Tag Archive | "Bartolo Colon"

Ryan Braun – Here we go…again?

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Ryan Braun – Here we go…again?

Posted on 12 February 2013 by Trish Vignola

Major League Baseball’s investigation into the widening Biogenesis scandal has become more complicated. Tuesday, four more players, including Brewers superstar Ryan Braun, were linked to the now-defunct Florida clinic alleged to have distributed performance-enhancing substances.

RyanBraun2

Here we go again.

Yahoo Sports named Braun, Orioles’ third baseman – Danny Valencia and Yankees’ catcher – Francisco Cervelli in a report as being included in handwritten logs of clinic operator Anthony Bosch. Mariners’ catcher (and former Yankees’ farm hand) Jesus Montero also appears in the clinic’s records as the New York Daily News reported.

At the rate the Yankees are going, I’ll be behind the dish this year.

Is it me or is inclusion of Braun, the 2011 National League Most Valuable Player, on this list as frustrating as Alex Rodriguez? Braun won last season an appeal of a positive test. An arbitrator ruled his urine sample had not been handled properly. Although it may or may not be significant that, unlike the previous names surfaced, there were no specific illegal substances listed next to Braun’s name. Nonetheless, can’t these guys stay home and stay out of trouble? There was a number next to his name which many have interpreted as dollar amounts he might have paid or been billed for undisclosed reasons.

I don’t want someone to be guilty until proven innocent, but come on.

The Miami New Times had previously named Alex Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz, Gio Gonzalez and Cesar Carrillo, as well as three players who have previously been suspended for use of illegal substances: Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon and Yasmani Grandal.

At that time, MLB confirmed that it had been independently investigating Biogenesis and that it planned to attempt to interview any player whose name surfaced in connection with the lab. The Commissioner’s Office released a statement Tuesday night, saying: “We have an active ongoing investigation in Florida. Until that is completed we can’t comment on any of the details or information that has surfaced.”

Yahoo reported that it had been given three documents by a former Biogenesis employee with Braun’s name attached. One matchef a list the New Times posted online with Braun’s name redacted and Cervelli and Valencia cut off. Another showed Braun on a line connected to the notation “RB 20-30K.” That is similar to how Bosch listed the amounts owed by other players, although, in this case, the number was markedly higher than most.

Added by Yahoo, “Later in the document are multiple mentions of Chris Lyons, one of Braun’s attorneys during the 2011-12 offseason when he fought a positive drug test. While Braun never contested the findings of the test, which found elevated testosterone levels in his urine, a 50-game suspension was overturned after chain-of-custody issues arose from the test-taker keeping the specimen in his basement over the weekend instead of immediately shipping it to a testing lab. Braun denied use of testosterone publicly. … When reached by Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday evening, Lyons declined comment.

The third record is a letter from Bosch that appears to be Juan Nunez, a former runner for the ACES sports agency that represents Cabrera, Cruz and Gonzalez. Though undated, it congratulates ‘Juan’ on ‘the MVP award’ – a possible reference to Cabrera’s All-Star Game MVP – and continues: ‘This smells like the ‘Braun’ advantage.’”

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3 Up and 3 Down – August 26

Posted on 26 August 2012 by Gary Marchese

It is that time again for the weekly three up and three down look around baseball.  It was an interesting week and made it easy for a couple of downs for me.  The steroid era is over, well we thought it was, but that dreaded word is at it again.  As always you can reach me through my email gmarchesej@aol.com, twitter @gmarchesej, facebook and of course comment under this article.  Thanks as always for supporting me and this site in general and we look forward to the continued support.

Up - Adrian Beltre 

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Adrian Beltre -He just had a three homerun game and then he hits for the cycle. Beltre is batting 310 with 23 homeruns and 74 RBI on the season.  He is having a very good year and really coming on lately also.

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Point and Grunt Baseball: Bartolo Colon

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Point and Grunt Baseball: Bartolo Colon

Posted on 25 August 2012 by Dennis Lawson

Colon isn’t fat; he’s just fluffy.

