Tag Archive | "Dan Uggla"

I am now in second to last place.  Cue the choir of angels!

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I am now in second to last place. Cue the choir of angels!

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Trish Vignola

I am now in second to last place. Cue the choir of angels! “Beat with a Dan Uggla Stick” has a reason to play the fantasy music in their fantasy locker room a little bit louder this week.

sstrasburg

Maybe I’m not the Houston Astros of the Fantasy Baseball world. I’m probably more of the New York Mets.

Pitching has been my weakness. Strasburg has lost the plate. Vogelsong has been a flop and did I mention that Fernando Rodney is in my bullpen? Nonetheless, Mike Minor has been one of my few saving graces.

Thank goodness for Free Agent pickups.

Today, Minor was no different as he got himself back into the win column. He allowed one run on four hits and three walks in seven innings this afternoon, leading the Atlanta Braves to a 7 to 2 win over the Cincinnati Reds. The only run scored off the southpaw came in the third inning. It was a Zack Cozart‘s home run. Minor yet again helped to improv the Atlanta Braves’ record, currently the best in the National League East.

Minor is 4 and 2 as of today. He also tied a season-high strikeout count with seven. This was also his first win in three starts. It was the first time in four starts that Minor allowed less than three runs, as he lowered his ERA from 3.26 to 2.96.

I will take what I can get!

Even when Mike Minor needs to “right the ship”, he is still ten times better than anything I currently have.

He’s the Matt Harvey of “Beat with a Dan Uggla Stick”.

In his start on May 3rd, Minor surrendered two home runs in the first two innings. The second came with none out in the second inning, a rocky start for sure. Nevertheless, after the home run in the second inning, Minor retired the next 18 batters he faced.

Calling Roger Clemens!

Minor was ultimately saddled with a no-decision for this performance against the New York Mets. Still, Minor allowed just three hits. He walked none and struck out four against the Mets before being pulled after seven innings.

If Minor is available in your league, grab him at all costs. He’s got a Harvey vibe without the buzz. You can probably get him for nothing. If he can stay away from the long ball, you are going to be in great shape.

CBSSports.com rates him as the 42nd best pitcher in the league. That’s up from number 60 just last week!

According to the metrics of CBSSports.com, Mike Minor has only failed to come through once with less than 20 points once in the first five weeks of the season. Based on how this week has started, that pattern should continue. Minor is expected to make his next start Monday at Arizona. Minor won his only start against Arizona last season. He allowed one earned run in eight innings and struck out nine.

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The Rule 5 Draft and Options to Fill a Major League Roster

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The Rule 5 Draft and Options to Fill a Major League Roster

Posted on 03 December 2012 by Trish Vignola

At the end of the Winter Meetings, which begin on Monday in Nashville, comes an event that might seem as niche as they come. And yet all 30 teams, as well as scores of players, will be paying close attention come Thursday.

The Rule 5 Draft commences at 10 a.m. ET that Thursday. It might lack the bright lights and cameras that are a part of the First-Year Player Draft in June, but the results of this Draft are just as important. Major League organizations will be selecting players, trying to find that diamond in the rough while seeing which players from within might be moving to a new location. You can check out the top potential candidates. They are on MLB.com’s Rule 5 20 names to know list, but note – they are in alphabetical and not ranked order.

These days it’s rare to find a superstar in the Rule 5 Draft. Since the rule change back in 2006 that gave each team an extra year to evaluate, fewer standouts have slipped through. Nonetheless, the chance to uncover a Josh Hamilton, Johan Santana, Dan Uggla or Shane Victorino, will still make this an interesting draft. In all truthfulness, there’s also a low-risk aspect of the transaction. It frees teams up to make at least one or two selections.

During the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft, an eligible player left unprotected from his club’s 40-man roster may be selected for $50,000. He must then remain on his drafting team’s active Major League roster during the following season or be sent back to the original club for $25,000. Last year, only a dozen players were taken in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft. None of them approached the upside of the quartet above. Nonetheless, 2011 Rule 5 pick Ryan Flaherty collect 11 postseason at-bats for the Orioles. How many hits did A-Rod collect?

