Posts Tagged ‘Javier Vazquez’

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

 Jose Constanza – I’ve resisted writing about Constanza for as long as humanly possible. But, as noted in the Chicken Roaster episode from Seinfeld, you just can’t shake the name or the jingle “By Mennen.” Alright readers, I’ll be honest, the first time I heard about Constanza, I found him very irritating, but after seeing him play for a couple of times, he sorta got stuck in my head, Constanza! Well, over the last seven days, the plucky fourth outfielder has gone 10/23 with a homer and three steals. After looking like a promising little player in 2008 (at AA for the Indians he went .282/.378/.342 with 49 steals), Constanza hasn’t done much of note. Even that impressive season is marred by the fact that he was repeating the level. Constanza’s one positive attribute, speed, is rendered nearly void by the fact that he hasn’t figure out how to walk or really get on base without a BABIP north of .360. His MLB BABIP sits at .450 this year despite a paltry line drive rate (15.4%) and massive ground ball rate (69.2%). He doesn’t swing and miss, so he will put the ball in play, and we all know how many seeing eye grounders it takes to turn a .250 hitter into a .300 hitter, but he’s never going to get on base enough to make his speed matter. His upside is a slightly broken down version of Juan Pierre.

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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.

I know you’re just waiting for football to start (Go Eagles!), but, for those of you still winning, I’ll post some quick guys to think about down the stretch, then you can get back to football.

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

Jim Thome – For some reason, I’ve written a ton about Thome this year, maybe it’s because he keeps putting together pretty good seven day stretches (most recent = three HRs and a .455 AVG). The dude has 21 HRs on the year. If you need power, he’s available and willing to relocate.

Ryan KalishLost in the Red Sox lost season is the work Kalish has been doing. Over the last seven days, he has two steals and a .333 AVG. He got on base in the minors (.284 AVG and .372 OBP) and swiped bases and a nifty clip (84% success rate), so he could be a cheap source of steals and runs down the stretch. There could be an adjustment period, though, so don’t go adding him if you are worried about your ratio categories.

Austin Jackson – Left for dead not too long ago, Jackson has been doing work lately (eight runs and a .310 AVG over the last seven days). He is still existing based on a ridiculous BAbip (.418), but he has shown the ability to stay hot. During his hot streaks, he’ll score and steal a ton. I don’t see any reason not to add him at the moment. When he starts to strike-out again (which he will), simply dump him.

Ike Davis – The Ike test might be a great generational question. When you say the name Ike, who does it remind you of, the character from South Park or a former general turned president? Well, for Mets fans, if Ike Davis turns in seven day stretches like he has recently (two HRs and a .364 AVG), they’ll forget all about the animated series and 34th president. While his average won’t help you, he does have 17 HRs on the year. See if he continues his recent surge and, if so, add him.

Nick Hundley – I had a billion Todd Hundley rookie cards when I was a kid, which makes me kind of despise Nick Hundley. However, Nick has been real good over the last seven days (two HRs, seven RBIs). In fact, over his last 40 ABs, he has hit .293. Unlike, say, Miguel Olivo, Hundley won’t destroy your batting average. Sure he doesn’t hit for a ton of power, but you can do a lot worse at catcher.

Jordan Zimmerman – It is always nice to see players bounce back from injuries. In this case, Zimmerman has come back from a lengthy lay-off to get major league hitters out – no small feat (just ask Brien Taylor). Over the last seven days, Zimmerman pitcher 10 innings, struck out 11 and posted a 0.90/0.80 ERA/WHIP. He won’t throw a ton of innings, so his value is limited. However, in the interim, there is nothing wrong with someone who is going to strike-out a batter an inning.

Ian Desmond – I swear, even though I live in D.C., I’m not a Nats fan. Katy Perry, even though she wants to establish residency in a far inferior country, just seems to like the gleam in their player’s eyes. Desmond has long been a favorite and keeps putting up usable weeks (five runs, four RBIs and a .476 AVG). You can (and probably are) doing much worse at the middle infield position.

