Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
2013 Draft Prep Guide
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Di Fino: What's in a name?

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Recently on Fantasy Baseball 360, Scott White and I were discussing a Twitter question from a viewer, in which he asked if he should work a trade for "Soriano." I had assumed the Tweeter meant Rafael; Scott read it as Alfonso. It totally changed the dynamic of the question.

This year, it seems, more than any other, there are players with similar names causing head-scratching dilemmas throughout Fantasy Baseball. Which Weeks do you want (Rickie)? Which Montero (Jesus, by a hair)? What's the value of J. Johnson (Jim is somehow safer than Josh right now, but Josh has more upside)? It's awesomely confusing, which makes it all the more necessary to help sort them all out now. We present ...

Check out our Fantasy Baseball podcast!
Stay a step ahead of your competition in 2014 by checking out our popular Fantasy Baseball podcasts. Adam Aizer, Scott White and Al Melchior will get you prepared for Draft Day and beyond.
Latest episode | Subscribe!

The Name Game

Jansen Versus Janssen: Does One 's' Make A Difference?

In short, yes. Kenley Jansen is the closer for the Dodgers; Casey Janssen is the closer for the Blue Jays. Both men got their jobs because the closer in front of them fell apart. But that's pretty much where the comparisons end. Jansen has been the closer-in-waiting since the middle of last season -- he strikes out over a batter per inning (he has a 15.0 K/9 rate in the major leagues) and could hold on to the job for the entire season. Janssen, meanwhile, while striking out almost a batter per inning, is likely only holding the job until Sergio Santos returns from a shoulder injury. While he could be very effective in the role, it will likely be just a temporary (perhaps until mid-June?) promotion. Fun fact!: Kenley Jansen's middle name is Geronimo.

Is A Healthy Bailey Better Than An Injured One?

According to players on CBSSports.com, the answer is a resounding "no." Andrew Bailey, the would-be closer for the Red Sox, whose early-season injury started the dominos dropping on this disaster of a 2012 for Boston, is owned in 50 percent of leagues. Homer Bailey, the former first-round pick of the Reds, currently sports a 4.35 ERA and 1.48 WHIP, with a 1-3 record. He is owned in 24 percent of leagues. Homer has 41 1/3 innings pitched this year; Andrew just had his cast removed last week and was cleared to begin throwing on Wednesday. Homer tends to be tantalizingly maddening for Fantasy players, mixing in promising stretches with injuries and strings of poor performances. Andrew, even though he isn't expected back until after the All-Star Game, is a borderline-elite closer who could solidify the back of Boston's bullpen. What's the saying? A Bailey in the bush is worth twice as much as one in the hand? Fun fact!: Andrew Bailey follows injured Yankees reliever David Robertson on Twitter.

Which Chen Is Right For Me?

There's a chance that both are. Bruce Chen is owned in 15 percent of leagues, despite a 1.15 WHIP so far this season, which follows a 3.77 ERA in 2011. Hurting him a bit is the fact that he hasn't managed a season of 100 strikeouts since 2005, when he threw 133 in 197 1/3 innings -- a rate that isn't exciting by even 2005 standards. Also hurting him? In the years before the 2011 quasi-breakout, he was not very good. Wei-Yin Chen, meanwhile, is eight years younger than Bruce and has a 2.45 ERA and 1.20 WHIP through 44 innings this season. His ratios from Japan's Pacific League are stellar (he posted a 1.54 ERA in 2009), and, while he isn't known for his overpowering strikeout numbers, he does manage a healthy seven or so per nine innings. Wei-Yin's ownership levels have made an impressive leap over the past few weeks, jumping from 22 percent in Week 2 to 54 percent (and counting) for Week 8. Fun fact!: Bruce Chen has nightmares based on the movie Speed .

The Dodgers Have Reached Their Ellis Limit

Mark Ellis and A.J. Ellis start at second base and catcher, respectively, for the Dodgers. A.J. has three home runs, Mark has two. A.J. has five doubles, Mark has four. A.J. is currently batting .322, Mark is at .276. But Mark has three steals to A.J.'s zero, and 26 runs to A.J.'s 11 (thanks mostly to about 30 more at-bats this season). A.J. is owned in 42 percent of leagues, while Mark is owned in 31 percent. Both are usable in NL-only leagues, and both are turning it on so far in May: Mark has a .326 average with a .926 OPS. Both of his homers have come in May, and the month is just at its halfway point. A.J. is hitting .371 so far this month, with a 1.133 OPS. He, too, has hit two home runs in May, along with two doubles and a triple. Among catchers with 90 at-bats or more, Ellis is first in OBP, third in batting average, and is in the top 15 of all catchers in doubles and RBI. A.J. is currently a deeper mixed-league add, and Mark is a very deep mixed-league consideration. Fun fact!: A.J. Ellis has Tweeted an It's a Wonderful Life reference.

