Way back the last time I checked in here, our NFBC team was languishing at the bottom of the league, our pitching dying largely thanks to Jake Peavy and Javy Vazquez.
At the time, our hitting was OK, but the pitching? Well, if you remember how both hurlers began the year, then you understand. In fact on our message board right here at Mastersball, there were a number of folks who were asking if they should drop Vazquez after all the pounding he was taking.
I was pretty adamant not to let him go for a couple of reasons. First, all pitchers do struggle from time-to-time and Vazquez was readjusting to being in the AL. Next, Vazquez was likely a high draft selection or moderately priced starter in auction leagues, and just jettisoning a guy like that when there were still over four months to go in the season was a mistake.
As was trading him for with the investment, letting Vazquez go would have made him a loss leader to another team. For, Vazquez' trade value was marginal at the time of his slumping. So, if you did trade him--maybe for a then hot Mike Sweeney--say, what you wound up with was the double screw.
First you would have been stuck with Vazquez lousy totals, and had to search for someone who would ideally balance them. Then you had to hope Sweeney would keep it up.
What happened was since then Vazquez has been terrific, and Sweeney pretty much on the DL.
Which means whoever you traded with would have been able to get all those good numbers, and would have dumped Sweeney just at the right time. Which means your team would still be languishing.
So, Lord Zola and I hung, and threw Javy out there, and got Peavy's improved starts, and low and behold, we find ourselves amongst the top five teams in our league now, bouncing around between 89-94 points, awaiting an August surge that could add the final 10-15 points that would indeed put us in the money.
Of course losing Peavy was a blow, as was losing Troy Tulowitzki and Asdrubal Cabrera for a time, but, we have done well with Carl Pavano and CC Sabathia and we're currently second in WHIP and fourth in ERA in the league.
It is fun to be among the leaders, though winning the league will indeed be tough, but the point here is trust your instincts and the players you selected to be the core of your team when the season starts.
True, often players do have off years and disappoint, and our teams suffer accordingly, and that means sometimes we just have a bad year. Every team does--be it our heads or on the field--and that is part of the game and life.
But, the reason a guy like Vazquez is generally thought of as a good pick is that he has delivered a body of good stats with consistency, and that suggests he will deliver a baseline of good numbers to help your team.
If you don't give him the chance--and that means over two-thirds of the season, and sometimes hiding him on your reserve list--to do what he can, chances are you will not only lose, but you will hand your opponents a title.