Posts Tagged ‘Rickie Weeks’

Hey There Everyone

I know I’ve been noticeably absent from these parts recently, and I swear there’s a good explanation for that, which I won’t go into, but it’s not the lame cop-out “I have four final papers due within a week of each other,” bullspit…well that’s part of it, but not most of it, since that is the current predicament I find myself in.

However, to make it up to all of you, this afternoon from now (12:30) until about 5 or 6 p.m., I will be LIVE BLOGGING the wonderful slate of afternoon baseball, which includes, game ones of doubleheaders featuring the Yankees and Tigers, Rockies and Phillies, not to mention just afternoon baseball from the Pirates and Reds, Mets and Nationals, Braves and Brewers, White Sox and Twins, Blue Jays and Red Sawx and Marlins and Cubbies.

Keep checking back here to find out if Phil Hughes will continue his awesomeness and my pontification if he does. Hear me berate Collin as the Sawx get pummeled by the Jays, pledge my devotion to Jason Heyward and Rickie Weeks, and relentlessly mock everyone involved in the Mets and Nationals game. Should be a good time, remember to check back here often, because there are no classes and no exams, what better things do you have to do?

Update 1:14 p.m: So the baseball gods were kind enough to have one warmup game start at 12:30, which only has one little fantasy nugget: a reminder that Joey Votto might be the most underrated slugger in the make-believe game. After swatting a 2-run dinger in the first, he’s hitting .314 with 8 homers and 24 RBI on the year. He’s not going to hit 40 HR this year, but no one’s going to complain about a .310 hitter with 30-35 homers and 110-120 RBI who costs $5-10 less than the big boys. Anyone who’s ever owned Votto will attest to what a joy he is to just put in at 1B and never worry, unless he has mono.

Vazquez, not Hughes, is starting in the afternoon game, so the positive pontificating promised will likely turn into obscenity-laced tirades. Sorry in advance. Blame his mysterious inability to pitch to AL hitters.

Last thing, Juan Pierre has already stolen two bases, giving him 17 on the year. Never has a purer one-category contributor existed. I’ll be back with more soon when more happens.

Update 1:37 p.m: I have, for some insane reason, not mentioned Jeff Niemann once in this space before this very moment. That was a mistake. Not only is he dominating all that he’s faced, but he’s doing it on my fantasy

Unheralded Awesomeness

team! His line (through seven starts): 3-0, 2.27 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 28 Ks. The Ks aren’t dominant per se, but he’s yet to not throw a quality start out there, and he’s had a game with eight punchout, so the potential is there. Pitching behind one of the best lineups in the game will mean plenty of wins, and with ratios like that, I’m so happy he’s mine for one dollar for the next two years.

Also, thanks to Holgash for the comments, and picking Homer Bailey is never, ever a safe bet, even against the Pirates. He’s the kind of pitcher that will literally make you vomit from frustration. Avoid at all costs.

Update 2:09 p.m: I’ve recurring had this thought all year: What the *expletive* is the deal with Drew Stubbs. A somewhat-under-the-radar prospect heading into this year, I targeted him lightly but didn’t wind up with him, and wasn’t too disappointed. He’s gone on to deliver one of the strangest fantasy lines since the season began: .198, 3 dingers, 13 RBI, 20 R, 8 SB. Other than the appallingly terrible batting average, that’s a solid line. Some power, very good speed, and help in the other categories. If he has so much talent, why is he only getting base hits one-fifth of the time?

Well, he’s been extremely unlucky. He has a BABIP of .243, his HR/FB ratio is waaaay down from last year, and he’s walking 10 percent of the time, which is better than last year? If he’s on the wire in your leagues, pick him up, because he’s about to start socking more dingers and that average is going to pick up. Not to a good average, but to an ownable average.

In other news, our hero, Jason Heyward is 0-2 against Yovani Gallardo, so I’m okay. Gallardo’s been a strikeout machine this year, sporting a 10.97 K/9 ratio, and he’s the ace of Teamocil’s non-streamer-wins-and-Ks-leading staff.

Update 2:43 p.m: As if our boy Jason Heyward couldn’t get anymore awesome. After drawing a walk, he stole a base for the second straight day, officially confirming himself as the Messiah.

