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Friday, October 02, 2009
As the 2009 season winds down, it's time to look at the NL Waiver Wire recommendations I've made this year to check out the Hits and Misses in my prognostications. I was pleased to see that most of my calls were good ones, with caution advised when appropriate, along with stronger recommendations to pick up good guys and leave the ugly ones on the wire.
I wasn't as good as True Talent, the predictive system you'll find only in Heater Magazine, which typically was spot-on in telling you who'd succeed and who wouldn't, even for guys with minimal major-league experience. To take a random example, Eugenio Velez's True Talent line of .266/.314/.398 almost exactly nailed his actual .266/.310/.408 line—and he's not alone.
John Burnson's great stat work often made me look like a genius, as you'll see in the "Hits" below, counting up from No. 5 to No. 1. Now and then, either True Talent or my own instincts steered me wrong, and you'll read about those in the "Misses," arranged from near-miss to worst miss.
Additionally, I invite the THT readers out there to share their own stories of success or failure based on the Waiver Wire columns. Did we help you win your league with that one crucial HR? Blow your lead in SB? We only get better when you let us know how we're doing, so feel free to comment, and I look forward to the offseason, 2010 season (and beyond) with THT Fantasy!
5) Mike MacDougal | Washington | CL
YTD: 5.4 K/9, 0.8 K/BB, 4.42 ERA
True Talent: 7.9 K/9, 1.6 K/BB, 4.18 ERA
Performance Since Column: 4.9 K/9, 0.8 K/BB, 4.29 ERA, 18 Saves
This is a little Hit, a little Miss, but it's mostly a Miss. I said in my June 12 column that MacDougal "can throw strikes—he just doesn’t know when they’re coming" and that he was suitable for "any team that needs saves without strong ratios." That much was right. But True Talent was way off on strikes and K/BB, just as I was wrong in saying "he's a short-term pickup" and that "Manny Acta has hinted he won't be closing for long." I didn't expect him to outlast his manager, and nobody saw his whacked ratios, let alone how they'd translate into a half-decent ERA.
Most importantly, I didn't advocate strongly enough to pick up a closer who's still closing games more than three months later, and that's why this is a Miss. That MacDougal did so without striking batters out doesn't matter; he got the job done, blowing just one save in 19 chances, and that can easily make the difference in the fantasy standings for your team.
4) Chris Snyder | Arizona | C
True Talent: .250/.354/.442
Performance Since Column: .147/.272/.221 in 20 starts
On May 29, I said Snyder had grabbed the D-backs' starting backstop job and that he'd "continue to gain ground on Montero, particularly since he’s added a career-best batting eye of .84 BB/K to his power. If he can hold his plate discipline gains, he’ll beat that True Talent OPS. ... Grab this guy in 8+ team NL leagues and all 10+ team leagues." Well, he didn't come close to True Talent or my expectations, but I've got a legitimate excuse here. Snyder lost a month to back problems, a problem that would lead to season-ending back surgery in late August. Now it looks like Snyder, whose massive $17.25M contract extension through 2012 makes him untradeable until he proves himself healthy, will be Montero's hugely overpaid backup.
It's hard to predict injuries, and there were a few other guys who missed the mark because they got hurt, but I was way off here, particularly in my exuberance about the urgency of grabbing Snyder. At least I got Montero right a few weeks later, as you'll read below.
3) Joel Pineiro | St. Louis | SP
YTD: 4.3 K/9, 3.9 K/BB, 3.44 ERA
True Talent: 4.9 K/9, 1.8 K/BB, 4.78 ERA
Performance Since Column: 4.7 K/9, 4.75 K/BB, 3.40 ERA, 14-13 record
When I reviewed Joel Pineiro on May 1, I said, "His ERA exceeds his expected ERA by almost a full run, and those peripherals (1.0 K/BB, 2.1 K/9) are awful. ... Don’t expect much more than a few extra luck-inspired wins, very few Ks and a sub-par ERA." To my credit, I didn't say he'd be awful, and a lot of forecasters got Piniero wrong. True Talent slightly undershot his expected Ks, and who would have thought Pineiro would lead all of baseball with 1.1 BB/9? That's where he got that gaudy BB/K ratio, and how he beat ERA expectations by almost a run and a half. He also tossed two shutouts (tied for the NL lead), and gave his owners 21 Quality Starts in 31 outings, for an overall record of 15-12.
