: I really like both of these guys this year. Delgado will be somewhere between his 1st half and 2nd half last year while I think Beltran will be slightly better than what he was last year which was the 2ndor 3rd best all around outfielder in the game.

David Wright looks lost at the plate. He is flailing at outside fastballs late in the count and swinging at off speed stuff int he dirt early in the count. To be fair, this is a very small sample and it was against a very sharp Aaron Harang and Edison Volquez. Wright did rip a double down the third base line and give a ball a good ride to the wall in right off the Reds bullpen tonight but an observation from a Mets fan who watches Wright daily….he looks lost at the plate. Fantasy Baseball Advice: Don’t worry, Wright will hit and he’ll hit soon. He is susceptible to long slumps where he looks lost for 10 or so games, but he always comes out of those slumps with a bang.

The Mets bullpen is sick. This is great news for all owners of Mets starters especially Johan Santana who had his bullpen blow 7 games last year in which he left the game with the lead. If Santana won 5 of those 7 games last year, Tim Lincecum might still be searching for his first Cy Young award.

The Braves bullpen is, well  not so good. They gave up 9 runs in the 7th inning today blowing a big lead over the Phillies including 4 bases loaded walks!?! Mike Gonzalez did not look so hot on opening night after Derek Lowe shut down the Phils for 8 innings. The Braves bullpen could cause a lot of hair lose for owners of Braves starting pitchers.

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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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How will Citi Field impact Fantasy Baseball?

By nichols33

The Mets are opening up a new ball park this year, Citi Field. Leaving behind Shea Stadium should be sad news to no one other than Chipper Jones. But before hitters start getting all excited, they should get a look at the new Mets ballpark……it may be an even better pitchers park than Shea.

The New York Times has an awesome interactive look at the new stadium you can check out here. The most telling aspect in that entire interactive piece is the graphic displayed here.

 

citifield4

The old Shea Stadium fence is the red line on the image and the wall was 8 feet high all around. Not only is the new park deeper almost all the way around, but the walls are nearly double in height in the power alleys.

Jerry Manual, the Mets manager, has already been quoted as saying that the new field is going to play “huge” which has to have the likes of Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey excited.

What does this all mean for fantasy purposes? Well, I think we are going to have to wait and see how the field plays throughout the entire year. The weather could play a huge factor as well as any wind tunnels that may exist with the new open structure. But this could spell very good news for Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, Oliver Perez, John Maine and Livan Hernandez.

As for the hitters, I don’t think the new dimensions are going to effect Jose Reyes at all. Perhaps with the wierd walls in right center will provide some wierd bounces changing a triple or two into an inside-the-park homerun, but if that’s the case it’s probably at the expense of an over the wall dinger or two.

Carlos Delgado’s homers are normally not wall brushers so I don’t see the park taking away too many homeruns from him. I do think the park will steal 3 or 4 dingers from David Wright especially his opposite field dingers. Guys like Ryan Church, Daniel Murphy and Brian Schneider may be impacted because they don’t hit tape measuere shots by any means.

For the most part though, expect the Mets pitchers to benefit by the new dimensions and expect some of the less powerful Mets hitters to lose a dinger or two but the Mets stars (Beltran, Wright, Reyes & Delgado) will be good hitters regardless of the park.

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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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Injury Update

By mrcane and nichols33redcross

Do you have a draft this weekend? Don’t be the one to call out a guy that is out for the year or waste an early round pick on a pitcher that won’t pitch until June. Here is a rundown of the major injuries to impact fantasy baseball players heading into the 2009 season:

Catchers:

Joe Mauer – Kidney – Status: Late March

mrcane: Kidney, back, not really sure but the situation should be monitored closely.

nichols33: Watch this situation closely. The way the Twins are handling this makes me think that this is more serious they we may all know. I’ve already moved Mauer to 4th on my list behind McCann, Martin and Soto.

Jesus Flores – Elbow – Status: Mid March

mrcane: Should be ok to go.  Flores is an option for larger mixed leagues.

