Archive for December 31, 2010

Closer News: Aardsma, Fuentes

Let’s take a look at a little bit of closer news from around the league:

David Aardsma – Seattle Mariners
According to mlb.com (click here for the article), Mariner’s closer David Aardsma will undergo surgery on Monday for a torn labrum in his left hip.  Expectations are that he will be able to start throwing four weeks after the operation and that he will be ready for Opening Day.  If not, Brandon League will likely be utilized as the team’s closer until Aardsma is ready.

There have been numerous trade rumors regarding Aardsma all winter long, though interested teams will now likely wait until he proves healthy before pulling the trigger.  Keep that in mind, but no matter what happens Aardsma is nothing more than a low-end option among closer’s on draft day.  Even if he opens the season as the Mariners’ closer, chances are he doesn’t finish it that way. Read more

Can Jered Weaver Repeat His 2010 Success?

By Kyle Johansen

Prior to 2010, Jered Weaver’s career featured a slow but steady progression by a talented pitcher who could not yet be called a top of the rotation starter.  Weaver’s innings pitched have patiently increased at a pace Mark Prior would have died for, alleviating any injury concerns due to usage.  Meanwhile, his WHIP has steadily plummeted, settling in comfortably at 1.24 in 2009. Not many people could have predicted what Jered Weaver had in store for 2010:

224.0 IP
233 K
3.01 ERA
1.07 WHIP
4.31 K/BB

Regardless of the gaudy numbers above, Weaver ended the year with just 13 Wins.  However, despite the low win total he was ranked 6th among starting pitchers in standard 5×5 leagues.  Without the bad luck in the Wins department, Weaver would have challenged for the top spot among all starting pitchers.  The question is, can Weaver replicate his breakout season or is a regression in order for 2011? Read more

Breaking Down The Bullpen: Boston Red Sox

This is the newest feature I am going to be doing as we head towards fantasy drafts.  In an effort to target which closers could be in jeopardy of losing their jobs, who to target for vulture saves, etc., we will be breaking down each team’s bullpen.  Let’s kick things off with a look at the Red Sox:

The Closer: Jonathan Papelbon
Since assuming the Red Sox closer’s role in 2006 Papelbon has been one of the elite options in the league totaling 188 saves (at least 35 a season).  However, after blowing eight saves in 2010 to go along with a career worst ERA (3.90) and WHIP (1.27), his leash will be extremely short in 2011.

Over the past two years his control has been an issue (walk rates of 3.18 and 3.76), which helps to explain his increased WHIP (from 2006-2008 he had posted WHIPs of 0.78, 0.77 & 0.95).  Last season he also suffered from a below average strand rate of 68.7%, which helps to explain his higher ERA.  Prior to 2010 his worst ERA was 2.34.

His strikeout rate has been consistently above 10.0 per nine innings, which does help to offset things.  He also consistently works a lot of innings (67.0 innings or more in four of the past five seasons). Read more

2011 Projection: How Should We Value Phil Hughes?

Phil Hughes was the toast of baseball through May as he appeared nearly unhittable.  He was 6-1 over the first two months to go along with a 2.72 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 57 strikeouts over 56.2 innings of work.  Over the next four months, however, he was not nearly as effective.

For the entire season he posted the following line:

18 Wins
176.1 Innings
4.19 ERA
1.25 WHIP
146 Strikeouts (7.45 K/9)
58 Walks (2.96 BB/9)
.281 BABIP

It would be easy to attribute his overall ERA as tiring down the stretch, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  In fact, after May Hughes failed to post a sub-4.00 ERA in any month: Read more

Wild Prediction: Bruce & Rasmus Power Production

It’s time to start my annual Wild Predictions.  For new readers this is something I’ve done for the past few years.  As you read these columns (there will be 30 predictions in total), keep in mind that they are not my actual projections.  Instead they are things that I believe have a chance of happening, though less than 20% of the time.

With that said, let’s take a look at my first prediction:

Colby Rasmus and Jay Bruce will combine to hit at least 65 HR in 2011

These are two of the brightest young outfielders in the game and both have shown that they have power that could explode at any moment.  Let’s take a look at their lines for last season: Read more

Pre-Order The Rotoprofessor Fantasy Baseball 2011 Draft Guide Now!

With football season coming to a close, it’s time for fantasy owners to start turning their attention to baseball, right?

Last year I debuted the Rotoprofessor Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, and this year it’s coming back for more (set to be officially released by January 15th, though don’t miss your chance to order it now)! The reviews were fantastic and this year it will be better than ever. You certainly can’t beat the price, as it will be sold for just $5.

This is not like the normal draft guide you purchase, because it will be consistently updated reflecting player movement and news. The guide will be in Excel and you will receive an updated document every 2-3 weeks up until the start of the season. Included will be:

  • Over 500 player projections
  • The Rotoprofessor’s quick take on every player projected
  • Expanded Rankings (i.e. Top 30 Catchers, Top 100 Starting Pitchers)
  • Top 300 Overall
  • Projected lineups and rotations
  • As a special bonus, in mid-to-late February you will receive a Top 50 Prospects for 2010 list (on the website, I will be releasing a Top 20 list)
  • And more

Remember, this draft guide is not a replacement to the website. Instead, it is a supplement to it. In fact, if there is a player that I’ve done an article on their name will be linked back to the website so you can easily access those articles for more in depth information on any player.

If there is any player who is not included in the original draft guide that you would like to see added, please make the suggestion and I will do my best to include them in the next revision.

This is your chance to have all of the information you need to thrive in your fantasy leagues in 2011. Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today? Pre-order your copy of the guide now!