Archive for March 31, 2010

2010 Rotation Tracker Updates

If you haven’t been keeping up with the updates on the Rotation Tracker (click here to view), here’s what you’ve missed over the past two days:

  • 03/31/10 @ 7:00 PM – Phil Hughes is the Yankeess 5th starter, but his first start won’t occur until April 15
  • 03/31/10 @ 3:55 PM – Mat Latos has officially been named the Padres 5th starter
  • 03/31/10 @ 11:00 AM – Mark Rzepczynski will open the season on the DL for the Toronto Blue Jays
  • 03/31/10 @ 9:20 AM – The Nationals have sent J.D. Martin to the minor leagues, leaving Garrett Mock and Scott Olsen to battle for the 5th starter job
  • 03/30/10 @ 7:30 PM – The Arizona Diamondbacks have sent both Kevin Mulvey & Billy Buckner to Triple-A, so they will open the season in a 4-man rotation
  • 03/30/10 @ 4:30 PM – Jamie Moyer has officially been named the Phillies 5th starter
  • 03/30/10 @ 3:55 PM – Francisco Liriano has officially been named the Twins 5th starter
  • 03/30/10 @ 3:30 PM – The Marlins have acquired Nate Robertson from the Detroit Tigers.  This likely has Robertson filling the 5th spot in the Marlins rotation over Clay Hensley and Dontrelle Willis assuming the 5th spot for the Tigers
  • 03/30/10 @ 12:20 PM – David Hernandez announced as Orioles 5th starter over Chris Tillman
  • 03/30/10 @ 12:05 PM – Rick Porcello will start the Tigers Home Opener, so he is set to open as the fourth starter

As you can see, it is being updated early and often.  Make sure to keep checking back for all of the latest rotation news from across the Majors.

Is Dontrelle Willis Worth The Gamble?

With the Tigers recent trade of Nate Robertson, it appears that Dontrelle Willis has earned the fifth spot in the Tigers rotation.  The question for fantasy owners is, now that the Tigers are taking the gamble on him should we do so as well?

He looked impressive early on this spring…  well, maybe not.  The results were there, but the process he got there by certainly was not good.  Over 19.1 spring innings, he’s walked 12 batters.  It’s irrelevant what his ERA is; when you award so many free passes it is only a matter of time before disaster strikes.

If the walks weren’t enough, throw in two hits batsmen.  I’m sure I could go on and on, but you get the idea.  He has been extremely wild this spring, meaning that positive results are unlikely.

He has yet to allow a home run, a trend that is unlikely to continue.  While he may not give up an extreme number of fly balls, his HR/FB has never been impressive (outside of his monstrous 2005 season):

  • 2006 – 9.2%
  • 2007 – 13.4%
  • 2008 – 12.9%
  • 2009 – 11.8%

Forget about this spring for a second.  He was solid in his debut season (3.30) of 2003.  He was stellar in 2005 (2.63 ERA).  He was average in 2006 (3.87).  Is that really enough to base anything on?  Truth be told, the hype surrounding Willis is more on that one season above all else. Read more

Will Buster Posey Have Value If He Wins A Roster Spot?

With Buster Posey remaining in Giants camp, the idea of him actually opening the season on the Major League roster is becoming more of a reality.  Does it make sense to have one of your premier prospects simply watching from the sidelines instead of getting at bats at Triple-A?  Not in the slightest, but that’s not what we’re here to discuss.

There is the potential that he plays two-to-three times per week, seeing time both behind the plate (spelling Bengie Molina) and at first base (spelling Aubrey Huff).  If he does stick, there’s potential that he starts stealing more and more at bats, meaning he could emerge as a solid option in all formats.  Let’s take a look at what he may bring to the table:

What you need to know:

  • Baseball America ranked the 23-year old as the Giants #1 prospect heading into 2010 (as well as the best hitter for average, best strike-zone discipline and best defensive catcher in the team’s minor league system).  Additionally, Baseball America ranked him as the #7 prospect overall, while ranked him at #4.  On the Rotoprofessor Top 50 prospect list for 2010 (click here to view), he was at #18.
  • He was the Giants first round pick (fifth overall) in the 2008 draft.
  • Posey opened his college career at shortstop, but moved to catcher in his sophomore year.
  • He spent time at Single-A (.326 in 291 AB), Triple-A (.321 in 131 AB) and the Major Leagues (.118 in 17 AB) in 2009.
  • The minor league averages are believable, thanks to a great eye at the plate.  Granted, his .349 BABIP at both Single and Triple-A may be a bit inflated.  Still, showing walk rates of 13.0% and 11.3%, respectively, shows how patient he is.  If he can reduce the strikeout rates (or at least maintain them, as he was at 15.5% and 17.6%), the idea of him hitting around .300 should not be unthinkable. Read more

Who’ll get the most saves in Twins’ closer committee?

My latest article is up over at USA Today looking at the Twins closer situation and putting odds on who will ultimately walk away with the job.  You can check it out by clicking here

Who do you see being the long-term answer?  Jon Rauch?  Anthony Slama?  Will they go out and make a deal?

Recent Updates To The Rotation Tracker

Just to give you an idea of how useful the rotation tracker will be, there have already been numerous updates since it was launched yesterday:

  • 03/30/10 @ 12:20 PM – David Hernandez announced as Orioles 5th starter over Chris Tillman
  • 03/30/10 @ 12:05 PM – Rick Porcello will start the Tigers Home Opener, so he is set to open as the fourth starter
  • 03/29/10 @ 11:15 AM – Chris Carpenter has been announced as the Opening Day starter
  • 03/29/10 @ 10:20 AM – Jaime Garcia announced as Cardinals 5th starter

I will keep everyone updated on the main site as to when things are updated from time-to-time, but make sure you continue to check it out directly (you can view it by clicking here). 

I will also continue to update it throughout the season, so it should be a great tool.

Wild Prediction: Felipe Paulino’s Strikeouts

Let’s keep these Wild Predictions (things that I predict to happen 20% of the time or less) rolling:

Felipe Paulino will strikeout at least 180 batters

He has a cannon of an arm, averaging 95+ mph on his fastball over 97.2 innings of Major League action last season.  If I knew nothing else about him, that would be enough to encourage me to make this prediction, but there is more.

Over his minor league career he posted a K/9 of 8.3.  In his stint in the Majors last season he was at 8.6.  All he really needs is an opportunity to pitch every five days and he has the skill to get to this type of mark.

His biggest problem could be an innings limit, as he threw just 132.1 innings last season.  Outside of that, why would the Astros not utilize him in the rotation?  Is Brian Moehler really a better option for the team? Read more