Posts Tagged ‘Brian Wilson’

Fantasy Week In Review, 6/1-6/7…

June 8, 2009

Is this baseball season flying by, or is it just me? I can’t believe we are already in the second week of June. It seems like yesterday that I was talking spring training.

It was a really interesting fantasy week this past week. We saw some top prospects get the call up, we saw some great performances by some surprising players and we saw the best pitcher in the game do his thing.

As always, here are the fantasy studs, the players who have me concerned and some potential pickups from the week of 6/1-6/7.

Fantasy Studs

Ian Stewart – .480/4/12. Stewart should be playing everyday. It’s starting to look like that may be the case.

Carlos Lee – .407/2/9. One of the more consistent run producers in baseball, who never gets noticed.

Matt Holliday – .417/2/9/.517. Holliday is starting to heat up. This is helping his trade value come July 31st.

Lyle Overbay – .533/2/8/.632. A great week for Overbay, who has had a relatively disappointing season.

Roy Halladay – Two starts, two wins, two complete games, 2.00 ERA. To good.

Erik Bedard – 2-0 with a 2.38 ERA and 11 K’s in 11 IP. Bedard has reverted back to his 2006 & 2007 form (28-16 with a 3.46 ERA). If Bedard keeps this up, he will get himself a nice payday in the offseason.

Vin Mazzaro – 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 13.2 IP. Mazzaro hasn’t allowed a run in his first two major league starts. That is pretty impressive.

Brian Wilson – Three saves, six K’s and a 0.00 ERA in 3.1 IP. I don’t like Wilson’s four walks in 3.1 innings, but other than that he was rock solid this week.

Reasons for Concern

Fausto Carmona – On Monday of last week, I wrote that I was surprised the Indians were continuing to start Carmona. On Friday of last week, the Indians woke up and decided not to send Carmona to the mound anymore. In fact, they sent him all the way down to the Arizona Rookie League.

I am guessing Carmona won’t be back with the Indians any time soon. Therefore, you should drop Carmona from your fantasy team.

Daisuke Matsuzaka – 1-1 with a 5.06 ERA and gave up 16 hits in 10.2 IP. I am not interested in hearing how he only gave up one run against the Tigers. He was terrible and he was equally as terrible on Sunday against the Rangers.

My buddy Odie and I believe Dice-K might be toast this year. He went all out for the WBC and it looks like it might come back to haunt the Red Sox during the regular season.

Manny Parra – 0-1 with a 13.97 ERA and gave up 19 hits in 9.2 IP. Parra is now 3-7 with a 6.86 ERA this year. Hitters are batting .300 against him and he has walked 38 batters in 63 innings. That is way to many baserunners.

There is talk of sending Parra down, so keep an eye on him in his next couple of starts. If he doesn’t pitch well, then it might be adios for him with the Brewers.

Alex Rios – .176/1/2. Wasn’t this guy supposed to be a great player? He has never hit more than 24 HR’s, never had more than 85 RBI and has never hit higher than .302 in any season in the major leagues. That is remarkably average.

Rios desperately needs a change of scenery and after this ugly incident with a fan, he might get that change of scenery. If you are at work, you might want to have the volume on your computer on low to watch this video.

Potential Pickups

Antonio Bastardo – 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his first two major league starts. Bastardo has filled in nicely for the injured Brett Myers. As long as he keeps pitching like the way he has, he will continue to start in Philly.

CJ Wilson – Current closer, Frank Francisco might need another trip to the DL in order to get him healthy. If that is the case, CJ Wilson would be first in line to get some saves.

Ricky Nolasco – If the person in your league who had Nolasco was stupid enough to drop him when he was sent down to the minors, pick him up. Despite getting the loss, Nolasco dodged enough bullets (he did give up 10 hits in seven innings) and pitched well against the Giants yesterday.

I think Nolasco has figured things out and should pitch much better than he did in April and May from here on out.

Advertisements

Diamondbacks vs Giants…

April 20, 2009

With the news that Randy Johnson is working on a 3rd no-hitter, I thought I would jump in and do a live blog of the Big Unit’s attempt at making history yet again. We pick up the game with the Giants leading 1-0 in the top of the 7th inning.

