h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry (Hot ‘N’ Cold Fantasy Baseball) All-Stars

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.

‘Cause you’re hot…you’re yes…you’re in…you’re up

Jordan Schafer – 2009 must seem like a long time ago for Schafer (incidentally a piss-cheap beer one can buy on their way to casinos in Connecticut). In ’09, he started off with a bang before ending up .204/.313/.287 and then there was the suspension. With Nate McLouth being his typical injured/crappy self, Schafer has gotten some run and, well, run with it: 11/31 with eight runs and four steals over the last seven days. He’s at .256/.330/.341 for the season, which is actually better than what he was doing at AAA. He already has seven steals (albeit in 10 attempts) so he should be owned in most deep leagues. However, I find it hard to believe he’ll continue to post an 88% contact rate and miniscule swinging strike percentage. At a certain point, he’ll stop getting on base and then stop stealing. Ride while he’s hot, drop when he’s not.

Scott Sizemore – I’ve always like Grady and Tom, which, by the transitive property, makes me intrigued by Scott. Over the last seven days (8/19) Scott is making Billy Beane look like the guy featured in Moneyball, not this 1987 Topps card. Sizemore, just 26, has absolutely lit up AAA pitching throughout his career. However, his major league numbers .243/.327/.335 leave a bit to be desired. The OBP for a middle infielder isn’t bad, but it has come with no power and no speed. Right now his BABIP (.365) seems a lad high for a guy with a 17.5% line drive rate, so I can’t imagine him continuing to put up a .276/.376 line. The extra base hits haven’t been there (.333 Slugging percentage), so his upside is minimal. He’s a deep leaguer, don’t be fooled by his hot start with the A’s.

James Loney – I hate that I have to write nice things about James Loney (9/25 over his last seven days). So, I won’t do it. He’s nothing other than roster filler in NL-only leagues. We’re looking at 6-7 more HRs if the wind blows out every time he comes to the plate. While his BABIP has suffered this year and his average should be better over the balance of the season, he isn’t going to score any runs and has 45 RBIs in him. That’s not a first baseman, that’s a catcher.

Garrett Jones – Flying under the radar in Pittsburgh (which even Andrew McCutchen is doing and that’s sad), Jones put up a pretty darn good seven-day stretch: 7/17 with a homer and steal. He’s actually been better this year than last, owing to a vastly improved walk rate. If he continues to walk, he can actually push double digit steals pretty easily. He should also get to within sniffing distance of 20 bombs when it’s all said and done. The power/speed will come with a poor average, but he’s pretty serviceable in deep leagues (yet carries a nifty 9% ownership level).

Eduardo Nunez – Nunez is no stranger to the All-stars, making an appearance here. If he keeps putting up seven-day stretches like his last (4/12 with a homer and two SBs), he’ll make Yankees fans forget that Jeter guy like Manny Alexander, er Mike Bordick did Orioles fans and Cal Ripken. Nunez, just 24, was signed seven years ago by the Yankees. He was doing nice work at AAA this year (.289/.340/.381) with 23 steals in 118 games, building off an impressive cup of coffee in the Bigs last season (.280/.321/.360 with five steals in 30 games). I think Nunez is probably the best replacement available for Jeter (unless someone like Dee Gordon hasn’t been gobbled up). His BABIP is in the toilet so far this year, while he is hitting more line drives and less ground balls and swinging and missing less. He could bat .270 and steal 12-15 more bases.

Hideki Matsui – Hideki Matsui, welcome to the party pal! Over the last seven days, Matsui launched two bombs (both on the road at Kansas City, but still). It’s been a disappointing year for everyone involved with the Oakland Athletics, but Matsui is perhaps the most surprising. I really like Matsui going forward. He might be hitting a few more ground balls, but it hasn’t taken away from his line drives, certainly not in a way that would generate a .239 BABIP (compared to .300 for his career). His HR/FB rate is pretty depressed this season as well, but that’s mostly ballpark. If Matsui gets moved, he could be an interesting add in deep leagues. Even if he stays in Oakland, I think he’s good for double digit HRs the rest of the way and could hit for a decent average (.270s).

Justin Ruggiano – First it was Fuld, now it’s Ruggiano. Over the last seven days, Ruggiano has gone 10/23 with a homer and a steal. In his first stint with the Rays since 2008, the 29-year-old is batting .340/.373/.574. He has long torched AAA pitching, but hasn’t gotten much run in the majors. With Desmond Jennings looming and a regression necessary BABIP (.382 paired with a 5.4% line drive rate), it’s hard to see Ruggiano getting much playing time going forward. He’s safe to use while hot in deep leagues, but that’s about it.

Luke Scott – Scott hammered the ball over the last seven days (7/16 with a dinger). He’s actually been hitting better of late (17 for his last 59). He kills the ball at Camden over the summer so there will be an unconscious streak in there somewhere. The injury clouds things a bit, but Scott is good for at least another 12-14 HRs with significant upside. He’s not a 10-teamer but most deeper leagues should see him rostered.

Chris Capuano – I wanted Chris Capuano so bad…in2006 – the last year he was remotely relevant. Quite possibly the best pitcher on your wire, he’s caused some interesting conundrums for fantasy owners. His last seven days (7 IPs, no runs and a 0.71 WHIP) have pushed his ownership levels all the way to 6%. On the year, he has a decent K/BB rate (2.81) and has pushed his swinging strike percentage over 10% for the first time since 2007. Still, he basically is what you see is what you get. He can improve on his ERA a tad, but we’re looking at maybe 4.25-4.35 with a decent WHIP in the mid-1.30s. Still, if he stays healthy, he could be good for another 80-90 Ks, not bad.

