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April 29, 2005

ESPN Column

Dellucci e Molto Meravigliosa!
DAVID DELLUCCI has a ridiculous OPS of 1.118, good enough for seventh best in all the land if he had enough plate appearances. Dellucci had Lasik surgery in the offseason and ought to be appearing in commercials for the procedure any day now, but let’s not get carried away: he just isn’t that good. Dellucci started 2004 in similarly fine fashion, batting .330 and slugging .560 through the end of May, only to hit .202 and slug .390 over the last four months of the season. So, should you own him? Nothing wrong with it, just don’t put him in your lineup and forget about him. Remember that he only starts against lefties, and, to use the cliché, he could revert to pumpkin status at any time.

On Hidalgo and Mench
Goodness, has Hidalgo been awful. I did suggest that KEVIN MENCH could offer the same or better production as Hidalgo but cost less (in the form of a later-round draft pick), but I didn’t think the reason would be Hidalgo’s .173 batting average. From May 1st of last year through April 28th of this year, basically a full season of baseball, Hidalgo is batting a stunning .213/.276/.391. Now, if he were ROD BARAJAS, Texas would shower him with love and arbitration-driven riches, but alas, he’s a right fielder. Worse still, he’s now sharing his position with GARY MATTHEWS. What to do?

In any ESPN mixed league, you have to look for a replacement. Perhaps keep an eye on him for potential improvement and grab him back down the road. In AL-only leagues and large mixed leagues, grit your teeth and hope he wakes up. As for Mench, he has started every game since the departure of Adrian Gonzalez and is batting a salty .300/.355/.500. That .300 average is probably the upper end of his range, but his power is legit. Unless he plummets to the core of the Earth like Hidalgo, he’ll start just about every day.

On Nix, Teixeira and Blalock
Hardly anyone in mixed leagues has taken the bait on LAYNCE NIX and his lofty .393 batting average. Given his tenure as a low-average, moderate-power outfielder, that seems justified. Nix might hit well enough to impart some value in mixed leagues, but come July I can’t imagine any owners saying “I wish I’d grabbed Laynce Nix when I had the chance! Curse you, Lucas!? He will continue to start against righties and sit against lefties. MARK TEIXEIRA and HANK BLALOCK continue to underwhelm. Actually, Teixeira’s projection look pretty respectable aside from his average, while Blalock projects to be a flop. Both will be fine. It’s a long season.

On the Rotation
I must commend my fellow ESPN owners on their collective skepticism of KENNY ROGERS and his 2.67 ERA. Rogers otherwise sports an unspectacular 1.42 WHIP and 11 strikeouts over 30 innings. As you probably know, Rogers is more valuable in real life than fantasy life. PEDRO ASTACIO discovered grim reality in the form of the Yankee offense last Sunday. He’ll face the Red Sox next in Arlington, so watch him rather than own him. In AL-only leagues, given the choice, I’d take CHRIS YOUNG over CHAN HO PARK. At least Young is young and has some potential. If you own Park and he collapses, you have his previous three-plus years of dreadfulness staring you in the face.

Posted by Lucas at 05:55 PM

April 23, 2005

Minor League Signings

Texas signed 3B BRANDON LARSON and pitcher JASON BOYD to minor-league contracts.

Cincinnati nabbed Larson as the 14th-overall selection of the 1997 draft. Though already 21 when drafted, Larson progressed rather slowly, not reaching AAA until late in 2000 at age 24. In 2002-2003, his age 26-27 season, he batted .331 and hit 45 homers in 152 AAA games. Unfortunately, he never transferred that prowess to the Majors, batting .179 and slugging .299 over four years of part-time play. Larson turns 28 in May and will join AA Frisco.

Boyd is a 32-year-old, well-travelled reliever who has a 5.74 ERA over five years with four different teams.

Posted by Lucas at 11:40 AM

April 20, 2005

ESPN Column

Nix Up, Gonzalez Down
Apparently, 80-or-so Spring Training at-bats were enough to merit the surprising big-league addition of ADRIAN GONZALEZ and equally surprising demotion of LAYNCE NIX to AAA. Now, 35-or-so genuine at-bats are enough to reverse that decision. One cannot compress the “merit? cycle any smaller without creating a black hole. Anyway, Texas did not stick Nix on a flight to Tampa just for him to sit in the dugout. He should become the regular centerfielder in place of Gary Matthews, though Matthews might get the starts against lefties. Nix warrants an immediate pickup in AL-only leagues. Since he has yet to display much beyond raw power, owners in mixed leagues should avoid him for now.