Game – Diamondbacks vs Giants

Date – 4/19/09

Starting Lineups

Diamondbacks

1. Ojeda, SS

2. Byrnes, LF

3. Lopez, 2B

4. T. Clark, 1B

5. C. Young, CF

6. J. Upton, RF

7. Roberts, 3B

8. Snyder, C

9. Scherzer, P

Giants

1. Lewis, LF

2. Burriss, 2B

3. Winn, RF

4. Molina, C

5. Rowand, CF

6. Sandoval, 3B

7. Ishikawa, 1B

8. Renteria, SS

9. Johnson, P

Top 7th

So we pick up the game in the top of the 7th. Johnson has thrown 65 pitches threw 6.

Can you freakin believe this?? The first pitch Johnson throws to Augie Ojeda, Ojeda hits a double down the left field line. Unreal, talk about a jinx.

Byrnes lays down a beautiful bunt down the third base line but Sandoval is there to throw him out. The bunt moves Ojeda to third.

With the infield playing in, Lopez hits a sharp grounder to Renteria. Renteria holds the runner a 3B and gets the out at first.

After falling behind 2-0, Johnson throws 3 wicked sliders to Clark and strikes him out.

I really can’t believe as soon as I start to cover this game, Johnson loses the no-hitter.

Johnson was going for no-hitter #3 on Sunday

Johnson was going for no-hitter #3 on Sunday

Bottom 7th

Fred Lewis goes down on strikes. Giants still lead 1-0. I feel every game they have is either 2-1 or 1-0. I guess that should be expected when your cleanup hitter is Bengie Molina and your home ballpark has a CF fence that is 600 ft away from home plate.

Burriss lines out to right, 2 outs. That brings up Randy Winn. I have always liked Winn, one of the more underrated players in the game. I am on point today because just as I write this, Winn whiffs on 3 pitches.

I am definitely not playing the Lotto today.

After 7, it is still 1-0 Giants

Top 8th

I just flipped on the Royals vs Rangers game and Kyle Farnsworth blows another one for the Royals. Someone should just punch Trey Hillman in the face when he says “warm up Farnsworth.”

Bobby Howry in to replace the Big Unit. The Dbacks must be thrilled that Johnson is out of the game. 7 innings, 1 hit and 7 K’s for Johnson. Not a bad day at the office

Chris Young pops up to Renteria at short. 1 out

Howry just threw a wicked slider to Upton, 1-2. Upton works the count to 3-2. They just showed a panoramic view of AT&T Park. Man, is that stadium beautiful. Upton whiffs on a 3-2 fastball on the outside corner. 2 outs.

Chad Tracy comes to the plate as a pinch hitter for the pitcher Rodriguez. Tracy pops up to 3rd to end the inning.

3 up, 3 down and we head to the bottom of the 8th with the Giants still leading 1-0.

Bottom 8th

Jon Rauch is in to the game for the Dbacks and is promptly greeting by a Molina single to left.

2 batters faced by Rauch, 2 singles as Rowand singles to left. Bob Melvin makes the signal to the pen to bring in the lefty Schoeneweiss. Every Mets is laughing right now.

Up comes Pablo Sandoval and he comes to the plate with “Shipping up to Boston” playing in the background. Huh? Sandoval rips a single to left. Bases loaded with nobody out. 3 batters and 3 singles to left.

Bob Melvin out again to make another pitching change. Shocker games last 3 and a half hours now a days.

Tony Pena comes into the game. Kind of begs the question why didn’t Pena start the inning?

Aurillia who was pinch hitting for Ishikawa hits into a 6-4-3 double play. Molina scores and makes it 2-0. That ball was hit hard enough where Ojeda, even though he was playing back,  could have gotten Molina at home.

Well Pena does his job as Renteria grounds out to Ojeda to end the inning.

But the Giants do add a run to make 2-0 heading into the 9th inning.

Top 9th

Brian Wilson is on to close the game for the Giants. This is Wilson’s 3rd game in a row so it wouldn’t shock me if Wilson wasn’t sharp today.

