Once upon a time Edinson Volquez was considered one of the elite young pitchers in the league. In his first season in Cincinnati he was electric, going 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA and 1.33 WHIP with 206 Ks. Yes, control was always a question mark (4.27 BB/9 in ’09), but given his production it was something that was easy to overlook.
He started off slowly in 2009 before his season was ended abruptly due to Tommy John surgery. He returned late in 2010, making 12 starts and pitching to a 4.31 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. He once again showed electric stuff (9.62 K/9) making it easy to disregard his control issues (5.03 BB/9). Pitchers coming back from Tommy John surgery generally struggle with their control, so why was there reason to worry? Read more
Wasn’t Edwin Encarnacion supposed to be sharing time at 1B and DH with Adam Lind? Well scratch that! According to MLBs Gregor Chisholm (via Twitter), the team has now decided that Jose Bautista will be their full-time right fielder. That means that Encarnacion will be their Opening Day third baseman and sends shockwaves up and down the Blue Jays roster…
Or does it? While the defensive setup may be different, is it that meaningful? So, there isn’t a spot in the outfield for either Travis Snider or Juan Rivera, but assuming that they are healthy (Snider did leave yesterday’s game for precautionary reasons) the odd man out will likely be the designated hitter.
Nothing changes… At least on the surface. So what does this actually mean? If Encarnacion fails (or some would say when he fails considering his history), a path has been cleared for Brett Lawrie to reach the Major Leagues in 2011.
The biggest change since I originally discussed him (click here to view my original report on him) is obviously his locale, as he was traded to Toronto in the offseason in exchange for Shaun Marcum. He also has moved across the diamond, now looking like the Blue Jays third baseman of the future (and the future could come sooner than you think) instead of waiting for Rickie Weeks to disappear at second base. Read more
Enter now to win an autographed Clayton Kershaw baseball (authenticated by Steiner Sports). All entries must be made by 12:30 PM EST on Thursday, March 31 using the form in this post to be valid (and all questions, including tie-breakers, must be answered).
The contest is a simple one, guess the total number of strikeouts for all games played over the first two days of the season (March 31 and April 1). The person who comes closest, without going over, wins.
In case that there is a tie, I am going to ask that everyone submit two tie-breaker guesses as well:
- Tie-Breaker #1: Which pitcher will have the most strikeouts over the two days?
- Tie-Breaker #2: How many strikeouts will that pitcher have? (closest without going over)
As of right now there are 17 games scheduled for the first two days of the season. If a game should get postponed for whatever reason, it clearly will not count, so keep that in mind.
Only one submission will be allowed per person. If you submit more than one entry, your second entry will be deemed invalid.
Entry is officially closed. Good luck to everyone!!
Let’s take a look at a few hitters who started extremely slowly in 2010 as we decide whether to play them in the season’s opening week:
Mark Teixeira – New York Yankees – First Baseman
He may be the most notorious slow starter in the league. In 2010 he hit just .136 with 2 HR and 9 RBI over 100 AB. Just look at his numbers the previous three seasons:
- 2007 – .231, 2 HR, 6 RBI in 91 AB
- 2008 – .290, 4 HR, 17 RBI in 100 AB
- 2009 – .200, 3 HR, 10 RBI in 70 AB
Obviously, it’s not good, but would you ever really consider sitting him down? If the answer is yes, you had no business drafting him in the first place (considering you likely used a first or second round pick to do so). Teixeira brings far too much potential upside to leave on your bench when healthy. It may be the outlier, but look at what he did during April ’08. Would you really want to risk missing out on that type of production? He is one of the best hitters in the game and you just have to stomach any potential struggles, because 95% of the time the end results are going to be well worth it. Read more
Outfield may be the toughest position to rank for keeper league owners, because the rules play such a huge impact on how we view certain players. If you can keep someone indefinitely, how much better does someone like Jason Heyward appear? If we are talking about only two or three years, it’s tough to bypass established players for uncertainty, isn’t it? Keep that in mind when looking at these rankings:
- Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers
- Carlos Gonzalez – Colorado Rockies
- Carl Crawford – Boston Red Sox
- Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Matt Holliday – St. Louis Cardinals
- Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Josh Hamilton – Texas Rangers
- Jay Bruce – Cincinnati Reds
- Alex Rios – Chicago White Sox
- Justin Upton – Arizona Diamondbacks Read more
This week’s chat is being pushed back to Friday, April 1 at 2:00 PM EST. Make sure you once again stop by with any fantasy baseball questions you have as we will be on the eve of Opening Day. It doesn’t matter if it is related to trades, lineup settings, strategy or anything else you have on your mind.
Moving forward, what day would everyone like to have the chat? Just let me know and we’ll see if we can get a set schedule going forward.