Archive for April 30, 2012

Buy ‘Em Or Deny ‘Em: Should Fantasy Owners Roll The Dice On Adam Lind?

It is not my nature to look and contradict the other writers here on Rotoprofessor.  Everyone has their own opinion, their own value, and that is what makes playing fantasy baseball so interesting.  You may love a player that I have no interest in using.

So, when Will wrote his waiver wire article last week saying that he would avoid Adam Lind, I felt like I had to respond.  I know that he’s been hot in recent days (at least hotter than he had been), but Will’s article actually came about a day after I had acquired Lind in a trade for Dayan Viciedo.  Clearly, Lind is a player that I believe in.

I know people want to point to his four months of struggles, dating back to last year’s All-Star Break, but if you do that you are simply overlooking some of the numbers in front of you.  To use an old adage, you can’t the forest through the trees.

Fact: Adam Lind has struggled this season, hitting .235 with 1 HR and 7 RBI through Saturday.

I am not about to dispute that.  He hasn’t been good thus far this season, but that doesn’t mean that there is no hope for him to turn things around and provide fantasy owners over the next few weeks and months. Read more

Sell High Starter: Why Fantasy Owners Should Look To Move Jeremy Hellickson & Johnny Cueto

We all love to see our players thriving, but does that mean we shouldn’t consider selling them while their value is at it’s peak?  Let’s take a look at two starting pitchers who have been tremendous in April, but could be in store for a major regression as the season progresses:

Jeremy Hellickson – Tampa Bay Rays
My concerns surrounding Hellickson have been no secret.  I have been putting out warnings since the calendar turned from 2011 to 2012, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I am going to be putting out another one now.  Of course, his early season success would make you think that he’s pitching lights out baseball, as he’s gone 3-0 with a 2.84 ERA.  As you dig a little deeper, however, you realize that a regression may not be far off.

For Hellickson to be able to replicate last season’s success he needed to improve his strikeout rate (5.57 K/9 in ’11).  Unfortunately, he has actually seen that number fall thus far in 2012, posting a 4.97 K/9.  Unless he can get that number up towards his minor league career numbers (9.83 K/9), things are going to snowball before you know it.

The fact of the matter is, how long can his luck really continue?  Over his first four starts he has posted a .218 BABIP and 87.6% strand rate (he was at .223 and 82.0% in 2011).  Those are just numbers that are nearly impossible for him to maintain, meaning the ERA is going to stumble. Read more

The Closer Report: Clarity In Washington, Confusion In LA and More

It’s the end of April, yet some closing situations are as cloudy as ever.  Let’s take a look at some of the intriguing news from the past week:

Washington Nationals
Since Drew Storen was placed on the DL to open the season fantasy owners have been waiting for some clarity on their closing situation.  Over the first few weeks we had to endure a timeshare, with both Henry Rodriguez and Brad Lidge seeing save opportunities.  This week, we can finally move forward with a clearer picture.

With Lidge, who was generally viewed as the less upside option (for obvious reasons), being placed on the DL with an abdominal strain the job now solely belongs to Rodriguez.  In 9.0 innings thus for in 2012 Rodriguez has posted a 2.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 12 K and 5 saves (he recently blew his first save).  Yes, there is some concern with his control (6 BB), but a fastball averaging 98.4 mph goes a long way in overcoming that issue.

That’s not to say that there isn’t risk and that the control could come back to haunt him.  We’ve all seen it before (like Carlos Marmol), but as the lone closer in Washington he is a must own option.  His hold on the job will obviously only last until Storen is ready, but as a low-end CL2/high-end CL3 he has real value. Read more

Around the Majors: April 29: Mat Latos Struggles, Giancarlo Stanton Shows Signs & More

With April quickly coming to an end fantasy owners can start to figure out where their teams are strong and where they are lacking.  They can start to see which players need to be improved upon and which they think are due for a major rebound.  Let’s see whose performances on Sunday gave us reason for hope and who fantasy owners need to be concerned about:

