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Archive for November, 2010

Tulowitzki Signs Monster Contract Extension Through 2020

Rockies signed SS Troy Tulowitzki to a six-year, $119 million contract extension. Tulo is in the midst of a six-year, $31 million extension that he signed before the start of the 2008 season. With this new deal thrown into the mix, the 26-year-old shortstop will be guaranteed $157.75 million between now and 2020. While the long-term agreement involves a lot of risk on the side of the Rockies, Tulo batted .315/.381/.568 with 27 homers and 95 RBI this year and should remain a top offensive infielder throughout most of the deal. (Rotoworld)

Brewers GM Hasn’t Decided about Fielder’s Future

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he hasn’t made up his mind regarding the future of Prince Fielder. “You always want to keep your options open, keep your flexibility,” said Melvin. “When a player approaches free agency, you’ve got to keep yourself open. If I got an offer I can’t refuse, why would I say (beforehand) I wouldn’t trade him?” Melvin clearly hasn’t ruled out trading Fielder, but the team is unlikely to get a substantial package in return for someone who could make around $14 million in arbitration this winter and is a virtual lock to test the free agent waters next offseason. (RotoWorld)

Brewers Likely to Keep Fielder for 2011

Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Brewers are leaning towards keeping Prince Fielder this winter. There is a long list of free agent first basemen available this offseason, so the potential return in a trade will likely be impacted. Fielder, 26, will be a free agent after the 2011 season and Brewers general manager Doug Melvin recently said that he has set spring training as a deadline for negotiations on a contract extension. If the Brewers are out of it next summer, he’ll almost certainly be dealt. (RotoWorld)

Bernadina Departs Venezuelan League Early

Roger Bernadina is scheduled to leave the Venezuelan Winter League this weekend. Bernadina is simply tired and wants to get ready for next season. The 26-year-old outfielder batted .246/.307/.384 with 11 home runs, 47 RBI and 16 stolen bases in 414 at-bats this past season. He’ll probably start in the Nationals’ outfield again next season, though he isn’t worthy of attention in mixed leagues. (Rotoworld / Bill Ladson on Twitter)

Pirates Could Trade One of their Two Closer Options

One source tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com that the Pirates could trade Joel Hanrahan or Evan Meek and sign a replacement. The Pirates are happy with their internal options at closer, according to Morosi, but would listen if the price is right. Hanrahan is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, so it could make some sense to unload him before he gets expensive. The 29-year-old right-hander posted a 3.62 ERA, 18 saves and 100 strikeouts over 69 2/3 innings this past season. (Rotoworld / Source: FOXSports.com)

Brewers Not Shopping Fielder

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin told Bob Nightengale of USA Today that he is not shopping Prince Fielder. “We’re not shopping Prince,” said Melvin. “I’d like to keep him. He’s a homegrown player who wants to play every inning of every game. But we’d like to get something done by the end of the off-season. I don’t want to negotiate during the year.” Melvin said that he has set spring training as a deadline for negotiations on a contract extension. Fielder, 26, will be a free agent after the 2011 season. (RotoWorld)

AaRr Finishes 14th in Arizona Challenge

At the Arizona First Pitch Baseball Symposium, there is a one-hour event on Saturday afternoon called the “Arizona Challenge.”  Essentially, players are nominated one at a time from a master list by an auctioneer, and each team must assemble a 3-player team.  Additionally:

  • There are no positional requirements – you can go with 3 hitters, 3 pitchers, or any combination thereof.
  • The scoring is based on the previous year’s stats (2010) with standard 5×5 categories.
  • No reference material is allowed, you have to figure stats by memory.
  • If you are waiting for a specific player to be called, he might not be.  Nominations are randomly selected by the auctioneer, and it’s a fast-paced environment.
  • The honor system is key, if you go over $50, you’re disqualified.
  • The winner gets free admission to next year’s conference.

At last year’s event, I selected Shane Victorino, Yunel Escobar, and C.C. Sabathia, which was a risk, as I didn’t know much about the AL stats.  I finished 21st, two ahead of The Pi Train’s Barry Stahl.  But there were only 27 entries.

For 2010, I selected:

  1. Roy Halladay, starting pitcher, for $31.  I had missed out on Carl Crawford for $31 a few picks earlier.
  2. Mistakenly, I blurted out “$1!” for outfielder Scott Podsednik.  All I knew about him is that he had decent steals and had a good average (at least when he was in LA) – but I didn’t know anything about his White Sox stats from 2010.  So then I had to figure out a strategy.
  3. I decided I should try to dominate pitching by using my remaining $18 on another starter.  After Josh Johnson went for $20, I was able to grab Mat Latos for $16, leaving $2 on the table.