Of course, just because a player is sent back doesn’t mean he won’t eventually be a quality Major Leaguer. Victorino was actually taken twice in the Rule 5 Draft, in successive years. Miguel Batista, Fernando Vina and Frank Catalanotto are all examples of players who were returned to their original team after initially being selected. A dozen transactions were made a year ago, and as of Thursday, eight teams were full, with 40 on their rosters. Some teams told MLB.com that they are unlikely to participate in the Major League phase because of roster issues.

Teams looking for pitching depth, especially out of the bullpen, might find exactly what they need. “The list is better, teams had tougher decisions,” one AL executive said to MLB.com. “The teams that have open roster spots will be in good position to get good players. There are less open roster spots in general — that’s why there are some good players on there — and it’s a better list than it has been as a result.”

The list of 20 names to know has 13 pitchers on it, nearly all of whom have the profile to fill a bullpen role. Red Sox right-handers Ryan Pressly and Josh Fields, Rockies righty Coty Woods and Royals lefty Jon Keck are among the potential relievers who have been mentioned in the early run-up to the Rule 5 Draft.

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The Expandables

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The Expandables

Posted on 07 September 2012 by Dennis Lawson

The Big Pajamas

Fans hear regularly just how much baseball players have improved in terms of strength, conditioning, and speed over the years, but such a generalization ignores the glaring omissions.  Not everybody looks like Dan Uggla and requires a scratching post to get to the spot between the shoulder blades.  As John Kruk famously pronounced, “Lady, I’m not an athlete. I’m a professional baseball player.”

Well put, Kruk.  So here’s a hat tip to the guys who appear to be more John Kruk than Ron Gant.  For the waitstaff at Golden Corral and every pizza buffet in every major league baseball city, here is the “All Expandables” team.

  • Adam Dunn – 6’6″, 285 pounds might be a little generous for “Big Donkey”, but when you have 403 career home runs at age 32, you get to knock off 5-10…..errrr 40 pounds.
  • Ronny Paulino – 6’3″, 250 pounds puts the “back” in “backstop”.  As a pitcher, you want a guy who can block the plate, and Paulino basically forms an eclipse under a facade of catcher’s gear.
  • CC Sabathia – 6’7″, 290 pounds.  If Sabathia is 290 pounds, then I’m a burrito, and you can eat me.  Seriously, when you can make a New York Yankees uniform look like a huge set of pajamas, you have that “livin large” thing down pat.
  • Jeff Niemann – 6’9″, 285.  I’ve seen offensive linemen in the NFL smaller than this guy.  He’s like Andre the Giant after a year on the Atkin’s Diet.
  • Victor Marte – 6’2″, 255.  He’s the world’s largest Weeble.  He often wobbles, but he has yet to fall down on the mound.
  • Jonathan Broxton – 6’4″, 300.  Remember that scene in Tommy Boy when Chris Farley is singing “Fat Guy in a Little Coat”?  Now imagine that scene with Broxton’s body and Farley’s voice.  Classic.
  • Carlos Lee – 6’2″, 270.  Lee has always been a sizable guy since entering MLB, but he seems to have ballooned since signing that 6 yr / $100M deal before the 2007 season.  Can’t say that I blame him one bit, either.
  • Kenley Jansen – 6’5″, 260.  Force equals mass multiplied by acceleration.  If Jansen just moves down the mound in the direction of home plate, that must guarantee at least a 70 mph pitch just based on soft tossing a baseball.
  • David Ortiz – 6’4″, 250.  Umm, yeah.  250.  If you subtract 10 pounds for every 100 home runs hit in his career, then maybe you arrive at “250″.  That might be the only plausible explanation.

In fairness, America has a propensity for eating fast food and tackling large portion sizes like ravenous spork-wielding animals.  However, all the aforementioned players have ready access to medical teams, nutritionists, numerous healthy restaurant options, capricious workout spaces, and the means to employ a person trainer or chef.  I kid because I care.  The NFL has long seen many overweight players pass away far too early from heart disease or some other condition strongly connected to obesity.

