Results tagged ‘ Rob Shaw ’
Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw counts down the top five Canadian hitters who could help your fantasy team.
5) Russell Martin, C, Yankees
Russell Martin only had two hits in the Subway Series against the Mets, but the Yankees backstop made them count with two home runs. After belting 18 home runs a season ago, Martin is again offering some pop with eight home runs this season. On the other hand, his batting average continues to sink, as it is down to .208 after Martin hit just .237 last season. Regardless, the combination of power and plate discipline with fine defense makes Martin a key component of the Yankees success.
4) Justin Morneau, 1B, Twins
Twins fans have to be thrilled with what we’ve seen from Justin Morneau so far this season. After missing time and struggling due to a concussion and wrist issues, Morneau has blasted 11 home runs for a Twins offense desperate for power. He is still far from his peak form, as his average is down to .247, but we’ve seen enough progress to think that the 31-year-old veteran still has some nice production left in the tank.
3) Brett Lawrie, 3B, Blue Jays
The biggest Canadian prospect in quite some time, Brett Lawrie has struggled to meet expectations so far this season. Though his .275 average, 30 runs, and eight steals aren’t anything to complain about, his power has been lacking. Lawrie’s on-base percentage has suffered as well. The Blue Jays are trying to jumpstart Lawrie by placing him at the top of the lineup. It seemed to work on Sunday, as he blasted a home run and scored two runs.
2) Michael Saunders, OF, Mariners
The Mariners improvement this season comes from a few surprising sources including rising hitter Michael Saunders. The Mariners centerfielder has provided some pop with six home runs, and also some speed, as he already has a career-high nine stolen bases. Most importantly, Saunders is reaching base more often with a .272 batting clip that is significantly higher than his .216 career average. Though he still strikes out a bit too often, his .341 on-base percentage makes it much more tolerable.
1) Joey Votto, 1B, Reds
Joey Votto is making his case for a second NL MVP Award. On Tuesday he blasted his 11th home run of the season while driving in three RBI and increasing his batting average to .357. Despite the Reds impressive collection of sluggers including Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips batting behind him, the opposition is again opting to issue walks to Votto. His on-base percentage is near 50%, which in itself reflects the dominance of Votto this season. Forget calling Votto the best player in Canada, so far this year he is making a case to be the best in the world.
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Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses four low-cost hitters worth adding to your fantasy roster this week.
Todd Frazier, 3B, Reds
At first Todd Frazier looked a lot like an all-or-nothing guy. He has some pop, but his average has been low and he does not draw many walks. However, over the last few weeks he has enjoyed the chance to play everyday and have confidence that he will not be pulled. Ever since, Frazier has found a comfort zone, hitting both right-handers and southpaws alike.
After blasting five home runs last month, Frazier is hitting .296 in June and the strikeouts are in decline while the walks are increasing in frequency. The power is legitimate and his minor league record suggests there could be many more stolen bases coming. Frazier is an excellent buy-low option who may have secured the starting third base gig for the long-term in Cincinnati.
Justin Maxwell, OF, Astros
Justin Maxwell is a name from the past for Nationals fans. He contributed in bits and parts of seasons, but never offered the consistency needed to stick. Last season he played with the New York Yankees Triple-A affiliate and in just 176 at-bats, he sent 16 bombs over the fence. Now he’s getting a shot with the Astros and he has shined with six home runs in 93 at-bats.
On the other hand, his .237 average has kept him on the bench a bit too often to contribute in fantasy circles. All of that could change, as Maxwell is showing some signs that he has something to offer. He has three home runs in nine games this month and is hitting .277 at Minute Maid. Odds are his low average will limit his playing time, but Maxwell does have the power potential that may make you roll the dice.
Norichika Aoki, OF, Brewers
In Japan, Aoki once hit 20 home runs and in another year surpassed 30 bases. However, the Brewers were not expecting a five-tool talent when they signed the 30-year-old to a two-year deal with $2.5 million guaranteed. However, in a disappointing season for the Brewers, Aoki has been excellent. He is batting a clean .300 with three home runs and five steals. He is currently riding a five-game hit streak with nine hits, two home runs, and three steals over that stretch.
Brett Wallace, 1B, Astros
The 13th pick of the 2008 draft, Brett Wallace has seen it all. He’s been drafted twice, traded three times, and after being a pleasant surprise with a .388 average in the first month of the season, his numbers took a serious downturn, resulting in a demotion to the minor leagues.
