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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 709 – Wild Waiver Weekend

6/24/19

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CLOSER NEWS

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Who is Being Dropped & Why

One trend I’ve noticed is some owners are starting to pack it in or succumbing to the grind. There is no reason to roster Montas with his suspension but he’s still on five rosters. Since more players are available on the waiver wire, teams down in the rankings can quickly make up ground.

The following players were dropped in more than 10 or more of the 38 NFBC Main Event leagues.

Demoted

  • Leonys Martin (24): A .620 OPS. Anyone with an OPS under .650 is suspect for demotion.
  • Kevin Cron (20): This demotion was a little weird since Cron was hitting good (.822 OPS). Maybe it points to the return of Jake Lamb off of the IL.
  • Erick Fedde (12): 4.9 K/9 + 4.2 BB/9 = demotion
  • Mike Foltynewicz (11): He’s got to work through several issues which have ballooned his ERA to 6.37.

Injured

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Prospect Stock Watch: Third Base Prospects

Major League Baseball is filled with impressive star third basemen. The hot corner is a hotbed for youth MLB stars under the age of 30 from Nolan Arenado to Alex Bregman to Matt Chapman to Kris Bryant… and on and on to include the likes of up-and-coming players such as Yoan Moncada, Rafael Devers, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Today’s Prospect Stock Watch takes a look at the top prospects at the hot corner, including some that could have an MLB impact as soon as 2020 and represent the next wave of stud fantasy third basemen.

The Stud:

Alec Bohm: Bohm definitely appears to be the top third base prospect in baseball right now. Selected third overall in the 2018 draft after an excellent college career, Bohm has continued to dominate in pro ball. He showed a great approach at the plate throughout his collegiate career and has a BB-K of 30-36 in 63 games this season covering three levels now that he’s been promoted to Double-A. He doesn’t have the raw power of a Jonathan India or Nolan Gorman but he’s a much better hitter who is going to hit for average and produce outstanding on-base numbers. His line-drive rates are a little worrisome right now as he was at a well-below-average 13% at High-A ball prior to his promotion. Bohm needs to continue to get stronger while working to hit balls in the air with more consistency. Owned in just 31% of Ottoneu Leagues (less than underperforming India for some reason), he’s a player you should consider adding before other fantasy managers catch on and his value starts to trend upward.

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Bullpen Report: June 24, 2019

Kirby Yates doesn’t get the attention he deserves in this column, because he has literally been automatic. Entering Sunday’s series finale with the Pirates, he had converted all 26 of his save opportunities this season. Only twice had he allowed more than one hit in an appearance, and he had yet to allow more than two hits in an outing.

Yates entered uncharted territory on Sunday, as he did not protect the Padres’ 7-4 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning. His inning began with Elias Diaz reaching as a result of a Manny Machado error, and he subsequently allowed an Adam Frazier double and RBI singles to Kevin Newman and Bryan Reynolds. Yates would not allow any more hits, but thanks to Starling Marte‘s sacrifice bunt that advanced Newman and Reynolds, Melky Cabrera’s lightly-hit grounder down the first base line was enough to bring Newman home to tie the game. Cabrera was out at first, and then Yates retired Colin Moran to send the game into extra innings.
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The Daily Grind: Park Factor Extremes

Tonight’s slate features a number of extreme venues for home runs – both for and against. Enjoy.

AGENDA

  1. TDG Invitational
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. SaberSim Says…
  5. The Balls On Him

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Why I’m Not Dropping Yonder Alonso

Who wants to own a 32-year-old first baseman sporting a disgusting .256 wOBA and playing on a sub-.500 team likely to look toward the future soon? I do, that’s who. Yonder Alonso has been awful during the first half the season and with Daniel Palka crushing it at Triple-A, it might not be much longer before the White Sox give the latter another chance, pushing the former to the bench or packing. And while I acknowledge that there has been some skill degradation here and there for Alonso, his excruciatingly slow start appears to be driven more by terrible fortune. Let’s dive in.

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Sunday Night Waiver Wire & FAAB Chat

7:31
Jeff Zimmerman: Sorry for the delay. I was removing Alex Reyes from my FAAB bids because of a possible injury.

7:32
Jeff Zimmerman: Here are the Tout Wars mixed-league bids.

