Mailbag: May 3, 2011
Here are the answer to some of the quick hitters that I received at the BaseballGuys' Twitter account.
Looking to buy low and sell high. Would you trade Alfonso Soriano and Luke Scott for Carl Crawford or Carlos Gonzalez? – @cladiusnoster
Everyone is talking about how awful Carl Crawford (.181-1-7-7-4) and Hanley Ramirez (.191-1-11-11-3) have performed but we haven't heard many roundly criticizing the performance of CarGo (.232-1-14-13-3). It's really pointless to talk about projections this early in the year so I won't other than to say Gonzalez is light years from the top-5 performer he was last year (.336-34-117-111-26). Hitting just .143 in 49 road at-bats this year, CarGo still hasn't figured out how to hit on the road (career: .260/.307/.405). Given his slow start, and his career long struggles on the road you might have to admit that he has no chance to repeat his numbers from last year. Still, both he and Crawford simply have to improve upon what they are doing – they're far too talented not to. And speaking of Crawford, check this out. Crawford's .431 OPS for April was the worst month of his career. Here are the yearly lows, for a month of time, for his career.
2010: .683 in August 2009: .708 in April 2008: .655 in July 2007: .660 in June 2006: .695 in April 2005: .683 in May 2004: .706 in August 2003: .553 in April
So the good news with Carl is twofold. First, he's never had a month remotely as bad as the one he just completed so it doesn't figure that his performance will continue along these lines. Second, his .708 OPS for the month of April in his career is the worst he has posted for the six full months of the season.
Scott is what he is. The last three years he has bit between 23 and 27 homers, knocked in between 65 and 77 runs and scored 61 to 70 times. Boring but productive. Soriano has been blasting away hitting 11 homers in his first 27 games. Still, he's hitting only .267 this year, hasn't hit .285 since 2007 and has just five steals in his last 174 games played. He's a solid power bat and one with more upside than Scott, but he isn't going to hit 45 homers this year.
So to answer the question, if I could trade two solid bats in Scott/Soriano and get back an elite level talent like Crawford or Gonzalez I'd do it.
Should I pick up Scott Sizemore to replace Gordon Beckham? – @ryanmully
Shockingly Carlos Guillen is still on the shelf with a knee injury. Will Rhymes has hit .221 with a .556 OPS in 68 at-bats. Second base is a black hole of offense for the Tigers.
Down at Triple-A the Tigers had a guy who was hitting .408 with 15 RBI and 17 runs scored in 23 games. Huh. So what did the brilliant brain trust in Detroit do? They said to themselves 'maybe we should call up this guy who is hitting like Ty Cobb.' Hello Scott Sizemore. Considering how amazing he has been at Triple-A and how awful the offense has been in the bigs, it's shocking it took this long. I'm not just talking about the month of April this year with Sizemore either. In 667 at-bats at Triple-A Sizemore has hit .315 with 19 homers, 85 RBI, 115 runs scored, 19 steals and a .880 OPS. Of course, his numbers in the bigs have failed to impress (.224-3-14-19-3 in 143 at-bats), but those Triple-A numbers are impressive.
Beckham has been one of the bigger fantasy disappointments this season. He's failed to hit for average (.214) or for power (two homers and five doubles leading to a .320 SLG), isn't getting on base (.268) and has an abysmal .588 OPS. Maybe it's time to admit something that most don't want to admit – Beckham simply isn't ready to be a difference maker. In 925 big league at bats he's hit .255 with a .324 OBP and a .405 SLG. The league average since he began his career are .262/.330/.415. That's right, he hasn't even been big league average in any of those three measures. Add in the fact that he has just 25 homers and only 12 steals, and this might be one of those situations where your eyes were bigger than your stomach (you know what I'm talking about those of you that always super size everything). Over his last 547 at-bats he's produced a 5x5 line of .258-11-59-72-5. That's passable but nothing more.
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say I'd take a shot on Sizemore. He may not be able to transition his Triple-A success to the bigs, and he may not even be starting in three weeks, but there is no question that he is swinging a better bat right now.
I'm starting to lose patience with Austin Jackson. Do you think he's going to get back on track any time soon? – @caldevil3219
We're still on this? Jackson was lucky last year leading baseball with a .396 BABIP. I wrote, probably 13 times this offseason, that there was no way he would be able to sustain that level. Toss in his huge K-rate, it was 27.5 percent, and there was no chance he was gonna hit better than .290 again. This year his average is down at .188 because (a) his BABIP has fallen to .282 and (b) because his K-rate is through the roof at 35.7 percent. Things should improve, in fact by a lot if he doesn't end up being sent to Triple-A, but there was never a truly realistic shot that he would improve upon his 5x5 numbers from last season.
Thoughts on Ian Stewart for his return to Colorado? – @gmanesq
It's funny. Everyone hated Stewart two weeks ago and now everyone want's to add him because he's back with the Rockies. Here's what I see.
(1) Stewart killed it at Triple-A hitting .406 with three homers and 13 RBI in 10 games. That's what he should do though against the inferior competition.
(2) Stewart had only two hits in 28 at-bats with the Rockies to start the year. You say 'small sample size” and I agree. Still, the guy has hit .241 in almost 1,150 at-bats in the bigs, so clearly he's never going to help you in that category.
(3) The guy is a whiff machine. In his career he's struck out in nearly a third of his at-bats (32.3 percent). You can be Adam Dunn and have success doing that or you can be Mark Reynolds and struggle miserably.
Stewart is what he has always been and what he will always be. When he runs into one the ball will fly into the cheap seats. Unfortunately, he'll never hit for enough of an average to be an elite option at the hot corner. With Todd Helton playing well at first base, there is a bit of squeeze or at-bats in the infield. If Jose Lopez remembers how to hit, and Ty Wigginton regains his health, it's not at all certain that Stewart will play every day. Stewart is a fine NL-only option, but he had better be nothing more than your backup third basemen in mixed leagues at the moment.
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive, 5-8 PM Eastern, on Sirius 211 and XM 147 (the stations change to XM87 and Sirius210 on Wednesday).
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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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