Posts Tagged ‘Jay Bruce’

Starting Nine: National League Central

January 15, 2010

Next up in our Starting Nine series is the National League Central. Outside of the St. Louis Cardinals re-signing Matt Holliday, there haven’t been any big-time offensive additions to this division. As a whole, this might be the weakest offensive division in baseball (yes, even passing the NL West).

Let’s take a look at the starting lineups for all six teams in this division as presently constructed.

St. Louis Cardinals

1. Skip Schumaker, 2B

2. Brendan Ryan, SS

3. Albert Pujols, 1B

4. Matt Holliday, LF

5. Ryan Ludwick, RF

6. Yadier Molina, C

7. Colby Rasmus, CF

8. David Freese, 3B

9. Chris Carpenter, P

Quick Take – Re-signing Holliday was crucial to this lineup. Despite having Holliday and Pujols in the three-four spot, this lineup will only be as dynamic as Rasmus and Freese takes them.

Milwaukee Brewers

1. Rickie Weeks, 2B

2. Alcides Escobar, SS

3. Ryan Braun, LF

4. Prince Fielder, 1B

5. Casey McGehee, 3B

6. Corey Hart, RF

7. Gregg Zaun, C

8. Carlos Gomez, CF

8. Yovani Gallardo, P

Quick Take – The Brewers sacrificed some offense for defense in 2010. This isn’t the powerful Brewers’ lineup of the last couple of years. There are a lot of automatic outs from seven through nine.

Chicago Cubs

1. Alfonso Soriano, LF

2. Kosuke Fukudome, RF

3. Derek Lee, 1B

4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B

5. Marlon Byrd, CF

6. Geovany Soto, C

7. Ryan Theriot, SS

8. Mike Fontenot, 2B

9. Carlos Zambrano, P

Quick Take – This lineup is getting old in a hurry. If Soriano, Ramirez, and Soto can come back from disappointing 2009 seasons, the Cubs could be in business in 2010. However, I still think they are going to be hard pressed to score runs in 2010.

Cincinnati Reds

1. Drew Stubbs, CF

2. Brandon Phillips, 2B

3. Joey Votto, 1B

4. Jay Bruce, RF

5. Scott Rolen, 3B

6. Ramon Hernandez, C

7. Paul Janish, SS

8. Chris Dickerson, LF

9. Bronson Arroyo, P

Quick Take – This lineup looks good for now and even better for the future. If Bruce can stay healthy, he could have a breakout year in 2010. I would like someone better than Janish at SS, but top prospect Todd Frazier isn’t ready to take over just yet.

Houston Astros

1. Michael Bourn, CF

2. Kaz Matsui, 2B

3. Lance Berkman, 1B

4. Carlos Lee, LF

5. Hunter Pence, RF

6. Pedro Feliz, 3B

7. J.R. Towles, C

8. Tommy Manzella, SS

9. Roy Oswalt, P

Quick Take – This six through nine is brutal. It’s hard to have a top offense when the bottom part of your lineup is this bad. Top catching prospect Jason Castro is not too far away, so this is Towles’ last stand with the Astros.

Pittsburgh Pirates

1. Andrew McCutchen, CF

2. Akinori Iwamura, 2B

3. Garrett Jones, 1B

4. Ryan Doumit, C

5. Andy LaRoche, 3B

6. Lastings Milledge, LF

7. Ryan Church, RF

8. Ronny Cedeno, SS

9. Zach Duke, P

Quick Take – I think in order to maximize their offense’s potential, the Pirates will play Jones at first and Church in right instead of playing Jones in right and Jeff Clement at first. The Pirates’ offense will be better in 2010, but will still have a hard time scoring runs on a consistent basis.

Last, but not least, tomorrow we will take a look at the National League West.

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


Reds Get Good News, Edinson Volquez To Begin Throwing

December 31, 2009

There is more than one way for a fan to receive good news in the offseason about their favorite team.

The most common way during the offseason for a fan to receive good news is through a trade or free agent signing. But another form of good news could come from a star player progressing well from an injury.

Volquez is on the comeback trail

The Cincinnati Reds and their fans got that type of good news yesterday.

John Fay of the Cincinnati Inquirer spoke to Reds’ Assistant GM Bob Miller yesterday. While they talked about a variety of topics concerning the Reds, the topic of Edinson Volquez’s rehab came up.

“The reports are good,” Miller said. “He’s worked hard and got in great shape. That helps.” Volquez is about to begin throwing soon.

