Thursday, May 06, 2010

Tout Wars N.L.: How am I Doing?

With one month of baseball behind us, I thought I'd take another look at my National League Tout Wars team. As of this morning, I'm in 10th place, and only 5 1/2 points out of the basement.

Yet this qualifies as good news.

A mere week and a half ago, I was in dead last. To be more precise, I was buried 15 points below the 12th place team. I didn't think my team was a last place team, but even in April it's hard to feel confident when you're down so far in the dumps that even the rats are looking down their noses at you.

The roster is almost unchanged from what I came in with on Opening Day. I haven't made any trades yet, and with the exception of Kyle Kendrick, all of my FAAB bids have been of the $0 variety.

I'm hopeful that my team can get better, but have a hard time envisioning how I might win the whole enchilada.

My plan on offense was Stars and Scrubs. After some slow starts on offense, most of my Stars have rebounded and are producing. I'm still at the middle or the bottom in a number of categories, though, because Carlos Lee and Jose Reyes have both been disappointing. The example of Alfonso Soriano gives me hope; Soriano went from being on pace to drive in 49 to 106 within a span of three games.

The Scrubs piece of the puzzle revolved around the idea that the minor leaguers I bought would get called up and contribute. Eric Young Jr. is already up, but most of my hopes here revolve around Mike Stanton. He's crushing AA pitching, but that doesn't mean that the Marlins are under any obligation to bring him up.

Pitching is where I'm doing worse than I thought I would, and envision coming up short. After spending big early, my plan was to fill in late on starting pitchers and hope to get lucky with one or two of my cheapies. So far, it hasn't worked out that way. In fact, John Lannan and Kenshin Kawakami have been so bad that it's a miracle I'm not dead last in ERA/WHIP. What's worse is that I was hoping that a seven starter strategy would push me higher in wins and strikeouts. It hasn't happened. The law of averages will ultimately push me back up a little bit in wins/whiffs, but I'm probably going to need to grab a better quality SP to back up Matt Cain at some point.

My closers are the best thing I have going for me. Carlos Marmol finally looks like the shut down reliever many thought he would be when he was first called up to the Majors, and Matt Capps has been more than solid.

I'm not despondent. Many of the categories I'm behind in are tightly packed, and I could see my team making another big move in the standings with another big week or two. However, that big move would still leave me 10-15 points short of where I think I need to be. Stanton coming up would alleviate that further, but without a trade or two, I still see myself on the outside looking in.

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