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:
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:
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.