Full Disclosure: Blowing the budget on DeRosa
Mark DeRosa was the first legitimate trade of the 2009 baseball season and it got our Scott White all excited. So excited in fact that he spent every last FAAB dollar on him in his NL-only Rotisserie league.
I've been waiting for this moment all year.
I planned it from the beginning and didn't back down from it even when I had a roster overflowing with needs. Every single free-agent pickup and every single waiver claim went toward the fulfillment of this goal.
And now it's time to cash in.
People, as of late Monday evening, I have zero FAAB dollars in my NL-only Rotisserie league. I spent every last one of them on Mark DeRosa .
I know what you're thinking. "Geez, Scott, he's not that good. If you have all that money, why not save it for someone bigger, like this year's Manny Ramirez ?"
First of all, I can't guarantee anyone of that caliber will get traded -- not to mention to an NL team -- and if you can, you should probably use your talents for something more altruistic, like preventing car crashes or gas explosions.
Secondly, DeRosa is good enough. His 21 homers last year seemed like an aberration, but the fact he's on pace for more this year even though his batting average trails his three-year average by 25 points tells me the power shouldn't go away anytime soon. He's also on pace for 105 RBI and 98 runs scored, which means he offers a four-category upgrade at whatever position I decide to play him -- which, by the way, is entirely up to me since he qualifies at every position but shortstop and catcher. I don't know what more I could ask from an offensive player in a league this deep.
But the biggest reason I've decided to go all-in on DeRosa -- the one often overlooked but that might actually put him on equal terms offensively with bigger-name players like Matt Holliday or Brian Roberts -- is the fact the Cardinals play a whole 27 games between now and the July 31 trade deadline. That's one-sixth of the season and, considering we're already halfway through the season, one-third of the remaining season.
Since most big trades don't happen until right at the trade deadline, I can assume I'll get 50 percent more out of DeRosa than I'll get out of any other player -- assuming there's even another player.
In a Rotisserie league, where cumulative totals matter more than week-to-week production, that makes all the difference to me.
|Jose Reyes (DL)||SS||NYM|
|Scott Downs (DL)||P||TOR|
12-team mixed Rotisserie (7th; 5x5 Score: 65.5)
Why do I lead off with the most boring league? No bench, few trades -- not much I can do, really, but watch my once proud (and Jose Reyes -endowed) team slip further and further in the standings.
It's like dying a slow and painful death, only without the tales of martyrdom and made-for-TV movies that inevitably follow. Not to mention the pain.
But while I can't do much to save myself (and I didn't, keeping the exact same lineup from last week), I can tell you about some other people who tried to save themselves.
Someone picked up Jordan Zimmermann . I had him once. He gave me two wins. He probably deserves a roster spot more now, though, given his 1.90 ERA over his last four starts and 69 strikeouts and 69 2/3 innings.
Someone else dropped Gil Meche for Chris Volstad . See, that's a move that interests me simply because I'd love to have both of those pitchers in most leagues. But in a league without a bench, what can I do? I certainly wouldn't drop steadier options like Gavin Floyd and Jair Jurrjens for them. I've grown disenchanted with Chad Qualls lately, but when I rank fourth in saves, I can't justify cutting him. Same for Mike Gonzalez . I just don't have enough scrubby players to make any moves.
So how did I end up in seventh place? I don't know. Lack of offense, I guess. But even there, the parts add up to more than the sum. Not everyone can say that. Take a look at these Scrubby McScrubbersons added or dropped in the last week and imagine how much you'd hate your life if you had them: Carlos Carrasco , Gerardo Parra , Kenshin Kawakami , Josh Bard , Koji Uehara , Joel Pineiro , Sean West and ... my own Willie Bloomquist .
Yeah, OK, so I have a hole at shortstop. But everyone has a hole somewhere. Just look at all those names. And with five of them pitchers, you'd think I'd find someone to take a pitcher off my hands so I could add one of the free-agent pitchers I want.
I think a light bulb just went off. We'll reconvene in a week.
|Ryan Doumit (DL)||C||PIT|
10-team mixed Head-to-Head (3rd; Record: 7-5)
You wouldn't know it by its record or standing, but this team has gone from competitive to dominant. It's 3-1 over the last four weeks and should probably be 4-0. Yeah, its overall record doesn't look that great, but it ranks first in overall scoring, third in hitting and third in pitching. And much to my own surprise, I've done it without making a single trade.
