Posts Tagged ‘David Ortiz’

Starting Nine: American League East

January 11, 2010

I was rummaging through some articles last week and I came across a piece by Morgan Campbell of the Toronto Star. He gave an early look at what the Toronto Blue Jays’ starting lineup might look like in 2010.

That piece got me thinking. With all the moves that happen during the free agency period it’s hard for a casual fan to keep up with their favorite team. Why not take an early look at each lineup in baseball as presently constructed?

So what I will do give each team’s starting lineup by division for the next six days. Obviously this will change as the offseason progresses, so I will do an update to these posts as the season approaches.

We will start in the American League and with the best division in baseball, the American League East.

New York Yankees

1. Derek Jeter, SS

2. Nick Johnson, DH

3. Mark Teixeira, 1B

4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B

5. Jorge Posada, C

6. Robinson Cano, 2B

7. Curtis Granderson, CF

8. Nick Swisher, RF

9. Brett Gardner, LF

Quick Take – Best and deepest lineup in baseball. Could made even better if Johnny Damon accepts a one-year deal to play left. Cano and Posada could flip-flop between fifth and sixth in the order.

Boston Red Sox

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, LF

2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B

3. Victor Martinez, C

4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B

5. David Ortiz, DH

6. Adrian Beltre, 3B

7. Mike Cameron, CF

8. J.D. Drew, RF

9. Marco Scutaro, SS

Quick Take – Not a classic Red Sox lineup. Not a lot of high OBP guys and nobody jumps out and scares you. Terry Francona is loyal to Ortiz, so he bats fifth ahead of Beltre in the lineup.

Tampa Bay Rays

1. B.J. Upton, CF

2. Carl Crawford, LF

3. Evan Longoria, 3B

4. Ben Zobrist, 2B

5. Carlos Pena, 1B

6. Pat Burrell, DH

7. Kelly Shoppach, C

8. Gabe Kapler, RF

9. Jason Bartlett, SS

Quick Take – This lineup will go from very good to great if Upton and Burrell come back strong in 2010. Kapler will find himself in a platoon situation with Matt Joyce to start the season.

Baltimore Orioles

1. Brian Roberts, 2B

2. Nick Markakis, RF

3. Adam Jones, CF

4. Luke Scott, DH

5. Nolan Reimold, LF

6. Matt Wieters, C

7. Ty Wigginton, 1B

8. Garrett Atkins, 3B

9. Cesar Izturis, SS

Quick Take – First four in this lineup is very good, but after that, this lineup gets very weak. Orioles are still looking for a first baseman, so don’t expect Wigginton to be a starter for too much longer.

Toronto Blue Jays

1. Jose Bautista, RF

2. Lyle Overbay, 1B

3. Aaron Hill, 2B

4. Adam Lind, DH

5. Vernon Wells, CF

6. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B

7. Travis Snider, LF

8. Alex Gonzalez, SS

9. John Buck, C

Quick Take – My lineup is a little different than Campbell’s as I have Overbay hitting in the two-hole. This lineup has the potential to be good, but Gonzalez and Buck represent too many automatic outs to be really dynamic.

Tomorrow, I will cover the American League Central.

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

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Angels Take Game Two Behind Weaver Gem

October 10, 2009

“It’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall time.”

That was the text my buddy Odie sent me when Erick Aybar tripled home two runs in the seventh inning off of Josh Beckett to make the score 4-1 the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

It’s gotten to that point for Boston Red Sox fans where they have no faith the Red Sox can overcome a three-run deficit. That is how bad the Red Sox offense has been through the first two games of the ALDS.

The Red Sox offense was shutdown again in a 4-1 loss to the Angels last night in Game Two of their American League Division Series. The Angels now have a commanding 2-0 lead in the series.

Weaver tossed a gem last night

Weaver tossed a gem last night

That’s two games and one run for the Red Sox offense.

The story of this game for the Angels was starter Jered Weaver. Weaver gave up just two hits, one run, and struckout seven in seven-and-one-third innings.

Weaver did a great job of mixing up his pitches all night. He kept the Red Sox hitters off balance and then making them swing at his pitches. Outside of  Jaboby Ellsbury’s triple and Victor Martinez’s single to drive him home, the Red Sox didn’t hit a ball hard off Weaver all night.

Darren Oliver, Kevin Jepsen, and Brian Fuentes pitched the final inning-and-two-thirds to close out the game.

As for the Red Sox, I think we are starting to see an alarming trend. The trend being that the Red Sox can’t hit good pitching. We saw it last year in the ALCS against the Tampa Bay Rays and now we are seeing it this year against the Angels.

