Waiver Wire: NL

John Baker | Florida | C
YTD: .258/.332/.421
True Talent: .261/.343/.401
Next Week Forecast: 0.4 HR, 2 Runs, 2 RBI, .260 BA, 0.1 SB
Baker’s awful .184/.245/.204 June had him riding the pine in Florida, and fantasy owners ditched him, too. Then he rebounded to a .367/.387/.600 July, pushing his numbers closer to True Talent’s prediction. He’s actually accumulated exactly as many PAs this year as in 2008, but his numbers have slipped, partly because his BABIP has dropped from .367 to .318, and partly due to the wear-and-tear of catching nearly every day. He’s not likely to continue his July production—not with a 53.9 GB% in 2009—and you may see some more swoons and spikes as he goes along, but he’s about as good a waiver-wire catcher option as you can expect at this point in the season. Eight-team NL-only leagues can definitely find a spot for him, as can mixed leagues twice as deep.

Manny Parra | Milwaukee | SP
YTD: 7.8 K/9, 1.5 K/BB, 6.78 ERA
True Talent: 7.5 K/9, 1.8 K/BB, 4.87 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 6.0 IP, 0.3 Wins, 5 K, 4.69 ERA
After an awful start to the year, Parra was banished to Triple-A to work out the kinks. If it hadn’t been for injuries to Dave Bush and two awful starts by Seth McClung, he might be there still, but they recalled him—and he pitched seven shutout innings against Pujols and the Cards, with seven Ks and just one walk and three hits. He pitched well in three of his four minor-league starts, but still walked 13 while striking out 19 in 24.2 IP. Control is everything to Parra, who has yet to crack the 3.0 BB/9 threshold in the majors; he led all of baseball last season with 17 wild pitches. True Talent doesn’t see his control improving enough to make him a lock for a roster spot, but he could break out at any time. Mixed-league owners should monitor his walk rate for a start or two before deciding, and to be sure he’s going to stick in the rotation when Bush returns; NL owners shallower than 12 teams should do the same. Other NL owners can take a chance on a turnaround right now.

Jeff Francoeur | New York | OF
YTD: .256/.286/.358
True Talent: .267/.313/.412
Next Week Forecast: 0.7 HR, 3 Runs, 4 RBI, .275 BA, 0.2 SB
Frenchy has inspired more fantasies than Brigitte Bardot, and broken just as many hearts, making his brief surge after his trade to the Mets (4-for-9 in two games) sound like just another tease. A change of venue can sometimes inspire a player, and Francoeur was perhaps too comfortable in Atlanta, but it might not be enough to redeem his once-promising potential. He’s shown a few good signs in 2009, including a 6.6% rise in FB% and a dropoff in strikeout rate (6.7 AB/K, up from 5.4 in 2008). Since he’s also dropped his walk rate (3.6 BB%, down from 6.0 in 2008), however, his K/BB has plummeted from 2.85 to 3.92. He’s been extremely durable, and will get the chance to play every day in New York, so inveterate optimists will no doubt grab him. If he makes his lowly True Talent projections, he’d be barely suitable for 15-team NL-only leagues, but reaching that will require some improvement. Deeper NL leagues can certainly take the gamble, but mixed leagues shallower than 20 teams need to wait, no matter how enticing those potential HRs are.

Ramon Troncoso | Los Angeles | RP
YTD: 5.4 K/9, 1.6 K/BB, 1.75 ERA
True Talent: 6.3 K/9, 1.7 K/BB, 3.53 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 0.2 Saves, 3.39 ERA
Jonathan Broxton, the best closer in all of baseball before the break, started slipping at the end, giving up five total runs over two straight outings. Turns out he’s got an irritated nerve on his right foot, something he didn’t divulge immediately to the Dodgers, and which kept him out of the All-Star Game. He got a cortisone shot over the weekend, but Joe Torre said he’d be dealing with the toe for the rest of the season. That doesn’t sound good, and it’s likely to mean a diminished workload for Broxton, if not an eventual DL stint. Broxton owners would be well advised to take out an insurance policy in setup man Troncoso, who’s had a solid year; others could certainly speculate on the righty groundballer (60.8 GB% in 2008, 56.8% in 2009). He won’t bring typical reliever Ks, but those grounders are going to get vacuumed up by the Dodgers’ solid infield. Even if Broxton gobbles up all the saves and the anticipated ERA adjustment hits, Troncoso is still going to help your ratios.

