Wednesday, March 31, 2010
To start the 2010 season, he will miss (at least) four more.
According to Brian Costa of the Newark Star-Ledger, Reyes will start the season on the disabled list (DL). In addition, the Mets could make it retroactive, which would allow Reyes to return as early as April 10th.
“As soon as I feel comfortable at home plate, I’ll be ready to go,” Reyes said (via the Star-Ledger).
If you're a glass-half-full guy, the problem has been his timing at the plate -- not the hamstring or running. Nonetheless, there seems to be more risk than reward with Reyes for my taste.
In addition to pitchers Yorman Bazardo and Alberto Arias, the Astros have placed Berkman on the disabled list (DL) retroactive to March 26th, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.
Berkman, who had his knee scoped on March 13th, said: "Obviously it stinks to have to start the year on the DL, but I'll get off quick and never look back. I hate missing any games at all, but as long as it doesn't turn into an ordeal. Really just being eligible to come off Saturday [April 10] is good news."
Regardless, Berkman, who is a career .299 hitter, is on the decline. He missed 26 games in 2009, batted only .274 and drove in 80 runs (his lowest total since 2000).
In our Fantasy Baseball Weekly podcast on corner infielders, Berkman was a guy that we suggested to avoid.
If you didn't listen (to the podcast and/or advice), the good news is it's only four games (knock on wood) that he'll miss.
In an effort to fulfill (an unspecified) one of our three missions, we need to reschedule tonight's Fantasy Baseball Weekly podcast to Thursday night at 6:30 p.m.
If this inconveniences our audience (otherwise known as Ed), we sincerely apologize.
In the meantime, here's a shameless plug for our fantasy football podcast, which has the very original name of...Fantasy Football Weekly. Tonight (at 7:30 p.m. ET) we will do round 9 of our 2010 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Meanwhile, his teammate Aroldis Chapman is likely to start the season in the minors.
And Reds manager Dusty Baker says of his bullpen, "You need a good bullpen. We've got a good bullpen."
John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle points out that the difference between the "Big 3's" of Atlanta and Oakland in the past and the Giants today is offense.
Phillies reliever J.C. Romero says of his latest outing, "... today was very good and I am very happy about everything that went on today."
With his roster spot secure in 2010, Phillies starter J.A. Happ said, "I obviously don't want to give up hits or runs, but last year I had to go with what I was most confident in. This year, I'm maybe able to try a few different things. I did that."
San Diego's Chase Headley leads the majors in runs batted in (21) this spring.
Cubs outfield prospect Tyler Colvin, who's hitting .455 this spring, could push the starters.
As expected, Yovani Gallardo is the Brewers' Opening Day starter.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera hit a pair of 500-foot homers.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen says of outfielder Carlos Quentin's new attitude:''I love it, oh, my God, yes. I think Carlos enjoys the game a little bit more. I don't want him to change, I don't. ... I think he's out there more with the players, and I like that, believe me.''
The Mariners have released pitcher Seth McClung.
Reds starter Aaron Harang said about today's loss and being ready as Opening Day starter: "Yeah, I feel great. This is the best I've felt in spring training. The outcome is not what you want and expect. But it doesn't count. This is about getting ready for the long haul of the season. Overall, I feel very comfortable with the new stuff with my mechanics. I feel like the ball is coming out very well. It's a matter of coming in and stretching it out come Monday."
The Marlins acquired pitcher Nate Robertson from Detroit.
Pitcher Jeff Suppan was placed on the disabled list, retroactive to March 26th, by the Brewers.
Shameless plug of the day: here's the link to the latest post on my football site.
Follow me on Twitter @EDSBaseball.
With the contract (three years, $15 million) given to Brandon Lyon, who was expected to win the job, it wouldn't surprise me to see Lyon ultimately take over the role.
But for now, Lindstrom could be a source of cheap saves for your fantasy team.
According to Jeff Miller of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, it's looking more likely that Kinsler will begin the season on the disabled list (DL) as he recovers from his ankle sprain.
"Whatever we decide is going to be in the best interest of Ian," manager Ron Washington said.
Kinsler was baseball's only 30-30 guy in 2009, but he's no stranger to the DL. He's averaged just shy of 130 games per season in his four-year career.
Since several fantasy owners may shy away from Kinsler due to his (lack of) durability, this (potential) brief stint on the DL could cause owners to overreact and create a buying opportunity.
