Fantasy Clicks: Mr. 300 comes to Washington

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Recent Fantasy Clicks 6-05-09: Mr. 300 Goes To Washington 6-03-09: Just Shooting The Bayou Brees 6-01-09: Angels and speed demons in SoCal 5-29-09: Fantasy foxes invade the desert 5-27-09: A Study In Jungle Karma 5-25-09: M&M Boys' A-List Production 5-22-09: It Was A 20-to-1 Shot, Doc 5-20-09: SI's Bout with NFL Mock Madness 5-18-09: Tigers making most of split personality 5-15-09: Chris Davis ... Built For Fun 5-13-09: Favre From Over? Ugh! 5-11-09: Prince Albert's Great American Day 5-08-09: Manny's Suspended Animation 5-04-09: The Man Of Steal Rides Again 4-29-09: Dangers of RB Overpopulation 4-27-09: It's All About The O's 4-24-09: The New Falconer 4-22-09: Fantasy Breakdown Of NFL Sked 4-20-09: The Utlimate Fantasy Catch-22 4-17-09: The Century's Greatest Cyclist 4-15-09: NFL Slices Of Heaven, Part II 4-13-09: All Hail The Check-Swing King 4-10-09: Welcome to Adventureland 4-08-09: NFL Slices of Heaven 4-06-09: Opening Night Revelations 4-03-09: Draft Night Revelations, Part II 3-30-09: Draft Night Revelations, Part I 3-27-09: Draft Rules To Live By 3-23-09: Catch A Rising Star 3-20-09: Look Out For Pick No. 1 ... and 24 3-18-09: PVR Perfect 3-17-09: Don't Forget About Me 3-13-09: Welcome To Spring Break 3-12-09: LT2 Losing His Charge 3-11-09: Sudden Impact 3-09-09: Hip, Hip ... Hurry Back, A-Rod 3-06-09: Revenge Of The Cyst 3-05-09: A Disappointing Deadline Day 3-04-09: Cosmic Charlie 3-02-09: Aces In The Hole 2-27-09: Depth Perceptions 2-23-09: NFL Combine Revelations 2-20-09: Designated Long Drivers 2-19-09: The Brady Hunch 2-16-09: Seeking Sweet Relief 2-13-09: Sneak peek at an MLB mock draft 2-12-09: Boozer's Snoozer Of A Season 2-11-09: Impossible to ignore 2-9-09: The Secret Life of A-Rod 2-6-09: Pick of the 2B litter 2-5-09: Time for a fantasy bailout 2-4-09: Another winged wonder? 2-2-09: Super Bowl Revelations 1-30-09: Super Bowl Clicks 1-29-09: Aussie Re-Open 1-27-09: Fire sale! 1-26-09: Tim Lincecum vs. the world 1-23-09: The can't-miss kid? 1-22-09: Rip off! 1-20-09: No consolation prizes 1-19-09: Championship Sunday Revelations 1-16-09: Into the great wide open 1-15-09: Chickens, a King and free throws 1-13-09: Grab your Skates 1-12-09: Divisional Playoff Revelations 1-09-09: Playoff horse of a different color 1-07-09: Rocky Mountain Low 1-05-09: Wild Card Revelations 1-02-09: Playoff-A-Palooza

Mr. 300 Goes To Washington

Randy Johnson: Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Neither rain, nor slippery conditions, nor an interesting strike-three call on Adam Dunn with the bases loaded could prevent Giants pitcher Randy Johnson from finally earning his 300th win on Thursday, becoming only the 24th hurler in MLB history to reach that milestone. With this victory, the 45-year-old moves to the front of the line with his Hall of Fame casting call ... which should occur in about 5-6 years.