That doesn't mean I haven't tried. Just this past week, I offered Kevin Youkilis and Andre Ethier for an underachieving David Wright . Honestly, I've gotten tired of Youkilis missing games here and there with nagging injuries. He's like Chipper Jones , only angrier.
I offered the deal to a guy whose team is moving in the opposite direction from mine -- one of those really competitive types who places in the top four every year no matter what luck throws his way. He needs an outfielder with Juan Pierre about to lose his job, and I figured someone like him might get aggressive with his team falling behind.
He didn't go for it. No surprise, really.
But that offer should tell you I still have plenty of confidence in Wright. His slugging percentage hasn't suffered much this year even if his home runs have, so he hasn't suddenly forgotten how to hit for power. He's not Magglio Ordonez . The luck will even out, and those doubles will become home runs in the second half.
Besides, how cool would it have been to enter next season with Wright, Hanley Ramirez and Chase Utley as keepers? Too cool. They would've kicked me out of the league.
No changes to the offensive portion of my starting lineup this week. I still have the rickety Youkilis at third base and the somewhat slumping Ben Zobrist in the outfield. Might as well go on cruise control with the team on a roll. The only bench player I'd consider moving into the lineup is Denard Span , but Todd Helton or Adam Lind would have to do something significantly wrong for that to happen.
As for my pitching staff, I don't have quite as much clarity there, though I like that Matt Garza got back on track. I opted for Kevin Slowey coming off a poor start over Chris Volstad facing the Pirates, sticking with the better pitcher regardless of trends or matchups. I learned my lesson from starting Wandy Rodriguez over Jon Lester a couple weeks back.
I made only one transaction this week, dumping the infinitely useless Jeremy Hermida for J.A. Happ , but I kind of wish I had picked up Ricky Romero instead. Guess I got caught up in the thrill of the shutout.
|Xavier Nady (DL)||OF||NYY|
|Luis Montanez (DL)||OF||BAL|
|Daisuke Matsuzaka (DL)||P||BOS|
|Koji Uehara (DL)||P||BAL|
|Shawn Kelley (DL)||P||SEA|
12-team AL-only Rotisserie (8th; 5x5 Score: 54.0)
Don't expect me to place any hefty bids on Chris Perez . I understand the guy has the potential to close someday, but I don't expect him to see many save chances this year. Frankly, after all that talk of team after team lining up to acquire Mark DeRosa , I'm surprised the Indians didn't get more for him.
But I'll save that discussion for Scott Miller and Danny Knobler. I have more important things to think about, like my Fantasy team, which still ranks in the bottom half of the league.
It's getting better. The trades to improve my offense have seemingly made a difference. Then again, I can't expect to get anything out of Xavier Nady now that he probably needs season-ending elbow surgery, which means I basically traded Edwin Jackson and Fernando Rodney for Placido Polanco .
Bad move, Scott. Bad, bad move.
But if nothing else, I at least have the hope of Mike Carp getting semi-regular playing time now that Adrian Beltre needs shoulder surgery, allowing Russell Branyan (hopefully) to play some third base. Throw in three underachievers showing signs of coming around -- Alex Rodriguez , Jhonny Peralta and Pat Burrell -- and I clearly stand to make up ground offensively.
Of course, I wouldn't mind improving my middle relievers with most of my starting pitchers gone, especially with Koji Uehara going on the DL and Rich Hill pitching like a man destined for the minor leagues. Unfortunately, nobody on waivers stands out as a must-add reliever. I ended up adding David Robertson and Lance Cormier in favor of the still-recovering Jose Molina and the now-useless Trevor Crowe . I like Robertson's potential and if Cormier can maintain close to his current pace, his innings will make the kind of impact a situational lefty couldn't.
Unfortunately, I fell asleep on the job this weekend and didn't make these roster moves until after the lineup deadline, which explains why I have Neftali Feliz in my starting lineup in the off chance the Rangers call him up for a little bullpen help. Yeah, that one stings.
Oh well. I'll probably switch these middle relievers out all year anyway. Now I just need to save my FAAB dollars for the day a big-name player moves to the American League. Adam Dunn , maybe?
