The Blue Jays Bullpen: Uncertainty North of the Border

This post continues our Depth Chart Discussions. In an effort to suss out every team, we’ve divided them into four parts (infield, outfield, bullpen, and rotation) and will continue to break them down for you over the next few weeks. You can find the Depth Chart Discussion posts gathered here.

The Blue Jays bullpen was already in a state of murkiness before the injury to Marcus Stroman cost them Aaron Sanchez earlier this month, and the team’s closer to start the season has all of six career saves to his name. Overall, Toronto’s relief corps posted the fifth-highest FIP last year, though its unheralded leader could have some sleeper potential as a late-round bargain pickup.
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Random Auction Musings

I’ve been playing in auction leagues since about 2001 and believe it to be far superior to snake drafts. Why choose a draft format that immediately prevents you from acquiring players as soon as you know your draft slot isn’t number one? I want the opportunity to buy Mike Trout for $48 damn it! Okay, enough standing on my pedestal and rehashing why I think auctions are best. Let’s just talk about some random things that have popped into my head since my Tout Wars auction on Saturday.

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Scott Spratt’s 10 Bold Predictions for 2015

Last year was my first foray into bold predictions, and despite my low rate of actual success, several of my predictions produced some positive fantasy advice. The latter is really the more important rubric, but for vanity’s sake, this year I strive for two actual successes.

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MASH Report and Velocities (3/23/15)

• It is nice to see the American Journal of Sports Medicine was able to verify my concussion work with zero reference to my four-year-old study.

• Last week, I noticed Jon Lester (-1.5 mph) and Hyun Ryu (-2 mph) lost velocity compared to last season. Both are now dealing with arm issues.

Lester is dealing with a dead arm and it happens regularly with him.

“You can ask every pitcher; it’s an every-year thing for everybody. It’s nothing out of the ordinary.”

There is no pain or discomfort, according to Lester.

“It’s one of those things that you have to go through to understand,” he said. “It doesn’t feel like anything. It’s more total body deadness, and everybody puts a label on it as far as ‘dead arm.’ It’s nothing to be alarmed about. There’s no point in trying to grind through it right now. These games don’t mean anything. If it was April 15, it wouldn’t be an issue.”

Ryu is dealing with soreness in his throwing shoulder which will cause him to start the season on the DL.

Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu was sent to Los Angeles on Sunday to have his injured left shoulder examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, and manager Don Mattingly conceded that the left-hander will start the season on the disabled list.

Ryu attempted to play catch Sunday, four days after receiving a cortisone injection for the type of shoulder stiffness that sidelined him twice last year, but the discomfort returned.

Mattingly said Ryu reported immediate improvement from the injection but was barely able to lob the ball during a brief session of catch.

Just a reminder that pitchers don’t intentually throw slower without a reason.

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RotoGraphs Audio: The Sleeper and the Bust 3/23/2015 – Tout Review

Episode 207

The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is live!

NOTE: Jason and I will still cover OF next week, but we wanted to get into Tout Wars this week.

In this episode, Paul Sporer and Jason Collette discuss some Spring Training news:

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Play

Scott Strandberg’s Bold Predictions for 2015

I went 3-for-10 on my Bold Predictions last year, which is probably right around the sweet spot. Here, you will find this year’s crop of my unlikely — yet within the realm of possibility — predictions. These aren’t in any particular order, other than the order in which I thought of them. So, I guess they are in a particular order. They are in my chronological mind-order. Except for No. 10. I wrote that one fourth. Kind of ruins the whole theme. Oh, well.

1. Jorge Soler is a top-ten outfielder.

I’ve been crazy-high on Soler for quite a while now, so who better to lead off my Bold Predictions than the 23-year-old Cuban? Soler’s tools are out of this world, and they were on full display at every level last year, as he tore the cover off the ball, regardless of the level of competition.

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Nothing But Negative Predictions

Last week we did bold predictions. As a commenter on my post pointed out, the majority of the staff’s predictions were of the positive nature. More “player x will reach or exceed y” than “player x will fail to reach y.” My predictions were ten guys who I think could give you starter-level production in 12-team mixed leagues despite not being ranked as a starter by a single expert whose rankings are compiled by FantasyPros.com.

Today I’ll do the opposite and identify at least one hitter from each position who is ranked as a starter by every FantasyPros expert that I think might not end up with starter-level production. To be clear, these predictions do not come with the claim of being bold, although I think some of them are. And I’m also not of the opinion that most of these will come true. But even if these guys don’t turn out to be busts, they are candidates to underperform and are guys I’ll likely be avoiding.

If you’d like to see my personal ranks, both overall and positional, I’ve got them in a Google doc here. Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Grind Transforms

The Daily Grind will become something new this year. Fans of the column can rest assured; it will be a familiar sort of new. The motivation behind the changes is to improve the overall product. My personal goal is to win the FSWA award for best fantasy baseball column. Today’s post will introduce some of my plans and open the comments to reader ideas.

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Cold Predictions

“Cold” because we’re late for the predictions-feast, and the earlier arrivals have eaten a lot of the tastiest victuals. If it’s a “bold” prediction, not everyone’s making it. So here and there, we, and therefore you, are stuck with leftovers. But don’t worry, because we’ve brought some delicacies of our own. Here are our top ten, in reverse order of preposterousness. A couple of them we’ve mentioned before, but Spring Training developments make them worth mentioning again. If we’re right about our two or three most outlandish picks, we’ll claim Fantasy immortality. Read the rest of this entry »


My 2015 AL-Only Tout Wars Team

My inaugural season in the famed AL-Only Tout Wars league didn’t work out very well last year. Although my team heading out of the draft was heavy on OBP (not by design, but because those turned out to be the most undervalued hitters), I ended up finishing just ninth in the category, en route to a pathetic 10th place finish. My offense was decimated by injuries and despite spending $205 of my $260 budget on hitting, I tallied just 28 of 60 possible hitting points. So after a disappointing first showing, did I plan to do anything differently this time around? Yes, but the strategic change was rather minor.

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