Archive for Links

Fantasy Links – 6/26/2009

All 30 teams are in action this evening as interleague play wraps up. How about some links?

MVN’s MLBOutsider takes a closer look at the Nationals’ Jordan Zimmermann, who has a 1.99 ERA and 22/6 K/BB ratio over his past four starts. He obviously doesn’t carry much win potential, but he’s been missing a lot of bats (8.9 K/9) without a great dip in control (2.6 BB/9). Mixed leaguers starving for strikeouts might as well give him a try. He is owned in just 13 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Alex Geshwind of FantasyBullpen.com lists his “second half starting pitching targets,” calling Francisco Liriano the “ultimate risk reward” and Randy Johnson a “decent buy low candidate.” Geshwind also takes note of Jorge De La Rosa’s 9.8 K/9 and 3.46 BABIP.

RotoRob’s “Daily Dump” is the Orioles’ Luke Scott, who is stuck in a 3-for-22 rut and has a .699 OPS in the month of June. He’s shown a good display of power this season (14 home runs in 184 at-bats) and has at times murdered left-handed pitching, but he’s not helping mixed leaguers.

Knox Bardeen of AOL Fanhouse advises us to stay away from the “Homer Train.” He, of course, is referring to the Reds’ Homer Bailey, who will be called on to start Saturday against the Indians. The 23-year-old is 4-0 with a 0.47 ERA and 38/7 K/BB ratio in his last five starts for Triple-A Louisville, but he’s had trouble parlaying any kind of success into the major leagues during the course of his career. There’s some hope that this time will be different, due in large part to a new split-finger fastball.

Brad Berreman of MVN’s MLBOutsider has a look at the Marlins’ bullpen situation. With Matt Lindstrom hitting the disabled list, the Fish have said they intend to use a closer-by-committee strategy. That doesn’t always last. Perhaps Leo Nunez or Dan Meyer will emerge as the club’s official ninth-inning hurler.

Rotoworld’s Mark St. Amant presents his “Risers” and “Fallers.” He even gives a little credit to David Ortiz, who is putting together a nice June after opening the season in a massive slump.

Have a link, question or comment? I’m all ears. Shoot me an e-mail or come join me on Twitter.


Daily Linkage – 6/18/2009

It’s a rainy Thursday across most of the baseball world. Look for delays and a few postponements. 13 games are scheduled. On to the links…

Knox Bardeen of AOL Fanhouse lists a few sell-high sluggers. The man at the top of his list? Adrian Gonzalez. “After hitting nine home runs in April and 11 in May, Gonzalez has only parked two in June,” writes Bardeen. “In fact, he hasn’t hit a home run since June 2nd when he capped off four straight days with a dinger. Since June 2nd Gonzalez has been walked 16 times and only has six base hits. That seems to be the new way to pitch to the Padres slugger, you walk him.

Rotoworld’s Matt Stroup especially likes Jason Frasor in this week’s “Waiver Wired” column. The right-hander has been tabbed to take over ninth-inning duties in Toronto with Scott Downs hitting the disabled list. Frasor has a 1.90 ERA, 0.76 WHIP and 19/3 K/BB ratio in 23.2 innings this season, leaving opposing hitters with a .184 batting average.

Andy Behrens of Yahoo! Sports points out that Alfonso Soriano has attempted “just two swipes since May 1.” The outfielder swiped 41 bags in 2006, 19 during an injury-shortened 2007, and 19 in 2008. He has just six through Wednesday. Perhaps his knee is still bothering him, or maybe he has decided to give up on the running game for good. Either way, it’s bad news for fantasy owners.

For those of you clamoring for more information on international prospects, the fellas over at RazzBall have taken a closer look at Junichi Tazawa and Dayan Viciedo. Tazawa is under Boston’s control, and Viciedo is a member of the White Sox.

