Tag Archive | "Batting Average"

I’m in dead last place – Help me Wilin Rosario….

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I’m in dead last place – Help me Wilin Rosario….

Posted on 06 May 2013 by Trish Vignola

… you’re my only hope.

Colorado Rockies' Wilin Rosario (20) celebrates with teammates after hitting a two run homer against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the inning of a baseball game Friday, June 1, 2012 in Denver, Colo.. The Rockies won 13-3. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

I’m buried so far in the cellar of my fantasy baseball league there is no hope for resurrecting any semblance of a normal season.

Call me the Houston Astros of the fantasy world.

I do though refuse to back up the truck. I have a few diamonds in the rough that I’m sure members of my league would be dying to get their hands on. One of which is Wilin Rosario.

Using CBSSports.com as a metric, Rosario has averaged me about 16 points a week. In 80 at bats, he’s given me 7 home runs, has a .350 batting average and 19 RBIs. In comparison, Josh Hamilton has given me 2 home runs, has a .202 batting average and 9 RBIs in 104 at bats. Matt Wieters, who I was totally expecting to be my “starting catcher”, has give me 4 home runs, has a .214 batting average and 13 RBIs.

Rosario has shown some speed, for a catcher. On the 10th, he went 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored. He also stole his first two bases against the Giants. “I can run a little bit, and I take advantage,” Rosario told MLB.com. “Sometimes they get a little comfortable on the mound, and I get the advantage.” Rosario stole just four bases in 117 games last season. CBSSports.com reports that Rosario sees himself surpassing that number this year. “I don’t know, because the year, it’s just starting right now,” Rosario said. “Maybe 10. Maybe nine.” He might be joking; nonetheless, it cannot be denied that Rosario has gotten a pretty good start to the season this year.

His defense has improved as well. It was on display against the Padres on the 14th. He hit his 4th home run of the season that saturday, culminating in a 4-for-5 day. He drove in three runs and scored one himself. He threw out the only base runner trying to steal against him in a 9-5 win. The day before, Rosario threw out two runners. By the 14th, Rosario caught five of the first seven base runners attempting to steal a base against him this season. “That’s one of the best experiences I can have,” Rosario told MLB.com prior to that game. “I want to be a winner. Not every time are you going to hit. The only thing you can control is your glove — catching everything, blocking balls, stopping runners.”

A draw back to Rosario’s offense is his horrific strikeout ratio. On the 18th, Rosario went 1 for 5 in his team’s 11-3 win over the Mets. He drove in two runs and scored one. He also struck out twice, giving him 15 strikeouts in 46 at-bats at that point. Wilin Rosario leads all NL catchers in strikeouts. If Rosario can keep his strikeouts to a minimum and if his defense can keep him in the starting lineup, he will be a diamond in a rough for your fantasy league. If he tires out early, I’m just going to go bury my laptop in the backyard.

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An Open Letter To My Fantasy Baseball Team

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An Open Letter To My Fantasy Baseball Team

Posted on 23 April 2013 by Trish Vignola

Dear Team “Beat with an Uggla Stick,”

Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee Brewers, must frustrating pitcher ever?

Hi,there! Remember me? I’m Trish, your general manager. I’ve given you the finest in fantasy facilities. I even forwent telling your fantasy girlfriends about your fantasy wives. I’ve treated you well.

So, riddle me this…why are you falling apart on me so early in the season?!

First, Yovani Gallardo – what are you doing? CBSSports.com projected that you were good to give me 205 innings and 18 wins. Do you know what you’ve given me so far? 7 points in three weeks and a DUI charge. A DUI charge?! If I wanted prospective prolonged absences due to legal issues, I would have kept Ryan Braun! You of course are one of my keepers. Nonetheless, you are useless to me when you have to miss a game due to a court date. It looks like you’ll be ridding my fantasy pine for a while.