In fantasyland, we tend to spin every news happening forward for obvious reasons; but seriously, does it really matter what the Big Unit does for his personal CV the rest of the season? Besides, we'd be crazy to ignore some of Johnson's eye-popping numbers from his 22-year career in the majors:

**10 seasons of 17 wins or more
**Lifetime ERA: 3.28
**100 complete games (with 37 shutouts)
**4,845 career strikeouts -- including four consecutive seasons of 334-plus Ks (1999-2002)
**Lifetime WHIP: 1.17
**Career K/9 ratio: 10.6
**Lifetime K/BB ratio: 3.26
**Nine-time All Star
**Five-time Cy Young winner (including four straight from 1999-2002)
**One World Series title (Arizona, 2001)

Verdict: Johnson has my vote as the best pitcher of the last 20 years, barely beating out Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez, Mariano Rivera and (deep sigh) Roger Clemens. Congrats on No. 300, Randy!

WHIP Masters

The following is a list of Major League Baseball's best performers in the all-hallowed WHIP category since May 5 (minimum 19 innings):

SP Chris Carpenter, Cardinals (0.61)
SP Jered Weaver, Angels (0.89)
SP J.A. Happ, Phillies (0.89)
SP CC Sabathia, Yankees (0.90)
SP Justin Verlander, Tigers (0.93)
SP Roy Halladay, Blue Jays (0.96)
SP Edwin Jackson, Tigers (0.96)
SP Randy Wells, Cubs (0.97)
SP Zack Greinke, Royals (0.97)
SP Dan Haren, Diamondbacks (1.00)
SP Javier Vazquez, Braves (1.01)
SP Johnny Cueto, Reds (1.04)
SP Mark Buehrle, White Sox (1.05)
SP Josh Beckett, Red Sox (1.06)
SP Mike Pelfrey, Mets (1,07)
SP Brian Tallet, Blue Jays (1.09)
SP Derek Lowe, Braves (1.10)
SP Scott Feldman, Rangers (1.10)
SP Josh Outman, Athletics (1.10)
SP Jake Peavy, Padres (1.10)
SP Adam Wainwright, Cardinals (1.13)
SP Scott Baker, Twins (1.13)
SP Zach Duke, Pirates (1.13)
SP Josh Johnson, Marlins (1.15)
SP Jason Vargas, Mariners (1.15)
SP Joel Pineiro, Cardinals (1.16)
SP Brett Myers, Phillies (1.16)
SP/RP Matt Palmer, Angels (1.16)
SP Ted Lilly, Cubs (1.16)
SP Jair Jurrjens, Braves (1.16)
SP Jeff Niemann, Rays (1.17)
SP Scott Harrison, Rangers (1.18)
SP Erik Bedard, Mariners (1.18)
SP Matt Garza, Rays (1.18)
SP Ryan Dempster, Cubs (1.18)
SP Jeff Karstens, Pirates (1.19)
SP Tim Lincecum, Giants (1.19)
SP Cole Hamels, Phillies (1.19)
SP Rick Porcello, Tigers (1.19)
SP Randy Wolf, Dodgers (1.21)
SP Cliff Lee, Indians (1.21)
SP Brian Moehler, Astros (1.22)
SP Edinson Volquez, Reds (1.22)

Earning Their Stripes

One good turn deserves another. Here are baseball's ERA kings since June 5 (minimum 18 innings):

