Posts Tagged ‘bobby abreu’

h2h Corner ~ Check You out on the Flip Side: Jeff Suppan

So Jeff Suppan was the Todd Van Poppel of the mid-90s? That was my initial reaction to the blurb on the back of the card.

However, that’s not really true.

As the card points out, Suppan had all the promise and pedigree of a highly touted young pitcher (he had more stuff than fluff which was the case with Van Poppel). And you can’t really fault those press clippings, as Suppan tore through the minors. In 1996, at AAA and just 21-years-old, Suppan had a 5.68 K:BB rate.

For whatever reason, though, his stuff at that time just couldn’t fool major league hitters. While he posted nearly a K per inning in the minors, he struggled to strike out more than five batters per nine with the Red Sox. After three unsuccessful seasons and 39 appearances (29 starts) with a 5.99 ERA, 1.60 WHIP and 1.83 K:BB rate, the Red Sox left him unprotected in the 1997 expansion draft* and the Diamondbacks pounced (that’s probably a poor onomatopoeia).

He pitched horribly for Arizona and they soon sold him to Kansas City. While his tenure with the Royals was unspectacular, he pitched over 200 innings during each of his four full years there (from 1999-2002), combining for a 4.79 ERA, 1.42 WHIP and 1.60 K:BB rate. Dude just ate innings, pitching the seventh most during that span – just behind Livan Hernandez, Mike Mussina, Greg Maddux, Curt Schilling, Tom Glavine and Randy Johnson.

After 2002, he signed as a free agent with the Pirates, who quickly traded him and Brandon Lyon to the Red Sox for Mike Gonzalez, Freddy Sanchez and dollar dollar bills. Talk about a deal involving some average players who ended up making serious bank. It was a one-year deal, so Suppan found himself a free agent again in 2003.

That’s when he met the god that is Dave Duncan. From 2004-2006, he threw 572 innings for the Cardinals, posting a 3.95 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and 1.67 K:BB rate. Sure it was mostly smoke and mirrors, but that’s some quality durability.

He also came through when it matted. He went 3-3 in the post-season for the Cardinals during that stretch and dominated the New York Mets in 2006. He threw 15 innings and allowed one earned run. He was the MVP of the NLCS that year and even took Steve Trachsel (a very similar pitcher) deep in game three.

After his splendid 2006 regular and post season, Suppan was treated to a four-year $42 million contract by the Brewers (good gosh, my golly, what a folly). He pitched wretchedly for the Brewers, prompting one fan to put Suppan up for sale on eBay.

He was eventually released, but scooped up by the Cardinals. He posted a 3.84 ERA, 1.49 WHIP and 1.32 K:BB rate for the Cardinals in 70.1 IPs during 2010. That would be his last season in the majors.

While I was able to mention Suppan in the same breath as Maddux in this piece, he never lived up to those press clippings. However, the $58 million he earned in his playing time, the NLCS MVP, 2006 World Champion and 12.8 WAR suggest he was a far better player than Van Poppel ever was (TVP was worth -2.1 WAR during his career).

*Man, there were four total All-stars in that draft (although possibly a Hall of Famer in Bobby Abreu). One All-star, Damian Miller, I vaguely remember as a subpar catcher. While I was annoyed Esteban Yan was gone from the Orioles, it didn’t hurt as much as Aaron Ledesma being scooped up in the final round. I was 15 when he played for the Orioles – I had no clue he was 26 at the time as I had never heard of him. That year was magical for the Orioles (at least for awhile) and I remember an 11-3 loss to the Tigers pretty well. Jimmy Key continued his second half swoon and Esteban Yan compounded the damage, but a scrappy infielder went 2-4, raising his average to .345. Ledesma hit .352 that year for the Orioles but didn’t make a postseason appearance. The following year he hit .324 for Tampa Bay, then would be out of baseball two years later. The only two HRs he ever hit were for the Orioles and he finished with a .296/.338/.365 line. His dWAR seems average, so I’m surprised his bat never stuck. Maybe he just wasn’t that good…like Luis Mercedes.

