Posts Tagged ‘Manny Parra’

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.

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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.

Catchers

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

Shortstops

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

Outfielders

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?

The “Key” Player For Each MLB Team…

March 3, 2009

Every year each fan takes a look at their favorite team and says…”If this guy can come back from a poor year or come back from an injury, then my team has a chance.” Every team has that “key” guy that can make a difference in the season. The guy that, if he steps up, can be the difference between being  just another team or a playoff contender.

In part 1 of this column we will attempt to identify the “key” player for all 16 National League teams. Part 2 of this column will be posted tomorrow and will cover all 14 American League teams.

Teams are listed by division.

NL East

Braves – Jeff Francoeur. Francouer was pretty dreadful last year hitting .239/11/71/.294. The Braves need Francoeur to return to the 25 hr, 100 rbi guy he was in 06 and 07 in order to contend with the Phillies.

Lindstrom anchors the Marlins pen in 09

Lindstrom anchors the Marlins pen in 09

Marlins – Matt Lindstrom. Lindstrom takes over as the Marlins Closer and they need him to anchor the bullpen in order to have a chance. Nothing is more demoralizing to a young team than a blown save.

Mets – Luis Castillo. I don’t think there has been a player hated this much by Mets fans since Gregg Jefferies. If Castillo can give the Mets anything this year, there lineup will have a lot more depth. If not, there will be a huge void at 2B for the second straight year.

Nationals – Ryan Zimmerman. It’s hard to find a “key” for a team expected to finish in last place. However, Zimmerman is the face of this franchise and the Nationals need him to regain is 06 .287/20/110 form in order for them to have any hope for the future.

Phillies – Chase Utley. Utley is coming off of hip surgery which monitors watching in April. If he can regain his 07 first half form (.291/25/69), then the Phillies will back in the World Series mix once again. If not, then they have a HUGE hole in the middle of that order.

NL Central

Astros – Mike Hampton. Hampton returns to the team that gave him the most success back in the late 90’s but without the spacious Astrodome. The Astros are going to need Hampton to give them at least 20 starts this year because after Oswalt, the Astros starting rotation is mediocre at best. If the Astros can get 20+ starts out of Hampton, they might be able to make there annual 2nd half run in the NL Central.

Brewers – Manny Parra. I have no doubt that Gallardo can handle the pressure of replacing Sabathia, so Parra becomes the key for the Brewers. If Parra can step up, handle his control issues (75 bb in 166 IP) and go from 10 wins in 08 to 14-15 wins in 09…the Brewers will be in business once again.

The Cardinals need Carpenter to bounce back

The Cardinals need Carpenter to bounce back

Cardinals – Chris Carpenter. After the Cardinals grossly overused Carpenter in 05 and 06 (463.1 IP), he has only made 4 starts in 07 and 08.  Early returns on Carpenter have been positive, so if the Cardinals can get 20-25 starts from their former ace, they will challenge the Cubs in the NL Central.

Cubs – Milton Bradley. As I have written several time before, I am not a fan of the Bradley signing. However, with DeRosa and Edmunds absent from the Cubs lineup, they need Bradley to stay healthy and produce. If not, the Cubs lineup all of a sudden looks very weak.

Pirates – Craig Hansen. Why is Hansen, a middle reliever the “key” to the Pirates this season? Because the former 1st round pick out of St Johns was one of the key players in the 3-way trade between the Red Sox-Pirates and Dodgers last season. Hansen needs to develop in order for Pirates fans to believe that they didn’t give away one of their star players for nothing once again.

Reds – Aaron Harang. After Reds Manager Dusty Baker decided to use Harang for 4 innings on 3 days rest in a meaningless game against San Diego in May, Harang’s season went downhill. If the Reds are to contend in the NL Central, Harang has to return to his 2007 16-6 form.  

NL West

DiamondBacks – Max Scherzer. The 11th pick in the 2006 draft out of Missouri will start the year as the Diamondbacks #5 starter. If Scherzer can give the DBacks 170 innings and 8-10 wins, they will be a serious contender in the weak NL West.

Kershaw is the key for the Dodgers in 09

Kershaw is the key for the Dodgers in 09

Dodgers – Clayton Kershaw. Regardless of what Manny Ramirez does, the Dodgers still need someone in their starting rotation to step up. Kershaw might be that someone. With 100 big league innings and 21 starts under his belt, Kershaw has all the talent and ability to be a #1 starter. If Kershaw can get to 150+ innings and 25+ starts, the Dodgers will have a nice 1-2 punch with Kershaw and Billingsley.

Giants – Pablo Sandoval. The Giants need all the help on offense they can get and if Sandoval can hit like he did in his 41 game audition last year then the Giants will have a much better lineup. Sandoval hit .345/3/24 in those 41 games last year.

