Glenn Colton

Week That Was

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Bye Bye Manny, Buy Beckett!

Saturday, April 09, 2011


Good bye Manny and good riddance. That is all I am going to say on that subject today. Now on to what you really want to hear: fantasy news and analysis from the Week That Was.

Josh Beckett: The following blurb appeared on Rotoworld this week: "Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal has spoken with a scout that was encouraged by Josh Beckett's Tuesday night start against the Indians. 'Beckett actually threw very well — best changeup I have seen from him,' the scout said. 'The Indians had some really tough at-bats against him.'" Yes, the line score was roto-ugly, but having watched a bit of the game, I have to agree with the scout's assessment. The change up was moving nicely, tailing away from lefties and in on the righties. There was good movement on the fastball too. When the weather heats up a bit and Beckett's number one goes from 91mph to 93-95, there will be a greater disparity between the change and heater, making both much harder to track. Bottom line: I believe in Beckett and have convinced Rick to agree to invest in both LABR and Tout (I also invested in my home league). So, I have put my proverbial money where my mouth is (or in this case, typing fingers). I advise you to follow suit. [Question, do we like the term "roto-ugly"? I think it works].


Luke Hughes: As most of you know, Tsuyoshi Nishioka suffered a broken leg and was placed on the DL. The Twins culled up Luke Hughes to take his place and promptly gave Hughes the start on Friday. What does this mean for fantasy owners? I was never sold on Nishioka for many reasons, including his low success rate stealing bases in Japan. However, he was an everyday player and those in deep leagues cannot afford to lose everyday players. Hughes should get a bunch of starts, however, Matt Tolbert will steal time at 2b as will Michael Cuddyer (when Gardy wants Cuddyer, Young, Kubel and Thome all in the lineup). Hughes had a hot spring, jacking 6 dingers, so there is a chance he will give you some pop but it will come at a AVG price as Hughes never really hit for any kind of sustained average in the minors. Tolbert on the other hand often hits for average, albeit with little else. Bottom line – there is not much worth chasing here unless by some miracle, Cuddyer is not owned in your league.


Chris Getz: Chris Getz continued to stake his claim Friday, going 3-4 with a double and a walk. I like Getz and think he will prove to be a great source of cheap speed. Over the last two years, Getz swiped 40 bags in 599 AB. So, he should easily eclipse 30 if he plays every day this year. Remember, while Getz has bounced around a bit, he is only 27 and has shown some big league success already. Yeah, he will not continue to hit at a .391 pace, but he will produce and should beat out Mike Aviles for the 2b job after Mike Moustakas makes his May or June debut. Buy.


Pablo Sandoval: The Panda is on fire! [You don't read that headline every day]. Pablo Sandoval (aka the "Kung Fu Panda") continued to rake last night, going 3-5 in a win over the struggling Cards. The Panda has his average up to a ridiculous .440. In spring training, everybody read bout the slimmer, streamlined Panda. There was talk of this new waistline just being spring noise. Well, it appears to be much more than that. Frankly, when I see a very talented player who makes the bigs at a very young age and produces, I see major talent. When I read that said major talent has gotten serious over the off-season and is approaching his job with professionalism and dedication, I see a chance to capture roto value. Buy Panda stock before it is too late. [ps – on a lesser scale, I would argue that the same logic applies to another excellent nickname player, Melky "the Melkman" Cabrera].


Matt Thornton: Matt Thornton blew another save last night (that is two in a row). Yes, the runs were unearned but the Chisox lefty gave up a bomb to weak lefty hitting Dan Johnson of all people. Ugly. Thornton is a quality arm with a long string of major league success. However, he has never been a closer and failures like this can get into one's head. I would not panic yet, but if you own Thornton, I would roster Chris Sale and/or Jessie Crain. Sale is likely owned, but Crain may not be. Rick and I grabbed Crain in both LABR and Tout on the theory that most teams like righty closers and Crain is the number one righty in the pen on the south side. Worth the speculation especially now that Matty T is tee-ing it up for hitters in the early going.


Ian Kennedy: Ian Kennedy pitched a beauty last night, going 8 innings, allowing one run and mowing down 9. The former Yankee prospect had a very strong year last year and is on the way to more success this year. Fantasy lesson – have you heard this one before? – When a player hits the bigs at a very tender age, has success and then hits the skids, DO NOT give up on him too early. In Kennedy's case, he made the majors in 2007 in a pennant race at the age of 22. He had a rough go at 23 and 24 and is now just 26. Those who saw the value will really profit this year. If there is a Kennedy owner in your league who thinks he or she is selling high early, pounce. The value will be there all year.


