Tag Archives: Phillies

Observations (4/5)

By nichols33

Brett Myers was throwing batting practice tonight. John Miller wouldn’t stop talking about how Myers doesn’t throw his fastball enough, but in this case, he is right. Myers throws change-up after change-up mixing in some sliders and hardly throws  the fastball. And when he did tonight….it ended up in the 5th row. Myers battled back to give the Phils some innings but he looked more like the 2008 1st half Brett Myers rather than the 2nd half Myers. A disappointing first start to say the least. The Phils staff could be in big trouble if Myers continues to struggle. Hamels has already had some elbow issues, Blanton an average starting pitcher at best, Moyer is like 50 years old coming off a season of a near 5 ERA and Chan Ho Park (yes, remember him) is the 5th guy. Yikes.

Chipper Jones can hit. That statement shouldn’t surprise anybody, but it needs to be said. When watching a healthy Chipper you wonder how a pitcher can get him out.

The Braves are going to have trouble scoring runs this year. Their line-up is just not that good. When Chipper goes down, they only have one premium bat in that line-up with McCann. All others are average to below average.

So much for Charlie Manuel wanting to break up his lefty sluggers. He hit Utley 3, Howard 4 and Ibanez 5. Did he notice the Braves closer Mike Gonzalez is a lefty?

D Lowe was on tonight. I don’t understand how he is still so effective, I mean these guys know what he’s going to do. He’s going to keep the ball down in the zone and when he gets you in a pitchers count he is going to throw the slider down and away to righties. Yet it’s just ground ball after ground ball. He was on tonight.

McCann’s home run was a bomb. 2 -0 count and Myers hung a change up that McCann hit into the upper deck in right field.

Mike Gonzalez was hit hard. The Phils had some very good swings on him. He did make Ryan Howard look silly. 200 strikeouts anybody? Howard is off to a good pace at reaching that milestone.

A lot of activity on the waiver wire in all leagues today. Seems like every fantasy owner on the planet was looking at their teams today and making changes.

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Filed under Observations

NL Round Up

By nichols33

A quick trip around the National League team by team.

Oliver Perez (SP, NYM) Ollie is in the Mets doghouse after returning to the team from the WBC where he pitched horrible for Team Mexico. Mets coaches commented that he is “overweight” and did not do his conditioning during his time away froris m the team. Hopefully that explains his 6 BBs and 6 ERs yesterday.

Kenshin Kawakami (SP, ATL) The Japanese import got back on the mound yesterday and threw 5 innings of 1 hit, 1 ER ball. The injury scare appears to be behind him and Kawakami could be a very useful fantasy pitcher this season. Don’ t draft him as a starter but take a flyer on him for your bench.

Cameron Maybin (OF, FLA) Maybin is hitting .313 this spring and will hit leadoff for the Marlins. Spring stats normally are not indicative to how well a player is going to perform during the season but it is nice to see a kid of this talent having success against major league pitchers. A very nice sleeper in all leagues, but don’t be counting on him as a starter.

Jayson Werth (OF, PHI) It looks like Charlie Manuel likes Werth in the 5 spot in the lineup breaking up the left handed bats (Utley, Howard & Ibanez). This should create more RBI opportunities for Werth but also allow him to hit quasi-leadoff at least 50 times a game (after Howard homers) where he can get on and steal a bag.

Nick Johnson (1B, WAS) It appears as Nick Johnson will be starting regularly at 1B for the Nationals. He may be a nice pick up during the season but he should not be drafted in any league outside a NL only league. Dunn, Milledge and Dukes appear to be the OF with Willingham & Kearns on the outside looking in.

Ryan Braun (OF, MIL) The apparent minor injury Bruan suffered in the WBC looks like it could be something of concern. Braun is headed in for an MRI today after being pulled in the 4th inning yesterday for a pinch hitter. Bruan insists it’s nothing but the Brewers staff seems very concerned. Perhaps that is why Braunfell to me at pick #11 in a 5×5 league this past weekend. He should be a top 8 pick in all drafts even with this injury.

Jason Motte (RP, STL) Looks like Motte has a leg up on the competition for the closer role in St. Louis. Chris Perez has been injury and Motte has outperformed veteran Ryan Franklin thus far. If you take Motte in a draft take him after nearly all other closers are off the board. He may open the season as the closer but Perez will be given an opportunity at some point this season.

