Tuesday, April 28 - 11:10 PM
Axford or Cecil? Cecil or Axford? Both are sitting on the waiver wire in Mixed Auction Tout Wars, and I'm sitting with two closers, so securing a third source of saves could translate to five or six points in the standings by year's end. The only problem is that both of these guys are risky, and I have until Sunday at midnight ET to decide which one is worth the higher bid.
Earlier this evening, just hours after Rockies closer Adam Ottavino landed on the DL due to elbow inflammation, John Axford notched his third save in as many chances and first save as Colorado's unquestioned ninth inning man. But as is often the case with Axford, the save was far from drama-free, as he allowed two hits before getting Mark Trumbo to ground out and strand runners on first and third. That said, through five appearances this season, Axford has yet to allow a run while striking out six and issuing a manageable two free passes. He might be tough to watch, but he does have plenty of closing experience, and there's a sense that Ottavino's injury could be more serious than originally thought.
Like Axford, Brett Cecil has battled control issues in recent years, most notably last year (4.6 BB/9), but he is coming off two straight seasons in which he posted a sub-3.00 ERA while racking up a steady dose of strikeouts. Unlike Axford, Cecil's closing experience is limited (seven career saves including the one he picked up tonight), but in his favor is the fact that his ninth inning opportunity is the result of poor performance by his team's former closer as opposed to an injury.
Axford or Cecil? Cecil or Axford? This is going to drive me crazy over the next 120-plus hours.
Wednesday, April 29 - 10:25 AM
In 15 years of playing fantasy baseball, I can't recall having a better offensive day than the one I had today in Tout. How about 20-for-54 with five homers, 13 RBI and 17 runs scored? This included a 5-for-6, HR, RBI, 4 R game by Denard Span in addition to one homer and three RBI apiece from Brandon Moss and Josh Reddick. It is important to stay grounded though and not get too caught up in my current first place standing. This isn't DFS. This isn't a Ron Shandler Monthly League. There's plenty of work to be done.
Thursday, April 30 - 10:43 PM
Part of that work includes trying to address my lack of speed. Yes, I am in the middle of the pack in steals so far, but it's all smoke and mirrors. Anthony Rizzo's six steals amount to roughly one-third of my team's total swipes. Rizzo might not even steal six more bases the rest of the season. And then there's Denard Span, who exited tonight's game early due to soreness in his abdomen, this after opening the season on the DL with an abdomen injury. Not good, and not at all good for my speed. Trade talks have gone nowhere up to this point, and Cameron Maybin, my $15 FAAB investment, has been a total bust. What a waste.
Thursday, April 30 - 11:14 PM
Drafting Mike Leake in the reserve rounds, on the other hand, was no waste. Leake is one of those pitchers who fits under the "boring but underrated" category, but the 2015 version of Mike Leake hasn't been boring at all. Tonight's eight shutout inning gem lowered his season ERA to 3.03, and through five starts, his WHIP stands at a microscopic 0.90. These are ridiculous numbers, and a stat correction is inevitable (hopefully, I'll have him benched for those starts), but it's important to keep in mind that Leake is still only 27 years of age, so maybe he can perform at the level of a mid-rotation starter in a deep mixed league. No, the stuff isn't overpowering, but this is a guy who simply knows how to pitch.
Saturday, May 2 - 3:36 PM
Axford or Cecil? Cecil or Axford?
This is going to drive me crazy over the next 32-plus hours.