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Lock, Stock and Taking Stock, Part 3 for Razzball

Lock, Stock and Taking Stock, Part 3



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

Miguel Olivo – Exiled to the offensive haven that is Seattle, Olivo hasn’t been on a lot of fantasy radars. However, over the last seven days, Olivo smacked four dingers and collected 11 RBIs. Of course he batted .240, but come on, he’s Miguel Olivo. This power binge likely represents the best stretch of the year for Olivo. But, he can still put up 9 – 10 more dingers. If you need power, go ahead, just make sure you can alleviate the horrid batting average that comes with it.

Mark Reynolds – Speaking of horrid batting averages and power, Reynolds hit three homers and went 5/17 over the last seven days. He does have seven round trippers in his last 83 ABs, however, he is hitting just .229 during that stretch. As the summer heats up Camden Yards, Reynolds’ power stroke should come with it. I think he’s good for 20 more HRs and 10 more steals, of course that will come with a batting average within sight of the Mendoza line.

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

Immanuel Kant, one of the craziest thinkers I’ve ever encounter (I hate the Critique of Pure Reason), created something called the categorical imperative. Basically, it was one tenet that would govern all actions. When you boil it down, Kant thought a person should only do something that everyone should be allowed to do, or in his words: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.”

This got Kant into some sticky trouble when it comes to lying to save a life. The example goes: say someone runs into your house with a murderer hot on their heels. The polite murderer rings your doorbell and asks if the intended victim is inside. According to Kant’s morality, you have to respond that the person is inside because an act is moral not because of its consequences, but in and of itself. If you were to lie in this circumstance that would mean it was okay to lie in every instance of this circumstance, and, thusly, the soon-to-be murderer would know you were lying.

I’m not a big categorical imperative fan. I believe the outcome of actions should have a bearing on morality (and our rule of law, haphazard as it might be, somewhat reflects this, i.e., if you drive drunk and kill someone you get a higher penalty than simply driving drunk).

In my view, outcomes matter, I’m not as worried about how you get there. The same goes for fantasy baseball, especially head-to-head. All you have to do is win, it really doesn’t matter how. I routinely win h2h leagues with teams, that if it had been roto, would have finished in the middle of the pack.

At about this point in the year/week, you know what categories you are strong in. If Morneau zapped your power and there isn’t much to be had on the wire, it’s time to switch tactics. Look to gobble up speed demons – field an outfield of Jose Tabata, Juan Pierre and Michael Bourn and assure yourself of certain categories early in the week, and then try to focus on those you remain close in. If you go out to an early 8-2 lead in wins, it’s time to load up on relievers to massage those ratios and turn in some saves. Continue reading

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.

Loyal readers – we can all breathe a sigh of relief, as, at long last, Katy Perry has “reclaimed her position as queen of airplay.” Since California Gurls took the summer by storm, Katy has worked hard to climb back to the top spot – this time with Teenage Dream.

Really, it’s about time. And it’s about time for you to reclaim your spot at the top of your h2h pyramid. Most leagues are either in the play-offs or in the last week of the regular season.

For those in the play-offs, know your tie-breaker. If you own the tie-breaker, you only have to win five categories that week. So, look at your past history against your opponent and try to identify the categories you are going after. I recommend streaming pitchers as much as possible to secure wins and Ks. If you have good relievers, you can then scoop up saves, meaning you only have to secure two hitting categories for the win.

If you are in the last week of contention, be sure you know what you need to secure a play-off spot. In my most competitive league, I have a three game lead. Basically, all I have to do is go 5-5 (the likelihood of the second place team winning 8-2 or 9-1) is very small, so I’m focused on gobbling up categories. Now is the time to study and come out with a game plan for getting back on top. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry (Hot ‘N’ Cold) 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.

In case you haven’t heard California Girls, I’ll provide ample links. In case you were living under a rock, I’ll let you know that “Katy Perry is on course to be the big hit of the summer in the US.”

