2015 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

Fantasy Baseball Final: May 8th, 2015

Bryce Harper

 If you read only one thing…..

Remember when everyone was worried about the Washington Nationals and how they’ve gotten off to a slow start? After their win tonight they have returned to the .500 mark (15-15) and it’s not exactly like the NL East is bastion of tremendous playoff contenders. The Mets have gotten off to a great start, but few expect that to last. Of course, we’ll get to the individual heroes in the next section, but suffice it to say, they are yet another example of how it pays to be patient at the beginning of the season.

Of course, there is always a yen to that raging yang. In this case, it is the Cleveland Indians. With a starting staff that boasted the reigning Cy Young Award winner and a few more electric young arms, everyone had them as their sexy pick to become this year’s Kansas City Royals. We might need to put a rain check on that prognostication. They are 10-18 overall and 1-9 in the first game of a series. That’s the kind of formula that spells disaster.

Just as we expected….

As we said above, the Nationals are hot are now in second place in the NL East. They’ve gone 8-2 in their last ten and Bryce Harper has gone into full on beast mode. He hit two more home runs on Friday night to give him ten on the season. His .284 average may not seem to be a huge deal, but his 25 RBI are a seemingly ridiculous sum in this day and age. Adding 23 runs is another huge deal. This is the kind of performance everyone expected from him a couple of seasons ago. I suppose it’s better late than never.

Meanwhile, on the mound, Aaron Sanchez improved to 3-2 with seven shutout innings against the Red Sox. His ERA is a respectable 3.62 now as he surrendered a combined seven hits and walks in the seven innings (that’s a 1.00 WHIP for those counting at home). Cole Hamels turned in a strong start as well. He’s playing on a bad team and trade rumors are constantly swirling, so you get the idea that things won’t really click for him until he is finally dealt. His 2-3 record and 3.68 ERA might not be what Hamels owners were looking for, but he’s well worth waiting for.

But we didn’t see this coming….

Everyone knew Kolten Wong was good. After all, he put up great numbers at almost every minor league stop, but he struggled last season, so not everyone knew what to expect. He is officially no longer struggling. He’s now hitting .340 with three hits and RBI on Friday night. The counting numbers may not be spectacular, but his 15 RBI would translate into over 80 before the end of the season.

On the mound, Mike Pelfrey might be the last proof that pitching has become the dominant half of the game. This isn’t to demean Mike Pelfrey. I couldn’t get rookie ball hitters out much less big leaguers, but Pelfrey isn’t going to make anyone forget Bert Blyleven either. Still, Pelfrey is now 3-0 with a 2.62 ERA. We can repeat that mantra through Memorial Day, but it is early. Still, we are talking about a pitcher that was last good in 2010.

The Rest of the Details

Save Chances

  • Trevor Rosenthal (converted)
  • Jonathan Papelbon (converted)
  • Andrew Miller (converted)

Lineup Moves

  • The Mets have promoted another of their top young pitching prospects. Noah Syndergaard as Dillon Gee goes on the disabled list. He was the other half of the haul the Mets got when they traded R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays. In one of the true anomalies, he is ranked as the 11th best prospect in baseball by all three major publications. He might be worth an add if your pitching staff is thin.

Injuries

  • Gee’s injury is said not to be serious, but you get the idea that if Syndergaard shows he is ready then he will keep the spot in the rotation.
  • Alex Cobb will have Tommy John surgery. That will keep him out of action for the next nine months to one year.
  • Jason Vargas has been disabled in Kansas City. There is no damage to his UCL, so he hopes to miss the minimum number of days (perhaps three starts).

Rumors and Transactions

Jarrod Saltalamacchia has found a new home in Arizona. He signed a minor league deal today and with their lack of catching depth he might end up making an appearance later in the month. He has always brought tantalizing offense to the table, but his fielding has been questioned recently and teams are more cognizant of the impact of fielding.

Former closer Carlos Marmol is back after signing a minor league deal with the Indians. It remains to be seen if Marmol will ever be a factor in the late innings again. He always put up huge strikeout numbers, but he was also putting up huge walk numbers in recent years. Supposedly, he was clocked in the mid-90s recently, so maybe he can be a factor again.

The Angels acquired Chad Smith from the Athletics. He has only 13+ major league innings, but the Angels are hoping he can provide some depth at the end of their pen. I wouldn’t expect him to be a factor unless you are playing in a 24 team AL only league. Still, you never know what can happen between now and September.

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