Bartolo Colon tested positive for synthetic testosterone and received a 50-game suspension for his troubles.  Does this make him the dumbest cheater ever, or was he simply guilty of consuming one Melky Cabrera?  The two questions are not necessarily mutually exclusive, so the possibility remains that the dumbest cheater ever ate a Cabrera.  Seriously though, it takes a simpleton to try and sneak synthetic testosterone past MLB’s drug testing program.  Worse yet, Colon might be the most unlikely person ever banned for performance enhancing drugs.

If anything, one might expect Colon to test positive for gravy in his bloodstream, abnormally high levels of peanut butter in his brain, or large quantities of beef jerky hidden inside his uniform.  Duh.  After a respectable 2011 season, Colon managed to finagle the A’s for a $2M contract for 2012.  That’s the Oakland A’s.  $2M.  Did Colon really believe he needed artificial help to score one more contract?  Seriously?  The 5′ 11″, 475 pound pitcher has cashed checks to the tune of over $70M during his career.  It seems unlikely that Colon could really spend that much money at Golden Corral and Pizza Hut.  I haven’t priced boxes of Twinkies lately, but Colon’s take home pay must be enough to cover his cream-filled goodies tab.

If ever someone looked at the risk/reward scenario and chose the “high risk, low reward” box, it was Colon.  Maybe he spent all of 20 minutes going through the “Baseball Cheats for Dummies” handbook and missed the chapter on how Ryan Braun beat the system.  Perhaps he started doing P90X in an effort to eliminate his m00bs in time for a friend’s wedding or family photos, and he needed a little extra oomf.  Regardless, he might as well have left a box of used syringes in his locker and put a “Test Me” sign on his back.

In the realm of dumb cheaters, Colon might be the leader in the clubhouse for the dunce cap and corner seat.  This move ranks right up there with a marathoner sneaking off the course at the 4 mile mark and showing back up around the 24th mile.  To make the analogy work for Colon, that marathon runner would have to be wearing street clothes and sporting a fresh haircut.  To Colon’s credit, at least he didn’t try to spoof MLB by creating a fake website and using a phony excuse.  He has yet to come out and express insincere remorse about “anybody that might be hurt and/or offended” by his cheating attempt and subsequent ban.

Perhaps the greatest disappointment stems from the likelihood that Bartolo has taken a successful baseball career and turned it into an afterthought.  Unless he cures all forms of cancer or wins some competitive eating competitions, he will probably be remembered as just another cheater.  Pretty sad way for a guy with a career 171-122 record to leave the sport, but he chose this ending.  He opted for an unsophisticated, easily detected method of enhancing performance.  Of course, he could have chosen to hit the treadmill a couple times a week and probably experienced similar results.  Instead, he will probably be reduced to a career marked by a ” : ” instead of an asterisk.  Too bad.  He had a pretty promising career as a potential “Biggest Loser” contestant.

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Field Of Streams: Fantasy Baseball Pitching Options

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Field Of Streams: Fantasy Baseball Pitching Options

Posted on 12 August 2012 by Will Emerson

Welcome to another edition of Field Of Streams, a weekly look at some viable and, possibly, some non-viable, streaming options for your fantasy team(s) in the upcoming week. Fantasy leagues are in the home stretch and if you’re in the playoff hunt, it is time to be savvy, get crafty and stream away! All of these pitchers are owned by less than half of ESPN and Yahoo fantasy owners, meaning there is a good chance you will be able to snag ‘em. So without further ado, here’s a look at your streaming options for the week of 8/13-8/19:

 Jeff Samardzija (CHC)- This upcoming week is Shark Week, so naturally we have to start with the Shark himself. Clearly my praise for Samardzija in last week’s Field of Streams has not had people jumping the Shark’s bandwagon as he is actually now owned in fewer fantasy leagues than last week. Huh?! Remember Samardzija’s July numbers? 1.91 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and a 9.82 K/9? Those are great numbers, people!  His last start, while it was at Petco, was impressive as well: 7 IP, 6K, 4H, 2BB, ER, sporting a 2.86 xFIP and 58.8% of batted balls were worm burners. Shark has a two start week this week, that starts with the Astros at Wrigley. The Astronomicals are not slugging by any means, so you should already generally stream against them as much as possible, and Shark Ks almost 10 batters per nine at home. The second start agains the Reds in Cincy though, could be a slight cause for concern, but I have faith and highly recommend fully embracing Shark Week and grabbing Smardzija!  (40.0% owned in ESPN and 43% in Yahoo!)

