Posts Tagged ‘Rick Ankiel’

Royals Add Another Outfielder, Sign Rick Ankiel

January 26, 2010

Update

I had originally thought Ankiel would play right field for the Royals in 2010. Apparently, I was wrong. Ankiel will be playing center field for Kansas City in 2010.

“Center field. That’s why we acquired him. David (DeJesus) will move over to right and Scott Podsednik will play mostly left and Rick will be our center fielder,” GM Dayton Moore said through MLB.com.

As expected, Jose Guillen will move to DH.

Original Post

During my fantasy draft last year, I had the enviable decision of drafting either Rick Ankiel or Johnny Damon. It was my pick and I needed an outfielder and Ankiel and Damon, in my opinion, were the best on the board.

Do I draft the almost sure thing in Damon or do I draft Ankiel, who was entering his walk year and was in line perhaps for a career year? I really agonized over this decision.

I even sent my friend Tom (resident St. Louis Cardinals fan) a text during a corporate meeting to ask him what type of year he thought Ankiel would have. When it came down to it, I decided to go with Ankiel.

Ankiel moves across the highway

Whoops a daisy.

Ankiel was terrible for the Cardinals in 2010. He was hurt all the time and even when he did play he was pretty unproductive. In 122 games, he hit .231 with 11 home runs and just a .285 OBP.

Even though Ankiel has been largely unproductive since the start of the second half of the 2008 season, he was still able to land a major league contract and even perhaps a starting job in 2010.

Ankiel agreed to terms with the Kansas City Royals on Friday to a one-year, $3.25 million contract. There is also a mutual option for $6 million for 2011.

Ankiel becomes the second outfielder signed by the Royals this winter. Earlier in this offseason, the Royals signed Scott Podsednik presumably to play center field.

With Jose Guillen being a liability in right field and more of a DH at this point, I am guessing Ankiel will be the Royals’ starting right fielder in 2010. If you are a team like the Royals, you don’t pay a guy $3.25 million to sit on the bench.

Ankiel could easily make the switch from center to right. While his range isn’t what it used to be, he still maintains one of the strongest arms in the game.

I still remember the throw he made from the warning track in center field in Colorado to nail a runner going to third. He was one of the more impressive throws I have seen.

Offensively, Ankiel’s OPS has dropped three years in a row (.863-.843-.672). From what we have seen from Ankiel over the last couple of years, the Royals can’t expect much from him.

His .285 OBP last year almost fits right in with what the Royals are trying to do offensively. With Ankiel, Guillen, Yuniesky Betancourt, and Jason Kendall, the Royals have a lot of guys who refuse to walk in their lineup. Not a way to win games in this day and age of baseball.

Ankiel will be entering his eighth season in the major leagues and has a career .251 average with 49 home runs and a .311 OBP with the Cardinals.

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

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Carlos Beltran Has Knee Surgery, Out Three Months

January 14, 2010

Update

The New York Mets held a press conference today to discuss the Carlos Beltran situation. Mets’ Assistant GM John Ricco conducted the press conference.

Here are the highlights from the conference:

Dr. Steadman recommended to the Mets and to Beltran, that Beltran undergo knee surgery.

The Mets according to Ricco wanted Beltran to get a third opinion.

Beltran decided not to get a third opinion and went ahead with the surgery anyway.

The Mets had no idea Beltran had the surgery until mid-day yesterday.

Ricco said the Mets are upset with the “process” in which Beltran had the surgery.

When asked if the surgery was elective or necessary, Ricco danced around the question and said he didn’t want to get into the legality of things.

When asked how long Beltran will be out, Ricco said he didn’t have a crystal ball and couldn’t predict the future.

Ricco believes Omar Minaya and Jeff Wilpon have spoken to Scott Boras since the surgery.

Here is my take on this press conference. Things are going to get ugly between Beltran and the Mets–very ugly. I will even go as far as saying Beltran won’t play an inning for the Mets in 2010.