It’s all well and good (especially the song and, well, everything about her), but the summer really only started. Similarly, we are just passed the half way point in fantasy baseball. While it’s great to be atop the standings right now, you have a ton of work to do. Take the All-star break to assess your categorical weaknesses. See which waiver wire darlings can fill those weaknesses and pounce. There is a reason they call late July/August the dog days – it gets hot, bodies break down. This isn’t the time for timidity, but rather bold moves.

So, which waiver wire gems should you be adding to your arsenal? Who should you give a little rope to? Read (below)! Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry (Hot ‘N’ Cold) 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.

As I’ve no doubt discussed, Katy Perry is set to marry some dude named Russell Brand, who has something (nothing) to do with BP, but will be the reason the U-S-A beats England in soccer (yeah right). Anyway, he recently worked on a movie with P-Diddy. According to a recent taletela story, it will be up to Katy whether the Did-meister partakes in Mr. Brand’s stag party.

See, this story illustrates why it’s always helpful to get a second opinion (which is why I answer every question posed to @h2h_corner on twitter). So, for the next XXX words, I’ll play Katy Perry and you play Russell Brand. I’ll tell you who should or should not be attending your next fantasy stag party.

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

Austin Kearns – Man, Kearns hasn’t had a seven stretch period (nine runs, two HRs, two SBs and a .423 AVG) like he just had since he killed the ball in 2006. The 10 percent owned Kearns is having his best season batting-average wise. Of course, he’s been a tad lucky (.410 BAbip compared to .305 for his career). So, don’t expect him to hit much more than .265 or so for the rest of the year. Still, he could end up with 80 runs, 15 HRs, 70 RBIs and 10 SBs. That ain’t bad. I’m a serious buyer in AL-only and a moderate buyer in 12-teamers. In deeper than 12-team mixed, he showed be owned.

Sean Rodriguez – With the recent injury to Jason Bartlett, SeanRod has seen increased playing time. Over the last seven days, he belted two HRs and hit .364. The average will likely never be there (he has 101 Ks in 113 MLB games), but he does have some power potential and second base eligibility. If you need power, he’s a good speculative add, just be weary of the average downside.

Aubrey Huff – Stand up if you didn’t think Aubrey Huff was done. Okay, Mama Huff you can sit down now. Last week Huff put a hurting on the baseball (two HRs, two SBs and a .320 AVG). Don’t expect any sort of speed going forward (he has never stolen more than eight bases), but he is a career .283 hitter. He presents a great buy in NL-only, 12-teamers and deeper. He seems to be a cheap source of batting average and RBIs.

Justin Smoak – Maybe the vanquishing of the “real” smoke monster allowed Smoak to shirk his bad luck and start smacking the ball around. Over the last seven days, Smoak hit .409 with six runs and seven RBIs. He appears to have been pretty unlucky this year (.243 BAbip), so his batting average should be fine from here on out. He represents a good buy in all leagues.

Blake DeWitt – Those in deep leagues with a need to fill the middle infield slot should take a look at DeWitt. Over the last week, he hit .444 and knocked in eight runs. He could be a double digit HR guy with a decent average (.270) from here on out. The Dodgers seem willing to stick with him and he has been producing, and, more importantly, not hurting squads.

Trevor Crowe – I told you to pick Crowe up a few weeks ago, yet he is only one percent owned. Hopefully he raised some eyebrows with his last seven days (six runs, three steals). If you need cheap speed (and who doesn’t really?), Crowe should be on your short list. He won’t do much else, but he is batting lead-off for the Indians and will be all season now that Grady Sizemore is again on the DL.

Jonathan Niese – What a week for Niese: 16 IPs, two wins, 12 Ks, a 0.56 ERA and 0.50 WHIP. Nine of those spectacular innings came against the Padres, so there is a bit of a caveat here. In addition, his BAbip in those two starts was .171. So don’t expect him to remain this dominant. However, he has pitched admirably in the minors (8.2 K/9) and has turned in a decent 2010 K rate (7.1). He is certainly streamable in most leagues and ownable in NL-only and 20-teamers.