12-team NL-only Rotisserie (8th; 5x5 Score: 55.0)
|Jorge De La Rosa||P||COL|
|Chad Tracy (DL)||1B||ARI|
|Aramis Ramirez (DL)||3B||CHC|
|Alfredo Amezaga (DL)||SS/OF||FLA|
|Angel Pagan (DL)||OF||NYM|
Yes, DeRosa makes an improving starting lineup that much better. In fact, after last week's trade for Brad Hawpe and Scott Hairston , I don't have a clear place to play him. Too bad he doesn't qualify at catcher.
I mean it. Travis Ishikawa and Nate Schierholtz have become starters for the Giants -- at least against right-handed pitchers -- so I wouldn't want to remove them. Schierholtz's potential has me especially excited considering he's hitting .560 (14 for 25) with two home runs over his last six games. I bet that guy in the Hawpe trade wishes he took Schierholtz instead of Garret Anderson now.
I guess I have no choice but to sit Micah Hoffpauir even though I like that I can count on him for a home run seemingly any time the Cubs decide to give him a spot start. Would I actually consider benching Emilio Bonifacio or Elijah Dukes -- two everyday players who have vastly underperformed since April? I don't see it happening yet, but I'll have to make these decisions all over again when Aramis Ramirez and Chad Tracy return from the DL.
Geez, I might actually have too much hitting now. Anybody want to trade a pitcher?
On second thought, I feel good about my pitching staff even if the biggest name on it is Ryan Dempster . J.A. Happ and Jorge De La Rosa are each coming off good starts, and the two of them along with Braden Looper should keep me from falling too far behind in wins while my frontline middle relievers preserve my ratios.
Speaking of middle relievers, I added another one in Chris Sampson . His strikeout rate doesn't do much for me, but his other numbers do, particularly his innings pitched. He's kind of the Lance Cormier of the NL, only I trust him a little bit more: His high number of innings make his ratios count for more, making him worthwhile in Fantasy despite his lack of strikeouts.
To clear a spot for Sampson, I gave Edwin Maysonet the heave-ho after the Astros sent him to the minor leagues. For DeRosa, I cut Chris Perez , ironically enough.
20-team mixed Head-to-Head (4th NL-only side; Record: 6-6)
(10 teams NL-only, 10 teams AL-only)
I'm like a real NL team. I went 0-4 in interleague play.
Glad that's over. I've somehow managed to maintain the same place in the standings even though I've gone 0-3 over the last three weeks. I don't know what that means, but I suspect it's something good.
|Jose Reyes (DL)||SS||NYM|
|Chris Young (DL)||SP||SD|
|Brett Myers (DL)||SP||PHI|
|Anibal Sanchez (DL)||SP||FLA|
Now I can get back to picking on my own kind, restoring that .750 winning percentage. Who cares if I don't have Reyes, Brett Myers or Chris Young anymore? It'll go the same way it did before ... right?
Oy, I need pitching. I wouldn't call the situation desperate yet just because in a format this deep with this particular scoring format, a team with a good enough offense could win without starting a pitching staff at all. But I can't afford close calls every week -- not with a .500 record.
I certainly don't want to decimate my starting lineup to acquire an ace in a format that makes every pitcher hit-or-miss, so I'll aim for an underappreciated low-end guy -- someone like Randy Wells .
I've tried for Wells, by the way. I've tried with Randy Winn and with Elijah Dukes . Neither did the trick.
I actually got a decent performance last week from Russ Ortiz , but I cut him before his second start for Felipe Paulino , who impressed me with a nine-strikeout performance last time out. I then tried to reclaim Ortiz off waivers, but somebody else got him instead.
Yeah, we actually had to fight for Russ Ortiz . It's 2003 all over again.
By the way, I planned to cut Dukes for Ortiz. The Nationals have lost confidence in him, benching him for Willie Harris at times. I still think he could have a big second half, but in a league with so few bench slots, I can't afford to stash him and pray for rain.
Boy, we've come a long way from the first Full Disclosure, when I bemoaned the Nationals' decision to start Austin Kearns over Dukes and hesitantly cut Dukes in every one of my mixed leagues.
I could've made a perfectly good sweater with that time and energy.
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