Monday, May 6, 2013

Future Closers: A loot at the future of the futile position

Kansas City Royals
Current Closer: Greg Holland (3.75 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 7 SV, 2 BLSV, 19 K/12 IP)
Holland came in to relieve James Shields who was dominant over 8 frames today. He promptly gave up three straight singles. He then completed a 1-2-3 double play, followed by a walk with first base vacant to re-load the bases. The next batter Alexei Ramirez singled to 2B where the useless Chris Getz bobbled the ball which lead to a run scoring. Whew! Ned Yost has to be second guessing the move to pull Shields. I'm second guessing Holland's ability to be an elite stopper. Kelvin Herrera throws gas with a nice slider but he's been shaky in his save opportunities as well. My proclamation is that Aaron Crow could be the simplest answer at closer with Herrera and Holland sharing 7th and 8th inning duties respectively.

The future: Aaron Crow - (1.08 ERA, 0.96 WHIP 1 SV, 5 HLD, 5 K thru 8.1 IP)

Houston Astros
Current Closer: Jose Veras, age 32 (5.24 ERA, 2 BLSV, 2 SV)
This team may only win 40 games this year and that in itself is epic futility. However, in games they do win, chances are they will be close games. Veras is not proven, has an ERA over five and two losses to go with his two saves. My speculation is just that, but I believe the answer to their future closer role is in Triple-A. Jarred Cosart has turned up the K rate this year as a starter, but with all the starters they have Cosart may get his first shot in the Bigs as the closer for the befuddled 'Stros.

The future: Cosart in AAA - (3-0, 2.63 ERA, 29 K thru 27.1 IP)

Miami Marlins
Current Closer: Steve Cishek (4.84 ERA, 4 S, 3 L)
I still dont understand why Cishek is the closer. I don't understand much the Marlins do to be honest. The bottom line here is that Cishek isn't a closer, he's a 7th-8th inning guy with nothing to over-power hitters. He's a ground ball pitcher in the biggest stadium in the league. It's just a weird fit. I think A.J. Ramos is the future for the Marlins and should be able to fireball his way into the position before season's end.

The future: A.J. Ramos so far in 2013 - (3.71 ERA, 18 K in 17 IP, 2 BLSV)

Other closer situations to monitor: 
Red Sox: Andrew Bailey hit the DL(biceps) on Monday with Joel Hanrahan sliding back into the closer role. Hanrahan has a 9.45 ERA and a 2.10 WHIP thus far. Koji Uehara would be next in line with Bailey out at least a week with his DL stint back dated to last week.
Brewers: Jim Henderson is holding down the fort right now and John Axford can't seem to pitch a clean inning with any consistency. Henderson has done well and boasts 6 saves without any blown chances. He also has 17 K thru 13 innings pitched. For some reason there is still a feeling that Axford will get another shot. I doubt that, and I doubt Henderson can keep up this production as well. They have no one else to turn to, I for one would like to see Wily Peralta become a closer, he can't seem to be an effective starter but getting three outs could be a nice fit for him.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Seeing Red (5x5 Roto Bullish)

Justin Upton has 11 homers and it is only April 25th. People are asking if they should sell high. Simply put the answer is NO. His fly ball rate is right at 46% which is where it was in 2011. He is happy, in a great lineup and driving the ball, far. Do not sell Justin Upton.

Pedro Alvarez has homered in 3 of his last 5 games. Alvarez got off to a miserable start but he always has. He is possibly one of the most streaky power hitters which can cause some owners to miss his power surges by benching him. You drafted him, you knew what he was. You have to roll him out there all season to get every bit of power potential you can. He's hitting .368 over his last 7 games(7 for19 with 4 HRs).

Starling Marte is another Pirate who has been producing. He's been producing all year actually. He's batting .329 with 13 R, 1 HR, 9 RBI and 5 SBs. The power will come soon. You could be looking at a 20/40 guy in Marte this year.

Nelson Cruz has been nailz over his last 26 at bats. Nelly has 4 HR, 12 RBI and a .346 BA over that span.

