Tag Archive | "Rocky Road"

Ryan Dempster, starting pitcher Texas Rangers

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Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch – Ryan Dempster Fire Sale

Posted on 13 August 2012 by Patrick Hayes

Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch – Ryan Dempster, Clay Buchholz, Cliff Lee

And here we are, back again for another version of Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch, this week featuring three starting pitchers who all have first names less than or equal to five letters. Each of these three have had their hurdles throughout the year thus far and could finish the year a complete 180 degrees from where they are now. The rest of the article gets better, I promise.

Ryan Dempster – SP, Texas Rangers

Ryan Dempster, starting pitcher Texas Rangers

29# on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for SPs

Ryan Dempster started the year as a northsider, throwing for the Cubs of the National League variety. As the Mid-Summer Classic passed, it was only a matter of time until he was moved to a team not as atrocious as the Cubs. After rumors flying from each of the big baseball markets, Dempster found himself in Texas, after he pulled the plug on the Atlanta Braves because his feelings were hurt about the news reaching the public early. This is just the type of guy I want on my team!

Personal feelings aside, Dempster currently sits with an ERA of 2.65, which is good enough for eighth in MLB. Walks have always been an issue for Ryan and this year he has found a bit of control with a walk rate of 2.42 per 9 IP, down from his career average of 4.05. This control has also witnessed his K/9 drop to his lowest in 11 years of 7.41, it’s that game of give and take, I suppose. While it was great for the Cubs to benefit in the long run for moving him, the Rangers are about to regret their latest acquisition (if they don’t already). His SIERRA stands at 3.83, a full 1.18 higher than what he has experienced. Team this fact up with his lower BABIP of .255, as well as facing DH’s and other angry AL teams, this baby is cooked. The writing is on the wall and won’t end pretty.

My verdict: Sell the Dempster fire immediately!

Clay Buchholz – SP, Boston Red Sox

Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox starting pitcher

#72 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for SPs

Unchecked fact of the night: Clay Buchholz’s favorite ice cream is Rocky Road. Oh wait, that’s just been his season to this point throwing for Red Sox Nation (I wanted to give him a nickname of Claynation but am on the fence). The first two months of the year yielded Clay an ERA north of 7.00. That’s awful. As of late however, he has an ERA of 1.79 in 45 1/3 IP. Why the late resurgence?

Simple, he has regained his control. After walking 28 batters in the first two months, he has half that since June 1st. His last outing was a complete game at Cleveland and he takes on the Orioles at Camden Yards in his next outing. If the Red Sox want to have any chance of the postseason (ESPN says 11.5% chance), Clay will have to continue his performances of late, including his highest first pitch strike percentage of his career at 63.8. Will it be enough? Probably not, but get on the bandwagon and ride it on through the remainder of the year.

My verdict: Buy low while admiring the five dollar bill you found in your pants that you haven’t wore since last year.

Cliff Lee – SP, Philadelphia Phillies

Cliff Lee, starting pitcher Philadelphia Phillies

#60 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for SPs

Yes, this reads correctly, Cliff Lee has a record of 2-7. Two wins, seven losses. I am conductor of the train that believes win-loss records for a pitcher are meaningless and only for the simple minded, but that record is just jaw dropping. He has A/A+ stuff and had a team that has dominated in the years prior, funny how things change so fast. For whatever reason, Cliff has witnessed his HR/9 jump up to 1.22 from well under 1.00, where it’s been since 2008.

He is still striking out more per nine than his career numbers, but is inducing less swings-and-misses than he did in 2011 (8.3% down from 9.3%). Looking at the rest of his statistics and it’s difficult to pinpoint the reason to his disappointing campaign. His velocity has remained consistent but his BABIP is only a tick or two above normal (.314 from .296 avg), nothing too severe. The only slight changes from last year is the increased occurance of his change up (15.5% from 12.8%) and the higher flyball rate of 34.8% from 32.4% last year. So what the Phillies are toast this year, Cliff will still perform for your team, just not at the pace he has the past few years, just don’t expect a W when you play him.

