metafrantic (metafrantic) wrote in baseballblog,

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I'l make a non-fantasy related post soon, I swear...

...but for now, I have a bit of a problem.

It's not a bad problem to have. In my July 14 post, I said that a number of my team's weaknesses (and how I address them) would depend on the returns of Troy Percival and Troy Tulowitzki. Both Troys returned in the last couple days.


Percival came in in a non-save situation, gave up one single and hit a batter but didn't allow a run. A bit shaky, but understandable since it's his first time facing real hitters in a while. More importantly, he admitted that his injury "didn't feel normal" the first time he came off the DL, but now it feels normal. Apparently he was initially misdiagnosed with a hamstring injury, but it was actually an irritated nerve in his back sending strange signals. I think he'll be ok and will reclaim the closer role immediately.

So my relief pitching is Nathan, Street, Percival, Corpas. This is pretty sold, but there's a couple potential problems:

1) Street might be traded. The A's are definitely selling off their "stars", having already shipped Haren, Blanton and Harden. Street is the subject of a lot of talk. He may go somewhere else where he can close, like Milwaukee or the NY Mets. But if he gets traded to someone looking for an 8th-inning setup man, his value disappears since he won't be getting save opportunities. I'm wondering if I should trade him now, but he's given up 4 ER in his last 3 appearances, so his value is very low.

2) Fuentes might NOT be traded. Brian Fuentes is the Rockies closer, and a candidate to be traded, which would return Corpas to the closer role. But the Rockies are apparently asking an arm and a leg for him, so they might price him out of a trade. If Fuentes stays, Corpas is just a middle-late relief guy without saves.

I'm standing pat on closers right now. The next couple weeks will determine what happens with Street and Corpas, but at the least they'll give decent innings with solid K/9. And Nathan/Percival is a good 1/2 for closers.


Tulowitzki is the real "problem". He returned to the lineup last night, and went 5/5 with a double, a run and an RBI. His BA rose .026 from the one game.

On the same night, Carlos Guillen returned. He'd been with his wife while she got surgery due to complications from giving birth recently. Guillen went 3/4 with 2 BB, 2 RBI and FIVE runs scored. Guillen is a better hitter than he's been so far in 2008, and this might be an indication that he's coming around.

So the question is: whom do I play? the situation is further complicated by having 2 top 1B (Teixeira and Fielder), meaning the UTIL spot on my lineup is taken. (Guillen is also 1B and 3B eligible. Beltre is hitting well in my 3B spot.) Most likely, Tulowitzki gets the SS spot; that's why I traded for him, and I expect him to have a solid second half. Tex and Fielder definitely play over Guillen or Beltre. Knowing that, I have to choose Beltre or Guillen at 3B.

The other option is to trade someone. Fielder has hit well recently, and could possibly bring in a premium SP to shore up my already-awesome rotation, or a better 2B than Hudson. That would enable me to do this:

1B - Teixeira
SS - Tulowitzki
3B - Beltre
UTIL - Guillen (rotate with Votto or Clement)

But it seems a bit unwise to use Guillen at UTIL, he's really only valuable at SS - anywhere else his numbers are only so-so.

I could also trade Guillen. That would enable:

1B - Teixeira
SS - Tulowitzki
3B - Beltre
UTIL - Fielder (rotate with Votto or Clement)

But Guillen is undervalued now, and his 3-position eligibility makes him a very flexible, useful asset.

I'm sure I'll end up trading one of them; it's just a matter of figuring out what makes the most sense going forward.
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