Hot 7 over the last 7 Days:
Yu Darvish: 2-0  21Ks  0.00 ERA 0.84 WHIP
Mike Napoli: 2 HR, 10 RBI, .333 BA, 7 R
Kyle Seager: 11 for 22, 2 HRs, 5 RBI
Adam Wainwright: 2-0 1.76 ERA 0.97 WHIP 13/1 K/BB
Alex Cobb: 2-0  10/2 K/BB, 1.72 ERA 0.95 WHIP
Andrew Bailey: 4 Saves with 9Ks, 1.80 ERA and .80 WHIP
Jean Segura: 6 Runs, 5 SB, .321 AVG

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Deeper Creepers

I feel like I am talking about this guy too often, but he keeps putting up hits when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (really? still named that??) need them. The guyer I am referring to is 3B Luis Jimenez.  The 25 year old Venezuelan rookie is hitting a robust .343 with 12 hits in 10 games. His approach needs fine tuning with 11/2 K/BB but his ability has shown through. He's been an above average defender as well. All signs point to Callaspo starting when he returns. But in deeper leagues Jimenez has been a serviceable stopgap for two weeks. I hope he stays up but a bench role is worthless for fantasy purposes. Monitor Callaspo's return. Aybar isn't expected back when eligable.

Twins Basil! Twins. Ok the Twinkies are nothing to write home about, however while playing a double header yesterday they did have to notable contributors who were unsuspecting. OF/DH Oswaldo Arcia came into yesterdays double header with little more than one hit and an error to his resume. He tripled his season hit total and blasted his first homer of the year, a three run bomb! He has pop for sure and Gardenhire put him in the three hole for the second dip of the double-header. Interesting. Mastroianni is out a few weeks which could give the Twins enough time to make Arcia a regular and/or platoon some mix of he, Parmelee and Willingham.

The second Twin is uber-post-spring-training-bust CF Aaron Hicks. After setting the strikeout world on fire from the batters box, Hicks has actually contributed the past few games. He has amassed 11 walks in 55 at bats to go along with 22 Ks. He is scoring runs(8) and swiping bags(2) when he gets on base. Over his past 3 games Hicks has gone 2-7(.285) with 2 runs scored, 2 RBI, 3 BB and 1 SB. This leads me to believe he has the plate vision to succeed, he either A. isn't liking playing in the Arctic weather of Target field or B. he's pressing too much. I think if you held onto him you will be rewarded in the next few weeks. As should the Twins be, for sticking with him. I SAY ITS TIME TO BUY!

He can't possibly keep this up can he? Fantasy eligibility gold mine and Brewers' super-utility man Yuniesky Betancourt has been slugging his ass off compared to his career avg. He is slugging .473 with 3 HRs and 14 RBI over 57 ABs thru 18 games. He cannot keep this up. No. No way. I don't care what he worked on or thinks he found in winter ball. Or do I? Jose Bautista was a 15 HR max afterthought up until the 2010 season where at the age of 29 he set the world on fire with 54 HRs and 124 RBI. Now, am I saying Yuni is going to become Bautista? Not at all, however it just goes to show a player can all-of-a-sudden "find it" in this game. Just as Rick Ankiel got the "yips." Stranger things have happened. Unfortunately the real 3B Ramirez will return soon as well as Cory Hart at some point. Ride the lightning while you can with Betancourt, if he keeps hitting...who knows? Rickie Weeks seems replaceable at this point, maybe?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Two-fer Tuesday

Prospect Watch April 16:

Miami Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton should probably just go on the DL to heal his sore shoulder. That could open up the door for OF stud, 21 year old, Christian Yelich. However, Yelich has been injured (plantar fasciitis) and was only recently reinstated to the Minor League roster.

The Los Angelos Angels of Anaheim called up Luis Jimenez when Erick Aybar and Alberto Callaspo went down last week. They are putrid right now and I think Jimenez could stick around.

Tampa Bay's newly aquired prospect Wil Myers is still in Triple-A despite the Rays early offensive struggles. I doubt that lasts much longer.Myers however, is yet to show his power stroke this year with zilch in the homer category.

Pirates Pitcher James McDonald has been dreadful early on. Some speculation has been swirling around the "Twitterverse" leaving many questioning his health. If he is injured, could we see one of the top pitching prospects? Cole or Taillon? Maybe?

The Twins brought up slugging OF prospect Oswaldo Arcia for a sip of a cup-of-coffee. No sooner did he burn his lip on hot coffee, get his first hit and commit his first error, the Twins sent him packing back to AAA. I think it speaks volumes for where they value him within the system. Although brief, his stay shows that he is next in line were something to happen to a corner OF in the show.

Jurikson Profar is roadblocked for the foreseeable future in Texas. They locked up Andrus with a huge long term deal and Kinsler isn't moving from second base. He may not make the impact in fantasy we had hoped for in 2013...unless traded for, maybe say for Oscar Taveras? That would help both clubs and fantasy owners like me who own Profar or Taveras in keeper leagues.

Notable 2013 Prospects already making an impact in MLB:
Shelby Miller SP STL:  2-0 with a 1.46 ERA, 0.72 WHIP and 12K thru 12.3 IP
Jose Fernadez SP MIA:  2 Starts with 0-0 record (remember its MIA), however 13Ks in 11 IP (only 3 BB) and a sparkling 0.81 ERA & 0.72 WHIP are no joke.

