Roster Doctor: 4/17/09

Welcome to THT Fantasy’s Roster Doctor. If you’d like your team to be analyzed by one of our fantasy baseball experts, please send your full roster to this address. Also be sure to include your league’s player pool (mixed, AL-only, NL-only), number of teams, scoring format (roto, head-to-head, points, etc.), categories, whether or not it’s a keeper league, and any other pertinent information. If your roster is selected it will be analyzed in a future Roster Doctor column.

Player Pool: Mixed
No. of Teams: 12
Categories: Traditional 5×5
Scoring Type: Head-to-Head

C – Victor Martinez
1B – Hank Blalock
2B – Brandon Phillips
3B – Garrett Atkins
SS – Jimmy Rollins
OF – Curtis Granderson
OF – Alex Rios
OF – Magglio Ordonez
DH – David Ortiz
BN – Pablo Sandoval
BN – Conor Jackson
BN – Travis Snider
BN – Colby Rasmus

SP – Josh Beckett
SP – Roy Oswalt
SP – Matt Cain
SP – Josh Johnson
SP – Matt Garza
RP – Joe Nathan
RP – Kerry Wood
BN – Chris Volstad
BN – Manny Parra

Before I start anything, here are the results of the “Honest Evaluation” I did on your team using the THT projections:

|  R  | HR  | RBI | SB | AVG   | W  | SV |  K  | ERA  | WHIP |
| 778 | 186 | 705 | 96 | 0.290 | 72 | 62 | 978 | 3.77 | 1.26 |

To get these numbers, I replaced Blalock with Conor Jackson since both the THT projections and our preseason rankings like Jackson more. I also reduced Volstad and Parra’s contribution by a percentage because you should only spot start them against weaker teams or when you need an extra win on Sunday.

Now let’s put some context to these numbers by comparing them to other Yahoo teams:

|                      |  R | HR | RBI | SB |  AVG   |
| Roster Doctor Team   | 86 | 21 |  78 | 12 |  0.290 |
| Yahoo 1st Place Team | 94 | 25 |  92 | 18 |  0.294 |
| Yahoo 2nd Place Team | 91 | 23 |  89 | 16 |  0.290 |
| Yahoo 3rd Place Team | 89 | 22 |  87 | 15 |  0.287 |
| Average Yahoo Team   | 81 | 21 |  79 | 11 |  0.285 |

Comparatively your hitting is about average. It should do well in batting average, decent in runs and stolen bases; however, it is seriously lacking in power and RBI potential. Ortiz is your one true power hitter and he has just one extra base hit so far this season. I am not suggesting you try to trade Ortiz by the way, there is no way you would get fair value. Chances are he is going to turn things around and post solid numbers, so you are better off riding out the rough stretches.

|                      |  W | SV |  K  | ERA  |  WHIP |
| Roster Doctor Team   | 10 |  9 | 140 | 3.77 |  1.26 |
| Yahoo 1st Place Team | 10 | 16 | 126 | 3.27 |  1.20 |
| Yahoo 2nd Place Team |  9 | 13 | 120 | 3.43 |  1.23 |
| Yahoo 3rd Place Team |  9 | 12 | 116 | 3.54 |  1.24 |

I know by looking strictly at the numbers this team doesn’t appear to have an impressive pitching staff, but anyone looking at the starters of this team should be impressed. One reason for the high ERA compared to the average top Yahoo teams is that this league has an odd five-starter, two-reliever setup. A more traditional two SP, two RP, three P roster or simply a nine P roster would lower the team ERA down.

Another reason for the seemingly inflated ERA stems from the type of teams that won Yahoo leagues last year. Most likely a solid percentage of the top teams made great in season additions—like Cliff Lee for example—and those team’s final ERA is better than any preseason projections for them. So even though my little evaluation technique does not support this conclusion, your team has a great pitching staff, especially if Josh Johnson continues to show he is fully recovered from his Tommy John surgery.

The most beneficial trade you could make would bolster your hitting, and I am looking specifically to upgrade your first base situation. I am not sure what you expect from Hank Blalock, but he is an unacceptable first baseman in a 12-team mixed league. A trade like Alex Rios and Matt Cain for someone like Adrian Gonzalez makes sense. It is tough to judge how realistic a hypothetical trade off the top of your head is, but a trade like that would leave your team in much better shape.

The new first baseman would play, of course, first base and either Jackson or Snider can fill the now empty outfield spot. With still four solid starters, your rotation should still be a force.

Overall my feeling is your team will take three to four of the pitching categories and two, possibly three of the hitting ones. So I do think your team is above average, but, in its current state I do not think it can compete with some of the teams I am imagining are stronger. At some point during the season—whether tomorrow or in July—you are going to have to make a trade or a great pickup that nets you another hitter or two if you are going to make a championship push. Keep those phone lines open.

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