The trade deadline has come and gone and it was actually very exciting with lots of action leading up to the deadline and coming in right at the deadline itself. I’ve already examined the Scott Kazmir trade to the Astros, Johnny Cueto heading to the Royals, Cole Hamels to the Rangers, Troy Tulowitzki and Jose Reyes trading places, the 3-team/13-player mega deal between the Dodgers/Braves/Marlins, and a slew of other trades, so follow the links for analysis on those. Now I will take a look at all the other impact trade deadline deals and what they mean for the teams involved and for fantasy purposes. Continue reading
Previously discussed were the trades that sent Scott Kazmir to the Astros and Johnny Cueto to the Royals. But there have been some other notable trades that have taken place since then, so here’s a look at what impact they may have on fantasy.
Mets receive Tyler Clippard. A’s receive Casey Meisner.
Analysis and Fantasy Fallout: With Clippard heading to the Mets, he is going to be put into a setup role to primarily pitch in the 8th inning in front of Jeurys Familia. As the closer for the A’s, Clippard had a decent 2.79 ERA and 1.19 WHIP while saving 17 of 21 games, but he has been experiencing diminished velocity over the last three seasons. That probably has some correlation to his strikeout rate being at an all-time low under 9.00 K/9, and his walk rate is at an all-time high at an ugly 4.76 BB/9. He has a SIERA of 4.46 and xFIP of 5.30, so he hasn’t exactly been very sharp. However, he should slot in just fine ahead of Familia, and this helps out the Mets a lot considering that Jenrry Mejia just got slapped with a 162 game suspension after testing positive for PED’s yet again, just weeks after coming back from his initial suspension (what a doofus).
Clippard clearly loses value since he will not be closing games anymore. However, Familia has not been as sharp lately. So should Familia falter, Clippard presumably would step in to close games for the Mets. For the A’s, they lost their closer and will now likely turn to Edward Mujica for 9th inning work. Mujica had a good run as the closer for the Cardinals in 2013 with an increased usage in his splitter, but since then he has been unspectacular with the Red Sox and now the A’s. This season he has a 4.13 ERA and 1.16 WHIP and he’s not much of a strikeout artist with just 6.35 K/9. Mujica hasn’t done much to inspire a lot of confidence in him, and it’s interesting that he’s shied away from his splitter more and more since his breakout 2013 season (56.6% in 2013, 40.7% in 2015), and that could feasibly be the reason for a subpar performance. He should be owned in fantasy leagues for the save potential, but just know that he could lose the job to poor performance at any time. In that case, Fernando Rodriguez and possibly even Drew Pomeranz could be given a look. Continue reading
Although probably not readily apparent, I intended for the title of this article to be read in the high-pitched tone of voice that was a big part of 90’s pop culture brought to us by everyone’s favorite television nerd, Steve Urkel of Family Matters, as one of his catch phrases was “Did I do thaaaaat?” Go ahead, try it, recite the article title in your best Steve Urkel voice. See, sounds very similar to the Urkel-ism, doesn’t it? But anyway, yes we are here to discuss Lucas Duda of the New York Mets and he has been doing a lot of “thaaaaat” this season, but what exactly is “thaaaaat?” Well, that is what I will show you. But first let me also give you another 90’s sitcom reference and show you how Duda compares to Chandler Bing in Friends when it comes to being the subject of photographs (if you know your Friends then you’ll already know what I am talking about): Duda can be found here, courtesy of Chet Gresham of The Fake Baseball, and Chandler can be found here. Such brilliance.
The left-handed swinging Duda had a breakout season in 2014 when he showed off his muscle as he finished the season with a .253 AVG, 30 HR, 92 RBI, 74 R, and 3 SB. The power was impressive and although he did show a penchant to strikeout at 22.6%, he also displayed a good ability to take a walk at an 11.6% clip. However, there was a big flaw in his game and it was the inability to hit left-handed pitching.