Next, Josh Hamilton – which personality are you working with today? You gave me 9 points the first week, 23 the next week and -1 the next. Negative one! I didn’t even know you could do that. CBS Sports says that you cites an adjustment period behind your slow start. An adjustment period? I’m starting a new job. I get an adjustment period. You have a 5-year, $125 million contract. You doesn’t get an adjustment period.

Your adjustment period has resulted in 10 strikeouts and just one hit in your first stretch of games. Your 3-for-4 performance on Sunday lifted your batting average above .200 for the first time this season.

“Of course, there’s always an adjustment,” you told MLB.com on Sunday. I’m starting to hate that word.

“You go to spring training and you think you’re adjusted and then you make another move. You had to bring the family to L.A., had to get settled in and get in a routine as far as finding where things are around the stadium. It’s just a process. It’s been good to get into routine.” Really? Get a map.

I’m not going to start on Barry Zito and your atrocious outing this week. You were going to have to lose at some point. However, let’s discuss you, Ryan Vogelsong. You are another one who found new and exciting ways to give me negative points. Really?! However, I’m not giving up on you yet. You struggled last April before turning things around in May. Apparently, it’s normal for you to deal with reduced velocity early in the year. Last season, you were only throwing in the high-80s early in the season. By September, you were hitting between 92 and 94 mph with your fastball. I won’t cut you loose after just two starts. However, you don’t have until September to get warmed up. If I don’t see drastic change happening soon, you might see yourself on the bench next to that dummy Gallardo.

In my fantasy Steinbrenner days, I would have backed the fantasy truck up on my fantasy baseball team a week ago. I’m hanging tough for now. Nonetheless, Willin Rosario cannot hit for the entire team. If things don’t start improving soon, I will ignite a fire sale that would make the Marlins organization blush.

Love Always,

Your General Manager

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Playing the Name Game: Spring Training edition, Part Two

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Playing the Name Game: Spring Training edition, Part Two

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Chris Caylor

This is the 2nd of a two-part Spring Training edition of Playing the Name Game. In Part 1, I listed some infielders for you to focus on during your AL-only or NL-only drafts or auctions. As a reminder, I am not advocating that Player B is better than Player A; I am simply pointing out some players that may produce elite numbers at a less-than-elite cost. Now, let’s take a look at some pitchers and outfielders:

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista is brushed back by a pitch in the third inning against the New York Yankees in their American League MLB baseball game in Toronto August 23, 2010. Bautista homered on the next pitch.  REUTERS/Fred Thornhill  (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Outfielders

Player A: .303/.371/.510, 22 HR, 85 RBI, 20 SB, 89 R, 119 OPS+

Player B: .283/.373/.441, 16 HR, 67 RBI, 21 SB, 88 R, 131 OPS+

Player A is Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies. Player B is the Reds’ new centerfielder, Shin-Soo Choo. CarGo suffered in 2012, along with the rest of the Rockies (and their fans), clearly missing Troy Tulowitzki to protect him in the lineup. However, it remains questionable whether Gonzalez will reach the mid-30s in home runs again, as he did in 2010. Choo, meanwhile, bounced back from in injury-plagued 2011 season and to post solid numbers for a mediocre Cleveland team. Now that he is leading off for the deep, talented Reds, Choo could post career-high numbers. Projections I have seen have Choo virtually equaling Gonzalez in home runs, stolen bases and batting average, while besting Gonzalez in runs scored. Gonzalez will retain the edge in RBI, but Choo is being drafted 3-4 rounds later and is going for much cheaper in auction leagues.

