Tomorrow I have a little something different planned, and since Patrick posted today, and I am completely exhausted, I’ll keep this a light day. I’ll just mention some random thoughts I had on players.
Nomar Garciaparra has been moved to third base to make room for James Loney. This hurts Wilson Betemit‘s value, helps Nomar’s a bit, and helps Loney’s a lot. I’ll take a quick look at Loney. In 366 AAA At-Bats in 2006, Loney had a 91% Contact rate, 9% Walk rate, and 25% Line Drive rate. He only had 8 HRs. In 229 At-Bats to start this year, he had an 80% Contact rate, a 10% Walk rate, and a 20.5% Line Drive rate. He only had 1 HR. With just 29 major league At-Bats so far this year, though, he has hit 2 HRs. They went 390 and 392 true feet… not too shabby. Loney probably won’t hit more than a dozen HRs, but he could hit .280 and pick up a decent number of RBIs if he can get a hold of the 6th or 7th spot in the order.
Remember Chris Carpenter? Many of you probably got burned by him this year, but he is expected back before the end of July. He’ll start pitching in extended Spring Training scrimmages tomorrow. Don’t pay full price for him, but if he was dropped in your league or will come cheaply, he might be a risk worth taking. Whatever you do, just don’t overpay.
Ryan Dempster went on the Disabled List today and isn’t expected back before the All-Star break. Bob Howry should close until then. I wouldn’t even be surprised to see Carlos Marmol take the job around the All-Star break and Dempster either traded or moved to the rotation. Watch the situation carefully. Lou Piniella isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. Ryan Theriot is probably his best middle infielder (or at least top 2) and can play both shortstop and second base, yet Piniella doesn’t play him every day. You never really know what he’s thinking or going to do.
I’d also like to strongly advise everyone to pick up Akinori Otsuka in all leagues he is unowned. The odds are just too great that Eric Gagne will get traded, which would automatically catapult Otsuka into the top-half of the closer rankings.
The Jacque Jones-to-Florida deal fell through, so no status change for Jacque. I still expect the Cubs to trade at least one outfielder — possibly two — before the end of July, though. The Cubs have Jones, Cliff Floyd, Alfonso Soriano, Felix Pie, Angel Pagan, and Matt Murton and really don’t need all of them. Look for a trade or two. I’ll speculate once one happens.
Since I’m about to fall asleep typing this, I think I’ll click “Submit” and call it a night. Make sure to check back here tomorrow, though… it should be interesting.