Escobar and Weeks: Two Surnames, Four Middle Infielders

Just for the sake of clarity, here's a quick guide to sorting out Yunel, Alcides, Rickie, and Jemile:

Rankings By Power: 1. Rickie 2. Yunel 3. Jemile 4. Alcides

Rankings By Speed: 1. Alcides 2. Jemile 3. Rickie 4. Yunel

Overall Rankings: 1. Rickie 2. Jemile 3. Yunel 4. Alcides

Fun fact!: Jemile Weeks was drafted by his brother's team, the Milwaukee Brewers, in 2005, but never signed.

Don't Just Play, Play to Win!
Fantasy Baseball Today Be sure to catch Fantasy Baseball 360 LIVE at 5 p.m. ET every weekday to dominate your Fantasy leagues. Our writers will have the latest news, analysis and roster trends each afternoon.
Fantasy Baseball TodayCheck out the latest episode!

It's Not Easy Being Greene

Tyler Greene is one of many players in the seemingly-endless stream of 2B-eligible players on the St. Louis Cardinals. He is owned in six percent of leagues. Taylor Green is also 2B-eligible, but is on the Brewers; he is owned in three percent of leagues. Green had spent 2012 playing first and third base for Nashville, Milwaukee's Triple-A affiliate, and has made a small impact for the Brewers in the wake of Mat Gamel's season-ending injury, filling in at first base, and batting .263 with two doubles through 19 at-bats. If Travis Ishikawa falls out of favor, Green -- who hit 24 home runs last year in the minors -- could grab some playing time and be a decent source of deeper mixed-league power. Greene, a first-round pick of the Cardinals, has averaged a little over 100 at-bats in three seasons with St. Louis. He stole 11 bases last year, but has a .221 batting average for his career. He has four seasons of double-digit home runs in the minors, despite spending significant time with the parent club the last two years. Given regular playing time, Greene could prove to be a decent power/speed combo -- a feat that, sadly, seems distant, considering the glut the team has with second base options. Fun fact!: Tyler Greene has an Internet fan club lobbying for his freedom from the bench.

The Strange Case Of Matt Harrison And Tommy Hunter

We're going to flip the theme here -- we looked at players with similar names but different values; but there are two pitchers in baseball who might be the same person, just sporting different names.

Matt Harrison is owned in 73 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com. Tommy Hunter is owned in eight percent of leagues. But a closer look at the two pitchers makes it pretty obvious that there is no real reason for this discrepancy. Observe:

First, the tale of the tape:

Matt Harrison: LHP, 6'4", 240 pounds, 26 years old, Third-round draft pick

Tommy Hunter: RHP, 6'3", 250 pounds, 25 years old, First-round draft pick

Their numbers so far this year:

Hunter: 2-2 with a 4.78 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. He has four quality starts
Harrison: 4-3 with a 5.23 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. He has four quality starts.

But this isn't about Hunter being a better pitcher so far this year. It's about the two men being strikingly similar to one another -- and, in some cases, like WHIP, with Hunter being clearly better -- in every category outside of ownership. Digging deeper, we find:

Tommy Hunter five-year MLB career: 4.48 ERA, 1.33 WHIP (Hunter)
Matt Harrison five-year MLB career: 4.55 ERA, 1.44 WHIP (Harrison)

Tommy Hunter three-year MLB average: 108 1/3 IP, 4.071 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 59 K
Matt Harrison three-year MLB average: 109 IP, 4.21 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 69 K

Even in the minors, the two were somewhat similar:

Hunter minors: 3.75 ERA, 1.31 WHIP
Harrison minors: 3.45 ERA, 1.24 WHIP

Want to go deeper into the stats? Courtesy of Baseball Reference:

Hunter: BB/9 of 2.3
Harrison: BB/9 of 3.2

Hunter: K/9 of 5.0
Harrison: K/9 of 5.4

Hunter's career ERA+: 99
Harrison's career ERA+: 98

Hunter's BABIP in last 365 days: .296
Harrison's BABIP in last 365 days: .300

So there you have it. If you need to throw someone in a trade, and you own Harrison, feel free to dangle him at will, because Hunter -- who looks to be the same, if not better, pitcher -- is almost definitely available on your waiver wire as a replacement.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Nando Di Fino at @NandoCBS . You can also send our staff an e-mail at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Edwin Jackson loses in first quality start
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7:56 pm ET) Cubs starting pitcher Edwin Jackson threw the ball well Thursday against the Diamondbacks, but didn't get much help as he dropped his second decision in a 5-2 loss.

