Posts Tagged ‘Brandon Webb’

Brandon Webb Throws Off A Mound, Feels Good

February 10, 2010

Last year I did a two-part series on the “key” players for each team. A “key” player is a type of player that had an injury plagued or down season the year before and if he can make a come back, then the team would be much better off.

I plan on continuing this two-part series again this year and I will give you a little preview today. The “key” player for the Arizona Diamondbacks is RHP Brandon Webb.

Webb threw off a mound yesterday

Webb fits my “key” player title to a tee.

From 2005-2008, Webb was not only one of the top pitchers in the National League, but in all of baseball. In those seasons, Webb was 70-37 with a 3.23 ERA and won the NL Cy Young in 2006. In 2007 and 2008, Webb finished second in the voting.

Pretty impressive.

However, the 2009 season was a lost season for Webb. He made his first start of the season, got rocked by the Colorado Rockies, and never pitched again.

Webb went on the disabled list with shoulder bursitis and eventually needed surgery on his right shoulder. Now trying to make a comeback, Webb finally returned to the place where he has had the most success in his life–the pitcher’s mound.

For the first time since having shoulder surgery last August, Webb threw off a mound yesterday. Webb threw 20-25 pitches at Chase Field in Arizona and said he felt good afterwards.

“I’m right where I expected to be,” Webb said in a statement through the Associated Press. “Having not been on the mound in a year, I am pleased with how I felt.”

The Diamondbacks will take it slow with Webb in spring training, giving him extra days rest between starts and throwing sessions. If Webb doesn’t have any setbacks in spring training, he should be ready to go for Opening Day.

This is very, very good news for Diamondback fans. Arizona has added some nice pieces this offseason, but in order for the Diamondbacks to compete for the NL West title or a Wild Card spot, they need Webb to stay healthy in 2010.

Here is what I wrote about who I think Webb can be back in November:

“Webb’s career is really starting to remind me of Orel Hershiser’s. Hershiser was a sinker-ball pitcher, who logged a lot innings, won a Cy Young, and in the middle of his career underwent rotator cuff surgery.

Sound familiar?

Hershiser was a good pitcher after the surgery, but never was the dominate pitcher he once was. I think Webb can be the same pitcher Hershiser was post-surgery.

That means a pitcher who can still log a lot of inning, strikes out few, has a high WHIP, but can still gut his way out to 10-15 wins.”

The Diamondbacks will only go as far as Webb goes in 2010. If he can make a successful comeback, then Arizona will have a nice three-headed monster with Webb, Dan Haren, and Edwin Jackson. If Webb suffers any setbacks next year, then Arizona will have a massive hole to fill in their rotation.

That is why he will be the “key” player for the Diamondbacks in 2010.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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Starting Rotation: National League West

January 23, 2010

The last last starting rotations I will look at are the starting rotations of the National League West. It’s no surprise that nine out of the last 11 NL Cy Young award winners have come from the West.

With the divisions big ballparks and offensively challenged lineups, the NL West is a pitcher’s dream. Any pitcher worth their salt, would love to pitch in this division.

Here are the starting lineups for each National League West team as presently constructed.

Colorado Rockies

1. Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP

2. Aaron Cook, RHP

3. Jorge De La Rosa, LHP

4. Jeff Francis, LHP

5. Jason Hammel, RHP

Quick Take – I like this rotation, but I don’t love it. I would love for the Rockies to add one more reliable pitcher like Jon Garland. Francis returns to the Rockies after missing the entire 2009 season with a shoulder injury. Cook is really underrated.

San Francisco Giants

1. Tim Lincecum, RHP

2. Matt Cain, RHP

3. Barry Zito, LHP

4. Jonathan Sanchez, LHP

5. TBD

Quick Take – Linceum and Cain form one of the best one-two punches not only in the NL, but in all of baseball. Lincecum is aiming for his third straight Cy Young award. There is a big dropoff after Lincecum and Cain. I am not sold on Sanchez.

Los Angeles Dodgers

1. Chad Billingsley, RHP

2. Clayton Kershaw, LHP

3. Vicente Padilla, RHP

4. Hiroki Kuroda, RHP

5. James McDonald, RHP

Quick Take – Which Billingsley will show up in 2010? The one that was an All Star in the first half of 2009 or the one that faded in the second half? Dodgers need him to come back strong next season. This rotation will miss Randy Wolf , who pitched well for them down the stretch in 2009.