Wilson strikes out Snyder and a great fastball on the inside corner. Nothing Snyder could do there, just a perfect pitch.

Mark Reynolds flies out weakly to right. 2 outs

Ojeda grounds to SS to end the game. Well, Wilson was anything but not sharp. He just mowed down the dbacks hitters in the 9th.

So the Giants win 2-0 and improve to 4-8 and the Diamondbacks fall to 4-8. But the story of the game was Randy Johnson and his attempt at a 3rd no-hitter. Johnson pitched 6 innings of no-hit baseball but gave up a hit to Ojeda in the 7th. Johnson settles for the win and this is win #296 in the career of Randy Johnson.

Looking At Fantasy Closers In 2009…

January 29, 2009

I have always considered closers like kickers in the NFL. There are 5 or 6 great ones, some very good ones, some good ones and then there are ones I wouldn’t draft for my worst enemy. By using this theory, I have ranked all 30 current closers into different divisions. The guys who you should definitely take and the guys you shouldn’t.  Let’s take a look were the current crop of closers will fall in 2009.

Dennis Eckersley Division

These are your cream-of-the-crop, top closers headed into 2009. These guys are #1 closer material in any fantasy league

1. Francisco Rodriguez, Mets – Krod, who broke Bobby Thigpen’s record for saves with 62 in 2008 with the Angels will now attempt to close out games in Flushing. While many people point to Krod’s diminished strike out rate (declined every year since 04) and his rising BAA (increased every year in the majors), it’s not like Krod had 62 saves with a 4.50 era. Krod’s era was still a dominant 2.24. With the Mets offering their closers plenty of save opportunities (72 in 08), Krod figures to close 45-50 games in 09.

2. Mariano Rivera, Yankees – Many thought the 2007 was the beginning of the decline for the great Rivera because of a 3.15 era (highest since he became a reliever). 2008 proved that was anything but the case. The 39 year old had one of the best seasons of his career, netting 39 saves with a paultry 1.40 era. If all is well from off-season shoulder surgery, Rivera once again will be one of the top closers in 2009.

3. Joe Nathan, Twins – Nathan, one of the most consistent closers in baseball had another stellar year in 2008 with 39 saves anda 1.33 era. You can pretty much pencil in the Stony Brook product 35-40 saves with an era under 2.

4. Joakim Soria, Royals – “The Mexecutioner” burst onto the scene in 2009 for Royals posting 42 saves with a nice 1.60 era. The 24 year old has been practically unhittable since reaching the majors in 2007 as he has only given up 85 hits in 136.1 innings. Soria should be a top 5 fantasy closer again in 2009

5. Brad Lidge, Phillies – Lidge had a season for the ages in 2008, going a perfect 41/41 in save opportunities. While I don’t expect Lidge to be perfect again in 2009, he should once again be one of the top closers in baseball as the Phillies figure to contend in the NL East.

6. Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox –The Red Sox closer set a career high in saves in 2008 with 41. Fantasy owners only concern with Papelbon would be he threw a career high 79.1 innings last year including the post season. Look to see what Papelbon does in April. If he is strong through April, then a typical Papelbon season is in order

Tom Henke Division

The next 4 are right under the great closers but will still put up solid numbers for you in 2009

7. Jose Valverde, Astros – Finished 2nd in baseball in saves with 44, high era of 3.38 but lots of K’s with 83

8. Jonathan Broxton, Dodgers –With Saito off to Boston, Broxton takes over as the full-time closer in LA. 35-40 saves with 80+ K’s is more than doable in 2009

9. Francisco Cordero, Reds –With the Reds improved in 2009, Cordero might reach the 40 save mark. Something Cordero has done twice before. Unfortunately, Cordero’s usually high era will leave him out of the top 6

10. Kerry Wood, Indians – One of the better season signings in baseball, Wood gives something Cleveland hasn’t had in a very long time….A LEGIT CLOSER. There is always an injury risk when picking Wood but if healthy Wood is certainly a top 10 closer. I like 35+ saves for Wood in 2009

Jeff Montgomery Division

The perfect #2 fantasy closer. These next 5 guys are perfect #2 closers

11. Bobby Jenks, White Sox – How does a guy who throws 98 mph only strike out 5.55 guys every 9 innings? Just doesn’t make sense.

