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A Pair Of Aces

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A Pair Of Aces

Posted on 15 April 2013 by Nick Schaeflein

In poker a pair of aces is nowhere near the best hand, but on the diamond a pair of aces can lead a team to the promise land. The old adage is pitching and defense wins championships and good pitching always beats good hitting. The one thing better then having an ace of a staff is having two.

DavidPriceMattMoore

In the 90’s the Atlanta Braves were well known for having two and sometimes three aces in Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, and Tom Glavine. The trio led Atlanta to yearly division titles, personal accolades, and a world championship. The 2001 season saw the Arizona Diamondbacks enjoy a season headlined by one of the most dominant duos ever in Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. The two only combined for 52 wins regular season and post season, a CY Young, co Sportsman of the Year, and co World Series MVP’s. In short, that is not too shabby.

Currently, the top ten pitching duos are:

#10 – Atlanta Tim Hudson and Mike Minor. Hudson is the elder ace who is still getting the job done. He will eat up innings and touch that 15 win mark. Minor is up and coming and seems to be finding his stride toward the end of last year and starting off this season. They also have a third wheel in Paul Maholm whose 2013 is on a good start.

#9 – Chicago White Sox Chris Sale and Jake Peavy. They are another duo featuring a veteran and youngster. Both are capable of racking up strikeouts and dominant starts. However, there is the occasional DL stint or rough outing.

#8 – Los Angeles Angels Jered Weaver and CJ Wilson. Both have been very consistent and productive. However, walk rates are subpar and strikeout rates are middle of the road.

#7 – Tampa Bay David Price and Matt Moore. Together they are two young guns with great out pitches that throw from the left side. Price is a yearly CY Young contender and Moore has yet to allow a run in 2013.

#6 – Boston Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. Both have high potential that is waiting to be tapped. Injuries have held back both at times but 2013 could finally be the year. They both had excellent springs and are a combined 4-0 thus far this season.

#5 – Detroit Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. If you are a hitter, close your eyes and swing early. Both have well above average fastballs and dominate the strikeout leader board. They both also collect a ton of innings and can save a bullpen.

#4 – Los Angeles Dodgers Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Both are CY Young winners that do not lose on their home mound. Each is capable of building long winning streaks and carrying the team for the night.

#3 – Philadelphia Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee. Suddenly this duo is seemingly under the radar within the division. They are two left hand pitchers with the x factor of pitching well in the post season. They are two trustworthy guys come late in the season and in October.

#2 – San Francisco Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner. The Giants earn the 1990’s Atlanta Brave award as it is not just a duo. These two are also complimented with Ryan Vogelsong, Tim Lincecum, and a resurgent Barry Zito. The offense does not need to score a ton of runs when any of them take the mound as they are all capable of winning 1-0 games. They all can be stoppers in their own way and it is the most balanced rotation top to bottom.

#1 – Washington Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg. This is the duo that could most rival the 2001 Diamondbacks. This season each is likely to be in the CY Young running and at the top of all major pitching categories. The one question remains, can they pitch in October?

The pitching duo most likely to be next on this list comes out of New York. Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler are young and ready to help the Mets contend. Harvey is off to a blistering start in 2013 looking like an up and coming ace. Wheeler is the pitcher that was apart of the Carlos Beltran trade a few seasons ago. He is likely to join the big club sometime this year and is one of the top prospects in all of baseball.

Each of these teams has the ability to avoid long losing streaks and stay in contention thanks to these duos. Aces are wild. Shuffle up and deal.

 

 

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Colorado Rockies: another dismal offseason

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Colorado Rockies: another dismal offseason

Posted on 30 January 2013 by Chris Caylor

Some major league baseball teams have had an eventful offseason.

YorvitTorrealba

Take Atlanta, for example. So far this offseason, the Braves acquired outfielder B.J. Upton, his little brother Justin, as well as third baseman Chris Johnson, pitchers Paul Maholm and Jordan Walden.

Toronto traded for or signed everyone else. Okay, not really, but talk about an overhaul. Since the end of the 2012 season, the Blue Jays have added R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Melky Cabrera, John Buck, Emilio Bonifacio, Jeremy Jeffress, Esmil Rogers, Mike Aviles, Josh Thole, Mike Nickeas, Mark DeRosa, and a partridge in a pear tree.

On the other hand, consider the Colorado Rockies.