Beltran won’t play in 2010, come back in his walk year in 2011, have a great year, and then get the heck out of Flushing.

And why is Ricco doing this call and not Omar Minaya? What other team in baseball sends out their Assistant GM and not their GM when talking about a major issue in regards to a star player?

Would Theo Epstein, Brian Cashman, or Billy Beane let anyone else speak on a conference call to talk about a major issue besides themselves? Not a chance.

The Mets have officially become a joke.

Original Post

Man oh man, the New York Mets just can’t catch a break. It seems like every step forward, they take two steps back.

Less than a month after landing one of the best hitters on the open market in Jason Bay, Bay’s outfield sidekick goes down. According to ESPN.com, Mets’ center fielder Carlos Beltran had arthroscopic surgery to clean out the arthritic area of his knee.

Beltran had knee surgery yesterday

Here is the press release issued by the Mets:

“Carlos Beltran had worsening of osteoarthritis of the right knee during the offseason.  He had not been experiencing pain following the conclusion of the season and into his early offseason conditioning. The symptoms returned to the point where pre-spring training conditioning became too painful.  He elected to undergo arthroscopic clean out of the arthritic area of his knee by Beltran”s personal physician Dr. Richard Steadman today in Colorado.  He is anticipated to return to baseball activities in 12 weeks.”

While this nicely worded statement makes it seem like the Mets and Beltran were on the same page with this surgery, they were not. As a matter of fact, it is being reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post, that Beltran had the surgery on his own and without the Mets’ blessing.

Sherman is also reporting that ‘‘the Commissioners Office and the Players Association have been alerted the Mets are claiming this was done without clearance and that the Mets are threatening to take some form of action. There is a potential issue out there.’’

SNY’s (Mets’ cable network) Kevin Burkhart is calling this a “flat-out disaster.”

This story is just in its infancy and looks like it could get ugly real quickly. This is why under Omar Minaya’s regime, the Mets have become the most dysfunctional organization in baseball.

You can say this has nothing to do with Minaya, but what Beltran did happened under his watch and no matter what the organization or company is, it all starts at the top.

What other team does this happen to in baseball besides the Mets?

And forget about the stuff behinds the scenes, this really puts the Mets in a bad spot on the field. Pitchers and catchers report in little over a month.

What do the Mets do?

Do the Mets put Angel Pagan in center until Beltran is ready–and who knows when that will be–or do they go out and find a replacement such as Rick Ankiel?

The Mets have so many other needs as it is. The Mets are in a real bad spot here.

An injury like this could derail the Mets’ season before the season starts. Like I said, this story is just in its infancy and I will update this story as it progresses.

It looks like 2010 is starting right where 2009 left off for the Mets.

Unreal.

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

Pittsburgh Pirates Sign Ryan Church

January 13, 2010

Here is what I wrote about Church when he was released by the Atlanta Braves in December:

“When Church was traded to the Mets from the Washington Nationals along with Brian Schneider for Lastings Milledge before the 2008 season, I thought it was a good deal for the Mets. In his first 43 games, Church made it look like a great deal for the Metropolitans.

In those first 43 games, Church hit .315 with nine home runs and for the first time in Omar Minaya’s tenure with the Mets, it looked like he pulled off a steal of a trade.

Then the night of May 20 against ironically the Braves happened.

Church slid in short stop Yunel Escobar’s knee at second base and suffered a concussion. It was Church’s second concussion in less than three months.

The Mets of course in typical Mets fashion made things worse by inexplicably making Church fly to Denver in the high altitude right after the second concussion.

Church hasn’t been the same since.

I am guessing the Braves release Church and Church shouldn’t have a problem finding a job with another team. His lifetime .813 OPS versus right-handed pitching should make him an attractive option as a left-handed hitter off the bench/forth outfielder.”

Not only did Church find a job with another team, but he might have the opportunity to start in 2010.

Church is headed to Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed Church to a one-year, $1.5 million contract today. Church can earn another $1.32 million in incentives if he reaches a certain amount of plate appearances in 2010.

