OpinionJune 22, 2010

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fAD Tuesday Week 11: Not So Wiggy

By Daniel Wilson

BBBBBbbbbbzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Welcome to another World Cup edition of fAD Tuesday. I was away tending to other pressing issues (as well as watching soccer) last week, sorry for the absence. My native New Zealand were lucky enough to draw with Slovakia, and then draw with the “unfortunately blighted by invisible snipers” Italy. It is quite thrilling to have got so far into the competition (after not going to it for 28 years) and still be alive in terms of finals.

June 15, 2010 - South Africa - Football - New Zealand v Slovakia FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 - Group F - Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg, South Africa June - 15/6/10..Winston Reid (L) celebrates after scoring the first goal for New Zealand.

However I’m sure you got enough soccer from Artful last week, so on to the bullets…………..

- Boom prospect Carlos Santana debuted for the Indians on June 11th and has been ragingly hot ever since. His first 28 at-bats have yielded 7 extra base hits, a .393 average and a 7/3 BB/K. He’s somehow still only 46% owned on Yahoo, so if you have the space this could be your last chance to get him.

- The 2010 trade season began in earnest on June 15, as my Oakland A’s acquired Conor Jackson for minor league reliever Sam Demel. Jackson moves from a extreme hitters park to an extreme pitchers park, killing some of his power and fantasy value – however A’s manager Bob Geren has him batting third, which should increase his RBI chances. Demel is intriguing, as he goes from being about 9th in line at Oakland to the cesspit that is the Arizona bullpen, where he could be used in high-leverage situations sooner rather then later.

- The Mets tried to correct some earlier FAILitude on Sunday by optioning Jenrry Mejia to Double-A to stretch him out as a starter. Mejia has the appropriate ground ball and strike out skills to succeed as a starter, and is only 20 years old. It shouldn’t be long till Mejia returns to the bigs (the Mets are currently rocking the generational talent of R.A. Dickey as their 5 starter) so he could be worth a stealth-add if he has a couple of nice starts in the minors.

- A great wailing and gnashing of teeth was heard from Tulo owners on the 18th, as Tulowitzki was sidelined for 6-8 weeks with a fractured wrist. Tulo is that hard to replace combination of top 30 player and shortstop, so you’re not going to replace him like-for-like. The best thing you can do is to ride a hot hand off waivers until he gets back – some options include the (Yahoo) 20% owned Felipe Lopez, 16% owned Clint Barmes, and 3% owned Adam Rosales. Good luck.

- And finally, the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays are all within a game of each other at the top of the AL East, potentially making this trade season an interesting and rumour-filled one. The White Sox have won 6 straight and 10 of their last 11, bringing themselves back into the AL Central race and quieting the “Jenks/Konerko to ____” rumours. The Rangers are 15-4 in June and beginning to leave the AL West in their dust, and the Orioles now have sole possession of last place in runs scored, throwing down the gauntlet to Houston and Pittsburgh and proving that the AL are that much better then the NL at both scoring and not scoring runs.

*Stats as of Sunday, June 20


Max Scherzer – Last Month: 31 IP, 3 W, 41 K, 3.48 ERA 1.23 WHIP

THIS is the Scherzer we were expecting. The Ks are there, the velocity is there, he’s hungry and determined after being sent to the minors. But wait, there’s more…….. his starts between now and the all-star break should be @ATL/vs SEA/ vs BAL. One start facing the pitcher, then the 28th and 30th placed teams for runs scored. Scherzer is only 34% owned in Yahoo, so you may be lucky enough to scoop him off waivers, if not make an offer on him, as June could be the beginning of something fantastic.

Aubrey Huff – Last Month: 29/85 H/AB, 19 R, 8 HR, 17 RBI, 2 SB, .341 BA

From looking at a possible reduction of playing time after the promotion of Buster Posey and acquisition of Pat Burrell, dong slapper extraordinaire Aubrey Huff has basically forced the Giants to keep starting him with a white-hot bat. He looks like a very obvious sell to me, as he is hitting 100 points above his career OPS against LHP, and still has Burrell, Posey, Ishikawa, Torres and Schierholtz competing with him over three starting spots. Now this is the Giants we’re talking about, who seem to have no idea about sample size, so Huff could have already bought himself full-time usage, but he is so inconsistent that if he looks awesome like he does right now you sell him to avoid the potential “correction”. Happy shopping.

JJ Putz – Last Month: 11.2 IP, 2 W, 15 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.60 WHIP

After two consecutive disappointing and injury-riddled seasons, Putz has recaptured his mojo from
2006-2007. He no longer averages 96 mph with his fastball, but instead has increased his usage of a highly effective split-fingered offering. With Ozzie Guillen trying to avoid running Matt Thornton into the ground, and with Bobby Jenks having calf issues and mysterious “soreness”, Putz could vulture a handful of saves (or more) over the next few months. Guillen showed his hand on Sunday, using Thornton in the 8th and Putz in the 9th , with Jenks out with the previously stated “soreness”. Putz is only 3% owned, get the jump on your league and add him.