Charlie Saponara of FantasyBaseball365.com is disappointed in Adrian Beltre, who is way off his career pace in almost every category this season. With free agency looming in 2010, Saponara believes the third baseman might be trying too hard: “The numbers do support that theory as well. Beltre is only walking 3.7% of the time, a far cry from his 7% BB career average. He’s also seeing fewer pitches per at bat (3.44) than his career average (3.77) and swinging at over 37% of pitches outside the strike-zone. No wonder he has a higher ground ball percentage and 12 GIDP (grounded into double plays) when he had all of 11 last season.

Have a question, comment or a link you’d like to share with the world? Shoot me an e-mail or hit me up on Twitter.


Daily Linkage — 6/15/2009

Happy Monday, everybody. It’s a slow day in the baseball world with just two games on tap. On to the links…

MVN’s Fantasy Outsider reviews Andrew McCutchen‘s fantasy value. The 22-year-old is batting .327/.377/.429 with a double, two triples and seven RBI in 53 plate appearance. He’s also nabbed two bases in two opportunities.

Sergio Gonzalez of CBSSports.com has this week’s team-by-team “Fantasy Hitting Planner.”

Fantasy Baseball Junkie takes note of several non-closing relievers worth grabbing for fantasy purposes. Among the names: Kiko Calero, Mark DiFelice and Matt Thornton.

Tommy Rancel of DRaysBay examines Ben Zobrist‘s electrifying start to the season. The 28-year-old utilityman is batting .309/.424/.667 with 13 home runs, 38 RBI and eight stolen bases. He’ll have to maintain quite a pace, but there’s a chance he could become the first player in franchise history to join the 30/30 club.

Rotoworld’s Matthew Pouliot comes through with his weekly American League and National League notes columns.

Andy Behrens of Yahoo! Sports examines Tampa Bay’s bullpen situation. J.P. Howell picked up his third save of the season on Sunday. He and Randy Choate are likely to share ninth-inning duties moving forward.

Tim Dierkes of RotoAuthority thinks fantasy owners should keep an eye on Sean Rodriguez, who slugged .644 at Triple-A Salt Lake before the Angels called him up on Friday.

Knox Bardeen of AOL Fanhouse suggests a few starting pitchers worth picking up for fantasy owners low on strikeouts.

Have a question, suggestion, or link you think others should see? Shoot me an e-mail or hit me up on Twitter.


Daily Linkage — 6/3/2009

We’re two months into the 2009 baseball season. Now is the ideal time to take a look at your fantasy squad and think about changes. Me? I’m just dropping off some links. All 30 teams are in action today.

AOL Fanhouse’s Knox Bardeen provides closer news from around the league, including an in-depth look at the Cubs’ Kevin Gregg.

Collin Hager of FantasyPros911.com talks fantasy outfielders.

Rotoworld’s Mark St. Amant is “man-crushing” on Torii Hunter this week. The Angels outfielder is batting .308/.393/.582 with 12 home runs and 42 RBI in 182 at-bats. Even crazier? The numbers suggest he’ll keep up the pace. His strikeout percentage (17.6%) is down and his walk rate (12.1%) is up from previous years.

Charlie Saponara of FantasyBaseball365.com gives his seal of approval to Rays outfielder Matt Joyce. Playing time will be an issue, but Joyce is a true masher. As Saponara writes, “If he can stick and get 275+ at bats for the rest of the season, 15 home runs seems like a lock.”

Grey over at Razzball.com updates some of the more fantasy-relevant injury situations.

Tim Dierkes of RotoAuthority.com examines Oakland’s Josh Outman, who ranks 7th in the American League with a 3.06 ERA.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today has an excellent piece on baseball’s last Stephen Strasburg, Ben McDonald. As the hype continues to grow around Strasburg, it’s important we keep in mind that a lot of top prospects never pan out.

If you ever come across something you think others should see, or simply have a question or comment, shoot me an e-mail.


Daily Linkage – 5/22/2009

Twins aficionado Aaron Gleeman made a post on NBCSports.com’s “Circling The Bases” this afternoon, examining Joe Mauer‘s recent hot streak. The All-Star catcher has hit .417/.500/.819 with eight home runs and five doubles in 19 games since coming off the disabled list. Is that kind of power sustainable for a guy who has finished with a double-digit home run total just once in his career? Gleeman isn’t so sure.

