Roster Doctor – 7/2/09

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.

Player Pool: Mixed
No. of Teams: 12
Categories: 5×5, daily, Public, Keeper
Scoring: Roto
Roster:

C- Chris Iannetta
C- Ronny Paulino
1B – Lance Berkman
2B – Chase Utley
3B – Chipper Jones
SS – Michael Young
CI – Adam LaRoche
MI – Robinson Cano
OF – Matt Holliday
OF – Shin-Soo Choo
OF – Brett Gardner
Util – James Loney
BN – Manny Ramirez
BN – Andy LaRoche
DL – Carlos Beltran
DL – Carlos Delgado

SP – CC Sabathia
SP – Cliff Lee
SP – Felix Hernandez
RP – Joakim Soria
RP – Mike Gonzalez
RP – Andrew Bailey
P – Ricky Nolasco
P – Roy Halladay
P – Tommy Hanson
BN – Chris Volstad
BN – Joel Pineiro

This team, as you can probably tell with a quick scan, has a lot of big name players and appears like it would be near the top of even a shallow league. However upon closer inspection, you will see it has some faltering pieces and as a result, the owner told me he has dropped in the standings to eighth place.

Starting at catcher, Iannetta is having one of the odder seasons of any player, batting just .229 but with 10 home runs. I would hold onto him for the second half as his batting average should rise with his undeserved .243 BABIP, making him one of the better catchers to own. I understand that in a two catcher league the position can get scarce so if Ronny Paulino is the best catcher available, then I am fine with him on your team. He does, at least, seem to be getting a larger slice of the playing time pie lately with John Baker struggling.

Of your infielders Chipper is the sole disappointment now that Berkman heated up. A .290 batting average out of Chipper is only disappointing compared to his previous seasons’ averages, but is still very good coupled with nine home runs. I have found that Chipper is one of the harder players to trade in fantasy baseball—be it because of his age and health risks—so you might as well hang onto him and hope his health holds. If you are looking for a replacement down the road, fellow Brave Martin Prado is getting harder and harder to ignore everyday.

Fortunately Beltran will not require surgery and you should be thankful he may return soon following the All-Star break. When your outfield comes back together as you originally envisioned it—with Beltran, Manny, and Holliday—it should rival the best. It will only help that Holliday will probably find his way out of Oakland and to a park friendlier to hitters.

Choo, who is quietly having a terrific season, should not be relegated to the bench then, instead you should check splits and what pitchers your batters are facing to only play guys during optimal conditions.

The other readers I know dislike this, but your pitching is almost beyond improvement. Since it is star-studded but also has the depth of Volstad and Nolasco and the potential of Hanson, you should definitely try and trade a pitcher to improve your hitting somewhere. Upgrading your second catcher or maybe acquiring a second third baseman to backup Chipper would be beneficial.

Sabathia would be the big name pitcher I would most want to trade considering that his front line numbers of a 1.09 WHIP and 3.55 ERA still seem alright on the surface. However his drop in strikeout rate, increase in walk rate, and low BABIP make me think his second half might not look as pretty as his first half does.

Your bullpen is solid with two-and-a-half closers (Gonzalez being the half) and does not need to be messed with. If anything, you could trade away a closer to a team that is looking for one.

Stay active and when your injured players return to the starting lineup your team should be good enough to climb in the standings.

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