Tag Archives: Francisco Rodriguez

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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The Month in Review – August


With the roster deadline now past, we look to the final month of the stretch run for the playoffs.

By my own count, here’s the teams I still think have a decent chance of making the playoffs. I’m including teams in their division if they are still in the wild card race.

AL East: New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox (albeit slightly)
AL Central: Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins
AL West: Texas Rangers

NL East: Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies
NL Central: St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds
NL West: San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Colorado Rockies

My Award Winners to Date

AL MVP –  Josh Hamilton (TEX)
NL MVP – Joey Votto (CIN)
AL Cy Young – C.C. Sabathia (NYY)
NL Cy Young – Adam Wainwright (STL)
AL Rookie of the Year – Austin Jackson (DET)
NL Rookie of the Year – Buster Posey (SF)

Weekly Links and Weeks in Review

August 2-August 8
August 9-August 15
August 16-August 22
August 23-August 29

August was yet another busy month for stories as we get down to the final sprints of the playoff push.

  • Injuries to key players were a big story, with the most disappointing name to hit the disabled list being Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg will need Tommy John surgery, and will most likely miss the 2011 season in addition to the rest of the 2010 season. It’s been a very up and down year for Strasburg, and I know that I look forward to seeing him when he returns from this. There has been a lot of comparisons between the last pitcher touted this highly, and how his career path went. I think it’s a bit early to compare him to Mark Prior though.
  • Francisco Rodriguez will miss the remainder of the season after getting into a fight with his girlfriend’s father and hurting his pitching hand. Nothing about this looks good for Rodriguez, and it will be interesting to see what happens as next season approaches.
  • Roger Clemens was indicted on charges in the middle of the month, of lying to Congress. We’ll see how this plays out, but the thing that I know for sure is that it is extremely unlikely it plays out quickly. I imagine we’ll still be talking about this story in a year or two.
  • Milestone homeruns came for Alex Rodriguez (600) and Albert Pujols (400) this month as well.
  • Lou Piniella had previously announced his retirement effective the end of the season, but decided to move that plan up to August 22nd so that he could help with the care of his mother. We’ll miss you, Lou.
  • We’re seeing a bonafide Triple crown chase in the National League, as Albert Pujols and Joey Votto are tied for at least 2nd in all 3 major categories. I think Votto has to be the MVP if the Reds win the division, and I don’t think that changes if Pujols were to win the Triple Crown instead of Votto.

What’s Coming in September and in the Future

September is (other than obviously the last month of the regular season) going to be a slightly less busy month here at JBB. We’ll have a Week-in-Review post on the 6th, 20th, and 27th, and I’ll be finishing up the Original Draft Series with the last 6 teams spread over the first 3 weeks of the month, along with a review of the whole series. Trade retrospectives will conclude for the season with a series of posts about the firesale that happened after the 1997 Marlins’ World Championship. After the minor league season ends, I’ll take one more look at how the performance of the prospects I reviewed back in January.

Once the season ends, I am planning on taking a few days to evaluate what will be next and what I’ll be writing about for the offseason. I do plan on having another awards prediction column once the regular season ends like last year.

If you missed the announcement a couple of weeks ago, I have become a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance in July, and am looking forward to working with their community of bloggers. My first such post was some trade deadline thoughts I got from a trio of the bloggers over there, and you can read it here.

Thanks again to all the readers, and if you’re enjoying the writing, please feel free to either write a comment on the posts, and take a few seconds to become a fan of Jason’s Baseball Blog on Facebook. You can do that here.

Week in Review – August 16 to August 22


If the Playoffs Started Today

Tampa Bay Rays (76-48) vs. Texas Rangers (69-54)
Minnesota Twins (71-52) vs. New York Yankees (77-47)

Philadelphia Phillies (70-53) vs. San Diego Padres (74-49)
Cincinnati Reds (72-52) vs. Atlanta Braves (73-51)

League Leaders

Batting Average – Josh Hamilton (TEX) .357
Runs – Mark Teixeira (NYY) 92
Home Runs – Jose Bautista (TOR) 38
Runs Batted In – Miguel Cabrera (DET) 102
Stolen Bases – Juan Pierre (CHW) 49

