Tag:Max Scherzer
Posted on: September 11, 2008 10:47 am

Video notes for Pitching Planner

-- The Angels have clinched and they are slowing their starters down now, can we trust them in crunch time?
-- It is like this with all teams this time of year? Some teams have six-man rotations (Angels, Pirates), some have four-man rotations (Mets). It is a case-by-case basis.
-- Another contender made a switch with their No. 5 man, Max Scherzer is in for Yusmerio Petit.
-- And about closers ... Chris Carpenter is now closing games for the Cardinals, do we trust him at this point?

Must-start two-start pitcher
Mike Pelfrey NYM
(09/15) @ WAS John Lannan
(09/20) @ ATL Jorge Campillo
87 percent owned 67 percent starting

Two-start pitcher to sit
Andy Pettitte NYY
(09/16) vs. CHW Gavin Floyd 
(09/21) vs. BAL Brian Bass
91 percent owned 61 percent starting

Two-start sleepers
Doug Davis ARI
(09/15) vs. SF Brad Hennessey
(09/20) @ COL Aaron Cook
34 percent owned 18 percent starting

Chris Volstad FLA
(09/16) vs. HOU Brian Moehler
(09/21) vs. PHI Brett Myers
43 percent owned 19 percent starting

Posted on: May 5, 2008 6:02 pm

Putting my money where my mouth is

When doing the Stockwatch this week, I realized how easy it might be to merely pick the hot players and most-added ones in that weekly feature.

Well, that does you little good. You are being told what you already know. So, I decided to pick some players who are struggling but I expect them to still be fine. Here are a few only semi-bold predictions this week:

  1. Max Scherzer will be mildly disappointing in his first start, but he and the D-Backs are still talented enough to win anytime out.
  2. Khalil Greene will get hot. He is too good to be held down for long.
  3. Nick Adenhart will shake off his awful debut and pitch lights-out this week.
  4. Bronson Arroyo is going for a checkup and might be a DL candidate. Homer Bailey could get the call for him later this week.
  5. The only real bold prediction: Esteban Loaiza will give way to Clayton Kershaw by next week.
  6. You bench a stud like Alfonso Soriano and he goes off in a big way.
  7. Eric Gagne loses his closer's role by the weekend.
  8. Mike Pelfrey and the command of his 97 mph stuff improves in the coming weeks.
  9. Jered Weaver goes on a tear soon.
  10. Howie Kendrick comes off the DL hot... just a guess.

Feel free to abuse me or applaud me (blech!) if my bold predictions go up in smoke.


Posted on: May 1, 2008 3:21 pm

An extension of the Prospect Report

I am biased, but the most important piece of content to consume every week -- outside of the pitching planner and daily roster trends and most-viewed players, of course  -- is the Prospect Report every Thursday.

If you followed that story, you would have had Max Scherzer on your roster right now and feeling real cool. This week we hype him and Adenhart as impact starting pitcher call-ups on top contenders, but you might want to know a few names I think have to be stashed weeks in advance.

The up arrows tend to outline them, but here are some names you will want to be more proactive on. We will call it the On the Verge we used to have in the report a year ago:

  1. Clayton Kershaw -- Was once a lead of our Prospect Report in Week 1, but he could be an even more impactful Scherzer-like arrival before the end of the month. Watch Esteban Loaiza closely.
  2. Homer Bailey and Jay Bruce -- Last week's lede. They are a package deal. Bailey comes and Bruce follows. Watch Matt Belisle and Corey Patterson very closely.
  3. Chris Volstad -- They should have gone to him instead of Burke Badenhop, but it's Volstad elite prospect status that actually held him back in that instance. They really want to be sure Volstad is ready. He looks like he could be.
  4. Adam Miller -- Started slow due to injury, but if he can get ready before Jake Westbrook returns in June, he could Jeremy Sowers Aaron Laffey. Jeremy Sowers is used as an adjective for stealing his rotation spot.
  5. Dallas McPherson -- 10 homers. Hello! He doesn't belong in Triple-A.
  6. Carlos Gonzalez -- A's rotation is doing great but that offense is punchless. Gonzalez is an answer for that.
  7. Chris Davis -- Masher is ready to assume the Rangers' everyday first baseman's role. Chris Shelton was called up in that role now, but Shelton will be out come June if he is not worthy. Davis has all-Fantasy league power potential -- albeit a tough position to crack in most Fantasy lineups. He could retain 3B eligibility in some leagues.
  8. Matt LaPorta -- Corner outfielder for a team that doesn't necessarily need one, but he is a masher from th 2007 draft who could be too good to ignore. Plus, he is on some kind of role right now. Stash in all deeper NL-only leagues where you have available reserve spots.
  9. Kyle Davies -- He is working on Brett Tomko's day and probably should have been in the Royals rotation out of spring training anyway.
  10. Radhames Liz -- Garrett Olson got the first look, but Liz has been hot after a slow start and should be watched closely in deeper AL-only formats for his potential to replace Steve Trachsel.