Strangely, this move could help KEVIN MENCH more than anyone. Gonzalez’s departure makes DAVID DELLUCCI the lefthanded DH by default, so Mench has one less person with whom to share at-bats. For those who followed my suggestion to pick up Gonzalez, I feel your pain. I assumed that if Nix wasn’t good enough to make the Rangers out of Spring Training, he couldn’t hit his way back on in just two weeks. Silly me. Likewise, if Texas is holding Gonzalez’s .194 average against him, perhaps they should also waive Richard Hidalgo.

Not Worth Your Worries
ALFONSO SORIANO threw himself a little hissyfit yesterday upon learning of his lack of presence in the starting lineup. Silliness aside, his behavior won’t make Texas any more inclined to trade him, or bench him, or option him to Bakersfield. I doubt Soriano will call Texas home in 2006, but as long as Texas remains in the playoff hunt, he won’t go anywhere. The wild card is Ian Kinsler, who might hasten Soriano’s departure with a torrid performance in AAA. Kinsler is batting only .229/.275/.438 at the moment. MARK TEIXEIRA still isn’t hitting. If you own him, relax. He’s batting .216 when hitting the ball into the field of play. An average that low is mostly bad luck. If you don’t own him but the person who does is a loose cannon, make a offer.

Vote For Pedro? Revisited
PEDRO ASTACIO turned in his third consecutive terrific start on Tuesday and sports an ERA of 1.64 in 22 innings. I’ve seen his two most recent starts, and he is not getting by with junk and luck. He has been in full command of all four of his pitches and generally making hitters look stupid. Can this continue? I remain the skeptic, but really, you can’t argue with results. His next two starts should come against the Yankees and Red Sox. If he can display the same stuff against them, he’ll have value in any league. With his very dubious history of arm trouble and poor performances over last few years, I can’t recommend him outright. That said, he is a worthwhile risk, and if you’re holding some deadwood, why not pick him up and give him a shot?

Posted by Lucas at 05:56 PM

Transaction

Texas recalled outfielder LAYNCE NIX from AAA and optioned 1B/DH ADRIAN GONZALEZ to AAA.

Adrian Gonzalez unexpectedly made the squad on the basis of 80-or-so terrific exhibition plate appearances. Now, he evidently merits a demotion based on 38 sluggish PAs. Likewise, Laynce Nix unexpectedly lost his job to a journeyman and got his first trip to Oklahoma after batting .197 during the spring, and now he rejoins the Rangers after batting .333 with three homers in ten games.

Is just two weeks of performance the real reason for the maneuver? I hope not. I can’t think of anything that’s occurred over this span that would alter my (or anybody’s) perception of the quality of either player. Anybody can start slow. Witness Mark Teixeira.

Am I too cynical when I say this transaction strikes me as a way to insure that David Dellucci gets his “fair? share of at-bats? With Gonzalez gone, he becomes the primary lefthanded DH.

Posted by Lucas at 05:39 PM

April 18, 2005

Googlemapping Rangers' Spring Training Complex

Here

Posted by Lucas at 02:22 PM

April 17, 2005

Transaction

Texas placed reliever RYAN BUKVICH on the 15-day Disabled List and recalled reliever NICK REGILIO from AAA.

Just announced. I didn't hear what ails Bukvich, and frankly, I don't care. He just doesn't look like a Major League pitcher to me. He throws very hard but in a random direction only vaguely toward home plate.

Regilio makes his third trip to Arlington in two weeks.

Posted by Lucas at 01:24 PM

April 16, 2005

ESPN Column

All Outfielders Utterly Worthless
Hyperbolic, I know, but RICHARD HIDALGO is two for his last 21, KEVIN MENCH is batting .200 with no extra-base hits this season, and struggling GARY MATTHEWS has found himself on the bench two of the last three games. You already know Hidalgo is supremely flaky; just be patient and he should come around. To my surprise and dismay, Mench has started only seven of the first eleven. He really needs to step up or he could lose more time to DAVID DELLUCCI. His ownership has already fallen to 65% in ESPN mixed leagues. I do think he’ll improve and provide value. Dellucci has six starts is eleven games and has a wild line of .235/.500/.647, but even if he wrests more at-bats from Mench, he’s a fourth outfielder at heart and not worth owning in mixed leagues.

