Tag Archives: Joe Nathan

Fantasy MLB Spot Starting: 04.18.11

Welcome to the 4th edition of  Spot Starting, if you missed our first few posts, read here for the explanation of how this works.

You may wonder why you’d be looking for a spot start on a Monday.  Well, you might be in a week where most of your Starters are only pitching 1 game.  It always behooves us to at least take a look at what is available, because as you can see below the results are there to be had.

For games on Monday April 18th these selected pitchers might be had in your league (less than 50% owned in Yahoo) with percent owned, team, and opponent:

Travis Wood 46% (CIN) vs. Pit

Tim Stauffer 38% (SD) @ ChC

Kevin Correia 14% (PIT) @ CIN

Esmil Rogers 9% (COL) vs. SF

Daisuke Matsuzaka 7% (BOS) vs. TOR

Jason Vargas 5% (SEA) vs. DET

Joe Blanton 4% (PHI) vs. MIL

My Pick: Travis Wood vs. Pirates

Alternate: Daisuke Matsuzaka vs. Blue Jays


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2011 MLB Spring Training Review: Week of March 27th

SPRING TRAINING QUICK HITS

Nyjer Morgan was traded to the Brewers. How do you get cut by the Nationals? That is pretty bad. In Milwaukee, Nyjer will be bottling beer with Laverne and Shirley and hope to share playing time with Carlos Gomez, to form the *biting palm* Lenny and Squiggy Duo Part Deux. Avoid.

Here’s what else happened this week…

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Killin’ the Odds & A.L. Futures

Welcome to Killin’ the Odds & AL Futures! It’s real simple, I analyze odds to win the 2011 World Series and tell you who to take. Now on with it!

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2011 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: CLOSERS

It was very close, but Neftali Feliz edged out Carlos Marmol as our #1 Closer here at 4th and Home. You’ll notice Marmol was the only closer to get (2) #1 votes, but it wasn’t enough. Quite honestly, I don’t see how you go wrong with any of those top 5 guys and our Composite Ranking shows just how close they really were. Of course, if Feliz joins the rotation and Andrew Bailey has additional meetings with Dr. James Andrews, these rankings will shake up a bit. And yes, I am expecting Kimbrel to close for the Braves…I could be dead wrong.

Lots of value throughout these rankings, so waiting on a closer is always advised unless the top tier guys fall into your lap.

RANK PLAYER Brian Mike Killboy Jesse Eric COMP
1 Neftali Feliz – TEX 1 5 4 3 2 3
2 Carlos Marmol – CHC 4 1 5 5 1 3.2
3 Joakim Soria – KC 5 4 3 1 3 3.2
4 Brian Wilson – SF 3 3 1 7 4 3.6
5 Heath Bell – SD 6 2 2 4 5 3.8
6 Mariano Rivera – NYY 2 8 6 2 6 4.8
7 Andrew Bailey – OAK 9 7 10 8 7 8.2
8 Jonathan Papelbon – BOS 8 15 7 6 10 9.2
9 John Axford – MIL 10 10 14 10 8 10.4
10 Francisco Rodriguez – NYM 11 13 8 12 12 11.2
11 Matt Thornton – CHW 7 12 12 9 16 11.2
12 J.J. Putz – ARI 12 16 9 14 9 12
13 Huston Street – COL 13 11 11 14 14
14 Joe Nathan – MIN 15 6 16 15 19 14.2
15 Chris Perez – CLE 16 11 18 16 13 14.8
16 Jonathan Broxton – LAD 14 18 13 11 15.4
17 Brad Lidge – PHI 19 14 15 19 17 16.8
18 Craig Kimbrel – ATL 17 9 20 18 17
19 Jose Valverde – DET 13 20 15 18
20 Ryan Franklin – STL 20 17 18 19.4

NEFTALI FELIZ…Our #1 ranked closer now may not even be a closer at all – this is a topsy-turvy world we live in!  The 2010 AL Rookie of the Year racked up 40 saves last year to propel himself to the tops of fantasy rankings.  His peak value in fantasy is at closer this year but as a starter he is still going to rack up the Ks big time.  The question is whether he can get stretched out and develop a 3rd pitch to pair with his devastating fastball and curve.  Fantasy owners should hope Texas keeps him in the pen. 2.70/1.00/80/36 as Closer…10-7/3.30/1.25/166 as Starter