Theo Epstein has put together a very good lineup, but not a dynamic lineup. From 2003-July of 2008, the Red Sox had a dynamic lineup. Mainly because they had two guys in the middle who could hit good pitching–Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz.

When you have two guys who can hit any type of pitching, it just makes your whole lineup better and makes your lineup very intimidating. Essentially they had what the New York Yankees have now with Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez.

The Red Sox have two games to get their act together. If there is any team that can come back from a 2-0 series deficit in a best-of-five series, it’s the Red Sox. Remember, they did it in 1999 against the Cleveland Indians and again in 2003 against the Oakland A’s.

However, it’s going to be tough. The Angels are flying high right now and most importantly, they believe they can beat the Red Sox.

Game Three is Sunday at 12:07 ET.

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

Fantasy Week In Review, September 21-27

September 28, 2009

This is it kids — the final week in the regular season and of course, the final week in fantasy baseball. For those of you playing for your league championship this week, good luck.

Here were the fantasy studs and the potential pickups from the fantasy week that was September 21-27.

Fantasy Studs

Ryan Howard: .375/2/14. It seems that the big man always heats up down the stretch. A hot Howard spells trouble for opposing teams in the playoffs.

Ortiz has bounced back from a slow start

Ortiz has bounced back from a slow start

Marlon Byrd: .320/3/11/.433. Byrd is having the best year of his career and is a free agent at the end of this season — convenient.

David Ortiz: .280/3/10/.419. Despite everything Ortiz has been through this season, he still has 27 homeruns and 94 RBI on the season.

Alex Rodriguez: .350/3/8 with three SB’s. Rodriguez and Ortiz on the same list. It’s like a PED festival here at The Ghost of Moonlight Graham.

Joey Votto: .560/1/8. Votto had 11 runs scored and 10 doubles last week. In five years he will be on the ballot for entry into the Paul Molitor Hall of Fame for players if they played in New York, Boston, or Los Angeles would be superstars.

Adrian Gonzalez: .321/2/8/.441. Six months into the season and still haven’t figured out why opposing teams pitch to him.

Zack Greinke: 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA and 13 K’s in 13 IP. Hasn’t Greinke been on this list every week? If you have a vote and don’t vote for him for the Cy Young, you should have your voting privileges revoked.

Joe Blanton: 2-0 with a 3.55 ERA and 13 K’s in 12.2 IP. Blanton has quietly been the Philadelphia Phillies most consistent pitcher this year.

Tom Gorzelanny: 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 16 K’s in 12 IP. Gorzelanny is going his best to win a spot in the Chicago Cubs’ rotation in 2010. Remember, he did win 14 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2007.

Gorzelanny could be a nice sleeper in 2010.

Rafael Soriano: Three saves with a 0.00 ERA and six K’s in 3.1 IP. Soriano had 16 career saves coming into 2009. In 2009, Soriano has 27 saves and has the highest K/9 rate of his career (11.9/9).

Potential Pickups

Paul Bako: Need a catcher for the last week? Take a look at Paul Bako (something I never thought I would write). He hit .381/1/3 last week in 21 AB’s.

Ronnie Belliard: Belliard is getting regular playing time in Los Angeles. Last week he hit .409/1/3 with seven runs scored.

Jay Bruce: For those of you who dropped Bruce after his injury — shame on you. Bruce has keeper potential and has turned it on as of late.

Bruce hit .500/2/7/.611 last week in 14 AB’s.

One last thing. If you are looking for a New York Yankees Ipod protective case, or a Boston Red Sox cell phone holder, or even a Los Angeles Dodgers Blackberry case — check out Accessorygeeks.com.

Good site with a ton of inventory. They have cell phones, cell phone accessories, Ipod accessories, headsets, and more.

Fantasy Week In Review, August 17-23

August 24, 2009

Lot’s of big news in the world of fantasy baseball last week. A couple of potential Keeper League players were called up, there is a new closer in Chicago (about time), and everyone’s preseason man crush will be returning in Texas.

Here are the fantasy studs, the players who have had their fantasy value fall, and the potential pickups for the fantasy week that was August 17 – 23.

Fantasy Studs

Brian Roberts – .379/4/8/.471 with three SB’s. Roberts had a MONSTER week last week. Roberts remains one of the top fantasy second basemen in the game today.

David Ortiz – .400/3/10/.500. Ortiz was hitting the ball so hard last week that he had AJ Burnett talking to himself on the mound.

Hideki Matsui – .261/4/10. Matsui won’t give you average at this point in his career, but he will still hit the long ball and can drive in runs.

Jayson Werth – .440/5/9. Werth is starting to heat up again. When Werth is hot, he brings the Philadelphia Phillies’ lineup to a whole other level.