After opening the season at Triple-A with the main goal of developing some power, he was called up to the Astros. Through seven games he is hitting .400 with two home runs. The odds are against Wallace sustaining these numbers. He did not offer much of an average in the minors and still must prove that the power is legitimate. Regardless, he will have every chance to succeed with the Astros and should be in their lineup on a daily basis.
Shaw also responds to a question about what fantasy managers should do about Cliff Lee in the Bloomberg Sports Twitter Stumper of the Day.
Question: I’m considering trading Cliff Lee right now. He has 10 starts and zero wins. Is anyone in the same boat? Do you think I’m crazy?
Answer: Yes, you are crazy! Wins are just one category, and Lee has been astounding at the other three: he has a 3.18 ERA, more than a strikeout per inning, and a dominant 1.05 WHIP. Plus, he’s expecting to eventually get Ryan Howard and Chase Utley back. He will get his wins and you’ll be happy you kept him.
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Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses four pitchers who could help you in fantasy baseball this week.
Tim Collins, RP, Royals
There have been several relief pitchers this season who have so dominated in their role that they deserved being scooped up off the waiver wire, even before they were picking up saves. Three that come to mind are Aroldis Chapman, Ernesto Frieri, and Tyler Clippard. Next in line is Tim Collins, a 22-year-old southpaw who has dominated in the Royals bullpen this season.
While Jonathan Broxton has been a dominant reliever, Collins is a perfect 2-0 with a 2.17 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. He is striking out about 1.5 batters per inning, which ranks amongst the leaders in baseball. Perhaps if Broxton is traded at the deadline or ends up injured, Collins would end up getting some save opportunities. This is an arm fantasy baseball managers should target.
Garrett Richards, SP, Angels
The Angels seem to always have a nice group of spot starters and this year is no different, as Garrett Richards provided a stellar seven innings last week against the Mariners. This time around, Richards, who is filling in for the injured Jered Weaver, takes on the Dodgers.
The former first-round pick did not dominate in the minors, but most big league clubs struggle against rookies in their first few starts because of a lack of a scouting report. Richards did show an ability to strikeout the opposition in the minor leagues and it carried out similarly in his first start this season in the majors. Expect big things in his second start as Matt Kemp remains on the DL for the Dodgers and the game comes at LA’s National League park.
Henderson Alvarez, SP, Blue Jays
As long as you are not looking for many strikeouts, Henderson Alvarez is a fine start, first against the Nationals this week and then against the Brewers next week. The 23-year-old boasts a solid 3.76 ERA and 1.28 WHIP despite pitching in a hitter-friendly ballpark in the brutal AL East.
Alavrez had a mini slump in the last few weeks, but it came against impressive offenses such as the Rangers, White Sox, and Red Sox. The Nationals should not be such an issue, even with a designated hitter at their use. The Brewers will be the next foe and that comes at Milwaukee, which means Alvarez gets the benefit of throwing to the opposing pitcher. A pitcher with great command, Alvarez is a safe bet this week.
Nathan Eovaldi, SP, Dodgers
This 22-year-old has been a pleasant surprise for the Dodgers since he was drafted in the 11th round in 2008. Eovaldi has picked up plenty of K’s in both the minors and big leagues and calls home one of the more pitcher-friendly ballparks in baseball. Though his record shows at 0-2, Eovaldi has pitched quite well with a .209 opposing average and 1.93 ERA. Amongst his three starts are one at Colorado and most recently, six shutout innings against the Mariners. Eovaldi is turning into a hot prospect and this may be your last chance to pick him up off the waiver wire.
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Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw answers your questions from Twitter about potential fantasy roster changes.
Question: Do I trade Bryce Harper to get Tim Lincecum?
Answer: This is an easy one: No Way! Bryce Harper is not just good for his age (19 years old), he is very good in general. As I always say, I would rather have a hitter who contributes in five categories than a starter who contributes in at four at the most. The only starters that I would consider investing such a hefty price in are sure things and Tim Lincecum is not a sure thing. The Giants star has surrendered four or more runs in five of his last six starts. Harper is a five-tool talent primed to win Rookie of the Year.
Question: I’m looking for steals without breaking the bank. Should I trade for Bonifacio, Austin Jackson, or someone else?
Answer: You have a few options for stolen bases. Blue Jays outfielder Rajai Davis is a bit too feast or famine but he does rack up the steals. With Eric Thames demoted, he will play regularly until another prospect such as Travis Snider is promoted. Davis does not reach base often enough and lacks much pop, but he will steal 25-plus bases and score some runs.
Dodgers outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr., is another option. He is solid on defense, which buys him some at-bats. On the basepaths he had already swiped eight bases and his average is respectable. Just don’t expect any power.