Wins – Ubaldo Jimenez (COL), C.C. Sabathia (NYY), and Adam Wainwright (STL) 17
Saves – Rafael Soriano (TAM) and Heath Bell (SD) 37
ERA – Adam Wainwright (STL) 2.06
Strikeouts – Jered Weaver (LAA) 188
WHIP – Adam Wainwright (STL), Cliff Lee (TEX), and Mat Latos (SD) 0.98

Roster Movement

To the Disabled List: Eric Patterson, Nelson Cruz, Jason Berken, Gabe Kapler, David Purcey, Dustin Pedroia, Carlos Guillen, Brian Bannister, Troy Glaus, Chris Ray, Sean West, Lance Berkman, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Josh Willingham, Tony Gwynn, Matt Lindstrom, Jeff Keppinger, Vicente Padilla, Nick Punto, Kevin Slowey, Maicer Izturis, Alex Rodriguez,

Return from the Disabled List:  Carlos Pena, Joaquin Arias, Martin Prado, Dustin Pedroia, Chase Utley, Juan Gutierrez, Nyjer Morgan, Tommy Manzella, Rod Barajas, John Buck, Andrew Bailey, Jeff Weaver, Ryan Howard, Manny Ramirez

To the Minors: Chris Carter, Jose Morales, Tyler Greene, Brandon Hicks, Greg Dobbs, J. P. Arencibia, Fernando Martinez, Taylor Tankersley, Nick Stavinoha, Everth Cabrera, Jeremy Hellickson,

Called Up: Travis Buck, Rich VandenHurk, Ryota Igarashi, Daniel Nava, Bryan Anderson, Jhoulys Chacin, Will RhymesAlex Sanabia, Travis Wood, Ryan Webb, Sam Fuld, Andrew Miller, Jeff Larish, Jordan Walden

Other Roster Moves:

Top Stories and Weekly Links

  • Francisco Rodriguez will miss the rest of the season after injuring his thumb in the incident involving his girlfriend’s father. He had surgery on the thumb earlier in the week, and should be ready for 2011. But it remains to be seen where that could happen, as the Mets placed him on the disqualified list, and will try to avoid paying him the remainder of his salary for this season. There was talk of trying to void his contract for 2011, but that seems pretty unlikely to happen in my opinion.
  • In a rather unusual turn of events, Diamondbacks 1st round draft pick Barret Loux was granted free agency, rather than being placed back into the draft eligible pool for following seasons. This occurred it appears because of the fact that the player was ready to sign, but failed his physical exam. Throw in that he would no longer be eligible to play in college because of his contact with an agent for these proceedings, and it actually looks like MLB made a very good decision here. The kid probably won’t get the same kind of money he would have had he passed his physical, but he should still get a chance to start his career in short order.
  • White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen had a bit of a meltdown on Wednesday in front of the media. You can google it to find the video, but it was pretty much standard fare coming from Ozzie. Always a good show with Ozzie.
  • Ronny Paulino was suspended on Friday for 50 games after testing positive for a banned substance. According to him, the substance in question was a diet pill he had taken during the offseason. Tough break for him, as he’s probably cost himself money on next year’s salary as well as the money for this year.
  • Derrek Lee was finally traded on Thursday, going to the Braves in exchange for 3 prospects. Clearly, going to Atlanta has a much higher potential to be in the playoffs than the Angels did, and I was actually surprised that the Cubs got back 3 players in return for him.
  • The amateur signing deadline came and went, and nearly all of the top picks ended up signed. You can read my thoughts on ways to fix the draft here.
  • The biggest story of the week has to be the indictment of Roger Clemens on charges that he lied to Congress when he testified before them back in 2008. Not sure where I stand on this one yet, but it will be interesting to see how it all turns out.
  • It was known that this would be Lou Piniella’s last season as a manager, but we found out on Sunday that the game against the Braves would be his last, as he has a situation involving his mother’s care which requires his attention more than managing does. I think that this might have gone a little differently had the Cubs been in the race, but this is clearly the right move for Piniella personally. Kudos to him for a great managerial career, and hopefully the Cubs will bring him back before the end of the season to have a planned out going away/retirement day for him at Wrigley Field.
  • Vin Scully announced that he had signed a contract for the 2011 season, and will broadcast for the Dodgers again. To me, there’s no one better to listen to that Scully, and next season will be his 62nd behind the mike for the Dodgers. Just one of the greats of all time.

Upcoming Posts This Week:

Tuesday and Wednesday: I’ll be continuing on with the Original Draft Series, posting teams #9 and 8.