Adam LaRoche – .419/4/9. One of the most notorious second-half hitters in the game today, LaRoche’s 2009 is no different.

Your 2009 NL Cy Young winner?

Your 2009 NL Cy Young winner?

I still haven’t figured out the Adam LaRoche for Casey Kotchman trade for the Boston Red Sox.

Chris Carpenter – 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA and 14 K’s in 15 IP. Carpenter is making a serious run at the Cy Young award and I think if the season ended today, he just might win it.

Ubaldo Jimenez – 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 14 K’s in 16 IP. Jimenez outdueled Tim Lincecum yesterday and is clearly the Colorado Rockies’ ace heading down the stretch.

Jose Valverde – Four saves with a 0.00 ERA and six K’s in four IP. Valverde is making up for the time he missed in the first-half because of a calf injury.

Reasons for Concern

Francisco Liriano – Placed on the 15-day DL because of “left arm fatigue.” I put left arm fatigue in quotes because I just think the Minnesota Twins needed an excuse not to start him.

Liriano is 5-12 with a 5.80 ERA this season and has been one of the main reasons why the Twins are not where they are supposed to be in the AL Central.

Liriano hasn’t been the same since he had Tommy John surgery and has limited fantasy value until he can prove he can pitch effectively on a game to game basis.

Johnny Cueto – Placed on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation. Cueto was terrible in his last eight starts before winding up on the DL.

Cueto was 0-6 with a Tim Stoddard-like ERA of 10.63. This is the second year in a row that Cueto has broken down in the second half.  This is something to consider when drafted Cueto next year.

Kevin Gregg – Who in the Chicago Cubs’ front office thought it was a good idea to make Kevin Gregg their closer? I thought this would be a disaster from the beginning.

After melting down in San Diego last week (Florida Marlin fans are all too familiar with this), the Cubs have removed Gregg from his closer duties.

Gregg has zero fantasy value going forward.

Potential Pickups

Matt LaPorta – LaPorta was called up for a second time by the Cleveland Indians last week and unlike the first time LaPorta got the call, he is actually playing.

LaPorta hit .333 in four games for the Indians last week. LaPorta has a ton of Keeper League potential, so picking him up now might pay off in the future.

Drew Stubbs – If you are looking for stolen bases, Stubbs might be your guy. Another player with Keeper League potential, Stubbs had 46 SB’s in Triple-A before being called up to the Cincinnati Reds.

He projects to be the Reds’ starting centerfielder for the future.

Carlos Marmol – Thanks to Kevin Gregg’s now annual August meltdown, Marmol takes over as the closer for the Cubs.

Marmol is a little too shaky for my liking, but he should be able to pick up a couple of saves down the stretch.

Back but better than ever?

Back but better than ever?

Chris Davis – After hitting .335 with six HR’s for the Oklahoma City Redhawks, Davis is expected to be called back up to the Texas Rangers this week.

The Rangers have tweaked Davis’ batting stance and now think his early season struggles are behind him. Davis is not guaranteed to start, but could potentially take AB’s away from Hank Blalock.

Fantasy Week In Review, August 3-9…

August 10, 2009

We are getting down to the “nitty gritty” as the late, great Gorilla Monsoon used to say. We are right in the middle of the dog days of August and there is only about a month and a half left in baseball’s regular season and fantasy season.

Even if you feel you might be out of it, there is still some time to make some moves and make one last push. As always, here were the fantasy studs, the players who were a little off last week and some potential pickups from the week of August 3 -9…

Reynolds has been mashing lately

Reynolds has been mashing lately

Fantasy Studs

Mark Reynolds: .448/6/10. Is anyone realizing the year Reynolds is having? If the Arizona Diamondbacks weren’t so terrible, he would be getting MVP consideration.

Elijah Dukes: .348/1/11. Hopefully Dukes has gotten it together. It would be a big boost to the Washington Nationals if he did.

Adam Dunn: .375/4/9/.483. If the Nationals were smart, they would trade Dunn in the offseason and get some solid value for him. Are you listening Dayton Moore?

Billy Butler: .538/2/10. It has taken Butler longer to develop than the Kansas City Royals had hoped, but he has taken massive steps forward this season.

Carl Pavano: 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA and 10 K’s in 15 IP. Gets traded from the Cleveland Indians to the Minnesota Twins and then goes out and throws a gem for the Twins on Sat. Every Yankee fan just choked on their coffee.

Cliff Lee: 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA and 13 K’s in 14 IP. I think every pitcher should pitch in the NL just once so they can see how much of a difference it is.

