Glenn Colton

Week That Was

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Choo is Nothing to Sneeze At

Saturday, May 07, 2011


The Indians are hot and Choo is cold, but the opposite is likely to be true for the rest of the year. A look at those stories and more in this week's Week That Was.


Shin-Soo Choo: Shin-Soo Choo had an ugly night last night going 0-5. So far this year, the Indians have been red hot and Choo has, well, been just not. Thus far, arguably the Indians' best player is hitting a paltry .217 with 4 HR, though he does have 6 SB. Choo has hit over .300 for three straight years and has been 20-20 each of the last two. The future for 2011 seems clear – Choo will turn it around and hit and the Indians will return to form and fall out of the race. If there is a Choo owner in your league who is getting antsy push him or her closer to the edge and grab the talented outfielder. There is simply no reason to believe that Choo has lost anything at the age of 28.


Mark Teahan: Ozzie Guillen is apparently making noises about giving Mark Teahen more time at 3B. Of course, Ozzie says a lot of things. However, this one makes sense. Incumbent Brent Morel is well under the Mendoza line in BOTH batting average and OBP. The weak average is a bit of a surprise, but given Morel's lack of power in the high minors, the lack of production is not. As to Teahan, he has never lived up to his potential but has always been a decent major league hitter. It would not surprise me to see Teahan hit 15 HR in semi-regular duty and put up some nice counting numbers once the pale hose bats awaken. Buy if you are in a deep league.


Eric Hosmer: In the first of what will prove to be many promotions from the rich Royal farm, Eric Hosmer arrived and went 0-2 with a pair of walks Friday. There may be some growing pains but Hosmer is in the show to play, not to watch and get splinters. Pencil him in the lineup everyday and count on at least what Ike Davis produced a year ago in a similar situation – 70-19-70. Yeah Hosmer was too hot to handle in AAA in April but he is 21 and that was the hitter friendly PCL. He may become a superstar but counting on more than the stats listed above will be a mistake. Bid accordingly.


Mariano Rivera: Mariano Rivera notched his 12th save Friday, tossing a perfect frame while striking out a pair. Yeah, I know what you are thinking – why is this news? Why does this guy focus on the Yankees? Well, it isn't really news as Mo has been the best around for so long. And, yes, sometimes I can be a homer. However, there is a lesson here. Last month, Mo blew two saves in a row. Whispers about father time catching up to Mo were heard. The Lesson? Do not overreact to small samples, especially for proven commodities. If Mark Melancon had blown two straight saves that could mean the league caught up to him or that he will lose hold of the closer job. Not Mo. Consider the track record, health, etc. together with small trends before drawing conclusions. Mini lecture is now over. I am sure you get the point.



Ricky Nolasco: Ricky Nolasco was lights out yesterday, blowing away eleven Nats. He got stuck with a no-decision but that does not take away from the dominance he showed. Thus far, the Marlin hurler has a 38/7 K/BB ratio with a 3.23 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. All signs pointed to a career year for Ricky. So far, he has not disappointed. What were those signs you ask? Good question. Three years of K/BB ratios ranging from a super 4.5/1 to a spectacular number close to 6/1, a three year avg WHIP of 1.20 and of course, three years of relative health. Ricky was undervalued because of his bad luck 4.50 and 5.00 ranger ERAs. Those that looked beyond ERA to the more revealing stats found the undervalued bargain on the rise all fantasy owners seek.


Randy Wolf: Randy Wolf got tattooed Friday, giving up 6 runs and 7 hits in five innings. Even with the stinker, Wolf has a 3.38 ERA and 1.17 WHIP – very strong numbers. So, ok wait for it. Wait for it. SELL!!!! Do it now!!!! Why do I say that? Another good question posed. Well, strikeouts down, walks, WHIP and ERA up are hardly good signs. Moreover, Wolf had his only really good years recently pitching in pitcher havens like LA. Last year's subpar performance in a hitters' park like Milwaukee was a good sign of not so good things to come in Milwaukee this year. They will come so get off the train before they do.


Kevin Slowey: Minnesota activated Kevin Slowey from the DL and plan to have him work out of the pen for now. His roto value will be determined by whether he gets into the rotation either in Minny or elsewhere. My bet is that he does. First, there could always be injuries. Second, the Twins need a boost and can use Slowey for trade value, and third, he is better than Nick Blackburn. Over the last three years, Slowey has posted a K/BB of just shy of 7/1. That is just a great number. He will never strikeout 200+ and will always give up a few too many taters, but he would be a very welcome addition to any starting staff real or fantasy. Buy if you can.


