Tag Archives: Francisco Cordero

Fantasy Rankings in Review – Relief Pitchers


Back in February, I took my first shot at attempting to rank players for fantasy purposes. After a full season, I thought it wise to take a look back at how they went, and compare them to how it actually turned out and see if there is anything to be gained from it. The last position up for review is the relief pitchers, and you can find my preseason rankings here. Note that I have removed any starting pitchers who appeared in these rankings due to previous season qualifications.

Yahoo’s Top 15 Relief Pitchers

1. Billy Wagner
2. Rafael Soriano
3. Heath Bell
4. Brian Wilson
5. Neftali Feliz
6. Carlos Marmol
7. Joakim Soria
8. Mariano Rivera
9. Hong-Chih Kuo
10. Matt Capps
11. John Axford
12. Chris Perez
13. Joaquin Benoit
14. Francisco Rodriguez
15. Andrew Bailey

Of my top 15 preseason ranks, Jonathan Broxton (1), Huston Street (8), Brian Fuentes (12), Francisco Cordero (13), Trevor Hoffman (14), and Ryan Franklin (15) all finished out of the top 15. Continue reading

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Original Draft Series – Team # 19 – Detroit Tigers


For those that missed the guidelines I am using for this series of posts, you can find them here.

Team #19: Detroit Tigers

General Managers(since 1994)

Joe Klein (1994-1995): 113-146
Randy Smith (1996-2002): 466-666
Dave Dombrowski (2003-Current): 529-606

Team Performance

Playoffs Division Finish
WC League Playoff App 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
0 1 1 0 3 3 4 6

The Tigers have actually had a surprisingly low amount of success. When I started to think about the Tigers’ performance over the last 15 years, I thought that they had done reasonably well at some point during the time. I knew that the team had some pretty horrendous seasons (2002 comes to mind), but I was a big surprised at how bad some of the other years had been as well. All information is drawn from Baseball Reference.

