A little over a week in to the season, you sure realize how much you miss America’s Pastime over the winter months once it’s finally here and fantasy baseball is in full force. A lot has happened in the past week, so here’s the Monday Roundup.
Jacoby Ellsbury is out for the next 6-8 weeks. That’s a big blow to those owners who expected similar numbers as 2011. Cody Ross will figure to get a large number of at bats in Ellsbury’s absense. Ross started the season slow, but homered both Saturday and Sunday and collected 2 HR and 7 RBI in the two weekend games. The Red Sox have started to score in bunches so insert Ross and ride the streak while you can. A name to keep an eye on is Will Middlebrooks.The 23 year old OF is off to a scorching start in AAA (8 R, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 2 SB, .341). Should Jason Repko struggle, Middlebrooks could be a player to stash in deeper leagues.
The Yankees offense has also begun to wake up, as Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira hit the ball hard this past weekend and started to score some runs. Derek Jeter started slow in 2011, but has already hit 2 home runs in 2012 and seems to have snuck under the radar early this season. He easily could be a top 5 SS the entire year at the top of that potent lineup after being cast off as too old. Raul Ibanez will be platooned as DH vs. RHP for the majority of games it appears. But who cares? In daily leagues, insert him when he plays and you’ll collect some valuable power. Ibanez only has 20 AB this season, but has made them count (2 HR, 9 RBI, and even 2 SB!).
Jordan Schafer in the past 7 days : 7 runs, 5 SB. Edwin Ecarnacion is off to a fast start (7 R, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 2 SB, .289). The Jays lineup will score and score some more. Is this the year Matt Garza wins the NL Cy Young? It’s early, but he’s pitching well thus far. Could he be traded to a contender mid-season, improving potential win total?
R.A. Dickey since coming to the New York Mets:
2010: 2.84 ERA 1.19 WHIP
2011: 3.28 ERA 1.23 WHIP
2012: 2.08 ERA 1.46 WHIP
Unfortunately, the strikeouts haven’t piled up in the past two season, and the wins are just average (but flukey as always) but you can do a lot worse with the ratios for a 3rd/4th starters in 12 team mixed leagues.
1. Omar Infante: Has hit 4 home runs already this season with a .343 average. With 2B being fairly deep this season, and Infante only being 2B elig. in most leagues, perhaps you can pawn him off early and buy low on guys like Brandon Phillips, Dan Uggla, or Rickie Weeks.
2. Josh Willingham: He’s a .263 career hitter, playing home games in a cavernous park, and in a lineup that can’t stay healthy. Yet off to a 3 HR and .455 BA start. That won’t last. While I believe that Willingham can hit mid-twenties home runs this season, I don’t see him scoring many runs hitting 5th in the Twins lineup, nor do I see his average resting too much higher than his career mark.
3. Chad Billingsly: Has never posted a WHIP under 1.28. Ever. Last three years ERA: 4.03, 3.57, 4.21. He’s serviceable, and I’ve had him on teams in the past hoping for a breakout. But it’s never fully arrived. This may be the season, as he’s pitched brilliantly in his first two starts. But I’m seeing what other teams will pay first.
1. Tim Lincecum: His velo is down! Alert the press! There are signs of diminished velocity across the league. He hasn’t been getting the swinging strikes as frequently this season as in years past. But until I hear that there is an injury named as the cause, I’m looking to buy low. In 2009, Lincecum’s first two starts were horrendous (8.1 IP combined, 7.56 ERA, 2.40 WHIP). Guess what? He won the Cy Young award that season.
2. Ryan Zimmerman: The injury history is there, but the guy has proven he can hit when healthy, and the Nats lineup is really improved over season’s past. Off to a slow start, I still see a .290 average and 25 HR by season’s end.
3. Mark Reynolds: The average will be a killer. But, the guy has tremendous power and Adam Jones and Nick Markakis seem to be squaring the ball up early. RBI opportunities should be aplenty. He’s probably riding the pine on several teams benches right now given the slow start, but if history is any indication, he hits for power in bunches. See what it’ll take to buy before the boom.
That’s a wrap on this week’s Monday Roundup. As always, we appreicate your feedback.
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