Sunday when I saw¬†Jayson Werth¬†bend back his wrist as he attempted to make a sliding catch, I knew he was in big trouble. Initial reports suggested that he would miss six weeks,
Another week, two more bullpen situations to discuss…
Scott Downs injured his knee and LaTroy Hawkins his pinky finger. So do the Angels turn back to the demoted Jordan Walden in the 9th inning, or do they give new bullpen arm Ernesto Frieri a look? “He’s got a really live arm, the velocity and deception,” manager Mike Scioscia said. Scioscia also said that Frieri could get some 9th inning work depending on ‚Äúwhere our bullpen settles.‚ÄĚ
Frieri has only 110.1 innings of experience in the big leagues, but he does have a rather dynamic arm with an impressive 11.50 K/9 rate (he already has 22 Ks in 13.2 innings this season leading to a Kenley Jansen like mark of 14.49). However, he’s been prone to wildness, his current 3.95 BB/9 mark would be a career best (career 4.73). To compare, the deposed Mr. Walden has a 4.11 BB/9 mark in his career. Frieri has also been aided by Petco Park which has enabled him to keep the ball in the part. Frieri gives up a massive amount of fly balls, 57 percent for his career, but somehow he’s allowed only seven homers. Put plainly, it’s pretty darn impossible for any hurler to have extended success if their GB/FB ratio is 0.41 (recall that the big league average is about 1.10). I’m not saying that Frieri is a disaster waiting to happen, but that fly ball rate a pink elephant sitting in the room now that he is out of Petco.
Given the nature of these things seem to work I’d be hard pressed to suggest passing on Frieri if he is still on waivers in your fantasy league. The Angels really seem to have soured on Walden, one of the keys to pushing them to add Frieri you would have to think, so even though there is an opening here for Walden to take back the role he’s going to have plenty of competition from the ex-Padre.
Speaking of the Padres…
Huston Street has been placed on the DL with a lat issue. He doesn’t think he will miss a ton of time, but lat issues can easily take a month, if not more, to heal. This injury leaves the Padres with three options they could turn to to close out games.
Andrew Cashner is throwing 98 mph this season (that’s his average fastball). Therefore, the surprise is that he has only 12 Ks in 13.2 innings. It’s also disturbing that he’s walked 12 batters ‚Äď highly disturbing. For his career, a short one at just 78.2 big league innings, Cashner is sporting a 5.26 BB/9 mark, and just ask Carlos Marmol about what the easiest way to lose a late inning relief role is. Cashner is an extreme ground ball hurler with a huge arm though, walks or not.
Luke Gregerson is the most experienced arm the Padres could turn to. In 222 career innings Luke has a 3.08 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 9.28 K/9 mark. Toss in a ground ball rate of 48 percent, and you have yourself a nice skills profile here. Still, he’s struck out just 47 batters over his last 68.2 innings, and his BB/9 rate this year of 4.15 is more than a batter above his career rate (3.00). His velocity is also down a bit this season.
Dale Thayer has thrown 30 innings as a big leaguer with a mere 18 Ks. However, he’s only walked one batter leading to a stupendous 18.00 K/BB ratio which is the second highest mark in baseball history for a pitcher who has thrown a minimum of 30 innings (Bert Dorr had a 34.00 mark over 66 innings in 1882). In his minor league career Thayer has a 2.45 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 173 career saves. That’s a whole lot of minor league success, but it’s hard to think that the now 31 year old hurler is suddenly going to break through.
It appears as though Cashner will get the first shot to replace Street, likely followed in the pecking order by Gregerson and then Thayer.
A BAD BREAK
Sunday when I saw Jayson Werth bend back his wrist as he attempted to make a sliding catch, I knew he was in big trouble. Initial reports suggested that he would miss six weeks, but after surgery on Monday the latest reports suggest that Werth could miss upwards of 12 weeks in a crushing blow to the Nats. It’s not much better for his fantasy owners either. Werth was doing his thing with a .276 average an a .372 OBP, but so much for his rebound from a down 2011 effort. For the moment it appears that Tyler Moore has the best shot to see his value substantially increase. In 2010 Moor has 31 homers and 112 RBI in 129 games at High-A ball. In 2011 he had 31 homers and 90 RBI in 137 games at Double-A. This season he had seven homers and 20 RBI just 22 games at Triple-A. With Werth out of the lineup, Moore should see action almost every day as he attempts to establish himself as a power bat in the big leagues. Don’t forget that Mike Morse is still on the shelf so the Nats desperately need a right handed power bat in the middle of their lineup. Moore could be the answer their woes.
Clay Buchholz has 20 strikeouts and 19 walked through 32.2 innings leading to a 9.09 ERA and 2.02 WHIP. The guy is totally lost out there, totally as he’s also allowed 10 homers and a .343 batting average. The Red Sox continue to profess faith in him but you shouldn’t.
Brett Gardner (elbow) should be back by mid week for the Yankees. I haven’t heard a lot of people talking about him around the water cooler, but he should go back to being what he’s always been ‚Äď a strong source of steals and runs.
Derek Jeter is hitting .396. So much for being washed up.
Bryan LaHair update. He still thinks he is Hack Wilson. LaHair is hitting .390 with a 1.257 OPS through 25 games. His BABIP has come way down since the last time we checked ‚Äď it’s fallen from .600 to .548. I’m still amazed he’s been this good this long. What a start to the year.
Colby Lewis has walked four batters in his last two starts. What’s wrong with the guy? Nothing of course. He’s walked five batters through six starts.
Mike Napoli has seven homers and 15 RBI, but has anyone noticed his average is down to .238 a year after he hit .320? Did you listen when I warned you that there was no chance on earth that Napoli was going to hit .300 again?
David Ortiz is hitting .365 through 27 games, a fantastic number. Too bad he was hitting .405 a week ago.
Juan Pierre was overlooked by almost everyone this year. With an injury or two, and a hot start, he’s back to being someone of note. He’s only scored 11 runs while stealing four bases, but it’s not like the Phillies offense has been great this year. Ryan Howard and Chase Utley haven’t appeared in a game and Jimmy Rollins is hitting just .223 with no homers. When this offense gets healthy, they could once again be super productive which would only boost the value of Pierre who is hitting .333.
Ervin Santana is 0-6 through six starts. However, a closer look at his work shows that he’s gone 15 innings in his last two starts allowing five runs (a 3.00 ERA) while walking just four batters with 13 Ks. There’s still time to buy low on Ervin, an if you can, you should.
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87 from 5-8 PM EDT, Monday through Friday. Ray’s baseball analysis can be found at BaseballGuys.com and his minute to minute musings can be located at the BaseballGuys’ Twitter account.
Tags: Fantasy, Fantasy Baseball, Jayson Werth, MLB