As for Matthews, he was never worth owning in mixed leagues anyway. He’ll get an opportunity to straighten out, so his owners in AL-only leagues shouldn’t cut bait yet. Still, keep an eye on his playing time. Friday night, Buck Showalter gave Hidalgo his first start in CF in three years in favor of Matthews. AL-only owners should also keep an eye on LAYNCE NIX, batting .259/.394/.481 in AAA. If Matthews continues to struggle and Nix plays well, Nix will supplant him. Fifth outfielder CHAD ALLEN has a nifty .357 average starting solely against lefties. Nevertheless, he is Chad Allen, and has no value except as emergency filler in AL-only leagues.

Patience With Teixeira
MARK TEIXEIRA might be disappointing his owners with his .217 batting average, but don’t worry. Teixeira has actually brought that average up from a paltry .125 over his past five games. If he suffers a 2-for-25 streak in mid-August, chances are that you and I might not even notice. Since he did it in games two through six, everyone is alarmed. Last night, Teixeira homered and even stole a base, one of about four you might see from him this season. He’ll drive in a million runs with the guys hitting in front of him, and he’ll justify your high draft choice. I see some bizarre trades involving him in ESPN’s archives. Whoever offered Teixeira straight up for Eric Byrnes needs to find a new hobby. My wife recommends scrapbooking.

Vote For Pedro?
PEDRO ASTACIO, last effective in 2000, pitched his second consecutive gem on Thursday, and his ownership in AL-only leagues has rocketed to 84%. I suppose I can’t blame his new owners. I witnessed that start, and his curveball snapped Toronto’s hitters into little pieces. Astacio has also garnered a trifle of interest in mixed leagues. Is he worth the risk? I’m a bit skeptical, and I doubt he’ll offer much value except for the potentially high strikeout total. Facing Seattle in Safeco and Toronto at home is a relatively easy way to get off to a good start. Astacio faces the low-scoring A’s next but then must battle against the Yankees and Red Sox.

Other Starters
Nobody owns KENNY ROGERS and RYAN DRESE for their strikeouts, but one would expect more than four in 33 innings between them. Drese has the odd distinction of having an ERA higher than his peripherals would indicate despite his miniscule strikeout rate. In the long run, no amount of ground ball induction will compensate for a K rate below one per nine innings. Drese simply has to make more hitters miss if he wants to succeed. The same applies to Rogers, who (temporarily) has a pretty ERA and WHIP but no wins. Hold off in mixed leagues. As for CHRIS YOUNG, he has about two more starts to show he belongs in the Majors. RICARDO RODRIGUEZ has a 2.25 ERA in two AAA starts and would be first in line to replace him.

Posted by Lucas at 05:57 PM

April 15, 2005

Statistical Outlook

Texas through 10 games:

Actual won-loss record: 4-6, .400
Expected won-loss record based on runs scored and allowed (“Pythagorean?): 4.4-5.6, .440
Expected won-loss record based on offensive and defensive peripherals: 5.5-4.5, .550

Team batting line: .267/.340/.437
Team OPS: .777
Steals/Caught: 4/1
Runs scored per game: 5.30
Expected runs scored per game: 5.15

Opponent’s batting line: .267/.333/.409
Opponent’s OPS: .742
Steals/Caught: 4/3
Runs scored per game: 6.00
Expected runs scored per game: 4.63

Team ERA: 5.42
Component ERA: 4.27
Component ERA adjusted for balls in play: 4.40

Estimated park factor: 107
Adjusted park factor based on unequal games at home vs road: 103
Team OPS+: 103
Team ERA+: 85

Proof that anything can happen in ten games. Texas has a better OBP and substantially better slugging percentage than its opponents but has been outscored by seven runs. As is often the case, luck or skill or fate with runners on base tells the tale: Texas is batting a meager .239/.333/.337 in this category, opponents a robust .298/.391/.457 with 17 walks and only 12 strikeouts.

