Monday, May 23 – 7:24 AM
It’s official! I turned 27 today. But I’m not one to make a big deal about birthdays, so let’s try this again. It’s official! My Chris Young for Huston Street trade proposal was accepted late last night. And, while I feel a sense of relief that I’ve finally acquired an established closer to go along with the promising but inexperienced Jordan Walden and the totally unproven Mark Melancon, there’s still an inkling of post-trade remorse. What if the streaky Young goes on a tear now and lands up besting last season’s stellar stat line? I doubt it. Although he might reach the 30-home run plateau, there’s no way that the free-swinger will bat as high as .257 again. And 28 steals? Forget about it. With just three swipes through roughly one-third of the season, he’ll be lucky if he gets 15. At least I try to convince myself of all this. The bottom line is that Young for Street is a trade that will most certainly help me in the long run. The one major downside is that instead of going with the same hitting lineup every week, Young’s absence has forced me to make a decision. Johnny Damon or Jason Kubel? Hmm. Despite the fact that he currently trails Damon in homers, Kubel offers greater power potential. But Damon is the more balanced player as he’ll also contribute in steals. I’ll go with Damon for this week, but this is a situation I’m going to monitor very closely. Johnny’s on a short leash.
Wednesday, May 25 – 5:35 PMEven though he has let me down plenty of times over the past few years by getting hurt when I needed him to stay healthy, I’m happy for Erik Bedard. I really am. Little was expected from the oft-injured lefty entering the season, but after getting off to a shaky start, he’s settled into quite a groove. Today, Bedard extended his scoreless inning streak to 15, and over his last five starts he’s 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA and 0.85 WHIP. When healthy, Bedard has always been very effective. The problem? He made a grand total of 30 starts from 2008 through 2010. This year, Bedard completely fell off the draft day map, and for good reason. He underwent three separate shoulder surgeries since his last regular season appearance in July of 2009. Nobody knew what to expect when he signed a non-guaranteed contract over the winter. Well, he’s tallied nine starts so far without incident. Back in April, I picked up Bedard in a couple of leagues and I’m reaping the rewards right now. And the great thing about this is that anything I get from him is gravy. We all know it’s just a matter of time before he hits the DL again but maybe I get lucky and he makes it to August.
Thursday, May 26 – 10:08 PMThat’s it! I’m adding Dustin Ackley. Over the past few days, Mike Moustakas and Brett Lawrie have been scooped up, and I had my eye on both of them. Due to limited roster flexibility, however, I was stuck. Do I burn a roster spot on a guy whose big league ETA remained up in the air or do I pass and gamble that he’ll stay on the wire for a little longer? Free agent pickups in this keeper league count $10 against the cap, so it’s not like it’s a can’t miss opportunity. Still, I’m kicking myself now for choosing to wait. I’ll go ahead and make the preemptive strike on Ackley and drop the useless Kenley Jansen as I no longer need to play the “potential closer” game. Ackley could actually be of some value to me this year should Kelly Johnson fail to wake up from his season-long funk. I’m not gonna just watch as my league mates grab all the top prospects.
Friday, May 27 – 10:34 PM
What’s going on with Adam Dunn? Although his batting average has always been mediocre at best, when it comes to home runs, few players, if any, have been more consistent over the past decade. Believe me, I wasn’t the only one who thought that a move to hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular Field could lead to his best season yet. 45 homers? Easy. Instead, through 47 games, Dunn is on pace to finish with 15 homers! Crazy, right? One really has to wonder if there’s something to the DH factor. The transition to a full-time designated hitter can be tough. We’ve seen it this year with Jorge Posada, but Dunn is a more extreme case. Unlike Posada, Dunn has spent his entire career in the National League and is simply not used to sitting in the dugout while his teammates take the field. It makes a lot of sense how a small slump can become a mega-slump if you’re constantly thinking about hitting. Look, Adam’s bat is bound to catch fire sometime soon. As a Dunn owner, I can only hope so. But he will need to go on quite a tear to reach the numbers we have come to expect.
Saturday, May 28 – 11:54 AM
Searching for a replacement for Buster Posey in my non-auction keeper league, I’m realizing why I chose him as a keeper in the first place. Reliable catchers are awfully hard to come by, and in leagues that start two backstops, good luck finding an acceptable option off the waiver wire. I settle on Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Hey, at least he starts almost regularly and is actually showing some signs of life with four homers and seven RBIs over his last seven games. It’s amazing what being in first place can do to your psyche. I’m disappointed that Buster could very well be out for the year, but if I were struggling in this league I would be angry. It’s nice to relax every once in awhile.