Friday, July 30, 2010

Breaking down the Oswalt trade

Well, the Phillies did it again.  The last two years have shown that not only are the Phillies committed to building a team to compete in the playoffs, but also that they understand how to do it.  Roy Oswalt adds depth to an already scary starting rotation that features Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels with a solid 4-5 of Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick.  It's hard to see anything other than a Yankees or Tampa Bay vs. Phili World Series this year.

On the other hand, the Astro's may not have done so bad themselves.  The first part of the deal is J.A. Happ.  At 27 last year, he was not your typical rookie, however, his 12-4 record with 2.93 ERA and 1.23 WHIP were good enough to get him second in the Rookie-of-the-Year voting.  The 6'6" lefty is a solid performer, with a lot of upside.  His injury this year is cause for some concern, but he is a very good piece to the Astro's rebuilding effort.  The second part of the deal was two Phillies prospects, Anthony Gose and SS Jonathan Villar.  Gose was immediately traded to Toronto for power hitting 1B prospect Brett Wallace -- a long term solution to Lance Berkman.  Villar is a 19 year old speedster with 82 SB's in a 200 minor league games.  Wallace is major league ready, and will probably get a shot when rosters expand in September.  Villar is a few years away, but has some solid tools, and could be the Astros SS of the future.

All in all, both teams will benefit from this trade.  The Phillies right away, as they continue their Hall of Fame SP merry-go-round.  And the Astros for the future, as they add some solid pieces to their rebuilding effort.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Domonic Brown's under the radar?

Phillies Domonic Brown made a quiet debut last night... quiet because it came in the midst of the trade deadline, off the heals of another MLB no hitter, and during another ho hum complete game near-shutout for Roy Halladay.  In his major league debut, Brown had 2 hits, including a double, and 2 RBI.  The Phillies #1 prospect is a solid 5-tool player with unlimited potential.  At 22 years old, Brown cruised through the minors this year.  In 93 games, he hit .327 with 20 HR's and 17 SB's.  He has better-than-average patience for a young hitter, and he hasn't even grown into his 6'5" frame.  He became available in Yahoo leagues yesterday, and is already owned in 23% of leagues.  If he's available, get him now.  Look for 5-10 HR's and 10-15 SB over the next two months at minimum.

The wasteland between First Base and Shortstop

One of my leagues is a straight points league, rather than head to head or rotisserie.  The 2B position, with the exception of a few nice surprises, has been decimated by injury... along with Aaron Hill remembering that he is Aaron hill.   Below were the leading point getters last year, along with thier average draft position this year, and the current point leaders for 2010:

2009 Leaders                2010 Avg Draft Pick       2010 Leaders             2010 Avg Draft Pick

1)  Aaron Hill                49th                                  1) Robinson Cano       44th
2)  Robinson Cano       44th                                  2) Martin Prado          214th
3)  Chase Utley              5th                                    3) Rickie Weeks           117th
4)  Ian Kinsler                18th                                  4) Brandon Phillips     42nd
5)  Dustin Pedroia          27th                                 5) Dan Uggla                 76th
6)  Brian Roberts            48th                                 6) Kelly Johnson            216th

If you weren't smart enough to draft Cano, or lucky enough to get a bargain on Uggla, Pardo, or Weeks, it's very likely that your 2B situation has been a mess this year.  Hill has completely disappeared off the face of the earth.  Utley had an incredible start, had a huge slump, and then has been on the DL since late June.  Kinsler is headed to his 2nd stint on the DL this year starting today.  Pedroia is trying to come back from a broken foot.  And Roberts has missed the first 3 1/2 months of the season and is currently hitting .194.

At the beginning of this year, 2B looked very deep.  For those of you that waited on a 2B, good for you.  The rest of us are trying to piece together an infield.

Trade Deadline resources

The trading dealine can be a very exciting time, both in MLB and in fantasy baseball.  Closers can become set up men, and vice-versa.  Struggling arms and bats can come alive all of a sudden when putting on a new uniform.  With 2 full days left before the July 31st deadline, here are some solid resources to track what's going on:

ESPN (Buster Onley):  MLB Rumors

ESPN (Jared Stegall):  Bleacher Report

Yahoo! (Mark J. MIller):  Scoop Du Jour

MLB (Tim Dierkes):  MLB Trade Rumors

Pro Sports Daily:  MLB Trade Rumors

Happy hunting!

Filling in for Joel Piñeiro

We are now getting to the time of year when injuries could very well end the season for a lot of players.  In a fantasy baseball world, this is actually ok sometimes.  In single year formats, it makes the drop/carry on DL decision very easy (although having to drop a key starter in the stretch run is rough). 

With Joel Pineiro being shut down for 6-8 weeks, there's a pretty good chance he will miss the rest of the season.  Even if he does come back, it might be too late to help anyone.  Pineiro was just starting to heat up, winning 7 of his last 8 decision with a 3.12 ERA and a 1.21. WHIP over that period, prompting most leagues to have someone scoop him up.

Now that he's out, here's a list of possible replacements.  All of the following pitchers are owned in less than 50% of leagues (Yahoo leagues):

- Madison Bumgarner (40% owned) - 2.43 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and coming off 4 straight wins.  Next young stud ace coming from the Giants system

- Ted Lilly (49% owned) - His win-loss is not impressive, but his 3.69 ERA and 1.14 WHIP are.  He has been given absolutely no run support this year (2.7 runs per start), so his record should look a lot better, and that kind of support can't keep up all year... can it?

- Travis Wood (21% owned) - Love this kid.  2.87 ERA and 0.96 WHIP!  He went head to head with Roy Halladay, matching him 9 one-hit, shutout innings with 8 K's in an extra inning ND a few weeks ago.  He has given up 2 or fewer runs in 4 of his 6 starts, and is averaging almost 8K's/9 innings.  The Reds are fighting for a playoff spot, and Wood has been incredible so far.

- Jonathon Niese (29% owned) - 3.43 ERA and slightly high 1.37 WHIP.  Has been extremely consistant this year.  In his 18 starts this year, he has only given up 4 or more runs 4 times.  Solid 7K/9Inn and is 6-2 over the last 2 months.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Spot starter for Thursday July 29th

Hot pick for tomorrow:

Madison Bumgarner:  (40% owned) -  2.43 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and coming off 4 straight wins.  If you need pitching depth, and he's still available in your league, grab him now.  The Giants are hot, and so is Bumgarner.