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Who’s Hot, Who’s Not: Albert Pujols

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Who’s Hot, Who’s Not: Albert Pujols

Posted on 07 August 2012 by Chris Caylor

Welcome to this week’s edition of Who’s Hot, Who’s Not. I’ll be discussing a familiar face with a still-unfamiliar uniform, a revitalized ace and a former ace who needs an attitude adjustment.

Hottest of the Hot: Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of the United States of North America.

Now THIS is more what the Angels had in mind when they lured the longtime Cardinal to southern California. Over the past week, Pujols belted 6 HR, drove in 13 and slugged 1.121. Pujols’ horrendous start to the season is no longer even in the rearview mirror. Pujols is now on pace for 35 HR, 111 RBI, 91 runs scored and 11 SB. With Pujols back to his usual near-superhuman self, it will be interesting to see if teams pitch around him more and if his teammates start seeing better pitches to hit. With Pujols, Mike Trout & company, plus the pitching of Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Zack Greinke, the Angels are flat out scary. Unfortunately, they have not been able to capitalize on the Texas Rangers’ recent so-so play. Mark Trumbo is cooling off, and the lineup still isn’t as deep as the Rangers, but having Pujols back in form makes up for plenty.

Who else is hot?

A.J. Burnett, Pittsburgh Pirates – After Burnett’s most recent victory, a near-complete game stifling of the sizzling Cincinnati Reds, manager Clint Hurdle said: “I’ve never had an ace before.” He has one now. Burnett, a 14-game winner in his return to the NL, has been nothing short of dominant his past three starts: 25 IP, 20 K, 14 hits/walks allowed. That works out to a WHIP of 0.56. A year after leading the AL in wild pitches, Burnett’s control has been impeccable. His BB/9 ratio is the lowest it has been since 2006, while his K/BB ratio is the best it has been since 2006. For the season, the 35-year-old Burnett boasts an ERA+ of 116 and has already been a 2.1 WAR (wins above replacement) player. For some reason, Burnett is being started in only 80% of NL-only leagues. He’s not in New York, anymore, folks. Burnett is a prime reason why the Pirates aren’t fading from the NL Central race any time soon.

Who’s Not: Roy Oswalt, Texas Rangers

It’s safe to say Ol’ Roy has had better weeks – or years. After being banished to the bullpen following six less-than-stellar starts, Oswalt pouted and whined to the media. “Well, I mean we’re 4-2 in the games I started. I guess I should’ve been 6-0,” Ol’ Roy said.

Sunday, though, was a new low for the former Astros ace. After pitching two scoreless innings in relief, Oswalt informed manager Ron Washington that he was done, declining to go back out for a third inning. Washington said Oswalt told him “he couldn’t go any further.” What a load of hooey. The man has been a starting pitcher his entire career and he doesn’t have it in him to pitch three innings to help his first-place team win? I’d pay good money to hear Nolan Ryan’s reaction to that one.

After no one would meet his preposterous asking price at the start of the season, Oswalt proclaimed he would wait till midseason and look for his best chance to get a ring. After their pitching staff was decimated by injuries, the Rangers stepped up. I wonder if they now wish they had gone elsewhere. Philadelphia, a team that loves to stockpile pitching, wanted no part of Ol’ Roy after 2011. I think we are starting to see why. Unless you’re in a deep AL-only league, it’s safe to dump Oswalt. If he pulls any more of this prima donna garbage, the Rangers may just do the same thing.

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AL Piching Planner: May 21 – May 27

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AL Piching Planner: May 21 – May 27

Posted on 21 May 2012 by Mark Sherrard

With only two teams (LA Angels and Seattle Mariner) playing 7 games this week, the AL has fewer two start pitchers to choose from than their NL counterparts.  Plus, I think pitching is thin in the AL this year, as there seems to be fewer quality pitchers to choose from.

Thus, make sure you choose your pitchers wisely as we head into Week 8:

Two-Start Pitchers

No-Brainers

Yu Darvish:  5/21 @ SEA; 5/27 vs TOR – yes his stuff translates well to English, thank you very much.

