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We went to 10 a few years ago (maybe more than a few now). And, we used Peter's suggestion to make one of our supplemental picks an extra pitcher who must be activated to avoid disrupting the $260/23 budget.  It has worked well.  But, it may be time to make it 11 pitchers.  I know some in my league will revolt. They hate the 10th pitcher. Perhaps we can just drop our 1,100 IP requirement this year by 50 or so.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Javier Baez Chicago Cubs

Slashed .324 /.390 / .595 in 2020 spring training with 4 BB / 6 K - easily his best ST showing.  I was expecting 2020 to numbers to be very like the 2019 pace.

He seems like a hard worker but not sure how he spent the pandemic break before the season started -- then was unable to use in-game video, which he blamed for his lack of production.

One of my favorites - hope he rebounds.  I am willing to bet on it, especially at a discount...though I will be reading any news for clues.

Eric Valdi farley

We had our winter meeting in the American Dreams today. I have to say, interrupting each other on zoom isn't half as much fun.

The big question: should we lower our innings requirement now that the same number of innings are spread among so many more pitchers? The somewhat unexpected solution: add another pitcher.

We upped the number to ten years ago, with no change in the budget. This year it's 11, with no change in the budget.

Next year will it be 12?

Alex Patton Alex
Mike Yastrzemski San Francisco Giants

The rule of thumb is something I discovered when I made a big chart of everyone's roto earnings for the post-war ERA. What you find is that players who make their first baseball earnings who are older (say 27+) usually have shorter careers.

My theory is that around age 27 players hit a sweet spot of physical skill and mental acuity, so guys like MYaz and Whit Merrifield finally get a big-league shot and some are able to capitalize, as he has. But after 27 the physical skill starts to fade, and for players who started with less they fade more quickly.

There are exceptions, of course, but perhaps they prove the rule?

Peter Kreutzer Rotoman

Fixed! Thanks.

Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Jacob deGrom New York Mets

Phantom stats are zero'd out and removed from the totals.

Colin Summers Colin (Flying Blog)

That was $86 in the 2020 formula. We are now showing what the stats are worth in the 2019. It's hard to say which way ERA and WHIP are going to swing this year. By reverting to 2019, at least we are seeing the projections in a known context.

Colin is still trying to solve the problem of the phantom 2021 stats (copies of 2020).

Alex Patton Alex

Some of the 2021 $ projections look sketchy. I love JdG but I'm not paying $86 for him.


Now a Met

Mike Yastrzemski San Francisco Giants

Yes, the father, who was Yaz's only son played, even sadder details at ESPN, great to see his kid recover from it:

 His father, Carl Jr. (who went by Mike),[5] played college baseball for the Florida State Seminoles baseball team, and played professionally in the minor leagues from 1984 to 1988.[8] His father and mother, Anne-Marie, divorced when he was six years old.[5] Carl Jr. died at the age of 43 from a blood clot after having hip surgery.

John Thomas Roll2
Ian Happ Chicago Cubs

Won his arbitration case. $4.1 million instead of the 3.25 the Cubs offered.

Had a great first half (.302/.439/.640 in August), slashed .213/.286/.360 the rest of the way. The normal monthly ups and downs or did pitchers catch on?

Alex Patton Alex
Matt Carpenter St. Louis Cardinals

Seems way too late to have the DH in the NL this year but you never know. 

Matt Carpenter (3B) STL - Feb. 19

Carpenter's exact fit with the Cardinals following the offseason acquisition of Nolan Arenado is expected to be sorted out during spring training, Zachary Silver of reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: The versatile veteran has struggled considerably at the plate across the last two seasons, generating a combined .216/.332/.372 line with a 26.8 percent strikeout rate across 661 plate appearances over that span. Carpenter still has some pop in his bat, however, as 47 (26 doubles, two triples, 19 home runs) of his 120 hits in that sample went for extra bases. Consequently, manager Mike Shildt is receptive to finding a way to keep Carpenter's bat in the lineup on a consistent basis, but the potential lack of a universal DH in 2021 will make that a more challenging feat to accomplish if it comes to pass. Carpenter would be a good potential fit for the team's currently vacant leadoff spot, as he's started 759 career games at the top of the order; however, the 35-year-old would naturally need a position in the field as well, and while he does have experience playing both first and second base, a platoon role at the keystone could ultimately be his best path to occasional playing time.