Andy LaRoche (3B, PIT) LaRoche will be the starting 3B for the Pirates this season and he is having a fine spring. The former Dodgers prospect is hitting .375 albeit mostly singles (13 singles, 2 HRs). He is a breakout candidate and should be stashed away on a bench in every league that has benches. Perhaps he is this year’s Carlos Quentin.

Kevin Gregg / Carlos Marmol (RP, CHC) The Cubs have yet to name a closer but are said to be close to a decision. Kevin Gregg has out pitched Marmol this year but it’s hard to ignore Gregg’s failures last season in Florida. If Gregg wins the job, it won’t be long before Marmol is given a shot. Fantasy wise, I would take Marmol but I’m seeing him go far to early in nearly every draft. He should be the 16th or 17th closer off the board, not the 10th.

Jonny Cueto (SP, CIN) Cueto threw 6 innings yesterday with 5 Ks and 0 ERs against a number of Red Sox starters. Cueto had an excellent spring last year andtook his lumps during the season. With a full year under his belt, expect better numbers from Cueto and draft him as your 4th starter at the earliest. He’d be a better gamble as your 5th.

Ivan Rodriguez (C, HOU) Don’t let Pudge’s torrid spring fool you. He had an outstanding spring last year hitting 6 HRs in the spring only to hit 7 HRs during the season. Rodriguez is nothing more than a backup catcher in the fantasy world and even then, you have better options (Napoli, Pierzynski, Navarro, Suzuki).

Kyle Blanks (1B/OF, SD) Did I read that right?!? The Padres are trying Kyle Blanks in the OF? This is a very large man who scouts have said may not even be able to play 1B and the Padres are trying him in the OF due to Adrian Gonzalez being comfortably set at 1B. While he may be relatively fast for a big man, don’t expect Blanks to find a permanent home in the OF. He may be San Diego’s 1B in the near future if the cost-cutting franchise decides to move Gonzalez. Blanks will probably have no fantasy value in 2009 but keep an eye on him for 2010.

Manny Ramirez (OF, LAD) Manny played the OF yesterday with no complications, he even man a slick play cutting off a ball before going to the wall holding the runner to a double rather than a would be triple. Manny will be ready when the season starts and will be an absolute monster when in the lineup. Manny should go late in the 2nd round or early in the 3rd in most drafts.

Ryan Spilborghs (OF, COL) Spilborghs appears to have the CF job in Colorado andis hitting .386 this spring with 5 SBs. He does not strike out and provides some speed that could be very useful to a fantasy team. Take a flyer on him late in the draft if you have a bench or a number of OF spots to fill in your starting lineup.

Matt Cain (SP, SF) Cain is really struggling this spring giving up 9 runs and 12 hits in his last 2 starts. Not that spring stats matter all that much to a guy that has a job but as you get closer to the start of the season you like to see young pitchers put together some solid starts especially when they disappointed as much as Cain did last year. Cain would be a solid 4th starter in most leagues but I’d be very nervous if he was my 3.

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Filed under Injuries, NL News

Hamels heads back to Philly for an elbow exam.

By notebookguy

UPDATE (Tues 1:21 PM) by nichols33: Hamels’ elbow checked out ok. Word is that it is inflamation of the elbow, no structural damage. Hamels will take anti-inflammatory medicine. No time table on return, but Phillies are calling this “good news.” ESPN’s recap on the news.

Original Post: Bad news if you’ve got Cole Hamels in your keeper league or were eying him as your ace in your upcoming draft, he’s flying back to Philadelphia to have his elbow examined by the Phillies team physician.

Fantasy Baseball Advice:  I noted in a previous post that I was concerned about Hamels suffering due to his exponentially larger workload last season, it looks as if this may be coming to fruition.  The team is saying they don’t think it’s serious, no pain, just a little tightness in between innings, but with elbows, little problems balloon quickly.  I’ve already got Hamels as my 7 overall starting pitcher, I will start to consider starters such as Beckett, Peavy, and Oswalt over Hamels if he is forced to sit out some time or something more serious develops.  Keep an eye on this situation if you are considering Hamels with your 3rd or 4th round pick in the draft.  No timetable has been set for his return.

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Utley or Kinsler?

By nichols33

It’s your pick in the draft. You’ve decided to go 2B, and all are still on the board. Who are you taking, Chase Utley of the Phils or Ian Kinsler of the Rangers?

Most rankings I’ve seen have Ian Kinsler as the #1 2B. At first I thought this was due to Utley’s offseason surgery and the lists possibly generated before the news came out that Utley will probably be ready for opening day. But I’m seeing mock draft after mock draft where Kinsler is going off the board first.