Friday:  Trade Retrospective of Josh Beckett to the Red Sox. This one really interests me because the players involved had such an impact on both their team’s futures.

One Other Thing

Lastly, I wanted to bring up a charity that the Baseball Bloggers Alliance has taken up. Here’s the official word, and what you can do:

Pitch In For Baseball is delighted to have been selected to participate in State Farm’s ‘Go To Bat’ campaign.  Now we need your
help!

‘Go To Bat’ was launched nationally during the State Farm Home Run Derby.  ’Go To Bat’ gives entrants a chance to win tickets to the upcoming World Series and selected charity partners the chance to receive significant financial support.

Here’s how to play and how to help Pitch In For Baseball:

* Go to  www.statefarm.com/gotobat to register for your chance to win World Series tickets.
* As you register, you will get a chance to designate a charity that could win up to $25,000/week.
* To designate Pitch In For Baseball as your charity, select PUBLIC GOOD as the charity category and then choose Pitch In For
Baseball from the drop down list.
* Revisit www.statefarm.com/gotobat each day and play the ‘Go To Bat’ online game to increase your chances for tickets and Pitch In For
Baseball’s chance at financial support

Thanks to all the readers who help out with this. You can find a lot more information about Pitch In For Baseball at their website

Week in Review – August 9 to August 15


If the Playoffs Started Today

Tampa Bay Rays (71-46) vs. Texas Rangers (67-49)
Minnesota Twins (68-50) vs. New York Yankees (72-45)

San Francisco Giants (67-52) vs. Atlanta Braves (68-49)
Cincinnati Reds (67-51) vs. San Diego Padres (69-47)

League Leaders

Batting Average – Josh Hamilton (TEX) .362
Runs – Mark Teixeira (NYY) 86
Home Runs – Jose Bautista (TOR) 36
Runs Batted In – Alex Rodriguez (NYY) 97
Stolen Bases – Juan Pierre (CHW) 45

Wins – Adam Wainwright (STL) and Ubaldo Jimenez (COL) 17
Saves – Heath Bell (SD) 35
ERA – Adam Wainwright (STL) 1.99
Strikeouts – Jered Weaver (LAA) 182
WHIP – Cliff Lee (TEX) 0.93

Roster Movement

To the Disabled List: Cristian Guzman, Jacoby Ellsbury, Chipper Jones, Adam Rosales, Jason LaRue, Wade Davis, Jeff Niemann, Geovany Soto, Rafael Furcal, Edgar Renteria, LaTroy Hawkins, Rich Harden

Return from the Disabled List:  Mark Teahen, Carlos Guillen, Stephen Strasburg, Kyle Lohse, Homer Bailey, Travis Hafner

To the Minors: Jess Todd, Dayan Viciedo, Brad Mills, Jeremy Hermida, Travis Wood, Will Rhymes, Ramon Troncoso

Called Up: Michael Bowden, Eric Young Jr, Chris Carter, Jeff Larish, Mark Melancon, Jeremy Hellickson, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Mark Rzepczynski

Other Roster Moves:

Top Stories and Weekly Links

  • Some extremely strange news out of New York during the week with Mets’ closer Francisco Rodriguez being arrested for allegedly assaulting his father in law. He returned to the team on Saturday and has stated that he will seek out anger management counseling after the incident. Let’s hope he can put this behind him, and soon.
  • Chipper Jones‘ career may be over after tearing his ACL on an excellent play he made during Tuesday’s game. He had surgery on the injury on Saturday, and is hoping to make a comeback in 2011.
  • The Wild-Card leading Rays took a pair of hits to their rotation this week with both Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann going on the disabled list on the same day this week. However, they are one of the few teams that can handle this loss to some extent, as Jeremy Hellickson and Andy Sonnanstine were both moved into the rotation in their place.
  • Stephen Strasburg returned from the disabled list on Tuesday, and proceeded to get shelled. He did pitch better in his start on Sunday though, and I’m wondering at this point when he gets shut down for the year.
  • Further proof of the volatility of prospects as Oakland’s top international signee from a couple of years ago, Michael Ynoa, will need Tommy John surgery and will miss the 2011 season. To date, he’s thrown 9 innings in his professional career.
  • Jonathan Broxton was removed from the closer’s role by the Dodgers on Friday, as he continues to struggle in his appearances. Hong-Chih Kuo will get the majority of opportunities for now, and I have to imagine that at some point Broxton will return to the role this season.
  • Brandon Phillips really made some noise in the critical series between the Reds and Cardinals at the beginning of the week, and unfortunately most of it was not good for his team. Between the comments he made and the bat tap on the shin guards of Yadier Molina which lead to the brawl in Tuesday’s game, it didn’t really go all that well for Phillips. Oh, and he had a poor performance as well, which really didn’t help things.
  • Apparently the Orioles should have hired Buck Showalter a lot sooner, as the team has gone on a hot streak since he was installed in the manager’s job. Since being hired, the O’s are now 9-3 since Showalter took over the team, after winning only 32 of their first 107 games.
  • Ricky Romero received a 5 year, $30.1 million contract extension from the Blue Jays, and I really like this deal for the team. They’ve locked in a really good young pitcher at a reasonable price. You know, unless something happens that doesn’t allow him to finish as well as he’s started.