Vernon Wells: Vernon Wells is like the winter of 2011 – brutally cold. He stayed frozen last night, going 0-4 in a loss. Wells is a good player who will surely hit more than the 3-31 he has posted thus far. However, he is often injured and has had only one big season in recent years. When you add in the fact that he has moved from the launching pad of Toronto to pitcher-friendly Anaheim (and the fact that he will get 18 games in Seattle and Oakland rather than Camden and Fenway), you have good reason to be skeptical. Wait for Wells to hit a few jacks and sell when you can.


Jayson Nix: Jayson Nix went yard last nigh to help the Blue Jays best the Schultzies (aka Indians) 3-2. SELL! You need me to say it again? SELL! Yes, Nix could get time in Toronto given that Bautista doesn't want to play 3B and Encarnacion uses a frying pan for a glove. However, Nix really is not much of an offensive force. Stated another way, he will kill your average if given the chance. In the last three years, Nix has 645 AB and a combined batting average of .214. Yuck. Just imagine what full time exposure would do that average! Sure, maybe you will get some pop but you will need Ichiro and Robbie Cano just to bring the average back to respectable. Unless you are in the deepest of leagues, pass.


Cory Luebke: Cory Luebke tossed four no hit innings of relief in the rain marred game in SD last night. I do not know when Cory will get his chance in the rotation but it will happen and will happen this year. When it does, make sure you had him stored on reserve already. The rookie already has 8K in 5 inn of work. Speculate.


Boone Logan: Yuck. Boone was a boon to hitters again yesterday making sure that the Yankees had a bigger hole from which to dig than before he toed the rubber. Long time readers know that I have long detested Kei Igawa, the absurdity of that signing and the damage he did every time he took the mound. Well, the way Boone is going, Kei is going to have a buddy in the Week That Was doghouse. There is no reason to own Boone in any format other than one like Razzball where you are trying to pick the worst performances.


And last, but not least, Schultz says: "His name is Willie Bloomquist but people call him Pants On The Ground. That's because he's not acting his age. Most utility players that bounce between the infield and outfield don't usually hit their stride when they hit 33 years of age. Taking advantage of the early absence of Stephen Drew, Bloomquist has seized his opportunity as a Diamondbacks regular by hitting close to .350 and swiping 5 bases. Bloomquist may have stolen 25 bases in 2009 but there is nothing to suggest that these type of numbers are sustainable and they likely aren't. The D'Backs may find playing time for him while he's hot but he's not going to displace a healthy Justin Upton, Chris Young or Gerardo Parra. He'll be the hot waiver wire option this week. Let someone else spend too much money on a journeyman.

His name is Phil Hughes but people call him Charlie Sheen. That's because only people that are dazed and confused would think he's "winning." After showing flashes of brilliance in 2009 and 2010, many had this year penciled in as the one where Hughes makes the leap to the Pinstripe elite. Two starts are definitely not enough to conclusively write him off. However, there are signs that should give any of Hughes' owners pause, namely the reports that his velocity is down. He should be past the dead arm period that often plagues pitchers early in the season so these reports could be a sign that something is awry. If you own him, you surely have high expectations. A bold move would be to heed the warning signs and see if you can get a fair return from some other owner who isn't paying keen attention.

His name is Adam Dunn. It seems that "emergency appendectomy" has replaced "sore oblique" as the injury du jour this April. Dunn has been boasting about returning this weekend. Even if he makes an unnecessarily speedy comeback, it would be folly to think he'll be at 100%. It's early in the season, go with one of your bench options this week and bring Dunn back in one week.

His name is Tsuyoshi Nishioka but people call him Pink Lady. That's because he's a Japanese import that failed to make a great first impression in America. A hard slide from Nick Swisher has hobbled the Twins second baseman for at least 4 to 6 weeks. Nishioka's first week in the bigs hasn't been anything to write Japan about but likely wasn't a fair sampling of what he's capable of doing. A broken fibula won't be season threatening, so stash him away and await his return.

In case you are wondering about the odd syntax Glenn, they're called The Hold Steady and they may very well be one of the best things going.

Now perhaps you should revisit your Indians prediction from last week. The 5-2 Tribe hasn't lost since you foresaw their doom and destruction last Friday and have more wins over the Red Sox than the Yankees."

Response: Odd but interesting. As to Bloomquist, I agree he will not be an allstar, however, those in deep leagues should buy as the odds of 39 year old Melvin Mora holding 3b down all year are slim. As to Phil Hughes, yeah, something is just not right. Expect a DL stint soon. As to the Indians, well done in week 1, but better to revel in the Cavs win over the Heat.

Have a great weekend all!



Glenn Colton is co-host of Colton and the Wolfman on SiriusXM Tuesdays 8-11pm ET and a long-time fantasy sports player, author of numerous print and electronic media fantasy sports articles, and a participant in expert leagues, including baseball's LABR league and football's FTSA experts league. Colton and Rick Wolf have won the AL LABR Championship three times and football's FTSA experts league four times. Colton joined Wolf in the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Hall of Fame in June of 2013. He can be found on Twitter .



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