While the above two teams were loading up to make a run at the World Series, I cannot see the goal to which the Rockies aspire. Not based on these trades and free-agent signings, anyway:

• Pitchers: Jeff Francis, Chris Volstad, Miguel Batista, Manny Corpas
• Catcher: Yorvit Torrealba
• Acquired reliever Wilton Lopez for pitchers Alex White and Alex Gillingham
• Acquired infielder Ryan Wheeler for reliever Matt Reynolds

Let’s start with the good (or, more accurately, the least bad move): Lopez is a useful pitcher who sported a 1.04 WHIP and a park-adjusted ERA+ of 185 for the woeful Astros last year. He should team with veteran Matt Belisle to form a reliable bridge to closer Rafael Betancourt. That is, on the few occasions where the team has a lead after six innings. Best of all, he is under team control through 2016. Given the fungible nature of relievers, that does not justify giving up a promising young arm like Alex White, but at least they didn’t trade White for a single season’s worth of Lopez.

The other pitching moves make it appear that the Rockies are actively attempting to field the worst starting staff in the majors. Francis earned the distinction in 2012 of being the only Rockies starter to surpass 100 innings, despite not starting the season with the team. His hits allowed-to-strikeout ratio was 145 to 76. The Rockies rewarded him with a raise.

The alleged “ace”, Jhoulys Chacin, nibbled around the plate so timidly in 2012 that he earned a demotion to Triple-A in spite of the Rockies’ having no viable alternative to replace him. Jorge De La Rosa, one of the nastier southpaws in the NL during the Rockies’ 2009 playoff run, has been fighting injuries ever since. Yet, the Rockies are counting on him heavily to rebound to his four-years-ago form.

Juan Nicasio, whose inspirational return from a broken neck last year was overshadowed by the Jamie Moyer sideshow, had his 2012 season short-circuited by knee surgery. Nicasio has the stuff to be an effective strikeout pitcher, but needs to sharpen his focus on the mound to avoid unraveling at the first sign of trouble.

Christian Friedrich and Drew Pomeranz (the centerpiece of the Ubaldo Jimenez trade in 2011) will compete to fill out the rotation. Each has shown flashes of promise, but the foolish four-man, 75-pitch rotation idea last year stunted their development. Fans can only hope that the return to a typical five-man rotation will help. As is, we don’t really know how good they can be.

Further hindering the Rockies’ chances at fielding a competitive 2013 team was the team’s failure to trade one of its few marketable commodities (not named Tulowitzki or Gonzalez). Michael Cuddyer, in particular, drew interest from the Phillies and Mariners. This should have been a no-brainer. Tyler Colvin out-performed Cuddyer in every meaningful offensive category in 2012, at less than 1/3 of the cost. However, the Rockies are content to pay Cuddyer over $10 million for league-average production (actually, BELOW average, given his OPS+ of 99), while they dumpster dive for pitchers like Volstad, Batista and Corpas. This is just not an intelligent way to build a competitive baseball team.

But then, that is nothing new for the team’s ownership.

Charlie and Dick Monfort continue to delude themselves into believing that their team is a contender in the NL West, when the past three seasons have demonstrated that nothing could be further from the truth. The Giants have won two of the past three World Series. The Dodgers have become Yankees West, spending money in ways that might surprise George Steinbrenner. The Diamondbacks and Padres have more youthful talent than the Rockies do – and better management. The Rockies, meanwhile, can’t even hire a manager without looking like incompetent bush leaguers.

When they forced Jim Tracy to resign, they replaced him with former Rockies shortstop Walt Weiss, who was coaching a local high school baseball team. HIGH SCHOOL. He wasn’t a promising bench coach like Joe Maddon. He wasn’t a minor-league instructor in whom team management saw something. Had the Brothers Monfort just watched the movie Invincible? Or was it The Rookie? Maybe they saw how the White Sox and Cardinals succeeded last year with untested managers and thought, we can do that!

Whatever the case, they have such faith in Weiss that they gave him a one-year contract. Let me repeat that. They were so confident in their outside-the-box choice that they essentially told him, “We think you’ll be great. By the way, you get a grand total of 162 games to prove it or you’re gone.” Weiss says all the right things – you have to earn your way, I’m not nervous, blah blah blah – but he has less job security than the bullpen catcher. I wish him luck, because he’s going to need it.