Afterwards, I calculated my “team’s” 2010 stats:

  • Halladay: 21 Wins, 2.44 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 219 K’s, 0 Saves (250-2/3 IP, 68 ER, 30 BB, 231 Hits)
  • Latos: 14 Wins, 2.92 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 189 K’s, 0 Saves (184-2/3 IP, 60 ER, 50 BB, 150 Hits)
  • Total Pitching: 35 Wins, 2.652 ERA, 1.061 WHIP, 408 K’s, 0 Saves (43-1/3 IP, 128 ER, 80 BB, 381 Hits)
  • Podsednik / Total Hitting: .297 Average, 63 Runs, 6 HR, 51 RBI, 35 SB

For this year’s event, there were 31 participants.  Standings in each category were given 31 points for being in first, and 1 point for being in last.  Highest total wins.

Based on the above stats, I thought I would get 31 points in Wins and K’s, 25 points in ERA and WHIP, 10 points of saves, along with 25 points in Average and Steals, and low totals (maybe 5 points each) in R/HR/RBI, as someone was likely to go all-pitching.  Total estimate: 187 points

Here’s how the Atomic RoadRunners fared:

Hitting:

  • Runs: 1 point (last)
  • Home Runs: 1 point (last)
  • RBI: 1 point (last)
  • Steals: 20 points (12th)
  • .AVG: 21 points (11th)
  • Total hitting: 44 points

Pitching:

  • Wins: 31 points (FIRST)
  • Saves: 11 points (tied for 21st with everyone else with zero saves)
  • Strikeouts: 31 points (FIRST)
  • ERA: 19 points (14th)
  • WHIP: 23 points (9th)
  • Total pitching: 115 points

Overall Total: 159 points

While I expected to be near the top (or possibly the top) in wins and strikeouts, I miscalculated the impact on WHIP and ERA.  The problem is that everyone who forgoes pitchers automatically finish with a 0.00 ERA and 0.000 WHIP, which beats my very good (but $47)  ERA and WHIP.  And those guys tie me in Saves. Additionally, some target closers due to even better ERA and WHIP, gain 20 additional Saves points by being near the top, and score better in pitching.  So, to recap:

  • A. No pitchers: Best ERA, best WHIP, no amount of saves, very low wins and strikeouts
  • B. Closers: Better ERA, better WHIP, high saves, very low wins, some strikeouts
  • C. Starters: Good ERA, good WHIP, no saves, best wins, best strikeouts

Let’s analyze the points potential:

  • A. No pitchers. Two players drafted zero pitchers, and thus finished with 30.5 points each in ERA and WHIP. They also received 11 points, which is likely the points total for the 22 teams that obtained zero closers/saves.  They received 1.5 points in wins (zero) and strikeouts (zero).  And then $50 to spend on offense.  75 points in pitching without trying.
  • B. Closers. It seems that 7 teams drafted closers (31 minus 2 (no pitchers) and 22 (no saves)).  They received between 25-31 points in saves, and also received between 22-29 points in ERA and WHIP.  But also factor in between 2-10 points in Wins and Strikeouts. 92 points, but probably $15 left to spend on hitting.
  • C. Starters. Well, look at my team.  31 points in two categories, above the mid-point in two categories, and 11 in the zero accumulation category of saves. I may have had the best combination of starters with low ERA and WHIP, but that was enough to only get 19 and 23 points, respectively.  115 points, but only $3 left to spend on hitting.

Analyzing the hitting isn’t an issue.  By skipping all pitching, you’ll have $50 to spend on hitting, while pocketing 75 points through your lack of pitching effort.  Then just bulk up on the right high-average sluggers and high-powered stealers.

The winning team took this strategy:

Our winner is Dave Potts, who breaks Tim Wille’s two-year reign as Arizona Challenge champion. Tim still finished very strong, in 4th place.

There are many ways to win this game. In its first three years using this format, the optimal mix was two batters and one pitcher. The 2007 winner pulled off the feat with a starting pitcher. Tim did it in 2008 and 2009 with a closer. For the first time, the winner took the title with three batters. The runner-up, Jim Donahew, did likewise.

Dave’s winning team was Albert Pujols ($33), Aubrey Huff ($8) and Jose Reyes ($2). Congratulations on winning free registration to next year’s symposium!

