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Johnny Cueto coolness

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Sabermetric Spotlight: Johnny Cueto

Posted on 31 August 2012 by Patrick Hayes

Sabermetric Spotlight: Johnny Cueto, SP, Cincinnati Reds

The Reason -

I never would have guessed that a Cincinnati Reds pitcher would be having a CY Young caliber year. This is mainly due to playing at Great American Ballpark, a band box of sorts. I always try and avoid any pitchers who are throwing here and love picking up players who hit there. So to have Johnny perform this well, it’s something I would have never predicted. Now he is getting lots of plugs in CY Young talk, so lets see why!

Johnny  Cueto throwing


Basic Numbers -

Lets look at the past five years at once, cool?

Johnny  Cueto Basic Stats


Hello consistent improvement. His ERA, and WHIP all improved steadily from 2008 to 2011. This year has been, at least statistically, a step back from 2011. However this year Cueto has 17 wins and will cross 200 IP for the first time in his career, two factors that will definitely play a part of the CY Young raace.

Sabermetrics -

The past two years have been stellar for Johnny. The only difference between the two are the increased K/9 of 7.13 (from 6) and the deceased BB% at 5.6% (from 7.5%). Yes, he is striking out more and walking less. This is a deadly combo. Unfortunately this year welcomes Cueto with a higher BABIP of 2.91 and this results in a higher BAA of .239, still below his career average though.

Johnny  Cueto Sabermetrics

Inducing more line-drives seems trouble some, especially at 22.2%, a career high. The only bright spot about that is the decrease in fly-balls (29% from 30.1%), which translates into less homeruns overall. Sure, his HR rate is slightly up, but it is still well over half of what it was when he broke into the league in 2008 and 2009. His SIERA and ERA indicates that he is having results that are better than predicted, given his stats. The trend from the past three years sees this as normal and it seems as if Johnny is fully comfortable using his arsenal and knowing what type of pitcher he is. Some would say this is the “Art of Pitching”. #Barf (Shot at Tigers radio broadcast? Yup!)

Pitch Types and Speed -

Wow. Johnny is throwing his two-seamer fastball 11% less than 2011 (40.3% to 29.3%). The majority of this is found with his change-up, now being thrown 20.1% (up from 9.7%). He has also introduce a cutter this year, which he has thrown 1.2% of the time.

Would you be shocked that I told you batters are almost having identical results as to swings and locations? Me neither. Perhaps the biggest change is the 62.5% of first strikes being thrown, up from 55.6% last year. This has lead to a slight decrease in contact of swings when the pitch is a strike (87.7% from 90.1%). These are all good things, and just more evidence as to his improvements.

Forward Looking -

September 1st is this weekend, meaning, there isn’t much left to this 2012 MLB year. Johnny is estimated to have five more starts, four of these being at home. He will throw vs Philadelphia, vs Houston, @ Miami, vs Los Angeles and vs Milwaukee. The Reds are 8.5 games up in the Central and almost a near lock (99.4%) to make the playoffs. He will be throwing in the post-season where we will get to see if the rest of the nation gets clued in on just how consistent Cueto is.

Fantasy Analysis -

He isn’t doing you any favors in the K department, but leading the majors in Wins with 17 is nice, right? His ERA and WHIP are great, you are throwing him with confidence knowing that the risk is low and the reward is known ahead of time. While he may not be someone that wows you, he has be an anchor on your team and silencing your woes when your other pitchers tank it. Show him more love already!

Did You Know? -

Johnny’s hero and role model? None other than fellow Dominican, Pedro Martinez.

Johnny  Cueto coolness


Conclusion and Projection -

After interpreting all of Johnny’s stats for the past few years, it is clearly evident that he has established himself as a top caliber pitcher. Why he will never have a upper echelon strikeout rate, he will continue to be consistent and produce Wins and eat up innings for the Reds. His contract is up in 2014 and it will be interesting to see if Cincinnati tries to sign him to a contract extension and lock him up long term. Look for the spotlight to really turn to Johnny as the month of September dwindles and the talk of awards and the post-season take full effect.

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

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AL Pitching Planner: May 7 – May 13

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AL Pitching Planner: May 7 – May 13

Posted on 06 May 2012 by Mark Sherrard

This week’s AL pitching lineup features two starts from the reigning CY Young/MVP, as well as a bunch of risky pitchers.

