Posted on: June 19, 2009 3:36 pm

Fantasy Baseball Would You Wait on These Two Aces

This season Fantasy Baseball has been frustrating to many owners.  The new pitching rules have hurt some in their eyes, I think for my team personally, it has benefited more than hurt.  Where my team stands right now, it would get a wild card spot if this was the last week of the season.  The new pitching rules need revamped for next season for the following, which I think CBS has heard a majority of owners in these two issues and hopefully will follow through with a change.  An earned run needs to go back to -1, and a complete game needs to be an additional 5.  Like one of the CBS writers wrote, the pitcher already lost a point for the walk or hit given up to begin with, losing two more points is just more damage on top of losing the one.  Anyway I'm going to get off the rules as this blog is about two aces and basically what to do with them.

Last year my team got burned by Brandon Webb twice.  This year he was going to burn everyone else's team.  Then of course week one he netted a -6 and has been on the DL ever since.  Webb had been progressing throwing on flat ground and was scheduled to do a bullpen session today.  However in Kansas City last night, he stated his shoulder was hurting and went back to Phoenix.  He is to be reevaluated today, hopefully the Diamondbacks will know more by tomorrow.

Jake Peavy was obtained in a trade for Javier Vazquez and Nick Swisher about week two this season.  He cost me a game a few weeks ago pitching with the flu, his -15 was the difference, otherwise he has pulled through more times than not.  Peavy may have to have surgery and even if he does not, his earliest return looks to be mid August.  Even if he does come back this season, how effective will he be with a bad ankle, especially the right one, the one he plants against the rubber to get his power into the pitch with?

Better question for both is will either see action again this season?  Right now the Dodgers are 44-29, the Padres are 14 game back and the Diamondbacks are 15 games behind.  Without Peavy and Webb with their respected teams, does either organization risk adding to their respected injuries when neither will have a chance to contend as Webb's earliest return date now is after the All-Star break.

The Brandon Webb injury has me a little skeptical.  Webb was in contract negoiations when his should injury flared up.  No insurnace companies wanted to insure the Diamondbacks on their contact with him due to his arm, and then he went out opening day, looked awful and then to the DL.  Everytime it looks like he is getting closer to returning, his shoulder hurts again.  He was supposed to have been back end of April, then mid-May, then late-May you can see the pattern.  Is it possible that he is exaggerating this injury because he and the Diamondbacks did not come to terms on a new contract before the season began?  This could be in a way his own kind of holdout, he's getting paid to do nothing, but you're not going to get a big contract from any team if you're not putting up big stats on the field.  Then again there are some teams in the league, if you're healthy this offseason and were great for a few years, they will give you an eight figure contract per season.

Basically in fantasy baseball you play 16, nine batters at each position including utility, then five starting pitchers and two closers.  There is a five man bench.  Do you hang on to Jake Peavy and Brandon Webb, or do you cut them off your team?  My pitching would be way better with the both of them, but when you have other undroppable players on the bench you have to cut from somewhere.  Thankfully CBS just made both of these pitchers droppable.  Right now for week 12 if I go with Ryan Dempster my team would have 10 starts next week, that would mean benching Gil Meche or Chris Carpenter as one would be out anyway due to recently picking up John Danks off waivers as a two start for next week.

My guess is being the Padres are wanting to deal Jake Peavy, he may be done for this season.  They will want him to heal, and probably try and deal him come December at the Winter meetings.  I wonder what the White Sox fan base thought when he was injured the night after turning down the trade to go to Chicago by running the bases, something he would not have to do at US Cellular Field.  I'm sure they did not find it too comical as hardly no one wishes injury on anyone, but it does seem like a coincidence the injury occured when it did.

Brandon Webb could go either way.  However the winning pace the Dodgers are on by the time he were to return, the Diamondbacks will probably be between 23-30 games back.  If he is not pitching to spite the Diamondbacks about the contract, it's doubtful he will come back at all this season.  If this injury is legit and still lingering would the Diamondbacks run him out there just playing out the string?  Wouldn't the Diamondbacks be starting younger guys for a chance in the rotation next season?