“Mauer hasn’t become more aggressive by abandoning his ultra-patient approach at the plate and he isn’t suddenly pulling the ball consistently,” wrote Gleeman. “Instead he’s still taking tons of pitches and going the other way with most of the pitches that he decides to swing at, but the fly balls to left and center field just seem to be traveling a little further. All of which makes me think that he’s probably not turning into a slugger in front of our eyes.” Mauer is simply making great contact, and should continue to do so. But it would be irresponsible to expect him to keep driving balls out of the park.

FanGraphs’ own David Golebiewski had the same idea in his “Stock Watch” write-up earlier this week: “I know- Mauer has long been a fantasy darling, as a line-drive hitting backstop with excellent control of the zone. But the 26 year-old’s power outburst to begin the ‘09 season bears mentioning. … Don’t expect him to suddenly go all Mike Piazza on the league, but Mauer would only add to his immense value if he could loft 20 big flys in addition to his high-contact, patient act at the dish.”

Mauer was moved into the No. 2 spot in the lineup yesterday and continued to rake as the Twins walloped the White Sox 20-1. Despite the excellent returns, manager Ron Gardenhire said after the game that it won’t be a permanent move. That bodes well for Mauer’s RBI total. “”I would really like to have a guy [in the two-spot] that handles the bat — a guy that can bunt, a guy that can run, all those things,” Gardenhire told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “That’s the way it’s supposed to be in the lineup. Alexi Casilla should be there.”

Mauer missed all of April, yet it appears he’ll top most of his career highs, especially in home runs and RBI. Let’s hope he never slows down.

On to the links…

Tim Heaney of KFFL.com reviews some of the shakier closer situations from around the league.

Andy Behrens of Yahoo! Sports believes the Giants’ Jesus Guzman is a “call-up of interest.” The 24-year-old was hitting 363/.391/.592 at Triple-A Fresno and should see plenty of DH opportunities as we enter interleague play.

Fresh off a two-homer game earlier this week, Kendry Morales tops the list in Matt Stroup of Rotoworld’s most recent “Waiver Wired” column.

Have something you think others should see? Shoot me an e-mail or come join me on Twitter.


Daily Linkage – 5/20/2009

Brian Anderson was activated from the disabled list Tuesday afternoon and is expected to resume his role as the White Sox’ starting center fielder. The 27-year-old was pleased with his short rehab assignment at Triple-A Charlotte. “I got some good at-bats with those guys, and it was just fun to be back in the mix playing baseball,” said Anderson, who missed about three weeks with a strained right oblique.

Anderson left the MLB scene in late April with a relatively impressive stat line — a .268 batting average, .359 on-base percentage and two stolen bases in 56 at-bats. Those numbers won’t gain a player fantasy relevancy in most mixed leagues, but that he’s even making a small splash in AL-only leagues this season says something about his progress as a hitter. Anderson hit just .232 last season with a .272 OBP and was completely off the fantasy map. Now that he’s back in the lineup, let’s get better acquainted.

I don’t expect Brian to hit .350,” Ozzie Guillen told the Chicago Tribune at the beginning of the 2009 season. “A lot of people forget we gave Brian all year long [in 2006] and he never [kept the job]. Now he’s mature, he’s a better player and he knows what he’s doing. I don’t expect him to be comfortable with being a backup outfielder. He should be better than that.”

The Chicago coaching staff has noticed an improvement in Anderson’s approach at the plate.

”I felt good about Brian for a couple years now,” hitting coach Greg Walker told the Chicago Sun-Times in late April. ”We’ve seen pregame work now for two years that we think equates into game performance. We’ve challenged him a little bit where, ‘Hey, it’s time to step it up and start taking this pregame work into games.”

On to the links…

Mark Hinton of CrookedPitch.com outlines several “Fantasy Situations To Avoid.” At the top of his list? The Nationals’ bullpen.

Charlie Saponara of FantasyBaseball365.com asks a bold question: “Is Garrett Atkins done?”