Alex Cobb (TB)-  Now Cobb is not the flashiest of guys by any stretch of the imagination and may never post those high K/9 numbers he was posting in the minors, but he has definitely been more than serviceable for the Rays.  Now the 4.32 ERA and 6-8 record, has managed to steer many fantasy owners clear of Cobb, making him readily available. What most don’t see is his 3.61 xFIP, 3.59 SIERA and a nice 57.9 ground ball rate, which is really enhanced when the mad genius Joe Maddon is aligning the defense behind him. Oh, did I neglect to mention that his first start of the week is against the Mariners at Safeco? The same Ms that have the worst wOBA and second fewest runs scored in the majors this season, which should be a gimme for Cobb. His second start of the week, however, will be against the Angels and they have scored more runs and posted a higher wOBA than any other team in the majors over the last month. So he’s a safe bet in Safeco, but I’d recommend sitting him against the Halos. (4.0% owned in ESPN and 5% Yahoo!)

Jeff Karstens (PIT)- Do not adjust your monitor, you read right! Jeff Karstens as a stream option this week. Karstens starts the week off at PNC, against the Dodgers. Karstens has been highly above average at home this season, with a 1.33 ERA and a .96 WHIP. Of course the .263 BABIP means these unworldy numbers with regress a tad, but the 3.69 xFIP is still promising. Plus, only the Cubs and Astros have been less effective offensively than the Dodgers over the last month. Start him against the Dodgers, but hold off against the Cardinals at Busch.  (5.0% owned in ESPN and 10% Yahoo!)

Patrick Corbin (ARI)- The youngster has put together back-to-back solid starts at the Dodgers and at the Pirates. Striking out 12 batters in 12 innnings while only two earned runs, eight hits and five free passes. He also put up a sub-three FIPs in both of those starts. Now, as I mentioned the Dodgers bats have not exactly been striking fear into opposing pitchers of late, but Corbin has the Astros this week and they have not been striking fear into opposing pitchers most of the season. So it is a thumbs up for Patty Corbin against the ‘Stros this week! (2.5% owned in ESPN and 4% Yahoo!)

Jarrod Parker (OAK)- If you have not been living under a rock for the past couple of, I dunno, decades or so, you know that the Athletics always seem to have young pitchers that can, quite simply, get the job done.  Parker is no different, with a very decent 3.55 ERA,  1.29 WHIP and a 7.10 K/9. Now his .291 BABIP and 4.02 xFIP points to a bit of a regression, but he’ll still be very solid. He draws the Tribe at the Coliseum, where he has has a 2.75 ERA and an xFIP of 3.09, making him a highly viable stream option this week. (40.3% owned in ESPN and 45% Yahoo!)

Bartolo Colon (OAK)- Big ol’ Bartolo has found nice little home in Oakland this year, right now posting his lowest ERA since 2002 and over a half a run better than his career ERA. The K/9 numbers will not get much higher than they are, maybe slightly above six, nothing off the charts, but with a K/BB rate over four, a ground ball rate cl0se to 50% and a prime chunk of real estate behind him in the Coliseum, the quality starts should continue to flow like wine. With his first start of the week coming on the road against the Royals, who are not exactly crushing the ball, and his second start of the week coming at home against the Indians, I would fully recommend freshening the air around your fantasy team with a spritz of Colon! (21.5% owned in ESPN and 29% Yahoo!)

Scott Diamond (MIN)- On the surface, yes, he appears to be a diamond in the rough, and yes, I am sure I am the first one to use that, but he is not as ace like as he seems. So far this season Diamond is 10-5, with a 2.91 ERA and 1.17 WHIP, but with a .290 BABIP and a 3.70 xFIP there is a regression storm a comin’! He Ks less than five batters per nine, but with a ground ball rate just over 55% he can probably manage to get away with the low K-rate more often than not. But Scotty is pitching in Seattle this week and until the Mariners prove other wise, it is generally a good idea to stream against them. You may want to avoid him though, if you are in a K/9 league or in search of Ks. With all that being said, I am not entirely sold on his overall fantasy value and so, whilst I recommend him this week, for the future I would say sell high if you can. (46.6% owned in ESPN and 49% Yahoo!)

