MLB Notepad

No intro, nothing fancy, just some good old fantasy baseball notes….

The Marlins are expected to call up Mike Stanton early next week. Color me skeptical here. I’ve been burned by Alex Gordon in the past and I’ve seen many more burned by another AA MVP, Brandon Wood. Wood once hit .321 with 43 HR (100 extra base hits) in AA ball. He struck out at a 24% clip that year and Stanton is striking out at a 28% rate (51 K in 180 AB). It really bothers me that he wasn’t promoted to AAA. Is it fair to shrug off Stanton because of past AA all star struggles? Of course not. At least Stanton has a decent eye (40 walks, 51 strike outs). I think his ceiling this year is Adam Dunn-lite numbers. The floor is Brandon Wood. With all the hype, I’d look to sell on him now before he strikes out 30 times in his first 80 at bats.

Ted Lilly‘s missing velocity is somewhat concerning. I don’t think he had much of a rehab stint so maybe he is still warming up and gaining strength, but the fact remains, his fastball is averaging 85.1 mph. Last season it was clocking in at 87.1 mph so he is missing a full two mph. It is nice to see the fastball is still valued as a positive pitch (7.2 runs above average), but it is a far cry from last season’s fastball and his other three offerings (Slider -0.9, Curve -0.4, Change -1.2) all rate below average. His K/9 (5.50) is down two strike outs per nine as a result even though he is throwing more first pitch strikes. At least his control isn’t being affected too much. It’s pretty obvious his stuff has been easier to hit (Contact% up). The only thing Lilly has going for him is the .247 BABIP which is hiding his mediocre stuff. If you do not believe Lilly will fully recover from his two surgeries (shoulder and knee), now is the time to sell on him.

The Oakland Athletics suck. I knew they brought back Brett Anderson too early and if you follow Paul Bourdett on Twitter, you would have heard Oakland also knew they brought him back too early, but let him pitch anyway. Thanks guys. Brett left today’s game after 2 Innings with a sore elbow. Not much news has come out about the injury, but I am assuming he will spend a long time on the DL. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him…. er not see him again this season. I’m ready for the worst news possible. You suck Oakland!

What the hell is going on with the Phillies? They have averaged 1.9 Runs per game over their last 15 contests. During this stretch Chase Utley has seen his batting average drop from .315 down to .270, his OPS has fallen from 1.034 down to .890. Utley’s Yahoo! rank sits at a modest 95. If it’s possible to buy low on the National League’s best 2B, now is the time. Notice I said National League and not MLB? Is Robinson Cano the best two bagger now? He is currently ranked No. 2 on Yahoo! Somewhere (with beaches, babes and beer) Starbonell is smiling.

Gordon Beckham is just awful right now. I’m sure everyone knows that, but did you know he hasn’t had an extra base hit since April 29th when he hit a double? He went all of May without hitting a double, triple or home run! He only has five extra base hits on the season. Why am I holding onto him in my 14 team h2h mixed league? I picked up Rickie Weeks, but I still refuse to drop Beckham. I guess I’m  stubborn. I took him with the 86th pick in the draft (Rd 8, pick 2) and I have a hard time letting go of an early selection, no matter what his name is or how bad he is performing. Surprisingly he is still owned in 42% of Yahoo leagues, stay strong my fellow Beckham owners, stay strong… or ignorant lol.

As much as I hate Grady Sizemore, I picked him up off waivers in a league. I now have four shares of Grady. Yikes! We’ll find out soon if he needs micro fracture surgery. Surgery is schedule for Friday. Best care scenario: he misses six weeks.

Jose Reyes is hitting .248 and I’m guessing a few people are probably upset with him. Things are starting to pick up for him lately though so I wouldn’t fear if I was a Reyes owner. He is cutting down on the strike outs (16.3% in April, 10.4% in May) and his BABIP is beginning to correct itself (.279 in April, .297 in May). After stealing only four bases in April, he nabbed eight in May. The modest power he has is starting to show too. Jose is a great Buy Low target if you can get him.

Derrek Lee is hitting .232 and he is ranked 336 on Yahoo. If you had him last year you’d remember he hit .189 in April and then went on to tear up opposing pitchers. Lee is showing the classic signs of being “unlucky”. His BABIP is nearly 50 points below his career average (.275, career .322) and he is hitting plenty of line drives (23% LD%). The strike outs are up slightly, but it’s nothing to worry about. His contact percentages are actually up this year. Lee is a pretty good Buy Low target, especially with him missing a game with a tight hamstring.

Anyone buying James Shields‘ 8.92 K/9? His fastball has a negative value (9.1 runs below average) and his other three pitches have degraded from last year. He hasn’t changed up his repertoire. His contact percentage is up, he isn’t throwing more first pitch strikes and he is in the zone less often. His O-Swing% is up to 30.5% (up 3% from last year), but that alone is not going to add a full two strike outs to his K/9 and you can’t really rely on him generating that many outside swings when he’s never topped 28% in the past. This smells like luck to me.

Did Philly and Toronto switch ball parks? Are you buying the HR fest in Toronto? Man, I can’t wait for José Bautista (Y! rank 17) and Álex González (Y! rank 84) to fall on their faces. Vernon Wells (Y! rank 15) too, but only after I get my apology from a couple of Anti-Vernites. I don’t like teams leading roto leagues because a couple of scrubs are putting up big numbers. Call me a hater, I don’t care.

I had no goal, plot or aim for this post. If there is someone you want me to discuss, hit me up in the comments.