Tag Archive | "Anomaly"

Edison Volquez: Stream Dream?

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Edison Volquez: Stream Dream?

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Will Emerson

Alright, time to take a look at another starting pitcher who may be available after your fantasy baseball draft, thus making him a viable streaming option during the season. As somewhat promised I will venture outside of the American League East this time around, as I take a look at Edison Volquez’s streaming viability.

EdisonVolquez

Volquez is currently consistently ranked in the high 90s amongst starting pitchers, and this is fairly accurate location for him in my eyes. Last season, Volquez was 11-11 with a 4.15 ERA and 1.45 WHIP, so he was not exactly a world beater or anything. Also it is not as if he was tremendously unlucky and these fantasy statistics are that misleading. Volquez had a 4.20 xFIP and he walked over five batters per nine innings which does not exactly help his cause and shows us that his ERA is pretty much right where you should expect it to be. Sadly, those walks are huge detractor when thinking about picking up Volquez. With a career walks per nine innings of right around five, last season was also not anomaly or fluke and those walks will continue. However, if you are streaming Edison, then you may be able to work with the free passes and a generally high WHIP.

Now, much like skinning a cat, there is more than one way to go about streaming. Some people will stream until their little hearts are content, if their league settings and rules will allow. For those who stream with reckless abandon, Volquez will be all over their radars because for some reason I feel like Volquez has been considered a “name” starting pitcher for years. Although Volquez has only really had one very good season in the majors, he has been continuously taken on draft day. The ERA is tolerable, but that WHIP should be a big red flag causing some hesitance and caution when thinking about throwing Volquez out there at any point in your scoring week. Now, for those who do stream this way they are basically looking to take wins and strikeouts and hope for the best in the other categories. So if this is your method of choice Volquez should be a solid option. Well, sort of.

I mean, wins in general can be a crapshoot and any pitcher with the potential to win 12-15 games is draftable and any pitcher with double digit win potential that is not drafted is certainly a viable streaming option. I believe Volquez may be able to get to 12 wins and anything more is just icing on the cake. When streaming for wins you will need to pick a favorable match up for not only the pitcher but his team in general. So while wins, are quite possibly attainable with Volquez, strikeouts are definitely attainable with Volquez. Edison had a K/9 of 8.57 last year and that number for his career is 8.65. So if you are looking to stream to capture strikeouts and you are not too concerned with your other categories Volquez is your man. However, if you are in a tight race in the other categories you may need a little more help in deciding whether or not Volquez is a good pickup.

So, from the information we now have about Volquez, it seems he is a better streaming option for the end of the week. At that point you will have a better idea of where you stand in your match up and can decide if you should roll the dice with Volquez. Your other option, if you are looking to Volquez for an early week game, is to look for his most favorable matchups. Now if Volquez is facing a struggling, weak, or, especially in his case, free-swinging offense this would be an ideal time to take a chance and throw him out there. But another thing you could look at, is his splits.

Volquez plays his home games in what is widely known to be a pitcher’s park and while most pitchers will throw better at home, Volquez is extremely better at home. In 2012 Volquez had an ERA of 2.95, a 1.29 WHIP, and an 8.85 K/9. See? Extremely good. It may also be interesting to point out that Volquez’s walk rate was about the same at home as it was on the road, so clearly he was not giving up a lot of hits at Petco in 2012. On the road he posted an ERA over five, a WHIP of 1.65, with an 8.23 K/9. As you should have read above, for the most part the strikeouts should consistently be there for Volquez. Now his home xFIP was still 3.88, but this is still better than the 4.56 xFIP he posted on the road. Of course, fantasy leagues don’t care about a pitcher’s xFIP and with a FIP of 3.20 at home I would say you can expect some more home cookin’ from Volquez in 2013, leading to a home ERA in the low threes.

So I would say for the most part Volquez will be a very viable streaming option whenever he takes the bump at Petco and possibly on several other occasions. When looking through last season’s splits, I also noticed Volquez managed a 3.52 ERA in the first half, but do not get too hyped about this as his FIP in the first and second half were pretty much the same, so the second half was more or less just a regression, bringing his numbers to where we can expect them to be. Currently Volquez is owned in 5.4% of ESPN leagues and 16% in Yahoo! Leagues, so there’s a great chance he will not be drafted in your league(s), but is worth keeping an eye on for streaming. With that I am sure Edison will be making several appearances in Field of Streams this season. Alright well, keep, keep on truckin’ folks.

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An Arbitration Perfect Year

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An Arbitration Perfect Year

Posted on 19 February 2013 by Bill Ivie

In 1974, Major League Baseball introduced the arbitration process.  Throughout time, the process has evolved, but boils down to some basic concepts for players and their teams during the early years of the player’s career.