In either case, buyer beware.
To be specific, Liriano will be the team's fifth starter, per Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
With closer Joe Nathan out for the season after having Tommy John surgery, there was some talk about the potential for Liriano to close. Instead, the team will employ a closer-by-committee approach to save opportunities.
Liriano, who has pitched well in winter ball and spring training, threw six shutout innings today and is a guy you should target late in mixed-league drafts.
"To be able to do it with a team I grew up watching, it's even better,'' Sanchez said, per Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
Last year, Sanchez pressed too hard last spring, which is something that Morrison was doing this spring.
"[In] Morrison, I see a very good major leaguer, not just an average major leaguer,'' [manager Fredi] Gonzalez said. "This guy's going to hit. Maybe he's going through what Gaby went through last year.''
Morrison, who is 22 years old, ranks 20th on Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects list (via SI).
Monday, March 29, 2010
Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt, who received an injection in his back, is expected to start on Opening Day.
Marlins ace Josh Johnson is also expected to be ready to make his Opening Day start.
Royals first baseman Billy Butler said, “No personal goals. It’s team goals. Win the American League Central. Make some noise and show our organization is moving in the right (direction). If we do that, my individual goals will all be there because we’ll be where we want to be.”
When asked about his 20-20 potential, Pittsburgh's Garrett Jones said, "I think it's possible."
The Toronto Blue Jays have released outfielder Joey Gathright.
For ceremonial first pitches, Barack Obama will throw out the first pitch in Philadelphia while Roger Staubach will throw out the first pitch in Arlington.
Pirates manager John Russell plans to hit the pitcher 8th in the Pirates' lineup.
As expected, Ryan Perry earned a roster spot in the Tigers' bullpen.
Marlon Byrd said of Milton Bradley: ''I want him to be him. In Texas, he didn't smile. He put up ungodly numbers. He has to be himself. That's the only thing he can do. That's the only way he can play. I want to see him do it, 162 all-out, because he has MVP material.''
Orioles reliever Koji Uehara will start the season on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello had a strong outing against the Blue Jays.
Felipe Paulino has a shot at winning the Astros' fifth starter spot in the rotation.
Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore said, "Whatever soreness or pain I've had has been minimal. I recovered from the next day. Going into this last week of spring training, I feel strong like I'll be ready to go for the season."
Reds pitcher Homer Bailey allowed five runs on five hits in five innings against the Dodgers single-A team.
Royals pitcher Gil Meche threw 127 pitches in a simulated game and didn't feel any soreness.
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira was hit by a pitch on his elbow, but X-rays weren't required as it's only a bruise.
After hitting the ball hard yesterday off Mets' pitcher Mike Pelfrey (then again, who didn't hit Pelfrey hard?), Pujols was pleased with his swing and said "... if the season were to start tomorrow, I'd be ready to go," per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"I think if there is a good time to test (the back) it's right here and in the next three or four days," said Pujols. "I feel great. I don't think this is going to be an issue. If this would be an issue it would have flared up ... again. Long innings, long games — it's stuff like that. That's what I look at, and I feel really good."
In the obvious statement of the day, Pujols should be the top overall pick in fantasy drafts regardless of format.
And through nine MLB seasons, Pujols has never hit lower than .314 (2002), less than 32 home runs (2007) or has he driven in less than 103 runs (2007) in any season. And twice (including last year) he stole 16 bases.
Madson will serve as the team's closer while Brad Lidge remains in Clearwater at the start of the season.
Athough he struggled in that role in 2009 by converting only 10 of 16 opportunities, last year's experience should help him this year.
At least, that's Madson's (and Lidge's) view.
"Just treat it as another inning," Madson said. "I got into a little bit of a groove and got my confidence and realized that. So if I can just start that way, get that feeling that I had at the end of the year last year and just treat it like another inning, go out for each hitter and have fun with it, everything will be fine."
"We all know [Madson's] stuff is as good as anybody's among the late-inning guys. And I think for him, the experience of last year will go a long way for him this year," Lidge said. "I thought he did fine for his first year getting in there. He probably learned a lot about how the ninth inning is a little different from the eighth inning. And now that he knows that, and with his stuff, I think he's going to do an excellent job. I mean, he's really capable of being a great closer."
In six spring appearances, Madson has saved one game while posting an ERA of 6.00 and WHIP of 1.50 in six innings pitched.
