Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Reality Check: Solving the Timmy, Roy riddle

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

It seemed like such a good idea at the time, drafting Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum on the cheap, hoping they could deliver ace numbers for a fraction of the price.

But how soon you wanted out of it.

You didn't necessarily want to purge them from your roster, locking in your bad decision by swapping out a ninth-, 10th- or 11th-round pick for waiver fodder. You just didn't want to be the one to take the chance on them anymore.

But neither did anyone else.

That's not true for every pitcher off to a slow start, of course. Matt Cain fetches as much as ever on the trade market even though he has a 7.15 ERA through four starts.

The difference for Halladay and Lincecum is that their poor starts only reinforced what perception had already decided: With their velocities down and their walk rates up, they're no longer the pitchers they used to be.

So what are they? It's a guessing game at this point, which is sort of the problem. Having seen their spring struggles carry over to the regular season, most Fantasy owners assumed the worst. Only the dimwits who drafted them continued to see the upside in them.

I consider myself one of those dimwits.

I understand the concerns. I understand a drop in velocity gives a pitcher less margin for error, but Halladay never relied on pure power to put hitters away. He's a control artist with a varied enough arsenal that, provided he overcomes the mechanical flaws that developed when he tried to pitch through a strained muscle in his upper back last season, can still be a consistent winner for the Phillies.

Mechanical flaws, you say?

"Today was as close as I've felt to where I want to be," Halladay said after his start against the Cardinals Friday, when he allowed two runs on two hits with two walks and six strikeouts in seven innings. "When I stay within myself and execute the mechanics the way they should be done, I feel good where I'm at."

I also understand a loss of control leads to an increase in baserunners, both because of walks and because the pitcher constantly puts himself in hitter's counts, but it's not like this latest rendition of Lincecum is incapable of throwing strikes. He threw them in the postseason last year, issuing just five walks in 17 2/3 innings, and the result was a 2.55 ERA and 0.79 WHIP, not to mention a World Series championship for the Giants. If he can regain the focus he had during that high-pressure situation and translate it to regular-season games, his reduced stuff should more than hold up, as his strikeout rate also shows.

Regain the focus, you say?

"I just went out there today with purpose and knowing that every pitch has got a meaning to it," Lincecum said after his start against the Padres Saturday, when he allowed no runs on four hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. "When I can go out there and do that and you can stick to your game plan and know that it's going to work, it gives you something like a springboard to jump off of, instead of kind of going out there aimlessly."

True, it's just one isolated start for Halladay and one isolated start for Lincecum, but if you buy into arguments that aren't entirely numbers-based -- since pitchers are people, after all, and not machines -- then each did in his one start exactly what he needs to do to make the most of what he has left. And the results speak for themselves.

Most Traded Players (as of 4/23)
Player Name # of trades
1. Matt Kemp, OF, Dodgers 178
2. Tim Lincecum, SP, Giants 148
3. Zack Greinke, SP, Dodgers 147
4. Mark Trumbo, OF, Angels 146
5. Roy Halladay, SP, Phillies 146
6. CC Sabathia, SP, Yankees 143
7. Robinson Cano, 2B, Yankees 139
8. Jered Weaver, SP, Angels 137
9. B.J. Upton, OF, Braves 136
10. Josh Johnson, SP, Blue Jays 134

More importantly, though, Halladay's and Lincecum's best starts were their last starts, which means, for the time being, they've regained some small sliver of the value they lost in between Draft Day and their first starts. Once again, Fantasy owners have reason to question if Halladay and Lincecum are really washed up. Perception has changed, if only slightly, making these two-time Cy Young winners potentially tradable again.

And if you genuinely believe Halladay and Lincecum are toast, the time to trade them is now, before they remind everyone how bad they are.

Understand I'm not saying they're toast -- not this dimwit -- but plenty of people believe they are. And if you consider yourself among that group, now is your golden opportunity to get something more in return than whatever retread or shot in the dark you could pluck off the waiver wire.

Of course, shopping them isn't such a bad course of action for the dimwits either. Hoping to provide some context for when they should and shouldn't pull the trigger, I petitioned my Twitter (@CBSScottWhite) followers to send examples of trades involving Halladay or Lincecum -- ones they were considering or had already made.

Let's take a look.

I got Asdrubal Cabrera straight-up for Lincecum. I needed a shortstop. -- @xVITALOGYx

That works for me. Both were drafted in about the ninth or 10th round in Fantasy. If that one good start was enough to get Lincecum's value back to where it started, you should probably capitalize, especially if it fills a need.

I offered Halladay for Wilin Rosario. Still waiting to hear back. -- @natzingg

Same situation as the first one, except with Halladay. In leagues where each team starts only one catcher, the position is deep enough that I wouldn't be in a rush to make this deal, but if I had been trying to get by with some Jason Castro type, I'd probably pull the trigger.

I'm thinking about offering Ross Detwiler for Lincecum. -- @Hjalmar02

And I'm thinking you just fell off the turnip truck. Wasn't Detwiler on the waiver wire just last week? Why not just drop Lincecum for the next flavor of the week instead of gift-wrapping him for someone else? Unless you're the world's biggest Detwiler believer -- and if you were, you would have claimed him first -- I don't see how you can justify this deal.

I was offered Lincecum and Will Middlebrooks for Alex Cobb. -- ‏@TylerHuck

Whoa. If someone else is willing to sell low on two early-season underachievers, don't try to talk him out of it. Personally, I feel like Middlebrooks alone is too much for Cobb, and I'm a proponent of Cobb.