SP Chris Carpenter, Cardinals (0.96)
RP/SP R.A. Dickey, Twins (0.96)
RP D.J. Carrasco, White Sox (1.45)
SP Edwin Jackson, Tigers (1.49)
SP Matt Cain, Giants (1.57)
SP Justin Verlander, Tigers (1.57)
SP Jered Weaver, Angels (1.64)
SP Randy Wells, Cubs (1.69)
SP J.A. Happ, Phillies (1.82)
SP Roy Halladay, Blue Jays (1.91)
SP Josh Beckett, Red Sox (1.94)
SP Zack Greinke, Royals (1.95)
SP CC Sabathia, Yankees (2.08)
SP Jason Vargas, Mariners (2.08)
SP Cliff Lee, Indians (2.09)
SP Rick Porcello, Tigers (2.10)
SP Erik Bedard, Mariners (2.12)
SP Mark Buehrle, White Sox (2.23)
SP Wandy Rodriguez, Astros (2.35)
SP Jeff Niemann, Rays (2.36)
SP John Maine, Mets (2.40)
SP Scott Feldman, Rangers (2.41)
SP Josh Outman, Athletics (2.41)
SP Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies (2.50)
SP Mike Pelfrey, Mets (2.60)
SP Johan Santana, Mets (2.75)
SP Josh Johnson, Marlins (2.78)
SP Brian Tallet, Blue Jays (2.81)
SP Javier Vazquez, Braves (2.84)
SP Tim Lincecum, Giants (2.90)
SP Kevin Slowey, Twins (2.95)
RP Billy Buckner, Diamondbacks (2.95)
SP Chad Billingsley, Dodgers (2.97)
SP Zach Duke, Pirates (2.98)
SP Livan Hernandez, Mets (3.00)
SP Johnny Cueto, Reds (3.05)
SP Nick Blackburn, Twins (3.08)
SP Kenshin Kawakami, Braves (3.19)
SP Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (3.21)
SP Randy Wolf, Dodgers (3.23)
SP Jair Jurrjens, Braves (3.31)
SP Ted Lilly, Cubs (3.40)

The D-Train's Last Stop?

How bad is Tigers pitcher Dontrelle Willis at this point in his career? If I showed up at my nephew's high school baseball game in Michigan today, and the D-Train was the opposing pitcher, I'd be genuinely disappointed if my nephew's team didn't score two or three runs in the first three innings. From my view in the dugout, Willis has no command of his pitches, gets easily flustered on the mound ... and perhaps most damning, looks ridiculous with that twisting, sidewinding pitching motion.

When Willis was a hotshot rookie with the world champion Marlins in 2003, he was 21 years old -- an age where pitchers typically have tremendous balance and strength. Fast forward six years, where Willis' body is more stout and thus, less aerodynamic. And with that additional mass (along with the aforementioned sidewinding motion) comes an inability to find a consistent release point 90-100 times a game. It's basic science, uh, or physics ... whatever!

Did you happen to catch Willis' Thursday debacle against the Red Sox? He could be the first starting pitcher in MLB history to get pulled from a game before the fifth inning without suffering an injury ... or allowing one hit! The reason for Dontrelle's early exit? A string of five free passes in the third inning (four walks and one hits batsmen) ... which instantly converted a 3-0 Tigers lead into a three-run deficit. Think about that for a moment. I mean, really, really let that one settle in before grabbing the Maalox. D'oh!

I'm not saying Willis should never pitch in the majors again -- he obviously has a top-notch slider, strong curveball and above-average fastball. But until someone takes the time to deconstruct his entire delivery from scratch, he'll continue to be pitcha non grata in fantasy leagues.

Saturday's Surprise

Need an emergency starting pitcher off the waiver wire in time for Saturday's games? Here's one diamond in the rough to consider, as a short-term fix and possible long-term keeper:Jeff Karstens, Pirates (at Astros)
**Has a respectable 13/4 K-BB ratio in his last five starts
**Boasts a 3.65 ERA and 1.05 WHIP since May 21
**Has lasted at least five innings in his last eight starts
**Will never kill your WHIP with a bunch of walks
**Has allowed 4 or fewer runs in eight of nine starts
**Facing the often-anemic Astros on Friday night

**Allows almost one HR per outing
**Won't have the creature comforts of PNC Park; this baby's at the Minute Maid bandbox

Francisco Who?