John Bowker | San Francisco | 1B/OF
YTD: .200/.333/.500
True Talent: .259/.312/.416
Next Week Forecast: 0.3 HR, 1 Runs, 1 RBI, .261 BA, 0.1 SB
Hours after submitting my column last week, Bowker was called up to eat some time away from Travis Ishikawa (covered in last week’s column) and a stagnating Randy Winn. The contending Giants need more offense to support their ever-improving pitching, and Bowker was ripping up the minors to the tune of .347/.448/.614. Bowker started strong in the majors in 2008, then plummeted from a .766 first-half OPS to a .559 in the second. He struggled against LHP (.323 OPS in 2008), a trend that’s continued in the minors this year, at least comparatively (.826 OPS vs. LHP, 1.167 vs. RHP). The Giants have said he’ll play every day, but that’s hard to imagine if those platoon splits continue, and True Talent’s pessimistic line predicts Bowker won’t be any better than either Ishikawa (755 TT OPS) or Winn (745 TT OPS). Even as a platoon player, it’s hard to see how he’d share time with the lefty Ishikawa or the switch-hitting Winn (who has also struggled against LHP this year). He’ll get the chance to prove himself, and offers power potential, but I’d hold off in all formats until his position in the lineup becomes clearer and he shows some stability. Right now, his projected production is nearly identical to Francoeur’s, making him also suitable for 15-plus team NL-only or 20-plus team mixed leagues.

Pedro Martinez | Philadelphia | SP
YTD: N/A
True Talent: N/A
Next Week Forecast: N/A
The Phillies finally found another starter, and it’s a future Hall-of-Famer. Whether or not the 38-year-old Pedro pitches like the Pedro of old—by which we’d take even 2005, when he won 15 games with a 2.82 ERA and a MLB-leading 0.95 WHIP—is another question. He looked very good in the WBC, with two scoreless outings for the Dominican Republic, with six Ks, no walks, and just one hit in six IP. Both of the outings were against the Netherlands squad, the Cinderella team that advanced to the second round despite the third-worst WBC OPS of .636. Several teams passed on Pedro, but the Phils liked him enough, which could be a measure of their desperation; if you’re also contemplating rostering him, it might also indicate yours. He’ll start the season on the disabled list with a shoulder strain, which makes him a great grab if you’ve got a vacant DL slot, but he’s certainly a dice-roll. Assuming he’s truly healthy—the team expects him to be ready in 2-3 weeks, after minor-league work—there’s no reason why he can’t achieve at least league-average form, with a good number of strikeouts and a few wins with an improving Phillies offense behind him. NL-only leagues of at least 10 teams should definitely watch him, if not pick him up, and mixed leagues deeper than 14 teams should do the same.

Milton Bradley | Chicago | OF
YTD: .243/.379/.381
True Talent: .280/.390/.479
Next Week Forecast: 0.8 HR, 3 Runs, 3 RBI, .281 BA, 0.2 SB
Owners are starting to give up on the 5,000-piece puzzle that is Milton Bradley. An early round draftee in most leagues, he started 2009 by producing like a waiver-wire contributor, where he resides right now in some leagues. But he’s hitting .250/.500/.393 this month, with a 2.2 BB/K ratio that shows his batting eye and patience are intact. His career OPS in July is .924, with a .512 SLG, his best monthly numbers in those categories by far. He’s suffered from a .288 BABIP this year, but his career BABIP is .321; he hasn’t had a BABIP below .300 since 2002. Whatever you might think about Bradley—and he’s bound to miss some time due to mental and physical problems—he’s not a .760 OBP hitter, another number he hasn’t hit since 2002. Wrigley is a better place to hit in warmer weather, and Bradley’s bound to have a good month, if not a better second half. If you’ve got a spot, stash him; if you own him, wait if you can; if you need an OF, watch him. He’s coming around.

