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So I’m a little late on posting some highlights from Sunday’s games, but with the limited game slate not starting until 7 PM (eastern) here on Monday, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, it just might be beneficial right now as there’s a bit of Monday morning news that might be worthwhile for you as you’re still able to make lineup changes and roster moves in most leagues. If your waiver period has ended, well, maybe there’s some food for thought here for next week. In the meantime, let’s just touch on a few things you’ll need to know moving forward.
By the looks of the way things wrapped up on Saturday, there’s going to be plenty of waiver wire action this week. We saw a few players like Bryce Harper, Brandon McCarthy and Huston Street hit the disabled list while others such as Jacoby Ellsbury and Stephen Strasburg remain banged up. For some, this shouldn’t be much of an issue, but for those who got a little over-eager in the beginning and were making it rain at Club Waivers, you’re going to need to be a little more savvy in your ways as the FAAB budget just ain’t what it used to be.
The fine fantasy action was as abundant on Friday as the night was long and arduous. The Giants and Cardinals were postponed due to tornado warnings in the St. Louis area, the Rays and Indians were delayed by rain for nearly five hours and the Blue Jays and Padres played til the wee hours of the night/morning to finish off a 17-inning extravaganza. We saw old-timers shine, young bucks play like seasoned veterans and we saw some early season strugglers finally emerge from their statistical cocoon. While it wasn’t the offensive fiesta we saw just a couple of nights ago, this one was still jam-packed with plenty of excitement that had fantasy owners on the edge of their seats.
Another Happy Sunday to you all and I hope you’re having an enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend. I’m aware that this weekend is likely filled with all sorts of barbecues and celebrations and your time is limited here so we’re going to make this recap short and sweet today. With so many other distractions in life, including a significant other who is likely standing over you right now wondering why in the world you could be sitting in front of a computer when it’s time to leave for your brother’s house and your kids are in the car waiting, sometimes you just want the straight news. Give me the important stuff, short and sweet, and we can move on from there. So while you’re slathering yourself full of sunscreen right now, here’s a look at the Saturday highlights.
While we were all preparing for the 2013 fantasy baseball season, I did a lot of work examining ADP rankings and many of the trends that were developing in both mock and real drafts right up until Opening Day. What I noticed was that a number of players who were receiving a lot of sleeper hype from the fantasy experts were climbing up draft boards at a fairly rapid rate and were, in my opinion, losing a lot of their value due to the unexpected increase in price you were paying for their services. They were the guys most of us coveted somewhere around the 18th round but were suddenly going as high as the eighth or ninth because the players went from unknown sleeper to mainstream selection. I called them the trendy picks and it’s now time to check in with some of them and see how their respective seasons are going.
Given the way the Red Sox pitching staff has opened the season, it’s hard to argue against any decision John Farrell makes. So when he opted to go with Junichi Tazawa for his new closer instead of the well-proven Koji Uehara, there was little backlash from the fantasy community. Sure, there were some grumblings from the eager-beaver waiver hounds who remain glued to their league’s waiver wire and snatched up Uehara moments after Joel Hanrahan was hurt, but most of them were still fairly quick on the draw the following morning when it was announced that the choice made was actually Tazawa.
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!
It’s been a fairly rough week for yours truly here, not just in real life (hence the absence for the majority of the week), but in the fantasy racket as well. Injuries have been absolutely brutal to all of my fantasy teams during this young season and Friday turned out to be yet another dark and dismal day in my attempts to climb back into contention. Obviously there’s plenty more to come, but when your team is sitting in a relatively deep hole and you continue to lose players faster than you are getting them back, the fantasy doldrums seem a lot like a permanent residence than just a temporary situation.
While the month of April gets ready to wrap, fantasy owners should realize that there is still plenty of work to do to get their teams ready for a long and arduous season. The offseason prep work, the draft, and the early-season waiver hunting may be your foundation, but now you have a five-month long process of taking that foundation and building it into a championship. You now have to keep an astute eye on the waiver wire, explore some possible trades that will help your team in the long run, track injuries, and most of all, pay close attention to the daily happenings around MLB. You’ve got full slates of games five days a week with shorties on Mondays and Thursdays. So much can happen over the course of just one day that missing even just one could be the difference between finishing in the money and standing on the outside looking in. Maybe it sounds silly and a bit over-dramatic to some, but just look at yesterday’s action and the potential fantasy impact…
If you play in multiple fantasy leagues, there’s nothing worse than hitching your wagon to a particular player and watching him struggle to open the year. More often than not, if you believe in the player enough, you’re going to end up with him on as many teams as you can and once you do that, you’re fairly committed to him for the season. A slow start hurts you across the board in your leagues. A major injury can be devastating. For me, that player was Jason Heyward, and while the rest of my team has been working hard to cover for his early-season shortcomings, news of an emergency appendectomy just put everything into, for lack of a better way to say it, a whole new stratosphere of suck.