Phew. An MRI on Cole Hamels’ throwing shoulder has revealed only mild inflammation, so my staff ace will avoid the DL. This is about the only good news to report when it comes to my NL-only non-keeper league squad, which actually looked very strong on paper back in April. But as the old cliché goes, games aren’t won on paper, and they certainly aren’t won when the majority of your team is either injured, underperforming, or both injured and underperforming. My Opening Day infield? Adam LaRoche, Kelly Johnson, Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval. You get the point. Oh yeah, and I also own (or owned) both Carlos Zambrano and Logan Morrison, whose bonehead decisions have set me back even further. I’m an optimist at heart, but at this stage of the season with a roster full of role players with minimal upside and my available FAAB dollars dwindling, there’s little I can do but, like those old Brooklyn Dodgers clubs, wait till next year.
Wednesday, August 17 – 10:16 AM
I was very close to picking up Ivan Nova late last week, but resisted. Why? Because I had a feeling that the moment I’d add him to my roster he would implode. And apparently my league mates also had Nova phobia, as it’s pretty rare to find a starting pitcher who had gone 3-0 with a 2.61 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 16 strikeouts over his last three starts hanging around on the waiver wire. Ivan was due for a stat correction. No doubt about it. So I figured I’d wait until he had at least one poor outing. There’s nothing more irritating for a fantasy owner than picking up a starter at the wrong time and being stuck with the worst part of his season. But as the days went by, I warmed up to the idea of adding Nova and starting him in a favorable matchup vs. the Royals. “Take some chances, have some fun,” I told myself. Besides, a game is a lot more interesting to watch when one of your fantasy starting pitchers is involved. I’d plop myself in front of the TV and enjoy the sight of Nova breezing through an inexperienced Kansas City lineup.
Or so I thought. 5 1/3 innings pitched, seven earned runs. Well, at least I got a win out of this, but was it worth it? Nope.
Friday, August 19 – 6:12 PM
Back in 2009, when the Yankees won the World Series, I remember reading somewhere that the reason why GM Brian Cashman was nowhere to be seen during the on-field festivities following the Game 6 clincher was that he was busy in his office planning for 2010. At the time, I found this explanation both ridiculous and humorous. And while I still consider it odd, it’s not as crazy as it once sounded.
Playoffs start next week in my other NL-only league, the head-to-head keeper league. With a first-round bye locked up, I have the luxury of devoting some time towards planning ahead. Don’t get me wrong, I have a long way to go before I can call myself a champion, but I’m a little concerned about the future of my squad beyond 2011. Joey Votto’s $10 contract expires at the end of this season, and after dealing Kyle Blanks for Colby Rasmus, I have very few attractive contracts left on my roster. Hopefully, I just took one step towards addressing this issue by winning Drew Pomeranz for a buck. Acquired from the Indians as part of the Ubaldo Jimenez trade, Pomeranz is widely viewed as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. While the thought of him playing half of his games at Coors Field is somewhat scary, I took on absolutely no risk by making this move. He’ll cost me $6 to keep for next year, but I could then sign him at that price through the 2014 season. Honestly, I’m shocked that nobody outbid me here. Alright, enough of this long-term stuff. On to the more immediate task at hand: booking my own on-field celebration.