Jonathan Sanchez | San Francisco | SP
YTD: 9.0 K/9, 1.7 K/BB, 4.69 ERA
True Talent: 8.7 K/9, 2.0 K/BB, 4.43 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 12.0 IP, 0.7 Wins, 12 K, 4.51 ERA
If you didn’t know Sanchez before last week, you know who he is now. His ERA and overall stats made him one of the less-likely pitchers to ever throw a no-no, but his True Talent ratios are certainly roster-worthy. While it would be foolhardy to expect a repeat of his no-hitter, and his value is definitely inflated, Sanchez may very well have turned a corner. He hasn’t suddenly become an ace, but he has definitely cemented the Giants’ rotation spot he’d lost before, and he’ll deliver about a K per inning and a smattering of wins. If you’re a NL-only owner in a 10-team league, he may not be there anymore, but grab him if he is, while mixed leagues 14 teams or deeper can definitely use him in their rotation, too.

True Talent and Next Week Forecasts courtesy of Heater Magazine.

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Comments

  1. Michael Street said...

    I’d go with Bradley, for the reasons I mentioned above—Bradley seems ready to get things going, and has the better July stats, both historically and currently.

    Schierholtz is .211/.262/.263 in July, with 9 Ks and 3 BBs. Like Bowker and Winn, he’s also scuffling against lefties, further complicating any SFG outfield platoon possibilities.

    Plus Bradley’s a veteran who should return to previously established performance levels, while Schierholtz is trying to establish those same levels.

    I expect Nate to do better than he’s doing now, but Bradley’s got the higher ceiling and better hitters around him, with the return of Aramis Ramirez to the Cubs’ lineup.

    Thanks for the comment!

  2. starkweather said...

    Any thoughts on Latos going forward?  Is he going to stay up for the rest of the year?  At what point is he getting shut down?  I picked him up (dropping Casey McGehee) in my 12-team mixed, weekly, head-to-head, keeper league

  3. Michael Street said...

    MadMax—

    That’s a really good question, though I lean a bit towards Troncoso.

    MacDougal has the advantage of being the nominal closer, although with Riggleman in there, changes are possible. MacD has been 5-5 in save situations, but his supporting numbers stink: 7.4 BB/9 (including 6 in his past 6 appearances, totaling just 3.1 IP) and 3.7 K/9. All that spells the wheels falling off the cart for MacD. And even if he holds it together, he’s still closing for the lowly Nats.

    Troncoso, on the other hand, has had solid numbers and should slide into the closer’s spot if anything would happen to Broxton. The save opportunities for a potential fill-in closer for the Dodgers are almost as good as those for a FT closer with Washington. And even though he’s not a strikeout pitcher, he’s got better ratios there (5.4 K/9) than MacD.

    So you could chase a few more saves with MacDougal, and risk your ratios, or keep solid ratios with Troncoso, with the nice upside possibility of a few saves. I’m sure you know that counting stats are easier to improve than ratios, but it’s easy to tank a ratio category quickly. Any more bad outings from MacD like he had on July 9 (1.0 IP, 3 ER) will make you wish you’d never picked him up.

  4. Michael Street said...

    starkweather—

    About the only exciting thing about the Padres is seeing some of their younger players like Matos. I don’t think we’re going to see much from him this year, partly because they’re wary of his workload.

    He’s got 72.1 IP under his belt already, so I don’t think he’s going to see much usage in 2009. Towers said he doesn’t see them more than doubling his 56 IP workload from last season, so you’re only likely to get 5-6 starts from him, tops. Still, they’re apparently going to give the kid a shot to see if he can keep rocketing up the levels the way he’s done this year.

    The problem with Matos beyond workload, from what I’ve read, is his attitude, which dropped him in the draft and has led to questions about his contributions off the mound. Nobody doubts his skills, but what’s between his ears is still subject to speculation.

    Whether dropping McGehee to grab him was a good move for you depends, of course, on what you need this season and beyond. McGehee is more likely to contribute this year, and could have a very nice upside in seasons to come. Latos is a great pitching prospect and, assuming he gets his act together, could be outstanding in 2010 and beyond.

    Latos is a greater risk, but a higher reward, and if you feel like you’re done with this season in your keeper league, that was probably a good move. If you’re still contending, however, you may wish you’d given Casey a bit more time to see if he’s for real. That kind of production from a 2B slot is hard to come by.

    Thanks for the questions from both you and MadMax!

  5. starkweather said...