According to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, however, Nolasco was "very upset" about allowing his first walk of the spring.
"You don't want to end a day like that -- ever,'' Nolasco said. "It's not acceptable."
"It's frustrating, especially being 0-2 to that guy. I don't care how many walks I have, or don't have. In that situation, it's the absolutely worst way to do it. He was completely overmatched there, and I didn't do my job and let him back in the count. That just can't happen.''
This spring, Nolasco is now 3-0 with an ERA of 1.78 and a K/BB ratio of 21.0.
"The biggest thing I learned as far as pitching is to throw strikes, not walk guys. It just makes your job a million times easier. It's something I've learned and thought about since maybe I was 12."
Despite a horrible start to 2009, Nolasco was 11-4 with an ERA of 3.82 since June. In those 141 1/3 innings, Nolasco struck out 158 batters.
With his strong spring performance, Nolasco is poised for a big season.
"We have cost certainty and the fans have the comfort of knowing these guys are going to be in Giants uniforms helping us win games," said Giants general manager Brian Sabean.
Before the extension, Cain would have become a free agent in 2012. Now, he will earn $15 million that season as a Giant.
In addition, ace Tim Lincecum and Jonathan Sanchez won't become free agents until after the 2013 season.
"When you see a group of pitchers stay together like that "... it builds us all up," said Cain, per Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. "I feel we all share the leadership every time we go out there and pitch."
Cain had a career year last season posting a 14-8 record, 171 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.89.
That said, part of his success was due to (an improvement in his) luck. Cain's 2009 BABIP was .268, which was the fourth-lowest in the Majors, according to Fangraphs.com. Meanwhile, his BABIP in 2008 was .304.
Comparing 2009 to 2008, Cain actually had a worse K/9 rate (7.69 in 2008 to 7.07 in 2009) and HR/9 rate (0.79 in 2008 to 0.91 in 2009) last season.
Per MockDraftCentral.com, Cain's average draft position (ADP) is 89.17, which makes him the 20th starter off fantasy draft boards, which makes him a good value.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
“This is one of those moves that we can make to help the club this year and in the future,” [Nationals manager Jim] Riggleman said.
Provided Desmond doesn't struggle too much in the role, Cristian Guzman, last year's starting shortstop, will remain a utility player that could certainly be dealt mid-season.
"We have not made any calls and we haven't taken any calls about a trade," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said about Cristian Guzman, per Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
Guzman, who's in the final year of his two-year contract, hit .284 last season after hitting .316 in 2008.
Through Sunday's game against the Braves, Desmond leads the Nationals in runs batted in (14) this spring.
It seems to depend on whom you ask.
Yankees pitching coach, Dave Eiland, and Yankees general manager, Brian Cashman, don't necessarily see eye-to-eye on the future of Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain.
Or, at least, the certainty surrounding his future role with the club.
The Yankees decided to go with Phil Hughes for the fifth starter spot in the rotation, which obviously meant a return to relief for Chamberlain.
"We get more out of his ability as a reliever," Eiland said, per Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger. "We feel like he can be a good starter. We feel like he can be a great reliever. ... He's in the bullpen, and he's there to stay, period."
Meanwhile, Cashman said, "We all can have various views. From my perspective, he's going to be a starter that's pitching out of the pen."
In either case, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter talks about the benefit of being emotional and a reliever -- not a starter.
"He's done a good job in that role; Joba is a guy that pitches on emotion, so being in the bullpen benefits his demeanor," Jeter said, per Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News. "He gets by on emotion, and it's easier - or at least more fitting - to get by on emotion when you're in the bullpen. There are guys that can do it as a starter, but for him, I think being in the bullpen is a good thing."
With Joba and Mariano Rivera in the set-up and closer role, the Yankees have arguably the league's best one-two punch.
After all, he's averaged only 129 games per season in his four-year Major League career.
Now Kinsler, who's ankle is feeling better, said he was "95 percent certain" that he'd be ready for Opening Day on April 5th, per Anthony Andro of the Dallas Morning News.
Otherwise, he could end up on the disabled list making him eligible to return on April 11th.
"If I miss four days, it's a lot better to miss four days than to miss 15," Kinsler said, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "It's always fun to be part of Opening Day; you've got the huge flags and the planes, and the stadium is packed."
