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MLB Notes
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 5/4/2008 7:21:00 PM
View more posts by this author


Adrian Beltre looks primed for the second best season of his career, already clubbing six homers to go with four stolen bases. Just as encouraging are the 18 walks, which is by far the highest BB rate of his career. In fact, heís almost halfway to last yearís total, which took 595 at-bats. Settling in as the teamís cleanup hitter, Beltre is likely going to go down as a profit for anyone who drafted him.

How about Victor Martinez and Joe Mauer combining for zero homers five weeks into the season? Neither is actually hitting poorly, but the power outage is noteworthy. VMartís is sure to return, but Mauer is officially a singles hitter. Brian McCann, on the other hand, looks like fantasy baseballís most valuable backstop.

Just for fun: Chase Utley is on pace to finish the season with 66 homers, 15 steals, 142 runs, 132 RBI and a .357 BA. If thatís not enough, consider how massive the drop off is at second base after him.

Cedric Benson just got bumped down from 67th to 68th on my RB list.

Joakim Soria is a robot. It doesnít get any better than starting a season with 13 scoreless innings and a 15:1 K:BB ratio. If youíre striking out nearly four times the amount of baserunners allowed, then youíre pitching pretty well. Last season proved this is no fluke. Heís a top-5 closer.

It is becoming increasingly more difficult to get charged with an error in the game of baseball. As if pitchers donít already have the cards stacked against them enough already. I donít like it one bit.

Scott Podsednik is no friend of Willy Taverasí fantasy owners.

Iím buying low on Manny Parra. Make no mistake, heís not pitching well, highlighted by the 17 walks, but the strikeout rate is solid and all those hits allowed can partially be blamed on his .385 BABIP. This is someone who had a 9K/9 IP mark with a 2.45 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in the minors last season and should receive plenty of run support in Milwaukee. Additionally, with Yovani Gallardo going down, he actually has job security. Sure, thereís Jeff Weaver to deal with down the road, but David Bush isnít the answer, and Ben Sheets is hardly a lock to stay healthy. Parra will turn it around.

The Dallas Mavericks are leaning toward hiring Rick Carlisle? Really? Why go with proven mediocrity? What more proof do you need other than his teams consistently underachieving or him always coming across like he knows little about basketball when on TV? And for the record, Iím predicting Spurs 4-2, Lakers 4-3, Pistons 4-3 and Celtics 4-3.

Greg Smith canít possibly keep this up, but Sundayís performance (10 strikeouts, two walks) was eye-opening. He needs to be owned in all deep leagues. Carlos Marmol is on pace to pitch 112 innings this season, which might be another way of saying Lou Piniella is overworking him a tad. Kerry Wood is pitching much better than his ERA indicates, but heís still a time bomb, so Marmol owners better hope heís been blessed with a rubber arm or Piniella comes to his senses.

I always knew Marvin Harrison was sinister! I already had Anthony Gonzalez ahead of him on my WR rankings, and now that gap has widened.

I thought this was a poignant look at the tireless bloggers versus journalists debate.

Call me immature, but I found ďHarold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo BayĒ extremely funny. Sure, plenty of jokes fall flat, but Iím also someone who finds this picture humorous.


How long before we hear Harrison to the Bengals or Raiders rumors?

As a Taveras owner, I despite Pods...

Speaking of washed up NFL RBs, I wonder what the Whizzinator is up to these days? Busing tables?

Posted by vtadave at 5/4/2008 7:26:00 PM
How can anybody NOT find that picture of Cassell humorous? The look on that guy's face is priceless.

I'm glad I read your blog this week (well, even more glad than usual) - you made me feel better about owning Parra. But if you like him for this year, and I have him for a buck in a keeper league, where are your trade offers? =)

Mauer has seven doubles and more walks than Ks. I think the power will come.

Will Soria get enough save chances to be a top five closer?

I think Beltre is a sell-high - the stats are flukish and the wrist concerns me.
Posted by MPStopa at 5/4/2008 7:54:00 PM
Dave - Harrison has to avoid jail first. Actually, da raidas might still be interested anyway...Funny you should mention Onterrio Smith, b/c he was just arrested for DUI Friday night! This happened less than 100 miles from where I live, so I no longer go outdoors after dark. Check out the mugshot:
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 5/4/2008 8:40:00 PM
Stopa - I'll give you S. Olsen for Parra. Let me know...Mauer always walks more than he Ks, which is why he'll always have a high BA. However, his SLG is a big worry. Listen, I've been a big Mauer apologist and drafted him on numerous teams, thinking his power would just develop late (he is a big boy), but at some point, we've got to just call a spade a spade. I hope I'm wrong...Regarding Soria and save opps - I went over this last week: Brian Wilson led the NL in saves at the end of April. Mo Rivera had the fewest save opps in MLB last season. In other words, I wouldn't rank him out of the top five b/c he plays for KC.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 5/4/2008 8:46:00 PM
I wouldn't argue against shopping Beltre right now, but walks aren't flukish, and he doesn't have a high hit rate or anything. I'm surprised the wrist hasn't been a bigger issue, tho.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 5/4/2008 8:47:00 PM
No way, Dalton! You've got me pumped about Parra now; I'm thinking Lincecum or Kazmir, easy. =)

I guess on Mauer I'm thinking 15 HR, which personally I'd be fine with for a catcher with his AVG.

