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Rounding Third: Difficult Cuts

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 3 Primer, Instant Replay, FAAB Results

I was watching the Sunday night game between the Red Sox and Yankees when Joe Girardi successfully challenged the double play call at first base. John Farrell subsequently lost it and got kicked out. I get that he was frustrated from Saturday's snafu that shouldn't happen, but it did but it was pretty clear they made the right call Sunday. That sequence led to announcer Dan Schulman (who I really like, incidentally) noting "... a mounting sense of frustration with the new replay system ...."

Of course Farrell was frustrated, his team was losing again, he had key players hurt and the replay results worked against him twice in a row. But is the general baseball community already trying to undermine the replay system after just two weeks? Or are you trying to make a larger trend out of one isolated incident? I get that the challenge system can be cumbersome at times, but a significant percentage of the few mistakes made in a game are now getting corrected. The game is much better off for it. One mistake here or there hardly justifies throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I can't believe that people would rather just live with a much higher error rate, especially on potentially game-changing calls (paging Jerry Meals on Line 1), all on the notion of embracing the Human Element, or "... after two weeks it doesn't work ...", or, my favorite, "... it's slowing down the game. Now stay tuned for these commercial messages...." Fine tune the system, suggest ways to make it better, but please, going back to the dark ages is no improvement.

Week 3 Noteworthy Schedules

One team, the Cubs, play just five games this week, with them getting Monday and Thursday off surrounding their two-game series at Yankee Stadium. At least they get two DH games to lessen the blow with their platoon parts. They face four right-handed starters, so you might want to keep Nate Schierholtz active, unless it means benching a player with seven games without a platoon.

On the other hand, this is a pretty busy slate, with a lot of seven-game teams. The most noteworthy is the Texas Rangers, or at least the remainder of the Rangers' slumping lineup, as they have seven home games against the Mariners and White Sox, with only one ace (Felix Hernandez) slated to pitch. Other teams with seven games this week include the Braves, Rockies (four games in Petco, three games at home in Coors), Brewers, Phillies, Pirates, Padres, Mariners, Cardinals, Rays and Nationals.

After a busy interleague slate in Week 2, there are just two interleague series - Yankees-Cubs and:

Marlins-Mariners (Friday-Sunday) The two teams farthest apart geographically face off, in a match made in marketing heaven. The already cramped first base/right field/DH positions for the Mariners lose more spots, but at least they miss out on Jose Fernandez.

The Phillies get a three-game trip to Coors Field Kyle Kendrick, Ramon Hernandez and Cliff Lee draw the unlucky starts.

For more on the pitching matchups, please check out our indispensable>Projected Starters Grid. I use that frequently to aid my free agent bidding and my lineups, both for two-start starters and for matchups.


In this section I'll try to list as many of the free agent results as I can from my Sunday deadline leagues. Due to time constraints, the commentary will frequently be short.

NFBC RotoWire Online Championship

Team Player Bid Runner-Up
PANAMA RED Edward Mujica (MR) 228 203
SlickRick in da Hizzouse Shawn Kelley (MR) 189 55
Glenneration X Eric Young (LF) 113 45
ChrisLiss4President Michael Morse (RF) 100 44
PANAMA RED Zach McAllister (SP) 84 10
Big Stick Ballerinas Jesse Chavez (SP) 54 22
Big Stick Ballerinas Ryan Cook (MR) 41
Wheelin Down Huston Street Trevor Plouffe (3B) 35
Wheelin Down Huston Street Travis Wood (SP) 35
Big Stick Ballerinas Hector Rondon (MR) 23
TraylorDukes Jason Kubel (LF) 20 11
Big Stick Ballerinas Jordan Lyles (SP) 17
High Hopes Oscar Taveras (RF) 14
Tiger Slappy OC2 Jonathan Schoop (2B) 11
Banged Up Bravos Yasmani Grandal (C) 10
High Hopes Brandon Crawford (SS) 10
Release the Kraken Mark Reynolds (1B) 1

With Adrian Beltre out, I slotted Matt Adams into my CR spot, but Reynolds is raking now and still available and qualifies at both 1B/3B. I released Dillon Gee to make room.

