Author Archive

What In The Sam Hill Is Going On With Miguel Cabrera

I should just stop there. On the one hand everyone will rightly scream sample size horrors as I attempt to type any further and on the other hand I have the lifelong goal of using “What in the Sam Hill” in a post title accomplished. The bucket list needs updating.

But set aside the sample for a moment, and just gaze in wonder at Miguel Cabrera‘s line to start the season in 2014: .236/.295/.403. Cabrera has 17 hits over almost 80 plate appearances. More than half of them are singles, only two have left the park, and he has ten runs batted in. At this point in 2013, Cabrera was hitting .370/.438/.511 with five doubles, a triple, two home runs and 23 RBI. And as ridiculous as that looks, he really only got better from there.

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How Batters Fared Who Whiffed in April 2013

You’ll hear a lot about strikeout rates stabilizing sometime in April, anywhere from about 60 plate appearances to 110 depending on who you trust and who you reference. It makes sense we talk about this, of course, what with the small sample size police on patrol across Fangraphs. From a fantasy perspective, we try to be patient, but there’s nothing worse than holding a turd any longer than you really have to. Because, well, gross.

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Hot Corner Infirmary

Third base was supposed to have more depth this year, despite knowing we wouldn’t have Manny Machado and if you planned to use him at third, Jurickson Profar. As far as tiers go, third base had perfectly acceptable names headed down into a fourth tier, and it looked like you could focus your angst on other positions as the season got underway. Now we’ve lost Adrian Beltre and Ryan Zimmerman. And although you might not have noticed, we’ve also lost Ed Lucas. ED LUCAS!

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This Is Not the Kyle Seager You’re Looking For

I kind of love and I kind of hate this time of year all at the same time. We have things called a Yangervis leading third basemen in WAR and we have things like Carlos Santana walking at a 30% clip. Small sample sizes may be the tools of the foolhardy, but that doesn’t mean they don’t produce a little bit of fun along the way. Take for instance the performance of Kyle Seager. No really, take it.

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Third Base Waiver Wire: Cody Asche and Matt Dominguez

It’s probably a little early to be digging deep anywhere and we haven’t had a rash of injuries strike the hot corner the way starting pitching was decimated recently. Still, you might be relying on a value play like Will Middlebrooks, Mike Moustakas, Chase Headley, or David Freese, all of whom have yet to do anything at all. Yeah, small sample size and all that, but it’s easy to panic when you’re not trotting superstars out there every day. Keeping an eye on plan C when plan B isn’t panning out isn’t a horrible idea — and a couple of third basemen are readily available in Cody Asche and Matt Dominguez.

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Fun With Tiers, Third Base April Edition

I don’t really like tiers, but it probably has something to do with the neatness of placing a player in a designated strata. I’ve never used tiers in fantasy baseball drafts because I think it tends to blind you to the nuances of each player and the specific needs your team might have. But now that the season has started, you should be all drafted up and it’s time to brand your cattle.

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The All Waiver Wire Pitching Staff

So your league drafted a month ago and you wound up with Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy, Jarrod Parker, and Patrick Corbin. You’re all set!

Dr. James Andrews has been busy this Spring, and the starting pitching corps have been noticeably thinned as we stagger towards opening day. Not only has there been a rash of ligaments exploding, we’re also hearing about a bad back from Clayton Kershaw, a stiff neck from Yu Darvish, balky groins for Francisco Liriano and Homer Bailey, a bum toe from Hyun-Jin Ryu, and a bad everything for Mat Latos . Zack Greinke‘s calf hurts. Matt Moore got hit in the face. Doug Fister strained his latissimus dorsi. Cole Hamels is thrilled to even be able to throw a baseball right now. And then there’s whatever is going on with Mike Minor.

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Who Starts on Day Five for the Cleveland Indians

Perhaps it’s not who will win the position battle for the last starting pitcher slot for the Cleveland Indians that matters. Rather, from a fantasy baseball perspective — who do you want to start on day five for the Cleveland Indians? Because it’s most certainly not Aaron Harang, who seems to be the poster boy for noodle-at-the-ceiling throwing when it comes to a requisite starting pitcher to nom nom nom innings. The battle, it seems, is down to Carlos Carrasco, Josh Tomlin, and Mr. Harang. Yes, yes, I know those of you clutching to your pretty shiny Trevor Bauer cry foul, but the tea leaves are suggesting a need for “refining” in beautiful Columbus.

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Barr Bullish, Bearish, Bold-ish Predictions

After a year hiatus from boldly predicting, I’ve been cajoled into joining the fray at risk of being called not bold enough and too bold at the same time. I skipped last year for a several reasons, but chief among them was disdain for the pulp variety in which the bold had to occupy to qualify as truly bold. Nobody wants to be a faker bold. What I’ve come to realize is that a lot of our bold predictions simply quantify in narrative terms our own respective irrational exuberance of Spring. Which I think is healthy. So head screwed on straight with new context, I present my personal bold(ish) predictions (and my fingers are crossed to break the 30% threshold of correctness).

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Where To Punt Third Base In Your Draft

We all have our little mind tricks when it comes to draft preparation. Many rely on tiers. Others prefer straight list rankings. Maybe you use a magic 8-ball. But a principle I typically take into any draft is the point at which the talent available at a position isn’t distinguishable enough for me to care who I get. I call this the threshold in which you just punt: when your targeted players have left the board, and the remainder you could care less about.

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