The first weekend of the 2012 NFBC season is in the books, and Dynamic Inertia has definitely stumbled out of the starting block.
To remind readers, in order to put yourself in contention for the overall title you should try to finish in the top 20% overall in every category.
Here are my targets for the 2012 season.
Runs: 1075 (slightly more than 41 per week)
HR: 270 (Just over 10 per week)
RBI: 1050 (A touch over 40 per week)
SB: 180 (approximately 7 per week)
Wins: 100 (Just over 4 per week)
K’s: 1275 (just under 50 per week)
Saves: 90 (3 ½ per week)
I’ve stated it countless times before, but it bears repeating. The simple exercise of tracking how your team is performing each week in relation to your categorical targets is an extremely useful and important exercise. It can help you realize weaknesses before they become major problems, allowing you the necessary time to correct those issues.
For this first half week of games, I wanted to achieve:
.275 AVG / 21 R / 5 HR / 20 RBI / 4 SB & 2 W / 25 K / 2 Saves / 3.56 ERA / 1.225 WHIP
(157 AB) .210 AVG / 20 R / 5 HR / 16 RBI / 1 SB
While I anticipated stolen bases being the biggest strength of this team, we struggled out of the gate. Hunter Pence picked up my lone swipe of the opening weekend. Ellsbury, Pagan, Espinosa and Upton (once he returns) will be fine here. No need to panic and pick up a speedster just yet.
Power was far and away my biggest concern on this team coming out of the draft, and I was happy to pick up the requisite number of HR in the first period. Prince Fielder taking Josh Beckett deep twice on Saturday led the way here, and should lead my team all season. Melky Cabrera, Hunter Pence and Danny Espinosa also joined the long ball parade.
My RBI numbers were also a concern after the draft, and they lagged behind a little bit in this opening period. Fielder, Pence and Jesus Guzman each drove in three runs to pace the attack.
My goal during normal weeks is to strive for at least 300 at-bats every week if possible. Getting 157 in the half week was more than acceptable.
The runs scored are right where I want them to be. Fielder (4) and Melky Cabrera (3) are the early leaders in the clubhouse in that category.
The .210 average is a very disappointing start, but it’s also too early in the season to overreact and panic in that category. If this number is still at an anemic level after a couple of weeks however, we may have a real problem on our hands. Ike Davis (0-10), Yunel Escobar (2-19) and Angel Pagan (1-10) are the biggest culprits here.
(31.0 IP) 2 W / 27 K / 3 SV / 5.806 ERA / 1.387 WHIP
Yuck. Poor planning on draft day led to my team only having four starts in this opening period. To pick up two wins in the first four starts is actually somewhat fortunate. Ricky Nolasco and Daniel Hudson weren’t dominant in their efforts, but managed to hang around long enough to pick up victories. It would have been a third win, had Heath Bell not blown Carlos Zambrano’s game on Sunday.
My general philosophy of always drafting nothing but high-strikeout arms means that I shouldn’t have to worry about my strikeout total this season. I hit my mark in period one, and should every week this season as well.
The three saves are a very welcomed sight and a great start in that category. Mariano Rivera, drafted to be my shut-down closer, blew his only opportunity of the weekend. I expect him to bounce back just fine. Frank Francisco was dominant over the weekend, recording saves in each of the Mets first three games. If he can stay healthy and continue to pitch like that, I won’t have to worry about saves this year.
The ratios are off to an abysmal start. My staff ace, Dan Haren, was rocked by the Royals in his season opener. He had been complaining of a bit of dead arm as spring training winded down and I’m praying that he will be ok and right the ship this week. Ricky Nolasco had my best outing of the period allowing three runs in eight innings of work. Mariano Rivera and Greg Holland’s bullpen blowups didn’t do me any favors here either. Let’s hope for a massive correction here in period two, because if your ratios get away from you they can be insanely difficult to make up.
Heading into the first free agent bidding period of the season, Hector Santiago and Fernando Rodney were the sexy names on the waiver wire. At this point, my team didn’t have a desperate need for a closer, but I also recognize the value that these players could have. At some point during the season, I will have to employ a third closer to meet my goal of 90 saves. I put in a medium sized bid on Santiago, knowing that I wasn’t likely to get him, but would get him at a severe discount if I did. I also put in an small bid on Rodney with the same line of thinking.
Santiago ended up going for a massive bid of $407, Rodney lagged behind at $107. Saves are an extremely difficult part of this game, and any time a potential closer turns up on the waiver wire they cost you a premium amount of FAAB dollars.
One roster spot that I was interested in upgrading was Brett Cecil. He had been sent down to Triple-A at the end of spring training, and wasn’t doing me any good on my bench. The most intriguing name on the waiver wire to me was Ross Detwiler. He had been named the fifth starter for the Nationals and pitched fairly well this spring. He’s also lined up to pitch twice this week (@ NYM, vs. CIN). I was more than pleased to scoop him up for only $4 (unopposed).
Weekly Lineup Decisions
Very few decisions for me to make on offense the way my roster is currently constructed. The major decision that I had to make for this week is whether to start Alexi Casilla or Reuben Tejada as my middle infielder. Tejada has gotten off to a great start, including a four hit game on Sunday, and has been moved to the top of top of the Mets lineup. He’ll play at MI the first half of the week.
The final spot comes down to Jesus Guzman or James Loney. Guzman is swinging a hot stick right now, and he gets the nod.
My two closers (Rivera and Francisco) are in for sure. That leaves me seven spots for my remaining pitchers. Dan Haren, Matt Moore, Daniel Hudson and Shawn Marcum are every week starts. My final three spots come down to Ricky Nolasco @ HOU, Carlos Zambrano @ HOU, Luis Mendoza @ OAK/vs. CLE and Ross Detwiler @ NYM/vs. CIN. Though Zambrano rebounded nicely after a tough first inning in his opener, I’m leaning toward the two doubles and Nolasco as my plays.
There you have if folks! Throughout the season I will break down my week to week results, free agent decision making and roster and lineup decisions. If there is anything else that you are interested in seeing in these recaps and planning sessions, or if you have feedback on how I am running my team, let me know in the comments! You can also find me on twitter @DaveShovein. Best of luck to everyone in week two!!