Here are the two-start pitchers and other favorable matchups for Week 6:

Two-Start Pitchers


Justin Verlander: 5/7 @ SEA; 5/12 @ OAK – I told you these were no-brainers

Jered Weaver: 5/7 @ MIN; 5/13 @ TEX – how will he follow-up his no hitter?

James Shields: 5/8 @ NYY; 5/13 @ BAL – Shields is 5-0, but faces a couple tough matchups

Ricky Romero: 5/8 @ OAK; 5/13 @ MIN – Facing the AL’s two worst offenses, Romero could quickly be 6-0

No-brainers results

Week 4 – 6 GS, 3 QS, 3 W, 42.1 IP, 53 H+BB, 32 K’s, 19 ER, 4.04 ERA, 1.25 whip

YTD – 23 GS, 16 QS, 14 W, 160.0 IP, 184 H+BB, 122 K’s, 48 ER, 2.70 ERA, 1.15 whip

Not Too Shabby

John Danks: 5/7 @ CLE; 5/13 vs KC – Danks has struggled a little, but has a couple favorable matchups

Neftali Feliz: 5/7 @ BAL; 5/12 vs LAA – Feliz has transitioned well to the starting role

Ivan Nova: 5/8 vs TB; 5/13 vs SEA – despite high ERA (5.58), he is 3-1 and has a 28/9 K/BB ratio

Matt Harrison: 5/8 @ BAL; 5/13 vs LAA – has had a couple bad starts in a row, but stick with him

Daniel Bard: 5/8 @ KC; 5/13 vs CLE – has adapted well to starting, just needs to cut down on the walks some

Jake Arrieta: 5/8 vs TEX; 5/13 vs TB – these are the kind of matchups that separate the men from the boys

Philip Humber: 5/7 @ CLE; 5/12 vs KC – Humber perfect game shows his stuff is good, but he is still a bit inconsistent

Jarrod Parker: 5/8 vs TOR; 5/13 vs DET – rookie has pitched well in first two starts, can he keep it up?

Duane Below:  5/8 vs SEA; 5/13 vs OAK – has not given up a run this year and faces the two worst offenses

Justin Masterson: 5/8 vs CHW; 5/13 @ BOS – only one really bad outing so far, but beware of the Red Sox

Not to shabby results

Week 4 – 24 GS, 19 QS, 10 W, 156.1 IP, 183 H+BB, 103 K’s, 50 ER, 2.88 ERA, 1.17 whip

YTD – 48 GS, 32 QS, 21 W, 309.0 IP, 373 H+BB, 219 K’s, 114 ER, 3.32 ERA, 1.21 whip

Risky At Best

Francisco Liriano: 5/7 vs LAA; 5/12 vs TOR – former future ace has fallen flat and can no longer be recommended

Jonathan Sancez: 5/7 vs BOS; 5/13 @ CHW – 19 walks in 22.1 IP so far.  Avoid until he can find the plate.

Brian Matusz: 5/7 vs TEX; 5/12 vs TB – Rangers are 1st in runs scored and Rays 5th, not good for an average pitcher

Felix Doubront: 5/7 @ KC; 5/12 vs CLE – 5.19 ERA this year and 4.99 for his career

Josh Tomlin: 5/7 vs CHW; 5/12 @ BOS – 5.27 ERA so far this year and must face Red Sox

Blake Beavan: 5/7 vs DET; 5/13 @ NYY – poor minor league record and no offensive support from teammates

Liam Hendriks: 5/8 vs LAA; 5/13 vs TOR – still hasn’t figured out how to majors leaguers out

Risky at best results

Week 4 – 4 GS, 3 QS, 2 W, 25.3 IP, 31 H+BB, 9 K’s, 11 ER, 3.91 ERA, 1.22 whip

YTD – 35 GS, 14 QS, 8 W, 190 IP, 288 H+BB, 128 K’s, 106 ER, 5.02 ERA, 1.52 whip

Other Favorable Matchups

Jon Lester: 5/9 @ KC

Lest is 5-1 with a 1.30 ERA against the Royals in his career

Jeremy Hellickson: 5/11 @ BAL

Hellickson is 4-1 with a 2.23 ERA against the Orioles

Dream Matchup:  David Price vs C.C. Sabathia – 5/10 @ NYY

Price is 5-2 with a 3.96 ERA against the Yankees, including a win this year.  Sabathia is 9-7 with a 3.25 ERA against the Rays.