Clayton Richard: 2-0 with a 2.63 ERA and eight K’s in 13.2 IP. I had Richard as a potential pickup last week and he has done nothing to disappoint since. This guy will be a good pitcher in San Diego.

Mike MacDougal: Four Saves with a 0.00 ERA and three K’s in Four IP. That’s three fantasy studs for the Washington Nationals last week for those of you scoring at home.

Reasons for Concern

David Ortiz: .056/0/0. Ortiz has one hit in his last 18 AB’s. Ortiz had a brief spurt in June where he batted .320 with a .409 OBP, but other than that he has been terrible this year.

With his age (33) and with the steroid allegations weighing on his mind, you have to wonder if Ortiz will have anything left for the last month and a half of the season.

BJ Upton/Justin Upton. It was a bad week for the brothers’ Upton last week. First, Justin Upton landed on the 15-day DL with a right oblique strain and then older brother BJ was dropped to ninth in the order. I am not worried about Justin so much as I am with BJ.

BJ Upton called the move to ninth a “kick in the face.” Really BJ? Last time I checked you were batting .239 with a .314 OBP. Let me know what you have done this year to deserve to stay in the leadoff spot.

Unless he goes off on a tear, I am going to consider this a lost season for Bossman Junior. If you have BJ Upton in a Keeper League format, hold on to him as he could be in line for a huge bounce back season next year.

Aaron Cook: Cook will miss his start next start on Tuesday because of what he is calling turf toe. How on earth does a pitcher get turf toe?

He is scheduled to start on Saturday, but keep an eye on this. Remember, turf toe ended Dion Sanders’ career.

Holland threw a CGSO yesterday

Holland threw a CGSO yesterday

Potential Pickups

Derek Holland: I said from day-one that Holland reminds me of Steve Avery. The good Steve Avery on the Atlanta Braves, not the bad one on the Boston Red Sox.

Yesterday, Holland tossed the very rare complete game shutout against a tough Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim lineup. If you are in a Keeper League, he is definitely worth picking up.

I think he will be a good one.

Softball Update

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, The Ghost of Moonlight Graham was going to donate $50 to the V Foundation for Cancer Research for every homerun hit during the fifth annual Ocean Beach Softball Tournament was taking place in Ocean Beach, NY.

With the tourament concluding yesterday, I am proud to say that we raised $2,100 for cancer research. There were 42 HR’s hit in the tournament including six by tournament MVP Eric Samulski (1B/OF Trinity University, 2003-2007) and Matt Manewal (P Yale University, 1996-2000).

I chipped in with three big flies (all grand slams by the way) in five games.

Thanks to everyone who played this year and we are already looking forward to next year’s tournament and raising even more money for the V Foundation.

Ten Things We Learned In June…

July 1, 2009

Can you believe it is July 1st already? Maybe I don’t think it is the middle of summer because it rained almost every freakin’ day in the northeast in June. What a terrible month for weather.

Despite the bad weather, there was still plenty of good baseball that was played. The month of June usually separates the pretenders from the contenders, and this year was no different.

Here are the top 10 things we learned about baseball during the month of June…

10. The MLB Draft goes mainstream. For the first time, the MLB draft was on TV and on in prime time on the MLB Network. This was a good job by baseball realizing the increased importance of the draft, and fans should get insight on who their team is drafting.

To nobodies surprise, the Washington Nationals made San Diego State RHP Stephen Strasburg the No. 1 pick in the draft. Strasburg is probably the most hyped draft pick in the history of the draft and if you are a Nationals fan (all 100 of you), you better pray this guy is worth every dime he is going to get.

Speaking of rookies and the draft…

9. Tommy Hanson is good. Tommy Hanson made his debut for the Atlanta Braves on June 7th and since then he has gone 4-0 with a 2.48 ERA in five starts.

While his walk to strike out ratio isn’t the greatest in the world (17 walks to 18 K’s), he has wiggled out of trouble, kept his composure, and looks to be the real deal for the Atlanta Braves.

Speaking of the Braves…

8. The trade winds are a blowin’. The Atlanta Braves fired the first shot of the season by trading three prospects for the Pittsburgh Pirates’ All-Star CF Nate McLouth.

The Pittsburgh Pirates were very busy in the month of June. Besides trading Nate McLouth, they traded Eric Hinske to the New York Yankees, and traded Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett for Lastings Milledge and Joel Hanrahan.

The Pirates weren’t the only NL Central team that was busy. The St. Louis Cardinals acquired perhaps the most versitle player on the market – Mark DeRosa from the Cleveland Indians.

Not only does DeRosa give the Cardinals someone to protect Albert Pujols in the lineup, but they also prevent DeRosa from being traded to his former team, the Chicago Cubs.

