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It’s crunch time, people. It may seem like there’s still plenty of baseball left to go in the season but before you know it, it’s going to be mid-September, there will be two scoring periods left in the fantasy season and suddenly that six-month long season….that marathon you began in April….is going to whisk by and all that time you thought you had left is going to be gone. You need to keep your focus now, more than ever.
Don’t be fooled by the calm right now. Sure, most of the dust has settled from the non-waiver trade deadline, but we’re still in for a whole mess of player movement as there’s almost a full month still to go where teams can put a guy through waivers and, if unclaimed, are free to trade him wherever they like. If they do get claimed then the two teams can hash out a deal or the original team just pulls the guy back. Either way, as we’ve already seen Joe Blanton pass through unclaimed and land with the Dodgers and reports of Cliff Lee getting claimed by some mystery team, you have to stay prepared for more movement. If you’ve got a high-priced (in real life) player who’s rumored to be on the move, you’ve got to be prepared if he lands in a new situation.
Ever wonder where the Angels would have been had Mike Trout not been called up to save the day? Angels fans shudder to think about it and fantasy owners of Trout want little to do with a baseball world that doesn’t include the 20-year old center fielder. With his incredibly humble, team-first attitude and his .355-64-13-44-30 batting line, Trout has injected new life into this game that simply gets everyone excited about the game.
A quick question for all you keeper league owners out there who love to protect starting pitching – why? With a position as deep as starting pitching is and with the ease of which pitchers get hurt, why is there such a need to protect any starters outside of the super-elite like Justin Verlander. Wednesday actually presents you with just a slice out of the “why you don’t protect starting pitching” pie. On a day when CC Sabathia was put on the DL with a strained groin, Andy Pettitte was lost to a broken ankle on a comebacker to the mound and Daniel Hudson headed to Dr. James Andrews to confirm his torn UCL and need for Tommy John surgery, you saw some unbelievable pitching performances from some rather unassuming names like Lucas Harrell, Jarrod Parker, Jonathon Niese, Clayton Richard and Jordan Zimmermann. And like I said, Wednesday was just a slice of the pie. The rest can be seen throughout the year just by running down some of the names on the stats page of your league’s web site.
It looks like we’re getting a little minor league influx this week – two big prospects and the return of a banished slugger. After much speculation over the past week or so, we received word over the weekend that Arizona pitching phenom Trevor Bauer would make his mound debut, that the Cubs were finally ready to bring up slugging first baseman Anthony Rizzo and one-time 30-home run hitter from Toronto, Adam Lind, was coming back from his Triple-A exile and returning to the Blue Jays lineup. If, for any reason, any one of those guys sits available in your league, you better snatch them up as quickly as you can. There’s no guarantee, of course, that the production will be there immediately, but any one of the three is certainly worth a look.
They say that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and that phrase became a reality for me after yesterday’s post here at Rounding the Bases. For those that didn’t check in or just have serious short-term memory issues, you can either click here and read for yourself or I can sum it up for you right now. I expressed my disappointment with Wednesday’s games, discussing the fact that there was no performance that stood above the rest and made for an exciting fantasy day and certainly was not going to give anyone the Fantasy Beast of the Day honors. Well, I got this email later that day and I thought I would share it with you here…
It's been two weeks, but everyone loves to panic. It's in our nature. Something goes wrong, and we immediately start looking for a quick fix (think of all the weight loss pills out there when the best course of action would just be to eat well and exercise). Fantasy baseball is no different and the start to the season has led to a whole lot of consternation over names like Tim Lincecum, Francisco Liriano, Johan Santana and Mark Melancon. I'll address all of those arms. I'll then wrap the piece up by focusing on something near and dear to me – numbers. What numbers have stood out to me in the early going? Read on to find out.
So here we were today with the fourth installment of Opening Day and while there was plenty of action to talk about with the afternoon games, the primary focus remained on Albert Pujols and his debut with the Angels. Thousands of flickering lights illuminated the stands at Angel Stadium on Friday night as everyone maneuvered in the stands to catch a shot of Prince Albert digging in for his first official American League at-bat. Unfortunately for those expecting a powerhouse debut, Pujols finished the night 0-for-3 with a walk and had a very unassuming evening. Angels fans will just have to wait another night for their 240 million dollar man to shine.