While I have my doubts as to whether or not Church can ever regain his form prior to his concussions, he should be able to nail down a starting job in Pittsburgh. He should start for the Pirates in right field flanking Andrew McCutchen and Lastings Milledge.

If Church can nail down the starting job, this will  allow the Pirates to play Garrett Jones at first base–at least against right-handing pitching. This move essentially ends the Pirates pursuit of Rick Ankiel and Hank Blalock.

Who does Ankiel–and for that matter Scott Boras–think he is? He is a fringe starter in baseball and he is asking for a two or three year deal? He will be waiting for a long time if he thinks he is going to get that.

Church is a career .272 hitter with 51 home runs and a .345 OBP in six seasons with the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals, Mets and Braves.

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

Mariners Steal Milton Bradley From Cubs

December 18, 2009

Chicago area deep dish pizza places beware–Carlos Silva is coming to town!

According to various sources, the Seattle Mariners have traded RHP pitcher Carlos Silva to the Chicago Cubs for OF Milton Bradley. This is essentially a swap of contracts as Silva has two years and $25 million remaining on his deal and Bradley has two years and $21 million remaining on his deal.

This is a heist by Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik.

I know Bradley could be insane. I know Bradley could be a lunatic. And I know he clearly has some issues that go beyond the game of baseball.

But Bradley has value. Even if Bradley just gets one hit and drives in one run in 2010, he will be more valuable for Seattle than Silva would have been.

Bradley is headed to Seattle

I actually think Bradley will do well in Seattle. Bradley needs to play in a place where the fans are not on top of you like they are in Chicago or New York, and Seattle is just that.

The Mariners have a good clubhouse, Ken Griffey Jr. is will be there to be a mentor, and Bradley won’t be bothered by the media like he was in Chicago.

He will be the Mariners’ primary DH with a sprinkling of left field in 2010 and will be asked just to hit. Something he did quite well with the Texas Rangers in 2008.

Bradley hit just .257 with 12 home runs and a .775 OPS for the Cubs last season. However, the year before with Texas, Bradley hit .321 with 22 home runs and led the American League with a .999 OPS.

I think Bradley could fall somewhere in between his 2008 and 2009 seasons with Seattle in 2010. If Bradley hit around .275 with a .380 OBP and a .830 OPS, the Mariners’ lineup will get some much needed depth.

That is why this trade is such a heist for the Mariners. Bradley has potential. Silva is the most useless pitcher in the game. He would have never seen the field for the Mariners.

Now Silva and his 8.60 ERA from 2009 is the Cubs’ problem.

Listen, I know the Cubs had to trade Bradley. There was no way he could come back in 2010. But GM Jim Hendry really screwed this one up–as usual.

Hendry was screwing around with the Tampa Bay Rays for the last two months trying to figure out a way to do a Pat Burrell for Bradley swap. He kept trying to stick a round peg in a square hole in Tampa and the deal was never going to work.

In that time he missed out on Curtis Granderson and Mike Cameron–two prime center field options for the Cubs.

What he should have done is either figured out a way to send Bradley to the Rays or he should have called Zduriencik two months ago and gotten a deal done then.

If your entire offseason is dependent on trading one player–then you have to trade him right away–no matter what.

At least if they would have gotten Burrell from the Rays, Burrell still has some value. Silva has no value what so ever.

The Cubs have been held hostage by Bradley and now they are looking at guys like Rick Ankiel or Marlon Byrd to play center field. Neither should excite a Cubs fan.

The Cubs will also get $9 million from the Mariners over the next two years. However, it doesn’t matter.

This was a steal by the Mariners.

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

Ruiz, Ibanez Power Phillies To Game One Win

October 16, 2009

If Jimmy Rollins doesn’t beat you, then Shane Victorino will beat you. If Victorino doesn’t beat you, then Jayson Werth will beat you. If Werth doesn’t beat you then Chase Utley will beat you. And if none of those guy beat you, Ryan Haward, Raul Ibanez, and Carlos Ruiz will beat you.