Luke French – It’s easy to overlook what French has done this year (just 26 Ks in 59.1 IPs), however he keeps putting up useable turns (seven shutout IPs and a 0.57 WHIP over the last seven days). He has been a tad lucky (.250 BAbip) so his season-long ERA (3.64) is a bit nicer than it should be. However, I see no problem with spot-starting him at home against weaker hitting ball clubs.

Chris Sale – Awhile back, I spoke with Joel Henard about the Chris Sale call-up. At the time, the White Sox bull-pen was in fine form, so I saw Sale as nothing other than an incredibly useful situational lefty. Well, over the last week, with relievers not getting their Rolaids, Sale struck out five batters over 4.2 IPs, got a win and a save and didn’t allow a run. For those chasing saves, he is a pretty attractive option.

Madison Bumgarner – For some reason, I find Bumgarner’s name distasteful, like a mouth-full of sand. Anyway, that’s about all I can find distasteful, as he keeps putting up solid turn after solid turn. Over the last seven days, he hurled 13.1 IPs, struck out nine and posted a 0.68/1.05 ERA/WHIP. He has been a tad lucky with a strand rate near 80%, but other than that he is a super useful pitcher. He is a nice add in mid-sized leagues.

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

Tommy Hunter – What a great name! He’s no Tommy Gunn, but, well, Gunn did end up in the trash, while Hunter should simply end up in the free agent pool. Seriously how many weeks does he have to have like the most recent (12.2 IPs, only seven Ks and a 6.39 ERA and 1.58 WHIP) before you drop him? On the year, he has a .257 BAbip and 80.7% strand rate – he has been real lucky. While his ERA is a smidge below 4.00, he has pitched much more like a pitcher with a mid-5.00 ERA. Do yourself (not your opponent) a favor and drop him for, say, Madison Bumgarner.

Javier Vazquez – The thing people haven’t realized about Vazquez is that, even amid his horrific year, he’s been lucky! That’s hard to do. Yet people still went out and added him when he got a rotation spot back. Well, he rewarded them, with 4.2 IPs, a 9.64 ERA and 1.71 WHIP over the last seven days. He has a .269 BAbip. Pinstripes turn him into something vile, just ditch him.

Anibal Sanchez – Sanchez did some damage to teams when they needed him most (11 IPs, a 5.73 ERA and 1.27 WHIP last week). Well, I’m going to ignore that and say you need to trust him this week. He has been legit all year (.316 BAbip, 70.7% strand rate and 7.01 Ks/9). Sure, he has somehow completely limited his HR/FB rate (just 3.7% this year), but I still think he is a definite match-ups play.

Carlos Pena – This is the typical spot where I say that players like Pena will end up here a lot because they strike-out a ton and thus have wide average swings. However, I’ve not going to do that. Instead, I think weeks like the last one (0/17) have become commonplace for Pena. If you don’t care about AVG and really need power, sure keep him around, but that’s the only reason to own him.

Adam LaRoche – Second-half juggernaut LaRoche hasn’t been very X-men villain-like. Sure his slugging is up a bit, but he’s on pace to hit the same amount of HRs as he did in the first half. What’s worse is that he seems to be sputtering toward the finish line (just .182 AVG over the last seven days). With the depth of the first base pool, I wouldn’t be waiting for a vintage LaRoche endgame.

Pablo Sandoval – As Jack Bauer would say, “you’re running out of time!” Seriously, Sandoval has yet to kick it in gear (.111 AVG over the last seven days) and I don’t think you should wait on him. Miguel Tejada makes a more attractive third base option at this point.

All stats as of noon September 7, 2010.

