Ray’s Ramblings: Pitching & Hitting
The bullpens are starting to come together though Holland is still looking and the Rays might be dealing. The Braves continue to get older, the Pirates are still listening and we might have a hybrid OF/RP to talk about.
Yes, it happened. We released the 2017 MLB Fantasy Alarm Draft Guide. I know it’s only 2016, but you need something to read if you don’t have anyone to share the holiday with. You might need something to read if you hate the people you’re spending the holiday with (I know you are out there). You might want to give your significant other a special gift? Maybe you should just reward yourself for a good year? Whatever the reason, the Guide is available right now! For more, check out this description of the Guide and why it is so amazing this season. It will end up being our best effort yet, no doubt... and it’s available right now. Happy New Year weeks early!
Alex Colome emerged from the morass of mediocrity in bullpens last season to save 37 games for the Rays (he took over the role once Brad Boxberger went down with injury). Colome was no mere saves machine either. He was just plain good (over 57 outings he had a 1.91 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and struck out 71 batters in 56.2 innings). So, naturally, the Rays are listening to offers for the righty, even if they aren’t pushing to deal him. Here are their recent saves leaders, a string of never ending change: Colome with 37 in 2016, Brad Boxberger with 41 in 2015, Jake McGee with 19 in 2014, Fernando Rodney with 37 in 2013, Fernando Rodney with 48 in 2012, Kyle Farnsworth with 25 in 2011, Rafael Soriano with 45 in 2010, J.P. Howell with 17 in 2009, Troy Percival with 28 in 2008, Al Reyes with 26 in 2007, Tyler Walker with 10 in 2006 and Danys Baez with 41 in 2005. In more than a decade of time the only Rays reliever to lead the team in saves in back-to-back seasons is Fernando Rodney. #JustSayingIfYouThinkColomeIsStayingInTampaBay
The Braves signed Bartolo Colon who is still a solid pitcher. They then signed R.A. Dickey who can still eat innings. Then they dealt for Jaime Garcia who is solid, if always injured. Their latest move was adding John Danks on a minor-league deal (he makes $1.5 million if he makes the club). Danks hasn’t been an effective big league pitcher since 2011, and even that is being kind since he went 8-12 with a 4.33 ERA and 1.34 WHIP that year. Honestly, the guy has been below replacement level since 2011. Don’t really know what the Braves are trying to do here as they keep getting older on the hill with every signing (Colon is 43, Dickey 42, Garcia 30 and Danks 31). That’s nearly always a negative, isn’t it?
Greg Holland is still looking for a job. He wants two years and reports have suggested he desires $22 million for that period of time. With Kenley Jansen, Mark Melancon and Aroldis Chapman signed for mega bucks, the rest of the teams that are in search of bullpen help will now turn their attention to the former 9th inning start who is coming back from Tommy John surgery.
If you’re like me and can’t wait for the upcoming Star Wars weekend, there is always this.
Juan Lagares has a sprained right shoulder that he suffered in the Dominican Winter League. Sounds like he will stop the winter ball stuff but that he should be ready for the start of spring with the Mets. As I write this though, can’t see where Lagares plays. The outfield, for now (the Mets are trying to make changes), would be Yoenis Cespedes in left, Curtis Granderson in center and Jay Bruce in right. Lagares, an excellent fielder, would likely be 5th on the depth chart as I’ve yet to even mention the name of Michael Conforto.
The Pirates still are listening to offers for Andrew McCutchen. Sounds like a “mystery team” offered a nice deal of prospects but the Pirates want MLB ready players, not down the road options. I’ve written about McC recently and I expressed my concern that the Pirates might be making a mistake.
Jordan Schaefer has swiped 20 bases in the big leagues four times with a high of 30 in 2014. He has never hit though, look at that slash line (.228/.308/.307), and his career appeared to be petering out. Fortunately he thought, ‘I have a good arm, so I’ll just pitch.’ Last year he pitched in the Dodgers organization for three teams with a 3.83 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and 59 strikeouts over 49.1 innings. He signed a minor-league deal with the Cardinals this week and will report to spring training hoping to earn a roster spot. So here is the question; how valuable could Schafer be in an NL-only league? If he’s the Cards fifth outfielder and he swipes 15 bases there is a use for him in league specific setups. What if he also throws 40 innings of quality work out of the bullpen? We talk all the time about multi-position guys but we never talk about hitter/pitcher combos. Just something to keep in mind for those reserve rounds in NL-only leagues.
Dickie Thon signed with the Cardinals. The 25 year old agreed to a minor league deal. Could care less about him. What I do care about is that his dad is Dickie Thon which means the Cardinals Dickie Thon is actually a junior. Senior was a player as I was growing up and who can forget, well many can if you weren’t even alive, his 1983 effort that resulted in an All-Star birth as he went .286-20-79-81-34. Yes, Dickie Thon, a guy many of you have never heard of before, went 20/30 in 1983.
This is epic. The Yule Dumpster. Why didn’t I think of this?
Ray Flowers can be heard Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday, 8 PM EDT, Wednesday 7 PM EDT on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). You can also hear Ray Sunday nights at 9 PM EDT PM on the channel talking fantasy sports. Follow Ray’s work at Fantasy Alarm and on Twitter (@baseballguys).