Alex Patton Alex
Alex Cobb Los Angeles Angels

That's what they said about Dylan Bundy.

Alex Cobb (P) ANA - Feb. 19

Cobb visited Driveline Baseball over the offseason and worked on some mechanical changes, Rhett Bollinger of reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: The Angels need the 33-year-old to be something other than he's been thus far in his 30s, as he's struggled to a 5.10 ERA over the last three seasons. Driveline has a deserved reputation for making pitchers suddenly more productive, though a trip there doesn't guarantee anyone's problems will be instantly solved. The report perhaps makes Cobb more interesting than most pitchers his age with his recent track record, but he'll have to demonstrate a new level of performance on the field before he becomes a truly compelling fantasy option.

Alex Patton Alex
Steve Cishek Houston Astros

Never too late to identify a flaw.

Steve Cishek (P) HOU - Feb. 19

Cishek has identified a flaw in his mechanics that led to last season's 5.40 ERA over 20 innings, Brian McTaggart of reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: The side-arming Cishek noticed his arm slot was about six inches higher than normal, which led to a flat sinker. Opposing batters raked against the pitch, hitting .395 off it with a .789 slugging percentage. By contrast, the opposition managed .261 and .405 off the same pitch in 2019, when he posted a 2.95 ERA over 64 innings for the Cubs. "That's the first time in my career my two-seamer has been hit that hard," Cishek said. "I've been hit hard plenty of times, but not on a consistent basis like that. Obviously, that was a wake-up call that something is not right." He tried to make in-season adjustments but ran out of time during the shortened season. The Astros revamped their bullpen during the offseason and the 34-year-old, a non-roster invitee, is expected to earn a spot.

Alex Patton Alex
Dylan Cease Chicago White Sox

Dylan Cease (P) CHI-A - Feb. 19

Cease has worked with White Sox pitching coach Ethan Katz to correct mechanical flaws in his lower body, Scott Merkin of reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Cease threw a side session Thursday under the watchful eye of catcher Yasmani Grandal, who liked what he saw. "If we get him to where we see him going, this guy could be a Cy Young finalist," Grandal said. "He could possibly be a Cy Young winner. He's got the tools to do it, there's no doubt on that." 

Alex Patton Alex
Mike Yastrzemski San Francisco Giants

Brucej4 is referring to the first sentence of Rotoman's extended comment.

The late-blooming son of a Hall of Famer wasn't expected to get better in his second big league year, but he did.

The end of it --

The rule of thumb with late bloomers is that they fade fast, don't expect a career deep into their 30s, but it's tempting to give M-Yaz the benefit of the doubt this year. He's past the point of flash in the pan, expect him to lose some batting average but otherwise we should see more of the same this year.

I wonder why that is the rule of thumb?

Also, did dad play baseball?

Alex Patton Alex


Bruce Jones brucej4
Julio Urias Los Angeles Dodgers

I'm not ... just FYI :-)

Howard Lynch LynchMob

Robert Arthur produces a graph today at BP showing the median exit velocity of all batted balls was a little under 90 mph in late July. It rises, then dips in August. It begins to rise again in September, climbing steadily to 92 by the end of the month. The upward trend is steady but a little steeper throughout October, with the median exit velocity reaching 94 in the last game of the World Series.

His conclusion:

The jump in exit velocity persists even if you control for weather, the increased caliber of player in the postseason, and the parks they were playing in. At nearly three miles per hour, it’s way too big to be random variation and meaningful enough to significantly impact the offensive level of the postseason.

But even so, Arthur doesn't see some dark conspiracy afoot.

Instead, what happened last year looks a lot like chaos: baseball lots predictably varied in their performance, with some having more drag and less exit velocity, but unpredictably in terms of when certain lots went into use. MLB let us know this year that a deadened ball would be coming, but considering their struggles in maintaining one level of performance the last few years, it may be that we get a deadened baseball some weeks and a livelier baseball others. And for the players and teams, it’s looking increasingly likely that every postseason will feature the "October surprise" of a new kind of baseball, making the already-random playoffs even more of a crapshoot.

Alex Patton Alex

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