Today I’m going to explain why it makes sense to trust yourself, and why your first “call” is likely the one that you should almost always go with. I’ll also touch on the plight of the injured Athletics, and a couple of NFL quick hitters that I just had to voice my thoughts on.
The Athletics can’t hit (they are last in the AL with a .233 batting average and just 75 runs scored), and they are also dealing with injuries all over the infield to the likes of Nomar Garciaparra and Mark Ellis (both have calf concerns) and the never ending health concerns of Eric Chavez. All of this likely means that Bobby Crosby could return to the lineup on a daily basis, especially if both Garciaparra and Ellis end up with long stays on the sidelines (they will at least be DL’d for 15-days). Crosby isn’t hitting his weight this season (.179 in 28 ABs), this after hitting .226 in 2207 and .237 in 2008. The A’s are in bad shape if they have to given Crosby 400+ ABs this season. Heck, if they give the at-bats to Jack Hannahan are they any better off since he owns a career line of .229/.317/.360 in 595 ABs?
Don’t you hate it when you don’t trust yourself? This weekend in the $100,000 NFBC tournament, I had a decision to make on who to add to my pitching staff when the A’s finally announced that Joey Devine was done for the year with elbow surgery. With Devine’s injury, he was the top closer I took on draft day, I’m left without a full-time closer in the 15 team league (30 players per squad). Ryan Franklin has been a great find, he was taken in the 25th round, but it’s tough to call him a full-time closer with the way Tony La Russa manages the Cardinals.
Anyway, I had to make a decision on who to add to my squad, knowing that I badly needed saves. I had three main choices I was considering: J.P. Howell, Santiago Casilla and Ryan Madson. Clearly Howell isn’t in line for saves in Tampa, but it was still hard to ignore his performance since the start of last season that includes some great work that I detailed in my Chopping Block article, including the best ERA in baseball since the start of the 2008 season amongst hurlers who have thrown at least 95-innings. Madson, he has been a lock the past two years producing an identical ERA of 3.05, and WHIP marks of 1.27 and 1.23. Solid skills, and a stable role, but no saves with Brad Lidge around. That left me with Casilla as my top choice since I have little faith at all that Brad Ziegler will be able to hold down the closers role all year. Casilla is off to a solid start with a 1.59 ERA and 0.79 WHIP in his 11.1 innings, and he has allowed only three hits. If he can avoid his late season failures that have become too common place, and Ziegler is slowly figured out by batters as I assume he will be, then Casilla becomes a very sneaky and cheap pickup with saves potential (I only spent $12 out of a $1,000 FAAB budget to grab him). Now comes word that Lidge is dealing with a knee injury that shouldn’t, but could, end up with him spending some time on the DL. In fact, according to our injury expert Rick Wilton, this type of injury not only often leads to a stint on the DL, it even ends up leading to surgery in a minority of cases (you can read more about his injury analysis in The Baseball Injury Report.
All of this just goes to show you that trusting your gut is always the right move. In this case, that would have been to take Madson or Howell who are likely to me much more stable options than Casilla. If Lidge ends up needing time on the DL, care to guess how much Madson will go for in FAAB this week? I’m betting the bidding would hit at least hits triple digits. Oh, and yeah, that was a report you read this morning on Casilla injuring his calf on Tuesday night right? He will likely be shut down for a couple of days as a result. What is it I always preach– take skill over role? I should have taken my own advice.
I love how the Raiders do their own thing without a care in the world about what others think. Too bad they are never right.
Some team is going to give Michael Vick a shot once his prison sentence and NFL suspension are completed. Not only do I hope that team receives coal in their stocking come the holiday season, I hope the organization goes into a tailspin and doesn’t make the playoffs for a decade. The man is a deplorable human being, and for once I would like the owners in the NFL to stand up for what is right versus what could make them money. I can tell you this – there will be a whole lot of P.E.T.A (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) rallies everywhere Vick goes, and there rightly should be. Sometimes P.E.T.A is way too rabid for my tastes, but in this case, I stand with them.