Greinke going west to Anaheim highlights this week’s Week That Was.
Before I begin, a self-serving announcement: Colton and the Wolfman on SiriusXM fantasy sports radio is moving timeslots. We can now be heard Tuesday nights from 10pm to 1am eastern time. Different time but it is still fantasy hall of famer Rick Wolf and me providing three hours of sports and fantasy analysis and information and of course, good old-fashioned fun.
Zack Greinke: Zack Greinke paid early dividends to his new Angel teammates but not enough to overcome the offense being shut out (can’t blame him for the lack of offense). Greinke gave up two runs on seven hits while striking out 8 in his seven innings of work. While there are few sure things in fantasy baseball, the Zack Attack (lame Saved by the Bell reference, sorry) is one of them this year. He goes from a hitter’s park in Milwaukee to a pitcher’s park in Anaheim. More importantly, he is in his prime at 29, has k’d over 180 for three straight years and is on pace for close to 200 this year. Oh, and this year, the walks have continued to decrease (only 28 thus far). Bottom line -- if you have FAAB in AL-only, spend it here. If you don’t and need pitching, call the owner with the most FAAB and offer talent to get Zack. Hard to imagine anything better coming into the AL other than maybe Cliff Lee.
Jonathan Sanchez: I know I wrote about this last week but like a train wreck, it is hard to look away. Jonathan Sanchez was just plain ugly Sunday, allowing six runs on eight hits in just 4 1/3 innings. Sanchez has been atrocious and there is no way you can have him active in any type of league (even in a 30 team NL only league if such a league exists). That said, if you are in a keeper or dynasty league, consider reserving the hard throwing but completely lost lefty. Next year he could end up in San Diego or Seattle (i.e., in a cavernous pitcher haven). Yes, it looks ugly now, but it was just two years ago that he had 205 Ks and a 3.08 ERA.
Adam Wainwright: Adam Wainwright was solid Sunday giving up two runs on six hits while striking out 5 in six innings of work. The interesting thing here is that Wainwright, who missed all of 2011, has been getting better and is far better than his season long 4.24 ERA seems. In July, he has given up 10 ER in 33 innings, a solid number. However, the real story is in the 32K against just 5 BB. Bottom line -- he presents a big time buying opportunity. There may be owners that paid full value for Wainwright in March (always a mistake for a player coming off serious injury). However, Wainwright has shown that he is a different pitcher since the calendar turned to July. If the Wainwright owner in your league is focused on year long stats, swoop in. Swoop now.
Brett Wallace: Continuing his ride on the major/minor shuttle, Brett Wallace has returned to Houston and this time it is likely for good. Chris Johnson is gone (see below), Carlos Lee is gone (in Miami for now) and Matt Downs and company hardly present a reason to sit Wallace. Stated another way, the formerly overhyped 25 year old should play and Houston management is saying that he will. So, do you buy? Answer: yes. Earlier this year, Wallace played 11 games in the show and hit .333. He is hitting .300 with 16 home runs and 57 RBI in AAA. However, the biggest reason to buy is that Wallace is exactly the kind of player you should look for -- one who is hyped too young then pigeon-holed as a failure too fast. He is 25 and ready to hit a player’s normal jump in performance. Jump on that jump now.
Yonder Alonso: Yonder Alonso is heating up after a cold 3.5 months or so in San Diego. Sunday, Alonso went yard. Bad news is that it was just his 5th. Good news is that three have come this month. What do we make of this? Well, Alonso is just 25 and in his first full time gig in a cavernous park. That is another way of saying that expectations should have been tempered for 2012. However, there is much reason for optimism. Here are a few. Alonso has 5 hits and 5 RBI in his last three games, hit .330 when given everyday AB for 88 AB in Cinn last year, and just seems to be figuring out life as an everyday player. Buy now for this year but don’t expect miracles. Keep for next year as whatever your keeper price, it will most likely be lower than the production you get in 2013.
Chipper Jones: Chipper Jones continues to show he can still play the game. Sunday, Chipper went 2-4 with a dinger. Chipper has launched 4 bombs in 14 games since the All-Star break and is hitting a sweet .317 overall. Bottom line: Larry is going out with a bang. Don’t spend too much as the injury risk is still there. However, there is real profit potential for those in the pennant race. In anything but the most shallow league, a guy who will hit another 7-10 HR and hit .300 is real value. Buy for the short term.
