« Transaction | Main | Transaction »

May 12, 2005

ESPN Column

The Gambler
KENNY ROGERS lowered his ERA to a sparkling 1.79 with a third consecutive run-free start on Monday against the Tribe. Everyone knows that won’t last; the questions are whether he’s a total fraud and could he help your mixed-league team? Problem 1: Opponents are hitting only .263 against him on balls in play. .300 is more likely in the future. Problem 2: His 1.30 WHIP, while also good, is more indicative of an ERA in the threes. Problem 3: His starts have come against LA (twice), Toronto, Tampa Bay, Seattle, Oakland and Cleveland. Yawn. Rogers faces a decent-hitting Twin squad next, but then he’ll battle the dire Kansas City and Houston squads assuming the rotation stays in form. So perhaps, in the short run, he actually can help a mixed-league team.

Outfield Drills
Any owner of a Ranger outfielder should know the routine: LAYNCE NIX and DAVID DELLUCCI play only against righties, GARY MATTHEWS starts against all lefties and the occasional righty, KEVIN MENCH starts against all lefties and most righties, and RICHARD HIDALGO… Well, Hidalgo is back in the lineup and has started seven of eight, though with little to show for it (.253/.211/.353 in May, and yes, his OBP is lower than his batting average). Hidalgo is turning into one of the premier busts of the season, and I regret suggesting he could help your team. Nevertheless, unless those of you in AL-only leagues find a pot of gold on the waiver wire, you probably have to hold on and hope for the best.. In mixed leagues, waive goodbye.

Also for those in AL-only league, remember to keep that waiver pick handy when trade season heats up. Assuming Texas stays in contention, they may upgrade their outfield. This is pure speculation on my part, but I’m going with the bold prediction that an outfield of Mench, Nix and Matthews/Hidalgo is not conducive to an AL West division title. Also keep an eye on JASON BOTTS, currently hitting a robust .300/.396/.617 in AAA.

No Ricardo Yet
PEDRO ASTACIO possibly saved his job with a six-inning, two-run performance on Wednesday. If he proves incapable of maintaining a roster spot, Texas may recall RICARDO RODRIGUEZ from Oklahoma. Rodriguez narrowly missed making the rotation out of Spring Training, and with the shape of the rotation it was assumed that he’d be in Arlington within two or three weeks. Unfortunately for him, with the entire rotation healthy and reasonably effective (read, not abjectly ineffective), he’s been stuck in OKC. Should Rodriguez get the call at some point, don’t knock over your grandmother in the rush to get him. He has potential but has shown little of it in the Majors to date. Tack on his home park and you have yet another mediocre fantasy pitcher.

Good, Bad, Ugly
MICHAEL YOUNG is batting a grim .182/.234/.273 in May, dropping him to a .243 average on the season. Young has always run hot and cold, a product of his free-swinging style, and you’ll have to live with it. Conversely, GARY MATTHEWS is having himself a pleasant little May (.333/.324/.528) and garnered interest in AL-only leagues. That’s fine, but keep in mind that he is and will always be Gary Matthews. Like Hidalgo, he hasn’t drawn a walk this month and has a lower OBP than batting average. Laynce Nix has cooled off as predicted. He’s strictly an AL-only type.

Don’t Worry About Cordero
Just don’t. He isn’t going to lose his job to Doug Brocail or Brian Shouse. God help us all if he does.

Posted by Lucas at May 12, 2005 10:19 AM