Roster Doctor

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.

Don’t dive in head first, we’re going shallow today…

Player Pool: Mixed
No. of Teams: 10
Categories: AVG, HR, R, 2B, RBI, SB, OPS // W, ERA, K, WHIP, SV, K/BB, HR Allowed
Scoring: Head-to-Head
Other notes: Weekly updates, Non-keeper
Roster:

C – Jorge Posada
1B – Mark Teixeira
2B – Dan Uggla
3B – Mark Reynolds
SS – Alexei Ramirez
CI – Adam Dunn
MI – Chone Figgins
OF – Josh Hamilton
OF – Matt Kemp
OF- Vernon Wells
OF – Nelson Cruz
UT – Kendry Morales
BN – Rafael Furcal
BN – Aubrey Huff
DL – Carlos Beltran

SP – Javier Vazquez
SP – John Danks
SP – Clayton Kershaw
RP – Jose Valverde
RP – Scott Downs
P – Chad Qualls
P – Mike Gonzalez
P – Wandy Rodriguez
BN – Scott Baker
BN – Francisco Liriano
BN – Kerry Wood
DL- Tim Hudson

Here is the classic 10 team roster, one full of All Stars and near All Stars. It is hard to suggest improvements for a team like this, but I will throw out my opinion on the players I find interesting.

Uggla, the one player who could be called “struggling” in your infield, is still hitting for power (good in a league with OPS) but his batting average has taken a big hit this year.

+----------------------------------------------------------------+
| Dan Uggla Plate Discipline                                     |
+--------+---------+-------------+------+-------------+----------+
| Season | Team    | Judgment X  | A/P  | Bat Control | Bad Ball |
+--------+---------+-------------+------+-------------+----------+
|  2006  | Marlins |          91 | 0.34 |          84 |       44 |
|  2007	 | Marlins |          95 | 0.39	|          82 |       41 |
|  2008	 | Marlins |          92 | 0.33	|          80 |       44 |
|  2009	 | Marlins |         100 | 0.23	|          85 |       54 |
+--------+---------+-------------+------+-------------+----------+

However looking at his plate discipline stats, Uggla has actually showed surprising improvement in this area this year, making his .230 batting average all the more suspicious. As his undeserved .257 BABIP climbs so will his batting average, making this a poor time to try to upgrade Uggla. He will upgrade himself naturally, if that makes sense.

image
I own Clippard in one league because of his SP eligibility. And because he is pitching well. (Icon/SMI)

As for the outfield, I like all of your hitters going forward. Do not sweat Kemp’s .396 BABIP too much—sure he might hit closer to .300 than .320 the rest of the season but his power/speed combo allows him to maintain a very high BABIP rate. I also would not worry about selling Nelson Cruz because of his surprsing power display this season. It is mostly for real and if anything, his batting average could stand to rise some.

I am also impressed with your pitching, headed by the impressive combination of Vazquez and Kershaw. Baker, Wandy, and Danks are solid pitchers as well so I understand if you want to keep your rotation intact. If you are willing to take a risk, though, allow me to suggest somewhat of a radical strategy for your pitching staff.

Even in Head-to-Head leagues with standard categories I sometimes am a fan of the pitch-only-aces-and-strong-middle-relievers/closers strategy. Well, in this league with both K/BB and home runs allowed—both categories favoring relievers—the incentive is even greater to put that strategy to use.

It would work by trading most of your starters to bolster your bullpen and hitting lineup. A trade like Kershaw for a very good hitter is an example; I’d imagine Kershaw could command a near-elite hitter if Morales or Wandy were also added to the mix.

Once you have done that, you should start only the one or two starting pitchers you have remaining, and the five relief arms you own. You can start even more relievers if you acquire a reliever with SP-eligibility like Dan Meyer, Tyler Clippard, Alfredo Aceves, Franklin Morales, or Chris Sampson and start them in an SP spot.

With a pitching staff looking like that, Wins and Strikeouts will probably be tossed every week. ERA, WHIP, Saves, K/BB, and HR Allowed, however, should all be won most weeks. That means you will go 5-2 in the pitching categories and your hitting will be upgraded from the starting pitcher trades, so on paper it seems this strategy would work well, especially in this league.

I do understand though, if you do not want to overhaul a good-looking roster this late in the season. I’ll leave the decision up to you.

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