The first question I would ask Weiss is this: Dante Bichette as hitting coach? Seriously?

Bichette may have been the most popular Rockie during his stay with the team from 1993-99, but he was the poster child for the negative Coors Field effect on hitters. Of his 274 career home runs, 137 of them came at home during the seven seasons he played for Colorado. He played for 14 seasons. Thanks to those seven seasons spent in Denver (pre-humidor), Bichette’s career Total OPS in home games was 124. His Total OPS in road games? 76.

Yet this is the hitting coach who is going to help solve the Rockies’ road hitting woes? In 2012, they were tied for last in baseball, with a measly 272 runs scored. Bichette never solved his problems hitting on the road when he was a player. Is it reasonable to expect him to do it as a coach? Or is this a hire more aimed at getting some good PR for a team coming off the worst season in its history? After all, nostalgia always works in baseball.

I just wish the team were more nostalgic about the 2009 Colorado Rockies, rather than the fluky 1995 version that never would have made the playoffs if not for the strike-shortened season. Heading into 2013, that 2009 team seems further away than ever.

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hanley ramirez dodgers

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Who’s Hot: Trade deadline edition

Posted on 29 August 2012 by Chris Caylor

For this week’s edition of Who’s Hot, Who’s Not, we journey back in time…about a month. The Dodgers-Red Sox mega-deal got me thinking: first, about that whole “let’s move the trade deadline back” media movement I addressed a few weeks ago. The blockbuster trade proves that the trade deadlines are just fine where they are, just like I wrote. Second, I was reminded about the deals made before the July 31st deadline. Which players have given their new teams a boost? Which players have fallen flat? There are some of each. Before we dive in, let’s just acknowledge that any stats from July 31 to now constitute a small sample size and should be regarded as such. At the same time, though, this time of year, those SSS (small sample size) numbers may make the difference between October baseball and October tee times.

Who’s Hot

Hanley Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodgers – There must be something about guys named Ramirez being traded to LA. This year, it’s the enigmatic HanRam, a frequent loafer while with the Marlins. Since joining the Dodgers, Ramirez has been worth 0.7 WAR in just 32 games (thru Tuesday), whereas he was worth 0.5 WAR in 93 games with Miami. Fantasy owners may never again see the days where Ramirez hits over .300 or steals 20+ bases, but they have to be much happier with his stats in LA than the end of his tenure in South Florida. With Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier batting around him and the allure of a pennant race, Ramirez should be a top performer for the Dodgers and fantasy owners.

Paul Maholm, Atlanta Braves – There are low-profile acquisitions every season, whether by trade, free agency or minor league recall, that give teams an unexpectedly pleasant shot in the arm. Maholm has been guy for the Braves. In his 8th season, finally in a pennant race, he is enjoying his finest season. Since being traded to Atlanta, Maholm has responded by averaging over 7 innings per start and spinning a 0.98 WHIP. His H/9 and K/9 ratios are career bests as well. Atlanta has struggled with injuries to its rotation all season, but Maholm and Kris Medlen are helping to steady the ship.

Marco Scutaro, San Francisco Giants – Here is another example of an under-the-radar trade that has paid big dividends for the buyers. Scutaro was scuffling through a hum-drum season in Colorado before Christmas came early in the form of a trade to San Francisco. After putting together a .271/.324/.361 line for the Rockies, a revitalized Scutaro has posted a much more respectable .331/.359/.430 line. As a Scutaro owner, I had been considering dropping him altogether, even though he was playing half his games at Coors Field. Now that he is playing every day for the Giants (and hitting well), he is a decent middle-infield option for NL-only leagues and deep mixed leagues.

Lukewarm

Francisco Liriano, Chicago White Sox – With the exception of one clunker of a start against Oakland on August 11, the former Twin has pitched pretty well for the Pale Hosers. While with Minnesota, Liriano compiled a 77 ERA+ in 22 games. Since being dealt to Chicago, he has pitched to an ERA+ of 102, or just a tad above average. Accordingly, his ownership percentage in roto leagues has increased since the trade. He was forced to leave last Monday’s start against the Orioles due to leg cramps, so he should be fine for his next start.

