The Chase Is On: Chase Headley And The Hangovers Lead The Pack

April 26, 2010

Over in the Big Ballers League, I’m pretty freakin’ happy to see my Harlem Hangovers on top of the standings. With Nelly Boomstick‘s grand theft in Boston leading the way, The Hangovers have been burning up the base paths and scoring a lot of runs on their way to a +5.5 point week. That makes a total of 105, up 6 on the next best team, The Hillsboro 5 Tooler’. Pretty good for a team that hasn’t heard a peep from Mark Texiera or Gordan Beckham. With The Supernatural‘s call-up looming and a possible return of Brandon Webb, it looks like The Hangovers have a lot of winning to look forward to this year.

One big contributor to my success so far has been Chase Headley. He along with Chris Carpenter came over in a preseason deal for Carlos Lee, Tim Hudson and Brandon Lyons, in what’s looking like the kind of robbery I almost feel bad to have carried out. Carrying a gaudy .371/.421/.500 line coming into play on Monday, Headley’s been on an absolute tear, spearheading The Father’s resurgence out in SD, with 15 Runs scored in 76 PA. Little wonder he’s scoring so much when he’s on base over 42% of the time! While he’s been the beneficiary of a very lucky .417 BABIP, his lifetime BABIP sits at .344 due to his propensity for hitting line drives. In fact Chase is what fielders do a lot of when he’s up at bat, as he’s been hitting liners at a 26.2% clip. What can we attribute his recent success to? It seems like he’s taking a different approach to the plate, as he’s cut down his K rate by an amazing 50% in the early going of 2010. Currently his BB/K rates sit at 7.9%/12.9%, in contrast to his career 9.3%/26% rates. This is particularly noteworthy, since he’s swinging at pitches outside of the strike zone 4.3% more frequently than in the previous year. While he’s swinging more at pitches outside the zone, he’s also making more contact, with an increase in his O-Contact (percentage of contact made on pitches outside the K zone) from 52% to 59.5% between 2009 and 2010. What has been most surprising about Headley’s emergence is his speed. Even the most optimistic fan projections listed on his Fangraphs entry, see Headley with 12 swipes. Headley already has 8, including 3 in a game last week, against the SF battery of Dirty Sanchez and Eli Whiteside. I can easily see Headley knocking on 20 before the season is done.

I knew Carpenter was going to be lights out, little did I know that the $2 Chase Headley would develop into this kind of fantasy baseball stud. I’m not going to say, I thought so, but I did in fact take Chase off of waivers when he returned to the bigs in his second call-up, back in ’08. What’s not to like about a guy who posted a .330/.437/.580 line in AA ball back in ’07? With slick fielding Kevin Kouzmanoff manning the hot corner, Headley spent more time in LF rather than at his natural position of 3B. With Kouz shipped off to Oaktown, Headley seems at home back at third, providing solid defense along to go along with his solid stick. While I don’t believe Headley can sustain this otherworldly pace and I believe that some regression is due to catch up with him, if Headley keeps performing anywhere near as good as this, he’ll be a familiar name among upper tier third basemen for years to come.

Other notable Hangover contributors this week:

Robinson Cano: 9/21 7R/1HR/4RBI/1SB/.538OBP I’m getting tired of talking about how awesome a year he’s having. On second thought, I’m not. Robbie lives to hit baseballs. When he’s on, he makes hitting lasers all over the park look downright easy. He’s streaky, so I imagine he’ll slump at some point but right now he’s the best hitter in the Yankee lineup.

Mike Pelfrey continues to roll goose eggs out there, contributing 12 more this week. That’s 24 innings since he’s given up a run in total now, after his rain shortened victory against Atlanta last night. With 2W/9K/0.00 ERA/1.33 WHIP, The Mets sinkerballer is proving to be a fantastic waiver pickup for me.

Franklin Gutierrez has been anchoring the Mariner lineup as well as my own so far in 2010. With a 6/20 4R/2HR/4RBI/.375 week, he finally got into the HR column. Is there nothing The Big FraGu can’t do?

Added: Pittsburgh 3B Andy LaRoche. 6 for 8 since returning to the lineup, LaRoche Minor’s hot stick will provide a little corner depth.

Dropped: It was nice while it lasted, but I think Brett Myers‘ hot streak will end soon. Let him be on someone else’s roster when it does.


Streams Of Thought – Week 3 Two Start Pitchers

April 19, 2010

Here are three names that might be of interest to owners in deep leagues. This is not at all an endorsement of general rosterability, but more like a “hey check out these guys, they might be rosterable in a shallower league soon,” kind of jump off. Of the three, Fister is still available in The Big Ballers League and I own the next two. So I got that going for me. Which is nice. Tread these waters at your own risk!

Doug Fister could be soon known for something other than his awesomely pornotastic surname. Will you have the cojones to ride Fister to victories at home against the hapless Orioles and on the South Side against the ChiSox? I know it’s tough to send him up against John Danks but the Pale Hose have been having trouble at the plate and the O’s are going with Brad Bergeson, who was rocked in his first start. Mister Fister is coming off of 8 shutout innings against the A’s in his last start. With the best D in baseball grabbing everything behind him, Fister looks like a solid streaming option for deep leagues this week.

I’m feeling Pelfrey this week but you already know that if you’ve been following along. Hopefully I was just over-reacting in my outrage over his Save in Saturday’s 20 inning marathon in St. Louis. He’s facing Z-Man and The Cubbies on Monday, followed by a visit from Tommy Hanson and The Braves. Could go either way. I do however have tickets to Saturday’s game and The Mets are 24-6 in the last 30 regular season games I’ve seen live.

Once upon a time, Brett Myers was a pretty good pitcher. Derailed by problems on and off the field, Myers caught a major case of suckitis before being shipped over to the woeful Astros in the off season. A power pitcher with a career 7.49/3.13 K/BB rate, the homer has always been his undoing. At home for both of his starts, Myers faces two decent match-ups in The Marlins with Chris Volstad and Paul Maholm and The Pirates. Don’t expect two Wins out of Myers, however. That would imply that the Astros can actually muster up a couple of runs.

After an inauspicious beginning to my streaming ways, I think I’m off the streams for a bit. You know how that goes. I’ve got a good feeling. Like Jimmy The Greek. I might surprise myself (hey self… BOO!) and actually have one of these guys left on my roster by weeks end.

For a comprehensive rundown on all of the probable two-start pitching match ups for the week, check out The Roto Professor.

Share