Nick & James' Fantasy Island

In an effort to spread our wings, Nick Schaefer and James Fegan have decided to get together periodically to discuss issues in fantasy baseball. Or more specifically, what issue James is having with fantasy baseball. In today's episode, James interrupted Nick's Saturday afternoon with his girlfriend to scream in panic about him about losing his matchup with Chuck Garfien.

James: SITUATION: It was a busy week, and I fell out my routine of doing my fantasy lineups on my phone in the morning because one of my bosses started working the overnight shift this week.

When I checked this morning, I was still starting Martin Perez (TJ Surgery), Danny Salazar (sent down) and was wasting a roster spot on Osvaldo Arcia (sent down) and had failed to realize that Casey Janssen, who I had been carrying on the DL all year, was healthy again….ok, that probably is kind of easily solved.

But I’m still somehow only losing to Chuck Garfien’s team by 10 points! We can do this!

Nick: I am in two leagues myself, both weekly updating. I’ve been hit pretty heavily on pitching injuries in both. Amusingly, I also have Martin Perez and Danny Salazar in one of them.

James: Also, apparently Colby Rasmus went on the DL this week too. He had actually been pretty good for me. I feel compelled to add that my team’s name is Pat Mears for Fears.

Nick: That’s a good one. I have the same, non-joke name in one league every year as the names do not change. It’s extremely traditional, and the league is over 30-years old. My other I am ManBear Puig.

As far as the situation, depending on how deep your league is, it may be hard enough just to find an everyday regular let alone someone who has a job and can contribute. When someone gets injured or sent down, that simultaneously creates an opening for someone else and as soon as you broke the Salazar news to me my mind went to Trevor Bauer. Is that who they called up? And is he available in your league?

James: He got called up but I don’t see him. Danny Duffy is here, though. Also, if it fit, my name would never not be The Lillibridges of Madison County.

Nick: I need to get an invite into your Chicago Sports Celebrity League.

I’m in a rough position too, because the league with the older rules only allows two DL slots, and only 10 moves a year (total) for non-injury non-minor league replacements. I.E. if someone is terrible and healthy it’s going to be really hard to replace them.

One solution for me is going to be activating Sale. Salazar’s ceiling is still really high so he will probably clog up one of my reserve spots for quite some time.

James: I’m thinking of holding him if I can. But I need a starter unless the Blue Jays are going to get around to starting Marcus Stroman. Also, I don’t want Jason Kubel as a full-time starter. I barely like him as a platoon player.

Nick: I like Stroman a lot, but it still seems to be an open question as to whether he will enter the starting rotation. James Paxton should be coming off the DL soon, and while I don’t love him, at the very least he has some upside.

James: I have three catchers. I shouldn’t have three catchers. I drafted McCann. I scooped up Jason Castro because he was just there and I figured he’d turn around. Now I went looking for a hitter and John Jaso was just there, so I said what the hell and and and and I need to make a trade.

Nick: You should probably let everybody know yours is an AL-only league before everyone thinks you’re weird for leaping on John Jaso.

Do people in your league actually make trades? Some leagues it never happens.

James: Someone announced that some guys were on the block, but haven’t seen much beyond that.

Nick: I’m not even too clear on which of those three I’d trade. You don’t want to sell low on McCann. Castro you could argue the same to some extent, but it depends on how much people think last year was his true talent level, and perhaps if you don’t, you can sell to someone who does before he establishes himself as more 2014.

James: Of available outfielders, the one with the most points this year is Colin Cowgill

Nick: The name says it all.

James: I just think Colin Cowherd(sp?)

Nick: Our colleague.

The waiver wire options aren’t inspiring in the deeper league I’m in, and the solutions I would suggest to you are NL guys.

James: Well, choose between Zach Britton, Danny Duffy, Tommy Milone, Felix Doubront, Miguel Gonzalez. Yeah, I think that’s it.

Colby Lewis?

Nick: I actually think Colby Lewis is a pretty good option. The defense behind him will be good.

James: Why would Toronto call up Stroman and not start him? Wasn’t he starting in the minors?

Nick: He was. The plan could be to limit his workload as the season goes on and this is one way of doing it. There is also a school of thought that pitchers should get their first looks at the majors as relievers instead of starters. I think that’s what Earl Weaver used to like to do.

James: Sox have been very Earl Weaver recently. Offense totally reliant on three-run homers and such.

Nick: A lot of which guy to go with depends on your scoring. What’s more important - Ks or just overall run prevention? Because some of those guys are groundball types, Milone is going to find success through his home park, and Doubront can actually strike someone out from time to time. Also depends on whether walks hurt you in and of themselves, beyond the fact that they often lead to runs allowed.

James: Walks hurt, but everyone produces total points, so if you’re really good in one area, it works out. Previously I was in a league where we were judged for production every category.

We have one reliever slot. I was previously using Cody Allen while Janssen was hurt, but if Janssen is back and can add in saves in addition to being decent, I think I’ll drop Allen and give myself extra room for a starter.

Nick: Bauer is getting the start for Tuesday, by the way, per Rotoworld.

Additionally, some guys who are typically part-timers are going to be able to take advantage of increased playing time due to injuries. Like, Zobrist is on the DL for a bit, and I’m pretty sure Sean Rodriguez will play more than the scrub they called up to fill his roster spot.

