Tagged: Mets

Bloomberg Sports’ Ballpark Figures: Brett Anderson, Andrew Bailey, Jhoulys Chacin

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses three playeres to pick up this week for your fantasy baseball team.


Brett Anderson, SP, Athletics

In his 2012 debut, Anderson had a strong performance with 7 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 6 K, and the win. This 24 year-old southpaw had a good 2010 as well, going 7-6 with a 2.80 ERA and 1.19 WHIP


Andrew Bailey, RP, Red Sox


In only six appearances this season, Bailey has gone 4.1 IP, 1 SV, 2.08 ERA, 1.15 WHIP. In his first three years, he has convered 75 of 84 save opportunities. In his career he has a 2.07 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP.


Jhoulys Chacin, SP, Rockies


In his first start since May 1, Chacin went 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K against the Mets. In his second start on Sunday, he went 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 K against the Cubs. He had 11 wins last year with a 3.62 ERA and .231 OPP AVG


Players to watch for


Troy Tulowitzki and Lucas Duda are both returning for their respective teams, so look for them to possibly make an impact if you pick them up for your fantasy team.


For more fantasy insight, visit BloombergSports.com

Ballpark Figures Fantasy Panic: Perez, Wright, Darvish, Axford

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses fantasy players on the decline.

Chris Perez, RP, Indians

He has allowed nine runs, five of which were earned, seven hits, and three walks in 1.1 innings in his past two games, leading to back-to-back blown saves. Indians set-up man Vinnie Pestano has not surrendered a run in the past 19 innings pitched, giving him a 1.29 ERA and .94 WHIP on the season. He could be the next closer for the team.

David Wright, 3B, Mets

After hitting .351 in the first half of the season, he has batted .231 since the All-Star break. He had 47 strikeouts in the first half, but already has 29 in the 24 games since the break. His fantasy value is getting lower, but still could bat .300 on the season.

Yu Darvish, SP, Rangers

In his last seven starts, he is 2-4 with a 6.75 ERA. He has 58 strikeouts in 45.1 IP during that stretch, but also has issued 25 walks. The hot Texas summer may be affecting his play in the second half.

John Axford, RP, Brewers

Since June 7, Axford has a 7.03 ERA in 25 games. Prior to this, he had a 3.22 ERA. He is not only giving up walks, but is also getting hit hard. Axford picked up the save on Monday, but it was Jim Henderson who got the save Tuesday night. Henderson throws heat, and has dominated as a closer in the minors this year. Look to him to be a possible new closing option for the Brewers.

For more fantasy insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

White Sox SP Philip Humber Embraces Fantasy Dream Week


Twitter: @RobShawSports


One of the top stories for the White Sox last season was the breakout season by former first round pick Philip Humber.  Selected by the Mets with the third pick of the 2004 draft, Humber dealt with injuries and never met expectations when he was traded for Johan Santana in 2008.  The trade did not exactly work out for the Twins, as Humber moved to the White Sox and aside from him the only other key contributor is their former centerfielder Carlos Gomez, who proved to be a part-time player. 


Last season, Humber finally got a crack at sticking in the Big Leagues.  He made 26 starts and 28 appearances.  Though his record was just 9-9, more impressive was his 3.75 ERA and 1.18 WHIP despite pitching in a hitter’s ballpark. What separates Humber from most pitchers is his devastating curveball.  In fact, he ranked fourth in Major League Baseball last season with a .159 opposing average against his curveball.


If there is an area for Humber to improve, it’s his stamina.  In his first full season in the Big Leagues, Humber experienced a major drop off after the fifth inning, as his ERA spiked from 2.96 to 6.34.  At that point, his control fell a bit and his opposing average spiked to .305.  Of course, the increased workload may explain the trend.   


Humber has a dream week in fantasy baseball, as he opens with a start against an overzealous Orioles offense that lacks much plate discipline.  He aced that test, allowing just one run to score in 5.1 innings of work, while fanning 7 batters.  Next, he hurls in Seattle’s cavernous Safeco Field, against a mediocre Mariners offense. 


Fantasy managers should plug Humber for both starts this week.  For more fantasy baseball insight visit BloombergSports.com.


The Bloomberg Sports Fantasy Factors Part 1



Twitter: @RobShawSports


When it comes to evaluating player performance and creating projections for the upcoming season, Bloomberg Sports takes several factors into account.  Here’s a breakdown of four of the nine factors that allow Bloomberg Sports to offer the most accurate projections in fantasy sports while attracting more than 20 Major League teams to turn to the company for scouting and advanced analytical solutions.