While on the subject of the Cubs…

7. Even All-Stars can be benched. The Chicago Cubs benched Milton Bradley, the Philadelphia Phillies benched Jimmy Rollins, and the Detroit Tigers sat down Magglio Ordonez. Kind of a rough month for these former All-Stars.

Did someone say something about former All-Stars being benched?

6. The demise of David Ortiz was premature. David Ortiz hit just .143 in May and everyone thought the Red Sox needed to trade for his replacement. Not so fast.

“Big Papi” wasn’t going down without a fight and Ortiz had a tremendous month of June. Ortiz hit .320 with seven HR’s, 18 RBI, and had a .409 OBP.

Let’s see if Ortiz can keep up the hot streak in July. Staying in the AL East…

5. The AL East is the best division in baseball. The Red Sox ended June with the best record in the AL, the Yankees have won five in a row and the Tampa Bay Rays have the best record in baseball after April.

Throw in the Toronto Blue Jays, who are three games over .500 and the Orioles, whose lineup can hit with anyone, it’s easy to see why the AL East is the best division in baseball.

It appears there will be two playoff spots for three teams.

On the topic of the American League…

4. The American League Dominated interleague play. The American League took the National League behind the woodshed in 2009. The AL had a 137-114 record against the NL.

While the NL has the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team with the best record in baseball, the AL from top to bottom is just a stronger league. If you put the Toronto Blue Jays in the NL, they probably would be the second best team in the league right now.

There was one team that stood out in interleague play. That team was…

3. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are back on top. The Angels had a brutal April and May. John Lackey, Ervin Santana, Vladimir Guerrero, Scot Shields, and Jose Arredondo all missed time for the halos. And of course, they went through the Nick Adenhart tragedy.

However, the Angels used interleague play to turn their season around. The Angels went an interleague best 14-4 and have returned to their customary position of AL West division leaders.

While the Angels were hot…

2. The Rockies were the team of the month. The Rockies fired Clint Hurdle at the end of May, hired Jim Tracy, and then the Rockies started beating teams left and right.

The Rockies lost their first three games in June and then only lost four more the rest of the month. At one point, they won 17 of 18 games, reminding fans of their great World Series run of 2007.

The Rockies are now 41-36 and are just 1.5 games out of a wild card spot. There may be another “Rocktober” in Colorado.

The Rockies were the team of the month, but the players of the month and the No. 1 thing we learned in the month of June was…

1. Randy Johnson and Mariano Rivera are first-ballot Hall of Famers. It was a milestone month for Randy Johnson and Mariano Rivera, two of the greatest pitchers off all-time.

Earlier this month, Randy Johnson became just the 24th pitcher and just the sixth lefthanded pitcher to win 300 games by defeating the Washington Nationals 5-1. The way the game is played now, Johnson might be the last 300 game winner.

Then later in the month, Mariano Rivera became just the second pitcher to record 500 saves for his career. Rivera now only trails Trevor Hoffman in all-time saves.

In my opinion, Randy Johnson is the greatest lefthanded pitcher of all-time and Mariano Rivera is the greatest closer of all-time. Both pitchers put an exclamation point on their already Hall of Fame careers.

That’s a wrap for the month of June. July should be even more exciting, as the July 31st trading deadline is one of the most interesting and exciting days in baseball.

One other thing I wanted to mention. As we all know, the title of my blog The Ghost of Moonlight Graham, was inspired by Burt Lancaster’s character in the movie Field of Dreams.

Well now the real life story of Archibald “Moonlight” Graham has been told. Brett Friedlander and Bob Reising have written the book “Chasing Graham.” It’s a fascinating story about a truly amazing man.

Brett Friedlander is a sports columnist covering ACC football and basketball for the Wilmington Star-News in North Carolina. He also writes for the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook and the ACC Sports Journal. 

His co-author, Bob Reising is an English professor at the University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky and is the former head baseball coach at South Carolina, Duke, and Furman.

You can purchase this fascinating book here.

Fantasy Week In Review, June 22-28…

June 29, 2009

The last full week of June means an end to interleague play and a return to normalcy in baseball. Last week was a really interesting week for fantasy baseball. How interesting? Two words – Chad Gaudin.

That’s right, Chad Gaudin was a fantasy stud last week. Here are the other players who were studs last week, along with players who are cause for concern, and a couple of players who might be worth picking up.

Fantasy Studs

Hanley Ramirez – .385/3/15. Even if Josh Beckett helps the Red Sox win 10 more World Series, Theo Epstein would still rather have Hanley Ramirez.

