Monday, May 5, 2008

Fantasy Baseball Week 5

The Toucans have gone from bad to worse. Last week we were in 10th place, and some 10 games out of first. Now....well....you can see for yourselves:

Rank
Team W-L-T Pct GB Last Week Waiver Moves
1.
Base Belong to Rios 39-17-4 .683 - 7-3-2 8 4
2.
Bluebird Banter 35-23-2 .600 5 9-3-0 10 17
3.
The Huck Fleners 30-23-7 .558 7.5 6-4-2 14 14
4.
Satan's RH Man 30-24-6 .550 8 7-5-0 11 6
5.
ShaveThoseSideburns 28-23-9 .542 8.5 8-4-0 9 3
6.
The_Reverend 29-27-4 .517 10 5-7-0 2 2
7.
Mockingbird 29-28-3 .508 10.5 5-6-1 3 9
8.
Mop Up Duty 27-27-6 .500 11 4-6-2 7 6
9.
Mulliniks' Staches 28-31-1 .475 12.5 3-9-0 12 7
10.
I'm On My Couch 26-30-4 .467 13 8-4-0 1 11
11.
Toucans Of Whoopass 24-31-5 .442 14.5 4-8-0 5 31
12.
Born to Ghostrun 23-32-5 .425 15.5 6-5-1 4 8
13.
Tao of Stieb 20-34-6 .383 18 3-7-2 13 10
14.
Swayze4Life 20-38-2 .350 20 4-8-0 6 9

Once again, streaming saved the Toucans from being a total embarrassment, as we won 4 out of the 6 pitching categories. Last week I mentioned it was a bad idea to start pitchers when you're winning ERA & WHIP - and yet this week I had the same situation occur for me and had to start a pitcher. Why? Because I'm On My Couch started 3-4 guys on the last day, which meant I would have potentially lost another 2-3 categories by not starting a pitcher. Specifically wins and quality starts. Luckily I grabbed Aaron Cook at the last minute and he gave me the edge in Quality Starts. So sometimes you gotta change the plans depending on the situation.

This'll probably sound a bit familiar to you guys. My pitching had an ERA of 1.74, and a WHIP of 1.13 for the week. But my offense? They couldn't hit a Josh Towers fastball (and I'm talking an 08 Josh Towers fastball, not an 05 career year Josh Towers fastball). Collectively the Toucans posted an OBP of 368 and a slugging of 382. So it pretty much goes without saying that we got swept in every offensive category, losing the week 4-8-0.

I picked up Brad Hawpe & Jack Cust to provide some extra power to the lineup. As a result Beltran is becoming the odd man out for a little bit, but he's been one of the guys just killing us so far. Cust is starting to heat up and I'm hoping he can carry the Toucans for a while.

On the pitching side, I've added Zach Duke as my first streaming pitcher of the week. Yes, I know he's a Pirate pitcher (and not that Snell dude either!), but he is facing the Giants. So even if Dukes has control issues, odds are the Giants will swing and miss at the ball bouncing in the dirt.

This week the Toucans Of Whoopass will try to avoid embarrassing themselves as they face off against Satan's RH Man, managed by none other than Mr. Parkes of DJF. It will take a holy miracle to stop this diabolical monster, so let's just hope that the Toucans are up for the task.

You know what - until the Toucans Of Whoopass have redeemed themselves and proven they're an elite team, they don't deserve to be called the Toucans Of Whoopass. From this moment on, they will be known as....

Toucans Of Failure!

Quick Jays Update

Brandon League has now thrown in 2 games since Apr 21, although both of them were for 3 and 3 1/3 innings respectively. He's only walked one guy in his last 6.1 innings, struck out 8, and allowed 2 R (both earned). His groundball:flyball ratio is an incredible 6.67.

While I have a problem with the fact they sent him down to give him regular work (and he's not getting that playing time, in my opinion), he seems to have found his control if his last 2 appearances are any indication of how he's doing. I wouldn't want to mess with the pen and how they're doing now, but he should remain a pretty good option should anything happen to the current members of the pen.

While I'm mentioning the bullpen, I should add that I really think that Wolfe should be in AAA. I've never been impressed with him, and I don't think he deserves a spot at this point. I would like to see another RHP brought in if possible, but that would most likely mean Tallet would need to be traded as Johnny suggested.

I've been saying for a while now that Kevin Mench should replace Shannon Stewart as the primary DH against LHP. While Mench has struggled in AAA with a 740 OPS, he does have a 1.080 OPS against lefties in 28 at bats. His slash line of 357/438/643 is pretty damn good, and I think there's a chance he could at least hit the ball into the OF, something Stewart can't do at this point without a helping hand from a strong wind.