    I should note that I’ve got Aaron Hill and Jose Lopez at 2B ahead of McGehee and am in a league where most owners have a pronounced disinterest in trading.  Should I have let Lopez go instead of McGehee?  I’m pretty high in the waiver priority and might even get away with waiting ‘til McGehee clears and just pick him up again.

  6. Michael Street said...

    starkweather—

    You may be OK with Lopez there; he’s a bit of a wash with McGehee. True Talent sees them as mostly equivalent, with Lopez currently underperforming and McGehee overperforming, compared to their TT levels.

    I think McGehee is going to be the better hitter at the end of the year, but that may be based on the surge he’s already had. Plus his knee tendinitis is a bit of a red flag, though Milwaukee’s downplaying it.

    Lopez has good contact and power skills, even if he’s in the wrong park for the latter, and the wrong lineup for great production. But it’s not enough to swap him out for Casey, and not worth wasting a waiver claim to pick him back up.

    Monitor them both closely to see if McGehee continues to play and continues to hit. You might think about swapping them out down the line.

  7. MadMaxScherzer said...

    Well I dropped Mac…but for Garrett Atkins. As he was used in the 8th inning of a game that was not a save situation and he does not provide many saves. However, I think that I should find a way to pick up two of the following three players: Edwin Encarnacion, Phil Hughes, and/or Ramon Troncoso.

    I’m in a 12-team mixed head-to-head matchups league. Can you offer any advice based on my current roster?

    C   Jorge Posada (NYY – C)
    1B   Ryan Howard (Phi – 1B)
    2B   Ian Stewart (Col – 2B,3B)
    3B   Brandon Inge (Det – C,3B,OF)
    SS   Marco Scutaro (Tor – 2B,3B,SS)
    OF   Ryan Ludwick (StL – OF)
    OF   Franklin Gutiérrez (Sea – OF)
    OF   Marcus Thames (Det – OF)
    Util   Prince Fielder (Mil – 1B)
    P   Francisco Rodríguez (NYM – P)
    P   David Aardsma (Sea – P)
    P   Cole Hamels (Phi – P)
    P   Brad Lidge (Phi – P)
    P   Scott Kazmir (TB – P)
    P   Randy Wells (ChC – P)
    BN   Emilio Bonifacio (Fla – 2B,3B,SS)
    BN   Michael Bourn (Hou – OF)
    BN   Jason Kubel (Min – OF)
    BN     Garrett Jones (Pit – OF)
    BN   Gil Meche (KC – P)
    BN   Joba Chamberlain (NYY – P)
    BN   Max Scherzer (Ari – P)
    DL   Ryan Dempster (ChC – P)DL
    DL   John Maine (NYM – P)DL
    DL   Shaun Marcum (Tor – P)DL

  8. MadMaxScherzer said...

    Thanks for the advice. Regarding Jones however, I’ll have to decline. He is on fire, bats behind Sanch and McCutchen, and is putting up Chris Davis circa 2008 numbers. Seven homeruns in 48 ABs is insane. Jones should be rostered in all formats until he cools off.

  9. Michael Street said...

    MadMax—

    Do you mean Garret Jones or Garret Atkins? I don’t see Atkins on your roster, but I do see Jones.

    What kind of H2H league are you playing in (points, cats), and what are your categories? I’m assuming it’s a standard and not a keeper league.

    Thanks for the detailed comment. I’ll see what advice I can give once you let me know how your league scores.

  10. MadMaxScherzer said...

    It’s a categories league with the categories consisting of: R, HR, RBI, SB, BB, AVG, OPS, IP, W, SV, K, TB, ERA, and WHIP.

    I’m in 6th place (the last playoff spot) and won the league last year, but my pitching has been a disaster (I just dropped Joe Saunders and am considering doing so with Joba).

  11. Michael Street said...

    MadMax—

    That’s a whole mess o’ categories!

    At the risk of stealing the thunder from THT’s Roster Doctor, here’s my thoughts and advice:

    Lidge, Kaz, and Meche have been killing me, too, on a couple of my teams, and you’ve got Joba dragging you down on top of that. I already dropped Kaz from the team that had him (a 9-team mixed league) and he’s stayed on the waiver wire ever since.