On Monday afternoon, after staying up until 5 a.m. to finish that day's Clicks and sleeping until 12 noon-ish, I awoke to perhaps the worst 2-for-2 trade offer I've ever had the pleasure to turn down: In a 10-team AL-only league, where superstars are precious gold, Owner B wanted Twins catcher Joe Mauer and Tigers rookie reliever Ryan Perry for White Sox closer Bobby Jenks and ... Yankees backup catcher Francisco Cervelli -- yes, the same Francisco Cervelli with seven minor-league HRs to his credit (in four-plus seasons). The same Francisco Cervelli who has zero shot of regular playing time, now that Jorge Posada is back from injury. The very same Francisco Cervelli who ranks as only the Yankees' third-best catching prospect in the minors.

Now, I would never identify Owner B by name -- that would be cruel and unusual punishment. To be fair, maybe he wasn't aware of Mauer's stats in just 106 at-bats (12 HRs, 35 RBIs, 28 runs, .425 average) ... or that Perry (3.38 ERA in '09) actually has a better K/9 rate than Jenks. And maybe, just maybe he forgot that ninth-place teams should never have leverage in trade talks.

M*A*S*H Unit

Here's a list of prominent major leaguers currently on the disabled list:

SP Edinson Volquez, Reds (back after one painful start)
SP Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks
SP Rich Harden, Cubs (coming back soon)
RP Scot Shields, Angels
SP Matt Harrison, Rangers
SP Eric Stults, Dodgers
SP Scott Kazmir, Rays
SP Jeremy Bonderman, Tigers
RP Hong Chih-Kuo, Dodgers
SP Glen Perkins, Twins
SP Koji Uehara, Orioles
SP Jesse Litsch, Blue Jays
RP Jose Valverde, Astros (could be back next week)
SP Oliver Perez, Mets
RP Jorge Campillo, Braves
SP Yusmeiro Petit, Diamondbacks
SP Justin Duchscherer, Athletics
SP Anibal Sanchez, Marlins
RP Joey Devine, Athletics
SP Kelvim Escobar, Angels
SP Huroki Kuroda, Dodgers
RP Troy Percival, Rays
SP Dustin Moseley, Angels
SP Anthony Reyes, Indians
SP Shane Loux, Angels
RP Rafael Betancourt, Indians
SP Dustin McGowan, Blue Jays

OF Josh Hamilton, Rangers
OF Grady Sizemore, Indians
SS Jason Bartlett, Rays
1B Joey Votto, Reds
SS Jose Reyes, Mets
3B Aramis Ramirez, Cubs
C Chris Iannetta, Rockies
OF Ryan Ludwick, Cardinals
1B Carlos Delgado, Mets
SS/2B Mike Aviles, Royals
2B Rickie Weeks, Brewers
C Ryan Doumit, Pirates
OF Rick Ankiel, Cardinals
3B Alex Gordon, Royals
1B/3B/OF Carlos Guillen, Tigers
OF Pat Burrell, Rays
OF Xavier Nady, Yankees
DH Travis Hafner, Indians
3B Edwin Encarnacion, Reds
SS Jed Lowrie, Red Sox
3B Troy Glaus, Cardinals
C Jesus Flores, Nationals
2B/SS Omar Infante, Braves
OF Alfredo Amezega, Marlins
2B Mark Ellis, Athletics
1B Nomar Garciaparra, Athletics
3B Eric Chavez, Athletics
OF Scott Hairston, Padres
OF Dewayne Wise, White Sox
3B Cody Ransom, Yankees
SS/2B Nick Punto, Twins
C Brian Schneider, Mets
1B Tony Clark, Diamondbacks
C Jose Molina, Yankees
1B/2B Jeff Baker, Rockies
1B Doug Mientkiewicz, Dodgers
1B Gaby Sanchez, Marlins
OF Brian Anderson, White Sox
OF Luis Montanez, Orioles
OF Mark Kotsay, Red Sox
C Michael Barrett, Blue Jays
SS Tony Pena, Royals
C Matt Treanor, Tigers
OF Travis Buck, Athletics
1B Dmitri Young, Nationals

Bait & Switch

Did you happen to notice the Braves' whirlwind Wednesday? And I'm not necessarily talking about their out-of-the-blue comeback win over the Cubs on Tuesday night (and parts of Wednesday morning), when they were staring at a 5-0 hole and on the verge of getting no-hit by Chicago pitcher Randy Wells as late as the seventh inning. Just a few hours later, the franchise made two significant transactions: Giving future Hall of Famer Tom Glavine his outright release -- even though he was almost ready to join the big club after an extended offseason rehab stint -- in favor of promoting their prized pitching prosect Tommy Hanson to the majors ... AND then trading three prospects (including the remarkably talented Gorkys Hernandez) for Pirates outfielder Nate McLouth.