Beltre's wrist HAS to be an issue at some point. Clearly it can't help him to be without a ligament.
Posted by MPStopa at 5/4/2008 8:57:00 PM
At this point, I'd be thrilled with 15 homers from Mauer.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 5/4/2008 9:09:00 PM
Totally with you on the lack of error calls. You wonder if official scorers figure if they rule a hit, the fielder and batter are happy, the pitcher isn't (two out of three); if it's an error, the fielder and batter are unhappy, plus you're red-flagging someone. In any event, it's a joke.
Posted by spianow at 5/4/2008 10:30:00 PM
It's early May, Mauer just turned 25, and catchers are late bloomers. Too early for a meaningful pronouncement on Mauer.
Posted by cliss at 5/5/2008 12:12:00 AM
Manny Parra? Alot of those hits can be blamed on his defense or lack there of. Incredible how bad fielding is almost always ruled a hit in today's game. Fielder couldn't catch a cold.
Posted by joey'scookies at 5/5/2008 12:25:00 AM
Don't forget to mention Soto amoung the top backstops. How long is the leash on Gagne? Jack Cust now has 3 HRs in his last 4 games, but a total of 55 of his ABs have been BBs or Ks out of 82 ABs. Mauer may just be a guy who hits for high average, not power by choice. I remember an interview where Wade Boggs said he could have hit 25-30 HRs a year, but his average would have been below .250. They gave out a scary stat at the beginning of the Lakers game, Phil Jackson is 31-0 in series when his team wins the first game.
Posted by kevinccp at 5/5/2008 6:08:00 AM
Never thought I'd say this, (damn you and your broken bat Luis Gonzalez) but I'm looking foward to the DBacks game tonight. 23 yo vs. 45 yo....
Posted by kevinccp at 5/5/2008 6:27:00 AM
I'm with you on Manny Parra. I think patience will be rewarded. As a (former) Gallardo owner, I hope he turns a corner for the second half. I was higher on him than Cueto coming into the season. Your boy Johah Kari loves the guy (as stated on Liss' show) and I respect his opinion a lot.
Posted by skinsnut at 5/5/2008 6:46:00 AM
Good point about the Brewers' poor defense...Soto is def. now up there among the top fantasy catchers...Cust is the game's premiere "three true outcomes" player, with Nick Swisher and Adam Dunn runners up...Not good to hear about Jonah Keri, I was hoping he'd trade me Parra in LABR.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 5/5/2008 7:12:00 AM
Keri's on board, too? All right, Dalton, that means I need Sizemore for Parra.
Posted by MPStopa at 5/5/2008 10:06:00 AM
Geez Dalton, for someone who wants Parra, you haven't exactly blitzed me with many (any) offers!

Yours in LABRland,
12th-place Keri

Posted by joneseyjones at 5/5/2008 3:20:00 PM
Manny Parra has been HORRIFIC thus far in 2008... he's killllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllling me in my NL only league. I may be forced to cut bait soon if he keeps looking so bad.

Not to be an Eric Gagne apologist, but of the dude's 5 blown saves, it's REALLY difficult to abuse him for 3 of those blown saves:

(1) Against STL he had induced a game ending DP against the best hitter in all of baseball (pujols) but Weeks completed botched the game ending toss to 1st and the tying run scored.

(2) Yesterday with one out on that tough grounder to weeks, the runner was called safe at first despite the throw indeed beating him there. So Gagne was forced to get four outs (and i admit that he's not good enough to get four outs in a tight game like that)

(3) Ned "dimwit" Yost brought Gagne out to pitch on a 4th straight day two Sundays ago and he got torched for the blown save. Even my three year old son knew it was going to be a blown save for Gagne when they brought him out to pitch that game.

So that leaves two blown saves for Gagne this year that I think are legit - and one of those was on opening day. So Baaaaaaaaaasically, he's legitimately blown one opportunity out of 13 since opening day.

I'm not saying he's amazing - but I think it's ridiculous if they yank him right now from that spot. Talk to me in three weeks if he's blown a few more saves
Posted by billgoofnow at 5/5/2008 3:32:00 PM
When I lost Gallardo, I couldn't resist a league forum post saying the Brewers think defense is what lines deyard to keep out deneighbors.
Posted by Jaycees67 at 5/5/2008 4:07:00 PM
It also hurts all the brewers pitchers to have a catcher that couldn't throw out my great grandfather if he was trying to steal 2nd.
Posted by joey'scookies at 5/5/2008 10:18:00 PM
True that Jonah. I think I may have just hurt my leverage here, but I'll try to throw something your way. Looks like you and I are the only ones willing to deal in LABR. Couple of blockbusters recently.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 5/5/2008 10:25:00 PM
Collective thoughts on shawn hill? Must own and start in all NL leagues while healthy (which is likely not long)?
Posted by billgoofnow at 5/6/2008 5:22:00 AM
Is Jonah "joey'scookies?" If so, I'm with ya on Parra. Patience is key.
Posted by skinsnut at 5/6/2008 6:31:00 AM
Shawn Hill is def. worth using in NL-only leagues, but I'd probably stay away in mixed leagues...Jonah is "joneseyjones"
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 5/6/2008 11:01:00 AM
Some of my favorite non-errors:

The pop fly that bounces 15 feet into the air off of the astroturf between two outfielders who are looking at each other as the hitter cruises into second base with a "double."

The ground ball hit just slightly in the hole that the shortstop is unable to come up with it and throw to first. Seems like this is always scored as a hit. Like the fielder gets a free pass because he had to backhand the ball.

The fly ball completely misjudged by the outfielder that rolls to the wall with no one there to back him up while the hitter slides into third with a "triple."

The unsuccessful throw to first base to complete a double play because this can not be "assumed." Well, these guys are big leaguers and I, for one, assume they turn two in their sleep.

Posted by skinsnut at 5/6/2008 1:01:00 PM

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