June 20, 2013
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Friday, April 27, 2012
The Daily Grind provides daily match-up advice based on my every morning waiver wire search. I welcome advice to help make this column more effective. Ownership rates are from Yahoo!
Danny Duffy is getting skipped due to elbow tightness. It's something to keep an eye on. Marco Estrada got pushed back to Saturday. A (little bit) more on him later.
Jake Arrieta against the Athletics is today's top match-up on the cheap. He's up to 19 percent owned.
Paul Maholm faces a terrible Phillies offense, but he's been pretty ugly too. Mike Leake has a similar situation except he's against the Astros. Both are solid gambles if you absolutely have to use a guy.
A few hitters stand out as having solid match-ups. Marlon Byrd should get the start against John Danks. Eric Thames gets to hit off Blake Beaven today and John Mayberry Jr. should get the start against Maholm. Those three players have had a very slow start to the year.
Tomorrow is chock full of pitchers with good match-ups and untrustworthy skill sets.
Estrada can record strikeouts in bunches, but he can also work himself into jams. He faces the Cardinals lineup.
This makes me feel dirty, but Bruce Chen faces the Twins tomorrow. You might be able to get away with starting him. Imagine the bragging rights if you win your league/weekly match-up. "I won AND I even used Bruce Chen!"
Randy Wells is an ordinary pitcher, but he faces the Phillies lineup which is cobbled together slop. Dillon Gee draws the Pirates, whose offense has been ridiculously bad. You could also try Wei-Yin Chen against the A's because they're bad, too. I won't be giving him a roll because I've never seen him pitch.
Sean Marshall blew his first save of the season. Before to that outing, he wasn't really as sharp as his numbers let on. Aroldis Chapman lurks, making Marshall's job perpetually on the line.
Heath Bell blew another one, his third of the season. Steve Cishek is next in line, but Bell still has a lot of rope left. The Marlins are going to have a tough time demoting him this early in his contract.
Jordan Walden blew his first save of the season. The Angels have some comparable options so things could get shuffled around. If the rest of the team was performing as expected, I would say that his job is completely secure, but the Angels are starting to drift into "make something happen" mode.
The Mariners got to Rick Porcello for two bomb-diggities. Yuck: 6.2 IP, 3 K, 6.75 ERA, 1.35 WHIP
Felix Doubront roped in a win with a mediocre line: 6 IP, 2 K, 4.50 ERA, 1.33 WHIP
Ryan Sweeney had a solid 2-for-5 day with one run and one RBI.
Rajai Davis went 0-for-2 and didn't get a chance to do his job—stealing bases.
Chris Davis went 1-for-3 with a walk, a home run, two runs scored, and two RBI.
Endy Chavez went 0-for-4.
Luke Scott was 0-for-3 with a walk and a run. Jerome Williams somehow survived him.
I'm calling that a win based on a couple of strong hitting performances and Porcello probably not being available to hurt you. Picking five waiver wire hitters and netting a home run is fine work in my opinion.
I like this idea of trading my weekend time for Twitter followers. If you guys can drum up just 10 followers for me by the time I wake up tomorrow, I will write a Saturday post that includes picks for Monday too. I will not be available for a Sunday post.
For those keeping track at home, I'm asking to get bumped to 241 followers.
Posted by Brad Johnson at 5:56am (10) Comments
Saturday, April 28, 2012
The Daily Grind provides daily match-up advice based on my every morning waiver wire search. I welcome advice to help make this column more effective. Ownership rates are from Yahoo!
Today we will see the 2012 debuts of super-prospects Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. I expect the latter to make the more immediate impact; Harper's shown a need to adjust to each new level.
I see that I didn't offer any hitter advice yesterday...whoops.
Mine enemies are snapping up Marco Estrada left and right. I'm kind of hoping today is one of his ugly outings now. He's a good play for strikeouts against the Cardinals.
Bruce Chen faces the Twins. If he's not the Chen for you, try Wei-Yin Chin against the A's.
Randy Wells gets to faces a Phillies lineup that just can't do anything these days.
I mistakenly said yesterday that Dillon Gee faces the Pirates. He actually faces the Rockies in Colorado. AVOID. (sorry).
Randall Delgado does face the Pirates. I'm gambling on him in one league.
TDG regular Eric Thames faces Kevin Millwood today.
I don't know anything about Tony Campana, but he seems to have a full time role now and he's facing Joe Blanton today. Go wild.
I think it's a Jonny Gomes day. With him, you're either going to get power output or a bunch of strikeouts.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis faces Guillermo Moscoso in Colorado. Sounds good to me.
Waiver pitching is thin tomorrow. Tommy Hunter isn't a great pitcher, but he will be facing the A's. It seems as though I automatically recommend pitchers facing the A's.