Arizona Diamondbacks

1. Dan Haren, RHP

2. Brandon Webb, RHP

3. Edwin Jackson, RHP

4. Billy Buckner, RHP

5. Ian Kennedy, RHP

Quick Take – Can Webb come back in 2010? That is the big question surrounding this rotation. If he can, the Diamondbacks will be in business in 2010. Jackson needs to pitch like he did in the first half with the Detroit Tigers, not the second half. Kennedy thinks he is a great pitcher, now he gets a chance to prove it.

San Diego Padres

1. Chris Young, RHP

2. Clayton Richard, LHP

3. Kevin Correia, RHP

4. Mat Latos, RHP

5. Tim Stauffer, RHP

Quick Take – Gone is staff ace Jake Peavy, but in is Latos and Richard. Richard pitched well last year (5-2 with a 4.08 ERA) for the Padres after coming over in the Peavy trade. Latos is a top prospect, who showed glimpses of brilliance in his first stint at the majors.

That concludes my starting rotation series for this week. I will revisit each starting rotation as the regular season approaches.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Diamondbacks Continue To Add Pieces, Sign Adam LaRoche

January 16, 2010

Very quietly, the Arizona Diamondbacks have had a very active offseason.

They were involved in the big three team trade with the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers that netted them Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy, they added Bobby Howry and Aaron Heilman to their bullpen, they signed Kelly Johnson to play second base, picked up Brandon Webb’s option, and now they have added a first baseman who has averaged 26 home runs over his six-year career.

LaRoche is headed to the valley of the sun

As first reported by Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Diamondbacks have signed first baseman Adam LaRoche to a one-year, $4.5 million contract. This deal also includes a $7.5 million mutual option for 2011.

This is a pretty good pickup by the Diamondbacks. And a pretty good deal for them considering it was reported that LaRoche turned down a two-year, $17.5 million contract from the San Francisco Giants about a week ago.

As long as Diamondback fans can be patient with LaRoche, they should like the end product. LaRoche is known throughout baseball as one of the slowest starters in the game.

In his career, LaRoche has a .252 average with a .773 OPS in the first half of the season. In the second half, LaRoche turns it on to the tune of a .300 average with a .909 OPS.

It’s really amazing how LaRoche starts off slow every year. It’s like once the All-Star break hits he turns into Will Clark.

LaRoche’s slow start and hot finish usually averages out to about .270 with 25 home runs every year. That’s probably what you can expect out of him at this point.

The LaRoche signing allows the Diamondbacks to do a couple of things.

First, it allows them to put Conor Jackson in left field full time. Jackson missed most of the 2009 season with Valley Fever. He appears healthy now and even tore up the Dominican Winter League to the tune of a 425/.561/.589 batting line in 94 AB’s.

Second, this move ends the Eric Byrnes’ era in Arizona. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic is the reporting the Diamondbacks have designated Byrnes for assignment. The Diamondbacks will have 10 days to either trade him or flat-out release him.

This will be a big hit to the mid-market Diamondbacks as Byrnes is set to make $11 million in 2010. Byrnes’ first two years in Arizona (2006 & 2007) were considered a success. In those two years, Byrnes played in 303 games and hit .277 with 47 home runs, 75 stolen bases, and an .805 OPS.

He even finished 11th in the MVP voting in 2007.

After the 2007 season, Byrnes signed a three-year, $30 million deal and its been all down hill from their. In the last two years, Byrnes has played in only 136 games and has amassed a .218 average with 14 home runs and a .653 OPS.

It appears his wreckless playing style has taken a toll on him. After all, his nickname was the “Crash Test Dummy.”

Byrnes could definitely latch on with another team as a fourth outfielder, who is good for a clubhouse. His style of play and personality would fit well with a team like the Minnesota Twins or Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

With the moves the Diamondbacks have made in this offseason, they have positioned themselves to make a run at the NL West division title.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Cliff Lee, Brandon Webb Have Their Options Picked Up

November 6, 2009

The hot stove is on FIRE!!!