7:32
Jeff Zimmerman: Auction

7:32
Jeff Zimmerman: RElias: 99
EPagan: 88
LHendriks: 57
AAlzolay: 55
JUrias: 47
LAllen: 33
THernandez: 23
TAnderson: 13
RStanek: 13
TWolters: 12
KPillar: 11
RQuinn: 11
MWacha: 6
ACivale: 6
AHouser: 6
WLeBlanc: 3
MBeaty: 2
VVelasquez: 2
BBichette: 1
SOberg: 0
MLorenzen: 0

7:32
Jeff Zimmerman: Draft:

7:32
Jeff Zimmerman: LAllen: 123
LHendriks: 73
BBradley: 61
MAdams: 56
AAlzolay: 27
EHernandez: 25
RoPerez: 24
ESogard: 21
JChavez: 17
SOberg: 16
FMejia: 14
SCishek: 13
ChMartin: 12
JKipnis: 3
HBailey: 3
BreAnderson: 3
JWebb: 3
BWilson: 3
ACivale: 3
ABarnes: 2

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Week 14 FAAB Projections

I thought it was going to be a slow week for bidding, but a few pitchers have seen their ownership jump quite a bit. Also, there is some movement with a couple of closers going down with injuries.

The projection guidelines:

  • The ownership rates are from CBS since they have some quickdraw waiver wire leagues where players can be picked up at any time.
  • The FAAB estimates are based on the 2018 15-team mixed NFBC leagues which used a $1000 FAAB budget. Owners are going to need to convert these values to their own league.
  • The ownership values were taken from Saturday and lots can happen in between when they publish and FAAB bids run.
  • Only players owned in 50% or fewer of CBS leagues are examined.
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Bullpen Report: June 23, 2019

• Earlier this season Blake Treinen was dealing with some elbow discomfort and now he has been placed on the IL with a shoulder issue. The A’s are calling it minor but in the meantime Liam Hendricks is expected to fill in as closer as he secured his first save last night, pitching a perfect 9th while striking out a pair. Some muscle memory with Joakim Soria on the grid in recent years almost made me throw him below but Yusmeiro Petit pitched 1.1 innings with 4 strikeouts in the 7th and 8th and has been a little more effective than Soria this year. Lou Trivino was expected to be next in line for Oakland, but he’s been struggling himself of late and Hendricks leapfrogged him in the pecking order. Whether Hendricks is closing for a couple of weeks or more will depending on how Treinen recovers. I’m clearly now doctor but it’s also clear that Treinen has not quite been himself this year even if his velocity has maintained.

• We mentioned Diego Castillo’s recent struggles yesterday and those continued with Castillo allowing two runs and four baserunners in the 7th inning last night, getting his 6th loss this season. The Rays have always been in a committee so its still a three-headed closrer with Castillo, Jose Alvarado, and Emilio Pagan but the preferred order of operations isn’t necessarily known. With Castillo’s struggles (11 runs in his last 9 appearances) I have put Alvarado atop the committee even though he has dealt with his own struggles this season. I don’t feel confident enough to say Pagan has jumped into the lead but if he keeps throwing like he has been that could happen.

• Naturally after I take off the committee tag for the Twins, Taylor Rogers is used in the 8th inning and blows the lead. After the Twins scored in the top of the 10th to take the lead Blake Parker was used in the bottom half, throwing a perfect inning for his 10th save. I am going to sadly reapply the committee tag here as the Twins will still throw their best option in the earlier innings on occasion, but Rogers is still by far the best reliever to own in Minnesota.

Jose Leclerc pitched in the 8th inning last night, throwing a scoreless frame dropping his ERA to 4.72. Although he has an elevated ERA his 3.07 SIERA and 3.58 xFIP are closer to in line with what we expected from him this year. With that said, Leclerc still isn’t getting saves yet in Texas with Chris Martin getting the nod for the 9th instead of Shawn Kelley last night. Martin pitched a clean inning for his 3rd save. With Leclerc looming it feels silly for Texas to anoint Chris Marin as the closer but it seems as though he and Kelley could be co-closers moving forward. With that said, Kelley has struggled of late so a change wouldn’t be surprising. Leclerc had a few poor outings in a row in early June but in spite of that, since May 12th he has a 1.58 SIERA, 41.9% K-BB%, and a 16.1% SwStr%. Leclerc will never have particularly good control but he’s back to missing bats again and I would bet the over on his rest-of-season saves compared to Kelley+Martin.