Tim Hudson is set to come off the disabled list with a friendly Pirates assignment.
Rajai Davis will draw the start against lefty Jason Vargas.
Hold Campana for tomorrow. He'll get to wield his lefty stroke against Kyle Kendrick.
Seth Smith and Josh Reddick may find Hunter to their liking tomorrow.
Justin Turner should get the start against Jamie Moyer.
I promised Monday picks, but there are too many TBAs starting at the moment. R.A. Dickey faces the Astros and Randy Wolf draws the Padres.
I mentioned yesterday that Jordan Walden was at risk due to the Angels' urge to shake things up. Well, looks like Scott Downs will assume the mantle of closer temporarily while Walden "works on his stuff."
Kenley Jansen recorded the save for the Dodgers last night while Javy Guerra rested.
Francisco Cordero blew the save for the Blue Jays against the Mariners last night. Sergio Santos is out for awhile and there isn't much for competition in the pen.
Brad Lidge has (surprise, surprise) hit the disabled list. Henry Rodriguez owns the closer's role full time for now.
Congrats to fellow THTer Mark who picked a killer day from Scott Hairston. He hit for the cycle, going 4-for-5 with three runs and four RBI.
Jake Arrieta really was the best starter to pick up yesterday, but it wasn't his day: 5.2 IP, 3 K, 6.35 ERA, 1.06 WHIP
Despite naysayers in the comments yesterday, Paul Maholm overcame the odds and recorded the win: 6.1 IP, 1 K, 1.42 ERA, 0.79 WHIP
Mike Leake got stomped on by the Astros and his defense: 3.2 IP, 1 K, 7.38 ERA, 1.91 WHIP
Marlon Byrd was 2-for-5 with one RBI.
Thames was 3-for-4 with a home run, two runs, and one RBI.
John Mayberry Jr. did not start and went 1-for-1 as a pinch hitter. Shrug.
Readers, what do you think, win or loss today? The hitters did well but the pitchers hurt a bit.
Posted by Brad Johnson at 7:19am (5) Comments
Monday, April 30, 2012
Between fragile tendons, managerial impatience, and the risk of food poisoning, times are tough for the current crop of major league closers. Of the thirty players drafted as closers in the preseason, depending on when your draft was, about seven of those pitchers are currently on the DL, a few for season-ending injuries.
Additionally, O's closer Jim Johnson was recently hospitalized for a few days with food poisoning, and Jordan Walden, owner of a WHIP north of 2.00, has been temporarily relieved of his duties.
Walden is not the only pitcher to have held a closer title with a WHIP over 2.00, though. Before hitting the DL, Sergio Santos and Brad Lidge both were allowing over two baserunners per inning. Heath Bell and Alfredo Aceves are currently over that mark. John Axford, Carlos Marmol, Hector Santiago, Frank Francisco, and Jose Valverde are all dangerously close.
If you drafted a closer in the preseason, there is about a 30 percent chance he is no longer closing, making 2012 look like it will be a tough one for fantasy owners where saves are concerned. Put another way, Chris Perez is pitching like Chris Perez, with a 1.50 WHIP and 4.50 ERA, and you don't hear any of his owners complaining. At least not yet.
Not all is bleak in the closer landscape, though. Some of the well-established closer brands, such as Mo and Paps, are living up to their reputation, and there have been a few pleasant surprises, too. Huston Street has managed to stay healthy in Petco's safe confines, and Joe Nathan has avoided becoming the human piñata some thought he would down in Arlington. Fernando Rodney and Henry Rodriguez have been successful as replacement closers.
It is important to keep in mind that we are one month into the season, and many of these pitchers have thrown fewer than ten innings total, so obvious small sample size caveats apply. If a pitcher can throw one scoreless inning and have his ERA drop almost a full point, you know it's too early to make strong judgments.
Now for a few closer notes you may find relevant:
— Grant Balfour is pitching his way into a trade with a contender with a 1.38 ERA and six saves in ten innings with a sufficient number of strikeouts. Brian Fuentes is probably next in line for saves, but he truly is not a closer-worthy pitcher these days. Fautino de los Santos was once considered the sleeper option in the A's bullpen, but he completed just three shaky innings before getting sent down to Triple-A.
Ryan Cook, a throw-in from the Trevor Cahill trade, has looked stellar this season, allowing just one hit in ten innings with eight strikeouts (four of which came in one inning). Those in deeper leagues can add him to their radar, and he soon will be worth stashing if he keeps it up.
— Another closer trade candidate is Brett Myers despite comments from the Astros GM denying such rumors. Either way, Wilton Lopez has pitched well this year and is someone else to keep an eye on.
