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Archive for January, 2008

Protected List – Not So Much

In the final installment of our tour through the 2007 Atomic Roadrunners roster on the lookout for protectables, we encounter the fifth group of player – “The Not-so-Much’s”.  Self-explanatory:

The Not-So-Much’s

  • Chris Iannetta – Destined to be next in the line of Ben Petrick, J.D. Closser, of hyped Rockies rookie catchers?
  • Mike Fontenot -Can’t believe he’d cost $11 to protect.
  • Ruben Gotay – Once Luis Castillo was signed, he was doomed
  • Brendan Ryan – May be a good reserve pick for 2008, given the crap St. Louis will roll out at the keystone.
  • Alfredo Amezaga – Good player to have on a real baseball team – very versatile, but doesn’t run anymore.
  • Morgan Ensberg – 2007 wasn’t the bounceback I had hoped for.  Currently a free agent.
  • Ryan Ludwick – Decent mashing OF for St. Louis, may be worth a minor league pick
  • Ryan Spilborghs – Very good #4 OF that has some power and a .300 avg.  Will re-visit, and might go in the auction
  • Chris Sampson – Wasn’t that much stuff there to begin with, maybe better than Woody Williams – not a compliment
  • Saul Rivera – Seemed decent in stretches, led the league in appearances, may have been used up

Protected List – The Fringe

Part IV of my tour through the Roadrunner roster in search of protectables for 2008 leads us to the fourth group – “The Fringe.”  This group includes players that require a certain leap of faith to include on a protected list.  When faced with the choice of questionable unknowns or questionable knowns, you opt for familiarity.  If the Maximum Number of Protections was set lower, there is no way these players would make the cut.  You’re not sure if you could get them again for the same price, but you wouldn’t be heart-broken if your rival secured the player (and the ulcer that goes with it).  These are the guys you expose for expansion draft purposes.  Their inclusion haunts your offseason, as your auction strategy is dependent on something resembling production from these guys.  Here they are, in their glory, The Fringe.

The Fringe (This could go either way)

  • Brandon Lyon
    • 2 Years – $5
    • 6 Wins, 2 Saves, 40 K’s, 2.68 ERA with a 1.24 WHIP
    • Why: With the uncertainty of the Diamondbacks’ closer role, Lyon could be in line for saves in 2008
    • Why Not: Not exactly durable, not exactly good, stuff isn’t exactly great
  • Chuck James
    • 1 Year – $5
    • 11 Wins, 116K’s, 4.24 ERA with a 1.38 WHIP
    • Why: #4 starter on a good team, probable run support, doesn’t really kill you
    • Why Not: Doesn’t really help you, soft-tosser, injury risk/dead-arm late in season
  • John Lannan
    • 2 Years – $5
    • 2 Wins, 10 K’s, 4.21 ERA with a 1.55 WHIP
    • Why: Well, he certainly seemed to be better than his numbers late in the season, mild prospect sheen
    • Why Not: Nationals, bad numbers, did you see the bad numbers above? And he could start in Single-A again
  • Sean Marshall
    • 2 Years – $6
    • 7 Wins, 67 K’s, 3.93 ERA with a 1.38 WHIP
    • Why: Decent numbers, a chance to be #5 starter on a playoff team
    • Why Not: Signing of Jon Lieber, Moving Ryan Dempster to rotation, Jason Marquis’ contract
  • Moises Alou
    • 2 Years – $12
    • .341, 13 HR, 49 RBI, 51 Runs and 3 Steals – in only 320 AB’s
    • Why: Obviously he can hit, imagine the numbers over the course of a season, great lineup
    • Why Not: He’s 42, he’ll never NOT be injured, a little pricey
  • Ronny Paulino
    • 1 Year – $5
    • .263, 11 HR, 55 RBI, 56 Runs and 2 steals
    • Why:  Good numbers for catcher, seemingly guaranteed starter
    • Why Not: While HR went up, average dropped 50 points from 2006, questions about attitude, $5 may be pricey

ESPN Answer Guys: Carlos Ruiz and John Maine

Dear ESPN Answer Guys,

Protected List due Feb 1st.  10-team, NL only, 5×5 league.

I can protect three of the following:

C – Carlos Ruiz $2
C – Ronny Paulino $5
SP – John Maine $5
SP – Chuck James $5

Considerations:

Ruiz and Maine seem to be the top two here.  I was leaning towards James, but now Paulino’s getting attention in mock drafts.  SP-wise, I am also keeping Brandon Webb and Tim Lincecum, and relievers Brian Wilson and Brandon Lyon (in case he gets saves). IF and OF are solid and set.

Thanks for your help!

Answer Guys:

I agree with keeping Ruiz and Maine.  James is an ok pitcher but his extreme fly ball tendency makes him prone to allowing a lot of HR, too many to ever be anything more than a decent fantasy starter.  Ruiz will be starting and should put up good number this season.  Paulino is no bargain at $5.

Shawn (CDub)

Protected List – The Probables

Here’s Part III of my 2008 Protect List rundown, looking at the third likely group of protections – “The Probables”. This group consists of players that are probably going to be protected, having a decent value, but they’re not star caliber, and casual fans might not be sure of who they are, exactly, but Rotisserie players will nod in appreciation. Still, each requires a justification.