FB101’s 411: Be sure you know how to judge a hot streak. Thome, Jackson, Zimmerman, Desmond, Sale and Bumgarner make good adds. Keep your eye on Kalish, French, Hundley and Davis. You are allowed to sort of give up on Javier Vazquez, Carlos Pena, Tommy Hunter, and Pablo Sandoval.

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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 ~ The Buddy Garrity, Don Draper, Ed Norton Sales Convention

Buddy Garrity sales time (sell now)

When it is Buddy Garrity sales time, you should be moving players immediately. These are players that will likely regress to means or not perform as well as they have been (i.e., sell high candidates). In addition, they include guys I don’t think will perform well at all during the rest of the season. These are players you are best cutting your losses with.

Vernon Wells – Wells is a dreamboat for Buddy; think a classic car that looks fantastic on the outside, yet is worn down under the hood. Wells is off to a fantastic start (seven HRs, a .333 AVE and .398 OBP); however, as you well know, he won’t keep up this pace. I see a line more like 80 runs, 20 HRs, 75 RBIs, a .270 AVE and a .330 OBP. If you can move him for more than that, do so.

Jose Guillen – Guillen seems to be the vintage Ashton Martin to Wells’ sparkling Corvette (I don’t know cars). However, Guillen has been more useful than Wells when healthy. That said, he can’t keep up a 50 HR pace. Buddy has Guillen out front with a bright new paint job, priced to move. If you can bring back a $10 consistent player for Guillen, I’d be happy with those returns.

Dan Uggla – I love Dan Uggla (he is a cheap 30 HR lock at second base). Unfortunately so does Buddy. You know why? Uggla is a career .259 hitter, yet is hitting at a .298 pace so far this season. The HRs, runs and RBIs will be there, but he hasn’t suddenly become a .290 hitter. Sell people on him being in a “contract year,” but don’t give him away. Right now he is playing like a fourth round talent, when he is really only a sixth/seventh rounder.

Barry Zito – Thanks to a .203 BAbip, Zito has basically halved his hit/9 rate (8.0 for career, 4.9 for 2010). That is pretty unsustainable. He certainly isn’t as worthless as he was a few years ago, but there is a lot of hype around him being similar to what he was when he pitched for the As. In reality, he’s strung together a bit of luck with the best K/BB rate of his career. I’d be pricing him to move immediately.

Brad Penny – I own Brad Penny everywhere and who wouldn’t be happy with the returns? Well, for starters, he hasn’t struck anyone out (4.7 Ks/9), which really hurts you in innings capped leagues. Further, he has magically begun walking less than one batter per game, when, for his entire career, he walked nearly three batters per nine innings. I don’t think Penny will fall off a cliff, but I’d rather have a guy who could strike a few batters out. I do think his ratios will climb a bit: at least a 3.00 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. I’d rather trade away a hot pitcher at the beginning of the year then bank on him continuing to perform optimally.

Don Draper sales time (moderately/slyly begin to move)

The Don Draper sales time requires that you be a less obvious trade partner. I advocate proposing a range of players that are available. Make sure to include those players who you think your trade partner might slightly overvalue. If he is interested, emphasize the positive stats of your Don Draper candidate. However, don’t seem eager. The best reaction to a trade proposal is a slow one. Take your time; be fair and vague, like how Don Draper picks up women.

Carlos Gonzalez – Carlos Gonzalez is the only baseball player my girlfriend knows (baby steps). So it pains me to speak ill of him, but I must…a tad. First, I’ll start with the praise: my god he can hit (.355 AVE, .367 OBP). Hopefully you see the problem there. A guy with a .355 AVE should have no problem posting an OBP around .400. Unfortunately, CarGo has walked just two times (compared to 15 Ks). For his major league career, he has walked 43 times and struck out 166 times. He has also been lucky when it comes to his BAbip (.407 in 2010 and .335 for his career). Anyway you look at it, his batting average and OBP are going to come down. That means his runs, RBIs and SBs will come with it. He’ll still be a good and useful player, just not at the heights he is at the moment. If people are buying his early season Ichiro impression, by all means sell.