Tigers centerfielder Austin Jackson is returning from injury but is now reaching base more often and hitting for power. Then there is the Prince and Miguel who make sure to drive him in. This is a player to trade for.
Question: Avila hitting the DL hurts in my two-catcher league. Only options seem to be Thole, Laird, or Jaso. Thoughts?
Answer: Josh Thole is the safe bet. He will at least offer you a high average and high on-base percentage and will perhaps score some runs. On the other hand, he has the least home runs of any active catcher with 700 at-bats dating back to 2009. Chris Iannetta will be coming off the disabled list soon and I recommend picking him up and riding out Thole in the short-term.
Question: I have four Mets on my fantasy baseball team (Murphy, Nieuwenhuis, Byrdak, and Niese) but I think I might bench them this weekend during the Subway Series. Thoughts?
Answer: You definitely don’t want to bench all your Mets this weekend against the Yankees. They are playing at the more hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium, and Daniel Murphy finally showed some life on Thursday with the bat while Kirk Nieuwenhuis is a line drive machine. You can consider benching some of the pitchers such as Niese if it’s the Yankees offense that scares you, but the Mets should put up some runs.
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Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses three pitchers who you can look to for some production in fantasy baseball this week.
Jeremy Hefner, SP, Mets
The New York Mets are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now and the excellent pitching has been contagious, so much so that even little known rookie Jeremy Hefner has gotten into the action as a replacement for the injured Miguel Batista.
If you’re wondering whether Hefner will be able to take care of business this week, what you should pay attention to are two statistics. First the BB/9, because so far in Major League Baseball of all pitchers with at least 15 innings of work, Hefner has the best command walking just one batter in 17 innings of work. Next, a key difference between his struggles in the rain delay loss to the lowly Padres compared to the win over the rival Phillies was his ability to finish off batters with two strikes. The Padres went 6-12 against Hefner with two strikes while the Phillies were just 1-10. Hefner will be pitching for a spot in the Big Leagues, as Batista is returning from the DL and Chris Young is slotted to return to the Mets as well.
Chris Young, SP, Mets
One thing to note about Chris Young, the 6’9 hurler, is that when healthy he is effective. After a successful tenure with the Rangers and the Padres, Young got off to a fine start with the Mets last season, offering a 1-0 record with four starts with a 1.88 ERA. Young may have to be a little better this season, as the fly ball pitcher will have to respond to the fences being drawn in at Citi Field. However, there is cause for optimism as he’s enjoyed success even in Texas, and his first start comes at Washington, one of the more pitcher-friendly ballparks in baseball. On the other hand, his second start may come at Yankee Stadium, so buyer beware.
Drew Smyly, SP, Tigers
Drew Smyly looks like a good bet this week as he gets two starts, the first coming at home against the Cleveland Indians. Smyly has come back to reality a bit in recent weeks, but the control is real, he just has to learn to keep the ball within the park. Also, after making four of his last five starts on the road, Smyly returns to the pitcher-friendly Comerica Park. The Indians are also coming back to earth, losing seven of their last nine games. Smyly’s second start this week comes at the pitcher-friendly Great American Ballpark, but at least there won’t be designated hitters involved.
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Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw offers four players who can have a major impact on your fantasy baseball team.
Last year only two players in baseball had 30 or more doubles, 15 or more triples, 5 or more home runs, and 10 or more saves. One is Jose Reyes, who signed a monster deal with the Marlins. The other is Dexter Fowler, an outfielder that had been considered a bust in fantasy circles for a few years. It turns out that our focus should have been more on the extra base hits than the steals. Fowler is a power guy, who slowly but surely was growing into his 6’4 frame. This year the doubles have turned into home runs and he is now on pace for 30 round-trippers. Fowler reminds me a little of Rickie Weeks. The average won’t flirt with .300 much, but he does draw walks and the power is legit.
A strikeout machine who cranks the ball up to 100 MPH, Stephen Pryor is likely a future closer who at just 22 years old will get a look in the Mariners bullpen. Pryor has had some control issues in the past, but this year he has been in control, which explains the 0.64 ERA through 28 innings split between the higher levels of the minor leagues. With Brandon League out temporarily as the closer and with his future in doubt as a free agent this summer, it makes a lot of sense for Pryor to get a look in some high pressure situations..
The long swing of Colby Rasmus is starting to make some great contact for the Toronto Blue Jays. Rasmus is riding a seven game hit streak with three home runs and six RBI over that span. In a killer lineup and a great ballpark, Rasmus has every chance to succeed in Toronto. After early struggles in spring training and then to open the season, Rasmus is finally showing the potential that made the Blue Jays a buyer last season after he wore out his welcome with the Cardinals.