The champagne hasn’t dried yet in the Yankee locker room and we have already seen Mark Teahen and JJ Hardy get traded and the Angels re-sign Bobby Abreu.

This afternoon, we got some more hot stove news as two of the premier pitchers in baseball had their options picked up. One move was a no-brainer and the other move I was a little surprised by.

First, the no-brainer.

According to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, the Philadelphia Phillies have picked up Cliff Lee’s 2010 option for $9 million. Was there any doubt the Phillies wouldn’t pick up his option?

cliff lee

Lee had his option picked up by the Phillies

Lee has established himself as one of the top pitchers in baseball over the last two seasons. The 31-year-old lefty had his national coming out party in the 2009 postseason by going 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA in five starts.

He will go into the 2010 season as the Phillies’ ace and with the Phillies’ lineup, he should have no problem winning 15-20 games next year.

Thus, making him worth a lot more than $9 million to the Phillies. Good deal for them.

The second option that was picked up today, like I said, was a little bit surprising.

According to ESPN.com, the Arizona Diamondbacks picked up the $8.5 option for 2010 on Brandon Webb.

Webb pitched in exactly one game last year before being shut down for the season and eventually opted for shoulder surgery on his pitching shoulder. Before last season, Webb was one of the best pitchers in the National League–if not the best.

brandon webb

Webb is Hershiser Part 2

Webb won the Cy Young award in 2006 and in 2007 and 2008, he finished second.

I was a little surprised the Diamondbacks picked up his option because I figured they would decline the option and hope to sign him to an incentive laden deal. However, Webb is progressing nicely according to GM Josh Byrnes.

“He’s worked very hard since the surgery,” general manager Josh Byrnes said, “and we’re confident that he’ll return to be a very healthy, effective pitcher.”

Webb’s career is really starting to remind me of Orel Hershiser’s. Hershiser was a sinker-ball pitcher, who logged a lot innings, won a Cy Young, and in the middle of his career underwent rotator cuff surgery.

Sound familiar?

Hershiser was a good pitcher after the surgery, but never was the dominate pitcher he once was. I think Webb can be the same pitcher Hershiser was post-surgery.

That means a pitcher who can still log a lot of inning, strikes out few, has a high WHIP, but can still gut his way out to 10-15 wins.

2009 All-Fantasy Bust Team

September 16, 2009

With most teams having roughly 18-20 games left on their schedule, I think its’ safe to say we know by now which players were surprises and which players were busts in 2009.

Tomorrow, we will take a look at the All-Fantasy Breakout Team. As for today, I think we will take a look at who were the fantasy busts in 2009.

These are the players who owners drafted very high in hopes that these players would lead their team to fantasy supremacy in 2009. Instead, these players fell flat on their faces because of various reasons and cost owners hundreds of dollars.

Without any further adieu, here is the 2009 All-Fantasy Bust Team sponsored by the Julio Lugo, Co. “Nobody Knows Sucking Like A Lugo.”

Honorable Mentions – Chris Iannetta, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, JJ Hardy, Rick Ankiel, Kevin Gregg, Garrett Atkins, Lance Berkman, Alfonso Soriano, Manny Ramirez, Jake Peavy

CatcherGeovany Soto, .222/10/40

After winning the 2008 National League Rookie of the Year award with a .285/23/86 hitting line, many owners expected a repeat performance from Soto in 2009. Not so much.

Davis has not lived up to the hype

Davis has not lived up to the hype

First Base – Chris Davis, .216/19/49

This was a close call between Lance Berkman and Chris Davis, but because Davis was so ridiculously over-hyped, Davis wins it. Everyone’s preseason man-crush has fallen flat on his face in 2009.

Things got so bad for Davis that he was sent to the minors in the middle of the season. That my friends, is a bust.

Second Base – Mike Fontenot, .232/9/40

Second base was the hardest position to pick a fantasy bust because so many two-baggers are either having breakout years or their typical years. Fontenot on the other hand, is having neither.

At this point in the season, Fontenot has roughly 100 more AB’s than last year and has the same amount of HR’s (nine), RBI (40), six less runs scored, and his average is 72 points lower than last years.

Not what the Cubs or fantasy owners were expecting this year.