Shouldn’t the MLB or at least the MLB Player’s Association encourage the guys who are large and in charge to look out for their long term health prospects?  Whether your allegiance as a fan lies with “Big Papi” or the “Big Donkey”, I would hope that you see the toll that the extra pounds can take on even professional athletes.  While I root for a lot of these guys to make the right play on the field, I’m now also cheering for them to make the right dietary choices off of it.  If my kid chooses to look up to a ballplayer, I hope at least he can see them past the muffin tops.

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Top 5 Fantasy Disappointments in 2012 – Hitters and Pitchers

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Top 5 Fantasy Disappointments in 2012 – Hitters and Pitchers

Posted on 19 August 2012 by John Unity

I’m a fantasy baseball nut. During the preseason I spend more time studying than someone who is getting ready for the Bar Exam.  I eat, sleep, and breathe fantasy baseball, but no matter how much I study I will never be able to hit 100% on my predictions.  An educated analysis can only take you so far, and then real life takes over.  No one can foresee the unexpected: injuries, trades, weather, off-field issues, stress, etc.  There are a lot of great surprises during the season, like Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen.  However, there are a lot of disappointments that leave fantasy owners scrabbling to make adjustments and some that just make you want to rip your hair out.  Let’s take a look at the 5 biggest disappointments of both hitters and pitchers this season.  Side notes: to be fair, I didn’t include players affected by injuries, and the list is based on preseason and current fantasy rankings.

Hitters

#5 – Dan Uggla
Last season, Uggla had a lot of issues as he hit below a 0.200 average and only 12 homeruns in the first 3 months of the season.  However, he came back nicely and hit 0.290 and 24 homeruns in the 2nd half of the season.  This season, Uggla has been just as streaky, but with a lot less power.  He’s on pace to finish the season with 0.211 average and 20 homeruns, both career lows.  He’s also striking out 28% of the time, another career worst.  In fact, the worst average and homerun totals he has ever posted were a 0.233 average last season and 27 homeruns in 2006, his rookie season.  Hopefully he will be able to find a sudden power burst as he did in August 2011, where he exploded for 10 homeruns.  Fantasy owners will take anything at this point as they are making their runs towards the playoffs.

#4 – Eric Hosmer
Hosmer had a very impressive rookie season as he hit 19 homeruns, scored 66 runs, 78 RBI, stole 11 bases, and hit for a 0.293 batting average.  All this without playing in the first month of the season.  Fantasy owners couldn’t wait to see how the 22-year old would respond in his 2nd season.  Unfortunately, he hasn’t responded too well.  He’s on pace to hit just 13 homeruns with a 0.233 batting average.  Hosmer is suffering from a very bad BABIP of 0.258. In this situation, it seems he is suffering mostly from bad luck.  He may not be able to make a difference the rest of this season for fantasy owners, but could be a nice sleeper for next season.  He should bounce back nicely in 2013.

#3 – Michael Young
Young is having his worst season since 2002.  He’s a career 0.302 hitter, but is only hitting 0.270 in 2012.  His biggest disappointment this year has been the fact that he has only hit 3 homeruns, on pace for 4. Prior to this season, his lowest homerun total was 9 in both 2007 and 2002.  This season he has also posted a BABIP under .0308 for the first time since his rookie season in 2001. As he’s turning 36 in October, he may have lost a few steps in his game.  We may be seeing the end of Young having any value in fantasy baseball.

#2 – Mike Napoli
In 369 at-bats last season, Napoli blasted 30 homeruns and hit for a 0.320 average.  No one thought he would be able to repeat his numbers from last season, but in the Texas ballpark and lineup most fantasy owners believed he would still put up great numbers for a catcher.  Instead, Napoli has posted his career worst batting average of 0.223.  He’s also on pace for 23 homeruns, which is still below most fantasy predictions.  He’s currently on the DL and is expected back on August 28th.  The short trip to the DL might be the time he has needed to clear his head, but I wouldn’t count on it at this point.