Felix Hernandez: 5/21 vs TEX; 5/26 vs LAA – a little bit of a hiccup last time out, but you’ve got to keep riding him

C.J. Wilson: 5/22 @ OAK; 5/27 @ SEA – has struggled of late, but gets to face weak hitting A’s and Mariners

Results

Week 6 -8 GS, 5 QS, 4 W, 46.0 IP, 68 H+BB, 34 K’s, 26 ER, 5.09 ERA, 1.48 whip

YTD -37 GS, 27 QS, 22 W, 250.1 IP, 295 H+BB, 207 K’s, 84 ER, 3.02 ERA, 1.18 whip

Not Too Shabby

Jeremy Hellickson: 5/21 vs TOR; 5/27 @ BOS – not the best of matchups for the youngster

Hiroki Kuroda: 5/21 vs KC; 5/27 @ OAK – has only faced the Royals and A’s once each in his career (6.10 ERA)

Jerome Williams: 5/21 @ OAK; 5/26 @ SEA – pitchers want to face these two teams

Gavin Floyd: 5/22 vs MIN; 5/27 vs CLE – excellent 46/14 K/BB ratio for the 29 year old

Felipe Paulino: 5/21 @ NYY; 5/27 @ BAL – a couple tough matchups, but has pitched well against both

Kyle Drabek: 5/21 @ TB; 5/27 @ TEX – has held his own against these two in his short career

Rick Porcello: 5/22 @ CLE; 5/27 @ MIN – one really bad start (1 IP, 8 ER), but 3.63 ERA in all others

Tommy Milone: 5/21 vs LAA; 5/27 vs NYY – 6-3 with a 3.99 ERA in 76.2 IP for his major league career

Results

Week 6 -16 GS, 9 QS, 5 W, 98.0 IP, 143 H+BB, 71 K’s, 58 ER, 5.33 ERA, 1.46 whip

YTD -79 GS, 47 QS, 33 W, 489.0 IP, 640 H+BB, 353 K’s, 219 ER, 4.03 ERA, 1.31 whip

Risky At Best

Tommy Hunter:  5/21 vs BOS; 5/27 vs KC – 5-5 with a 4.94 ERA since coming over to the Orioles

Hector Noesi: 5/22 vs TEX; 5/27 vs LAA – Albert Pujols is waking up and the Rangers are always dangerous

Ubaldo Jimenez: 5/22 vs DET; 5/27 @ CHW – command issues continue to haunt him

Clay Buchholz: 5/21 @ BAL; 5/27 vs TB – has given up 10 homers in his 8 starts

Results

Week 6 -7 GS, 2 QS, 3 W, 34.0 IP, 56 H+BB, 24 K’s, 24 ER, 6.35 ERA, 1.65 whip

YTD – 56 GS, 21 QS, 15 W, 300.1 IP, 459 H+BB, 208 K’s, 183 ER, 5.48 ERA, 1.53 whip

Other Favorable Matchups

Doug Fister: 5/23 @ CLE

3-2 with a 2.31 ERA in his career against the Indians

Jason Vargas: 5/24 vs LAA

3-3 (no run support) with a 2.39 ERA against the Angels

Vin Mazzaro: 5/26 @ BAL

Going out a bit on a limb here, but Mazzaro is 3-0 with a 1.45 ERA against the Orioles

Results

Week 6 -4 GS, 2 QS, 1 W, 26.2 IP, 35 H+BB, 23 K’s, 3.04 ERA, 1.31 whip

YTD – 17 GS, 10 QS, 6 W, 117.0 IP, 141 H+BB, 102 K’s, 42 ER, 3.23 ERA, 1.21 whip

See ya next week.

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AL Pitching Planner:  April 30 – May 6

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AL Pitching Planner: April 30 – May 6

Posted on 30 April 2012 by Mark Sherrard

This week’s AL pitching matchups are pretty weak.  We’ve got a few aces, a good grouping of middle-tier choices and a bunch of riksy picks.

King Felix Hernandez

As with the NL pitching planner, I am including the stats for each category for week 2, week 3 and YTD, so that everyone can follow my prognostication skills from week to week.

So, without further ado, here are the AL two-start pitchers and favorable matchups for week 5:

Two-Start Pitchers

No-Brainers

Felix Hernandez – 4/30 @ TB; 5/5 vs MIN – King Felix should always be in your starting lineup

C.J. Wilson – 4/30 vs MIN; 5/5 vs TOR – the only other “proven” ace doing double-duty this week

Yu Darvish – 4/30 @ TOR; 5/6 @ CLE – looks to build off of strong outing against the Yankees