Apparently most of the attendees had soured on Jose Reyes. Jeez. You have to be certain that you will get the best hitters for all categories, but it paid off.

The winning points total was as follows:

  • 31 points in Runs, HR, RBI
  • 30.5 points in ERA and WHIP
  • (at this point he’s 5 point behind my overall total of 159, with only 5 categories tallied)
  • 25 points in Steals
  • 19 points in .AVG
  • 11 points in Saves (same as me)
  • 1.5 points in Wins and Strikeouts

As mentioned above, going with a good closer and two good hitters has won before, and should result in more points than compared to a starter, so we’ll give that a shot next year.  Something to ponder.

Buster Posey Named NL Rookie of the Year

Buster Posey won the 2010 National League Rookie of the Year Award. Posey got a whopping 20 first place votes — 11 more than Braves outfielder Jason Heyward. The 23-year-old catcher turned in a .305/.357/.505 batting line, 18 home runs and 67 RBI in 108 games for the World Series champion Giants this season and will be a major fantasy asset for many years to come. Rangers closer Neftali Feliz won the award over in the American League.

From MLB.com:

Giants catcher Buster Posey, who burst onto the scene upon arriving in the Major Leagues on Memorial Day weekend, was named the winner of the National League Rookie of the Year Award on Monday, besting early-season favorite Jason Heyward of the Braves.

Posey received 20 first-place votes, nine second-place votes and two third-place tallies for 129 points. Heyward received the opposite: nine first-place votes, 20 second-place votes and two thirds.

Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia was third with 24 points and Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez was fourth with 18.

The Giants’ first-round Draft pick in 2008, Posey’s reputation preceeded his arrival in San Francisco. The Florida State product made his Major League debut with the Giants in September 2009, but appeared in only seven games. The 23-year-old backstop began the ’10 season with Triple-A Fresno, from where he all but forced San Francisco to promote him. Posey hit .349 with six homers in the first 47 games of the season in the Minors before getting the call to the Majors on May 29.

He continued his hot hitting in his first Major League action of the season, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs against the D-backs. Posey manned first base for most of June, until the Giants traded catcher Bengie Molina to the Rangers on July 1, opening the starting job for the rookie.

Posey blasted his way through opposing pitchers in the month of July, batting .417 with seven homers and 24 RBIs en route to winning NL Rookie of the Month honors. Also in July, Posey strung together a 21-game hit streak that fell one game short of tying the Giants’ rookie mark set by Hall of Famer Willie McCovey in 1959.

It wasn’t just Posey’s offense that caught the league’s attention. The backstop managed one of the league’s top pitching staffs, one that that included two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, in the midst of a tight pennant race. And he threw out 37 percent of would-be basestealers.

Posey cooled off a bit at the plate in August but rebounded with eight homers in the season’s stretch run in September and October. The rookie worked his way into the cleanup spot, from where he helped lift the Giants over the Padres and into the playoffs as the NL West champions on the season’s final day.

Though voting for the Rookie of the Year awards was completed by the end of the regular season, Posey performed with poise in the playoffs, batting .288 with five RBIs while helping to lead his club to a World Series title.

After Posey, Jason Heyward, Jaime Garcia, Gaby Sanchez, Neil Walker, Starlin Castro, Ike Davis, Jose Tabata, and Jonny Venters

Pujols Wins Silver Slugger for First Base

Albert Pujols was given the 2010 Silver Slugger Award for first base. Pujols was out-produced by Reds first baseman Joey Votto, but the Silver Slugger Award is voted on by Major League Baseball coaches and managers, and they obviously don’t take the voting process very seriously. Dan Uggla won at second base, Ryan Zimmerman won for the hot corner, Troy Tulowitzki took shortstop and Ryan Braun, Carlos Gonzalez and Matt Holliday were the outfield recipients. Brian McCann won at catcher and Yovani Gallardo posted a solid 837 OPS in 63 at-bats to win at pitcher. (Rotoworld)

2010 NL Gold Gloves Announced – 3 RoadRunners

The 2010 National League Rawlings Gold Glove winners, as revealed on Wednesday:

Catcher: Yadier Molina, Cardinals
First base: Albert Pujols, Cardinals
Second base: Brandon Phillips, Reds
Third base: Scott Rolen, Reds
Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
Outfield: Michael Bourn, Astros
Outfield: Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
Outfield: Shane Victorino, Phillies
Pitcher: Bronson Arroyo, Reds