This wasn't the worst Miss in the world, but I wouldn't have picked Pineiro up based on my own recommendations—as, in fact, I didn't, not in any of my leagues that count QS. And as a further hedge to my Miss here, I'll add that Pineiro has slowed down significantly in September, with a 2-3 record, 4.0 K/9, 2.2 K/BB, and 4.93 ERA in six starts. But Miss it was.
2) Garrett Jones | Pittsburgh | OF
True Talent: .245/.303/.421
Performance Since Column: .297/.377/.569, 18 HR, 19 2B, 40 RBI in 70 games.
I don't feel as bad about this pick since reading Mike Silver's excellent column on Jones, calling him "among the most confusing players in fantasy baseball." But on July 10, I said Jones was "worth a short-term flyer in NL-only leagues, and all owners should watch to see if his hot start continues." Which sounds nice out of context, and I'll freely admit I was hedging my bets, but most of my writeup focused on his long time in the minors, his strikeouts, and his problems against LHP. And True Talent was similarly pessimistic, so we both got a Miss here.
All in all, it wasn't the worst recommendation, but I was pretty tepid about someone who went on to produce at amazing levels. And, as regular readers know, I continued to advocate against his ability to maintain his production levels in comments after future columns. I missed the boat on Jones pretty badly, and if you were following my advice, you probably did, too.
1) Milton Bradley | Chicago | OF
True Talent: .280/.390/.479
Performance Since Column: .280/.383/.429, 6 HR, 19 RBI, 51 games, 1 suspension
What was I thinking? What was True Talent thinking? What were the Cubs thinking? Like TT and Chicago ownership, I couldn't believe that Bradley would continue to stink up the joint as much as he had. And, if you look at his performance since my July 17 column, he actually did improve over his .243/.379/.381 line at the time. But my final recommendation was pretty inflexible: "If you've got a spot, stash him; if you own him, wait if you can; if you need an OF, watch him. He's coming around."
He came around a little, and his final line came close to the OBP projections of True Talent, but it's doubtful that any reader expected his SLG to lose almost 100 points. I said "he's not a .760 OPS hitter" and I was right on there—he finished with a .775 OPS. My writeup was positive and pumped him up, and his minor improvement didn't merit that sort of enthusiasm. Though I also dabbled on predicting guys like Barry Zito and Mike Hampton, and did well there, my mistake was trying to scrutinize the inscrutable Milton Bradley. A big Miss here.
5) John Smoltz | St. Louis | SP/RP
YTD: 8.4 K/9, 4.1 K/BB, 6.35 ERA
True Talent: 7.8 K/9, 3.4 K/BB, 4.04 ERA
Performance Since Column: 9.5 K/9, 4.4 K/BB, 4.26 ERA
Very few people thought that Smoltz would do much with St. Louis after bombing in Boston, but I pointed out on Aug. 21 that "his secondary ratios were about in line with TT predictions. Now that he's back in the NL, on a competitive team with a strong defense, he's definitely going to improve in ERA and wins." I recommended him as "definitely worth a gamble for a handful of wins and Ks in any league." Not the strongest recommendation in the world, and I did note that his risky age and health meant you shouldn't "expect him to blow the doors off in ERA or IP." True Talent did a good job everywhere but his ERA, which is bloated from all that trouble he had in the AL. Smoltz proved me right with five innings of three-hit ball two days later, with nine Ks and no walks. He then reeled off three quality starts in his next six outings, though St. Louis couldn't give him any wins.
Smoltz wasn't amazing, but he was solid, and I give myself the Hit here because of my contrarian stance—few other folks wanted to stick their necks out for Smoltzie, and I did. Owners who followed my advice reaped the reward, albeit a winless one.
4) Seth Smith | Colorado | OF
True Talent: .284/.364/.470
Performance Since Column: .296/.363/.539 7 HR, 27 RBI
Smith was hitting .292/.395/.489 when I wrote about him on July 24, noting that Tracy named him the starter, making him "an instant add in all NL leagues and mixed leagues, as his True Talent OPS projects him in the top 30 of all OFs, with peripherals to match." Tracy backtracked a bit when Gonzalez got hot, but Smith still started 36 times in 52 games since my column and continued to produce. My strong recommendation was definitely a Hit here.
Smith did better across the board than True Talent expected, which is what happens when a guy with strong contact skills keeps improving his batting eye, as I'd noted in that column. Colorado won the wild card thanks to guys like Smith—hopefully he helped your team in similar fashion.