No Brainer results

Week 2 – 8 GS, 4 QS, 4 W, 49.1 IP, 74 H+BB, 32 K’s, 19 ER, 3.47 ERA, 1.50 whip

Week 3 – 9 GS, 9 QS, 7 W, 68.3 IP, 57 H+BB, 58 K’s, 10 ER, 1.32 ERA, 0.83 whip

YTD – 17 GS, 13 QS, 11 W, 117.2 IP, 131 H+BB, 90 K’s, 29 ER, 2.22 ERA, 1.11 whip

Not too shabby

Hiroki Kuroda: 4/30 vs BAL; 5/5 @ KC – gets a couple nice matchups

Jeremy Hellickson – 4/30 vs SEA; 5/5 vs OAK – the A’s are the worst hitting team in the AL

Clay Buchholz – 4/30 vs OAK; 5/6 vs BAL – if it weren’t for the A’s, I probably wouldn’t recommend him

Ubaldo Jimenez – 5/1 @ CHW; 5/6 vs TEX – the Rangers are a tough matchup, but the Sox can be beat

Matt Moore – 5/1 vs SEA; 5/6 vs OAK – the A’s should help the youngster get back on track

Chris Sale – 5/1 vs CLE; 5/6 @ DET – Sale has a career 2.69 ERA and 3.12 ERA in his first 4 starts of his career

Tommy Milone – 4/30 @ BOS; 5/6 @ TB – Milone has been impressive so far, but faces the league’s best offense

Jason Hammel – 4/30 @ NYY; 5/6 @ BOS – this is a toss-up, Hammel is pitching well but faces the best two offenses

Not too shabby results

Week 2 -8 GS, 5 QS, 5 W, 53.1 IP, 57 H+BB, 38 K’s, 17 ER, 2.87 ERA, 1.07 whip

Week 3 -16 GS, 8 QS, 6 W, 99.1 IP, 133 H+BB, 78 K’s, 47 ER, 4.26 ERA, 1.34 whip

YTD – 24 GS, 13 QS, 11 W, 152.2 IP, 190 H+BB, 116 K’s, 64 ER, 3.77 ERA, 1.24 whip

Risky at best

Phil Huges: 5/1 vs BAL; 5/6 @ KC – not the same pitcher he once was

Luke Hochevar:  4/30 @ DET; 5/5 vs NYY – tough matchups for a below-average pitcher

Hector Noesi:  5/1 @ TB; 5/6 vs MIN – has yet to put it all together

Luis Mendoza:  5/1 @ DET; 5/6 vs NYY – see Luke Hochevar

Kyle Drabek:  4/30 vs TEX; 5/5 @ LAA – the Rangers own the 3rd best offense, Drabek struggles with command

Liam Hendriks: 4/30 @ LAA; 5/6 @ SEA – nice matchups, risky pitcher

Drew Hutchison:  5/1 vs TEX; 5/6 @ LAA – 2 homers in two starts and Texas is second in the league in homers

Jerome Williams:  5/1 vs MIN; 5/6 vs TOR – veteran journeyman is the model of inconsistency

Risky at best results:

Week 2 -18 GS, 5 QS, 4 W, 97.1 IP, 144 H+BB, 64 K’s, 54 ER, 4.99 ERA, 1.48 whip

Week 3 -13 GS, 6 QS, 2 W, 67.1 IP, 113 H+BB, 55 K’s, 41 ER, 5.48 ERA, 1.68 whip

YTD – 31 GS, 11 QS, 6 W, 164.2 IP, 257 H+BB, 119 K’s, 95 ER, 5.19 ERA, 1.56 whip

Other Favorable Matchups

Ricky Romero: 5/2 vs TEX

Yes, its the high-powered Rangers, but Romero owns them to the tune of an 0.92 ERA in 4 career starts

Justin Verlander: 5/2 vs KC

There are few teams that Verlander doesn’t dominate and KC is not an exception (career 14-2, 2.37 ERA)

Jeff Niemann: 5/3 vs SEA

Niemann doesn’t dominate many teams, but he is 4-0 with a 2.87 ERA against the Mariners

Jon Lester: 5/4 vs BAL

Despite his struggles this year, Lester is a perfect 14-0 with a 2.37 ERA against the Orioles

Other favorable matchups results:

Week 2 – 4 GS, 2 QS, 1 W, 28.2 IP, 31 H+BB, 29 K’s, 12 ER, 3.77 ERA, 1.08 whip

Week 3 – 3 GS, 2 QS, 1 W, 20 IP, 27 H+BB, 17 K’s, 5 ER, 2.25 ERA, 1.35 whip

YTD – 7 GS, 4 QS, 2 W, 48.2 IP, 58 H+BB, 46 K’s, 17 ER, 3.14 ERA, 1.19 whip

Good luck and see ya next week.