In 2015, Duda owns an overall line (through May 21) of a .302 AVG with 5 HR, 19 RBI, 23 R, and 0 SB, and he is showing a slightly improved strikeout rate (20.7%) and the same type of plate discipline skills to take a walk (10.9%). But what has gotten into “The Dude?” Hitting for such a high AVG is uncharacteristic of him, but the reason is that he is just destroying left-handed pitching. On Thursday versus the Cardinals, he hit 2 HR and both of them came off first pitch offerings from left-handed pitchers. One was versus starter Jaime Garcia and the other was off left-handed specialist Randy Choate. Let’s compare last year’s splits against lefties to this year’s.
2014 vs. left-handed pitching: .180/.264/.252 with 2 HR, 10 RBI, 6 R, 1 SB, and 41 K/11 BB in 111 AB
2015 vs. left-handed pitching (through May 21): .409/.480/.727 with 4 HR, 7 RBI, 6 R, 0 SB, and 10 K/4 BB in 40 AB Continue reading
***I apologize for the delay in these notes from Sunday 5/17/15. I had jury duty all day Monday! But I am catching up.
Noah Syndergaard of the New York Mets is commonly known as “Thor” amongst his teammates and soon the whole baseball community will be calling him that and will understand the power he wields. After watching him pitch on Sunday versus the Brewers, I see why he has that moniker, with his big frame and flowing locks of blond hair. He even has “Thor” embroidered on his glove so obviously it is something that he embraces, but who wouldn’t? Whether it’s the Norse mythological god or the Marvel superhero character that he is being likened to (though essentially it is the same thing since the Marvel character is based off Norse mythology), it must be nice to be seen in the same light as someone so mighty.
Syndergaard shut down the Brewers on Sunday, going 6 IP allowing 1 ER on on 3 H and 1 BB while logging 5 K on his way to his first Major League victory. After his first Major League start last week versus the Cubs at Wrigley Field, I said that his mediocre start went as I would have expected out of him in his debut, as he had some command and control issues but was able to miss some bats to get the strikeouts. Well, before his second Major League start with the Brewers, I told a friend that this matchup was much more favorable for Syndergaard and I expected him to come out and show an ace type of line. The reasons that I told my friend that I believed this were because this was his first start in front of his home crowd that he would be pumped up for and he already got the big league jitters out at Chicago, and that the Brewers are not a patient hitting team as they ranked third to last in walk rate, which would help Syndergaard have better results in the end. I watched this whole start and I loved what I saw from Syndergaard. I know that I said after his first start that he’s not a must own in redraft leagues, but I am going to say that he is very close to a must own (if not one) after seeing him with my own eyes. I don’t think that he will be as dominant as Matt Harvey was in his first full season, as he will likely experience some growing pains and some control issues every now and again, but in the right matchups he is going to be a very good play.
So with Syndergaard, the Mets have Thor who wields a mighty hammer (his devastating curveball) that only he has the strength and power of picking up. Mets’ incumbent ace who has returned from Tommy John surgery, Matt Harvey, has earned the nickname of “The Dark Knight” for being the hero that the borough of Queens in New York City had been waiting for to come and save them to instill hope within the Mets organization that they could rise again soon. So what other superheroes do the mets have on their pitching staff? Jacob deGrom is a really skinny guy as in his 6’4″ frame he only weights 180 lbs. and he looks like he is going to break whenever he is up to bat. He also was a relative unknown before his 2014 breakout rookie campaign. So for these reasons I will deem him as Steve Rogers, a frail young man who was enhanced to perfection to become Captain America. Jon Niese can be Hawkeye just for the mere fact that he is a lefty and the Jeremy Renner portrayal of Hawkeye in The Avengers films is also left-handed (though in the Marvel comics he was right-handed). And Bartolo Colon can be Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy for reasons that may or may not have to do with the attraction (or lack thereof) of each of their faces.
Let’s go ahead now and recap the Sunday fun day action.