Bloops and Bleeders: Stolen Baby Edition

June 10, 2010

Wow, I didn’t realize Pittsburgh’s newest lead-off man, Jose Tabata, thought SB stood for “Stolen Baby.” Yowza! Credit Grey from Razzball for that one. As I said previously, he’s fast and gets on base, so if you need a speedy outfielder go get him. Here’s a run down on some other goings on going on in the baseball mundo both real and fantastic.

I offered a trade of Nick Swisher and Jaime Garcia to SD (not to be confused with wrestler S.D. Jones) from my keeper league, in exchange for Justin Verlander. The response was priceless:

“this is actually a decent offer, but I love Verlander and I think I’ll need him going nuts down the stretch. I’ll take a look and maybe propose something more skewed to only help me.”

I appreciated your honesty Sean.

Delmon Young lost some weight, got in better shape and has looked like an improved player this season. Fortunately, he hasn’t lost his sense of humor.

“Second base seems like it’s in left center when I get to first sometimes,” he said. Where did it seem last year? “I never really got on base until September, he said, so I couldn’t tell you.”

Thanks J.D. for that one. For more Delmania, check out Dave Golebiewski’s piece on the former can’t miss prospect’s reemergence.

With G.M. Kenny Williams waving the white flag on the South Side, the ChiSox are open for business. A few of the high salary names bandied about as possible trade bait are Paul Konerko, A.J. Pierzinski, Bobby Jenks, J.J. Putz and Scott Linebrink. Jake Peavy says that if the pale hose look to rebuild, he’ll ask for a trade. That doesn’t seem likely though as Williams was quoted as saying:

“If we do something it will be along the lines of shuffling the deck with the expectation that we’re going to add impact guys to win,” said Williams, adding: “I have to listen. It’s not that I want to, but I’m not blind.”

From the sound of it, Williams hasn’t really given up on this year and Peavy’s is owed $33 million over the next two seasons with either a $4 million buy out or another $22 million in 2013. There aren’t many teams that are willing to come up with that kind of scratch, so he’d be very tough to move regardless.

Another front line pitcher who’s name is appearing frequently in trade rumors is Cliff Lee. With the Mariners mired in last place and showing little signs of life, it’s expected that they’ll deal the former Cy Young winning lefty at some point before the July 31 deadline. Of course the Yankees are the first team who’ve been mentioned as a destination for Lee. The Yanks however say they have no intention of going after a starter, in spite of having the prospects (Jesus Montero, Eduardo Nunez, Austin Romine) that could bring in such a quality arm.

Needing a bat to replace DH Nick Johnson, who shockingly is spending his Yankee cash on the DL, The Yankees are said to have scouts looking at Lance Berkman. Berkman would be a nice fit in that lineup but he is making $14.5 million this year, which might be a stumbling block to any move for the Big Puma. It seems like Puma and fellow Astros stalwart Roy Oswalt, are not long for Houston, which is about as much of a surprise as Johnson getting hurt.

While the Yankees are usually the first team mentioned when other teams make their top-tier talent available, the Mets as usual are setting their sights a little lower. Such illustrious names as Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Guthrie and Jake Westbrook have been said to be scouted by Queens’ Finest. Exciting stuff for Mets fans. Don’t expect to see any deal coming out of Flushing until we approach the July 31 trade deadline, when prices will drop.

St. Louis added some depth to their battered pitching staff today, by reacquiring Jeff Suppan who had been recently waived by the Brewers. The Cards will pay Suppan the prorated minimum, while the Brew crew get the pleasure of picking up the rest of the $10.5 million they owed the disappointing pitcher. After a successful run in St. Louis from 2004-2006, culminating with a starring role in their post season surge (Mets fans remember that well), Suppan signed with Milwaukee for 4 years and $42 million, then the richest contract in team history. Perhaps Dave Duncan can sprinkle his magic pixie dust on Suppan and turn him back into a serviceable hurler.