Scott Feldman, SP, Rangers (at Oakland and San Francisco)
Feldman is not one of the sexier fantasy picks. He does not get many K’s, his ERA and WHIP are only alright since he calls home to the hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark, and then there is his lack of job security as a spot starter. On the other hand, Feldman does offer the Rangers a chance to win every time he takes the hill, which explains how he won 17 games just a few years ago. Now he gets favorable starts against the A’s and Giants on the road. This is as good as it gets for the Rangers veteran who should have plenty of run support and much friendly pitching backdrops.
Bloomberg Sports Anchors Rob Shaw and Julie Alexandria break down four players who have struggled mightily over the first quarter of the season:
Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals
Last year a 1-4 performance was ho-hum for Royal phenom Eric Hosmer. These days it’s cause for celebration as it lifts his batting average further above the Mendoza line. The 6 home runs and 25 RBI aren’t all that bad for Hosmer, but with an average of .204, the former top three pick has been a major bust. Also, his power and patience have declined this month, as he boasts just one home run and six walks in May. I still do not suggest dropping Hosmer, because his struggles are not isolated. The entire Royals roster has pretty much struggled, and once guys like Alex Gordon, Jeff Francouer, and other start hitting, there will be more runners on base and more fastballs in the middle of the plate. I am buying low on Hosmer, and have confidence that he will turn this season around.
Dee Gordon, SS, Dodgers
Similar to former Rangers prospect Julio Borbon a few years ago, Dee Gordon gained some fantasy interest with a strong finish to the season, most notably 24 steals in 56 games. However the scouting report is now out on Gordon and you can’t steal bases if you can’t reach base. With a .225 average and .269 on base percentage, Gordon is not getting on base nearly enough. As a result, he is not scoring runs and not getting enough steals to warrant fantasy value. I’m not buying on Gordon in fear that he is a bit more one dimensional than people thought.
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Diamondbacks
Billed as the next prolific power hitter to thrive in the desert, Paul Goldschmidt was predicted to blast as many as 30 home runs this season Instead, he has just three round-trippers a quarter of the way through the season. The lack of homers as well as the 19 RBI will be enough for some fantasy managers to drop the bopper. Instead, they should focus on the 12 doubles, which projects to more than 40. Again, you can’t blame Goldschmidt for the fact that his teammates are struggling to reach base. Once those doubles turn to home runs, all will be forgiven.
Ike Davis, 1B, Mets
Finally, Ike Davis makes the list for all the wrong reasons. To his credit, Davis has driven in six RBI over the last six games, but his average is well below the Mendoza line and it will take a heck of a hot streak to return to respectability. The problem for Davis is that he is returning from nearly a full year off from baseball and his timing isn’t where it should be. Furthermore, the opposition is exploiting Davis with junk, throwing him more off-speed itches than anyone else in baseball. The Mets have decided to keep Davis at the Big League level, and this is largely because he remains a better threat than anyone else that they can put in the lineup. I don’t know when, but I do think that Davis will eventually bounce back and end up with a batting average closer to .240 by season’s end.
Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw breaks down four different fantasy players gaining some attention on the waiver wire.
How about the four game stretch from May 24 to the 27th for White Sox rising slugger Dayan Vicideo. The 23-year-old pounded out eight hits, scored six runs, blasted three home runs, and drove in 10 RBI during that stretch. I actually dropped the top prospect in one of my fantasy leagues for the simple reason that he kills your on base percentage. He has just four walks all season if that is a category in your fantasy league, you basically have to depend on him having a lot of power to make up for it. That certainly could end up being the case and as of now I regret dropping the Cuba native.
It was long in the making and long deserved, but middle reliever extraordinaire Tyler Clippard has finally been promoted to the closer’s role in Washington following the injury to Drew Storen and the implosion of Henry Rodriguez. Clippard was for a long time one of the few middle relievers worth owning in fantasy leagues because of his stellar all-around numbers including ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts. A few years ago he even picked up 11 wins. Now he finally gets the glory associated with the ninth inning and he has been perfect in his last four outings, picking up three saves. Clippard’s fantasy value is soaring with saves now within reach.
The last time Sale had fantasy value it was because of our expectation that he would be the 2011 closer after scooping up four saves in 2010. Instead, Sale struggled early and ended up with just eight saves last season as Sergio Santos broke out as the team’s closer. This season Sale became a starting pitcher and after a brief flirtation of him returning to the bullpen, Sale has thrived, pitching at an ace level. On Monday, Sale was at his best, allowing just five total base runners while pitching into the eighth inning. Most notably, he fanned 15 batters, which is easily a career high. It actually might be the best time to sell high on Sale. After all, Sale is now just 13 innings away from reaching last year’s totals. You typically try to avoid the major increase in innings workload, so my guess is that the White Sox will try to limit Sale’s innings for the remainder of the season.
