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And we’re back! Nothing like a little holiday weekend to throw you off your schedule, huh? Hopefully you used your time over the weekend wisely and stayed on top of things rather than fall into the usual traps and miss a day or two of the news and events. All too often we see people “check out” for the weekend and the next thing they know, they’ve lost two guys to injury, another gets demoted to Triple-A, they’ve missed out on two different rookie call-ups and the early games on Monday come and they haven’t adjusted their lineup. It may only be one week, but that’s how it all starts. That’s how your lead in the standings starts to dwindle and all that you built starts to come down.
With the usual shorter slate of games on Thursday, we’re going to skip the usual format and go with one of those game by game, stream of consciousness-style round-ups again. As a matter of fact, I think we’re going to make this a regular thing for Monday and Thursday nights as it allows us to take a broader look at what’s going on throughout MLB with respect to the fantasy world. This should actually help with waiver wire selections, especially for those who are in leagues with daily roster moves and transactions. So without further ado, let’s take a look at what happened Thursday and what we can expect, fantasy-wise, moving forward.
I've been sick, so there is precious little brain power I currently have at the moment for any grand unifying theory. The upshot of that is the fact that there really is no theme with today's piece. I just looked at the news of the day and pulled out a bunch of bits that caught my eye. A $125 million player stinks. A set of rookies are off to strong starts. Will one or both be able to sustain that? An all-star catcher returns to the fold down south. A handful of outfielders, with varying pedigrees and levels of success, will also be discussed. I told you there was no plan this week.
Hi everyone. I’m thrilled to be contributing to Fantasy Alarm’s coverage of this part-time hobby, full-time obsession we call fantasy baseball. I’ll be dropping by each week to share some thoughts, discuss some strategy and hopefully have a little fun. Today we will take a look at Starting Pitching and the numbers you need to remain competitive in your league as well as which players have become eligible at new positions this week.
Everyone wants to get their hand on this years Mike Trout or Bryce Harper. Folks, there isn't going to be a Trout or Harper this season. That doesn't mean that one, two or a handful of rookies won't have a significant fantasy impact – they certainly will – but elite production like that duo offered last season rarely comes for from guys in their first full season. In this piece we'll discuss some of the youngsters that everyone is asking questions about on a daily basis. A couple are already in the big leagues trying to make the case that they deserve to be every day player this season, while a handful of others are chomping at the bit in the minors trying to prove they deserve a shot in the bigs.
At no point in the season do 50 at-bats or 18 innings mean more than they do right now. A guy goes out and hits .222 in spring and people drop that player 14 spots in their rankings. Another player hits .386 and guess what, he's now a potential breakout star in fantasy baseball. I always caution people not to read too much into small sample sizes, and I also tell people not to put an overabundance of value into spring stats. Maybe a batter faced a lot of Double and Triple-A pitchers and he hit .480 off them. Maybe he hit only .190 against big league arms. You see him hitting .320 and think he's had a great spring. Is that really accurate? Maybe a pitcher, unconcerned with the results, went out and threw his curve ball 40 percent of the time and got hammered because he was working on honing a new grip with the pitch. Does he all of a sudden stink? The bottom line is that spring numbers don't always tell the whole story. I'll touch on a few players though that really stood out this spring and give you my thoughts on what some reasonable expectations should be for the players in 2013.
As we head into the final two scoring periods of the season, fantasy baseball owners have some tough decisions to make. Do you stick with those that got you here or do you try to infuse some new blood into your team and play the hot bat regardless of what type of overall player they may be. Do you continue to start Brandon Phillips who is batting just .191 over his last 50 at-bats or do you switch it up to the red-hot Logan Forsythe who is batting .404 with two home runs, eight RBI and two stolen bases over the last two weeks? It’s not always the recommended choice, but in some cases, it just might behoove you to make an alteration or two.
Tim Lincecum is the worst pitcher ever. Alex Gordon has been a massive disappointment. Mike Napoli is flipping killing my fantasy team. I hear comments like that on a daily basis from people. Maybe all of the above is true, but there might also be something else going on here. What is that something else? The most obvious situation that has to be addressed is expectations. Were your expectations for a player reasonable given his skill level, age, club situation etc. Second, it's sample size. A quick example. Adam Jones has been a superstar this year, a top-25 performer overall, hitting .289 with 20 homers, 44 RBI, 54 runs and 11 steals. However, were you aware that since the start of June that he's hit .252 with 10 RBIs an a .681 OPS? Yeah, he's been pretty bad of late. So that brings me to the heart of today's article --- sample size. What does it mean, when is it important, and how should you work with it?
It was just 17 days ago when Philip Humber stepped onto the mound for the White Sox and took his place in baseball history forever when he threw the league’s 21st perfect game. 27 up, 27 down. No hits and no walks. Utter perfection. He will have that moment for the rest of his life and the story of how he perfectly disposed of the Seattle Mariners on that fateful Saturday night will be passed down from generation to generation in the Humber family.
Usually this section is reserved for one item in particular that either grabs my attention or something specific that really sticks in my craw – wow, do I sound like an 82 year old man yelling at kids to stay off of my lawn when I use that expression? – and commands my undivided attention. But with so much happening in the baseball world right now, I can’t even bring myself to focus on just one topic. Blame baseball for being so damn exciting or blame my scattered thought on sleep deprivation. Whatever the case may be, I’m going to break from our usual format and just hit you with some rapid fire baseball thoughts that are wrap up the events of yesterday and impact the fantasy baseball community at the same time.