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Rounding Third: Week 7 Primer

Jeff Erickson

Jeff Erickson is a co-founder of RotoWire and the only two-time winner of Baseball Writer of the Year from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He's also in the FSWA Hall of Fame. He roots for the Reds, Bengals, Red Wings, Pacers and Northwestern University (the real NU).

Week 7 Primer

Beaten out, yet again.

NFBC Main Event

Team Player Bid Runner-Up
Team Bouyack Junichi Tazawa (MR) 317 237
|| Zefurs Lv.1 || David Hernandez (MR) 92 87
Four Headed Monster Jared Burton (MR) 87 16
Team Bouyack Ubaldo Jimenez (SP) 79 16
Yucca Valley Bombers Chris Young (CF) 67
|| Zefurs Lv.1 || Charlie Blackmon (RF) 42 31
Professional Chris Heisey (LF) 38 2
|| Zefurs Lv.1 || Koji Uehara (MR) 35
El Scorchos Jarrod Dyson (CF) 31
Big Alameda Machine Burch Smith (SP) 25
Full Grown Guppies Derek Dietrich (SS) 24
Pollos Hermanos Lyle Overbay (1B) 23 20
deadmoney2 Elliot Johnson (SS) 20
Low Talkers Vinnie Pestano (MR) 15
deadmoney2 Eric Chavez (3B) 15
Vegas Bandit Jeanmar Gomez (MR) 13
Low Talkers Joe Blanton (SP) 13
And I'll Go Mine Luke Gregerson (MR) 12
angry scottish lady-main-rel Jimmy Paredes (2B) 12
El Scorchos Joel Peralta (MR) 11
Vegas Bandit Ruben Tejada (SS) 9 J.D. Martinez (LF) 4
Big Alameda Machine Mike Leake (SP) 2 1
Low Talkers Geovany Soto (C) 2
Full Grown Guppies Matt Harrison (SP) 1
Full Grown Guppies Danny Duffy (SP) 1
Full Grown Guppies Cory Luebke (SP) 1
Big Alameda Machine Luke Scott (DH) 1

But this time, I'm rather accepting of my fate in this regard. Entering this week's bidding, I had $411 of my $1,000 FAAB budget remaining. I own Andrew Bailey already, so I was prepared to make a reasonably high bid for Junichi Tazawa even though he might be closing for just two weeks until Bailey returns - it just made sense to have that insurance with Joel Hanrahan done. So I bumped up my bid two times ... and finished third in the bidding, at best. I wasn't even within $100 in the bidding. Granted, closer bidding is crazy in the NFBC, so I should have suspected this price. But there were others to bid on, too. I was third on the David Hernandez bidding, at best, following Heath Bell's blown save today. I ended up with my anti-Fernando Rodney speculation in Joel Peralta, and that one isn't really that close to changing hands yet. It's worth noting that we saw similar speculation bids on Jarrod Burton (with Glen Perkins nicked up), Vinnie Pestano and Luke Gregerson. Ironically, Pestano got a bid even though he's on the DL, whereas Cody Allen, who got the save today, did not (though he was one of my contingency bids after Peralta was on Allen).

All that said, I'm at peace with losing out on my top closer choices this week, in part because I still own Bailey. What really steams me is that I missed out on one of my pet speculation plays, Charlie Blackmon, who initially I thought wasn't eligible for this week and only noticed five minutes before the deadline that he was available this week. He hadn't played in the major leagues prior to Sunday, which typically makes a minor leaguer ineligible, but because he had played in the majors in previous years, he was eligible. I thought for sure that I'd get him, but instead of a $1 minimum bid, I bumped it up to $31 just to make sure. Alas, cagey NFBC veteran K.J. Duke snagged him for more than I bid. Blackmon may just play against lefties, but he also has the potential to bust out if ever given a real chance. In that hitting environment, with my hitting being as lousy at it is, he's worth the chance. Instead, I'll settle for my backup option in Jarrod Dyson, and hope that his recent bump in playing time is for real, so that I can profit from his stolen base potential.


Team Player Bid Runner-Up
Deep Fried Trout Scott Kazmir (SP) 289 31
Beer & Chicken-VI Heath Bell (MR) 189 109
Del Mar Jose Veras (MR) 109 1
Del Mar David Hernandez (MR) 89 5
Big Wave Surfer Ryan Doumit (C) 80 56
Smoke Show 317(2) Eric Young (RF) 78 15
Big Wave Surfer Jhonny Peralta (SS) 70 53
Deep Fried Trout Will Venable (RF) 59 1
Chris Liss Rocks Didi Gregorius (SS) 43 31
Reach Junichi Tazawa (MR) 40 7
Smoke Show 317(2) Oswaldo Arcia (RF) 34
Team 317 Ubaldo Jimenez (SP) 31 15
Del Mar Brian Dozier (2B) 19
Team 317 Bud Norris (SP) 15
Team 317 Emilio Bonifacio (2B) 11
Del Mar Robbie Grossman (CF) 9
El Scorchos Brandon McCarthy (SP) 7 5
Reach Scott Feldman (SP) 6
Smoke Show 317(2) Jeff Locke (SP) 4
Fast Ball Trevor Rosenthal (MR) 1
Deep Fried Trout Jayson Nix (SS) 1