Position Name Acquired Years with Org.
Stats with Organization
Left?
C Alex Avila 2008 – 5th Rd 2 69 gm, .253/.342/.437, 8 HR, 25 RBI, 2 SB, 19 R Currently with Org.
1B Jeff Larish 2005 – 5th Rd 5 74 gm, .242/.323/.404, 6 HR, 23 RBI, 2 SB, 25 R Currently with Org.
2B Scott Sizemore 2006 – 5th Rd 4 30 gm, .206/.297/.289, HR, 8 RBI, 12 R Currently with Org.
3B Brandon Inge 1998 – 2nd Rd 12 1 All Star Appearance
1221 gm, .237/.306/.295, 129 HR, 522 RBI, 40 SB, 469 R
Currently with Org.
SS Ramon Santiago Int’l FA – 1998 6+5 485 gm, .249/.316/.342, 19 HR, 122 RBI, 26 SB, 170 R Traded to SEA – 1/8/04
LF Ryan Raburn 2001 – 5th Rd 9 301 gm, .258/.320/.441, 25 HR, 106 RBI, 12 SB, 112 R Currently with Org.
CF Curtis Granderson 2002 – 3rd Rd 7 1 All Star Appearance
722 gm, .271/.343/.482, 109 HR, 321 RBI, 73 SB, 461 R
Traded to NYY – 12/8/09
RF Brennan Boesch 2006 – 3rd Rd 4 49 gm, .337/.389/.624, 11 HR, 39 RBI, 2 SB, 24 R Currently with Org.
DH Cameron Maybin 2005 – 1st Rd (10) 2 24 gm, .143/.208/.265, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 5 SB, 8 R Traded to FLA – 12/4/07
SP Justin Verlander 2004 – 1st Rd (2) 6 2006 Rookie of the Year, 2 All Star Appearances
73-48, 3.92 ERA, 833 K, 316 BB, 936 IP, 1.271 WHIP
Currently with Org.
SP Rick Porcello 2007 – 1st Rd (27) 3 18-16, 4.59 ERA, 122 K, 74 BB, 1.440 WHIP Currently with Org.
SP Jair Jurrjens Int’l FA – 2003 4 3-1, 4.70 ERA, 13 K, 11 BB, 30.2 IP, 1.292 WHIP Traded to ATL – 10/29/07
SP Jeff Weaver 1998 – 1st Rd (14) 4 39-51, 4.33 ERA, 477 K, 209 BB, 714.2 IP, 1.311 WHIP Traded to NYY – 7/5/02
SP Brian Moehler 1993 – 6th Rd 9 48-52, 5.07 ERA, 446 K, 227 BB, 809 IP, 1.397 WHIP Traded to CIN – 7/23/02
RP Joel Zumaya 2002 – 11th Rd 8 13-11, 5 SV, 2.96 ERA, 209 K, 112 BB, 206.2 IP, 1.345 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Ryan Perry 2008 – 1st Rd (21) 2 1-5, 4.32 ERA, 78 K, 50 BB, 83.1 IP, 1.536 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Jason Frasor 1999 – 33rd Rd 4 No Major League Appearances Traded to LAD – 9/18/02
RP Burke Badenhop 2005 – 19th Rd 2 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to FLA – 12/4/07
RP Fernando Rodney Int’l FA – 1997 12 15-30, 4.28 ERA, 314 K, 170 BB, 330 IP, 1.424 WHIP Free Agency – 11/5/09
CL Francisco Cordero Int’l FA – 1994 5 2-2, 3.32 ERA, 19 K, 18 BB, 19 IP, 1.947 WHIP Traded to TEX – 11/2/09
BN Omar Infante Int’l FA – 1999 8 494 gm, .253/.298/.386, 32 HR, 154 RBi, 34 SB, 192 R Traded to CHC – 11/12/07
BN Cody Ross 1999 – 4th Rd 5 6 gm, .211/.286/.421, HR, 5 RBI, R Traded to LAD – 4/1/04
BN Scott Moore 2002 – 1st Rd (8) 3 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to CHC – 2/9/05
BN Andres Torres 1998 – 4th Rd 6 81 gm, .214/.264/.282, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 8 SB, 31 R Free Agency – 4/22/04
BN Trever Miller 1991 – 1st Rd (41) 5 0-4, 9.18 ERA, 8 K, 9 BB, 16.2 IP, 2.22 WHIP Traded to HOU – 12/10/96

June Amateur Draft

The Tigers have had some really good luck with their top picks of late, with Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello both providing solid performance so far at the Major League level. In addition, top picks Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin were both used to acquire current MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera. They are starting to show some value out of their picks in recent years, with Scott Sizemore, Brennan Boesch, and Alex Avila all starting to bear fruit. One of the keys for the Tigers has been their willingness to pay over slot to their top picks of late, as they have had players who have fallen to them as a result of other teams’ unwillingness to pay those top picks.

International Free Agency

The Tigers haven’t really had a whole lot of success in the international market of late. They had some solid pick ups with Fernando Rodney and Francisco Cordero, but aside from Jair Jurrjens, they haven’t really had any impact signees in a while. Granted that international signees take longer to bear fruit, but even their top-10 from Baseball America doesn’t have a whole lot of IFA signees on it.

Overall Grade

I give the Tigers a grade of C. They have had some excellent draft picks (Verlander, Weaver, Inge, Granderson), and have turned a few others (Miller, Maybin, Cordero) into solid players via trades. There are still some gaps in this roster, with players who have not played for the Tigers or very little for the Tigers, but overall it is a solid roster.

Trade Retrospective: Juan Gonzalez


This week’s trade retrospective looks at the trade of 2-time MVP Juan Gonzalez from the Rangers to the Tigers on 11/2/1999. This trade was Gonzalez, P Danny Patterson, and C Gregg Zaun going to the Tigers in exchange for P Alan Webb, IF/OF Frank Catalanatto, P Francisco Cordero, C Bill Haselman, OF Gabe Kapler, and P Justin Thompson.