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pujols_angels

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Finding Keepers: Los Angeles Angels

Posted on 15 March 2012 by Daniel Aubain

The Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) hit it big on the free agent market this past offseason and are truly stocked with fantasy baseball assets. Their roster is now full of proven veterans sluggers, ace pitchers (yes, plural) and talented rookies but how many of them are keepers?

1B Albert Pujols is definitely one of the games greatest players, the offseason’s biggest free agent signing shocker and should be kept in all formats of fantasy baseball. A move to the American League means he should spend a little time getting some at bats at DH to keep him fresh over the long haul of the season. As if this guy needs a rest. Ever. He’s produced a standard 5×5 rotisserie line of .328/123/42/126/8 per 162 games played. Those ridiculous numbers are AVERAGES over 11 seasons. His current ADP is 3.51 and his ranking on the big 3 fantasy sites are: ESPN #2; Yahoo! #3; CBS #3.

SP Jered Weaver is a top 5 fantasy baseball ace currently being drafted with an ADP of 33.64 and definitely should be a keeper if he’s currently on your roster. He’s practically a lock for 15+ Wins and 200+ Strikeouts with a 3.00 ERA and a sub-1.20 WHIP. His fantasy rankings are consistently good, too: ESPN #31; Yahoo! #23; CBS #25.

SP Dan Haren follows up Weaver as the Angels’ second ace and should be the ace of your fantasy baseball staff and locked up as a keeper for the 2012 season. He’s projected for 15+ Wins, 200 Strikeouts with a sub-3.50 ERA and stellar WHIP. Sound familiar? (See Weaver) He led the majors with a 5.82 K/BB ratio due to his 7.3 K/9 and 1.2 BB/9 ratios. He’s being drafted with an ADP of 42.52 and comes into drafts ranked: ESPN #41; Yahoo! #77; CBS #31.

SP C.J. Wilson is the Angels third ace and projected to win 15+ games, 180+ Strikeouts with a sub-3.50 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. Of the three aces, Wilson probably comes with some level of risk. Changing teams but staying in the same division leads me to believe he’ll be just fine in 2012 and should be considered a keeper if he’s the best starting pitcher option you currently have on your roster. His ADP of 84.65 is a little high for a standard keeper league, so evaluate your roster accordingly. He’s ranked: ESPN #68; Yahoo! #85; CBS #61.

Best of the rest but not keepers

2B Howie Kendrick (ADP 104.07) is the 9th second baseman being drafted and could easily be targeted during the redraft rounds.

1B/3B Mark Trumbo (ADP 140.72) could be a steal in the mid-rounds of most drafts, especially once he gains third base eligibility, but would be a risky keeper heading into 2o12. If the experiment of moving him to 3B fails, he’s mixed up in a platoon for time at 1B, DH and some games in the OF.

OF Mike Trout (ADP 219.65) has all the tools to be an incredible fantasy baseball asset but 2012 may not be his year. Again, the logjam of players on the Angels roster fighting for time in the outfield, first base and DH could limit his playing time this season.

OF Torii Hunter (171.50) should benefit from batting in the fourth spot behind Pujols and would be a nice option in your outfield for 2012 but hasn’t stolen double-digit bases since 2009 and has seen batting average drop over 30 points since then, too.

1B/DH Kendrys Morales (ADP 221.15) was among the elite first baseman heading into the 2010 season. This is 2012 and there are a ton of question marks regarding his health. Grabbing him up in the late rounds as a low-risk pick makes sense.

OF Peter Bourjos (ADP 131.51) could easily be a 15 HR/30 SB guy in 2012 but is not in the same class of outfielders considered keepers. I recommended him as a power/speed draft target in another fantasy baseball article of mine last week.

RP Jordan Walden (ADP 158.19) saved 32 games for the Angels in 2011 and sports a robust career K/9 ratio of 10.7 but also carries a horrific 3.9 BB/9 career ratio. Only the most elite closers should be considered as keepers and Walden is far from that category.

So, as you can see, the Los Angeles Angels 40-man roster is full of some of the game’s more desirable assets and key keepers. Do you agree or disagree with my keeper recommendations? I’d love to hear some comments from die-hard Angels fans about what expectations you have for the 2012 season and beyond with this core of players on board. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @DJAubain and continue the conversation there, too.

