Tuesday, May 10 – 10:33 PM
A quick glance at Homer Bailey’s stat line from tonight and my initial reaction is frustration. Why on earth did I not start this guy coming off a stellar season debut in which he held the Astros to one run on four hits over six innings? I had my reasons though. First, I wanted to see a little more. One start simply wasn’t enough of a sample size to make me feel comfortable pitching someone who missed the season’s first month due to a shoulder injury. But even more importantly, I had a feeling that Bailey might struggle facing Houston for the second time in less than a week. The Astros’ hitters would surely make adjustments now that they could file away a scouting report on Homer Bailey version 2011. So I took the cautious approach and sat him. Well, it didn’t work out. Bailey was even more effective this time around, tossing seven shutout innings. Slowly but surely, however, my disappointment is turning into hope as I’m beginning to think that my $1 draft day investment in Bailey could turn out to be a brilliant move.
“Post-hype sleeper” is a common term used in fantasy circles and Bailey fits it to a tee. Expected to be the next great power pitcher upon his initial big league callup back in 2007, Bailey has battled control problems and overall inconsistency ever since, spending plenty of time in the Minors during each of the last four seasons. But something changed late in 2010. Over his final 10 starts, Homer pitched to a solid 3.55 ERA and 1.27 WHIP while posting a very respectable 2.93 BB/9 rate. And don’t forget he’s still just 25. For the time being, I’m fully aboard the Homer Bailey bandwagon, especially for next week when he’s a two-start pitcher.
Thursday, May 12 – 12:30 PM
Rather than sending an e-mail asking if he would be willing to trade Drew Stubbs and Francisco Cordero, I decide to be aggressive and make an offer. The initial proposal is a reasonable starting off point but not quite my best offer: Gaby Sanchez and Chris Young for Stubbs and Cordero. As expected, my league mate rejects it, saying that he might consider a Cordero for Sanchez swap but “Stubbs > Young by a long shot.” OK, fair enough. I don’t view the difference as gigantic but his opinion is understandable. For all his power/speed upside, Young still strikes out way too much, resulting in a mediocre batting average and agonizingly long slumps. Stubbs also goes through his share of cold spells but he runs a lot more and was just about everyone’s answer to the preseason question of “Which mid-round pick is most likely to perform at a first-round level?” So far he has yet to disappoint. Anyway, despite my desperate need for a closer, I’m not sure if I would agree to a straight swap of Sanchez for Cordero. I’m not even sure that he would either. Let me mull this over.
Thursday, May 12 – 10:35 PM
For some strange reason, not one owner in my head-to-head NL-Only league put in a bid for Vicente Padilla last week. I really should have, but with injured players clogging up most of my bench spots and my DL full, I honestly didn’t have the room. Plus, closers are less valuable in this format than they are in roto leagues. But to think that I could have gotten him with a $0 bid is hard to believe. It was almost like everyone was convinced that they would be outbid for Padilla’s services, so they decided not to bother. This week, I have a bit more roster flexibility so I’m seriously considering an aggressive bid. I need to be careful, however. Part of my motivation is a result of losing out on Vicente in a different league. Emotion vs. better judgment. This will be an interesting battle. I need to be wary of overbidding by a wide margin but I’m pretty sure that $0 won’t be the winning bid this time around!
Friday, May 13 – 11:10 AM
I’m at work and have a meeting in precisely five minutes. Gaby Sanchez for Francisco Cordero? Yeah, I’ll do it. OK, I just formally made the proposal. Rising from my desk, I’m convinced that Cordero will be a member of my team in a matter of minutes.
Friday, May 13 – 12:06 PM
My meeting now finished, I anxiously check my e-mail inbox and a trade has been agreed upon. But what? I’m not one of the owners involved. Turns out that Cordero and Stubbs have been shipped off to a different team for Mark Teixeira. As if I’m not bummed out enough by this, I get an e-mail from the guy saying that he would have accepted my proposed trade but needed to include Cordero in the Tex package. Great. Waiting close to 24 hours to make the offer was a big mistake. In the meantime, someone else swooped in and grabbed Cordero. I actually think that my proposal was a better one. Stubbs is a steep price to pay for the upgrade from Gaby to Tex. But that’s beside the point. My quest for closer help will continue and while I’m fairly confident that Sanchez will enjoy a breakthrough season this year, he’ll need to go .300-25-100 for me to forget about this debacle.
Friday, May 13 – 7:30 PM
By a mere one dollar, my $17 bid on Vicente Padilla has proven to be the winning one, and I’m proud of my decision to take an aggressive approach. Enough of this passive stuff! In light of today’s earlier events, I really needed this victory.
Saturday, May 14 – 8:20 AM
Perusing the box scores of last night’s West Coast games, I notice that Kenley Jansen, not Vicente Padilla, picked up the save in the Dodgers’ 4-3 win over the Diamondbacks. After allowing two runs in just 2/3 of an inning, Padilla was yanked in favor of Jansen, who recorded the final out. Here we go again with the closers.