The Probables:

  • Carlos Ruiz
    • 2 Years – $2
    • .260, 6HR, 54 RBI, 42 Runs, 6 Steals (for a catcher!)
    • Justification: Starting C Rod Barajas hasn’t been retained, so Ruiz will be Opening Day catcher
  • Ryan Theriot
    • 2 Years – $1
    • .266, 3 HR, 45 RBI, 80 Runs, and 28 steals.
    • Justification: Theriot became the starting SS, so should benefit, but faded down the stretch.
  • Brian Wilson
    • 2 Years – $10
    • 1 Win, 6 Saves, 18K, 2.28 ERA with a 0.97 WHIP
    • Justification: Named Giants closer for 2008 after September call-up. No other options for Giants, really.
  • Chase Headley
    • 3 Years – $5 (protectable as Minor Leaguer)
    • .330, 20 HR, 78 RBI, 82 Runs and 1 steal (AA stats)
    • Justification: AA MVP, and has a good shot to start the season in San Diego at 3B or LF.

Protected List – The Almost Automatics

In Part II of my look at possible protections for 2008 (due February 1st), I’ll highlight the second group of protectables – the “Almost Automatics.”  Something about them makes you pause, just for a moment, before you commit.  In this case, it’s the price, which is close to what they’ll go for at auction, but certainty may be better than risk.

The Almost-Automatics:

  • Jose Reyes
    • 1 Year – $38
    • .281, 12 HR, 57 RBI, 119 Runs, and an MLB-leading 78 steals
    • Not as great a season as 2006, but with him, you don’t have to worry about trying to get Juan Pierre.
  • Brandon Phillips
    • 1 Year – $16
    • .288, 30 HR, 94 RBI, 107 Runs, and 32 steals
    • Hello, Mr. 30/30!
  • Brandon Webb
    • 1 Year – $25
    • 18  wins, 194K,  3.01 ERA and a  1.19 WHIP
    • While he didn’t win a Cy Young this year, his numbers were much better this year.
  • Chipper Jones
    • 2 Years -$23
    • .337,  29 HR,  102 RBI, 108 Runs, and 5 steals.
    • And he was injured during the season.  When Chipper is in the lineup, he’s great

My 2008 Hall of Fame Ballot

(I needed to get this out prior to the announcement tomorrow)

In Like My Surname . . .

  • Bert Blyleven – Quite simply the best player not in the Hall of Fame, and better than many already enshrined.  YOU try winning 300 games playing for those teams.
  • Goose Gossage – Dominating.  His induction is due to the induction of Sutter, whose case is weakened by Gossage’s inclusion.  Yes, you can re-read that sentence.
  • Tim Raines – Runner up to Ricky Henderson – and then some.  Some writers will penalize him for his admitted use of cocaine 25 years ago, but worse has been said of our past two presidents.
  • Alan Trammell – A man I’ve met and respect tremendously.  His ankle injury in 1992 really lead to a reduction of health over the remainder of his career.  I was there. I was working the game for the PASS Sports broadcast and I heard his ankle snap when he landed awkwardly on first base trying to leg out an infield single.

Needs Seasoning . . .

  • Mark McGwire – a few more years for everyone to get their minds around the enhanced era.
  • Lee Smith – the inclusion of modern-era closers has made his induction a possibility.

At Some Point . . .

  • Joe Jackson
  • Pete Rose

(Eventually there will be the Asterisk Wing of the HOF)

It’s Just An Honor to Be Eligible . . .

  • Brady Anderson
  • Harold Baines
  • Rod Beck
  • Dave Concepcion
  • Andre Dawson
  • Shawon Dunston
  • Steve Finley
  • Travis Fryman
  • Tommy John
  • David Justice
  • Chuck Knoblauch
  • Don Mattingly
  • Jack Morris
  • Dale Murphy
  • Robb Nen
  • Dave Parker
  • Jim Rice
  • Jose Rijo
  • Todd Stottlemyre

In the Hall of Accomplishment, we’ll have Brady Anderson’s 1996 season, Tommy John’s surgery with Dr. Frank Jobe, Knoblauch’s (and Steve Sax’s) accuracy disease, and Jack Morris’ Game 7.

Protected List – The No Doubters

With a little under a month until protected lists are due, let’s take a look at some early roster trends.  First up, the “Protected – No Doubt About It” group.

Protected – No Doubt:

  • Prince Fielder
    • 1 Year – $10
    • .288, 50 HR, 119 RBI, 109 Runs, and even 2 steals
  • Corey Hart
    • 1 Year – $7
    • .295, 24 HR, 81 RBI, 86 Runs and 23 steals
  • Shane Victorino
    • 1 Year – $1
    • .281, 12 HR, 46 RBI, 78 Runs and 37 steals
    • The “Flyin’ Hawaiian” even missed time with a leg injury
  • Tim Lincecum
    • 2 Years – $7
    • 7 wins, 150K, 4.00 ERA and 1.28 WHIP
  • John Maine
    • 1 Year – $5
    • 15 wins, 180K, 3.91 ERA and 1.27 WHIP