Fantasy Baseball: Early Returns
The 2013 baseball season is finally underway. The story of the first few days of the season is the success of starting pitchers, highlighted by the near run to perfection from Yu Darvish (more on that below). However, that doesn't mean it's only been about pitching, there are still some offensive moments of note, so I'll basically be doing what I often do – rambling without rhythm or reason around the diamond.
The Padres sound like a team that plans on pulling a Medlen with Andrew Cashner. By that I mean it sounds like the Padres will use Cashner out of the bullpen early before slowly transitioning him into the starting rotation. By doing just that they will help to ensure that Cashner is healthy and not overworked in the early going while also helping to limit the total number of innings on his arm (Cashner was limited to 15.1 innings and 2011 and 69.2 last season so it might be a wise decision to try to keep the innings down). For now the Padres will go with Tyson Ross but Cashner could be a starter for half the year if he proves himself to be healthy an effective.
Yu Darvish almost made history last night coming within one out of the 24th perfect game in big league history. The highlights. (1) His first walk free outing in the big leagues. (2) A career-high 14 Ks including strikeouts 14 of the 16 times he reached two strikes on a batter. No pitcher has ever tossed a perfect game in his first outing of the season. One other note. Going back nine starts to last season Darvish has a 2.05 ERA. A fantasy ace is being born folks.
R.A. Dickey walked four batters in his first start with the Blue Jays, something he did only two times in 33 starts in 2012. Dickey allowed four runs, three earned, as he picked up a loss to the Indians. After the game he has a 4.50 ERA and 1.50 WHIP and I hate to tell you that I think he might finish the year with numbers closer to that than the 2.73 and 1.05 marks he posted last season.
Jaime Garcia actually looked pretty good in his first outing holding the D'backs to just two hits and one run in 5.2 innings. I still don't trust him, and neither should you.
Through two games the Rockies have two fellas who have gone deep twice – Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. As always, as long as they stay healthy they will be huge performers. Just for the fun of it here are each fellas 162 game averages.
Tulo: .292-29-103-103-12 CarGo: .300-28-98-106-24
Matt Kemp doesn't have a hit in 5-straight games. I don't think that streak will last much longer.
Lynn Collins in the movie John Carter... absolutely stunning.
Leonys Martin is starting in center field for the Rangers Wednesday. Martin is sharing time in center with Craig Gentry, but Martin figures to be the lead dog in the race for at-bats. Martin has hit only .193 in 57 big league at-bats, but he's got skills and killed it last year in Triple-A (.359-12-42-48-10 in just 55 games). There's a very talented fantasy performer lurking here despite the fact that he is owned in only 49 percent of Fleaflicker leagues.
Happy Birthday Jeff (my brother). We're two years and two days apart, and even though he is my younger brother I've never given him much crap cause he is such a cool dude.
Michael Morse hit two home runs Tuesday night continuing the onslaught of fireworks that occurred in Spring Training. Morse hit .303 with 31 homers in 2011 so we know that he can ball, but let me note a few things you should remember. Morse has had a K-rate over 21 percent each of the past five seasons. He relies on a high BABIP to help him in the batting average category (.344 for his career). Morse also owns a career fly ball rate of 32 percent, about three percent below the league average meaning he just doesn't hit that many fly balls. He's always been able to convert a high percentage of those fly balls into homers, his HR/F ratio is 18.6 percent but if that number were to dip even a bit he would have a very tough time pushing 30 homers.
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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