#1 – Carlos Santana
Last season Santana hit 27 homeruns and had a 0.239 batting average.  However, he also posted a 0.263 BABIP, which a lot of fantasy projectors saw this as a sign of better things to come.  Unfortunately, his lower BABIP seems to be the real deal.  This season he has posted a 0.266 BABIP and in 2010 he posted a 0.277 BABIP.  His low BABIP is caused mainly by his 40% fly ball rate.   Santana is one of those players that you live or die on his long ball, but this season is on pace for only 17 homeruns.  In the first 3 months, he only hit 5 homeruns that left fantasy owners cursing at the computer.  He has been hot the last 4 weeks, so hopefully he can keep it up for the fantasy owners that are still in the postseason run.

 

Pitchers

#5 – Cliff Lee
Lee’s disappointment doesn’t really come from his doing, but mostly his team’s offense.  He didn’t receive his first win until July 4th.  He has only won 2 games this season with a 2-7 record.  In Lee’s defense, Lee has been a workhorse and in 15 of his 21 games he has gone at least 7 innings.  In fact, on April 18th, he went 10 innings without giving up an earned run, and still ended up with a no decision.  His ERA (3.83) is the highest it’s been since 2007, but you can’t really blame the guy; frustration has to play a major role. The Phillies are not a team that will simply accept failure.  You can expect them to make the necessary adjustments in the offseason, which will give Lee a nice bounce back year in 2013.

#4 – Roy Halladay
Halladay’s ERA isn’t terrible, but it’s a huge disappointment for his standards.  He has posted a highest ERA (3.80) since 2004.  Like Lee, his wins have taken a hit due to run support as well.  In the majority of fantasy leagues, Halladay was taken in the first round, however he currently finds himself ranked around #65 in pitchers.  Prior to the season starting, I heard a lot about the possibility that Halladay could find himself on the decline, due to his age.  I’m not completely against this idea.  There’s one thing that really worries me about Halladay this season, and that is his 0.273 BABIP paired with the 3.80 ERA.  The 0.273 BABIP is the lowest of his career.  I hate to say it, but he may be lucky that he doesn’t have a 4.00+ ERA at this point. Like Lee, the Phillies should make the necessary moves this offseason to give Halladay a decent bounce back year.  However, we may never again see the Halladay that we all got used to.

#3 – Jon Lester
With about 4 weeks left in the regular fantasy baseball season, Lester finds himself with his worst loss total of his career.  In the four seasons prior, Lester never lost more than 9 games, however he currently finds himself with a 6-10 record.  He has a career worst 5.20 ERA and finds himself sporting an elevated BABIP of 0.323.  Batters are hitting 0.272 against him, also a career worst.  You have to wonder if there is an injury or other problem that is affecting him.  He is a completely different pitcher than we’ve seen over the prior 4 seasons.  One thing that we need to make a point about, Lester struggled in the final month of last season, posting a 5.40 ERA.  Keep a close eye on him for the remainder of the season, and consider what you see before drafting him too high in 2013.

#2 – Dan Haren
Fantasy owners expected a lot of Haren after he posted a 3.17 ERA last season, and the fact the Angels acquired Albert Pujols.  Many people predicted the Angels would make it to the World Series.  Some fantasy owners were hoping that Haren could post 20 wins this year, but at this point Haren would be lucky to get more than 10 wins this season.  He’s posted his worst ERA since his rookie season in 2003, sitting at 4.90.  He has been a complete disaster the last 3 months, with ERAs of 7.16, 4.96, and 7.62, respectively.  He didn’t make it out of the 3rd inning in his last two starts, which has a lot of people wondering if he’s having more back issues.  The Angels are much better than their records show, and should do much better next season.  Haren could end up performing a lot better than where he will be drafted next season.

#1 – Tim Lincecum
Lincecum has been a complete disaster.  This year he has posted a 5.45 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 0.326 BABIP, 42% ground ball rate, 12% HR/FB rate, 25.7% line drive rate, and a 6-13 record… all career worst’s.  He is still striking out hitters at a high rate of 9.43 per 9 innings.  MLB’s Official Fantasy Magazine had Lincecum listed as the #6 starting pitcher; he currently finds himself ranked around #105 in starting pitchers this season.  Lincecum, like Haren, could find himself outperforming his draft position in 2013.  The Freak will write this season off and find himself again as one of the MLB’s elite pitchers next season.