One pitcher that I left out of the last rookie round-up is Madison Bumgarner. With Todd Wellemeyer-wiener making a preemptive leave from his start today in Cincy with a strained quad, we may see the highly touted lefty arriving in San Francisco soon. Word is Wellemeyer may need a trip to the DL. Bumgarner posted a nano-tastic 0.94 ERA in May, but has come back to Earth in his two June starts. On the year, he’s 6-1 with a 3.13 ERA/1.37 WHIP, 47K/20BB in 69 innings at AAA Fresno. I wrote a little already about the 20 year old’s return to form after a poor spring and the addition of a cutter to his repetoire. Bumgarner’s numbers look nice on the surface, but his BB/K rate isn’t great and he’s got a 3.99 FIP. Expect that number to jump if he’s called up. While he might be a asset in deep leagues, I don’t see him as more than a streaming option in 12 team mixed right now.

Note: Madison Bumgarner was suspended three games and fined for blowing up at an umpire during his Monday loss. He’ll serve his suspension tomorrow, Sunday and Monday, making him eligible to pitch by the next time Wellemeyers turn in the rotation comes up, next week against Baltimore.

Because everyone loves to mock failure, I’ll leave you with this video from last night of Oakland outfielder, Matt Carson face-plant into the wall from yesterday’s 7-1 Angels win over the A’s.

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Legend Of The Overfiend

May 18, 2010

Lyle Overbay is like that monster in a horror film that the protagonist could swear they killed, only to have it rise up one last time to give the crowd a cheap gasp. Just when you think he’ll ride the pine and give another guy a chance to shine, the Overfiend arises to make you think he’s a rosterable fantasy baseball player.

In today’s win against the Twinkies, the unkillable Blue Jays first baseman filled up the box score with crooked numbers for the second time in a week, going 2 -4 with a HR, 3 RBI and 2 runs scored. With 7 hits over his last 24 plate appearances (2 BB) over the past six games, Overbay has hit two dingers, scored and driven in six. With Brett Wallace percolating down on the farm while playing first base exclusively, The Jays are giving Overbay every opportunity to showcase his limited talents for teams that might in the market for a replacement level first baseman. He could be a pick up in a deep league if you’re hurting at the corner, but I wouldn’t expect too much. In fact I wouldn’t pick him up. So how’s that for an endorsement!?

If Corey Patterson was infected with Zombie Ju-Ju, he would be one of these relentless new-school zombies, that runs like the wind and attacks everything in sight. Swinging at everything he sees at the plate hasn’t worked out so well for Dusty Baker’s favorite lead-off man, as he carries an ultra-light weight .252/.291/.405 career line since entering the league in 2000. After bouncing around for cups of coffee in Milwaukee and Washington last year, C.P. was resurrected from his latest blow-fish venom induced slumber and inserted into the Charm City lineup as the everyday left fielder on May 12. Reanimating a lifeless Orioles squad, with 8 hits, 8 R/ 2 HR/2 SB/3 BB and 5 K in 29 PA, Patterson could be useful if you’re in dire need of speed. If you play in an OBP league, forget I ever wrote this. In fact you can print it up and then eat the page, so nobody ever finds it. If you don’t use OBP, Patterson’s speed and run production at the top of the O’s order, might be sufficient to mitigate whatever damage he might do to your batting average. Since Nolan Reimold has been playing first down in AAA and Felix Foot is laid up in sick bay, Patterson has a clear shot at playing time if he can produce. That’s a huge if but this is a guy who’s stolen more than 30 bases three times in his career, with a season high of 45 in 2006, his first year haunting the Baltimore outfield.

A final player noteworthy for recently rising from obscurity is Austin Kearn, who I discussed upon picking him up in the Big Ballers League back on April 27. While an 0 – 4 afternoon snapped his nine game hitting streak and he’s cooled off a bit as of late, he’s still providing solid R/RBI production while hitting in the middle of the Cleveland Indian lineup. I didn’t think that I’d be keeping Kearn when Nelson Cruz returned from the DL, but his steady play has lead me to hold onto the much maligned outfielder, who hasn’t been fantasy relevant since 2007. Current ZiPs projections have Kearn finishing this season with a 59 R/10 HR/59 RBI/4 SB/.274/.368/.431  line in 435 PA, which isn’t bad for a 5th OF in deeper OBP leagues, like the one I own him in. I don’t really expect to see him on The Harlem Hangovers roster at season’s end but I’ll ride him for as long as I think he might be useful.

Come back soon for more tales from the fantasy baseball halls of horror and in the mean time witness the horror that is…

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