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MLB Notes
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 5/26/2008 6:04:00 PM
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Andrew Miller has a tough upcoming schedule, but heís someone who has to be owned in all but the shallowest of leagues, despite an ugly ERA (5.33) and WHIP (1.66). Over his last three starts, heís posted a 22:5 K:BB ratio and has issued more than two walks in just one of his last seven outings. Some inconsistency with control is likely to still pop up from time to time, but Miller keeps the ball on the ground and is tough to homer off. His .378 BABIP is bound to come down, as is his ERA and WHIP.

What has gotten into Dan Uggla? During 22 games in May, he has 12 HRs, 26 runs scored, 25 RBI and a 1.000 slugging percentage. Heís always had a knack for racking up runs and RBI despite low OBPs, and at age 28, a career-year is almost certainly in store. Still, his contact rate (.71) is actually worse than his career level (.77), as is his BABIP (.369 vs. .299). Heís someone you should be trying to sell-high.

Clayton Kershaw is without question the best pitching prospect in baseball, with a fastball that reaches 97 mph and a curve that drops all the way to 72 mph. However, itís good to remember he just turned 20 years old last week, and since heís already thrown 50 innings this season, heís probably only going to be allowed to toss around 100-120 more in 2008. Additionally, he averaged just 4.8 innings per start in Double-A this year due to control problems (he threw six wild pitches during nine starts). That said, heís extremely difficult to hit, so No. 1 waiver priorities have to be used on his upside.

With a .770 OPS, James Loney has been a disappointment in 2008. Still, heís a guy Iíd be trying to buy-low, as itís only a matter of time until he starts raking. His contact rate (.85) is solid, and most of his struggles have come against southpaws, whom he hit .319 against during 94 at-bats last season. Go get him.

Over the past week, there have been at least six erroneous home run calls.

I admit, I undervalued James Shields entering the year. His K:BB ratio was extremely impressive in 2007, but with such a lucky schedule (five starts against the Orioles, four combined versus the Yankees and Red Sox) and pitching in a tough AL East, I figured some regression was likely. Instead, heís continued to impress, and now his ERA is matching his component stats. Itís a small sample size that might ultimately mean nothing, but itís worth noting heís sporting some extreme splits so far Ė 1.75 ERA, 0.80 WHIP at home, 6.04 ERA, 1.69 WHIP on the road.

If an outfielder or infielder loses the ball in the lights/sun and it drops in without him touching it, thatís an error Ė I donít care what the rulebook says.

With a .283/.421/.602 line, Pat Burrell is having an MVP-type season. Finally over his past health problems and playing for a contract, itís safe to assume a career-season is in store. Heís always had this type of potential, so unless you get a star in return, might as well hold onto him and enjoy the ride. Heíll never hit better than .280, but 35 homers and 115 RBI are well within reach. And to think, he was getting benched versus righties at one point last season.

Matt Holliday, Brad Hawpe, Garrett Atkins and Clint Barmes? Itís safe to say the Rockies are having some injury problems. Scott Podsednik and Seth Smith need to be owned in all deep and/or NL-only leagues.

Over his last five starts, Ben Sheets has a 29:1 K:BB ratio.

Carlos Quentin is on pace to finish with a .301 BA, 46 HRs, 142 RBI, 116 runs and 13 steals. You donít need me to tell you heís going to decline some, but Quentin is also showing the best plate discipline of his career and plays in the American Leagueís best park for power hitters. This talent is for real Ė his 2007 was ruined by a shoulder injury. Can you imagine the Diamondbacks if they didnít give up on him so soon?

In RotoWireís Staff Keeper League, Albert Pujols was just traded for Dana Eveland and Jose Vidro. Not to call out this specific owner or even go over this particular deal, but I wanted to use it to highlight just how much better it is to play in redraft leagues. Donít get me wrong, thereís some added strategy to keeper formats, and I like the fact you can become even more attached to your players over a longer period of time. However, more often than not, trades like this one occur, so unless youíre willing to sell out for one year, youíre either rebuilding or guaranteed to finish behind some powerhouse who traded a minor leaguer for a top-5 talent before even June arrived. Moreover, yearly leagues are better because of the actual draft/auction process, which is the best part anyway.


