Monday, July 30 – 10:14 PM
Five runs in 1 2/3 innings, vs. the Padres of all teams? That’s simply unacceptable. In my weekly mixed keeper league, I’m just not having much luck with this whole two-start pitcher thing, and Mike Leake is the latest example. Thanks to a huge lead in the saves category, my focus now is on collecting as many wins and strikeouts as I can, which means shifting from a 6 SP/3 RP lineup to a 7 SP/2 RP approach. The problem is that I own three elite closers in Jonathan Papelbon, Joel Hanrahan and Kenley Jansen. How could I possibly bench any of these guys? I can’t. Trading a closer for a high-end starter makes all the sense in the world, but until I find the right deal I’ll be forced to play the two-start pitcher game to maximize my innings. And I’m not comfortable with this one bit. I’ve already lost a bunch of points in ERA and WHIP. This can’t go on for much longer.
Tuesday, July 31 – 11:23 PM
Mission accomplished! I know Yovani Gallardo is tough to watch at times as his command of the strike zone periodically eludes him, but one thing he does consistently is rack up strikeouts. He’s not quite a fantasy ace, but he’s close, and that’s good enough for me. So last night I reached out to the Gallardo owner, who also happens to be in a tight saves race, and it didn’t take long for a deal to be struck. Papelbon for Gallardo. Usually, I wouldn’t make this sort of trade as I tend to value top closers over starting pitchers who aren’t clear-cut aces, but this was a situational move. The way I see it is that the possible rise in ERA and WHIP is outweighed by the definite gain in strikeouts coupled with increased win potential. The alternative would have been to use the waiver wire to fill that 7th SP slot and keep one of my closers benched. This beats the alternative. This was a no-brainer.
Thursday, August 2 – 12:36 PM
When three of your top four hitters in a mixed league miss considerable time due to injury, it’s annoying. When three of your top four hitters in an NL-only league miss considerable time due to injury, it’s devastating. The bad news is that I’m an owner of Troy Tulowitzki, Joey Votto and Pablo Sandoval in an NL-only league. The good news is that it’s a keeper league, so I can simply chalk this season up to bad luck and trade some of my other expensive players for cheaper alternatives. So I just sent out a league-wide e-mail with the attention grabbing title “Waiving the White Flag.” Hopefully, a flurry of offers will start flooding in for players like Shane Victorino, Tim Lincecum (I’m not expecting a whole lot for him) and even Votto, who will be too expensive for me to keep but could carry a contending team to a title come September should he return fully healthy. I’m not one to hold these sorts of fire sales as I always play to win until the very end. But the rules of this league pretty much force you to do this. I’d be putting myself at a huge disadvantage by stubbornly holding onto my stars even though I won’t be able to afford them in 2013. That would be flat-out dumb. Well, let’s see what offers I get.
Friday, August 3 – 4:40 PM
Brandon Belt, who is signed through next season at $5, and Brian Wilson, who also can be kept next year for $5, for Votto and Victorino? Is he kidding? Why would I do this deal? Hmm, let me give up my two most attractive trade chips for a much-hyped first baseman who has been a big time disappointment so far in the Majors and a closer who is coming off Tommy John surgery. Look, there’s no reason for me to keep Votto and Victorino, but I’m not that desperate.
Sunday, August 5 – 2:52 PM
Yonder Alonso, who is signed through 2014 at $6, and Trevor Bauer, who I’ll be able to keep for $6 next year and then sign to an extension through 2015, for Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton. That’s more like it. I’m accepting this one. It still pains me to make these kinds of trades though. Maybe I should stand pat and try to finish the season in the middle of the pack. Give up? That’s not me. Yeah, but it’s the right thing to do.