Tag Archive | "Starting Lineup"

Ouch Goes Grandyman, In Comes Damon?

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Ouch Goes Grandyman, In Comes Damon?

Posted on 26 February 2013 by Bill Ivie

The Yankees disabled list added another big name over the weekend when superstar Curtis Granderson was hit by a pitch that fractured his forearm.

grandy

Reports have Granderson hitting the shelf for at least 10 weeks and many experts will tell you that it is hard to estimate when he will be back up to full speed and strength when coming back from this type of injury.  It appears that the fracture is not one to be overly concerned about and that Granderson should be back in the lineup, and near his All Star form, around the first of May.  If you missed the highlight from over the weekend, here it is, courtesy of MLB.com:

That leaves the world speculating on just who might take over the center field job in Granderson’s absence.  The key component in replacing Granderson is that he is not lost for the season and, ultimately, only lost for the first month or so of it.  Finding a veteran outfielder that is willing to sign a minor league deal with a chance to make the trip north and catch on as an extra oufielder might be the answer.  With very little available in house and an already offense deprived starting lineup, the Yankees may find a familiar name out there in free agency.

Johnny Damon and his 18 year career are trying to find a home this spring, not quite ready to retire yet.  He spent four of those years with the Yankees from 2006-2009 and reports say that he would be open to a reunion to provide the team with some depth until Granderson returned.

It is important to note that this Damon is not the same one that left the Bronx for Detroit a few years ago, he is far less productive at 39 years old.  He played last year, briefly, for the Cleveland Indians before being released on August 9.  In addition, it has been two full seasons since Damon patrolled the center of the diamond, playing left field as well as designated hitter primarily over the last few years.

He is still an option, still has some speed, and may have a little pop left in his bat from time to time.

Are the Yankees willing to get even older than they are with a low risk deal for Damon to prove himself.

It’s your move, Brian Cashman.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at Full Spectrum Baseball
Follow him on Twitter here.

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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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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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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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Trading Down

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Trading Down

Posted on 09 April 2012 by Dennis Lawson

Trading Places

With a couple of games in the books, maybe your team appears to be slightly under-performing projections or your expectations.  Maybe that young bull of a middle infielder everybody was hyping is 0-7 and has not hit a ball out of the infield.  Or maybe you spent your top draft pick on a first baseman who has a .150 OPS to this point.  Obviously, you know not to panic, but do you know what to start looking around for right now?

Look around you for owners who are attempting to trade down as a knee-jerk reaction to slow starts by some of their players.  Obviously, veteran owners know better than overreact in the season’s first week, but some less experienced owners could be tempted into what appears to be a fair trade at the moment.  Here are 10 players that just might pique your interest.

  1. Carlos Marmol – Ignore the 27.00 ERA and 6.000 WHIP coming into the day.  Marmol has a reputation for going off the reservation at times, but he usually manages to get back on track.  He has averaged 100 strikeouts per 162 games for his career, and he has 5 consecutive seasons of 90+ strikeouts.  If someone panics on Marmol, be ready with to make an offer, if you need a 2nd closer.
  2. Matt Holliday – His .125 average and 2 rbi do not impress, but Holliday will find his stroke eventually.  The issue is whether or not you can snag him on the cheap before he finds it again.
  3. Scott Rolen – Maybe his shoulder issues will catch up to Rolen again this season, but you can count on Rolen to make the necessary adjustments and improve on his .143 average with 0 home runs and 0 rbi.
  4. Chase Headley – Do not be held off by Headley’s 6 strikeouts in 11 plate appearances.  Once he gets it rolling, he can be a .260-.270 hitter with double digit stolen bases.  Maybe that won’t crack your starting lineup, but in leagues that carry 6 outfielder positions, he might be a good 5th or 6th slot guy, even though he’s playing 3B this season.
  5. Aramis Ramirez – Ramirez may not be driving the ball right now, but he will.  Once he does start hitting, the Milwaukee lineup should give him plenty of rbi opportunities.
  6. Hunter Pence – Pence probably could not maintain a slugging percentage of .125, even if he tried.  At least, so goes the traditional thinking.  Maybe his warmup swings remind you of a hack golfer searching for his ball in the weeds with a pitching wedge, but it works.
  7. Todd Helton – You simply will not convince me anytime soon that Helton has forgotten how to hit a baseball.  Ignore the slow start and consider grabbing him, if you need a corner infielder or have a corner infielder with an injury history.
  8. Carlos Lee – Despite playing for what appears to be a slowly dismantling Astros team, Lee managed 94 rbi last season, and I see no reason why he cannot get to at least 80-85 this season.  Lee’s batting average, slugging, and OPS may vary greatly from year to year, but he has averaged 107 rbi per 162 games during his career.
  9. Shane Victorino – Just give Victorino time, and he will be hitting .270 and stealing a base every 5 game or so.  The object here is to find someone unwilling to wait until he does.  When they want to trade down, then there is your opportunity to trade up.
  10. Freddie Freeman – People already bailing out on Freeman could regret their decisions in a matter of weeks or even just days.  This early in the season, guys like Freeman need just a good couple of at-bats to right the ship.  Sadly, some owners will not give him the chance.

While I found it tempting to simply pull names at random from a hat, I instead went through Yahoo’s search tool to locate players who had dropped 3 or more points in terms of league ownership.  Oddly enough, Roy Halladay was only owned in 97% of all leagues, so that probably provides a good indicator of how many defunct leagues exist already.

 

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