3) Leo Nunez | Florida | RP
YTD: 7.8 K/9, 2.2 K/BB, 4.12 ERA, 25 SV
True Talent: 7.3 K/9 2.1 K/BB 3.68 ERA
Performance Since Column: 7.8 K/9, 2.5 K/BB, 4.23 ERA, 23 SV
Because of a goof in my record-keeping, I actually covered Nunez twice, but I'm going to look at the first recommendation on June 12, when Nunez was far from the closer candidate he became two weeks later. He'd mopped up a few times for Lindstrom, but manager Gonzalez insisted that there was no change at the back of his bullpen. I pointed out Lindstrom's 7.0 BB/9, and called Nunez "mandatory Lindstrom insurance and a strong roster addition for NL-only teams and any deep league where you’re speculating on saves."
Speculators who heeded my advice got the results above, with 23 saves that hopefully helped you in your fantasy pennant race, once Nunez became the closer and hasn't let the job go since. True Talent was right on in estimating Nunez's control, very close in strikeout rate, and close to that slippery ERA mark. Nobody who got those saves is going to quibble about the .44 ERA difference, nor in the scant three Ks that the different K/9 projection translates to.
2) Carlos Gonzalez | Colorado | OF
True Talent: .264/.312/.421
Performance Since Column: .283/.358/.519, 8 SB, 5 HR, 10 RBI, 23 R
CarGo also got two writeups from me, but I'm focusing on the later one this time, because it was more emphatic, unlike the wishy-washy June 12 column, which noted "every owner should watch to see if this talent finally arrives." It took Gonzalez a little longer to prove himself, but on Aug. 21, I wrote him up again. In that column, I pointed out the difference in his .289/.350/.547 YTD line and True Talent's predictions, noting "the truth is somewhere in between; let's not forget that Gonzalez was once a top prospect, and he may have finally figured it out." I reminded readers of his superior numbers outside of Coors, and called him "a must-add for all NL leagues and 10-team mixed leagues in the short term, and those in keeper leagues should strongly consider holding onto him even after he cools off."
As you can see, he didn't cool off, and his numbers slipped a bit, but not as low as TT said, so those keeper owners (along with everyone else) should still have him in their lineups. True Talent shot a bit low on his final lines, an easy thing to do for a guy who'd shown so little ability in his big-league ABs up to now. Despite this, I gave him a strong thumbs-up, and I hope that THT readers followed that advice.
1) Miguel Montero | Arizona | C
True Talent: .254/.334/.421
Performance Since Column: .308/.358/.497 7 HR, 30 RBI
On June 23, the D-backs put Chris Snyder on the DL, and my June 26 column advised, "True Talent tells you Montero will improve his power, and NL owners should certainly take notice of this opportunity to pick him up. He's worth a roster spot in 8-team NL leagues and mixed leagues deeper than 12 teams." I don't mind pointing out that Montero did even better than expected—you might call understatement a Miss, but I'm counting this as a Hit, especially since I noted that "he might hang onto the starting role" if he continues to impress, which he did; he's now the starter in AZ, undoubtedly into 2010.
Trying to get value from the catcher's spot is difficult, particularly in midseason. Getting this kind of production from a backstop who hits in the middle of the Arizona order is a difference-maker. I'm betting Montero affected the balance of power (literally) in quite a few fantasy pennant races, and I'd like to think I had a small part in that.
Thanks again to all you THT readers for reading and commenting, and I invite you again to comment below. Any other Hits or Misses you want to point out? Did the naysayers at the beginning of the year feel like we turned it around? Is there another aspect to the stats or writeups you'd like to see?
THT has the smartest, most articulate readers of any fantasy Website, and I welcome your thoughts and comments below. Thanks again for a great season, and I look forward to many more!
True Talent Forecasts courtesy of Heater Magazine.
Posted by Michael Street at 6:10am
Some “hits” and “misses” in this season of Heater-sponsored Waiver Wire columns...
First off, Heater writers really know their stuff. A site recently computed RMSEs for various pre-season prediction systems, and so I went back and looked at the Heater writers predictions from the last preseason issue, and the RMSE came out at 9.51, which was better than anything except the CAIRO system (9.30), and significantly better than any human-based prediction (though the betting Over/Under lines weren't bad at all. Those casinos know how to make money!). The usually-strong PECOTA system clocked in at 11.49, virtually the same as if you projected an 81-81 season for each team. Maybe considering the “human input” on guys like Wieters, Guzman, and Gerut would have helped some, because PECOTA is a great system usually. The THT system was excellent, as expected, at 9.86, though with Marcel at 9.77 this year, it's hard for anyone to beat their chest too much.
