Articles by Jeff Erickson

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

30 players, 30 teams, 30 days – Nationals

 

For a team that has a lot of fantasy-worthy players, I’m missing out on a lot Nats. Bryce Harper didn’t make it on to any of my teams, though I wasn’t necessarily avoiding him. I’ve lamented the lack of Adam Eaton on my rosters earlier this season, when he was tearing up the Reds to begin the season. I actively avoided Daniel Murphy because of his knee injury and my fear that it would take longer to return than expected, and that he’d be compromised once he did return. But the player I want to discuss today is someone who I’m certain I gave no thought, let alone consideration, this year or even last, and that’s reliever Justin Miller.

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30 players, 30 teams, 30 days – Angels

In a never quite fulfilled quest to write more often, I’ve been turning to blogging more regularly, but it still hasn’t been enough. I need a little structure, so I’m going to try something new here, and identify a player on each team that (a) is fairly prominent in fantasy circles and (b) isn’t on any of my teams. I’m hoping to learn more about the player pool in the process, perhaps guiding me to better draft and/or free agent decisions. Occasionally I’ll dig deep into the player, other times it’ll probably be just a surface level look. Often that will depend on how much time I have. For instance, Sunday can be a little challenging given all the live events going on, plus all of my FAAB deadlines. Also, I think working on a deadline will force me to be a little more productive, rather than agonizing over every word, thus ending up with nothing, as I’m occasionally culpable of doing.

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Just Another Day at the Ballpark

So … did anything noteworthy happen Tuesday night?

Twice now, when Matt Harvey was the subject of one of the lead stories heading into a set of games, so much happened on the field to bury the story. “Bury,” by the way, happened to be the word that I missed in the third grade spelling bee, even though I had it used in a sentence. Along with a healthy diet and a supportive family, I received plentiful doses of humility as a kid.

The obvious big story of the day has to be James Paxton’s no-hitter against Toronto. Coming on the heels of a 16-strikeout outing against the A’s where he didn’t get the win because the bullpen couldn’t hold a 2-0 lead, Paxton took care of it all himself Tuesday night, needing just 99 pitches to go the distance. Well, not all by himself – he had a number of gems made behind him by the Mariners’ defense. Kyle Seager’s web gem justifiably garnered the most attention, but earlier in the same inning Ryon Healy made a terrific scoop on a bad throw + bad hop, plus Ben Gamel made a nice catch up against the wall in the eighth inning. I loved that he was still throwing 99+ mph against Josh Donaldson in the ninth inning. And I also love that Donaldson turned on that last pitch and hit a rocket to Seager, who of course turned in another great play.

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Berrios vs. Corbin

Jose Berrios was fantastic again Wednesday night, shutting out the Indians over seven innings. Unfortunately for him, Carlos Carrasco was equally superb, and both left after seven with a 0-0 tie. In fact, the game remained scoreless until the 14th inning, when both Edwin Encarnacion and Miguel Sano hit solo shots for their respective teams. The game was still going at the time of this writing, in the 15th 16th inning. Berrios allowed three hits and no walks, and now has a 1.63 ERA, 0.58 WHIP and an eye-popping 29:1 K:BB ratio over 27.2 innings.

In the latest installment of Recency Bias Theater, I posed the following question:

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Tuesday Night Observations

Typically I blurt out random observations during games on Twitter, and never end up putting it out there in one place. Moreover, those observations are often truncated because of the nature of the medium. There’s still value to me in going to Twitter first – it’s easier to generate a conversation, with immediate responses. For a handful of reasons, we don’t allow comments on the blog, so there’s less interaction.

However, the blog will allow me to formulate a few more thoughts on various topics that I might not dive into as much on Twitter. I can’t/won’t stop Tweeting (wow, that’s not a self-flattering statement, but … I love being on Twitter when live sports are on), but I’m going to try to write more here on a regular basis. Writing is a tool that can atrophy if you don’t keep using it, and I’ve definitely written less frequently than I used to. Some of that is due to having less time, but some of that is also a casualty of social media and even more is due to inertia.

Ok, that’s enough preamble. Here are some thoughts about tonight’s games:

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AL Tout Wars FAAB Results

Tout Wars is running our FAAB on Sunday mornings, in order to hopefully help others make bids in their respective leagues later on Sunday night. Our first run was last week, though it was actually earlier last week. You’ll be able to read about all the bids in all the leagues each week at www.toutwars.com. But here’s this week’s results my AL league, which also includes RotoWire peeps Chris Liss and Jason Collette, as well as former RotoWire guy Vlad Sedler.

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NFBC Main Event – Vegas

I love all of my leagues, but nothing beats the live draft of the NFBC Main Event. With the $125,000 grand prize, there’s more at stake than in any of my other leagues, and the competition level is as fierce as it gets. I’ve aligned so much of my draft prep to the NFBC, perhaps to the detriment of other leagues, that it might hurt my chances in those other leagues. It’s a factor I’ve tried to be more cognizant about in my various drafts.

This year’s trip to the NFBC Main Event might have been the most enjoyable I’ve had yet. Instead of driving solo (I typically like having some flexibility when to arrive and depart) on the 3.5 hour trip to Vegas, I rode along with Tim Schuler, Scott Jenstad and Vlad Sedler. The drive there flew by – I never get the relaxed trip to Vegas, but riding along for this one was pretty sweet, with the added bonus of being able to pick the brains of Scott, Vlad and Shoe.

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