The Background

The Rangers, after a 95 win season and a 1st round elimination from the playoffs, were looking to cut payroll, and saw an opportunity to potentially move a large portion of salary in Juan Gonzalez. Gonzalez was slated to make $7.5 million, and would be a free agent after the 2000 season.

The Tigers had just fired their previous manager, Larry Parrish, and were looking for some much needed improvement on offense. In addition, they were moving into their new stadium to start the 2000 season, and wanted to make a big splash.

The Moving Pieces

Gonzalez slotted into the heart of the Tigers lineup for the 2000 season, and slated to play RF. Patterson was put into the Tigers bullpen as a reliever, and Zaun was actually traded to the Royals as a part of a conditional trade prior to the start of the 2000 season.

For the Rangers, Frank Catalanotto was to be used as a bench/super utility player for the Rangers. Francisco Cordero was put into the bullpen, Haselman’s spot was to replace Zaun as the backup catcher for Pudge Rodriguez, and Gabe Kapler was penciled in as the starting center fielder. Alan Webb was sent to the minors, but the big loss was Justin Thompson. Thompson was coming off of 3 solid seasons, and had been widely viewed as the centerpiece to the trade. Unfortunately, he suffered a torn rotator cuff early in 2000, and did not make his debut with the team that season.

What Happened Next

The Tigers unfortunately didn’t build a whole lot of offense around Juan Gonzalez, and the team actually played just as bad as the previous year. They finished 79-83, good for 3rd in their division. Gonzalez posted a solid season, but definitely not up to his expected standard. He posted a .289/.337/.505 slash line with 22 HR and 67 RBI in only 115 games. Gonzalez was also vocal in his complaints about how large newly-opened Comerica Park played.

The Rangers fell to a 71-91 record in 2000, and were still lacking pitching behind Kenny Rogers and Rick Helling. The team got some solid production out of their new CF, Gabe Kapler. He posted a .302/.360/.473 line with 14 HR, 66 RBI, and 8 SB. Haselman and Catalanatto were reasonable backups off the bench.

The Net Moves

Tigers – First Level

  • Gonzalez had turned down an 8 year, $140 million dollar extension shortly after being traded to the Tigers. Although he posted a solid season by most standards, it was not the production that they were expecting from him. At one point, the Tigers had a trade in place during this season to send Gonzalez to the Yankees for Ricky Ledee and minor leaguers Randy Keisler and Drew Henson. However, Gonzalez had a full no-trade clause, and would not accept the trade if the Yankees required him to sign a 1 year contract extension first. As a result, he stayed with the Tigers throughout the 2000 season, and left via free agency.
  • Danny Patterson spent the next 5 seasons with the Tigers, posting a 10-11 record with a 4.02 ERA in 183 2/3 IP.
  • It is unclear what, if anything, the Tigers ended up receiving in return for C Gregg Zaun.
  • After Gonzalez signed with the Cleveland Indians, the Tigers received 2 compensation picks. They used these picks to select Mike Woods and Matt Coenen, neither of whom ever played in the Majors.

Rangers – First Level

  • Alan Webb was a minor league journeyman, who only played the 2000 season with the Rangers organization. He was out of baseball by 2005.
  • Frank Catalanatto spent the next 3 seasons with the Rangers, really only as a starter in 2001. 2001 was his best season with the team, as he hit .330/391/.490 with 11 HR, 54 RBI, and 15 SB. He left via free agency after the 2002 season.
  • Francisco Cordero pitched in the bullpen for the Rangers until the 2006 season, when he was traded at the trade deadline to the Milwaukee Brewers for Nelson Cruz and Carlos Lee. He posted a 21-20 record with 117 saves, a 3.45 ERA, and 1.36 WHIP while with the Rangers.
  • Bill Haselman was with the Rangers as their backup catcher up through the 2002 season. He left via free agency, and signed with the Tigers after the 2002 season.
  • Gabe Kapler was with the Rangers until the trade deadline in the 2002 season. He posted a .280/.342/.433 line with 31 HR, 155 RBI, and 36 SB in the time there. He was traded on July 31, 2002 to the Rockies for OF Todd Hollandsworth and P Dennys Reyes.
  • Justin Thompson may be the saddest part of the whole trade, as he never really recovered from his injuries, and was not able to pitch in the Major Leagues for the Rangers until 2005, and only make 2 appearances as a Ranger. He was granted free agency after the 2005 season, and retired part of the way into the 2006 season.