So, what do we have for individual player predictions made weekly here at THT? We started Waiver Wire on May 1, making for five months of predictions (though September predictions are probably too recent to evaluate at all). Most of the “hits” and “misses” will be from the earlier predictions, as there's been more time to see how accurate they were:
8) July 17:
Magglio Ordonez | Detroit | OF
True Talent: .294/.359/.449
Next Week Forecast: 0.3 HR, 2 Runs 2 RBI, .292 BA, 0.1 SB
Fans have collectively “forgotten” what typical aging curves look like thanks to PEDs, and Maggs is of an age when many in the past have collapsed. But ... we're guessing the manipulative Jim Leyland is tearing him down and platooning him to “inspire” him. He's an exceptional “buy-low” candidate now, though obviously high-risk. He has a career Ct% of almost 88%, giving him one of the better combinations of contact and power in the game.
This looks even better this week, as “Maggs” is killing off the Twins. As expected, he was quickly back into a significant role after this was written, and hit .356/.421/.500 in 202 PA from July 17 onward.
7) May 1:
Russ Branyan | Seattle | 1B/3B
True Talent: .243/.339/.485
Next Week Forecast: 1.0 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, .252 BA, 0.2 SB
Seattle used to have “Big Richie” Sexson, now they have Russell “Paul Bunyan” Branyan. There has never been much difference (other than batting side) between the two. Branyan’s five-hit game against Danks should maintain him in the lineup against LHP, so it's safe to count on more than the projected stats. Just don’t panic when Branyan goes into an 0-for-25-with-12-strikeouts slump. Because he will.
It wasn't quite 0-for-25, but Branyan did in fact post a 12-for-73 (with 27 K) stretch. Worse for those of us who had him on a team, he got injured. His actual stats from May 1 onward? .238/.337/.505. Score one for True Talent!
6) June 12:
Scott Podsednik | Chicago | OF
True Talent: .266/.328/.358
Next Week Forecast: 0.1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, .261 BA, 0.8 SB
2005 postseason hero “Scotty Pods” is back on the South Side! How thoughtful of the team to leave the lead-off spot “vacant” until he returned. Ozzie will have tough decisions when Quentin is back, since even when Pods regresses, they need him leading off (never thought we'd say that...). Expect a 25-SB pace and batting stats better than his “True Talent,” since Podsednik will be rested (and also get to avoid the toughest LHP).
Sort of a bold prediction, since Podsednik was out of baseball when Kenny Williams signed him to a minor-league contract. He's hit .304/.351/.415 in 412 PA since June 12, with 21 SB, exceeding even our optimism.
5) June 19:
Jason Frasor | Toronto | RP
YTD: 7.2 K/9, 6.3 K/BB, 1.90 ERA
True Talent: 8.0 K/9, 2.4 K/BB, 3.39 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 1.5 Saves, 3.52 ERA
Listed at 5-9, Jason Frasor has probably earned significantly less money in his career than if the same 95-plus heater and nasty slider came in a larger package. But hitters know about him (8+ career K/9), and his righty presence in the mostly gauche Blue Jays pen is perfect in a complementary role. But Cito rewards good play, not size of pitcher or size of contract, so Frasor should get the biggest share of the saves “pie,” at least until Downs' toe is healed. And we'd call him 1-in-3 to keep getting the most saves even after that.
The Jays are calling it 50-50 now for 2010, so perhaps even 1-in-3 was pessimistic, though it seemed bold at the time. Frasor has allowed a tiny batting line of .219/.293/.304 against him since June 19.
4) July 17:
Brian Bannister | Kansas City | SP
YTD: 5.7 K/9, 1.9 K/BB, 3.66 ERA
True Talent: 5.3 K/9, 1.8 K/BB, 4.61 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 5.2 IP, 0.3 W, 3 K, 4.83 ERA
Bannister won lots of Internet fans a couple years ago by using BABIP in a sentence, and people were wondering if he'd figured out a way to suppress his below that of a typical pitcher with his mediocre peripherals. He's at it again in 2009, but we think that he's due for some rough times. His career second-half stats are awful (5.37 ERA, .285/.341/.491 against), he doesn't strike out many, and he has the Royals' popgun barrage “supporting” him. Consider him only for one-day pickups against A's and M's.
Not much to say here. Bannister is a dog of a pitcher, and though every dog has his day, we try to avoid them.