The first factor to consider is ballpark.  Over the last five years it seems like we have shifted back to the big ballparks that favor pitchers.  That is certainly the case for Citi Field, PETCO Park, and Target Field.  As a result, just about any Mets, Padres, or Twins hurler performs better at home than on the road.


On the other hand, there are power alleys in Yankee Stadium, Coors Field, and most definitely the Ballpark in Arlington.  Fantasy managers want to invest in the pitchers from the large cavernous and the hitters in the bandboxes.


On that note, be wary of pitchers who thrived in pitcher’s parks such as Mat Latos and Heath Bell who now join more hitter-friendly confines and definitely invest in hitters such as Michael Cuddyer making the move from Target Field to Coors this season.


The next fantasy factor to keep in mind is durability.  Fantasy managers expecting full seasons from Jose Reyes, Nelson Cruz, and Chipper Jones are playing against the odds.  There are durable hitters out there such as Yadier Molina and Roy Halladay.  Their durability is a fantasy asset since you know what to expect from them on a day-to-day basis.


Next, fantasy managers should consider the age of their players.  Bloomberg Sports has found 26-31 to be the prime age for baseball players.  A younger player should be approaching his peak, while older players are typically on the decline.  It should not shock you that Ichiro, Derek Jeter, and Alex Rodriguez are slowing down with age.


Finally, fantasy managers should consider the impact of a long-term deal.  It is very rare that the player delivers shortly after signing such a deal.  While we hate to question motivation, we have noticed that stars such as Jason Bay, John Lackey, Carl Crawford, and Jayson Werth were not nearly as productive after signing long-term deals compared to the season prior to the negotiation.  On that note, Jose Reyes and Albert Pujols may not be as safe as you thought.


For all nine Fantasy Factors visit BloombergSports.com.


Aces on the Move: CJ Wilson, Heath Bell, and Joe Nathan



Twitter: @RobShawSports


CJ Wilson may have been the top arm on the market this off-season, but the pressure is certainly not as intense on the hurler as it is on Albert Pujols.  The reason is very simple, while Pujols is the best hitter in the world Wilson isn’t even the best arm on the Angels.


Wilson’s struggles in the postseason may have left a bad taste in the mouth of Rangers fans, but the hurler is actually in a much better situation now that he flees the hitter-friendly Ballpark at Arlington.  Putting the 2011 playoffs aside, the year as whole brough great improvement for Wilson.  His strikeouts went up while his walks went down.


Another factor for Wilson this season will be his run support.  Typically leaving the Rangers, who are loaded with sluggers, will result in a decline of run support.  However, that is not the case since Pujols will also join the Angels who already have some former first basemen who know something about providing big bats.


The Angels will be fun to watch for many reasons, and after falling to Pujols and the Cardinals in the postseason last season, Wilson should enjoy the shot at winning with Pujols as his teammate manning first base.


It made perfect sense for the Miami Marlins to sign Heath Bell.  The veteran hurler has three straight seasons with 40-plus saves and while the Marlins have had some success in their bullpen in recent years, it has not been as dominant as what the Padres enjoyed.  There is just one problem with bringing in Bell and expecting everything to run smoothly.  There are signs that the 34-year-old may be losing his effectiveness.


A late bloomer with the Mets, Bell broke out in San Diego, where he had the benefit of little media attention and one of the most favorable ballparks for pitchers.  In fact his 2.88 ERA on the road last season was not as dominant as the 2.15 ERA he posted at PETCO Park.


Bell also regressed as a strikeout hurler.  His 11 K/9 dropped to 7 K/9, as his whiff rate fell by 9%.  This is not just a matter of Bell losing velocity, in fact, the main issue has been a loss of effectiveness in his curveball.  In 2010, the opposition hit just .141 against that pitch, and last season it spiked two-fold to .282.  The out-pitch is not recording as many outs.


Bell should enjoy plenty of save opportunities since the Marlins did improve their starting rotation and offense, but there should be less heralded hurlers in fantasy leagues who can end up posting better numbers this season.


At first glance, last year was a disaster for long-time Twins closer Joe Nathan.  His ERA doubled, his strikeouts declined, and his saves were cut drastically.  Of course, Nathan was also returning to the mound after missing all of the 2010 with a major arm injury.