Rangers – Second Level

  • Todd Hollandsworth played in 39 games for the Rangers in the 2002 season, posting a .258/.327/.417 slash line with 5 HR and 19 RBI. He was granted free agency after the season, and signed with the Florida Marlins.
  • Dennys Reyes went 4-3 in 15 appearances . He posted a 6.38 ERA and a 1.795 WHIP, and did not return to the Rangers after the season.
  • Carlos Lee had an excellent portion of a season with the Rangers, hitting .322/.369/.525 with 9 HR, 35 RBI and 7 SB in 59 games with the Rangers. He left via free agency after the 2006 season, signing with the cross-state Houston Astros.
  • Nelson Cruz remains with the Rangers to this date. 2009 was his first full season as a regular player, posting 33 HR, 76 RBI, and 20 SB along with a .260 batting average.
  • The Rangers received two compensation picks for losing Lee, which they used to draft P Blake Beaven and OF Julio Borbon. Borbon is currently on the Major League team, and Beaven remains in the minor leagues.

Overall Reactions

This one was pretty ugly overall. The Tigers thought they were going to get excellent production out of Gonzalez, and hoped to sign him long term. Neither of these came to pass. The Rangers spent that season trying to unload salary and lower costs, only to go out after the 2000 season and spend a quarter of a billion dollars to sign Alex Rodriguez. The Rangers, to me, pretty clearly won this trade. 6 years of Francisco Cordero, 3 years of Gabe Kapler, and the pieces to acquire Nelson Cruz and Julio Borbon. Obviously, the unfortunate thing with this is the amount of people who lost out related to this. There was Gonzalez, and his stubbornness about the fences at Comerica, which cost him well over $100 million dollars. There was Justin Thompson, who unfortunately never was the same once he was traded from the Tigers. Neither team really benefitted immediately from this trade, but the long term effects continue to make this one a winner for the Rangers.

The Month in Review: April 2010


Well, we are a little over 1/6th of the way through the season, and we’ve seen quite a bit already. At the end of each month, I will go over  some of the larger stories, name my season-to-this-point All-Star teams, and my season-to-point award winners.

All-Star Teams

I plan on following the same guidelines given to the managers of the All-Star game when selecting my teams for each month. Those would be:

  • 34 man rosters, 21 position players, 13 pitchers
  • Each team must be represented

Beyond that, I plan on not necessarily using any voting that may or may not have occurred yet, because to me, the voting is always biased toward the larger market teams.

American League

Starters
C – Joe Mauer (MIN): .345/.406/.500, 1 HR, 13 RBI
1B – Paul Konerko (CHW): .297/.413/.784, 11 HR, 21 RBI
2B – Robinson Cano (NYY): .400/.436/.765, 8 HR, 18 RBI, 2 SB
3B – Evan Longoria (TAM): .341/.400/.602, 5 HR, 18 RBI, 3 SB
SS – Derek Jeter (NYY): .330/.354/521, 4 HR, 18 RBI, 3 SB
OF – Vernon Wells (TOR): .337/.396/.717, 8 HR, 16 RBI, SB
OF – Carl Crawford (TAM): .337/.390/.551, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 7 SB
OF – Nelson Cruz (TEX): .323/.419/.758, 7 HR, 17 RBI, 5 SB
DH – Jose Guillen (KC): .304/.337/.609, 7 HR, 19 RBI, SB

