The Scoop

By Dalton Del Don

The Cliff Lee train kept on chugging Wednesday with another gem, only this time coming in New York against the Yankees. There’s simply no stopping Lee, who now sports a ridiculous 39:2 K:BB ratio. Entering 2008, Lee had allowed 1.27 homers per nine innings. He’s surrendered just one long ball through 44.2 innings this season.

He’ll never help in batting average, but Mike Cameron is consistently one of the more underrated 20/20 threats in baseball. He’s not going to have the best season of his career at age 35, but remember his numbers from the past two years were suppressed by Petco Park, and the top of Milwaukee’s lineup is an excellent place to bat.

I’m going to go on record and state the Spurs will still win their series against the Hornets.

The pride of Carmel, California, Xavier Nady is off to a blistering start this season, batting .349 with five home runs. His 34 RBI leads the National League. He’s always been somewhat of an underachiever after being taken in the second round of the 2000 draft, so a career-season looks to be in store. However, Nady’s obviously not this good, has a .402 BABIP and has clubbed 75 percent of his homers throughout his career before the All-Star break. He’s someone you should be shopping.

Francisco Rodriguez’s 10:9 K:BB ratio is ugly, and his huge drop in strikeout rate is concerning for the future, but he’s still somehow on pace to finish with 63 saves this season.

After Tuesday’s near no-hitter, let me reiterate, trade Gavin Floyd. If all of your league members remain skeptical, I’d still think a 2.50 ERA and 0.96 WHIP would look good in a packaged deal. No one has been luckier in 2008 than Floyd, who boasts a 4.3 K/9 IP mark, a 1.06:1 K:BB ratio, a 4.08 BB/9 IP line, a 0.66 G/F ratio and a .147 BABIP that leads major league baseball.

Coldplay came correct with their new single. Can’t wait for the new album. No joke.

Only Dusty Baker would leave a 24-year-old pitcher in to throw 118 pitches in a 9-0 game. In life, I’ve found it’s often a good idea to learn from past mistakes. Edinson Volquez may very well lead the majors in both walks and strikeouts this season. Speaking of Cincinnati, tough to have a better fantasy game than Joey Votto’s three homers and a steal Wednesday.

How many setbacks can Mark Mulder possibly have?

I really like Sidney Ponson this year. After three starts, he has a 1.33 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and a 2.75:1 K:BB ratio. He’s in the best shape of his career and should get good run support from Texas’ lineup. He’s flashing a highly impressive 2.13 groundball to flyball rate and has really improved pitching out of the stretch, stranding a remarkable 87.5 percent of baserunners. Additionally, he’s gone six consecutive months without being arrested. OK, I’ll stop now.

One thing I wanted to mention was that you can’t just assume a pitcher’s BABIP will return to the norm, as that stat is also largely a reflection of team defense. If you really want to get specific, you should compare pitchers’ BABIPs among teammates.

Considering that I have both Conor Jackson and Shane Victorino in LABR, watching them violently collide Wednesday night, which ended with Jackson lying motionless on the ground, was no fun. Get well soon CoJack!

Emmitt Smith is a gift that keeps on giving. Check out this recent quote he made in regards to the Cowboys trading for Pacman Jones:  “You can be with the guy and in his ear 24 hours a day, but at the end of the day you can’t be there the whole time.” Without a doubt, he’s easily my favorite analyst in any sport.

Despite a 4.74 ERA, Jose Valverde is on pace to finish with 19 wins and 33 saves. I’m not sure he’ll keep that pace in both categories, but 25 saves are within reach. In all seriousness, over his last 11.2 innings, he’s allowed zero runs with a 14:3 K:BB ratio. Valverde’s still not exactly the safest closer around, but this is someone with a staggering 11.4 K/9 IP mark throughout his career.

Fausto Carmona is having one of the more fascinating seasons in memory. His 2.95 ERA and 3-1 record are rock solid, but his WHIP is 1.79, he’s not striking anyone out, and he’s walked at least four batters in all of his seven starts but one. His 4.05 groundball to flyball rate is by far the best in baseball, and he doesn’t have a lucky BABIP (.287) either. Still, his 7.03 BB/9 IP mark is easily the worst in the league, and he’s looked nothing like the pitcher he was last season. All those free passes are going to catch up to him eventually.

