Fantasy Sports Chat

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Back to Baseball (Down the stretch...)

With football only a few days away. I am still focusing on fantasy baseball as I am clinging to the last spot in my money league (top 5 teams get some return on investment for the season).

It can be quite challenging trying to find quality players down the stretch, especailly because rookies are getting called up and trying to audition for spots for the 2007 season. For example, people in my AL-only keeper league were fighting over Cleveland Indians prospect, Kevin Kouzmanoff, who did hit a grand slam in his first MLB at bat. But honestly, do we really need to sit down and aruge about who is going to get the rights to him, when in all honest could be in AAA-Buffalo for most of the 2007 season.

I don't really care for the roster expansion in September, both from a baseball fan perspective and from a fantasy sports perspective. You have your roster of guys that are working real hard all season, and then they are supposed to not play the last month of the season, so some other player can audition for a spot in the lineup, not necessarily at that position, but just in general. I don't care for that. Everyone is trying to maximize their value and play as hard as they can. You can't make everyone happy though.

Some of the call-ups that I really like besides the obvoius (Delmon Young) are:
Adam Lind, OF/1B Toronto - This kid can hit, he started out the season in AA-New Hampshire and he was promoted to Syracuse and only improved on his numbers. (.310 in AA, .394 in AAA). With the Blue Jays falling out of control as of late and LF/DH Frank Catalanatto a free agent at the end of the season, Lind is going to get a long look to see if the Blue Jays need to keep the Cat, north of the border.
Troy Tulowitzki, SS Colorado - He is going to end the Clint Barmes reign in Colorado sometime in late 2007. Troy was the Rockies, first round draft pick in 2005 (7th overall) and he has done nothing to disappoint thus far he was hitting .291, with 13 homers and 34 doubles in AA ball this season. That does some hope for the future. He is a similiar style of ballplayer to Oakland's Bobby Crosby, but without the extensive injury history. He could be a force in Colorado down the road.
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B Cleveland - Kouzmanoff, as I mentioned earlier hit a grand slam in his first MLB at bat after he was called up from the minors. Interesting note, Kouozmanoff was replacing Travis Hafner in the lineup (who leads the majors in grand slams this season, with 7.) Kouzmanoff, started the season in AA and he dominated while playing for Akron, he was called up to Buffalo where he was outplaying his teammates and opponents. The $10,000 question is this...Where is Kevin Kouzmanoff going to play? The Indians landed another youngster in Andy Marte to play third, they shifted Ryan Garko from catcher to play first (meanwhile they have been trying Martinez at first a little).
Cleveland has too many young guns and not enough lineup spots for off of them to develop.
Andrew Miller, P Tigers - Yes, Andrew Miller was one of the most polished pitchers out of THIS YEAR'S DRAFT and he has done nothing to disappoint. He has come up to Detroit and they will use him out of the bullpen in the stretch drive for the feroicous Tiger pen. He is going to be something special and we will not even see the potential being tapped yet.

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Francisco Liriano threw a bullpen session today, and is close to returning. I, like many others are saying if he can come back and help the Twins (who have maintained with a patchwork rotation, they are going to be extremely dangerous come playoff time). They have to get their first. The Twins begin a gigantic series in Detroit which could decide the division. You hear it first.

On a sadder note, after everything that has happened in baseball this week and as of late. The Red Sox, who have found themselves fighting for a wild card spot, realized something very important outside of baseball. Anything can happen to anyone at anytime. Jon Lester, a 22-year old flamethrower was diagnosed with lymphoma. I have to say that his is in the thoughts and prayers of baseball fans everywhere and we all wish him a speedy and successful recovery. While this is a daunting task for anyone to deal with, for a 22-year old athlete, this is especially difficult to handle.
Lester, will beat this and come back and pitch again. Anything is possible with positive thinking and he should be successful with this too.

Big sports weekend with NCAA Football, NFL Opening Weekend, and MLB stretch drive.

Until next time,
Juba

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