Players get hot and cold over a seven-day period, it’s as sure as the samples are small.
That is why Katy created the Hot ‘N’ Cold All-stars.
Lately I’ve had too many meandering thoughts to give you something consistently coherent.
Thoughts such as: Remember last year when I gave periodic updates on my running? Well, I’m somewhat ashamed to admit, but it took me a long time to get back to good fitness after I fractured a bone in my left heel, but I have. Last night, I ran five miles in 34:53 – which I was stoked about. I’ve been out of town recently, so I haven’t been to the grocery store, which means no bananas, which means my calves are rocks right now – but it was worth it. Oh – and what I’m actually ashamed to admit – I listened to the Dixie Chicks cover of “You Cant Hurry Love” three times, grooved to some Fallout Boy, Kanye (Stronger, please), Pat Green, and, of course Katy Perry!
Meandering thought number two: why cant people use automated machines? It is 2010 people, and we’re almost done with it. The CVS stores in D.C. have instituted automated tellers and it takes me about 30 seconds to pay with a credit card – you have to push like four buttons! Yet other people need assistance, get confused, try to pay with cash, come on – it’s a plastic world! I’m grateful for Bank of America leading the way in ATM functionality, but recently I stood behind someone for four minutes as they couldn’t figure out how to slide their card in and out – then they kept inserting checks upside down. I had more checks and spent half the time!
Last meandering thought: luck and fantasy are intertwined. This is more present in football because there are 12-14 games total, so there is a super small sample size. Further, it’s really hard to know which teams are good and bad. Nevertheless luck is involved in fantasy baseball as well (and I’m not necessarily talking about FIP, BAbip, HR/FB, etc.). So I’m going to take this spot to thank my good luck charm, my girlfriend. First, I’ve allowed her to open several of my baseball card packs lately – she was 2/2 in landing me Topps Million Card unlocks and got me the retro looking Cal Ripken card. Then, last night, when she opened a Topps 1987 pack (complete with 13-year-old bubble gum that she thinks is gross) she pulled the Barry Bonds rookie – not too shabby. But I must thank her for demanding I select Carlos Gonzalez in my NL-only keeper league – he has more than made up for the Nate McLouth (outright dropped) and Jason Bay (mercifully traded) terrible picks.
Hopefully reading the below will ignite the neurons that lead to an h2h or roto championship!
‘Cause you’re hot…you’re yes…you’re in…you’re up
Danny Espinosa – In one game against the hapless Mets, Espinosa made a life-long dream come true by hitting a grannie. Over the last seven days he has batted .400, hit three HRs and added nine RBIs – most of the damage done against the Mets on Tuesday September 7 (two HRs, six RBIs). Still, he wasn’t doing anything super spectacular in the minors (.268 with 22 HRs). For the time being, however, he is someone of interest in NL-only leagues.
JJ Hardy – Maybe because I loved the Hardy Boys books growing up, I’ve simply transferred that love to JJ Hardy. He hasn’t done much this year until recently (.400 AVG, one HR and nine RBIs over the last seven days). With all the crap people are running out there in the middle infield, I’d definitely give Hardy a long look going forward.
Russell Branyan – People need power, right? I hear all this noise about this being the year of the pitcher (it isn’t really, but whatever), yet people let Branyan (four Hrs over the last seven days) sit on the wire? Ditto for Jim Thome. Remember, chicks dig the long ball.
Logan Morrison – I’ve written about Morrison intermittently over the year. He was someone I thought had a clearer path than Mike Stanton to the majors because of Morrison’s approach at the plate. While I was wrong about who would reach the majors first, I’m pretty confident that Morrison will be a more reliable fantasy player. He simply avoids outs. Over the last seven days he has a .440 AVG and has scored eight runs. In 151 MLB ABs, he has a .318 AVG and .431 OBP. When you get on base that much you score. If you need runs, he is a must add.
Dexter Fowler – Fowler is another of my and Katy’s favorites. He’s had an up and down year, but has put together an impressive seven-day stretch: .345 AVG and six runs. In just 358 ABs this season, Fowler has managed to lead the league in triples, and while the average isn’t nice (.251 on the year), he flat-out gets on base (.350 OBP in 2010, .363 last year, and .399 over six minor league seasons). Clearly he is a darling in OBP leagues and less so in AVG ones, but he’ll score for you.
Seth Smith – Speaking of the Rockies, Seth Smith seems to make late-season cameos on Katy Perry’s All-stars quite frequently – and with good reason. Over the last seven days, he hit .353, hit a homerun and scored seven runs. For those of you tallying at home, that brings him to 17 round trippers on the year. He is an under-the-radar 20-HR producer. He is also someone who is easily utilized: don’t start him against lefties (career against southpaws: .190/.267/.331) or away (career on the road: .245/.316/.400). So if he has a week with lots of home games against righties, grab him.