Reserves

C – Jorge Posada (NYY): .310/.394/.638, 5 HR, 12 RBI
1B – Miguel Cabrera (DET): .344/.427/.615, 5 HR, 25 RBI
1B – Justin Morneau (MIN): .347/.490/.640, 5 HR, 17 RBI
1B – Kendry Morales (LAA): .295/.347/.523, 6 HR, 16 RBI
2B – Dustin Pedroia (BOS): .302/.343/.573, 6 HR, 18 RBI, 2 SB
IF – Ty Wigginton (BAL): .308/.395/.631, 6 HR, 12 RBI
SS – Alex Gonzalez (TOR): .289/.317/.629, 7 HR, 19 RBI
OF – Shin-Soo Choo (CLE): .317/.429/.500, 4 HR, 15 RBI, 4 SB
OF – Brett Gardner (NYY): .323/.397/.385, 6 RBI, 10 SB
OF – Austin Jackson (DET): .364/.422/.495, HR, 7 RBI, 5 SB
OF – Scott Podsednik (KC): .350/.418/.375, 8 RBI, 8 SB
OF – Andruw Jones (CHW): .259/.394/.630, 6 HR, 9 RBI, 3 SB

Pitchers

Matt Garza (TAM): 4-1, 2.06 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 34 strikeouts, 35 IP
Francisco Liriano (MIN): 3-0, 0.93 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 27 strikeouts, 29 IP
Jered Weaver (LAA): 3-0, 2.53 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 34 K, 32 IP
Colby Lewis (TEX): 3-0, 2.76 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 38 K, 32 2/3 IP
Zack Greinke (KC): 0-2, 2.56 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 27 K, 31 2/3 IP
John Danks (CHW): 3-0, 1.55 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 26 K, 29 IP
Ricky Romero (TOR): 2-1, 2.25 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 31 K, 36 IP
Felix Hernandez (SEA): 2-1, 2.23 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 31 K, 36 1/3 IP
Justin Duchscherer (OAK): 2-1, 2.89 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 18 K, 28 IP
David Aardsma (SEA): 0-1, 8 SV, 2.79 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 11 K, 9 2/3 IP
Jose Valverde (DET): 0-1, 7 SV, 0.75 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 6 K, 12 IP
Mariano Rivera (NYY): 0-0, 7 SV, 0.00 ERA, 0.56 WHIP, 9 K, 9 IP
Jon Rauch (MIN): 1-0, 7 SV, 1.80 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 7 K, 10 IP

National League

Starters

C – Geovany Soto (CHC): .340/.500/.528, 3 HR, 7 RBI
1B – Albert Pujols (STL): .345/.430/.655, 7 HR, 19 RBI, SB
2B – Kelly Johnson (ARI): .313/.404/.750, 9 HR, 18 RBI
3B – Pablo Sandoval (SF): .368/.433/.575, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 2 SB
SS – Rafael Furcal (LAD): .309/.378/.420, 6 RBI, 8 SB
OF – Ryan Braun (MIL): .355/.430/581, 5 HR, 20 RBI, 6 SB
OF – Colby Rasmus (STL): .323/.463/.708, 6 HR, 12 RBI, 3 SB
OF – Andre Ethier (LAD): .329/.407/592, 6 HR, 19 RBI
DH – Kosuke Fukudome (CHC): .344/.443/.641, 5 HR, 16 RBI, SB

Reserves

C – Miguel Olivo (COL): .291/.333/.600, 5 HR, 13 RBI, SB
1B – Adrian Gonzalez (SD): .288/.408/.563, 6 HR, 16 RBI
2B – Chase Utley (PHI): .275/.431/.550, 6 HR, 15 RBI, SB
2B – Dan Uggla (FLA): .295/.364/.534, 5 HR, 14 RBI, SB
3B – David Wright (NYM): .273/.430/.506, 4 HR, 16 RBI, 7 SB
3B – Jorge Cantu (FLA): .311/.354/567, 5 HR, 23 RBI
SS – Ryan Theriot (CHC): .337/.370/.386, 12 RBI, 5 SB
SS – Troy Tulowitzki (COL): .304/.350/.435, 1 HR, 13 RBI, SB
OF – Matt Kemp (LAD): .278/.333/.546, 7 HR, 20 RBI, 3 SB
OF – Marlon Byrd (CHC): .348/.366/.584, 4 HR, 16 RBI, SB
OF – Andrew McCutchen (PIT): .299/.352/.443, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 10 SB
OF – Jayson Werth (PHI): .325/.402/.584, 3 HR, 14 RBI, SB

