Archive for June 30, 2011

Trade Fallout: Mark Ellis Traded To Colorado

According to Jim Armstrong of The Denver Post (click here for the article), “The Rockies today acquired veteran Mark Ellis from the Oakland A’s, along with cash considerations, for minor-league pitcher Bruce Billings and a player to be named later.”  Ellis certainly fills a hole for the Rockies, who have had a seemingly revolving door at 2B recently.

  • Jonathan Herrera was hitting .237 with 2 HR, 10 RBI, 19 R and 4 SB in 198 AB
  • Eric Young Jr. was hitting .234 with 0 HR, 3 RBI, 5 R and 4 SB in 47 AB
  • Jose Lopez (who the team had already cut ties with) hit .208 with 2 HR, 8 RBI, 10 R and 2 SB for the team

If Ian Stewart had been able to realize his potential and fill 3B, Ty Wigginton likely would’ve filled the role, but that too wasn’t to be.  In other words, the Rockies clearly had a need and will hope that Ellis can produce.  If you were holding on to one of their other options, hoping that they were going to emerge, the chances now appear unlikely. Read more

Prospect Tracker: Josh Bell & Nick Franklin

Josh Bell – Baltimore Orioles – Third Baseman
Triple-A (through June 27): .252 (73-290), 13 HR, 38 RBI, 40 R, 4 SB
Remember when Bell was considered the Orioles third baseman of the future?  Doesn’t it seem like ages ago at this point?  In reality it has only been about a year, but that gives you a small taste of how far his stock has fallen in an extremely short period of time.

It started with his cup of coffee with the Orioles in 2010, when he hit .214 with 3 HR in 159 AB and has continued into this season.  The biggest problem is his ability to make contact.  Simply put, it’s just not there.  He has already struck out 79 times in 2011, a strikeout rate of 27.24%.  That’s pretty poor, but when you add in just 17 walks, you come to one of two conclusions:

  1. He has no command of the strike zone
  2. He has become obsessed with the long ball, at the expense of simply making contact

He does have a history of big strikeout numbers, so at this point you really just have to wonder.  He has improved over his past ten games, striking out 7 times vs. 5 walks, but he is hitting just .216 over the span.  At least he is making strides, right?  Unfortunately, it is going to take a lot more than ten games to convince people.  Unless he really gets things going, the chances of him making any type of an impact in 2011 appears to be slim. Read more

Working The Wire: Looking At 2nd Half Standouts

by Will Overton

The all-star game is right around the corner and that only means one thing, we’re halfway through the baseball season already. For fantasy baseball owners that means it’s make or break time. No more sitting back and waiting on the guys you drafted to come through. Now is the time when you have to make the right moves and put yourself in a position to be a contender, or at the least to try and ruin someone else’s season if yours is already is lost.

One of the ways to get a leg up for the second half is to know which guys you should expect to see heat up as the season wears on. Anyone can grab a guy who’s getting hot, but it’s a lot harder to get ahead of the game and predict when a guy is going to get hot.

I have four hitters here who have been known to have big second halfs and could be available in your league. Some of them are guys you might want to stash now, while some of them you may want to wait to see signs of life, I’ll give you my opinion on how to handle each of these guys. Read more

Injury Report: June 30: Erik Bedard, Josh Johnson, Jayson Werth & More

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

Erik Bedard – Seattle Mariners – Greg Johns of mlb.com (click here for the article) is reporting that, “The Mariners’ run as the only Major League team to use just five starting pitchers this season will come to an end, as the club placed left-hander Erik Bedard on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a sprained left knee.”  All that I can think is, at least it’s not his shoulder.  Bedard has turned back the clock this season, sporting a 3.00 ERA and 1.11 WHIP.  This doesn’t appear to be a major issue, so look for him to return shortly after the All-Star Break.  If you rolled the dice on him, you surely have already gotten your monies worth.

Jayson Werth – Washington Nationals – According to Amanda Comak (via Twitter), “Werth felt l. hip lock up last night.”  He was out of the Nationals lineup yesterday (along with Ian Desmond, quad, and Lance Nix, Achilles) and should be considered day-to-day.  It certainly doesn’t sound like something serious, so just monitor the news for now.

Clay Buchholz – Boston Red Sox – Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald (via Twitter) is reporting that, “Buchholz felt lower back discomfort when he threw yesterday. May not start until late next week, if at all, before All-Star break”.  Not really surprising after yesterday’s news.  At this point, fantasy owners should just keep him stashed on the bench until after the Break and hope he can recover from this issue quickly. Read more

Around the Majors: June 29: James Shields, Dustin Ackley, Chris Carpenter & More

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

  • James Shields had a “poor” outing, as he was outdueled by Edinson Volquez.  Shields allowed 4 ER on 7 H and 2 BB, striking out 10, over 7.0 innings.  It certainly was a poor start based on his 2011 track record, but it really isn’t all that poor, especially when you take the strikeouts into account.  He has now struck out at least 9 in each of his past three starts and has allowed more than 3 ER just three times in his 17 starts this season.  It certainly is hard to complain.  As for Volquez, it’s nice to see him post a good outing (6.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 7 K, W), but it’s going to take a bit more to convince us that he’s a viable option.  He has a ton of upside, of course, so don’t give up hope.
  • Dustin Ackley went 1-3 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, the long ball coming against Jonny Venters (who has now allowed 6 ER over his past 2.2 IP).  Ackley now has a 5-game hitting streak, going 7-19 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 3 R.  He’s not likely going to be a great source of average, so don’t get too excited that he already has 2 HR, but he clearly is proving to be a viable option at 2B.  His value comes in his average (and hopefully runs scored), though you would love to see him in a better lineup.
  • Ben Revere went 2-3 with 1 R and 1 SB.  He now has 3 SB in his past two games (4-6, 1 RBI, 3 R, 3 SB).  He certainly has proven that he belongs in the Major Leagues and is a viable leadoff man for the Twins.  The question is, once Jason Kubel, Denard Span and Delmon Young return from injury, will there be a spot for him in the lineup?  You would think there certainly should be, most likely with Michael Cuddyer shifting to 1B.  In any event, he is worth owning in all formats if you are in need of some speed. Read more

Waiver Worthy: Is Chase d’Arnaud A Viable Option In 2011?

Those who purchased the 2011 Rotoprofessor Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide may have had the Pirates Chase d’Arnaud already on their radars.  On the Top 90 Prospect list that was included d’Arnaud came in at #44, where I said:

“With Ronny Cedeno as the Pirates shortstop, should it surprise anyone that d’Arnaud makes this list?  While he hit just .247 at Double-A, he did have 48 extra base hits and 33 stolen bases.  He needs to learn to limit his strikeouts (102 in 530 AB).  He was significantly better than that at Single-A in ’09 (72 K in 423 AB between two levels with a .293 average), posting a .398 OBP (compared to a .331 OBP at Double-A).  You would have to expect him to rebound and, with the Pirates trying to get younger, he should get a chance once he settles down.”

He clearly looked good enough at Triple-A this season, hitting .280 with 4 HR, 33 RBI, 39 R and 17 SB (in 20 attempts).  In 239 AB he struck out 42 times, a strikeout rate of 17.57%, a solid rate.  You would like to see him drawing a few more walks (20 BB, good for a BB% of 7.72%), but it’s possible he’s perfectly suited for the second spot in the Pirates lineup. Read more