Good luck with your prospect fliers and remember the week-plus before June is a huge time for prospect movement.


Posted on: April 30, 2008 10:50 pm
Edited on: April 30, 2008 10:57 pm

Pitching Planner video notes

Here are my items for discussion on the Pitching Planner video for Week 6 ...

-- John Smoltz on DL, moving to bullpen
-- Others affected: ouch for Rafael Soriano, hello Jo-Jo Reyes, Chuck James and perhaps Mike Hampton
-- Phil Hughes to the DL ... who replaces him? NOT JOBA! (Kei Igawa, Darrell Rasner?)
-- Two words, Max Scherzer
-- Cliff Lee and Joe Saunders are smoking hot
-- Scott Kazmir back this weekend (Hammel to bullpen?)
-- John Lackey coming back a little slower
-- Mark Mulder disappointing on rehab

Two-starter to go with
Max Scherzer ARI
(05/05) vs. PHI Jamie Moyer 
(05/10) @ CHC Jason Marquis 
65 percent owned 30 percent starting

Two-starter to sit
Oliver Perez NYM
(05/05) @ LA Chad Billingsley 
(05/11) vs. CIN Aaron Harang 
94 percent owned 76 percent starting

Two-start sleepers
Tim Wakefield BOS
(05/06) @ DET Nate Robertson 
(05/11) @ MIN Nick Blackburn 
43 percent owned 27 percent starting

Jeff Suppan MIL 
(05/06) @ FLA Scott Olsen 
(05/11) vs. STL Braden Looper 
29 percent owned 16 percent started

Ubaldo Jimenez COL
(05/05) vs. STL Joel Pineiro
(05/10) @ SD Greg Maddux 
39 percent owned 15 percent starting

Yeah, I know Suppan just got beat up.... but, I think he rebounds.


Posted on: April 30, 2008 11:05 am

Two words




Category: MLB
Posted on: April 28, 2008 12:49 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2008 1:00 pm

Salty on Salty

The most-owned minor leaguer from a week ago -- at least until Francisco Liriano was sent down -- got called up this weekend, Jarrod Saltalamacchia. I took the opportunity to pick him up in every league possible -- just in case he puts up another hot streak like a year ago.

Then, I went and told my other minions -- no, not like Scott E. White's 1-star posse -- but people who frequently IM me for a scoop. Sometimes I am not busy enough to clue them in.

So, I told this one fine lady to pick up Salty. She did immediately. And apparently had some buyer's remorse. Here is the IM convo Monday morning:

Said lady: salty is not going to play everyday?

Me: he played Saturday and not Sunday... but he is a catcher. Catchers get day games off after night games

Me: he is an elite talent on a rebuilding club, so I have to imagine he will play DH and some 1B. The Rangers 1Bs have (expletive deleted)

Said lady: cool

Me: I think he will play enough to make an impact at the catcher position

Me: You can sit him this week and track his at-bats, if you have a decent C to start

Then, in one of the leagues I am in, I reaquired red-hot Ryan Doumit to start over my recently added Salty pick-up. Doumit is an equally intriguing young catching slugger, currently hot and getting more at-bats right now. Also, Doumit's Pirates have seven games this week. Bonus!