From the Twitter Followers and Friends

If you aren’t yet, you can follow me over at Twitter here. These are some of the better reads I found from the previous week.

From Wezen-Ball: Larry Granillo posted a presentation that he made at SABR 40 about the statistics of the baseball played by Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. It’s actually really interesting, which surprised me a bit.

From Thunder Baseball: Mike Ashmore posted a great article about the minors and the effects it has on players. It’s an extremely interesting read and I highly recommend it.

Upcoming Posts This Week:

Tuesday: With the signing deadline for amateur draft picks coming on Monday, I’ll be doing a brief writeup of the notable signings and the few who didn’t sign.

Wednesday: I’ll be continuing on with the Original Draft Series, posting team #10.

Friday:  Trade Retrospective of Dan Haren being traded to the Diamondbacks. We actually have a better idea of how this trade will look for the Diamondbacks after having already been traded by them to the Angels this season. That will finish up the final trade of the series involving the A’s as well.

One Other Thing

Lastly, I wanted to bring up a charity that the Baseball Bloggers Alliance has taken up. Here’s the official word, and what you can do:

Pitch In For Baseball is delighted to have been selected to participate in State Farm’s ‘Go To Bat’ campaign.  Now we need your
help!

‘Go To Bat’ was launched nationally during the State Farm Home Run Derby.  ’Go To Bat’ gives entrants a chance to win tickets to the upcoming World Series and selected charity partners the chance to receive significant financial support.

Here’s how to play and how to help Pitch In For Baseball:

* Go to  www.statefarm.com/gotobat to register for your chance to win World Series tickets.
* As you register, you will get a chance to designate a charity that could win up to $25,000/week.
* To designate Pitch In For Baseball as your charity, select PUBLIC GOOD as the charity category and then choose Pitch In For
Baseball from the drop down list.
* Revisit www.statefarm.com/gotobat each day and play the ‘Go To Bat’ online game to increase your chances for tickets and Pitch In For
Baseball’s chance at financial support

Thanks to all the readers who help out with this. You can find a lot more information about Pitch In For Baseball at their website

Original Draft Series – #14 – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim


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

Team #14: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

General Managers(since 1994)

Bill Bavasi (1994-1999) 387-405
Bill Stoneman (2000-2007) 703-593
Tony Reagins (2008-Current) 197-127

Team Performance

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

All information is drawn from Baseball Reference.

