Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Spring Training Game Wrap 3/13/2018: Cubs 2 Giants 1

Tyler Chatwood was just as tough on the Giants in this spring training game as he is in the regular season as the Cubbies shut down the Giants.  Key lines:

Madison Bumgarner LHP- 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 4.15.  Bummy allowed solo dingers to Ian Happ and Addison Russell.  The Giants didn't answer until the top of the 9'th inning and it was too little too late.

Julian Fernandez RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 27.00.  Fernandez kept his hopes for a roster spot alive with a shutdown inning.  Fernandez is a longterm asset the Giants should try to hang onto.

Cory Gearrin RHP- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 0.00.  Gearrin's spot in the bullpen is not much in doubt.


Fantasy Focus:  Around the League

Tyler Chatwood RHP, Cubs- 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K's.  ERA= 0.98.  Chatwood usually shuts down the Giants but he did more than that here with the 9 K's in 5 IP.  I am targeting him big time in my upcoming fantasy draft.

Addison Russell SS, Cubs- 2 for 3, HR(1).  BA= .364.  Russell killed my fantasy team last year, but he could break out if his physical and personal issues are resolved.

Lance Lynn RHP, Twins- 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 0.00.  Lynn makes his first official spring appearance a success.

Didi Gregorius SS, Yankees- 1 for 3, HR(3).  BA= .286.  Gregorius helped my fantasy team after I finally dumped Russell.  He is having a fine spring too.  He's still my draft target at SS.

Jordan Zimmermann RHP- Tigers- 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 4.15.  Zimm has had a rough time since signing a big FA deal with the Tigers.  I wouldn't jump on his bandwagon based on this one spring start, but he's worth following.

Teoscar Hernandez OF, Blue Jays- 2 for 2, HR(3), SB(2).  BA= .547.  Major breakout candidate, if the Blue Jays have the sense to start him in RF over Randall Grichuk.

Freddie Freeman 1B, Braves- 3 for 3, HR(1).  BA= .321. Position alert!  Freeman also has 3B eligibility in Yahoo formats.  BTW, Anthony Rizzo has 2B eligibility.

Francis Martes RHP, Astros- 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 1.93.  High ceiling prospect.   He will likely start the season as another multi-inning reliever for the 'Stros.  That has fantasy value.

Yusmeiro Petit RHP, A's- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 1.35.  Petit was a fantasy stud last year in a long relief role with the Angels.  He has been lights out this spring.

Rob Whalen RHP, Mariners- 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 9 K's.  ERA= 1.38.  Whalen had a rough season last year in both AAA and a short MLB stint.  Prior to that, he was a promising prospect.  He is not currently listed on the Mariners depth chart.  Deep Sleeper alert.


  1. Chatwood: Away from Coors Field he's been outstanding the past couple of years.
    Lynn: There's a high-quality, front-of-the-rotation innings-eater that the Twins got for a steal.

    If we had cap-room, I'd have been happy with Evans signing either one of them. Both would be solid upgrades. But resources are finite so you can't.

    1. I was interested in Chatwood too. Perhaps in an alternative universe where we picked up Stanton and went way over? Of course, recent rumor is that the Giants were still hoping to stay under even if they picked up Stanton; not sure how that would have worked...

  2. Dang, still hurtin' about losing Petit.

    1. I will never forget those shutdown innings against t he Nats in Playoffs

  3. Doc, Kelby is now 0 for his last 6 with 5 Ks. Do you still think he has the best shot at winning the middle infield job? It sounds like he played a solid 3B last night, but d’Arnaud has had a pretty solid Spring. Looks like he’s starting at SS today for the first time too. Does that say anything? Just curious about your take. Thank you sir.

    1. Kelby and Gorky H. - two lack of punch hitters - i would think they are nor a Lock to make the 25.

    2. I had thought that Kelby was going to hold his spot, but d'Arnaud's name keeps on popping up all the time int he reports, plus Kelby still has an option left, according to the list kindly posted on the last DrB post by a commenter.

      So Kelby looks like he might have to worry about losing his spot to d'Arnaud. I think that's mainly because he still has options, but d'Arnaud do not.

      Though a big plus to Kelby is that he has a 40-man roster spot and d'Arnaud does not, which is huge because the next cuts will hurt some, losing players like Gorkys or Parker, perhaps, hard to chose who goes. I can see the Giants trading some of the guys on the edge in the next two weeks to clear space while getting something in return.