That is how deep and powerful the Philadelphia Phillies lineup is. The Los Angeles Dodgers found out first hand how deep the Phillies lineup is in their 8-6 loss in Game One of the NLCS last night.

The Phillies took advantage of seven walks handed out by Dodger pitching as well as some just horrendous managing by Joe Torre to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

This was a weird game because it started off as a pitcher’s duel between Clayton Kershaw and Cole Hamels. Both pitchers looked very sharp early. I was particularly impressed with Kershaw. He had electic stuff through the first four innings.

Kershaw fell apart in the fifth

Kershaw fell apart in the fifth last night

Then the fifth inning happened and this game went from looking like a two hour and 30 minute game, to a game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.

Ibanez led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on Kershaw’s first wild pitch of the inning. Pedro Feliz walked and now you have first and second with nobody out for Carlos Ruiz.

Ruiz proceeds to tomahawk a ball about 360 feet over the leftfield wall. Kershaw was cruising through the first four innings and with just one pitch he is down now 3-1.

What a good little player Ruiz is. He is really underrated. He is just another player in a long list of gritty, gutty, gamers the Phillies have.

To put it in perspective how underrated Ruiz is, according to Marc Hulet over at Fangraphs, Ruiz was worth about $10 million to the Phillies this season. His salary for 2009 is around $475,000. Not a bad deal for the Phillies.

Once Ruiz hit that homerun, Kershaw unraveled like Armando Benitez in any pressure situation. Kershaw walked Hamels on four pitches, then got Rollins to hit into a fielder’s choice, and then struck out Victorino on a ball that bounced five feet in front of home plate.

In that sequence, Kerhshaw, channeling his inner Rick Ankiel (Ankiel threw a record five wild pitches in an inning in 2000) threw two more wild pitches. He was done. Toast. Finished.

This is when Torre went into sleep mode. I would have taken Kershaw out before facing Utley. It was clear this kid was rattled and had nothing in the mound.

Torre left Kershaw in to face Utley and he promptly walked the Phillies’ second baseman. After that there is no way on earth I am leaving Kershaw in to face Howard.

It was still a 3-1 game and the way Hamels was pitching up to that point, three runs might have been enough. There is no way Torre can let that game get out of hand.

He had a lefty warming up in the pen in Scott Elbert and a righty warming up in Ramon Troncosco. Torre either has to bring in Elbert to face Howard or he can walk Howard and let Troncosco face Werth.

Either way, Kershaw can’t be pitching to Howard.

Of course, Torre leaves Kershaw in the game and Howard proceeds to rip one down the rightfield line. The game is now 5-1 and Torre was a day late and a dollar short with his decision making.

Not only was that a terrible managerial move by Torre, but there was another part of this game that would have me really concerned about where Torre is mentally this series.

In the bottom of the sixth with two on and two out, Torre called upon Jim Thome to pinch hit. First, I have no problem with Torre going to Thome that early in the game.

Thome is their big gun off the bench and who knows if the Dodgers are going to get another chance like this for the rest of the game. An extra-base hit gives the Dodgers a lead and Thome is their best chance at an extra-base hit off the bench.

Now here comes my issue with Torre and where I would have lost my mind if I was a Dodger fan.

Thome walked and right now he can’t run. He has plantar fasciitis. Everyone seemed to know this except for Torre. Thome gets to first and there is no pinch-runner coming off the bench.

Torre was so asleep at the wheel on this, it was disturbing to watch. Any manager worth his salt plans ahead and goes to someone on the bench “Hey, if he walks or gets on base, you are going to pinch-run.”

It was like Torre was only expecting a HR or a strikeout from Thome. He was completely unprepared for anything else.

The TV camera goes into the Dodgers’ dugout and it appeared Torre was asking Don Mattingly if he could run? Joe, it’s your job to know that.

I will assume Mattingly said no and now they are scrambling for a pinch-runner. Are you kidding me? I could not believe what I was watching.