In his debut with the San Diego Padres, Carlos Quentin blasted a double, scored a run, and picked up an RBI. The power is legit, but keep in mind that Quentin is going from back-to-back hitter ballparks first in Arizona then in Chicago’s US Cellular to the ultimate pitcher’s park, PETCO Park. This is very much a streaky hitter, which tells me that the frustration of the cavernous home ballpark could end up wreaking havoc on Quentin’s season. I am not picking Quentin up off the waiver wire, allowing his low average to hurt my competitors.
Showing Their Age:
Jamie Moyer, SP, Rockies
The spring training feel good story is not feeling very good right now for the Rockies. Jamie Moyer is struggling at many things right now, as he has surrendered five or more runs in four of his last five starts. The problems center on the fact that Moyer is simply too hittable, as the opposition is hitting .328 against him, the worst mark for any starter in the National League. He is also walking batters twice as often as his 2010 season. Furthermore, the fact that he has only pitched seven innings once in nine starts this season puts a toll on the Rockies bullpen. With the team expected to compete this season, I have a hard time believing that there’s much patience in the front office.
Todd Helton, 1B, Rockies
A recent three-game hit streak lifted Todd Helton’s average to .231, but it’s still not enough to warrant an everyday gig for the Rockies legend. Amongst the RBI leaders early in the season, Helton had a dry spell before bouncing back against the Reds this past weekend. The plate discipline remains, but he clogs the bases without speed, and doesn’t have much power either. Helton’s career performance may one day lead to his induction in the Hall of Fame, but for now, it’s retirement has to be creeping on his mind.
Johnny Damon, OF, Indians
The good news was that Johnny Damon finally went yard with his first home run of the season for the Indians. The bad news is that he cannot escape reality and his batting average remains way too low at .158. That’s now 76 at bats and Damon has just three extra base hits. The 38-year-old has also shown some decent plate discipline, but he has yet to steal a base this season. Truth is that the Indians can contend without Damon on the roster. His leash is getting shorter by the day as he finds himself on the wrong side of the Mendoza line.
Rob Shaw and Julie Alexandria discuss five veterans aging gracefully:
Derek Jeter, SS, Yankees
With a .342 average and five home runs, Derek Jeter has far exceeded expectations this season, as he is now surpassed 3,150 hits for his career. Now it may be time to sell high on the Yankees legend. Despite the early power showing, Jeter has just one extra base hit since May 6. He is starting to look like the singles machine that boasted just a .370 slugging percentage in 2010. Furthermore, the stolen bases are way down with just three swipes this season. Jeter has been great so far, but there are some serious questions about the sustainability of this hot start from the 37-year-old shortstop.
David Ortiz, DH, Red Sox
Though he seems to be getting bitter with age, claiming he doesn’t get respect in Boston, David Ortiz is as dangerous as ever with the stick in his hand. Ortiz is on pace for 40 home runs and 120 RBI while batting .305. Ever since everyone predicted his decline in 2009, Ortiz has bounced back and is once again one of the best designated hitters in baseball.
Chipper Jones, 3B, Braves
Sadly this is the swan song for Chipper Jones, who will one day find himself inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame. A bruised left calf had forced Jones out of the lineup for the time being, but when he is healthy this season, he has blasted five home runs with 24 RBI and a .307 average. Jones is unlikely to have much more than 400 at bats this season, but if you are willing to change your roster on a daily basis, you can end up with an oldie, but goodie.
Raul Ibanez, OF, Yankees
The Phillies thought Raul Ibanez was done after a less than stellar 2011 season. The Yankees took an inexpensive gamble on the New York City native and so far the 39-year-old designated hitter has blasted nine home runs with 27 RBI. Yankees Stadium seems perfect for the left-hander, as he already has seven home runs at home. Additionally, the solid Yankees lineup has led to many run-producing opportunities and so far Ibanez has capitalized.
Derek Lowe, SP, Indians
It’s very rare for a pitcher to have success with more walks than strikeouts, but lo and behold, Derek Lowe is having a bounce back season with the Indians. Lowe had allowed just seven runs over his last six starts before getting pummeled this weekend. Even still, the ERA is a solid 3.25. Again, the strikeouts are a concern, and it makes you wonder how long this could last.