My verdict: Hold while scratching your noggin and wondering WTF

Reactions and opinions are always welcomed. Find me on twitter: @pf_hayes

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R.A. Dickey, New York Mets, sell his stock!

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Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch: R.A Dickey…Buy?

Posted on 23 July 2012 by Patrick Hayes

Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch – R.A. Dickey, Tommy Milone and Yovani Gallardo

Welcome back to another edition of Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch. This week I am featuring three starting pitchers who have had varying levels of success in this 2012 year. I want to prefix by making note that I currently do not own any of these three, but I wish I did for the reasons below. On with the stock watch!

R.A. Dickey – SP, New York Mets

R.A.  Dickey, New York Mets, sell his stock!

#2 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for SPs

R.A. (Robert Allen, in case you were wondering) has been one of the most surprising and intriguing stories of the year thus far. With an ADP of 298, he has been your waiver-wire goldmine to date. His WAR ranks 5th of SPs at 3.4, t-1st for wins with 13, ERA of 2.84 for 10th and a WHIP of 1.01 for 5th overall. Needless to say, he has been stellar thus far.

On the flip side, his season K/9 of 8.91 is considerably higher than his career average of 6.01 which indicates he is playing with house money at this point. His last 34 1/3 IP have been of the rocky-road variety, and I’m not talking about the delicious ice cream. Yielding 20 Earned Runs in his last five appearances (ERA of 5.24, WHIP of 1.37), it seems that a switch may have been flipped. Couple this with the atrocious Mets defense and an ugly skid of losing 9 in 10 games and you are left with a glimpse of reality that doesn’t have a favorable future. Now is the perfect time to include him in a trade to an owner that will gobble up his stats so far this year while hoping the past few outings are just a hiccup in a stellar year.

My verdict: Perfect Sell High Candidate

Tommy Milone – SP, Oakland Athletics

Tommy  Milone, Oakland A's, buy this pitcher!

#29 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for SPs

Tommy Milone on the other hand, has been stellar of late. In his last 32 IP he has only walked two batters, while striking out 34 and yielding four earned runs. He also has been a key ingredient to Oakland’s still-baffling success this year. While he doesn’t fair quite so well outside of The Coliseum (5.69 to .91 road to home ERA), his BABIP is down this year to .282, which is closer to his career average. However, four of his next six starts will be at home.

Bottom line, I love how he isn’t giving many free passes to base runners and being effective in his outings (could throwing his change-up more often be part of this reason?). Don’t expect him to fan 10 each time he goes out, just like he did versus the Yankees, but play him with confidence knowing that you will get six of seven innings pitched while giving up a few hits, but your ERA and WHIP will be lower because of it. In my eyes, he would be a good player to secondarily target in part of a bigger trade, or while positioning yourself next year if you are out of the playoffs and are looking for a bargain keeper in dynasty leagues.

My verdict: Buy Low Candidate

Yovani Gallardo – SP, Milwaukee Brewers

Yovani  Gallardo, Milwaukee Brewers, must frustrating pitcher ever?

#40 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for SPs

Mr.Galalrdo has been a frustrating pitcher to many owners throughout the course of this 26 year-old’s career so far. The only consistent aspect to his pitching each year is the inconsistencies, seemingly without reason. This year is more of the same, brilliance one start(7 IP, 14K’s, 4 H, 1 ER vs PIT on July 15th) and then aggravation the next (5 2/3 IP, 1 K, 9 H, 4 ER at CIN on July 21st).

He has all of talent in the world (career K/9 north of 9.05) but continues to struggle with his control (career BB/9 of 3.49). Because of this, he may never grow into the ace pitcher role on any staff, but will always be considered a solid number two option in any rotation. Taking all of this into consideration, he is still a pitcher on your team, but will require patience and tempered expectations. If/when he ever turns that corner and increases his control, you will be glad you have him on your staff.

My verdict: Hold while crossing your arms in anxious angst.

Reactions and opinions are always welcomed. Find me on twitter: @pf_hayes

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