NOTE: All ADP values are from Mock Draft Central as of March 14, 2012 and player projections are from RotoChamp.com.

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DOs And DONTs: Texas Rangers

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DOs And DONTs: Texas Rangers

Posted on 12 March 2012 by Jeff Coleman

Greetings once again, baseball and fantasy fans! In this edition of DO’s And DON’Ts, we will be taking a look at the AL Champion Texas Rangers. Coming off a stellar run in the 2011 Regular Season, the boys from Arlington ran into the tenacious St. Louis Cardinals in the Fall Classic. Playing tooth and nail with their opponents, the Rangers ended up just short of capping a season of hope and promise with the World Series title they failed to nab in 2010.

Some folks like Texas more than others...

The Rangers have made some interesting moves in the off-season, and some pieces of their puzzle have shuffled off to elsewhere (apparently C.J. Wilson, pictured above, didn’t find enough to like about Texas). But we are hoping to sort through the craziness and give you some people to play, and people to maybe not like so much:

  • DON’T look for Yu Darvish to be the next Cy Young (instantly).

The Japanese phenom was the Rangers’ biggest pick-up in the offseason as they tried to offset the losses of Wilson and Brandon Webb to free agency. The (Hokkaido) Nippon Ham Fighters’ ace put up straight amazing numbers in his Pacific League career, tallying over 1000 Ks in five years, winning no less than 12 games, and averaging an ERA of 1.72 and a WHIP of 0.890. Numbers like that would be enough to make any team thrilled to have his services, and Texas got the luck of the draw. However, the track record for pitchers coming over from Japan is spotty at best. Darvish has the raw talent and seasoning to be a multiple All-Star caliber talent. The thing he does NOT have is Major League experience. The talent levels ARE different from Japan to the States, and it will take Darvish some time to establish a repertoire against MLB-style batters. The Rangers will likely throw him into the rotation immediately out of need and talent, and he will struggle to start as he gets into the groove. If someone has the stomach to handle the downs as well as the ups (especially in a keeper league), Yu Darvish will come into his own and be a major boon for them.

This one is a little hard to read, but there are several facets to Josh Hamilton’s potential year. He dealt with a broken arm (ouch) in April and May of last year, but recovered well. He had surgery to repair a sports hernia (again ouch) this past November, but stated at Rangers camp recently that the rehab went well. He is coming off of a second relapse in his substance abuse recovery earlier this year, but seems to have found renewed strength, drive, and determination. Plus, he is coming into his free agency season, but has stated that he will not discuss his contract once the Regular Season starts. It’s not hard to cheer for a guy to succeed in the face of so much chaos, but it is hard to see where there might be a bright side. Purely stats-wise, Hamilton’s numbers in 2011 were a few shades lower than his career averages, but were certainly no low water marks: Sporting an OPS of .882, a BAbip (Batting Average on balls in play) of .319, and slugging 25 HR in a year where you miss the majority of the first two months is nothing short of eye-catching. You have to dig deep to find a statistical flaw in Hamilton’s game; his infield pops have been on a consistent rise in his career (7% last season, up from 5% in 2010), and his WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 3.6 and RAR (Runs Above Replacement) of 38 were nearly halved from 2010, a campaign that saw him have only a handful more plate appearances (571) than 2011 (538). Stats like those are a long way to go to find a vulnerability in someone’s game. The bigger deciding factor this year for Hamilton’s performance will be his mental character and toughness. Will the off-field distractions upend him? Will he be able to keep his focus on baseball with contact talks looming? I will be pulling for Hamilton to persevere, but I have seen stranger things happen.

  • DON’T expect a big year from Ian Kinsler, but DON’T be too surprised by one either.

Kinsler is one of those talents that you feel hasn’t come into his own, mostly due to injuries suffered in almost each of his six seasons in the Majors (he wasn’t put on the DL at all last year, but was on paternity leave briefly in June for the birth of his second child). The surface number of a .255 BA from last year did not show that he took advantage of being on the field for the most games in a season (155) in his career, but career numbers in runs (121), total bases (296) and walks (89) show some promise. Kinsler is tough to pin down; he has not put together two back-to-back seasons where he has played over 125 games. His power numbers seem to peak when his average is low, and when he bats better, he has less punch. His game is very Jekyll / Hyde, or maybe more appropriately Bruce Banner / Incredible Hulk, and there seems to be very little consistency. However, digging deeper, his OPS has stayed relatively steady (anywhere from .794 to last year’s .832, with the .893 from ’08 as the outlying stat), and his WAR / RAR numbers have been largely similar after his rookie year. It is hard to say which Kinsler we’ll get this year (by the stats, he’s due for a higher average / lower power season), but last season proved that he can play just about the entire year. Another full, DL-free season could start normalizing his numbers and give a more accurate fantasy picture of Kinsler’s worth. All that being said, he’s a definite draft in the earlier rounds, and will provide some statistical boosts. He might hurt you in some categories, but it is that hint and hope of the five-tool player that makes him an attractive draft target.