Vincente Padilla: On the do not overact to newsclips front, ignore the reports about Vicente Padilla becoming a closer while Jonathan Broxton is on the DL. Yeah, Vinny P might grab a few saves but he does not have closer stuff or experience. Look for Kuo to take that job with Brox is on the shelf. Those in keeper leagues will want to speculate on Kenley Jansen. Both Jansen and Kuo make better picks than Padilla. Be smart and get the last laugh.


Nyjer Morgan: From the snake bit pages comes news that Nyjer Morgan is back on the DL, this time with a broken finger (hurt while bunting). Morgan will be out 2-4 weeks. If you can just keep him on DL, do it. The temperamental OF will be a big source of SB in the second half. Carlos Gomez is a bust and Brandon Boggs is just not a threat. If someone in your league is frustrated by Morgan's second stint on the shelf, make an offer. SBs of this type are just hard to find.


Melky Cabrera: Melky Cabrera had another good night Thursday, going 3-4 with a home run and four RBI. Thus far, the Melkman has delivered. He is hitting .285 with 20 runs and 20 RBI in 30 games. Who wouldn't take 90-90 from Melky? Of course, "on pace" means little. The question is whether Melky can keep hitting. I say the answer is yes. I know the Royals want to bring up Lorenzo Cain. However, the truth is that Cabrera got himself into shape, grew up a bit, and is proving that he has the dedication to go with the talent that brought him to the show on the big stage in the Bronx at the tender age of 21. Buy.


And last, but not least, Schultz says: "A poor April always sticks out like Manny Ramirez at a MENSA meeting. If anyone starts out of the gate at a tortoise's pace, the numbers are there for even the most imperceptive purveyor of the sports pages to see. Jorge Posada's .154 batting average looks downright abysmal, even next to Carlos Pena's .169 and his 2 homers. Justin Morneau's sole home run and .207 average only looks good if you set Albert Pujols' surprising .252 average right next to it. Conversely, the hares of April are on paces that are simply unsustainable. Alfonso Soriano is unlikely to stay on his pace to hit 61 home runs nor is Matt Kemp likely to steal 60 bases (although the latter is more attainable than the former) and the rabbit with the most hop, Lance Berkman, will unlikely finish with the 60 HR, 179 RBI .390 line on which he's currently apace.

So, what's the point of this little diatribe that doesn't include a mention of the Cleveland Indians having the best record in baseball? There's the old adage, in fact it might be a scientific principle, that water finds its own level. With full awareness that this little tidbit could be said to apply to the Tribe (oops, Glenn, I preempted your retort), it's a nice maxim to keep in mind when looking for bargains. While Pena may once again fight his battle with the dreaded Mendoza Line, if he gets there, it's an improvement over where he is now and requires him hitting about .250 along the way. Given that he's got some power, that's livable. Someone like Omar Infante, a solid though admittedly unproven hitter, currently hitting .244 with no home runs is fairly certain to have an uptick in the near future. Since someone else has lived with the adrenalin rush of the downward spiral, get on board for the roller coaster ride back up.

Since I stole your witty reply Glenn, maybe you can answer this: how in the world does someone strike out 16 Braves and lose by 5 runs. One thing to get a hard luck no decision but the ignominy of a 5 run loss?!?

Or maybe you can answer the question, which pundit of this column wrote the following sentence in the first week of the season: "no matter how hard Schultz roots for the Indians, you shouldn't own any Indian hurler not named Chris Perez as the Tribe could easily lose over 100 games." Hint: despite my love of referring to myself in the third person, it wasn't me. I have your serving of crow, just tell me whether you would like it served grilled, fried or roasted.

Just in case my Mom makes her annual "I wonder if Schultz still writes for Rotoworld" visit to the column this week. Happy Mother's Day!"


Response: Well, I agree with the Happy Mothers' Day wish to all the moms out there, mine and Mrs. Schultz included. As to the Tribe, hey, they have been great so far. But I wouldn't go printing up pennants just yet. As to the analysis of why April numbers looks so gaudy or so enticing, well Schultz is right (did I really type that?). Roto champions know not to overact to the good, bad or ugly of April (see, Choo, Shin-Soo).


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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