Texas pitching in general and the bullpen in particular have been awful, again mostly because of generosity once runners reach base. Compared to 2004, the current staff has decreased the opponents’ OPS by .032 but allowed an additional 1.1 runs per game. This cannot last. Expect Ranger opponents to hit worse with runners on base but better overall.

Posted by Lucas at 05:40 PM

Transaction

Texas activated pitcher CARLOS ALMANZAR from the bereavement list and optioned pitcher NICK REGILIO to AAA.

"Bereavement" is far too polite a word to describe what Almanzar is going through. Much to my surprise and initial dismay, Regilio pitched two innings in a close game the previous night, but he acquitted himself well.

Posted by Lucas at 04:10 PM

April 13, 2005

Transaction

Texas placed pitcher R.A. DICKEY on the 15-day Disabled List and recalled pitcher NICK REGILIO from AAA Oklahoma.

Dickey goes down with an arm strain that looked more serious when it occurred. He'll miss no fewer than three weeks. Regilio imploded in his one appearance and will be used only in case of emergency. He could return to AAA within the week when Carlos Almanzar returns.

Posted by Lucas at 12:40 PM

April 11, 2005

ESPN Column

Infield Runs Hot And Cold
ALFONSO SORIANO’s hamstring problems clearly have not poisoned his bat. Although he’s hitting only .229, he has six runs, three homers and four RBI in seven games. He also has a steal, nice news to those worried about his gait. Not that you care, but his defense is as bad as ever. HANK BLALOCK and MICHAEL YOUNG have gotten off to their typically fine starts. MARK TEIXEIRA, on the other hand, hasn’t done much since Opening Day. If you own him, relax. He’ll hit any day now. Don’t put too much into one week of performance. The panicky owner is a losing owner. Regarding the Texas infield, I don’t normally write much about them because they’re so boringly reliable. Email me if you have questions.

Hidalgo Hot, Matthews Chilly
Outfielder RICHARD HIDALGO acclimated quickly to the American League by hitting .276 with two dramatic homers in the first week of play. Should he continue to hit for power and get his average up to around .300, that’s when his owners ought to consider trading him. Hidalgo should have a pretty good season, but he’s always been horribly inconsistent and prone to minor injuries. GARY MATTHEWS, all alone in center field with Laynce Nix in AAA, is batting only .207/.233/.241. He’s had opportunities to start elsewhere and failed. He has time to improve, but improved play by Nix will have him looking over his shoulder in a week or two. Hold on to him for now in AL-only leagues.

Mench Even Chiller
Outfielder KEVIN MENCH has doubly aggravated his owners, once by starting only five of the first seven games, again by batting only .182/.217/.182 with no runs and two RBI in his opening week. With most batters, the presumably temporary doldrums wouldn’t mean much of anything, but in Mench’s case there is some cause for concern. For a variety of reasons, most of them seemingly silly, Mench has never been a management favorite. Buck Showalter has already given backup DAVID DELLUCCI two starts and might be inclined to give him more if Mench continues to struggle. Don’t worry about him yet, but keep a hopeful eye on a breakout during this nine-game homestand.

Gonzalez and Allen(?!) Share DH duties
ADRIAN GONZALEZ has started only three of the first seven games. Showalter withheld him from starting Opening Day against putative ace Bartolo Colon, and since then, Gonzalez has started every game against righties and never against a lefty. As long as Delucci steals one or two starts per week from Mench, Gonzalez should continue to start consistently against righties, so expect Gonzalez to make 4-5 starts per week. Meanwhile, alleged fifth outfielder CHAD ALLEN has started at DH in all three games against a lefty. Allen has batted well so far (.364 with two runs and one RBI) but is a career .268/.321/.391 hitter and an option only in the largest of AL-only leagues.