Pitchers

Ubaldo Jimenez (COL): 5-0, 0.79 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 31 K, 34 IP
Tim Lincecum (SF): 4-0, 1.27 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 43 K, 35 1/3 IP
Roy Halladay (PHI): 4-1, 1.80 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 33 K, 40 IP
Mike Pelfrey (NYM): 4-0, 0.69 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 19 K, 26 IP
Barry Zito (SF): 4-0, 1.53 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 24 K, 35 1/3 IP
Josh Johnson (FLA): 2-1, 3.19 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 34 K, 31 IP
Tommy Hanson (ATL): 2-2, 2.17 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 33 K, 29 IP
Jamie Garcia (STL): 2-1, 1.04 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 17 K, 26 IP
Adam Wainwright (STL): 4-1, 2.13 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 30 K, 38 IP
Heath Bell (SD): 1-0, 7 SV, 1.80 WHIP, 1.40 WHIP, 16 K, 10 IP
Matt Lindstrom (HOU): 0-0, 6 SV, 2.70 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 11 K, 10 IP
Francisco Cordero (CIN): 1-1, 9 SV, 2.70 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 13 K, 13 1/3 IP
Matt Capps (WAS): 0-0, 10 SV, 0.68 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 15 K, 13 1/3 IP

Overall, both of these teams ended up being a pretty fair representation I think. For most of the teams, there was at least one clear All-Star. Only with the Athletics and Astros did I really struggle particularly. It is interesting to see just how many excellent performances there were in April.

My Award Winners to Date

AL MVP – Evan Longoria (TAM)
NL MVP – Albert Pujols (STL)
AL Cy Young – Francisco Liriano (MIN)
NL Cy Young – Ubaldo Jimenez (COL)
AL Rookie of the Year – Austin Jackson (DET)
NL Rookie of the Year – Jason Heyward (ATL)

Weekly Links and Weeks in Review

April 4-11
April 12-18
April 19-25
April 26-May 2

To me, the stories that really dominated baseball were the emergence of the new rookie class (Austin Jackson, Jason Heyward, Mike Leake), Big Carlos Zambrano being sent to the bullpen, and the struggles of the Red Sox early on. Feel free to look through the weekly links to see some of the other top stories last month. We also saw the hot start of the Rays, and a no-hitter from Ubaldo Jimenez. Nothing quite like baseball.

Team Preview – Cincinnati Reds


Roster Makeup
Lineup Pitching Staff
Pos Name Role Name
C Ramon Hernandez SP 1 Aaron Harang
1B Joey Votto SP 2 Bronson Arroyo
2B Brandon Phillips SP 3 Johnny Cueto
3B Scott Rolen SP 4 Homer Bailey
SS Orlando Cabrera SP 5 Matt Maloney
LF Chris Dickerson Bullpen
CF Drew Stubbs CL Francisco Cordero
RF Jay Bruce RP Nick Masset
Bench RP Arthur Rhodes
IF Aaron Miles RP Jared Burton
OF Jonny Gomes RP Micah Owings

Additional roster information can be found at MLB Depth Charts.

