(3) Chris Perez popped for dope.
By Ray Flowers
(3) Chris Perez popped for dope.
By Ray Flowers
I was away this weekend on another mini vacation (Monterey this time), but baseball never tops. Don’t think a romantic weekend away precluded me from doing my duty though. I sat there, looking at the waves crash on the beach, as I put in my bids for the waiver-wire this week. Here’s how it went down.
TOUT WARS (15 team mixed): Sent Ruben Tejada to the DL. I know big loss right? A big loss though was losing Bryce Harper to the DL, though he didn’t exactly help out the cause last week as the Nationals lamely waited to place him onto the DL with his knee issue (lineups are set weekly in this league with the chance to remove players placed on the DL mid-week). To play shortstop Pedro Florimon Jr. was added for $1. To fill in the outfield void I was able to add Chris Denorfia for $1. Surprised as all heck to get him for only $1 in a 15 teamer. He’s hit .303 on the year and .339 the past three weeks. Maybe the fact that it’s an OBP league knocked his value down, but .349 is still playable. My final move was to drop Tyler Flowers, sorry cuz, to add Wellington Castillo for $1. Flowers just wasn’t getting it done. No power, poor OBP, little run production. Time to cut the cord. I had bid on Jason Castro two weeks ago, but my $6 bid was beat at $7.
Notable bids: Trevor Rosenthal $8 (I bid $3). Really surprised he went for that much. Daniel Descalso ($2), Jason Bay ($2), Tyler Skaggs ($1), Chris Archer ($1), and Christian Yelich ($1).
LABR (12 team, AL-only): I dropped Chris Nelson to add Kevin Youkilis back into the mix. Remember, in this league that if you remove a player from your starting lineup that isn’t injured, you lose him. Therefore, I lost Nelson to the wire (injured players have to be activated within two weeks or you lose them to the waiver-wire). It’s a restrictive league in terms of the moves you can make. At least Aaron Harang and Ubaldo Jimenez have finally started to turn things around on the hill for my club.
Notable bids: David Lough ($6), Freddy Garcia ($5), Alexander Torres ($4), Chris Dickerson ($4)
To see how others are evaluating players don’t forget to go to Fleaflicker.com where you can check out the owned percentages of all your favorite players.
FSTA (13 team mixed): My DL is six players deep, or it was six deep as HanRam and Youkilis are both on the cusp of returning to active duty. Here’s what I did in terms of adding players. I dropped Ryan Roberts and added Yan Gomes ($19). Mauer/Martin are a solid duo at C, but I took a shot that Gomes will continue to be productive and play regularly with Carlos Santana being a DH/1B type a good deal of the time for the Indians. Denard Span isn’t stealing bases and he’s hit .245 over the past month. He went away for Matt Joyce ($27). For those that haven’t noticed Joyce is hitting .310 with 16 RBIs in his last 23 games. My final move was to drop WHIP killer Felix Doubront for Drew Smyly. It’s a forward thinking move since Smyly has little value as a middle reliever though he’s been great this season with a 2.08 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 36 Ks in 34.2 innings this season.
Notable bids: Nick Franklin ($211), Michael Wacha ($123), Ike Davis ($100), Chris Archer ($73), Rex Brothers ($71)
SIRIUSXM EXPERTS (12 team mixed): Will the pain ever end? Probably not. Adam Dunn continues to stink. B.J. Upton showed some slight up of late but he’s stunk. Juan Pierre? Garbage. Austin Jackson on DL. Rajai Davis on DL. Great outfield huh? On the hill Axford lost his job eons ago and now Chris Perez is on the DL. I know I’m complaining, but that sinking of my OF and my closers has killed my team. Jeremy Guthrie went bye-bye while I added Edinson Volquez for $1 (Guthrie’s hot start finally evaporated). I also added J.J. Putz. He could be back in a bit, and as you saw, I’m grasping at straws for help in the bullpen. The cost was letting go of David Hernandez. I added both guys for $1.
Notable bids: Nick Franklin ($29), Michael Wacha ($15), Chris Archer ($12), Jeff Locke ($5), Vinnie Pestano ($3), Gordon Beckham ($2)
SIRIUSXM LISTENER LG (11 team mixed): This is the only league with an open waiver-wire, and the open waiver-wire blows chunks. Example of what happened this week. We’ve got a fella in this league who lives fantasy baseball while the rest of us are living life. As a result, he’s made 61 moves as of this writing, no one else has made more than 25 (I’m at 17 moves), and he always gets the players that are called up. Take a look at the two most recent moves he made as he added Luke Gregerson and Rex Brothers. He got both the hot adds at reliever cause of his dilligence. Amazingly, he’s only in 7th place. I dropped Brandon Morrow when he was placed on the DL and added Yan Gomes to help cover for the struggling Wellington Castillo. Since I didn’t do a write up last weekend cause I was away on a mini vacation I should also note that I added Domonic Brown and Michael Wacha last week.
K-BAD (12 team mixed): Dustin Ackley was demoted. Great. I was able to slot in Martin Prado at second base and moved Hanley Ramirez off the DL to the corner infield position to cover for Prado in this league. Rickey Nolasco was added to the mix at a cost of $23. Hey, I needed an arm to cover for Brandon Morrow who was placed on the DL. It’s a never ending marathon of injury and healthy players isn’t it?