Shortstop – Jose Reyes, .279/2/15

I had a dilemma with this pick. Do I pick the guy who has just sucked all year in JJ Hardy? Or do I pick the guy who has missed the majority of the year with an injury in Jose Reyes?

I will go with Reyes because Reyes, who was taken in the first two rounds in most leagues and crippled a lot of fantasy teams this year. Reyes went on the DL on May 26th and was never heard from again.

Third Base – Alex Gordon, .202/4/12

This was supposed to be the breakout year for Alex Gordon. That’s what I was telling myself when I drafted Gordon in my league. Instead, 2009 has been a disaster for the Royals young third baseman.

Gordon got off to an awful start in April, then had hip surgery, came back, got sent to the minors, and now is back up again. I am not even sure if Gordon is worth keeping in my Keeper League at this point.

Outfield – Milton Bradley, .260/12/39

It seemed like everyone knew this was going to happen except Chicago Cubs’ GM Jim Hendry. Bradley is like the movie GI Joe. Sure, we all knew it was going to suck, but we kind of wanted to see it any way just to see how bad it was going to be.

I mean 39 RBI in 121 games? Pathetic

Outfield – Josh Hamilton, .270/10/49

Hamilton was the feel good story of the 2008 season. His performance in the HR Derby was stuff of legend and he put up a .304/32/130 hitting line.

2009 has been a lost season for Hamilton. He has been hurt the majority of the year and really never found his groove at the plate.

Outfield – Magglio Ordonez, .296/7/40

From 2006-2008, Ordonez averaged 24 HR’s and 115 RBI. In 2009, Ordonez’s power has vanished faster than the storyline’s on Entourage.

Very puzzling how Ordonez has kept his average up, but has lost all his power.

Liriano has been a bust in 2009

Liriano has been a bust in 2009

Starting Pitcher – Francisco Liriano, 5-12 with a 5.71 ERA

Like Alex Gordon previously, this was supposed to be the year for Liriano. He was two years removed from Tommy John surgery, the Minnesota Twins were expected to compete in the AL Central, and at 25, Liriano was going to mature into an ace.

None of the above happened. Liriano is one of the main reasons the Twins are not in first place and is now pitching out of the bullpen

Starting Pitcher – Daisuke Matsuzaka, 1-5 with a 8.23 ERA

Matsuzaka won 18 games in 2008. Going into last night’s action, Matsuzaka has won a grand total of 1 game in 2009.

Fantasy owners can thank Bud Selig’s marketing ploy, otherwise known as the World Baseball Classic for this.

Starting Pitcher – Brandon Webb, 0-0 with a 13.50 ERA

Last year, Webb was 22-7 with a 3.30 ERA and finished second in the Cy Young voting for the second year in a row. All fantasy owners got out of Webb this year, was one lousy start.

Webb was the third overall pick in my league and in most leagues went in the first two rounds. If your first or second pitcher taken doesn’t win a game during the season, it usually spells doom for your team.

Closer – Brad Lidge, 0-7 with a 7.18 ERA and 10 blown saves

Despite having 29 saves this year, Lidge has been a fantasy disaster all season. He doesn’t have a win, he leads the majors in blown saves, and has killed fantasy owners all year long in the ERA category. His WHIP is 1.823 which is not helping the situation either.

Diamondbacks In Trouble….

April 28, 2009

Despite beating the Giants on Sunday in a game where they were trailing 4-2 heading into the 9th, I believe the Diamondbacks are in trouble. I know it’s only 18 games into the season, but there a lot of things I am seeing from the Diamondbacks that have me doubting my World Series pick.

