Roster Doctor – 3/20/09

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.

Two days ago the first edition of “Roster Doctor” appeared and the reception was great. We have since received a lot of emails with rosters people want analyzed and while that is great for us, it does mean we cannot do a write-up for every roster sent.

We will try to respond to as many as possible by posting several “Roster Doctor” articles a week, and even if we are not doctoring your specific roster that you sent in, there might be something said about a player on another roster that pertains to your roster. With that said, let’s take a look at the roster for today’s edition.

Player pool: Mixed
No. of teams: 12
Categories: Traditional 5×5
Roster:
C- Ryan Doumit
1B- Adam Dunn
2B- Brandon Phillips
SS- Alexei Ramirez
3B- Chipper Jones
OF- Ryan Braun
OF- Nick Markakis
OF- Jacoby Ellsbury
UT- Justin Upton
BN- Hank Blalock
BN- Edgar Renteria
BN- Randy Winn

SP- Felix Hernandez
SP- Kevin Slowey
RP- Jose Valverde
RP- Matt Capps
P- Heath Bell
P- Chien-Ming Wang
P- Joey Devine
BN- Jered Weaver
BN- John Smoltz
BN- Grant Balfour

Right off the bat I can tell this person focused on hitting during the draft and I like their lineup a lot. It has a good mix of power, speed, and average so it should place well in the hitting categories across the board. What I do not like, however, is the bench. Typically my bench hitters (if I have any at all depending on the free agent pool) will be high upside guys. The three hitters on this team’s bench are all veterans with relatively low upsides that offer dependable, yet mediocre production.

The person whose roster this is told me Billy Butler was a free agent and I suggest picking him up for Renteria or Winn. Renteria is probably not much better than a free agent shortstop you could add if Alexei gets hurt. Shortstops like Orlando Cabrera, Christian Guzman, and even Emmanuel Burriss are not much worse than Renteria (if at all) and can be added for nothing if needed.

With an outfielder in Upton currently manning your utility spot, Winn becomes that much more expendable. His roster spot can be utilized better by a higher upside hitter like Colby Rasmus, Dallas McPherson, Travis Snider, or Josh Fields; or it could be filled by a pitcher.

Speaking of pitching, I mainly like your staff considering the low investment you made in it. Felix is a great anchor for your staff and Slowey is a solid number two. Wang could be valuable hopefully racking up some wins, although personally I am not a fan of his. I think there is a greater chance his 2009 ERA is above 4.00 as opposed to below that mark, and he provides little value in the strikeout department. Wang is someone I would be entertaining trade offers for.

I believe Smoltz will be starting 2009 on the DL and that gives you a chance to try out a sleeper pitcher on your roster like Jordan Zimmerman, Sean Gallagher, or Ian Snell if one of them is available. When Smoltz is healthy, however, I do like him as someone who can get some wins and help out your ratios.

Your bullpen is solid with three secure closers, one potential closer (Devine), and one setup man (Balfour). As far as setup men go, Balfour is top-notch but I wonder if a reliever with a better chance of closing at some point in the year is available. Check your waiver wire to see if either Jason Motte, Mark Lowe, or Chris Ray is a free agent and if one of them is, think of swapping Balfour for one of them.

My suggestions overall are to keep only one bench hitter with third base eligibility to fill in for Chipper during the times he inevitably will be on the disabled list. Blalock is a good player for that role as long as he stays healthy in 2009. With the open bench spots, add Wandy Rodriguez (another player I was told is a F/A) and one of the sleeper starters or relievers I mentioned.

For a twelve-team league I like this team and think it will contend for the title barring any major unluckiness.

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