Notable bids: Yasel Puig ($202), Vinnie Pestano ($107), Luke Gregerson ($106), John Lackey ($37), Tyler Skaggs ($37), Shaun Marcum ($26)
FANBALL (13 team mixed): David Phelps is dealing with some arm woes, and though he’s still expected to pitch this week I wanted a healthy arm. In came Ricky Nolasco for $3. I bet Nolasco tanks now that I’ve added him in about half my leagues. I also let Raul lbanez go for Lucas Duda. The Mets’ outfielder has two homers and six RBIs in his last 10 games.
Notable bids: Luke Gregerson ($17), Rex Brothers ($5), Anthony Rendon ($4), Tyler Skaggs ($3), Zach Cozart ($3), Jason Bay ($3)
By Ray Flowers
And the fantasy baseball drafts just keep on coming… Kay Adams and I hosted the Livin’ the Fantasy Draft for SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM87). The league consisted of myself, Kay, Kyle Elfrink, two producers (Drew Phelps and Phil Backert), and six listeners (one was unable to make it). That means we had a shallow 11 team, mixed league draft that we took part in. I had the #2 selection in the draft, and here is how my team turned out.
C: Carlos Santana (7th round), Victor Martinez (8)
1B: Kevin Youkilis (19), Kendrys Morales (24)
2B: Rickie Weeks (9), Martin Prado (6)
3B: Ryan Zimmerman (4), Manny Machado (21)
SS: Jose Reyes (2)
OF: Ryan Braun (1), B.J. Upton (3), Shin-Soo Choo (5), Dexter Fowler (13), Cameron Maybin (23), Drew Stubbs (25), Michael Brantley (28)
It’s a two catcher league, and with the two talents I saw sitting there in the 7th and 8th rounds I thought to myself what the heck, do something you normally don’t due and roster two potentially elite options at catcher.
First base is an area of weakness relative to the rest of my team. Still, I’m confident that my duo of Youkilis and Morales will be able to hold their own at the spot, even if I’m just treading water there.
Weeks fell in my eyes, so I was more than willing to dive into the pool in the 9th round. Injuries are always an issue, but per 162 games for his career here is Weeks line – .251-23-67-107-20. Yeah, I know right? Prado qualifies at OF, 3B, 2B and SS in this league. I know he shouldn’t, but you have to play to your leagues rules. He offers excellent cover up the middle, at the corner, and in the outfield. I love him as my middle infielder right now. Speaking of up the middle, Reyes is a strong contender to lead shortstops in fantasy value in 2013.
Zimmerman’s shoulder keeps passing all the tests this spring, and he seems well on his way to another traditionally impressive effort at the hot corner. Machado in the 21st was a shocking fall actually. Kyle Elfrink, my co-host on The Drive (5 PM EDT, Monday-Friday) pointed out something very interesting. Rookies like Wil Myers and Jurickson Profar are on everyone’s must draft list. A youngster like Machado, who is just as talented, simply isn’t because he played last year and only did so-so. The perception is that Myers/Profar are worth the risk this season but Machado is only blah. Folks, Machado is a dynamic talent who has a starting job with the Orioles. That should mean more than it does to some.
Braun is still my #1 guy, PED junk be damned. Upton is a great #2 outfielder. Choo is a great #3 outfielder. Fowler is a great #4 outfielder. Maybin/Stubbs/Brantley equals a great #5 outfielder.
On the hill I waited on starters, shocking I know, and yet again proved you can do well following that strategy. Gallardo and Latos are top-20 arms in my eyes, and Morrow is right on the edge of that as well. My 4th starter is Wilson, and I have a lot of faith in him rebounding this season (see his Player Profile). My fifth is Haren, and I have a lot of faith that he will rebound this season (see his Player Profile). My sixth starter is Tim Hudson, you know the guy who has averaged 16 victories with a 3.19 ERA and 1.16 WHIP the past three seasons. My seventh starting arm is Volquez who has a 200 K season in his back pocket, has filthy stuff, and pitches half his games in Petco Park.
In the pen, some strong arms as well. Nathan and Hanrahan are top-10 closer types, and Cishek is a strong 3rd closer. I also added Jansen, that guys arm is as good as any in baseball, and Pestano who is one hell of a hurler himself (he’s also potentially going to get some 9th inning work if Chris Perez isn’t 100 percent by opening day).
It’s an 11 team league, having one less team in the mix certainly opens up the player pool for sure, and who knows about injuries, but looking at this squad I really don’t think I have an obvious weakness.
Oh, and here are the results of an NL-only draft that we held on The Drive which you can hear Monday through Friday at 5 PM EDT on Sirius 210. XM87.
By Ray Flowers
(1) Mike Trout Greatest Player of All-Time? Some seem to think so. I don’t.
(2) Aroldis Chapman having the best best season ever for a reliever?
(3) Huston Street dominating like no ones business.
(4) Rafael Betancourt historically good, like All-Time good.
