Jake Westbrook $43. Other bids: $33, $26, $22, $20, $17, $12, $10, $10, $10, $10, $5, $0.
I just wrote about Westbrook here. This is the first player in our league, by the way, bid on by every team. The 5th place won this team, then immediately put him up on the trade block…odd, since he can only trade contiguously during the month of August, and the 4th place team is capped out. Nonetheless, as I predicted in my write-up, Westbrook has been brilliant for the Cardinals to date. The law of averages says I have to be right sooner or later.
Mike Minor $30. Other bids: $15, $13, $12, $12, $10, $0.
I wrote about Mike Minor on Saturday. He gets his first major league start this week. The high bidder here was the 4th place team, who, since he lost a couple of offensive players to injury, decided to make strong pitching plays, having the runner-up bid on Westbrook and also winning James McDonald. Risky strategy given that it is a rookie making his big league start and a pitcher who has not yet lived up to his potential, but I like the reasoning very much.
Rick Ankiel $17. Other bids: $15, $12, $11, $11, $10, $8, $0.
Ankiel is a simple guy to figure out really. He has a lot of power, a poor batting eye, and cannot stay healthy. It really is that simple. He peaked at age 28, and just moved to a strong pitcher’s park. There really is not much to like about Ankiel in the short term or the long term. This bid is, in my opinion, very aggressive, though at this stage of the season, any potential power boost requires a bid. I would not, however, expect great things from Ankiel for the rest of the year.
Paul Janish $15. Other bids: $0
Sometimes, you need to fill a slot. That is what happened here. In limited ABs, Janish has shown some plate discipline and an ability to find a few holes here and there. His role is too limited, however, to be a fantasy contributor.
James McDonald $10. Other bids: $10, $10, $0, $0.
McDonald frustrated the Dodgers enough that the team sent him to the Pirates…I am not sure there is a worse punishment (other than, perhaps, the Royals or Orioles). In a bit of irony, McDonald then went out and put up a decent start in his first Pirates outing. McDonald can pitch; to be honest, a major league equivalency of 4.06 FIP in Albuquerque, while not dominant, is also not bad. His strikeout rate was low, however, and his FIP is tainted by a .55 HR/9 which, given his fly ball rate, is absurdly low. Those teams playing for next year do need to take a look-see here, however, but contending teams may want to be a little more wary. All in all, $10 is a good bid here.
Thomas Diamond $6. Other bids: $1, $0.
I almost did a supplemental FAAB post on Diamond, but then I thought that there might not be too much demand for one. Apparently, I was right, given the nature of the bidding. You may remember fondly the days of Texas Rangers past, when “DVD” was all the rage. DVD, you ask? Diamond, Volquez, Danks…sounds a little like something from WWE. Diamond has looked like an extreme fly ball pitcher this year, and just got plopped into Wrigley in August. I would take a wait and see approach on Diamond here if you are contending. If you are not contending, there is no harm on a flier. While Zambrano is expected back in the rotation this week, Diamond’s first start may have been good enough to warrant a second look.
Kyle Farnsworth $4. Chris Narveson $3. Nick Masset $3. Mike Sweeney $3. Laynce Nix $0. A.J. Ellis $1. Ryan Church $1. Jason Marquis $0. Joe Inglett $0.
Farnsworth is having a nice year, but will not be getting any save chances. Narveson's interiors would make me cry as an owner, but, somehow, he keeps winning games. Masset is a popular pick-up this week...never fear, Dusty will hand the ball to Cordero until his arm falls off, and, frankly, Masset has not been very good. Sweeney has short-term value while Howard is out; Manuel loves him, and he should hit clean-up when he plays. Marquis is back from the disabled list. I do not believe he could have pitched worse before he went on the disabled list, but I cannot recommend him. He is beginning to remind me of a bad Jamie Navarro - he'll give you six or seven innings, but give up six to seven runs in the process.