2014 NFL Draft: Post-draft analysis and rankings
The 2014 NFL Draft is over...finally. How many of you watch all four days of the draft? I watch round 1 and some of day 2...maybe. But day 3? Not for me. Especially on a weekend. Anyway, our new fantasy football writers were all over the draft and here are a few articles addressing the fantasy impact of round 1 of the draft, the winners and losers from round 1, and our post-draft running back rankings:
2014 Rookie Running Back Rankings
Winners and Losers from Day 1 of the 2014 NFL Draft
2014 NFL Draft: Round 1 Fantasy Impact
Jose Fernandez to have Tommy John surgery?
The picture above tells the story for owners of Marlins ace Jose Fernandez. Fantasy owners got the worst news last night when we learned that Fernandez was placed on the 15 day disabled list with a right elbow strain. Juan Rodriguez from the Sun-Sentinel reports that Tommy John surgery will be required:
Source: #Marlins anticipate Fernandez will require season-ending elbow surgery.— Juan C. Rodriguez (@JCRMarlinsbeat) May 13, 2014
TJS is certainly the worst news one can hear with any pitcher, let alone Fernandez, who was probably the best pitcher in baseball in the first month and a half into the 2014 season. Fernandez was 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and a 70-13 strikeout to walk rate in 51.2 innings. He was striking out 12 batters per nine, walking just over two batters per nine, and inducing ground balls at a 49% rate.
Fernandez is not easily replaceable, so you may want to try streaming starters when his turn comes up on your roster. Make sure you check out the Streamer Report here at Fake Teams every day at noon ET.
For more on Fernandez's injury, make sure you check out FIsh Stripes, SB Nation's Marlins fan site.
Will the Dodger call up Joc Pederson to improve outfield defense?
Yesterday, I was reading David Shoenfield's piece addressing five key issues in baseball after the first month and a half of the 2014 season. One of the key issues was how Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was going to address the Dodgers outfield with Matt Kemp playing sub-par defense in center field. Here is Schoenfield on the issue:
Pederson is hitting .373/.481/.679 at Triple-A Alburquerque, with 11 home runs and 10 stolen bases entering Sunday. However, that is Alburquerque, which is a hitters' haven, and Pederson has 41 strikeouts in 35 games, so more time in the minors won't hurt. The other issue is that Kemp appears to be a major liability defensively in center, both by the defensive metrics (-5 defensive runs saved entering Sunday) and the eye test. Come September, it's possible the best Dodgers outfield will be Kemp in left, Pederson in center and Puig in right, with Van Slyke possibly platooning with Pederson (moving Kemp to center). I don't know where that leaves Ethier and Crawford, but GM Ned Colletti may eventually face the difficult dilemma of sitting two veterans (good luck trading either one) for a rookie who may be the better player.
Pederson is tearing up AAA pitching right now. Yes, I know all about the hitter friendly environment that is the Pacific Coast League. But Shoenfield is correct. If they want to improve their outfield defense, Pederson in center and Kemp in left is their best outfield, offensively and defensively. With the Dodgers in a get to the World Series or bust mode, putting your best team on the field should be the objective. Not keeping your overpriced outfielder happy.
For more on the Dodgers, check out True Blue LA, SB Nation's Dodgers fan site.
Remember all those stories back in April about the death threats Yasiel Puig received last year after he escaped from Cuba? You couldn't go to any site on the web without updates on the threats and the story. My friends kept telling me it would affect him and the team. I argued that playing baseball takes him away from the threats and that they never affected him on the field. Puig is having a nice follow up to his tremendous rookie season, and last night, he went 1-3 with two walks and a three-run home run in the Dodgers 6-5 win over the Marlins. Puig is now hitting .318-.408-.553 with 7 home runs, 18 runs scored, 29 RBI and 4 stolen bases in 7 attempts thus far in 2014, and is on pace for 28 home runs and 117 RBI.
Another outfielder who is enjoying a nice season at the plate is Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. Last night, Bautista went 3-4 with a home run and three RBI in the Blue Jays 7-3 win over the Angels. Bautista hit a three run home run off of Angels starter C.J. Wilson, and raise his slash line to .300-.438-.564 with 10 home runs, 32 runs scored, 28 RBI and an elite 27-34 strikeout to walk rate in 140 at bats. He currently ranks in the top three in the American League in home runs, walks, runs scored, SLG and OPS, and is on pace for 40+ home runs and 100+ RBI.
Bautista's teammate Mark Buehrle might be the best starting pitcher in the American League right now. Ok, not really, but he has been a big surprise in the first month and a half this season. Buehrle limited the Angels to two runs on six hits,five walks and two strikeouts in six innings to move his record to 7-1 with a 2.04 ERA, 3.25 FIP, 4.31 xFIP, a 1.25 WHIP and a 31-17 strikeout to walk rate in 53 innings. I think his 4.31 xFIP is a solid projection for what to expect from him the rest of the season.
The Mets will call up AAA pitching prospect Rafael Montero to start Wednesday's game vs the Yankees. After moving starter Jenrry Mejia to the bullpen, the decision was made to call up Montero, and one has to wonder when the Mets will call up their top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard. Montero was 4-1 with a 3.67 ERA, an 8.86 K/9 and a 3.89 BB/9 in eight starts for AAA Las Vegas this season.
Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano had a nice night at the plate last night, going 2-3 with a run scored and two RBI in the Mariners 12-5 win over the Rays. Cano raised his slash line to .3020.354-.383 with one home run, 17 runs scored and 21 RBI in 149 at bats. He is hitting like we expected, but we have seen his power, as measured by SLG and ISO drop considerably thus far in 2014. His SLG has dropped from .516-.383 and his ISO from .202 to .081 this season. We could see his power bounce back to normal levels as the season goes along, but I was in the camp that his power would drop with the move to Seattle back in the offseason. He is on pace for four home runs this season. I know he could hit four home runs in the next week or month, but the drop in power is pretty evident at this stage in the season.
Giants right hander Tim Lincecum has had his ups and downs this season, and last night he dominated the strikeout-prone Braves lineup. Lincecum limited the Braves to one run on two hits, four walks and struck out 11 in the Giants 4-2 win. Lincecum moved his record to 3-2 with a 4.78 ERA, 4,12 FIP, 3.22 xFIP, a 1.55 WHIP and a 46-15 strikeout to walk rate in 43.1 innings. He has given up two runs or less in four of his last six starts this season, but has been hit hard a few times as well. The nice strikeout rate comes with plenty of base runners and runs allowed.
For more fantasy baseball (and football) news and rankings, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown, your one stop for all the fantasy news you need on a daily basis.