Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Let's Take Stock of the Surroundings

As it is now the third week of the season, I see no reason why I shouldn't be able to make wild speculations and assumptions based upon the events of the previous two weeks in my Yahoo H2H keeper league.

- After two matchups, The $5 Footlongs have taken a close lead over the Screaming Lemurs, Dissect Yourself, and Naterade.  The Footlongs have gone undefeated in every offensive category except for steals, though they have had middling results in the pitching categories.  Their victories over the Lemurs and the Macafeys have been very close, so it might not be time yet to chisel their name on the season trophy.  They've had incredible starts from Miguel Cabrera, Chase Utley and Adam Jones; of the three I feel most confident in Cabrera's and Utley's abilities to maintain a high level of play, but Jones will eventually struggle at some point.  This is a good team (good enough that I put them on top of last week's power rankings), but they could easily be fourth or fifth.

- The Lemurs had a solid 10-0 victory over Summer Fox, but the matchup wasn't as lopsided as it looked.  The Fox came close to beating the Lemurs in Runs and RBI, but having Brandon Phillips and Garrett Atkins combine for 2 Runs and RBI surely didn't help his cause.  Incidentally, with Matsuzaka now on the DL, it seems that Rogstad needs to cut ties with Joey Devine in order to free up a DL spot and add a pitcher that will actually pitch this year.  Devine had surgery on his arm and will be out for the season.

- As far as the teams at the bottom of the standings, I think the Macafeys are most likely to make the playoffs.  They have too much talent to be stuck in the consolation bracket all year.  Order of the Phoenix will need to pitch better if they want to make the playoffs; none of their starters have an ERA under 5.00 to begin the year.  Orc Mischief has had a couple of tough matchups to begin the year, and I don't see them staying in the basement forever, though I don't know if they have the offense to make the playoffs.

- Let's give the Butt Admirals the "Hard Luck Award" for the first two weeks; they have tied in more categories than anyone, including tying in stolen bases each week, despite the fact that they are second in steals overall.  The Admirals would be in 7th if Emilio Bonifacio hadn't started the season so hot, or if Dustin Pedroia had stolen a base last week.

- The Tossers have stolen 6 bases so far this season, last in the league and half the amount that the Admirals and Orc Mischief put up in the first week.  It's possible that they could be the slowest team in the league, but they nearly tied Order of the Phoenix last week.

- Players that are hitting poorly this month that will hit better: Alexei Ramirez, Geovany Soto, Jay Bruce, and Chris Davis.

- Players that are hitting well that will drop off: Nick Swisher, Orlando Hudson, Mike Cameron, and Brandon Inge.

- Free Agents that I'm watching: Kevin Kouzmanoff, Luke Scott, Ty Wigginton, Pedro Feliz, Nick Johnson, Bronson Arroyo, Kyle Davies, David Purcey, Tim Wakefield, Justin Masterson, Anibal Sanchez, and Octavio Dotel.

- Since this is a keeper league, I just wanted to briefly touch on some on some of the rookies performances so far this season.  Since most starters have only made two starts, we'll just look at the hitters.  Cameron Maybin hit his first HR today, but he's still hitting around the Mendoza line.  Colby Rasmus has more walks than strikeouts, which suggests good strike zone judgement on his part, but where's the power?  He only has one extra-base hit so far this year.  Travis Snider is hitting great, but the batting average will probably come down a bit.  The power is legit though, and 25 HR is realistic.  Elvis Andrus is also hitting well, and the stolen bases should come as long as he keeps getting on base.  Dexter Fowler is showing a solid combination of pop and speed.  Jordan Schafer is struggling and striking out way too much; where's his speed?  Based only on these past two weeks, Travis Snider should be the AL Rookie of the Year by a landslide.

- Some prospects that I'm waiting on for this year that no one has on their roster: Matt Gamel, Gordon Beckham, Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Carrasco, and Tommy Hanson.    

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