Tag Archives: WBC

NL Roundup (4/28)

By nichols33

NL East:

Atlanta: Jo-Jo Reyes is struggling and Tommy Hanson has 29 Ks in 20.6 innings in AAA. If Hanson is available in your league, go get him. He could be a two start pitcher in week 5 if the Braves call him up.

Florida: Hanley Ramirez dodged a HUGE bullet on Monday night. He was hit in right hand by a John Maine pitch. At first I thought for sure it was broken but he was back on te bench, all smiles, a few innings later. X-Rays were negative and Ramirez will be back to mashing soon enough.

Matt Lindstrom has be horrendous and the WBC curse may be the cause. Lindstrom was injured during the WBC and has not been the same since. Leo Nunez would be the Marlins closer should Lindstrom lose the job. Neither warrant consideration in leagues of 12 teams and under.

New York: David Wright is struggling. He is striking out at an alarming rate. But there are signs he is about to bust out of his slump. He is starting to go the other way a bit more, hitting deep line drives to center. He just missing some pitches as well, fouling them off instead of putting them in play. Expect week 5 to be the start of this notorious slow starter’s MVP runner up season (Pujols might win the next 5 MVPs).

Philadelphia: Brad Lidge has a bum knee and Ryan Madsen got the save on Monday night. Watch this situation closely. The Phillies win a ton of games and will provide ample save opportunities for any closer.

Washington: Joe Beimel is going to be the closer when he comes off the DL next week. Joel Hanrahan has been the worst closer in baseball in this young season. The Nationals won’t get too many save opportunities for Beimel, but he’s worth a look in large leagues.

Don’t look now, but Adam Dunn has hit HRs in back-to-back games. This could be the start of a hot streak for Mr. Dunn where he hits 4 to 5 HRs in a week.

NL Central:

Cincinnati: Going into the season, the Reds looked to have one of the better starting rotations in the league. But so far they’ve been pretty erratic. Up until tonight’s start, Harang was the only one putting up consistent solid starts. Edison Volquez, Jonny Cueto, Bronson Arroyo and Micah Owings has all had flashes of brilliance but also some flashes of Oliver Perez.

Chicago: Derrek Lee is done. He had a great career but he is done. He’s hit 8 HRs since last May. He has no power and is hitting .209 this year. If you own him, see if his name can get you anything for him. I don’t think you can name a starting 1B I would not trade him straight up for.

Houston: Jose Valverde is going on the DL and manager Cecil Cooper has said he’ll play the match-up game when choosing who will close games out while Valverde is out. LaTroy Hawkins may get some saves in the interim.

Milwaukee: Mike Cameron is on fire. Cameron is hitting .328 with 5 HRs and probably most telling 12 BBs to 13 Ks. Don’t expect this to last but see if you can ride him until he goes back to hitting .250 and striking out 3 times for every walk.

Pittsburgh: Did you know Freddy Sanchez was hitting .359?!?! Neither did I, that hasn’t to be the quietest .359 month I’ve ever seen. Sanchez is capable of winning a batting title so if you need average and runs and have plenty of power already in your lineup, Sanchez may be a nice fit.

St. Louis: Quick, who leads the NL in wins? Some of you might have guessed Chad Billingsly and you’d be correct, but how many of you said Joel Pineiro? Both Pineiro and Billingsly have started the season 4 and 0. Expect Billingsly to continue his dominance of the NL while Joel Pineiro should come back down to earth.

NL West:

Arizona: Ouch….Stephen Drew just hit the DL and news came out that Brandon Webb will not be ready for another 6 weeks. Drew is an early candidate for bust of the year. If you got him this year you got him early, let’s hope he gets healthy and continues to develop into one of the top offensive shortstops in baseball. As for Webb, MRIs have revealed no structural damage, just fluid in the shoulder. If you are a gambling fantasy player see if a frustrated owner will give you Webb for $0.25 on the dollar. 3 and 1/2 months of Webb could propel you to a championship.

Colorado: Ian Stewart has played 5 games at 2B. In some leagues that makes him 2B eligible and if Stewart can stay in the lineup day after day he could be a top 10 2B in mixed leagues.

