Thursday, June 25, 2009
Roster Doctor - 6/25/09Posted by Paul Singman at 2:59am
Welcome to THT Fantasy's Roster Doctor. If you'd like your team to be analyzed by one of our fantasy baseball experts, please send your full roster to this address. Also be sure to include your league's player pool (mixed, AL-only, NL-only), number of teams, scoring format (roto, head-to-head, points, etc.), categories, whether or not it's a keeper league, and any other pertinent information. If your roster is selected it will be analyzed in a future Roster Doctor column.
Player Pool: Mixed
No. of Teams: 20
Categories: Traditional 5x5 plus OBP and SLG for hitters, and K/BB ratio for pitchers
Scoring Type: Head-to-Head
Other Notes: Daily updates, Aug. 16 trade deadline, 5 keepers per year (3 years max), 6 teams make playoffs
C - Jorge Posada
1B - Kendry Morales
2B - Kelly Johnson
3B - Chipper Jones
SS - Marco Scutaro
CI - Josh Fields
MI - Alberto Callaspo
OF - Carlos Beltran
OF - JD Drew
OF - Pat Burrell
OF - Matt Diaz
UTIL - Dexter Fowler
UTIL - Jeff Keppinger
BN - Coco Crisp
BN - Carlos Delgado
SP - Roy Oswalt
SP - Josh Beckett
SP - Zach Duke
SP - Dave Bush
RP - Justin Masterson
RP - Pedro Feliciano
RP - Alfredo Aceves
P - Matt Thorton
P - Jeremy Affeldt
P - Ramon Troncoso
P - Tim Hudson
DL - Brandon Webb
So right now your team is sitting in 18th place of a 20 team league. I feel this team has enough solid parts to compete and a couple of key moves could propel it into the top half of the league, although cracking the top six will be quite the challenge.
The first problem spot is at second base where Kelly Johnson is stinking it up. It is almost bad news that his groin injury is not serious, since then he could have been placed on the DL, giving you the flexibility to pick up someone new. If you do manage to free a roster spot, a good replacement is Kelly Johnson's probable real life replacement, Martin Prado, and he comes with the added bonus of being able to fill in for Chipper when he misses a few games here and there.
I know in the offseason I wrote an article saying Josh Fields is a decent late-round option at third base but now in June, it is apparent he has dropped from fantasy relevance. Once again the real life replacement Gordon Beckham is intriguing, but my feeling is that he is already owned. Chase Headley, Kyle Blanks, Ty Wigginton, Willy Aybar, and Ryan Garko are all players I'd rather see in that CI spot over Fields.
Callaspo certainly is not a sexy option at MI, but he is a solid one and you could do a lot worse there.
Beltran's fall is untimely and may be the dagger in your season looking back, but let's see how we can work around it as best we can. My favorite outfield pickup up is Seth Smith right now, who is outperforming the others stuck in that Rockies logjam in the outfield. I see the playing time start to fall more in his favor, both on the Rockies or on another team if he gets traded. A safer replacement with more stable playing time could be Gabe Gross or Daniel Murphy.
Burrell has simply been a steel anchor this season, dragging down all of the teams he is on, and I think in the next week or two it is time to make a decision on him. He has the potential to get hot and knock a few home runs and post a solid OBP, but is that worth waiting for? Are there better options in free agency? Unless he picks up the production over the next week I would bench him and cut Delgado or Crisp for the outfielders mentioned above. Another name to consider is Chris Dickerson if he continues to get regular playing time when the gets DH taken away.
The last note on your hitting: Keppinger can be dropped for most of the outfielders I have already mentioned as possible pickups.
Transitioning to your pitching, it appears decent, and obviously if Brandon Webb had not gone down it would look much better. Oswalt might be someone you could look to trade, if his name can cover his numbers and fetch you something valuable. I can see why you picked Bush since he would be extra-valuable in this league because of the K/BB category, but unfortunately he's walking plenty of guys this year, taking away aspect of his game that made him valuable.
For someone who punted saves, I like a lot of the guys in your bullpen—Thorton and Aceves namely—because I believe Thorton has a decent chance of becoming the ChiSox closer (Jenks trade) and Aceves is a great ratio helper, often throwing multiple innings in his appearances.
Overall, I think you might want to half throw in the towel here. I gave you some suggestions of how to help your hitting in little Band-Aid patches, but you will have to pull off a superbly good trade—Kazmir for Zambrano-esque—in order to jump into contention for that last playoff spot. When your best hitter and pitcher are lost to injury for significant periods of time, it is easier to start thinking about next year and hire a new trainer.
A strategy you should consider is trading away some of your remaining valuable pieces for a player you would want as a keeper for next year, helping you for then, hopefully with better luck next time.
Paul has been managing fantasy baseball teams for many seasons and writing for THT Fantasy over the past three years. He is currently a student at UPenn welcomes readers' thoughts at his email here or in the comments below.