Alex Rodriguez – .368/2/9/.571. Getting lap dances from Kate Hudson in Miami has really rejuvenated the “fatigued” Arod.

Ramirez had a monster fantasy week

Ramirez had a monster fantasy week

Lance Berkman – .389/2/7 with two SB’s. The “Big Puma” has finally decided to join us this year.

Aaron Hill – .346/4/8. If the season ended today, Hill would be in the top five in MVP voting.

David Ortiz – .333/2/5. All of a sudden I don’t hear anyone saying the Red Sox need a DH anymore.

Aaron Cook – 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA and eight K’s in 15 IP. Sooner or later, this guy should get the credit he deserves. He is a very good pitcher.

Chad Gaudin – 2-0 with a 1.20 and 20 K’s in 15 IP. Gaudin threw a one-hitter over eight innings in Texas. I don’t care who you are, that is impressive.

Francisco Liriano – 2-0 with a 3.75 ERA and 12 K’s in 12 IP. It’s good to finally see Liriano get back on track. His seven walks last week were not welcomed, but fantasy owners will take the wins from Liriano.

Reasons for Concern

Adrian Beltre – As I wrote earlier today, Beltre will have surgery to remove bone spurs in his shoulder. Beltre will be out six to eight weeks, thus pretty much ending his fantasy contributions this year.

Beltre is expected back in late August/early September.

Josh Outman – Outman was placed on the 60-Day DLand will visit Dr. James Andrews today. See you in 2011 Mr. Outman.

Mike Lowell – Lowell is getting an injection in his ailing hip today. That just sounds painful. If Lowell doesn’t respond to the injection, there is a chance Lowell could land on the DL.

Lowell is having a good year so far with a .282 average, 10 HR’s, and 41 RBI. Keep an eye on this situation, because losing Lowell for any period of time would be hurtful to your fantasy team.

Matt Lindstrom – Lindstrom is out for six weeks because of an elbow sprain. Lindstrom was shaky at best as the Marlins closer (6.52 ERA and walked 20 in 29 IP), so it’s not like he was pitching like the second coming of Bruce Sutter.

John Maine – Maine was supposed to start Saturday night in Brooklyn, but had to be scratched because of shoulder discomfort. Maine expects to be back after the All-Star break.

“After the All-Star break” in Mets language means Maine won’t be back until September.

Possible Pickups

Leo Nunez/Dan Meyer – Meyer has a 2.03 ERA and is a much better option at this point than Leo Nunez and his 4.01 ERA. However, with Lindstrom on the DL, both of them figure to get an opportunity to save games for the Florida Marlins.

I would wait to see how Fredi Gonzalez plays this. Once he makes his decision as to who is going to get the majority of the saves, pick up that option. Nunez or Meyer should get you some cheap saves, if you need them.

Carlos Carrasco – Carrasco is expected to be called up from Triple-A to face the Braves on Thursday night. Despite not having the greatest year in Triple-A (4.92 ERA), Carrasco has long been one of the Phillies’ top prospects.

It might good a idea to pick Carrasco up now before someone else does. With the Phillies starting staff struggling, if Carrasco pitches well, he might find himself with the Phillies longer than expected.

Benching All-Stars All The Rage In Baseball This Year…

June 26, 2009

Has there ever been a year that you can remember where so many All-Star caliber players have been benched? First it was David Ortiz, then it was Garrett Atkins, then Magglio Ordonez, and now it is Jimmy Rollins, and Milton Bradley. It has gotten to a point where I wouldn’t be surprised to see Albert Pujols benched. Well, I don’t think it will ever get that far, but I think you get my point.

According to MLB.com, Phillies shortstop and former MVP Jimmy Rollins has been benched for two games by manager Charlie Manuel. Rollins sat out last night’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays and will sit on Friday night against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Rollins has been terrible this year

Rollins has been terrible this year

This has to be alarming for Philly fans. Rollins is batting just .211 with with a Rafael Santana-like .254 OBP this year. Manuel even moved Rollins to the six hole, and that hasn’t worked either. Rollins is just 7-for-56 since moving to that spot in the order.

It is really starting to look like Rollin’s 2007 MVP season, where he hit .296 with 30 HR’s and had 96 RBI was a career year and will never be reached again. A .275/.285 avg. with 10-15 HR’s is probably more where Rollins should be every year.

I can’t imagine Rollins being this bad for this long. He is in no way a .211 hitter. I am going to venture to say that Rollins has a huge second half and turns this around.

The other All-Star caliber player that was benched recently was Chicago Cubs’ OF Milton Bradley. According to Chris DeLuca of the Chicago Sun Times, Bradley will be riding the pine until Saturday.

Can the Cubs have their $30MM back?

