Tag Archives: Pitcher

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.

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

BREAKING: Soriano signs with Yankees

John Heyman if Sports Illustrated is reporting that Rafael Soriano has signed with the Yankees to set up Mariano Rivera. The signing is in contrast to previous statements made by Yankees GM Brian Cashman, who said he would not sign Soriano because he did not want to lose the Yankees first round draft pick.

This 3-year, $35 million deal is an interesting move. Soriano just lost a ton of value fantasy-wise. Yes, he will probably put up the same numbers, but without the saves, his overall value plummets. However, he would be an interesting guy to pick up for keeper leagues: there is a possibility that he could now be the Yanks closer of the future. If he is indeed the closer of the future in the Bronx, he will pay off not this year but maybe next year or the year after. Also consider this: Rivera is 41 and could go down with an injury. Soriano is a guy to take in the later rounds or pick up on the waiver-wire, depending on the size of your league.

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It hurts when I….

Do anything.  Peavy is hurt again.  This time it’s not an elbow or even an ankle.  Someone how Jake Peavy has managed to completely detach his right Latisimus Dorsi.  This injury is more common for hardcore bodybuilders than starting pitchers.  In fact, the surgery for this injury is uncharted territory. People are already considering Jake Peavy to be the new Tommy John.

Some pitchers are just fragile.  Whether its because  they were overworked as young guns or they are just genetically more susceptible to injuries, high-maintenance aces seem to drop like flies.  I consider a lot of them to be like pure-bred horses.  Years have been dedicated to finding and grooming these talents to do one thing and to be the best at it.  When injuries are this prevalent, people can’t help but have the nasty “S” word pop up in their minds.  Given the high level of competition in baseball, like horse racing, I really would not be surprised if the majority of players were looking for an edge.  Maybe Peavy and others are just more susceptible to injuries because of maximum-effort deliveries and tireless work ethics….or maybe there’s more.  I’m not making an allegations but only asking people to think.  Peavy is not Jose Canseco, but neither was JC Romero.

Now I’ll leave you with some meatheads talking about how painful an injury a torn Lat can be….and what not to do.

FRAGILE: Handle With Care

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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.

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Hughes to skip start

According to multiple reports Phil Hughes will miss his next start because he is pitching too many innings. This could be a problem near the end of the season. While the Yankees are being smart in limiting his innings, fantasy owners should monitor this as the season goes on, especially if he gets picked in the All-Star game (which he probably wont pitch in if this happens.) Anyway, this is just a informational post, keeping all you owners out there informed on the latest news.

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The Roy We Once Knew

As many have heard whispers of Roy Oswalt (and his wifey) wanting out of Houston, who could really blame the 33 year old.  He has yet to win a championship but has tasted sweet victory before with visits to the NLCS in his time with Houston (remember when Carlos Beltran and the killer B’s made a name for themselves?). 

Well not only has Oswalt made it clear that he wants to move, he’s doing what he can to help the dwindling ‘stros.

The initial issue that arose in the Houston front office when Roy made his feelings heard was that the Astros would only trade him if they could receive A&B-list prospects from the highest bidder.  Well Oswalt’s value wasn’t anywhere near that high when rumors began to spread.  However, with no time missed for injury, the Mississippi-born hurler has allowed 3 or fewer runs in each of his starts this season (8 ip, 0 er, 9 k in last start vs. MIL).

Roy must really not want to be in Houston (or he just really doesn’t want his team to suck this year).  The man is proving his value by stalling NL offenses and lighting up the strike zone with that mid-90’s fastball that made him so stellar in the middle part of the decade.

In other words, he’s doing what he can to make himself tradable (you’re standard good-‘ole fashion showcase).

Oswalt’s potential suitors:

Well the Nationals can certainly offer up enough quality prospects, but will they continue to hang? And is it worth taking a 33 year old injury-prone veteran when your team is still SO young?

Cincinatti is certainly another NL squad that had surprised some folks (especially if you’re from Cinci).  While they have a bevy of young pitchers (Leake, Cueto, Bailey, and eventually Aroldis Chapman) Dusty Baker’s boys havn’t been impressed with the production from Harang, and they cannot expect Bronson ‘The Voice’ Arroyo to log 30 quality starts.  With the youth in tact and the offense to support it, I think Oswalt could see this as a top-choice destination.

In all reality Roy needs to stay in the NL and not follow the path of former fellow NL ace Jake Peavy (who left mid-season for the south side of Chicago last year).  He is much more comfortable there and the transition will be fluid.

With the emergence of Stephen Strasburg likely in early June, Washington may certainly land the ace, but if you ask me, going to team with guarenteed talented offense (which is why you’re leaving Houston) is the safest bet.

While the shopping in DC may take the cake in this battle, my inside source (Mrs. Texiera) ensures me that the difference is minimal Roy.

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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.

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Roy Oswalt Requests to be Traded

Not too surprisingly, Oswalt wants out.  He made his wish very clear by asking Houston owner Drayton McLane Jr. to trade him before the deadline Given how much he has given to the franchise, Oswalt deserves to have his wish fulfilled.  Any thoughts on who might be interest?

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Fantasy GM: Mariners Edition

Probably could have a ring on all five of those fingers if you went to Boston.

In order to try to liven up the discussion in the comment section, I am going to propose an old trade scenario  that you would face if you were Jack Zduriencik, GM of the Mariners. The trade is from last season when the Red Sox told the M’s they could pick five of the following eight prospects:

Clay Buchholz

Daniel Bard

Michael Bowden

Justin Masterson

Nick Hagadone

Josh Reddick

Yamaico Navarro

Felix Doubront

For Felix Hernandez.

I know that trade never went down but, lets assume the Sox come back and offer that again. Who do you take and why? I know this isn’t fantasy baseball related (although you could talk about how King Felix would do in Boston) but we need to get some discussion going.

Have at it.

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Player Watch: Jhoulys Chacin

This guy could pick you up a key win down the stretch

For those of you looking for deep, deep sleepers, look no further than Jhoulys Chacin a RHP for the Rockies. Last night in his season debut, he went 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB and 7 k. Pretty solid. Although he has a relatively small sample size (1-1, 11 GP (2 GS), 19.0 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 14 BB, 22 K, 2.84 ERA, 1.11 WHIP), his strike out numbers are pretty good. He does have the tendency to walk some guys, but if he can harness his control he could be gem on the waiver-wire.

He makes his next start against the Dodgers.

For video of Chacin, click here.

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Filed under Fantasy Baseball, MLB, Pickups, Sleepers