James: I’m not super-confident in Rodriguez’s ability to not be terrible in full-time play. He seems more like a manager’s dream than a fantasy player’s. He’s like: Best-case scenario Leury Garcia. If Leury became Sean Rodriguez, that would be amazing...and still not someone I’d mind being traded away at any point.

Nick: Depending on your league’s scoring, sometimes the most valuable thing a guy can do is play a lot. A guy who hits leadoff might have 50-100 more PAs than someone who hits lower in the lineup or gets days off more frequently etc. etc. Helps a lot with counting stats. Depends also on how much hurting your rate stats is bad for you.

James: It’s not. I just need to gobble up points, so it might not be bad if he can play outfield. My infield is pretty set, what with Napoli, Cano, Boegarts and CONOR.

Nick: Again, league settings matter. Rodriguez has played 8 games in LF so far this season. Does that qualify? I get what you mean with Leury Garcia as a comparison, but it’s not perfect, because they’re both incomplete players who have positional versatility. Rodriguez’ asset is good power whereas Garcia’s is speed. Also, Garcia switch hits, and I’m pretty sure Rodriguez is much more of a lefty-masher...Then again it’s looking like Garcia may be a switch hitter in name only.

Logan Forsythe might also get more PAs in Zobrist’s absence.

James: These are not exciting options. These Rays space-fillers.

Nick: List me some outfielders that are free agents for you, if that’s the problem we’re trying to solve.

James: Well, not Sean Rodriguez anymore, since I just grabbed him and dropped Kubel.

Nick: I’m a genius. If it doesn’t work out, it’s all your fault, though.

Should I just abandon Zach McAllister entirely?

James: I would think you would have already, out of spite

Kelly Johnson plays every position imaginable, Good God.

Nick: The one league I’m in is 25-man rosters with no bench and 13-teams. I just added Gavin Floyd out of desperation last week. I think McAllister is a legit #4 starter who should have a regular job. If I release him at this point I may just have absorbed his worst start of his career and then not benefit from it at all. The damage is kind of done.

James: You were the one who said he was terrible last year. And mocking  RESPECTED SABER-BLOGGERS for their bullishness on him. That he’s on your roster is like...the reverse of my CONOR situation.

Nick: I don’t remember that at all. Are you sure you mean me? I was mocking RESPECTED SABER-BLOGGERS for saying that the only question for the 2013 Indians was whether they would win 90 games or 110 games.

James: You were bemoaning McAllister overwhelming the Sox with flat fastballs down the pipe.

Nick: Yeah, he didn’t even have to try. He was like, “ it is, idiots” and Viciedo was flailing away and was left shaking his fist like a cartoon.

The Rangers have to be a team where new pitching options are emerging just because literally their entire rotation outside of Yu Darvish is on the DL. They may have to shuffle through and discard failed options until they find something, much like the White Sox have done with their bullpen, for example, but one has to imagine the Rangers are going to do what they have to to stay in it.

James: I’m going to pick up Duffy because he starts tonight and I need a points injection. Bauer is not even listed as active on Yahoo yet, so I imagine I can wait to do that for a bit. The only other options I see here that start this weekend are Brad Peacock (vs. the Sox) and Matt Shoemaker.

I don’t know much about these two dudes, if you didn’t pick up on that.

Nick: Brad Peacock is a good example of why I am trying to transition into using K% instead of K/9. He has this lovely 9.2 K/9 ratio, but part of that is because he walks so many people and gives up so many hits that it comes from just facing more batters total. Like, yeah he’s getting his outs via the strikeout, but he’s not getting them any other way and he’s giving up 6 BB/9 and over a hit an inning.

James: I’m sure he’ll strike out many White Sox, but if walks people he might wind up giving up like...a 7-run HR to Abreu.

Nick: But then you wouldn’t even be upset!

James: I’d lose to Garfien. Who I’m pretty sure used a second-round pick on Abreu.

He’s a genius now.

Garfien has Flowers, Abreu, Beckham and Viciedo. Sale is on his DL and Danks is on his bench. He’s the White Sox. I’m playing the White Sox this week. He’s gotta be steamed I’m using CONOR against him.

Nick: Danks should be on his bench. He’s bad.

What do you think of Odor? And please don’t make any puns.

James: I thought most of the enthusiasm for his ability was coming from one Texas-based source.

Nick: I think he’s a dangerous fantasy commodity. Part of the reason to get excited for him is that he is so young for his level - and while that’s great for real life and makes him look better in the future, especially if he can play 2B. But I don’t expect him to hit that much in the absolute sense this year.

James: Garfien also has Scott Carroll.

This man’s love of the White Sox can never be questioned.

Nick: I’d love to take a crack at that league next year. I’ve only ever done mixed leagues.

Unfortunately, I have to get moving. Going to go watch Rangers-Canadiens. ‘

James: Fine, but I’m going to snatch up Logan Forsythe and Peacock for the weekend while you refuse to give me guidance.

Or maybe Kyle Blanks!

Nick: I hope Sean Rodriguez drags you kicking and screaming to the title. Especially if they use whatever fairy magic they did on James Loney and Casey Kotchman to teach them how to hit in a Rays jersey.

James: I looked to see if Jesse Chavez was available because he just dominated the White Sox...and Garfien had him.

I’m going to hold off on trying to grab a bat and put my three catchers on the block.

Nick: Yeah, that’s definitely where your surplus is. I wish you luck.

James: Apparently all these transactions cost a dollar each. I regret all of this now.


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