Archive for April, 2011

Spitballing: What year is it?

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Returning to fantasy relevance

The decision to part with a late-round sleeper pick (sorry Phil Coke, you just don’t offer enough upside to get knocked around by the Mariners…twice!) brings about two things:  First, melancholy, and then an anxious trip to the waiver wire.  For those in deeper leagues, here are a few names that may calm those nerves.


Nobody’s more shocked than I am that Daisuke Matsuzaka appears here as a recommended add.  However, after a trip to Fangraphs, this blogger is convinced that the 30-year-old can once again contribute to fantasy rosters.  According to the stats, the Red Sox righty is throwing more curveballs, changeups, and two-seam fastballs than ever before.  Not only that, his curve has more movement than in the past.  Granted, 2 good starts (his first two were awful) is a small sample size and his .210 BABIP won’t last, but if Matsuzaka is finally controlling his two-seamer, and can mix in a good changeup to left-handed bats (against whom he’s always struggled), fantasy rewards should follow.  Dice-K gets the Mariners tomorrow, and while he should have a good turn against one of the leagues weaker offences, their lefty-heavy lineup will provide a good test for Matsuzaka’s new approach.

Clap for the Wolf man

Though he’s still under 40 percent owned, fantasy owners are starting to notice that Randy Wolf has picked up right where he left off in 2010.  Even better news is that he’s on pace to allow the same number of walks and hits as he allowed in 2009, when he ranked close to the top 50 overall in the fantasy game.  Wolf’s next start comes Saturday at Minute Maid, where he’s 6-2 lifetime, and should prove to be one of many games where his star-studded offence gives him plenty of runs in an easy victory.

Cheap Colon

Of all the pitcher’s on this list, in fact, of all the current pitcher’s in baseball, Bartolo Colon has probably gone the longest without seeing success.  The fact that he hasn’t thrown a full season since 2005 means that you can’t expect a full season from him.  Still, as long as the Phil Hughes Fiasco (claiming the reality TV rights now) continues, and Colon stays healthy, he’ll be a great source of cheap wins.  Grab the under-25%-owned righty, if only for his Monday night start in Detroit.  Then, if he succeeds there and passes the test next Saturday in Texas, you’ll know whether you’ve found a long-term fantasy option.

Hard to believe that a fantasy dude, whose staffs are made-up primarily of N.L. starters, just recommended two A.L. East starters, but sometimes the numbers (and the great opportunities for run support) are just to good to ignore.  Here’s hoping they stay good, or else I’ll be seeing you again real soon.

For more fantasy expertise (as defined by the author) subscribe to The Fantasy Show blog, tune in to The Fantasy Show every weekend on Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590, and subcribe to the podcast.  E-mail any fantasy questions to or employ the convenient comments section below.

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The Curious Case of Jonathan Broxton

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Wow, haven’t written one of these in a while.   Guess the closer mess at Chavez Ravine prompted me to write a quick blurb about the on-going situation with the Dodgers. Plus, I truly do love fantasy baseball.

Jonathan Broxton converted his first 5 save opportunities this season but if you look closely at the numbers, none of the saves were all that impressive. However, after blowing his first save of the season this past Monday, that prompted Dodgers GM Ned Colletti to jump on a LA radio station and state that the Dodgers go with a closer by committee (Broxton, Kuo, Padilla). As for Manager Don Mattingly, well, he’s always been a big fan of Broxton. So much so, that even after Colletti’s comments, Broxton was pulled into a meeting on Tuesday where he was told that, yes, he is still ‘the’ guy.

Here’s what we do know. Broxton is letting base-runners on with relative ease. Not good. Also, his velocity is down. Really not good. After meeting with Mattingly and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, Broxton said he likes the way he’s throwing the ball but he needs to challenge hitters a bit more, while mixing in a few more split-fingered pitches.

If you’re looking to pick up other Hong-Chih Kuo (29% owned in yahoo! leagues) or Vincente Padilla (3% owned in yahoo! leagues), I’m really not crazy about either one. Kuo struggled before going on the DL and Padilla wasn’t all that great in his outing on Monday. My best guess is that Broxton figures out he’s problems and makes his manager a happy man. Don’t cut bait.

One other note. Joining myself (@alexfan590) for ‘The Fantasy Show’ this week will be Ben Ennis (@bennis01), Zach Cosby (@thecozbyshow) & Jon Levett (@jonlevett). We’re on the air this Sunday evening at 5:00pm!

Email’s and tweets are always welcome. Email us at:

– Alex Seixeiro

Fantasybiotics: 15-dayed Mauer

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Out of catching options?

Add bilateral leg weakness to the list of mysterious injuries that have surfaced in major league baseball over the past few years.  What is it?  Since I’m definitely not a doctor, I’m thankful that Chris Girandola did an excellent job of summarizing the situation.  Mauer’s ailment easily sounds serious enough that you’ll be without him for at least 2 weeks, so let’s get right to the possible replacements.

