Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fred Slacks' Fantasy Stats: Aimless Ramblings of the Week

Alright! Finally got some questions this week. As well as comments. It makes writing this so much easier when you people give me topics. Travis as for your comment on Valverde, it seems as if you are some how skeptical that hes going to be trash this year. Well, his stats would say otherwise. Your questions I'll address down in the ramblings. Jessie brought up some names of players he liked in Joe Niemann and Justin Germano. Both appear to be rotation fillers right now, with Matt Garza and Mark Prior on the DL respectively. While I'm not much of a fan of Niemann, Germano should have solid value over the next month or two. Niemann is a very temporary solution, and will likely be sent down within days. Germano won't strike alot of guys out, but he gets outs and eats innings, and so far he has been money in terms of WHIP and ERA.

Jessie also stated he isn't a fan of Bonser or Cantu. First, I like Bonser, because he's a fairly consistent pitcher that will get you 10-11 wins, moderate K's and a low WHIP. He doesn't walk guys often. He had a rough outing his last time out, but I feel its the exception more than the rule. He's a good 5th or 6th pitcher in a standard league. Cantu, can play 1st but he is actually playing 3rd right now for the Marlins. While he has made 5 errors thus far, he is doing some moderate damage on offense. His only current competition is the newly acquired Wes Helms. Dallas McPherson is sitting in AAA right now, and if he was brought up then I would start to worry about Cantu's playing time. For the time being though, I like Cantu as a 3rd base backup. Whew, now on to the rambles.

- Those of you who jumped on Skip Shumaker, congrats, you feasted on a .476 hitter with a homer and 3 SB's this week. Again monitor this situation carefully. Cardinals are shuffling 4 OF's in and out and have one stud OF prospect in AAA. Colby Rasmus could come up quickly if Ankiel, Shumaker, Duncan, Ludwick start to falter.

- Michael Bourn is a guy that I have often said is a one category guy who will pile up SB's. This makes him great trade bait, but this week he added 2 home runs. That gives him 3 for his career. So obviously that doesn't change his speed only status. His OBP is very average, and not great for a lead off hitter, which hurts not only his average, but his run production as well. Keep shopping this guy, he now leads the league in SB's, so someone will pony up too much for him.

- Hey, Carlos Quentin, knock it off. You teased everyone when you came up through the Arizona farm system, as a stud OF. Then you got to the "show" and disappointed everyone. Now you are playing for the overachieving White Sox and knocking homeruns. He was 4 for 22 this week, but made three of those hits count by hitting three homers. I'm on to you Carlos..... I am shopping Quentin like crazy if I own him, find a White Sox Bandwagon jumper who loves the guy(Travis).

- Speaking of Travis, he asked me a question on one of his incomprehensible man-crushes John Patterson. This guy showed flashes of brilliance with Montreal/Washington a few years ago. He seemed to have been cut from the same "Home-Stud-Road-Dud" cloth as Wandy Rodriguez. This spring however, it looks like his fastball was topping out at 80 mph. That's not gonna work unless you are Jamie Moyer or Tim Wakefield. He's still building arm strength and will be sent to the minors for some time once hes ready for live action. I doubt he sees the big leagues anytime before the AS break. The Ranger pitching situation won't hold him back from a start down the road some time this year, so he will likely be up at some point. Put him on your radar a month or two from now, if you are desperate for pitching.

- Did anyone see the Pope's speech a couple days ago. I didn't watch it but I did hear a sound bite that was absolutely hilarious. After the Pope gave his speech, President Bush got up and shook the Popes hand and said "Awesome speech". Classic.

- Can someone tell me why some people like to play extremely heavy metal at bars? I'm not talking Metallica, I'm talking Mudvayne and such. I can understand it has its place, such as pumping you up before a big game or interview or anything else that you wanna get amped for. But at a bar? Really? Every time we go to our local stomping grounds some burn out will pump this kind of music from the jukebox. At least Pop, Rap, Classic Rock have some beats that are smooth or lyrics that are singable. This psycho-metal junk just gives me a headache, plus immediately draws groans and mocking yells from about 80% of the bar clientele. You can always pick out the guy who played it too because he starts playing the guitar with a pool cue and looks like a dude who probably has made a "hit list" at some point of his life. Maybe I'm just used to the college bar atmosphere where you never get that. Maybe I'm used to people drunkenly singing "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey. Maybe I just don't get that I should be pissed off about something, and slamming on double base drums and loud, deep-voiced, incoherent screams are the way to vent. Someone enlighten me please.

- Travis also asked a question about who would be coming up next that he could possibly use his #1 waiver priority on. I'm not really sure who would fit this category, it depends on if your league has released any possible minor league players before the season. I would definitely say Jay Bruce would be worth it, if he isn't already available in your league. But some guys that may see some playing time later in the year who I would consider worthy of using your #1 waiver on(barring someone stupidly drops a good player in your league), uber-talent Clayton Kershaw and stud Max Scherzer. Kershaw is a young lefty in the Dodger organization who could be the next great lefty in the majors, at least he has the potential to. Max Scherzer could be up sooner then later though, as his tantalizing fastball could be used in closing situations if the Arizona pen continues to struggle. Assuming that Scherzer would come up and be groomed as a closer, it makes him a great candidate for your #1 waiver priority.

