I usually take roto standings with a grain of salt for the first couple months or so of the season, so my 17-point lead in Tout Wars Mixed 10 days or so ago was nice to see, but I wasn't quite ready to do my victory dance. Of course the lead is now down to 6.5, leaving me still firmly in first, but knowing that I have some work to do. What's the problem been lately? Here are a few guys that I really need to come around:
Ryan Garko - I had Garko penciled in for .280-25-100 this year but instead he has just two homers, a .227 average, and is on an 0-for-23 run. There is a good chance I will use Daric Barton at first over Garko this week.
Travis Hafner - Staying with the Indians, I normally don't like having my UT slot tied up with a DH, but figured Hafner was the type of guy I could make an exception for. Instead, he's hitting a Garko-like .219 with three homers. I wasn't expecting .308-42-117 (2006) numbers again, but figured at least .275-30-100. At this rate, I'll be lucky to get .260-25-90.
Gary Matthews Jr. - The 18 RBI are a pleasant surprise, but I'm pretty sure he won't keep up that pace and finish with 120. The .234 AVG should come around and the four homers are about right, but where's the steals? Just one so far this year and that was back on 4/2. He's a streaky hitter though, so I just "know" that if I bench him, he'll get hot.
Russell Martin - Wasn't worried about the bat as he's coming around like gangbusters, but even at the age of 25, I'm guessing he peaked in SBs last year with 21. Martin has just one theft so far this year.
Chad Billingsley - Did you know he leads all MLB pitchers with at least 20 innings with a 13.9 K/9? As usual with Billingsley, the walks are too high (13 in 20.2 innings), but the real problem I've seen from having watched him quite a bit is that he just seems to lose focus in key situations. The stats back that up as well: .368 AVG with runners on base. I have to think the ERA will come around given his stuff and strikeout rate, but he should be fine against the Marlins this week.
Placido Polanco - I was fortunate enough to pick up Jose Lopez, so I haven't been using Polanco lately. I didn't expect .341 again this year, but the fact he's hitting about half that (.173) is pretty surprising. On an optimistic note, his .190 BABIP is laughably low and he does have four hits in his last three games, so I'm considering swapping him with Lopez in the next transaction period.
Matt Garza - I liked Garza as an end-game $1 guy, but he promptly went out and got shelled and then injured. With Jason Hammel and Edwin Jackson out of options, Garza could be headed to Triple-A with Scott Kazmir (elbow) returning from the DL. I'll be dropping Garza this week most likely.