Tag Archives: Tampa Bay Rays

Fantasy Mustache: Shortstop

Loyalty, Above All Else: Sean Rodriguez

I cannot tell you exactly why there are so many articles and mentions of Sean Rodriguez on this silly little site.  I think some time after he broke into the league my buddy Dave and I decided he was primed to break out, given our expert opinions.  He plays multiple positions, a favorite fantasy attribute of mine, and fit the ‘Swiss Army’ profile both Dave and I enjoy so thoroughly it inspired a series of posts.  Rodriguez did not break out.  What he did was become a useful glue player, playing solid defense at 2B, SS and 3B capable of hitting an occasional XBH and stealing a few bases.  He does nothing. spectacular, despite the wishes of many here at DotP.

Bill James is so un-enthused with Rodriguez’s mediocrity that he has chopped the guy’s plate appearances to a mere 256 in 2013:

14 2B / 1 3B / 8 HR / 37 R / 32 RBI / 6 SB / .246 AVG / .328 OBP / .730 OPS

According to James, Sean Rodriguez is on a hill, and he will continue to tumble down.  These projections are one big MEH-fest.  I refuse to hear that.  Not our guy.  Not Sean Rodriguez.  The Rays are a likable team and Rodriguez is a likable guy.  And that’s the problem, clearly.  Studies have shown that nice guys, in fact, finish last (Dr. B. Armstrong et al).  Or at the very least don’t bring home that World Series Trophy.  To save his career, Rodriguez must top being nice and start getting…. evil.  Or real, I guess.  Point being, the man’s getting a villain-esque makeover

evilseanrodriguez

Evil Sean Rodriguez: Part Terminator, part Captain Hook, ALL hitting machine.  This is no mere mustache awakening, this is a hostile position takeover.  Note the glare.  The sinister eyebrows.  The dastardly twirl of his facial hairs.  This is a man fed up with being told by Bill James he will be below average.  This is a man who is going to make sure Elliot Johnson doesn’t take another ground ball at SS.  Evil Sean Rodriguez will seize the position.  He will bat 568 times.  He will prove his doubters wrong.  Haters will perish under his lazereyed gaze.  Observe the Mustache-bot 2000’s calculations:

37 2B / 9 3B / 19 HR / 73 R / 81 RBI / 33 SB / .301 AVG / .398 OBP / .963 OPS

We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to create a new Sean Rodriguez.  Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster.  MANIACAL LAUGH…. MANIACAL LAUGH… MANIACAL LAUGH!

But seriously, Sean Rodriguez.  Grow a mustache.  Play better.  Or I’m going to have to stop writing about you.

Stay groomed,

-V

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Filed under Baseball, Fantasy Baseball, MLB, shortstop, Sleepers

Damon, Ramirez could prove to be darn good in Tampa

The two deals the Devil Rays (I refuse to call them the Rays; they will always be the Devil Rays no matter what they try to call themselves) made last night show that they are still committed to winning in even after losing key pieces this off season. There have been a lot of articles praising the moves, and I agree, these two additions could keep the Tampa offense relevant this year.

What they lost:

Tampa’s lineup took a hit in the off-season losing Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena. Last year Crawford put up a line of .307 AVG, 19 HR, 90 RBI, .356 OBP, .495 SLG and .851 OPS. Pena also put up decent numbers last year, (.196, 28, 84, .325, .407, .732).

Their departure is huge. The Devil Rays have to replace their production and they have started to by signing Damon and Ramirez. Let’s look at what they got in these two players.

What they got:

Manny Ramirez, in 90 games last year, put up pretty good numbers (.298, 2, 42, .409, .460, .870) and will do the same in Tampa. Johnny Damon, in 145 games, put up good numbers too (.271, 8, 51, .355, .401, .756) and the combination of these two players can arguably make up for the loss of Crawford (with the exception of speed and general athleticism) and Pena.

Fantasy Value?

So, they made up for Crawford and Pena, what does this mean fantasy wise?

A lot.

“Thank God I don’t have to use this thing anymore.” -Manny Ramirez

By adding Manny as a DH, it allows for another legitimate power threat in the Devil Rays line up behind Evan Longoria. He will more than make up for Pena’s departure and will hit for a higher average. In fact, if Manny hits in front on Longoria, it will force pitchers to actually pitch to Manny rather than pitch around him. Also, by just using him as a DH, literally all he has to do is focus on his favorite thing: hitting. Finally, he is back in the AL East, where he knows the parks and the pitchers.

WWJDD? Go play for the Devil Rays.

This is the same for Damon who returns to the AL East after previous stints with the Red Sox and Yankees. He is also important to the Devil Rays and actually had more doubles (36) than Crawford did last year (30). While I am not putting Damon and Crawford on the same level offensively (because there is no way Damon can touch Crawford in terms of ability), hitting in front of Longoria will also let him see more pitches and will score more runs. In short, these two players still have some value. Damon is a better buy because he brings more to the table (like some speed and not being a space cadet) than Ramirez, who will hit for power but not much else. What is also important about these moves is that it protects Longoria, maintaining and even raising his fantasy value.

Do these moves make the Devil Rays playoff contenders? I say yes. I think with the combination of their young pitching and their now pretty good offense will allow them to hang with the Sox and Yanks. Damon and Ramirez will be a major part of their playoff push and will get the playing time to make them more than an after thought in fantasy leagues.


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Filed under Fantasy Baseball, MLB, offseason, Opinion, outfield, Pickups

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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Filed under Closers, Fantasy Baseball, MLB, offseason

Poll: David Price, Must-Start Ace or Semistud Starter?

With his start today being early, I’ve been thinking about David Price and the player he has become.  King Felix turned a corner in my mind a while back and is now a no-brainer starter.

This leads me to poll the audience, all 3 of you…

-w

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

Jake Peavy- Making Owners Turn to the Bottle.

Not going to lie.  After watching the 4.1ip of Peavy’s outing last night, I hit the frig for a cold one (and another… and maybe a few more).

I wasn't the only one.

After striking out 4 Rays’ batters in the first 2 innings, I thought he had settled down after a rocky start to the season.  I guess not. As my co-author has pointed out several times, the transition from the NL to the AL can be rough for starting pitchers.  BUT Peavy did look solid for the White Sox last season after coming back from injury.  Nights like last night leave owners wondering what is wrong. A higher Whip and ERA is expected in the AL, but 7BB??!!  That could be a sign of lingering injuries for a pitcher that has a career BB/9 of only 2.9.  Peavy is the ultimate low Risk- high Reward player right now if you can find an owner who is ready to cut ties (I am one of them).  I am considering almost a throw-in at this point.  Is this going to be a 2008 Verlander-ish season for Peavy or is he just shaking off the rust?  I’m still debating.

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Filed under Fantasy Baseball, MLB, Opinion

Sean Rodriguez Sighting

Interesting update. The Rays rolled out their starting lineup today with a few tweaks.  Longoria took the day off. Zobrist moved to second. Kapler in RF. Guess who was at 3B? Sean Rodriguez. No offense to the Hebrew Hammer, but I don’t see him in the starting lineup.  Looks like Maddon is serious about getting S-Rod playing time.  And, who knows, maybe he will play some 3B this year too.

4/22 UPDATE: Even though Rodriguez is splitting time with Brignac, his value took a major boost with his production last night against the White Sox.  I am still a fan. Stay tuned.

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Filed under Fantasy Baseball, Sleepers