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When you evaluate a team, you have to look at stats more than the players at each position. For instance, you have alot of good hitters.
But, first, you lack speed. Sizemore and Markakis will give you 25-30 each and little else from others. A team that has Jose Reyes or Willy Taveras or Figgins will get more steals than your entire team.
In terms of power, you are doing pretty good. Every starting hitters has a shot at 20 HR's, which obviously means a healthy bunch of RBI's too. Soto, Pedroia, Atkins, Young, Markakis and Ethier hits for good average and many of your players hit at the top or middle of the order, that is also good.
Now onto pitching, Peavy and Lester are a pretty sick combo of starting pitchers. Alot of K's and good ratios (ERA and WHIP), even though Peavy's win total worries me. Gallardo and Baker are good young pitchers entering their prime.
Justin Duchscherer is the only pitcher I am worried about. He has never pitched more than 96 innings prior to last year (141 innings), and started to struggle in late July and ultimately got injured in August. His season numbers seem spectacular because he was awesome for the first half of the season. His second half was terrible (6 GS, 0W-3L, 4.91 ERA, 1.42 WHIP). Because he is not a strike-out pitcher, if he does not start HOT like last year, I would not keep him on the roster.
As for the bullpen, in a 12-team league, you would want at least 3 closers to finish near the top in saves category. 30 MLB teams roughly means 30 closers, and in 12-team league, each team should have 2.5 closers. Joakim Soria is a top 5 closer and Capps is solid too. Ziegler has a chance to close for A's, but it's hard to say at the moment.
I would recommend flipping Ethier or a bench player for a speed specialist. And for pitching, use Gallardo, Duchscherer, or Francisco for an established closer. Then, you should have a more balanced team.
I wholeheartedly disagree with Richard P's assessment. If you breakdown the total number of stolen bases from last year Jackson 10, Pedroia 20, Young 10, Sizemore 38, Markakis 10, Ethier 6, that gives a total of 94 stolen bases. You can dump Cruz for someone on the waiver wire who just steals bases to increase that to 120+ or higher easily. You can't do the same for home runs. Power doesn't grow on trees like SB's. Just about everyone in your lineup hits near the top of the order and scores lots of runs. I won't even bother to go into the RBI's, I'll let you add that up Richard and cry about another poorly assessed category. Nobody on your team can mash or drive in runs.
I will go into the power numbers: Soto 23, Jackson 12, Pedroia 17, Atkins 21, Young 12, Sizemore 33, Markakis 20, Ethier 20, Cruz 7 for a total of 165 home runs. That's not a bad number, but the top teams always have mashers on their squad. Ryan Howard 48 and Manny Ramirez 37 combined for 85 round trippers by themselves which is more than half of your entire team's output from last year. And that's just for two guys. You can see how easy it would be to overpower your lineup.
Now onto the pitching neither Gallardo or Duchsherer have been able to pitch an entire season, nor do they get K's. Soria is a solid reliever but I would feel bad about having Matt Capps as my second best reliever. He's on a bad team that will likely only deliver 20 saves again. And since when is 20 saves considered solid for a relief pitcher? I would consider 30 saves to be solid, 40 saves would be very good to elite.
Total saves Soria 42, Capps 21, Francisco 5, Ziegler 11. That's a total of 79 saves distributed between 4 relief pitchers and you're not even sure Ziegler will even close this year. That's not exactly a solid relief corps. The starters are good because of Peavy and Lester, I wouldn't mind having those guys on my team, but not for a H2H league. It's too easy to stream and build up W's and K's.
Your teams has lots of holes but mostly you need more power, get some power and you'll be better. If you can land a masher maybe you can take 4 out of the 5 offensive categories (forget about RBI's your team is not strong enough there) and then the pitching can take care of the last 2 categories. Of course I'm thinking playoffs here which is a long ways away but you have to think like that.
- 1 Reply to Steven
Power don't grow on trees? Well neither does SB's.
In any 12 team league, sort the free agents by HR, and then try the same with SB. Take a look at some of players at top of the list. Although they are all marginal players, HR guys are alot more rosterable than SB guys. That is why I would rather address SB in the draft and than address power numbers over the season.
Also, when you are projecting power numbers, you are taking numbers from LAST year. Ethier has 20 HR's in 140 games. That number should go up and Cruz 7?? He played 31 games and hit 7 HR. If he plays 150, that is a 35 HR pace. Not to mention Atkins and Young had a down year in terms of power in 2008. I understand that he doesn't have a masher like Howard, but how many other teams will?
As for Capps, have you seen his other numbers? His ERA and WHIP are excellent and he has only 20 SV's because he was injured. Also, being on a bad team does not necessarily mean that he won't have enough save opportunities. Historically, closers on bad teams has roughly the same amount of SV number as those on good teams. It is more dependent on luck. Did Soria, Velverde, Brian Wilson (#2,3,5 in saves) get 40+ saves because they are on league's top 5 teams?
And you said "Soria is a solid reliever"
Here is his line
44 SV, 66K (in 67 IP), 1.60 ERA, 0.86 WHIP
He was #2 RP in the league in 2008. And even by your definition(40+ SV =elite), he is an elite RP.
Also, I am not just looking at SV's, but also important numbers like ERA and WHIP.
And if you read carefully, I never said he has good RP's. I said he has good 2 RP's but needs more.
Anyways, it's up to him to decide what he wants to do.
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