What's On the Menu - Week 18: Familiar Faces
firstname.lastname@example.org - 7/25/2008
The "What's on the Menu" column is geared to give Head to Head owners advice on making the right moves when setting their lineups for the upcoming scoring period. Every week, "Uncle Charlie" provides you with the players who will become the fantasy studs for your team. I will also include my thoughts on players who are not worth adding and the column will end with a bold prediction for the upcoming week.
In this weeks article I review some familiar faces to the fantasy world. Some can help you in your pursuit of a playoff spot and some will leave you drinking aimlessly at your local drinking spot. Nevertheless, this is the week of the "senior" discount if these veterans are available in your leagues waiver pool.
The Soup of the Day -- I feel this player might be worth a "taste" for the upcoming week.
Melvin Mora - 3B, Baltimore Orioles
No! This is not 2004 and Yes! Melvin Mora is 36 and producing like a 27 year old. Mora has been scorching for the Orioles lately and he remains un-owned in less than 50% of CBS leagues and that number needs to grow. He's got hits in seven of his last eight games with four homers, 15 RBI and six runs scored in that span. Melvin has shown no signs of slowing down and a 25-30 HR season is not out of reach for the Orioles third baseman. Pick up Mora if he is still hanging around in your league's waiver pool and begin to party like it is 2004.
*Special: Two for One - I feel this pitcher is the best stream-able two start pitcher for the upcoming week.
"Shoulder - 60-day DL. On Class A rehab assignment. Might return for July 28 start vs. N.Y. Mets," this status update is not the greatest thing to see when you view Anibal Sanchez's profile. But if you look at his career accomplishments you will be sure to find the no hit performance he threw in 2006. Sanchez looks to rebound from shoulder issues as well as fellow Fin Josh Johnson has, Sanchez begins that journey with a start at home vs. the NY Mets on Monday. In his last start at Class A Jupiter, Sanchez allowed two runs and four hits in 4 1/3 innings in his second rehab start, throwing 49 of his 70 pitches for strikes. He threw 13 of 19 first-pitch strikes. He struck out three and walked two. His velocity ranged from 88 to 93 mph. The velocity is encouraging and his second start in Week 17 against the Rockies makes him somewhat desirable as a spot starter. I would pencil him in as a flier for the upcoming scoring period and hope you can call some friends over to party like it was 2006.
Waiter's Choice -- I feel this player is worth the gamble for the second half.
Hanrahan does not fit the profile for this week's column, he has only one big league season under his belt and is only 27. However, after the trade of Jon Rauch , the Nationals will hand the ball over to Hanrahan as their closer for the rest of the season. Hanrahan is currently second among major league relievers in strikeouts with 65. In the past four weeks, Hanrahan has a 1.80 ERA in his past 13 outings. If you haven't noticed the trend of pitchers I have outlined in previous articles, I like to attach myself to pitchers with high strikeout rates. If a pitcher has the ability to miss bats, he has the ability to create outs by himself which is a huge advantage when runners reach base. With that said Hanrahan has strikeout potential and can be a serviceable closer in deeper leagues, especially NL-only formats. The only thing holding Hanrahan back from being viewed as a No. 2 closer is he plays for the disgraceful Nats. If you play in a league that rewards strikeouts and you can start more than two closers on a weekly basis then take a crack at Hanrahan.
The Porterhouse -- I feel this player will provide big power numbers in the upcoming week.
Thome is a face we cannot forget, he was a fantasy mainstay in his early years and sure his bat speed might have slowed down a little but he is continuing to hit the ball out of the ball park at an alarming rate for his age. He is currently on pace to hit 30 HR, Thome has hit 30 or more home runs in every healthy season since 1998. He is also on pace to have 495 AB and the last time he reached 490+ AB, Thome hit 42 HR in the same ball park he is playing in now. Thome has raised his average 26 points this month and is starting to look like the Thome of old. He has begun to heat up and if this continues his HR numbers should begin to soar. Jump aboard the sluggers train if it is not to late and party like it is 1998 (I promise sooner or later I will find a player who had a big year in 1999, so when you read aloud it sounds like the Prince jingle.)
Chocolate Cake - I feel that although this player seems tempting, you should stay away.
Don't skip over this section that quickly, I know Zito looks like an obvious fit for the Chocolate Cake dish but the former CY Young winner has won back-to-back decisions for the first time all year. Barry Zito is like the ex-girlfriend who hangs around your favorite bar only to hope you can get drunk enough to take her home. No matter what fantasy owners seem to give the box score a look every time Zito takes the mound. Why is beyond me, his stat line is still atrocious, he still has not regained his command (10 BB in his last 18 innings) and his once infamous 12-to-6 curveball looks more like a 9-to-6 hanger. Stay away from Zito and if you must have a "Guilty Pleasure" go down to the local waterhole and take home some lonely sea turtle because regardless of how Zito looks now he will shockingly resemble the same sea turtle the next morning.
Bold Prediction: Someone will write me an email to complain about my Zito analogy.
Week 16 Bold Prediction Results: There will be 12+ "Gold Ball" Homeruns in this years Home Run Derby.
Actual Results = 10 "Gold Ball" Homeruns. Who would have knew Josh Hamilton would have almost tripled this number in the first round.