NFBC Main Event

Team Player Bid Runner-Up
TeamSS Shawn Kelley (MR) 249 22
TeamSS Alexi Amarista (CF) 189
El Scorchos Edward Mujica (MR) 77 68
MORONS Danny Espinosa (2B) 75 16
Dead Moneyball Hector Rondon (MR) 58 41
Metsmerizers-2 Jesse Crain (MR) 56
MORONS Josh Collmenter (MR) 55 31
TeamSS Jesus Guzman (1B) 49
Team Simonian J.B. Shuck (LF) 48
VF's FusterCluck Alfredo Simon (MR) 44 8
TeamSS Tyler Flowers (C) 39 33
Team Taylor Mike Leake (SP) 33 18
movers Scott Feldman (SP) 29 6
Dead Moneyball Junichi Tazawa (MR) 24
Metsmerizers-2 Erik Bedard (SP) 12
El Scorchos Conor Gillaspie (3B) 11 9
Spartacus Jason Hammel (SP) 11 10
Team Simonian Nyjer Morgan (CF) 9
Team Simonian Robinson Chirinos (C) 9
BN Bears Josh Willingham (LF) 8
Cocktails and Dreams Ryan Raburn (RF) 6
Cocktails and Dreams Edinson Volquez (SP) 6
Valar Morghulis Josh Rutledge (2B) 3
Spartacus Kyle Farnsworth (MR) 2
El Scorchos Jeremy Guthrie (SP) 1
Team Taylor Chris Denorfia (RF) 1

Being a Jim Johnson owner is complete hell. Not only did he lose the job, but typically he's not so good that he's useful in a set-up role, as opposed to someone like Kenley Jansen at the start of the 2013 season. Jansen at least brought me strikeouts. But because there's at least some chance that Johnson could get the job back, and I only have one other closer full-time, I have to burn a reserve spot on holding onto Johnson.

That lack of flexibility is compounded by DL trips by Adrian Beltre, Denard Span and Hisashi Iwakuma. Instead of seven reserve spots where I can swap guys in and out for good starts and bad starts, I'm down to three spots. That's reduced to two because I'm still holding onto Oscar Taveras, at least for a few more weeks. So now I have two spots left to stream starters, or an extra middle infield spot, or outfielder. The math simply doesn't work.

Mujica was in response to Johnson losing the job and Koji Uehara's shoulder injury. It's possible that Uehara could be back closing Tuesday, or it could bother him all year. I like his chances of getting more saves season long than Kelley, even though Kelley has a clearer opportunity for the next 10 days. Gillaspie replaces A.J. Pollock on the roster and Beltre in the lineup. Guthrie replaces Jake Odorizzi if I'm not going to use a guy in a two-start week, as was the case with Odorizzi, it's time he goes off my roster.

RotoWire Staff Keeper League

Payne: Pick up Alexi Amarista ($2), drop Logan Schafer (Anderson: $1)
Wheeler in the Sky: Pick up Anthony Bass ($5), drop Darren O'Day
Browns: Pick up Dellin Betances ($11), drop Alexi Ogando (Jakarta Raiders: $2)
Schin Kickers: Pick up Gonzalez Germen ($3), drop Bobby Parnell
Next Stop Dumpster Fire: Pick up Justin Grimm ($2), drop Kevin Correia
Frozen Ropes: Pick up Jeremy Guthrie ($7), drop David Hale (Erickson: $1) (Erickson: $1)
High-A West Madison: Pick up Shawn Kelley ($11), drop Tanner Scheppers (Erickson: $7) (Erickson: $7) (Schin Kickers: $6) (Uggla's Decaying Remains: $3) (Next Stop Dumpster Fire: $1)
Erickson: Pick up Nyjer Morgan ($5), drop Danny Valencia
Uggla's Decaying Remains: Pick up Juan Nicasio ($1), drop Ryan Vogelsong (Next Stop Dumpster Fire: $1)
High-A West Madison: Pick up Brayan Pena ($1), drop Jose Tabata
The Bros McKeown: Pick up Hector Rondon ($8), drop Randall Delgado (Erickson: $7) (Erickson: $7) (East Coast Bias: $6) (Jakarta Raiders: $4) (Anderson: $4) (Liss and Shoe's Dynasty: $4) (High-A West Madison: $3) (Next Stop Dumpster Fire: $2)
McLovin's Spoonful: Pick up J.B. Shuck ($9), drop Drew Stubbs (Frozen Ropes: $5) (Frozen Ropes: $5) (Erickson: $5) (Uggla's Decaying Remains: $3)
Erickson: Pick up Alfredo Simon ($7), drop Yusmeiro Petit (Jakarta Raiders: $7) (Frozen Ropes: $5) (Payne: $2) (Anderson: $2) (Schin Kickers: $1) (Next Stop Dumpster Fire: $1) (Uggla's Decaying Remains: $1)
Next Stop Dumpster Fire: Pick up Ian Stewart ($1), drop Tommy Medica
Next Stop Dumpster Fire: Pick up Ruben Tejada ($1), drop Marwin Gonzalez
Jakarta Raiders: Pick up Chris Withrow ($2), drop J.J. Hoover (Schin Kickers: $1)

