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It's just past the quarter pole of the 2013 major league baseball season, so now is a good time to place the pace game. Where you aware that the struggling guy you hate really isn't struggling as badly as you thought? Or how about will that guy who has been all over the leader board – is it reasonable to expect his early season pace to continue on for the next 115+ games? We'll explore these thoughts and, hopefully, wake up from a slumber that has you missing some solid performances as well as alerting you to the fact that some of those hot starters you've been riding to a top spot in the standings might just be getting ready for a major slow down.
Sunday was a big day for Jurickson Profar and his fantasy owners. With news that Ian Kinsler was headed to the disabled list with an intercostal strain, the Rangers decided it was finally time to bring up their prized prospect who hit .326 (28-for-86) over his last 21 games at Triple-A Round Rock and enjoyed his first career two-homer game Saturday night. He was in uniform, but he did not play. It is not yet known how long Kinsler will be out for, but it would seem that this is an injury that probably won’t require more than the 15 day minimum. So the big questions are: for how long will Profar be up and what is his current fantasy value? Well, my fantasy heart goes out to the dedicated and hopeful who have been stashing the potential rookie of the year, because I’d have to say not long and not much if we’re talking about right now.
For two straight years, Dee Gordon, son of former All Star reliever Tom Gordon, was listed among Baseball America’s top 50 prospects thanks to a slick glove in the field and blinding speed on the base paths. He got his first taste of the big leagues back in 2011 and over a 56 game span that saw him come to the plate 233 times, Gordon hit .304 with 34 runs scored and 24 stolen bases. But in 2012, when he was given the starting shortstop gig to open the season, Gordon struggled mightily at the plate. Yes, he swiped 32 bases over 87 games, but he also hit just .228 and had a woeful .280 on-base percentage. He was shipped back down to Triple-A and his overall fantasy value took a hit. And when the Dodgers traded for Hanley Ramirez and announced that he would play shortstop in 2013, Gordon became even more of a forgotten man as there was, obviously, no room for him on the big league roster. Well guess what? He’s baaaaaaaaack!
Though the events from Monday remain unresolved and our thoughts linger with those affected in both the city of Boston and around the world, the show must go on. Major League Baseball is not pausing the season and your fantasy leagues aren’t shutting down. Obviously it’s okay to be distracted but you still have to pay attention to what’s going on. There are job battles still being fought over, players coming on and off the DL, hot starts to consider and cold starts to shake off. You need to make sure you’re still dialed in and up to date on all the latest happenings.
Now I don’t want to get all religious on you here, but as I look at one of my teams sitting at the very bottom of the standings in one league, I am reminded of a very important biblical quote that you should always pay very close attention to, especially if you’re dealing with a certain amount of fantasy frustration. “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.” You know how some coaches have inspirational quotes hanging in their offices? Well, this one is hanging in mine and it is specifically directed towards the sharks in every league who think they smell blood in the water just one week into the season. Three guys hurt on my roster isn’t exactly chum, but there they are, circling and ready to strike.
We’re just a week away from the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline, but as any baseball fan worth his/her salt knows, the trades don’t even come close to stopping there. The waiver trade deadline in August (trades where players must first clear waivers before being dealt) is also a hotbed of action as it usually involves several marquee players whose contracts can be burdensome to smaller market teams and therefore have little problem slipping through the waiver system. So the bottom line is that we’re looking at a few more weeks of potential player movement and subsequent fantasy unrest.
Well I hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July on Wednesday. Nothing better than skipping out on work (not that you had to be there, I hope), grilling up some burgers and dogs, enjoying some late night fireworks and, of course, a full day and night of baseball. Plenty of action that started nice and early with the Giants and Nationals and wrapped up late with some Padres and Diamondbacks. Bu the real baseball fireworks came out of Houston when word broke that the Astros finally traded Carlos Lee. No, not to the Dodgers like everyone thought would ultimately happen, but to the Miami Marlins. In exchange, they received third base prospect Matt Dominguez and left-handed pitcher Rob Rasmussen. Overall, it looks like a deal that works for everyone.
Usually, you see it all in the show business world. A great comedian, a great singer, some fantastic band performs – it’s a phenomenal performance and the crowd goes absolutely nuts. A standing ovation followed up with, what could seem like an hour of straight cheers and applause. Moments like that aren’t necessarily rare, but when they happen, they stand out like a lone, bright star in a pitch black night. You never want to be the guy who follows that. Some comedian before you kills it, the pressure on you to perform up to those standards is ridiculous. One subpar joke and you’re finished. It’s the same with musical performances. If you follow one of those amazing moments, if you’re not perfect, you’re done.
More often than not, the MLB record books and record-breaking moments have very little impact on the fantasy baseball world. Sure, it’s amazing to see a pitcher win his 300th game or to watch a player get his 3000th hit, but for the sake of the fantasy game, it’s just another win or just another hit. Usually the player already has a high-profile, so his cost is already pretty high and it’s not like you’re plucking a potential Hall of Fame candidate off your league’s waiver wire. But sometimes a record comes to the foreground and brings attention to a player who doesn’t often see the spotlight. That player today is Washington Nationals starter Edwin Jackson.
"Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes…it rains." Apologies for yesterday’s absence, folks. Heavy storms hit the other day and my internet access was wiped out. Obviously there’s no reason to backtrack as you can’t go back in time and adjust your fantasy lineups, so we’ll just move “forward” so to speak and hit you with the latest action and news from Thursday. However, since I’m not feeling my usual snarky and clever self, we’ll just get right to the big stuff.