On the surface, the 3-for-1 swap looked like a win-win venture both clubs. The Braves added a proven five-tool talent in McLouth (46 doubles, 26 HRs, 94 RBIS, 23 steals in '08) who's only 27 years old, while the Pirates fortified their burgeoning farm system with power arms (like Charlie Morton and Jeff Locke) and future fantasy studs in the outfield (like Hernandez). However, given the fact that McLouth inked a multiyear extension last season, I'm a little surprised Pittsburgh wasn't able to pry Kris Medlen out of Atlanta's hands, instead of settling for Morton. That kind of cost certainty (I believe McLouth has a four-year, $13 million deal) should've been worth its weight in gold, especially amidst an economic downturn.

But it's all a moot point now, since the Pirates brass has publicly voiced their giddiness with Hernandez, Locke and Morton joining the fold. And bonus, McLouth's departure opened up a Grand Canyon-like opportunity for prized prospect Andrew McCutchen to earn a promotion and become Pittsburgh's everyday centerfielder, unimpeded, for the next 10-15 years. And on his first day with the big club, McCutchen tallied two hits, three runs, one RBI and one steal against the Mets on Thursday. Not bad for a day's work ... this kid is lightning in a bottle, for sure.

For more analysis on the McLouth trade from's Cliff Corcoran, click here.

Analyze This

Jair Jurrjens: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

There were two landmark trades made Thursday in the & Friends baseball league, with both deals having one common thread: guru Scott Wraight. In Trade #1, a 3-for-3 blockbuster, he landed Evan Longoria, Jair Jurrjens, Clint Barmes, while giving up Michael Young, Ryan Zimmerman, Paul Maholm. And for Trade #2, a somewhat simpler 2-for-2 swap, he gets Ryan Braun and Jorge Cantu, while surrendering Hunter Pence and Adrian Gonzalez, baseball's leading home run king.

As league commissioner, it would be wrong to comment on the perceived winner/loser of the blockbuster trades. But there's no stopping the geniuses at Accuscore from weighing in on the topic, detailing their stat projections from this point forward (June 6-Oct. 1).

Trade #1
Longoria: .298 average (.375 OBP), 67.5 runs, 24.3 HRs, 93 RBIs, 4.8 steals
Barmes: .276 average (.324 OBP), 56.3 runs, 10.3 HRs, 41.4 RBIs, 11.4 steals
Jurrjens: 10.4 wins, 3.10 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 92.9 strikeouts

Young: .313 average (.364 OBP), 68.4 runs, 11.9 HRs, 49.5 RBIs, 7.9 steals
Zimmerman: .305 average (.374 OBP), 71.1 runs, 19.4 HRs, 68.2 RBIs, 0.3 steals
Maholm: 8.2 wins, 3.83 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 86 strikeouts

Trade #2
Braun: .301 average (.383 OBP), 69.4 runs, 22.1 HRs, 69.6 RBIs, 7.6 steals
Cantu: .277 average (.333 OBP), 59.8 runs, 18.6 HRs, 75.2 RBIs, 3 steals

Gonzalez: .286 average (.391 OBP), 74.9 runs, 34.7 HRs, 82.2 RBIs, 1.2 steals
Pence: .303 average (.370 OBP), 55.1 runs, 14.3 HRs, 49.6 RBIs, 9.2 steals