Starting Pitchers: Keep On Avoiding
PEDRO ASTACIO parlayed one astonishingly good start into 33% ownership in ESPN’s AL-only leagues. Grab him if you enjoy queasy thrills, but understand that Astacio last pitched well in 2000 (from a real perspective, not fantasy). Is he a safer bet than CHAN HO PARK or CHRIS YOUNG? Trick question. It’s like asking which finger you’d like chopped off: every answer is unpalatable. I suppose Astacio has the most upside, in the sense that he’s utterly unpredictable, and I would take my chances with him over Park. As for RYAN DRESE and KENNY ROGERS, both have nice WHIPs, and Rogers has a spiffy 2.77 ERA, but neither has a win in four starts thanks to a porous bullpen and they’ve combined for four, FOUR, strikeouts in 24 innings pitched. Hence, limited value.

Bullpen Struggles
Last year, Texas featured the best bullpen in the American league. This year, with both CARLOS ALMANZAR and FRANK FRANCISCO missing, they’ve already blown four leads and have an ERA in the range of 6.00. Getting the lead to closer FRANCISCO CORDERO is but one issue, as he himself has blown two save opportunities. Cordero will be fine, but the overall shape of the pen is a concern. While some of the Ranger rotation does have value in AL-only leagues, much of it is a function of getting a win despite a mediocre performance. A weaker bullpen saps that value. Almanzar, coping with the deaths of his mother and brother, should return by the end of the week. Francisco will begin a rehab assignment before long and could return by the end of the month or soon after.

Posted by Lucas at 09:31 PM

April 10, 2005

Transaction

Texas activated pitcher PEDRO ASTACTIO from the disabled list and optioned pitcher NICK REGILIO to AAA.

Expected. Neither Ryan Bukvich nor Matt Riley has an option, and Regilio lost an 8th inning lead and seemingly his composure in his only appearance of the season.

Posted by Lucas at 09:46 AM

April 07, 2005

Hughes to Nationals

Washington has claimed pitcher TRAVIS HUGHES off waivers from Texas.

I didn't expect anyone to take the bait. Hughes is almost 27 and has done little above AA. I wouldn't be surprised if the Nats themselves tried to pass him through waivers before long.

Posted by Lucas at 07:15 PM

April 03, 2005

ESPN Column

Opening Day Roster Brings Mild Surprises
Outfielder LAYNCE NIX will not make the trip to Anaheim with the Rangers. After a lukewarm Spring Training that left management skeptical that he could man center field every day in Texas, Nix will instead play every day for the Oklahoma Redhawks. GARY MATTHEWS, a pleasant addition last year, ascends from the wrong end of a platoon to everyday centerfielder. Meanwhile, 1B ADRIAN GONZALEZ has parlayed his torrid spring into a starting DH job in place of injured GREG COLBRUNN. Texas placed four pitchers on the DL along with Colbrunn, the only one worth mentioning fantasy-wise is setup man FRANK FRANCISCO. Fellow reliever CARLOS ALMANZAR will miss a few games after being placed on the Bereavement List.

The fantasy implications of these maneuvers are minimal in ESPN’s mixed leagues. No one mentioned above merits ownership, not yet anyway. Owners in AL-only leagues should drop Nix forthwith. Also, as just about any regular position player has value, consider Matthews and Gonzalez. Over his career, Matthews has veered between adequacy and wretchedness as a batter. Grab him if you really OF help but keep a short leash. Gonzalez has displayed only modest success above AA but has far more upside. He and ostensible fellow DH DAVID DELLUCCI are both lefthanded, so there’s no obvious platoon situation to be found. So, Gonzalez should start most of the time, but it’s hard to say exactly when or how often. Still, he’s worth owning, and he’s worth watching in mixed leagues.

Likewise, Francisco is of interest only in AL-only leagues. He is nursing a sore elbow and hopes to return by late April. His absence, along with the temporary absence of Almanzar, thins out 2004’s AL-best bullpen and perhaps could result in a few more leads lost before FRANCISCO CORDERO has a chance to close out. Cordero should still be an excellent fantasy closer, and he appears fully recovered from early March should soreness.

Soriano Hits, Then Runs
ALFONSO SORIANO stole a base in an exhibition game Sunday, his first attempt of the spring. At last, he appears healthy. He and his .324 OBP will lead off for Texas for the time being. Expect 20-25 steals, not 30-35. The question is how long he’ll remain in Texas. Tampa Bay reportedly declined his services in exchange for Danys Baez and Nick Cantu. Prospect IAN KINSLER played well this spring, and continued success in AAA will make Soriano all the more expendable, especially if Texas falls out of the playoff race.