2008 Stats:

stats

For me, so long as Chase is healthy and playing, I’ll take him over Kinsler. Kinsler has yet to put up a full season with no injury. Last year he did not play after Aug. 19th and the year before Ian missed all of July. Kinsler has the edge on speed and could possibly steal 30 bags this year, but Utley is good for double digit steals and his power is SICK when healthy.

Chase was on his way to an MVP season last year hitting 25 homeruns before the all-star break. Then he ran into some hip problems that severly reduced his power numbers in the second half because he could not turn on the ball. If Chase shows that he is healthy in some spring games, he should be the first 2B taken and he could go get the MVP award he was working on last season before the hip.

Who are you taking?

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Filed under Draft Position, Position Analysis

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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Damaged Goods, Buyer Beware

By dtb23

Q: What’s more frustrating than wasting a draft pick on an under performing player? 

A: Using that same pick on a player who is physically unable to take the field.

Injuries are a critical aspect of every fantasy league and can strongly influence a team’s position in the standings.  Every owner needs to take this into account when they are preparing for the draft as well as managing their team throughout the season. 

Freak injuries happen every year, like when Utley broke his hand when he was hit by a pitch.  All you can do in this instance is do what the Phillies did. Find the best replacement you can and try to tread water while you wait for your fantasy stud to return. 

Other injuries are more predictable.  Certain players have a higher risk of missing time than others.  The best way to avoid drafting damaged goods is to monitor your fantasy sources and check out the readily available injury reports.  Here are some players you may want to avoid on draft day or at least move them down a few spots on your draft board;

C – Jorge Posada – Jorge is recovering from rotator cuff surgery on his throwing arm. His status for opening day is uncertain but the 37 year old catcher is on the decline and his days as a top tier fantasy catcher are over.
1B – Nick Johnson – Larry Bowa’s nephew is a great contact hitter but he has only recorded 500 at bats once in his career. He is currently recovering from surgery on his wrist.
2B – Chase Utley – The Phil’s GM, Ruben Amaro Jr, is so pleased with Utley’s speed of recovery that he has publicly stated Chase may be able to play in a few spring training games. If Chase continues his current pace it should be safe to draft him as the #1 second baseman in all of baseball.
SS- Rafael Furcal – Back issues are scary because there is no telling when there may be a reoccurrence. The prospect is even worse for a player who relies so heavily on his speed.
3B – Eric Chavez – Too many injuries to list. This player should not be drafted in any league.
OF – Carlos Quentin – Wrist injuries can be devastating to a power hitter. Expect his numbers to suffer until he regains full confidence in his surgically repaired wrist.
OF – Gary Matthews Jr – The OF will definitely start the year on the DL and will most likely miss up to 8 weeks to start the year.
OF – Milton Bradley – It’s too bad this guy can’t stay healthy. He is coming off of a career year and now that he is wearing a Cubs uniform could mean even better numbers across the board. The fact that he has already missed games due to injuries does not sit well.

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Overrated and Underrated in the draft.

By notebookguy

Every year there are players that go far too early in a draft and there are players that seem to slip too late.  This list will help you avoid the pitfalls of wasting a high pick on an overhyped player and help you find talented players  late in the draft. I’ve done hundreds of mock drafts this offseason, as my beyond patient girlfriend can begrudgingly attest to, and these are the overrated/undderrated players I’ve identified.

Talk of rounds picked in this article is based on a 5×5 15 team format.  I will give you an Average Draft Position of a player, this is the number pick the player goes at on average at a draft at mockdraftcentral.com.  Average Draft Position(ADP) Courtesy of mockdraftcentral.com.

Overrated:

Josh Hamilton, OF, Rangers, ADP 11.53

He is an immensely talented player but injuries and off the field issues make him far too big a risk to spend your 1st round pick on.  He regularly goes ahead of great bats such as Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira, and Lance Berkman in drafts and those players  have none of the headaches Hamilton brings to the table.  In the first round go safe, Hamilton’s upside is great, but you know you’ll get 1st round production out of those 3, you can’t say the same for Josh, you may, but why roll the dice?

Raul Ibanez, OF, Phillies, ADP 116.15

A late 7th/early 8th round pick in a 15 team draft for Raul Ibanez is not a good move for your team.  I understand that he is moving to the band box in Philly but he’s 37 years old, people don’t have huge years at 37 years old unless it’s chemically induced.  Also going to the NL eliminates the possibility of him DH’ing to give the legs a break, increasing the possibility of a DL stint, obviously his age plays into that as well.  He goes around the same time as guys like Johnny Damon, Torii Hunter, and Andre Ethier and goes at least a round before guys like Brad Hawpe, Jason Werth, and Pat Burrell.  All these players bring alot more to the table than Ibanez, let someone else make the mistake.