Player A: .241/.358/.527, 27 HR, 65 RBI, 5 SB, 64 R, 137 OPS+

Player B: .242/.305/.463, 32 HR, 85 RBI, 11 SB, 85 R, 110 OPS+

Player A is Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays. Player B is the Athletics’ Josh Reddick. Joey Bats’ 2012 season was marred by his wrist injury, which disabled him in July and eventually required surgery. Before that, he led the AL in home runs two consecutive seasons. Reddick came out of nowhere to mash 32 homers for the A’s in 2012. At age 26, his prime years are ahead of him. Bautista might – I repeat, might – drop of the 2nd round in some leagues due to fears about his wrist sapping his power stroke, but he won’t fall much further than that. Reddick, meanwhile, is ranked 20+ spots lower in ESPN leagues. Don’t that let deter you. The power is real and still developing. If Reddick played in a park other than the cavernous Oakland dump, he might threaten for the league home run title.

Pitchers

Finally, we come to the pitchers. In over 20 years of playing fantasy baseball, I have found it much more challenging to consistently build a good pitching staff than to construct a strong lineup. Is it because so many pitchers are one wrong pitch away from a trip to the disabled list? Or is it more that many pitchers who succeed one year struggle the next? Or is it something else entirely? Perhaps a combination of all three?

In any event, I subscribe to two theories when it comes to fantasy baseball and pitching: 1) pitchers with a solid WHIP rarely steer you wrong, and 2) do not punt the saves category. That is not to say that you should spend excessively on saves, but judiciously. Example:

Player A: 3-1 W-L, 42 Sv, 116 K, 0.65 WHIP

Player B: 2-1 W-L, 42 Sv, 69 K, 1.16 WHIP

Player A is Craig Kimbrel of the Braves. Player B is Rafael Soriano of the Nationals. Obviously, Kimbrel put together one of the most dominating seasons we have seen from a closer not named Mariano Rivera in many years. If you put aside the staggering difference in strikeouts, however, Kimbrel is not much more valuable than Soriano in standard fantasy baseball leagues. They compiled the same number of saves. The wins total is negligible. Both WHIP ratios are outstanding. But would you rather have Kimbrel (whom you would have to select in the early rounds of a draft or pay Rivera-like prices for at an auction), or would you rather use that early draft pick/big auction money on a starter like Cole Hamels or Johnny Cueto, knowing you can pick up Soriano several rounds later? I’d take the latter.

Player A: 20-5 W-L, 2.81 ERA, 142 K, 1.02 WHIP

Player B: 8-14 W-L, 3.81 ERA, 165 K, 1.28 WHIP

Player A is Jered Weaver of the Angels. Player B is Josh Johnson of the Blue Jays. Weaver has finished in the Top 5 in Cy Young balloting each of the past three seasons. Johnson was acquired as part of that massive trade between Toronto and Miami. Although the transition from NL to AL is typically more difficult for pitchers, that in this case is cancelled out by Johnson moving to a much better team. Forget the win-loss totals from last season; Johnson is still getting plenty of swings and misses when he pitches. Weaver missed almost a month in 2012 with back pain. Johnson is an injury-risk himself, but he is a year younger than Weaver and offers ace-like potential at No. 2 starter value. I’ll take my chances here.

Opening Day is rapidly approaching. If you’re like me and have your draft or auction coming up in the next 7-10 days, I hope this article proves helpful to you.

Follow me on Twitter: @ccaylor10

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Is there trouble on River Ave?

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Is there trouble on River Ave?

Posted on 28 January 2013 by Trish Vignola

Is there trouble on River Ave?

Or is there celebration?

ARod2

Although Alex Rodriguez hopes to return from hip surgery sometime after the All-Star break at Citi Field, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman claims that the veteran third baseman could miss the entire season. Cashman dropped this bomb in an interview with WFAN in New York on Friday.

Rodriguez, who is now 37, underwent surgery on his left hip on Jan. 16. He was initially expected to miss about six months. On Friday, Cashman revealed that he is actually prepared for the possibility that the third baseman might not suit up at all this summer.

Cashman says that he remains optimistic. Nonetheless, when asked if there was a chance of Rodriguez missing the entire season, he told WFAN, “Yeah…I think because [of] the serious nature of the surgery and the condition that he’s trying to recover from, you know, there is that chance.”

