Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Candy - June 14th

June 14th, 2009  JunkyardJake.Com

Sean Rodriguez, LA Angels, 2B  
- Oh my, well it's now clear that Angels manager Mike Scioscia was hardly bluffing when he threatened to 'shake things up' after Thursday's 11-1 thumping by the Tampa Bay Rays. The complete details of Scioscia's shake-up plan have not been disclosed as of yet, but John Lackey's post-game ritual of kicking it 'Old School' with his turntable and DJ Scratch Mixer is probably out, as are the dugout drinking games, one would imagine.

Assuming the role of most immediate scapegoat in the shakeup plan was 2nd baseman Howie Kendrick, who was summarily demoted to AAA. The good news is that while Kendrick is attempting to expel his .231 batting average demons down in the junior circuit, we should get a look at prospect Sean Rodriquez. Rodriguez, who was called up to replace Kendrick this weekend, was tearing up the Pacific Coast League with 21 HRs in 57 games in 2009. In fact, he has shown very consistent power at the AAA level the past two seasons, as he finished his 2008 campaign with 21 HRs in 66 games.

Available in 87% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Mike MacDougal, Washington Nationals, RP  
- Given the debacle known as the Washington Nationals bullpen, Mike MacDougal almost can't help to represent an improvement as the newest closer of last resort. In fact, after enduring two stints of Joel Hanrahan late inning shenanigans, mixed in with a couple games of Joe Abysmal, the Nationals will probably grant MacDougal a fair margin of error, maybe even a couple misdemeanors, before considering another change.

It certainly doesn't hurt that MacDougal throws some pretty nasty stuff, featuring a fastball that can reach 95-97 MPH. He also offers a good amount of closer experience, with a total 48 saves on his resume serving as the Kansas City Royals closer during the 2003 and 2005 seasons.

Available in 83% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Scott Podsednik, Chicago White Sox, OF  
- Wow, this guy hasn't been fantasy-relevant since back when tribal tattoos were moderately fashionable and Don Imus had a broadcasting career. After an inconspicuous past 2 years of playing sporadically and batting around .250, Podsednik resigned with the White Sox in April this year, right after they had just released him.

His subsequent revival has been fairly impressive - after a solid May where he hit .307 with 3 stolen bases, Podsednik has regularly been batting leadoff in June, and hitting .310 with 5 stolen bases for the month so far.

Available in 82% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Sean West, Florida Marlins, SP  
- A first round pick in 2005, 6 foot-8 lefty Sean West has been occasionally compared to pitching legend Randy Johnson. Of course West has a really long way to go before he will be even considered worthy to clean the gutters on Johnson's 300 Win Commemorative Museum. However, like Johnson, Sean West can consistently deliver a mid-90's power fastball, and also throws some nasty breaking stuff.

Unfortunately, also like Randy Johnson, who struggled with mechanics early in his career, West has been susceptible to his share of erratic outings and control lapses. Nonetheless, the Marlins rookie is someone to watch, and may have offered a glimpse of his fantasy potential when he beat Johnson and Giants with an 8 inning 2 hit effort last week.

Available in 77% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Vin Mazzaro, Oakland A's, SP  
- With Vin Mazzaro recently joining an Oakland rotation that currently includes Dallas Braden, Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, and Josh Outman, the average age of the A's starting pitcher staff is now just slightly higher than that of the Milwaukee chapter of the Jonas Brothers unofficial fan club.

While Mazzaro probably does not have the upside of higher potential prospects Cahill and Outman, he has improved his command over the past year or so, getting his walks per 9 innings down to around 2.5 from over 4 in 2007. He mostly relies on a sinking fastball typically in the 90-93 MPH range, and complements this pitch with a decent changeup, and a developing slider. Mazzaro almost certainly will not maintain his current 1.37 ERA and 0.97 Whip, but could turn out to be another pleasant surprise from the Oakland pitcher farm.

Available in 65% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Other Players To Consider:

Chris Coghlan,Florida Marlins,3B,OF  
Available in 89% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Aaron Cook,Colorado Rockies,SP  
Available in 62% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Juan Rivera,LA Angels,OF  
Available in 78% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Colby Rasmus,St. Louis Cardinals,OF  
Available in 64% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Antonio Bastardo,Philadelphia Phillies,SP  
Available in 62% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Candy - June 1st

June 1st, 2009  JunkyardJake.Com

Tommy Hanson, Atlanta Braves, SP  
- Well, just because there hasn't been nearly enough speculation concerning Tommy Hanson over the first two months of the season, why not add some more. Remember, Hanson was that guy who already throws a major-league curveball, a mid-90's fastball, a change-up and slider. The other cool thing about Hanson is that, in contrast to, for example, current #4 Atlanta starter Kenshin Kawakami, he throws all his pitches for strikes most of the time. At last count, Hanson was still dominating down at Triple AAA Gwinnett, with a 1.49 ERA, 0.862 Whip and averaging 12.2 K's per 9 innings. So what in the world are the Braves waiting for?