I currently have three closers in this league, and though we all know how that's just blowing in the wind, it also means that I'm less invested in going after each available closer. As you can tell from the spread in the bidding, many others feel that way. Only Heath Bell among the relievers was hotly contested. I had the $7 bid on Tazawa, and I had a $7 bid on Hernandez too, though it was after my ultimate winner, Brandon McCarthy, who starts against the Marlins this week. He seemed to have at least stabilized, if not turned a corner, with his last two starts. Given the stunning collapses of Ryan Vogelsong and Jonathon Niese this year, it's worth streaming McCarthy in that spot.


Not only do I have seven guys on the DL worth a grand total of $81, and had Roy Halladay get crushed in his last two starts before going on the DL, but those that are still among the living are getting strafed. This league prevents you from taxiing guys when they are going bad or have inopportune starts coming up, so the combo of Niese and Hiram Burgos on Saturday did a lot to ensure that I won't be climbing out of last in ERA or WHIP anytime soon. With J.J. Putz going on the DL, I'm short both starting pitching and closers, with crappy Brandon League as my only other closer. Pretty soon I'll have to decide whether to focus on wins or saves and eschew the ratios either way. I've resisted trade entreaties for Hyun-Jin Ryu so far, but we'll see what happens next. I also lost Mark Ellis and Donovan Solano to Monday DL moves last week, too. So I was busy on the free agent market.


Mon May 13 12:01 AM ET: Derek Dietrich awarded to NFBC/Stats, Inc. for $13.
Mon May 13 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Derek Dietrich: $7, $5, $3, $3, $1, $3.
Mon May 13 12:01 AM ET: Skip Schumaker awarded to RotoWire for $10.
Mon May 13 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Skip Schumaker: $4, $5.
Mon May 13 12:01 AM ET: Juan Nicasio awarded to USA TODAY Sports for $6.
Mon May 13 12:01 AM ET: Juan Uribe awarded to RotoWire for $5.
Mon May 13 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Juan Uribe: $3.
Mon May 13 12:01 AM ET: Jeanmar Gomez awarded to RotoWire for $5.
Mon May 13 12:01 AM ET: Donald Lutz awarded to Yahoo! Sports for $4.
Mon May 13 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Donald Lutz: $1.
Mon May 13 12:01 AM ET: Luis Cruz awarded to USA TODAY Sports for $3.
Mon May 13 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Luis Cruz: $1.
Mon May 13 12:01 AM ET: Mike Baxter awarded to Baseball HQ for $3.
Mon May 13 12:01 AM ET: Jonathan Herrera awarded to Steve Moyer for $1.
Mon May 13 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Jonathan Herrera: $1.
Mon May 13 12:01 AM ET: Reid Brignac awarded to for $1.
Mon May 13 12:01 AM ET: Chad Gaudin awarded to Yahoo! Sports for $1.
Mon May 13 12:01 AM ET: Francisco Peguero awarded to Baseball HQ for $1.


As it turns out, Gomez might have been a wasted bid, thanks to his injury suffered Sunday (in addition to him being Jeanmar Gomez). Kids, always leave extra time before your free agent deadline.

My LABR team is still my second-most cursed team. My Ottoneu team, detailed last week, has 13 guys on the DL. Between those guys on the DL and the other guys in the minors, despite having a 40-man rosters, we literally have no active/reserve moves to make in that league. Every major leaguer that is viable is active every day.

RotoWire Staff League


Browns: Pick up Cody Allen ($3), drop Ivan Nova
Erickson: Pick up Charlie Blackmon ($11), drop Greg Dobbs
(Next Stop Pottersville: $5)
(Schin Kickers: $2)
Payne: Pick up Derek Dietrich ($8), drop Wilton Lopez
(The Bros McKeown: $6)
(Frozen Ropes: $5)
(Next Stop Pottersville: $4)
Richie Zisk Lives Here: Pick up Jarrod Dyson ($6), drop Rick Ankiel
(Schin Kickers: $6)
(Liss and Shoe's Dynasty: $4)
(Next Stop Pottersville: $3)
(Browns: $3)
High-A West Madison: Pick up Aaron Harang ($1), drop Roy Halladay
(McLovin's Spoonful: $1)
Liss and Shoe's Dynasty: Pick up David Hernandez ($11), drop Corey Kluber
(Erickson: $11)
(McLovin's Spoonful: $9)
(Frozen Ropes: $1)
Liss and Shoe's Dynasty: Pick up Elliot Johnson ($1), drop Michael Taylor
The Bros McKeown: Pick up Jordan Lyles ($3), drop Luis Mendoza
Casale Industries: Pick up Michael McKenry ($1), drop Jason Bay
Frozen Ropes: Pick up Jimmy Paredes ($5), drop Placido Polanco
(Liss and Shoe's Dynasty: $1)
Schin Kickers: Pick up Joel Peralta ($4), drop Xavier Paul
McLovin's Spoonful: Pick up Matt Reynolds ($2), drop Ian Stewart
(McLovin's Spoonful: $2)
(Casale Industries: $1)
Next Stop Pottersville: Pick up Tanner Scheppers ($1), drop Tyler Colvin
McLovin's Spoonful: Pick up Koji Uehara ($7), drop Joel Hanrahan
(McLovin's Spoonful: $7)
(Browns: $3)
(Liss and Shoe's Dynasty: $1)
(Casale Industries: $1)