Rodriguez hit .272 with 18 homers and 57 RBIs during the regular season last year. However, he drew attention when he struggled mightily during the postseason. The three-time American League Most Valuable Player Award winner was 3-for-25 in postseason play. He was only able to muster a devastating .120 batting average. That included a 0-for-18 stretch with 12 strikeouts against right-handed pitchers. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter, including Raul Ibanez, on multiple occasions before eventually being replaced in the starting lineup.

Are the Yankees looking for a way out of this dysfunctional marriage with Alex Rodriguez?

Could their patience with an ailing star have worn thin? Especially after pretty girls in the front row were garnering more of Rodriguez’ attention than the game?

Earlier this offseason, the Yankees signed veteran third baseman Kevin Youkilis to a one-year, $12 million contract to step in for Rodriguez while he recovers from the injury. Youkilis hit .235 with 19 home runs and 60 RBIs in 122 combined games with the Red Sox and White Sox last season.

Although not a permanent fix, it’s interesting to note that if Rodriguez misses out on the year, the Yankees can recoup some of its losses through the team’s insurance. The insurance kicks in only after the player has missed at least four months of the season. It’s minimal unless the misses the entire season. The Yankees would hit the biggest macabre jackpot if Dr. Bryan Kelly, who performed the surgery to repair the labrum and an impingement in the left hip, had the wrong prognosis. If the ability of Alex Rodriguez to resume his career as long as he does the rehabilitation turns out to be wrong, the Yankees win…big time.

From the Yankees’ standpoint, that would effectively get them out from under the remaining five years, $114 million on his contract. The insurance would kick in for 85% of that. Rodriguez would become a voluntarily retired player with a paid-up contract that comes off the Yankee books (and subsequently would lessen their luxury-tax burden).

It would be the same sort of welcome windfall the Baltimore Orioles reaped in 2000. Two years into a five-year, $65 million contract, Albert Belle was forced to retire from the game at 34 with a degenerative hip condition.

Belle disappeared from baseball. Nobody missed him.

Are the Yankees hoping for lightening to strike twice?

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The A-Rod Saga

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The A-Rod Saga

Posted on 24 October 2012 by Will Emerson

Let me start by saying, because I don’t think I can really stress this enough, that I really, utterly, totally, absolutely, genuinely, without equivocation, loathe Alex Rodriguez. This is very important knowledge for you, the reader, to have in your head before you read further, because there will be moments whilst you read the rest of this, that you will think I am defending Alex Rodriguez. Trust me, I am not. The point is not to come to A-Rod’s defense, but rather lambasting the Yankees, really baseball, okay sports in general, I guess and their knee-jerk reactions. Got all that? Okay, good, you may read on.

Now, is there a problem with Joe Girardi benching A-Rod in the playoffs? No, not so much. In the postseason every game counts and you need to give yourself the best chance at winning. A-Rod was not hitting whatsoever and has struggled mightily against right-handed pitchers since he returned from injury, to the tune of a .158 batting average and a sub .500 OPS. The trouble here, as can tend be the trouble these days, is that high-priced superstars do not like to be benched. More importantly, the top brass in an organization will often times force a coach or manager to play a guy simply because they are paying a buttload of money and they ain’t shelling out those dollars for their studs to ride the pine, as it were. But in this instance, which seems rare these days, the manager and the head honchos in the organization seemed to be okay with sitting the slumping A-Rod. It’s the playoffs and you need to do what it takes to win, even if it means throwing millions of dollars on the bench. If you were looking at just stats, as you generally should if you want to win games, benching A-Rod was something of a no-brainer. The thing that is something of a surprise, and that will be the story for the rest of the postseason and into the Hot Stove season, is the swirling rumors of A-Rod being traded. Huh?