Position Name Acquired Years with Org.
Stats with Organization
Left?
C Mike Napoli 2000 – 17th Rd 10 454 gm, .257/.352/.495, 84 HR, 225 RBI, 20 SB Currently with Org.
1B Kendry Morales Int’l FA – 2005 5 330 gm, .284/.336/.502, 57 HR, 192 RBI Currently with Org.
2B Howie Kendrick
2002 – 10th Rd 8 454 gm, .295/.3238/.427, 29 HR, 220 RBI, 42 SB Currently with Org.
3B Alberto Callaspo Int’l FA – 2001 5+1 1 gm, 1-3 Currently with Org.
SS Erick Aybar Int’l FA – 2002 8 436 gm, .285/.328/.378, 12 HR, 136 RBI, 41 SB Currently with Org.
LF Garret Anderson 1990 – 4th Rd 18 3 All Star Appearances, 2 Silver Slugger Awards
2013 gm, .296/.327/.469, 272 HR, 1292 RBI, 78 SB
Left via FA (2009)
CF Jim Edmonds 1988 – 7th Rd 12 1 All Star Appearance, 2 Gold Gloves
709 gm, .290/.359/.498, 121 HR, 408 RBI, 26 SB
Traded to STL – 3/23/00
RF Sean Rodriguez
2003 – 3rd Rd 6 71 gm, .203/.276/.333, 5 HR, 14 RBI, 3 SB Traded to TAM – 9/1/09
DH Troy Glaus 1997 – 1st Rd (3) 7 3 All Star Appearances, 2 Silver Sluggers
827 gm, .253/.357/.497, 182 HR, 515 RBI, 49 SB
Left via FA (2004)
SP Jered Weaver 2005 – 1st Rd (12) 5 1 All-Star Appearance
60-33, 3.64 ERA, 805 2/3 IP, 693 K, 228 BB, 1.223 WHIP
Currently with Org.
SP Ervin Santana Int’l FA – 2000 10 1 All Star Appearance
67-52, 4.40 ERA, 975.1 IP, 794 K, 309 BB
Currently with Org.
SP Joe Saunders 2002 – 1st Rd (12) 8 1 All-Star Appearance
54-32, 4.29 ERA, 692 IP, 392 K, 229 BB, 1.392 WHIP
Currently with Org.
SP John Lackey 1999 – 2nd Rd 10 1 All Star Appearance
102-71, 3.81 ERA, 1501 IP, 1201 K, 441 BB, 1.306 WHIP
Left via FA (2009)
SP Sean O’Sullivan 2005 – 3rd Rd 5 5-2, 5.15 ERA, 64 2/3 IP, 35 K, 20 BB, 1.345 WHIP Traded to KCR – 7/22/10
RP Trevor Bell 2005 – 1st Rd (37) 5 2-3, 7.84 ERA, 39.2 IP, 30 K, 15 BB, 2.143 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Scot Shields 1997 – 38th Rd 13 46-44, 3.15 ERA, 682 2/3 IP, 21 SV, 621 K, 266 BB Currently with Org.
RP Bobby Cassevah 2004 – 34th Rd 6 7 gm, 5.56 ERA, 11.1 IP, 7 K, 4 BB Currently with Org.
RP Ramon Ortiz Int’l FA – 1995 9 59-9, 4.60 ERA, 893.2 IP, 590 K, 325 BB Traded to CIN – 12/14/04
RP Bobby Jenks 2000 – 5th Rd 4 No Major League Appearances with Org. Selected by CHW – 12/17/04
CL Francisco Rodriguez Int’l FA – 1998 10 4 All-Star Appearances
23-17, 2.35 ERA, 451 2/3 IP, 587 K, 198 BB, 208 SV
Left via FA – 2009
BN Casey Kotchman 2001 – 1st Rd (13) 7 351 gm, .274/.337/.426, 31 HR, 165 RBI Traded to ATL – 7/29/08
BN Bengie Molina Int’l FA – 1993 11 2 Gold Gloves
716 gm, .273/.309/.397, 65 HR, 362 RBI
Left via FA – 10/27/05
BN Brandon Wood 2003 – 1st Rd (23) 7 143 gm, .206/.275/.481, 10 HR, 31 RBI Currently with Org.
BN Alexi Casilla Int’l FA – 2003 2 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to MIN – 12/9/05
BN David Herndon 2006 – 5th Rd 3 No Major League Appearances with Org. Rule 5 Draft (2009)

June Amateur Draft

The Angels appear to have done reasonably well in the draft. They have had quite a few of their first round selections make it to the Majors, and have even had a lot of them see that success with the Angels. Clearly, the best players that they have gotten out of the draft who are still active are Troy Glaus, Jim Edmonds, and Jered Weaver. However, they have also managed to get some late round values in Bobby Cassevah and Scot Shields. Overall, they have done a good job of not squandering their draft picks.

International Free Agency

The Angels have done very well in the international markets, and have signed players from Cuba, Venezuela, and the Domincan Republic among others. They are active down there, but quietly and not too overpowering when it comes to the top names. That said, they have still found a lot of value players there, and some high value players like Francisco Rodriguez and Kendry Morales.