- I would like to give a shout out to Tom Glavine. He has been a fantasy managers dream for many years for his ability to stay off the DL. 22 season in fact. That probably won't happen ever again. Harden and Sheets should take some notes.

- Frank Thomas was waived today by the Blue Jays. Go ahead and cut him. Considering the fact that Barry Bonds is having problems finding a team, I find it hard to believe that Thomas will find constant work somewhere. I can't even see a situation that would be ideal for him, maybe Seattle, when they figure out that Vidro is done. I'm sure he surfaces somewhere, but I doubt a team uses him as a full time DH. Stairs is the obvious benefactor here, but look for Adam Lind to reappear at some point in the near future. Lind was very promising last year.

- Prince Fielder finally hit a home run this week. I still fully expect him to hit around 40 homeruns.

- Look at Cliff Lee this week. Unreal. .56 ERA, .31 WHIP, 2 Wins and 16 K's in 16 innings. He looks like he could have a Fausto Carmona type breakout, with better K numbers. Now if only the Indians could hit.......

- Sabathia has looked ridiculously hittable this year so far. Another terrible outing this week. Gave up 9 runs in 4 innings. wow. Just hang on, hes too good of a pitcher to pull a Dontrelle Willis.

- Ben Sheets, this is Injury. Injury, this is Ben Sheets.
Wait, why do I feel like you two have met before?
Oh, you already know each other.
You know each other real well?
Oh, that well??
Ah, this is awkward, now I feel like the third wheel.
As my friend Eddie says, Ben Sheets is made from the finest china in all the land.

- Guys I really like this week that are probably available on your wire: Ervin Santana, Randy Wolf, John Danks, Clint Barmes, Melky Cabrera, Jayson Werth

- Guys that are played well this week that I don't like: Tim Redding, Aaron Cook, Jose Contreras, Carlos Quentin, Kevin Millar, Eric Hinske

- Fantasy Faux Pas: Misuse of Streaming. Streaming is the adding of probable starting pitchers for the next day, then dropping them for probable starting pitchers the following day. The thought process is that the manager is willing to lose ERA and WHIP but win K's and W's while having a strong bullpen. The art of streaming has been debatable since the inception of Fantasy Baseball. Does it help, doesn't it, is it ethical, isn't it. Well its generally excepted these days, and now some leagues lay transaction maximums per week to curb streaming. The thing with streaming is, that it can be very helpful if used in the appropriate situations. First of, know your league. If the league is big and extremely deep, streaming isn't going to be effective. Also know your managers tendencies. If several teams in your league have stream mentality, its not going to work. Think about being in a 16 team league with 24 man rosters, and now add 2 or 3 managers are streaming. The depth of pitching talent is thin and in most case not even helpful. Under no circumstances should one ever draft exclusively for streaming purposes. The best fantasy managers year after year, are ones that can remain flexible. Drafting to stream, cripples you into a one dimensional steam exclusive manager, then if other managers stream, or effective stream, you are left with a shell of a team.

Streaming can be effective though if used correctly. First off, make a decision around Thursday or Friday whether you are going to win ERA and WHIP big, or lose big. If its close don't stream, if its going to be a blow out either way then look for a few probable starters and plug them in for the weekend games to give you a boost in wins or strikeouts. Next, do your homework. Most guys on the wire are going to be extremely inconsistent. Don't look at overall season stats, look at home/road splits and how that pitcher has fared in the past against players on the team they are facing. Doing this increases the chances of picking up a player who will be effective in their start.

ICHIRO UPDATE: In the debut column I stated my claim that Ichiro would hit under .300 for the first time in his career this season. Take a look back to see why. Let's take a look at how hes doing so far. Double Base Drum roll please.....................................(Deep voice screaming) .259!!!! He's 22-85 through Sunday's games. Again so far so good.


Unknown said...

wow, that was in depth as heck.
Bar music note- on my travels throughout the country I have never heard Wisconsin favorite "Take me home Tonight" anywhere else. Also, my local pub will play Toto's "Africa" every night and people love it.

-streaming worked so well for me last year I streamed in my pants.

-I've been guilty of picking up flavor of the week relievers like Manny Acosta, Kobiashi from Cleveland, and a few Seattle relievers- much less successful than streaming

Tony Brown said...

oh, that was me using my co-workers email. I'm at he University of Toledo now. Pretty boring.

Winks said...

Bear, is Ryan Zimmerman ok? Or should I look to another 3B? If so, what are some good waiver or buy low options?

Anonymous said...

I need a guy to pick up some saves this week. Ryan Rowland-Smith? What's the deal with that Mariners 'pen.

I want Ryan Howard, he's struggling. What should I offer for him?

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