Chris Johnson: Chris Johnson is moving from Houston to Arizona. Yes, Arizona needed to do better than the departed Ryan Roberts. However, it is not clear that Johnson is the answer. First, he is a career .274 hitter who has not shown real corner IF pop (8 HR in approx 350 AB this year). Second, it was only a little more than a week ago that the DBacks brought up Ryan Wheeler and his AAA .351 average (and 90 RBI in 93 games) to man the hot corner. Bottom line -- Johnson is just a watch right now but the trade cannot make Wheeler owners happy.
Brian Roberts: In news that is not surprising but is a shame, Brian Roberts will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a labrum tear in his hip. This just proves the maxim that the Wolfman continues to preach -- injured players get injured. For those of you who bid a buck on Roberts and took a chance, no problem. For those who invested a bunch on hope, well, next time you will think twice before gambling heavy on the hurting.
Logan Morrison: Continuing the woes in Miami, the Fish put Logan Morrison on the DL because of his right knee -- the same knee that he had surgically-repaired over the winter. Reportedly, Morrison admitted that it might be a season-ending injury. Ok, maybe this is getting preachy but why risk serious auction money on players coming off injury. Two bad things happened if you did that with Morrison. First, he had a subpar year, hitting just .230 thus far. Second, he got hurt. Are we getting this yet? As for the Fish, they should bring Gaby Sanchez back from AAA, move Lee to LF and at least let one young(ish) hitter try and get on track.
Rickie Weeks: Rickie Weeks continued showing the very long awaited signs of life Saturday, going 2-3 with a double and an RBI. His .207 average is coyote ugly and makes some of his fantasy owners wretch. However, in July Weeks is hitting .293 with 4 homers and 13 RBI. Clearly Weeks was not nearly as bad as his sub-Mendoza line stats in the first half. Now, he represents a buying opportunity. Carp about the .207 and get a guy who should hit at least .260 with pop over the last two months. Oh, and that he plays 2b does not hurt.
And last and but not least, this from the Baron of the Bottom of the Page -- Schultz says: “Once late summer arrives and roto-league trading deadlines pass, it becomes exponentially harder to invigorate your lineup with fresh blood. The Starling Martes and Matt Harveys are usually called up this time of year (and they have) and when the rosters expand on September 1st, playing time sometime becomes scarce, especially on teams that are just playing out the string. In a practical sense, the best chance of having an infusion of talent is the return of someone from the disabled list. Sometimes though, the return of a fallen warrior doesn't provide the expected boost Once Evan Longoria returns from his hamstring injury, he should be a safe bet to return to his former form as speed wasn't a big part of Longo's game. The same might not be true for Jose Bautista when he returns to the Blue Jays lineup. While Joey Bats' sore wrist may not keep him out of the lineup, it would not be shocking if it had an effect on his power stroke. This is also something that should be kept in mind for Alex Rodriguez' eventual return. Wrist and hand injuries are notorious for quietly affecting hitters stats and it's easy to be lulled into a sense of security by a hitter coming back quickly.
From a non-scientific standpoint, another quick fix can occur whenever someone is traded to the New York Yankees. For some reason, a trade to the Bronx seems to reawaken dormant skills in once mighty players. Despite what's been said about the somewhat demoralizing conditions Ichiro Suzuki had to agree to before this week's trade, going from the cellar of the west to the penthouse of the east should provide a little more incentive for Ichiro to remind people that he is arguably one of the best contact hitters to ever swing a bat. Provided he wasn't seriously injured on Friday night, Eric Chavez also seems primed to benefit from the mysterious power of the pinstripe. If the Yankees don't swap for another third baseman in the next couple days, there could be a nice little renaissance in value for the once mighty A's slugger. Andruw Jones might be worthy of mention in this little blurb only he doesn't see enough playing time to merit attention outside of AL-only leagues.”
Response: Pro Yankee stuff from Schultz! Another item to cross off the bucket list!