Archive for February, 2013

Wednesday: 02.27.2013

SP Guide Update

I wanted to give y’all an update on where things are with the guide as we near release. The original target date for the release of this year’s Starting Pitcher Guide was March 1st. We aren’t going to hit that date, but we are definitely zooming ever closer to release. There have been several sleepless nights in a row – and I’m not complaining, I absolutely love working on it – and there are still more coming up. In order to put out the guide I’m comfortable with more time is needed. The date you can now look forward to is March 8th. By the way, this is why I usually hesitate to set a firm date at the very beginning of the process. I just never know exactly how long it’s going to take. Those of you that asked me via email or Twitter probably noticed I was rather non-committal.

But now we have a firm date!

For those of you with drafts this week (March 2nd and 3rd) who wanted the guide specifically for those drafts only, it simply will not be ready in time. If the guide is no longer of use to you and you want a refund on your order, please email me at thespguide@gmail.com. While I really wanted to release on March 1st, it was only a key date because it started a month. It was arbitrary beyond that. Most drafts and auctions will still take place well into March and the guide will be ready in time for all of those.

curtisupclose

The first thing I see most mornings about 3 inches from my face.

The anticipation and excitement surrounding the guide has been incredible and I truly appreciate it. Please know how hard I have been working to give you the best product possible. If I was smart, I would’ve just blame Doug, right? When it doubt, throw it on the new guy?

I probably could’ve slapped it together to meet an arbitrary date I set in my head and never really announced, but I saw zero value in that. I take pride in putting together a product you will all love and this final week-plus will afford me the time to put together the best iteration yet. I know several of you are very excited for it and I know the last thing you wanted to hear was that it won’t be released this instant, but at the same time you now have a firm date to look forward to and it’s next Friday.

Now, here is a beagle with a fitted sheet on his head.

curtissheet

And the same beagle inexplicably guarding my socks:

"I'll protect these."

“I’ll protect these.”

Tuesday: 02.26.2013

Podcast Appearance: Minor League Report

Last week I appeared on the Minor League Report with Jay Burnham, Eric Little, Sam Siegel, and Mike Passanisi to talk some minor leaguers in fantasy baseball. Their crew is heavily involved in minor league baseball so they know what they’re talking about and if you’re someone who cares about the minors, you should be listening to their show. Click the picture below to access the iTunes feed of The MLR.

I’ll have an update regarding the release date of the SP Guide very soon. I’ve been spending just about every waking moment on the guide now for several weeks. We’re in the homestretch and it’s going to take some more sleepless nights if I’m going to hit the 3/1 target release date. By the way, the time spent on the guide these last couple of weeks is why content here has been scant, but once you see the guide I hope you understand why I had to make the tradeoff. And more importantly, I hope you end up thinking it was worth it.

Monday: 02.25.2013

Today Was a Good Day

Neck-deep in the SP Guide so no time to post much today, but I do have three things worth sharing.

First, if you follow me on Twitter, you know I love Jennifer Lawrence (who doesn’t?). So here’s essentially a primer on her awesomeness courtesy of Jezebel. She looked wonderful at the Oscars last night:

jlawdress

Edit to add this 26 Faces of Derp that my friend sent me shortly after I posted. This link crystallizes the point from the first link that she’s perfect because she’s not.

And then there was this:

craigHR

That was his day today against the Astros. Wrench got his rake on.

And then finally:

(courtesy of FanGraphs.com)

Miguel Cabrera destroying Jonathan Papelbon‘s life. I’m just not a Papelbon fan on any level whatsoever so to see my favorite team crush him today was great. Jeff Sullivan over at FanGraphs broke it down.

Only Jennifer Lawrence can top Allen Craig AND Cabrera at this site.

Saturday: 02.23.2013

Spring Training GIFs!!

Bryce Harper starting off his Spring Training with some nice concentration.

harperstcatch1

 

And Prince Fielder wastes no time displaying his massive power with his first swing of the 2013 season.

fielderstbomb1

Friday: 02.22.2013

MLB At Bat 13

I was going to do a post letting everyone know that At Bat’s 2013 iteration was available, but my BP colleague Maury Brown already did all the fantastic leg work so I’ll point you to his preview of the app instead:

Biz of Baseball Previews At Bat

Meanwhile, after a pair of fake fake games yesterday as the Red Sox split up to take on a pair of colleges, we get real fake games today with four Spring Training games on the docket. This is a beautiful site:

stgames

Elsewhere on the net:

I wrote about five interesting pitchers to follow this Spring Training as they battle to be a part of the Opening Day 25.

I had Mike Gianella as a co-host, filling in for Jason Collette, and Bret Sayre as a guest on this week’s Towers of Power podcast. Gianella and Sayre are both new additions to the BP fantasy team for 2013.

Thursday: 02.21.2013

YouTube Thursday!

This probably won’t become a new thing, especially since I share YouTube videos on random days all the time. The only unifying links between these two videos I’m going to share is that they’re about baseball and they’re housed on YouTube, hence YouTube Thursday!

