Monday, July 7, 2008

Preason Predictions Revisited - "Bums" Addition

"I didn't blame anyone … But I went out and achieved anyway!"

The season is half over. Now seems like a good time to go back through the notes and compare my pre-draft predictions to reality. Here are some guys that I thought would achieve, and a few who did not disappoint in their failure.

Chris Young – SP – San Diego Padres – Young is one of those players that is always thiiiiiiisss close to being very good. He has enough talent and puts together enough hot streaks to tease you into thinking this season could be The Season. After reading about his off-season conditioning, plus factoring in his hot 2007 pre-All Star (8-3, 2.00 ERA, 99 Ks) and home stats (1.69 ERA and 0.96 WHIP), I ranked him fairly high on my pitching list.

REALITY - BUM. While I did rank him highly, I luckily avoided him in all of my leagues (Points, HTH and Roto). While you can’t blame Young for getting hit in the nose, or hold him responsible for the Padres pathetic offense, he wasn’t doing much to win over managers this season. At the time of his injury, Young had a pedestrian 4-4 record with a 4.50 ERA. The ERA is particularly grievous considering that he plays his home games in Petco Park against the limp NL West (Get ready, guys, Eric Byrnes is up!). By the time he gets off of the DL, the Padres will be sellers, moving out what meager offensive players (Brian Giles, Marty Barrett) they had in the first place.

Nick Swisher – OF/1B – White Sox – Swisher has been one of my Moneyball crushes for the last few seasons. Like Young, he shows plenty of potential, but never really comes through. As a Points league fan, I have always been intrigued by his ability to get BBs (100 BBs in 2007 during a subpar season) in addition to his power (35 HRs in 2006). With the move to hitter’s ball park and a lineup sans Jack Cust, in addition to 1B/OF flexibility, Swisher had potential put to it all together.

REALITY – BUM – Swisher found a way to make managers yearn for the days of when he played in McAfee Coliseum. Even with a decent June (.305 avg., 7 HRs, 23RBIs, most of which were complied in four big games), his totals are still meager (.236 avg, 12 HRs, 39 RBIs). Swisher still continues to show flashes, but his Bum status for 2008 is firmly intact.

Brett Myers – SP – Philadelphia Phillies – In the years prior to his promotion to closer last season, Myers had been a pretty good SP, averaging around 200Ks per season. Since leagues do not factor in spousal abuse or observations on chromosomes, I thought that his limited innings in 2007 would provide a recharged arm for this season. Boy, was I wrong.

REALITY – BUM – It took the last few weeks for me to officially give up on Myers. For a while, it looked like he would be a useful streamer to use at home. Alas, it seems that Phillies management is about to give up on him also. Myers has stunk. I was able to move him to an eternally hopefully Phillies fan in my Points league, but this was before his last few starts, which has seen his ERA balloon to 5.84 before his sojourn to AAA.

Rafael Furcal – SS – LA Dodgers – “Money changes everything,” once sang baseball sage Cyndi Lauper. With his contract with the Dodgers coming due, on top of an impressive performance Caribbean World Series, Furcal looked a like a great SS to pick up in later rounds as he pursued his next contract.

REALITY – BUM. Through the first month of the season, Furcal was one of the best players in baseball, hitting .366 and scoring 34 runs in 32 games. However, this came to screeching halt when a back injury sidelined him in early May. What was supposed to be a quick DL stint will now stretch into football season. Hopefully, if you drafted him, you were able to grab Christian Guzman or Ryan Theriot before they left Waiver Land. If not, please enjoy your time with Felipe Lopez.

Erik Bedard – SP - Seattle Mariners – I was never on-board the Seattle Mariners bandwagon in the pre-season. I just didn’t get it. Despite a decent starting staff and bullpen, I did not see how an AL team relying on Jose Vidro and Raul Ibanez for offense could be considered competitive. However, what about their pitching? Despite playing for the Orioles in the offensive heavy AL East, Erik Bedard had a breakthrough season with a 13 wins, 3.16 ERA and 221 Ks in just 182 innings in 2007. Would this carry over into 2008?

REALITY – BUM. Perhaps a closer look at the above numbers gives a hint to Bedard’s shortcomings this season. Despite his obvious talent, Bedard has struggled with various injuries throughout the years, never reaching 200 innings in a season. With only 81 innings so far, this season will not end his dubious streak. With a rotten attitude and awful team, a trade to the NL (Philadelphia has been rumored) might be the best move for Bedard and the Mariners.

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