Justin Masterson – The K-upside with Masterson is tantalizingly. The fact that he can’t get a lefty out (they hit .306 against him) leaves his WHIP murderous. However, his last two starts have been real good: 14.2 IPs, two wins, seven Ks and a 0.61 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. That includes a complete game, six-K effort against Boston. He is certainly streamable everywhere and now ownable in 12-teamers. In 10-teamers with deep benches, I’d also, speculatively, be buying. Still, be wary of lefty-heavy line-ups.

Felipe Paulino – Of the three pitchers mentioned here, I am most comfortable advocating for Paulino. Paulino owns a career 8.1 K/9 rate. That’s impressive. What’s more impressive? His last seven days: 16 IPs, 14 Ks, a 1.69 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. He is ownable everywhere based on his K-potential. He can come to my stag party any time! (That sounded weird).

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

AJ Burnett – When he is on, Burnett can carry a team from week to week. When he is off, well it gets ugly. The last seven days haven’t been pretty (seven Ks, a 7.11 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP). But, even with those horrendous two starts, Burnett is on pace to post his best WHIP and ERA in three years. There is one concern: he is only striking out 6.4 batters per nine innings. For his career, he Ks about 8.3 hitters. However he has been able to maintain a 2.07 BB/K rate, which is better than last year. So he is walking fewer batters than he normally does. If you were expecting a dominant K performer, that might not be the case this year. Still, it is possible that when he starts K-ing batters (and if he can keep his walk rate down), he’ll have some great weeks.

Derek Lowe – why does anyone own him? He is terrible.

Scott Baker – Scott Baker had a bad ERA from two starts last week (6.57). He had a decent WHIP (1.30), but relatively few Ks (just five). His 2010 WHIP (1.36), while not horrible, is much worse than his last two seasons’ average (1.18). He is also striking out about 0.7 batters less per game than he did over the last two seasons. Here is why you shouldn’t worry: Baker is a perennial second half dominator. His career ERA in the second half is 1.2 points lower. Don’t cut bait just yet. You’ve waited this long, might as well keep him around until the All-star break.

Jason Bay – There is no getting around Bay’s useless last seven days (.143 average and just one RBI). People who are worried about him need to look at his historical output in August and September/October, as these are two of his best months. He doesn’t perform all that well in July, but if you trade him now, you’ll be selling low and regret it come the home stretch.

Adam Lind – There isn’t much you can do with Lind. You can’t trade him for anything of real value. Even if you do part ways, the risk of him picking it up on an opponent’s squad far outweighs what miniscule return you could pocket. His last week provided no hope (.136 AVG), but he is changing his approach. In shallow leagues, sure feel free to drop him if there is good OF talent available. In deeper leagues, I’m keeping him on my bench against lefties, starting him against bad righties and hoping he gets his swagger back. I have faith.

Bobby Abreu – Over the last seven days, Abreu hit .087 with one HR and three RBIs. All seven games were on the road. On the season, he is hitting .100 points lower on the road. However, there was virtually no difference in his output home or away in 2009. I’m chalking this up to a few months aberration. Still, I wouldn’t fault you for sitting Abreu on the road until he figures it out. Clearly, though, he is a must start at home.

All stats as of June 11

FB101’s 411: Be sure you know how to judge a hot streak. Paulino and Smoak make good adds. Keep your eye on Crowe, Kearns, Huff, Masterson, Niese, DeWitt and Rodriguez. You are allowed to give up on Derek Lowe and sort of give up on Adam Lind.

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h2h Corner ~ I’m a Believer: April Edition

Apparently, I like to write serial columns (Keep, Trade or Drop, Closer Carousel and Katy Perry All-stars), and this will be no exception. Welcome to April’s “I’m a Believer” column. Continue reading