Padres – Chase Headley. With the Padres in rebuilding mode, they need some of their young talent to start producing. Headley is a great young talent who spent most of 2008 learning how to play the OF. If Headley can start to realize his potential, the Padres will have a nice trio of A. Gonzalez-Kouzmanoff-Headley to build on.

Rockies – Troy Tulowitzki. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that when Tulowitzki went down last year with multiple injuries, the Rockies went down with him. If the Rockies want any chance of competing for a playoff berth, they need Tulowitzki to return to the .291/24/99 form he showed in 2007.

So there you have the “key” player for each NL team in 2009. Do you agree? If not, who do you believe is the “key” player for your favorite team?

Brewers Rotation Looks To Rebuild….

January 31, 2009

Last year the Milwaukee Brewers made the post-season for the first time since the “Harvey Wallbanger” Brewers of 1982 made it all the way to the World Series. A lot of the Brewers success last year was fueled by their starting rotation. The Brewers finished 3rd in starters era in 2008 and were led by staff aces, CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets.

2009, however poses a new challenge for the Brewers rotation. Sabathia took the Yankees money and ran and Sheets is a free agent still looking for a team. So can the 2009 Brewers starting rotation replace those 24 wins Sabathia and Sheets left behind? Let’s take a look at the Brewers 5 man rotation headed into 2009.

1. Yovani Gallardo Gallardo missed most of the 2008 season with a torn ACL he suffered during a May 1st start against the Cubs. Gallardo was able to make it back in September and started 2 out of the 4 games against the Phillies in the NLDS. Fully healthy headed into 2009, Gallardo will be counted on to replace Ben Sheets and be the staff’s ace. That is a lot to ask a 23 year old.

If there is one thing Gallardo has done in his brief time in the majors, is prove that he can pitch. In 20 starts in 2007, Gallardo was 9-5 with a 3.67 era and in just 4 starts last year, Gallardo had a 1.88 era. If Gallardo can give the Brewers 30 starts in 2009, then 15 wins and an era in the mid-3’s is very attainable for this young superstar.

2. Manny Parra – Parra is probably best known for his August scuffle with teammate Prince Fielder. That is unfortunate because Parra is a very talented young pitcher. The Brewers 2007 Minor League Pitcher of the Year will be asked to have the same success in 2009 as he did in the first half of 2008. Parra was 8-2 with a 3.78 era in the 1st half before he suffered a 2nd half swoon which resulted with a trip to the bullpen.

The key for Parra is to harness his control (75 BB in 166 IP) and stay ahead in the count. When Parra was ahead in the count he had a 3.25 era and when he had a batter either 0-1, 1-2 or 0-2, they hit .214 against Parra. I think inconsistency still might plague Parra in 2009 but 10-13 wins and an era in the high 3’s is doable

3. Jeff Suppan – Suppan turned a miracle performance as the 2006 NLCS MVP into a 4 yr $42MM contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. What have the Brewers gotten in their 1st 2 years of this investment? A 22-22 record and a 4.79 era. This should be surprising to no one as Suppan has always been a mediocre pitcher as his lifetime record of 128-123 indicates.

Suppan at this point in his career should be a #4 or #5 starter. Unfortunately for the Brewers he is their #3. Expect Suppan to put up 9-10 wins, 10-12 losses and an era hovering around the 5 mark for 2009

4. Dave Bush – Bush has been a pretty serviceable pitcher for the Brewers going 33-31 in his 3 years with the club. Bush’s biggest moment as a Brewer came in Game 3 of the NLDS against the Phillies in a must win game. Bush hurled 5.1 solid innings only allowing 1 run on 5 hits and got the win to keep the Brewers alive for at least one more day.

Bush has more potential at this point in his career than Suppan so a surprise year could always happen. But I doubt it. Bush will most likely go his usual 12-10 with an era of 4.20 in 2009

5. Seth McClung –This is where the Brewers could use some help. McClung belongs in the bullpen but because of lack of depth, McClung will the be the #5 starter headed into 2009. McClung shined down the stretch for the Brewers in 08 posting a 1.10 era in 16 innings in Sept and Oct. Of course most of those innings were tossed from the pen.

5-8 wins should be expected from McClung in the #5 spot in the rotation. If the Brewers are in contention come July, Doug Melvin wouldn’t be shy about pulling the trigger. That would allow McClung to be back were he excelled in 2008…..the Bullpen

As you can see the Brewers starting rotation isn’t as in shambles as everyone makes it out to seem. While there is no denying they will miss Sabathia but if Parra continues to develop and Gallardo becomes the ace everyone think he can be, the Brewers might be in contention for a playoff spot yet again in the National League