Monday, June 6 – 10:08 PM
When I shelled out 27 bucks for Adam Dunn on draft day, I couldn’t possibly have expected that in early-June I’d be seriously considering benching him. I’m not one to make rash decisions but I have to admit that I’m rapidly approaching my breaking point. With only nine starting hitter slots, quality options are always available on the waiver wire in this league, and Mark Trumbo is looking awfully enticing. He’ll provide me with the power I’m missing from Dunn, and while his .262 average is nothing special, it’s 83 points higher than Dunn’s .179 mark! On batting average alone I should be able to gain some roto points. OK, I’ll put in a claim for Trumbo and give Dunn a few more days to get his act together before I determine his fate.
Maybe I should think about radically altering my approach to fantasy baseball and turn into the trigger-happy owner who benches a top-flight player after a couple of lousy weeks. That guy would be in a much better position than I’m in right now. Does this game actually reward impatience? Maybe I should start valuing the early-season numbers a lot more than the names.
Wednesday, June 8 – 3:30 PMLet’s face it, when you’re in first place it’s a lot tougher to make trades, especially in a non-keeper league. No owner wants to be the one who brings you closer to a championship, even if the trade would significantly improve his own roster. Here’s my problem. It’s a nice problem to have but a frustrating one nonetheless. Now that Andrew Bailey is back from the DL, I own six healthy closers but can only start four of them. After drafting Francisco Rodriguez, Jose Valverde, Joel Hanrahan and Bailey, I was able to scoop up both Kyle Farnsworth and Matt Capps off the waiver wire. I really didn’t need to make these pickups but figured that I could deal a closer or two at some point down the road once I built up a huge lead in saves. Well, I’m at that point right now and it seems like no one wants to trade with me no matter the offer. I figured I’d try to buy low on Carlos Gonzalez and offered the Gonzalez owner, who happens to be very weak in saves, Rodriguez along with the revitalized Bartolo Colon and the red-hot Michael Morse for Gonzalez. Rejected. And the guy doesn’t even send me a counteroffer! The least he could do is either tell me what he would be looking for in a deal for Car-Go or admit that he simply doesn’t want to do business with me because I’m in first place. Although I don’t really have a huge need in any one area, an outfield upgrade would be nice and it’s really a shame to see all these saves waste away on my bench. I might as well get something for them, right? I’ll continue to float offers out there but if nothing comes of this it’s not the worst thing in the world. Don’t get me wrong, wasting saves is a real bummer, but at least I’m preventing other teams from earning them. Sometimes, good defense is the best offense.
Friday, June 10 – 11:15 PMRemember Brandon Lyon? You know, the guy who absolutely ruined my ERA and WHIP during the first month of the season before he hit the DL? Well, thanks to the fine work by his replacement, Mark Melancon, and even more importantly the absence of Lyon, I’ve made up serious ground in those two departments. And now I hear the horrifying news that Lyon, who returned to action today, will soon be re-inserted into the closer role. You’ve gotta be kidding me! Since Lyon’s last appearance on May 4, Melancon has pitched to a stellar 1.72 ERA while converting on six of his seven save chances. I mean, do the Astros really want to start blowing ninth inning leads again? Even though I own both relievers, this is terrible. I simply can’t afford many more of those Lyon disaster outings. Oh, and by the way, Lyon served up a homer to Chipper Jones tonight and Houston manager Brad Mills offered a rather humorous quote afterward. “It was good to get Lyon in the game, get some of the rust off him,” Mills said. All I have to say is good luck with that.
Saturday, June 11 – 10:35 AM
My money league squad is on quite a roll. Considering that I’ve spent most of the year in 10th place out of 13 teams, the climb to 8th place has been an awfully fun ride. My patience in Kelly Johnson has paid off as he’s on a power tear and Andrew McCutchen is batting .366 over the past four weeks. In the last week, my pitching has really picked it up, recording a 3.58 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 68 strikeouts in 70 1/3 innings. With only three steals in the past two weeks, speed is definitely an area of concern. But this might only be a short-term issue as Hanley is expected to return early next week and I still have Desmond Jennings waiting in the wings. Does the Rays’ organization care at all about my fantasy team? What are they waiting for? Bring the kid up!