Off-Season Transactions
Key Additions Key Losses
Pos Name How Pos Name How
SP Aroldis Chapman Free Agency CF Willy Taveras Trade (OAK)
SS Orlando Cabrera Free Agency IF Adam Rosales Trade (OAK)

Top Prospects: Aroldis Chapman (P), Yonder Alonso (1B), Todd Frazier (IF), Mike Leake (P)

2009 Review

The Reds finished up 2009 with a 78-84 record, and although the season didn’t end with a winning record, they still had some definite bright spots. 1B Joey Votto posted a .322 batting average with 25 HR and 84 RBI, despite missing almost 30 games due to depression. 2B Brandon Phillips quietly posted another 20-20 season. The rotation was led by Bronson Arroyo (15-13, 3.84 ERA), although there was a lot of inconsistency behind him. Closer Francisco Cordero (39 sv, 2.16 ERA) also had a solid season.

Team Outlook for 2010

The Reds look much improved (even though they didn’t really make too many moves), and I think have the potential to compete in the NL Central in 2010. Their rotation looks good, and I think it could keep them in the race longer if they can get a little bit lucky as well. For this to happen, they need Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey to really start to live up to their potential. I liked the signing of Orlando Cabrera to bring some veteran presence to a team that is still very young. The biggest signing in the offseason has to be Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman. Chapman has looked lights out so far in Spring Training,  although it was thought at the time of the signing that he wouldn’t start the season higher than AA. But with his performance, he may force his way into the rotation at the start of the season. Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips should continue to lead the offense, and I think that OF Jay Bruce could really start to show more of the promise he had coming into the league.

Fantasy Outlook for 2010

I think Joey Votto is primed for a big season, and think he could easily post a top-10 season at 1B. 2B Brandon Phillips is one of the quietest top fantasy performers in all of baseball, usually in the top 5 of the position. Nearly all of the starting pitchers in the rotation are ownable for deeper leagues, but in standard leagues I would say that they are all right around replacement level. If I had to pick one for upside, it would be Bailey. Aroldis Chapman probably has the most upside of anyone on the team, and is definitely worth monitoring as Spring Training continues.

Prediction for 2010

The Reds are steadily improving, and will hopefully take another step forward this season. I don’t think that they are quite ready though to take on the Cubs and Cardinals. But it won’t be long.

80-82, 4th in the NL Central

Fantasy Preview – Relievers


Today is the last of my fantasy positional rankings today with the reliever rankings.

A note about my rankings: I am assuming a standard scoring league (5×5) with the following categories:

R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, W, SV, ERA, K, WHIP

Also, I have done a lot of statistical analysis in the past, but I’m not ready to start calculating my own projections statistically. So for me, a lot of this is based entirely on gut feel (which of these 2 players would I want), and looking at previous performance. All statistics are from the 2009 season.