Los Angeles: Andre Either is an on-base machine. He has a .429 OBP and is on pace to drive in 154 runs. Obviously he’ll cool down, but this 27 year old is taking the step!!

San Deigo: I’ve read a number of reports where people are alarmed at Chris Young’s radar gun readings. Last night he was consistently in the mid 80s topping out around 87 mph. News flash, that’s Chris Young. Yes he’s 6’10” but he’s never thrown hard. Young is a spot specialist and has 3 real good games this year and 2 blow ups including last nights 5 BB, 7 ER loss in Colorado. His two bad games have been in Philly and Denver. Young may be this year’s Wandy Rodriguez where you start him at home and avoid him on the road.

San Francisco: Pablo Sandoval has been behind the plate in Barry Zito’s last two starts. His bat is going to play much better at C when compared to 1B or 3B if he can get catcher eligibility.

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Filed under Injuries, NL News, Observations, Pickups, Prospects

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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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

The AL at a Glance 3/15

by mrCane

Through another week of the season we’ve seen a couple people emerge, some continue to slide and a few hidden gems that could help your fantasy team.

…Kendry Morales is going to bath 5th or 6th behind Bobby Abreau, Vlad, and Tori Hunter.  With the already impressive spring and the vote of confidence by manager Mike Scioscia who believes he can hit between 20 and 30 hr Morales can be had at a very cheap price.  Fantasy Advice:  Look for him late in mixed league drafts to be a solid run producer.

….Chris Davis has improved his BA over the course of the week, up to .235.  Fantasy Advice:  Davis will be a good source of power, but be careful not to get caught up in the hype.

…Paul Konerko is batting .345 with 3hr and is off everyones radar.  Fantasy Advice:  Another good run producer that can be had LATE in a draft.

…Brandon Wood continues to hit and limit his strike outs.  He is still batting .379 this spring.  Fantasy Advice:  Wood will be a solid late round pick.  Look for a .260 BA and 20hr from the use to be can’t miss prospect.

…Has anyone noticed Carlos Gomez has an OBP or .375 with a nice BB/K ratio?  Don’t rely heavily on Gomez but monitor his progress in the crowded Minnesota outfield.  Fantasy Advice:  Highly valuable in AL only leagues but a reach at this point in mixed leagues.

…Bradley Bergesen, the 23 year old righty has an amazing 11k/1bb ratio in 11.2 IP.  This is not unexpected success as Bergesen was the Orioles minor league Pitcher of the Year last year posting a 3.10ERA with 16 wins.  Fantasy Advice:  If Bergesen is able to lock down a rotation spot he will be valuable in deep AL only leagues.  Keeper leagues should take notice!

…Glen Perkins has a 1.50 ERA this spring is should be able to put nice peripheral numbers together this year, minus strike outs.  Fantasy Advice:  For a solid starter who won’t hurt your team Perkins will have value in AL only and large mixed leagues.

…A couple young to keep monitoring are Gio Gonzales (SP Oak), Luke Hochevar (SP KC), Wladimir Balentien (OF Sea), Jeff Clement (C/DH Sea), Gaby Sanchez (1B Fla).  All these guys could help your team this year and be bargains in the later rounds of any draft.

Now for some injury concerns in the AL…

…Bad news from the WBC for the AL MVP Dustin Pedroia.  The Red Sox second baseman has an abdominal strain.  Fantasy Advice:  No need to panic yet, it looks minor at this point, but monitor the situation.  Word is it’s about a one week hiatus for Pedroia at this point.

…More bad news for the Red Sox as Julio Lugo had arthriscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  Fantasy Advice:  Lugo was an intriguing late option both at SS and for SB’s, the surgery really puts a damper on his worth.  Expected to be ready in April it’s best to keep an eye on him and snag him off the waiver wire if he starts seeing playing time upon his return.

…Justin Duchscherer’s elbow soreness is becoming a major concern for the 2008 surprise break out.  Fantasy Advice:  Duchscherer had limited fantasy upside because of his low K numbers even though he did have great peripherals last year.  If his elbow is still bothering him on your draft day, pass, a move from the pen to the rotation may have caused this injury and derailed this hurler.