Either way I'm ready to drop both of these guys from my team.  I loaded up on pitching due to Webb's absence that my bench has one hitter on it, being Grady Sizemore, I think I want more depth there.  So the question for you the reader is, would you drop Jake Peavy and Brandon Webb now, or hold onto them?  If you say hold, will they be the pitcher they have been in the past? 

Here is a link to an article done on Brandon Webb back on April 11, 2009, this injury did not seem too bad back then after his MRI.

Posted on: June 12, 2009 10:51 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2009 12:33 am

My Son's 1st Baseball Game, A Night at the Minors

Tuesday night, June 9, 2009, we attended a baseball game in Myrtle Beach, SC, the Kinston Indians were at the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Braves Affiliate).  It was a nice night to begin with around 80 degrees.  My four year old son was excited, he was going to see baseball in live action for the first time.  He wore his Indians hat to the game, that his step grandpa had sent him after he attended a game at Jacobs Field last Summer.  The Pelicans' Field is very nice.  The park is ten years old, but the appearance of the park looks like it just opened up this season.  The ushers did an excellent job as well.  We had no problem finding our seats, however those they led to their seats, the ushers would make sure each seat was clean before the person they saw to their respected seat sat down.

At 6:15pm, two Pelicans players sat behind home plate to sign autographs for about 20 minutes.  My son got autographs from Braves prospects Donell Linares and Chad Lundahl.  Both players seemed very nice, spoke to my son asking him how he was and they seemed happy to sign for all the fans that lined up for their signatures.  Being beside the Indians bench, my son wanted to meet some of their players as well.  He did get autographs from Nate Recknagel and manager Chris Tremie, however they were obtained after the game as the Kinston Indians have a no autograph policy until after their game is over.

As the first pitch neared, my son was not the only person there wearing Indians gear as about 300 were there wearing their Tribe gear.  Myrtle Beach is a popular vacation spot for the midwest as well, and behind the visitors dugout were a lot of vocal Indians fans.  The game went 10 innings, Kinston won the game 3-2.  It was only one game, but here were the few players that played well on that night.

Kinston Indians
Lonnie Chisenhall went 2 for 5 with a double
Tim Fedroff went 1 for 4 with a home run and a walk.  He scored two of the three runs
Adam Davis went 1 for 3 with the 10th inning homerun and he also had a walk. 
Paolo Espino went 6 1/3 innings giving up 2 earned runs on 5 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 7.
Garrison Campfield pitched the 9th and 10th innings getting the win.  He gave up 1 hit, walked 2 and struck out 4.  He was pretty consistent on the radar right at 94 mph.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Freddie Freeman went 2 for 5 with a double.
Michael Fisher went 2 for 4 with a two run homerun.
Jacob Thompson went 6 2/3 innings giving up 2 earned runs on 5 hits, 2 walks and struck out 1.
Benino Pruneda who got the loss giving up the homerun to Davis went 2 innings giving up 1 earned run, 1 hit, striking out 3.

My son enjoyed the game, he is looking foward to going to another game this Summer.  His only disappointment was the ballboy right infront of him got a foul ball.  My son had his glove up asking for it to be flipped to him but the ballboy refused.  Whether he kept the ball for himself who knows, there were a few other fans disappointed my son was not given the foulball as well, even booing the ballboy.  What my son enjoyed most about the game was running the bases after the game, and knowing the team he was rooting for won.

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans have a very nice stadium, an excellent staff of ushers, and they give out quite a few free coupons as well.  We each left with coupons for a free doughnut, a free sandwich, and my son left with a free kids meal to a restaurant.  If you vacation to Myrtle Beach and want to see a ballgame, you might want to check out the Pelicans and their ballpark out.  Afterall since 1999, they have sent 67 players to the majors including Tommy Hanson, Kelly Johnson, Brian McCann and Rafael Furcal.
Posted on: May 19, 2009 1:29 pm

Interleague Play Brings Us Back to DH Discussion

This weekend is the first weekend of interleague play for the 2009 Major League Baseball season.  Only the Padres and Cubs are exempt from interleague play this weekend as they have a series in San Diego beginning on Friday.  So the question is, as it will be asked mainly by visiting team announcers this weekend, should there still be a DH rule in the American League, and should the National League allow the pitcher to bat or should both leagues adopt the same rule?  Here are my thoughts on both the DH rule and allowing the pitcher to bat.