  1. Mat Latos – Cincinnati Reds – Starting Pitcher – Is it time to be getting concerned with Latos?  It looked like he had turned a corner in his previous outing (0 ER over 7 IP against the Giants), but the Astros roughed him up for 5 ER on 10 H and 0 BB, striking out 4, in 6.1 innings.  He has struggled with his strikeout stuff (18 K over 28.2 innings), though he also entered the day with a 65.2% strand rate.  The fastball velocity does not appear to be a problem (entered the day at 93.0 mph) and it appeared that he at least corrected his control yesterday.  I wouldn’t panic when it comes to Latos, who has started slowly in the past (4.98 ERA in four April starts in ’11).  He should fully turn things around before long, and I would stick with him for his next start against the Pirates.
  2. Henderson Alvarez – Toronto Blue Jays – Starting Pitcher – Henderson Alvarez finally got a win, allowing 1 ER on 6 H and 3 BB, striking out 1, over 6.0 innings.  His one mistake was a leadoff home run to Chone Figgins (1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R).  Alvarez was a popular sleeper heading into the year, who has excellent control (despite his walks yesterday) and limited strikeout stuff (though better than his 9 K over 32.1 innings to open the year).  While matchups make him a less than stellar full-time play (does anyone trust him against the Yankees or Red Sox), there is enough there to hold onto him in most formats.  He posted a 5.65 K/9 in ’11 and should be able to get back there. Read more

Meet the Prospect: Will Patrick Corbin Prove Viable in 2012?

It was simply assumed that, when Josh Collmentor was replaced in the Diamondbacks rotation, it would be either Trevor Bauer or Tyler Skaggs who got brought up.  It was a fair thought, but at the end of the day it turns out it just isn’t going to be the case.  Instead, it is Patrick Corbin who will be getting the call and take the ball in place of Collmentor on Monday.

Obviously, with the majority of the focus going towards the other two pitchers, let’s take a look at everything you need to know about Corbin:

  • 22-years old
  • Left-handed pitcher
  • Selected in the second round of the 2009 draft (80th overall)
  • Acquired from the Los Angeles Angels (along with Joe Saunders, Rafael Rodriguez and Tyler Skaggs) in exchange for Dan Haren
  • Was solid at Double-A in 2011, going 9-8 with a 4.21 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 142 K over 160.1 innings
  • Led Southern League in strikeouts in ’11 (second was Dan Merklinger with 133, though Matt Moore did have 131 in just 102.1 innings) and innings pitched (Joseph O’Gara was second with 158.1)
  • One of only seven pitchers in the Southern League to throw a shutout in 2011 (Matt Moore was also included in that group) Read more

Two-Start Pitchers: April 30 – May 6: Starters, Sleepers & Who To Consider

by Ray Kuhn

As we embark on the fifth full week of the fantasy baseball season we turn the calendar towards May.  At this point teams and standings, both in MLB and in fantasy, are beginning to take shape.  There is an increasing body of work to consider when making your lineup choices.  Conversely, some of your decision making may be hamstrung due to injuries.   Highlighted below are just some of the possibilities as you set your roster for the upcoming week.  The categorization of the below starters is based on multiple factors including past performance, performance this season, expectations entering this season and the opponents the pitcher is facing.

Studs that should never be benched:
Brandon Beachy – vs. Philadelphia and @ Colorado
Matt Cain – vs. Miami and vs. Milwaukee
Yu Darvish – @ Toronto and @ Cleveland
Cole Hamels – @ Atlanta and @ Washington
Felix Hernandez – @ Tampa Bay and vs. Minnesota

Five Pitchers that should be starting in every format:
Mark Buehrle – vs. Arizona and @ San Diego.  As I’m sure you have been able to tell based on past columns, I tend to be partial to pitchers pitching in San Diego during the upcoming week.  Granted he is not a strikeout pitcher, but thus far this season Buehrle has issued 3 walks, total, and in every start has given up 3 ER or less.  Most likely you will not be disappointed. Read more