Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Buzz Around The Bullpen: Mattingly Tells Giambi: "Hitting's All About the "Stache"

Welcome back to another edition of the “Buzz Around the Bullpen”. As I write this latest edition, I find myself still wiping “man tears” off of my cheeks after last night's Penguins' loss. It hurts even more after realizing today that for the next three months, the most important sports story in Pittsburgh will be the battle for starting positions on the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line. While baseball season is kicking into full gear, I'm left cheering for a Pirates squad that has broken my heart more times than Winnie Cooper broke Kevin Arnold’s. Needless to say I will be looking to my fantasy baseball teams to give me something to be excited about for the dog days of summer. Lets take a look at some moves that could cause your team to catch fire heading towards the All-Star break.

Big Moves

Jason Giambi (DH, New York Yankees): Giambi has raised his batting average almost 80 points in the past three weeks. One thing Giambi has proved throughout his career is that with regular at-bats throughout the course of a entire season, he is almost automatic for at least 30 HRs. People around baseball believe the Yankees are finally starting to turn the corner and as the Yankees’ lineup heats up, look for Giambi’s numbers to continue to improve. Giambi is still available in a little under 20% of leagues. Pick him up if he is still available and don’t be scared off by his tendency to wear a gold thong when he is slumping…I really wish I was joking about that.

Aaron Harang (SP, Cincinnati Reds): I know I have talked about Harang in a prior article but I cannot reiterate enough how much you should buy low on this guy. He has pitched entirely too well to be carrying a 2-8 record. Harang has a 3.86 ERA with 78 Ks in just 88 IP. For the past two seasons, Harang has finished as a top 10-15 fantasy pitcher. Owners have to be getting a little impatient with his bad luck and now is the time to jump on an opportunity to get a “innings eating monster” for well below market value.

Eric Chavez (3B, Oakland Athletics): Chavez fits under the “why not” category. He is available in over 60% of leagues and has proven in the past that he can be a good option at third base. I don’t think he will ever be the same after his offseason back surgery. However, a 75% Chavez is better than just about any other 3B option on your waiver wire right now. I am not terribly crazy about Chavez as an every day option but why not drop some dead weight and stash Chavez on your bench. The little risk of picking him up could pay some dividends if he can return to pre-surgery form.

Honorable Mention

Kyle Lohse (SP, St. Louis Cardinals): (6-2, 3.87 ERA, 34 Ks, 1.26 WHIP)
Dontrelle Willis (SP, Detroit Tigers): (0-0, 4.50 ERA, 3 Ks, 2.00 WHIP)
Howie Kendrick (2B, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim): (.379, 9 RBIs, 2 SBs)
Travis Buck (OF, Oakland Athletics): (.178, 2 HRs, 11 RBIs)

Big Miss

Oliver Perez (SP, New York Mets): There are rumors that in the next Batman Movie, Oliver Perez has been asked to play Batman’s villain “Two Face”. In 2004, Ollie had 239 Ks in only 196 IP and possessed a ridiculous 2.98 ERA. However, he followed up his amazing 2004 season with a year and a half of mediocrity and inconsistency. After he had frustrated the Pirates organization to their wits end, the Pirates and Mets made a deadline deal which sent Perez to New York for Xavier Nady and Roberto Hernandez. After a strong 2007 season, the Mets were convinced Perez had moved away from his “pick a different delivery every pitch” approach to pitching. However, this year he has been as inconsistent as ever. Perez is the type of pitcher that you will release or trade and immediately regret the move after he pitches 7 scoreless with 9 Ks. My advice is hang on to him and let him put together two of those great starts. Then do everything you can to try and move him. Oliver’s one great start every three weeks is not enough to negate his three bad starts in between. There will be some takers because some owners still love his potential and also believe the Mets’ offense can overcome his inconsistencies. Let them be the one who flips a coin every fifth day to decide whether to start him or not.

As with any SportsJudge articles, please feel free to post any questions or comments. Until next time, keep your ears open for the Buzz Around the Bullpen.

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Dumps said...

It wasn't just Kevin Arnold, Winnie broke my heart too. Any love for Liriano yet? He has looked a lot better since going down to AAA. Also, what is your take on a swap of Carl Crawford for Nick Markakis in a keeper league. Both are young but Markakis still hasn't taken that step forward we are all waiting for.

Scott said...

Winnie broke all of our hearts. I even went out and bought a Jets white leathered sleeve jacket but still no love...As far as Liriano I like him....alot. Rewind two years ago and this guy was just ridiculous. His stuff is electric he has the ability to make major league hitters look like children. I remember talking with you in early spring and saying I liked Liriano as a second half guy. Everyone says that Tommy John is a 12-18 month recovery. Not to sound like Orel Hershiser and " blowing my own horn" but speaking from experience, Tommy John is more like a 18-24 month recovery for a pitcher. It does take 12-18 to get your arm back to pitching shape, but then it takes an additional 6 months to get consistent with your delivery/release point/feel for breaking balls/stamina etc. So do answer your question, yes I love Liriano second half.
As far as Crawford for Markakis, I wouldn't do it. Crawford is 26 and Markakis is 24 so there isn't too much difference there. Here's my thing with giving Crawford for Markakis. Best case situation, Markakis hits 35 HR. Granted you gain some power numbers with giving up Crawford for Markakis but how many guys are guaranteed 50 SBs every year...not too many. Crawford has shown over the course of his career, he'll hit around.300, hit about 15 HRs and still a ton of bags. Markakis will most likely be a guy that hits 25-30 HR a year and steal 15-20 bags. He'll probably hit around .300 as well so they kind of cancel one another out there. I think there are a lot more guys putting Markakis-like numbers. If you can get Crawford, go for it. Thanks for the question/comment

Scott said...

I just re-read both of our comments and not really sure what player you have in the deal. Most of my comment is assuming you have Crawford and then at the end I say "go get Crawford." Ignore my mistake. Here's what I think. If you have Crawford, hang on to him. If you have Markakis and can get Crawford, go for it.
Sorry again for the confusion...If you get nothing else from my article and my incoherent comment just realize this. If you grow a great "stache" good things happen.