This is very good news for Reds fans.

For those of you who are not familiar with what happened to Volquez, he underwent Tommy John surgery last August. I am fully confident that Volquez can make a complete comeback and be a top of the rotation starter yet again.

Tommy John surgery is as common to pitchers these days as them hearing from a pitching coach “Bend your back” or “Don’t let your shoulder fly open.”

The list of pitchers who had Tommy John surgery stretches a mile long. Pitchers like Chris Carpenter, A.J. Burnett, Josh Johnson, Ryan Dempster, Kenny Rogers, and Randy Wolf have all had Tommy John surgery and have enjoyed success afterwards.

Volquez wants to return in 2010 by June, but I doubt that will happen. There is no reason for the Reds to rush the 26-year-old back and risk further damage. I am guessing Volquez returns around late August, early September.

He will probably start off in the bullpen just to get his feel for the game back and then make a couple of starts towards the end of the year. That seems to be the pattern most teams take with pitchers coming off Tommy John surgery.

A lot of people are picking the Reds as a darkhorse team in 2010. Without Volquez for a full year, I think it is going to be tough for them. I believe they are a year away.

When Volquez comes back and along with Drew Stubbs, Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, and Yonder Alonso, the Reds could be the team to beat in the NL Central in 2011.

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

What Each MLB Team Should Be Thankful For

November 26, 2009

For me, Thanksgiving is the best holiday of the year. It’s one of the few times of the year when all bets are off when it comes to food. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie.

It doesn’t get any better than that.

Thanksgiving is also the time of year where we give thanks to what we have in life. It’s no different for all 30 teams of Major League Baseball. Each team has something they can be thankful for.

NL East

Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies should be thankful that they have one of the best GM’s in the game in Ruben Amaro Jr. A GM who doesn’t get nearly the credit he deserves.

Atlanta Braves: The Braves should be thankful the Minor League Player of the Year, Jason Heyward is on his way. The kid looks like a star.

Florida Marlins: The Marlins should be thankful they are getting a new stadium in 2012. Maybe then they can keep their young stars like Josh Johnson

New York Mets: The Mets should be thankful that 2009 is finally coming to an end. 2010 can’t be much worse.

Washington Nationals: The Nationals should be thankful that new GM Mike Rizzo has more of a clue than former GM Jim Bowden

NL Central

St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals should be thankful for the fact that they get to watch the best player in the game on a day in and day out basis.

Chicago Cubs: The Cubs should be thankful that after so many years of being labeled “lovable losers,” they are finally dedicated to winning. Whether or not they are making the right moves to win is another story.

Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers should be thankful that they have an owner in Mark Attanasio, who runs a small market team, but has a big market mentality.

Cincinnati Reds: The Reds should be thankful that Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs, and Joey Votto are young stars, who should provide a solid foundation for the future.

Houston Astros: The Astros should be thankful that Wandy Rodriguez established himself as a solid No. 2 starter in 2009.

Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates should be thankful for the fact that GM Neal Huntington has the team moving in the right direction. The Pirates are making the right moves to compete in the future.

NL West

Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers should be thankful for Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp, who appear to be the foundation of the Dodgers’ offense for years to come.

Colorado Rockies: The Rockies should be thankful that they have one of the best and exciting young teams in baseball. The Rockies have finally figured out how to win in Colorado.

The Giants should be thankful for Lincecum

San Francisco Giants: The Giants should be thankful for being able to watch Tim Lincecum every five days. His unique delivery continues to amaze fans and baffle hitters.

San Diego Padres: The Padres should be thankful that it appears that they will not be trading star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

Arizona Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks should be thankful that Brandon Webb is making progress and looks to be healthy in 2010.

AL East

New York Yankees: The Yankees should be thankful that they are the Yankees. No other team in professional sports has the advantage they have.

Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox should be thankful for their minor-league system, which allows them to trade for players like Victor Martinez and potentially Roy Halladay or Miguel Cabrera.

Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays should be thankful that they have the most athletic team in baseball and after so many years of losing, they have a winner in Tampa.

Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays should be thankful for the fact they got to watch Roy Halladay pitch in a Blue Jays’ uniform for the last 12 years. He will go down as the best player in franchise history.

Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles should be thankful for that after so many years of not having a clue, they are moving in the right direction. Matt Wieters, Adam Jones, Brian Matusz, and Nick Markakis provide a solid foundation for the future.