Torre eventually pointed to Randy Wolf, who had that “Who me?” look on his face. Wolf had to down to the dugout and put on cleats, which proved Torre had not prepared for the situation.

It was a complete clown show.

Wake up Torre!!! You are not in the American League and you are not in Yankeeland anymore. You actually have to work in the National League and make decisions.

You were embarrassed in Game Four in last year’s NLCS (the Matt Stairs game) and you were embarrassed in Game One of this year’s NLCS.

Dodger fans can’t be too pleased with what they have seen from Torre.

Even with Torre in never-never land the Dodgers still had their chances in this game. Down 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh, the Dodgers had Andre Ethier on second with nobody out.

Then Chan Ho Park entered the game. Park came into the game looking like a guy who just on vacation for a month. He had that “I don’t give a darn about anything” beard going and looked extremely relaxed.

He looked like Vincent Chase when he disappeared on that island during last season’s Entourage. Park came into the game throwing bullets.

Park got Manny Ramirez, Matt Kemp, and Casey Blake 1-2-3 and the Phillies had the lead. That inning was huge. Enough can’t be said about Park’s effort in Game One.

Ibanez put the icing on the cake

Ibanez put the icing on the cake

The Phillies got three insurance runs in the top of the eighth on a Raul Ibanez three-run HR off of George Sherrill. Some interesting notes about that inning.

Sherrill walked the first two batters of the inning. Up until that inning, Sherrill had never walked the first two batters of an inning in his career. The last HR Sherrill gave up to a left-handed hitter was on June 14, 2008 to Adam LaRoche.

Ryan Madson did his best to cough up the lead in the bottom of the frame, but limited the damage to just two runs. With the Phillies up 8-6, Brad Lidge came into the game to close the Dodgers out.

This was a long, but entertaining game. The Phillies will try to take a 2-0 series lead today and will have Pedro Martinez going to mound.

The Dodgers will counter with Vicente Padilla. This is a must win game for the Dodgers.

Hero for Game One – Chan Ho Park

Goat for Game One – Joe Torre

Series MVP – Raul Ibanez

Game Three is today at 4:07 ET

Cardinals Face Franchise Defining Offseason

October 13, 2009

Every year, whether a team won 90-plus games like the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim or a team’s season ended in April like the Washington Nationals, every team faces major offseason decisions.

Some decisions are solely made for the next season and some decisions can shape the course of the franchise for a years to come. Decisions can be made by trades, arbitration, and of course, free agency.

For the St. Louis Cardinals, they face an offseason of free agency that will define the course of their franchise for years to come.

The Cardinals have a myriad of impending free agents, including Matt Holliday, Joel Pineiro, Mark DeRosa, Rick Ankiel, Troy Glaus, John Smoltz, Khalil Greene, and Todd Wellemeyer.

However, the most important free agent for the Cardinals is manager Tony LaRussa. LaRussa’s contract is up at the end of the month and if LaRussa doesn’t come back, it could set the Cardinals’ franchise back for years to come.

LaRussa is a free agent

LaRussa is a free agent at the end of the month

LaRussa gives the Cardinals credibility and credibility usually means winning. When players come to play for LaRussa, they know they are in a winning environment. Top players always want to play for him (unless your name is Scott Rolen).

Just think about the course of events if LaRussa leaves.

If LaRussa leaves, then pitching coach Dave Duncan leaves. Duncan is just as important to the Cardinals’ success as LaRussa. Duncan, time and time again is able to take mediocre pitchers and turn them into winners.

Dave Stewart, Bob Welch, Mike Moore, Dennis Eckersly, Jeff Suppan, and Chris Carpenter all had their careers turned around by Duncan.

That allows the Cardinals to spend their resources on offensive players such as Larry Walker, Jim Edmonds, Matt Holliday, Mark DeRosa, and Albert Pujols.

Speaking of Pujols.

If LaRussa leaves at the end of the month, it could very possibly mean Pujols could leave after the 2010 season. Pujols is a free agent at the end of the 2010 season and I would say right now there is an 85 percent chance he stays with the Cardinals.

