Brian, Feature, First Base

The Problem with Adam Dunn

"I crush..."

I was tinkering around with one of my head-to-head teams the other day, trying to improve my lackluster production, and I started to look at the career of one of my bench players: Adam Dunn. I got so sidetracked that I didn’t even end up making any changes to my team, but I did discover something fairly interesting. Dunn, who used to be thought of as a top tier player, in both fantasy and reality, has never been to the playoffs in his 11-year career. This isn’t some enormously enormous finding, but it is when you couple it with these two facts: 1) Dunn has only once been on a .500 or better team and 2) each organization that Dunn left, via trade or free agency, either made the playoffs or went .500 or better (the 2011 Washington Nationals went 80-81 without Dunn)—or both—within two years of being Dunn-less.

What makes it even worse is the Cincinnati Reds were 85-77 in 2000, the year before he broke into the Bigs. The Arizona Diamondbacks, the team Dunn was traded to mid-2008 to help them make the playoffs, ended up stumbling down the stretch (22-22 with Dunn) and missed the playoffs by two games to the dreaded Dodgers. In 2010, the Chicago White Sox were 88-74 (you guessed it!) without Dunn. Last year, in his first year with the club, the ChiSox went 79-83 and he hit a paltry .159, gathering only 66 hits, while striking out 177 times.

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Brian, Outfield, Pick Ups, Questions, Relievers, Rumblings, Second Base, Shortstop

Early Season Observations

Elite Starting Pitchers Struggling

Timmy won't be asked to do anymore video games with an ERA over 12.00.

This is something Ryan Butler is going to touch on in an article later this week, but it’s something worth noting here. After two turns through pitching rotations, six starting pitchers ranked in the top 100 by Yahoo! have an ERA over 6.00 (Tim Lincecum, 12.91; C.C. Sabathia, 6.75; Zack Greinke, 6.75; Dan Haren, 6.97; Adam Wainwright, 11.42; and Daniel Hudson, 8.71). Yu Darvish, the Chosen One, has eight walks in two starts and his WHIP (2.21) weighs more than he does. Mat Latos has the same amount of walks as strikeouts (five).

Conversely, pitchers like Chad Billingsley, Edwin Jackson, Barry Zito, and Jonathon Niese are all pitchers who went largely undrafted in many leagues, but are ranked among the top starters through two weeks.

We’re not saying you should hit the panic button yet, but it’s a reminder that there’s always pitching to be had.

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Brian, Circle of Trust, Closers, Relievers

Closer Circle of Trust: April 2012




Chris Perez Jonathan Broxton Matt Capps Frank Francisco
Jim Johnson Javy Guerra Joel Hanrahan Huston Street Brian Wilson
Matt Thorton
Sergio Santos J.J. Putz
Craig Kimbrel Jose Valverde Heath Bell Grant Balfour
Brandon League John Axford Mariano Rivera Jonathan Papelbon Jordan Walden
Jason Motte
Alfredo Aceves Carlos Marmol Sean Marshall
Rafael Betancourt
Brett Myers Joel Peralta

Brad Lidge
Joe Nathan

Notes: The closer carousel begins. Hopefully you bought into the closers who are in blue or green in your draft. The outside looking in isn’t where you want to hang out. But let’s take a look at each color.

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Awards, Brian, Butler, Jared, Rankings, Shorty

Pre-Season Award Show!

These awards have no correlation with fantasy.

We know it’s a week overdue (it’s not the preseason any longer!), but without further ado, here are our awards along with the flops and surprises of each league. Shorty’s awards should be in by the weekend.

RotoBrian BackdoorSlider SmugglingPlums Shorty
NL ROY  Yonder Alonso  Yonder Alonso  Yonder Alonso
AL ROY  Matt Moore  Yoenis Cespedes  Yoenis Cespedes
NL CY  M. Bumgarner  Tim Lincecum  Roy Halladay
AL CY  Jared Weaver  Justin Verlander  Justin Verlander
NL MVP  Carlos Gonzalez  Troy Tulowitzki  Joey Votto
AL MVP  Albert Pujols  Miguel Cabrera  Adrian Gonzalez
Biggest Flop NL  Hanley Ramirez  Drew Stubbs  Dominic Brown
Biggest Flop AL  Curtis Granderson  Brett Lawrie  Justin Smoak
Big Surprise NL  Logan Morrison  Johan Santana  Cory Luebke
Big Surprise AL  Alex Rodriguez  Joe Mauer  Jason Kipnis
Brian, Spring Training

Spring Training is for Dreamers

Hope is high at Camelback after the sale of the Dodgers.

The car is humming. The not so sound proof windows whistle as we hurl ourselves 90 miles per hour down the Interstate 8 freeway to Arizona. We’re going to Spring Training. It’s always a welcomed trip; the winter months give way to spring; the frigid cold melts; football passes the baton to baseball. It’s a time of renewal. Hope springs eternal. The slate is cleaned off and even the Pittsburgh Pirates are contenders.

Teams and their fans are raucously chanting some clichéd mantra: “The world is our oyster!” or “This is our year!” or “All we have to do is make the playoffs, then anything is possible!”

In spring, everyone is a champion (speaking of clichés).

But me, I’m more reserved with my expectations. Being a Padre fan, I’ve learned to keep my heart cold and my thoughts grounded. And at this moment, like every year on this long, straight desert road, I can only think about one thing.

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