Chase Headley – I liked Headley a few years ago. Now he is 26 and mashing for the new and improved San Diego Padres. He was a career .300 hitter in the minor leagues and I see no issue with him approaching that number in 2010 (of course his current average is .337). Still, his slight (and real) average decline isn’t why I advocate trading him at the moment. I am doing so because his value is inflated by six stolen bases. Headley stole six bases total in four minor league seasons. He only stole 10 last year. Quite frankly, I don’t see him stealing much more than six the rest of the way. If you can sell based on his SB potential, Don Draper would be smiling upon you.

Vlad Guerrero – Listen, Vlad is awesome, but he ain’t gonna hit .368 or steal three more bases all year (most of his 2010 steals came against the inept Red Sox). Right now, he is rated highly based on his average and those steals. If someone thinks those can continue, by all means sell. If not, enjoy keeping him, as he’ll score a decent amount of runs, hit 16-20 HRs and bat a comfortable .300.

John Danks – Danks has been off to an impressive start to the 2010 campaign: three wins, 1.55 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 1.9 BB/9 and 8.1 K/9. Is he living up to his first round selection? Not quite, at least not yet. For one thing, Danks has been pretty lucky: to wit, a .224 BAbip. That is completely unsustainable – when it rises so will his ratios. In addition, Danks’ K/9 rate has been a very serviceable 7.1 throughout his career and his walk rate had been 3/9. In 2010, he has made some major improvements in those areas. I’m not saying he cant keep up his 2010 rates, I’m just stating that he never has before. Danks is likely on his way to his best season yet, but he’s had a little help. If anyone is buying him as a surefire ace, I have no qualms about letting that owner deal with the luck correction.

Francisco Liriano – There is no denying that Liriano has been great (0.93 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 8.4 Ks/9). However, he has never been all that healthy and he has a .247 BAbip. This is all my way of suggesting I don’t think he is “back” to his 2006 form (nor do I think he ever will). If you can get someone to pay something akin to what he was worth a few years ago, go right ahead. I’d rather let them take on the risk.

The Ed Norton hold pat time (Keeping the Faith)

I don’t love Edward Norton because he’s an Orioles fan (although that doesn’t hurt). I love him because he is an awesome actor. The players in his group can’t be moved for fair market value and shouldn’t be dropped in any competitive league. They’ll likely rebound to near draft value so don’t sell low. Instead, if you see any of these guys available, you should be buying at a discount.

Javier Vazquez — Yankee fans have about as good a history with Javier Vazquez as I do with Armando Benitez. So far, Vazquez has posted a 9.00 ERA and 1.80 WHIP. He has 18 Ks in 20 IPs and, for the season, he has an 8.1 K/9 rate (exactly the same as his career mark); however he has a bloated walk rate (5.0 compared to 2.4 for his career). Add that to an unlucky BAbip of .345 and you can see why Vazquez has been underperforming. He’ll turn it around (not to 2009 NL levels), but will be a good high-K/WHIP pitcher. Someone like an AJ Burnett.

Rick PorcelloPorcello is off to a poor sophomore campaign (7.91 ERA, 2.02).  Still, he has managed a decent K-rate (6.1 for the year, up from 4.7 last year) and he has been horribly unlucky (.449 BAbip). I actually expect him to get better, so don’t drop or try to trade him at this lonesome valley.

Josh BeckettI like Beckett and think he is a serviceable pitcher, but not the ace a lot of people do. He certainly hasn’t started the season well: 7.22 ERA, 1.74 WHIP and a 6.3 K/9 rate. Still, like Porcello, he has been unlucky (.351 BAbip). I also think his K-rate will get closer to his career norm of 8.5. At this point, he doesn’t have a lot of trade value, so you better ride out the storm.

