I apologize for the long absence. I have landed a sweet new job that unfortunately sticks the fresh crop of employees to the graveyard shift, so I have been trying to catch up as much sleep as humanly possible. Now that I'm back to a somewhat even keel, let's talk a little Fantasy Baseball.
There hasn't been much joy in Mudville as of late, as the mighty Casey has been striking out pretty consistently. Especially if that Mighty Casey I'm referring to is either Chris Johnson or Bill Hall. There have been a few pretty ugly series that the Astros have played, leading to a NL worst 14-23 record. On the bright side, we have been witness to the emergence of a few shining spots in our roster that we can use to build upon for the future. Long after Carlos Lee and Bill Hall and Brandon Lyon are gone, there are a few exciting younger guys. We all knew the Astros weren't going to contend this year, so let's look at the brightside!
1.) Brett Wallace- Prior to the death of "Wonder-Bat", Sir Beast Mode was doing exactly that, going into Beast Mode carrying the 4th highest MLB batting average. He's been slumping just a little as of late, but still posting a pretty solid .328/.396/.454 split. Brad Mills has noted that although Wally hasn't been scorching the ball, that "once a guy begins pulling the ball, homeruns aren't far behind".
2.) Jason Bourgeois- I don't care if we have to trot this guy out to pitch every fifth day. Brad Mills has got to ride this train while it's hot. Since filling in the lineup, the Speed/Speed 2 combo of Bourn/Bourgeois has totaled a MLB best 25 SBs. What's more interesting is that Bourgeois has played in 8 less games than Bourn. He's also batting a sky-high .407/.439/.500. Now while it's highly suspect that Jason can keep this up all year, it does warrant a starting spot at least for the near future. Because hey, let's face it, he's better than the black-hole out in LF. And he's still better than Bill Hall. That is, once he returns from the DL.
3.) Mark Melancon- I can't say that Brandon Lyon would have lost the starting job even if he hadn't gone on the DL. On the plus side, the Astros have named Mark "The Shark" Melancon as the closer. His stuff isn't as nasty as say, Wilton Lopez's, but his velocity is good, sporting a mid-90s fastball and some pretty ugly breaking stuff. Melancon does also boast the teams best ERA of .281. Mark may not strike out as many, but he does get around inherited runners and avoids giving up runs.
4.) Bud Norris- Studly Budly has been looking pretty studly as of late. His 3.16 ERA is the best amongst starters and boasts a 2-2 record with a team leading 52 Ks. Bud still gives up the long ball and his weakest area seems to be when he has guys on base, but Bud is starting to finally put things together. I still stand by the statement that he has the best "stuff" out of our starting pitchers. The poor guy just needs some more run support.
Biggest Losers (oh I wish Carlos Lee, I wish)
1.) Carlos Lee: Team Tiger Blood finally realized that the plane has crashed into the mountain. Even with the rib injury sustained on Angel Sanchez's behalf, Carlos Lee was long overdue to spend some time on the pine. El Caballo is sporting a robust .229 BA and has to be leading the Universe in GIDP. On the plus side, Carlos still has some power, having hit 3 HRs so far, and he's only K'd 14 times, which is not bad considering Bill Hall has struck out 40 times, and the #2 guy on the list has struck out 32. David said it best on his recent interview with 97.5, it's time to just eat the contract and let this guy go. All the FO is doing is blocking the advancement of a younger guy that could be an impact player in the near future. I hope when Jim Crane takes over, he looks past the 18.5 million reasons to keep this guy on the team.
2.) Chris Johnson: Johnson was due to regress, as he put up some pretty gaudy numbers in the 2nd half of the season last year. Unfortunately, CJ is also batting a weak .198 and a high K rate. On the flip side, he has also hit the 2nd most HRs on the team with 4. Either CJ needs to start eating whatever Hunter is for breakfast to snap out of his slump, or maybe a trip back to OKC is in order. It seemed to do the trick last year.
3.) Brett Myers: Oh Brett. The ace of the staff last year has finally regressed. Myers got thoroughly shelled in his last outing against the Reds, and is posting an ERA of 5.01 with a record of 1-3. If the Astros have any hope of bouncing back this season, or getting any kind of value, Myers has to return to his last season form, or at least closer to it than he is now.
1st- Wallace's Tomballers (have to admit, his IF is pretty sick)
2nd- Mild Never Wins (ridiculous OF)
3rd- Beastmode Boomstick (formerly Brad Lidge's DL Season), also the only team in the Top 3 that has an Astro on the roster. Surviving with a pitching rotation of Jon Lester, Jerad Weaver, King Felix, Justin Masterson and Derek Holland.
The big trade of the week belongs to myself (Beastmode Boomstick) and Astrobrit for the 5 player swap of Placido Polanco and Brett Wallace (to me) and Jeff Francouer, Matt Capps and Alexei Ramirez to Astrobrit. I didn't feel so bad about letting Ramirez go, as I have a log jam at the 2B/SS position with Maicier Izturis, Howie Kendrick and Brandon Phillips, and adding two guys that can flex into the 1B/3B spot as well as that can sub in for Miguel Cabrera and Adrian Beltre. Plus, I needed to keep an Astro on the roster, since I let Wilton Lopez and Brandon Lyon (mercifully) go right before their DL stints, and had to let Angel Sanchez go, due to the fact that his slide started around the same time I picked him up. At least I didn't pull an AstroBrit and pick up Bourgeois the day before he wound up on the DL. Although, if he is available when he returns, you bet I'm gonna try to snag him.