Jackson recorded his first quality start of the season, limiting the Diamondbacks to three runs in seven innings of work. He allowed five hits and a pair of walks, but had to settle for the loss, his second of the season. Jackson finished the start with four strikeouts, while throwing 64 of 104 pitches for strikes.

Jackson is off to a rocky start to the season, posting a 5.02 ERA and 1-2 record through five starts. He will try to get back on track in his next start, set for Tuesday in Cincinnati. 


Chase Headley exits game with calf strain
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7:51 pm ET) Padres third baseman Chase Headley was forced to leave Thursday's game against the Nationals because of a right calf strain, MLB.com reports.

Headley sustained the injury coming out of batters box during his first at-bat in the second inning. It's the same calf injury that kept him sidelined for a good portion of spring training. He was replaced by Alexi Amarista.

Headley is hitting .186 with two home runs and seven RBI in 70 at-bats. His status remains up in the air for the second game of a four-game series on Friday.

Travis Jankowski to miss 'significant time' due to broken wrist
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7:45 pm ET) Padres outfield prospect Travis Jankowski will miss a "significant" amount of time after suffering a broken bone in his left wrist on Wednesday, MLB.com reports.

Jankowski, the 44th overall pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, injured his wrist while running into the fence after making a catch. He was hitting .254 in his first 67 at-bats for Double-A San Antonio.


Oscar Taveras back in action at Triple-A
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7:39 pm ET) Cardinals outfield prospect Oscar Taveras returned to the starting lineup for Triple-A Memphis on Thursday. He's starting at left field and hitting third in the lineup, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Taveras his left ankle running out of the batter's box on Monday. He is hitting .299 with a .493 slugging percentage, .849 OPS, three home runs, four doubles and 12 RBI in 18 Triple-A games this season.

David Phelps will pitch while Michael Pineda is suspended
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7:32 pm ET) The Yankees will have David Phelps step into the rotation in place of Michael Pineda moving forward, FOXSports.com reports. Pineda was handed a 10-game suspension after being discovered with pine tar on his neck during Wednesday's start, so Phelps could receive as many as two starts in Pineda's place, though the schedule has yet to be determined.  

Manny Machado could return in Minnesota
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7:12 pm ET) Orioles infielder Manny Machado will play both second and third base on his minor-league rehab assignment beginning Friday in Class A Frederick, and might only be a week away from returning to the majors. The Baltimore Sun reports Machado is expected back for the start of a series against the Twins May 2, in Minnesota, assuming he does not suffer a setback while on assignment. 

Dylan Bundy throwing 40 pitches Friday
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7:04 pm ET) Orioles pitcher Dylan Bundy will toss another bullpen session Friday, as he continues to recovery from his recovery from Tommy John surgery. He has been cleared to throw 40 pitches, and mix in curveballs for the second time. 

Jim Johnson could soon be 'part of ninth-inning mix'
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(6:55 pm ET) Athletics manager Bob Melvin told the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday that reliever Jim Johnson could soon "be part of the mix in the ninth inning." The A's have been using a closer-by-committee approach since Johnson's last blown save.

Since losing the closer role on April 9, Johnson has tossed five straight scoreless outings, none of which have come in the ninth inning. He's allowed five hits and two walks while striking out six in 6 2/3 scoreless innings since his last ninth-inning meltdown.

A.J. Griffin will seek second opinion on Tuesday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(6:39 pm ET) Athletics starting pitcher A.J. Griffin (elbow) will get a second option from Dr. Thomas Mehlhoff on his injured elbow on Tuesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reports on Thursday.

Griffin began throwing this week, but has not been "feeling great," according to the report. Prior to that, he had been shut down for just over a month due to flexor tendinitis. Surgery remains a possibility for the 26-year-old, who posted a 3.83 ERA in 200 innings last year.

Matt Albers won't get the green light Thursday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(6:31 pm ET) Astros pitcher Matt Albers will be unavailable for the third straight day on Thursday due to right shoulder stiffness, the Houston Chronicle reports. Albers has been sidelined since Monday due to the ailment. He has allowed just one earned run in 10 innings while striking out eight and walking three in eight appearances.

 
 
 
Rankings