T.I.P.S. tabs Fukudome to finish strong in '09
We're almost at that point in the season when we can sit down and officially analyze our team(s) and determine strengths and weaknesses based on an adequate sample size. The season is about 10 percent over, and that gives us a pretty good indication of what kind of year a player is going to have. We are beginning to see trends in playing time, coaching tendencies and any of the other attribute that make us decide if a player is worth rostering. I'm going to sit tight for one more week and the second we hit May 1, all bets are off when it comes to my roster. I've advocated giving all players the first month of the season to prove themselves -- and that is what will be done.
In the meantime, let's take a look at what took place this past week and see if we can make some decisions on recent trends.
(All stats and records are through Monday.)
No one looks worse when they swing and miss than
Known more for his stellar defense, Bartlett was a throw-in on the
Danks is walking more batters and giving up more home runs than he did last year, so it's likely that his WHIP is suffering, correct? That would be the case if batters were hitting better than .144 against him. Almost all his numbers are consistent with his career norms, with the exception of the low BAA. His career BABIP is .301, but currently sits at a ridiculous .157. This will even out over the course of the season, but it doesn't change the fact that Danks is getting better and better.
In three starts,
Wilson hits the 15-day DL with a sprained left index finger and is replaced by
With Anderson officially on the disabled list due to a strained left quad, Diaz has been getting the at-bats in left field. In 21 at-bats last week, Diaz had only five hits, but he cranked one out of the park, added three RBIs and a stolen base. Diaz is a career .305 hitter in 953 at-bats, so the average should begin to rise. Anderson isn't exactly the healthiest ballplayer around, so handcuffing him to Diaz in NL-only leagues is a must. At the moment, he doesn't have much mixed league value, but that could change if he continues to run.
In a sign that
It took him two weeks to get going, but
For those awaiting a true breakout from Snider, it may be awhile as Bautista continues to make the most of his limited opportunities. In 10 at-bats last week, Bautista laced six hits, including a home run. There's no question Snider is the future, but the Jays quest to bring him along as slow as humanly possible is frustrating. Those in weekly leagues must deal with the fact that Snider is only going to play four games a week and that probably leads to his stay on the bench. It won't last all season, but Bautista's presence, and consequent production, is making it seem like Snider's true evolution is one year away.
I supported him before the season started, but Bonifacio is clearly out of his league after a torrid start. The Fish aren't going to deal with their leadoff batter striking out 25 percent of the time, and it's beginning to show as he's getting the occasional day off more often. He's always a threat to steal, but it doesn't matter if he can't get a hit or draw a walk. A career .248 hitter, Bonifacio lacks the patience (19:4 K/BB ratio) to consistently hit big league pitching. He's bounced around the majors for a reason, and after five multi-hit games to start the year, he has only one since. He may not get replaced immediately, but his position as the leadoff hitter is seriously in question.
I know a lot of people say you always have to start your best players, but what good is it doing to start Tulowitzki these days? Is he going to break out of his slump soon? Yeah, probably, but don't let his daily 0-for-4's ruin your batting average. I have a simple rule that if you are batting under .200 at this point, you ride the pine. Once a player gets the average above .200, you are re-instated into my lineup. I don't care who you are. Sure, I run the risk of sitting a player when he goes off and breaks out of his slump, but it's better to avoid the previous bout of futility all together.