Shane Victorino, Los Angeles Dodgers – The Flyin’ Hawaiian was already having a down season with the Phillies, and he hasn’t taken off since arriving in L.A. His batting average and OPS numbers would be the worst of his career if the season ended today, while his WAR numbers would be the worst since becoming an everyday player for Philadelphia in 2006. He is capable of a hot streak in the season’s final month, and he continues to be an excellent source of steals. With Ramirez, Kemp, Gonzalez and Either to drive him in, all Victorino needs to do is get back to career-average numbers and he will return to elite status.

Wandy Rodriguez/Travis Snider/Gaby Sanchez, Pittsburgh Pirates – After the Derrek Lee/Ryan Ludwick trades failed to boost the Pirates to the postseason in 2011, Pirates GM Neal Huntington went in the opposite direction this year, trading for players whom the Pirates will control beyond 2012. The three players acquired in July all fall into the lukewarm category:

 Snider – The most intriguing player of the three, Snider has taken the opportunity and run with it. His improved plate discipline (lower strikeout rate, higher walk rate) has led to better pitches to hit, especially with men on base (1.117 OPS). Clearly, he is enjoying batting ahead of Andrew McCutchen in the Buccos’ lineup. The power isn’t showing up yet, but he is still just 24. Count me as a Snider fan. He is most definitely worth a roster spot in NL-only roto leagues and even as a matchup play against lefties.
 Rodriguez – I list Wandy here in the lukewarm category after watching him deal six shutout innings in a critical game Wednesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals. That had to be more like what Pittsburgh had in mind when they dealt three prospects for the former Astros southpaw. Prior to that start, Rodriguez hurled career-worst numbers in H/9, BB/9 and K/9. I wouldn’t blame you if you’ve already dropped him from your fantasy team (if you even had him in the first place). Keep an eye on him for the next start or two, though, and see if he can build on his gem against the Cards.
 Sanchez – He fell out of favor very quickly in Miami, despite hitting 19 home runs each of the past two seasons. Sanchez has been a part-time player in Pittsburgh. While he hasn’t exactly proven the Marlins wrong yet, he has improved, raising his batting line from an embarrassing .202/.250/.306 to merely a below average .250/.291/.365, which is no worse than the Pirates were getting from the now-departed Casey McGehee. Either way, Sanchez has no business being on your fantasy roster unless you’re in the deepest of fantasy leagues.

Who’s Not

Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Angels – Greinke might be the biggest bust of the entire trade season. The Angels were expecting the ace worthy of a 2.4 WAR with the Brewers; instead, Greinke has depreciated in every critical pitching category. A -0.1 WAR was definitely not what the Angels had in mind. He isn’t just on a run of bad luck; his pitches are getting hammered for major damage. The worst thing for fantasy players is that benching or cutting Greinke is not really an option. He is capable of an 8-inning, 1 ER, 10K gem at any point. Like the Angels, you’re stuck waiting for it to happen.

Hunter Pence, San Francisco Giants – Someone show Pence the way to San Francisco. The always-entertaining outfielder energized the Phillies lineup in 2011 with an OPS+ of 157 after being acquired from Houston, but it hasn’t happened for the Giants. Pence is slugging a puny .324 and whiffed in nearly one-third of his at-bats since the trade. To me, Pence has always been a bit overrated by most fantasy owners (similar to Nick Markakis in the American League); as such, he probably cost a either a mid-to-high draft pick or auction price tag. If you own Pence, you probably can’t just dump Pence unless you’re in a ridiculously shallow league. If that’s the case, you need to find a more challenging league.

Ryan Dempster/Geovany Soto, Texas Rangers – The Rangers swooped in at the last minute and poached Dempster from the Los Angeles Dodgers, but you have to wonder if they would like a do-over. Dempster has not adjusted well to the junior circuit (83 ERA+, 1.47 WHIP). His struggles are less surprising considering that he had crafted a career-best ERA+ and WHIP at age 35, but the Rangers had to be expecting better. He’s not undroppable like Greinke, but he should be a matchup play in head-to-head leagues. Keep him active if you’re desperate for wins in a roto league, but only if you can stand the hit in the other pitching categories. Soto replaced Mike Napoli, but has not done much better than Yorvit Torrealba, who was cut loose to make room for Soto. He looks like a shell of the player who won the 2006 NL Rookie of the Year award.