Although there are several players who have the ability to put up 30-30 seasons, such as Matt Kemp (Dodgers) and Hanley Ramirez (Marlins), only one player had a 30-30 season in 2009.
That was Ian Kinsler, who played a career-high 144 games.
Kinsler is the consensus second player at second base drafted in fantasy baseball behind Philadelphia's Chase Utley and will cost you a second-round pick.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
In the past three seasons, Carmona's numbers have deteriorated each year.
That said, Carmona won 19 games in 2007 and finished the season with an ERA of 3.06.
According to MockDraftCentral.com, Carmona is not in the top 108 starting pitchers off the board as far as average draft position (ADP) is concerned.
Considering his low (or non-existent) ADP, Carmona has certainly become viable as a late-round sleeper with a good chance to bounce back in 2010.
While the cut may cause Lincecum to miss his final start of the spring on Wednesday, he should be ready for Opening Day.
If he does pitch on Wednesday, however, he's likely to pitch against minor leaguers as manager Bruce Bochy "hides" him from the Dodgers, their Cactus League opponent on Wednesday.
"A lot of teams decide to go that route," Bochy said. "It's easier for him to [work on things] down there."
His one-run, four-inning start yesterday lowered his ERA this spring to 6.94. Lincecum has walked ten batters and has allowed 18 hits in 11 2/3 innings.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
That makes one of us.
''Maybe if I stayed healthy and put up the numbers I did to get the contract, people wouldn't talk about it,'' Soriano said, per Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. ''But it's not that I can't do it because I lost my talent. It's my injuries. The last three years, if I [was] 100 percent, I know I could put up some numbers [to show] why I got the contract.''
Soriano blames his knee for his (lack of) production in 2009. In 117 games, he hit .241 with 20 home runs, 55 runs batted in and nine stolen bases.
Out of seasons in which Soriano had 450+ at bats, those were all career-lows with the exception of home runs. He hit 18 home runs in 2001.
''If I play at 100 percent and I don't put up the numbers, then I have to worry about it. But I know whatever happened last year is because of the problem with my knee. My emotions are good because the talent is there. That's the key to everything.''
In fantasy baseball (or fantasy sports, in general), "the key to everything" is drafting players that are values based on where they are being drafted. Currently, Soriano is being drafted with the 79th overall pick as the 24th outfielder drafted, according to MockDraftCentral.com.
Instead of overpaying for Soriano, let others overpay for his services.
New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes has been cleared to resume baseball activities and is expected to return to Tradition Field tomorrow, according to John Harper of the NY Daily News.
“I can’t tell you if he’s going to be ready for Opening Day,” Mets general manager Omar Minaya said. “I can’t tell you that he is or that he’s not. But the reality is, we’re happy to get him back. I know for us and for all the players, everybody was excited. He’s excited. Let’s get him back here. Let’s get that smile back on our team.”
Last year, Reyes played only 36 games due to hamstring issues. He hit only .279 with two home runs and 15 runs batted in while stealing 11 bases.
In the four seasons before 2009, Reyes averaged 113 runs, 13.5 home runs, 66 RBI and 64.5 stolen bases per season while hitting .287.
With the exception of batting average, I would be highly surprised if he exceeds his average on any of the other four statistical categories in 2010.
In most fantasy baseball drafts, he's the fourth shortstop drafted behind Florida's Hanley Ramirez, Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki and Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins. So, although his thyroid level seems to be back to "normal," if you want him on your fantasy team, you can have him.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
"It didn't go like we hoped," Nathan said [after playing catch today]. "We knew it was a longshot, but I think this will clear my head. There definitely was no gray area. It was definitely on the dark side. We know now that we're going to need to go in and have some surgery done and get this thing taken care of."
Based on the current pitchers on the roster, Jon Rauch is the most likely replacement for Nathan. Rauch has 26 career saves, of which 17 came with the Washington Nationals in 2008.
"He's got all the closing stuff: punchout pitches, the whole package," [manager Ron] Gardenhire said [of Rauch]. "Whether he wants to do that or not or whether it's the right thing to do remains to be seen."
In addition to Rauch and other internal candidates, such as Matt Guerrier and Pat Neshek, the Twins could make a move for San Diego closer Heath Bell.
If so, that would likely move Luke Gregerson into the closer's role and obviously increase his fantasy value.
