Archive for June 30, 2009

Fantasy Baseball Free Agent Pool – Speed Demons

by Ryan Lester of Lester’s Legends

Just because you’ve slipped behind in the Stolen Base category doesn’t mean you can’t catch up.  Here are some reasonably available SB threats.

Emilio Bonifacio, 2B/3B, Florida Marlins -  Emilio picked up 4 SBs last week while hitting .346 (9 for 26) with 8 Runs and 3 RBIs.  On the year he’s hitting . 250 with 16 SBs, 42 Runs, a HR, and 20 RBIs.  He’s owned in 26% of Yahoo!, 37.3% of ESPN, and 35% of CBS leagues.

Everth Cabrera, SS, San Diego Padres – Everth makes his debut in the Speed Demon club with 3 SBs last week. He hit .348 (8 for 23) with 5 Runs and 3 RBIs.  In 16 games he’s hitting .319 with 3 SBs, 11 Runs, and 4 RBIs.  He’s owned in 4% of Yahoo!, 0.4% of ESPN, and 14% of CBS leagues.

Erick Aybar, SS, Los Angeles Angels – Aybar had 2 SBs last week while hitting .300 (6 for 20) with 6 Runs and an RBI.  On the year he’s hitting .276 with 5 SBs, 24 Runs, 2 HRs, and 21 RBIs.  He’s owned in 4% of Yahoo!, 2.3% of ESPN, and 7% of CBS leagues.

Willie Harris, 2B/3B/OF, Washington Nationals – Willie picked up 2 SBs last week while hitting .296 (8 for 27) with 4 Runs, 2 HRs, and 4 RBIs. On the year he’s hitting .241 with 7 SBs, 22 Runs, 4 HRs, and 15 RBIs.  He’s owned in 8% of Yahoo!, 0.6% of ESPN, and 3% of CBS leagues. Read more

Could Ian Snell Still Develop?

Ian Snell was a pitcher that many were high on heading into the 2008 season, and why shouldn’t they have been?  Despite being 9-12 (which many overlooked considering he was pitching for the Pirates after all), he posted a respectable 3.76 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 2007.  His peripherals were solid, with a K/9 of 7.66 and a BB/9 of 2.94.  He was young and everything seemed to be headed in the right direction…

And then 2008 hit.  He saw a decrease in production across the board.  His ERA inflated to 5.42.  His WHIP to a robust 1.76.  His strikeouts fell to 7.39 and his walks rose to 4.87.

An inflated BABIP of .358 lent a little bit of hope for the true believers (one of my “Wild Predictions” prior to the season was him posting a sub-4.00 ERA).  He’s a young pitcher and inconsistency is to be expected.  It’s never a straight line to greatness, there are going to be bumps along the road.  There were reasons to be optimistic.  Reasons to believe that he was going to have a solid bounce back campaign in 2009.  

Of course, that has been the furthest thing from the case.  He has been so bad in 2009 that he now finds himself in Triple-A, and luck is not the true factor in his demise: Read more

Around the Majors: June 29

Roy Halladay was solid in his return from the DL.  Jon Lester & Ricky Nolasco continued their impressive turnarounds.  A few days off did not help Nelson Cruz get things going again.  Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games.

Chicago (AL) 6, Cleveland 3

  • Gavin Floyd continued his tremendous stretch, tossing 7.2 shutout innings, giving up 5 hits and 2 walks, striking out 5.  He hasn’t allowed more than 1 earned run in each of his past five starts.  Over his past 8, he’s gone 4-1 with a 1.39 ERA.  On 5/17 his ERA was a robust 7.71, but now it is at 4.12.  Needless to say, he’s one of the hottest pitchers in baseball and is a must play in all formats right now.
  • It has become clear that Gordon Beckham is currently the White Sox starting 3B.  He went 3-3 with 2 RBI and now has hits in his last four games.  If you own Josh Fields, slide him to your bench.
  • Victor Martinez went 0-4, dropping him to 3-31 over his last eight games.  Everyone is going to go through cold streaks, so don’t get too worried quite yet.  He’s had a remarkable bounce back season and remains a must start in all formats. Read more

A Look at Ervin Santana’s Nearing Return

According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Time (click here for the article), “Ervin Santana declared himself fit to return to the rotation” after his latest rehabilitation start, where he went 3.1 shutout innings giving up 3 hits and 0 walks, striking out 7.

The article says he was sitting between 91 and 93 on the radar gun, which may be a little bit below where he’s been in the past:

  • 2005 – 93.4 mph
  • 2006 – 93.1 mph
  • 2007 – 92.2 mph
  • 2008 – 94.4 mph

It is a tick above the 90.6 mph he was throwing earlier this season, so that’s something to be optimistic about.  Even Santana had to comment about it, saying “I thought I would throw a little harder”, before going on to say, “But my location was good and I had good command in and out.”  The command was indeed there, throwing 33 of 45 pitches for strikes.

The talk is of him potentially returning to the rotation now, with GM Tony Reagins saying, “If he comes out of this fine, I don’t think [another rehab start] will be necessary”.  Time will certainly tell if that is the case or not, but either way he should remain on your bench until he gets a start or two under his belt. Read more

Players of the Week: June 22-28

 Hitter of the Week:
This week, it was an easy decision.  Hanley Ramirez, possibly one of two or three best hitters in baseball, showed why he deserves such accolades.  He hit .385 (10-26) with 3 HR, 15 RBI, 5 R and 2 SB.  The average is good and the home runs tied him for second in the league (Aaron Hill was the only player last week to hit more than three), but it was the RBI that gave him his huge advantage.  No other player even reached double digits, with Alex Rodriguez finishing in second with 9 on the week.  Clearly, that type of advantage gives him the easy win.

Runner’s Up:

  • Aaron Hill – Toronto Blue Jays – .346 (9-26), 4 HR, 8 RBI, 7 R, 1 SB
  • Jermaine Dye – Chicago White Sox – .500 (12-24), 3 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R, 0 SB
  • Adam LaRoche – Pittsburgh Pirates – .458 (11-24), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 6 R, 1 SB Read more

Around the Majors: June 28

Tommy Hanson seemed to get his control issues in check.  David Price continued to walk the ballpark, despite getting a win.  Max Scherzer saw his defense betray him.  Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games.

Cincinnati 8, Cleveland 1

  • Brandon Phillips went 3-5 with 3 RBI, 3 R and 1 SB.  He had been extremely hot for an extended time, but had just 2 RBI over his previous 7 games.  He was also just 2-22 over his past 6 games.  You learned early on this season that he’s a player to have patience with, because despite some struggles he is among the top three second baseman in the game.  Obviously, keep him active in all formats.
  • Luis Valbuena (0-4) actually played 2B, with Asdrubel Cabrera (1-5, 1 R) at SS and Jhonny Peralta (1-3) at 3B.  While Valbuena and Cabrera could flip-flop, this is going to be the configuration going forward with Mark DeRosa now in St. Louis.  Peralta has the most fantasy appeal, though Cabrera could be usable in deeper formats if he remains batting lead-off, like he did yesterday.  As I’ve said before, Valbuena has little value.
  • Micah Owings allowed 1 run on 5 hits and 4 walks, striking out 4, over 6 innings to improve to 5-8 with a 4.63 ERA.  He’s been extremely inconsistent, and didn’t do much to give the impression that his 1.56 WHIP is going to be reduced any time soon.  His value lays in NL-only and maybe the deepest of mixed formats, but you should be able to find a more dependable option. Read more