Prospect BUST?
Twins OF Aaron Hicks' start to the 2013 season after jumping up from AA, not so hot. Actually, it has been historically bad. Hicks set a record for most Ks through his first 10 games. That would be great if her were a pitcher. Right now Hicks stands at 20 Ks thru 43 ABs with 2 hits. He did come in as a pinch hitter yesterday and walked, stole a base and scored. That's the lone bright spot. And yes, I drafted him.

Pray for Boston
As a former US Marine and father of two boys, days like yesterday hit me hard. Senseless acts of death and destruction have become daily occurrences in the Middle East and countries ruined by dictatorial rule. The United States of America is not one of those places, we are a land of Patriots, workers, teachers and a place where a child has the opportunity to be whatever their heart desires. When anyone's life is taken from them it is tragic. Lives and families shall forever remain altered due to the gruesome attack yesterday. Whether it be foreign or domestic threat, I pray that the person(s) responsible are caught and rue the day as they meet their maker face to face. Justice shall be done.


Monday, April 15, 2013

42 Day

Everyone in baseball honors a legend today. Jackie Robinson not only broke the color barrier, but he was a great player and human being. 

Jackie Robinson Day started with a bang. The Rays' stagnant offense fought back against Andrew Bailey after being stifled by Ryan Dempster (7.0 IP, 10K, 1 ER) all day. Tampa Bay scored to tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the ninth only to have Mike Napoli deliver the game winning hit off the Green Monster to score Pedroia from first base.

Starters for today 4/15/13:
Floyd CHW @ Buehrle TOR
Bedard HOU @ Milone OAK
Blanton LAA @ Correia MIN
Gee NYM @ Nicasio COL
Lee PHI @ Arroyo CIN
Stults SD @ Billingsly LAD
Lynn StL @ McDonald PIT
Zimmerman WAS @ LeBlanc MIA

Hellickson @ Dempster BOS (3-2 BOS W) Hellickson ND, Dempster ND, Peralta L, Bailey BS/W(blown save/bullshit win)

Reds: J. Cueto to DL, contract purchased RHP Justin Freeman
Pirates: Irwin sent back to AAA, OF Alex Presley gets the call
Twins: Purchase contract of OF Oswaldo Arcia, Wilkin Ramirez on paternity leave

Friday, April 12, 2013

Snap Greinke and Pop
A West Side Story

Zack AttackedSo there I was, watching the A's dominate the Angels, again, when I get a three word text which read: "Dodgers Padres Brawl." It was a commercial break so I turned the "channel" to LAD @ SD, much to my surprise it wasn't the ole' benches clear and nothing happens brawl. Carlos Quentin saw red after standing in the way of a Zack Greinke heater. Quentin stared him down, Greinke said something and then...Quentin went all American Gladiators on the Dodgers number two starter. Quentin bull rushed Greinke and a dog pile ensued. After all the dust settled Jerry Hairston was shown running BACK out of the dugout and once again a mosh pit. Matt Kemp seemed madder than the night Rhianna went back to Chris Brown, but he didn't smack a bitch. All told; Kemp, Quentin and Hairston were ejected. Greinke was or wasnt ejected, but who cares? What we found out moments after the brawl was that Greinke's clavicle was fractured and he would be missing significant time. That's a tough loss for the Dodgers but they have depth at SP. I assume at this point that Capuano would be his replacement. Where it really hurts is in fantasy. Many owners drafted Greinke as a number 1 or 2 SP. No timetable has been set for his recovery as of yet, he is seeing a specialist in LA on Friday. Quentin will most likely receive the max suspension for mound mauling. If it were up to Donny Baseball, Quentin wouldn't play again until Greinke can pitch again. That wont happen.

After the game Kemp and Quentin had to be separated by Clayton Richard and security in the parking lot and Kemp was quoted saying "We''ll see, bitch!" to Quentin. The two teams meet again on Monday in LA. If you recall, a Giants fan was shot at Dodger Stadium not too long ago. Hope that it doesn't get stupid.

This was posted by the Dodgers Official Twitter account and is still up actually. I LOL'd

See you on Monday in Los Angeles:…
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 12, 2013

View image on Twitter

I didnt forget about the Pop part! As I said, I was watching the A's "beat up on" the Angels before the brawl in Petco. As a Cespedes owner I actually missed a Yo-Bomb from La Potencia! Wow, that dude has POP! He hit the ball mid way up onto the rocks in Anaheim. A total no-doubter from my favorite Cuban defector.