Gavin FloydThere are a couple reasons Gavin Floyd ended up keeping the faith. First, you can’t really trade someone who has an 8.38 ERA and 2.02 WHIP over 19.1 IPs. Second, he has been horrendously unlucky (.406 BAbip). Third, Floyd doesn’t pitch well early in the season (6.60 ERA/1.69 WHIP in March/April, 5.42 ERA/1.41 WHIP in May). The good news is that he gets dramatically better over the summer. In summation, you can’t get fair value for him now and he’ll be better than he has been, so you have to hold on.

Cole Hamels – Cole Hamels is posting his highest career K/9 rate (10.6 versus his average of 8.5). Unfortunately, he is giving up roughly one more homerun per nine than he has in his career and walking 0.9 more batters per nine innings. Basically, Hamels has all of sudden given up a lot more HRs than he historically has. For his career he has averaged 24 HRs per year, yet this season he is on pace for 40 or so. I don’t think he suddenly became a gopher hurler. Let him ride this mess out.

Alexei Ramirez – Think of Alexei Ramirez as the hitter version of Gavin Floyd. For his career, Ramirez is a .198 hitter in March/April. For the rest of the way he slams the ball. Once the calendar turns, be sure to keep an eye on Ramirez (who is owned in only 64 percent of Yahoo leagues), as history suggests he’ll heat up. It’s not like you can trade him for anything anyway, so you might as well keep the faith!

Julio Borbon – I never thought I would be relieved that a player was hitting .185, yet I am for Borbon as he was hitting just .100 eight games ago. What has been so criminal about his 2010 campaign is his average on balls in play (.226). Last year he had a .360 BAbip. In the minors he hit .310 across three seasons. In short, Borbon is good for at least a .275 average, which would in turn lead to a lot of SBs. He is already on a good SB pace, think how good it will get when he gets on base more often. I wouldn’t be selling for pennies on the dollar.

Stats as of 12:00 PM ET April 29.

FB101’s 411: Trade Wells, Guillen, Zito, Uggla and Penny. Subtly move: Carlos Gonzalez, Headley, Vlad, Danks and Liriano. Keep the Faith on Vazquez, Beckett, Pocello, Floyd, Hamels, Borbon and Alexei Ramirez.

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h2h Corner ~ (an impromptu) Keep, Trade or Drop: Cole Hamels, Johan Santana, Javy Vazquez?

Many thanks to diligent and awesome reader James Chang for the following Keep, Trade, or Drop. He posted in FB101’s comments section and we answered. What do you guys think? Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Javy Vazquez to the Yanks…oh no.

Most of my readers can attest to the love I had for Javy Vazquez before the 2009 season. As his numbers indicate, my love was well rewarded. My guy-love had reached such magnitudes, in fact, that I was thinking of keeping him in the ninth round of my most important league – a league where I usually draft batters in at least nine of the first 10 rounds.

Unfortunately, Frank Wren has screwed me again. Somehow, someway, I now hate the Yankees and the Braves even more. I honestly didn’t think this was possible. Seriously though, Melky Cabrera? C’mon!

But enough of my rants, you want to know how this deal affects the fantasy values of those involved. From this perspective, there are two players you should be thinking about: Javy Vazquez and Melky Cabrera.

Javy Vazquez

At first blush, it would seem that Javy Vazquez’s fantasy value will plummet like 2009’s housing marketing. Moving from the NL to AL; moving from Atlanta to New York; moving from a decent pitcher’s park to a homerun haven; etc… I had just begun to do my pitcher rankings for next year and Vazquez was making a legitimate case to be a top 5 pitcher. That will no longer be the case. To illustrate:

Pitcher Yin: 1,664.1 IPs, 1,506 Ks, 4.02 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 110 ERA+, 8.1 K/9, 1.1 HR/9
Pitcher Yang: 852.2 IPs, 747 Ks, 4.52 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 102 ERA+, 8.1 K/9, 1.2 HR/9.

