Archive for August 31, 2011

Looking For Answers: Why Has Mark Teixeira Struggled To Hit For AVG? Is He Still An Elite 1B?

There is no doubting the talent of Mark Teixeira and, for the most part, his 2011 campaign has been a success.  How can you consider it anything else when he already has 35 HR and 100 RBI and we haven’t even reached September (all numbers in this article are through August 29)?

However, since coming to the Yankees Teixeira, once a threat to hit .300 or better, has seen his average consistently fall.  A notorious slow starter, nowadays he just appears to be a power hitter and little more.

We see his .236 BABIP from this season and want declare it all a function of poor luck, but that just may not be the case.  First, let’s look at his fly ball rate for the five seasons prior to joining the Yankees:

  • 2004 – 39.5%
  • 2005 – 38.8%
  • 2006 – 40.9%
  • 2007 – 40.9%
  • 2008 – 36.5%

He hit at least .281 in all five of those seasons, including three years above .300.  He also consistently hit for power, with 30+ HR every season as well as always driving in at least 105 yards (including a year of 43 HR and 144 RBI). Read more

Injury Report: August 31: Hanley Ramirez, Justin Morneau, Alex Rodriguez & More

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

Hanley Ramirez – Florida Marlins – Joe Frisaro (via Twitter) is reporting that, “latest from Marlins TV crew is Hanley has discomfort in his shoulder, returning to Miami for evaluation”.  Not good.  Originally it was expected that Ramirez would return to the Marlins lineup by the end of the week, but that now appears to be highly unlikely.  Hopefully we’ll get a little bit more information today, but at this point plan on going without him for at least a few more days, if not longer.

Tommy Hanson – Atlanta Braves – According to Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (click here for the post), “A dye-contrasted MRI taken on Friday showed that Hanson has a small ‘undersurface’ rotator cuff tear, which typically doesn’t require surgery. Hanson said Andrews just called it normal wear and tear for a pitcher when Hanson visited him in his Pensacola, Fla. office on Monday.”  Time will tell if he can actually return to the mound prior to the end of the regular season, though this is encouraging news. Read more

Around The Majors: August 30: CC Sabathia, Andre Ethier and More

by Will Overton

  • You have to wonder what kind of numbers Brett Lawrie could’ve put up this season had he not gotten hurt and delayed his call-up to the big leagues. Lawrie hit his 6th homerun last night and is currently hitting a HR every 14.17 AB’s. That’s pretty impressive for a guy straight out of the minors. Lawrie is also 10 for his last 27 for the plate bringing his average up to .329. Lawrie owners in keeper leagues must be licking their chops, I know I am.
  • It’s not exactly a breakout season, but Matt Wieters has improved on last season’s numbers and last night he picked up his 15th Homerun. This is his 4th HR in his last 8 games which is a nice little run. Wieters is still only 25 years old and you should expect him to take yet another step next season.
  • Not sure whether or not was a one time start for Jeanmar Gomez and then back to the minors or bullpen, or if he will get another start. Either way last night he looked good holding the A’s to 1 unearned run 6 innings of work, striking out 4. Gomez’s starts were a bit more up and down earlier in the year, but if is in the rotation now he could hold a little value in AL Only leagues.
  • The last three starts since getting blown up a couple weeks have been lights out for Doug Fister. Last night he threw 6 perfect innings and ended up going 7.2 with 1 run allowed. He has only allowed 2 ER’s in his last 3 starts spanning 21.2 IP. And the icing on the cake is that he has struck out 18 batters in those 3 games with only 1 walk. Fister is known for not being a strikeout guy, so if he is going to start getting some K’s he’s going to need to be owned in more than 40% of leagues. Read more

September 1 Call-Ups: Will Leonys Martin, Jesus Montero or Jerry Sands Bring Value?