The Best of the Rest

- If you’re in a shallow league, you’ll have the best shot at getting John Buck or J.P. Arencibia because they round out the top 10 to 14 in ownership at the position.

Carlos Ruiz – PHI

- ‘Chooch’ is making the case that he’s a top-10 fantasy catcher.  While he’ll never club more than 15 homers, his current 7-game hitting streak is proof that last year’s .302 batting average wasn’t a fluke.

Alex Avila – DET

- The Tigers are as high on Avila in 2011 as the Phillies were on Ruiz in 2010.  The fact he’s swatted 3 dingers already is kind of surprising as Detroit hopes he’ll be a guy who can hit for average and handle the pitching staff well.  The problem with judging Avila is that he only racked up 151 games split over A and AA ball before hitting the bigs.

Nick Hundley – SD

- The exact opposite of Ruiz in that Hundley has to work for his home runs (which he could knock 20 of if given the playing time) and the Padres don’t expect him to hit for average.  They’ve rewarded his hot start with a bump up to the fifth spot in the order and, while there’s no doubt he’ll cool off, he could be a bonus source of RBI while you wait for Mauer to return.

Preparing for the worst

- While everyone is wishing Mauer the speediest of recoveries, this is the type of injury that may cause some owners to immediately install a back-up plan.  In preparing for Mauer to miss more than a few weeks, and by the sounds of general manager Bill Smith’s answers – that could be a reality, I would stash Yankees’ prospect Jesus Montero right now and forget about using another roster spot on a plug-in at the position.  Of course, the young stud won’t contribute to your roster right away, but at least you’ll have a replacement with a ton of upside if Mauer were to miss an extended period.

It’s never fun when any player, let alone a major contributor to an organization, is diagnosed with something that does not allow the club to set a specific timetable for their return.  In this instance, everyone in baseball will be hoping that Mauer can return to Minny’s number 3 spot as soon as he’s eligible to return from the DL.

Fantasybiotics will appear whenever a relevant (as defined by the author) professional baseball player incurs a serious injury.  For more fantasy expertise (as defined by the author) subscribe to The Fantasy Show blog and tune in to The Fantasy Show every weekend on Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590.

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Fantasybiotics: Hamilton’s humerus

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Injured in the ‘D’

Stupid.  Yes, according to Josh Hamilton.  Humerus, yes and no.  Yes, because Hamilton has a non-displaced fracture of the humerus bone at the top of his arm, just below the shoulder.  No, because it means the Rangers, but more importantly fantasy owners, will be without the slugger’s services for 6 to 8 weeks.  Hamilton called the play ‘stupid’ because in his opinion third base coach Dave Anderson was being “way too aggressive”.  Those invested in him may call the play ‘stupid’ because he slid head first into home (though he said it was the only way to beat the tag).  In one blogger’s opinion, the Rangers’ left-fielder barely escaped injury on the play before, as he careened head-first into third on an RBI triple.  Nevertheless, this post isn’t an argument against head-first slides, it’s a discussion of the left-fielders who can possibly fill-in for Hamilton on fantasy rosters.  Those fortunate enough to only have to fill an OF spot, you’ll probably be able to find a couple of better options.

Logan Morrison – LF

- The youngster is on a tear to start the season and making a well-deserved climb up the batting order.

David Murphy – LF, CF, RF

- Over the next few days, Murphy’s name will likely appear under ‘Recent transactions’ in many leagues.  Opportunity should always be the most important thing to fantasy owners.  Murphy will have the aforementioned opportunity as he’ll now be seeing consistent at-bats in the bottom half of the Texas order.  It wouldn’t be out of line to expect a home run, 2 stolen bases and a .275 average from Murphy each week.

Sam Fuld – LF

- Runs, steals and a moderate average as long as he stays atop the Rays’ order.

Josh Willingham – LF

- The homers and RBI will almost make up for the batting average hit.

Matt LaPorta – 1B, LF

- May get his average to where the homers and RBI will be worth the average hit.

Each guy on the list actually has more home runs than Hamilton (0) has hit this season, so expect a bump in that category (sarcasm).  In truth, a top-20 player is tough to replace.  Since he was the Rangers’ only number-3 hitter so far this campaign it will be interesting to see how Ron Washington re-jigs his lineup during the All-Star’s real-life absence.  Actually, it’s probably interesting to watch Ron Washington do pretty much anything.  Chris Davis (who has been recalled) on the other hand, he’s just difficult to watch, so just check his box scores for the time being.  I’m sure The Fantasy Show dudes will have plenty more on this on Saturday’s show.   Talk to you on Saturday at 5 o’clock.

Fantasybiotics will appear whenever a relevant (as defined by the author) professional baseball player incurs a serious injury.  For more fantasy expertise (as defined by the author) subscribe to The Fantasy Show blog and tune in to The Fantasy Show every weekend on Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590.

Follow Zach on Twitter:

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