Carlos Pena and his .188 average hitting the pine as well as some last minute fantasy football draft tips highlight this week’s Week That Was.
Before jumping into the baseball news, I just wanted to make sure you all know to tune into Colton and the Wolfman Tuesdays from 11pm-1am eastern on SiriusXM (Sirius 210, XM 87). We will also do a special edition on Friday 9/5 from 10pm-1am ET. Week 1 fantasy football lineup questions answered and more.
Ok, now back to business . . . .
First, let's talk a little fantasy football because I know loyal readers are balancing their baseball pennant races with football draft prep. Here are a few simple rules to follow if you hope to hoist the trophy in January:
1. Don’t waste a high pick on a QB. Rivers, Romo, Ryan and the Mannings are all there in the round 4-6 range or later. You should be happy starting any one of them.
2. Get your RBs early. If you don’t get Megatron, you should own an RB in round 1.
3. Late in the draft, load up on talented WR or RB even if they don’t have a role right now. If you pick 4 of them, I guarantee 1 will be a big time starter for you before too long.
4. Do not forget the basic maxim - injury prone players get injured. Football is a brutal and dangerous game at times. However, the injury prone suffer more than other players. Adjust values accordingly.
5. Don’t be too much of a homer. If you are a Cowboy fan and pick Romo over Rivers or Bryant over Cruz, fine. But don’t end up with a team of Romo, Murray, Bryant and Witten -- there is no way they all have big games in the same week and they could easily run into a tough D and all have bad games. Spread the risk.
With that, I will once again wish you good luck in your football drafts and turn back to the bread and butter of this column - fantasy baseball:
Carlos Pena: According to reports, the Rays will cut the PT of 1B Carlos Pena. I have to say this is hardly a surprise. .190 simply does not cut it. To make matters worse, he has been even worse over the last two weeks, posting a .167 average. If you are a fantasy owner out there who bought into Pena hype, shame on you. The HIGHEST average he posted over the last three years was .227. That is just devastating to your team. Why is it that fantasy owners complain about lack of pop or lack of speed but spend mightily on guys who actually drag down your other players by hitting for a low average? It’s a mystery that need not concern you if you just pass on the average killers. If you own Pena, well, you deserve what you got.
Dan Haren: Dan Haren had one of those rare nights in 2012 where he looked like, well . . . Dan Haren. Yes, it was the anemic Mariners, but Haren did limit them to no earned runs and only 5 hits over 7 innings. If you paid market for Haren, don’t beat yourself up. Haren had been as safe as they come and there was simply no sign that he would falter in 2012. However, the question still remains: Can Haren help you down the stretch in your fantasy pennant race? I say yes. Over his last 7 starts, Haren has allowed more than two ER only twice. Moreover, he has not walked a batter since August 11. Get over the fact that Haren was a bad investment overall. He can help you today.
Delmon Young: Delmon Young had a big night Friday, going 2-3 with three RBI. Young had a great August, hitting .313 with four homers and 15 RBI over 25 games. Detroit has a solid lineup, the veterans will respond to the playoff push and Delmon Young was money last year down the stretch for the Tigers. He will likely be undervalued by his owner in your league. If so, pounce and make the deal before your league trading deadline shuts the door on you.
Desmond Jennings: Desmond Jennings went 2-4 with a dinger Friday to close out a strong August in which he hit .291 with 22 runs scored and four steals. On the year, he is only hitting .249 however the strong August together with the return of Evan Longoria to the middle of the Rays lineup says Jennings is due for a big September. Have faith if you own him. Get him if your league allows September deals.
Rafael Furcal: Rafael Furcal has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and is done for the season. This is a bad break for the Cards, but fantasy owners should not pout so much. Furcal has been thoroughly mediocre since his torrid start and his last two weeks pre-injury were just bad (.214 with no HR and no SB). Daniel Descalso will get most of the time at SS and that is not a good thing for fantasy owners. He owns a solid glove but the .219 average on the year and .087 over the last two weeks says look elsewhere when you seek to replace Furcal.
Joey Votto: All signs point to Joey Votto being activated Monday (or early next week) from the DL. To state the obvious, activate Votto if you have him on your DL. Yes, he could be rusty, but frankly, only in the most shallow of leagues will a rusty Votto not be better than his replacement. Remember, before going down, Votto was raking at a .342 pace with 14 HR in under 300 AB. Oh and don’t forget that he has hit over .300 every year he has been in the bigs other than the “lowly” .297 he posted one year. Get him in there!
Alex Rodriguez: Speaking of returns from the DL, the Yankees expect ARod back in the lineup Monday against TB. The question is what we should expect. Answer: ARod should get his share of hits and once Tex and Grandy return should score and knock in runs in bunches. Just don’t expect big HR numbers as power hitters often take time to regain their power after hand or wrist injuries.
I am going to stop here and turn it over to the Carlton the Doorman of Fantasy Sports -- Schultz says: “For roto-leagues that traffic solely in major league ball players, the September 1 expansion of the rosters opens the floodgates for acquiring previously ineligible minor leaguers that are invited to The Big Show for brief auditions. For the most part, September call-ups are just that, as the significant majority of these prospects are sent back down to the minors before ultimately making their real impact at some other point in time. Even Mike Trout (who had a summer stint with the Angels too) traveled that path.
For the moment, it seems like the only uber-prospect that will be getting their first taste of major league action is Jurickson Profar, With Bryce Harper now a major leaguer, there are many that consider the 19-year-old shortstop the best prospect in baseball. It may be fun to take a flyer on Profar and see what happens in 2013 but keep in mind that Profar is the heir apparent to Elvis Andrus, who is only 24 and not ready to participate in any lines of succession just yet. Profar's development will definitely force the Rangers' hand at some point in time. It's just not imminent.
It appears that Wil Myers will not be called up to man the Kansas City outfield as the Royals will likely wait until 2013 before bringing up their top prospect. Keep Myers' name at the ready. He will be yet another young player that the Royals will be building their future around. At some point, a lineup that includes Billy Butler, Mike Moustakas, Wil Myers, Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain and Salvador Perez will be potent, especially for roto-purposes.
The one move that could cause roto-ripples in 2012 would be the Reds calling up Billy Hamilton. For those that aren't aware, Hamilton has already broken the record for most stolen bases in a single season, swiping 154 bases at various levels of the minors. There hasn't been a stolen base threat like Hamilton since Vince Coleman. For the moment, the Reds aren't going to bring Hamilton up. However, if they do, he could easily end up with a dozen steals in September by pinch running alone. If the stolen base category in your league is bunched together, Hamilton could be a tremendous difference maker. If the Reds pull the trigger, you should too.”
Response: Great point - especially about Hamilton. If you need SBs and your league allows you to roster Hamilton, do it!
Final Note: Jason Garrett -- please do not forget about the run Wednesday night!