Archive for May 31, 2009

Prospect Report: Antonio Bastardo

According to the Phillies official website, the team will use 23-year old lefty Antonio Bastardo in the rotation to replace the injured Brett Myers, at least in the short-term.  Rumors have been flying regarding potential trade targets, but if Bastardo blows them away, who knows what may happen.

Bastardo went undrafted in 2007 before signing with the Phillies and being assigned to Single-A.  There he made a quick impression, going 9-0 with a 1.87 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 15 starts.  He got a cup of coffee with the High Single-A team at the end of the year, striking out 12 in 5 innings, but also giving up 4 earned runs.

His 2008 season was marred by shoulder problems, but he still was able to make an impact.  Between High Single-A and Double-A, he went 4-5 with a 2.95 ERA over 97.2 innings.  While he struck out 109 batters, only 62 came in Double-A (in 67.0 innings)

Bastardo started 2009 at Double-A as a relief pitcher, going 2-2 with a 1.82 ERA over 34.2 innings (9 games, 5 starts).  He was then bumped up to Triple-A, where he debuted on May 23 with a bang, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks, striking out 11, over 6 innings.  Before we get blown away with the Ks, he followed up this performance with just 1 K over 7 shutout innings in his only other Triple-A start (he had 39 Ks in 34.2 innings at Double-A). Read more

Can Jon Lester Turn It Around?

by Jimmy Hascup

After a breakout 2008 season everyone expected Jon Lester to reach stardom this year.  He was to form a potent one-two punch atop the Red Sox rotation with Josh Beckett and help bring home another World Series to Beantown.  At 25-years old, it was time for Lester to really put it together and become that dominant force the Red Sox hoped for when they drafted him in 2002.

The 2009 season has rolled along and here we have a struggling pitcher, leaving many to question why they took him this year to be a top starter in their fantasy rotation.  I know that in my keeper league the manager who had him this year was expecting him to be a shoe-in as a keeper for this year, and many more to come. Now Lester’s been traded about a half dozen times, as each owner tries to find some optimism in what’s been a dismal season.  What we have here is a buy-low candidate and one pitcher who could definitely aid an ailing rotation.  That is, if his numbers improve to the norm as they point toward. Read more

Around the Majors: May 30

David Price showed just how dominant he could be.  Matt Wieters & Fernando each picked up their first major league hits.  Brandon Phillips not only returned to the line-up but slugged a home run.  Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games.

Toronto 5, Boston 3

  • After getting bombed by Kansas City on 4/29, Tallet has been solid.  He allowed 3 runs on 3 hits and 4 walks, striking out 6, over 7 innings to improve to 3-3 on the season.  In his last six starts he’s gone 6 innings or more, allowing no more than three earned runs.  In total he’s gone 39 innings giving up just 13 earned runs.  While he hasn’t been winning (this was his first start since 5/9), he has been steady.  His next start is a rematch with the Royals, where he will look to redeem himself.
  • Alex Rios extended his hitting streak to 5-games, going 4-4 with 2 RBI and 2 R.  It’s a nice game, but he has a long ways to go to get to where fantasy owners had hoped.  Those runs were the first ones he had scored since 5/17, he hasn’t homered since 5/17 and he entered the game with just 1 RBI since 5/18.  Stay patient, though.  You certainly invested way too much into him to just give up.
  • David Ortiz went 0-4 and is now hitting .185 on the season.  Unless someone is willing to sell him significantly under value, I wouldn’t touch him at this point.  The cold spell has lasted way too long to think he’s just suddenly going to snap out of it. Read more

Pitch or Ditch: June 1-4

As some people requested, let’s take a look at a few Pitch or Ditch options for Monday through Thursday this week.  Remember, all of these pitchers carry an inherent danger, so don’t take this as a guarantee that they will pitch well. 

(On a side note, please let me know if this is something that you want to see continued on a regular basis or not.  If it is, we’ll continue running it once or twice a week.)

Monday:

Livan Hernandez vs. Pittsburgh
He’s posted a 3.00 ERA over his past three starts and he faces a team that ranks 23rd in the league in runs scored.  I don’t think anyone would consider him a pitcher worth using long-term, but for this start it certainly makes sense.

Bartolo Colon vs. Oakland
Like Hernandez, he’s a pitcher that I would not consider using for more than a week or two, and even that’s a stretch.  He is just not a pitcher that I can trust at this point in his career.  He was great in his last start, however, giving up just 1 earned run on 4 hits and 0 walks over 6.1 innings.  He has posted a 3.80 ERA overall this season and is facing one of the worst offenses in the league.  Read more

Around the Majors: May 29

Jorge Posada returned to the line-up.  Matt Wieters made his long anticipated debut.  Nate McLouth continued to struggle.  Let’s look at this stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games.

Texas 6, Oakland 3 (Game 1)

  • Jason Giambi went 0-3 with 1 R, leaving him 1-13 over his last four games.  Considering he only has 5 HR this season does anyone really view him as usable at this point?  If you do, you really shouldn’t.  (He did go 1-3 in Game 2, but with no run production.)
  • Nelson Cruz went 2-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R.  Over his past 9 games he’s gone 14-32 with 6 HR, 13 RBI and 7 R.  That is simply a torrid week plus for Cruz who is currently living up to his preseason hype many had given him.  I’d say he’s worth using in all formats, but at this point that should go without saying. Read more

Can Fernando Martinez Succeed Now?

by Jimmy Hascup

Huston Street to the Mets?  Nope.  Jermaine Dye and Bobby Jenks to Flushing?  Nahh.  Matt Holliday, Shea (now Citi-Field) bound?  No thanks.  Jason Bay to NY?  Nope.  These are just some of the potential pieces the Mets could have acquired in the past year if they would have been willing to deal Fernando Martinez.  Not even a deal for one of baseball’s best pitchers, Johan Santana, could be worth Fernando Martinez, according to the Mets.  Mets GM Omar Minaya has insisted over the duration of his tenure that Martinez was untouchable. 

Of the Mets’ best prospects over the past four years, three of them were outfielders: Carlos Gomez, Lastings Milledge and Fernando Martinez.  The first two are no longer with the club, but as Minaya has repeatedly maintained, Fernando Martinez is going to be something special and he’s worth more in a Mets uniform then somewhere else. Read more