Miguel Tejeda, SS, Astros, ADP 116.43

I will not go anywhere near this guy at all, never mind in the 7th or 8th round.  An “alleged” roid guy, an old 32 years old, and his possible deportation for legal troubles mixed in with steadily declining numbers across the board for years render this former MVP undraftable in my book.

Joba Chamberlain, SP, Yankees, ADP 99.56

I think Joba has great potential, but some arm injuries very early in his career, probably due to being jerked between the pen and the rotation, make him extremely iffy to make 30 starts, I think he makes closer to 20.  A 20 start number 2 in your rotation isn’t going to help you win too many leagues.  He goes the same time as guys  like John Lackey and Felix Hernandez who are much safer bets and put up great numbers.  Joba goes ahead of guys like Dice, Lester, Zambrano, M. Cain, and J. Vazquez all starters you know you’ll get 30 starts out of with very good numbers, pass on Joba.

Rich Harden, SP, Cubs, ADP 119.8

Similar argument that I made for Joba except this guy has a much longer history of injuries making it more likely for that trend to continue.  The spot where he goes in the draft will likely make him the number 2 starter on a team, way too important a spot to take a risk on.

Underrated:

Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Red Sox, ADP 59.21

Getting Ellsbury at the end of the 5th/beginning of the 6th round is an absolute steal.  Jacoby is Jose Reyes in CF.  A projected line of .290+ BA, 10-15 HR’s, 110+ R’s, 70+ RBI’s, 50+ SB’s is very reasonable and he may exceed those numbers.  I understand Reyes has the position advantage over Ellsbury but I think other than position, they’ll end up looking very similar.  Snag Ellsbury this year in the 3rd or 4th while you can, he’ll be a 1st or 2nd round pick next year.

Johnny Damon, OF, Yankees, ADP 114.13

The only Yankee OF of any worth this year is a great value in the 8th round.  He is the only OF in the Bronx that will get 550+ AB’s and he’s a consistent 5 category contributor.  His age is starting to factor in at 35 years old, but he’s averaged 560 AB’s over the last 3 years, going to the DL for the first time in his career last year, I think he’s got a year or 2 of good production left in him before he really starts breaking down.  He’s going to be hitting at the top of a very good lineup and has averaged .286, 18 HR’s, 71 RBI’s, 101 R’s, and 27 SB’s in pinstripes over the last 3 years.  Being a Sox fan, I don’t like the man personally, but you can’t ignore that type of 5 category production and Damon should be going earlier in the draft than he is.

Erik Bedard, SP, Mariners, ADP 179.6

Remember this guy?  Bedard was probably a top 5 pitcher on most lists this time last year, now he’s going in the late 12th/early 13th round of drafts.  I know missing last year is the cause of this and a shoulder injury is nothing to ignore, so be sure to keep an eye on him in Spring Training.  Reports so far are encouraging.  Keep this in mind:  13 W’s, 3.16 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, with 221 K’s all in the AL East in 2007, a great year for a pitcher in a bear of a division.  Well worth a shot as a number 3 or 4 starter, but know the risks and pay attention to his Spring.  You could get an ace in the 2nd half of your draft.

Adrian Beltre, 3B, Mariners, ADP 201.01

Now I realize the chemically induced Dodger year is far behind Beltre but he is an absolute bargain at 3B in the 14th round.  Beltre regularly goes 100+ picks after Aubrey Huff, Ryan Zimmerman, and Edwin Encarnacion, he is more than capable of matching the numbers of these players 6+ rounds after they come off the board.  Don’t forget that Beltre is in his free agent year, his other walk year he was an MVP candidate, don’t expect those numbers, but a line of .270, 25 HR’s, 90 R’s, 100 RBI’s, and 10 SB’s is attainable.

Chien-Ming Wang, SP, Yankees, ADP 218.6

The 15th round is far too late for the Yankees number 2 starter to go in the draft.  He is not going to give you big K numbers but 18 W’s, sub 4 ERA, and a good WHIP make him very valuable.  I expect his K’s to keep moving up as well.  His injury was a broken foot which is fully healed and he’s looked good so far this spring.  Scoop him up as your 4th starter and get 2nd starter production.

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