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You know those fantasy days where it all just hits you at the same time? You open up your live scoring page and all your hitters have 0-for’s next to their names and your pitchers have ERA and WHIP totals so high that you’re wondering if anyone actually completed a single inning? You look your roster up and down and the only things you have in abundance are red crosses and injury note tags? You know those days? Absolutely frustrating. Mind-numbing, really.
There was a little bit of player movement over the weekend that, while not of the same magnitude as the non-waiver trade deadline, still had some significance in the fantasy baseball world. As the teams that are out of playoff contention fall further and further out of the race, they begin to audition some of their more highly touted prospects to see just how they rate at the major league level. Some of them, you’ve heard of and some, maybe not so much. But if you take the time to scout a few of them, not only could you find yourself a nice two-month boost for this year, but you could also be getting a leg up on your competition for next season. Keeper league owners likely have a good number of these guys on their radar already, but they tend to be afterthoughts in re-draft leagues, and that might be where you can get a leg up, whether it’s using the players now or scouting them for your draft next year.
Well, Tuesday’s trade deadline brought on a flurry of activity in the baseball world which obviously sends ripples through the fantasy community as well. There were a number of expected movers and shakers in there along with a few surprising non-participants as well. Some of the deals have serious fantasy ramifications while others were more pertinent to the real baseball world, so let’s just go through them and see what’s affecting your fantasy teams here.
While there were no beast-like performances or any big, developing stories regarding the deadline, Thursday still had some pretty exciting moments. Normally we don’t do a recap due to the short slate of games, but since I was down and out yesterday, I thought sharing a little “somethin’ somethin’” with you today would help make us all feel a little better. We’re going to forego the usual format and just hit some quick highlights as the Cubs and Cards get ready to do battle over at Wrigley this morning/afternoon.
If you were unable to tune into Sunday’s Fantasy Alarm Show on SiriusXM radio, you missed some seriously entertaining baseball chatter. But there’s one thing that Jeff Mans and I discussed yesterday with a few of our callers, that I wanted to reiterate here. It may sound mundane to many of you, but one of the most common things brought up by listeners asking about trades was what seemed to be a hang-up on some of the numbers players have posted between April. Yes, you want to how a guy has been performing this season, but remember, you’re not trading for those numbers. If you make a trade in June, what the player did in April is almost irrelevant, especially if you believe in buying low. It’s not what the player did for the first two months of the season that matters most; t’s what you think they’re going to do the rest of the way. How they will perform once they arrive on your team is the most important thing.
In fantasy baseball we are all lost when it comes to getting a handle on closers. A microcosm of that lost feeling this season can be found when we look at the White Sox pen as the club from Chicago has zero idea what they are doing. Should you be targeting Sergio Santos if you're looking for some bullpen help (who isn't)? Josh Hamilton made history Tuesday night. Does that mean now is the perfect time to deal him? What about Andre Ethier of the Dodgers – a just how well is he performing this year? Is A.J. Burnett worthy of being on your roster? What about the perpetually struggling Adam Lind? Finally, Cliff Lee is back and ready to dominate hitters once again.
Truth be told, I was planning on taking the day off here to rest up for a big weekend of baseball, but I don’t want to leave you all hanging here when so many Jered Weaver owners are dying to talk about his no-hitter on Wednesday. Far be it for me to ignore one of the most difficult feats…although with the frequency of no-hitters and perfect games over the last few years, maybe it’s not so difficult…in the game. For the pitcher to shut down an offense like that is tremendous and Weaver’s performance deserves the accolades. I won’t even trivialize it by mentioning that Jerome Williams tossed a three-hit, complete game shutout against these same Twins just one night earlier and how I talked about streaming pitchers when they play Minnesota. That wouldn’t be fair to Weaver or his owners that are strutting around today like proud peacocks.
I hate using that “any given Sunday” cliché here, but if there’s one thing you can take away from Philip Humber throwing the 21st perfect game in Major League Baseball history, it’s just that. Anyone, anywhere, anytime….so long as the stars are aligned, I suppose. I mean, how else do you explain a 29-year old journeyman who is on his fourth team in five years and whose biggest claim to fame is that he was one of the prospects the Mets traded to Minnesota in the Johan Santana deal achieving one of the most difficult feats in the game? Even if you were going to turn around and try to trivialize the moment and speak of the ineptitude of the Mariners’ offense and the fact that none of them are batting over .300, your argument still wouldn’t hold water. The moment is too tough to achieve and guys like Ichiro Suzuki, Jesus Montero and Dustin Ackley are still too good a group of hitters.
Some days you wake up with a plan. Other days you roll out of bed and have a hard time making it to the shower. I had one of those mornings today, so I'm not going to fight it, I'm just going to plow ahead in a haphazard manner and see what kind of trouble I can get into. How does that sound? I'll give some thoughts on A.J. Burnett and the Orioles' bullpen while also getting straight jiggy wit it and just randomly letting the fur fly. And yes, I have no idea what that means either.
Welcome back to another edition of the Tuesday Top Ten list of relevant and newsworthy fantasy baseball stories. This week presented a whole new batch of insignificant happenings that of course caught my eye and must be posted immediately. Now, without further adieu, here is the Tuesday Top Ten fantasy baseball headlines for August 16, 2011.