Yin = NL Javy Vazquez, Yang = AL Javy Vazquez. The similarity between those numbers is surprising (or not, given they are the same person). From these numbers, it is clear Vazquez has been better in the National League, but not demonstrably better. However, there are two caveats – his two worst seasons were his first two seasons when he played for the Montreal Expos (where his K/9 rate never exceeded 7.3). The only time that rate was much lower was in 2004 (6.8) – oddly enough, when he pitched for the Yankees and made his only All-star Game. If you take out Vazquez’ first two seasons, his NL-only line looks like: 2,163 IPs, 3.98 ERA, 2,001 Ks, 113 ERA+ 1.22 WHIP, 1.1 HR/9 and 8.3 K/9. Not much better than his total NL numbers, but, still better.

Throughout his career, Vazquez has been incredibly durable – his lowest inning total since 2000 was 198 (while pitching for the Yankees). Since 2004, he has averaged 196 Ks a season, with his lowest total being 150 in 2004, also for the Yankees.

Despite the near across the board drop in his overall numbers, there is nothing to suggest that Vazquez was terribly unlucky in 2004. In fact, his BAbip was .274. Though his overall BAbip is in line with his career norms, Vazquez’s 2004 season was an exercise in the ups and downs common for many major league pitchers. The first half of his season was excellent (explaining his All-Star selection): 3.56 ERA, 7.2 K/9, 1.15 WHIP. As good as his first half was, his second half was equally disastrous: 6.92 ERA, 6.2 K/9, 1.49 WHIP. Looking behind the numbers, however, the reason for the great disparity in his two halves is clear. In the first half, his BAbip was .253. When his BAbip corrected itself in the second half (.303), his success disappeared.

This has been a long rambling numbers-oriented analysis – and it doesn’t appear the numbers have provided much of a conclusion. So, here goes: Vazquez’ preseason fantasy value takes a sizeable dip because of this trade. When you are drafting pitchers, the fewer question marks the better. This trade introduces a number of new question marks that did not exist with Vazquez yesterday (but did exist with him in 2004 when the Yankees shipped him to Arizona after the season). Vazquez can pitch and he will strike batters out, but can he do it as consistently as he did last season as a Brave, without a pitcher in the line-up?

I’m saying no.

This doesn’t mean Vazquez is unownable or useless; it does mean that he probably won’t crack my top 20 pitchers and should be more of mid round selection. If you are a gambling man, roll the dice and snag him a few rounds before his ADP. Off the cuff, I see his ADP being around guys like Josh Johnson, Wandy Rodriguez, Matt Garza and Chad Billingsley. All things being equal, I’d take the upside/league of Johnson and Billingsley over Vazquez, but take Vazquez’ strikeouts over Garza and Wandy’s fragility.

Melky Cabrera

Cabrera goes from a homer-friendly outfield to a murky bigger outfield. He should, initially, get consistent playing time. Despite the trade, Cabrera is not completely locked into a starting job; be mindful of Jason Heyward. Still, it’s not like the Braves have tremendous outfielders as Matt Diaz is more of a platoon-able guy than a starter. The job, more likely than not, is Cabrera’s to lose.

Initially, I ranked Cabrera around outfielders like Chase Headley, Seth Smith, David DeJesus, and Marlon Byrd. In the AL, Cabrera has managed a .331 OBP, .385 SLG and .716 OPS. He has also managed to steal 44/58 bases (75 percent). This success should give him a longer leash in Atlanta. It is not out of the realm of possibility that Cabrera becomes a 12 HR, 20 SB player. There is a lot of value in that. Oddly enough, when you look at players historically who had similar statistics at this point in their career, Cabrera compares favorably to Johnny Damon and Jose Guillen.

Cabrera should be on people’s radars more than normal this year, as a potential top 18 round pick. Though if he doesn’t win a starting position, be prepared to cut bait early.

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