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MLB Notes
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 2/26/2008 3:59:00 PM
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There’s been a good debate on whom you’d rather own between Tim Lincecum and Yovani Gallardo. Well, Gallardo’s recent knee surgery is a good reminder of how unpredictable injuries can be, as most pointed to Lincecum as more likely to go down. I’m not saying he still won’t, and I fully agree that health is a skill, but I caution predicting such events based on our perception of things like mechanics. That said, Gallardo seems to be coming at quite a discount after suffering an injury not related to his arm. He’s still fine to pursue.

B.J. Upton’s ADP of 23 seems low. Sure, his poor contact rate suggests a pretty decent decline in BA is in store, but the fact remains he approached a 30/30 season with an .894 OPS as a 22-year-old. He can take a walk and should be MI eligible for one more season. I can’t see why he’d make it out of the first round in fantasy drafts.

Derrek Lee’s ADP of 39, in contrast, seems high. Some power returned after the All-Star break last year, so the wrist injury may finally be behind him, but the 2005 season needs to be viewed as a gigantic outlier. He’s a nice player, but first base is an extremely deep position, and Lou Piniella flat-out doesn’t let him run, so he’s not someone you should be targeting in the third round.

Last Saturday’s Klitschko versus Ibragimov fight was a snooze fest. Congratulations Klitschko, you’re the best heavyweight in the world, and it’s still unclear if you have a right hand. Any form of MMA is eminently more watchable than boxing these days.

Being a Giants fan is a thankless job right now. I’m almost positive there are lineups in Triple-A that are capable of scoring more runs than San Francisco’s. The Giants haven't sent a homegrown position player to the All-Star Game since Matt Williams in 1996. Hard to believe, but Williams is also the last Giants farm product to hit at least 25 home runs in a season. Their current cleanup hitter had a .298 OBP last season.

I worry about Brett Myers switching roles so much, but he’s someone to target this season nevertheless. He’s not going to be as dominant as he was in the closer’s role now back in the rotation, but don’t forget, he posted a 1.17 WHIP and a 107:26 K:BB ratio over 100 innings during the second half of his last season as a starter. Some consistency and maturation would be nice, but hopefully that will come with age, as Myers is still just 27 years old. Philadelphia certainly shouldn’t struggle with run support, either.

My over/under for Rocco Baldelli’s days spent on the DL this season is 60 (-140).

Normally I shy away from pitchers who call the AL East home, but Dustin McGowan offers too much upside to pass on. The former top prospect took a little longer to blossom than most anticipated, but make no mistake, he’s the next big thing. After the All-Star break last year, he posted a 1.14 WHIP, .217 BAA and fanned 87 batters over 98 innings. His ERC of 3.10 suggests his 4.08 ERA on the year was a fluke and due to crash in 2008. Forget the declining Roy Halladay and the injury-prone AJ Burnett – McGowan will be the most valuable starting pitcher for the Blue Jays this season.

In honor of last Sunday’s Oscars, here are my 10 favorite films of 2007: 1. No Country For Old Men 2. There Will Be Blood 3. Juno 4. The King of Kong: A Fist Full of Quarters 5. Zodiac 6. Knocked Up 7. Superbad 8. Atonement 9. In The Valley of Elah 10. Eastern Promises

Grady Sizemore is my No. 2 ranked outfielder. It’s somewhat worrisome how much his running curtailed after the All-Star break last year, and I always prefer to see progress rather than regression, but his first half was quite amazing (15 HRs, 24 SBs), and this is a guy who had 92 extra base hits as a 23-year-old. Still just 25, there’s plenty of room for continued growth, and the 101 walks last season showed as much. He can handle southpaws, and if Travis Hafner bounces back, he should contend for the league-lead in runs scored. Remember folks, Sizemore matters.


Grady Seasons might be my favorite player in all of baseball.
Posted by spianow at 2/26/2008 5:24:00 PM
McGowan's numbers are better than I realized. But I'd be hardpressed to think he'll be a more valuable fantasy pitcher this year than Halladay. (If you disagree, I'll bet you even money on that.) I agree on Upton - he should be the second 2B off the board, after Utley and before Phillips, Cano, etc.
Posted by MPStopa at 2/26/2008 5:36:00 PM
I don't think Lincecum is in any more danger of getting hurt than any other young pitcher. People point to his unorthodox delivery as a reason for concern when, in fact, Lincecum and his dad developed this delivery to actually REDUCE stress on his arm. Turns out that he rarely even ices after his starts.