If LaRussa leaves, then I would say that percentage goes down to 25. Pujols has only played for LaRussa in his career and has said that all he wants is for the Cardinals to put a competitive team on the field year after year. Pujols knows every year his teams have a chance of competing with LaRussa at the helm.

Do you think he is going to take a home-town discount playing for Eric Wedge (I am just throwing his name out there. He is not rumored to be going to the Cardinals if LaRussa leaves) or some second rate manager?

That is why LaRussa coming back is so important. Him leaving sets off a chain of events that could set the Cardinals into rebuilding mode after the 2010 season.

According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, team chairman Bill DeWitt Jr., GM John Mozeliak, LaRussa met for two hours yesterday reviewing the season.

It will be interesting to see what happens with LaRussa. If I was a betting man, I would put my money on LaRussa coming back and signing a new deal with the Cardinals.

The Cardinals just wouldn’t be the same without him.

Bullpen Saves The Day For The Dodgers In Game One

October 8, 2009

In one of the most brutal postseason games to watch in quite some time, the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the St Louis Cardinals 5-3 in Game One of their National League Division Series.

This was three-hours and fifty three minutes of unwatchable baseball. Both starting pitchers–Chris Carpenter and Randy Wolf couldn’t have been worse and both teams left a combined 30 runners on base. The 30 runners left on base was a record for a nine-inning postseason game.

I thought the National League was known for fast-paced, crisp baseball?

Let’s start with the Cardinals. What on earth happened to Carpenter in this game? He looked like Carpenter on the Toronto Blue Jays, circa 2001.

I couldn’t get over how badly Carpenter was missing his spots. If Yadier Molina was setting up inside, Carpenter threw the ball six inches outside. If Molina wanted the ball low, Carpenter threw the ball at a batter’s letters.

I don’t know if it was playoff nerves or what? But I have never seen Carpenter off like that in a Cardinals uniform.

The other Cardinal I am going to get on is Matt Holliday. I know it was only one AB, but his first inning AB with the bases loaded was terrible.

We got a clear indication early on that Joe Torre is not going to let Albert Pujols beat him in this series. That means that Holliday is going to have to step up.

Bases loaded, nobody out, Wolf already on the ropes, and Holliday stands there with the bat on his shoulders looking at the same pitch–not once, but twice.

That just can’t happen in that spot.

Now let’s talk about the lesser of two evils last night–the Dodgers. Just as I suspected Wolf was, well, Wolf. Six hits, two runs, and five walks in three-and-two-thirds of less than stellar pitching.

The Dodgers’ offense helped him out with a solid 12-hit attack led by Rafael Furcal (3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored) and Matt Kemp (two-run HR in the first that set the tempo for the game). But the real stars of this game for the Dodgers was their bullpen.

Jeff Weaver (yes, Jeff Weaver), Ronald Belisario, Hong-Chih Kuo, George Sherrill (very underrated pickup at the trade deadline), and closer Jonathan Broxton combined to shut down the Cardinals for five-and-one-third innings.

Weaver did to the Cardinals last night, what he did to other teams in a Cardinals’ uniform in 2006. Somehow, in his last 31 postseason innings Jeff Weaver has a 2.32 ERA. How is that possible?

The Cardinals did have a rally going in the ninth against Broxton. Mark DeRosa doubled home Ryan Ludwick to make the score 5-3. But Broxton got pinch-hitter Rick Ankiel looking at a pitch literally right down the middle to end the game.

Honestly, what on earth was Ankiel looking for in that situation? He really has no excuse on that one.

Dodgers lead the series 1-0. Game Two is Thursday at 6:07 ET.

Let’s hope Game Two is better to watch than Game One. It can’t get much worse.