    Both he and Meche are concerns. I’m hanging on to Meche in my keeper league (10-team) and my 11-team mixed league, but he’s awfully close to getting cut. Something seems up with him health-wise, and those recent back spasms are scary.

    I like most of your offense, though you’re awfully deep in OF, so Jones may be the one to go. I like him, but you’ve got Kubel and Bourn to throw in there to mix and match with Gutierrez and/or Thames, and Jones’ value may be largely short-term.

    Encarnacion is due for a rebound, but I’m not sure you need him with Inge and Bonifacio—it’s not like you’re taking Prince from your Util spot to make room for him. And I don’t think you need the pop he’d bring, either.

    Troncoso seems a sure add, as he’ll help your ratios and hopefully your saves, which are a bit weak.

    Hughes will help you in Ks and ratios, but don’t expect him to start anytime soon, if that’s what you’re thinking—last I read, they’re bringing up Sergio Mitre. He might vulture some wins or possibly a save, but he’d have to get stretched out before he starts.

    So my advice is to pick up Troncoso and Hughes (if he’s the best reliever out there for you) and drop Jones and either Kaz or Meche.

    I’d lean towards Kaz, since he’s looked perfectly awful most times, while Meche has had some good outings mixed in with some bad ones. Joba’s been bad at times, too, but he seems healthy to me.

    I should note that lots of those pitchers are AL guys, so you might check with Rob McQuown on the AL Waiver Wire side, and/or our Roster Doctor. Either one is likely to have some other insights.

    Thanks again for the questions and comments!

  12. Rob McQuown said...

    You know, on June 6, Adam Kennedy was hitting .343/.415/.543, and I cut him from my 10-team Mixed league where I’d picked him up on May 29 since I needed a few days of MI.

    From June 7 (the day I cut Kennedy) through yesterday, he’s hit .248/.302/.358, about what one would expect from a 33-year-old with a career line of .276/.329/.392 playing in a pitcher’s park.

    I’m sorry, but the “hot” argument doesn’t sit well with me… it’s just like a craps player who’s won 10 straight and somehow thinks he has a great chance to win the next roll because he’s “hot”. 

    If I had picked up Jones to fill a hole, I’d cut him right away and hope one of the teams ahead of me made him active.  Continuing the Kennedy example, he’s been 5-for-21 on his new team in that league.

    As far as batting behind McCutchen and Sanchez, they have OBP’s of .331 and .358.  Not exactly Jeter and Damon there.  And Pittsburgh has one of the worst offensive profiles among NL ballparks.  And if you want to discuss lineup concerns, who’s behind him, The Brothers LaRoche?  That’s not going to help his Runs totals (though Adam is typically a 2nd-half player).  Jones is a typical AAAA hitter on a team which scores less than average (some of that’s the ballpark, but fantasy stats don’t care), playing in a tough park.

    Ah well, I’m not touching him in any leagues.  I hope you pull out at the right time, it sounds like you’re keeping an eagle’s eye on the situation, which will help.  Feel free to say, “I told you so”, if I’m wrong.  I feel pretty comfortable about this call, though. :>

  13. MadMaxScherzer said...

    I made the exact same drop with Kennedy from June 18th to June 25. I’ll ride out Jones until he’s cold but he does stand a chance of having a Shelly Duncan/Chris Davis type half. At least give the man a chance.

  14. MadMaxScherzer said...

    Also, success breed success. By saying that he’s “hot” I’m referring to his consistent approach at the plate and the role of positive reinforcement and increased self-concept in maintaining such consistency.

  15. Michael Street said...

    This is one of the toughest questions in fantasy: when do you cut a guy who’s hot? Jones is absolutely hot, and you should ride him as long as you can, so long as you realize that won’t be forever, or even all that long.

    The difference between Jones and Davis is that Davis showed significant, consistent power in the minors. Davis never slugged less than .534, and has slugged .598 in 1195 minor league PAs.

    Jones slugged .593 in 2004 AA ball, when his previous SLG peak had been .423 (in 2001 Rookie ball). His SLG splits in the past three years have been .473, .484, and .502. Improvement, but not off-the-charts impressive. As Rob points out, his average SLG is .450, in 4185 minor-league PAs.

