Tag Archives: comeback

The all-contract year team

Every year there are a few guys who are in a contract year that put up crazy numbers that land them a large contract (Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson come to mind). Sometimes, they are just guys who already produce while others are coming off poor seasons (or careers) and need to rebound (badly). But no matter what they did last year, everything they do this year will be watched and scrutinized, giving them extra incentive to have a huge year. Keep an eye out for these guys:

C: Dionar Navarro

Once the one of the top prospects in the Yankees system, Navarro has fallen on hard times and had a terrible season in 2010. However, he is poised to become the Dodgers starting catcher and may finally tap his talent to prove he can stay in LA for the long haul. He is playing for his major league life and might respond well to the pressure.

1B: Prince Fielder

This is an obvious choice in early rounds but he could put up even bigger numbers this year than he did last year. He has a lot of pressure on him after signing a record arbitration contract, but also has a lot to prove. He is out to prove that he is not an after thought in the 2012 first baseman free agent class which could include Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez. Pujols and A-Gon are primed for huge seasons (and contracts) no matter what but Fielder is the real wildcard. He needs to show constant improvement especially after his down year last year in order to get the 7-10 year deal Scott Boras will be looking for.

2B: Rickie Weeks

Looking to build on his solid fantasy season last year, Weeks is in a great position to land a pretty big contract in the offseason. Weeks needs to prove that last year wasn’t a fluke and that he can be an elite second baseman in the league. He played more games that he has in any other season with the Brewers and his durability will be a factor. Rickie will want to put to bed any doubt that he is a soft player who can put up mediocre stats. If last year is any indication, he will rise to the occasion.

SS: Jose Reyes

Remember when this guy was a one of the top players in all of fantasy? I do too and it wasn’t that long ago. Like Weeks, Reyes put up solid fantasy numbers after a year plagued by injuries. At 27, Reyes is entering his “prime” and will want a contract that will reflect that. Look for him to be a bright spot on an otherwise pretty bad Mets team.

3B: Aramis Ramirez

Yes, he is 32. Yes, he had a bad year last year. But the contract he signs next offseason could be his last professional contract and he will want to make it count. The Cubs should be improved this year which will help him, and the addition of Carlos Pena to the line up will also do wonders. I am not saying you should draft him early (or at all), but look for him to put together a streaky season and pick him up while he is on a hot-streak. As I said before, he is 32 and he knows he has an expiration date, he needs to show teams he hasn’t already past his. This should motivate him to a better season than last year.

OF: Jose Bautista

Another guy who will go early in drafts but also another guy who has a lot to prove. Can he put up the same numbers he did last year or will come back down to earth. (Also, just a note, he is recovering form offseason hernia surgery so keep an eye out for his recovery from that.)

OF: Grady Sizemore

The Indians have an option for Sizemore for $8.5 million or a buyout of $500,000 in 2012. Sizemore needs to prove his worth to the Indians or he might be facing free agency a year early. Especially after two down seasons (including one almost completely lost last year) Sizemore has to come up big. He was once the next can’t-miss superstar, but now he is looking like almost the exact opposite of that. This is a make or break year for him, and he knows it.

OF: Josh Willingham

This should be an interesting season for Willingham who will have to adjust to a new league and a new coast. Other than Navarro, he has to most to lose this season. If he puts up big numbers, he will get a large contract. A real boom-bust guy.

SP: Edwin Jackson

Another guy who is entering his “prime” Jackson has a lot more questions than answers. He can throw the ball nice and fast but can he improve his ERA and WHIP?  There have been other pitchers who had control problems who put together a solid contract year season (see Wright, Jaret) and Jackson could be poised to do just that.

CL: Jonathan Papelbon

Talk about a guy who is pitching with a chip on his shoulder. Pap has more than enough motivation to rebound after last season’s subpar performance and especially after it was reported he would have been non-tendered had the Red Sox signed Mariano Rivera this off-season. This guy is really pitching for his contract because it looks like Daniel Bard (or Bobby Jenks) is poised to take over the Sox  closer role after next season. Paps will come out on fire and put together an extremely impressive fantasy season.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under catchers, Closers, Fantasy Baseball, first base, MLB, offseason, Opinion, outfield, Pickups, second base, shortstop, third base

Interesting Match-up of the night

This evening I am going to be starting a new segment: “Interesting match-up the night” where I will preview and what I feel is an interesting match up, pitcher vs. hitter. Anyway, tonight I am putting Carl Pavano vs. Evan Longoria. So, Longoria is 1-8 with 3 k’s against Pavano in his career and Pavano is coming off two complete game gems. This is a perfect situation for Longoria to break out of his slump as Pavano is probably not going to be real sharp after throwing 18 innings in 10 days. Look for Evan to go 2-5 with a single, a 2B and 3 RBI.

Leave a comment

Filed under batter v. pitcher, Cajones, MLB, Opinion, Random Thoughts

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Javier Vazquez pitching against the NL

"Please get me back to the NL."

Well, I saw this one coming. Javier Vazquez had a solid outing tonight against the Mets after being banished to the ‘pen for the series against the Red Sox. Here are Javy’s numbers while pitching in the NL one season and then the AL the next:

2003 Expos (Remember when they had a team?): 13-12, 3.24 ERA, 241 K, 1.11 WHIP, 9.4 K/9

2004 Yankees: 14-10, 4.91, 150, 1.29, 6.8

2005 D-Backs: 11-15, 4.42, 192, 1.25, 8.0

2006 White Sox: 11-12, 4.84, 184, 1.29, 8.2

Now, while he didn’t pitch that badly with the Yankees the first time around, but he started off hot and then cooled way down as the season went on. Again, tonight he was pitching against the NL again and that is making all the difference. The one problem is finding someone who is going to take Vazquez in a fantasy deal right now. I don’t think the Yanks have any plans to trade him back to the NL (but if those rumors start swirling, I would make a small deal to get him before he starts pitching better) so right now, he doesn’t have much value beyond pitching against the NL. However, maybe tonight put him on a path towards a better season.