Opening Week
Texas initiates the season with trips to the OC and Seattle. The opposing starters are not yet determined for every game, but expect the Rangers to face Colon, Washburn and Lackey in Anaheim and the three M’s (Moyer, Meche, Madristch) in Seattle. With Nix and Colbrunn gone, Texas has no lefty-righty platoons as was so common last year. In the early going, manager Buck Showalter probably will try to get every position player some action, so don’t fret if you see a bench player like Chad Allen or Mark DeRosa in the lineup in a boxscore this week. For that matter, don’t panic about an obvious winner like MICHAEL YOUNG or MARK TEIXEIRA starting off slow. If either goes 1-for-20 in August, you’d never see it. If it happens during the opening week, some owners panic. Not you, I hope.

Rotation Still Unworthy Of You
In my recently drafted 12-team ESPN league, one owner picked up starter RYAN DRESE very late, and the other starters went undrafted. That’s as it should be, and I’m not too fond of Drese either, for fantasy purposes. He and KENNY ROGERS have similar a similar fantasy repertoire: good production in wins combined with mediocrity in ERA, WHIP and strikeouts. Since wins are so fickle, Drese and Rogers strike me as a high-risk, low-reward solutions. Both have value in Al-only leagues and larger mixed leagues. CHAN HO PARK might tease you with a good outing or two, but he’s fantasy kryptonite. The same applies to PEDRO ASTACIO. CHRIS YOUNG has some potential but isn’t worth owning right now in any league.

Posted by Lucas at 09:29 PM

2005 Opening Day Roster

C - Rod Barajas
C - Sandy Alomar
1B - Mark Teixeira
1B - Adrian Gonzalez
2B - Alfonso Soriano
3B - Hank Blalock
SS - Michael Young
IF - Mark DeRosa
OF - Richard Hidalgo
OF - Kevin Mench
OF - Gary Matthews
OF - David Dellucci
OF - Chad Allen

SP - Ryan Drese
SP - Kenny Rogers
SP - Chan Ho Park
SP - Chris Young
CL - Francisco Cordero
RP - Doug Brocail
RP - Ryan Bukvich
RP - R.A. Dickey
RP - Ron Mahay
RP - Matt Riley
RP - Nick Regilio
RP - Brian Shouse

The major development is that Texas decided against a CF platoon and optioned Nix to AAA, which he skipped on his way to the Majors in 2003. Matthews ascends to everyday status; always a solid defender, he has veered between adequacy and awfulness with the bat. Matthews played well last year, but frankly, he's not my idea of a centerfielder on a team contending for a division title.

Adrian Gonzalez made the squad and becomes the regular, but not everyday, designated hitter. The likewise-lefthanded Dellucci will get his share of at-bats there and sub in the outfield. Chad Allen beat out Andre "Triple" Torres for the final bench spot. He won't stay long.

The bullpen as currently configured is a shell of last year's dominant group. Francisco's injury and Almanzar's temporary absence pushes middle relievers into setup roles and dubious qualities into middle relief. Regilio earned a brief reprieve from Oklahoma because of Almanzar's situation. Both he and Bukvich should depart to AAA once Astacio and Almanzar return.

Posted by Lucas at 04:45 PM

Pre-Opening Day DL Entries

Texas placed pitchers PEDRO ASTACIO, JOAQUIN BENOIT, AND ERASMO RAMIREZ, and DH/1B GREG COLBRUNN on the 15-day Disable List. Placed pitcher CARLOS ALMANZAR on the Bereavement List.

Astacio has pitched only in minor-league exhibitions and should return in time to make his scheduled start in the rotation. Ramirez has suffered from an inflamed finger, while Colbrunn has been hampered by the same wrist soreness that ruined his previous two years. Texas faced the moderately unpleasant prospect of waiving the optionless Benoit. "Thanks" to his injury, they can defer that decision until the end of Benoit's rehab assignment.

Almanzar's mother died on the previous day, and he has departed for the Domican Republic. The absence of Frank Francisco and Almanzar places a disturbingly large burden on the shoulders of Doug Brocail. Raise your hand if you expected Nick Regilio, Matt Riley and Ryan Bukvich to make the Opening Day roster.