My top 15 Relievers for 2010

1. Jonathan Broxton – LAD
W ERA SV K WHIP
7 2.61 36 114 0.961
Broxton is probably the most dominant strikeout reliever in the Majors right now. He’s going to get a lot of save chances, and has about as strong of a lock on the position as is possible. The win total seems unlikely to be repeated, but he’s going to give you a lot of saves and a very good ERA and WHIP as well.
2. Mariano Rivera – NYY
W ERA SV K WHIP
3 1.76 44 72 0.905
Rivera is as stable as it comes. He’s going to get you a sub-2 ERA, 40+ saves, and a WHIP right around 1. There’s not a whole lot to be said about him other than he’s also extremely safe as well.
3. Jonathan Papelbon – BOS
W ERA SV K WHIP
1 1.85 38 76 1.147
Papelbon is another closer who’s going to get a lot of save opportunities and strikes out more than batter per inning as well. I can see him getting over 40 saves this season as well
4. Joakim Soria – KC
W ERA SV K WHIP
3 2.21 30 69 1.132
Soria has  posted a few really good seasons in a row, and is also locked in as the closer for the Royals. He struck out more than 11 per 9 innings last year, and will post solid ratios as well.
5. Heath Bell – SD
W ERA SV K WHIP
6 2.71 42 79 1.12
The only real concern I have about Bell is whether or not he gets moved by the Padres. But it seems likely to me that if he does get moved, he’s probably going to be closing for whomever he goes to, since he’s still under team control for another 2 seasons. High strikeouts, low ratios, and a lock on the job as long as he’s in San Diego.
6. Andrew Bailey – OAK
W ERA SV K WHIP
6 1.84 26 91 0.876
Bailey was an epiphany last season, taking the closing job in early May and never looking back. He should post a high strikeout rate and low ratios, although the ERA is unlikely to remain as low as it was last season.
7. Brian Wilson – SF
W ERA SV K WHIP
5 2.74 38 83 1.203
I’ve never been a huge fan of Wilson, but I think that has more to do with him being on the Giants than anything. But he’s got a lock on the Giants’ closer job, and is going to provide strikeouts and good ratios as well.
8. Huston Street – COL
W ERA SV K WHIP
4 3.06 35 70 0.908
Street came into the 2009 season having been traded to the Rockies, and without a guaranteed closing job. But he quickly took over the job, and returned to the form that had won him the Rookie of the Year award. I have to imagine that unless he struggles pretty mightily, he will remain the closer and I wouldn’t be concerned about the fact that he’s in Colorado.
9. Francisco Rodriguez – NYM
W ERA SV K WHIP
3 3.71 35 73 1.309
The walks are a real concern. But this is a trend that has been going on for the last 3 seasons, and a lowered strikeout rate as well. The Mets are committed to him for another 2 seasons at another $25 M total, so I think he’s going to have to struggle pretty badly for him to lose his job. But the Mets seem unlikely to get a massive amount of save opportunities, and all in all makes Rodriguez a bad value to me.
10. Rafael Soriano – TAM
W ERA SV K WHIP
1 2.97 27 102 1.057
The concern here is health. He pitched excellently last season, and provides an extremely high strikeout rate. I think he’s going to see a slight increase in his ratios due to pitching in the AL East now, but he still seems likely to post a sub 1.2 WHIP and sub 3 ERA.
11. Billy Wagner – ATL
W ERA SV K WHIP
1 1.72 0 26 1.021
Wagner did very well this offseason, and all signs point to him having an excellent season. The health is still some concern, but as long as he stays healthy he should be a lock as the closer for the Braves. He posted an excellent strikeout rate, and could conceivably provide top-5 closer value if he is healthy all year long.
12. Brian Fuentes – LAA
W ERA SV K WHIP
1 3.93 48 46 1.40
Fuentes and his lower strikeout rate concern me, as does the walk rate. He did lead the league in saves, but for when you will have to take him, I’ll pass. The fact that there’s a closer in waiting in that bullpen does not persuade me otherwise.
13. Francisco Cordero – CIN
W ERA SV K WHIP
2 2.16 39 58 1.32
Cordero, quietly, continues to post solid, if not amazing seasons in Cincinnati. His walk rate remains a concern, which has elevated his WHIP. 2009 saw a drop in his strikeout rate, but it is still a respectable 7.83. A good second tier closer.
14. Trevor Hoffman – MIL
W ERA SV K WHIP
3 1.83 37 48 0.907
Hoffman remains a good source of saves. He’s not going to strikeout a lot of batters at this point, but the only way I can see him losing his job as the closer is to injure himself.
15. Ryan Franklin – STL
W ERA SV K WHIP
4 1.92 38 44 1.197
Franklin had what was easily his best season last year, posting career bests in ERA and WHIP along with the 38 saves. He’s going into this season with the closer job sewn up, but I think that he’s going to see some regression. The hard part with Franklin is that he’s not going to provide a lot of strikeouts for the innings he pitches, but the saves are still worth something. Just don’t go looking for this season to go as well as last did.

After my top 15, there’s a lot of closers still available. I generally tend to be of the mindset that saves come into the league, so I think it’s important that if you’re going to look for saves to keep an eye on strikeout rates. There’s a lot of unsettled jobs as of these rankings (WAS, PIT, FLA, MIN) as well to watch during Spring Training.

There are a lot of relievers that can provide some value in deeper leagues, even if they are not providing saves.

Tomorrow I will continue on with my team previews, as I review the National League East this week, starting with the Atlanta Braves.