Joe Saunders (ARI)- With a career K/9 of 5.14 and ERA over four, I’ve never really seen Joe Saunders as much of fantasy pitcher. This season he has a K/9 over a K higher than his career average and his 3.52 ERA is his lowest ERA since 2008 with the Angels, but this still does not have me sold on his fantasy merits. Mainly because the Ks/9 are only now only slightly over six, his xFIP is 4.20 and that ground ball rate below 45% does not instill me with a lot of confidence. Combine all this with the fact that he is pitching against the Cardinals who have the highest wOBA of any team in baseball this season. So disregard that nice little ERA and do not stream Joe Saunders against the Cards. (8.6% owned in ESPN and 14% Yahoo!)

Marco Estrada (MIL)- I am absolutely loving the young patchwork rotation the Brewers are throwing out there these days, especially Marco “Ponch” Estrada! With a 9.26 K/9, 1.79 BB/9, 1.14 WHIP and a 3.45 xFIP, what is not to love, am I right? And you know what is even more lovely?  His home numbers, that’s what! At home his K/9 is 10.17, his BB/9 is .78, his WHIP is .93 and his xFIP is 2.97! Amazingly he is winless at home, and for that matter, everywhere. Yes folks, he is 0-5 on the season and 0-2 in his eight starts at Miller Park. Well, although he’s got Cliff Lee and the Phillies in town this week and I have a sneaking suspicion that this when he breaks into the win column. Not only should you stream him, but if you can buy low for the rest of the season, he is most likely worth the stash! (8.6% owned in ESPN and 11% Yahoo!)

Carlos Villanueva (TOR)- Villanueva has been money since being put in the Jays rotation and it could be for real, but he has not generally been a big success as a starter in the past. Just last season he had 13 starts with the Jays and, well, it was not so stellar. In only three of those starts did he have a K/9 over seven and only two starts with an xFIP of below 3.65. In fact, in six of those starts he had an xFIP over 4.89. Nothing impressive to say the least. However, this season he has only had one start with an xFIP of over four, so maybe, quite possibly, there’s a chance he has made a turnaround. I mean his K/9 over nine as a starter this season is  somewhat encouraging, but I am still not sold as he faces the White Sox and Rangers this week at home. With his 12.9% HR/FB I would advise against streaming him.  (8.8% owned in ESPN and 23% Yahoo!)

Aaron Harang (LAD)- Harang has two starts this week and generally if you need some innings and a quality start or two, Harangutang is your man. However this week he draws the Pirates and the Braves on the road and while these two teams are not crushing the ball right now, the Dodgers are crushing the ball even less and I don’t see a lot of run support coming Harang’s way. So do not count on “W”s from Harangutang this week and in general take a pass on streaming him. (9.3% owned in ESPN and 19% Yahoo!)

Jose Quintana (CWS)- The 4-2 record, 2.78 ERA, and 1.09 WHIP all look like fairly sexy numbers and word on the street is Q is in line to stay in the White Sox rotation for the stretch run. All this information has fantasy owners slowly, but surely, adding him to their rotations. But with a 4.86 K/9, .263 BABIP and a 4.09 xFIP those sexy looking ERA and WHIP numbers are bound to rise and become, well, less sexy looking. So while you should steer clear of Quintana against the Blue Jays early in the week, he could grab you a “W” against the Royals in his second start of the week, just don’t expect the Ks or an ace-like outing. (19.7% owned in ESPN and 27% Yahoo!)

Franklin Morales (BOS)- While I do love me some Franky M as a starter, it looks like he will draw the Yankees this upcoming week and thus far, the biggest, and really only, blip as a starter has been against the Yankees. In that one start he lasted only 3.1 innings, allowing six earned runs on  four home runs. Now while this does not mean a similar outing is in store, you should probably avoid Franky at the Stadium this week. But, if you have him, I would keep him and the great K-rate down the stretch. (13.2% owned in ESPN and 16% Yahoo!)

So there you have it, another edition of  Field Of Streams in the books! So what did we learn this week, children? 1) Stream against the Astros and the Mariners when possible, B) Ks/9 are still your best friends, 4) If you see the Jose Quintana bandwagon rolling by, stay grounded, do NOT hop on and F) Marco, is the coolest Estrada since Erik! Good day and godspeed! 