Clay Buchholz – Last Month: 41.1 IP, 5 W, 27 K, 1.52 ERA, 1.02 WHIP

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz pitches against the New York Yankees during the first inning of their American League MLB baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts May 8, 2010. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Isn’t it nice when one of your sleepers performs at an elite level? The 180th pick+ drafted Buchholz has been lights out over the last month, he hasn’t conceded more then 3 runs in a game since May 8th, a span of eight starts. As good as the results have been, (he is tied for 2nd most wins with 10) there seems to be a little bit of a correction coming up. Buchholz’s HR/FB is 3.7%, and unless your name is Lincecum you usually settle in the 8-10% area. Also, his FIP (3.48) and K/9 (6.13) indicate that his ERA should be more then the 2.47 it is right now. I’d probably bait my trade hook with him and emphasise this as his “breakout” season. He does have @SF/vs BAL/@TOR coming up, so there’s no rush to get rid of him.


Ty Wigginton – Last Month: 20/84 H/AB, 8 R, 1 HR. 12 RBI, 0 SB, .238 BA

Well that was a fun ride while it lasted. Wiggy may have carried your team through April and May, but it is now time to remember that he was probably a temporary add at the time. Since being hit by a pitch on the hand (on or around) May 12th, Wigginton’s OPS has fallen more then 130 points, and he has only produced 6 extra base hits in those 123 at-bats since the injury. It’s pretty obvious he’s been playing hurt, and you only have to look at 2009 to see what his numbers look like when he does that. Your options are either to bench him and hope his hand fixes itself, or cut/trade him. Make sure you don’t marry yourself to Wiggy for two good months of production, as you might receive four “team-sinking” months of bad production.

Ian Stewart – Last Month: 15/68 H/AB, 11 R, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 2 SB, .221 BA

Much was expected from “sexy sleeper” Stewart before the season, and to date he has been largely mediocre. Lately he’s been dealing with both hand and leg injuries, and is losing playing time to Melvin Mora. Left handed pitchers have his number so far, he is only hitting .191/.309/.298 against them. Stewart could be an interesting buy low right now, as he still owns the 30-ish HR power skills he displayed in 2008 and 2009, and if he gets hot again somebody like Mora isn’t going to stop Stewart mashing RHP. But in buying him, understand that you’re going to have to bench him when he faces LHP, so adjust your expectations accordingly.

Randy Wells – Last Month: 30.2 IP, 0 W, 23 K, 6.16 ERA, 1.70 WHIP
Underneath his traditional stats, Randy Wells has actually been better then he was last year, when he posted a 3.05 ERA. His K/9 has actually gone from boring/journeyman (5.66) to borderline interesting (7.09), his BB/9 was already at a high-quality level (2.50) and he has improved on that this year (2.29). As a result, 2010’s FIP (3.51) is better then 2009’s (3.88). The problem with Wells at the moment is the usual one for starting pitchers, luck. His BABIP is an ugly .355, and he has a not-helpful LOB% of 67.8%. These things should regress back towards league average, and as a result Wells’ ERA should show the fruits of his improvement. It also helps him that his next two opponents should be lowly Seattle and Pittsburgh. He’s only 50% owned, so if you need a short-term (or longer) starter I highly recommend him.

Raul Ibanez – Last Month: 20/82 H/AB, 6 R, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 1 SB, .244 BA

Ibanez produced a championship winning first half in 2009, and a lot of people drafted him this year expecting something similar. Unfortunately in 2010, Ibanez has remembered that he isn’t someone who carries a .280 ISO, and that he doesn’t normally OPS .998 against LHP. On the surface Ibanez appears to be healthy, and is still in a prime RBI position batting 6th in the intimidating Phillies line up. This looks like a buying opportunity to me, his 7% HR/FB% is his lowest for a decade, and nearly half of his career 12.8% mark. If you can get him on the cheap, at the very least you’ll get bags of RBIs, and maybe 10-15 HRs if/when he reverts back to career levels.

That’s all for this week, Artful should be back in the saddle next time. England might be eliminated by then, so don’t be too rough on him.

And with that I’ll leave you with a quote from instant Kiwi folk hero, Winston Reid……

“I try to get forward but don’t often score, but this is great.”

Daniel Wilson is busy being a temporary visitor on New Zealand's soccer bandwagon. He can name every player who has scored for them at this tournament.......and Winton Rufer.You can catch up with Daniel in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of AussieDodger.
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