Monday, May 21 – 6:30 PM
Good problems are better than bad problems, but good problems can still be very annoying. I have too many closers, five of them to be exact. I know that in fantasy baseball you can never really have enough closers, but in a weekly lineup league I generally like to follow the 6 SP/3 RP approach, and one insurance closer is enough. For the second straight week, I’m about to submit a lineup consisting of five starters and four relievers, and I don’t like it, as there’s a point where the gain in saves is outweighed by the loss in strikeouts and wins. But how can I possibly bench Jonathan Papelbon, Joel Hanrahan, Kenley Jansen or Santiago Casilla? They’re all too good to bench. I’m already benching Brian Fuentes, and he’s pretty decent too. I’m stuck, and while the “trade from depth to get upgrades at other positions” advice sounds nice, it’s easier said than done. I’ve already floated out a bunch of trade offers involving Hanrahan, all for naught. I need to resist the urge to make a trade just for the sake of cleaning up my crowded bullpen. I need to get fair value in return. Eventually, an appealing offer will come along, but until then I’ll need to be patient. After all, there is some value in keeping saves away from the competition.
Wednesday, May 23 – 10:45 PM
I’m not a fan of drafting players over the age of 35. They’re greater injury risks and few of them ever earn their full draft day price tag, a price tag that is often influenced more by what they have done in the past than by what they will do in the future. At the same time, I’m not afraid to pick up these guys in-season if I feel the price is right. That’s exactly what I did a few weeks back in Mixed Tout as I shelled out a modest five FAAB dollars for Andy Pettitte. So far so good! Tonight, the 39-year-old earned his second straight win, limiting the Royals to two runs over seven innings while striking out eight. Following a so-so season debut, Andy has allowed just two runs in 15 innings to go along with 17 strikeouts over his last two starts. How many more of these ace-type performances does Pettitte have in him? Who knows. But five dollars for even a mid-rotation starter? I’m a fan of that.
Thursday, May 24 – 10:34 AM
0-for-3. We’ve seen a few too many of those from Johnny Damon ever since he made his season debut back on May 2, and we saw it again last night. In fact, in 18 games this year, Damon has gone hitless nine times and has only one multi-hit game to his record. With 16 homers, 19 steals and a respectable .261 average, Damon didn’t look too old last year. Maybe it’s because he missed all of spring training along with the first month of the regular season as he desperately looked for a team willing to sign him, but he’s looking ancient right now. One has to wonder how much longer the Indians can put up with this. When it comes to earning playing time, the past can only get you so far, and Damon’s leash is getting exponentially shorter by the day.
I don’t care what happens from here on out. Spending 10 bucks on Damon in FAAB will prove to be my worst Tout Wars decision of the season. And it won’t even be close. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking, other than that I needed another power/speed guy in my outfield. But 10 dollars? Well, it was early in my Tout rookie season and I wasn’t really familiar with the bidding habits of my league mates. Sorry, that’s the only excuse I can come up with!
Saturday, May 26 – 8:12 AM
1-for-1 with three walks. Not the most eye-popping stat line from Bobby Abreu last night, but in my NL-only head-to-head points league where walks are almost as valuable as hits, I’ll gladly take it. The 38-year-old Abreu has returned to vintage form since joining the Dodgers, batting .327 with an .897 OPS through 19 games. His playing time will no doubt be cut once Matt Kemp and then Juan Rivera come back, but as long as Abreu keeps getting on base at this rate, they’ll find at-bats for him. Now that’s three FAAB dollars well spent.
Saturday, May 26 – 11:20 AM
Joel Hanrahan for Matt Garza? Nah, he probably won’t accept that. Kenley Jansen, a $3 keeper, for Garza? I’d be nuts to do that. But then again, trying to find the right trade partner is driving me nuts anyway. What about Hanrahan for Daniel Hudson? Santiago Casilla for Shaun Marcum? Casilla for Edwin Jackson? Hmm.
I have a feeling that I won’t be trading a closer anytime soon.