Mixed LABR

Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Jonathan Broxton awarded to RotoExperts for $17.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Jonathan Broxton: $6, $6, $4, $4.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Brandon Morrow awarded to DFSEdge for $17.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Brandon Morrow: $1, $8, $2, $5.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Sean Doolittle awarded to Bloomberg Sports for $14.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Sean Doolittle: $1, $3, $1, $2, $2.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Edward Mujica awarded to RotoExperts for $13.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Edward Mujica: $2, $8, $1, $3, $3.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Edinson Volquez awarded to for $8.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Edinson Volquez: $2.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Shawn Kelley awarded to Mastersball for $7.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Shawn Kelley: $3, $4, $5, $3, $3, $1, $4.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Scott Feldman awarded to DFSEdge for $7.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Scott Feldman: $1, $4.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Conor Gillaspie awarded to Towers of Power Baseball Hour for $6.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Conor Gillaspie: $1, $1.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Zach McAllister awarded to Baseball Prospectus for $5.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Zach McAllister: $1, $4.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Hector Rondon awarded to for $4.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Hector Rondon: $1.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Josh Collmenter awarded to Baseball HQ for $4.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Alberto Jose Callaspo awarded to Towers of Power Baseball Hour for $2.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Alberto Jose Callaspo: $1.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Luke Gregerson awarded to Rotowire-Colton for $1.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Luke Gregerson: $1.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Travis Snider awarded to Razzball for $1.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Travis Snider: $1, $1, $1.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Garrett Jones awarded to Mastersball for $1.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Bruce Chen awarded to Baseball Prospectus for $1.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Juan Uribe awarded to Rotowire-Erickson for $1.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Jose Lobaton awarded to Rotowire-Erickson for $1.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: Roenis Elias awarded to USA TODAY Sports for $1.
Mon Apr 14 12:01 AM ET: J.B. Shuck awarded to Baseball HQ for $1.

AL Tout

Jeff Erickson: pur SKelley NYY 10
Ron Shandler: pur SDeduno Min 1
Andy Behrens: pur JorDanks CWS 1
Mike Podhorzer: pur KKouzmanoff Tex 10
Larry Schechter: pur JSmith LAA 1
Chris Liss: pur IStewart LAA 1
Mike Podhorzer: pur EBedard TB 5
Chris Liss: pur IKrol Det 1
Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton: pur DOtero Oak 1
Mike Podhorzer: pur RRoberts Bos 8
Jason Collette: pur NKarns TB 1
Rob Leibowitz: pur RChirinos Tex 1
Rob Leibowitz: pur TWilhelmsen Sea 0
Lawr Michaels: pur SDelabar Tor 0
Steve Moyer: pur DMastroianni Min 0

Even though Kelley is probably just a one-week rental, it's an "only" league so nearly all saves are sacred. If David Robertson has any sort of setback, this investment should pay off, even though in the long run I really like Dellin Betances better.