It is no small secret that the present author is an Oakland Athletics fan. While not a baseball historian by any means — and too young to remember this event and subsequent speech live — on this date 22 year ago, Rickey Henderson became the “greatest of all time.”
On today’s agenda:
1. Andrelton Simmons is coming around
2. Musings on Marco Estrada
3. The Los Angeles Angels swap leadoff hitters
4. Tim Hudson earns win number 200
Andrelton Simmons is coming around
With seven hits in his past five games, Andrelton Simmons might not be lighting the world on fire, but he is making himself useful in fantasy leagues again. Simmons’ .241/.299/.333 line isn’t awe-inspiring, however he has been hampered by his .250 BABIP in the early goings. The author recently made a fantasy trade and in doing so acquired Simmons as a buy low/throw in player. Finding a shortstop that can hit .270 near the top of a solid offensive club carries value. For a MI spot, Simmons is a serviceable player. He isn’t widely available except in Yahoo! formats where he is owned in just 41% of all leagues. If you are working on a trade with the current owner of Simmons, ask for him as a throw in. Simmons’ rest-of-season projections seem conservative, and the author would take the over on the runs and stolen bases.
Musings on Marco Estrada
In many ways Marco Estrada is an excellent pitcher. His current 8.66 K/9 and 1.79 BB/9 would indicate a pitcher with talent as well as skill. His 34:7 strikeout to walk ratio is outstanding and if his 3.51 xFIP counted in fantasy leagues, Estrada would be a near stud. Unfortunately for fellow Estrada owners, his current 4.58 ERA — thanks almost entirely to his current 22.2 HR/FB% — is frustrating us to no end.
He has always given up his fair share of home runs, sometimes more than his share, however to see the makings of a great pitcher underneath the dingers is both hope and rage inducing. Since hope isn’t a fantasy category just yet (if it was, Brett Anderson would be MVP), we have to substitute it with a patient approach. Eventually Estrada’s home run rate will regress back down to his (still worse than average) career rate, and the world will begin to make sense again. Float the idea that you are looking for a pitcher and make sure to email the owner of Estrada. By now there is no doubt that frustration has crept in seeing Estrada obliterate a day’s pitching line with his elevated rate stats. Swing a trade and buy low on Estrada.
The Los Angeles Angels swap leadoff hitters
After Monday’s 19-inning marathon, the Angels have placed leadoff hitter and center fielder Peter Bourjos on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. Hitting .313/.370/.458 on the year (albeit with just one steal), Bourjos has surprised in his offensive contributions to date. Upon his return, expect a solid amount of runs scored as well as a few steals and home runs. He is fringe-ownable in shallow 10-team mixed leagues, but should be owned in all leagues 12-teams or more.
The Angels replaced Bourjos — at least at the top of their lineup — with the returning Erick Aybar. Given how thin the shortstop position is, it is surprising to see Aybar available in 50% of Yahoo! leagues, 60% of ESPN formats, and 70% of CBS leagues. If it comes down to getting Aybar or Simmons for your MI spot, go with Aybar. He should provide a higher average than Simmons as well as more steals, with the runs scored being very comparable.
Tim Hudson earns win number 200
Objectivity and perspective is key to any writing, but the reader will indulge me, I must wax poetic when it comes to Tim Hudson. As noted above, I am a an A’s fan. It hurt to see Huddy be traded away and thinking of what we got back in that that trade (Juan Cruz, Dan Meyer, and Charles Thomas) makes me want to pull my hair out. Regardless of what uniform he wears, I will forever remain a fan of Tim Hudson. I am happy to see him have a long career and to achieve 200 wins. I’m not advocating the legitimacy of the win, but en toto, 200 wins is impressive…that he hit a home run yesterday too is the icing the on cake. Congrats Huddy. Just know that A’s fans — at least one of them — still miss you.
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