Overall Grade

B. The Angels are lacking in some areas of the team like the bullpen and the strength of their bench, but overall the team that would be fielded could do very well in the Majors in my opinion. There aren’t too many players who have turned into Major League regulars who they didn’t have play for the Major League team at some point at least, and I think that’s a credit to their player development department. They have been active in the free agent markets in past seasons, making big splashes with signees like Torii Hunter and Vladimir Guerrero, but they are pieces to help fill in the gaps in their developmental system, which is really well done.

The Week in Review – April 19 to April 25


If the Playoffs Started Today

New York AL (WC) vs. Minnesota (C)
Oakland (W) vs. Tampa Bay (E)

San Francisco (WC) vs. Philadelphia (E)
San Diego (W) vs. St. Louis (C)

Last Week’s Top Performers

Kendry Morales (LAA) – .542/.593/.917, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 7 R
Marlon Byrd (CHC) – .500/.517/.615, 5 RBI, 6 R
Justin Morneau (MIN) – .576/.607/.952, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 6 R
Ryan Theriot (CHC) – .500/.548/.643, 6 RBI, SB, 5 R
Paul Konerko (CHW) – .450/.542/1.150, 4 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R
Kurt Suzuki (OAK) – .429/.500/1.071, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 3 R
Mark Reynolds (ARI) – .421/.500/1.000, 3 HR, 11 RBI, SB, 5 R
Michael Bourn (HOU) – .316/.519/.368, 7 R, RBI, 7 SB
Chase Headley (SD) – .364/.417/455, 5 R, 5 RBI, 5 SB

John Danks (CHW) – 2 W, 16 IP, 1.69 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, 14 K
David Price (TAM) – W, 14 IP, 1.93 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 12 K
Brad Penny (STL) – 2 W, 14 2/3 IP, 1.23 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 7 K
Brandon Morrow (TOR) – W, 13 IP, 2.08 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 16 K
Kevin Slowey (MIN) – W, 13 1/3 IP, 3.38 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 11 K
Matt Lindstrom (HOU) – 4 SV, 2.25 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 2 K
Francisco Rodriguez (NYM) – 3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 7 K

Roster Movement and Job Changes

Disabled List:

  • Returning This Week: Aaron Hill, Brian Fuentes, Ted Lilly, Lance Berkman
  • Going On the DL: Vicente Padilla, Manny Ramirez, Jeff Mathis, Carlos Guillen, J.A. Happ, Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Cameron

Promotions and Demotions:

  • Promoted: Justin Smoak, Ike Davis
  • Demoted: Mike Jacobs, Chris Davis

Top Stories and This Week’s Links

  • On Monday, the Mets finally ended their experiment with Mike Jacobs, sending him to the minors and calling up top prospect Ike Davis. Davis wasted no time, going 2-4 in his first game.
  • Bleacher Report writes about their plan for ML realignment. An interesting read, but not really a whole lot more workable than any other plan that has been announced to this point.
  • Around mid-day on Tuesday, Twitter started lighting up that a Major League player was going to be receiving a 50-game suspension for violating the drug policy. As the day progressed, we were finally informed it was SP Edinson Volquez of the Reds. A little bit of an oddity, Volquez can serve the suspension while on the disabled list. Since he is recuperating from Tommy John surgery and is unlikely to return prior to August, it hurts him more in the pocketbook than anything.
  • Also on Tuesday, the Rangers went nuts on the basepaths, stealing 9 bases in the first 5 innings of their game against the Red Sox. Sadly, even though they were stealing on C Victor Martinez and SP Tim Wakefield all over the place, they ended up losing that game.
  • On Wednesday, manager Lou Piniella announced that when SP Ted Lilly returned on Saturday from the disabled list, SP Carlos Zambrano (of the $18+ M annual contract) would be going to the bullpen. Needless to say, it was a bit of a shock to the baseball world. Big Z made his first relief appearance on Saturday, getting a hold in 1 1/3 IP.
  • Thursday marked another demotion for Rangers’ 1B Chris Davis. Struggling again, the Rangers decided to bring up top prospect Justin Smoak, who had been hitting extremely well at AAA.
  • Also on Thursday, the Pirates should have stayed home. Since they lost 20-0, it probably would have been a little less painful than being there.
  • Saturday had a bit of a scary moment, as Pirates’ starter Chris Jakubaskas was hit in the head with a line drive. He was placed on the disabled list on Sunday, and I have not heard anything about him other than that.

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.