- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade5 hrs ago
At first glance, there isn't much going on with the 2014 San Diego Padres. They're 12 games under .500, nowhere near contention in the National League. They're last in the majors in runs, no matter how you slice it (home, away, total). They currently don't have a general manager. You wonder why The Chicken cries himself to sleep every night.
But even the mediocre clubs have something to contribute in our fantasy racket, so today we serve a little sympathy for the Friars.
Yangervis Solarte might turn into a fun player in San Diego. He came to Bordertown in the Chase Headley deal, and Bud Black uses him at the top of the order (second or third). Solarte covers three infield positions (everything but first base) and he has a little pop (eight homers in 280 at-bats). He's 8-for-28 with two homers since the trade.Wed, Jul 307:10 PM PDTSt. Louis at San DiegoPreview Game
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade1 day ago
Generally speaking, we don't look for much in our search for fantasy-relevant closers. We want someone with the closing baton, the unblocked path to the ninth. We look for someone who can record three outs without being spooked, someone with ratios that won't torch our bottom line. There's a low barrier to entry here.
Those modest parameters established, can we trust Neftali Feliz in Texas? I'm not sure.
Feliz picked up the closing gig last week, when the Rangers shipped Joakim Soria to Detroit (where, interestingly enough, Soria is not closing). Feliz converted a pair of saves over the last four days; he dodged two baserunners in a weekend win over Oakland, and he had a clean landing Monday against New York (three infield outs: Ellsbury, Gardner, Jeter).
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade4 days ago
Here's the latest Shuffle Up from the mound, the starting pitchers. This is the big one. Marinate over the prices. I'll do the same, move a few ranks here and there.
What's happened to this point is an audition, only. We're trying to figure out how to rank the players going forward. Assume a 5x5 scoring system, and players at the same cost are considered even.
And remember the golden rule – a player doesn't gain 15-20 percent of bonus value simply because he's on your roster.
I didn't bother ranking any injured pitchers in this edition. Bluntly put, I have very little faith in any of them for the balance of 2014. They're worth whatever you want them to be, but I'm not trading for them.
To the checkout line.
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade5 days ago
Marucs Stroman is owned in just 35 percent of Yahoo leagues? Come on, guys. You're better than that.
When Stroman first got the call to the YYZ, back in May, the club wanted to use him in the bullpen. A handful of blowups ensued, and Stroman returned to his dominating ways in the minors. Since the subsequent recall, Stroman has been ridiculous: 2.21 ERA, 8.1 K/9, 3.93 K/BB, even a snappy 5-2 record.
The only bad start in that run came in Anaheim, and we'll float him a pass for that - the Angels are the No. 2 offense in the majors, after all. The hiccup didn't bother Stroman much - he hasn't allowed a run over his last two turns, covering 14 innings (5 H, 2 BB, 12 K).
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade6 days ago
It's not difficult to unscramble the 2014 Detroit Tigers. They're a good hitting club with a big-name rotation and a horrible bullpen (4.37 ERA). You love watching them hit. You flinch when they try to close out games.
Okay, they're working on that last part.
General Manager Dave Dombrowski knew he needed additions for the back end, so he made a splashy trade Wednesday evening. The Tigers shipped two promising young pitchers, Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel, to Texas. In return, Detroit acquired veteran reliever Joakim Soria. The deal becomes official when all three players pass their physicals.Wed, Jul 304:08 PM PDTChi White Sox at DetroitPreview Game
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade7 days ago
Here's the deal: you push Jacob deGrom's fantasy ownership past the 50 percent mark, then we can move on to a newer, fresher story. Got it? Good. Get out the ledger, it's time for another Tommy John success story (deGrom missed all of 2011 after having the procedure).
New York's 26-year-old righty has strong overall ratios (3.01 ERA, 1.29 WHIP), but he's been especially electric over the last month. Check deGrom's last six starts: 39.2 IP, 33 H, 7 R, 11 BB, 45 K. Delicious.
And it's not like deGrom is getting crazy luck over that span - the BABIP is a robust .333, and his seasonal FIP is right around his ERA. He's getting terrific results with his 93 mph heater, and he mixes it with a slider, curve and change. Fun to watch, fun to own. And yet, his ownership tag is barely over the 40 percent mark.
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade8 days ago
I used to be disgusted with Stephen Drew (and the whole family, really). Now I try to be amused. We just want numbers, we don't care where they come from.
While Drew didn't go bananas in his first Boston season, a .253-57-13-67-6 line over 124 games is handy for a middle infielder. If your league required a middle-infield fill, Drew was probably owned in your league last year.
Alas, Drew's agent misread the free-agent market, and Drew sat on his couch while the phone didn't ring. No team wanted to sign Drew - especially with a compensatory pick attached - and the stalemate dragged into the season. Eventually the slumping Red Sox bailed out their reluctant infielder, offering a one-year, $10 million lifeline in May.
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade16 days ago
I realize the first instinct in any competitive endeavor is to destroy everything in your path. And when it comes to fantasy baseball, that means acquiring stars. Load up with Kershaw, Trout, Miggy and Goldschmidt, take everyone down.
Nothing wrong with that (if you can hypnotize all your opponents), but I prefer the road less traveled. Oh, sure, I love a star here and there, but it's twice as satisfying to me to connect on a player unheralded and unwanted. As Eddie Felson used to say, money won is twice as sweet as money earned.
With this theme in mind, we'll talk Wiggy for 2014. What are The Wiggys? It's a collection of the best - and most surprising - pickups of the year, inspired by the patron saint of free pickups, Ty Wigginton. We're looking for black swans and red-headed stepchildren here, the unwanted, the type of player you get laughed at for believing in.
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade18 days ago
Kolten Wong is the most-added player in Yahoo's game over the last half-day, so many of you already read the memo. But the overall ownership tag is just 22 percent, so there's still work to be done.
Wong's minor-league pedigree showed a second basemen who could hit for average, work the count and steal bases. That's enough for mixed-league value on its own, but maybe there's more to the story. Wong has a surprising four homers since returning to the lineup last week (off a shoulder injury), part of a 7-for-19 burst. He's also stolen two bases over that span.