I find it incredible how in that A's/Rays game a few days ago that the official scorer changed an error call to a hit after the defender convinced him that he lost the ball in the sun. OF COURSE the defender is going to say that. (The fact that it added 3 earned runs to Devine's ERA has nothing to do with my bitterness, either.)

That Pujols trade is horrible, even for a keeper league. I despite vetos, but that's veto material. I don't want to call anyone out (I'm not in that staff league, so I don't know who did the deal), but how can anybody argue that trade helps them win, either this year or future years? I don't like vetos when people are trying to win, even if their attempts to win are aimed at next year or beyond, but I don't see that one at all. Vidro is waiver material and Eveland is a nice player but isn't close to Pujols. If you want to play for next year, then fine, but there's no reason that Pujols shouldn't land a top 15 prospect at minimum.
Posted by MPStopa at 5/26/2008 6:28:00 PM
What? Albert Pujols for Eveland and Vidro? I don't get it... that was a rebuilding trade by someone?

I had Carlos Quentin in my NL only league heading into the protection deadline only to see him get traded to the Whitesox... so glad to see him on pace for those numbers as I find myself needing a power-hitting OF. sigh.

Santana tomorrow vs the Marlins - Over Under on ER: 3

Not to change sports or anything.... But, I'd like to take a moment to thank the Penguins for playing some of the worst hockey I've seen in years in the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals. Way to take my giddy excitement about the Penguins maybe taking this thing home (something I hadn't felt in about 16 years) and just flush it down the toilet.

Posted by billgoofnow at 5/26/2008 7:31:00 PM
That trade illustrates how I could never play in a format like that. Even if that trade wasn't garbage, which it is, deals like this happen all the time in keeper leagues. What if it was Andrew Miller, a real prospect, instead of Eveland? Even then the balance of power is altered way too much at the top of the standings.

I can't imagine playing in a format like that...taking a number of years to build a championship caliber team only to have it ripped from under you thanks to deals like this.

Clayton Kershaw turned 20 in March, not last week (just for the record.)

