When someone's fantasy team really gets off to a horrible start and needs helps in both hitting & pitching, that owner says to himself ... should I punt saves? In an NL only league, you would be punting saves only if you had one of the better closers. The theory is trade the closer to help your hitting or pitching or if you can swing a deal where you help both. I don't like that idea in mid May. The reason being is by punting saves now you're pretty much given up any chance of winning your league. Now I know teams off to a horrible start say to themselves... win my league, what are you crazy? It can happen. In my league where we are a 12 team NL only 5 X 5 league the owner who finished in 3rd place last year (87.5 Points) was buried come Memorial Day weekend (was a little under 50 points) last year. But he made a leap of faith trade with a rebuilding team in mid June and his team caught fire. In fact had the season been a couple of days longer he probably would have finished second.
The problem with a punting saves or any one category is if you do the math to win your league you almost have to finish in the top 2 of every other single category. However if we're half way through the season and you look at the categories and say to yourself I am not catching anyone else and I will lose only a point or two by trading saves or steals and the players I am gaining will help me in these other categories where I can gain as much as 10 points for instance, that's a different story. However you should be looking at that until July 1st at the earliest. Having said all that, if you you have an elite closer and you want to roll the dice a little and trade the elite closer for a good closer and pick up a solid bat or starting pitcher then depending upon the players that's a risk that might make sense. But that's not punting, that's rolling the dice. You only punt when it's 4th down, right now we are in mid May so it's only 2nd down.
- Drew Storen who was the other 1st round pick for the Nats last year dominated the 1st 6 weeks in the minors. Storen is up to help the Nats come the 7th & 8th innings. While many believe Storen is the Nats closer of the future (most likely is) that may not come until at least the 2012 season. Obviously Matt Capps is doing tremendous and as long as he is doing well he will be the Nats closer unless Washington collapses and come July 31st some team offers the Nats a top prospect for Capps. I wouldn't count on all those things happening. Storen can be a real good middle reliever for you that helps you with ERA, Ratio & K's. He is a kid so he might be up and down.
- Word is Stephen Strasburg will be up in early June for the Nats once his Super 2 status is gone.
- Bad break for Andre Ethier owners as he heads to the DL for 15 days with a broken finger. Could be a little bit more than 15 days hopefully not more than 3 weeks.
- AJ Hinch has come out and said their bullpen roles are up for grabs including the closer. The only guy pitching decent in the D-Backs pen is Heilman and it's not like a 3.78 ERA will set the world on fire. There is save opportunities here but I have no clue who to tell you to go after. Most of the guys are either very young so it's hard to say how good they are (the young guys are all doing poorly) or the guys are very mediocre at best like Heilman or Saul Rivera. To me Qualls is the only decent guy and he is off to an horrific start. Too bad Luke Grgerson or Mike Adams are not on the D- Backs if you own those players
- Eric Hinske is finally going to get a chance to play a lot. Hinske is off to a great start for the Braves and with so many guys struggling Bobby Cox is finally going to give Hinske regular at bats unless it's against a tough lefty.
- When Rafael Furcal comes back do not expect a lot of stolen bases. He is coming back from a hamstring injury and like I said before in previous articles Furcal played a full season last year and only had 12 steals. Furcal was probably protecting his body.
- Jose Reyes & Jason Bay owners be patient (I know it's not easy). Jason Bay is ridiculously streaky player & remember Jose Reyes missed 2/3 of last season.
- Mike Leake is the real deal. I am not saying he is the next Doc Halladay but Leake is a pitcher. Leake moves the ball around, throws a number of pitches and quite simply knows how to pitch. He is a pitcher, not a thrower. I expect Mike Leake to be a solid starter in the NL for years to come.
- John Ely the young starter for the Dodgers has started out really well for the Dodgers. I don't know if he is this good as Baseball America did not have Ely as one of the Dodgers top 10 prospects in January.
NL King - C.Lizza