Monday, June 30, 2008

Achievers/Bums - 06/29/08

ACHIEVERS

Kevin Slowey – SP – Minnesota Twins – Win, 9 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 9 K’s – Slowey shutout the Brewers and is definitely worth an add if he's still available in your league. Slowey has great control, as evidenced by his career K/BB ratio of 101/20. He won't be this good usually, but he won't burn you either.

John Lackey – SP – Los Angeles Angels – Win, 8.2 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 9 K’s – One out away from the complete-game shutout. Lackey owners have to be thrilled that Lackey hasn't missed a beat since coming back from a strained triceps injury.

Grady Sizemore – OF – Cleveland Indians – 2/5, 1 HR 1 RBI, 2 R, 1 SB – Sizemore is on a hot streak, and I'm going to go ahead and predict a 40/40 season for Grady this year. You heard it here first.

BUMS

Jake Peavy – SP – San Diego Padres – Loss, 6 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 6 K's – The reigning Cy Young Award winner is starting to get frustrated with the lack of run support, and understandably so. Peavy is a gamer and he's going to strike guys out, but fantasy owners have to wonder if he will regain his 2007 form anytime soon.

Erik Bedard – SP – Seattle Mariners – Win, 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K's – Speaking of hoping he returns to 2007 form... Yeah, I know he got the win, but Bedard has been a steaming pile of disappointment so far this year by all accounts. Fantasy owners didn't draft him where they did to see 3 K's in 5.2 IP.

Yankees Offense – Really? 3 H, 1 R & 8 K's against Oliver Perez? Really?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

CC Is a Big, Fat Achiever

CC Sabathia went 8 scoreless innings and struck out 11 as the Indians shutout the Reds last night. He continues to show why he is considered the top pitcher on the trade market.

Grady Sizemore made an amazing catch and hit a bomb last night.

Jar Jurrjens continued his impressive rookie campaign last night with a strong 8-inning performance against the Blue Jays. He only struck out 3 though, and it may be a good time to try to move him to an owner who's willing to overpay for a rookie pitcher.

Looks like Mark Teixeira is starting his second half hot streak early this year.

Carlos Delgado had 9 RBI! You still don't need him.

Bobby Abreu went 4-for-4 with 3 RBI and 2 SB in the second game of the Yankees double-header with the Mets.

Hideki Matsui is headed to the DL due to lingering knee issues.

J.D. Drew owners hope David Ortiz stays down for awhile. He hit his 11th HR of June last night, backing an encouraging start by Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Joe Saunders did not get his 12th win last night.

I'd be surprised if anyone started Chan Ho Park last night against the Angels. But if they did, they were rewarded with a win and 7 k's. I'm still not picking him up just yet though.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Rich Harden Dilemma


As a Rich Harden owner, I am basking in the glow of his dominant performance against the Phillies this afternoon, but I'm sure many fantasy owners are wondering if it's time to sell high. The obvious answer is yes, but I'm not trying to move him. I've had an unhealthy relationship with Rich for awhile and I own him in almost every league I'm in. I've actually made an offer on him in the one league where I don't own him, and I had someone offer me Justin Duchscereherhrrehrer for him straight up in another league. (I pushed the "reject" button with my middle finger by the way.) The point is, right now I don't think anyone knows exactly what to do with Rich Harden.

He's made nine consecutive starts for the first time since 2005 and he's pitching like the ace everyone knew he could be if he could just stay healthy. But as Brandt posted earlier tonight, his arm actually may fall off mid-inning any day now. The guy is so fragile he makes Bobby Crosby look like Cal Ripken. Earlier this year when the A's flew to Japan I was actually nervous about how my Rich would handle the plane ride. What's to prevent him from getting a stiff neck? Then when he came back from his DL stint earlier this season he had a goatee, and all I could think about was whether or not the new facial hair could lead to some sort of rash or shaving incident that would leave him incapacitated. This is what owning Rich Harden for 4 years does do to you.

The reason I'm not moving him (other than the obvious man-crush) is that I don't think you'll get value for him. For example, I don't think you'll get an elite pitcher in return for him. Why would someone send you a top-tier pitcher for a guy who is more fragile physically than Zach Grienke is emotionally? Hey, if you can get Roy Halladay for Harden, do it, but the offers are going to be more like the one I got earlier. You'll get offers like the Douche Hammer or Ryan Dempster or, if your lucky, Joe Saunders. And I wouldn't take any of those guys over Harden. I'd much rather have a guy that, if healthy, can go on a run to take your team to the promised land, than less talented guys who will give you innings and decent numbers. Those guys are easily replaceable by working the waiver wire, but a healthy Harden is not. Also, if you own Harden you probably didn't have to pay too much to get him. I took him in the 9th round of a 12-team points league, which may have been a round too high, but it's not too bad for the upside of Harden. Bottom line is unless someone offers you something too good to pass up, I'd just hang on and enjoy the ride, understanding that he probably will break your heart. Again.

Achievers/Bums – 06/26/08

ACHIEVERS

Scott Rolen – 3B – Toronto Blue Jays – 2/4, HR, 3 RBIs – Not a repeat. I took my own advice (see below) and helped offset Chipper’s absence this week. He is not going to be very good, but he might be worth a spot on your bench if you own Lawrence.

Rich Harden – SP – Oakland A’s – Win, 8.0 IP, 11 K’s – Phenomenal effort against a hard-hitting Phillies team. However, his arm will literally fall off at one point.

Nick Markakis – OF – Baltimore Orioles – 1/3, 2 RBIs, 2 BBs – Not much of game, but it is indicative of his recent play. He is starting to hit his stride after a slow start. Buy low now before he starts to get notice.

