I’m headed to the FSTA Conference today in San Francisco to do the first experts football draft of the year. But you know me, I can’t let a day go without talking about baseball.
How in the world am I still getting questions from people about should they add Scott Baker to their staff? Have you people been listening to me at all? I’ve been saying go all in with Baker since January. Over, an over, an over again I keep saying it. Why is no one listening? So let me say it for the last time. YES, ADD BAKER. He has a 8.39 K/9 mark, 3.39 K/BB, 3.55 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. If you’re in a league where that doesn’t help you it must be an eight team mixed league.
Neftali Feliz has converted 3-straight save chances, and his ERA is 1.21 on the year. So everything is fine, right? Not so fast. I know everyone panicked and ran away from Joakim Soria when he lost his closing job a few weeks back (Hopefully you didn’t do that and listened to me when I said to hold on to the struggling arm who would like be re-inserted into the closers role quickly if he showed a turnaround. That’s exactly what happened after a trio of solid outings as a setup man). Why did I switch from talking about Feliz to Soria? Do me a favor and look at their numbers this season next to one another. I’ll bet dollar to doughnuts that you’ll be surprised that Soria has easily outpitched Feliz.
Feliz: 5.50 xFIP, 4.84 K/9, 5.64 BB/9, 0.62 GB/FB, 95.4 LOB%
Soria: 3.87 xFIP, 7.14 K/9, 3.41 BB/9, 1.19 GB/FB, 67.8 LOB%
The only reason that anyone thinks that Feliz is pitching better than Soria is because of an immense amount of luck for the Rangers’ closer. He’s pitched worse than Soria by nearly any measure, and has only been successful because of his insanely high left on base percentage amongst other things.
What’s wrong with Tim Lincecum? That’s a question I’ve gotten a couple of times the past few days. Over his last three outings Lincecum has looked awful, he’s allowed 22 hits and 16 runs over 15.1 innings, so I understand the concern from people. At the same time, his current WHIP is 1.19. His career mark is 1.18. His current batting average against is .233. His career mark is .225. His current walk rate is 3.02 per nine. His career mark is 3.23. His current BABIP is .294. His career mark is .296. His current xFIP is 3.03. His career mark is 3.15 and his mark last season was 3.09. Yes his K’s are down about three quarters of a batter per nine, but his 9.16 mark is still stellar. So what’s wrong with Lincecum? Nothing. His performance for the year is exactly where we should expect it to be it’s just been a roller coaster ride.
Hunter Pence is dealing with a minor back issue that has dogged him for a few days, but he should return to action on Monday. Pence has one of the quietest 22 game hitting streaks in recent memory to boost his average up to .318 on the year. His performance to date, if extended out over the season, would result in a 5×5 effort of .318-19-112-80-7, a pretty darn solid line and one that would place him amongst the top-15 outfielders in the fantasy game if he were to keep it up.
And finally, a Jose Bautista update. Over his last 11 games Bautista has hit .222 to drop his season long average from .360 to .338. He’s also homered in just one of his last 14 games. He’s still second in the AL in batting average and leads major league baseball in homers with one more than Curtis Granderson and Matt Kemp, but I just thought I would point it out to those of you who think Jose is a lock to be the AL MVP this year.
By Ray Flowers