Game 5 is in the books. Feels wrong not to have baseball today. Here are some links to tide you over:
It all comes down to the fact that [Morel's] power display appears to be nothing but an aberration. A 29.6% HR/FB is the explanation, something that is impossible for him to replicate, even over a short spurt. Just to put the number in perspective, the league leader for the season was Mike Stanton who posted a 24.8% mark.
Brandon Morrow: To Keep or Not to Keep? | Roto Hardball
I believe in Morrow, and I think he's going to have better numbers as far as GIDPs go. That's going to help his numbers with runners on base.
For hitters with at least 280 plate appearances, Jennings was the 6th fastest according to Bill James’s speed score, just ahead of Michael Bourn.
So is he a keeper for 2012? For AL-only leagues, it's a yes. The pitching pool is just way too shallow to not take the chance on Ogando repeating his breakout season. As far as mixed-leagues, Ogando will likely be outside of my top 50 starting pitchers in 2012, so for leagues with no type of keeper compensation, he's probably best left off your list. However, if you can keep him for $1-3 or a pick after the 20th round, he does make for one of the better fliers at that point. Just have a good backup plan.
Sleeper Spotlight: Will 2012 Be The Year Kurt Suzuki Finally Puts It Together? | Rotoprofessor
I don't buy Suzuki. Here's an alternative viewpoint.
Follow the jump for more of the latest fantasy baseball news and analysis from around the web.
As great as Cruz can be, I still don't think the picture I've painted is pretty enough to consider keeping him for 2012. His LD% reached an all-time low, while his GB% reached an all-time high. He managed to have the 2nd highest HR/FB of his career while hitting less fly balls than he ever has. Combining his age, history of health problems, and production decline across the board (overall just 1.4 bWAR), I'd steer clear of keeping this 2011 post season beast for your 2012 squad.
His overall numbers for the season were disappointing, but his second half split was quite impressive. The Twins have an option on Nathan's contract for next season, so be careful to monitor his situation during the spring, but expect him to be the closer somewhere (most likely in Minnesota), and expect him to perform well. He should provide fringe top-10 closer numbers at a fraction of the price.
Can Jason Motte Be An Elite Closer In 2012? | Rotoprofessor
Well, he still hasn't been named the closer, and Tony La Russa's bullpen coach is apparently hard of hearing. You tell me.
Third base has become a relatively barren position, with few reliable players in terms of health and production. Most have some type of caveat that brings down their value. In Freese's case, the lack of consistent power and health put him as a fantasy player that can really only be counted on to produce in two categories, average and RBI. Drafting Freese late could turn into a steal, but drafting him early could force you to miss out on a more valuable player. Be sure not to overlook the past few seasons when considering drafting Freese, and do not overrate his October performance by making him a top target on draft day.
Youk ought to hit for something closer to his career average of .290 in 2012 and don't forget that he still draws a great deal of walks and he's got well above average power with an ISO of .202. But predicting his performance, and value, for 2012 can't ignore the fact that he's been incapable of staying off the trainers table and if his injuries resemble anything close to 2011, he's not going to be worth whatever cost you likely paid last season.
The most likely outcome, of course, is that James Loney's August and September will prove simply to be a short-term fluke. But don't be afraid to take a chance on him at the end of your draft next spring, particularly if he hits well (and for power) during spring training. Mid-career breakouts do happen, and if you can recognize them before your fellow managers, you'll have a leg up on the competition.
2012 AL Outfielder Keeper Rankings: Second Tier | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball
FanGraphs continues to update their keeper ranks, a tier at a time. Check out the site for all of the ranks.
NL Rookie Hitters: Don't Give Up Yet | Roto Hardball
Don't give up, just sit back and be patient with these 2012 sophomores.
Lower the Expectations For Ackley, Kipnis, Goldschmidt and Thames in 2012 | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball
Something to remember: Sophomore Slumps are real. Of course, you should evaluate players individually, but it's something to keep in mind.
Buy Low Candidates: Looking At The 10 Worst BABIP From 2011 | Rotoprofessor
I'd like to do something like this, but while also using xBABIP.
Top 5 SwStk% Decliners | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball
I feel confident that Howard will be able to return to play. Howard has a lot going in his favor as mentioned above. There could, as always, be delays in the recovery, but he should be fine by May. Stay on top of this over the winter, because if there are any setbacks, it will probably mean a delay in his return by 2-3 weeks. Add that up, and you could be looking at June.
The most likely scenario arising from such a competition would likely be some sort of platoon situation, with Mayberry as the right-handed component. However, should everyday at bats become available at first base, it is reasonable to expect Mayberry to be the primary beneficiary. While Mayberry’s platoon splits certainly favor left-handed pitching (.953 OPS in 2011), he was by no means inept against righties (.785 OPS in 2011) indicating that he could probably succeed while playing everyday if needed.
Darvish, Rizzo and Rizzotti: Prospect Chatter | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball
I have no idea what I'll do with Darvish if he posts. Thoughts?
The Verdict: drama over mid-week DL substitutions | The Hardball Times
There's an easy solution to this: daily lineup changes. It's allowed in real life; why not reflect that in fantasy? I'd like to hear from weekly lineup change defenders: why should this system still be used in an age where the vast majority of fantasy baseball leagues are run on the Internet?
Wezen-Ball: Rethinking the Intentional Walk | Baseball Prospectus
Interesting idea, though I'm inclined to say leave it alone. Still, there has to be some way to discourage managers from, say, bringing in a reliever just to intentionally walk a batter, right?
Intentional Walks: The Scourge Of Our National Game | Baseball Nation
Even more on the intentional walk. Color me unimpressed with the proposed solution. Sorry, Rob.
Baseball on Fox | SI.com
Absolutely agree with Posnanski here. Also love the rant about Michael Young.
Leading Off: Calling All Geniuses | NYTimes.com
I promise I'm not trying to pile on TLR by linking this. The whole thing fascinates me.
Napoli's High-Ball Hacking Pays Off | Baseball Analytics
This was posted before the World Series. Prophetic.
Napoli's nine homers on out-of-zone pitches rank second in the majors, and seven of those shots have come on high pitches. A word of advice to Cardinals pitchers as the World Series kicks off tonight: if you're thinking about trying to get Napoli to chase high, think again.