Analyze That

As long as we have the Accuscore Trade Analyzer 5000 cranking ... Wraight extended an interesting 1-on-1 offer to me on Thursday: Grady Sizemore for Joey Votto. Now, if both parties were fully healthy, I would've taken Grady in a heartbeat. But obviously, Wraight has little faith in Sizemore's elbow injury ... and pegs Votto for mucho fantasy goodness right away, despite his recent bouts with dizziness. Here's Accuscore's breakdown involving the two Ohio stars:

Sizemore: .239 average (.335 OBP), 46 runs, 15.2 HRs, 46.3 RBIs, 13.4 steals
Votto: .321 average (.408 OBP), 50 runs, 17 HRs, 64.4 RBIs, 4.7 steals

Verdict: Wow! I was leaning toward rejecting the Grady side of the deal before this little exercise. But now, there is absolutlely no way I could part with Votto and those power numbers -- along with his surprising edge in total runs. Trade denied!

Addition By Subtraction

Here are the Top 10 'Most Dropped' players in CBS Sports leagues this week. Not surprisingly, this list is littered with players who are either on the DL or now relegated to non-essential pitching roles (read: saves/wins):

1. SP Brett Myers, Phillies (shelved after hip surgery)
2. SP Brian Bannister, Royals (9.82 ERA and 2.11 WHIP in his last 14 IP)
3. RP Juan Cruz, Royals (expendable now that Joakim Soria's back)
4. SP Shairon Martis, Nationals (was his 5-0 start all smoke and mirrors?)
5. SP/RP Matt Palmer, Angels (a lot of broken ankles from all those bandwagon-jumpers)
6. SP/RP Sean Marshall, Cubs (his days in the rotation are numbered)
7. C Mike Napoli, Angels (only three dingers since May 6 -- quite pedestrian)
8. SP Matt Harrison, Rangers (back on the DL, halting all early-season momentum)
9. SP Jorge De La Rosa, Rockies (great for strikeouts ... but very little else)
10. 2B Howie Kendrick, Angels (has no fantasy value when the batting average stinks)

Addition By, Um, Addition

Conversely, here are the top 10 'Most Added' players for the week:

1. 2B Clint Barmes, Rockies (one of the streakiest infielders in the NL)
2. OF Ben Francisco, Indians (hitting at a .327 clip since May 21)
3. OF Aaron Rowand, Giants (one of the few Giants hitters worth shouting about)
4. OF Marlon Byrd, Rangers (a must-have in AL-only leagues, with Hamilton out)
5. SP Randy Johnson, Giants (will he get dumped now that he has his 300th win?)
6. OF Scott Hairston, Padres (his DL stint hasn't scared off too many owners)
7. 2B Sean Rodriguez, Angels (the heir apparent to the flailing Mr. Kendrick)
8. OF Juan Rivera, Angels (this one's kind of a head-scratcher)
9. 3B Willy Aybar, Rays (excellent Jason Bartlett/Ben Zobrist insurance)
10. OF Matt Joyce, Rays (two HRs, .455 average since May 30)

The Roaring 20s

Rogers Hornsby. Lou Gehrig. Babe Ruth. Goose Goslin. Ty Cobb. Their impact on the game of baseball has been felt for decades, and now, thanks to the good people at Retrosheet, their day-to-day, game-to-game stats from the 1920s can be found at the touch of a button. As an added bonus, you can access the 1925 season -- a year when the Red Sox and Yankees finished next to one another in the American League cellar. How rare is that? Outside of 1966, it's the only time I can recall such an occurrence.

I Cannot Leave Without Touting ...

The new and improved Along with The Baseball Cube and Rotowire, these are the pre-eminent sites for tracking the daily, weekly and monthly travails of minor league stars -- essentially the lifeblood talents for deeper fantasy leagues. has undergone an eye-pleasing site re-design (much like, and it's certainly worth checking out ... even if you're not obsessed with the Total Bases count for Twins prospect Luke Hughes (like me).

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