Friday, June 22 – 8:20 PM
It didn’t take me long to decide what I was going to say.
Earlier today, I joined Mike Siano on the MLB.com Fantasy 411 podcast, and thanks to Thursday’s light game schedule, a chunk of time would be devoted towards answering fan questions. I’ve been running daily Q&A sessions on our blog for the past few years now, so dishing out advice has become second nature to me. This was different though. Sitting in front of a computer screen typing out words of wisdom was one thing, but delivering the message on air was another. I needed to be ultra-confident. I needed to take a stand, back it up and never waver from it. I’m the expert. I know what I’m talking about.
Hmm, good question. Let’s see, Big Papi is having a monster season, batting over .300 with 18 homers and 49 RBIs. And we’re not even at the midway point yet. I have to admit I really thought he was washed up after he got off to that terrible start a few years ago. Well, I was way off on that one!
After showing much promise last year, pitching mostly as a reliever, Lynn has elevated his game to new heights in his sophomore season, striking out more than a batter per inning while delivering ace-level ratios. This guy is pretty much a lock to make the All-Star team. Darvish, on the other hand, concerns me. The strikeout rate is great and the ERA is solid, but 49 walks in 88 2/3 innings? That just doesn’t cut it. Not to mention that he’s already admitted to having some trouble adjusting to the major league schedule of pitching every fifth day as opposed to the once a week system they use in Japan. He’s certain to fade down the stretch, and the Texas heat doesn’t help.
Yeah, Papelbon is a dominant closer, but Ortiz is a dominant hitter. Lynn gets the nod over Darvish and while Yonder is basically a non-factor, I’m not too high on the streaky Quentin, who has to play half of his games at Petco. I’ll take Ortiz/Lynn/Yonder, without question.
The podcast taping was almost finished, and just as I was about to say what I had decided to say, something strange happened. Siano took the Darvish/Papelbon/Quentin side, and his reasoning made a whole lot of sense. Lynn is completely unproven and Yonder is by far the worst player in the deal. Quentin at least has the potential to be a high-impact bat, and who knows, maybe he gets traded out of San Diego and into a more favorable hitter’s park. As impressive as Ortiz has been, Papelbon is still probably the best player in the deal. So even if we call Lynn to Darvish a wash, the Darvish/Papelbon/Quentin side gets the edge.
“So what do you think, Zach?”
“I was actually leaning towards the other side,” I said, but as I started to run through the laundry list of reasons I had so carefully thought out, I stopped. “But you’re right. You’ve convinced me.” Then it was time for Mike to close the show.
“And that’ll do it for another edition of the MLB.com Fantasy 411.”
As crazy as it sounds, even “experts” can change their minds.