Band of Boxscores 5/6

All is fair in love and fantasy baseball. If you’re new to the game, the only hope you have is to accept the fact that you’ve already lost. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll be able to function as a manager is supposed to function: without mercy, without compassion, without remorse. Winning depends upon it. Arm yourselves and be ye men of valor; for we few, we happy few, we band of brothers shall embark upon a land of bullets, triple slashes and pulled hamstrings.

Ty Wigginton hit his 10th HR! How is a 10 HR second baseman owned in only 64% of Yahoo! leagues? Especially someone like Wiggy who has a cult following of fantasy managers who love multi-position eligible players. He will lose playing time at 2B when Brian Roberts comes back, but Ty has played LF, RF, 3B, 1B and, of course, DH. BAL will be able to find room for his bat. I think it’s pretty obvious Wiggy cannot sustain the 32% HR/FB%, but he also has a low .246 BABIP. A correction in BABIP would help counterbalance a drop in Batting AVG when the Fly Balls don’t clear the fence as often. Not too many 25 HR, 2B eligible players come off the free agent market, more managers need to Get Wiggy With It.

The 44% owned Carl Pavano looked great vs BAL [8 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 8 K], minus the aforementioned Ty Wigginton HR. Pavano is now sporting a 1.12 WHIP and 3.43 ERA. He was a poster boy for unlucky pitchers last season with his .335 BABIP. Hip managers, like MDS, drafted him coming into the season… the rest of you need to grab him off the free agent wire. Coming into the game, Carl was rocking a 0.86 BB/9. He had walked 3 batters in 31.1 IP. He had a 7.33 K/BB! Basically we have a pitcher with an average K Rate, superb control and the ability to induce a moderate amount of ground balls. He should be good for a 1.25 WHIP and 3.75 ERA and the Twins are winning a lot of ball games, that is a useful pitcher in most leagues.

What do you think of the 3% owned Scott Olsen? I’m so used to him being worthless, it’s hard to believe he’s allowed only 1 ER in the past 3 games (20.1 IP). Olsen worked over the Braves today [7.1 IP, ER, 2 H, BB, 8 K], taking a No-Hitter into the Eighth. He appears to be a better pitcher than the disappointing Scott Olsen of yesteryear. His fastball velocity is up from the past two seasons (he was reportedly in the low 90s today) and while it is still a slightly below average pitch, it is better than the -15 to -20 runs below average that it was from 2006 to 2009. Olsen is using his Slider and Changeup more, which helps the whiff rate. The rising trend in his F-Strike% is encouraging. The ground ball rate is up. Olsen has made improvements that are sustainable and he can be rostered in leagues (deeper leagues for now) once again. Tim Hudson (who went 7 strong in the game) summed it up nicely, “He’s got pretty good stuff but, let’s be honest here: I don’t think he’s got no-hit stuff”.

Call in the Reinforcements Tyler Clippard [1.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 BB]was given a chance for a Save, but couldn’t leave an inherited runner on base. He was credited with the BS, but got the Win anyway. Matt Capps had pitched on the 4th and 5th and was given the day off. Joakim Soria came in to finish the 8th and gave up Home Runs to Josh Hamilton and Vladi, he took the Blown Save and Loss. Chris Ray (7th) was credited with a Blown Save, Frank Francisco (8th) gave up an Earned Run and got the Win, Neftali Feliz (9th) locked down his 7th Save. Ron Washington basically said Feliz is their best pitcher, “What was great about it, we got their best pitcher and they didn’t get ours.” Koji Uehara pitched the 8th for BAL and Alfredo Simon pitched the 9th, recording his 3rd Save. Neither BAL pitcher gave up a hit or walk. Jonathan Broxton gave up 4 H and 2 ER in 1 IP, blowing the Save. He finished with the Win, but has blown two Saves in 3 chances. For all the extrapolaters in the house, Broxton is on pace for 6 Saves this season. Even after today, he still has a 0.93 WHIP and 1.86 ERA, he is still one of the best. LaTroy Hawkins served up a Grand Slam to Andre Ethier in the 9th, hopefully everyone who was Hassling the Hoff Man was starting LaTroy tonight.

