In a keeper league when your team is struggling come Memorial Day Weekend be it AL or NL only or mixed league, you have to ask the big question and that is, Should I Rebuild? Rebuilding is not what any owner hopes for going into a season. An owner hopes for an exciting season with an opportunity to compete in your league for the championship crown. However, only one team can finish first and only few teams can finish in the money. So how do we answer the big question? Let's look at the following points....
- Does the current makeup of my team have a chance to finish in the money? When looking at your team, why is it struggling? Is it big players who are healthy off to slow starts? Is it I had a number of injuries and a bunch of lost games because of it? When looking at my team how do I rate my team in terms of my offense, my starting pitchers and my relievers? You need to be honest with these questions in determining what you have. If you feel on paper you have a good squad that's just off to a slow start then you shouldn't even think about rebuilding and see where your team is at come 4th of July weekend.
- Do I have potential keeper buys to improve my chances this year? What can be a great jump start to your team is swinging a trade with another owner who is rebuilding to improve your team now. Do you have keeper players where you can swing such a trade? A friend of mine in my league last season was struggling come Memorial Day Weekend but he felt he had a good squad just off to a terrible start. So even though he was low in the standings rebuilding was not on his mind. My friend had two potential keepers in Andrew McCutchen (was at $1 but in the minors at the time) and Edison Volzquez (was signed for $6 for the following season and this was before he got hurt). So my friend Mark contacted one of the guys whose team was really bad and he had no choice but to rebuild. My friend Mark traded Volzquez & McCutchen to the rebuilding team for Lance Berkman, Rich Harden (then with the Cubs) and Brian Wilson. It was a trade that was a leap of faith believing in his team that his players would catch fire and his team would get better as well with these guys added to his squad. That's exactly what happened. By the way, my friend Mark finished in 3rd place last year missing 2nd place by an eyelash. So if one has a good team but off to a slow start and you believe in it then see if there is a team or teams in your league that are ready to rebuild and see if you can find a trade to make your team better now.
- Do I have key injuries? Big question that must be answered is am I without some of my big guns right now. Is it a short term thing or a long term? By the time these players come off the DL will it be to late?
- The Percentage Categories, where am I? I wrote article on the percentage categories in the winter on how hard it is to come back when you buried in the standings in these categories. It's not so much what place you are in the standings in these categories as it's in relation to how far behind you are everyone else. For instance going into todays action my team has only 3 points out of possible 12 in the ERA category. Sounds bad right? Well, it's not where I want to be but my team ERA is at 4.27, however, there are 6 teams ahead of me that are between 3.86 & 4.26. So with just some good work by my pitchers I can gain a ton of points. But if we look at the team who is behind me at 2 points his team ERA is at 5.21 almost a full run behind me. So in essence that team has to do incredible work just to get to point where he can be in a strong position to move up. That is the kind of thing you have to look at when comes to batting average, ERA & Ratio. Average is the easiest of the three to move up because you have 14 hitters versus 9 pitchers and a hitter can play everyday where as a starting pitcher pitches once every 5 days and a good reliever pitches 3 or 4 innings a week.
- Realistically if all goes right what is the highest I can finish? After analyzing these points you have to ask yourself what is the best case scenario? Can I still win my league or are we talking about a back end money slot. Also if were to put odds on it what are my chances? Are they 1 in 2 or 1 in 3 or 1 in 10 etc? Am I better off giving up that chance and putting together the pieces so next year I have a championship team? That's something you have to answer.
- If I have just about zero chance than I must rebuild. If after reviewing everything you come to the conclusion I have a better chance at winning the lottery than my fantasy baseball league then you must rebuild. My next article will help you game plan that.
Next Article.....Part 2 - The Ultimate Game Plan For Rebuilding
NL King - C.Lizza