Tag: Jeff Niemann

AL East Positional Analysis and Ranking: Starting Rotation (No. 4 Starter)

I am in the midst of a series examining the relative strengths and weaknesses of the teams in the AL East, on a position-by-position basis. The players at each position are being ranked in relation to their peers within the division, with each team being assigned points based on where their player ranks in comparison to the other players.

Today, the series continues with a look at the No. 4 starters in each rotation.

The best player will earn 10 points for his team, with the remaining players being assigned points as follows: 7-5-3-1.

At the end of the process, I will accumulate all of the points for each team and create a divisional power ranking.

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2011 MLB Fantasy Pitching Preview: AL East, David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays

In preparation of the 2011 MLB Fantasy Baseball season, The Fantasy Fix team will preview a team’s pitching rotation each day. Jesse Mendelson’s third preview of the AL East features David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays.

Now this will be interesting. 

The Rays traded Matt Garza to the Cubs, opening a full-time rotation spot for Jeremy Hellickson, one of the best young prospects in baseball.  And he’s gonna be their fifth starter.  

David Price leads the way, and rightfully so.  A well-deserved second place in last year’s Cy Young voting, he was arguably the AL’s most consistent pitcher from April to September.

Pitching in a tight divisional race for most of the season, he finished 19-6 with a 2.72 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, .221 BAA and nearly a K per inning.  And as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 Draft and his dominant turn as a closer in the 2008 postseason, you know the guy’s got talent.  

Those of you who had Price on your team last year probably got him cheap—which unfortunately for you won’t happen this year.  I rank him just below the top tier of Halladay/Lee/Sabathia/Lester, et al.

Right up front, I will admit that I am NOT a James Shields fan.  I think he is consistently overvalued from a very good 2008 campaign, but since then, virtually every statistic has gone the wrong way for him.  Wins haven’t changed, he’s lost more games, given up more hits, more earned runs and more homers. 

His ERA has gone up every year, as has his WHIP and BAA.  Plus, he turns 30-years-old later this year.  

Shields does have fairly good strikeout numbers, but I can’t recommend him for ownership—there are spot-starters you can get that will be better than Shields.

Click To Continue Reading The Preview>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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Fantasy Baseball Three Up, Three Down From September 6 (Latos, Stanton and More)

Let’s take a look at three player’s whose stock rose yesterday, as well as three players whose stock took a hit:

Three Up:

  1. Danny Espinoza – Shortstop – Washington Nationals
    To say that he’s gotten his Major League career off with a bang would be an understatement.  He had a strong showing in the Minor Leagues, splitting time between Double and Triple-A (.268, 22 HR, 69 RBI, 80 R, 25 SB), and opened up going 5-11 with one HR prior to Monday’s game.  That’s when he exploded, going 4-5 with two HR, six RBI and two R, including a grand slam against the Mets.  He has the potential to be the Nationals second baseman (or shortstop) of the future and it’s likely that he gets regular AB down the stretch over Adam Kennedy.  At this point, how can they keep him out of the lineup?  Be careful, as he posted a 24.1 percent strikeout rate in the minor leagues, so there is a potential for him to struggle in the average department.  With his potential combination of power (which he’s already shown) and speed (which he has yet to have an opportunity to display), however, he is worth taking a flyer on for the final few weeks if you need a middle infielder.  We’ll be taking a closer look at him in the next few days as well.
  2. Mike Stanton – Outfielder- Florida Marlins
    He had struggled for a long time, not just with the long ball either.  Forget about the fact that he had one home run since August 14.  Over that span he had gone 7-66, likely causing many owners to shove him over to their bench.  However, those who stayed patient were rewarded yesterday as he went deep in both halves of the Marlins double header.  For the day, he went 4-9 with two HR, four RBI and two R and hopefully can keep this hot streak going over the final few weeks of the season.  He has too much power to give up on, so just continue to keep him active and hope for the best.
  3. Adalberto Mendez – Starting Pitcher – Florida Marlins
    It was an impressive Major League debut, tossing six innings of one-hit baseball against the Philadelphia Phillies to get the victory.  The thing is, he had been spending time as both a starter and reliever at Triple-A (only nine starts in 28 appearances), pitching to a 4.14 ERA.  As a starter, he had a 4.46 ERA with 39 Ks over 40.1 innings.  Over that span he walked 3.7 batters per nine innings, as well.  In other words, while it was an extremely impressive debut, I wouldn’t be running out to claim him on waivers quite yet.

Three Down:

  1. Mike Pelfrey – Starting Pitcher – New York Mets
    It had looked like he had righted the ship, but things have once again fallen off for Pelfrey.  After allowing six ER on five H and three BB, striking out one, over 3.2 innings he has given up 10 ER over 8.2 IP in his last two outings.  You want to believe that he’s worth using, given how tremendous he was early in the season, but it’s just impossible to trust him.  His next start comes against the Phillies, who he has a 4.50 ERA against in three starts, and should be on your bench in all formats.
  2. Jeff Niemann – Starting Pitcher – Tampa Bay Rays
    Remember when Niemann was among the best pitchers in the league?  In fact, at the All-Star Break he was 7-2 with a 2.77 ERA.  There was a lot of luck involved and things have certainly gone the other way.  Since returning from the DL it has been one debacle after another.  He’s gone 10.0 innings, allowing 23 ER and is now in jeopardy of losing his spot in the rotation.  If you are in need of a roster spot, he’s certainly eligible to be cut at this point.
  3. Mat Latos – Starting Pitcher – San Diego Padres
    A tough break for fantasy owners, as Latos was scratched from his scheduled start last night due to a bout with the flu.  He is expected to take the ball on Tuesday, so let’s hope that’s the case.  If he does, he will remain in line to be a two-start option, though with extremely more difficult matchups.  Today he will draw Clayton Kershaw, with Tim Lincecum going up against him on Sunday.


What are your thoughts on these players?  Who else had a significant change in value from yesterday’s games?

Make sure to check out our extremely early 2011 rankings:


Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Breaking Down Tampa Bay Rays’ Starting Rotation

Coming into this season, critics and fans were well aware of the Tampa Bay Rays ability to score runs. With one of the best young line-ups in baseball, the Rays were predicted to fight for the AL East crown with the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.

Most people picked the Yankees and the Sox to finish ahead of the Rays because of one thing: starting pitching. After a sub-par year from both Matt Garza and James Shields in 2009, the Rays aces have gotten off to great year in 2010.

Lets take a closer look at James Shields, Matt Garza and the rest of the Tampa Bay rotation.

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