(5) Chris Perez struggling closing out games. Could we see Vinnie Pestano soon?
(6) Aramis Ramirez surging for Brew Crew.
(7) David Murphy to see playing time increase – could play every day.
By Ray Flowers
Yesterday in SWIP: 2012 – Starters, I gave a detailed description of exactly what SWIP is before I took a look at the starting pitcher pool from 2011. In PART II of my SWIP report, I’ll take a look at all the hurlers who tossed less than 160 innings including a discussion about the men that work the 8th and 9th innings.
* For an explanation of what SWIP is and how it works, click on the above link. Here is the “key” to help you to understand how to read the SWIP marks.
.90 and Up: Excellent season. Hall of Fame level.
.70 to .89: An all-star performance. Worthy of Cy Young consideration.
.50 to .69: Borderline all-star to decent starting pitcher. A guy you’d like to have on your staff.
.35 to .50: A guy who should be nothing more than the 3rd or 4th starter with his club.
.20 to .34: His major league days are likely numbered.
Below .20: Minor leaguer in training.
The league average in 2011 was 0.45.
Here are the hurlers who tossed between 90 and 160 innings in 2011.
0.87 – Brandon Beachy
Now maybe all of you out there who questioned why I have Beachy so high in my 2012 rankings, which you can find in the 2012 BBGuys Draft Guide, will at least partially, understand my reasoning.
0.79 – Cory Luebke
A great place to pitch, combined with an impressive K-rate, equals a lot of promise.
0.74 – Tommy Hanson
Injures an a new motion are causing some worry, but if healthy he has the tools to be a top-20 starting pitcher.
0.68 – Scott Baker
Keep an eye on his elbow woes, but Baker owns the skills to be a top of the rotation fantasy arm if he can make 30 starts.
0.64 – Marco Estrada
The likely rotation fill in with the Brewers if Shawn Marcum (shoulder) is unable to go at the start of the year.
0.64 – Jake Peavy
He had nearly a four to one K/BB ratio last year, though he has looked awful in camp thus far.
0.60 – Jonathan Niese, Erik Bedard
One pitcher is always hurt, both are usually overlooked.
0.59 – Tom Gorzelanny
Whatever his role (RP or SP), Tom was an effective hurler last year with a career best 2.88 K/BB ratio.
0.56 – Felipe Paulino
Armed with a big arm, Paulino has quietly averaged 8.28 strikeouts per nine in 347.2 big league innings.
0.37 – Johnny Cueto
Totally changed him M.O. last year morphing from a K-arm, to a ground ball machine. SWIP isn’t a fan of that shift.
0.30 – Jair Jurrjens
I warn about him each year. Don’t buy that low ERA, it’s just not sustainable.
0.28 – Francisco Liriano
What an arm, but all those walks are just a killer.
Now on to the arms that worked at least 40 innings but no more than 90.
1.35 – Sergio Romo
I keep saying it, but here it is again. Romo has no shot at the Hall of Fame, but his numbers to this point of the game are as impressive as pretty much any hurler who has every lived.
1.30 – Kenley Jansen
The #1 target by most fantasy pundits from the middle reliever ranks.
1.20 – Jonathan Papelbon
All he does is save 30 games each year while striking out more than 10 batters per nine innings.
1.17- Koji Uehara
Often lost in the shuffle on draft day, this import runs smoother than a top of the line Honda Accord.
1.04 – Rafael Betancourt
Some doubt whether or not he can handle the 9th inning all season. That’s fine since he’s never done it for an entire year. However, don’t doubt the skills – they are elite.
0.99 – Sergio Santos
Some are worried about what he will do for an encore in his first year in Toronto. SWIP isn’t concerned.
0.98 – David Robertson
He’s shed the walking boot and appears to be well on his way to being ready for Opening Day after a scare with his foot. Could represent a nice buy low option on draft day.
0.97 – Vinnie Pestano
Looks like Chris Perez might be healthy enough for Opening Day after all, but that doesn’t mean it still wouldn’t be wise to roster Pestano.
0.96 – Rex Brothers
When you blow cheese like he does it doesn’t matter if you are pitching at a mile above seawater.
0.92 – Greg Holland
Never mentioned as an elite bullpen arm, but the guy had 74 Ks and just 19 walks in 60 innings last year.
0.43 – Javy Guerra
Will open the year as the Dodgers’ closer even though he is, literally, a third of the pitcher as Jansen according to SWIP.
0.42 – Jeff Samardzija
He has a great arm that led to 87 Ks in 88 innings last season, but the young fireballer simply has to reign in the free passes (he issued 50 last year).
0.39 – Neftali Feliz
Transitioning to the starting rotation, Feliz was dominant in the second half last year but his overall work places him as a below average SWIP arm.
0.32 – Matt Capps
How long can he hold on to the Twins 9th inning job? Not long if he repeats last years effort.
0.27 – Luke Gregerson
What happened to that once dominating arm out of the Padres’ pen?
For those of you who want to investigate further, here is the BBGuys-SWIP-2011-PDF file that lists all men who tossed at least 40-innings last season.
To sign up for your baseball league this year make sure you check out Fleaflicker.
By Ray Flowers