Archive for June, 2011

Fantasybiotics: Splat Albert

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Thirst Base

It may take a few phone calls, but one of these should be organized for Albert Pujols owners.  It’s the least anyone could do for a guy who just lost his first overall pick for what looks like 6 weeks with a forearm fracture.  Emphasis on the word forearm, wrist would mean you had much more reason to worry.  The least I can do is give you some knowledge to bring with you for your Tuesday trip to the free agent pool (While you pack – remember – cans only please).

The Freshmen

Special thanks to The Verve Pipe.  Even specialer (not a word) thanks to fantasy owners in over 70% of leagues who have chosen to not roster 3 pretty good first baseman.  Mark Trumbo is the furthest ahead in terms of power.  Brett Wallace is the furthest ahead in terms of average (he’s slumping of late, but still walking more than he’s striking out so the slump shouldn’t last).  Freddie Freeman is between both in each category, though his average and power are more Trumbo-esque.

The Post-draft Prospects

At the moment it’s difficult to recommend Eric Hosmer or Anthony Rizzo (have we talked about Rizzo).  Neither has left the yard since June 11th.  Both are batting near the Mendoza line over the past couple of weeks.  Still, their massive minor league numbers tell me I’d rather watch and see if they figure it out than take the same chance on Derrek Lee, Luke Scott, James Loney or Daniel Murphy.

The Journeymen

No, not an ’80s cover band.  Clearly we’re talking about a couple of big boppers who have ranked inside the top 150 over the past two weeks in Ty Wigginton and Garrett Jones.  Both come with multiple eligibility which isn’t terrible if they’re still producing (unlikely) for you once Albert returns.  Enjoy the homers while they last.

A month ago, Pujols owners may have joked that he’d be easy to replace.  Now, there’s nothing funny about losing their biggest asset.  The Cardinals probably aren’t laughing, right?  The big question isn’t what they’re doing, it’s what they will do.  How will they replace Pujols?  Everything this blogger has read has Lance Berkman moving to first, and Jon Jay going into right field.  Jay is a career .300 hitter and should be considered if you lost Carl Crawford (wonder if there’ll ever be a blog about that…hmmm…maybe keep reading) as he can sprinkle in the other categories from time to time.  Andrew Brown (.351/11/41 in 168 AAA at-bats) is 1B eligible, and he’s an interesting guy to keep an eye on in Pujols’ absence.   Brown may get more consistent time in the outfield to figure out major-league pitching (he hasn’t yet).  Speaking of time, I’ve taken up enough of yours.  I’ll let you get back to mourning the loss of Pu…wait…what’s this Italic banner below…

***Bonus Coverage*** ***Bonus Coverage***  ***Bonus Coverage***  ***Bonus Coverage*** ***Bonu

Who’s Left? – The blog that was ready when Pujols went down…no offence Carl

I’m not a doctor, and I don’t play one on TV, radio, or in the blogosphere – so let’s start with the basics by defining the word hamstring.

Sure, it’s a noun – (in humans and other primates) any of the tendons that bound the ham of the knee.

But it’s also verb – to render powerless or useless; thwart.  (Quick aside:  Is it just me, or is the semicolon way underused?)

The first definition just sounds gross.  The second sounds downright scary, and it’s what Carl Crawford’s trip to the disabled list could do to your fantasy baseball team if you don’t replace him with one of the names below.

***Editor’s Note:  This list was composed based on the fact that the players are LF-eligible.  Owners in OF-eligible leagues are encouraged to explore all of their OF options.***

Charlie Blackmon – LF

Charlie’s the new Blackmon.  He’s the new left fielder in Colorado, too.  Actually, in his first 12 games for the Rox, he batted .404 and stole 5 bags.  While 12 games is too small a sample size, Blackmon’s minor league numbers suggest he could eventually hit 15 home runs and steal 30 bases (significantly low-balling him here) over a full season in the bigs.  Dexter Fowler shouldn’t scare anyone, neither should perennial at-bat thief Ryan Spilborghs.  Meanwhile, I wouldn’t be surprised if this scares everyone.  As long as Blackmon can avoid Dinger and get consistent at-bats, the 24-year-old makes for a low-risk speed/average play with a ton of upside.

Jason Bourgeois – LF, CF

Speaking of definitions, fire ‘bourgeois’ into good ol’ and this tops the list “a member of the middle-class”.  The 29-year-old’s wheels are anything but middle class.  In limited action this year, he’s successfully swiped 17 bags and he’s only been caught twice.  The Speed Merchant (merchant’s another word for Bourgeois) should have no trouble cracking the lineup in the near future.  The Astros visit an A.L. park to start the week so Carlos Lee should move to DH, and if Hunter Pence’s hyperextended elbow sees him miss significant time then Bourgeois would be next in the outfield pecking order.