    Shelley Duncan is a good comp here. He crested the .500 SLG mark once, hitting .577 in 2007, the year he got called up. His previous peak was .490, in 2005 AA ball, and he averaged .478 SLG in 3619 minor-league PAs, some of them since his smashing debut, when he got bounced back to the minors.

    That debut, BTW, lasted all of 83 PAs, and most of his production fell in his first 46 PAs, when he hit .317/.391/.756. After that (Aug. 15), pitchers figured him out, and he hit .182/.250/.303. We remember him mostly for the drama of his hits and the big Yankee stage on which he performed.

    So Jones is absolutely scorching right now, no doubt about it. 5 HRs in 4 games is nothing to sniff at. I haven’t watched any Pirates games to speak to his approach, but a 4:9 BB/K ratio isn’t a good sign.

    He’s got 48 PAs now, right about the point where Duncan fell apart. Without the kind of protection Duncan enjoyed on the ‘07 Yanks, Jones may find pitchers pitching around him if they don’t figure him out.

    Ride him while you can, but a correction is coming, and be ready to bail at the first signs of trouble. When that happens, I hope that the guys you want now are still on the waiver wire, which always tightens up down the stretch.

    Good luck! You clearly know your stuff and are watching the situation closely, which are exactly what you need to know when the time’s right to cut him loose.

  16. MadMaxScherzer said...

    Thanks for the advice and quick responses!

    I’m partial to holding on to Kaz for at least two more starts and believe that Meche will land on the DL soon so I will probably drop him or drop Marcum (who’s I think has Clemens-esque stuff when healthy) and put him in that last DL slot. In which case I will add Troncoso or Lato (when he is added to the player pool).
    Despite all my power guys I’m one of the bottom teams in HR, RBI, and OPS in my league. I’ve had more success the last few weeks with a larger hitting bench and the freedom to start some players depending on match ups (which is why I want to be able to sit Inge vs. a guy like Sabbathia and have a power guy like Encarnacion start or place a power guy at 3rd when Inge is at Catcher).
    Another factor is the lack of depth at the OF position in my league. Though most owners are disinclined towards trading, I may be able to spin off an OF for some pitching. Jones has upside with power and SB potential while Gutierrez has no track record in the power or avg category. I figure that he will be first to cool off and by that time Edwin will be batting higher in the Reds’ lineup and will be worth an add.

    I’ll post this question in the other forum and see if they have to offer any other insights. Thanks!

  17. Rob McQuown said...

    Some comments on AL players:
    - I like Hughes’ talent level, but I’d leave him alone.  He’s been improving his stats recently, but mostly in road games and/or against weak-hitting lineups.  With that ballpark/division combination, and his durability, it’s not hard to envision him taking a 3 inning beatdown some game when the Yanks are out of it, and that’s the last thing you want from your non-closer relievers. If he was in line to vulture a lot of wins for you, I’d like him more.  There have to be other “safe” non-closers out there.  Wuertz, maybe?  He has fantastic peripherals, and a great defense behind him.
    - Joba has been killing me in my daily-move redraft leagues.  Like yours, very little trading. :(
    - I couldn’t cut Garrett Jones fast enough, to be honest.  I agree with Mike’s comment last week, that he’s worth a “flyer” in “NL-only” leagues.  To roster him in a mixed league is not something I’d consider.  he’s 28, and is a career .258/.312/.450 hitter in the MINORS.  Why PIT thinks he’s a #3 hitter is as baffling to me as why Leyland thinks Clete Thomas is a #3 hitter, perhaps moreso.
    - I don’t think I’d miss Thames if this was my roster, either.  I know he’s playing a lot these days, but let Leyland play the “hot hand”, you never know when he’s going to change his mind. Sure, Thames can slug .500 in his sleep, but you have walks and AVG as categories, and he’s likely to hurt you in those, in addition to potentially getting benched at any time.  If I was going with a Tigers OF, I’d stick with tried-and-true Magglio Ordonez, as I noted in the AL section.  This is especially true in a mixed league, where you get to keep him if he ends up on the Mets.

  18. tzimmes said...

    Blanton vs. Brett Anderson

    M. Montero to replace C. Iannetta. Will he do enough to replace him rather than a pitcher.H,R,RBI,BA,HR,SB/

  19. Rob McQuown said...

    I’m not the NL guy, but I wouldn’t consider cutting Iannetta.  His OBP/SLG are just fine, and the low BABIP is all that’s suppressing his AVG so much.