If you are in a league like mine -- 14-team Head-to-Head with one catcher starter and six reserve slots -- do this with me. Own Doumit and Salty. Start Doumit this week and sit on Salty's potential.

You could get the best of both worlds and might even have a dealable piece by the end of the week. I painfully cut Chris Snyder to do all this. I still like the 27-year-old Snyder, though, but hopefully he doesn't get away from me on the waiver wire.

Because catchers tend to hit like pitchers, I like skipping that position on Draft Day and rotating it a lot over the course of a season.


PS... because I always have to put my money where my mouth (word) is, I picked up Max Scherzer in all my leagues. You know, just in case. He is starting for me in NL-only 12-team Rotisserie and a mixed league 12-team Rotisserie as a reliever, and riding the pine in my other leagues. In the bullpen now, he could develop into an option to close over erratic Brandon Lyon -- or a candidate to start for arguably the best team in baseball. That is a potentially huge flier to take now for some second-half rewards if you can afford to wait.

PPS... I am reading The 33-year-old Rookie, by Chris Coste now. I am still in the spring training chapter. It is not a novella of prose, but it is an easy and quick read. Once I finish it, we will get him on a podcast.

Posted on: April 15, 2008 5:47 pm
Edited on: April 15, 2008 5:49 pm

Another prospect item

I said pick up Max Scherzer because of his hot start in the minors and his top contender in Arizona.

Now it is time to give you a hitter to track. Just look at the homer leaderboard on MinorLeagueBaseball.com. One Brandon Wood is at the top with six.

Oh, Wood is also playing shortstop. And Erick Aybar already has 4 errors. We don't need to remind you Maicer Izturis deserves to be a utility man.

When the Angels dealt Orlando Cabrera, they did it with the thought Izturis and Aybar could keep the position warm until Wood was ready. Well, he looks like it in the power department at least.

He will still strikeout a ton, but that power at that position is noteworthy, especially if you need a sleeper in deeper AL-only leagues.

A few notes:

  1. Watch Mike Pelfrey tonight vs. the Nats. The Mets need him to be full-go in their rotation -- Pedro Martinez (hamsting) and Orlando Hernandez (foot) likely won't return until June at this point. Pelfrey's mid-90s stuff could be awesome if he can command it. On a top contender, there is big-time sleeper potential here.
  2. Scherzer.
  3. Dallas McPherson has four homers in nine Triple-A games, including one in each of his first three games. He is also listed as an OF on MiLB.com. Interesting.
  4. Rafael Betancourt is finally a closer. Own him in all leagues until he proves otherwise unworthy.
  5. The Braves have three potential closers on the DL with Mike Gonzalez, Rafael Soriano and now Peter Moylan. Manny Acosta is the likely fill-in, but I am also putting in a claim on Will Ohman in a deeper NL-only Rotisserie league.


Posted on: April 13, 2008 4:38 pm

Fantasy Baseball Max-effort plan

If you are the utmost aggressive in your deeper Fantasy leagues, I have a sleeper for you.

Max Scherzer. He has mid-90s stuff and the red-hot D-Backs look like as good of a contender as anyone this season, especially with the maturation of their young talent.

Scherzer is next in line. If Randy Johnson (back) doesn't make it through Monday's return from the DL, Scherzer could be the man to get the call.

Scherzer is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA through two Triple-A starts. He struck out 11 on Saturday in seven shutout innings and fanned seven in five shutout innings his first time out. He has struck out 18 in 12 innings thus far with a microscopic .122 batting-average against. He stands to be my next focus of my Prospect Report on Thursday/Friday later this week.

I am putting my money where my mouth/idea is, putting in a FAAB claim for Scherzer in my NL-only Rotisserie analysts league. Piggy-backing my $1 claim on Mets No. 5 starter Nelson Figueroa. Figueroa had a nice spring and anyone getting starts for the Mets should be owned in NL-only formats.

Which brings up another topic: If you are burning a waiver priority on a claim, you would be wise to think a step ahead and pick up multiple players behind the first one. The idea is you might not have a shot at the next guy you want if you fall to the back of the waiver-priority line. Piggy-back your first pickup with a flier you might think you will need to take next.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com