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

2009 All-Fantasy Bust Team

September 16, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

CatcherGeovany Soto, .222/10/40

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

Davis has not lived up to the hype

Davis has not lived up to the hype

First Base – Chris Davis, .216/19/49

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shortstop – Jose Reyes, .279/2/15

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

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

Third Base – Alex Gordon, .202/4/12

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

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

Outfield – Milton Bradley, .260/12/39

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

I mean 39 RBI in 121 games? Pathetic

Outfield – Josh Hamilton, .270/10/49

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

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

Outfield – Magglio Ordonez, .296/7/40

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

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

Liriano has been a bust in 2009

Liriano has been a bust in 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fantasy Week In Review, July 20-26…

July 27, 2009

It’s Monday, so that means it’s time for a fantasy week in review. Was it me or did it seem like more player went on the DL than normal last week? Every day it seemed like two players were going to miss 15 days.

That being said, here at the fantasy studs, the many players who show reasons for concern, and the potential pickups from the fantasy week of July 20-26.

Fantasy Studs

Justin Morneau – .333/5/11/.455. Leading candidate for the 2010 Paul Molitor Hall of Fame for players who if they played in New York, Boston, or Los Angeles would be superstars induction ceremony.

Jeff Francouer – “Frenchy” is digging his new team. It’s only a matter of time before Francouer hits his toe on his bedpost by accident, the New York Met’s team doctors diagnose him with a stubbed toe, and two weeks later his toe for some reason needs to be amputated.

Carlos Lee – .333/2/10. Anyone else know that Lee has averaged 30 HR’s for his 11 seasons in the majors? I guess that is why he is making $18.5 million this year.

Matt Holliday – .556/2/10 with seven doubles. Whether he is hitting in Oakland or St. Louis, Holliday is red hot right now.

Mark Buehrle – 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA, zero hits, zero walks in 9 IP. The man through a perfect game – enough said.

John Lannon – 1-0 with a 0.53 ERA and give up one run in 17 IP. When you give up just one run in 17 innings, you should have two wins. Such is life playing for the Washington Nationals.

Cliff Lee – 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA and eight K’s in 16 IP. Lee is pitching again like the Cy Young winner he was last season. It’s still possible those were the last two games Lee has pitched in an Indians’ uniform.

Mariano Rivera – Three saves, zero hits, a 0.00 ERA in 2.2 IP. Sometimes you just have to sit back in amazement in regards to how easy Rivera makes pitching look.

Reasons for Concern

John Smoltz – 0-2 with a 10.13 ERA, 18 hits, and 11 K’s in 10.2 IP. While at 42, Smoltz is a great story – it’s just not working in Boston right now.

Smoltz is consistently missing his target and paying for it. The Boston Red will have a serious decision to make once Tim Wakefield and Daisuke Matsuzaka return from the DL.

Ted Lilly – Lilly got smacked around by the Philadelphia Phillies and then went to the DL. Not only does Lilly have a sore left shoulder, but he is also going to have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. Talk about a double whammy.

Lilly is expected to miss four-to-six weeks.

Lance Berkman – Berkman was placed on the 15-day DL with is strained right calf. Berkman has killed fantasy owners this year.

Berkman hasn’t had a typical Berkman year to date, and then when he gets going – he lands on the DL. The injury doesn’t appear to be too serious as Houston Astros GM said “If we were in late September then our approach might be different.”

Jose Guillen – Not only does Guillen suck, but now he sucks and is on the DL. Sucking and being on the DL is no way to go through life son.

Guillen was placed on the 15-day DL with a partial tear of his lateral collateral ligament in his right knee.

Guillen was only hitting .245 with nine HR’s and 40 RBI, so this should be no big loss.

Colby Rasmus/Rick Ankiel – With the acquisition of OF Matt Holliday and with Ryan Ludwick finding his stroke, there is only one spot left in the Cardinals’ OF for two players.

Ankiel started all three games against the Phillies, but knowing the way Tony LaRussa operates, Rasmus will start all four games against the Los Angeles Dodgers. It will be hard to count on either of them for solid fantasy production for the remainder of the season.