The first may require earplugs. The sound off of Jorge Soler’s bat when he treats this ball how Chris Brown might a woman was insane:

Update: Harry Pavlidis shared this Javier Baez video with my co-host Jason Collette while they were discussing Soler’s blast.

The next is a video-cast (a vodcast perhaps? I’m sure someone has called it that before) between two industry stalwarts, Jeff Erickson and Chris Liss of Rotowire, discussing position scarcity.

I’m in the home stretch with the SP Guide which is why content here has been a bit light. It’ll pick back up once we release (target date remains: 2/28-3/1).

Wednesday: 02.20.2013

Blue Jays 8-bit Action

I saw this excellence this morning courtesy of Kurt Mensching over at SB Nation’s MLB Daily Dish:

I’d love to know how long this took the creator to complete. It brought many of the LOLs.

On Thursday the Red Sox are playing a pair of split-squad games against a pair of colleges, on Friday there are real fake games, and then Saturday at noon, we get real fake games on MLB Network.

Tuesday: 02.19.2013

BA Top 100 Prospects

Some did not like the new form of Countdown entries as they’d gone away from the player profiles. That was because of time and I apologize, but I’m just devoting a lot of time to make sure the SP Guide gets out on time. Maybe in March once the SP Guide is done and things settle a bit I can pick the player profiles back up again.

In the meantime, we’re just three days from games and today was a big day in the minor league community as Baseball America released their top 100 prospects. In addition:

(told ya it was a big day!)

Monday: 02.18.2013

Countdown to Spring Training: 4 Days – Minor League Guy

Only 4 days until live game action…

Minor League Guy

In the age of the internet where seemingly any information can be found, the Cardinals broadcast scrambled to identify a farmhand during a Grapefruit League game against the Mets. Instead of scrapping the opportunity for a graphic, the team in the truck went with their gut and the result was awkwardly hilarious:

mlg

Of course, many of us baseball diehards knew ol’ Minor League Guy to be Oscar Taveras, the team’s second-best prospect according to Baseball Prospectus. Flash forward about a year and the broadcast team shouldn’t have any trouble identifying Taveras in a Grapefruit League game. First of all, he should be in the game well before the ninth inning, but more importantly he is now baseball’s second-best prospect or at least no worse than third-best.

He was even labeled properly in this picture with teammate Jon Jay in an article discussing his excellence.

Like last year, there is a triumvirate of guys – once again two hitters and a pitcher – and the order will vary from outlet to outlet and person to person. Last year it was Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Matt Moore; this year it’s Taveras, Jurickson Profar, and Dylan Bundy.

mlbpros

MLB.com

lawpros

ESPN’s Keith Law

sickpros

John Sickels (split lists hitters; pitchers)

 

And that is just from the early lists. Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America will have their top 100s out soon and I’d be surprised if they disagreed on the trio.

Though it was probably a bummer to get labeled as simply “Minor League Guy” on television, it looks like Taveras will have the last laugh as he now stands atop, or at least nears the top of baseball’s prospect heap. Imagine if he pans out on the Vladimir Guerrero comp that some have thrown on him, maybe he’ll end up being labeled as “Hall of Fame Guy” on a broadcast 20 years down the line.

Sunday: 02.17.2013

Countdown to Spring Training: 5 Days – Chapman Not Starting?

Only 5 days until live game action…

Aroldis Not Guaranteed Spot

Dusty Baker did his best Lee Corso imitation on Saturday when it came to the topic of Aroldis Chapman and the rotation for 2013. Baker was careful to note that we entered 2012 under similar assumptions before Chapman headed back to the pen and eventually took the closer’s job in late May. The money quote from Hal McCoy’s article:

Manager Dusty Baker emphasized that point Saturday morning when somebody said, “Your rotation was good last year, but you’re still making the move with Chapman. . .”

At that point, Baker interrupted and said, “Maybe. That’s a maybe. It’s the same situation as last year. We started with Chapman as a starter. Then Ryan Madson (closer) went down. We had no clue Chapman would be as good as he is as a closer. I don’t think anybody did.

We didn’t know if he was going to throw enough strikes,” Baker added. “We put him in a set-up role, going two innings, because he was groomed in spring training to be a starter and that helped him to get his control. So, right now, we’re in the same boat — trying to get him multiple innings in case he doesn’t start he can still be sharp.”

While this does make him more difficult to rank and project for 2013, it doesn’t really hurt his fantasy value. If anything, it’s a boon to it because unless he pulls a Chris Sale in the rotation, he is far more valuable to fantasy managers as a closer, especially at his current cost. In current NFBC mock draft data, Chapman is going 83rd overall whereas the unanimous #1 closer Craig Kimbrel is going 49th. It is only unanimous because we’ve been led to believe that Chapman is set to be Cincy’s 4th or 5th starter. If he ends closing again, he’s right there with Kimbrel and all of sudden becomes a huge value for those who are getting him at 84 or later.

Meanwhile, if they get a full-time starter who isn’t Sale 2.0 or better, then they vastly overpaid. Stay tuned as I’m sure we will learn much more in the coming month.