Check out my other writing at JoeBlowBaseball.com, too.

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What’s happening in my league?

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What’s happening in my league?

Posted on 26 March 2012 by Jared Thatcher

I participate in a dynasty fantasy baseball league hosted by Proboards. We have all 30 teams accounted for and the league is in its second year of existence. People always say the hardest thing about a large dynasty league is retaining owners. So far, this has proved to be true in our league, but we have a great commissioner who fills the teams quickly with quality General Managers.

I joined the league in the middle of the 2011 season by taking over the Atlanta Braves. I know what some of you are thinking… great, young, talented team to take over. You couldn’t be farther from the truth. The GM before me had completely wiped out the minor league system (we can keep up to 75 minor leaguers), and he had already traded away Freddie Freeman, Tommy Hanson, Jair Jurrjens, Tim Hudson, Dan Uggla, and Jason Heyward. Basically I was left with Derek Lowe and Chipper Jones. He had traded most of the guys to Rockies and Astros for a bunch of their aging stars like Todd Helton and Carlos Lee. My team had been destroyed, raped, and pillaged by the other teams during the prior GMs reign. But I was OK with that. I took over the team as a challenge. I wanted to rebuild and make a competitive team out of scraps.

So far I have managed to trade away some of the more expensive and aging players for draft picks (we do a 6 round amateur draft and 6 round minor league draft) and prospects (I have almost all of the Diamondbacks pitching prospects in my system now). My system is becoming better and better by the day but I am still a long way from winning.

Anyway, in this post I will list the transactions that happened in my league this week. Hopefully, they will help you determine the value of certain players or at least get an idea of where to start if you are trying to trade in your dynasty league.

Braves trade to the Rockies:Carlos Lee

Rockies trade to the Braves

Chad Bettis $0.4
Jose Iglesias $0.4
Juan Rivera
2012 #29 overall pick

Lee is a very valuable player on a fantasy team. He qualifies at OF and 1B and ESPN has him ranked pretty high as a first baseman. He hit for .300 last year and drove in a ton of runs on a terrible team. Bettis is one of the better Rockies pitching prospects (and he hasn’t been arrested yet). Iglesias should spend a lot of time at SS this year for the Red Sox if he can figure out how to hit. Rivera fills a hole in the outfield and will be a nice asset off the bench. The #29 overall pick will help the Braves system get even deeper.
Braves trade to the Dbacks:

Dbacks trade to the Braves

Charles Brewer
Patrick Corbin
Adam Eaton
Wade Miley
2012 2nd round draft pick (#37 overall)

Robinson and Norris are young and have a lot of years under team control so the package coming back to the Braves had to be large. Brewer and Corbin are good pitching prospects in the Dbacks system and Eaton, although small, is a good OF prospect. Miley broke into the Majors last year for a couple starts but isn’t anything too special as of now. The #37 draft pick could be very useful in this years draft for the Braves.

Astros trade to the Twins:
Twins trade to the Astros:
This trade was mostly a salary dump for the Astros because they had 3 starting shortstops.
A’s trade to the Dbacks:

D-backs trade to the A’s:

1st round draft pick

The draft pick was the #6 overall pick in the 2012 draft. The #6 pick could really be worth a lot which is why the A’s had to give up promising prospects Green and Sands. I like this trade and I think it will benefit both owners as long as the A’s make a wise choice in the draft.

A’s trade to the Twins:

Rafael Furcal

Twins trade to the A’s:

Twins 2nd rd pick (pick 5)

The Twins needed a starting shortstop and Furcal is a good, middle of the pack guy. The A’s continue to acquire draft picks and should get a huge haul in the 2012 draft.
Well, that’s what’s happening in my league. What’s happening in yours? Please comment about the trades posted and the trades that have happened in your league! You can follow me on Twitter @Jared_Thatcher

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