In one of my leagues I am in a desperate situation. My team is loaded with underperforming offensive players. Prince Fielder, Adam Lind (of course), Carlos Pena, Nyjer Morgan and David Wright. Yesterday I decided to look into the best buy-low player available by looking at five primary factors.
- The player’s current home run to fly ball rate. It had to be low.
- The player’s past performance. There had to be a solid indication that this guy was capable of carrying an offense.
- Some indication very recently that this guy was ready to break out.
- The player’s age could not be older than 30.
- The player’s current rank could not be better than 150.
The player that I came up with at the end was Pablo Sandoval. Kung Fu Panda has a home run to fly ball rate which is less than half of what it was in 2010. In terms of past performance everything was there last year and he even struggled out of the gates last season which is an indication that slow starts are just a part of who he is. The indication that a breakout is going to happen were his multiple hit games on Friday and Saturday which included two extra base hits. He’s also young and in the 200s on the player rater.
- Max Scherzer had it working yesterday. 14 of his 17 outs were via strikeout. The timing of the outing seems to fit. Scherzer had two starts at AAA in order to regain confidence in his stuff and he absolutely dominated in those two starts. Is this start going to be a flash or a trend? There is a history of the quick send down to the minors and call back up working as it did last year for Ricky Nolasco and two seasons ago for Francisco Liriano, so I’m saying Scherzer is worth buying.
- I’d say the Angels learned their lesson after celebrating a Howie Kendrick walk-off home run yesterday. The Nationals learned nothing from the Angels celebration. Perhaps that’s why they’re the Nationals and the Angels are the Angels.
- Jon Lester is a top five pitcher in fantasy baseball. He was brilliant again yesterday and throwing out the last two Aprils Lester has been outstanding. Nobody in baseball history has a better winning percentage than him with at least 100 starts. The ranks should go Ubaldo Jimenez, Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum, Adam Wainwright, and Lester. Apologies to Josh Johnson.
- Who said that Leo Nunez was not a solid closing option? His 0.83 WHIP is an indication that he has a pretty solid grip on the job.
- The Padres are officially considering themselves contenders and will hold on to Adrian Gonzalez (doh!) and Heath Bell (for he’s a jolly good fellow!) and might even look to add a little pay roll according to Buster Olney last night on Baseball Tonight.
- Speaking of the Padres if there is a middle reliever worth owning, his name is Luke Gregorson. Gregorson has 32 strikeouts to only 2 walks and has allowed only one hit in his last 8 innings.
- Livan Hernandez had his 8th quality start in 10 tries yesterday. If he gets matched up in Petco like he was yesterday that’s a situation worth taking advantage of. Next time out he gets the Reds at home. I’d stay away from that knowing that the Reds regulars are a combined .375 against him lifetime.
- Alex Rios hit his 11th home run and stole his 16th base yesterday. He’s now on pace for 38 home runs and 55 steals this season. I guess we can all collectively give Ken Williams an apology although he still could have had him for less.
- Franklin Morales threw three scoreless innings in a rehab assignment yesterday. Manny Corpas has been the Rockies closer since Morales went on the shelf and has done a terrific job – not giving up a walk or a run in his last 9 appearances. The Rockies have not made an announcement about who is going to be in what role.
- Dontrelle Willis‘ next stop could be Arizona. At least he can hit Diamondback fans!
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