Written by Bryan Roth
Published: 12 June 2007
Q: Who are a couple players to keep an eye on now that the weather is heating up?
A: I'll gladly promote two Baltimore Orioles: Aubrey Huff and Daniel Cabrera. Huff should come as no surprise, considering he's been one of the best and steadiest second half players in baseball for the last five years. Just checking out his career numbers, his batting average jumps from .255 in May to .312 in June. Plus, this is happening in roughly the same number of career at bats in both months. If you can get him now while his stock is low, you'll love what he does through September. I'm a little more skeptical about Cabrera, who's been streaky as ever this year. But, an eight inning effort against Seattle might be a strong catalyst for him to build on after this week. Last season, Cabrera dropped his ERA almost a full point after the break while walking almost half as many batters from the first half. Keep an eye on him.
Q: I'm Looking for who will do better the rest of the season in a 5-cat league between these two: Mike Napoli or Bengie Molina?
A: The average might not be there, but I do like Napoli better based on his raw power. He'll hit more homers and has a chance to have more RBI than Molina as well as runs. But, if your team is in need of a steady hitter, then maybe you can sacrifice those things for the extra 20 or so points Molina should be able to offer. Over the rest of the year, Napoli could end up with 5-8 more homers but the other numbers could be somewhat comparable. He's certainly on fire right now, so why not pick him up and let him tear it up until he cools off.
Q: I'm dropping Jonathan Broxton ... who should I add?
Neshek and the other usual good RP
A: Dan Wheeler is the only guy among that list that is securely planted in his job. Borowski has been serviceable, but nothing spectacular, as usual. You'd have to go between the two of them if holds isn't a category in your league. I'd say Wheeler easily the top and Borowski a close second. Saves are saves.
Q: Which closer do you like more going forward, Brad Lidge or Kevin Gregg?
A: Dan Wheeler may have blown a save on Thursday, but he was back for 9th inning duties on Friday against the White Sox and collected his 11th save. It seems that Phil Garner wants to stick with him even though Lidge has been throwing very well lately and seems to be back to his dominating self. Because of that, I have to give the edge to Gregg simply because he is a closer right now. Henry Owens and Armando Benitez could prove to be other options, but Fredi Gonzalez has said that he wants Gregg as his closer until he proves he can't do it. Gregg is your man.
Q: I just got offered this deal in a 12 team league. I would get Lincecum and Aramis Ramirez for Sheets and Homer. My current 3B is Atkins, so I'd like to upgrade, I'm not sure how bad Ramirez's new injury is. I'd love to be able to sell Sheets and Bailey, since both of them are bad WHIP guys.
A: As of now, everyone has been saying that Ramirez is only dealing with a sore knee. This is a guy who, since 2001, has only missed a significant portion of a season due to injury in 2005. Ramirez is usually a steady guy both in the field and at bat and even if he does miss time, don't count on it being a long day-to-day thing. Worst case scenerio, he goes on the DL retroactive to last week and spends a week to week-and-a-half out. He would definitely be an upgrade over Garrett Atkins, but either guy wouldn't necessarily be a bad starting utility player or backup. On the pitching side, Lincecum is in the majors to stay and has shown he can dominate MLB hitters. Bailey had a rough first start against one of the best lineups in the majors on Friday, but Lincecum should prove to be better this season.