3) July 24:
Ryan Rowland-Smith | Seattle | SP
YTD: 2.7 K/9, 0.3 K/BB, 0.00 ERA
True Talent: n/a
Next Week Forecast: n/a
Rowland-Smith is a thoroughly unremarkable lefty “contact” pitcher with a career K:BB ratio of 1.79, FB% of 43.5%, and a fastball that averages under 90 mph. And he's a must-play in AL Leagues! Why? The Mariners were built for this guy. Even last year, he had a fine 3.42 ERA in 118.1 IP. This year, the outfield defense is even better, with a staggering .955 team RZR and 181 OOZ plays, both tops in the AL.
This is the sort of pitching advice we like to provide. When a synergy of assorted factors combine to make a less-talented guy a good play, players can be had at a relative bargain. “RRS” only went 4-4 since this was published, and had a 4.04 ERA (not great), but he did have a great 1.14 WHIP, with 47 K in 86.1 IP.
2) August 7:
Adrian Beltre | Seattle | 3B
True Talent: .262/.308/.415
Next Week Forecast: 0.6 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, .253 BA, 0.6 SB
As with other third basemen with “bad wings” (Chavez, Rolen, etc.), there's a huge concern about whether Beltre's power will return, limiting the team's deadline options, and a yellow flag for fantasy teams. Still, he's a career .270/.325/.455 hitter, and has actually been stealing bases. For his career, he's hit just .249/.304/.405 in Safeco, as is to be expected for a righty power bat. The everyday role makes him valuable in AL-only leagues, but not very.
We also feel good when we can warn owners off of a guy with “name” value who looks like he's going to struggle, as with Adrian Beltre upon his return. He has hit .262/.328/.361, which qualifies as “not very” in our books.
1) May 15:
Andrew Bailey | Oakland | RP
YTD: 10.5 K/9, 3.7 K/BB, 1.61 ERA
True Talent: 7.5 K/9, 1.5 K/BB, 4.55 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 0.7 saves, 7 games, 4.59 ERA
In the California and Texas Leagues the past two years, Andrew Bailey has been used primarily as a starter, and a rigorous projection system like “True Talent” weighs his good-but-not-great numbers in those years. However, the 6-foot-3, 235-pound fireballer has lately stepped into a relief role like it’s his calling. The main reason that Bailey is not already closing for Oakland is so that the A’s can squeeze more innings out of him. Pick him up now, and even if he doesn’t help you immediately in saves, he’ll help you in ERA and WHIP. “Ziggy” owners, beware!
If the worst “miss” can be a closer, so can one of the best “hits.” Who would have guessed that the Angels would arguably have the weakest closer situation in the AL West entering 2010?
6) June 19:
David Huff | Cleveland | SP
YTD: 5.7 K/9, 1.8 K/BB, 7.09 ERA
True Talent: 6.6 K/9, 2.1 K/BB, 4.97 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 11.2 IP, 0.7 Wins, 9 K, 4.73 ERA
2006 first-round pick David Huff didn't enter the Indians rotation with the fanfare of some other top prospects this year, largely because his fastball tops out around 92. And while we disapprove of throwing out data, his ERA is 4.44 if you write off his first two starts as “debut jitters.” He's not ready to make anyone forget CC Sabathia, but if he's spotted intelligently, he should be good for some across-the-board help in AL-only leagues.
Um, it sounded good at the time? Oddly, his ERA has been in line with TT (5.10 since June 19), but even that low is a fluke (and we were expecting better), as he's struck out just 44 while walking 29 and allowing nine HR in 95.1 IP. The 117 hits allowed have generated a .300/.347/.459 batting line against. He's been 9-6, so he hasn't been an “across-the-board” failure, just nearly so.
5) May 1:
Josh Anderson | Detroit | OF
True Talent: .283/.332/.380
Next Week Forecast: 0.2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, .288 BA, 1.0 SB
Anderson's True Talent isn't so much different from Jacoby Ellsbury's, and Anderson has a ton of speed. Leyland wants Anderson’s glove in the lineup, so he should keep getting substantial playing time even when Thames returns, which could be two more months. Being unestablished, Anderson could play his way back to the bench, but it seems unlikely. He's no .350 hitter, but he could keep stealing two bases per week.
Well, his True Talent prediction is down to .272/.317/.360, but still far better than his actual stats since May 1 (.222/.256/.276) between his two teams. The only thing we got right here was the speed, as he's chipped in 19 SB—not two SB/wk, but he's only played 50%.
