Friday, May 25, 2012

Rebuilding For Success: Pre-season

Since I haven’t been as interested in sports cards lately, I thought that I might try a little writing about something else sports related that I have benn enjoying lately: fantasy baseball. To be more specific, I’m going to write a little bit about my Benchwarmer Baseball keeper team that is now going into its third season.

Last year, my team had mixed results. While I did finish in first place in my division by 14 games, I did so with a losing record (71-79). I was the best in a division of bad teams. Not only do I want to repeat this season, but I want to do so with a much better record. Last season, I was swept out of the first round of the playoffs and I want to win at least one round this season.

One thing about having a bad team is that you end up with the earliest picks during the year. Due to having a .500 team for my first two seasons, I’ve ended up with some decent draft picks. I entered this season with the last two #1 picks in my minor league roster. Bryce Harper stood poised to make his major league debut this season while Gerrit Cole was a long shot at a possible September call-up.

During the regular season, teams get to maintain a roster of 40 players. You only get to carry over 28 of those player to the next season, so you’ve got to put a lot of thought into who you keep around. Here’s a list of the players who I released from my roster:

  • Mike Adams (high salary)
  • Wade Davis (moved from rotation to bullpen – salary too high)
  • Kevin Correia (1-5 4.50 ERA 16K 15BB so far in 2012)
  • Hideki Matsui (Recently signed minor league deal with Tampa Bay)
  • Tony Sipp (0-2 5.40 ERA 1.53 WHIP)
  • John Buck (.173 4 HR)
  • Roger Bernadina (.224 2 HR – not a starter)
  • Grady Sizemore (Hurt AGAIN)
  • Eric Hinske (.271 1 HR – not a starter)
  • Jordan Lyles (0-1 5.29 ERA 1.53 WHIP in three spot starts)
  • Kaleb Cowart (declining prospect)
  • Luis Exposito (declining, blocked (at the time) prospect – has since been traded to Baltimore, hit .059 sent back to minors)
  • Tony Sanchez (declining prospect)

Who did I pick up in the redistribution draft? You’ll find a list below along with their performance so far this year. Did I improve the team?

  • Chris Iannetta (In desperate need of catchers after Victor Martinez injury - .197 3 HR now on DL)
  • Brandon McCarthy (3-3 2.95 ERA 40K 16BB 1.34 WHIP – now on DL)
  • Erick Aybar (.222)
  • Ben Revere (.244)
  • Felipe Paulino (started season on DL – 2-1 1.42 ERA 29K 7BB 1.14 WHIP since coming off of DL)
  • Nolan Reimold (started off season red hot - .313 5HR 10 RBI 10 R in 16 games, but hasn’t played since April 30)
  • R.A. Dickey (6-1 3.45 51K 16BB 1.17 WHIP)
  • Brent Morel (.177 14 R – now on DL)
  • Mike Adams (0-2 2.20 ERA 13K 2BB .98 WHIP)

Four of these guys are no longer on my roster, but there were some big additions to the team here. I’ll need McCarthy and Reimold to contribute once they come off of the DL. Dickey has been huge and Paulino has been red hot lately.

You can continue to tweak your roster in the weeks leading up to the start of the season. There are trades to be made and free agents to be signed.

In week –6, I signed Franklin Morales (0-1 4.40 ERA 1.67 WHIP 7 Holds)

In week –5, I traded away Ryan Roberts (.238 3 HR 19 RBI 12 R) for Jarrod Parker (1-2 3.37 ERA 1.36 WHIP)

In week –4, I signed away newly released Jose Iglesias (I’m a sucker for Red Sox prospects) along with Tyler Greene (.239 4 HR 6 SB and plays three positions) and Brett Myers (0-1 1.69 ERA 11 SV .81 WHIP)

In week –3, I finalized my roster by signing Will Venable (.273 3 HR 18 R 5 SB) and releasing Sam Fuld (60-day DL and a crowded Rays outfield)

Here’s my opening day roster for the 2012 Savin Hill Sox (keepers in bold):

L1: Coco Crisp
L2: Ben Revere
L3: Jamey Carroll
L4: Joey Votto
L5: Nick Markakis
L6: Jason Kipnis
L7: Erick Aybar
L8: Brent Morel
L9: Chris Iannetta

B1: Dan Murphy – 1B, 2B, 3B
B2: Will Venable – OF
B3: Jed Lowrie – 3B, SS
B4: Nolan Reimold – OF
B5: Eduardo Nunez – 3B, SS, 2B

P1: Jon Lester
P2: R.A. Dickey
P3: Brnadon McCarthy
P4: Bus Norris
P5: Jeffrey Karstens

S1: Andrew Miller
S2: Felipe Paulino

R1: Jonathan Papelbon
R2: Brett Myers
R3: Mike Adams
R4: Kevin Gregg
R5: Fernando Salas

Taxi: Greg Dobbs
T: Franklin Morales

Minors: Alex Cobb
M: Domonic Brown
M: Tyler Greene
M: Yonder Alonso
M: Blake Swihart
M: Zack Wheeler
M: Gerrit Cole
M: Ryan Lavarnway
M: Jose Iglesias
M: Kolbrin Vitek
M: Jarrod Parker
M: Bryce Harper

IR: Victor Martinez

Next up, the first couple of weeks and results. The league is 6 weeks and 7 weeks of transactions old. I just pulled off a big trade where I gave up a lot to improve the one position where I really needed help. What do you think of my off-season moves and Opening Day roster? Should this team improve on the 71-79 record that I had last season? Stay tuned to see how the Sox do.

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