Paul Maholm – Since a disastrous outing at the Mets on June 2, Maholm has gone 13 scoreless innings. For the year, he is posting a tidy 3.12 ERA and 1.14 WHIP, which is pretty out of character for him. While he is striking out a tad more batters than he has since 2008, he is walking a decent amount more. His K/BB rate (1.81) is actually lower than his career mark. He is giving up a bit more line drives and fly balls and getting fewer ground balls. He has a .243 BABIP after posting .320+ BABIPs over the last few seasons. ZiPS (U) has Maholm’s final line at 3.82 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. If he ends up there, I’d be somewhat surprised. I just don’t think he can maintain a sub-4.00 ERA with his K/BB rate. I’d be moving him if possible, but, at the least, he has become a Kyle Lohse type.

Josh Outman – In 2009, Outman looked pretty decent. In his 28.2 innings this season, he has an incredibly good 3.14 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. Unfortunately, he has an incredibly few amount of Ks (12). His 3.77 K/9 rate is funky given he has been adept at striking guys out at AAA this year and previously in the majors. Of course, he could just be working his way back from injury. He hasn’t been giving up a ton of line drives and has been getting ground balls, so his .258 BABIP isn’t completely lucky. At the moment, Outman looks like a guy who could finish with an ERA under 4.00, but monitor the swinging strike percentage – unless that goes up, his value is incredibly limited.

JP Howell – Don’t look now, but J.P Howell is back! One of my favorite relievers, he has six Ks in his first seven innings and a save. Sure the ERA/WHIP aren’t pretty, but he’s just getting back to form. He should be rostered in leagues where every save matters. He’ll pick up at least a handful over the rest of the way.

Juan Nicasio – In his last start, Nicasio doubled his amount of Ks. He went six and struck out nine! Nicasio has quickly pitched himself into the intriguing bin. He had a 10.01 K/9 rate at AA this year and has brought his MLB rate up to 6.75, while only walking 1.88 guys per 9. He is getting a tidy ground ball rate and livable swinging strike percentage. I still think he needs a tad more seasoning (given he’s only pitched 56.2 innings above A ball), but he could easily be a spot starter at Los Angeles or San Francisco. I’d gamble on him over Maholm, Outman or Capuano.

Then you’re cold…then you’re no…then you’re out…then you’re down

Chad Billingsley – Life hasn’t been good to Billingsley owners lately (last seven days, two starts, just 8.2 IPs, a 13.50 ERA and 3.12 WHIP). He’s been barely better over the last 30 days as well. He is walking a bit more guys this year than last (but not anymore than in 2009). He is giving up a few more strongly hit balls and getting fewer swings and misses. He just isn’t fooling anyone right now. We can cry all we want about the BABIP, but he isn’t doing much to help his fielders out. Still, he is throwing the same pitches roughly the same amount at roughly the same speeds. Unless he’s hurt, it seems like a location thing. I do expect Billingsley to bounce back, so I wouldn’t trade/drop him. That said, I’d be kind of careful in acquiring him as he looks lost. I’d probably pay $0.60 of his draft day value and only more if I was struggling and needed to catch lightening.

Fausto Carmona – Over the last seven days, Carmona sucked (two starts, nine IPs, a 10.00 ERA and 2.33 WHIP). He has actually pitched better this year than last so far (better K/9 rate and BB/9 rate and more ground balls and swinging strikes) aside from his HR/FB rate, which has basically doubled. He’s not as good as his ERA suggested last year, but he isn’t this bad either. He’s a back end match-ups guy.

Colby Lewis – After his last disastrous outing, how could Lewis not make the squad? There’s something rotten in Arlington with Lewis. His velocity is down across the board and he is throwing a bunch more change-ups and less breaking pitches. He is getting a horrid swinging strike percentage and hitters have turned ground balls into fly balls, which just doesn’t fly in Texas. Still, he isn’t walking anymore guys, so there’s that. At this point, I’m not sure what to make of Lewis. He might be injured, or he might just be working through things. I don’t think you can start him and in 10-teamers he’s droppable, but in deeper leagues, you need to hold and see if he fixes his approach.

Kyle Lohse – Lohse’s career numbers at Busch Stadium: 3.65 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 2.49 K/BB rate. Lohse’s career numbers away: 5.16 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 1.81 K/BB rate. While his away numbers look good this year, it includes starts at San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Houston. His last week saw two bad starts at Washington and at Milwaukee. I like Lohse, he’s a guy you can use with confidence when he is home. Just avoid when he’s away, a blueprint for using a pitcher is highly valuable.

Matt Joyce – a dinged up shoulder and a 1/17 seven-day stretch has started the torrential downpour on Joyce’s 2011 parade. I never thought he was as good as he was going, but at least part of this swoon is due to injury. Going forward, I still see him ending up with an average around .280 and 20 total HRs.

Rajai Davis –His last seven day stretch (3/22) did nothing to calm his owners. Still, even with a .277 OBP, he has 18 steals in 50 games. Davis is, quite simply, striking out a lot more than normal. He has never walked, so the key to him was putting the ball in play in large doses. Without that, he’ll struggle to get on base and subsequently steal second. I don’t see why he can’t get out of this funk (and he did miss time), so I’m standing pat with him. He should be able to work his way back to his usual self.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. […] Matsui: Man, Matsui has come back from outer space over the last seven days: 13/29 with two dingers. It raised his […]


  2. […] Matsui: Man, Matsui has come back from outer space over the last seven days: 13/29 with two dingers. It raised his […]


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