On that note, Nathan’s statistics should be measured differently.  Rather than focus on the full season, we should pay greater attention to the end of the season when he finally shed all of his rust.  From June 25th on, Nathan was his usual dominant self.  His WHIP was a dominant 0.90 from that point forward, which suggests that even in his late 30s, Nathan still possesses the ability to dominate.


Nathan now joins the Texas Rangers, and while he will throw the ball in a much more hitter-friendly ballpark, he joins a better club that will likely result in more save opportunities.  The ERA may take a slight uptick, but overall he will enjoy more saves and have more value assuming he can stay healthy.  It also allows some of the younger hurlers to take on larger roles in the starting rotation.

Steve Phillips On A-Rod, Jose Reyes, Madoff, and More

Steve Phillips

A-Rod Almost Signed with the Mets?

Sitting down with Steve Phillips gave us the opportunity to re-look at a major “What If?” for the New York Mets.

Imagine the 2011 Mets infield of Wright, A-Rod, and Reyes.  After expressing interest to play for the Mets in 2000, A Rod’s then-agent Scott Boras and Mets GM Steve Phillips discussed the possibility.  Before the numbers were even reached, Boras demanded these perks, amongst others, for A-Rod:          

  1. A tent in Spring Training for A-Rod Apparel and Merchandise.
  2. A personal suite in the stadium.
  3. A private office for his marketing representative to work during the day.
  4. Permission to use the team logo.

Phillips felt uncomfortable giving A-Rod such special attention.  He memorably, and regrettably, gave A-Rod the “24-plus-1” label that succinctly defined the divide that A-Rod’s contract could bring to the Mets and between other superstars such as Mike Piazza.

What is still debated, however, is as soon as Phillips heard about A-Rod’s demands, he pulled out faster than a snowman melts in July. The real “What if?” revolves around putting the contract on the table, and telling A-Rod to take it or leave it. What if Phillips had at least offered a 180 million dollar deal, with none of the perks? Would A-Rod have taken a pay and perk cut to play for a winning team that he loved ever since he was a child? We’ll never know for sure.

A-Rod signed with Texas for the memorable contract of 10 years at 252 million.  Why not $250 million? Because then it wouldn’t be exactly double the previous high contract in sports, a titled previously owned by Kevin Garnett at $126 million.

Jose Reyes

Under Steve Phillips, Jose Reyes was drafted and began what appears to be the start of a prolific career with the Mets. As Steve Phillips says, he is the “most exciting player in baseball.” The question is, will the Mets try and resign Reyes now before he hits free-agency, will they trade him to try and get something out of him, or do they take the two draft picks?

Steve Phillips says that the two draft picks wouldn’t cut it for Reyes if he was still the Mets GM, as he believes he could get a lot more than that through a mid-season trade. In fact, he says that the sooner the Mets trade him, the better, because it will eliminate any shards of hope Mets fans have for a playoff run sooner rather than later.

When asked if he would personally re-sign Jose Reyes as the GM, Phillips says he absolutely would sign him, but he would protect the contract by addressing Reyes’s history of frequent injuries by having incentives for Reyes to stay on the field, measured by statistics such as plate appearances and games played.  

Just yesterday, we discovered that Jose Reyes is not willing to negotiate a contract with the Mets during the season, making it seem all the more likely that Jose Reyes will not be a Met next season, and the Mets will end up with the two draft picks.

This is especially a real blow to the Mets because if they were able to negotiate with Reyes mid-season, they could get a better idea if they actually have a chance of signing him and of trading him, but now that’s all in the dark. The Mets will have to wait until the seasons over, which works against them because they simply can’t compete with teams like the Yankees on the free agent market while in the financial condition that they’ve been in since the Madoff scandal.

Players will sometimes choose to play with a team they love at a pay cut of a couple of millions of dollars, but likely not the size pay-cut he would take by signing with the Mets.

On the Wilpon Madoff Relationship

Phillips a long-time Mets General Manager (1997-2003), touched briefly on the much-talked about Mets ownership. In the news recently, Mets owner Fred Wilpon has come under fire due to his connection to Bernie Madoff.

Phillips recalls that the Madoff name was not unfamiliar in the organization, stating that he “heard Bernie Madoff’s name every week.” The former GM went on to explain that Madoff served as an “investment vehicle” in the organization, to defer payment on player contracts and serve other financial functions for the Mets. 

When asked about Fred Wilpon’s involvement, Phillips stated that he would honestly be surprised that Wilpon “smelled something fishy.” Wilpon is fighting to keep the team head on, bringing in minority share holders such as hedge fund manager David Einhorn. Of this Phillips noted that Fred would like to keep the organization in the family, citing his son, COO, Jeff Wilpon.