I'll start first with the Senior Circuit.  Growing up in the 1980's if you had cable, you got 162 games of the Braves and Cubs.  There was the about once a week Orioles game shown on local TV here in North Carolina as we are in their market as far as the American League goes, but unless the American League had the Saturday Afternoon game of the week, there was no other American League exposure here until playoff time.  Watching the pitcher bat can be sometimes painful, what's worse was seeing the batter hitting 8th get walked, who was batting around .223 with no homeruns so they could get to the pitcher's spot was even more painful.  However, not only does the pitcher pitch, he fields a position as well.  How many of you grew up wanting to bat first at your neighbor's or family's house and get told, you know after you bat, you have to go out there and field the ball?  It sounds like a reward to bat doesn't it because you put time in catching flyballs and fielding grounders to justify you get your time to hit.  National League rules make it where the pitcher gets "rewarded" for fielding their position, even though American League fans probably don't see that as a reward.  The DH allows a player to not have to go to the field, all he has to do is swing a bat, thus exempt from playing the field, against the ideals I grew up with.  There are some very good hitting pitchers though and that spans into both leagues.  Micah Owings, Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster swing a decent bat in the National League, and CC Sabathia can swing the bat too with the Yankees and what about Andy Sonnanstine.

Another pro National League ideal about letting the pitcher bat is he can help his own cause.  The days of walking the number eight hitter have dwindled quite a bit.  I'm unsure if Rey Ordonez having an absurd amount of intentional walks when he was with the Mets batting eight had anything to do with this, but it seems like the pitcher's spot leads off a lot of innings in today's game.  It is up to the pitcher to usually sacrifice a runner over to second or third when there are less than two outs in the inning.  He gets the job done, the leadoff hitter gets an RBI chance, if not, he strikes out and the runners are still there.  Wins and losses are a team stat, but also a pitcher's as well.  Tight ballgame, pitcher get the job done, if you get the loss though by a run and you didn't help your cause, shoulder the blame.

The DH rule does have it's positives.  First thing that comes to mind before anything is injuries to pitchers.  Chien Ming Wang has not recovered from running the bases at the Astros last year.  He hurt his right foot running the bases because he was not used to it.  The Yankees have stated his pitching woes this season stem from that incident last season.  Also as mentioned earlier Carlos Zambrano is a very good hitting pitcher, and he will come off the DL this Friday in San Diego.  He led off the fifth inning vs the Marlins with a bunt single and pulled his hamstring.  Had the DH been in place, neither would have gotten hurt.

Also not having to hit, the pitcher has one thing to focus on, getting the other team's batters out.  The pitcher does not have to worry about any batting practice, running the bases, and what the other pitcher may throw him in his at bat.  He does not have to worry about coming out of the game in the sixth or seventh inning in a tight game because the number nine spot is due up that inning.  Any extra time studying the other teams hitters on film, in who cannot catch up to a fastball, who will go for the slider in the dirt can be invaluable to a good performance.

There are more arguments to this debate, I just touched on two for each side.  We know the American League will always have the DH, because the Player's Union does not want to see it go out the door.  I cannot see the National League accepting the DH because something needs to distinguish both leagues, as now they both have the same umpires, so really besides that rule both leagues are pretty much the same.

One final argument it seems comes up quite a bit and did again this past Saturday.  John Lackey threw two pitches at Ian Kinsler and was ejected after pitch two hit him.  On TV that night, retired players were saying oh if the pitchers hit in the American League, they would not do that, since they would have to bat.  That theory should be dismissed for one reason.  When have you seen a pitcher throw at another pitcher?  You don't the reason, that's pretty much a guarenteed out.  The strategy that goes into a National League game with the pitcher batting, or seeing a very good batter hit for the pitcher all game, which rule do you prefer?  
Category: MLB
Posted on: May 3, 2009 2:57 am

Baseball's Last 300 Game Winner?

