Monday, May 10, 2010

Land of the Lost: My Fantasy Team Sucks (Part 2: Infield Edition)

So, my team, the Sleestak, is in tenth place and hitting .227 tonight as of this posting. At the end of April I was in eighth place and getting close to panic mode. Now I am in tenth place and am pretty much panicking. I won this league last season. What does it mean now? About as much as Michael Imperioli's acting credits on The Sopranos mean as you watch him do this:

When I wrote for, and espn I always preached patience. I also preached name-dropping.  Now, I am not so sure. How did I end up tenth of twelve teams six weeks into the season? Let's do a roster rundown to find out.

The Infield

C: Chris Iannetta: He started out in a platoon with Miguel Olivo, swung the bad miserably (.133/.568 through eight games) and was hastily demoted to Triple-A Colorado Springs to get him consistent at-bats and help him find his stroke. This left the Rockies with Olivo as their everyday catcher and me in search of a replacement. Olivo forced the issue by starting out the season very hot. This was not the real Miguel Olivo. Olivo's career batting average? .242. His current batting average? .228. Iannetta's numbers at Triple-A? .303/1.045 through eight games. I love knowing this and that he could be recalled at any time (Olivo is hitting .090 in May) and that anyone else in my league could grab him.

C: Ramon Hernandez: The once and former cousin of the former king of the catcher position. True story. He is Ivan Rodriguez's cousin. OK, that's not true. He does, on the other hand, suck. Enough so that a random Irishman, Ryan Hanigan, has worked his way into stealing his at-bats. And by worked I mean hit the ball better and throw out more baserunners. Don't take my word for it, listen to this guy, who is actually a living, breathing Reds fan. It's true. They didn't all die after Pete Rose retired. Anyhow, I dropped Ramon Hern. I call him Ramon Hern. If he can't finish the season with my team, I don't have to finish his name.

C: Nick Hundley: Meet my replacement for Chris Iaintinthemajors. He is your poor man's A.J. Pierzynski, who is himself a very poor man's Joe Mauer. So, by the transitive property...actually, let's just stop. Hundley sucks. But at least he's hitting over .200. Yes, that is all it takes to stick as a catcher on the mighty Sleestak. He will be dropped as soon as Iannetta is called back unless one of the son-of-a-bitch owners in my league get him first. I am looking at you, Duff.

C: John Buck: The catcher with a porn star's name and Ramon Hernandez's worthy replacement. I mean, what's not to like? Chicks dig the long ball. And when Greg Maddux said chicks, what he meant was fantasy owners. If you look closely at the video below, you will detect an adam's apple where one should not be. The secret to Buck's success? He has always been streaky but has always been in a platoon--with the aforeslandered Miguel Olivo in fact--now he has the ABs to himself in Toronto and is primed for a career year. Which for John Buck means .250/20 HRs/80 RBI/70 Runs.

1B: Mark Teixeira: This guy took the month off, vacationing with the Joshes: Beckett and Hamilton (more on them later). I hear he got lots of tail and brief case of the crabs. Credit the Yankees' medical staff for having a supply of lindane and lye on hand to help him through his affliction. Of course, with ARod on the squad, the team's physicians were well prepared. Now that April is over, Tex has decided to get back to earning his $22.5 M. Not bad for five months work. Teixeira spooked me bad enough I considered moving him, despite my awareness that he never hits in April. He could still end up a trade chip, if I can land a top pitcher in return. As bad as my hitting is, my pitching is probably worse.

2B: Aaron Hill: Loved Hill last year. He hit 36 home runs to lead all second basemen and cost me a 23rd round pick. Yes, I was a genius. Last season. I made Hill a 1-year keeper (costing only a 20th round pick) and he has rewarded me with an early season hamstring injury and a .190 average through May 10. Basically, the choice for my final keeper spot came dowm to him or Ubaldo Jimenez (48.1 IP, 6-1, 49 Ks, 0.93 ERA, 0.99 WHIP) Did I mention I was a genius last season?

2B/OF: Eric Young Jr.: The first player I have owned on a fantasy whose father I also owned. Fuck, I am old. Eric the Younger is supposed to be a radical speedster with 267 steals over the past four-plus minor league seasons. He has received spotty playing time since being called up to the bigs and is being blocked at second base by Clint Barmes, who is hitting .226 and, really, why would anyone question that decision. Young could be sent packing to Colorado Springs as soon as this week. I hate the Rockies.

2B/3B: Ian Stewart: He has been one of the few bright spots in my infield, hitting .290/.930/6 HRs. I especially like his eligibility at second base. Should Aaron Hill remain in the shitter, at least I have some power I can wield at second. Sadly, I my overall crap performance has forced me to throw Stewart out there in a few trade offers. There have been no takers. Despite the fact he is putting up numbers, he is a relative unknown. A limited track record and a poor batting average last season have contributed to depress his value. I figure by August he will have proven himself enough for me to work him in a deal. I also figure by August my team will be hopelessly out of contention. I love fantasy baseball.

1B/3B: Chris Davis (N/A): Nicknamed Crash, Davis is now plying his trade in the minor leagues. Hitting .188 with a stud prospect (Justin Smoak) waiting in the wings will do that to you, especially if your manager is as erratic as Ron Washington. Davis is still on my team despite the demotion. Yup, he is in the second year of a three-year keeper contract. So, not only is he taking a roster spot and contributing no stats this season, there is a good chance he will do the same next year. Maybe I wasn't a genius last season.  I did try to wiggle out of this keeper obligation with an appeal to the league that I would drop Davis until he was rostered by a major league team, at which point I would have to pick him back up. Seemed reasonable to me. The guys didn't go for it. Pricks.

SS/3B: Miguel Tejada: I wanted Troy Tulowitzki here; I have a weakness for Rockies (despite hating them). After losing him to Sunny in the first round of the draft, I targeted Jose Reyes in the fourth round. Naturally, Sunny took Reyes as well. This caused me to lose concentration--and by lose concentration I mean scream, "You fucking cocksucker, Sunny! He was mine! I hope you freeze your balls off in New Hampshire with all the other libertarian pricks in the granite state!" I took Curtis Granderson, who I hate, in the fourth. And for shortstop I settled for former great, former roid user, Miguel Tejada. At least he'll hit .300 I figured. He's hitting .284.

CI (1B): Ryan Howard: A lock for 40+ home runs and 120+ RBI with a potentially crappy batting average. So far, he has been pedestrian but then Howard always starts slow. His career pre-All-Star OPS is .871. Post-All-Star is 1.041. I am not worried about Ryan Howard. When he and Tex hit their stride, I should jump in batting average, OPS, homers, runs and RBI. Please make it soon.

MI (2B/SS): Asdrubal Cabrera: The fantasy experts seem to like this guy. He is regularly ranked in the top 10 at shortstop but I haven't seen it this year. Ass-Dribble has been carrying a hollow .292 batting average with no power and no speed. The fact that he doesn't walk (seven walks and .339 OBP) and no one is hitting well behind him in Cleveland has limited his runs. So long as this remains the same, I far prefer Tejada at short.

MI (2B/SS): Ian Desmond: A rookie I really liked for his speed/power potential. He didn't hit well on my team and I dropped him to add Ted Lilly from the disabled list at the end of April. Since then he was added by Straight No Chaser and has hit .318 with two home runs in May. I just punched myself in the groin.

I am depressed. I will run through the outfielders and utility players next.

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