Monday, July 28, 2008

The Buzz Around the Bullpen: This Guy Might Actually Make Your Fantasy Team Better...Believe It or Not

Welcome back to another edition of the “Buzz Around the Bullpen”. After the Indiana Pacers melee several years ago, I never thought I’d see anything more disgusting in sports. Julio Castillo proved me wrong this past week. If you have not seen it yet, it is worth you checking it out on the internet.

It is well-known that there is a list of unwritten rules in baseball. When one of those rules is violated, any MLB player will tell you it is their duty to back up their teammate. However, Julio Castillo took that about ten steps too far by attempting to throw a baseball into an opposing teams’ dugout. Unfortunately, the ball sailed over the dugout and hit an unsuspecting fan in the forehead. The fan has since been released from the hospital but we definitely have not heard the last from that fan from a legal standpoint.

Obviously what has made this such an egregious act was that an innocent fan was struck in the head by a baseball probably traveling close to 80-90 mph. But no one has addressed the real problem. A professional baseball player threw a baseball with the intention of hitting an opposing player. Pardon my inability to say this any other way but that is the most “bush” move I have seen in the history of sports. By throwing a baseball in the direction of another player your basically saying, “I’m trying to injure you but I don’t have the guts to get anywhere near you”.
Maybe I’m overreacting but I feel this guy should be barred from Major League Baseball. Any GM or owner should be embarrassed to have him as a representative of their organization.
Now that I’ve said my peace, let’s move on to some fantasy talk.

Big Hits

Chris Davis (1B/3B, Texas Rangers): In just around 90 ABs this season, Davis has already left the yard 10 times. In a line-up that includes MVP candidates Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton, Davis has found himself seeing some great pitches to hit. Only a rookie, Davis has also managed to rack up 22 runs and 20 RBIs. Davis caught fire this past week and managed to raise his batting average over .300. As I’ve wrote about on several occasions, there is nothing I like more than a guy with power potential that plays in Texas. It is only going to heat up more in Texas and that can only mean more balls leaving the ballpark. If you need some power potential at one of your corner infield spots, give Davis a look. He is still available in around 50% of leagues.
Jeremy Hermida (OF, Florida Marlins): No one has ever questioned Jeremy Hermida’s ability to be a productive Major League outfielder. However, his history of injuries has caused some owners to shy away from him. When healthy, Hermida has been shown the potential to be guy that could hit 25 HRs a year. In a little over 400 ABs last year, Hermida had 18 HRs, 63 RBIs and hit just below .300. Although his average has plummeted to around .260, I look for Hermida to be much more consistent over the course of the second half of the season. Since the All-Star break, Hermida has been stroking the baseball. In his past 8 games, Hermida has hit 5 HRs and his approach has improved at the plate. If he can stay healthy, look for Hermida to finish the season hitting around .285 with 23-25 HRs. If he’s available take a chance on him.

Bronson Arroyo (SP, Cincinnati Reds): Just as a side note…Maybe it is just me but every time this guy’s name comes up, all I can think about is how bad his CD must really be. There was nothing better than during the playoffs a couple years ago when they reminded you every 10 minutes about what a great singer he was. Regardless of his aspirations to be the next Billy Ray Cyrus, Arroyo has remembered how to pitch in his last five starts. Before his June 29 start, Arroyo was nothing short of awful this year. His inconsistency left most fantasy owners so frustrated that he was almost non-existent in just about every fantasy league. Within the past month, Arroyo has put himself back on the map as a serviceable fantasy starting pitcher. Outside of his July 10 start against the Cubs where he got some help from his offense, Arroyo has been much more consistent. I believe his “funky” delivery is the reason he struggles so much with consistency. For the time being, it looks as though Arroyo is locked in. There’s no telling how long this will last but ride the hot starter and hopefully get a win out of him this week. Arroyo could become a lot more attractive if he’s dealt to a contender at the deadline.

Big Misses
Erik Bedard (SP, Seattle Mariners): As a Bedard owner, I have conceded that this year is officially a “wash”. Although a recent MRI test concluded that there was not any structural damage to his injured shoulder, Bedard has put his owners in a precarious position. Even if Bedard were to start a throwing program soon, chances are he would not be back until September. I would not be surprised if we have seen the last of Bedard for this season. There really is no reason to run him back out onto the mound. First off, the Mariners have been out of the race since it seems about May. Secondly, even when Bedard was “healthy” this season, he was very erratic and inconsistent. The Mariners gave up a ton in acquiring Bedard and there is no reason to risk their investment for 3 or 4 more starts in September. As an owner myself, I am selling him to anyone that is willing to buy and the price will never be lower. If I find myself in a position that I may need to make a move, I may even be inclined to straight drop Bedard. I truly believe there may be more value in a free agent acquisition at this point.
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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