Posts Tagged ‘Providence Grays’

Villain’s Bullets

Fantasy columns are often done in the bullet format.  I cannot think of a way to thematically weave my fantasy thoughts for the day into a single, flowing column.  Here are my thoughts: naked, free-flowing and sometimes random, but always helpful.

Troy Tulowitzki is a notoriously slow starter, but he’s hitting .300 this April.  Get ready for a monster year from Tulo, wouldn’t surprise me if he was up there with Hanley in the discussion for most valuable fantasy shortstop.

Closers are too erratic a commodity to be as valuable as they are in many fantasy leagues.  At the beginning of a week, a guy can be a nobody stuck in the free agent pool.  By the end of the week, he can be nearly untouchable on a fantasy team.  Just look at what’s happening with Alfredo Simon–and he plays for the Orioles for crying out loud.

The Providence Grays are finally starting to pitch better. Josh Beckett and Justin Verlander have recently had encouraging starts while Rich Harden has been nothing short of dominant tonight (no runs, .29 WHIP so far, 9 Ks) and I have made a few nice pickups that have been pitching well lately, including Doug Fister and Dallas Braden who should help stabilize bloated ratio stats.  The weakest part of my pitching staff is, without a doubt, Edwin Jackson.  He might get cut by my fantasy team now, or maybe after his next start.  He’s just bad.  Really bad.  Really, really bad.  (Look how honest I’m being right now, I could’ve tried to play up his value on the blog, but I’m telling everyone how bad he is, allowing his value to plummet).

Also, I’m not liking word from the Red Sox that Jacoby Ellsbury’s timetable for recovery is uncertain and will likely last a while. Broken ribs are never good, 4 of them seem especially bad. I know I need some steals and the sooner Ellsbury gets back, the better. Until then, here’s to hoping David Wright and Alex Rios keep up their stolen base paces and Ian Kinsler starts running sooner rather than later.

Livan Hernandez is not only one of the most experienced pitchers in baseball this year. He is also one of the best.

Livan Hernandez is impossible to figure out. Is he really this good? It’s not like he’s been going up against bad offenses on his way to accumulating ERAs and WHIPs below 1. He has gone up against Milwaukee, Colorado, the Mets and Cubs this year and given up a combined 3 runs. Insane.

Another video in a series of videos on Korean baseball antics, you’ve got to love how weird some of the stuff these guys do is:


Struggles in Grayland and RS Nation

There are two kinds of slumping in fantasy baseball.  One is the kind Ethan is experiencing: fluctuation. An example would be a team hitting around .200 without power. Basically fluctuation just says your team is reeking of sweaty gym socks for a certain period of time and there is a clear correlation between poor numbers and a lack of fantasy points.  The other kind of struggling is a result of strategic weakness. There is no such correlation in the strategy slumps.  Over the last few days, my team has slowly been losing points and has slid from 1st place to 4th.  I now trail the surprisingly respectable Jabula by 4.5 points.  I’ve maxed out my points in homers and RBIs and have respectable numbers in runs and average.  This means hitting will rarely help me gain points, because I already have them.  So despite a day when my team hit over .300 with respectable power numbers, I lost points due to weak pitching and continued sloth-like performances on the basepaths. My strategic flaw was trying to specialize in a few categories to ensure domination rather than aiming to merely compete in every category.

Pitching has also become a huge weakness of the Providence Grays. The pitching deficiency falls more into the fluctuation category.  Wheels are churning on several trade possibilities.  I have less than 5 points in ERA, WHIP and wins.  I will probably lose another point or two in saves before all is said and done as well.

With Ellsbury's speed, points in steals should be coming...

Some of these problems will be self-correcting as the season continues by the law of averages and the law of human bodies recovering.  I only have 4 points in steals, but assuming Jacoby Ellsbury returns in anything resembling a timely manner, I should stand to gain 3 to 4 additional points in steals.  Also, Josh Beckett, John Lackey and Justin Verlander are unlikely candidates to retain ERAs of 5+ and WHIPs of 1.50+.   That being said, movement is needed to ensure upwards movement in pitching categories before it becomes too late.  

With players like Ellsbury, Beckett and Lackey expected to improve (see Lackey’s start tonight), the fate of the Red Sox (this writer’s favorite baseball team) and the Providence Grays are intertwined this year.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What better feeling is there than when two great things intersect?  The success of both your real-life and fantasy baseball teams is up there with the great combos of all time: Russell and Cousy on the same basketball court, peanut butter and jelly on the same sandwich, Collin and Ethan on the same blog.

Some things just can’t be topped.

Pitchers can only be this bad for so long. This video fails to show the rest of the whiffleball season, after the pitcher learns a nasty slider that starts out 6 feet behind the batter and crosses the plate the moment the child hitting falls to the ground, weeping in fear of ball on bone collision.