Archive for July, 2012

Bullpen Report: July 31, 2012

Greg Holland owners, your patience has finally paid off! Jonathan Broxton was traded today to the Reds and while he may see an occasional save opportunity to spell Aroldis Chapman, his days of being the primary closer this year are over. Meanwhile, Greg Holland will be the Royals new closer and he certainly has the stuff to be a successful one. Although his 3.63 ERA and 1.56 WHIP don’t suggest  a top notch closer, he’s been unlucky with a .388 BABIP and his 2.92 xFIP and 12.71 K/9 illustrate the ability he has to be one of the premier closers in fantasy baseball.

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Eric Thames (Might Be) Useful In Seattle

As you no doubt have heard, Eric Thames has traded blue for teal in being shipped to the Seattle Mariners with Steve Delabar going to the Toronto Blue Jays. And while I pray your fantasy roster has better options than Eric Thames at the moment, it’s possible you might want to take a flyer on him at least in the short term.

First of all, Thames ought to play, and play regularly. The Mariners outfield has been a real circus of moving parts in the last few weeks. Ichiro Suzuki was obviously traded. Franklin Gutierrez can’t stay healthy. Sometimes left fielder Mike Carp moved to first base with Justin Smoak banished to AAA. Chone Figgins, Carlos Peguero, and Trayvon Robinson are terrible, horrible, and no-good.

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Travis Snider in Pittsburgh

Travis Snider is now a Buc, and in the deepest of leagues, he’s probably gone from your waiver wire already. And in the shallowest of leagues, even the biggest fan would have to admit that he’s no sure thing, and that the strikeouts could keep the batting average too low to take advantage of his nascent power. But in the leagues in between, we are stuck wondering how excited to get.

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Catchers in the News

With the non-waiver trade deadline coming up tonight, the flurry of deals we’ve seen, the rash of injuries lately, not to mention your fantasy league’s trade deadline, it’s not easy to keep tabs on each and every player.  Sometimes things just fall through the cracks.  And since the catching position, all to often, goes unwatched and unnoticed unless you’re having blatant issues at the position, perhaps a general update piece will be helpful. Read the rest of this entry »

Sellers Guide: The ottoneu Trade Deadline

With the hours of July 31 ticking away, the MLB trade deadline is winding down and by the time you sit down to dinner tonight, you’ll know whether your favorite team has landed that arm/added that bat/moved that contract/restocked the farm. But you are not a GM (unless you are, in which case you have better things to do than read a fantasy column on deadline day) – you are an ottoneu owner and you still have the month of August to get something done.

Over the next two weeks, we’ll take a look at how the ottoneu trade deadline differs from the trade deadline in other keeper leagues and lay out some recommendations for how to handle the deadline. We’ll start with a sellers guide today.

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Roto Riteup: July 31, 2012

Today is trade deadline day, so what better way to prepare than a new episode of the Roto Riteup? Let’s spend today going over some of the players that could be moved today. (If one of them gets traded during the night, blame yourselves, not me). Use the information to help inform any of your trade talks, especially when a player may be switching leagues.

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Bullpen Report: July 30, 2012

• The Rockies haven’t been able to give many save chances to their closer Rafael Betancourt who’s had a solid year pitching to a 3.62 xFIP with a 9.24 K/9 and they may not have many more opportunities as Betancourt trade rumors are heating up.  Troy Renck lists Oakland, Atlanta, Toronto, Texas and the Anaheim part of Los Angeles as possible suitors for Betancourt and if he’s traded, Matt Belisle or Rex Brothers could take over closing duties for Colorado. Rex Brothers may have more potential and the better swing and miss stuff (11.90 K/9; 14.1% SwStr%) but he’s a lefty and I’d expect Matt Belisle to get the first nod. Belisle has been one of the more underrated relievers over the last few years and has continued to excel this season with a 2.98 xFIP in 53 innings pitched.

• Over the weekend Colin noted Jim Johnson’s recent struggles and although he let two batters reach base tonight against the Yankees he was able to strike out two en route to his 31st, and major league leading, save of the season. With the expanded playoffs, Baltimore is still in the race so Johnson’s job is still relatively secure but he can’t afford any more six run blow ups like he had last week.

Frank Francisco is currently on the DL but that might change soon as he’s now planning on returning to the Mets this weekend against the Padres. Although Francisco had converted 18 of the 21 save opportunities he received for the Mets, he didn’t pitch particularly well with a 4.97 ERA and 4.21 xFIP. Bobby Parnell blew a couple of saves in a row a few weeks ago, but besides that he’s been great for the Mets with a 3.06 xFIP on the year. My money is on Francisco regaining the job for the Mets, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see Parnell get another chance before the season’s end as Francisco has been both injured and inconsistent while Parnell has pitched better.

• Bad news for Luke Gregerson owners this week as Huston Street signed a two-year $14 million extension with the Padres. Street was obviously in trade rumors the past few weeks but his extension ensures that he will at least stay on the Padres for the remainder of 2012. Gregerson has been a reliable reliever to help your ratios (3.17 xFIP; 1.14 WHIP) but any value he had for potential saves is now gone.