Risky Runners

Roger Bernadina (LF,CF,RF) has been making headlines for his homers, but he’s really a bargain runs and steals option.  The homers are a nice bonus, especially if he keeps losing lead-off time to Jayson Werth.  Ben Revere (LF,CF) has cooled off in the past week and he was rushed to the big-leagues but he’ll still fill the R and SB categories if he gets on for a Twins lineup that’s coming around.  Add either but be aware of the average risk.

Cody Ross – LF, CF, RF

Warning:  The following statement may shock you.  Cody Ross is not Carl Crawford.  Unlike the outfielders above – who were meant to help address the categories that are now ‘needs’ in the wake of Crawford’s D-L stint – Ross will offer homers and RBI in the interim.

Hey, Terry Francona, when can fantasy owners expect Crawford back, “The medical people thought at best it would be 10 to 14 days.”  Sounds like owners will be getting to know at least one of the players above pretty well over the next couple of weeks.  Play nice, but like any waiver add, don’t get too attached.

Fantasybiotics will appear whenever a relevant (as defined by the author) professional baseball player incurs a serious (enough) 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: Hanley’s Back…

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

…lands him on the DL

Apologies to owners of Hanley Ramirez for the following reasons:  1) The above headline may have prompted you to believe your 2nd overall pick (first if you’re a certain FAN employee who shall remain nameless) had a breakout night.  2) The headline above may have prompted you to think everyone’s favourite shortstop actually returned to the Marlins lineup for the first time since May 29th.  Neither happened.  Alas, this blog appears when a star hits the dreaded disabled list (depending on the situation – see:  Posey, too depressing & Josh Johnson, owners should have had replacements ready).  So, since Florida has finally decided that Hanley’s wonky back will have him on the DL until at least the 13th of June, let’s look at a few capable replacements.

Ryan Theriot – 2B/SS

- It’s hard to believe the player with the MLB’s longest active hitting streak is being ignored in 65% of fantasy leagues.  It’s hard to believe the leadoff hitter in a lineup that will provide him plenty of chances to cross the plate, and even chip in a few steals, is only being trusted by just over 30% of the fantasy community.  A career .285 hitter, I predict Theriot (I know it’s not how you pronounce it – but now when he’s mentioned that song will pop in your head too) rolls over Houston to start the week – they have the league’s 4th-worst ERA – before grinding out a satisfactory amount of runs against a tougher Brewers staff on the weekend.

Jason Bartlett – SS

- Hate to do it, but I have to hand it to @bennis590 on this one.  Since he proclaimed Bartlett his ‘Pick Up of the Week’, or PUW for short, the Padres 2-hitter has ranked inside the top 100 in the fake game, scoring 16 runs, swiping 5 bags and churning out a .306 average over that 30 day span.  The rotations of Colorado and Washington don’t pose much of a threat over the next 7 days.

Jamey Carroll…er…Dee Gordon – SS

- This section was supposed to read that Carroll, who’s eligible at almost every position, is a good plug-in for runs and average as the interim lead-off hitter for the Dodgers.  Now the Dodgers have made life difficult for fantasy owners by calling up shortstop Dee Gordon.  A look at Gordon’s minor league numbers tells this blogger that the average isn’t a lock, but if he’s the lead stick for the Dodgers the 23-year-old will rack up runs and steals with ease.  Add either, but do so knowing neither is guaranteed regular playing time (though my guess is Don Mattingly will find a way to get Carroll, who’s 8 for his last 13, into the lineup).

If you’re unlucky enough to play in a league where none of the names above are hanging around the free agent pool, then Alexi Casilla or J.J. Hardy would be my last-resort plays.  If it’s down to those two, or some other bum, I’d strongly consider having ‘empty’ man shortstop for a week instead.  I’ve listed plenty of options in case owners of Jimmy Rollins (knee – day-to-day) or Rafael Furcal (oblique – another 3 weeks) already snapped up your first choice.  I wish I could also recommend Joe Panik – the Giants first round pick in Monday’s draft – but Hanley expects to return early next week, well before Panik will be contributing to virtual rosters (knocks on wood).

Fantasybiotics will appear whenever a relevant (as defined by the author) professional baseball player incurs a serious injury (or in this case, expects to miss a week).  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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