Also, as if today were some sort of karmic retribution holiday, Homer Bailey is shutting out the Pirates, and they’re leaving him in for the ninth inning. Son of a…mother. The Sawx and Yanks are BOTH losing, satisfying only Rays fans, and dampening the interminable suffering that is the existence of an Orioles fan.

The Mets and Nationals, as promised, are playing a comically horrible game. Fantasy relevant news from that game…uhhhhh….pitchers have driven in four of the six runs, Roger Bernadina hit a homer, and Mike Pelfrey came upon his first five out via the strikeout. He only has one K since then, and has been positively mediocre all day. Just the worst. I mourn for the afternoons of anyone who paid to see that game.

Update 3:43 p.m: I wish I had a stat for the last time both the Yankees and the Red Sox were shut out on the same day. I don’t, but I’m sure it’s either been a while or happened very recently. Or somewhere in the middle. Regardless, not a happy day in either Yankee Universe or Red Sox Nation.

On the other side of the coin, Shaun Marcum was once again dominant. Chances are, he’s unavailable in any of your leagues, I’d just like to shake my fist at the sky since I rostered him at the end of last year on both of my teams on the off-chance I’d keep him. I didn’t. Son of a mother!

In an unfortunate turn of events, very few exciting things have happened thus far in the afternoon games, making

What a lil' cutie

this live blog Much Ado About Diddly Poo (I think that was Shakespeare’s original title of his play, but diddly poo has lost some of its taboo since the 16th century). However, Cubs wunderkind Starlin Castro, who I think is the only player in majors younger than I, is 2-3 so far in his first game as Teamocil’s shortstop. And in case you were wondering, I really don’t care what Collin thinks.

Update 4:38 p.m: Yup, total jinx. I’m a fool to think that Kelly Gregg would come through for both me and his team, instead of just barely for his team like he did. At least the Sawx still lost.

This will be my last blog post because nothing interesting nor fantasy relevant will happen until I’m off work at 6. It’s been fun, thanks for reading, and keep an eye on those youngsters, like Castro, Heyward and, apparently, Roger Bernadina, who just hit his second homer to give the Nats a 6-4 lead in the ninth. Also, happy karmic retribution day.


For the first time, depth at second

For years, fantasy owners have struggled to find successful second basemen. In 2008, only four second basemen ranked in Yahoo’s top 50. A shift began last season as eight players were ranked in the top-50. The trend appears to be continuing as second base has quietly become one of the deepest positions in fantasy baseball, with 9 top-50 players holding fantasy eligibility, according to Yahoo.

This revolution is being led by established players like Chase Utley, Dustin Pedroia and Robinson Cano, but is also benefitting from turnarounds from a number of previously questionable players. Players previously mentioned on this blog, including Martin Prado, Alberto Callaspo and Ty Wigginton are leaders in a new revolution, but two more players have had profound impacts on fantasy teams this year.

Kelly Johnson is owned in 51% of Yahoo leagues. He is the NL leader in weighted OPS (on base + slugging, scroll all the way down on the linked page for a full explanation).

Kelly Johnson is smiling. So are his lucky owners.

 In most years, Johnson’s .327/6/10/13 would make him an upgrade for virtually every team at second.  While it remains true these numbers would upgrade most teams, a few players remain ranked above Johnson.

One such player is Ethan’s favorite second baseman: Rickie Weeks.  Weeks has a line of .324/3/12/16/1.  As Ethan previously mentioned, Weeks also benefits from leading off for a team featuring Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder.  He isn’t available in your league (if you are playing with any competent owners), but it bears repetition that Weeks may be starting to live up to the potential the baseball world has seen in him for years.  With his history, however, another injury could be just around the corner.

To further explain the depth at second, two of the players who have consistently put up solid numbers are currently on the DL (Ian Kinsler and Brian Roberts) and will serve to add to the already strong pool of second basemen.  You have also already heard me wax poetic on the virtues of Casey McGeehee and Martin Prado, two more players with second base eligibility.  I own all four of these players on the Providence Grays and find that most other teams are not looking for a trade, largely because they already have a competent second baseman.

Historically, second basemen have been though of as overachievers (think Pedroia), not strong or quick enough to play shortstop, but hard workers who can lead a team.  The day of the second baseman may finally have come, and crossing second on the basepaths is a new feeling to players who only touch second briefly as they turn a double play.

Second basemen have had value in real baseball because of their cunning in pulling tricks like this, even at a young age. Now they are becoming fantasy relevant as well.