It seems that the Yankees, or perhaps the media, are thinking that A-Rod’s poor postseason performance and benching means it is time he parted ways with the Bronx Bombers. Is all this really coming off the heels of a 25 at bat postseason stretch? I mean it was a bad stretch for sure. He was 3-25 in the postseason, which as you know, is less than good. In fact, it’s downright abysmal. But the rest of the Yankees were not exactly tearing the cover off the ball either. They hit .211 in the ALDS against the Orioles and an even worse .157 in the ALCS. Robinson Cano hit .056 in the ALCS and Mark Teixeira hit .200 for the series. But all of a sudden, everything seems to fall on A-Rod. Now remember, I am not defending A-Rod. I loathe A-Rod. But it’s strange if this is the basis for the A-Rod trade rumors, it seems. It’s not as if A-Rod has a history of being clutch in the postseason, right?

A-Rod is not only not thought of as clutch hitter, he is thought of as being the complete opposite, someone who is notoriously bad in the clutch and in big games. Here are his bating averages in his last five postseason series’ .273, .190, .111, .125 and .111. So it should not come as a big surprise that he is not great in October this year. In fact, since becoming a Yankee A-Rod has only hit over that .273 mark in three of his thirteen postseason series’. Now batting average is not one of my favorite stats, but the OPS which I love, was not much better. In the last five postseason series’ he has not had an OPS over .606 and in the last two postseasons he has posted an OPS under .400. Not even remotely good. But in the postseason it can also be more about the quality, not the quantity of the hits, right? But even there, A-Rod as not been much help. He has six, count ‘em six, RBIs in his last 21 postseason games, including zero this postseason. So, is this the real issue?

Now some, including myself a couple paragraphs ago, are saying that the trade rumors are based on his recent 25 postseason at bats. But maybe, just maybe, this is a matter of enough being enough. I mean, really, we have been hearing for years about how A-Rod does not hit in the clutch or in big games when his team needs him to produce, but in no other season have we heard these trade rumors. I don’t find A-Rod to be a genuine, or even nice, guy. I don’t feel he is a great team player or helps to create a good clubhouse atmosphere. So is it a matter of this being the final straw? I mean for the Yankees, not winning a World Series more or less means that the season was a failure and if the people they have will not get them another ring, then it is just time to cut bait. Is this a smart move for the Yankees, though?

Clearly the Yankees had more issues than just A-Rod this postseason, but A-Rod is probably the least likeable player on the Yankees so there may not be much of an uproar about trading him. Just a run-of-the-mill 24-7 media bonanza until we know what happens to A-Rod and which uniform he will don in 2013. Rodriguez has five years left on his contract and the fact of the matter is, based on what I have been hearing and reading, he is only bound to get a one year, five-million dollar deal. The Yankees are due to pay him 28-million in 2013, and while this will go down each year, they would still be looking to throw 20-million at A-Rod in his age 40 and 41 seasons. If they trade him, they are still going to have to eat a lot of his contract over the next five seasons. Now before his injury he was doing well, so with an off-season of rest he could be back to or close to his normal hitting numbers, so it is a matter of what is the best decision for the Yankees as far as production per dollar goes. Now it is the Yankees, who have money to spend (and spend it they do) but that does not mean they should not make good financial moves. Now I don’t know what they could get or how much of his salary the Yankees will have to end up eating, but throwing away millions of dollars on someone who won’t even be dressing in the pinstripes, just seems a bit foolish to me, even if you have buttloads of cash at your disposal.

Basically if this is based on this postseason, which many people seem to think that it is, it seems like a knee-jerk reaction that may not be the best move for the Yanks. However, if there is more to it, like the postseason body of work in his Yankee career, or his general unlikability, or any other personality clash or what have you, then the Yankees gotta do what the Yankees gotta do. Also, again, just one more time, for the record, I really, utterly, totally, absolutely, genuinely, without equivocation, loathe Alex Rodriguez and am quite enjoying him being thrown under the bus and how much he is getting trashed by everyone around. So, I guess we will just have to wait and see what the Yankees will do.

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