Apologies for the late start here today, folks, but sometimes life just throws you a few curveballs and today I’m swinging more like early-movie Pedro Cerrano. Jobu is not helping me do nothing here! But better late than never, right? So let’s get down to business and the first thing I want to do is to hit on one more pitching item that yesterday’s “pitcher injury” piece seemed to spark. I received a few emails actually asking, so what better way to address the big question than to do it right here: What the heck do I do with Tim Lincecum?
It’s been another down year for the former phenom and fantasy owners are dying right now. He’s 2-8 on the year with a 6.19 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP. Not top tier pitching totals by any means. His 9.70 K/9 is, more or less, on par with what he should be doing, but when you look at every other peripheral stat, it’s just an outright mess. Even worse right now is the recent talk about the possibility of sending him to the bullpen to let him work stuff out which, in truth, might help for a short while, but overall will kill his value when he starts to falter again, because what do you do to help him then?
The problem for fantasy owners is that you really can’t trade him right now. Sure, there’s someone out there that might want to take the chance that he turns his season around, but no one with any kind of fantasy sense is going to pay you full price. You have two choices: you can sell him for much less than what you likely paid for him and cut your losses or you can eat what you’ve been given now and simply hope for the best. Neither is a particularly appealing option, especially if you truly believe that his best days are long behind him and that any sort of turnaround is simply going to bring him back to being an average pitcher with little chance of ever returning to the elite.
You know, I was never an “I told you so guy” until I started writing for a few different sites that were being trolled by internet tough guys just looking for a fight and the always aggravating fanboys who, no matter how much evidence you laid out in front of them, refused to accept the truth and made comments like, “Why don’t you go watch some baseball and then come back and start writing about it.” So now, I have no problem re-visiting things that I have said and slinging a few comments back in their direction. Not to worry….I’m all about accountability. When I’m wrong I happily admit it. After all, if you’re coming to me for fantasy advice, you need to know what my batting average is, right? But when I’m right, I have no problem standing on the rooftops and shouting it to the world. And when it comes to Lincecum, I was right. I’ll spare you the array of links I can provide you with proof, but let’s just say, there are a number of Lincecum owners and Giants fans out there that probably wish they could take a few comments back. If you really must see it all, then you can either go on the hunt yourself and shoot me an email and I’ll show you the way.
Now let’s hit the highlights……
|Matt Holliday, OF STL||4-5, 2 R, 2 B, HR, 5 RBI|
There were a number of performances on Saturday that could be worthy of the award as we had some phenomenal pitching performances and a number of great hitting displays as well. But given the recent slump he’s been in, four big hits from Matt Holliday, coupled with some killer RBI production, and I see a springboard game here. A lot has gone on with Holliday over the last season and a half here. He got hurt last year and saw a drop in overall production. He tried to do too much upon his return and while his ISO spiked, his strikeout rate increased as well as he started swinging for the fences too much looking to pad his totals. This season, he’s dealing with the loss of Albert Pujols. Expectations for Holliday were big and with the resurgence of Carlos Beltran and the loss of Lance Berkman, the pressure has been even more intense. Holliday has still be striking out more than usual and his swing percentages for pitches outside the zone have been a big part of his undoing. And it’s not that he’s slowing down or that pitchers are fooling him, but when you put too much pressure on yourself and you start pressing at the plate, you tend to fall behind in counts and find yourself swinging defensively which is just not Holliday’s style. When you do finally break out with a night like this, it can alleviate so many things. Couple that with an expected BABIP increase and I see Holliday going on a nice tear here. If you’ve got him and he’s been frustrating you this season, sit back and enjoy the ride.
|Ryan Braun, OF MIL||3-4, 2 R, 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, BB|
|Pedro Alvarez, 3B PIT||2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, BB|
|Mike Moustakas, 3B KC||3-5, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI|
|Jason Hammel, SP BAL||W, CG, 0.00 ERA, 0.33 WHIP, 8 K|
|Ervin Santana,SP LAA||w, CG, 0.00 ERA, 0.22 WHIP, 5 K|
With the games starting up right now, I’ll be brief here….
Thank you, Ryan Braun. Exactly what we expect from you.
Now do it for more than a two week span, Pedro Alvarez….
Mike Moustakas is one of the young third basemen that I have a serious fantasy crush on and I see him turning into one of the more consistent performers for years to come. If you have him in a keeper league, you’re gonna be psyched!
The dream season continues for Jason Hammel. His K/9 is at a career-best 8.49, the walks are down, he’s keeping the ball in the park, and while his FIP looks to be a few ticks higher than his ERA which is an indicator of regression, it’s not do far out of line that you would expect him to start getting bombed. Maybe it is smoke, mirrors and a killer ground ball rate, but he still makes for an excellent choice for the middle of your rotation.
And as far as Ervin Santana goes – consistency, my man. You need some consistency. Yes, your numbers were outstanding from Saturday, but after four straight ERA/WHIP-busting outings before that, there is still an element of trust lacking from our fantasy relationship. Find some middle ground or forever will you be avoided by me and my fantasy teams.
|Bryce Harper, OF WAS||0-7, 5 K|
|Omar Infante, 2B MIA||0-7, 4 K|
|Jim Thome, DH PHI||0-5, 2 K|
|Kurt Suzuki, C OAK||0-4, 2 K|
|Bruce Chen, SP KC||ND, 32.40 ERA, 4.20 WHIP|
The only thing I need to say here is “Welcome to the big leagues, Bryce Harper.” You’ve been on quite the impressive tear here to begin your career, but Andy Pettitte is a star veteran with boatloads of experience. Guys like him are going to take you to school at times and get in your head. Learn from it and move on. You’re far too talented to let this affect you for more than a day.
We’ll skip the injury list because lineups have already locked for the day. I’ll go put a rum offering in front of Jobu right now and will make sure I’m on time in the future.
Hey bartender! Jobu needs a refill!
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over ten years on a variety of web sites including his own, The Fantasy Baseball Buzz. You can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at email@example.com.
Rounding The Bases - Todd Zola Looks At The First 10 Rounds of a Likely 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft
Master Fantasy Baseball Notes From Todd Zola - Looking Ahead To The 2014 Fantasy Baseball Season
Rounding The Bases - Master Fantasy Baseball Notes From Todd Zola
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (20 Prospects for '14)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 24
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (September Call-Ups)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 23
Rounding the Bases: A Day For the Little Man
Rounding The Bases: Morse, Willingham On the Move?
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (Roster Expansion)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 22
Rounding the Bases: Five Surging Pitchers & Hitters
Rounding the Bases: Rookies, Veterans & Roster Movement
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (Pitching Help On The Way!)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 21
Master Notes From Todd Zola - Taking A Look at Starting Pitching In Keeper Leagues
Rounding the Bases: Small Names, Big Production?
Rounding the Bases: A First for Stephen Strasburg and the (Near) Final Round-Up
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (Hitting Help On The Way!)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week Twenty