After the All-Star break, Gregerson had an ERA of 3.13, WHIP of 1.10 and struck out 53 batters in 37.1 innings.
Regardless of whether or not that's the case, Joe Mauer, a St. Paul native, will be the Minnesota Twins catcher through the 2018 season.
Mauer and the Twins agreed to an eight-year extension that will pay him $184 million and includes a no-trade clause, per ESPN. This would have been the final season of his four-year contract.
According to MLB.com, a press conference will be held at 6 p.m. central time on Monday to officially announce the deal.
Had Mauer tested the free-agency market in the fall, ESPN's Buster Olney believes that he could have commanded in the range of $250 million.
Despite being only 26 years old, Mauer is the American League's reigning MVP, has won three batting titles and two Gold Gloves.
In fantasy baseball, he's the consensus first catcher drafted and is a borderline first-round pick with an average draft position (ADP) of 12.71, according to MockDraftCentral.com.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
With the possibility of the Indians being out of contention mid-season and with Wood in the last year of his contract, the Tribe could have easily unloaded Wood and his contract. In addition, there was the possibility that he would lose the job due to lack of performance or good health.
So, for the next six-to-eight weeks, it's the latter (lack of good health) that will create the opportunity for Perez.
Per Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Wood has suffered a strained latissimus dorsi that will keep him out for up to eight weeks and put him on the disabled list for the 13th time in his career.
Lonnie Soloff, the Indians' head trainer, said, "If there is one positive, it's not his elbow or shoulder where he's experienced surgical issues in the past."
After the All-Star break last season, Wood converted eight of ten save opportunities, had an ERA of 2.96 and struck out 30 batters in 24 1/3 innings.
"[Wood's absence] won't be such a long time," [Indians GM Mark] Shapiro said, "and we feel Chris can handle the job in the interim. It will be an opportunity for him."
"It's a good audtion," Perez said. "It's a good way for the new coaching staff to get a look at me. I hope I take the ball and run with it and get off to a good start and help this team get off to a good start. I think that's one of the easiest ways to ruin a season right off the bat is to have the bullpen blow games."
Perez, who is only 24 years old, finished 2009 strong with an ERA of 3.10, a WHIP of 1.00 and batting average against of .184 after the All-Star break.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
“I’m pretty tired today,” Gordon said. “I didn’t get much sleep. Coming off the injury and now having this … sucks.”
Gordon broke the thumb sliding head-first in an attempt to steal second base and manager Trey Hillman said, “It’s a well-documented fact that more injuries on the basepaths happen from sliding head-first than any other way.”
The injury to Gordon will get some additional at-bats for Alberto Callaspo and Josh Fields.
“He’s a natural third baseman,” Hillman said (of Fields). “It really ups the ante of (Callaspo and Fields) getting the majority of the reps at third base. And Josh, we’ll take a look at him at first base. We’ll see where it goes.”
Gordon, who was the second overall pick in 2005, hasn't even begun to live up to the hype. But several sites have dubbed Gordon as a sleeper pick in fantasy baseball for 2010.
After working with hitting coach Kevin Seitzer to retool his swing, Royals Hall of Famer George Brett said, "He stays on the right plane a little longer, has more of a weight shift. I think he's moved a little off the plate. ...He's changed his swing considerably. Hopefully it will compute when the games start."
In his young career, Gordon has a batting average of only .230 and .232 in April and May, respectively.
This setback will obviously make it tough for him to get off to a strong start.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
The deal is expected to be announced Wednesday and it will keep the 22-year-old in Arizona through the 2015 season.
As Steve Gilbert of MLB.com points out, Upton's contract will be the second-largest contract in franchise history behind the $53.4 million contract they gave to Randy Johnson.
Upton, who was the top overall pick in the 2005 amateur draft, hit .300 with 26 home runs and 86 runs batted in while stealing 20 bases in 138 games in 2009.
Many expect Arizona third baseman Mark Reynolds to be next. However, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports tweeted that the Diamondbacks are "not nearly as far along with Reynolds as they are with Upton" and that they "may need to go year to year."
(Note: Duncan Sanford and I will preview corner infielders on our Fantasy Baseball Weekly podcast tonight.)
In fantasy baseball drafts, Upton will be one of the top five outfielders drafted along with guys like Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford and Matt Holliday. In keeper leagues, he should be one of the top three outfielders drafted along with Braun and Kemp.