Tag Archives: Reds

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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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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“Put me in Coach, I’m ready to play”

By dtb23

 

In case you didn’t know, the name of this post was taken from the song lyrics of “Centerfield” released by John Fogerty in 1985. The front man from Creedence Clearwater Revival actually played every instrument on this album; thanks to a process know as overdubbing.

By now everyone has seen some sort of list that ranks the top prospects in baseball. These lists are great for keeper leagues and leagues with minor league systems, but what about non-keeper leagues? What good is a pitching phenom in single A going to do a fantasy team this year? The answer is nothing except eat up a valuable bench spot.

The purpose of this article is to identify some of the young players who will be on the field when their big league team opens the 2009 season. I’ve excluded guys like Evan Longoria, who has already reached superstar status, and Joey Votto, whose extremely impressive stats have him ranked among the best at his position. My list is more about the young players that may be overlooked on draft day but who could help pave the way to a fantasy payout at the end of the season.

Here goes;
C – Jesus Flores (Nationals)
Nobody f#cks with De Jesus! Sorry I had to throw that one in there for all of my fellow Lebowski lovers. Flores showed great potential last year when he drove in 59 runs in 300 at bats. Don’t expect him to keep up that pace in 2009 but he can be among the top 10 fantasy catchers.
FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE – He deserves to be in the second tier of catchers behind McCann, Mauer, Victor and Soto.

1B – Travis Ishikawa (Giants)
This smooth swinging lefty has Giants’ fans reminiscing about “Will the Thrill”. Ishikawa hit two HR’s in SF’s first spring game and recorded 24 long balls last year in the minors. Ishikawa was never considered an elite prospect but if he continues to exhibit HR power he will be a serviceable fantasy 1B.
FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE – Consider him a steady back up that you can take in the late rounds.

2B – Chris Getz (White Sox)
Getz is competing for the starting job in Chicago. He doesn’t have a whole lot of power but his high batting average could help him find his way to the top of the line-up where he should score some runs.
FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE  – At this point I would consider him equivalent to someone like Mark Ellis. He will be a decent starting 2B if he wins the starting job

SS – Alexei Ramirez (White Sox)
In my opinion this guy is already a star, but some casual baseball fans still don’t know who he is. His wirey frame and immense power remind me of Soriano.
FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE  – Draft him in the mid rounds after Hanley, Reyes, JRoll and Drew.

3B – Ian Stewart (Rockies)
It seems like this guy has been around for a while now, but this is the first season where he will have a starting job. I think he is capable of hitting around .275 with 20+ HRs. He will need to avoid a slow start to ensure he doesn’t lose a starting position when Helton comes back
FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE  – Stewart could be a breakout performer at a fairly weak position. Draft him in the middle rounds and you can realistically expect him to finish in the top ten at his position.

OF – Travis Snider (Blue Jays)
This super prospect is expected to start in left field this year for the Blue Jays. He has incredible potential and could end up hitting in the middle of the line-up. Travis had an off year in AA in 2008, however 40% of his hits went for extra bases, which translates well into fantasy numbers.
FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE  – Snider will be available in the very late rounds in most drafts. Select him with a late round pick and he could end up being one of your starting OFs once he gets past some of the growing pains of facing the best pitchers in the game.

OF – Cameron Maybin (Marlins)
This guy is unbelievable. He should have been the starting CF and lead off hitter for the Fish last year but the team opted to leave him in their minor league system. The few Marlins fans that actually show up to games are going to love young Mr. Maybin. He has all the tools and his potential is off the charts. He will be among the league leaders in steals this year and will put up great numbers in every fantasy category.
FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE  – Don’t wait until the middle rounds to select Maybin or you will miss out on the Marlin’s next superstar.

OF – Jay Bruce (Reds)
This young slugger could potentially hit 30 HRs this year and he will be 22 on opening day! Jay has elite power and playing 82 games at the Great American Ballpark is a terrifying proposition for opposing pitchers.
FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE – Bruce is ready to break out in a major way. Consider his a top 25 fantasy OF who could be substantially better than that if he continues to improve.

Stay tuned and I will give you some of my young pitchers who could make a splash in the fantasy world….

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Good News – Bad News 3/4

By nichols33

gnbnGood News:
Manny Ramirez: Scott Boras and Manny have worked out a deal with the Dodgers. It appears to be for 2 years with an opt-out clause after the first year. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: This is great news for Manny owners in keeper leagues. Manny is a fantasy stud and one of the top OFs on all lists.

Clay Buchholz & Justin Masterson: Brad Penny is having shoulder issues, which should not shock anybody. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: If Penny isn’t ready to go when the season starts, Masterson or Buchholz will most likely be the 5th starter. Each have huge upside if they have a spot in the rotation.

Jeremy Hermida: Herminda is hitting .416 this spring with 3 HRs. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: People have been waiting for this talented OF to bust out and become a fantasy stud. Although his results have not caught up to his talent, he is still only 25 years old. He could be a huge find on draft day.

Robinson Cano: Off to a torid start this spring hitting .556 with 10 total bases in 4 games. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Cano was a disappointment last year with many expecting him to be a top 3 2B. Fantasy experts are quick to point out that if you removed his slow start in April last year he had a pretty good year. I like Cano this year but I will take Utley, Kinsler, Pedroia, Roberts & Phillips over him.

Joey Votto: The 25 year-old 1B for the Reds is making a statement early in the spring. He’s hitting .538 with 2 HRs thus far through 5 games. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Most people are not aware of the numbers Votto put up last year. He hit .296, 24 HRs, 84 RBIs and stole 7 bases. At 25, this kid is about to bust out. At the end of this year he will be a top 6 1B, maybe crack the top 5. Don’t be the last to know about this future stud.

Bad News:
Juan Pierre:
With Manny signing on again in LA, Pierre is back to being a 4th OF. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Manny, Matt Kemp & Andre Ethier will get the bulkload of the playing time leaving Juan Pierre virtually useless in all fantasy leagues. Unless one of the other 3 get injured or the NL installs the DH, do not go near Mr. Moustache.

Alex Rodriguez: Arod WBC stint is in jeopardy with news about a sore hip. Word is that Arod has a cyst in his hip that is causing the stiffness. Joe Girardi said that this problem goes back to last year. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: If Arod had this problem last year it doesn’t look like this cyst will impede his performance too much. I have Wright #1 at 3B, if you have Arod, you may want to make the swap, but I wouldn’t let this news change your thoughts on Arod all that much.

Bobby Crosby: Orlando Cabrera signed a one year deal with Oakland this week moving Crosby into what the A’s are calling a “super utility role.” FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Crosby’s performance in recent years should show you he warrants little to no consideration outside of AL only leagues. With this news, drafting him in AL only leagues would be a mistake.

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Filed under Good News / Bad News, Injuries, Position Battles