Tuesday, May 19, 2009

NFBC Journal: Week 6 - Welcome to the season Jimmy Rollins!

Well - it took 6 weeks but Jimmy Rollins finally showed up this week. My first round pick, who had been stinking up the joint. Ian Kinsler, the guy I talked myself out of taking at #8, was of course as hot as a piston. While I didn't expect that kind of production from my SS, his struggles were really hurting my team, particularly in the SB department. So needless to say, the best news of the week was Rollins' production.

A seven game hit streak, 3 multi-hit games, 3 sb's, a run scored in every game and even a HR thrown in made it easily his best week of the season so far. It also is the kind of production I will need if I want to climb a bit more in the overall standings and reel in the teams ahead of me in my Main Event league.

At the end of Week 6, I am sitting in 3rd place with 103 points. In the overall standings, I moved up to number #59 by weeks end. My pitching has been consistently good, as I ended the week with 64.5 out of a possible 75 points. I am leading the league in ERA, WHIP and SV's. On the hitting side, I made some gains, but still have room to move up from my 38.5 points. While I have crept my BA up to a respectable level, I will need a power and speed boost to make up points quickly. The good news is these counting stats can be the easiest ones to make up ground on in season. There are 10-12 points waiting for my team to grab with a prolonged power and/or speed influx.

Week 6 was a solid week for the team. New addition Jerry Hairston provided a speed boost as expected with 3 steals. He and Rollins led the way to an 11 steal week, 2 spots up in the category and put the middle group within reach. Colby Rasmus was the weeks most dissapointing player, he did smack a homer, but overall he failed to capitalize on Rick Ankiel's absence from the lineup.

My pitching continued to impress. Max Scherzer fnally got his first W and Brett Myers finally had a start worthy of a #2 SP. Papelbon and Fuentes were both solid. My pitching has been so good that I actually am down to one P in reserve, Kawakami. I dropped Dan Wheeler for this weeks pickup, OF Carlos Gomez. This was a speculative grab, for $3, as the big money went elsewhere. I see an opportunity for Gomez to get some starts this week - so I am trying to hit on some SB's from him for the week.

I also have inserted Baltimore's Nolan Reimold, who I picked up a couple of weeks ago for $1. Rasmus and LaPorta, who might be sent down head to the bench. Rick Ankiel should return this week, but I will wait to see it first before staring him. Kevin Louzmanoff almost made it back into the lineup, but I elected to go with Gomez for this week at least. Ryan Doumit (DL) and Cameron Maybin (AAA) fill out the bench.

It is rather unorthodox to have 6 hitters in reserve, but injuries have forced the issue. Also I interestingly have 5 players with SS eligibility, which would help explain my power slump. I need Ankiel to come back a add some pop and it wouldn't hurt for Kouzmanoff to start hitting. While Marco Scutaro has been a very pleasant surprise, I can't count on a full season out of him.
Also - Hairston will surely be a stopgap - as he usually is - he produces when he plays, but it never lasts. Injuries always come - but I will ride him while he hits. As of today, he might be the first guy I would cut, as Alex Gonzalez figures to steal AB's shortly.

Anyway, looking forward to Week 7, and happy to report that Kendry Morales has started me off with 2 HR's tonight, and Carlos Gomez stole a base. Keep it up guys, keep it up!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

NFBC Journal: Weeks 4-5 - Hairston and LaPorta to the rescue

Missed a weekly update - so we'll have to catch up with this week.

Rick Ankiel becomes the second Mugger to go down with an injury, and anyone who saw his head first collision with the center field wall knows that it could have been much worse than a trip to the DL. Colby Rasmus replaced Ankiel in the everyday St. Louis lineup and will do the same for the Muggers.

After a fairly pedestrian Week 4 showing, which saw us slip down in the standings and drop below 90pts overall led to a couple roster moves. We officially ended the Felix Pie experiment. I really thought the change of scenery and an everyday job would help Pie turn the corner. It was a late round gamble on a guy I thought would at worst give me a 15/15 season. Sadly I couldn't wait on him anymore. The picking on the wire are slim, so I took another path and speculated on Baltimore prospect Nolan Reimold for $1. Reimold is simply tearing it up in AAA and the buzz has him coming up with Matt Weiters once June arrives. It is a speculative move, but for a buck, could pay huge dividends.

My other big move after week 4 was to grab Toronto SP Brett Cecil. Injuries created an opportunity for Cecil to stake a claim to a full time rotation spot as he would be getting a look. A two start week made him as nice guy to speculate on. I was able to get him for only $15 and cut Ross Ohlendorf to do so. He rewarded me with two nice games, giving up only 1 run in 14 IP and chipped in a W and 12 K's. He looks like he will stick with Toronto for now. By grabbing him a week early - I saved a ton a FAAB money.

I also was able to grab a just waived Kenji Johjima to replace Jason Jaramillo as my Ryan Doumit replacement. Johjima cost me only $2 and quite frankly, I shouldn't have been able to get him. I can live with him in my lineup til Doumit returns.

Going into week 6 I tabbed only one new Mugger. Desperate for some SB's I grabbed Jerry Hairston Jr. who looks like he will get consistent playing time for the first time all year. He cost me $35 FAAB dollars and I had to cut loose Pedro Alvarez. I doesn't look like Alvarez is coming up anytime soon, so he was the guy to let go.

Also, I gained the services of Matt LaPorta, who got called up by Cleveland. However, Cameron Maybin got sent down to AAA by the Marlins. This was a blow, because I was counting on Maybin for a power/speed boost. He really made the Hairdston aquisition necessary.

Week 5 was a good week for the Muggers. We gained ground in the standings with a balanced attack and have moved up to fourth place in the league. Also, the team that has been holding down first place just lost Manny Ramirez for 2 months. Should bring him back to the pack a bit.
In the Overall Standings, we are back in the Top 100, at #86.

Chris Davis and JJ Hardy both look to be heating up, which is nice to see. Jimmy Rollins is still scuffling and I have to admit, that I shouldn't have talked myself out of Ian Kinsler at pick 8. I also am constantly reminded about my choice of Matt Kemp over Evan Longoria. Kemp has been solid, but Longoria has been the best hitter in fantasy to this point. If I had made those two picks, I'd be in first place today.

But, we are glad to be in contention. That is what you aim for, be close enough to see first place, then keep chipping away. We are there, andI think this offense is just about ready to go on a tear. Also, I think Brett Myers is due for a hot stretch as well and he will further boost what has been the best staff in the league so far this year.

Now if Eric Wedge would only start playing Matt LaPorta everyday, I'd be really happy. Come on Wedgie, I need his power and so do the Indians. Play him already!!!