Mailbag: April 19, 2011
Here are the answer to some of the quick hitters that I received at the BaseballGuys' Twitter account.
I have one roster spot to speculate saves. In order please rank Mitchell Boggs, Sergio Santos and Drew Storen? – @5wallace
Ever get the feeling that you're Bill Murray in Groundhog Day? You remember the movie where Murray is forced to live the same day over and over again, right? I ask because I've literally answered questions about Boggs and Santos for days now, and no matter how many times I do, someone always asks again 30 minutes later. I'm tempted to say this is to be the definitive answer and never address it again... we'll see.
A review of the White Sox bullpen
Matt Thornton: 0-2, 4 BS, 7.94 ERA, 2.82 WHIP Chris Sale: 2-0, 1 BS, 7.36 ERA, 1.64 WHIP Jesse Crain: 0-1, 0 BS, 2.16 ERA, 0.84 WHIP Sergio Santos: 0-0, 0 BS, 0.00 ERA, 1.04 WHIP
Thornton still has an elite arm, but he's been awful this year. When a guy starts out this bad it's nearly impossible for his manager to turn back to him in the 9th unless everyone else fails.
Sale has a terrific 9:1 K/BB ratio right now, but he's given up 11 hits in 7.1 innings and has a scant 30.2 innings in his big league career. Don't forget, the future for this guy long-term is in the rotation.
Crain is a solid big league hurler who owns a 3.39 ERA and 1.25 WHIP over 390.1 innings, but he also has only three saves in 382 appearances.
Santos is pitching the best of any arm in the bullpen. Batters are hitting only .167 off him, and he has 11 Ks in just 8.2 innings.
A review of the Cardinals' bullpen
Ryan Franklin: 0-2, 4 BS, 11.57 ERA, 2.14 WHIP Jason Motte: 0-0, 0 BS, 2.57 ERA, 1.14 WHIP Trevor Miller: 0-0, 0 BS, 2.25 ERA, 1.25 WHIP Miguel Batista: 1-0, 0 BS, 1.29 ERA, 1.43 WHIP Eduardo Sanchez: 8 Ks in 3 IP Mitchell Boggs: 0-0, 0 BS, 2.00 ERA, 0.67
Unlike Thornton, Franklin doesn't own the considerable skills normally associated with locking down the 9th inning (despite his success the last two years). I had no faith in Franklin three weeks ago, and even less in him now.
Motte, thought of as the closer of the future, has struggled with locating his pitches. He's also been unable to put away batters with only three punchouts in seven innings. He just isn't “right” at the moment.
Miller has looked solid, but he is a lefty matchup pitcher, not a 9th inning option.
Batista is old, no good and has all of four saves the past five years. If the Cards turn to him, boy are they desperate.
Sanchez has looked phenomenal in his three innings. Still, Tony La Russa rarely relies on rookies late in games.
Boggs has looked terrific thus far with an impressive 12.00 K/9 mark and a 4.00 K/BB ratio through six appearances.
A review of the Nationals' bullpen
Sean Burnett: 0-0, 1 BS, 2.35 ERA, 0.91 WHIP Tyler Clippard: 0-0, 2 BS, 1.64 ERA, 0.91 WHIP Drew Storen: 1-1, 0 BS, 0.87 ERA, 0.87 WHIP
Burnett has done nothing to lose work in the ninth inning, and he has three of the teams four saves. However he's a lefty, and teams usually try to avoid portsiders in the 9th.
Clippard has an impressive 13 Ks in 11 innings over nine appearances. He can go more than an inning at at time which likely means he'll continue to function in a setup role.
Storen is the closer of the future for the Nats, and he has looked really good since the bright lights of the regular season turned on. I'm still fully confident that he will end the year as the team leader in saves.
If I was choosing between the three arms I'd align them Storen, Boggs and Santos.
Do you think Howie Kendrick will continue to hit for the power he has shown so far this year? – @cliffbeach21
It ain't gonna happen. The past two years Kendrick has hit 10 homers each campaign making his five homers in 16 at-bats this season a shocking development. All you need to know about what is going on here is to look at his HR/F category. In his career he is a slightly below big league average producer with a 7.9 percent mark. This year that mark is up over 35 percent. There's no chance that will continue – zilch (to compare, Ryan Howard's career mark is 29.5 percent). With his hot start 20 homers is possible, but thinking 15 is still a safer bet.
Mike Leake still rosterable in leagues that penalize caught stealing? – @jeffonsports
How could I not post this question in my article? I'd suggest that you check to see if your league counts caught stealing on the same level as dollars. If so, his theft of nearly $60 dollars worth of clothes could create a hole he would be unable to recovery from.
Dan Haren for Jay Bruce- who is the better fantasy player for the rest of the year? – @jabisamra
When you go to the store to buy a TV do you spend $1000 on that 50 inch plasma television you know will deliver solid quality since you've had a plasma for a decade, or do you go for the new technology and spend $1700 on a similarly equipped LCD television? That's kind of like what is going on here.
Dan Haren is an ace – period. He's off to a tremendous start yet again this year with a 4-0 record, 1.16 ERA, 0.65 WHIP and 13.50 K/BB ratio through five appearances. Far from an April surger who doesn't have a track record, this guy has been a star for years. From 2005-10 Haren is first in baseball with 203 starts, second in innings pitched (1,343, eight behind CC Sabathia), third in strikeouts (1,176) and tied for sixth in wins (85). There may not be a more stable arm in the game.
Bruce was a superstar at the end of last year hitting .306 with 15 homers over his last 58 games causing many to go all-in at the draft table this year. So far that bet hasn't been rewarded with performance on the field as Bruce has managed to hit a .268 with two homers and six RBI in 14 games. He's also continued a troubling trend in his young career – a propensity to rack up strikeouts quickly. Owner of a career strikeout rate of 25.6 percent, Bruce has performed even worse this year with a 32.1 percent mark. He's also hit far too many balls into the air with a scary 59 percent fly ball are. Most seem to have also forgotten that coming into the year that Bruce had 12 steals and 13 caught stealing, and in more than 1,300 big league at-bats he has hit just .257 so there are plenty of warts with this youngster.
Bruce still has plenty of time to post that 30-100 season many thought was coming this year, but I'm much less certain about his 2011 outlook than I'm with the ultra consistent Haren who just keeps on doing it year after year. Take Haren.
By Ray Flowers
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 7-10 PM EDT), Ray also hosts his own show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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