Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Steals and Saves ...

These are perhaps the two most frustrating categories in fantasy baseball ... at least for me. In the Comcast SportsNet fantasy league (one of the three I belong to), I drafted Carl Crawford, Jimmy Rollins and Bobby Abreu with 3 of my first 4 picks. I took Lance Berkman second ... so it's been a rough go. Anyway, drafting for speed early cost me in the power stats later on.

Not too long after, I took Mariano Rivera, who got off to rough start this season. His rough start contributed to a dreadful start for my pitching staff. I've yet to recover.

Thankfully I've managed to hold my own in two other leagues, but bringing up the rear in my office league is a downright embarassment. So as you look ahead to potential mid-season drafts and/or eye future transactions, I'd recommend being reserved when chasing down steals and saves. Of course, you can still go after a Jose Reyes or Grady Sizemore, but often guys with high stolen base totals are just too one-dimensional to invest a lot in. Guys like Julio Lugo and Chone Figgins can swipe a ton of bags, but kill you in power and average, etc ...

In terms of saves, the closer position is one that's coveted but also risky. B.J. Ryan is done for the season, Salomon Torres has lost his spot with the Pirates in favor of Matt Capps (and is now on the DL as well), while the revolving door in Houston has brought Brad Lidge back into his original role. Add to that the struggles of guys like Chris Ray and the injury risks of guys like Eric Gagne, and it's easy to see how finding a consistent source of saves can be a fickle business.

Well, I've been all over the waiver wires in my leagues, and I hope these guys can help you out if you're in need of a quick fix:



STEALS

Reggie Willits
.311 AVG, 30 R, 15 SB
A nice little player. He's starting to get noticed and is proving to be asset - even in deeper mixed leagues. Unfortunately, Garret Anderson's return to the Angels' lineup with cost Willits some at-bats

Nick Punto
.230 AVG, 24 R, 12 SB
The average is ugly, but at least he's part of a good offense, he walks a decent amount, and he's eligible for 3 infield positions. Utility players can be very valuable, though Punto may be a better option in A.L. Only leagues



SAVES

Antonio Alfonseca
3-1, 5 Saves, 3.62 ERA. 1.46 WHIP
Six fingers on each hand, six toes on each foot and 5 saves in 6 chances this season. What else could you ask for? He's at least got the job until Brett Myers returns, or until the Phillies can confirm that Tom Gordon is still alive.

PS I know the picture of Alfonseca is an old one, but I wanted you to see his extra appendage


Alan Embree
0-0, 7 Saves, 3.18 ERA, 1.27 WHIP
Embree is on his 9th different team since coming up since 1992. His 7 saves are already a career-high. You never know about Huston Street's long-term health, so Embree could be a viable option for a while.

Brad Lidge
2-1, 0 Saves, 2.35 ERA, 1.24 WHIP
Phil Garner will finally go back to Lidge in the 9th inning of ballgames. Hopefully he doesn't run into Albert Pujols in the near future. I figured the righty would have been dealt by now, but the Astros have re-discovered their faith in him. And if Lidge saves a couple of games right out of the gates, you will too.

*Stats through June 11th


AA

1 comment:

Phil said...

You're absolutely right my friend. I had to drop Solomon Torres a few weeks ago when the Pirates decided to can him in the save role. I'm in the upper part of the pack with stolen bases but I tend to overlook that category to focus on power.