Other favorable matchups results

Week 4 – 2 GS, 2 QS, 1 W, 14 IP, 15 H+BB, 13 K’s, 3 ER, 1.93 ERA, 1.07 whip

YTD – 9 GS, 6 QS, 3 W, 62.2 IP, 73 H+BB, 59 K’s, 20 ER, 2.87 ERA, 1.16 whip

That’s all for now.  See ya next week.

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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: Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim

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DOs and DONTs: Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim

Posted on 26 February 2012 by Gary Marchese

Coming off a year where they didn’t make the postseason but they got back in the mix, the Angels have a very good team.  They have been one of the better teams in the American League over the past decade but had seen a decline in the last couple of years.  They are back in a big way with the signings of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson.  This is a look at their 40 man roster in regards to fantasy baseball.  I hope you enjoy my article and all the other Dos and Don’ts that me and my colleagues have been working diligently on.

Do take Albert Pujols as your number one pick.  I know this is pretty obvious, I am sure some people would debate this a little but to me there is no other choice.  He has clearly moved to the top of the pack as the best player in baseball right now.  I wouldn’t start my team with anyone else.  Pujols last year hit 299 with 37 homeruns and 99 RBI.  That for him isn’t a great year, he got off to a slow start.  I would have him on top of my list for the number one pick if I could get it or at least the first pick I make.

Don’t make the same mistake the Angels made with Vernon Wells.  I wouldn’t go near this guy,  he isn’t even close to the same guy he was in Toronto.  I don’t know what happened to him but once he got to Anaheim he became a complete bust.  The Angels made a big mistake with him, don’t you do the same.  He hit 218 last year with 25 homeruns and 66 RBI.

Do take whoever you can out of the Angels starting rotation.  I would go ahead and say they have the best rotation in baseball or at least the American League.  You can choose from Jared Weaver, C.J. Wilson, Ervin Santana and Dan Haren.  That is a bunch of very good pitchers.  I would take any one of them on my team.  Wilson might be the worst out of that bunch and he signed a big contract but I still wouldn’t mind him on my team.  Haren is an innings eater, a throwback pitcher who will complete games and win you 15-20 games with a low three ERA.  Santana can win you 12-15 games with a mid to low three ERA.  Weaver should be able to win close to 20 games and have an ERA in the two’s.

I would look at the flip side and say their weakness though is their bullpen.  There isn’t much that I would like to take from that group for my fantasy team.  Scott Downs, LaTroy Hawkins they are on the downsides of their career.  Hisanori Takahashi is a swing pitcher but he is average at best.  Kevin Jepsen didn’t pitch much last year and when he did it was bad.  He had his best year in 2010 but that was a 3.97 ERA.  That isn’t what you want to see from a reliever.  Jordan Walden had a good year last  year but can he keep it up??  He was 5-5 with a 2.98 ERA and 32 saves last year.

Howie Kendrick is a guy I Do like.  Kendrick always murders the Yankees so to me he is like a Lou Gehrig type player.  I have seen him so many times and he is always getting hits when I see him.  Kendrick is a good second baseman with some power and some speed.  He wouldn’t be my first pick for second base but I would put him on that next tier list and watch him.  He may even be a good bench player if I was able to pick up someone better.

Don’t pick a catcher off of their team.  Chris Iannetta was signed in the offseason but he isn’t anything to be excited about.  Bobby Wilson had a terrible year last year and Hank Conger wasn’t much better.  Iannetta is the best out of this bunch and his line last year was 238, 14, 55 and a 370 on base percentage.

I would say  Peter Bourjous would be a DO for your bench.  Bourjos is a decent hitter and he has speed.  He will steal you some bases.  He also has some power.  Last season he hit 271 with 12 homeruns and 43 RBI.  He had a 327 on base percentage and stole 22 bases.

Do not take Bobby Abreu even as a DH.  His better days are definitely behind him.  Abreu last season hit 253 with eight homeruns and 60 RBI.  He still was able to have a 353 on base percentage and steal 21 bases.

Do take a look at Torii Hunter.  He isn’t what he used to be but he is still a productive player.  I would look at him as a reserve outfielder or DH.  He hit 262 but still had 23 homeruns and 82 RBI.  I like him a lot and always felt he was a little underrated.  He is a very good defensive player as well.

I would love to hear your opinions.  Please let me know what you think of this article and if your on twitter follow me @marches.  Thank you for reading and I look forward to answering and discussing any comments you have.  If you feel there is anyone I left off also let me know that.

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