Roster Doctor – 5/22/09

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.

The streak of traditional rosters continues…

Player Pool: Mixed
No. of Teams: 12
Categories: Traditional 5×5
Scoring Type: Head-to-Head
Roster:

C – Pablo Sandoval
1B – Ryan Howard
2B – Chase Utley
SS – Jimmy Rollins
3B – Jorge Cantu
OF- Matt Kemp
OF – Alex Rios
OF – Jacoby Ellsbury
Util – Joey Votto
BN – Corey Hart
BN – Jhonny Peralta
BN – Alexei Ramirez

SP – Dan Haren
SP – Adam Wainwright
RP – Chad Qualls
RP – Ryan Franklin
P – Fernando Rodney
P – Scott Downs
P – Josh Johnson
BN – Jered Weaver
BN – Wandy Rodriguez
DL – John Lackey

First off, this person told me that she picked Ellsbury off the waiver wire—great addition! Let that serve as a lesson to all of you impatient people out there who are thinking about using your priority on a mediocre player now because you do not foresee any great names getting called up in the near future that are not already owned. Most of the time great waiver pickups come from drops by other teams, particularly after the first month of the season. Someone like Ellsbury might not be dropped in your league, but a valuable player like David Ortiz or BJ Upton might be.

A noticeable aspect of this team is its Phillies infield minus Pedro Feliz at third. Normally I would think that was intentional—i.e. the owner is a Phillies fan—but the owner noted in their submission (info like this is helpful) that they recently traded Jay Bruce and Jair Jurrjens for Rollins and Josh Johnson. This trade is a good example a smart owner making use of a surplus in one position (outfield) to bolster a lacking one (shortstop) where you previously had Peralta starting.

One of the bigger disappointments so far this year, Peralta, is struggling and I think it was a good idea to find a suitable replacement for him. And kudos to not buying high on the replacement; instead Rollins was a nice buy-low at this point since he figures to start raising his production level imminently (four for six last night). Johnson won’t keep up the sub-three ERA ratio much longer but with his ability to strikeout batters out, limit free passes, and induce ground balls, he should post an ERA in the mid-3s the rest of the way, which is of course valuable. Nice trade.

With the shortstop hole plugged, the rest of your lineup is strong and filled with players myself and many other people would love to own like Kemp, Votto, Utley, and even Cantu. I am not saying Rios, Howard, and the others are bad players, but if at some point in the future you are looking to upgrade your hitters, those would be the guys I would like to upgrade. Howard is in that list for the flexibility he offers if included in a trade since you could get anyone in return for him, because Votto could slide from utility to first base. And his name does supersede his numbers somewhat.

Your pitching is excellent, both starters and relievers. There is no reason to mess with your corral of dominant starters and it is apparent you have been active on the waiver wire by the grouping of recently anointed closers you own. Not much else to say about your pitching except just make sure you strategically bench pitchers towards the end of the week if you’ve got enough victories locked up.

I know you would like to keep Alexei because he could break out of his slump and provide value either in a trade or starting for you, but if a player with some potential hits the wire soon, I would not let Alexei prevent me from adding him. His roster spot is one I would consider pretty expendable right now if the right player comes along. I say this especially in a league where Ellsbury was magically dropped. Good luck the rest of the season!

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