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As a player progresses through a team’s system, they eventually reach what has commonly become known as their “arbitration years”.  More often than not, this applies to the third through sixth year of a player’s major league service time.  There are some exceptions that create a “Super Two” player that allows them to gain an extra year of arbitration eligibility.

During this time frame of a player’s career, he and his team have the ability to continue their relationship through a series of one-year contracts.  If they both agree to continue their relationship but they cannot agree on a dollar amount of worth for the player, they enter an arbitration hearing.  At that point, an independent arbitrator will examine the facts from both sides and decide which salary the player should obtain.

As you can imagine, this is not a desirable occurrence for either party.  Team’s have to construct a case as to why a player is not worth the amount they are asking for, often damaging the relationship between the player and the team.  Ultimately, most teams try to work out a contract prior to the date for the arbitration hearing, in some cases, coming to terms on a multiple year contract that both the team and player feel are agreeable.

For the first time in the history of arbitration, every arbitration eligible player has agreed to terms with his team prior to needing a hearing.

While this is certainly newsworthy, it is hard to determine what impact it truly has on the game.  It may be a sign of more teams looking to lock up young stars before they run into the problems that arbitration brings.  It may simply be an anomaly of players that were more agreeable to terms.  It may be a sign of the youth movement in baseball growing more.

For now, it simply means that every team in baseball can focus on Spring Training and the product on the field.

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DOs And DONTs: Minnesota Twins

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DOs And DONTs: Minnesota Twins

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Daniel Aubain

No team under-performed more than the Minnesota Twins in 2011 but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few valuable fantasy baseball assets on their 40-man roster heading into the 2012 season. Below is look at the players worth targeting, those probably worth avoiding and some with question marks which won’t be answered any time soon.

  • DO use caution when drafting C Joe Mauer as your primary catcher in any format. He played in a career-low 82 games in 2011 and and only 52 were at the catcher position. If healthy for the entire season, Mauer has the ability to win another batting title but with single-digit home run power (2009 was an anomaly). Expect to see the Twins use him at first base frequently to preserve his health and make up for the unknown status of Justin Morneau.
  • Speaking of Morneau, DON’T expect much out of him this season until he can prove the symptoms of his concussion are behind him and he can be counted on to be on the field contributing. You wish the guy the best but his fantasy value is an unknown at this point and you can’t afford to make a mistake at such a premium scoring position.
  • DO target OF Ben Revere as a late-round pick for his 30-40 Stolen Base potential, especially if he claims the leadoff spot in the batting order.
  • DON’T forget about Matt Capps as a closer target simply for Saves. He’s not going to help you (and may hurt you) in ERA, WHIP or provide big Strikeout numbers but should be available in the late rounds and on the cheap.
  • DO keep an ear out for what’s being said about OF Denard Span‘s recovery from concussion symptoms which wiped out a majority of his 2011 season. He was in camp early saying and doing all the right things but let’s wait and see what happens as the workouts intensify.
  • DON’T even say it. RP Joel Zumaya tore a ligament in his right elbow and is done for the year and may be at the end of his career. I told you not to say it.
  • DO know OF Josh Willingham has already been named the team’s starting right fielder. He’ll provide some power and an overall 5×5 line around .260/70/25/75/5. Expect him to be widely available on waivers throughout the season.
  • DON’T target any of the Twins’ starting pitchers unless you have a strong stomach. Carl Pavano, Francisco Liriano, Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn and Jason Marquis all project to be 9-11 game winners with ERA’s over 4.00 and not a ton of Strikeouts. I’d avoid them all and take a chance with a waiver claim if any prove worthy of owning after a few April starts.
  • DO take a shot on Ryan Doumit providing some positive offensive numbers out of the catcher position. He’s averaged 18 Home Runs and 71 RBI per 162 games with a .271 Batting Average and a .334 On-Base Percentage. He’ll also see some time in the mix at first base, the outfield and as their DH t o keep his bat in the lineup.
  • DON’T get stuck with 2B Alexi Casilla and/or SS Jamey Carroll as your primary option at either position. If you do, you’re doing fantasy baseball very wrong.

How are you feeling about the Twins’ chances heading into the 2012 season? It’s hard to be optimistic about a team with so many question marks due to lingering injury issues and who’ve lost three of their most popular and productive players (Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Joe Nathan) over the last few years.

Be sure to check out the entire series of DOs And DON’Ts articles covered by over staff to see how we did covering your favorite team, our opinions and recommendations while you’re getting ready to lock in your keeper league selections and to hopefully tell us all the things we are doing right to bring you quality fantasy baseball content.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @DJAubain to talk 99% about baseball and 1% “Dancing With The Star”. Just kidding. Probably more like 98% baseball and 2% “that’s what she said” references and innuendos. Enjoy!

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