I heard Don Sutton on a Giants telecast comment on how sound his delivery really was.

The dude is just a freak of nature. How else do you explain the 98 MPH TWO SEAM fastball. This is unheard of. Anyway, I love this guy.
Posted by bwitt at 2/26/2008 5:54:00 PM
I haven't seen some of the movies on your list, but I like The Kingdom, and the special effects in Transformers could get honorable mention. One of my more favorite movies from last year (2006) that I always tell people to see that flew under the radar was Running Scared starring Paul Walker. Great movie at least the first time you see it. Great to see so many notes, both NBA and MLB. I agree with Stopa, Halladay is a horse, he's not going to post the K's he once did but he's an inning's eater with a great ERA. I'm sure if anyone's said this, but your fear of Lincecum getting hurt is you may be thinking another Mark Prior. Just a theory.
Posted by kevinccp at 2/26/2008 6:35:00 PM
3D: Love the list (the only one I haven't seen is ELAH). Our top fives are similar:
1) No Country, 2) Zodiac, 3) Juno, 4) There Will Be Blood 5) Gone Baby Gone

I ranked King of Kong 13, so I was pleasantly surprised to see it so high on ANYONE's list. I think people obsessed with childish things (which probably includes all of us) would enjoy it.
Posted by kennruby at 2/26/2008 6:47:00 PM
I was impressed by Gallardo's composure as a 21-year-old rookie. Not only was he unfazed by that abominable start at Coors, but he regrouped to deliver a string of quality starts when they were most needed down the stretch.
Posted by Jaycees67 at 2/26/2008 7:11:00 PM
Stopa - I guess my point with McGowan and Halladay is that it wouldn't be even odds. You can get McGowan much later in drafts, and he has a very good chance (in my eyes) of being just as valuable. And factoring in the K potential, he has a much higher ceiling as well.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 2/26/2008 8:26:00 PM
BWitt - Exactly. Although that torque does result in Lincecum having to ice his knees. Still, I say that's better than his arm. The 98 mph two-seamer is ridiculous. Can't wait till he hones that changeup.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 2/26/2008 8:28:00 PM
Kevin - Please don't mention Tim Lincecum in the same breath as Mark Prior ever again. Thank you....Transformers cost me three cats in my Oscar pool, so I'm bitter toward it. Never saw it though.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 2/26/2008 8:30:00 PM
By the way, I would love to POUND the over on Rocco BalDLi. Easy money right there.
Posted by bwitt at 2/26/2008 8:31:00 PM
Kenn - I have no problem with the aggressive Zodiac ranking. I'm obsessed with Fincher, and that movie was criminally overlooked...The King of Kong is soo good.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 2/26/2008 8:31:00 PM
Jaycees - Ya, Gallardo is the real deal. He's going to be very good for a long time.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 2/26/2008 8:32:00 PM
BWitt - I didn't make that clear, but I meant the over is favored (-140), but in hindsight, I should have put it at 161.5 games. I might lose big with that original line.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 2/26/2008 8:34:00 PM
Dalton- Do you see anyone come close to what Lincecum and Gallardo did last year. I was ahead of the curve last year and picked up both of them in my one in only league. Manny Parra maybe?
Posted by bwitt at 2/26/2008 8:36:00 PM
What Baldelli is doing by changing his running style sounds to me to be remarkably similar to what Jose Reyes did a few years ago after he had chronic leg problems. Reyes has been OK since then, maybe Baldelli will too. Plus the Rays seem intent on taking it easy on him, DHing him a lot - I'd probably take the under on that.
Posted by MPStopa at 2/26/2008 8:49:00 PM
So you don't necessarily think McGowan will be better than Halladay but betetr value? I can buy that I suppose.
Posted by MPStopa at 2/26/2008 8:51:00 PM
If the Rays sign Bonds, no DH for Baldy.
Posted by kevinccp at 2/26/2008 9:07:00 PM
A Cotto-Mayweather fight or a Pavilk-Calzaghe one would be worth watching. I think Pavlik's going to fight Mickael Kessler which wouldn't be bad, and Calzaghe's fighting Bernard Hopkins - all good bouts. The heavyweights are a joke. MMA is alright, but seems like those guys are mostly hacks. Not much artistry to it. Where are the Jet Lis or Bruce Lees, or the real bad ass martial arts experts. These guys box without any defense, flailing wildly, and then tackle guys and try to choke them. Much more art in boxing right now. The dude in Ong Bak needs to get involved, too.
Posted by cliss at 2/26/2008 9:29:00 PM
BWitt - Well, as for rookies, Clay Buchholz and Joba Chamberlain are the obvious names. I doubt they dominate quite as much as those did last year, especially pitching in the AL East, but each have just as much if not more long-term potential. Manny Parra is an excellent deep sleeper. All he needs is opportunity. He's not quite the prospect as Lincecum/Gallardo, but he'll be worth adding at some point.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 2/26/2008 10:11:00 PM
Stopa - Baldelli has suffered a million more injuries than Reyes ever had. I'm extremely pessimistic. And even if he does somehow miraculously stay healthy, I doubt they'll let him run much as a preventative matter, and without the steals, much of his fantasy value is gone. Great talent. It's too bad.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 2/26/2008 10:13:00 PM
Stopa - Fine. I'll put my money where my mouth is. I stand by it. McGowan will be better than Halladay this season.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 2/26/2008 10:14:00 PM
Chris - I agree the heavyweight class is the real problem with boxing - still some good talent in the lower divisions. Unfortunately, heavyweight is easily the most interesting to watch. Oh well...I wouldn't shrug these MMA guys off as hacks with no defense. Mayweather wouldn't last 1 minute with a lot of them. I definitely believe that.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 2/26/2008 10:18:00 PM
Those guys wouldn't last against Mayweather either under boxing rules. He'd destroy them - any fighter in even a nearby weight class would. It's just a different sport, and it's so early in its history, I'm not sure any of them are greats yet - doing it with that much skill or refinement.

