Ready To Repeat?

Albert sets his sights on another ring

My 12 team, head to head mixed keeper league held it’s live draft this past Sunday. It’s the fourth year for this league, my third since the league expanded. It’s a 6×6 league with daily substitutions and roster moves, using the standard 5×5 plus On Base Percentage and Quality Starts.

Last year, Luis Tiant surged through the second half of the season on their way to a 2nd place finish in the regular season, 11 games behind the always dangerous Dan Pasqua. The playoffs saw me earn a 1st round bye, before emerging victorious from an epic, back and forth nail-biter in the semi-finals against The Mountain Cats. With heralded rookie Matt Weiters emerging to lead the charge into the finals, the heavily favored Tiant demolished bitter rival, Jamaica Beef Patty to capture the crown and go 3 – 0 against the Pattys for the season.

Here are my team’s draft results with where they were drafted, or what they were kept for, in parenthesis. This is the current roster, having made a few moves.

C: Matt Weiters (K 10)

1B: Albert Pujols (K 1)

2b: Aaron Hill (K 21)

ss: Derek Jeter (2)

3b: Pablo Sandoval (K11)

CI: Nick Swisher (19)

MI: Ian Desmond (20)

OF: Nelson Cruz (3)

OF: Carlos Quentin (7)

OF: Dexter Fowler (17)

OF: Kyle Blanks (19)

UTL: Josh Willingham (22)

BN: Austin Jackson (FA)

SP: Adam Wainwright (K 9)

SP: Cole Hamels (5)

SP: Gavin Floyd (8)

SP: Carlos Zambrano (10)

SP: Kevin Slowey (15)

RP: Brian Fuentes (16)

RP: Jon Rausch (20)

RP: Ryan Madson (21)

RP: Matt Guerrier (FA Dropped Takashi Saito)

SP: Mark Buerhle (Aquired via trade for Drew Stubbs and Everth Cabrera)

SP: Kevin Correia (FA Dropped Matt Latos)

SP: Jason Hammel (FA Dropped Bronson Arroyo)

I’m pretty happy with the results. I obviously don’t spend much on relief. Never do. I’d much rather work the wires or trade as need to fill relief needs, than spend valuable picks where I could be building up on offense and my starting staff. Also not the rather wacky numbers. I traded numerous draft picks during my stretch run last year and received a bunch in the late rounds. This is common in my league, so the draft become incredibly hard to predict with many teams finishing up their rosters, while some are still filling up their empty spots. This leads to some interesting challenges to overcome in the draft and through out the season.

I would have liked to have had another stud starter, but pitchers were flying off of the board too early for my taste. The Buerhle deal has already drawn jeers from some but it makes sense to me. Drew Stubbs was quickly replaced by newcomer Austin Jackson. While Everth Cabrera’s speed may be missed, he’s a one dimensional player, slated to bat 8th for the Padres. I think my team has enough speed to absorb the loss and I think Ian Desmond will prove to be a far more valuable player than Cabrera at year’s end. Buerhle, while not a strike out pitcher, is your classic innings eating workhorse who gets a big bump in value in a QS league. He’ll get his wins and quality starts because he goes deep into games and never seems to miss a start. I like dependable, if somewhat unspectacular pitching.

So that’s the squad we’re taking into Sunday night’s opener. First up is a championship rematch against The Patty’s. What do you think? Can this team repeat?

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