Wednesday, April 3, 2013

MARDI GRAS MADNESS: South Jersey Strong Arms

Felipe M

We continue on our reviews for our fantasy baseball league, Mardi Gras Madness.  Please take some time to read about the Houston Steelers

Last, but definitely not least is our defending champion and a big time Phillies' fan--and Dallas Cowboys' fan.  What?

CENTRAL DIVISION--So. Jersey Strong Arms (it must be a Jersey thang)


BATTING LINEUP

Like: You can tell this guy is a Phillies’ fan: Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins are starting on the team’s infield.  Whether they can take it back to 2008 is another question, but lucky for them, they won’t be doing it on their own as Buster Posey, Andrew McCutchen and Yoenis Cespedes can provide plenty of offense as well.  



2013 Hitting Projections
Player
Team
Pos
BB/K
AB/K
AB/HR
OBP
SLG
OPS
SB
Yoenis Cespedes
Oakland
LF/CF
0.45
5.05
22.03
0.345
0.482
0.827
16
Buster Posey
San Francisco
C/1B
0.70
5.77
23.61
0.390
0.510
0.900
2
Andrew McCutchen
Pittsburgh
CF
0.64
4.77
22.53
0.380
0.500
0.880
23
Ben Revere
Philadelphia
CF/RF
0.58
10.08
571.33
0.329
0.334
0.663
42
Michael Morse
Seattle
LF/RF
0.24
4.00
21.42
0.326
0.468
0.794
1
Will Middlebrooks
Boston
3B
0.17
3.67
20.80
0.304
0.463
0.767
8










Dislike: I might be too harsh on Will Middlebrooks, but even though he provided a spark for teams last year and showed off his power, he still had plenty of holes in his swing and terrible approach at the plate.  He needs to improve on that aspect of this game is this team expects to repeat as Champions.  And as a Michael Morse owner last season, I understand he was hurt, but that still doesn’t excuse his hacking style at the plate.  And Ben Revere should not be a DH in a fantasy lineup. 

Look Out For: This team has both Billy Hamilton and Jurickson Profar on the same club.  I’m not even sure if both players will be called up this season, but certainly a very interesting strategy to have two players playing in the same position.  Then again, the Reds have been talking about moving Hamilton to the OF and the Rangers have played with the idea of moving their veteran infielders move around just so they can make room for Profar.

Bench: Revere and Carlos Gomez will probably, but questionably be alternating the DH spot.  Gomez has good counting stats, but a disastrous approach at the plate.  Chase Headley can probably become the permanent DH/3B when he gets back from injury.



PITCHING

Like: The Philly theme continues with Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee anchoring the pitching staff.  In support of these two are mixes of young and veteran pitchers with more question marks to their game than anything.  So I will list the ones that have a better chance of succeeding here (not to guarantee that they will, but given the options, I’m speaking in relative terms): Alex Cobb is supposed to bust out this season and was impressive in the spring, especially when you talk about his K/9; Alexi Ogando is a promising pitcher with good, projected numbers.  However, he did struggle this spring, but was able to post impressive strikeout totals; Marco Estrada pitched pretty well in the spring and his projections show that he might be in line for a big year.

2013 Pitching Projections
Player
Team
K/BB
K/9
BB/9
H/9
WHIP
HR/9
Alexi Ogando
Texas
3.23
8.14
2.52
8.14
1.18
1.09
Alex Cobb
Tampa
2.13
6.80
3.19
8.48
1.30
0.78
Marco Estrada
Milwaukee
3.55
8.85
2.49
8.51
1.22
1.22







Dislike: There’s a lot of pitchers I don’t like on this team, but the worst of the bunch is Edinson Volquez.  Volquez had a bad spring and he still continues to give up too many walks (a problem he still has since his days with the RedsI wrote about this issue when reviewing the Padres’ pitching staff).  Another Opening Day starter I don’t like is Bud Norris who not only is supposed to be on a bad team that may not provide the run support he needs, he also has issues with walks and is projected to have a terrible WHIP.  To Norris’ credit, he did get the win for the Astros on Sunday night.    Jorge de la Rosa is a 32 year-old recovering from Tommy John surgery.  He shouldn’t be on anybody’s team.  Kyle Kendrick is another pitcher who should have been left on waivers as well. 

Bullpen: Amazingly enough, this team has no closers on the squad.

Look Out For: James McDonald seems to slowly, but surely be climbing up the pitchers’ list and distance himself from the Volquezes and Norrises of the world.  He can provide good strikeout numbers and if he cuts back on the walks, he might provide much needed production on this team.  Shaun Marcum is injured once again, but when he’s healthy, he can be productive.  Might be the pitcher to add some quality depth on this team.  Speaking of injury, Chad Billingsley is on the club as well and beginning the year on the DL.  He’s done a good job cutting back on the walks and is actually better off as a back of the rotation guy than as an integral part of any pitching staff (like he was projected to be when he was coming up with the Dodgers).

PREDICTION: Despite having all of these pitchers on the team, they really don’t have much depth.  Remember, quantity does not necessarily mean quality.  They have the potential to surprise people by potentially having a great 5-man combo in their pitching staff, but which of these other quizzical pitchers will step up and have a breakthrough season?  They are also a big bat away from having a complete lineup.  If they can’t make a trade to improve their offense, then they’ll have to depend on a few hitters who have very limited skills at the plate.  Injured 3B Headley might be that player, but he too comes with plenty of issues as well.  Too many ifs and question marks on this team to project them as a playoff team, therefore another title seems to be out of reach.  


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