Posted by cliss at 2/26/2008 11:21:00 PM
Dalton, I still say that Reyes' injury problems were as bad as Baldelli's currently are. People forget how many problems Reyes was having because he's healthy now. Here's Reyes' 2005 Outlook from this site (cut and pasted): "Leg woes once again plagued Reyes, limiting him to just 53 games last season after a strained right hamstring and compensatory sore lower back. The team taught him a new running style to take pressure off his weak hamstrings and back, but he abandoned it and had a big July with 11 SB. In August, after playing nearly a month with a stress fracture in his left fibula, the pain proved too great and Reyes was once again placed on the DL. He returned to the lineup, moving from second base back to shortstop, for the final nine games of the season and enters 2005 as a huge question mark at the top of the order. Mackie Shilstone, a sports performance expert, has designed a program for Reyes to follow. He's high-risk, high-reward."
Posted by MPStopa at 2/27/2008 6:27:00 AM
Email me on Halladay/McGowan. I'll gladly take your money ... errrr I mean bet you. =)
Posted by MPStopa at 2/27/2008 6:27:00 AM
If I was a sportswriter, for every minute I spend researching, writing, or talking about boxing, I'd spend 5 on MMA. They beat boxing in PPV revenues last year, and will probably kill them even more this year. Some of the fighters are "hacks" but the good ones are facinating to watch-much more entertaining than boxing, IMO.
Posted by kevinccp at 2/27/2008 7:05:00 AM
Chris - I do agree that any of the MMA guys would get killed by Mayweather in the boxing ring. No doubt about that either.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 2/27/2008 7:06:00 AM
Exactly, Kevin.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 2/27/2008 7:06:00 AM
Here's the question I'd like to ask of everyone - who are the biggest profit players on the board, the players who could earn the greatest jump from what you'll pay for them today?
Posted by spianow at 2/27/2008 7:09:00 AM
Stopa - I remember Reyes' injury problems, which stemmed mostly from the hamstrings. Baldelli not only had Tommy John surgery, but he was shut down last year for "all-around soreness." His entire body was sore. And he hadn't played a game in three months. Reading articles about him this spring, I remain very unconvinced. Then again, he's burned me so many times (and I was so high on him to begin with), that I could be guilty of having a personal animus against him.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 2/27/2008 7:12:00 AM
Pianow - I'll start it off with Dustin McGowan. Just for you Stopa.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 2/27/2008 7:15:00 AM
I like McGowan as a sleeper after I read what you posted and checked out his stats. I'd just be surprised if he gets to Halladay's level this year. To answer pianow, I'll say Pat Neshek (I think Nathan is getting traded - why pay top dollar for a closer with that team's current makeup?), Liriano, Harden, Miguel Cabrera (I think he absolutely explodes this year - closer to his prime, better lineup, better park, better conditioning, CPena, Cano (I've made that argument elsewhere - and don't discount that his counting stats could improve because he gets a better spot in the lineup - he could be hitting third, right in front of ARod, before long), the Nats (Zimmerman, Kearns, Milledge).
Posted by MPStopa at 2/27/2008 7:30:00 AM
Josh Fields (esp. if Crede gets traded)
Posted by MPStopa at 2/27/2008 7:33:00 AM
I'm willing to cut Mark Teahen a break, for some reason.
Posted by spianow at 2/27/2008 8:17:00 AM
Olsen- That was the problem. As a listener, I had no clue who this guy was. He was just another caller as far as I could tell.

