Roster doctor

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League Rules: 12-team keeper league (5 keepers), rosters set weekly, head-to-head, 6×6 (HR, RBI, BA, OPS, SB, R and W, SV, K, ERA, WHIP, K/BB), mixed league

C – Brian McCann
1B – Russell Branyan
2B – Brian Roberts
3B – Mark Reynolds
SS – Elvis Andrus
OF – Grady Sizemore
OF – Josh Hamilton
OF – Curtis Granderson
UT – J.D. Drew
UT – Adam Lind
Bench – Andruw Jones
Bench – Adam LaRoche
Bench – Jordan Schafer
Bench – Gordon Beckham
DL – Edwin Encarnacion
DL – Alex Gordon

SP – Zack Greinke
SP – Chad Billingsley
RP – Scott Downs
RP – C.J. Wilson
P – Ryan Perry
P – Yovani Gallardo
P – Sean Marshall (for this week, two starts)
Bench – Clayton Kershaw
Bench – Ross Detwiler
Bench – Tommy Hanson
Bench – Ubaldo Jimenez
DL - Scott Kazmir
DL – Joakim Soria

Notes: Right now, I’m using the best FA pitcher available with two starts for the week (hence Detweiler and then Marshall) or Kershaw. My biggest concern is whether I should try to trade Greinke for a SP and OF/CI upgrade.

Andrew, you have a nice trio of starting pitchers in Greinke, Billingsley and Gallardo. Given that you have an extra rate stat as a scoring stat (K/BB), I would be judicious about playing the revolving two-starter strategy. Typically the tradeoff faced with the double starter strategy is extra shots at wins and strikeouts, but a higher ERA and WHIP. In this case, you’d also risk a higher K/BB ratio – though both Marshall and Detwiler have pretty good ratios.

I’m glad you’re preparing for a rainy day with respect to Branyan and Reynolds. Reynolds is having a good year but his home run to fly ball rate, at 26.7 percent, is going to drop. Branyan’s numbers, particularly his batting average, are not going to last. Fortunately, you have a decent backup in LaRoche, whose skills are better than his current luck. Nevertheless, it is tough to be top of the league offensively when you have no likely first-rank players at your corner infield or utility spots.

There’s two places that potential upgrades could come from: your bench (through free agency) or a trade. I think you’ve used the bench spots that you’ve allocated to pitching well. I’m not sure that that’s the case with your batting bench spots. Beckham may be interesting long-term but isn’t likely to help you this year. Schafer and Jones are mirror opposites. The former’s been getting lots of playing time with little to show for it, while the latter has done remarkably well with limited at-bats. Neither of these guys is going to help you at the corner infield spots. I would look for players with potential upside there instead: Mat Gamel, Gary Sheffield (depending on eligibility requirements) or Nick Johnson (if you’re lucky) or Jake Fox and Chris Coghlan (if you’re forced to go deeper).

Lastly, I have no problem with you sending out feelers for a trade. I’m not going to take the easy route and tell you to “sell high” on Greinke, since I’m not going to insult your league mates by calling them fools. However, fair value for Greinke is still pretty darn high and you may get what you’re looking for in a trade. However, with only seven active pitching spots, there may not be as much demand for starting pitching as you’re expecting (i.e. the replacement level starting pitcher is probably pretty good in this league). So, don’t force a trade if you don’t get enough.

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  1. digglahhh said...

    My experience w/ keeper leagues are that they tend to skew toward keeping bats as opposed to arms. This is entirely logical, IMO, as there is a very deep crop of tier 2 and 3 pitchers available that are relatively similar in value – enough that everybody feels confident enough to get 1 or 2 of in the first three or four rounds after the 60 kept players are gone.  Nearly all the top CI bats will be kept every year, so the only way you can get one is to either get lucky by snagging a true stud right before his breakout, or by trading a keeper-worthy pitcher for one (and, as I mentioned, this doesn’t mean a top 60 ranked pitcher; it’s more like a top 25, b/c it’s all about replacement value in the first few rounds of the post-keeper draft)*.

    Now, if Greinke has moved into the Lincecum/Santana territory, then I’d be in favor of exploring the possibility of cashing him in for a top tier CI.  Of course, the counterargument is that CI should be deep enough that you can fill it productively well outside of the first five rounds. So…

    What I would really consider doing in that case is proposing Greinke straight up to Jose Reyes’s owner, right now! (Hopefully, he’s toward the top of the standings and needs production as opposed to long term value) SS is a spot where you can clearly upgrade. And, in a keeper league, anytime you have the chance to turn a SP into in a first rounder, you gotta at least try. Even if Reyes disappoints coming back, you go to next year with Reyes/your choice of the best non-kept pitcher as opposed to Greinke/aging vet, guy looking to bounce back from poor season, or high upside but risky guy.

    Looking at your roster, I’m also presuming you kept McCann from last year. I think that’s probably a mistake. In any mixed league of fewer than 14 teams, I don’t see any reason to keep a catcher who would not be a lock keeper at a different position. Worst case scenario, you end up with the 12th best catcher out there – I’m willing to wager that if you hadn’t kept McCann, you wouldn’t be going to war with Russell Branyan at what’s traditionally the biggest run-producing roster spot.

    *The only two GUARANTEED keep-able starters in a league w/ 50-60 keepers are, IMO, Santana and Lincecum. ¬ I’d rather hold onto somebody like a Brian Roberts than a Dan Haren b/c I’d rather wind up with Javier Vazquez/Roberts than Haren/Freddy Sanchez.  There are arguments to be made for the Harens , Webbs and Halladays, and Sabathias, but chances are if you’re keeping a SP other than Johan or Timmy, you probably did not contend last year.

  2. Chad Burke said...

    Not sure why he is holding onto Beckham.  I understand that it’s a keeper league but he’d have to get called up and have a hell of a second half for someone to even consider keeping him when you have Brian Roberts at the position.  I’d definitely be dumping him with someone likely to emerge with CI eligibility of some sort. 

    Schafer is not helping you on your roster all that much either, especially since you are unlikely to keep him over any of your current starters and right now he’d be behind Lind and Drew as well. 

    Another possibility would be trying to trade Lind to someone with a weak outfield while his value is still fairly decent.

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