Roster doctor – 5/15/09

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An unconventional roster for today…

Player Pool: Mixed
No. of Teams: 10 (with two divisions)
Categories: Traditional 5×5 + extra-base hits and blown saves
Scoring Type: Head-to-Head (One win or loss each week)
Other notes: Five teams make playoffs, two keepers

C – Brandon Inge
1B – Justin Morneau
2B – Aaron Hill
SS – Michael Young
3B – Alex Rodriguez
OF – Grady Sizemore
OF – Matt Kemp
OF – Curtis Granderson
UT – Bobby Abreu
BN – Raul Ibanez
BN – Nick Swisher
BN – Mike Lowell

SP – Roy Halladay
SP – CC Sabathia
SP – Joe Saunders
SP – Tim Wakefield
SP – Barry Zito
RP – Francisco Rodriguez
RP – Heath Bell
RP – Fernando Rodney
RP – Kevin Gregg
BN – Brandon Morrow

This is one of those really shallow leagues where everyone’s hitting looks like an all-star team. However, your team is, I am guessing, in the upper echelon of hitting teams because even your preseason “scrubs” like Inge (doubtful you drafted him), Swisher, and Hill especially have come through. The only position you could easily upgrade is catcher with Inge, who should not continue hitting anywhere near as well as he has. Other than at catcher, hitting upgrades will be hard and unnecessary so I would stick with the guys you got.

The biggest problem with your hitting right now—and I call it a problem sarcastically—is that you have hitters on your bench worthy of a starting gig. I would imagine other teams have a similar “problem” so I am not naive and expect a deal that consolidates you hitting to be easily done, but if a good one comes around I would accept.

In the meantime depth is not the worst of things, especially when injuries can happen anytime and it also allows you to platoon players to get favorable lefty/righty splits or sit them if one is facing Chad Billingsley and the other Chad Gaudin. All that is required is a little effort.

As for your pitching—it is pretty obvious and you expressed the concern yourself, about your lack of starting pitching depth. Saunders and Zito have done admirably so far but I do not expect them to maintain ERAs under 4.00 going forward. Wakefield is an easy drop and that leaves you with your two aces, Halladay and Sabathia.

Another type of deal I would explore is one where you give one of either your bench or starting outfielders—depending on who you get back—and a closer in exchange for another starting pitcher. In this way you can use two areas in which you are overloaded to fill a void.

With just the two aces though, you can employ what I call the Implode Strategy, a favorite strategy of mine in H2H leagues. It works like this: You always start by only pitching your aces and closers. If they do well, you consider benching your starting pitchers for the rest of the week, hoping to win ERA and WHIP, with saves and blown saves as toss-ups (potential victories). Wins and Strikeouts are sacrificed. In the event of CC or Halladay having a bad start (imploding for six runs in five innings), it probably is not worth it to try and come back in ERA and WHIP categories. What you do then, is use two roster spots every night for the rest of the week for streaming. Now the opposite happens; Wins and Ks should be won, ERA and WHIP most likely lost, and saves and blown saves remain toss-ups.

Every week should not be so extreme keep in mind. Most weeks you should stream or sit pitchers to a lesser degree than what I described above. What this does is let you at least tie pitching categories, leaving it up to your hitting vs. theirs to decide who wins the matchup. If they beat you in hitting, then they beat you in hitting.

Overall I like this team and it should at least make the playoffs. Once you’re in, anything can happen then. Good luck!

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