Randy Johnson got win 297 on May 1, 2009 vs the Colorado Rockies.  He pitched 7 innings struck out 9 and the Giants won 3-2.  As long as Johnson stays injury free this season, he should get win number 300 sometime before or during the month of June.  

Randy Johnson approaching win 300 should be a big deal to all fans of baseball.  The reason is unless teams go back to a four man rotation when a team has an off day that week, there is a chance that there will never be a 300 win pitcher again.  The new era of baseball is that of pitch counts, middle relievers and closers.  As time goes by, I can see closers getting their 400th, 500th save and so on as the new great pitching statistic.  Jonathan Papelbon was asked a few years ago to become a starter for the Red Sox.  His reply was no thanks, the only way he would get to the Hall of Fame was to remain a closer.  He keeps his closer stats like they are, he will be a shoe in to get to the Hall five years after he retires unless he ticks off over 25% of the voters either before or right after retirement.  

Active pitchers behind Johnson on the all time wins list are as follows.  Jamie Moyer at 249, Andy Pettitte at 217, Tim Wakefield 180, Bartolo Colon 152, Livan Hernandez 148, Kevin Millwood 144, Mike Hampton 142, Roy Halladay 136, Derek Lowe, Roy Oswalt, Javier Vazquez, and Jeff Suppan at 129, Mark Buehrle 126, Barry Zito 123, CC Sabathia 118, Russ Ortiz and Johan Santana 112, and Jon Garland at 108.  

Jamie Moyer is the closest at 249.  However Moyer is 46 years old.  He has 3 wins so far this season.  He won 14 games in 2007 and 16 games last season with the Phillies.  If he were to average 15 wins over the next 2 seasons, that would put him at 276 at the end of the 2010 season as his three wins so far this season are factored in his 249 win total.  To reach 300 wins, Moyer would have to pitch until he is 50 years old, not probable, but not impossible as at 46 he is still getting the job done.

Andy Pettitte will be 37 years old this season sitting on 217 career wins.  He won 15 games in 2007, then 14 in 2008 with the Yankees.  He has 2 wins this season.  If he were to average 15 wins a season he would be would become a 300 win pitcher during the 2014 season.  He would be younger than the age Jamie Moyer is now.  If he stays healthy and wants to continue to play he will have an outside shot at 300, however the Yankees have talent in their farm system, and Pettitte and the Yankees did have a disagreement about a contact before this season began.  If he is not with the Yankees beginning next year or within a few years, you have to wonder what kind of run support and defensive support he would get from another team to help him continue to get wins.

Probably the best shot at 300, is not even at 150 yet.  However, some say this Blue Jays ace is the best pitcher in baseball at this time.  Roy Halladay has 5 wins in 2009 and the calander just changed to May.  He will turn 32 this month and has been with the Blue Jays since 1998.  Halladay is known for the innings he pitches, he had 9 complete games, 246 innings pitched and 206 strikeouts in 2008.  He was a 20 game winner last season.  He could reach 300 wins in 10 seasons if he averages around 17 wins a year.  Halladay is not a pitcher I would bet against achieving 300 win status, however one has to wonder, those pitch count, innings pitched worriers if his arm might not take another 8-10 seasons in the big leagues at the work he puts in on game day.  

Finally we cannot rule out CC Sabathia.  It took him seven seasons to win 100 games.  If he could maintain that average he would win his 300th game in the year 2021, in which he would be 41 years old.  CC does have his slumps but he also has times where he dominates like he did with the Brewers last season going 11-2 during the second half of the season.  If Sabathia can get to 200 wins before he turns 35 he could have a shot to become a 300 game winner, what would help him more though is to be more consistent in the month of April.       

There is probably a college player playing right now, or maybe a little leaguer out there that one day in 20-40 years from now will threathen to get to 300 wins.  However it seems more and more each season that 100 pitch count becomes more and more like a hook to get the pitcher out of the game.  The main question to any of you who respond is will Randy Johnson be the last 300 game winner in baseball?  Will there be another in Moyer, Pettitte, Sabathia, or Halladay?  And will there be another that we have never heard of or will the 200 game winner be the new mark once Johnson breaks 300 wins this season?    
Category: MLB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or