Roster Doctor 4/20/09

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Player Pool: Mixed
No. of Teams: 12
Categories: Traditional 5×5
Scoring Type: Rotisserie
C: Ramon Hernandez
1B: Justin Morneau
2B: Brian Roberts
SS: Stephen Drew
3B: Chris Davis
OF: Grady Sizemore
OF: B.J. Upton
OF: Corey Hart
Util: Andre Ethier
BN: Cameron Maybin
BN: Matt Wieters
BN: Carlos Guillen

SP: Josh Beckett
SP: Francisco Liriano
RP: Brian Wilson
RP: Troy Percival
P: Zach Greinke
P: Max Scherzer
P: Gil Meche
BN: Jair Jurrjens
BN: Dan Wheeler
BN: Rafael Soriano

This is a Yahoo Winners League team put together by Michael and, to be honest, I think it could use some work.

I like to do what Paul Singman does, and that is to take the projected totals for my team (estimated using the various projection systems out there) and compare them to category averages for teams that finished in the top three in Yahoo public leagues. Another method I like to use in standard 5×5 leagues like this is to check the overall standings in past Yahoo leagues. This gives me a general idea of where my team projects to finish in each category, if not in the top three. This obviously isn’t an exact science but, again, it gives me a quick estimation of the number of points I might expect in each category.

                                        R       HR     RBI      SB     Avg
                Roster Doctor Team     762     181     713     137    0.282
                Yahoo 1st Place Team  849.3   224.1   832.1   161.6   0.294
                Yahoo 2nd Place Team  821.4   211.7   801.8   142.5   0.290
                Yahoo 3rd Place Team  803.1   203.7   781.3   130.8   0.287

As you can see, the only category we finish near the top in is stolen bases. Taking a quick look at my past leagues, we project to finish near the bottom third in the rest of the hitting categories. If we look at individual projections, only Morneau, Davis and Sizemore project to hit over 25 home runs and, in fact, its possible that these are the only three players to finish with over 20 home runs. So clearly we could use some more power, but this could be difficult as power tends to be the most expensive asset to acquire. You might search the waiver wire for guys like Paul Konerko (owned in 55 percent of Yahoo leagues), Jack Cust (28 percent), Adam LaRoche (33 percent) and Rick Ankiel (51 percent). They are all projected to hit over 20 home runs and you might consider picking one of them up. What you might try to do, then, is trade two-for-one, where you giving up two players for a quality power hitter. You would probably have to sacrifice some stolen bases, but in replacing the second player with a guy like Konerko (who I expect to bounce back this year), the gain in power categories would outweigh the loss in stolen bases.

Also, check the free agent pool for players who were drafted but have been dumped (and this goes for pitchers, too). Chris Iannetta is now owned in just 72 percent of Yahoo leagues, down 15 percent and, in one of my private leagues, Geovany Soto was just released. As ridiculous as it may sound, these things do happen, even in a “winners” league. Its perfectly naturally for people to look at short-term results and because of this, people tend to make rash decisions without realizing we are only a dozen games into a 162-game season. So if either of those players are available, I would replace Hernandez, and then try to take advantage of the name and trade Wieters for either power or pitching.

And speaking of pitching, let’s take a look:

                                       W       SV      K      ERA     WHIP
                Roster Doctor Team     60      65     900     3.90    1.32
                Yahoo 1st Place Team  87.4   141.0   1131.8   3.27    1.20
                Yahoo 2nd Place Team  82.4   121.4   1078.0   3.43    1.23
                Yahoo 3rd Place Team  79.0   107.5   1040.3   3.54    1.24

The strikeout numbers are probably a bit low, as the projections are estimating Scherzer to pitch only 80 innings. Assuming that is an underestimation, the strikeout total should be slightly higher, and we would probably finish higher in this category. However, in taking a glance at past Yahoo leagues, we would finish in the bottom third in all categories outside of strikeouts.

This team has a clear need for more saves, but so long as the owner participates in this league and pays attention to baseball news on a daily basis, he shouldn’t really be concerned about the current lack of closers. A couple weeks into the season, and a couple closers have already been dethroned (see Jason Motte and Huston Street), and we should expect more displacements throughout the season.

This staff does have potential to do much better than its current projections. Liriano showed improvement towards the end of last season, Greinke is a breakout candidate and Beckett might be the best pitcher in the AL this year. I honestly wouldn’t be too concerned for right now but some guys to keep an eye on as the season progresses are Jonathan Sanchez (40 percent), Kyle Davies (30 percent), Clay Buchholz (3 percent) and John Smoltz (44 percent).

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It would be interesting to see early round draft results.  Per the analysis, this looks like a below average team across the board which is odd.