— My favorite bullpen prospect, Shawn Tolleson, is currently making a comedy routine of Double-A batters, with 15 strikeouts in eight innings, no walks and no runs allowed. The Dodgers bullpen has been a legitimate entity this year with Javy Guerra holding down the ninth-inning job and Kenley Jansen and Josh Lindblom pitching well. I don't believe there is much fantasy relevance to Tolleson this year, but he's a fun name to watch at the very least.
Any relievers catch your eye this year? Feel free to share in the comments.
Posted by Paul Singman at 5:04am (6) Comments
It’s hard enough following one’s own fantasy team without having to keep track of an entire sport’s daily transactions. To assist you, here’s a column dedicated to recapping the most notable trades, signings, promotions, demotions and role changes across the majors over the past week as they relate to fantasy. We'll do this on a weekly basis. If you feel I've missed anything important, please don't hesitate to keep the conversation going in the comments below.
• Now that he’s been diagnosed with a torn labrum, Michael Pineda’s 2012 odyssey has shifted gears from a supreme disappointment to a macabre nightmare. Forget about seeing this guy in 2012; it remains to be seen whether he’ll have any fantasy value in 2013, or whether he’ll be able to recover well enough to get major league hitters out ever again.
On the same day the team learned the full extent of Pineda’s devastating setback, Phil Hughes was torched by Texas and couldn’t get out of the third inning, and over the weekend, the team announced that Freddy Garcia was out of the team’s rotation.
So where does that leave the Bombers’ starting pitching? Andy Pettitte is pitching in Double-A, but he’s not quite ready to jump to the MLB level, which means David Phelps will most likely grab Garcia’s spot. Phelps, 25, has compiled a 3.57 ERA and 1.075 WHIP in six relief appearances thus far this season, though he put together a 38-15 record, 2.61 ERA and 1.184 WHIP over his minor league career.
Owners in deeper AL-only leagues might consider taking a flier on Phelps already, and if he pitches well enough, it might be Hughes, not the newbie, who gets bumped back to the pen by the time Pettitte returns to New York.
• It turns out Ryan Zimmerman’s shoulder injury was serious enough to merit a stint on the disabled list, zapping his fantasy value in week five. Chad Tracy probably will grab some of his playing time at third base, though he doesn’t present much fantasy value for the time being.
• Shin-Soo Choo couldn’t make it through the month of April without getting his first injury of the season, a barking hamstring that ruined his productivity in week four. A reportedly successful test Sunday means he’s on track to play on Tuesday, though the Indians might be cautious with their right fielder over the next week, so plan accordingly.
• A left ankle sprain sidelined Carlos Lee over the weekend, so keep tabs on his recovery over the next couple of days to see how viable he’ll be this week.
• Nick Swisher left Sunday’s game with a tight left hamstring and will undergo a MRI.
• Look out, world, Bryce Harper has arrived. I don’t have anything to add to the mountains of words already written about his potential, but I’m interested to see how long he’ll stay up with the big club. Zimmerman is eligible to come off the disabled list on May 6, which could prompt the phenom’s return to Syracuse, though manager Davey Johnson has been adamant about his desire for Harper to stay at the MLB level.
Harper’s case isn’t hurt by the continued absence of Michael Morse, and Johnson has pledged to start Harper every day so long as he’s in Washington, so he certainly poses significant fantasy value in the immediate term.
• Not to be outdone, the Angels called up Mike Trout and cut Bobby Abreu, guaranteeing the 20-year-old a much-needed slot in Anaheim’s outfield. It’s well known that Trout struggled during his MLB tenure last year, but I suspect he’ll be a much different player this time around, especially considering he slammed his way to a .403/.467/.623 line in 93 Triple-A plate appearances this year. So far, he’s been hitting at the top of the Angels’ batting order, which can only help his fantasy value, though he should be considered an impact player no matter where he hits.
• OK, so Patrick Corbin isn’t on the level of Harper or Trout, but he’s still a highly-touted prospect who has a chance to stick in the Diamondbacks’ rotation now that Josh Collmenter has been banished to the bullpen. Corbin, 22, posted a 2-0 record, 1.67 ERA and 1.111 WHIP over four starts in Double-A this season, and he should be considered a definite sleeper in mixed leagues going forward. Of course, Arizona is loaded with young pitching talent, particularly in the forms of Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs, so owners should make sure Corbin cements his role at the big league level going forward.
• Speaking of (former) Arizona pitching talent, Jarrod Parker pitched well in his MLB debut for Oakland last week, allowing one earned run over 6.1 innings against the White Sox. He should stick around in the rotation for the time being, so he carries some definite fantasy appeal in what should be his first full season.
• Jordan Walden blew 10 saves last year, but it only took one this year for Mike Scioscia to demote him to setup duty. Scott Downs will take his place in the ninth inning, instantly boosting his fantasy value, though one imagines Walden could return to the role later this year if Downs struggles.
