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Fantasy owners that used their second or third round pick to select Giants ace Tim Lincecum, affectionately referred to as The Freak, have been banging their heads against the wall since he made his first start on Opening Day. He coughed up five earned runs that day, not even making it out of the sixth inning, and hardly looking like the player worthy of such a high draft selection. From there, he went on to give up another 11 earned runs in 8.1 innings over his next two starts, pushing his ERA to a very uncharacteristic 10.54 with an equally atrocious 1.90 WHIP and suddenly there was panic in the air. Was he hurt? Was he having a mechanical issue? Was he done?
While remaining patient in fantasy baseball is one of the most difficult things to do, it is also one of the most critical at this time of year. Sitting back and watching underperforming players is ridiculously frustrating, especially if those that aren’t pulling their weight are the ones you were relying on most, and their lack of production has you sitting, if not all the way at the bottom of your standing, at least real close to it. But as we get set to enter the final week of April, your patience with these players is now more important than ever.
I hate using that “any given Sunday” cliché here, but if there’s one thing you can take away from Philip Humber throwing the 21st perfect game in Major League Baseball history, it’s just that. Anyone, anywhere, anytime….so long as the stars are aligned, I suppose. I mean, how else do you explain a 29-year old journeyman who is on his fourth team in five years and whose biggest claim to fame is that he was one of the prospects the Mets traded to Minnesota in the Johan Santana deal achieving one of the most difficult feats in the game? Even if you were going to turn around and try to trivialize the moment and speak of the ineptitude of the Mariners’ offense and the fact that none of them are batting over .300, your argument still wouldn’t hold water. The moment is too tough to achieve and guys like Ichiro Suzuki, Jesus Montero and Dustin Ackley are still too good a group of hitters.
When you’re looking through the stats page of your fantasy league, there are plenty of familiar names sitting at the top due to hot starts to the season. Matt Kemp has been a beast, once again, and leads the majors with eight home runs while players like Curtis Granderson, Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton, and Hanley Ramirez, continue to prove their fantasy value and worthiness of their draft spots this spring. But this season, there sits another name atop the value rankings and given the last few season’s worth of playing time and results, he stands out like….well I hate to use the expression, “like a turd in a punchbowl,” but really, he’s that noticeable. I’m talking about Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold, who has begun this season raking like a champ and already way out-earning his draft position.
Well, we might as well lead with this today, right?
Just a quickie today, folks! Maybe it’s been some sort of stomach flu. Maybe it was that order of Clams Casino the chef recommended as he listed the specials. Or maybe it was the fact that I opted to watch the Royals game. Wow, they look awful right now. Whatever the case may be, I’ve been sick as a dog for the last 12 hours and barely have anything left in me to bring you the highlights (and lowlights) from Wednesday’s games.
Smoke and mirrors? Sleight of hand? How in the world does 49-year old Jamie Moyer, proud owner of a 78 mph fastball, hurl seven innings of two-run ball (both unearned) against a Major League ballclub? OK, in fairness it was the Padres, but still, the game was played at hitter-friendly Coors Field where even the weakest of hitters have been known to hit the long ball. Was there a wind blowing in from centerfield that we weren’t aware of? Were the balls saturated in a lead-based ointment and then left in the humidor for extra time? Or was it just that the pitcher whose name is always attached to the phrase “crafty veteran” had one of those days where even his junkiest junk was finding a way to elude hitters of all kind? Whatever the case may be, it’s time to tip your cap to Moyer who earned his first win of the 2012 season, his 25th as a professional baseball player, and became the oldest pitcher to ever win a major league contest.
Catchers of the world, unite! Your time is now! The fantasy baseball community is officially warned – the catcher position is no longer an afterthought. Grab your bid dollars, hoard those early round draft picks and get yourself a quality backstop! They have arrived.
More often than not, the MLB record books and record-breaking moments have very little impact on the fantasy baseball world. Sure, it’s amazing to see a pitcher win his 300th game or to watch a player get his 3000th hit, but for the sake of the fantasy game, it’s just another win or just another hit. Usually the player already has a high-profile, so his cost is already pretty high and it’s not like you’re plucking a potential Hall of Fame candidate off your league’s waiver wire. But sometimes a record comes to the foreground and brings attention to a player who doesn’t often see the spotlight. That player today is Washington Nationals starter Edwin Jackson.
Due to my own personal time constraints, we’re going to change up the format for today and just touch on a few highlights. At some point I’ll figure out what day of the week is best to take a breather, but given some of the events occurring on Saturday, I deemed it necessary to discuss a few situations to which fantasy owners should pay strict attention. We can skip the top performers and their unsavory counterparts for the day though and get right to the juicy stuff.