AL Central

Minnesota Twins: The Twins should be thankful for Joe Mauer. When it is all said and done, I believe he will go down as the greatest catcher of all time.

Detroit Tigers: The Tigers should be thankful for Mike Ilitch. Despite a ravaged economy in Detroit, Ilitch does his best to put a winner on the field in the Motor City.

Chicago White Sox: The White Sox should be thankful for employing Ozzie Guillen. His press conferences have provided baseball fans with hours of comedy. Oh yeah, the guy is a pretty good manager.

Kansas City Royals: The Royals should be thankful that there is only more year left in the Jose Guillen era in Kansas City.

Cleveland Indians: The Indians should be thankful that Grady Sizemore, Carlos Santana, Azdrubal Cabrera, Matt LaPorta, and Shin-Soo Choo provide hope for the future.

AL West

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: The Angles should be thankful for that they have one of the best run organizations in baseball. The job Arte Moreno and Mike Scioscia have done in Anaheim has been impressive.

Seattle Mariners: The Mariners should be thankful for the fact that if they make a couple of solid moves this offseason, they could win the AL West in 2010.

Texas Rangers: The Rangers should be thankful for GM Jon Daniels. His trades and drafting over the last four years have the Rangers poised to make a run at the AL West crown in 2010.

Oakland A’s: The A’s should be thankful for Andrew Bailey. The 2009 AL Rookie of the Year and a great year and should anchor the backend of the A’s bullpen for years to come–or at least until Billy Beane trades him.

I would like to give thanks to all my readers for taking the time out of their days to read my blog. For that, I am truly grateful.



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.

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Drew Stubbs Arives In Cincinnati…

August 20, 2009

Thankfully the Cincinnati Reds placed OF Willy Taveras on the 15-Day DL. I know that’s harsh, but I know Reds’ fans and myself could no longer watch Dusty Baker play him on a regular basis for reasons only known to Baker.

Then again this is not surprising considering Baker thought Corey Patterson was the Reds’ answer in centerfield at one point.

Stubbs is the future CF'er for the Reds

Stubbs is the future CF'er for the Reds

Hopefully Reds’ fans no longer have to worry about the Taveras’s and Patterson’s of the world patrolling centerfield because top prospect Drew Stubbs has arrived in Cincinnati.

First, Stubbs has no relation to legendary Los Angeles Dodgers’ OF of the 1980’s Franklin Stubbs for obvious reasons. If you watch a Reds’ game from now until September, you will what I am talking about.

Second, Dusty Baker has already said Stubbs will play on a regular basis from here on out. Stubbs is the future starting centerfielder for the Reds and has some serious speed to burn. Stubbs is lightning quick and should be at the top of the Reds’ lineup for years to come.

With Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, and now Drew Stubbs the Reds have a nice core to build on for the future.

Here are some other facts about Drew Stubbs…

Age: 24

College: University of Texas

Drafted: Eighth pick of the first round of the 2006 Draft

Minor League Stats

2006 Rookie: .252 with six home runs, 24 RBI, 19 SB’s, and a .368 OBP in 56 games

2007 Single A: .270 with 12 home runs, 43 RBI, 23 SB’s, and a .364 OBP in 129 games

2008 Single A+, Double A, & Triple A: .277 with seven home runs, 57 RBI, 33 SB’s, and a .371 OBP in 131 games

2009 Triple A: .268 with three home runs, 39 RBI, 46 RBI, and a .353 OBP in 107 games

Keith Law Ranking and Analysis

Ranking: No. 89 out of 100 best prospects in baseball

Analysis: “Stubbs has been a different player since the middle of 2007, when he started squaring the ball up more consistently and showing the raw power that has always been in his bat but was barely evident when he was an amateur.

He will always strike out often because his swing is long and he expands the zone significantly when he gets behind in the count. Stubbs’ athleticism shines through on the bases and on defense; he’s a 70 runner and a 70 fielder in center with an above-average arm.

If everything clicks, he could be Mike Cameron with even more speed, although there’s a more probable scenario where he hits less than Cameron but still provides baserunning value and plus defense.”


Fantasy Week In Review, July 6-12

July 13, 2009

Last week marked the final week of the official first-half of the season. For the first time in a long time, it seemed like there were more players we should be concerned with than there were fantasy studs. Never a good sign.

As always, here are the fantasy studs, the players who have me concerned, and the potential pickups for the fantasy week of July 6 – July 12.

Fantasy Studs

Ryan Ludwick – .481/4/15. It was better late than never last week for Ludwick, who finally decided to show up in 2009.