Now, if he was a guest on the show and introduced as an expert in the industry then maybe I look at it differently. I still wouldn't agree with his philosophy, but would not have found his remarks to be so off putting.
Posted by bwitt at 2/27/2008 8:28:00 AM
Sorry- Wrong discussion.
Posted by bwitt at 2/27/2008 8:29:00 AM
Omar dead, and yet no mention? Sigh....

Otherwise, very nice entry...
Posted by Erickson at 2/27/2008 10:20:00 AM
R.I.P. Butchie, Prop Joe, Bodie, Wallace, D'Angelo, Stringer and especially Omar.
Posted by kennruby at 2/27/2008 3:50:00 PM
No one ever weeps for Frank Sobotka though.
Posted by kennruby at 2/27/2008 3:50:00 PM
3D if you were in Buffalo this weekend, I'd invite you over for the UFC PPV (I'm predicting now Dan Henderson wins). I've advocated for you to have a feature article, your blogs get the most ridiculous responses (I think I'm 40 on this one). Players I like for the money-Kotchman, Barton, Santana (can you pay too much for him?), Cabrera (not Orlando), Figgins (healthy over a whole year!) and Furcal (Ditto).
Posted by kevinccp at 2/27/2008 6:32:00 PM
I felt bad when Sobotka died.
Posted by cliss at 2/27/2008 6:50:00 PM
Thanks Kevin - I'd love to come watch that PPV UFC with you if I weren't on the wrong coast.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 2/27/2008 8:12:00 PM
Jeff, rest assured, Omar dying deserved a mention. Unfortunately, I am one episode behind, and didn't even know of his passing until I just read your comment. I'm off to go cry now.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 2/27/2008 8:14:00 PM
Oh man...that's cold. And to think I almost spoiled episode 9. You're only on seven? Man, you've got two great episodes to watch.

I just read that there's no On Demand for ep.10 (the finale), so I'll have to watch it with all the heathens on Sunday night the 9th.
Posted by kennruby at 2/27/2008 9:49:00 PM
Some on demand jerk in the NYTimes spoiled Omar's death for me. At least Jeff did it AFTER the live episode aired. This *** posted, said it and then wrote "spoiler alert". They should have deleted that post. What an ass.
Posted by cliss at 2/28/2008 9:59:00 PM
DDD, damn, I'm sorry. I figured that you had seen it, a few days after it had aired. I forgot that we're in TiVo nation (and I often do that myself - I haven't seen this week's Lost episode yet, for instance).
Posted by Erickson at 2/29/2008 7:39:00 AM
Jeff, no problem, I take all the blame. It's a disgrace I hadn't seen it yet.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 2/29/2008 8:08:00 AM

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