Overall, Phillips said that he thinks Wilpon will keep ownership of the team, citing Fred as a “do the next right thing type of guy.” Steve Phillips can be heard on SIRIUS XM Radio on the Mad Dog and Fantasy Sports Network.

Bloomberg Sports’ Robert Shaw sits down to talk with Steve Phillips about life, baseball and the state of the New York Metropolitans.

Phillips a long-time Mets General Manager (1997-2003), touched briefly on the much-talked about Mets ownership. In the news recently, Mets owner Fred Wilpon has come under fire due to his connection to Bernie Madoff.

Phillips recalls that the Madoff name was not unfamiliar in the organization, stating that he “heard Bernie Madoff’s name every week.” The former GM went on to explain that Madoff served as an “investment vehicle” in the organization, to defer payment on player contracts and serve other financial functions for the Mets. 

When asked about Fred Wilpon’s involvement, Phillips stated that he would honestly be surprised that Wilpon “smelled something fishy.” Wilpon is fighting to keep the team head on, bringing in minority share holders such as hedge fund manager David Einhorn. Of this Phillips noted that Fred would like to keep the organization in the family, citing his son, COO, Jeff Wilpon.

Overall, Phillips said that he thinks Wilpon will keep ownership of the team, citing Fred as a “do the next right thing type of guy.”

Steve Phillips can be heard on SIRIUS XM Radio on the Mad Dog and Fantasy Sports Network.

Thinking Ahead: The Trade Deadline and Bullpens

by Eno Sarris // 

The MLB trade deadline isn’t for another six weeks. That doesn’t mean that it won’t make waves in fantasy baseball sooner than that. There are a couple players in particular that are very likely to move. With these players, it makes sense for both teams to make the trade sooner rather than later in order to get the most value, whether it be in prospects or production.

The Padres are nine games out and at the bottom of the National League West division. Their closer, Heath Bell, is a one of the elite bullpen arms in baseball. He’s also a free agent at the end of the year and is already the highest-paid player on a cash-strapped team. Former GM Jim Bowden recently said that Bell is the player most likely to be traded, and with good reason it seems.

Behind Bell are a couple arms worth owning if he’s going to leave town. Most likely, Mike Adams is next in line. The righty is working on his fourth straight year with more than a strikeout per inning. He also has great control. That mix has produced a 1.71 ERA over that time span — he’s really good. There is one caveat with the 32-year-old, however: he’s only under team control for one more year. Luke Gregerson, on the other hand, is under control for three more years and is also excellent. He’s managed a strikeout per inning over the first three years of his career, and even if his ERA isn’t as pristine as Adams’ (3.14), he gets good ground balls (48.1% career) and has one of the best sliders in the game. If only he was healthy — a strained oblique has felled him at the wrong moment. Then again, Gregerson uses his slider almost twice as much as his fastball, and some of my recent research has shown that heavy slider usage can lead to injury. Adams is the safer pick overall.

In New York, the Mets are eight games back. Even if they only have two teams in front of them, one of them has an historic rotation and the other is stacked with young talent. Add in some much-publicized monetary issues, and it just doesn’t seem like the Mets need Francisco Rodriguez to stick around. The sticking point is a $17.5 million vesting option for next year, and a limited no-trade that allows him to block a trade to ten mystery teams. But if the Mets can find a team that’s not on the list and has an established closer (in order to keep his option from vesting), there’s an immediate match, and the team is highly motivated to make such a deal.

Behind Rodriguez, there isn’t an easy solution. Well, there is, but it isn’t very forward-looking. 38-year-old reclamation project Jason Isringhausen is the obvious set-up man and the team leader in holds. Some fans have hopes for Bobby Parnell as the closer of the future, but the flame-thrower has terrible control. No other reliever has stepped to the fore, although hometown hero Pedro Beato has an interesting pitching mix. He still doesn’t have the strikeout punch of a closer right now, though. Even with Isringhausen’s mediocre strikeout and walk rates, and advanced age, he’s probably the dude once K-Rod leaves town.

The trade deadline comes July 31st. By thinking ahead, you might just own two newly minted closers by then.

For the best fantasy baseball analysis and insight please visit BloombergSports.com

(Vid) Behind the Numbers: All Things New York Baseball

Behind the Numbers Season: All Things New York Baseball

Don’t use Bloomberg Sports Front Office 11 yet? Buy a copy and use the code Sienna for a discount.