It’s that time of year well Major League rosters become flooded with additional players.  While many of them turn out to be irrelevant, operating as a pinch runner or bullpen depth, occasionally someone comes along that can really help fantasy owners.  Let’s take a look at a few of the bigger names who could reach the Majors in the next few days and try to determine if they hold fantasy appeal

Leonys Martin – Texas Rangers
When the Rangers signed Martin to a five-year, $15.5 million dollar contract in May you had to think that there was going to be a chance that he reached the Major Leagues by the end of 2011.  Mike Daly, the Rangers director of intentional scouting, said this about the 23-year old Cuban defector at the time of his signing (quote comes courtesy of ESPN Dallas/Fort Worth, which you can read by clicking here):

“He’s 6-2, 190 pounds and an athletic kid,” Daly said. “We feel like he’s a plus defender in center field. He can throw, he can run and he’s a line drive-type hitter with a knowledge of the strike zone. He can put the ball in the gap. We feel like he can hit, get on base and really defend in center field.”

He’s spent time at three levels this season, hitting .295 with 4 HR, 42 RBI, 52 R and 18 SB.  In 171 AB at Triple-A (Pacific Coast League) he’s hit .263 with 0 HR, 17 RBI, 26 R and 8 SB.  He has shown the ability to make good contact (23 K) at Triple-A, so he should have the potential to hit for a better BABIP (.304). Read more

Injury Report: August 30: Nelson Cruz, Shin-Soo Choo, Derek Jeter & More

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

Derek Jeter – New York Yankees – According to Bryan Hoch of mlb.com (click here for the article), “Jeter was a late scratch from New York’s lineup after he sustained a right knee contusion on a foul ball in the first game of the twin bill”.  The scratch was for Game 2 of Sunday’s double header and he remained out of the lineup for last night’s game.  It doesn’t sound like a serious injury, though according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (click here for the article), “New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who feared Sunday that his bruised knee was much more serious, still likely will be out several games, including a key series against the Boston Red Sox.”  At this point, push him to your bench and hope he can get back on the field shortly.

Alex Rodriguez – New York Yankees – In the same article Hoch is reporting that, “Rodriguez is again being bothered by his sprained left thumb.”  Mark Feinsand (via Twitter) later added, “A-Rod not with the team today; he went back to NY for an MRI, though the results showed no damage. He’s day-to-day.”  This one is a bit more concerning for fantasy owners.  Rodriguez also missed both Game 2 of Sunday’s double header and last night’s game.  The injury occurred a week ago, though he did go 3-8 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 4 R in the two games earlier in the week (the only games he played between the injury and Game 1 of the double header on Sunday). Read more

Around the Majors: August 29: Dustin Ackley, Drew Stubbs, Wandy Rodriguez & More

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

  • The A’s and Indians played a game that can only be described as well pitched.  In a losing effort Brandon McCarthy went the distance, allowing 2 ER on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 10.  He made just one big mistake, a solo home run to Carlos Santana (2-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R).  On the other side, David Huff tossed 6.0 shutout innings, allowing 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 4.  The bigger story is McCarthy, however, who is now 7-7 with a 3.64 ERA and 1.21 WHIP.  He entered the day with a .314 BABIP and 65.0% WHIP, so while his numbers are viable, he’s actually pitched significantly better.  He’s shown pinpoint control (1.50 BB/9 entering the day), though his career mark is 2.94, so that is a bit skewed.  Obviously that’s not enough to deter us, and while he may struggle to get a few wins he is going to be a viable option in deeper formats.
  • Nick Swisher continues to hit for power, showing why he’s a solid “low-end” addition in most formats.  He went 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R last night, giving him home runs in back-to-back games and 6 HR in his past 7 games.  Over that span he’s gone 8-25 with 6 HR, 10 RBI and 8 R.  He’s never going to be considered among the elite in the league, for obvious reasons (he always brings the threat to struggle in the average department), but there is no arguing his power or RBI potential in one of the deepest lineups in the league. Read more