18 Responses to “The Scoop”

  1. Dreamweapon says:

    Ponson in the best shape of his career….hmm, to paraphrase C. Montgomery Burns, isn’t that rather like being the prettiest girl at a Radcliffe mixer?

  2. RotoScoop says:

    I hope everyone realizes I was joking in the Ponson comment. Can’t imagine anyone not.

  3. Donald Trump says:

    that is funny.
    anyway, what do you make of cliff lee? Would you possibly trade for him right now? Where would you rank him if you were to rank sp right now. Me personally, Im not buying, and am comfortable if I miss this boat.
    that new single is no joke.

  4. RotoScoop says:

    Part of me believes, the other part knows he’s due for a pretty sizeable regression. Look at his track record, and he wasn’t even all that good in spring training. Lee almost didn’t even have a spot in the rotation – he won it by default pretty much. Still, that K:BB rate is ridiculous. I’d honestly have to have him in my top 25 SPs right now. And I somehow don’t own him in any of my leagues.

  5. Dreamweapon says:

    I know you gave up on him a month ago, but don’t look now: D-Cab is racking up quite a string of quality starts. I just picked him up out of FA in my dynasty, it looks like he has the Yanks/Red Sox a couple of times each over a coming stretch here. If he holds it together against them, well, there might be something here.

  6. RotoScoop says:

    I agree. I’ve flip-flopped more on Cabrera than probably any other player in sports, but I actually picked him up in a deep keeper league last week. He simply has to be kept monitored. I’m all for the dynasty league addition. Odds are still strongly stacked against him remaining consistent with control, but if he does turn the corner, the upside is pretty huge.

  7. The Jewru says:

    I am watching my boy Cole Hamels dominate the feeble Giants lineup. The ballpark is so quiet and empty that I actually heard a fan fart through my TV. Sorry DDD

  8. RotoScoop says:

    Brutal jinx job there Jewru. Shocked to see those runs scored tho.

  9. The Jewru says:

    I was thinking the same thing. I thought Rollins should have been charged with an error.

  10. RotoScoop says:

    I’m telling you, scorekeepers refuse to give errors these days.

  11. randy says:

    hi, in my keeper league iam thinking of trading eric beddard, because i think seattle sucks and i just have a feeling something aint right with him for and i think your going to think iam nuts sabathia, or billingsley or snell , iam leaning to thelast 2 do you think iam nuts or is there someone else you can think of——-thanks randy

  12. RotoScoop says:

    I don’t think it’s that insane since it’s a keeper league. If you are set on dealing him, I’d do it for Billingsley. Amazing K rate, bunch of young hitters on LA, great division/park to pitch in. I could see him winning the Cy in 2 years.

    I would not do this deal for Snell.

    I’d do it for Lincecum too.

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  14. Dreamweapon says:

    He’s a real brain-buster: in a battle of two shitty, barely rosterable corner infield bats, whom would you prefer: Andy LaRoche or Eric Hinske?

    I look at LaRoche’s post-April career trends and think this is a no-brainer, but then I look at Hinske’s .923 OPS and apparent full-time job in a much better lineup, and begin to get ideas….

  15. RotoScoop says:

    Joel – e-mail me at seven3d@aol.com

  16. RotoScoop says:

    Dreamweapon – I assume you meant ADAM, not Andy. It’s a tough call for the reasons you mentioned, but I’d probably give Hinske the slight edge. He used to be a big prospect and is even running. He can be an asset vs. righties. It’s close tho.

  17. Dreamweapon says:

    Oh yeah, Adam, that’s what I meant–I get those two mixed up for whatever reason. I’m about of the same opinion….so close. That jagoff LaRoche just had to go and launch one in the early game today to make me agonize a bit more.

  18. RotoScoop says:

    Ya the more I think about it, I may even swing toward Adam. Since April is out of the way, he might be slightly safer – longer track record and he does have decent power. It’s very close. Don’t love the fact Hinske often bats 8th.

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