2nd Basemen:

Chase Utley – Hip – Status: Day to day

mrcane: Has been playing, a top 10 pick in my book.

nichols33: Hope that he slides in your draft due to injury concerns, he is money.

Dustin Pedroia – Oblique – Status: Late March

mrcane: Closely monitor the MVP’s progress, this can be a lingering issue.

nichols33: I already expected a bit of a letdown season for Pedroia and this just could be the start. Still a top 4 second baseman.

Shortstops:

Hanley Ramirez – Shoulder – Status: Day to day

mrcane: No worries, the number one pick in fantasy.

nichols33: #1 in my book

Julio Lugo – Knee – Status: Mid April

mrcane: Could permanently lose his job because of the surgery, waiver wire.

nichols33: shouldn’t be drafted unless it’s a Redsox only league

3rd Basemen:

Alex Rodriguez – Hip – Status: Early May at best

nichols33: ARod is already off his crutches and says he’s rehab is going great. If ARod is back sometime in early May, he is still a Top 4 3B. Only take Wright, Longoria and Ramirez over him.

Chipper Jones – Strained Oblique – Status: Day to day

mrcane: Same old story with Chipper, goes too early, draft at your own risk.

nichols33: Chipper will drive you nuts if you own him. He’ll miss games here and there. If you are in a daily line-up change league, you have to be on top of things everyday to ensure you play him when he plays and sit him when he sits. He is still probably the 5th best 3B.

Garret Atkins – Hip – Status: Day to day

mrcane: Atkins should be okay.

nichols33: Overrated clap clap clap clap clap. Overrated. Stewart has that job by the end of the year. Atkins is either at 1B or traded.

Troy Glaus – Shoulder – Status: Mid April

mrcane: Same old story with Glaus, constantly dinged up.  Nothing unusual.

nichols33: not a bad late flyer. Stash him on your bench until he’s back then enjoy the dingers.

Outfielders:

Ryan Braun – Ribcage – Status: Day to Day

nichols33: Braun is staying with team USA who are fighting to make the semis of the WBC. The fact that he is staying with the team rather than going back to Brewer camp leads me to believe this is not serious at all. Braun is a top 10 pick in all leagues.

Manny Ramirez – Hamstring – Status: Late March

mrcane: We know how Manny injuries can linger, should not effect his draft status.

nichols33: Is this just the start of Manny being Manny? Agree with mrcane, still draft him in the 2nd/3rd round.

BJ Upton – Shoulder – Status: Early April

mrcane: Should only miss the first week, no concerns here.

nichols33: Be prepared in the early season with a good replacement.

Vlad Guerrero – Knee – Status: Mid March

nichols33: Vlad is having a tough spring. He’s aged one complete year, he’s had to shut it down for injury and he is a soon-to-be free agent in a horrible market for players. Slide Vlad down a few spots on your list but don’t get too carried away. When he plays…he hits.

Vernon Wells – Hamstring – Status: Late March

mrcane: The often injured centerfielder should be monitored.

nichols33: when he played last season, he hit. Just needs to stay on the field.

Garret Anderson – Calf – Status: Late March

mrcane: Should be a very minor injury.

nichols33: Should not be drafted unless you are in the deepest of NL only leagues. Platoon player along with Matt Diaz.

Eric Byrnes – Hamstring – Status: Day to day

mrcane: If Byrnes doesn’t have his legs then he has nothing.  Monitor progress.

nichols33: 4th OF in Arizona. Only useful in NL only leagues as a stash away and hope for injury guy.

DHs:

Hank Blalock – Quad – Status: Day to day

mrcane: Blalock has been designated to AL only leagues.  He won’t play a full season.

nichols33: Is getting drafting in every draft I’ve seen. Not a bad late round flyer but certainly don’t count on anything. Played well when he came back from injury the last few weeks of the season.

Starting Pitchers:

Johan Santana – Elbow – Status: Day to day

nichols33: It appears as though Santana is set to pitch on opening day (April 6th). The nightmare appears over for Mets fans and Johan owners. Johan should be one of the top three pitchers off the board along with Lincecum & Sabathia.

