Tagged: fantasy

Thanks Again to Pittsburgh

Need talent? Don’t have anything to give up in trade? Talk to Pittsburgh!

The Red Sox stole another talented veteran from the Pirates today, acquiring the rights to defensively skilled first baseman Adam LaRoche for two minor league “prospects” (ahem). LaRoche has been in a terrible slump this month (he’s on my fantasy team–trust me, its been brutal) but is a notorious second half hitter; his second-half career OPS is over .125 higher than his first half OPS (.901 vs .773). LaRoche will face the added challenge of adjusting to American League pitching, which can be increasingly difficult for an at times contact challenged hitter such as LaRoche.

A few years ago the Pirates stole Freddie Sanchez from the Sox for a Jeff Suppan stretch run. But I think, between this year and last, we have evened the score.

This likely means I have to go and dump LaRoche from the fantasy team this afternoon, since he is essentially coming in as an insurance policy in case Lowell’s hip (or other unforeseen injury) causes a stint on the DL. A small loss for me, a nice gain for the Sox.

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Fantasy Question: Prado, Schumaker, or Hudson?

I have Geovany Soto on the DH right now, so I am temporarily able to keep two of the three (and subsequently have only Miguel Olivio at catcher). Once Soto comes back, I will likely cut one of these three players (depending on the next few weeks, Marco Scutaro or Colby Rasmus could become cuttable). So, here’s the question, which one do I keep: Martin Prado, Skip Schumaker, or Orlando Hudson?

First, a little context: I am in a basic ESPN league that only tracks five offensive stats–BA, RS, HR, RBI, and SB. My team is built primarily on pitching; offensively, I focus on two categories: runs scored and stolen bases. I have suffered through the struggles of Soto, Jimmy Rollins, Josh Hamilton, Vernon Wells, and Alexei Ramirez, and thus, have come to completely ignore batting average. While I occasionally compete in Home Runs and RBI, my general approach is to “out run” my opposition offensively and let my pitching do its job.

Martin Prado

Since becoming an everyday player on June 25th, Prado has been quite productive. Over his last 67 ABs, Prado has 27 hits (including 8 2Bs and 1 HR), 13 runs scored, and 9 RBIs. That translates into a .402-.467-.687. Of course, I don’t expect him to sustain a 1.154 OPS for the entire second half. But Atlanta is hurting offensively, and Prado is likely to keep his spot hitting second in the order. Plus, in my ESPN league, he has eligibility at 1B, 2B, and 3B, making him quite flexible.

Skip Schumaker

Skip is completely a one trick pony–he’s going to score runs. He already has 52 this season, and that includes some partial playing time in April. He seems to be becoming more comfortable in the leadoff role as the season goes on–scoring 19 runs in June and 10 in July and improving his BB-K ration. He’s a .300 hitter, but, given some of the blackholes of BA on my team, that doesn’t really do much for me. He’s not going to hit HRs, and he’s not stealing any bases; but, put simply, Pujols has to knock somebody in. And Schumaker has 2B and OF eligibility.

Orlando Hudson

Writing this post has led me to definitively answer my own question (at least in the short-term), Hudson is the guy on the outside looking in. What made the question difficult is how productive he was for me earlier this season. But June was terrible (a .612 OPS) and July not much better (.631). With Manny’s return and his struggles, Hudson finds himself hitting 7th in the order. He has scored only 15 runs since June 1st, only two more than Prado has scored since June 25th. Still, this is a bit of a difficult move given Hudson’s history–one has to think that, barring injury, he’ll be able to turn it around and offer something in the neighborhood of his .800 career OPS. Further hurting Hudson: he has eligibility only at 2B.

Decision

In the short term, I have claimed Schumaker off wavers (decision pending Wednesday) and am holding on to Prado until Soto comes off the DH. Cutting Hudson isn’t too hard. I’ll have to face this decision again soon, so hopefully they’ll be some kind of distinction in their play that makes it easier to decide. Or, perhaps, one of you can point me toward what I am missing?