Roster Doctor goes in-house

THT’s Jeff Gross writes to the Roster Doctor for an in-house call. This is an 12-team “expert league” with standard categories. Jeff’s given me access to his league’s site so that I can see all the teams there.

C – Brian McCann
C – Hank Conger
1B – Freddie Freeman
2B – Michael Cuddyer
3B – Adrian Beltre
SS – Hanley Ramirez
CI – David Wright
MI – Mike Aviles
OF – Milton Bradley
OF – Ryan Ludwick
OF – Jayson Werth
OF – J.D. Drew
OF – Jerry Sands
UT – Chipper Jones
SP – Mat Latos
SP – Brandon Beachy
RP – Brandon Lyon
RP – Darren Oliver
P – Jonny Venters
P – Luke Gregerson
P – Michael Pineda
P – Ubaldo Jimenez
P – Ryan Dempster
BN – Tim Stauffer
BN – Aaron Hill (DL)
BN – Mike Moustakas
BN – Sean Burnett
BN – Hong-Chih Kuo
DL – Joe Mauer
DL – Chase Utley

I’ve been offered Tim Lincecum plus someone like Cameron Maybin for Adrian Beltre plus one of Hill/Cuddyer


I would say your top problems are these:

1) Your offense is weak in runs scored. This is apparent from the standings, where you are second to last in runs. I guessed first that this would be the case after glancing at your roster. There are a few too many bottom of the order players on your team— Drew, Freeman, Sands (isn’t a lineup regular), and even Cuddyer. Only Aviles regularly bats in the top two spots. Of course, since some of your batters are off to poor starts, your runs scored suffer from your low batting average, too.

2) You have three spots for first basemen/designated hitters and only one first baseman and not a very good one at that. You could use the best sluggers in the league at 1B, CI and Util. You’re giving a lot of offense away by having inferior position players in these spots. However, with both Beltre and Wright, you are deep at third base, particularly now with all the injuries.

3) You have about one-half of a closer.

4) Your starters are off to bad starts and there are more than several question marks as to whether they will be like 2010 vintage Josh Beckett or worse. Latos might be fine, but Dempster and particularly Jimenez are real unknowns at this point.

What to do?

Obviously you can’t fix all these right off the bat. I think you are right to look to trade one of your third basemen. The trade you’ve been offered is intriguing and in a vacuum, I’d probably do it. Maybin is looking better this year, with improvements in walk rate and power. You have an extra middle infielder, so giving up one of them wouldn’t be too painful.

The thing is, Beltre/Wright are your best (or even only) real trade chips at this point. There are more than a few teams in your league with major holes at third—Macer Izturis, Pablo Sandoval and Martin Prado are being played by your opponents at third. One team still has Ryan Zimmerman starting.

Try to work the team playing Sandoval and see if he’ll part with Miguel Cabrera since he also has Derek Lee. Or go for the team playing Izturis and see if he’ll part with either Billy Butler or Adam Lind, one of his benched relievers like Koji Uehara and perhaps another small piece for Beltre. Normally I don’t like a two-for-one trade where you give up the best piece, but in this case, I think it might make sense.

In the meantime, I would go with band-aids for your starters and hope and pray you find some closers. There’s a much better chance that the wait-and-see strategy works here than for your offense.

By the way, in general, pick on the owner starting Kevin Youkilis at 1B and Prado at 3B. He seems to be using a player’s multi-position eligibility in the worst way.

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Your last sentence should be an ironclad law. 

There are times when a multi-step strategy or injury dictates that you start a multi-eligible player at the less “scarce” defensive position(others obvious ones are Posey or Zobrist at 1B).  If you have a catcher or MI at your utility spot, you almost certainly need to trade somebody.

Jeffrey Gross
Jeffrey Gross

thanks for the info! I just traded Beltran for Greinke, won a Hosmer bid. Seeking Lind OF now! Thanks again

Jacob Rothberg
Jacob Rothberg

To be fair, doesn’t this demonstrate the inherent silliness of ‘experts’ leagues? I mean, if you want to be in the position of dispensing fantasy advice, shouldn’t you be disqualified from this sort of thing?

Kevin Wilson
Kevin Wilson

They really should be called “professionals leagues” not “expert leagues”. There are plenty of unpaid experts out there.

You could then have paid leagues be your semi-pro, and free leagues be your amateur. I surrendered my Olympic eligibility long ago.

Kevin Wilson
Kevin Wilson

I stand corrected then. I was always curious how those in the industry do and how many of them have other jobs that pay the bills.

Derek Ambrosino
Derek Ambrosino
I’m actually curious too. I know that for most of the smaller, niche sites most of the writers have day jobs, are students, etc. However, I don’t know about sites like, say, Rotoworld. Can you make a living writing for Rotoworld? My guess would be, maybe a poor one. I mean, let’s tackle this another way. It’s barely feasible to support yourself, let alone a family, with an entry level job stringing for Time Magazine or CNN. So, if you can’t make a living researching and writing about nationally relevent news events for some of the world’s most prestigious outlets…… Read more »
Kevin Wilson
Kevin Wilson

10 years ago, fresh from Penn State with a journalism degree, I went into sales, knowing that I would be lucky to scrape by a living using my degree; I think your assessment is spot-on Derek.

Derek Ambrosino
Derek Ambrosino

I’m not sure everybody in these “expert” leagues are paid either, certainly not in a way that they could be called “professional” in any meaningful way.