Make sure and get Fantasy Alarm's award winning 2013 Fantasy Baseball iPhone App!
OK, so we’re pulling in a little late to the station today. What can you do? Father’s Day weekend had a few more festivities than I expected and like a good dad I was sound asleep on the couch by 8:30 pm on Sunday. So again, rather than just stick to the top and bottom performances from Sunday, we’re going to splash in a few random fantasy baseball thoughts and some news for today that might be integral to setting your lineups for the week. Remember, the games don’t start until 7:00pm (ET) today so there’s plenty of time. And away we go…
Tuesday night was so loaded with action that it’s tough to know where to start here. Do I appeal to your traditional baseball side and talk about the hot, young starting pitching that we saw or do I go lowest common denominator and appeal to your inner thug? Decisions , decisions. Well, why don’t I do both and we can cover it all? And since that Dodgers/Diamondbacks game got pretty crazy and had some fairly big names involved, let’s just lead with that, shall we?
It’s time again. Are you ready? Got your waiver trigger finger locked and loaded? With the news breaking that the Orioles are calling up Kevin Gausman, their number one pick (fourth overall) in the 2012 First –Year Player Draft, to start against the Blue Jays on Thursday, fantasy owners are tripping over each other as the run to the waiver wire to pick up the “next big thing.” We’ve already gone through Tony Cingrani, Jose Fernandez and Jurickson Profar, all youngsters rushed up to the big leagues and into fantasy stardom, so adding Gausman to the fray not only seems logical, but expected. Now the question is…is he worth it?
While the fantasy baseball highlights from Friday’s games are still coming, I’d like to take a quick moment for a self-indulgent rant that has more to do with my disdain for most baseball announcers than it does with the actual game of baseball. By now, everyone knows the details of the Carlos Quentin/Zack Greinke saga, unless of course you’ve been trapped in a Chilean mine for the past 24 hours. You can’t sit for 10 seconds in front of ESPN or the MLB Network without seeing excessive lead-ins, replays and reports on the events which took place Thursday. I can understand highlight shows such as Baseball Tonight and Quick Pitch using it to lure in viewers for the entire show, but what’s bothering me right now is that in-game announcers and wrap-up commentators are using the event in a form of yellow journalism. They are bringing far too much focus to the incident and using it to incite fans, and possibly even teams, to overreact to every hit batsman or inside pitch we see. Their inability to move past something like this is merely a tool to either push forward their own agenda or to boost their own feelings of self-importance. Either way, they need to learn when to shut up and let something go.
Every time we look up it seems like another player is hurt. Some of the players you could care less about, I didn't see anyone shed a tear when the Cubs announced that Ian Stewart's quad injury would cause him to miss Opening Day, but when the Dodgers started to tell us what the deal was with Zack Greinke's elbow, the Twitterverse went into a tizzy (Greinke might only misss one start from the sound of things). And that got me to thinking. I haven't written an article this year that deals directly with injured players and how we should treat those players in the fantasy game. Every player is different, some injuries are minor others major, but if we have a defined time-line for a return from injury, let's say 4-6 weeks as is the case with Chase Headley who we will discuss, what does that do to the value of the player in the fantasy game? If you've ever wondered how to think about injured players when trying to put together your fantasy squad, then this is the article for you.
After two quiet days on the trade front, we got another little taste of action on Friday when the Angels suddenly appeared and announced to the world that they had acquired the most coveted pitcher on the market, Zack Greinke, from the Brewers in exchange for a trio of prospects. Shocking? Maybe a little as most believed that he would land in Texas, a playoff-bound team in desperate need of an ace. But that wasn’t the only action for the night. As the games continued in the night, word broke that the Giants did a little patchwork and traded away a second base prospect to the Rockies for veteran Marco Scutaro. Though obviously not with the same magnitude as the Greinke deal, for the Halos, this one helps the Giants in their own quest for a playoff run. But enough of this reality stuff. What do these deals do for fantasy owners now?
So the big story as we jumped into the second half of the 2012 season was that Zack Greinke became the first pitcher since 1917 to start three consecutive games for his team in one season. Impressive? Maybe. I’m still sifting through data trying to find box scores and pitching lines for Red Faber, the pitcher for the White Sox who accomplished the feat back in the days of yore, but am still coming up empty. My assumption, though, is that he threw more than eight innings in total for the three starts thus rendering Greinke’s accomplishment a pretty lame technicality more than an impressive feat.
It’s late June, we’re wrapping up interleague play, we’re talking about rookies racking up enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title (hello, Mike Trout) and yet we still have some firsts for 2012 happening right before our eyes. Nothing better than something new and exciting, right? Well, two of fantasy baseball’s hottest pick-ups over the past few weeks made their 2012 debut Friday night and each of them performed up to task and worthy of a stash on your bench for however long you needed to stash them.
This is one of my favorite times of the fantasy year. We’re a little more than two months into the season and the standings are starting to shake out. The contenders are all trying to position themselves while the lower end of your standings is either fading into the background or, if you’re in a keeper league, waiting for their team to be plundered with the hopes of snagging some vital protects for next year. The trade talk is abundant, the negotiations are fierce and little by little your entire life is consumed with baseball. Sounds ideal, yes? Yes it does.
If there’s one thing you can say about Saturday’s games, there was quite the flair for the dramatic. It seems like every game you turned to, there was something big happening. There were three walk-off home runs, two complete-game shutouts, Derek Jeter tied George Brett for 14th on the all-time hits list, and yet another Heath Bell meltdown. We had more great pitching performances and plenty of offense to keep your fantasy teams juiced. So without further ado, let’s get to the highlights…