BRIAN WILSON…Rising K rate (11.21 per 9) and dropping BB rate (3.13 per 9) suggests he is only getting better. He will continue to get loads of opportunities in pitcher friendly AT&T Park. He also led the league in saves last year with 48. 2.25/1.15/96/45

JOHN AXFORD…Last season John Axford proved that he was ready to take over the closer role in Milwaukee.  After a May call up, he stole the closer job from Trevor Hoffman and saved 24 games while racking up 76 K’s  in 58 innings.  The Brewers will give Axford plenty of opportunities for saves this year, and the strikeouts are an added bonus. 2.85/1.25/88/35

SLEEPER: JOE NATHAN…Hey, you! Remember this guy? Since 2004 he’s been the #3 Closer (on average) in all of baseball and now he’s the #21 Closer off the board? So you’re a little nervous about his past TJ surgery? Don’t be. Lots of success stories where guys came back stronger (Josh Johnson, Francisco Liriano…) and Nathan will be no different. He’s already throwing as hard as he did before the injury and you will pay nothing for his services this year. By year’s end you will be happy because you heeded my advice. 2.25/1.00/80/35

BUST: FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ…Coming off of thumb surgery, serious personal problems that led to his arrest and playing for a Mets team my colleague has predicted for a 71 win season, drafting Rodriguez as a top 10 closer is an extremely risky proposal. With the Mets potentially looking to shed dollars in season, 71 wins may be difficult and that translates to a lack of opportunities for a closer. K-Rod may be ready, but I just don’t see the Mets being willing and able this year. 3.00/1.14/50/26

2011 MLB Spring Training Review: Week of February 27th

SPRING TRAINING QUICK HITS

There is still talk of Francisco Liriano being dealt to the Yankees within the next two weeks. Still not sure how this makes sense for Minnesota, but they’re not exactly doing anything to dispel the reports…Fausto Carmona has rightfully been named the Indians’ 2011 Opening Day starter, this after winning 13 games last year with a 3.77 ERA…Destined for the bullpen, Aroldis Chapman continues to electrify starting off the spring with 4K in 2 IP. And he’s also walked three…Just when it appeared time to worry about Domonic Brown‘s spring struggles, we now get to worry an additional 4-6 weeks as he fractured his hamate bone. Remember Ryan Zimmerman fractured the same one and it sapped his power for some time. Ben Francisco now has a great opportunity to do something with this opportunity…

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American League Central Previews- Twins

Today’s Focus: Minnesota Twins

The Twins added speed to the lineup with the addition of Tsuyoshi Nishioka at SS. They will also be starting Alexi Casilla at 2B with the departure of Orlando Hudson. Other than that, it looks like the rest of the Minnesota’s offensive regulars will be returning in 2011.

In 2010, they had much more depth in the infield and bullpen which helped them tremendously down the stretch. Nick Punto played 2B, 3B, SS, and all 3 outfield spots in 2010 and he played them very well. He was arguably their best defender.

Morneau still has not begun baseball-related activities. Joe Nathan is making good progress from surgery last March. Nathan should be good to go to start the season but may be limited early. Michael Cuddyer (arthroscopic right knee surgery), Joe Mauer (left knee surgery), Scott Baker (right elbow surgery), Nick Blackburn (right elbow surgery) and Jason Repko (left thumb surgery), should all be ready to go by Spring Training.

The team was able to resign Carl Pavano, Jim Thome and Francisco Liriano. Liriano signed for a one year deal to avoid arbitration. Liriano is said to have wanted a 3 year $39 million contract. There is a possibility that Liriano will be traded. That leaves only Delmon Young left to sign. After Delmon Young signs, the Twins will be done this offseason putting their payroll around $110 million.

Notable Losses: J.J. Hardy, Orlando Hudson, Jon Rauch, Brian Fuentes, Matt Guerrier, Jesse Crain, Nick Punto

Notable Pick Ups: Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Dusty Hughes

If the Twins trade Francisco Liriano their rotation would look like, 1) Carl Pavano, 2) Scott Baker, 3) Brian Duensing, 4) Kevin Slowey, 5) Nick Blackburn. The White Sox are going to give them a run for their money even if they kept Liriano. Their reign at the top of the A.L. Central will come to an end this year.