Cole Hamels – Elbow – Status: Day to day

mrcane: Went back to Philly for testing. Proved to be inflammation in his left elbow. No structural damage.

nichols33: Warning, warning, warning!! Even though this checks out OK, Cole will most likely be on the DL at some point this year. His increase in innings over ’07 and the fact that he pitched deep into the fall are red flags. Still a top 10 pitcher, just don’t be shocked to see him go down.

Ervin Santana – Elbow – Status: Mid April

mrcane: Not a good sign, draft a healthy arm and let someone else worry about Santana.

Erik Bedard – Glute – Status: Day to day

mrcane: I’m sticking by Bedard as a steal, don’t overpay, word is he’ll be ok.

nichols33: Seems to going right where I’d expect him to go in most drafts. Not a bad risk/reward guy as your #3 or #4. I’d prefer he my #4.

Max Scherzer – Shoulder – Status: Mid April

mrcane: Very concerning, monitor closely, don’t waste a valuable pick.

Brandon Morrow – Forearm – Status: Late March

mrcane: Forearms never go away and many times lead to the elbow.  Be careful.

Randy Johnson – Bicep – Status: Day to Day

nichols33: Johnson’s Tuesday start is being skipped. Giants are saying this is just precautionary and no biggie. I like Johnson this year and if he can stay on the field he could be a very good 4. I appear to not be alone in that opinion as Johnson goes in most drafts earlier than expected.

Shawn Marcum – Elbow – Status: Out for Season

mrcane: No fantasy value

nichols33: I’ve seen this guy drafted twice now…….Don’t be that guy/girl

Jeff Francis – Shoulder – Status: Out for Season

mrcane: No fantasy value

Tim Hudson – Elbow – Status: Out until August

mrcane: No fantasy value

Ben Sheets – Elbow – Status: early June (free agent)

mrcane: Could be useful in larger AL only leagues.

Kelvin Escobar – Shoulder/calf – Status: Mid-May

mrcane: Monitor progress, useful in larger mixed leagues.

John Smoltz – Shoulder – Status: Mid May

mrcane: Mid may seems optimistic, AL only leagues.

Dustin McGowan – Shoulder – Status: Early May

mrcane: Shoulder injuries are difficult to come back from, don’t expect much from Dustin.

Justin Duchscherer – Elbow – Status: Mid April

mrcane: Stay clear of Duchscherer on draft day, the news keeps getting worse.

Jason Schmidt – Shoulder – Status: Start on 15 day DL

mrcane: No value in any format.

Tom Glavine – Elbow/Shoulder – Status: Mid April

mrcane: Has little value when healthy except for larger NL only leagues.

Rich Hill – Elbow – Status: Late March

mrcane: Avoid in all formats.

Jeremy Bonderman – Shoulder – Status: Late March

mrcane: Bonderman should only be drafted in large AL only leagues.

Brad Penny – Shoulder – Status: Late March

mrcane: After being injured all of most of last year, monitor his progress.

Relief Pitchers:

Mariano Rivera – Shoulder – Status: Day to day

mrcane: Word is that Rivera will just fine. I’m a fan.

Matt Lindstrom – strained rotator cuff – Status: Shut down for 7 – 10 days

nichols33: Bad news for a possible sleeper for saves. Lindstrom, if healthy, will be the Marlins closer, but rotator cuff soreness for a power pitcher is never a good sign. Leo Nunez will be the closer until Lindstrom gets back. Only take Lindstrom after the other 20 or so closers that are guaranteed to have the job are off the board.

Joey Devine – Elbow – Status: Late March

mrcane: Should be closer with injury history should be ok.

Billy Wagner – Elbow – Status: out for the season

mrcane: No fantasy value

Chad Cordero – Shoulder – Status: Mid April

mrcane: My vote as the closer by the end of April, check the waiver wire.

Joel Zumaya – Shoulder, neck – Status: Mid April

mrcane: Lyons has the job and Zumaya is never healthy, avoid Zumaya.

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