'After jumping into the cockpit to make an emergency landing of a domestic airliner and then volunteering 2 hours at the childrens hospital, Tommy Hanson went on to pitch a 2 hit shutout with 12 strikeouts this afternoon for the Gwinnett Braves. In related news, the Atlanta brass are still not impressed, and called-up Jo-Jo Reyes to get pounded again by the Phillies this weekend.'

One theory that could help explain the reluctance to bring up Hanson, is that the Braves are trying to prevent the young pitcher from achieving 'Super 2' status. Besides being a 4-letter word to major league front offices everywhere, 'Super 2' is shorthand meaning that a player is awarded the right to take their club to arbitration four times instead of three. Going by the strange and fairly inexplicable MLB arbitration rules, the bottom line on 'Super 2' status, is that the magic cutoff seems to be two years plus 130 days service time to qualify. As applied to Hanson, this means that the longer the Braves can keep the training wheels on past June 1st, the better, because it could save them a truckload of money in a future arbitration case. For example, Ryan Howard was awarded $10 million in arbitration as a 'Super 2' after the 2007 season.

Of course, the other obstacle for the possible future ace of the Atlanta staff, is the fact that the Braves rotation is still about as crowded as Atlanta Motor Speedway on free raccoon trap/truck antler fan appreciation night. The current rotation is occupied by Lowe, Jurrjens, Vazquez, Kawakami, and recent call-up Medlan. Moreover, they might have the spry Tom Glavine, who has been mixing it up down in the minors for the first time since 1987, waiting in the wings.

In any event, if you are still holding Tommy Hanson on your fantasy squad, at this point it makes no sense doing something hasty, like dropping him for Vicente Padilla or Barry Zito. Maybe the Braves will come to their senses sometime this month.

Available in 25% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Nolan Reimold, Baltimore Orioles, OF  
- It looks like the Orioles farm system has been on a real roll lately. There is of course that Matt Wieters guy, who can evidently hit a billiard ball 475 ft with a foam bat and defeat dragons with the power of his plate discipline, but Reimold is another talented rookie who has been relatively overlooked .

A 2005 2nd round draft pick, Nolan Reimold's development was delayed a bit with some injury obstacles in 2006, and especially 2007, when he only managed to play 59 games. In the following 2008 season at double-A, a relatively healthy Reimold went on to hit .284 with 25 HRs. Before he was summoned this season Reimold was terrorizing AAA with a .394 average and 9 HRs over 31 games.

Needless to say, most International League pitchers hope things work out for Nolan Reimold at the big league level, and so far they have, as he has contributed 5 HRs over his first 16 games with the Orioles.

Available in 62% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Joe Blanton, Philadelphia Philles, SP  
- Although he is slightly more attractive than Susan Boyle, Joe Blanton does have that menacing 'Renegade State Trooper'/ 'Crazy Pit-Boss' look that you absolutely want in a potentially intimidating starting pitcher. Unfortunately, with a 7.11 ERA through May 21st, the only intimation that Blanton was able to accomplish, was to scare fantasy owners out of putting him in their lineups.

Well, the possible good news is that Blanton claims that he and pitching coach Rich Dubee discovered a mechanical flaw that had been plaguing him when he was pitching from the stretch. Ok, sounds good, because whatever adjustment he made in his last start seemed to work just fine, as Blanton rediscovered his intimidating presence with a 7 inning, 11 strikeout blanking of the Marlins. It would be nice to get K's like that more often out of Blanton, but that most likely will not happen. Nonetheless, he has the ability to be a solid #3 or #4 fantasy starter if you are looking to pickup a pitcher.

Available in 46% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Fernando Martinez, NY Mets, OF  
- Fernando Martinez got the call to the grown-ups league this week as Ryan Church makes another trip to the D.L.. Martinez is arguably the best prospect in the Mets system, but it should be mentioned that it became much easier to achieve the 'best Mets prospect' label after all the other noteworthy prospects were traded away for Johan Santana.

That said, Martinez is clearly a high-potential young outfielder who would likely rank high in any organization. To support this contention, one only needs to observe the terms that many scouts use to describe Martinez in their surreptitious scout-babble vernacular - terms like 'tools', 'good pitch recognition', 'great bat speed' and 'untapped raw power'. While Martinez's accumulated professional stats are not yet consistent with his general scouting report accolades, he is still only 20 years old, and was showing good power at triple-A Buffalo before his call-up, with 8 HRs in only 42 games.

Available in 79% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Other Players To Consider:

J.A. Happ,Philadelphia Philles,SP  
Available in 46% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Clint Barmes,Colorado Rockies,2B  
Available in 61% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Phil Hughes,NY Yankees,SP  
Available in 43% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Andy LaRoche,Pittsburgh Pirates,3B  
Available in 64% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Jerry Hairston,Cincinnati Reds,OF  
Available in 46% of all CBSSportsline leagues.