buy/sell

Buy/Sell – Colabello Of The Ball

 

I didn’t think it would be possible near the end of April, but there is a player on the Minnesota Twins that is leading the AL in RBI.  His name is Chris Colabello, and believe or not, he may be hanging around your waiver wire still.  Take him.  Snatch him up while you still can.  While he may be a bit old for his 2nd year in the majors, he has a solid track record, an his hitting so far this year isn’t out of line with what he’s done in the past.  He’s hit HRs in two straight games now, so grab him and play him til he cools down.  It’s not out of the question that he performs well for your team for the entire year, as we’ve seen life-long minor leaguers breakout once getting full MLB playing time near their 30s (Jose Bautista, Nelson Cruz).

Let’s look at who else you should aim to grab, and who to let go:

Balls Gif Roundup

Gif Roundup 4/24 – Fastball versus Breaking Ball

 

The Gif Roundup moved to an all pitches format yesterday and that got me thinking about what pitches are more aesthetically pleasing to our readers. Breaking balls are visually amazing and show how pitchers use a sharp break and/or misdirection to fool hitters. A sharp fastball on the edge of the strikezone shows true precision, and can be just as unhittable as that sharp breaking ball.

I would like to hear from you, the reader, about what kind of pitches you want to see in the Gif Roundup. Whether it’s a called strike, swinging strike or a pitch that drops out of the strike zone, slow-motion or real speed, I want to give the people what they want.

Every weekday we’ll be conducting a poll to crown the Gif of the Day and each winner will be featured on Saturday where you can vote for your favorite Gif of the Week. Contact us on twitter and let us know which pitches you want us to Gif, and we’ll give you a shout-out on the site.

1. Michael Wacha‘s Curveball - Wacha had a very strange outing last night, striking out 9 through 3 innings and then walking in two runs in the 4th. His curveball and cutter were very hard to hit when he could throw the ball over the plate. Here’s a couple of those effective curveballs:

Sp in review

SP In Review 4/24 – The Curious Case Of Martin Perez

 

I’d like to take a moment today to applaud Martin Perez on his second straight Complete Game Shutout, and his 3rd straight start without allowing an ER, totaling 26 innings of 0 ER baseball.  His line today was a lovely 9.0 IP, 3 Hits, 0 ER, 2 BBs, 3 Ks.  Now let’s take a deeper look at Perez.  His GB rate has been fantastic, nearing 57% for the year, a step up from his 48% in 2013.  But he’s only accumulated 23 Ks in his 38 IP of work, and relies on a healthy does of luck to get his outs.  Over those 3 starts, his BABIP has been .238, .136, and .120.  LOB rate?  100%, 100%, and, surprsingly, 100%.  xFIP, 4.49, 2.77, 4.07.  You get the idea, Perez has had a nice run, but there’s little reason to expect his luck to continue.  Pitchers are going to have solid runs throughout the entire year, and the only reason so many are buzzing about Martin is because it’s April.  When this happens in July, you’ll shrug and move on to better options.  It’s okay to spot start some of these streaky pitchers, but you should keep a level head and not invest in them long-term.  If you’re a Perez owner, SELL SELL SELL.

Moving on to the rest of the Starting Pitching world:

Balls Gif Roundup

Gif Roundup 4/23 – Pitching Duel

 

Offense sells tickets, but a hard fought pitching duel is an amazing sight to behold. Last night, Jose Fernandez and Alex Wood combined for 25 K and no BB in 16 IP. Fernandez relies on filthy raw stuff while Wood relies on great command and the deception he gets from his funky delivery. Hopefully, Wood and Fernandez will have many matchups like this one in the future.

We’re doing something a little different with the Roundup today: all pitches. Please let us know your thoughts, good or bad, in the comment section below.

Every weekday we’ll be conducting a poll to crown the Gif of the Day and each winner will be featured on Saturday where you can vote for your favorite Gif of the Week. Contact us on twitter and let us know which pitches you want us to Gif, and we’ll give you a shout-out on the site.

1. Jose Fernandez‘s Curveball - This pitch moves from the outside corner, to all the way out of the strikezone at the blink of an eye. It’s just not fair.

Sp in review

SP In Review 4/23 – Collin Mc…Who?

 

Collin McHugh was brought up by the Astros to start after Scott Feldman abruptly got put on the DL yesterday, and no one expected much after he sported a 90 MPH fastball and a 10.00+ ERA in 2013.  That all changed when he struck out the side in the first inning while firing a 94+ MPH Fastball.  Not bad, but how would he finish?  Only with a line of 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 12 Ks.  Pretty incredible for a guy who didn’t even know he was starting until earlier that day.  I elected to watch his entire performance, and I have to admit, I was impressed.  He was spotting his Fastball well, and mixing speeds with his Slider and Curve, and even with his heater to keep the Mariners off balance.  He threw all of his pitches with confidence, even making Cano look silly on a 1-2 hook.  He isn’t going to be a giant stud, but if he stays in the Astros rotation, he will be the most fantasy relevant starter on the team.  I’m not going off to waiver wire to pick him up, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he struggles against an actually potent offense in a non-pitcher’s park, but it’s hard not to be curious what he does in his next start at home against Oakland.