Upton is off to a slow start

Upton is off to a slow start

  1. Losing Brandon Webb is a big blow. Webb is one of the 10 best pitchers in the NL and not to have your ace for almost 2 months is hard to recover from.
  2. There young hitters are not developing. One of the reasons I predicted the Diamondbacks would make the World Series is because I thought their young hitters would blossom this year. For whatever reason Bob Melvin is not getting through to these guys. Conor Jackson, Justin Upton, Chris Young and Stephen Drew should all be coming into their own and instead, none of them are batting higher than .227. I look at Jackson and I see a guy who should be a .300/25/100 guy. Instead he is a .275/15/75 guy. Puzzling to me.
  3. Not only are their young hitters not hitting, all of their hitters are not hitting. The Dbacks are 15th in the NL in runs scored (63), last in avg (.223) and 14th in OPS (.690).
  4. The Dbacks record is 7-11. Normally that wouldn’t be of concern only 18 games into the season. However, the Dbacks in April play 18 out of their 22 games at home. If the schedule makers are going to be that friendly to you in April, you better to get off to a fast start. If they are not going to win their games at home, how are they going to win on the road?
  5. Bob Melvin might be dead man walking. One of the more interesting prop bets is who will be the 1st manager to be fired? Well, if the Diamondbacks keep up their lackluster play it might be Melvin. I watched the recent series with the Giants and the Dbacks looked in a daze and uninspired. Not only that but their are 2 big strikes against Melvin. One, the Dbacks have regressed since Melvin led them to a 90-72 record and a division title in 2007 and two, the rise of Carlos Quentin is really a black eye for Melvin and his ability to develop young players.

Now the good news is the Diamondbacks play in the NL where mediocrity reigns supreme. If the Diamondbacks can hang on until Webb comes back, 88-90 wins should be good enough to win the Wild Card. Maybe the comeback win on Sunday will inspire the Diamondbacks? Maybe if Melvin gets fired the Diamondbacks will get inspired? But right now things aren’t looking good for the Diamondbacks.

Please not this article was written before last nights Cubs vs Diamondbacks game.

Fantasy Week In Review 4/20-4/26…

April 27, 2009

As the first month of the season closes, we should be getting a better feel for our fantasy teams and what our needs are. Do I need pitching? Do I need another bat? These are the questions we should start asking ourselves heading into May.

Here are the players who are hot, the players who are giving reasons for concern and some injury news for the week of 4/20-4/26.

Fantasy Studs

Ryan Braun – .565/3/8. Braun really hit the cover off the baseball this week and has officially started his push towards an MVP season.

Albert Pujols – .450/3/11. Single handily beat the Mets and Cubs in 1 week. Pujols was so dominate he even stole a couple of bases jsut for fun. You know that Dos Equis commercial where they feature the “Most Interesting Man In The World?” I think Pujols has an awkward moment on the baseball field just to see what it feels like.

Jay Bruce – .455/4/8. Bruce and Votto might make the best 1-2 punch in the NL in a couple of years.

Mike Lowell – .435/2/11. Some of the best moves are the ones you don’t make. Lowell has come back better than the Sox ever expected from hip surgery.

Carlos Beltran – .542/1/7. With Citi Field being bigger than Yellowstone, if Beltran keeps hitting linedrives he could lead the league in hitting.

Ross Ohlendorf – 2-0 with a 1.93 era and 7 K’s in 14 IP. Time to start giving some love to the Pirates. Ohlendorf pitched 7 quality innings against the Padres yesterday and has a 3.24 era for the season.

Rich Harden – 2-0 with a 3.00 era and 17 K’s in 12 IP. If only this guy could stay healthy he would be a Cy Young candidate every year. Right now he is just a 5 or 6 inning pitcher but if he keeps striking out more than a batter per inning he is worth starting on your fantasy team every time out.

Armando Galarraga – 1-0 with a 3.27 era and 11 K’s in 11 IP. Galarraga has really come into his own this year. With the improved Tigers D and O, Galarraga could win 15+ games this year.

Reasons for concern

David Wright – .240/2/8. 2 HR’s and 8 RBI isn’t bad for a week but Wright is striking out a ton. 2 things concern me about Wright.

Wright has me concerned

Wright has me concerned

  1. I am starting to wonder if the pressure is starting to get this guy. He looks so tight right now
  2. Wright’s power is to right field. With right field in Citi Field being a place where HR’s go to die (415 ft in some parts), I am concerned Wright’s power #’s will be down.

Mike Aviles – .111/1/1. Aviles came on the scene last year but it is starting to look like pitchers are starting to figure out Aviles who hasn’t seen a pitch he hasn’t liked all season.

Oliver Perez – 0-1 with an 11.00 era, 8 BB and 15 H in 9 IP. I am not going to sugar coat it…Perez stinks. He is a .500 pitcher in his career. I am still trying to figure out A. Why it is was a given he would resign with the Mets? and B. Why the Mets gave him a 3 year $36MM contract when nobody else was bidding on him? Perez might even be sent down to the minors so bench him or release him.