BUMS

Josh Hamilton –OF– Texas Rangers – 0-0, HBP, Left Game – If you can’t root for Hamilton, you are missing your heart. However, it might be time to sell high. Tonight’s game is the second time this week that he has left a game. As pointed out here, due to Hamilton’s past issues, he can’t take painkillers when hurt.

Chase Utley – 2B – Philadelphia Phillies – 0/4 – Just like in my front yard, Utley’s drought continues. No HRs since 6/13. He is still better than your 2B.

Ed Wade – GM – Houston Astros – Def. by Shawn Chacon – Rd. 1. I am going to play devil’s advocate with this one. How do you put yourself in a position to get beat up by your own player? Be the grown-up. Maybe that’s what you get for signing Shawn Chacon in the first place.

Shawn Chacon Goes Gangsta!

In addition to being a bad pitcher, we now know that Shawn Chacon is a bad guy. He choked out his GM Ed Wade yesterday because Wade had the temerity to call Chacon into the office for a chat. Check out Chacon's version of the events:

“He started yelling and cussing,” Chacon said of Wade, according to a story on the Chronicle’s Web site. “I’m sitting there and I said to him very calmly, ‘Ed, you need to stop yelling at me. Then I stood up and said, ‘You better stop yelling at me.’ I stood up. He continued and was basically yelling.”

Chacon said that after Wade told him he needed to “look in the mirror,” it got worse.

“So at that point I lost my cool and I grabbed him by the neck and threw him to the ground. I jumped on top of him,” he said. “Words were exchanged.”

So "words were exchanged" huh? Hey Shawn, I got a word for ya': unemployed.

Gary Sheffield Is an Angry Achiever

Gary Sheffield had a homer and a walk-off hit last night. Also, he's an angry, angry man. Still, you probably want to add him if he's available. If nothing else, he is great trade bait if he gets on a hot streak.

Albert Pujols
has been activated from the disabled list by the Cards. He should be back in the lineup today.

David Ortiz took 25 swings on a tee without any issues, but it appears he is still a few weeks away from returning to the lineup.

Aaron Harang has been a shell of himself the last few starts. He's only had one good start since he Dusty pitched him in the 13th-16th innings against the Padres in May.

Mike Gonzalez picked up his second save in two chances last night. Looks like he is the answer at closer for the Braves as he doesn't have much competition.

Joba Chamberlain threw 114 pitches and got his first win as a starter last night. He struck out 7 and walked 1.

Joakim Soria got his 21st save last night while striking out two.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Achievers/Bums - 6/24/08


ACHIEVERS

Scott Rolen – 3B – Toronto Blue Jays – 2/4, HR, 4 RBIs – Granted, it was against Bronson Arroyo, but you could worse for a #2 3B than Rolen, especially if you are Chipper owner.

Jonathan S├ínchez – SP – San Francisco Giants – Win, 7.2 IP, 8 K’s – Pretty impressive for a NL pitcher on the road against an AL team. With their starting pitching (Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez), how good could the Giants be if they were not held back by Zito’s awful contract?

AJ Burnett – SP – Toronto Blue Jays – W, 8.0 IP, 7K’s – The JD Drew of pitchers, AJ Burnett is highly favored in my “Death Pool” list of perpetual injured pitchers (Rich Harden, Ben Sheets). One of these guys will actually spontaneously combust on the field one day. Write it down. You heard it here.


BUMS

Bronson Arroyo – SP – Cincinnati Reds – 1.0 IP, 10 ER – Yeah, it is pretty easy to pick on Arroyo. However, I have never forgiven him for this game last year, so he gets top billing as a bum.

Oliver Perez – SP – New York Mets – L, 5.0 IP, 5 ER – I don’t expect much out of the Mets at this point, but there is no excuse for getting cranked by the Mariners. Oliver Perez continues to undermine my belief in contract year performance as he falls to 5-5 with 5.29 ERA.

Bronson Arroyo Is Not an Achiever


Some of the reasons I hate Bronson:

1.) His line tonight against the light-hitting Blue Jays:

1ip, 11h, 10er, 1bb, 1k, 3hr. Bad even for Bronson.

2.) This commercial. Bronson's vocals make me want to punch myself in the ears.



3.) He covers post-grunge staples.



Screw you and your cornrows, Bronson. Go back to Boston where you probably wouldn't even make the team.

Ben Sheets Is an Achiever

Ben Sheets looked pretty studly last night against the Chipper-less Braves.

King Felix hit a bomb off Johan Santana but had to leave the game with an ankle injury.

John Lackey owners have to be happy with this his current winning streak which continued last night against the Nats.

Is it just me, or are guys getting hit in the face with balls much more frequently this year?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Who is Jeff Baker?

Jeff Baker is a utility guy for the Rockies who's been filling in at 2b for Clint Barmes and he was just crowned NL Player of the Week. Hitting .435 with an SLG% of 1.043, Baker had a mammoth week that included home runs in four straight games. He's eligible in Yahoo standard leagues at 1b, 2b and OF. So should you go out and pick him up?

The Good: As mentioned, he is eligible at 1b, 2b and OF - and he's mashing.

The Bad: Barmes is back, and Clint Hurdle says he will be back at 2b, so Baker's playing time will decrease significantly once interleague play is completed.

The Ugly: Baker's K/BB is 36/8. Also he kind of reminds me of Dolph Lundgren, but with a bigger jaw.







Bottom Line:
I'd only pick him up if you are desperate for a 2b this week. You may be able to ride his hot streak while he is still getting at bats.

Contributing Achievers