12. BJ Ryan, Blue Jays – Ryan isn’t the strike out pitcher he used to be but he still knows how to save a game. Pencil in 30+ saves again for Ryan in 2009.

13. Huston Street, Rockies –I am on the Huston Street bandwagon this year. A fresh start with the Rockies and this being an odd year, Street should have a nice bounce back year. Street, like Bret Saberhagen pitches very well in odd years

14. Brad Ziegler, A’s – Ziegler burst onto the scene last year by starting off his career with a 39 inning scoreless streak. I expect Ziegler’s era to increase from 1.06 to around the high 2 mark in 09. With the A’s very much improved expect Ziegler to register 25-30 saves

15. Brian Fuentes, Angels –I am not sold on Fuentes as most people are. He lost his closers role in 07 only to gain in back in 08. With Shields and Arredando looking over Fuentes’ shoulder it will be interestingto see how Fuentes fairs. The Angels offer a lot of opportunities for saves so 30+ saves with an era in the high 2’s is not out of the question

Armando Benitez Division

These guys can get you saves but when you need them the most they will blow a big one in September

16. Brian Wilson, Giants – 41 saves, 4.65 era in 2008

17. Trevor Hoffman, Brewers – It will be weird to see Hoffman in a Brewers uniform. At this stage of his career Hoffman will get his saves, perhaps 25-30 with an era of around 4.50

18. Matt Capps, Pirates – Good for 15-25 saves on once again a very bad Pirates team

19. Mike Gonzalez, Braves – Had 14 saves in 36 games in 2008. High era of 4.28. Injury always a concern with Gonzalez

20. George Sherrill, Orioles –1st time closer in 2008, Sherrill had 31 saves before an injury ended his season. Lots of hits and a high era is something to be wary of in 2009

Al Reyes Division

These closers are usually 8th inning set-up types that are forced into the closers role because the team has no one else. These are the guys you only draft if you desperately need to fill a closers spot

21. Brandon Lyon, Tigers

22. Dan Wheeler, Rays

23. Chad Qualls, Diamondbacks

24. Heath Bell, Padres

25. Ryan Franklin, Cardinals

26. Joel Hanrahan, Nationals

27. CJ Wilson, Rangers

28. Tyler Walker, Mariners – With the Heilman trade yesterday, it looks like Walker might get the 1st shot at the closers role. Officially the worst closer in baseball headed into 2009.

Octavio Dotel Division

These are the 2 question marks going into the season. Great as 8th inning set up guys but are now asked to close games. Big difference between the 8th and 9th innings. These guys can either be in the Tom Henke division or the Armando Benitez division

?. Carlos Marmol, Cubs – Only 3 other relievers were in more games than Marmol was in 2008. Will the over use of last year come back to bite the Cubs this year? I am not sure if Marmol has the mental make up to be a closer, especially in Wrigleyville. I will go with 33 saves, an era in the low 3’s and a lot of tums for Sweet Lou

?. Matt Lindstrom, Marlins – As I wrote in my post about the Marlins, Lindstrom is the X factor for the team in 2009. I like Lindstrom more than Marmol because of less pressure in Florida and Lindstrom proved he can do the job by going 5-5 in September. I like 25 saves and an era in the mid 2’s for Lindstrom

Norm Charlton Division

Top set up guys who are waiting in the wings and could fill in adequately if something happened to the current closer

1. Kevin Gregg, Cubs

2. Scot Shields, Angels

3. JJ Putz, Mets

4. Ryan Madsen, Phillies

5. Grant Balfour, Rays

Mark Davis 1989 Division

This is for the one guy who I will think have that ridiculous year, seemingly out of nowhere. Good the year before and this year explodes on the scene

Jonathan Broxton, Dodgers –As I mentioned earlier, I really like Broxton this year. The Dodgers offered their closers 55 save opportunities last year, so racking up saves shouldn’t be a problem for this 24 year old. Playing in the NL West, the worst division in baseball should help Broxton dominate in 2009