New feature: Roster Doctor

Earlier this offseason, we introduced the THT Fantasy Mailbag, which has been a big success. Now that leagues have started drafting, today we’d like to introduce our newest regular feature: Roster Doctor. Here’s how it works. Simply send us a copy of your fantasy team’s roster along with your basic league settings (number of teams, categories used, keeper/non-keeper, and player pool—mixed, AL-only, NL-only) and, if yours is selected, a member of the THT Fantasy team will analyze it for you.

To all those whose roster isn’t being analyzed, this will still be valuable as it will give you a glimpse into our heads to see how we go about evaluating rosters, how we think about trades, what we think about certain players, how we think certain players stack up again one another, and things like that. We can’t cover every single player in-depth throughout the offseason, but this will be a great way to hear our thoughts on some players who may have initially gone overlooked.

If you’d like your roster doctored, please send all submissions to this address.

To show you how this will work, I’ll analyze the first roster today.

Player pool: Mixed
No. of teams: 12
Categories: Traditional 5×5
C – Jorge Posada
1B – Casey Kotchman
2B – Chase Utley
3B – Miguel Cabrera
SS – Stephen Drew
CI – Dallas McPherson
MI – Robinson Cano
OF – Nick Markakis
OF – Alex Rios
OF – Shane Victorino
OF – Fred Lewis
OF – Kendry Morales
UTIL – Ryan Sweeney
BN – Gaby Sanchez
BN – Jed Lowrie

SP – Josh Beckett
SP – Javier Vazquez
SP – Zack Greinke
RP – Bobby Jenks
RP – Matt Capps
RP – Joel Hanrahan
P – Ricky Nolasco
P – Josh Johnson
P – Randy Johnson
BN – Jered Weaver
BN – Jonathan Sanchez
BN – Wandy Rodriguez

My first impression is that the pitching is terrific. This is clearly a THT Fantasy kind of pitching staff, led by a couple of my favorites in Beckett and Vazquez. There are actually nine quality starters on this staff, which should allow you to lead most of the pitching categories and give you flexibility to trade later in the year. There is some risk, but it is mitigated to a large extent by the quantity of good pitchers you have. The only change I would make would be to shop Jenks a little. I think there are similarly valued closers like Jose Valverde, Brian Fuentes, and maybe Jonathan Broxton or even Heath Bell who are better choices.

The offense isn’t as good as the pitching, but it is solid. I like waiting on my catcher in a one-catcher league, and Posada should bounce back if he remains healthy. Twenty home runs isn’t out of the question … plus he’s a Yankee. I like Mike Napoli better, and he sometimes gets taken later, so I’d talk with his owner. Having to hold Posada is far from the worst thing in the world, though. Utley and Cabrera are obviously solid, Rios and Markakis make a nice OF tandem, and Cano is another guy I’m high on. Drew could be shopped, though. I prefer Michael Young, who goes a little later, is very consistent, and will probably post better numbers besides.

I’d suggest possibly offering Victorino for Nate McLouth or Corey Hart, but you are a little light on steals and might not want to. While not my favorite late-round picks, Lewis and Sweeney are certainly solid and have some upside. I might like Billy Butler a little more, but I often find myself filling my 1B or CI spot with him or Kotchman (or maybe Adam LaRoche) in the late teen rounds.

Morales is a nice sleeper pick, seemingly having 1B all to himself. Expecting maybe 20 HRs with a .280 BA with quite a few RBIs hitting fifth or sixth isn’t unreasonable. I like the pairing of McPherson and Sanchez. McPherson has monster power and is likely more valuable than Sanchez if starting, but Sanchez might be the frontrunner for a starting spot now. If he does win it, you could consider swapping McPherson with a similar player in Russell Branyan, whose playing time is more secure. With Julio Lugo out for a while, Lowrie should have a chance to secure the starting job for the long haul, although I’m just not sold on him providing good fantasy value.

Overall, good team, especially the pitching, and I think there are some opportunities to trade a guy like Drew for Young plus an upgrade elsewhere … pick up some value in two spots. Definite contender here, especially if you make smart pitching-for-offense trades in-season.

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Hey Derek, Someone was interested in Greinke and wanted to know what it would take to get him. Here is his roster and he has Fuentes. What offensive player should I go for? I was thinking Pence but I am still unsure. Also, I was thinking of involving Fuentes and Jenks in the deal as well. Thanks C – Mike Napoli 1B – Prince Fielder 2B – Kelly Johnson 3B – Aramis Ramirez SS – Jose Reyes CI – Mike Jacobs MI – Jose Lopez OF – Carlos Lee OF – Hunter Pence OF – Jay Bruce OF – Coco… Read more »

Speaking as someone who has pestered Derek with questions via email for a couple years now, this is going to be a great feature. I know that my conversations with him have really helped my thought process during the fantasy baseball season.

Kyle Mathews
Kyle Mathews

C – M.Weiters
1B- R. Howard
2B- C. Utley
3B- A. Ramirez
SS- O. Cabrera
OF- B. Abreu
OF- J. Damon
OF- M. Bradley
UT- S. Choo
UT- A. Gonzolaz
B – W. Taveras

This is a H2H 12 Man 5×5. What can I do to improve?

SP- J. Beckett
SP- C. Billingsley
RP- J. Nathan
RP- B. Jenks
P – B. Fuentes
P – Z. Greinke
P – M. Garza
B – D. Wheeler
B – G. Balfour
B – C. Ray
B – B. Morrow


Not that you care about my opinion but you already have 3 closers in nathan, jenks, and fuentes do you really need to hold onto wheeler balfour and ray?  Maybe trade one of those, or hold on to those and trade a closer for an upgrade at SS

Paul Singman
Paul Singman

Guys, we love comments but posting your roster in the comments section is not going to get it “doctored”. Feel free to email it to us, though.

If you are posting your roster to get reactions from other commenters, then that is okay.


“The Roster Doctor” is a really nice idea. I’ll look forward to this each week. I’m drafting twice next week, I’m sure I’ll need help down the road!

Pernell, I think with your pitching staff you could sacrifice Greinke for a bat (Bruce?) straight up and still be pretty good for pitching.  If this is a H2H league, I could understand keeping that many SP for the two-start weeks.  If it’s a roto league with an IP limit, you should be looking into trading some of your lesser SP for offensive help.  Adding a stud RP couldn’t hurt either (Saito? Ceda?).  I’m not crazy about Lowrie (though definitely higher than Derek it seems), I think he’ll provide solid value in a 12-team league with a MI spot.  I’d… Read more »

I expect this will be an interesting and fun feature.  Then again, I’m assuming we’ll see a variety of league types represented…hopefully with none too many of the shallow pansy-league rosters (eg: 12 team mixed, only one catcher).  smile