Remain calm. Be patient. What are you worried about? The season isn’t even one-sixth complete. The advice is very simple. The advice is very true. The advice is very good advice. The problem is that as comfortable as we all are giving this advice to others, when it comes to our own teams, it’s tough advice to follow. Of my five teams this year, two are doing well, one is stuck in the middle of the standings and two reside in the bottom half. I try not to pay attention to the standings until around mid-May, but sometimes I just can’t help it.
So, because it isn't any fun to talk about the positives, let’s take a look at a handful of players who are stressing me out. By the way, I own all of these guys in at least two leagues.
Something tells me that Braun will be to 2014 what Ian Kennedy was to 2013 – the player to whom I devote the most diary space. On the whole, Braun’s numbers aren’t all that bad. Heading into Saturday’s games, he’s on pace to finish the season with 29 homers, 95 RBI, 105 runs and 19 steals. Three weeks ago, I would’ve gladly signed up for this, but now there’s the numb thumb, the likelihood of frequent rest days, the fact that all three of his homers came in one game and the frightening possibility that I will wake up one morning to the news that Braun will undergo surgery that will sideline him for months, or maybe even the remainder of the season. I’m still wavering over whether I should actively pursue trading him. There is risk attached to both choices. The bottom line is that this whole thing is a mess, and I’m not too fond of messes.
This is a case of track record taking precedence over an ice-cold start. I’m not concerned about Fielder at all. I drafted him for a reason. Actually, I drafted Prince for several reasons. There’s the 25-plus home runs in each of his eight full big league seasons, the 100-plus RBI in six of his last seven seasons and the move from pitcher-friendly Comerica Park to that home run-happy park in Arlington. But how about that .190 batting average with one homer and five RBI through 17 games? Like I said, I’m not concerned. If you can trade for Fielder at any sort of discount right now, I say do it immediately.
Going into drafts this season, the elite shortstop group didn’t inspire much confidence in me, so I zeroed in on Asdrubal as a mid-level option who could exceed expectations. Maybe his 25 HR, 92 RBI, 17 SB campaign in 2011 was an outlier, but I could see 18 homers, double-digit steals and a decent average. So far, not so good (.222 AVG, 1 HR, 0 SB through 17 games). But it’s early, and I still have a good feeling about the Indians’ shortstop. How much longer will that good feeling last should he continue to disappoint? I’d say another month, maybe a little less.
Something in between his 2012 and 2013 stat line seemed like a reasonable projection for Headley this year. Let’s see, that would put him at around .270-22-82-12 with 77 runs scored. Not bad. Unfortunately, it’s looking like Headley won’t come anywhere close to those numbers, let alone that insane .286-31-115-17 career year in 2012. How many times has Headley hit at least 14 homers in a season? Once. How many times has he driven in at least 65 runs? Once. How much did I pay for Headley in Mixed Tout? 15 bucks. How much did the old and boring Aramis Ramirez go for? 14 bucks. Ugh.
Rather than following my usual route of drafting a low upside/low downside corner infielder like Adam LaRoche, I wanted to try something new this year, and Carter seemed like a worthwhile experiment, especially in OBP leagues, where he would be less of a liability. Well, at least I had good intentions. 40-home run threat? Are you kidding me? Through 16 games, Carter, my $10 Tout Wars investment, has yet to hit a single home run, and his OBP (.233) would be terrible even if it was a batting average. Meanwhile, a $3 Adam LaRoche sports a .412 OBP with three homers and 10 RBI.
I’ve already had enough of Carter, and he’s already relegated to my bench.
Remain calm? Be patient? Nonsense.