      Also, Kelby has actually done better in the majors than d'Arnaud has, and thus his projection for the 2018 season is slightly better. Both are similar players defensively - poor up the middle, better on the corners - though I think Kelby is slightly better defensively.

      So he's slightly better offensively (or a lot better for those who favor OBP), slightly better defensively, and also younger to boot, plus won't cost a 40-man roster spot, and that would suggest that Kelby should be the likely winner. So we'll see, maybe the Giant want to have good backups up the middle (we don't have many right now), and d'Arnaud is close enough to Kelby that if they keep him, then they'll have two options for that key MI bench position, since they can option Kelby. But then who to DFA?

    3. Unless someone goes on the DL which could happen:
      Gorkys is least likely to be taken -- that would get 40-man space for D'Arnaud or Rutledge
      Another reason Duggar would start in Sacramento -- not on the 40-man
      If Parker is kept on the 25-man, Chase Johnson might make it through waivers
      2 more weeks!

  4. I need some serious help playing fantasy baseball. Do you like the rankings at Fangraphs? I'm in a shallow league that values everything (innings pitched minimum and Quality starts,why?). What should be my draft strategy? If I have a good closer should I get a mediocre relief guy before a base stealer?

    1. I may not be the best person to ask, as my fantasy teams have struggled the past several years, but thanks for asking.

      Hard to give specific advice without knowing details of the format. How shallow? Rotisserie vs H2H? Points vs Categories. I will give you some general principles I tend to go by:

      1. Try to compete in every category.

      2. Go for Saves. Don't be afraid to overpay for a good closer, but remember that Closers are notoriously inconsistent and tend to have short careers in the role. You will probably have to follow Closer news closely all season and try to pick them up as roles change through the season. Try to anticipate future changes in MLB closers and pick up Closer's-In-Waiting. Prepare to be frustrated frequently.

      3. Traditional strategy is to draft 7 hitters before you draft your first pitcher. You may have to re-think that strategy this year as good pitching is extremely limited and most positions are deep in hitters. I have always been able to find good pitching on the FA list....until the second half of last year when it became almost impossible. I personally plan to spend up to have of my auction allowance on pitching this year, which is probably an over-reaction to what happened last year.

      4. I would draft power before SB's, but you should not punt SB's. There are basically 2 viable strategies for competing in SB's: 1. Overpay for a SB stud like Dee Gordon or Billy Hamilton then forget about SB's for the rest of your draft. 2. Make a list of 20/20 guys and draft 3 or 4 of them, even if you have to overpay. If you find yourself aced out of SB's, then maximize HR's and forget about everything else.

      Hope this helps.

    2. Credentials, I've won 3 out of last 4 money Yahoo leagues, just missing out by a fraction of a point for 3rd last year.

      I generally agree with Dr. B's strategies. But seems like your league has specific pitching categories.

      A few years ago before the homer-friendly juiced ball? environment I'd say loading up on hitting was the right thing to do. But now I think it's really important to have some high-end pitching. Especially if you have Quality Starts, you usually win that category by a small margin so the difference between Kershaw and a second-tier guy might be bigger than just a normal Wins category.

      I would try to get at least one top tier pitcher. I usually try to get the best value top tier guy and not pay 1st round price for my first pitcher. But this year might be different as everyone will be fighting for pitching. My targets last year were Chris Sale and Cory Kluber. This year they'll probably be too expensive. So I might target a guy like Carlos Carrasco. Then pair him with a second tier guy like Aaron Nola. You want to grab at least four realiable starters and then take some chances on younger guys/bounce back/injury discount guys for the 5th, 6th, etc. depending on your format.

      In my experience, it's easiest to win with a solid base of pitching. Pitching is easier to project I think. My best teams were where I dominated almost every pitching category so that I only needed to be top 3 or 4 in offensive categories to win.

      Get a few high K relievers. Again, I try to get the best value of the top tier relievers. They help with Ks, ERA, WHIP. In Quality Start leagues, you won't get the occasional vulture Win but having

      Also look for multiple position guys. I haven't checked yet, but I think Doc mentioned that Yahoo has Rizzo eligible at 2B. If there's a everyday position player eligible for catcher, I'd target him, especially if roster space is scarce.

      The name of the game is really maximizing value. Try to identify players into tiers and then try to get the best value guy out of the bunch. For instance, I think there are 4 or 5 top tier first basemen but the best value out of the bunch might be Freddie Freeman so I'd target him. Do that for every position.

      Good luck and feel free to ask more specific questions.

    3. Thanks Anon. I agree with pretty much everything you said here.