Monday, June 06, 2011

N.L. FAAB Log: June 6, 2011

Some days are busier than others at Roto Think Tank’s N.L. FAAB Log.  Today is one of those days, on the heels of a very active trade week in our home league, which we will get to another time.  On with the free agents:

Xavier Paul $15. Other bids: $12, $10, $9, $6, $5, $3, $3, $2.
As I thought on Friday, Paul received quite a bit of play. Of course, I also thought that my own $10 bid would get him.  The 6th place team made this aggressive bid (the 7th place team made the $12 bid), and the bid made sense for him given the number of injuries on his team, the number of holes he had to fill, the dump trades that occurred with other teams ahead of him, and his position in the steals category (second with several teams creeping up on him).  Well played.

Aaron Cunningham $10. Other bids: $1.
Cunningham is only 25 years old and is already in his fourth organization.  There are many reasons why, but among them must be the low walk total, the high strikeout rate, and the inability to do much at the major league level. Perhaps it is merely opportunity, as Cunningham did hit a relatively empty .288 last year in limited plate appearances.  Nonetheless, I find it unlikely that Cunningham will see a lot of time with the Padres; he started one game this week.  He is not worth a $10 bid.

Lance Lynn $9. Other bids: $5, $2, $1.
Lynn is only expected to get one more start before going back to the minors, but the winning bidder here is playing for next year (free agents boost to $10 for the following year if bought for less than $10, so that is the rationale for the $9 bid). I wrote about Lynn on Friday and nothing has changed.  If you can stash him, he could contribute again later this year, and should be in the Cardinals rotation next year.

Josh Harrison $8. Other bids: $4, $4, $1, $1.
The beauty of the Gearing Up piece on Friday, aside from its obvious benefit to our readers, is that my league gets a feel for how I feel about players and bids accordingly. I previewed Harrison on Friday.  He is playing almost every day, and in the absence of Pedro Alvarez and Steven Pearce, should be on a fantasy roster.

D.J. LeMahieu $7. Other bids: $6.
I wrote about LeMahieu on Friday as well  and profiled him here.  The two bids here were from teams playing for next year.  I stand by my statement that he will not contribute much to the Cubs this year, but LeMahieu could be playing regularly by June/July 2012 at the latest.

Mike Leake $5. Other bids: $3, $1, $1.
I did not preview Leake on Friday and I should have; I apologize for my oversight.  In fairness, Leake’s K/9 has gone up and his BB/9 is down. On the other hand, he is giving up a healthy line drive percentage (22%+), a healthy HR/9 (1.12). Leake is still only 23 years old and should find his way to (at least) teams taking a look and see approach to next year.  $5 is a good bid.

Jeff Karstens $4. Other bids: $3.
Karstens is one of the surprises of the first half of the season (we could likely say that about most of the Pirates’ rotation). His K/9 is up significantly and the walks remain under control.  His LD% and BABIP suggest some regression. Karstens, however, is just showing better stuff; the out of zone swing percentage and swinging strike percentage suggest that his stuff is just a little bit better than in the past. While I think the Pirates as a whole will regress as the season goes on, the improvement in the pitching staff overall, and in Karstens in particular, appears to be for real.

Rex Brothers $3. Other bids: $2, $2, $1, $1.
Brothers was called up after Gearing Up went live on Saturday.  He is a fireball throwing lefty who hits 98 on the gun and has a devastating slider. John Sickels rated him as a “B” prospect in December 2010 and described him this way: “A super-LOOGY at worst, a great closer at best if his command sharpens up a bit.”  I think that is a pretty fair assessment.  I expected a little more action here, and certainly expected the bid to be closer to $10 than $3.

Mark Hamilton $3. Other bids: $2, $1, $1.
Hamilton has one at-bat so far, and I expect the very limited duty to continue.  I thought (as I said on Friday) he might see a little more time in the outfield, and that possibility still exists.  He made the Cardinals top prospect list as a “C” in 2010, but fell off in 2011.  I suspect his usefulness is going to be limited to 4th/5th outfielder and bench role.

Matt Carpenter $2. Other bids: $1, $1, $1.
Carpenter, on the other hand, is getting some at-bats.  Carpenter is still a prospect, and, in the absence of any other workable third baseman for the Cardinals, he should continue to see those at-bats. He is an intriguing pick-up in NL-only leagues regardless of whether you are playing for this year or next.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  Okay, I apologize – I could not resist.  Braddock is back from dealing with his sleeping disorder and should return to his prominent role in the Brewers bullpen.  There is a lot of excitement about this power arm, and this is very intriguing in 5x5 NL-only leagues with strikeouts.  Until the walks come under control, however, he is a candidate to get blown up from time to time.

Estrada is a boring reliever with middling stuff.  He is solid, but so are 25 to 30 other free agent relievers.

See above, except substitute “very good fastball” for “middling.”  Oh, and a poor ERA and terrible WHIP.

Nate Schierholtz. Claimed by the 13th, 12th, 11th, 10th, 9th, 8th, 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd and 1st place teams.

Brandon Wood.  Claimed by the 9th, 7th, 3rd and 1st place teams.

Matt Lindstrom.  Claimed by the 12th place team.

Mark Kotsay.  Claimed by the 4th place team.

Matt Downs.  Claimed by the 3rd place team.

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