Written by Bryan Roth
Published: 17 July 2007
Q: Please rank the following for the 2nd half of the season.
10 Team AL only with standard 4 categories plus net runs (Runs-HR)
A: Based only on his production from the last two weeks, Nick Swisher easily sits at the bottom of this list. He’s gone from an average hovering around .300 to his normal spot of around .250. It is yet to be seen if Oakland will go on their usual second half tear, so that may have some bearing on how well he plays.
That being said, Bobby Abreu has the biggest upside of the bunch. He’s been hitting well and he plays for the Yankees, so he’ll get lots of RBI opportunities hitting third in the lineup and lots of fastballs batting in front of Alex Rodriguez.
Depending on what the Twins do at the deadline, it’s more or less a wash between Mark Teahen and Michael Cuddyer. Cuddyer will offer more power, but Teahen will give you more steals. Both should be around .290 in the BA department.
Q: I’m Picking Up Gallardo. Who to drop?
Options are: Bill Hall, Ian Kinsler, Ted Lilly, Chris Ray, Curt Schilling
A: Easy. No one. Unless you don’t have any room for these players because of restrictions of DL space, none are really worth it right now. Yovani Gallardo is only working out of long relief with the occasional spot start, so he’s not going to offer much in wins. He’ll get you some Ks, but even solid ratios are hard to guess for rookie pitchers.
If you really have to drop someone, let it be Hall. That high ankle sprain could keep him our for up to another month and even then, he hasn’t been great this season.
Q: Would you drop Randy Johnson for David Bush? A Yahoo article gives Bush a fearless post All-Star break stat line of 7 W, 2.83 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 70 K.
Also, who will have the better post ASB stats, Adam LaRoche or Lyle Overbay? Laroche mainly has Bay in Pitt who should pick it up while Overbay at least has Vernon and Frank.
A: First thing’s first. Bush has always had bad luck when it came to homers, which seemed to inflate his ERA a little more than what it should be. His numbers (80 strikeouts, 24 walks, 1.33 WHIP) don’t necessarily match up with his 4.86 ERA. Based on his performance from the first half and the rest of his career, it’s safe to assume that his WHIP will get a little closer to his career 1.22 mark. The strikeouts should stay the same and seven wins is about right, considering that’s what he totaled from the first half. In Johnson’s case, you never know what’s going to happen with his back injury. If you can afford giving up the upside and name brand commodity of Johnson, go with Bush.
With the hitters, LaRoche has always been a second half monster, hitting about 30 points higher after the All-Star break. He may only have Bay, but at least he’s been hitting better than .350 this month. Overbay will hit for average around .300, but LaRoche has more upside. Both will give you a handful of home runs and RBIs, either way.
Q: What's up with Roy Halladay? Is his velocity down? What can reasonable be expected from his second half?
A: Despite a few rough outings, Halladay is on pace to have a regular season for him. 15-20 wins, 120-150 Ks. But, both his ERA (4.66) and WHIP (1.32) are far off this year from where he usually is. Some of that can be attributed to his higher home run rate, but he’s also walked a lot more batters than usual, even if it is only a little over 20 so far. He’s also on pace to give up the most hits he has since 2003.
One big problem has been Toronto’s defense, which has only been turning 68.4 percent of balls into play into outs with Halladay on the mound. That’s down from 72.5 percent in 2006, 73.8 percent in 2005 and 69.3 percent in 2004. If his defense can’t give him any help, that means more base runners and more chances for the opposition to score. Also, a higher WHIP.
Will things chance? Maybe, but this seems to point out that the problem is his team, not his work.