By: Russell Shaffer
It’s always a dilemma for a fantasy owner when a SP on your roster is going up against your favorite team. What do you do? Who do you root for?
Do you go with your heart and cheer for your hometown team, or go with the business partner and pull for the fantasy SP? I’ve been on the fence with this very conundrum countless times during my 12 years of playing fantasy baseball, and Wednesday afternoon was the most recent occurrence as Cole Hamels squared off against my beloved Indians. After several years of hypothesizing about the best way for these types of games to play out for both sides, I’ve come up with this formula for success:
The SP goes 6 or 7 innings, piling up 8 to 10 K while limiting the Indians to a run or two on a handful of hits and walks. The Indians starter in turn pitches even better than my fantasy starter, or the Tribe offense erupts against the bullpen to secure a victory once my fantasy SP hits the showers. In the end, I want my Indians to get the victory but I want my SP to pile up the K and control his ERA and WHIP.
That wasn’t the case Wednesday. Cleveland got a lopsided 10-4 victory, which was nice. But they roughed up Hamels for 5 of those runs. In the end, I’ll take my team winning every time but I wish Hamels would have fared better.
As for Hamels, my first Thursday Thought is that I have no idea what is wrong with him. His ERA is 4.61 and his WHIP 1.29 with only 1 W all season. I heard he’s trying to be too fine because the Phillies offense is so bad and he knows he can’t give up more than a run or two and have a chance to win. That might be true, but you certainly aren’t going to win many games giving up 5 runs. I hope Hamels can get out of his own head and start pitching like Cole Hamels again. I know I and lots of other fantasy owners have a lot invested in him.
My infatuation with prospects is no secret – unless this is the first time you are here – so I decided to compile a list of the top 10 prospects in the minor leagues most likely to help your fantasy team in 2013, and for good measure (and dynasty leagues) I’ve included a P4P (Pound for Pound) list of the top prospects for 2014 and beyond. In this section I will overreact to a player’s performance (or lack there of ), update the rankings, and of course complain about their path to the majors being blocked by marginal talent.
Before we get started a few rules:
- Prospects must be in the minors at the time of the list to be included.
- Prospects must have less than the rookie minimums for ABs (130) or IPs (50) to be included.
- P4P 2014 & beyond players may make an impact this year, but I won’t include them until I believe they are serious candidates for promotion
- As prospects get promoted or injured I will move them to the appropriate list until I deem them irrelevant.
- P4P 2014 & Beyond will be updated but will rarely include commentary.
So this is my inaugural and updated list… at the same time. A hybrid of my preseason rankings updated for week 7 of the baseball season… some trippy stuff I know, but next week’s will be a bit more normaler. To make it easier for both of us, just assume that I did this last week and the changes in rankings below reflect such – otherwise it will be a giant headache.
By: Ian Hughes
In case you missed it…. There was a crazy weekend series in St. Louis as the Cardinals and Rockies offenses took extended breaks at the plate. First, rookie Shelby Miller retired 27 straight after allowing a lead off hit to start the game, then veteran teammate Adam Wainwright took a no-hitter into the 8th and had it broken up by Nolan Arrenado, ending a streak of 49 consecutive ABs by the Rockies without a hit. On Sunday the Rockies answered back as Jorge De La Rosa flirted with a no-hitter of his own through 6.2 innings before David Freese broke it up.
Now that you’ve had an interesting anecdote about baseball let’s get it started…
By: Russell Shaffer
It’s amazing how much more advanced kids are these days than when I was coming up. My daughter is entering kindergarten in August and is already able to do simple addition and subtraction. I’m pretty sure I could barely count to 10 at her age.
One concept I’m fairly certain I’ve still got a leg up on her in understanding is addition by subtraction. A popular management principle in both business and sports, it basically means you can make an organization perform better by taking something – or more often someone – away.
If you want to see addition by subtraction work, just look at any team before and after getting rid of Delmon Young or Milton Bradley.
In the spirit of addition by subtraction, we’re going to change things up this week in Free Agent Friday and focus on five players you need to cut right now. In some cases these guys are not only occupying a roster spot that could be had by a more productive player, their low AVG or high ERA and WHIP could actually be hurting your team if they’re in your lineup.
So with that let’s get ready to cut loose.
By: Russell Shaffer
I’m sure by now you all likely saw or at least heard about the liner off the bat of Desmond Jennings that made a sickening thud off the head of Toronto’s J.A. Happ Tuesday night in Tampa Bay. By all accounts Happ escaped serious injury, and for that he – and every fan of baseball – should be thankful.
Happ’s harrowing ordeal came less than a year after Arizona’s Brandon McCarthy (then with Oakland) suffered serious brain trauma after taking a similar shot to the head. And rather ironically, Happ’s situation happened on the 56th anniversary of one of the most infamous pitcher/line drive incidents in baseball history.
On May 7, 1957, Herb Score was just beginning the third season in what looked to be a Hall of Fame career for the Cleveland Indians. Score had been an All-Star in his first two years, and earned AL Rookie of the Year honors in 1955 with 245 K (a total that set a rookie record that stood until 1984). Score followed that up with 20 wins and 263 K in 1956 before that fateful day in May 1957 when a line drive off the bat of the Yankees’ Gil McDougald crushed bones in Score’s face and left his vision distorted for several months. McDougald was actually so shaken by the play he ran to the pitcher’s mound to check on Score rather than running to first.
Score was never the same – missing the rest of 1957 and most of 1958. The mental trauma of the head injury coupled with an arm injury ended his career after the 1962 season. My dad was a 17-year-old Indians fan in 1957 and later told me Score was every bit the pitcher as Bob Feller. Score did go on to spend more than 30 years as an Indians broadcaster, and his is the beloved baseball voice of my childhood.
My thoughts are with Happ as he recovers, and I hope his close call doesn’t derail his career the way a similar play halted certain stardom for Score.
By: Ian Hughes
When possible I like to provide you with a .gif because, well intros are hard at times, and a picture is worth a thousand words as they say… and a .gif is like a thousand pictures, so you do the math and enjoy my million word intro, and the mini-intro that precedes it…
There was a scary moment on Tuesday night, when JA Happ took a comebacker to the ear. Happ apparently avoided serious injury, but left the hospital using crutches and wearing a knee brace on Wednesday.
Before we get started there will be a minor change to the format. Eight P’s will only be chiming in twice a week with streamers from now on. It will be on Sunday and Wednesday, this could eventually change to just Sunday at some point.I assure you that the picks will be the same mediocre to good quality that you have grown accustom to over the past few weeks, so please do not fear change (which I am told is called Metathesiophobia). As John F. Kennedy said, “Progress is a nice word, but change is the motivator,” and we aim to improve every time out, so change is necessary.
By: Ian Hughes
Hope everyone had a great weekend; Jose Fernandez made me look like a damn genius on Saturday, and Wandy turned in a quality start with 7 strikeouts and of course Mayweather dissected Guerrero for 12 rounds on the way to a unanimous decision… so I am content with my weekend picks.
We got some good streaming options and of course a two start chart, let’s get this week’s column started.