Roster Doctor – 5/19/09

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Time was a little short for me this week so I did not have time to finish part two of the strikeout debate article, so instead you are treated to an extra Roster Doctor today! I decided to go traditional…

Player Pool: Mixed
No. of Teams: 12
Categories: Traditional 5×5
Scoring Type: Head-to-Head
Other notes: Nine keepers per year

C – Mike Napoli
1B – Lance Berkman
2B – Chase Utley
3B – Alex Rodriguez
SS – Jose Reyes
OF – Alfonso Soriano
OF – Bobby Abreu
OF – Johnny Damon
Util – Joey Votto
BN – Kurt Suzuki
BN – Mark Reynolds
BN – Juan Pierre
BN – Daniel Murphy
BN – Andrew McCutcheon

SP – Zack Greinke
SP – Rich Harden
SP – James Shields
SP – Ervin Santana
RP – Heath Bell
RP – Huston Street
BN – Derek Lowe
BN – Ted Lilly
BN – Gil Meche
BN – Kris Medlen
BN – Fernando Rodney

As usual, I will start with the hitting; the impressive hitting, I should say. Your lineup is stacked from top to bottom and even has solid depth. Napoli and Suzuki are two good young catchers, one with obscene power and the other with good all-around skills. Your infielders sound like a list of MVP candidates and all are performing decently well as of late. Berkman, who was the lone concern, has really picked it up in the last week as he should have been expected to. No reason to panic there.

Although on the older side, all three of your outfielders are playing great so far this season. Damon in particular, is playing exceptionally well and I would look to sell him high right now. Looking from the perspective of a keeper league, his value might never be higher than it is now for the rest of his career. As someone living in the New York area who gets to see him everyday, it is only a matter of time until pitchers stop lobbing him that down and inside pitch he loves to turn on. See what you can get for him.

Votto is a monster of a hitter, but I am concerned about him right now. As an A’s fan, I know a thing about fluky injuries, and the repeated dizziness he has been experiencing lately is hopefully the result of just a minor illness. Most likely that will be the case and he will be back in the lineup before we know it, but for the next couple of days bench him.

You mention your offense has struggled the past few weeks; I see little area for upgrade so I would stick with the guys you got for now. Any struggles are the result of random fluctuations due to the small sample size of one week.

Looking at your pitching, it appears to be fairly good, but I do not see it as being as dominant as you describe. For as many pitchers that have been good for you this year (Greinke, Lowe, Lilly, Broxton) I can name as many that have done poorly (Harden, Shields, Santana, Meche). Shields I find particularly concerning because of his uncharacteristically low K rate and high walk rate.

In my opinion, it is your pitching that you should be focusing on improving—more than your lineup—and I would look to acquire an ace type of pitcher. You have solid depth, your rotation goes more than five pitchers deep, but you lack a second sure thing besides Greinke. It would be beneficial to sacrifice a little of your depth in exchange for one more ace-type of pitcher. And if it is too hard to get an ace, you could always target a buy low like Lester or maybe even Verlander.

Medlen is a nice pickup, and although I might not start him right away, the stats he put up in Triple-A this year are too impressive to ignore. He could turn out to be an asset down the road.

Stay active like you have, rework your rotation a little, and I think your team should stay in contention for a championship this year.

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Chad Burke
Chad Burke

He might also want to acquire another closer as in a 12 team league the leaders will have 3 solid closers.  Street has been better after a rocky start while Bell has been very good but not getting very many opportunities since the Padre’s hot start.  Rodney is far from a reliable option, albeit one I’ve been forced to rely on in my 14 team ML due to injuries.  If I could upgrade him I’d do it in a heartbeat.

Paul Singman
Paul Singman

Shaky closers are never fun to own, but I would rather have a better lineup or solid starters with shaky closers that hopefully keep their job over a Rivera, Soria, or Papelbon.

In this specific case, there are only two RP spots so the most closers you could start are two, unless you have Morrow (who lost his job) or another closer with SP eligibility. They are few, though. So with his two closers right now (and one on the bench), he is doing fine in that area….