Archive for April 30, 2011

Prospect Report: Can The Indians’ Alex White Be A Must Own Option?

With Carlos Carrasco placed on the disabled list, the Indians will turn to top prospect Alex White to start today against the Detroit Tigers.  The 2009 first round draft pick was off to a great start at Triple-A, with a 1.90 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 28 K over 23.2 innings pitched. 

Last season he did not show this same type of strikeout potential (7.0 K/9 across two levels), but let’s not simply write off his early season success as a small sample size and nothing more.  White actually looked to be a tremendous strikeout pitcher during his college days (317 K over 306 innings) and there is a chance that he can continue to excel in this department moving forward.

Yes, the walks may be bit low (1.94 BB/9).  However, he did show in 2010 that he can consistently find the strike zone (2.75 BB/9).  If he can continue to avoid the walks, coupled with the ability to get strikeouts, the sky truly is the limit.

Here’s a quick scouting report from Baseball America, who ranked him as the Indians second best prospect prior to the season:

“White’s velocity fluctuated throughout his first pro season, but he generally sat at 87-92 mph with his two-seam fastball and topped out at 95 mph. His two-seamer has plus sink and he throws it for strikes. When White gets to a two-strike count, he uses his plus splitter to put away both lefties and righties. His main point of emphasis in 2010 was his slider, which showed promise in high school and early in his college career.” Read more

Injury Report: April 30: Alex Rios, Brian Roberts & More

Let’s take a look at this morning’s injury news and notes:

Alex Rios – Chicago White Sox – According to Dave van Dyck (via Twitter), “White Sox interim manager Joey Cora will have Lillibridge in cf for Rios (sore toe).”  The toe injury has been bothering Rios all year long, so it shouldn’t be surprising to see him get a few random days off.  However, is it the reason for his struggles?  Who knows, but we all know he is better than he’s shown thus far.

Brian Roberts – Baltimore Orioles – According to Brittany Ghiroli of MLBlogs.com (click here for the article) has a quote from Roberts saying, “I actually had a hamstring [injury] for about three weeks and nobody knew about it”.  His lack of stolen bases certainly makes a lot more sense now.  Monitor the situation at this point, but it appears he’s not going to come out of the lineup. Read more

Around the Majors: April 29: Hanley Ramirez, Carlos Santana & More

It was another great day around the league, so let’s take a look at all the stories from yesterday’s games:

Questionable Closers
We all know that closer is the most unpredictable position in baseball and last night did nothing but raise more questions over several of the current closers.  Let’s take a look:

  • If there was any question about Jordan Walden’s hold on the closer role, seeing Fernando Rodney allow 1 R on 2 H and 0 BB, striking out 2, over an inning of work.  Walden, meanwhile, tossed a shutout inning allowing 1 H and striking out 1.  He now has 4 saves with a 0.73 ERA on the year.
  • So much for Jon Rauch’s grip on the Blue Jays closers role slipping away, huh?  He was asked to get the final four outs against the Yankees, getting the job done in just 8 pitches (7 strikes).  He now has 5 saves and a 2.45 ERA on the year.  Obviously it is no lock that he holds the job all year with the presence of Frank Francisco, but for now it certainly appears that he’s the closer for now (saves in each of his last two appearances).
  • Has Mitchell Boggs been removed from the closers role after one blown save?  It certainly is interesting to note that, on the road where a save opportunity could present itself, he was inserted into the game in the bottom of the eighth with the team down a run (he pitched a perfect inning).  Eduardo Sanchez, another closer candidate, than entered the game in the bottom of the ninth in a tie game, allowing 1 BB and 3 K over 2.0 innings of work.  Ultimately Jason Motte and Trever Miller split the final inning, protecting a 2 run lead (Miller got the final out).  At this point, it’s anyone’s guess who the closer is going to be going forward. Read more

The Trade Counsel: Multi Position Eligibility

by Simon Jones

A couple of weeks ago, I was involved in a discussion where we touched on the attraction of players who are eligible at more than one position. Now seemed like a good time to go into the subject in more depth.

Anyone who regularly reads this column will know my mantra of perceived value. The interesting part is that sometimes multi-position eligibility brings only perceived value and in other cases it brings hidden real value.

As always, your league setup makes the world of difference in how valuable particular players are. Seeing multiple positions against a player’s name will always look attractive, however the value really increases when you have transaction limits or when you have small benches on your roster. Squeezing a few more ABs in a H2H league can make all the difference. Similarly, being able to place a SP into a RP slot (or occasionally a RP into a SP slot) can allow a small but significant edge. Read more

Prospect Report: Is David Cooper A Viable Fantasy Option?

According to Kevin Fidlin of the Toronto Sun (click here for the article), after yesterday’s 5-2 victory over the Texas Rangers, “the Jays outrighted infielder Chris Woodward to their triple-A team in Las Vegas and optioned outfielder Travis Snider to the same affiliate.”  Former  2008 first round draft pick David Cooper will be joining the Blue Jays to fill one of the roster spots.

Snider was hitting just .184 with 1 HR and 12 RBI.  We all know the potential that he has, though he has consistently failed to produce.  Hopefully a little time in the minor leagues will help him get things on track and you certainly should expect him back in 2011.  However, outside of AL-Only and deeper mixed leagues, he’s not worth stashing.

Cooper is a first baseman, so he clearly is not going to see Snider’s AB in the outfield (those will go to Rajai Davis, who was activated from the disabled list, as well as Juan Rivera).  It is hard to imagine the team recalling him to sit on the bench, so you have to figure that he’ll be getting a chance to fill their DH role.

In his first 81 AB at Triple-A (Pacific Coast League), Cooper has hit .395 with 2 HR, 19 RBI and 16 R (he had been even better over his last 10 games, hitting .415 in 41 AB).  Last season at Double-A he didn’t fair quite as well, hitting .257 with 20 HR and 78 RBI over 498 AB (his second full season at the level). Read more

Injury Report: April 29: Kevin Youkilis, Joe Blanton & More

Let’s take a look at this morning’s injury news and notes:

Joe Mauer – Minnesota Twins – According to Phil Mackey of ESPN 1500 AM when asked about a timetable for his return Mauer said, “I’m trying to get that out of everybody, but I’ve just got to get healthy. I’m not where I need to be yet to be on the field and do baseball things. I’m trying to get there as best I can.”  Click here for the full interview, but at this point it is unknown when Mauer could possibly return.  All you can do is sit tight and wait.

Kevin Youkilis – Boston Red Sox – Brian MacPherson (via Twitter) is reporting that, “Youkilis left because felt his hip get ‘locked up’ sliding into second base in the first inning, but ‘I should be good to play tomorrow.’”  Time will tell, but be sure to monitor the pregame lineup. Read more