If you haven’t already, check out this week’s “Fantasy Roundtable,” hosted by Razzball.com.

Mark St. Amant of Rotoworld is “crushing” on Adrian Gonzalez this week. “I’ve never managed a Major League game in my life,” St. Amant writes, “but I know how to win every game against the San Diego Padres — never, ever, ever. Ever. Ever pitch. Never. Pitch to Adrian Gonzalez.”

Find something of interest or have a question? Send me an e-mail anytime or hit me up on Twitter.


Daily Linkage – 5/18/2009

Just dropping off a few links on a beautiful Monday afternoon around most of the baseball world. I’ll be back Wednesday with another “meta analysis.” There are nine games on tap today.

Chien-Ming Wang appears ready to rejoin the Yankees. He’s thrown 16 scoreless innings over two rehab starts for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and will quickly get to work on lowering his 34.50 ERA and 10.39 FIP once he’s activated.

Charlie Saponara of FantasyBaseball365.com discusses “The Renaissance of Jason Bartlett.” After being named team MVP last season despite overly unimpressive numbers, he’s batting .370 (.433 wOBA) with five home runs and 17 RBI in 135 at-bats.

The boys over at FakeTeams.com analyze Joe Mauer‘s impressive power surge. He’s batting .429/.529/.804 with six home runs in 15 games since returning from the disabled list. For a guy who has just one double-digit home run season, he’s on quite the tear.

Brad Evans of Yahoo! Sports believes the “rollercoaster ride will continue” this season with Clayton Kershaw, citing his 4.7 BB/9 and 0.93 GB/FB ratio.

Tim Dierkes of RotoAuthority finds 18 pitchers with high BABIP rates. These guys are poised for a rise in WHIP and make for nice sell-high candidates.

Dave Cameron has several lessons from week six over on the FanGraphs blog. Most notably for us fantasy buffs, Cameron points out that David Wright has begun raking. The third baseman hit .556/.625/.741 last week and stole five bases.

As always, if you find something of interest, shoot me an e-mail or hit me up on Twitter.


Daily Linkage – 5/14/2009

Just dropping off a few evening links. I’ll be back tomorrow with another “meta analysis.” I hope those have been enjoyable so far. I know the format still needs a bit of work.

If you ever come across, or produce something fantasy-related that you thing others should see, drop me a line. Or if you’re down with the craze, feel free to hit me up on Twitter.

As Knox Bardeen of Crooked Pitch points out, via his Twitter feed, Astros outfielder Michael Bourn is hitting .303 (.357 wOBA) with 12 stolen bases, yet is owned in just 32% of fantasy leagues.

A hot topic these days, David Wysocki of KFFL.com examines the fantasy impact of the Dodgers “sans Manny Ramirez.”

Scott White of CBSSports.com isn’t drinking the Marco Scutaro Kool-Aid. The typically light-hitting infielder is off to a great start, batting .271/.402/.436 with five home runs, six doubles and 18 RBI in 140 at-bats. His ZiPS projections for the entire 2009 season? A line of .261/.334/.364, six home runs, 16 doubles and 39 RBI. He’s on quite the pace.

Eric Cunningham of Fanball.com examines a few of the league’s more interesting platoon battles: Marlins catcher, White Sox shortstop and Mets right fielder.

Rotoworld’s Matt Stroup has this week’s Waiver Wired. His top add for mixed leaguers? Ian Stewart, who boasts a .353 wOBA, seven home runs and 20 RBI through 32 games.

Grey over at Razball.com takes a hard look at some of the league’s luckiest starting pitchers, or those with the highest FIP-to-ERA differences.

Andy Behrens of Yahoo! Sports discusses the fantasy potential of recently promoted outfielder Nolan Reimold. He posted a 1.228 OPS at the Triple-A level, but how often will he be used in Baltimore?

ESPN.com’s Matthew Berry re-worked his Top 250 Player Rankings last night and provided a bit of flavorful analysis this evening. Albert Pujols is still his top dog, and for good reason.