What the heck happened to Ankiel as a hitter? His career as a hitter parallels that of the “Real Sex” series on HBO. Remember when that show first came out? It was great. Hot girls everywhere and it was definitely worth watching without sound so your parents wouldn’t catch you watching it.

Now? That show is awful. All they show is old couples in their 60’s going to some swingers retreat in Arizona. Completely unwatchable.

That is Rick Ankiel. He got off to a great start by hitting .285 with 11 HR’s in 47 games in 2007 and he hit .270 with 20 HR’s in the first-half of the 2008 season.

He has gotten gradually worse since. Now he is hitting .236 with a .290 OBP and is killing any chance of a big contract in the offseason. Just terrible.

Potential Pickups

Michael Saunders – Saunders was the Number two prospects in the Seattle Mariners’ organization according to Baseball America. Prior to his callup, Saunders was hitting .310 with 13 HR’s and 32 RBI in 64. games for Triple-A Tacoma.

If you are in a Keeper League, it might be worth it to consider Saunders. I don’t think the Mariners called him up just to ride the pine.

Fantasy Week In Review, 6/8-6/14…

June 15, 2009

It was a really interesting second week of June. It seemed there was no in between. Either the performance was really great or really terrible.

As always here were the studs, the players who have me concerned and the potential pickups from the week of 6/8 – 6/14.

Fantasy Studs

Torii Hunter – .368/4/8. Any player who hits three HR’s in one game is definitely a stud.

Jason Kubel – .381/4/6/.480. While Mauer and Morneau get all the attention, Kubel has been a force for the Twins this season.

David Wright – .520/1/2. The power isn’t there for Wright, but the average certainly is. Wright also stole three bases last week.

Pablo Sandoval – .480/2/5. Yes, the Giants actually have hitters on their team.

Jim Thome – .400/3/7/.609. Year after year, Thome produces. Thome will be one of the most fascinating Hall of Fame debates in the next 10 years

Brad Bergesen – 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA and just 10 hits allowed in 17 IP. The Orioles have a bright future and Bergesen is a big part of that future.

Jose Contreras – 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and just three hits allowed in 16 IP. Where is this coming from? It’s like 2005 all over again for Contreras.

Jered Weaver – 2-0 with a 1.20 and 11 K’s in 15 IP. Weaver has really stepped up for the Angels this year and is throwing his name in the hat for the Cy Young award.

Reasons for Concern

Roy Halladay – Halladay left Friday night’s game with a groin injury. It doesn’t appear to be to serious and Halladay might start against the Nationals on Saturday.

The concern I have is that groin injuries are like hamstring injuries. They just linger and never really seem to fully go away. This is an injury that I will be following closely.

Jake Peavy – Peavy was placed on the 15 Day DL with a strained tendon in his right ankle. Padres trainer, Todd Hutcheson thinks Peavy could miss as many as 12 weeks with this injury.

Peavy is 6-6 with a 3.97 ERA on the season, so it’s not a typical Peavy season. Perhaps Peavy will stop pitching in the WBC. I am just sayin’.

Howie Kendrick – Kendrick was demoted to Triple A Salt Lake over the weekend. Ouch!!! Kendrick had a hitting line of .231/4/22 with a pathetic .281 OBP in 186 AB’s for the Angels.

I think now we can officially put an end to the “Howie Kendrick will win a batting title” nonsense that we have been hearing for the last five years.

BJ Upton – Upton hit .200 with no HR’s, no RBI and 12 K’s last week. He is now has a hitting line for the season of .218/3/15. If he didn’t have 24 SB’s, he would be completely useless at the plate.

I think it’s pretty clear at this point that Upton is still affected by the offseason shoulder surgery that he had.

Potential Pickup

Rick Ankiel – Ankiel has been a huge disappointment so far this year. I even drafted him over Johnny Damon in my draft based on Ankiel having a breakout year. Good one Adam.

However, Ankiel had a nice week last week. He hit .360 with one HR and four RBI. I still think he can have a big second half, so it might be a good time to pick him up now before he goes on a tear.