1 Comment

Filed under Fantasy Baseball, MLB, Opinion, Random Thoughts

Welcome Back Jeff Francis

7 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K. That’s useful, folks.

still looks like he's 15 though

Granted, it was against the Nationals- but let’s be fair.  We touted Jhoulys Chacin and he got bounced around by this same team, so maybe the Nats aren’t quite the Nats anymore… maybe.

Regardless, Francis looked sharp, commanding a change and that nifty curve slipping in around 70 mph (which must just be incredibly frustrating).  He didn’t factor into the decision because the Rockies, like many teams this year, have come across the reanimated Frankenstein pitcher that is Scott Olsen (remember how bad he was!!?!? I do.)

Francis was on his way to being a very interesting fantasy asset.  He took a detour but my recommendation is to grab him without a doubt in NL leagues – don’t fear the Rockies!  And at the very least kick the tires in a mixed league, especially if you’re looking for a good complimentary starter  (I followed through too snagging him in our League Of Champions).  Francis battled through some tough starts in 2007 and some mechanical issues had derailed him in his spiral down/ to injury.  I’m taking a flyer.  If you’re one of the tens of loyal readers, heed my advice:

At least put him on your watch list?  Please?

Sorry for the delay in posting, we’re getting it down.

back to the laser show (great, great .GIF to go with that clip)

-w

—> Also should note that Clippard got the loss in this game.  He’s nuts folks.  The fact that a reliever at this point of the season has 9 appearances of record (7-2) is bananas.  He’s putting together one of those ridiculous fantasy reliever seasons you hope to have the fortune of sustaining – but be  wary.

1 Comment

Filed under Fantasy Baseball, MLB, Opinion, Pickups, Posted, Random Thoughts

REDEMPTION SONG

I love me any excuse to post silly pop songs from the 90’s

In America, there is nothing we love more than a comeback.  Rocky (clip, dude, there were six of them).  MJ (clip).  And yes, the 2004 Boston Red Sox (where did you think I was going with that?).  So let’s take a moment and appreciate two finer than fine comeback seasons in this young 2010 fantasy baseball season: Mr. Andruw Jones and Mr. Colby Lewis.

Andruw Rudolf Jones

You’re likely more familiar with Mr. Jones, so let us start with him.  Yes, this is the same Andruw (Rudolf????) Jones who was a legit 30-20, if not 40-20 threat in his youth and was an easy 30 homer guy only 4 or 5 years ago.  Jones had to be disappointed in his last few years, but let’s not forget he was never a .330-average type guy (don’t believe me?  Look.).  Jones reported to the Sox this year some 20 pounds lighter and is showing it with a youthful flair so far this year.  Says manager Ozzie ‘Crazy Train’ Guillen,    “He came [into spring training] with one goal — to play every day. I remember having a conversation with him. I said, ‘If you swing the bat good I will play you.’”      Jones seems to have taken that to heart and is enjoying fresh legs and honestly, the perfect park for him this summer- Chi-city is an absolute LAUNCH pad for someone like Jones this summer.  Jones has always had pop, and it looks like he’s ready to work again, so he’s a very real power buy IF you’re sipping my Kool-Aid (OH YEAH… shameless, I know).  I grew up with Jones long arming bombs, heck I imitated his looping reach out in WiffleBall to perfection, and I’m telling you- he’s back like bad Chinese food folks.  Bad analogy, but the moral is pick him up (I blew my loquacious stack in the previous paragraph, so sue me).

Colby Preston Lewis

I swear I didn’t know it before, but wow are we talking about some guys with awesome middle names!  Now Colby Lewis’ story you may not know.  He was drafted originally by the Rangers in 1999 and has been injured/bouncing around for years never quite sticking (A’s, ChiSox, KC, Washington) and ending up in Japan (having rotator cuff surgery in ’04).  Let’s just say he showed Japan who was boss (i.e. America, whatup.).  To the tune of 369 strikeouts in 354 innings in 2008 and 2009 (all stats here). I don’t care what league you are in, those are some serious K’s.  And Lewis has always been known for making batters miss, from Bakersfield College, to his scattered minor league resume, to Japan.  I feel very safe in assuring you that his strikeout potential is real.  He has most recently posted back to back 10 strikeout games and boasts a 38:13 K:BB ratio (in 32 IP!!!), always a sign of continued success, just ask Baltimore (or Daniel Cabrera (clip?)) what it’s like to have that ratio flipped.  Couple his K-readiness with what I see as a system-wide kick in the ass to the pitching staff by Nolan Ryan (I don’t care what actually transpired, I like to think the old fireballer tells his pitchers to stop being lil’ pansies and throw the damn ball. I am crediting Nolan Ryan.  Because he is my favorite. And has no patience for namby-pamby pitchers. ).  Having thrown plenty in Japan, there is little risk of him breaking down like a normal young-gun (Yup, I’m talking about you Mike Leake and your even K:BB rate).  Colby Lewis is making a statement (did you see this line!!!!?!?!?!)- I suggest you listen.  And pick him up.  This is a unique comeback experience, join the bandwagon!  And grab some K’s.

no comment needed?

Me, I missed on both.  So I’m speaking regretfully.

GO get ’em folks, I’m doing some serious, serious LOST research before Tuesday.

Until then, enjoy The Black Keys

-w

KIDDING!  Did you think I wouldn’t post the actual Marley jam!?!??! C’mon people….

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy Baseball, Opinion, Pickups