Body Count Jason Heyward was held out of the starting lineup, but did come in to pinch-hit. Paul Konerko was scratched with a sore neck, but is expected back for Friday’s game. Randy Ruiz rejoined the team after leaving for personal reasons. Carlos Gomez didn’t play after hurting his shoulder, he is schedule for a Friday MRI. Erik Bedard (throwing shoulder) threw a pain-free bullpen session on Wed and is expected to pitch in a simulated game on Mon or Tue.

Mercenaries: soldiers for hire (less than 60% owned)
59% Scott Podsednik 2/4, HR(2), R, 4 RBI, 2 SB(11)
56% Garrett Jones 2/4, R, 3 RBI(20), 2B, BB
54% Mark DeRosa 2/4, R, 2 RBI
52% Adam LaRoche 2/4, R, 3B
50% Mike Napoli 1/4, HR(1), R, 2 RBI
49% Nate McLouth 1/3
47% Alberto Callaspo 1/5, HR(5), R, 2 RBI
46% Erick Aybar 2/4, R, SB(3), 2B, BB

45% Juan Rivera 1/4, 2 R, RBI, 2B

38% J.D. Drew 1/3, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB

25% Skip Schumaker 2/4, BB

18% Justin Smoak 1/4, HR(3), R, 3 RBI

13% Jason Kendall 1/4, R, RBI, 2B

10% Carlos Ruiz 3/4, RBI, 2B

9% Aaron Rowand 2/4, R, 2 RBI, 3B

8% Yuniesky Betancourt 1/2, 3 R, 2 BB

7% Adam Kennedy 1/2, R, BB

6% Travis Snider 2/2, R, 2B, BB, CS

6% Aki Iwamura 0/4, 2 R, BB

5% Mike Aviles 1/5, R

5% David Murphy 3/5, R, 2 RBI, 2 2B

5% Dana Eveland 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 4 BB, 3 K, Win

4% Andy LaRoche 0/2, 3 R, 3 BB

4% Lastings Milledge 2/3, 4 RBI, 2 2B, BB

4% Xavier Nady 1/4, RBI

4% Jeff Keppinger 1/4, R, 2B

3% Nate Schierholtz 3/3, HR(1), 2 R, 3 RBI, SB(3), BB

3% Jeremy Hermida 1/3, 3 RBI

2% Dave Bush 5 IP, ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 4 K

2% Brad Bergersen 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 0 K, Win

1% Kila Ka’aihue 1/1, RBI

1% Fred Lewis 2/4, 2 RBI, 2B, CS

1% Geoff Blum 2/4, RBI

1% Jamey Carroll 2/4, 2 R, 2B

1% Willy Aybar 2/5, 2 RBI, 2B

1% Darnell McDonald 1/5, 2 RBI, 2B

1% Gregg Zaun 2/4, 2 RBI

0% Brett Carroll 1/4, R, RBI, 2B

0% Tony Abreu 4/5, R, RBI, 2B

0% Rusty Ryal 1/3, RBI

0% John Ely 6.2 IP, ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 7 K

0% Brian Burres 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 4 K, Win

0% Xavier Paul 2/4, 2 R, RBI, SB, 2B, BB

0% Eric Byrnes 6/6, 4 HR, 6 R, 14 RBI, 2B, an illegal SB, 3 beers

Universal Soldier Awards
Jean Claude Van Damme Vladi Guerrero 2/4, 2 HR(5), 2 R, 4 RBI
Dolph Lundgren Dan Haren 9 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, BB, 9 K, Win, 111 pitches
Michael Jai White Jeff Niemann 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K, Win
Andre Arvloski Josh Hamilton 3/5, HR(5), 4 R, 3 RBI, 2B
Bill Goldberg Roy Hallady 7 IP, ER, 7 H, 3 BB, 9 K, Win