Quick Hits: Will Smith remains an obvious trade deadline candidate but amidst that he keeps shutting down the 9th, getting 20th save last night. With Aroldis Chapman getting a break, Zack Britton recorded his 3rd save. Britton’s experience (and contract) might place him next in line in New York but he walked three batters last night and overall hasn’t been particularly effective, with Adam Ottavino the obvious best reliever behind Chapman. Josh Hader threw two perfect innings for his 18th save, Brad hand (22), Felipe Vazquez (19), and Ken Giles (12) all recorded saves as well.

Not Very Stable
Hot Seat
Committee
Bullpen Report — 6/23/2019
Team Closer First Up Second Up Minors/DL
ARI Greg Holland Yoan Lopez Andrew Chafin
ATL Luke Jackson Anthony Swarzak A.J. Minter
BAL Mychal Givens Miguel Castro Richard Bleier Nathan Karns
BOS Matt Barnes Brandon Workman Ryan Brasier Heath Hembree
CHC Pedro Strop Steve Cishek Brandon Kintzler Craig Kimbrel
CWS Alex Colome Aaron Bummer Kelvin Herrera
CIN Raisel Iglesias Michael Lorenzen Amir Garrett
CLE Brad Hand Nick Wittgren Adam Cimber
COL Wade Davis Scott Oberg Jairo Diaz
DET Shane Greene Joe Jimenez Victor Alcantara
HOU Roberto Osuna Ryan Pressly Hector Rondon Collin McHugh
KC Ian Kennedy Jake Diekman Wily Peralta
LAA Hansel Robles Ty Buttrey Cam Bedrosian
LAD Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez Ross Stripling
MIA Sergio Romo Tayron Guerrero Nick Anderson Drew Steckenrider
MIL Josh Hader Jeremy Jeffress Junior Guerra
MIN Taylor Rogers Trevor May Blake Parker Trevor Hildenberger
NYM Edwin Diaz Seth Lugo Robert Gsellman Jeurys Familia
NYY Aroldis Chapman Zack Britton Adam Ottavino Dellin Betances
OAK Liam Hendriks Lou Trivino Yusmeiro Petit Blake Treinen
PHI Hector Neris Jose Alvarez Vince Velasquez David Robertson
PIT Felipe Vazquez Kyle Crick Francisco Liriano Keone Kela
STL Jordan Hicks John Gant Carlos Martinez
SD Kirby Yates Craig Stammen Trey Wingenter
SF Will Smith Tony Watson Sam Dyson
SEA Roenis Elias Austin Adams Anthony Bass Hunter Strickland
TB Jose Alvarado Diego Castillo Emilio Pagan
TEX Shawn Kelley Chris Martin Jose LeClerc
TOR Ken Giles Daniel Hudson Joe Biagini
WSH Sean Doolittle Wander Suero Tanner Rainey Kyle Barraclough

Are Foul Balls Good or Bad?

I’ve had the question written on my whiteboard for ever: are foul balls good or bad? It’s a glass-half-empty, glass-half-full conundrum. The former group might think a foul ball is simply a barely-missed opportunity at in-play contact. The latter group might view that same event as a positive — that the poor quality of contact on a foul ball is indicative of an ability to induce poor contact quality in general, and it’s not inherently different from a swinging strike.

In my heart of hearts, it makes more sense to me that a foul ball is closer to in-play contact than not. Considering the diameter of both a bat and a ball, and the nearly physically impossible feat of connecting the two in motion, a foul tip has a margin of error of mere inches, whereas a swinging strike, fully sans contact, can have a margin of error measured in feet. Yes, it seems like getting a piece of the ball suggests, from the pitcher standpoint, makes the glass appear more half-empty than otherwise.

I wanted to finally tackle the subject, but I didn’t really know how. I first looked at the outcome of the pitch directly following foul and non-foul pitches, but it was a bit noisy (although, to be fair, I may have missed clear patterns in that noise). I imagine the effects spawning from a foul ball are not exclusive to the next pitch; rather, they may manifest two or three or even four pitches deeper into the plate appearance. In other words, a pitch-sequencing analysis might be prohibitively difficult, at least for someone like me who lacks the brainpower or mental stamina to pull it off.

Instead, I opted for something a little easier yet arguably just as telling. Read the rest of this entry »