Some would point to Stew's 867 OPS vs lefties as a sign that he's doing a good job, but I want to point out that his OPS is based primarily on the strength of a 350 BA. The OBP is 417, which is good, but not great for a guy with the platoon advantage. And his slugging of 450 shows that he isn't getting many extra base hits, and that he's just been getting by with singles against lefties. Yes, it's a small sample size of 20 AB, but Mench has always been a better lefty-slugger in his career.

If the Jays want their DH to be a singles hitter, they should have stuck with Thomas. But if it's power that they want, Mench is the guy they need to be buying low on right now. And let's get real here, JP would be trading with Jon Daniels, pretty much the worst GM in the AL outside of Bravasi. It probably wouldn't take much more than Chad Motolla to get Mench.

Twitchy.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kenny Lofton is the answer because he provides the leadoff hitter the team needs so Rios can move down to a RBI spot.

The Southpaw said...

I don't think Kenny Lofton is a big help to this team. He had a 781 OPS last year during his time in Texas & Cleveland. That's good, but for a LF that's below average.

Even if he's platooned so that he faces RHP, it's only an 838 OPS.

Adam Lind has a career batting line in the minors of 317/378/506, good for an 884 OPS. You have to give him pretty much the rest of the season to show whether he's just a AAAA slugger of if he can really be a legit player.

Cause if he does prove himself, the Jays save 5-6 million dollars by not signing Lofton and using Lind. And Lind potentially could be the best left handed bat on the team going forward - probably even better than Overbay.

Twitchy.

Anonymous said...

So basically you ignored the point of what I said. Lind in the lineup doesn't help you in the leadoff spot, and hopefully one day Gibbons will come to his senses and realize that Eckstein belongs nowhere near the top of the order. Lofton would give him that option to plug in at the top of the order vs RHP, and a very good one at that, I believe around .310/.390 last (too lazy to check). I could care less about his SLG if he's getting on base that much from the leadoff spot and providing some speed with it. This team simply cannot afford to have Lind learn it on the job here, not at this time. Hopefully he turns it around and becomes the beast you all seem to think he's destined to be, but he just doesn't look comfortable at the plate to my amateur eyes.

The Southpaw said...

Rios does a fine job in the leadoff spot. I actually really like him there, more than I do in an RBI spot.

If you take a look at his situational stats, Rios is better when nobody is on base than when people are on:

Nobody on: 888 OPS
Runners on: 817 OPS
RISP: 517 OPS

And if you think it's a small sample size issue, check out 2007...

Nobody on: 920 OPS
Runners on: 757 OPS
RISP: 740 OPS

Another small sample size, but:

2008 batting 1st: 923 OPS
2008 batting third: 814 OPS

2007 the OPS was pretty similar, but Rios was around .020 better in the leadoff spot than batting third.

I know everybody has this idea that Rios needs to be in an RBI spot, but I don't believe that's where he's best used. It's not a coincidence we started winning more games when Rios started in the leadoff spot. Since Rios has been leading off the team is 5-2.

I agree that Eckstein should be at the bottom of the lineup. But Lind is just in a slump because he's pressing. Once he gets better, the Jays will be rewarded for their patience.

This is a case where it hurts us in the short-term, but in the long run, being the next 4-6 years, the payoff for letting Lind struggle for a few weeks will be irrelevant.

I'm willing to sacrifice a few weeks of pretty small amounts of production from Lind now if it means by June of 2008 till whenever he's a FA or signed longterm he'll be a cheap, 850-900 OPS bat.

It's not that I ignored what you said, rather I disagree with people who feel Rios should be in the 3 spot.

Twitchy.

Clint said...

League has been pitching after Davis Romero starts, Romero is on a pitch count as well. It seems to be that they are strechting league out to start.

Clint said...

Wilner just announced that Stewart is now the everyday LF. So much for Lind, hopefully he goes back down for regular at bats rather than rot on the bench.

The Southpaw said...

Unbelievable. They don't give him full playing time (2 days on, one off), and when he struggles in 20 at bats they give up on him?

Now he has zero trade value, 0 confidence, and we're weaker in LF at the major league level. Are they screwing with his development because they're bored or something? They keep saying that they're trying to do everything they can to be a winner, but this isn't gonna help them do that.

Oh, and thanks for the heads on League. I didn't know he was following Romero's starts. Still can't see why they'd want him to start, seeing as he's pretty much a 2 pitch pitcher, and he wouldn't be able to throw 95-98 which would theoretically make him less effective.

Twitchy.