Posted by Lucas at 04:34 PM

Final Spring Training Additions and Subtractions

Added OF CHAD ALLEN and IF MARK DEROSA to the 40-man roster. Placed RP TRAVIS HUGHES and RP AGUSTIN MONTERO on waivers.

DeRosa was a given, Allen is a mild surprise. DeRosa didn't show much this spring, but Texas didn't quite take the bait on Ian Kinsler's superior performance. Kinsler will hone his craft in Oklahoma.

As composed in March, the team's only righthanded pinch-hitter of ostensible quality was Colbrunn. Allen will sit on the bench in his absence for now, then face waivers, go unclaimed, and get recalled upon the next injury. Repeat as necessary.

Montero is 27 and has shown negligible ability to retire hitters above AA. Why Texas placed him on the 40 with such haste last fall remains a mystery. Likewise, Hughes has topped out in AA. He strikes out plenty of batters but otherwise offers little of quality. He allowed eight walks and fourteen hits in 9.2 spring innings. 27 in May, he might hang around long enough to develop the control that would grant him some semi-usefulness to a big-league club.

Posted by Lucas at 03:56 PM

April 01, 2005

2005 BBFL Fantasy League Draft

On March 31, the 20 owners of the BBFL held their annual draft. In 2003, I finished fourth in the regular season and won the playoff championship. Last year, I finished eighth in the standings and ninth in the playoffs.

Owners keep five players from the 2004 rosters but may not hold them for more than three seasons. Scoring is 6x6 (AVG, OBP, SLG, R, RBI, SB // IP, W, SV, ERA, WHIP, K/BB), and owners who think in terms of typical 5x5 leagues would tend to overrate players like Alfonso Soriano (low OBP) and Kerry Wood (tons of striekouts but an unexceptional K/BB ratio).

My draft:

Pos Player Round Pick
2B J. Kent
keeper
x
OF A. Rowand
keeper
x
RP F. Cordero
keeper
x
SP P. Martínez
keeper
x
1B D. Ortiz
keeper
x
SP J. Lieber
6
13
1B/OF B. Wilkerson
7
27
OF M. Bradley
8
53
SP J. Weaver
9
67
OF R. Hidalgo
10
93
3B M. Ensberg
11
107
SP J. Thomson
12
133
OF E. Byrnes
13
147
C/3B B. Inge
14
173
P J. Suppan
15
187
SS J. Bartlett
16
213
RP B. Donnelly
17
227
RP K. Gregg
18
253
SS O. Vizquel
19
267
1B/3B C. Tracy
20
293
OF J. González
21
307
P A. Reyes
22
333
P S. Trachsel
23
347
1B/2B/3B M. Lamb
24
373
P L. Carter
25
387
Pos Player Round Pick
C/3B B. Inge
14
173
1B D. Ortiz
keeper
x
2B J. Kent
keeper
x
3B M. Ensberg
11
107
SS J. Bartlett
16
213
CI B. Wilkerson
7
27
MI O. Vizquel
19
267
OF A. Rowand
keeper
x
OF M. Bradley
8
53
OF R. Hidalgo
10
93
OF E. Byrnes
13
147
UT C. Tracy
20
293
UT M. Lamb
24
373
SP P. Martínez
keeper
x
SP J. Lieber
6
13
SP J. Weaver
9
67
SP J. Thomson
12
133
RP F. Cordero
keeper
x
RP B. Donnelly
17
227
RP K. Gregg
18
253
P J. Suppan
15
187
P A. Reyes
22
333
P L. Carter
25
387
Bench/DL J. González
21
307
Bench/DL S. Trachsel
23
347

I did not mean to draft Lieber first. I had him ranked at the top of my list, thanks to his off-the-chart K/BB ratio, but I'd planned to get a hitter. Still, I'm not overly disappointed. As with the Ranger Bordie draft, I went heavy on outfielders early. I intended to ignore most middle relievers but ended up with four anyway. Trachsel was a flat-out mistake; I hit the wrong button. Nevertheless, I can stick him on the DL and pick up someone else, as is the case with my intentional choice of the injured Juan Gonzalez in the 20th round.

Posted by Lucas at 12:31 PM