Jayson Werth – .292/4/11/.438. Not a bad way to celebrate your first all-star selection.

Pablo Sandoval – .333/3/11. The “King-Fu Panda” took his all-star snubbing out on NL pitchers last week.

Paul Konerko – .391/3/10. All three of Konerko’s HR’s came in one game last week. Still good enough to be a fantasy stud last week.

Adam Wainwright – 2-0 with a 1.10 ERA and 14 K’s in 16.1 IP. Ended the first-half of the season on a positive note for the St. Louis Cardinals by shutting down the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night.

Washburn has been dealin' this year

Washburn has been dealin' this year

Jarrod Washburn – 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA and only gave up five hits in 16 IP. Washburn is making a serious push to land another big, free-agent contract in the offseason.

Josh Beckett – 2-0 with a 1.15 ERA and 11 K’s in 15 IP. Yesterday’s game against the Kansas City Royals was over when Beckett was doing his bullpen session before the game.

Rafael Soriano – Four Saves, eight K’s and a 0.00 ERA in four IP. Soriano has been lights out lately for the Atlanta Braves, and has taken the closer job from Mike Gonzalez.

Reasons for Concern

Torii Hunter – Placed on the 15-day DL with a strained groin. Hunter is eligible to return on July 22.

My concern here is that groin injuries are like hamstring injuries – they never seem to go away. Hunter did have 13 SB’s this year, so this might affect his stolen base numbers going forward.

Ryan Dempster – Placed on the 15-day DL because of a broken right toe. Dempster broke his toe when he tripped over the dugout rail after the Cubs beat the Brewers. That is classic.

Geovany Soto – Placed on the 15-day DL with a left oblique strain. This really hasn’t been Soto’s year so far.

He got off to a terrible start, he is only hitting .230, and now he goes on the DL.

The Cubs and fantasy owners for that matter, need him in the second half to make some sort of contribution in order to win.

Jay Bruce – Placed on the 15-day DL with a fractured wrist. I had Bruce on this list before the wrist injury.

It was a terrible week for Bruce. First he was benched, then he comes back only to face Johan Santana, and then he breaks his wrist.

Bruce has struggled this year with a .207 average, but does have 18 HR and 41 RBI. Bruce has tremendous value in Keeper Leagues, so don’t give up on him just yet.

According to the Cincinnati Reds’ official Twitter page, Bruce will be out six- to-eight weeks.

Magglio Ordonez – Ordonez will now platoon in rightfield with Clete Thomas for the Detroit Tigers.

I am guessing the Tigers are determined not to let Ordonez reach his incentives so his $18 million extension won’t kick in.

Ordonez’s fantasy value is limited at best for the remainder of this year.

Andy Pettitte – Pettitte was 0-2 last week with a 10.45 ERA and gave up 12 runs in just 10.1 IP.

This almost seems like repeat from last year with Pettitte. Pettitte got off to a 10-7 start in 2008, but faded in the second half going 4-7 with an ERA over five.

Pettitte has been terrible his last two starts so this might start becoming a trend for the older Pettitte.

Johnny Cueto – Either this guy is hurt or he is just worn out. He is too good to be this bad over his last two starts.

Cueto in his last two starts is 0-2 with a 20.65 ERA and has given up 13 runs in 5.2 IP.

Keep an eye on Cueto (if you have started already) in his next couple of starts. If he continues to struggle, then there might be some cause for some major concern.

Potential Pickups

There are no potential pickups for this week.

How about a little prediction for tonight’s Home Run Derby. For those of you not aware, here are the participants…

Gonzalez will win the HR Derby

Gonzalez will win the HR Derby

Albert Pujols

Adrian Gonzalez

Prince Fielder

Ryan Howard

Carlos Pena

Joe Mauer

Brandon Inge

Nelson Cruz

I don’t like anyone in the AL, so that eliminates Cruz, Inge, Pena, Mauer.

Pujols is too easy, so I won’t pick him.

Fielder’s weight and stamina are a concern, so he is won’t last.

That leaves Gonzalez and Howard. Howard was born in St Louis, so I think he might feel the pressure.

The winner will be Adrian Gonzalez. Having spent his entire season trying to hit HR’s in the cavernous Petco Park, Busch Stadium will feel like a little league field to Gonzalez.


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.


Recapping My Fantasy Draft….