Hosts: Robert Shaw and Wayne Parillo

Watch the entire episode, or use the links below to jump to the exact point you want:

The Yankees Episode
Guest: Tom Trudeau
Bloomberg Sports baseball analyst and former ESPN worker. Follow him at @Tom_Trudeau

The Mets Episode
Guest: Eno Sarris
Writer for fangraphs.com, Amazin’ Avenue, and Bloomberg Sports. Follow him at @EnoSarris

For the best fantasy baseball analysis and insight please visit BloombergSports.com

Follow us on twitter at:

More Behind the Numbers is available at the BloombergSports Youtube channel

MLB Season in Review: New York Mets Hitting

By Eno Sarris //

Biggest Surprise

Angel Pagan finally stayed healthy and showed what he was capable of for a full
season, racking up 11 homers, 69 RBI, 77 runs scored, 35 steals and a .289 average with a week left to play. At 29, he’s probably peaking. But another full season of playing time could easily produce similar numbers.

Biggest Bust

Pagan will most likely take over center field from one of the year’s biggest busts, Carlos Beltran. Knee surgery may have stolen much of his athleticism – he
hasn’t looked good this year after his late return. He is, at best, a
late (very late) sleeper in next year’s drafts. Then again, more was
expected of Jason Bay than Beltran, so he gets the title of biggest Mets bust – a much sought after trophy in some circles. Because of how long
isolated power numbers take to become reliable, though, Bay could be useful in
2011. A late-round pick could produce a rebound in homers in year two with the Mets.

2011 Keeper Alert

This team has the obvious keepers in mixed leagues – David Wright and Jose Reyes are near the top of their respective careers and positions and make fine keepers. The big question is what will happen with Ike Davis.
He needs to either add more power or make more contact – middling power
with a middling batting average doesn’t make for a fantasy superstar, especially not at first base.
Looking at his minor league numbers, the bet here is that he does add
the power, but doesn’t ever show a plus batting average because of his
strikeout rate and uppercut swing.

2011 Regression Warning

enough, most of this team either hit at about their true talent levels
or is on their way up. Perhaps because of injury risk, Pagan is the
only one who is likely to regress, but he still makes a fine
deep-league keeper.

For more on Mets’ hitters, check out Bloomberg Sports’ Fantasy Tools.

MLB Season in Review: New York Mets Pitching

By Eno Sarris // 

Biggest Surprise

The biggest positive surprise in a season full of mostly negative revelations for the New York Metropolitans has been R.A. Dickey. Dickey, the subject of a recent – and fun – poster contest, has leveraged his multi-velocity knuckleball
to a 2.92 ERA and 11 wins so far. Dickey’s 5.36 K/9 IP rate raise red
flags about his future. But he’s also walking just over 2 batters per 9
IP this season, with a very high 55% groundball rate. If he’s truly harnessed his knuckleball, Dickey could become a trickier, more successful version of Joel Pineiro or Jake Westbrook. In other words, someone well worth rostering next season, even as he enters his late 30s.


Biggest Bust

On the other side of the coin would have to be Johan Santana‘s
season. Maybe we should have seen it coming – he’s now had
season-ending surgeries two years running, and his strikeout and walk
rates have been in a nose-dive since he left Minnesota. But the
declining lefty put up a below-average strikeout rate this year, and
has a recovery period that might push late into 2011.

2011 Keeper Alert

Francisco Rodriguez
makes for a paragraph all by himself. K-Rod reversed the decline in his
strikeout rates and showed the best control of his career. He generally
seemed to be a resurgent, elite closer for much of the year. But then
he punched his girlfriend’s father and now makes for a fascinating and
risky keeper selection going into 2011. It’s usually a bad idea to keep
a closer anyway because of the turnover at the position. See if you can
grab him cheap at the draft table instead.

Regression Warning

If Santana, Rodriguez, Dickey and even Dillon Gee have their risks, there are no obvious keepers on this pitching staff. Mike Pelfrey
had a playable season, but he also showed the worst groundball rate of
his career and is a bit of a risk for regression with a poor strikeout
rate. Jon Niese might actually make the best keeper on the staff, but isn’t worth the effort in shallow mixed leagues.

Avoid Mets pitchers when picking keepers for 2011. Instead,
see if you can snag a couple late in your draft next season (Niese?
Dickey?), especially given their favorable home park.

For more on the Mets, check out Bloomberg Sports’ Fantasy Tools