You are not the only one who undervalued Shields. This is a strange phenomenon I have observed throughout the fantasy baseball world. Not sure why people don't get how good he is.
Posted by skinsnut at 5/26/2008 8:36:00 PM
Stopa - These after the fact changes in scoring need to stop. What if that happens one day to change a 1-hitter to a no-hitter? It's damn near impossible to commit an error these days.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 5/26/2008 8:42:00 PM
billgoofnow - I feel your pain. I've been on the Quentin bandwagon for a long time. Big apologist. Yet somehow he ended up on zero of my (too many) teams this year.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 5/26/2008 8:43:00 PM
skinsnut - Good catch on Kershaw. March indeed. Funny you mention Andrew Miller - I have him in that very league. And yes, I would have dealt him (and more) for Pujols.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 5/26/2008 8:44:00 PM
I think I've said this before (the trade is HORRIBLE, don't get me wrong) but at some point Pujols has to do something about his elbow and that's going to sideline him for awhile, so Karma may come around for that owner. I think it's easy to undervalue Shields due to the fact he plays in the AL East and has to play Boston, NY, Tor. I took the Rockies 202 pitches yesterday (only 8 innings). Ironically Corpas only threw 6, which were 2 Ks. I picked up Spilborghs from Col., he batted cleanup yesterday and has good peripheral numbers, although a small sample size.
Posted by kevinccp at 5/27/2008 4:38:00 AM
I have Uggla in one of my leagues. He is one of the reasons I have propelled to 1st in my league. I think I will shop him. Question: If I were to trade him for another 2b, who do you think will outperform him for the rest of the year in a 5x5, roto, non-keeper league? I guess I could package the trade with multiple players. But, your thoughts are greatly appreciated.
Posted by jhermann at 5/27/2008 5:54:00 AM
Is there another Jose Vidro that is an up-and-coming prospect, or is this the old one? If anything, the person *getting* Pujols appears to be rebuilding as well as playing for this year. Vidro is the kind of guy that someone dumping trades in a deal for Jay Bruce.
Posted by kennruby at 5/27/2008 7:02:00 AM
I'm completely with you on keeper leagues - they're overrated, and easily sullied. Make them all redraft, and for that matter, run a second-chance league drafting around, oh, I don't know, tomorrow?
Posted by spianow at 5/27/2008 7:26:00 AM
we have a commissioners committee that reviews trades. On occasion we've had managers add players or modify a trade to make it more equitable. that would certainly have happened with the Pujois robbery
Posted by ozfund at 5/27/2008 9:34:00 AM
I said Podsednik and S. Smith (who has very impressive minor league numbers) over Spilborghs b/c I figured he'd only start versus lefties, but since he's off to a hot start and batting cleanup, he's a good add as well. Maybe the best of the three...I'd rather BJ Upton or Robinson Cano than Uggla from this point forward...Nope - it's that Jose Vidro. Although it must be pointed out that Pujols' contract is so high, he's basically unkeepable.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 5/27/2008 10:40:00 AM
DDD, Thanks for Uggla info. I have proposed two trades: Uggla for B. Phillips; and, Uggla for B.J. Upton. Since Uggla's stats are better this year than the aforementioned players, I argued I was willing to assume the risk of the other players (what have you done for me lately argument?). And, as a Mets' fan, I contend that I hate Uggla. It has worked before. We will see.
Posted by jhermann at 5/27/2008 11:14:00 AM
I'd put Upton, BPhillips, Cano, and Kinsler all over Uggla. jhermann, I like the concept of selling high on Uggla, obviously, but that sometimes works better when you trade for a different position. If you offered me Uggla for Phillips, for instance, in a one for one, I would immediately realize that you obviously like Phillips better - there's simply no other way to spin it. So that alone might make me pause, even if I otherwise thought Uggla was better. Make sense?
Posted by MPStopa at 5/27/2008 11:59:00 AM
Stopa, it makes perfect sense. I would pause as well. But, many of the managers in my league appear to have a short fuse for underperformance. It is: I want the best and want it now. Since I am originally from the Big Apple and has subsequently moved outside of the city for work, I understand that mentality. In fact, it took me many years to shed it. I am still working on it. Next time, I think I will take your advice. It is a logical, cogent argument.
Posted by jhermann at 5/27/2008 12:30:00 PM
yeah, the pujols for garbage seemed like a real lopsided trade, and we have the right to bitch cause we're currently winning the damn league. There are fair 'dump' trades (we netted Kershaw for Hafner back when Hafner was good), and then there's this one....
Posted by djbrown at 5/27/2008 1:18:00 PM
Here's another earned run NUISANCE for you...

As a Tim Lincecum owner, I'd like to first of all thank Bruce Bochy for stupidly putting Lincecum out to pitch the 8th up 5 runs and with Lincecum already at 110 pitches. I was about to head to bed with Timmy's 7 ip 1 er 7w/h GEM in the books and then I have to watch him pitch the inevitable stinker.

Of course he takes Lincecum out after he allowed two hits.

Here's what really drives me bonkers...

Lincecum leaves with runners on 1st and 2nd and 1 out. Tyler Walker comes in and gives up a run scoring double and there are runners on 2nd and 3rd now with 2 outs. The runner on 3rd belongs to Lincecum and the runner on 2nd belongs to Walker. With 2 outs, Walker uncorks a disgusting wild pitch that scores Lincecum's 3rd "EARNED" run and then 2 pitches later a fly ball to right ends the inning, which would have stranded Lincecum's run on 3rd had he not bounced him home with the errant pitch.

How the heck is that an earned run on Lincecum when the relief pitcher puts him in with a wild pitch?

Posted by billgoofnow at 5/27/2008 9:07:00 PM
Bill - I feel your pain. There are so many arcane scoring rules in baseball. Let's start with the more basic ones - wins, and batting average. BA in particular is so stupid - how is a walk a non-event? Why does a sacrifice not hurt your BA, but "moving the runner" by hitting a grounder to the right side does? Why do you get credit for a sacrifice fly when it scores a run, but not when a runner goes from second-to-third? Why doesn't a GIDP carry an extra penalty? Wins are so utterly lame too, when they're so dependent on external factors, like run support, defense, and bullpen support? Yet major awards, and even worse, major contract-decisions, are made on the basis of concepts like "knows-how-to-win," "proven winners," and my favorite, "he's a 20-game winner."
Posted by Erickson at 5/27/2008 9:57:00 PM
Totally agree on both accounts - Lincecum never should have been brought back out, and there's no way he should be charged that third run. A wild pitch is essentially the same as an error.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 5/27/2008 10:02:00 PM
All great points Jeff. It's ridiculous.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 5/27/2008 10:04:00 PM
A couple more thougts for discussion:

