When I opened the email and saw the trade offer sitting in front of me, I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. Finally, someone in this particular league was using my writing jobs against me, something I’ve often suggested to those in the various leagues in which I play. If you want to know which players I like, who I believe in and who I don’t, all you have to do is read. It’s out there, all over the internet. Review at your leisure.
Bryan LaHair and Felipe Paulino for Roy Halladay? That’s all the email said.
A player that I had been touting all offseason and a Royals pitcher (I cover them for another site) that has now shut out my Yankees not once, but twice, for an aging Halladay whose ERA is at its highest since 2007. A fair trade? Sure. One that I would go for? Probably not. First off, it doesn’t address my team needs as I am loaded at both corners and in the outfield. It’s my pitching situation that needs adjusting, particularly in the closer department, so this deal doesn’t make much sense for me anyway. Still, you’ve got to admire the kid’s moxie. Halladay’s value is down, Paulino’s value is sky-high, and if you weren’t really paying attention, you might overlook the fact that LaHair is mired in a 1-for-20 slump right now. And if you did notice, but you still believed in his abilities (which I do), then he still holds a solid value due to his power potential.
So what am I getting at here? My intention isn’t to crack on a fellow league-mate publicly, although that can be fun sometimes too. No, my intention is to tell all you Doc Halladay owners to step away from the panic button. It’s ok. He’s ok. A few minor bumps in the road, but all will be smoothed out soon and the fantasy universe will be right again shortly. Will there be a time when you have to part ways with a stud commodity like Halladay? Of course. But now just isn’t that time.
Are there a few red flags? A concern or two…or three or four? Maybe. His velocity seems to be down, his strikeout rate isn’t what it used to be, his walks are up and he’s not inducing ground balls like he normally does. But in a recent interview, Halladay admitted to pressing while on the mound, citing that he, along with a number of other guys on the Phillies, were trying to do too much in light of the fact that injuries have decimated the team and, as a group, they are not performing up to task as they should. They haven’t been enjoying themselves or having the same fun out there as they used to and are working on getting back to that point.
Given the fact that this is Roy Halladay we are talking about, he has more than earned the benefit of the doubt. If he says they’re fine, then I believe him. If he says they’ll get it, then I believe that too. I’ll keep the numbers and the concerns on the backburner for now and see how he performs over his next few starts, but as someone who has owned Halladay in a keeper league for years, I am not ready to give up on him after a rocky start. That doesn’t mean I won’t ever trade him, because I’m sure at one point, I will. I just have to wait until his value fully returns to its natural place in the fantasy world…or when someone makes me an offer I can’t refuse.
Now onto the highlights from Tuesday!
|Adam Wainwright, STL||9.0||4||0||0||1||9||0||0.00||0.56|
Just like I’m not ready to give up on Halladay, I am not yet ready to believe that Adam Wainwright has fully turned the corner. Did he pitch beautifully on Tuesday? Absolutely, he did. He wouldn’t be listed here as the Beast of the Day had he not. But given his early season struggles to get back on track, his inconsistencies from start to start and the home runs he’s allowed so far, I need him to string together a few more starts like this before I’m back on the bandwagon. After all, these were the Padres he was pitching against and a B-squad of Padres at that. I like what Waino has done these last two starts, but show me something big against a better ball club and make a believer out of me.
|Michael Bourn, OF ATL||3-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI|
|Brandon Phillips, 2B CIN||2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI|
|Lyle Overbay, 1B ARI||4-4, 3 R, 2B, HR, RBI|
|Hanley Ramirez, 3B MIA||3-5, R, 2 RBI, 2 SB|
|R.A. Dickey, SP NYM||W, 1.29 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 11 K|
Now here’s a collection of names we haven’t really seen in this section, or atleast not that was particularly noticeable before.
Must’ve been a blue moon or something yesterday for Michael Bourn to have hit not one, but two home runs in a game. The fact that he just matched his power output from each of the last two seasons should tell you that the chances of seeing another long ball from him this season are pretty slim. That’s okay, because he needs to concentrate on the stolen bases anyway. No one is drafting him with the hopes of seeing more home runs, but with just 13 swipes this year, he’s behind his normal pace right now. Get it moving, buddy!
Is it time yet to move on from Brandon Phillips? The fact that second base is started to become flush with talent again and the decline we have seen (thanks mostly to injuries) over the last two seasons should be enough for you to realize that he is no longer the 20-20 threat he used to be. Maybe he goes 15-15 again, but you might be better off trying to shop him around your league and see if you can help yourself elsewhere.
Good ol’ Lyle Overbay…..doing just enough to keep poaching at-bats from Paul Goldschmidt. FML.
It’s been a rather quiet year for Hanley Ramirez, but before you turn away, that’s a six-game hit streak working right now with back-to-back multi-hit performances and three stolen bases. All it’s going to take is one nice hot streak for him and he’s back in the fantasy world’s good graces. He’s never going to be that 30-50 player we once knew, but he is still more than capable of being a 20-40 guy.
Don’t tell any Mets fans that I said this, but R.A. Dickey is really starting to impress me. The WHIP is still a little high for my taste, but he’s put together a fairly impressive run of starts now. Only two walks issued over his last three starts is fantastic and the strikeout rate improving is huge. At some point , everyone tends to figure out the knuckleballers, but until they do, he should be a solid play.
Some things that didn’t make the leaderboard….
Welcome to the big leagues, Josh Bell. The Diamondbacks have finally given up on Cody Ransom and Ryan Roberts and brought Bell up after he ripped apart Triple-A pitching for the last two months. He went 1-for-3 during his first game and then on Tuesday, smacked his first home run, a two-run shot off Aaron Harang. If you’ve been hurt at third with injuries like most of us had, he should easily be worth a look in deeper leagues.
Keep an eye on Steve Lombardozzi with Washington. Now that Ryan Zimmerman is back, Davey Johnson is looking for ways to keep Lomardozzi’s bat in the lineup and it looks like that’s coming at the expense of playing time for Roger Bernadina and Xavier Nady. If he can stick in the lineup, that’s a great guy to have for batting average help and position flexibility.
This Carlos Pena in the leadoff spot is entertaining, but it’s going to kill his RBI totals. Hopefully he’ll be back where he belongs once Evan Longoria returns.
And finally, I’m still on the fence with Adrian Gonzalez getting all this work in the outfield. On one hand, I love that it should help his value with new position eligibility, but it’s also opening him up to greater risk for injury.
|Jarrod Dyson, OF KC||0-4, 4 K|
|Starlin Castro, SS CHC||0-4, 4 K|
|David Wright, 3B NYM||0-4, 3 K|
|Gavin Floyd, SP CHW||L, 22.09 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, 4 K|
|J.J. Putz, RP ARI||L, BS, 18.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, K|
You know how it goes. You win some, you lose some. No one’s perfect. Although I will say that J.J. Putz’s days as the Arizona closer could be numbered given his struggles this year. Make sure you’ve got David Hernandez waiting in the wings and keep your other eye on Bryan Shaw. Kirk Gibson could be inclined for a change once he tires of losing these late leads.
Chipper Jones, 3B ATL – calf (questionable)
Brian McCann, C ATL – illness (questionable)
J.J. Hardy, SS BAL – shoulder (doubtful)
Miguel Montero, C ARI – groin (out)
Jonathan Herrera, 2B COL – hamstring (doubtful)
Erick Aybar, SS LAA – knee (questionable)
Chase Headley, 3B SD – back (questionable)
Matt Carpenter, 1B STL – oblique (questionable)
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over ten years on a variety of web sites including his own, The Fantasy Baseball Buzz. You can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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