Roster Doctor – 4/3/09

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Today’s roster looks like this:

Player pool: Mixed
No. of teams: 12
Categories: Traditional 5×5 except K/9 replaces K’s
Scoring Type: Head-to-Head
C – Victor Martinez
1B – Lance Berkman
2B – Robinson Cano
3B – David Wright
SS – Felipe Lopez
OF – Carlos Lee
OF – Alex Rios
OF – Torii Hunter
Util – Andre Ethier
Util – Brad Hawpe
BN – Coco Crisp

SP – Javier Vazquez
SP – Scott Baker
RP – Mariano Rivera
RP – Jonathan Broxton
P – Brian Fuentes
P – Huston Street
P – Manuel Corpas
BN – Manny Parra
BN – Gil Meche
BN – Chris Volstad
BN – David Price
BN – Anthony Reyes

This is a very good team right here. The hitting has decent power—not great, but solid power hitters with Lee, Wright, and Berkman. Alone, not one of this team’s players can carry steals, but when added together their totals make the team above average in the speed department. Average is clearly a strong point of this team with Berkman, Wright, Lee, Ethier, and possibly V-Mart capable of above .300 averages.

How did this sizable investment in hitting leave the pitching staff? Not too bad actually.

What jumps out is the closing staff. Three entrenched closers with great skill sets and one unstable closer in Street, who is handcuffed nicely with Corpas, is impressive. So regardless of who the Colorado closer is, this team should have four dependable closers throughout most of the season, making it a force in saves.

A site favorite, Javier Vazquez is especially valuable in a K/9 league, as is Manny Parra. Baker and Meche, although lacking the strikeout potential of the others, will still post solid ratios and rack up enough strikeouts to make them worth starting.

Volstad and Reyes, on the other hand, probably are not even worth starting. Volstad may hold his own in the majors this year, but even if he does manage an ERA around 4.00, he does not figure to have a K/9 of over 6.0 being more of a groundball pitcher than a power one. His name has some value attached to it, so see if you can get something for him in a small trade, especially if he does well out of the gate.

Despite his strong Spring Training, I would not start Reyes right away. He does not figure to be much of a strikeout threat, so unless he is pitching well he will most likely be a detriment to your team. Bench him for a regular season start or two and depending on who he is playing and your current match up situation (are you down by only one win on Sunday?) decide if you will start him for that day.

David Price is a nice player to hang onto until he gets the call, but do not be fooled into thinking he is going to be dominant right away. An ERA around 4.00 and a 7.5 to 8.0 K/9 should be expected. If you feel somebody in your league has higher expectations of him, I would make him available in a trade.

Overall, though, I like this team a lot and I would rather see you keep it as it is than make a possibly harmful trade. I expect your team to go at least three and two in the hitting categories and if you start only Vazquez, Baker, Parra, and Meche plus your closers (and Corpas, I would keep him for now) your pitching should win Saves, ERA, WHIP, and K/9 the majority of the time.

Enjoy a successful season.

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  1. P Digital said...

    Yes, who is the generous roster evaluator here? I am not impressed one bit by this team. David Wright is a STUD and both Carlos Lee and Berkman although declining are still pretty good. I also see a big rebound year for V-Mart but I’m not impressed by Rios or Cano and the rest of his guys are ok.

    But how can you not be disappointed looking at that pitching staff?! I like two of his closers and Javy Vazquez is a good K guy but who else is going to contribute? Dees-gusting. This team will finish middle of the pack overall, if not worse.

  2. Beanster said...

    I agree with the pitching comments.  ERA and WHIP are really difficult to make up and this team looks to be on the wrong side of 4.00/1.30.  I would give up some K’s for someone like Kevin Slowey who had 1.4 BB/9 last year.

  3. birk said...

    I think the first two commenters are missing the fact that this is a H2H league with K/9 instead of K as a category. Depending on the minimum IP requirement in the league, I’d consider going solely with closers and not starting any starters. You’ll win SV, ERA, WHIP, and K/9 while losing W. That sounds like a sacrifice I’d be willing to make.

    I’d try that for a few weeks, and if the strategy is working into May, I’d try to trade my starters for upgrades on offense.

  4. Ol Spikes McGraw said...

    Had Broxton on my teams in recent years, and it’s a fact this guy melts in tight spots. He will be out of his closer’s job by June.

  5. Peter D said...

    I don’t see a starting pitcher on this team finishing the season with an ERA below 4.00, and don’t tell me that Vazquez will be that guy, because his ERA was 4.67 last season, the last time he was in the NL his ERA was 4.42 and his career ERA is 4.32.

    Therefore there is no way this team should win the ERA category, I actually think this team is in danger of finishing last in that category.

  6. Charles said...

    P Digital,

    How do you figure that Lee and Berkman are on the decline? Lee was on his way to a career year last year before a fluke injury, and Berkman was slightly above his career numbers last year, basically across the board. Sure, they probably won’t be much better than last year, but I don’t see how they are declining.

  7. jfolg said...

    I play in a league that uses K/9 as well. I employ the same strategy mentioned here about loading up on RPs. Usually I try to get one low-risk quality starter (like Haren this year) and pair him with 3-4 upside SPs (Harden, JJohnson, Joba, Slowey this year). You’ll be starting your Haren-type every week and sprinkle in maybe two-three starts from the others depending on matchups. Ideally, at least two of your “extra” SPs will perform well in the first half (I’m betting on Harden to be that lights-out trade chip this year), so you can cut the others and trade whichever you prefer for offensive help.
    The trick is to find at least one SP-eligible reliever so you can keep as many slots stocked every day. With 5-6 RPs collecting around 2IP per week, you will often only need two starts from SPs per week.
    And don’t forget that since relieving is much easier than starting you’ve got a built-in advantage in both ERA and WHIP, ERA as much as .4-.5 and WHIP .15. That’s a lot.
    This also makes very cheap pitchers like Slowey or Sonnanstine or Kuroda much more valuable to you than your opponents, since you can easily absorb the K hit.
    The last thing I’ll is to remember you probably don’t need more than 4 closers. Your other RPs should be middle-relief guys. Often, when a middle-reliever gives up a run, it’s charged to the guy who preceded him, while a closer who starts an inning won’t have that safety net.

  8. Paul Singman said...

    First, sorry guys I did not address your comments specifically, but you’ll see in my Tuesday article I did address the starting pitching issue.

    @jfolg I agree with what you say, especially this thought, “The trick is to find at least one SP-eligible reliever so you can keep as many slots stocked every day.” I’ve found a lot of the relievers with SP eligibility do not have it anymore this season (at least not yet), which is disappointing. One reliever who has retained the eligibility in Yahoo leagues is Hong-Chih Kuo. He is a nice guy to have in a league like this, and the owner of this team actually picked up Kuo.

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