Monday, March 27, 2006

McStallen's 2006 Fantasy Baseball Preview -Part I- Pitchers and Catchers

I originally started this blog to talk about fantasy sports. But many readers kept hounding me about the personal details of my life as a deranged mercenary- and so gradually over time I just started using my blog to write about people I tried to kill in order to appease the littles. But every once in a while I like to kick it old school and return to my true passion, which is not cold-blooded murder, but rather fantasy sports.

Ergo I'm going to use the next few blog postings to provide abbreviated fantasy baseball insight. If you want all my rankings and baseball wisdom, you'll need to pay $19.95 and become a McStallen Insider. The first 500 people to sign-up get free claymores. And membership is free to anyone who has purchased an assault rifle from me over the last 180 calendar days. As always, all proceeds go to my charity to rebuild the Berlin Wall- which is tax deductible in Syria.

All right so let's talk about pitchers and catchers- seems like a natural place to start...

-I know Colorado catchers have a terrible track record, but I'm really surprised no one has jumped on any of them in the drafts I've been monitoring. It seems like Danny Ardoin is duking it out with Yorvit Torrealba for a race to the bottom. But keep an eye on this situation- if Torrealba gets healthy, he could be a solid producer. Similarly, if Ardoin stays hot, he could plug a big fantasy hole. More power to him.

-And how about Baltimore? With Javy Lopez and Ramon Hernandez on the roster, I think both could have great years- To start the season, Lopez will play firstbase and Hernandez will catch, but that could change alot and both could be DH'ing or likewise getting more time off from behind the plate, and that ought to help them out alot.

-Las Molinas- the Molina family (Ben, Yadier, and whomever the third guy is) has ravaged the catching position like the Gramatickas desecrated the world of NFL kicking. Don't buy into them- they are garbage and Bo Diaz could outcatch all of them- well, he could if he hadn't been impaled on that fateful day in November 1990 by a satellite dish.

-Mauer vs. V-Mart? So who's the best catcher? Both these guys have very good K-BB ratios. Mauer can steal and Martinez cannot- but here's what really sells it for me- after the all-star break last year, Martinez hit .380 and Mauer hit .284. So I have to give a big edge to Mr. Martinez

And now for some closer talk

-Florida- they're officially going with Joe Borowski, but I wouldn't be surprised if Kerry Lightenberg ends up in there soon. Also, Matt Herges has closing experience, and Travis Bowyer (recently sent packing to AAA) could always be called up and get a shot later in the season.

-Cincinnati- this stuff changes alot, but for now look for righty David Weathers to be the primary closer, and lefty Kent Merker to get the call when the Reds are facing a predominantly left-handed line-up in the 9th.

-Pittsburgh- I'm not sold on Mike Gonzalez- great numbers- but he's a lefty, and I think Pittsburgh may occasionally use Salomon Torres, Damaso Marte, or another righty to close depending on the situation.

-Atlanta- Chris Reitsma has done an OK job at closer, but Atlanta has traditionally had very effective closers under the leadership of confessed wife-beater/functional alcoholic Bobby Cox- they made a big mistake with Danny Kolb, and Reitsma is sort of the damage control that was left-over- but I think it's only a matter of time before "lights out" Joey Devine gets the call and Atlanta once again has a quality closer. And Oscar Villareal might keep the mound warm for a few weeks as Atlanta transitions from Reitsma to Devine.

-Tampa Bay- Chad Orvella is technically the closer this week, but there are alot of hats in the ring on this one- Dan Miceli, Jesus Colume, Chad Harville etc. Look for Miceli to actually get the first save opportunities. None have much of a track record, so don't put too much faith in any of them. At least that boner Lou Pinella isn't around to confuse things even more with his misinformation.

-Cleveland- Bob Wickman is a fat pud- over the past few years, he has clung to his closer role and fended off a bunch of bums like Raphael Betancort and Doug Riske or whoever they hell they are- but I think he has met his match in one Fernando Cabrera- it should be only a matter of time before the young flame-thrower takes over- maybe even before the all-star break.

-Kansas City- Ambriorix Burgos will close while the oft-injured Mike MacDougal is on the DL for the next 4-6 weeks, and Burgos could hold onto that spot if he pitches well. Burgos had a great preseason so he could be a nice sleeper.

-WhiteSox-this time last year, I was calling for the head of the abominable Mr. Zero (Shingo Takatsu)- this year I am targeting another closer- Bobby Jenks- who seems to have lost all his velocity. Neal Cotts is healthy and has nasty stuff and is just waiting to get his chance to close. I was right about Mr. Zero, and I had the inside goods on Winnie Mandela long before the Truth and Reconciliation Committee did, so have a little faith in me, and stay from Jenks. And don't worry about Dustin Hermanson- he's going to start the season on the DL.

-Detroit- I just don't have any faith in Todd Jones- I think last year was a fluke for Jones- Keep an eye on this one and be prepared to grab Fernando Rodney if Jones falters.


Anonymous Justin Mills said...

McStallen, you dont know shit from shinola!

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Marta McNevitch said...

whattaya got shit in your ears McStallen?

5:23 PM  
Blogger McStallen said...

Marta- FYI those frumpy Britney Spears hats went out of style 2 1/2 years ago. Please stop wearing them to bars- you are embarassing yourself and everyone you are with.

10:53 AM  

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