March 14, 2009

I play in 2 fantasy baseball leagues. One league is mediocre at best and my other league is about as solid as you can get. 12 teams, 12 owners who know the game and it is very competitive. I try to play in no more than 2 because after that players start to really overlap and things get confusing.

So with the completion of my solid league draft, I thought I would give a recap of my team and here what your thoughts were on how I did.

The league is a 12 team, total points, keeper league. The draft is 26 rounds (yes, it’s a long one) and you keep 5 players. When you keep a player, you lose that pick in next years draft. For example, if I decide to keep my first round pick from this year, I lose my first round pick in our 2010 draft. So we added a little strategy to the keeper format.

Here is my team with the round I picked the player and his ESPN fantasy position ranking. I had the 8th pick. And oh, one last thing. I won this league by 1/2 a point last year. Yes, a 1/2 of a point because Joe Mauer struck out (K’s = -.5 points) in the 1 game playoff against the White Sox. Sorry Odie, had to bring it up.


Chris Iannetta – 8th round. #9 ranked C

1st Basemen

Albert Pujols – 1st round. #1 ranked 1B

2nd Basemen

Brian Roberts – 5th round. #5 ranked 2B


Miguel Tejeda – 13 round. #12 ranked SS

Elvis Andrus – 26th round. #16 ranked SS

3rd Basemen

Evan Longoria – 2nd round. #2 ranked 3B

I am hoping Gordon can break out

I am hoping Gordon can break out

Adrian Beltre – 17th round. #9 ranked 3B

Alex Gordon – 15th round. #13 ranked 3B


Nick Markakis – 4th round. #7 ranked OF

Nate McLouth – 6th round. #17 ranked OF

Jay Bruce – 9th round. #27 ranked OF

Jayson Werth – 19th round. #39 ranked OF

Rick Ankiel – 15th round. #46 ranked OF

Cameron Maybin – 21st round. #48 ranked OF

Starting Pitchers

Lackey leads my rotation

Lackey leads my rotation

John Lackey – 3rd round. #10 ranked SP

Aaron Harang – 14th round. #40 ranked SP

Clayton Kershaw – 10th round. #47 ranked SP

John Danks – 11th round. #48th ranked SP

Jeremy Guthrie – 22nd round. #60 ranked SP

Manny Parra – 18 round. 64th ranked SP

Dana Eveland – 24th round. 92nd ranked SP

Paul Maholm – 20 round. 97th ranked SP

Kyle Davies – 25th round. 118th ranked SP

Relief Pitchers

Joakim Soria – 7th round. #4 ranked RP

Jose Valverde – 12th round. #6 ranked RP

Joel Hanrahan – 23rd round. #21 ranked RP

My goal was to get at least one top-10 player at each position and I accomplished that with every position except for shortstop. I reached a little for Iannetta in the 9th round but I think I got steals with Maybin (21st round) and Jayson Werth (19th round).

Strengths – Corner IF’s, OF’s and RP’s

I think I did very well at the corner IF spots with Pujols, Longoria, Gordon and Beltre. I am hoping for a nice season out of Gordon. If I can get a .275/20/80 with 10 steals out of Gordon, he would be a steal in the 15th round.

I should be all set with the closer situation with Soria and Valervde. If one of them falters or should get injured, I drafted Hanrahan who will be closing for an improved Nationals team for insurance. Between Soria and Valverde, I am expecting 80+ saves.

My OF might be the best part of my team led by Markakis, McLouth, Bruce and Ankiel. Maybe McLouth takes a step back, but the expected solid seasons from Bruce and Ankiel should make up for it. I like Ankiel this year due to his impending free agency after the season. Boras will have him ready for the season. I was also able to nab a ROY candidate in Maybin in the 21st round. That might be a steal.

Weaknesses – Starting Rotation and Backup IF’s

I went with the Billy Beane philosophy when it comes to starting pitching… Buy in bulk and hope that one breaks through. I am really banking on the progression of Kershaw and a bounce back season from Harang. If neither of those happen, I will be in big trouble. I am also hoping that out of the Maholm, Davies, Parra and Eveland foursome, one of them have a breakout season. Davies is having a tremendous spring (0.71 era in 4 outings) so maybe that will carry over to the regular season. Fingers are crossed.

With so many starting pitchers and outfielders I fell a little short on backup infielders. My only back up middle infielder is Elvis Andrus who is a 20 year old rookie. I am going to need to address this during the season. If Roberts, Pujols or Tejeda go down at any point during the season, I could be in trouble.

So how do you think my draft went? Who did I reach for and who may be a bust?