There was a lot more to marvel at during last night’s games.  Let’s take a look at the other Starting Pitchers from around the league:

Balls Gif Roundup

Gif Roundup 4/22 – Youth is Irreplaceable

 

The Gif Roundup is pitch heavy today, and with pitches on my mind I want to recommend Eno Sarris’ latest sabermetric writing over at Sports on Earth. If you’re a “too long, didn’t read” type the basic gist of the article is that pitchers throw hardest in the beginning of their career, and then lose velocity gradually until a precipitous fall starting at age 27. I think this is a phenomenon most baseball fans have encountered numerous times. A pitcher like Stephen Strasburg used to throw 100 regularly has seen his fastball drop in the mid 90s. That may not seem like a big drop as Strasburg is more than effective in the mid nineties, but for many pitchers losing 2-3 MPH is the difference between a big league spot and a AAA career. I look at a pitcher like David Price, who has lost velocity over the last 3 years, and wonder if his best days are behind him. Pitching coaches love to talk about changing speeds and command, but K% drops with velocity, which David Price exemplifies well.

Information is power, and Sarris’ article is just more information for baseball fans, but maybe the baseball world needs to recalibrate how it values veteran pitchers. I know C.C. Sabathia wishes he had his velocity from three years ago, and even more, ten years ago.

Every weekday we’ll be conducting a poll to crown the Gif of the Day and each winner will be featured on Saturday where you can vote for your favorite Gif of the Week. Contact us on twitter and let us know which moments you want us to Gif, and we’ll give you a shout-out on the site.

1. Jenrry Mejia‘s Cutter - Mejia fires this cutter at the perfect location, down and out, with the cut on the ball bringing it back onto the black of the strike zone. Mejia looked great yesterday, and maybe the post hype prospect is ready for a breakout.

Sp in review

SP In Review 4/22 – Liriano Sets The New Line

 

It’s been a confusing season for Francisco Liriano owners.  After an excellent debut with 10 Ks, he then produces four straight starts of 3 ER or more, including tonight: 7.0 IP, 4 ER (5 Runs), 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks.  He’s right at the threshold of startable, as he clearly has the K upside, but it comes at an apparent risk to your ERA and WHIP.  Do I want him on my team?  Only for the occasional spot start, but in most cases, I’m generally avoiding.  I hate having 50% of his starts making me cringe, and so should you.  He reminds me of those Jelly Beans from Harry Potter, which could taste anywhere from beautifully delicious or nauseatingly revolting.  It made me always think “Why not just get Jelly Beans from a company that you know you like?”  Don’t buy those magical Harry Potter Beans, buy the ones you want to eat everyday.

Here’s what else happened in tonight’s games:

kevinkouzmanoff_041814_blogcut

Real or Fake – Don’t Ride The Hot Hand Too Long

 

Each year, a few free agent pickups in the beginning of the year end up providing amazing production all year out of the blue. We want to give you the tools to look at a hot streak and be able to predict whether that player is ready for a true breakout or whether that player is due to crash to back to earth. A good test for any fantasy owner is to see whether they can find value in players other owners have glossed over.

Each week we will be looking at a few players who have been hot over the last 7 days and predicting whether the performance is real or fake. In the beginning of the season especially, one true diamond in the rough can be the difference at the end of the year.  But before we get there, we have to weed out the impostors:

Balls Gif Roundup

Gif Roundup 4/21 – A Day of Rest

 

Short introduction today as I leave you with a cliche and possibly corny message: Don’t Panic! Patience is a virtue. I almost traded my best starter away this week in a quest for more offense. I realized it’s too early to change the framework of my team. Sometimes, the smartest decision is to walk away from a trade and just wait.

Every weekday we’ll be conducting a poll to crown the Gif of the Day and each winner will be featured on Saturday where you can vote for your favorite Gif of the Week. Contact us on twitter and let us know which moments you want us to Gif, and we’ll give you a shout-out on the site.

1. Shelby Miller‘s Curveball - What is it with Cardinals pitchers getting Ian Desmond to swing and miss at curveballs? First, Adam Wainwright to end the game, now Shelby Miller.

Sp in review

SP In Review 4/21 – Chicks Dig The Homer

 

It’s easy to follow the first few starts of the year and simply write off pitchers for the entire season, despite everything you’ve read about them for the past 6 months in the winter.  Many were ready to do the same with Homer Baileybut if you were smart, you stuck with him and didn’t sell him low like many others.  He rewarded non-emotional owners with a 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks outing on Easter Sunday, and you shouldn’t be surprised.  He’s much better than his previous April starts dictated, and he finally brought it today.  He gets the K-happy Braves again next week, and he should be a solid play for the rest of the year.

Let’s see what else caught my eye this holiday weekend: