Week 3 saw me drop a 5-7 week, leaving me hovering around a mid-line. On the plus side, no one’s really running away with anything early – in fact, I’m in 6th place overall in the league right now and 4 GB from the top spot in my division. Not that it’s a huge deal at this juncture, but it’s like they say in real baseball – you can’t win the pennant in April, but you can lose it.
I won a couple categories by a narrow margin this week, and lost a couple by a narrow margin. All in all, it was a close week, so I’m not too discouraged by the sub-.500 performance.
My Week 4 roster is:
C – Buster Posey
1B – Prince Fielder
2B – Dustin Pedrioa
3B – Pedro Alvarez
SS – Everth Cabrera
1B/3B – Chris Davis
2B/SS – Dustin Ackley
OF x5 – Starling Marte / Austin Jackson / Nori Aoki / Khris Davis / Carl Crawford
UTIL – Emilio Bonifacio
BENCH – Alex Guerrero
SP x6 – David Price / Shelby Miller / Corey Kluber / Zack Wheeler / Tyson Ross / Alex Wood
RP x3 (closers) – Craig Kimbrel / Ernesto Frieri / Francisco Rodriguez
P x2 (closer/setup) – Sergio Santos / Jonathon Broxton
DL x2 – Matt Harvey / Aroldis Chapman
No real changes. I continue to shuffle my fifth reliever, but I’ve settled on Broxton. He was sitting on the wire when he came back from the DL, so I decided to pick him up. I might be punting holds for the moment, but when Chapman comes off from the DL, I’ll have a holds-saves combo. That’s a bit of a high risk/reward scenario, but it can work rather nicely, and I do enjoy having at least one team’s setup/closer combo working for me. I’ve investigated picking up Kimbrel’s set-up man, but haven’t succeeded in a trade yet, and I’m not as sure about David Carpenter as I am Jonathon Broxton. That said, I do need to start looking at dealing a closer with Chapman coming back in a month or so. The downside is that the two guys I’d be most open to trading – Santos and Frieri – are busy setting their teams on fire. We’ll see what happens.
The other major issue the lineup is showing is a simple power outage, still. I’m second-to-last in the league in home runs, and that’s not going to change until Chris Davis and Prince Fielder start to heat up. If my big three power guys – Davis, Fielder, Alvarez – are erratic all year, it could spell doom for me. I’m also counting on wild cards like Austin Jackson and Khris Davis to give me 20 or so HRs to help. However, I do lead the league in stolen bases. I might have to look to deal speed for power at some point, but so far I think I’m simply a victim of slow starts. My lineup is too set to really go make a desperation waiver wire add, too; the most droppable guy on my roster is Bonifacio, but damnit, he just keeps hitting and stealing bases. I could try to deal him, but I don’t think anyone in my league is going to bite on a small early season sample size from a guy with his history. The next most likely idea would be to deal Aoki for a 20HR-potential bat, but that seems unlikely until he heats up, too.
Pitching is… questionable, at this point. I end up with respectable ERAs each week, but my WHIP is high. In fact, I have the worst WHIP in the league. I just need guys to make it happen. Miller seems to be getting his act together, at least. Wheeler has done okay but not great. Alex Wood has really caught on, though, as has Tyson Ross. Corey Kluber’s not inspiring confidence yet, though. Yet again, it’s a lineup I’m not losing faith in… there’s just no one out there with the same upside if I were to let Wheeler or Kluber go. Best to just keep riding it out.