Chris Capuano – Fact: four years ago Capuano was fantasy relevant. Fact: over the last seven days Capuano was a fantasy star (12 IPs, one win, a 1.50 ERA and 0.83 WHIP). Those innings were accumulated against St. Louis and Philadelphia – not exactly Pittsburgh and San Diego. But is he useful going forward? Sort of. Basically he is what he was four long years ago: a pitcher with an ERA around 4.00 who will strike-out 7.90 batters per nine innings. I think you’ll be surprised at how useful a line like that is.
John Lannan – With all the Nationals making Katy Perry’s All-stars lately, you’d think they were the best team ever and this is yet another appearance for John Lannan. Over the last seven days, Lannan struck out seven, won a ball game and posted a 1.29 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. Obviously a super small sample size and the outing was against Pittsburgh. Further, he doesn’t really strike anyone out (4.48 per nine in his career), so, unless he is pitching against the Pirates, there have to be better options out there.
Dillon Gee – Yes, Dillon Gee is a real person’s name. And, no, he was not a member of the Bee Gees. Gee had an impressive debut (seven IPs, one win, a 1.29 ERA and 0.71 WHIP), during which he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. According to Amazin’ Avenue, Gee is the Mets #20 best prospect and “has the unfortunate stigma of being a small right handed pitcher with a mediocre fastball.” He had a 4.96 ERA in the minors this year and wasn’t much better last year (4.10). While he has shown some promise at the lower levels, it’s unlikely that Gee will be much help for fantasy teams.
Carlos Zambrano – Way back on August 5, I said Carlos Zambrano was prime to be a useful player down the stretch. Since that time, in six starts, he has four wins, a 1.98 ERA and 30 Ks in 36.1 IPs. Most notably, Big Z dominated the Mets (sure I know, it’s the hapless Mets) over the last seven days, striking out eight batters, posting a 2.57 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP. I like him as an above average match-ups play going forward.
Derek Holland – I’m not sure my man-love has been fully documented for Holland yet – he has a long and successful career ahead of him. So, let me let his last seven days of performance tell a tale, a tale of 13 Ks in 11.1 IPs, a sublime 3.18 ERA and miniscule 1.06 WHIP. For the year he is posting an 8.85 K-rate, with a 4.31 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. That k-potential doesn’t normally sit unowned on the wire. Go, seek him out and let him lead you to a championship.
Then you’re cold…then you’re no…then you’re out…then you’re down
Daisuke Matsuzaka – We saw a lot of the bad of Dice-K over the last seven days (10.1 IPs, 10.45 ERA and 1.84 WHIP). But there was some good, namely 10 Ks. So while he mercilessly destroyed your ratios, he did help you in Ks. I still like Matsuzaka as a fantasy asset however, he just makes your work for it. If Matsuzaka is starting for you late in the week, you’ll have a clear picture on what you need. If you need Ks and aren’t worried about ERA and WHIP, Dice-K is great, if you need to help your ratios, you need to bench or drop Dice-K. It’s pretty simple. At the start of the week, I’d be careful about using him because he can do some irrevocable harm. I will add that he is subject to the whims of the strand rate more so than some other pitchers because he walks so many batters (4.14 per nine IPs).
Bronson Arroyo – I am always happy to get twitter questions, but it sometimes makes me a bit nervous. A good follower of mine asked whether he should start Arroyo this week or Zambrano. I cited Arroyo’s success against and in Colorado, but ultimately thought Big Z was the better pitcher, so you should roll the dice with him. Thankfully, Arroyo pitched poorly and hasn’t done well over the last seven days (10.1 IPs, five Ks, an 8.71 ERA and 1.65 WHIP). While Arroyo typically pitches well at the end of the year (3.40 ERA/1.18 WHIP in 390 September/October innings), his 4.09 ERA is a bit of a mirage this year (.245 BAbip). I’d be real careful about how I use Arroyo down the stretch.
Andre Ethier – Ethier has been abysmal lately (3/20 over the last seven days and 26/101 over the last 30). He is getting murdered by southpaws — .224/.277/.336. So only start him when he is facing a righty starting pitcher.
Jose Lopez – Why is he owned in 37% of Yahoo! leagues? He went 5/27 last week, 24/103 over the last 30 days and 125/525 over the season. He has been brutal – drop him for anyone, please.
James Loney – The Dodgers are a listless bunch – they have the out-of-contention malaise going big time. Loney hasn’t escaped the disease (4/17 over the last seven days; 21/97 over the last 30 days). What’s worse? The 69% owned first baseman has all of nine HRs this season. Please drop him for the 41% owned Gaby Sanchez or 12% owned Logan Morrison. Either player is like way more valuable
All stats as of noon September 9, 2010
FB101’s 411: Be sure you know how to judge a hot streak. Russell Branyan, Logan Morrison, Carlos Zambrano and Derek Holland make good adds. Keep your eye on Danny Espinosa, JJ Hardy, Dillon Gee, Seth Smith, Dexter Fowler, and Chris Capuano. You are allowed to give up on Jose Lopez and James Loney.
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