• An abdominal strain has landed Brad Lidge on the disabled list, which more or less coronates Henry Rodriguez as the team’s closer. Even with a blown save on Saturday night, Rodriguez should hold onto the job for the foreseeable future, and on a competitive Nationals team, he could rack up some saves and strikeouts to help owners.
• Not to be presumptuous, but Grant Balfour’s awful blown save on Sunday has to challenge his hold on Oakland’s closer role. Brian Fuentes waits in the wings, though he hasn’t been all that great this year, either, but it’s a situation worth watching as the season unfolds.
• Who knew Delmon Young had temper issues? The Tigers’ outfielder found himself in trouble again Friday when he was arrested for allegedly assaulting a man and dropping some anti-Semitic slurs, causing Detroit to place him on the restricted list. There’s a chance he’ll play as soon as Tuesday, but he’s probably worth sitting in week five, especially since he’s only hitting .242 with one home run thus far in 2012.
Posted by Karl de Vries at 5:05am (0) Comments
The Daily Grind provides daily match-up advice based on my every-morning waiver wire search. I welcome advice to help make this column more effective. Ownership rates are from Yahoo!
It's an ugly day for pitching picks. R.A. Dickey takes on the Astros in the waiver wire match-up of the day. Randy Wolf draws the Padres in the "if you have to do it" match-up of the day.
There are some good hitter options. Carlos Gomez is starting to garner a full-time role thanks to his hot start and Nyjer Morgan's utter absence. The Padres send mediocre righty Joe Wieland to the mound, so Gomez should be able to reach base and, hopefully, swipe a bag.
Sticking with the Padres and Brewers game, Chris Denorfia should get the start against Wolf.
Marlon Byrd should get the start in Boston against Tommy Milone.
Josh Reddick is my hitter pick for the day. He faces Clay Buchholz. Reddick is only six percent owned, but he's a great play against most righties.
Jonathon Niese against the Astros headlines a day of crappy match-ups. He's 53 percent owned as it is, so he's probably not available.
The only other guy I'd be comfortable looking at is Edinson Volquez. He faces the Brewers and is 48 percent owned.
Shelley Duncan gets the platoon advantage against Chris Sale tomorrow.
The Luke Scott employment train is rolling along. He's up to 36 percent and faces Hector Noesi.
Boston faces righty Jarrod Parker, which means Ryan Sweeney will be back in action.
Andruw Jones should get the start against Brian Matusz.
Frank Francisco blew a save yesterday. Jon Rauch also had a bad outing, but it was his first of the season. Consider Francisco to be on his last legs.
Grant Balfour blew his second save of the season. The A's have a couple options like Brian Fuentes and Fautino de los Santos.
Jose Valverde blew his first save of the season. There are some grumbles that he hasn't looked very sharp this year, but I haven't seen him pitch yet.
Saturday wasn't my best work.
A couple home runs ruined an otherwise solid outing from Marco Estrada: 6 IP, 2 K, 6.00 ERA, 1.50 WHIP
I warned you I was cringing over recommending Bruce Chen, didn't I? And I even caught crap in the comments. I hope you didn't jump on this one: 2.2 IP, 1 K, 20.25 ERA, 3.00 WHIP
I recommended a second Chen, Wei-Yin Chen, and he did quite well. He earned the win along with: 7 IP, 4 K, 1.29 ERA, 1.14 WHIP
I thought Randy Wells could handle an easy assignment like the Phillies, but I was very wrong: 3.2 IP, 3 K, 9.82 ERA, 2.18 WHIP
Randall Delgado also pitched poorly: 4.1 IP, 4 K, 8.31 ERA, 2.54 WHIP
Eric Thames was 0-2 with a pair of walks.
Tony Campana was benched in favor of Reed Johnson, but he still went 1-for-1 with a run scored.
I said it felt like a Jonny Gomes day, and it was. He went 1-for-3 with a home run, one run, one RBI, and one walk.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis went 0-for-5.
Sunday was much better.
Tommy Hunter survived his outing against the A's: 7 IP, 2 K, 2.57 ERA, 1.14 WHIP
Tim Hudson earned the win in his return from the disabled list: 5 IP, 6 K, 3.60 ERA, 1.60 WHIP
Rajai Davis is day-to-day with a wrist injury, but he walked and scored a run in the eighth inning yesterday.
Tony Campana channeled his inner Sam Fuld with a 2-for-4 afternoon. He scored two runs and stole a base.
Seth Smith was 2-for-3 with a home run, one run, one RBI, and one walk. His teammate Reddick managed a 2-for-4 line with one run.
Justin Turner did not start as I predicted. He also did not pinch hit.