(1) the braves outfield is a mess... The pirates have two OF's they want to trade this year who are both on fire in Bay and Nady. Any chance the pirates new management can proactively see this and approach the braves about a deal? I mean geez the braves lost kotsay and Diaz from their starting outfield who are both worse than bay and nady. Would it be too crazy to offer bay and marte for hayward?

(2) if you owned lincecum would you trade him straight up for johan santana in a keeper league? What starters WOULD you trade santana for?
Posted by billgoofnow at 5/28/2008 3:33:00 AM
1) Atl def. needs an outfielder. And with Smoltz approaching the end, and Chipper getting up there in age, there is incentive to play for now. Brandon Jones has really disappointed in the minors so far this year.

2)People might find it crazy, but I probably would not deal Lincecum for Santana in a keeper format. Although I will say that move assumes more risk.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 5/28/2008 7:19:00 AM
DDD: Just so you know that you have loyal readers, who do read and follow most of your sage advice. Another manager accepted my offer of Uggla for Brandon Phillips. Of course, I do not follow the advice blindly. I listened and did my own research: Uggla's historical numbers historically drop starting in June. Thanks, DDD.
Posted by jhermann at 5/28/2008 7:20:00 AM
I actually have both Santana and Lincecum in my NL only league, and I watched both starters pitch last night and Santana just LABORS out there right now... it's a struggle for him (mind you it's not an Ian Snell type struggle) but it seems like Santana just cannot locate his fastball right now and he's relying almost entirely on his changeup to throw strikes. I was happy to see him rack up 7 Ks last night, but he's just giving up so many hits this year.

Meanwhile, Lincecum is out there on the mound just throwing BEEBEES... he hit 98 in the 8th inning last night...98 miles per hour after 112 pitches. He is insane. He looks so effortless out there. He's just a lot of fun to watch.

That being said, I really do fear Bochy's usage patterns with Lincecum and I think he's going to run his golden arm into the ground. Lincecum has the best "stuff" I've seen in a young pitcher since Mark Prior, and I really hope they don't end up on the same scrap heap - it would be a shame to see such a good player have his career ruined by injury.

I most certainly wouldn't trade Lincecum for Santana in my NL keeper league because of salary issues (Lincecum $4.25 against $80 for 3 years, Santana $12.50). But even salary aside, I don't think I'd make that trade right now either despite the fear that Bochy is going to run him into the ground by putting him out there for the unnecessary extra 15 pitches each start.
Posted by billgoofnow at 5/28/2008 8:12:00 AM
Who would you rather have long-term: Lincecum or Chamberlain?
Posted by bscwik at 5/28/2008 11:43:00 AM
lincecum without hesitation for me
Posted by billgoofnow at 5/28/2008 11:57:00 AM
Concur with Bill.
Posted by Erickson at 5/28/2008 4:12:00 PM
jhermann - Good to hear. Hope that trade works out for you. I didn't mention B. Phillips as a 2B I'd trade Uggla for earlier, but I definitely would have done that deal if I were you.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 5/28/2008 9:37:00 PM
billgoofnow - I would cry if Lincecum follows the Prior path. The crazy thing is, that 98 mph fastball is a two-seamer! People underestimate how truly crazy that is.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 5/28/2008 9:40:00 PM
Bret - You won't find a bigger Lincecum fan than me, and while I side with crowd with him over Joba, it's pretty damn close in my book. I'm very high on Joba. Here's the thing - they both have two dominating pitches - Lincecum was able to add a third (changeup) into the mix very effectively. Can Joba? That's a must moving from the pen to the rotation.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 5/28/2008 9:45:00 PM

yup, i'd be with you in tears if that happens... It's pretty darn incredible he has 7 wins in April/May for that team. (He could have 9 if the pen hadn't choked two of them away in the 8th/9th) I really want to see him stay healthy so we can see what he can do in these next few years.
Posted by billgoofnow at 5/29/2008 11:57:00 AM

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