    … and I’d much rather have B.Anderson than Blanton.  Only possible exception is if you’re really dying to get wins, as Blanton will clearly get more run support.

  20. Michael Street said...

    I would second Rob’s analysis. Montero’s been very hot as the full-time catcher in AZ, but will lose some PT when Snyder returns from the DL sometime around the 29th.

    He may still continue to produce, and Hinch might ride his hot bat for a while longer, but he’s got Snyder breathing down his neck for whenever he falters.

    Ianetta, on the other hand, is the catcher of the future in Colorado, so he’s going to keep getting PT, and he’s underproducing for his expected line, whereas Montero is overproducing.

    Montero’s the better short-term play, but for how long isn’t clear. Ianetta will be better for the rest of the season.

    And Brett Anderson showed us his fantastic stuff last night. Blanton has never had amazing stuff, and has had an average-to-worse stat line this year, particularly the 1.7 HR/9. Oakland seems to absolutely drip with great young arms, and Anderson is just the latest to come out of that ace factory. As Rob said, he won’t get as many wins, but that’s the one real downside.

    Thanks for the questions!

  21. MadMaxScherzer said...

    Mat Latos or Chris Tillman?

    Tillman’s minor league numbers don’t impress me at all and he’ll be playing in the AL East which is not the best intro to the majors. Latos has great stuff and a great minor league track record (especially this season with my favorite indicator of a WHIP under 1.00) however, he plays for the Padres punchless offense.

    Who would be the better add?

    In other news: Let’s go Garrett Jones! (and I picked up Craig Wilson for some saves!) but super trooper Brandon Inge looks to be on the downside with the bad patella :(

  22. Rob McQuown said...

    I was going to reply to this earlier, but figured that the 100-inning thing was something I’d heard from Mike, so he should speak to that. 

    As far as Tillman, in general, young SP are unreliable (“young pitching will break your heart”, is the old roto saying).  But…

    As Mike points out, the one concern about Tillman is something he’s essentially put to rest, walking just 22 in 93 IP.  He’s big, throws hard, is poised, and is putting up eye-popping numbers. 

    If the other AL East offenses weren’t like Lake Woebegone residents, where “everyone’s above average” (including 3 of the top 4), it would be easier to find weeks to pitch Tillman, and the pen – though improved over 2008 – isn’t exactly robust, and may be losing Sherrill.  I wouldn’t consider Tillman to be a top-28 AL (or top 60 MLB) starter in 2009 for fantasy purposes.  But if you’re in a keeper format,or playing some sim game like Strat-O-Matic or DMB (which are all keeper formats,too), where the strength of opposition is considered, he’s up there with Buchholz as a Guy To Get.

    I haven’t read up on Latos yet, after hearing he was being limited to 100 IP.  So, I won’t try any comparisons.

  23. Michael Street said...

    MMax—

    Rob might speak better to Tillman, but the only thing I don’t like about his minor-league numbers are his walk rates, consistently 4+. Still, he’s brought them down to size this season (2.1). He’s also moved smoothly through the minors at a level a year, improving (not regressing) in nearly every peripheral stat at each level.

    I haven’t heard yet that the Os are calling him up, but given how thin they are in starting pitching, it’s possible.

    Latos looked solid, but he’s still going to be dealing with that innings cap this year. And though he pitches for the punchless Pads, he’s still doing it in PETCO, a nice place to pitch.

    Tillman, as you say, will be getting a baptism of fire if he gets called up. I’d give him the nod down the stretch for intangibles; he’s reportedly confident and calm, whereas Latos has the attitude problems I mentioned before. The AL East is tough, but he can learn (see Halladay, Roy and Beckett, Josh).

    I think they offer similar skillsets, but Tillman may have the edge between the ears, where so many major-league pitchers are made.

    Rob likely has some good stuff to add here, too, so I’ll let him add his own expertise.

    And Jones is, indeed, thumpin’ still—ride ‘em, cowboy! CJ Wilson will get you some short-term saves, but he’ll give way to Francisco when he returns, and pneumonia shouldn’t present too much of a long-term issue for ol’ Frankie.

    Thanks for the question!

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