Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
April 4, 2007
BASEBALL: Roto 2007, Part I

Apologies for the lack of original content here lately - life has been intervening more than usual. For those of you who are interested, I annually review my Rotisserie draft here on the site. Let's start with the main roto team, drafted March 31 - AL league, traditional roto rules (4x4, 12 teams, $260 for 23 slots, 10 reserves) - for what it's worth, last year's team finished fourth (in the money), though only because two teams dropped out of the money for failing to meet the 1000 innings requirement:

CIvan Rodriguez14
CJohn Buck3
1BMark Teixeira30
3BHank Blalock15
CIBJ Upton11
2BJose Lopez9
SSBen Zobrist7
MIWillie Bloomquist3
OFScott Podsednik15
OFDavid DeJesus15
OFShannon Stewart7
OFNick Markakis16
OFJay Payton2
DHWily Mo Pena6
PHuston Street26
PFelix Hernandez20
PKenny Rogers2
PJohn Lackey22
PJustin Verlander18
PCliff Lee3
PJoe Blanton7
PKiko Calero2
PZack Grienke7

My pitching looks very solid, my offense less so - while there aren't that many hitters I really overpaid for by more than a buck or two, the collective result of loading up on singles hitters is bound to bite me. Ideally, you don't just want playing time, you want guys who are capable of 20 HR and 70 RBI if they play, and I'm short on those - I'm too heavily invested now in Markakis. If Podsednik and Upton are healthy and hitting a month from now I will almost certainly try to deal Podsednik. Teixeira was one guy I wanted badly (he's on all three of my teams, as is Felix Hernandez; others I drafted on two teams include Lackey, Street, Lopez, Alex Gordon, Barry Bonds, Brad Hawpe, Ryan Freel, Takashi Saito, Matt Cain, and Michael Young). This is the first time I've drafted Pudge, but my older brother got Piazza for $17, which was a much better deal; I'm happier with Buck, who if he can hold off Jason LaRue should give me some good bargain HR and RBI. Stewart isn't that good anymore but should benefit from the injuries to Dan Johnson and Mark Kotsay. Payton at $2 was a bargain I couldn't pass up despite his injuries. I may regret using my last free cash on Pena while Andy Marte and Marcus Thames were still on the board as the last potential HR threats, but Pena is the first option for the Sox if a number of people get hurt (Drew, Manny, Ortiz, maybe even Crisp).

I love my pitching. I vowed not to blow $30 on a closer this year, but had to get Street at $26; he should have a fine year as long as the A's can score enough runs to be competitive. I don't love Verlander but he should be solid: he's healthy, throws 100 mph, throws strikes and pitches for a winning team. How bad can he be? Blanton I'm not a fan of at all, but he will give me innings that might otherwise go to some John Koronka type with a 6+ ERA. Rogers is a crapshoot but a cheap one. There was confusion at the draft (including by me) as to the severity of Lee's injury, but for $3 if he's back by mid-May he should be a steal. Grienke I'm very high on based on his good spring (last I checked he had a K/BB ratio of something like 21/2), and in his situation he was one guy whose spring stats bore close watching - I unloaded my last $7 on him. His teammate Gil Meche went for $5, proving that Roto owners are a flintier bunch of skeptics than MLB owners.

Now, the reserves:

1Roberto HernandezRP
2Brian AndersonOF
3Julio MateoRP
4Justin Huber1B
5David RiskeRP
6Victor ZambranoRP
7Tom MastnyRP
8Erubiel DurazoDH
9Todd Walker2B
10Jason DuboisOF

Walker could be a steal if he slides into a Scott Hatteberg-type role as Oakland's 1B, whereas they cut Durazo and I will soon too. I was able to swallow Zambrano, who had an excellent spring, since he was buried in the reserve draft. Unusually, I didn't snag a backup catcher in the reserve draft, but instead loaded up on setup men (Riske is already looking like a guy who will get significant saves), plus Anderson as a warm body to slot in for Payton.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:30 AM | Baseball 2007 | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

That's a killer pitching staff.

Posted by: Mike at April 4, 2007 10:32 AM

I like your team except for the lack of power. I would let Huber go. He is not going to be a factor this year. If Billy Butler is still available I would grab him. He may be in KC before long. Greinke will be a steal if his head is screwed on straight ( so far it looks like it is). You may be pleasantly suprised by Buck too.

Posted by: maddirishman at April 4, 2007 11:30 AM

Butler got snapped up even before we got to the reserve draft; someone paid money for him.

Posted by: The Crank at April 4, 2007 11:42 AM

I think you probably over-spent on pitching. But you shouuld have results to show for it.

Posted by: Jerry at April 4, 2007 11:45 AM
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