As we jump back to the present, this is what we see: Ramirez has worked out well for the Dodgers, but the other high-profile acquisitions have not made the desired impact for their new teams. It’s the lower-profile deals that have worked out best: Maholm, Scutaro, even Edward Mujica has been a demonstrable upgrade to the Cardinals bullpen. Meanwhile, the Angels have lost ground in the playoff hunt since Greinke joined the team (not that it’s solely his fault by any stretch; he’s had plenty of help). The Giants are in first place, but Scutaro has been a bigger contributor to their recent success than Pence. Nate Schierholtz has been as productive (read: not very) as Pence, and the Giants wouldn’t have had to surrender any talent. Dempster was 98% on his way to Atlanta; how different would the Braves rotation look if Dempster ended up there and pitched the same way he has in Texas? What would the Rangers have done to upgrade their rotation?

This isn’t to say that making deals at the trade deadline doesn’t work. Just last year, the St. Louis Cardinals made a huge trade – sacrificing a talented young center fielder – which fortified the starting rotation and bullpen and led to an exhilarating World Series championship. In 2010, the San Francisco Giants picked up Cody Ross as a spare part and he helped lead them to their first title in 56 years. Making a trade – especially a blockbuster – is a calculated roll of the dice. We won’t know the true impact of the trades until after the season at the earliest. These are just first impressions of the deals made a month ago. The storylines are still being written.

Hit me with any feedback (well, unless you’re a Red Sox fan). Follow me on Twitter @chriscaylor.

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Who’s Hot, Who’s Not: Adam Dunn

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Who’s Hot, Who’s Not: Adam Dunn

Posted on 31 July 2012 by Chris Caylor

We have a couple of unexpected names in this week’s edition of Who’s Hot, Who’s Not. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Hottest of the Hot: Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox

Dunn vowed to rebound from his ghastly 2011 season, and boy, has he ever. The slugger who averaged 40 home runs a season between 2004-10, then plummeted to 11 last year, is on pace to hit a career-high 50 big flies in 2012. In the past week, the Big Donkey batted .375/.423/.833 with 3 homers, 8 RBI, and 9 runs scored. Dunn even stole a base. For the season, Dunn leads both leagues with 31 home runs (plus 73 RBI). The .215 batting average is still a killer for those in roto leagues, but his .356 OBP confirms that his selective batting eye is as sharp as ever. Combine Dunn’s season with the consistent excellence of Paul Konerko, and it’s easy to see who is keeping the White Sox in contention for the AL Central.

Who else is hot?

Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee Brewers – Gomez has had himself quite a week. You’ve probably already seen his “foul” home run trot, but don’t let that overshadow how productive he has been for the Brew Crew. The speedy centerfielder put together a battling line of .346/.379/.884 with four home runs, 10 RBI and three stolen bases. With Zack Greinke gone, watching Gomez may be one of the only interesting things about the Brewers left in 2012.

Jeremy Hellickson, Tampa Bay Rays – Hellickson has had an up-and-down season, but July has definitely been an extended “up” period for the young righty. Hellickson has hurled five consecutive quality starts this month, with a 2.67 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. Thanks to their horrendous hitting, though, the Rays only managed to win two of Hellickson’s starts. Thanks to Hellickson (and teammates David Price and Fernando Rodney), the Rays may have something to play for when Evan Longoria returns in August.

Paul Maholm, Atlanta Braves/Chicago Cubs – Here’s a name you wouldn’t expect to see in this space. The lefty Maholm, however, is on a roll like no Cubs pitcher has experienced in decades: six straight starts of at least 6 IP and 1 or fewer ER allowed. Maholm, never considered a power pitcher, has struck out 37 batters and walked only 13 during his streak. As a reward for his outstanding pitching, Maholm was traded Monday night to the Braves, where he will attempt to help Atlanta reach the postseason.

Who’s Not

Omar Infante, Detroit Tigers – Since being traded back to the Tigers, the versatile Infante is just 3 for 21, with no home runs or extra-base hits. With Detroit counting on him to upgrade their dreadful second base production, Infante needs to snap out of his funk sooner rather than later.

Tyler Colvin, Colorado Rockies – After being one of the hottest players in baseball in June, Colvin has come crashing back to Earth like Skylab (raise your hand if you got that one). In his past 14 games, Colvin has gone 6 for 46 with 17 strikeouts, including an 0 for 15 stretch. With Todd Helton returning from the DL, Colvin’s playing time figures to decrease until he can stop his descent.

Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies – Here’s a name you would never expect to see in the “Not” section. In his past four starts, Halladay has only 16 strikeouts, allowed 19 hits, and thrown one quality start. In that same time frame, Ross Ohlendorf, Joe Kelly, and the aforementioned Maholm have outpitched Halladay. For the season, Doc has an ERA+ of 93, which would be his worst since 2000. It truly is shaping up to be a season to forget in Philadelphia.

Follow me on Twitter (@chriscaylor), as well as the rest of the outstanding stable of writers at Full Spectrum Baseball.

Stats through Sunday 7/29

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Getaway Day Lineups for Dummies

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Getaway Day Lineups for Dummies

Posted on 16 April 2012 by Dennis Lawson

You can't stop Joey Bombs; you can only hope to contain him.

Consider this line that I tweeted earlier today from Busch Stadium where the Cardinals hosted the Cubs.

“#Cubs lineup avg by batter: .182, .000, .371, .111, .267, .167, .120, .071, .000. #GetawayDay

The last game in a series is often considered a “Getaway Day” for the visiting team, and there are times when the lineup reflects greater concern for the next series than the current one.  That Getaway Day often consists of an early afternoon game that follows a night game, so it makes perfect sense to rest a player or two.  Players who may need an extra day off:

  • Aging veterans who have trouble playing back-to-back days due to the whole “running and throwing” thing that baseball players are required to do (except in the AL where those people are called “Designated Hitters”)
  • Players with nagging injuries that would benefit greatly from 24-30 hours of legitimate rest and treatment
  • The starting catcher, because a man really should the amount of squatting performed in a short period of time
  • Any player who shows up for batting practice while wearing leather pants while holding a carry-on bag

Back to the tweet:  The batting averages for each player in the Cubs’ starting lineup appeared on the board, and the numbers were enough to inspire awe in even the most ardent Cubs supporter (like the guy wearing the SOTO jersey in front of me).  Just imagine this:

  1. Reed Johnson – .182
  2. Blake DeWitt – .000
  3. Starlin Castro – .371
  4. Jeff Baker – .111
  5. Ian Stewart – .267
  6. Joe Mather – .167
  7. Geovany Soto – .120
  8. Marlon Byrd – .071
  9. Paul Maholm – .000

So, the Cubs have an opening day payroll of around $110M, and you’re telling me that Alfonso Soriano ($18M in 2012) sits to give Joe Mather a few at-bats?  Do you see what is wrong with this picture?

  • The cleanup hitter, Jeff Baker, has hit 10+ HR in a season only once, and that was 4 years ago.
  • The guy hitting in the 2-hole has exactly the same batting average as the starting pitcher who has only had 1 plate appearance prior to today.
  • Soto has caught the bulk of the innings behind the plate, so if anybody needs a day off, it would seem like Soto would be a great candidate.

Think of the situation the Cubs find themselves in to this point.  Entering Sunday, the Cubs were 3-6 and trailing the division leading Cardinals by 3 games.  Sure, the season is still young, but why not take a shot at stealing a game and a series against the #5 starter for the Cardinals?  The Cubs likely won’t contend or event simulate contending this season, but it does not hurt a bit to try and snag a few wins here and there when the other team may be looking ahead just a bit or isn’t at full strength.  After all, the Cardinals fielded at team without Lance Berkman, David Freese, Allen Craig, and Skip Schumaker.  If the Cubs face the Cardinals at full strength, the task of winning a few against a division rival does not get any easier.  Sunday represented a great opportunity to take a shot, and the Cubs failed to go all-in on that opportunity.

Naturally, the fantasy baseball implications for using Getaway Day lineups should not be ignored.  While it makes sense that many players could benefit from an extra day off, the missed chances to fill the stat sheet impact fantasy leagues in a significant way.  The implication for fantasy owners is that adding a weighting factor for players who tend to take very few days off should be considered.  Maybe Starlin Castro deserves a bump up the rankings at SS, because he has played all 10 games the Cubs have played this season.  The lesson here could be that owners should consider carefully whether or not a team’s ultimate goal and respective fortunes strongly correlate to what a particular player does, that player deserves a longer look in your fantasy rankings.

On the other hand, the lesson really could just be that Getaway Day lineups are a bad idea for teams dwelling in their division cellars.

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