Can the Cubs have their $30MM back?

Bradley, who signed a three year, $30MM contract with the Cubs in the offseason has been a disaster so far. I didn’t like this move when it happened, and it is even looking worse now. Bradley is batting just .241 with five HR’s and 16 RBI in 55 games for the Cubs this year.

How is Bobby Abreu looking now Jim Hendry?

With a player like Jimmy Rollins, I expect a turn around. With Milton Bradley, I have no idea what to expect. He could flip out, he could start ripping the ball like he did last year when he had a .321 avg., or he could just continue to be terrible. Who knows with this guy. That is why giving a three contract to a guy who is an enigma was such a risky move.

That is all the benching talk for now. With the way this season is going, I am sure we will be adding to this list of All-Star caliber players who have lost it at the plate this year.

Fantasy Week In Review 4/27-5/3

May 4, 2009

The first weekend of May got off to a flying start thanks to a record tying performance from Carl Crawford. Crawford wasn’t the only player who had a good week. Here are the fantasy studs, players we are concerned about and some other fantasy news from the week of 4/27-5/3

Fantasy Studs

Raul Ibanez – .500/3/9. Ibanez is quickly making everyone forget about Pat Burrell.

Todd Helton – .478/1/7. My pick for NL Comeback Player of the Year is starting to rake.

Jorge Cantu – .346/4/14/.432. Cantu is out to prove last year was no fluke.

Jose Guillen – .357/3/10. Guillen is back with a vengeance. I watched a lot of that Royals and Twins series and Guillen was a force in the middle of the lineup. 

Chase Utley – .462/3/5. The 2nd Philly to make this list, Utley’s fast start will give confidence to other players trying to come back from hip surgery.

Dan Haren – 2-0 with a 1.59 era and 21 K’s in 17 IP. Haren is keeping the Dbacks afloat while their young hitters continue to struggle. Haren will be in the Cy Young running this year.

Verlander was lights out this week

Verlander was lights out this week

Justin Verlander – 2-0 with a 0.64 era with 20 K’s in 14 IP. Verlander dominated both the Yankees and Indians in a 7 day span. This is the type of performance that both the Tigers and fantasy owners were looking for from Verlander.

Trevor Hoffman – 3 saves with a 0.00 era and 5 K’s in 4 IP. Hoffman has come off the DL and has provided some stability to the Brewers bullpen.

Reasons for Concern

Brian Fuentes – 0-1 with a 13.50 era with 1 blown save and 4 H in 3 IP. Fuentes has been a disaster so far for the Angels. I watched his blown save against the Yankees and Fuentes was terrible. Couldn’t get anyone out and looked like he has no confidence on the mound.

Chris Davis – .158/0/1 – Everyone’s mancrush has gotten off to a slow start in 2009. Davis is too good to be this bad. He could be in line for a huge 2nd half

David Ortiz  – .208/0/12/.298 for the season. How bad has Ortiz been this year? Using Baseball Musings Lineup Analysis Tool, a lineup of the legendary Nick Green would outscore a lineup of Ortiz, 5.8-2.9. That’s right, a lineup of just Nick Green would score double the amount of runs that a David Ortiz led lineup would. Ouch!!!

Josh Beckett – 0-1 with a 13.50 era with 10 H in 4.2 IP. Outside of his first start against the Rays, Beckett has been terrible this season. By all accounts Beckett is healthy so I am really not sure what is wrong with the Red Sox ace.

Injuries

Josh Hamilton – Placed on the 15 Day DL with a strained rib cage. Eligible to come off on May 12th

Brandon Morrow – Placed on the 15 Day DL with biceps tendinitis. Hopes to return when he is eligible to come off the DL on May 9th.

Carlos Delgado – Day to day with a hip injury. This is an injury that fantasy owners hate. Not hurt enough to go on the DL but is healthy enough to pinch hit from time to time. What a waste of a roster spot. He should be on your bench until he proves to be healthy

Carlos Zambrano – Left Sunday’s start with strained hamstring. He may be in jeopardy of missing his next start.

Potential Pickups

Chris Ray – According to Orioles manager, Dave Trembley the orioles will go “day to day” in regards to their closer situation. If Sherrill ultimately losses his job, Ray would be next in line for the closers role. If you have a roster spot open, might be a good idea to pick him up now.

Homer Bailey – Bailey was rushed to the majors by the Reds when he clearly wasn’t ready to pitch in the majors and it showed. It seems like Bailey has been a “top prospect” forever but he is still only 23 years old and it looks like Bailey is starting to pitch like he is capable of. Bailey is off to a great start in Triple A going 3-0 with a 1.86 era so far. With Micah Owings struggling out of the gate (1-3 4.84 era), Bailey might take over his spot in the rotation sooner rather than later.