  • DO take a flyer on Adrian Beltre, but DON’T mortgage the farm on him.

Beltre is one of those players that has shown consistency in the past, scattered with flashes of astounding brilliance and holes in his game that people learned to accept. Blessed with B+ / A- power with 310 career HRs, he’s also shown little patience as power hitters tend to, “sporting” 1219 Ks and a K/BB ratio of 2.24 through his 14 seasons. His early career showed glimpses of secondary tools in his arsenal with his above-average speed, though that is starting to fade later in his career. His defense is a relative liability, though that won’t factor in most fantasy leagues. The bigger concern in my eyes is an inconsistent batting average. His career average is .276, but he’s hit below that in nine out of 14 seasons, including six seasons of .265 or below. Your heavy power hitters still should have an above-average… Uhm… Average; a consistent .275 makes just that many more opportunities for good things to happen. At a 38% XBH career clip, Beltre has a very good tendency to turn hits into big trouble for opposing pitchers. If he could perform like he has the past two seasons in average (.321 in 2010, .296 in 2011), Adrian Beltre will be a HUGE boon for the Rangers. Age and durability are a key, but he has said he’s feeling good, with no lingering effects from the bruised knee that he sustained in last year’s postseason. If the Rangers have Beltre’s services for over 135 games this season, they will be a beast to handle in the AL.

Ulnar Collateral Ligament reconstruction used to be a fickle thing. In 1974, when Dr. Frank Jobe first performed the procedure on the slick, sinker-balling southpaw known as Tommy John. The chances of a pitcher recovering enough to ever throw again were 1-in-100. As of ’09, the procedure has a complete recovery rate of anywhere between 85 and 92 percent. With a combination of increased conditioning and the pure fact that there is a strong ‘ligament’ in place as opposed to the degrading UCL, most pitchers find that they’re able to throw close to what they could at the peak of their careers after the approximately year-long recovery. Joe Nathan is now 2 years out, and he is ready to get back to business. Last year was obviously an off year for Nathan, the months of April and August being rather damning in the final picture. But still, the (career-wise) anomalous 4.84 ERA was netted with 14-17 saves converted, 43 Ks, a .222 average against, and only walking 14. Looking into the deep stat lines, you can see a 79% contact rate (that includes hits AND fouls), a sharp jump from the 67% rate in ’09. Also evident are a dip in his K ratio (32.8% to 22.5%), a jump in his extra base ratio (6.3% to 9.4%), and also his balls-in-play ratio (55% to 64%) is elevated. This seems to indicate that Nathan was still finding his stride after recovery, or that maybe he was coming back too soon. I firmly believe that Joe Nathan is in-line to get back to his better days; going to a team where he has already been told that he’s the closer without a shadow of a doubt is good for one’s psyche. He has the tools and experience to pitch lights out. With the Tommy John well-behind him, and a full off-season and Spring Training in the realm of “normal”, I expect Nathan to hit the Arlington mound running and not look back.

As I stated in my last article about the Indians, don’t look at this as a Bible to evaluate the talent of the Rangers for your own fantasy roster. Only the fantasy GM knows best what their needs and play style are. However, look at this article (and the other DO’s And DON’Ts articles our excellent writers have published) as “food for thought” and a general guide of insights.

Did I miss a spring stud that looks to bust out in a big way? Did I tout someone that is looking to hit the skids, or worse: the waiver wire? Go ahead and hit the comments below, or find me on Twitter at @JCPronkFan48.

(As a side note, I would like to send my heartfelt sympathies and blessings to the victims of last Friday’s rash of storms and tornadoes. I managed to volunteer in Henryville, IN as a representative of the Air Force Reserves on Saturday the 3rd, and it was like nothing I’d ever seen before. Baseball fans, if you can help these unfortunates in any way at all, please do so… Any little bit helps.)

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