Jake Peavy – 0-2 with a 9.00 and 13 H in 11 IP. I know Peavy is perhaps the biggest advocate of the WBC and that is good for the game. However, it is not good for fantasy owners who suffer through the season after Peavy pitches in this event. The numbers don’t lie. In 2006 Peavy was 11-14 with a 4.09 era and so far this year Peavy is 2-3 with a 5.74 era.

Injury Updates

Brian McCann – Was placed on the 15 Day DL with blurred vision in his left eye. This is a big loss to the Braves and a big loss if McCann was on your fantasy team. The Braves have nobody worthy of picking up at the catcher position.

Stephen Drew – Placed on the 15 Day DL with a strained hamstring. Any time a top SS goes down with an injury it hurts your fantasy team because there are so few good hitting SS. Drew should be back in a couple of weeks. But this isn’t the worst news for the DiamondBacks…..

Brandon Webb – Webb will be shut down for 6 weeks. Ouch!! Webb is one of the best 10 pitchers in baseball so losing him hurts. Keep him stashed away on your fantasy and hopefully he can contribute in the 2nd half.

Chien-Ming Wang – Placed on the 15 Day DL. I told you this would happen last week and that Phil Hughes will replace Wang in the rotation. Hughes might get 2-3 starts so he is worth the pickup, especially in keeper leagues.

Jose Guillen – Activated from the 15 Day DL over the weekend. This move will move Teahan back to 3rd on a full time basis until Gordon comes back.

Trevor Hoffman – Activated from the 15 Day DL. He will start closing ASAP. Charlie Villanueva will moved back to a setup role.

Joe Mauer – The target date for Mauer was supposed to be May 1 but Mauer may come back this week. Mauer is a stud and should be put in your lineup as soon as he comes back.

Fantasy Week In Review 4/5-4/12

April 14, 2009

With the first week of the season in the books, it’s time to look at the players who have been fantasy studs, the players who you should look at to pick up and the players you should be concerned about.

Fantasy Studs

Evan Longoria – .481/5/10. Could he be headed toward an MVP season?

Miguel Cabrera – .467/3/10. It’s scary how much power Cabrera has.

Lind is off to a fast start

Lind is off to a fast start

Adam Lind – .400/3/12. If he is still available in your league than A. Your league is not very competitive and B. PICK HIM UP!!!

Troy Tulowitzki – .263/3/5/.440. Looks like last season was a fluke.

Roy Halladay – 2-0 3.86 era with 9 K’s in 14 IP. Nothing new from Halladay as the best pitcher in baseball continues to do his thing.

Josh Johnson – 2-0 0.57 era with 15 K’s in 15.2 IP. Might be the best pitcher on the best pitching staff in the NL East.

Aaron Harang – 1-1 0.64 era with 11 K in 14 IP. Pitched the very rare CGSO on Sunday.

Paul Maholm – 1-0 1.32 era with just 10 H in 13.2 IP. 2 starts, 2 quality starts. Only drawback is low K rate.

Reason for Concern

Cliff Lee – 0-2 9.90 era with 17 H and 10 K in 10 IP. A K per inning shows he still has his stuff but his location so far has been horrific.

Tim Lincecum – 0-1 7.56 era with 14 H, 6 BB, 10 K in 8.1 IP. What is concerning is the walks. 6 in 8.1 is not going to cut it. Like with Lee, it seems location is an issue. The 10 K’s in 8.1 IP is encouraging.

Brian Fuentes – 2 saves 12.00 era with 6 H in 3 IP. Already has blown 1 save and has looked shaky in his 2 other save opps. The Angels have other options so Fuentes might be on a short leash.

Hamels was rocked in Colorado

Hamels was rocked in Colorado

Cole Hamels – 0-1 17.18 era with 11 H in 3.2 IP. Hamels got rocked in Colorado. 260+ IP last year and elbow issues in spring training gives owners reason for concern.

Jason Motte – 0 saves 15.43 era with 7 H in 2.1 IP. Motte has had 2 save opps and has 0 saves. LaRussa has already given save opps to other relievers. Keep an eye on this situation. If Motte is not getting saves, he is not worth a roster spot.

