Monday, April 14, 2008

Fantasy Errata (weekend recap)

The release of Russian River [Brewery]'s series of barrel-aged, spotaneously fermented ales ... and my decision to sample them alongst with some of 3Floyd's delicious Russian Imperial Stout and other brews ... and Rock Band/Guitar Hero ... led to a dearth of articles over the weekend.

Perhaps the fact that I own Johnny Cueto, Shane Victorino, Chris Young, Oliver Perez, and Todd Wellemeyer in many, many leagues also contributed to a somewhat hazy weekend.

-- The Todd Wellemeyer stream went down in flames on so many levels. First, the Giants screw their own site up (it's since been fixed) and tell me Wellemeyer is starting the last game of the Milwaukee series instead of having a second game in a week against the Giants. I drop him, then later realize the error. I may have dropped him anyway after what happened.

Matt Cain is lights out and matches Wellemeyer pitch for pitch. After striking out seven through six, Wellemeyer watches some bad defense behind him result in an error. As soon as he thinks his ERA won't be affected, he does what every MLB pitcher does: proceed to give up four more runs before recording the third out. Then the official scorer decides to change the error into a hit (hometown bullshit!). Now, all five runs are earned, and the Wellemeyer stream turns into a disaster. Oh boy. Thankfully, on Saturday Brian Wilson touched 100 mph on the gun. He's going to be a good one once he stops walking people.

-- Ben Sheets outdueled Johan on Friday, though considering that Santana was lit up, it wasn't much of a duel. Check out Santana's April statistics for the last three or four years: they're ugly. He's actually way ahead of schedule. If he follows the same curve, he'll have sub 1.00 ERAs for the months of August and September. Sheets will quickly go the way of Rich Harden. Sell, sell, sell!

-- Gavin Floyd nearly no-hit the Tigers. They just look putrid. The box scores are so aberrantly low, you just have to figure everyone is slumping at exactly the same time. Try not to panic.

-- Gabe Kapler, who retired a few years ago and was the most yoked white baseball player I've ever seen, is on fire. Absolutely on fire. He's on Yahoo's most added list, and if you can still get him, do so. It can't last, so just cut him when he cools off.

-- George Sherrill gets another save, Carlos Pena hits another homer. Those are looking like real good value picks, eh? There might be a few David Ortiz and J.J. Putz owners who are wondering if they should offer straight up trades.

-- I love me some Cole Hamels. Sleeper NL Cy Young candidate?

-- I sometimes wonder what managers are looking at. Anyone watching the San Diego/L.A. game on Saturday could have told you that Chris Young looked brutal. Just awful. Every pitch was up or right over the plate, and he couldn't hit the mitt to save his life. Leaving him in there to get shelled was an embarrassing decision for Bud Black. And for my fantasy teams.

-- Cliff Lee and Brian Bannister are hot adds in most leagues. Lee has one good year on his resume, and has never struck out more than 140ish in 200ish innings. And he was that good once. Bannister and the Royals can't continue with what they're doing, but at least with him you can't be 100% sure that he isn't just a mediocre pitching who's getting hot (a la Cliff Lee).

-- New York media is all over Joe Girardi for not intentionally walking Manny Ramirez with runners on second and third. Mike Mussina apparently felt Manny Ramirez was no greater a threat than Kevin Youkilis, who was on deck. This apparent cognitive malfunction is reason 112,819 why Mike Mussina is not worth owning in fantasy leagues. Historically, Manny hasn't exactly owned Mussina, with a .265 lifetime BA against (in 98 at-bats) and eight home runs. Then again, Manny's last at-bat v. Mussina had resulted in a mammoth shot over the green monster. Was Joe Girardi paying any attention? Now, I realize that intentionally walking people is almost never a good idea, but this was the exception. Youkilis is a good, patient hitter, but he isn't Manny Ramirez. Girardi clearly didn't want to ruffle any feathers.

-- Speaking of Girardi, the Yankees finally managed to steal a base on Sunday. Wasn't he supposed to bring an NL mentality to the slow-footed Bronx Bombers? When a friend told me this was the case, I didn't believe him. I just didn't think it was possible. No steals until the third week of the season? Amazing.

-- Lance Berkman's torrid start continues. Too late to try to acquire him. David Ortiz's nightmare season marches on. Something is wrong with that knee. His weight shifts are too deliberate for him to feel comfortable up there.

-- I can't watch the Dodgers anymore. I really can't. Andruw Jones is now 4-for-40, giving him a crisp BA of .100. He has one double. His OPS just might be in the negative. Russell Martin looks nothing like the aggressive hitter he was last year. Where are you supposed to hit those guys? Seventh and eighth? Jones should be on the bench, but that will never happen.

-- B.J. Ryan gets a save. And Jeremy Accardo gets dumped by owners everywhere. I think that's premature, but I'd definitely stash Accardo on the bench until he gets things sorted out.

-- Why dump Phillip Hughes now? You must have thought he was going to suddenly burst onto the scene as a premier pitcher. Weather those ups and downs!

-- I hope you sold on Cueto. Five runs in six innings (only five hits) isn't so bad, but two of them were homers. The knock on him is that he's a flyball pitcher who plays in Cincinnatti. You just lost your chance to move him for a veteran stud.

-- Liriano looked healthy. That's all his owners should care about. It's going to be a month before he trusts that elbow again and warms up, if not longer.

-- The Rockies look like they're coming to life. Garret Atkins and Clint Barmes showing up in my Yahoo box score? Nice of you fellas to check in.

-- People are dumping Shane Victorino. You must be kidding me. Store him on your DL or bench, and hope to get a pro-rated version of his 2007 stats down the road. At this point, he's looking like a complete bust, but steals are steals.

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