At least I got my white whale, Charlie Blackmon, in a keeper league, though at $11 he will have to wrestle the full-time job by the end of the year to be remotely keepable. But my last OF/UT spot is my weakest position, so a gamble there seemed appropriate. I'm currently shuttling between Gerardo Parra and Travis Snider with the spot - adding Blackmon to the mix when the Rockies are at home could be fun.

This Week's Roster Dilemma - Chris Perez

Chris Perez had a pretty shaky save Saturday night, giving up a run on 22 pitches before converting the chance against the Tigers. Afterward he felt some shoulder stiffness that carried over into Sunday. Indians manager Terry Francona cautioned Perez when he was warming up to be completely forthright about his status, and to his credit Perez informed Francona that he wasn't 100 percent. This happened apparently both in the sixth and tenth innings Sunday. Afterward Perez and Francona both downplayed the issue. It's worth noting that this isn't the first time Perez has had a stiff shoulder - he also had problems this spring. It's also worth noting that he didn't need a DL trip, and he came back a little sooner than expected. However, he was out for a period of weeks.

So what do we do with the Indians' bullpen situation? Cody Allen got the save Sunday, but only after Rich Hill got the first two outs and Joe Smith pitched in the ninth in a tie game. We don't have a big track record to evaluate Allen - he pitched in 27 games last year before putting up solid numbers so far this year, highlighted by a 19:6 K:BB over 16 innings headed into Sunday. Moreover, he worked his way out of a bases loaded, no-outs jam not of his making earlier in the week against the A's. If he isn't Francona's first choice until Perez is ready or Vinnie Pestano is off the DL, he at least is gaining Francona's trust.

The big complication for this week though is what to do with Perez. It's especially complicated in weekly leagues, thanks to the Indians and Yankees playing a doubleheader Monday to make up for two rainouts in April. And the first game starts at 12:05 ET to boot, giving us precious little time to react. Chances are if the Tribe performs an MRI on Perez, we won't know the result until after the first game starts. In an AL-only league the choice is pretty straightforward - you start him and hope for the best, and try to invest in his potential replacements. If you're in a 12-team or less mixed league, however, it's not so simple. If you have just one other closer, you might still choose to roll the dice, especially if you can't find a good two-start option.

Five Games, Eight Games

We have three more infernal two-game series this week, which means we also have three teams with just five games - the, Orioles, Phillies and Blue Jays. In the NFBC, I'm contemplating benching Melky Cabrera the first half of the week to try to avoid those two-game weeks. But I also have both Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, who I can't imagine benching.

On the flip side, thanks to their doubleheader with the Indians on Monday, the Yankees actually have eight games this week. They're using Vidal Nuno to start the nightcap, but he'll get just one start this week. David Phelps and CC Sabathia, on the other hand, get two starts apiece. Finally, Mariano Rivera has pitched the last two days and four of the last five - it wouldn't be a shock if David Robertson got a save chance in one of the games should one arise.

This Week in Interleague Play

BAL vs. SD (Tue/Wed) - The Padres continue their AL road play. Not much changes in terms of playing time.
CLE at PHI (Tue/Wed) - It'll be interesting to see how the Tribe adjusts for their DH dilemma. Will Nick Swisher play the outfield, or will Mark Reynolds have to sit a game?
HOU at PIT (Fri/Sat/Sun) - It may not seem like an interleague game instead of an NL-Central snoozer, but it is.
SF at TOR (Tue/Wed) - Barry Zito gets two starts this week, but they're at Toronto and at Colorado.

Sneaky Two-Start Option This Week

I missed the boat on Hector Santiago everywhere - he's gone, I don't know how to take it, it'll take the devil to replace him. Don't let yourself make that mistake - he has two road starts, but they are at Minnesota and at Anaheim, both pretty viable, and good for your WHIP.

Marlins in the Stream

Cincinnati (@Miami) (Tue/Wed/Thur) - Homer Bailey, Mike Leake, Tony Cingrani. With Johnny Cueto potentially returning Sunday against the Phillies, this might be the final battle for a rotation spot between Leake and Cingrani.

Arizona (@Miami) (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) - Trevor Cahill, Brandon McCarthy, Wade Miley. Of the three, only McCarthy is likely available.