• Pitching in the seventh inning tonight against the Brewers, Francisco Cordero gave four hits and two runs and his time as the Astros closer might be over. As of this writing, no change has been made but Wilton Lopez would make a nice pick up right about now. Cordero has appeared in five games for the Astros this year and so far he’s blown three saves while giving up eight runs.

For those of you who play daily fantasy games like FanGraphs: The Game, or just like to stream players, here is a matchup you may be able to exploit.

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Ernesto Frieri (LAA) at TEX

It’s never a bad decision to avoid pitchers in Texas but with Jered Weaver on the hill the Angels have a great shot at a win. Frieri is also well rested having last pitched on Friday, so look for him to have a chance for a save and strikeouts against the Rangers.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second Off 25-Man
Arizona J.J. Putz David Hernandez Takashi Saito
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Eric O’Flaherty Jonny Venters
Baltimore Jim Johnson Pedro Strop Darren O’Day
Boston Alfredo Aceves Andrew Miller Mark Melancon Andrew Bailey
Chicago (NL) Carlos Marmol James Russell Shawn Camp
Chicago (AL) Addison Reed Brett Myers Matt Thornton
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Sean Marshall Jose Arredondo
Cleveland Chris Perez Vinnie Pestano Tony Sipp
Colorado Rafael Betancourt Matt Belisle Rex Brothers
Detroit Jose Valverde Joaquin Benoit Octavio Dotel
Houston Francisco Cordero Wilton Lopez Wesley Wright
KC Jonathan Broxton Greg Holland Aaron Crow
LAA Ernesto Frieri Scott Downs Kevin Jepsen Jordan Walden
LAD Kenley Jansen Javy Guerra Ronald Bellisario
Miami Steve Cishek Heath Bell Edward Mujica
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez John Axford Jose Veras
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Alex Burnett Matt Capps
NY (NL) Bobby Parnell Jon Rauch Ramon Ramirez Frank Francisco
NY (AL) Rafael Soriano David Robertson Boone Logan
Oakland Ryan Cook Sean Doolittle Grant Balfour
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Antonio Bastardo Jake Diekman
Pittsburgh Joel Hanrahan Jason Grilli Jared Hughes
St. Louis Jason Motte Mitchell Boggs Marc Rzepczynski
SD Huston Street Luke Gregerson Dale Thayer
SF Santiago Casilla Sergio Romo Javier Lopez
Seattle Tom Wilhelmsen Brandon League Shawn Kelley
Tampa Bay Fernando Rodney Kyle Farnsworth Jake McGee
Texas Joe Nathan Mike Adams Robbie Ross
Toronto Casey Janssen Brandon Lyon Darren Oliver
Wash. Tyler Clippard Drew Storen Sean Burnett

[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]

And Then There Were None: The Miami Outfield

Five little speckled frogs
Sat on a speckled log
Eating some most delicious grubs.
One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool
Then there were four green speckled frogs.

The Marlins outfield is a nursery rhyme right now. Going into the season, it was going to be Giancarlo Stanton, Emilio Bonifacio and Logan Morrison patrolling the Miami outfield grass. That’s a young outfield — none of them is older than 30 — with power and speed and patience, for the most part. Sunday night the Marlins started Donovan Solano, Justin Ruggiano and Austin Kearns at those same positions. That’s an old outfield — one of them is under 30 — with very little power, speed, or patience.

They’ve fallen far. Crisis — in this case brought on by a knee surgery for Stanton, a need for Bonifacio on the infield, and a looming knee surgery for Morrison — means opportunity for fantasy players, usually, but in this case, it might just be a crisis.

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AL OF Stock Watch

With just hours before the end of the (non-waiver) trade deadline, here are some risers and fallers in the American League outfield.

Alex Gordon – After a pretty slow start this season caused a lot of people to think that his 2011 was a fluke, Gordon has been excellent for the past two months. His June average was .349 and his July average has fallen all the way back down to .333 so far. I had him down in the fifth tier to start July and that ranking is looking increasingly silly. In case anyone hasn’t been paying attention to their team lately, or can only remember Gordon’s start to the season, I’d go ahead and trade for him. The final two months are upon us and Gordon is a valuable asset in any format.
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Scott Diamond & Alexi Ogando: Waiver Wire

Going with two starting pitchers to kick off the week in waiver wire, one from the AL Central and one from the AL West…

Scott Diamond | SP | Twins | Owned: 41% Yahoo! and 34.8% ESPN

I’m going to resist the easy “diamond in the rough” crack here, but the Twins do have something in the former Rule 5 Draft pick. Minnesota plucked the 26-year-old left-hander from the Braves during the 2010-2011 offseason then swung a trade to retain his rights. Diamond made seven generally unimpressive starts a year ago (5.08 ERA and 4.36 FIP), but he’s run off 15 strong starts this summer (2.88 ERA and 3.69 FIP).

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