Luke Hochevar – I wrote a couple of weeks ago that Hochevar should be called up and with Sidney Ponson now 0-4 with a 7.16 era, I feel even stronger about that statement. Ponson is a waste and everytime the Royals send him out there, they are basically saying “we don’t want to win today.” Hochevar is 5-0 with a 1.13 era in Triple A and should take Ponson’s spot in the rotation shortly.

David Aardsma – With Morrow on the DL, Aardsma should get some save opportunities for the Mariners.

Andruw Jones – Yes Andruw Jones is alive and is actually doing quite well in Texas to the tune of .333/3/8 in 33 ab’s. With Hamilton going on the DL, a spot should open up in the Rangers lineup for Jones to play everyday.

Fantasy Week In Review 4/13-4/19…

April 20, 2009

We are now 2 weeks into the season and we have seen a lot of great and not so great fantasy performances so far from players. For the week of 4/13-4/19, here are the fantasy studs, the possible pickups and the players who have me concerned.

Fantasy Studs

Andre Ethier – .391/4/12. Who says Manny’s presence in the lineup doesn’t matter?

Carlos Pena – .333/4/12. As long as he stays healthy, a 30+ HR season for Pena is a lock.

Kinsler raked this week

Kinsler raked this week

Carlos Quentin – .333/5/9/.429. Quentin could have won the MVP last year. Looks like he is headed for another MVP season this year.

Ian Kinsler – .556/2/6. Anytime you go 6-6 in one game, you are a fantasy stud. I had Kinsler as the #1 2B headed into 2009 and so far he has not disappointed.

Raul Ibanez – .550/3/5. Hit a huge walk-off HR on Sunday and is making Phillies fans forget about Pat Burrell.

Zack Greinke – 2-0 0.00 era with 19 K in 14 IP. My pick for the Cy Young has a 34 consecutive scoreless inning streak going. Right now Greinke is the #1 fantasy pitcher in baseball.

Chad Billingsley – 2-0 2.77 era with 17 K in 13 IP. The ace of the Dodgers staff is off to a great start. Baring injury and with the Dodgers offense, Billingsley should win 16-20 games in 2009.

Heath Bell – 4/4 in save opportunities and a 0.00 era with 4 K in 4 IP. Bell is making the most out of his first chance at being a closer. He has dominated the Mets and Phillies in back to back series this week.

Reason for Concern

Matt Holliday – .286/0/7/.286. The 7 RBI for the week is acceptable but 0 walks and no HR’s is not. Holliday has not yet homered this season and now the question is being asked…is Holliday just a product of Coors field?

Chien-Ming Wang – 61.71 era with 14 H, 16 R in just 2.1 IP. Wang has a 34.50 era on the season. I watched that game on Saturday and Wang has about as much confidence as the employees of GM had in Rick Wagoner. There is talk of putting Wang on the DL just to get him straight.

Joel Hanrahan – 0/2 in save opportunities with a 12.00 in 3 IP. Nothing is more demoralizing to a bad team when they are actually winning and their closer blows a save. Hanrahan accomplished this feat on back to back days. He does have 8 K’s in 5 IP on the season so it seems like it is a control issue rather than a stuff issue.

David Ortiz – .148/0/2. The Monster Formally Known As David Ortiz is off to a real rough start. His bat looks slow and he is fouling off very hittable pitches. Perhaps he will get hot as the season moves on. This year’s Carlos Delgado?

Vladimir Guerrero – Put on the 15 Day DL with a torn pectoral muscle. Anyone who watched Guerrero for the 1st month of the season will tell you he looked like one of those over the hill NBA Centers who look awkward and struggle to get up and down the court. He is now out until May and it clearly looks like his best years are behind him.

Potential Pickups

John Buck – .357/2/7. If need a catcher, Buck might be a good pick up. With the Royals having a tough time scoring runs they need all the offense they can get. Buck is a better offensive player than Olivo and might start stealing some ab’s from him.

Kosuke Fukudome – .333/1/6/.480. Out of Piniella’s doghouse and into the #2 hole in the Cubs batting order where Fukudome should score plenty of runs. Also, if you league value’s OBP, then Fukudome is your guy.

Manny Corpas – New Rockie’s closer. The Huston Street experiment failed and Corpas is now the closer. If he is still available in your league, he will get his save opportunities in Colorado.

Phil Hughes – With rumors swirling that Wang might be headed to the DL, it would be a good idea to pick up Hughes now before someone else does. Hughes would be the logical choice to replace Wang and you could get 3-4 starts out of him.