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AL Pitching Planner: June 11 – June 17

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AL Pitching Planner: June 11 – June 17

Posted on 11 June 2012 by Mark Sherrard

This week’s AL pitching planner features a lot of decent options and only a couple risky ones.  Plus, the AL usually fares better in interleague play, so you have a better chance of avoiding blowups.

Here are the two-start pitchers and other favorable matchups for Week 11 for the AL:

Two-Start Pitchers

No-Brainers

Brandon Morrow:  6/11 vs WAS; 6/17 vs PHI – any pitcher with a sub-3.00 ERA in the AL is a must-start

Colby Lewis: 6/12 vs ARI; 6/17 vs HOU – only 4-5, despite a 3.38 ERA and the league’s best offense behind him

Wei-Yin Chen:  6/12 vs PIT; 6/17 @ ATL – a 3.49 ERA and a match up vs the majors worst offense make him a no-brainer

Results

Week 9 – 3 GS, 0 QS, 0 W, 17.1 IP, 38 H+BB, 13 K’s, 14 ER, 7.27 ERA, 2.19 whip

YTD – 52 GS, 34 QS, 28 W, 343.1 IP, 433 H+BB, 290 K’s, 129 ER, 3.38 ERA, 1.26 whip

Not Too Shabby

Josh Beckett: 6/11 @ MIA; 6/17 @ CHC – don’t look now, but he has a 2.21 ERA over his last 5 starts

Ivan Nova: 6/11 @ ATL; 6/17 @ WAS – has struggled this year, but threw 8 innings of one run ball last time out

Bartolo Colon:  6/12 @ COL; 6/17 vs SD – pitched well in his only previous start at Coors

Felipe Paulino: 6/12 vs MIL; 6/17 @ STL – Is this his breakout year? 1.67 ERA so far this year.

Jeanmar Gomez: 6/12 @ CIN; 6/17 vs PIT – 4.97 ERA makes him a risk, but start against Pirates lessens that some

Alex Cobb: 6/12 vs NYM; 6/17 vs MIA – has posted a 3.64 ERA in 13 career major league starts

Garrett Richards: 6/11 @ LAD; 6/17 vs ARI – was spectacular last time out (1 ER in 7 IP)

Results

Week 9 – 18 GS, 11 QS, 10 W, 109.0 IP, 136 H+BB, 98 K’s, 48 ER, 3.96 ERA, 1.25 whip

YTD – 149 GS, 86 QS, 64 W, 913.0 IP, 1208 H+BB, 682 K’s, 407 ER, 4.01 ERA, 1.32 whip

Risky at Best

Max Scherzer: 6/12 @ CHC; 6/17 vs COL – 80 K’s in 64.1 IP, but 13 HR’s allowed have been his undoing

Nick Blackburn: 6/12 vs PHI; 6/17 vs MIL – nothing to see here, please move on

Results

Week 9 – 7 GS, 2 QS, 3 W, 32.1 IP, 51 H+BB, 24 K’s, 20 ER, 5.57 ERA, 1.58 whip

YTD – 75 GS, 30 QS, 20 W, 405.2 IP, 612 H+BB, 275 K’s, 247 ER, 5.48 ERA, 1.51 whip

Other Favorable Matchups (<50% owned)

Brian Matusz (36% owned): 6/13 vs PIT

Matusz has never faced the Pirates before, but the Pirates are last in the majors in runs scored, so he’s worth a shot

Kevin Millwood (17% owned): 6/14 vs SD

He just threw 6 no-hit innings and he is 8-2 with a 3.27 ERA against the Padres, but make sure he’s healthy

Josh Tomlin (10% owned): 6/14 @ CIN

Won his only game against the Reds, allowing one run on just 3 hits in 7 IP

Drew Hutchison (26% owned): 6/15 vs PHI

Has a 3.50 ERA with a 17/4 K/BB ratio over his last 3 starts

Results

Week 9 – 5 GS, 1 QS, 1 W, 28.2 IP, 48 H+BB, 15 K’s, 20 ER, 6.28 ERA, 1.67 whip

YTD – 26 GS, 13 QS, 7 W, 168.0 IP, 220 H+BB, 136 K’s, 73 ER, 3.91 ERA, 1.31 whip

See ya next week.

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