4) July 3:
Andy Sonnanstine | Tampa Bay | SP
YTD: 5.5 K/9, 2.3 K/BB, 6.61 ERA
True Talent: 5.6 K/9, 2.5 K/BB, 5.22 ERA
Next Week Forecast: n/a
Sonnanstine is an example of how fine the line is for pitchers ... the combination of two games started at the New Yankee Bandbox, some bad luck (BABIP up 18 points from '08, HR/FB of 15%), and slightly worse control (1.7 BB/9 up to 2.4 BB/9) ... and suddenly he's back in Triple-A. He should still be the same pitcher when he returns; about 90% as good as he showed in 2008. Hear that, Omar Minaya?
Anyone who read this back in July—and needed a starting pitcher in September when Sonnanstine was called up again—had to be cursing our column. Andy's line in six games (three starts) was an awful 0-2, 7.94, with just nine strikeouts. He even lost control of the strike zone, walking 11 in 17.0 IP.
3) August 14:
Derek Holland | Texas | SP
YTD: 7.5 K/9, 2.5 K/BB, 5.04 ERA
True Talent: 6.8 K/9, 1.8 K/BB, 5.90 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 4.2 IP, 0.2 W, 4 K, 6.36 ERA
Over at Baseball Daily Digest, I had some observations on the Rangers leading the league in run prevention this season. Part of the reason is that they appear to be intent on keeping their talented pitchers. Holland's fastball averages 93 mph this year. He's still a young pitcher with a crappy home park, so fatigue may wear him down, but for a guy who was expected to begin the year in Double-A to have allowed a batting line of just .190/.272/.306 in the past month is impressive, even if starts against Seattle, Oakland, and KC are in there. Expect hiccups, but this guy is for real. Don't be surprised if his ERA is almost two points under that TT projection the remainder.
With as great as Texas' pitching turnaround has been this year, and as skeptical as we've been here about it, it's surprising that the biggest clear “miss” on their staff is on the negative side. We were lukewarm on Tommy Hunter (likening him to Joe Blanton pitching in texas) and that seemed like it would be a miss, but his ERA has been 4.83 since he was reviewed. Holland, on the other hand, has been downright miserable since Aug. 14: 3-6, 8.18 ERA, 31 K, 17 BB, 12 (yes, 12) HR in 47.1 IP. Batting line against of .321/.382/.592, which could bat cleanup for almost any team.
2) July 17:
Alex Gordon | Kansas City | 3B
True Talent: n/a
Next Week Forecast: n/a
Seemingly everyone wrote a “who to get” article about players who would do well in the second half. Well, here's the guy. If he's on a roster, don't hesitate to trade for him. The ugly stat line (in just 26 PA) is friendly for a good trade price. With Inge, Rolen, Crede, and Teahen playing over their heads, 3B doesn't seem like a shallow position, but Lowell is dinged, Beltre out, and DeRosa gone. The aforementioned overperformers should decline, and Gordon could vie for fifth-best behind Longoria, A-Rod, Figgins and Young.
It's roughly three times as humbling to be dead wrong on a hitter as on a pitcher, since they are so much more predictable, usually. And it's no consolation to know that others are still fanatically high on his potential—it was a bad call; he hit .242/.327/.348 the rest of the way, getting into just 39 games. Sure, there were reasons, such as his health, but those same warning flags were there at the time of his recall, and were ignored.
1) May 8:
David Aardsma | Seattle | RP
YTD: 8.0 K/9, 1.4 K/BB, 4.40 ERA
True Talent: 8.2 K/9, 1.7 K/BB, 4.20 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 0.3 saves, 4.45 ERA
In the grand tradition of Don “Full Pack” Stanhouse and Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams, David Aardsma will need a nickname if he keeps closing. “BB-rdsma” doesn't quite cut it, but at least it's truth-in-advertising, as Aardsma has walked 98 men in 157 career innings. With Morrow returning this weekend, the window for Aardsma closing appears to be closing, in spite of Shawn Kelly's injury. However, Morrow's diabetes and injury concerns could easily net Aardsma another 5-10 saves this season. OK if you can stand the hit to your WHIP.
Next to the Garrett Jones quips in the “Comments” section on the NL side, this is clearly the worst miss of the season for this author. Nothing much to say here, other than sometimes guys with good stuff find the strike zone, and then LOOK OUT. Putz had a similar transformation in Seattle, and both pitchers vaulted from questionable to among the elite closers. Predicting the timing of such gold strikes is virtually impossible, which is why active roto owners pick up all such candidates ASAP.
Posted by Rob McQuown at 6:00am
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