Tag:Minnesota Twins
Posted on: June 3, 2009 6:14 pm
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AL Only Player Spot Light- Nick Blackburn

If given the opportunity to redraft your teams today, there would surely be a different strategy in play. You wouldn't have taken that guy there, you would have taken this guy there etc etc, but I know one thing for certain.

You would draft Nick Blackburn over Francisco Liriano.

That may come as a shock to many, but if I were redrafting tonight, I wouldn't even touch Liriano. He's been that bad. Mean while Blackburn has quietly gone about his job, agruably becoming the Minnesota Twins true "ace".

Take a look at his numbers through June 2nd. 5-2, 33 K, 20 BB, 3.50 ERA, 1.36 WHIP. Definately not earth shattering but far more servicable then those posted my his stable mate Liriano (do you get the hint I'm sick of him yet?) On the bright side you've still got a chance to pick him up before it's too late as he's owned in 51% of CBS leagues. It's not as if you could do much better for a fifth starter. But you could do worse.

In his previous five outtings he's lasted 6 or more innings, holding opponents to a total of 7 earned runs in that stretch while winnings his last 3 starts. Could this more then just a hot streak?

Let's take a look and see whether it's wise to jump aboard the Blackburn train or look else where.

2007- (Combined AA-AAA) 148.2 IP 10-4, 75 K, 19 BB, 2.60 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 4.55 K/9, 1.15 BB/9, 3.94 K/BB
2007- 11.2 IP, 0-2, 8 K, 2 BB, 8.04 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 6.42 K/9, 1.60 BB/9, 4 K/BB
2008- 193.1 IP, 11-11, 96 K, 39 BB, 4.05 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 4.47 K/9, 1.81 BB/9, 2.46 K/BB
2009- 69.1 IP, 5-2, 33 K, 20 BB, 3.50 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 4.29 K/9, 2.60 BB/9, 1.65 K/BB

As you can see Blackburn is by no means a strike out master, mustering a sub 4.50K/9 in his MLB career. Which means that the odds of a dominate 8 strike out night are pretty low.

So why has he been so good this season?

1- Right Hand Dominance- Yes that's correct, Blackburn is absolutely controlling the righties. They're hitting an unimpressive .213 against him. The lefties on the other hand, are feasting ,hitting a skyhigh .318 off him with 5 HR and 21 R, compared to 1 HR and 11 R. It may have something to do with the lefties sitting on the fast ball ( he is throwing it 59.3% of the time a near 10% increase from last season).

2- Good Defence- You would be surprise how much impact a solid defense can have on a pitchers ERA and WHIP. Blackburn's FIP sits at 4.20 a full 0.70 run higher. That may not seem like much but it's a significan't amount namely the distance between 1st and 6th in the category.

3- Expected ERA- His current ERA is the stuff that want on your team, his XERA is not. It falls right in line with his FIP at 4.25. Given that last year's ERA was 4.05 it doesn't come at much surprise. His K rates and BB rates are down clear indicators that his XERA could easily be matched.

Unfortunately for owners now may be the time to part ways with Blackburn. The wins may be nice, but his value may not be higher then right now.
Posted on: May 26, 2009 2:10 am
 

Oddities Amongst Twin

It appears that there are some odd happenings when it comes to twins. People react differently, whether it be with shock or adoration, there is always just a little hint of hesistance. No where is that more evident then in Minnesota within the cozy Twins family.

You see Twins family has all makings of being a top notch family. They support each other (Kevin Slowey and Nick Blackburn rank amongst the top 20 in run support- Slowey #1 =8.62, Blackburn #6= 7.35), they also know how to pick each other up when the time calls for it (6th in the leagues in runs 243), at the same time they know how to stand up for each and flex a little muscle should anyone challenge them (5th in the league in home runs 53).

But within any family there is bound to be a little sibling rivalry, and that is most definately the case amongst the Twins.

We all know that parents aren't supposed to play favourites but fantasy managers don't care. They've clearly stated that amongst the Twins hitters Joe Mauer and Justin Moreau reign supreme. They have nearly 100% owership, and their stats are very impressive as well.

Mauer- 99%- 24 R, 10 HR, 27 RBI, .437 AVG, .525 OBP, .875 SLG, 1.400 OPS
Morneau- 100%- 36 R, 13 HR, 40 RBI, .343 AVG, .425 OBP, .656 SLG, 1.081 OPS

After that the family and the owners are split, especially amongst the different users here on CBSSports.com, and ESPN.com.