Brandon Webb – 13.50 era and a trip to the DL. Webb visited Dr James Andrews. Never a good sign. As my friend Chad says, “Dr James Andrews = 2010.”

Jed Lowrie – .056/0/0. Lowrie is 1 for 18 so far this season. If he keeps this up, he will find himself on the bench when Lugo comes back.

Justin Upton – .000/0/0. I have no idea what Bob Melvin is trying to do to this kid? A 21 year old kid with all the talent in the world has only started 3 out of 6 games and when he does start he is batting 8th. This while Tony Clark and Eric Byrnes continue to get ab’s. Makes ZERO sense. Stick with Upton though. Either Melvin will get it or will be fired.

Potential Pick Ups

Emilio Bonifacio – .500/1/5 with 4 sb’s. The ultimate sleeper, Bonifacio tore up pitching in the first week. Look at my “Who is Emilio Bonifacio?” post for more on Bonifacio.

Adam Jones – .409/0/4 with 4 doubles and 7 runs. Tim Kurkjian loves him and that should be good enough for you to pick him up.

Nyjer Morgan – .423/0/5 with 3 sb’s and 5 runs. Juan Pierre Part 2. That means .270-.280 with 0 hr’s and 40-50 sb’s. If your league values sb’s, then Morgan is your guy.

Dexter Fowler – .385/2/3 1 sb in just 13 ab’s. I am confident in saying that Seth Smith is not the answer for the Rockies in LF. Look for the Rockies to move Spilborghs over to LF so Fowler can play in CF.

Brandon Inge – .269/4/7/.441. Inge qualifies as a catcher, which makes him a valuable player this year. If he keeps up this HR pace, he will be even more valuable.

Erik Bedard – 1-0 2.03 era with 15 K’s in 13.1 IP. My “Key” to the Mariners is off to a good start. If he can stay healthy, then he is a nice pitcher to have in any fantasy format.

Predicting The Cy Young Winners…

March 30, 2009

With the season just 1 week away, it’s time to kick off Prediction Week here at The Ghost of Moonlight Graham. Monday through Friday of this week, I will make my predictions for the Cy Young, ROY, MVP, Comeback Player of the Year, Division Winners, Wild Card and of course the World Series champion.

Here is the schedule for predictions

Monday – AL & NL Cy Young Award

Tuesday – AL & NL Rookie of the Year

Wednesday – AL & NL Comeback Player of the Year

Thursday – AL & NL MVP

Friday – Division Winners, Wild Card, PLayoff & World Series Champion

Since today is Monday, let’s kick off Prediction Week by predicting the NL & AL Cy Young Award winners.

NL Cy Young

Contenders – Johan Santana, Cole Hamels, Brandon Webb, Chad Billingsley, Tim Lincecum

NL Cy Young Award – Cole Hamels

NL Cy Young winner?

NL Cy Young winner?

Why – It was a tough decision between Santana and Hamels but I think Hamels win the Cy Young for a couple of reasons:

1. Hamels got better as the season went on last year (2.98 2nd half era) and I think he carries that over to this season.

2. Hamels only had 14 wins in 08  but wth the Philles expected to be the favorites in the NL East again, I expect his wins to increase.

And no, I am not concerned about Hamels elbow. He threw 45 pitches on the 26th and reported no problems. He was scheduled to pitch in a minor league game on Sunday but that got rained out.

AL Cy Young

Contenders – Josh Beckett, CC Sabathia, Zack Greinke, Roy Halladay, Scott Baker

AL Cy Young Award – Zack Greinke

Why – About 3 weeks ago I was talking to my buddy Tom and I mentioned that I thought that Greinke would win the Cy Young. In a snickering response he said “put that in your blog.” Ok, I will. Zach Greinke will win the AL Cy Young.

Now in Peter Gammons’ blog he mentioned that one AL GM think Greinke will win the Cy Young as well. I hope it wasn’t Royals GM, Dayton Moore playing favorites. Even though this GM stole a little bit of my thunder, here is why I like Greinke this year:

1. He is only 25 and entering the prime of his career

2. His K/9 rate in the second half was 9.3 which means he got better as the season went on.

3. He won 13 games last year on a 75 win team. The Royals should be much improved in 2009, which will enable Greinke to get more opportunities for wins.