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Filed under AL at a Glance, Injuries

Good News – Bad News 3/10

gnbn

By nichols33

Good News:
Bobby Crosby (SS/3B, OAK): 
Surprise, surprise, Eric Chavez is hurt. Chavez is out “for the time being” according to ESPN and Bobby Crosby will be filling in at 3B.  FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: With rumors surrounding Crosby being traded to the Yankees or Cardinals it looks like his best bet might be to stay in Oakland. Chavez can’t stay on the field and Crosby could be a useful player in AL only leagues as a 3B or a SS.

Pedro Martinez (SP, Free Agent): Pedro threw 3 innings of one hit ball on Saturday with 4 Ks versus the Netherlands in the WBC. He followed that up with 3 perfect innings tonight with 2 Ks. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Pedro is pitching for a job and his results in the WBC (Dominican Republic was eliminated tonight) probably secured him a spot on some major league roster. Depending on where he signs, Pedro is somebody to keep an eye on, especially if he signs with the Dodgers or Mets, both rumored suitors.

Francisco Liriano (SP, Twins): Liriano threw four perfect innings the other day improving his spring stats to 9 innings pitched, 2 ER, 7 Ks and 1 BB. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Liriano is showing he is healthy and has his command and can still be effective with a slightly slower fastball. His spring stats combined with the way he finished last season should erase all worries in prospective fantasy owners. He may never be the fantasy ace he once was, but he could very well be a very solid #2. Take him before Justin Verlander, Dice-K, Eric Bedard, Chien-ing Wang and Matt Garza among others.

Bad News:
Ervin Santana (SP, Angels):
 The LA Times reported today that Santana may miss the entire month of April with a sprained ligament in his pitching elbow. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: This is horrible news for a guy coming off a monster season. I had him ranked as the #17 Starting Pitcher before this news. He certainly needs to be moved down all lists and should not be considered until you have at least 3 other healthy options in your rotation.

Chipper Jones (3B, Braves): Chipper pulled his oblique muscle in WBC action this week. It does not appear too serious as he is staying with Team USA with hopes of playing in the next round. FANTASY BASBALL ADVICE: Get used to this if you are going to be an owner of Larry. When he’s in the line-up Chipper is as good as they come at 3B minus the guys in the Big Apple. He can be absolutely maddening for leagues with weekly lineups….he could get hurt on Monday or Tuesday and you are playing a player short for that week. Chipper is my 5th 3B with Wright, Longoria, Ramirez and ARod being ahead of him. If you think ARod will be out longer than Mid-May and it’s not a keeper league, move Chipper to #4. I wouldn’t hold it against you if you passed on Chipper and took Adrian Beltre, Michael Young or Garrett Atkins with a later pick or less auction dollars.

Fausto Carmona (SP, Indians): Keith Law of ESPN.com  had a great note on Carmona today. He is throwing great out of the wind-up but as soon as he allows a base runner and has to throw from the stretch his fastball is elevated and he becomes far less effective. FANTASY BASBALL ADVICE: Carmona still has plenty of time to refine his mechanics but this is some great data that you won’t see in the box scores this spring. Carmona had a dreadful season last year and he is a very nice bounce back candidate. Don’t buy too high on him. I have him as the #55 SP behind Scott Baker, Jered Weaver & Brandon Morrow and right ahead of Aaron Cook, Joe Saunders and Armando Galarraga.

Joe Mauer (C, Twins): Mauer’s back is acting up on him and he was going in for some magnetic tests that required him to be injected with dyes. He is out indefintely. FANTASY BASBALL ADVICE: Mauer has had his fair share of injuries in his young career. Catcher is not a very forgiving position and it appears that Joe has a little “Mr. Glass” in him. A back injury is never good for a guy who makes his living with a bat. I immediately move him behind Russell Martin and Brian McCann and strongly consider Geovanny Soto over him until I hear some more news.

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Filed under Good News / Bad News, Injuries

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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