Ok enough with the whole family dealy, it was good while it lasted so here are the owner ship numbers and the players stats (Correct to May 25th- CBS % in Bold ESPN % Italics)

Jason Kubel- 66% 47% - 22 R, 5 HR, 23 RBI, .335 AVG .373 OBP, .535 SLG,.908 OPS
Joe Crede- 18% 8.1% -  17 R, 8 HR, 21 RBI, .240 AVG, .304 OBP..488 SLG, .792OPS
Michael Cuddyer- 77% 33%- 28 R, 7 HR, 30 RBI, 4 SB, .286 AVG, .375 OBP, .506 SLG, .881 OPS
Delmon Young- 37% 63.6%-  10 R, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 2 SB, .264 AVG, .308 OBP, .310 SLG, .618 OPS
Carlos Gomez-  23% 55.8%- 15 R, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 4 SB, .223 AVG, .294 OBP, .317 SLG. .611 OPS
Nick Punto-  3%  1%-  16 R, 0 HR, 11 RBI, 4 SB, .185 AVG, .296 OBP, .203 SLG .499 OPS

First off I would like to point out that Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel should be owned in all AL only leagues, 12 and greater mixed leagues and depending on team needs 10 team leagues. If for some reason you are carrying any dead weight on your roster namely one Delmon who's owned in an astoundung 63.6% of ESPN leagues, drop him immediately and pick up on of his producing team mates.

Though he's still young, and learning the games,  Young may never develop into that world class talent many expected from him.

Another point of interest Joe Crede is owned in 18% of CBS leagues while he's only owned in 8.1% of ESPN leagues the question is why can't you find room for a 30 HR, 80 RBI bat in your lineup? If you can swallow the batting average hit then you're set. Despite the nagging injuries Crede has shown in the past that he can hit bombs he jut has to stay healthy.

Carlos Gomez and Nick Punto at this point in the game offer little in terms of fantasy value outside of 12 team AL only rosters. Though I for one still believe in Gomez, the upside is worth the weight. As Punto, you know what you're getting so you have to live with in. After all he could be worse right?

It's odd that an offense so powerful sees three of their main cogs getting less respect then they deserve. But that's fine by me, that just means the waiver wire has some yummy taters and pitchers waiting to be toasted/ All while they're part of my roster.

Posted on: May 22, 2009 1:36 am
 

AL Only Player Spot Light- Michael Cuddyer

You'll have to fogive me on the later then expected player updates, but I've been busy. My girlfriend, the greatest in the world bought me UFC Undisputed 2009.

Needless to say that I've been throwing down hard core in an attempt to acquire the UFC Lightweight title. It's anything but easy, if you're a fan of the UFC, or a fan of fighting for the matter, you should definately buy or rent this game. It's just beyond sweet.

While we're on the topic of video games, I thought I'd mention another personal favourite. MLB Front Office Manager. This game was highly anticipated amongst the hardcore fantasy gamers. Those that were expecting MLB 2k9 were disappointed. I on the other hand was not. Which brings me to my team. Oh yeah it's loaded. Did the fantasy draft and the whole she-bang. But I quickly realized, in this game you need pitching. It's not there if you wait, if you do wait, boy you're in a world of hurt. So needless to say my Pittsburgh Pirates, are playing like the real Pirates. Not good.

Now that that's out of the way, we or shall I say I can focus on the task at hand. This week's Player Spot Light, belongs to former fantasy darling, and my vote for 2009 AL Comeback Player of the Year none other then the Minnesota Twins, Michael Cuddyer.

Cuddyer isn't a sexy play by any means, but he's been a great contributing force to a few of my fantasy rosters, all the while getting no love. The guys at ESPN are owning him in just 7.7% of leagues! Astounding. CBS' ownership is alot higher up to 38% of leagues, but still to low for me. After all he has posted these stats before.

2007- 87r, 16hr, 81rbi, 5sb, 64bb, .276avg, .356obp, .433slg, .789ops
2008- 30r, 3hr, 36rbi, 5sb, 25bb, .249avg, .329obp, .369slg, .698ops
2009- 22r, 5hr, 22rbi, 4sb, 22bb, .258avg, .352obp, .435slg, .787ops

You'll notice that his 2008 performance already pales in comparison to his performance thus far. But remember folks Cuddyer battled injury all season long with finger and foot injuries relegating him to the DL three times.

If he continues at his rate, we're looking at a 90r, 20hr, 90rbi, 16sb guy. All that for free off the waiver wire! I don't think that the stolen base totals will end up that high, but it's possible, after all Matt Holliday had 28 last season, why can't Cuddyer swipe 16?

There are a few things you should know about Cuddyer though-

1- Improved walk rate- A jump from 9.1% to 13% will see anyone benefit. If that player just so happens to swipe a few bags all the better to set a new career high in the department. Coincidence? I think not.

2- High Ground Ball Rate- Yeah that's the down side. It's also likely contributing to his low batting average. An increase from 45.9% to 54.6% could potentially limit his power production over the long haul, and severly impact his batting average. Hopefully a return to career norms in the GB category will help move his batting average up toward his .268 mark.

3- Run Support- Yes that's a pitching stat, but I'm using the title. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau. Two very dangerous hitters. They along with Jason Kubel should provide plenty of RBI opportunities for Cuddyer. But who will bring Mikey around to score? That job will fall primarily to the oft injured Joe Crede. Though it's impossible to tell for certain who will end up batting where, but it seems like a safe bet that Cuddyer will end up with 90rbi, and 70r.

Personally I'm a big fan of Cuddyer, his 2006 super man impression was definately the abberation but if this what you can expect from him (career averages say yes) then sign me up, for those skeptical of Cuddyer I have one question. Is your #5 outfielder better? I didn't think so.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com