In a keeper league, I offered Halladay for Marco Estrada. --@gabeisaacson

I'm also a believer in Estrada, so I hesitate here. I'm tempted to do it just to make the headache someone else's, but I feel like Estrada has peaked as a middle-of-the-rotation option at age 29, and Halladay still has a chance for more than that.

Hypothetically, I think I could see Lincecum for Jayson Werth. Or Halladay for Michael Bourn if someone wants to deal for a DL guy. -- @PeteSmick

I like those hypotheticals. I'd probably agree to both unless I was loaded in the outfield.

I got offered Josh Johnson for Lincecum. -- @DanMitchell23

Take it. No concerns over Johnson's velocity (apart from that 35-degree affair in Detroit).

I've been offered Lincecum for Jason Heyward. -- @BrettHensley1

Just because Lincecum was the first to put up usable numbers? Come on. Heyward's concerns still pale in comparison.

Halladay and Jedd Gyorko for Michael Young and A.J. Griffin. -- ‏@KJDiorio

The infielders more or less cancel each other out. Griffin, hot start at all, still doesn't measure up to Halladay in terms of upside.

Got offered Angel Pagan for Lincecum. I declined. Also got offered Yoenis Cespedes for Lincecum and Desmond Jennings. Declined as well. -- @aka_MR_FANTASY

Good call on the first one. You might regret the second one if Cespedes ends up doing what everyone thinks he can do, but if you're lacking in pitching depth and consider Jennings a breakout candidate (like I do), passing on it is defensible.

I traded Halladay straight-up for Mark Reynolds in a 14-team mixed league. -- ‏@joshilles

Then you fell right into your opponent's trap. I think we all know where Reynolds will end up. Even with power numbers in shorter supply these days, I'd rather take my chances with a declining Halladay than a one-trick pony.

As you can probably tell by some of my responses, I'm a little more open to trading Lincecum than Halladay. Halladay is coming off two good starts as opposed to one, had an actual injury to blame for his struggles last year and wasn't terrible even then. Plus, his velocity seems to be trending upward ever so slightly.

But the bottom line is I'm encouraged enough by both that I'm not looking to dump either at my first opportunity to do so. If someone else is willing to take on more risk than I am or offers to fill an obvious need, I'll surely listen, but considering I still rank Halladay 34th at starting pitcher and Lincecum 38th, I'll likely stick with them for now and hope I don't look back at this date as a missed opportunity.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott White at @CBSScottWhite . You can also e-mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Indians' Kipnis, Chisenhall, Santana have good history vs. Guthrie
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:47 pm ET) Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, first baseman Carlos Santana and third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall all have a pretty good track record against Royals starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, who is on the hill Tuesday for Kansas City.

Kipins is batting .550 (11 for 20) with two home runs, three doubles and nine RBI in his career against Guthrie. While Santana is batting .476 (10 for 21) with two home runs, three doubles and four RBI, and Chisenhall is batting .533 (8 for 15) with one double, one home run and five RBI against the veteran right-hander.


Marlins' Marcell Ozuna batting cleanup in fourth straight game
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2:44 pm ET) Marlins center fielder Marcell Ozuna is serving as the cleanup hitter Tuesday for the fourth straight game.

Ozuna opened the season in the No. 6 spot before moving to the fifth slot a week ago. He then shifted to the cleanup role Saturday and has remained there since. The center fielder has hit has hit .270/.342/.317 with four RBI in 63 at-bats.

The Marlins are favorites (-112) against the Mets Tuesday, per VegasInsider.com.


Nationals recall A.J. Cole, option Rafael Martin
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2:30 pm ET) The Nationals recalled pitcher A.J. Cole from Triple-A Syracuse Tuesday and optioned pitcher Rafael Martin to the same club, the team announced.

Cole will start Tuesday against the Braves in what will be his major-league debut. He's posted a 2.40 ERA and 10:1 K:BB ratio in 15 innings with Syracuse across three starts. Cole was rated the No. 91 prospect in baseball by Baseball America prior to the 2015 season.

Martin, who struck out five straight batters in two scoreless innings in his debut April 15, has posted a 9.00 ERA and 11:2 K:BB ratio in five innings.


Reds' Zack Cozart batting second for second straight game
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2:20 pm ET) Reds shortstop Zack Cozart is batting second for the second straight game in Tuesday's matchup against the Brewers.

Cozart was a fixture in the No. 8 spot during the first two seasons, but a spate of excellent play recently earned him his first look in the second slot Thursday. After two more days hitting in the bottom third of the lineup, he's slotted second in each of the team's first two games against the Brewers this season. Cozart has hit .300/.333/.557 with four home runs and 10 RBI in 70 at-bats.

The Reds are heavy favorites (-190) against the Brewers Tuesday with Johnny Cueto on the mound.


Reds' Devin Mesoraco remains out of lineup Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2:16 pm ET) Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco (hip) remains out of the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Brewers.

Mesoraco hasn't started since April 12 while recovering from a hip impingement, but he's served as a pinch-hitter sporadically over the last week. Bryan Pena draws the start at catcher and bats eighth Tuesday.

The Reds are heavy favorites (-190) against the Brewers Tuesday with Johnny Cueto on the mound.


Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval back in the lineup Tuesday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2:16 pm ET) Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval is back in the starting lineup Tuesday against the Blue Jays after suffering a neck injury in Monday's game. 

Sandoval left Monday's game after making a diving catch and hitting his face in the grass. Manager John Farrell said after the game he was dealing with whiplash-like symptoms.

 Sandoval is hitting .294 with two home runs and 11 RBI in 68 at-bats this season. The Red Sox are currently the favorites (-120) against Toronto.


Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli out of the lineup again Tuesday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2:11 pm ET) Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli is out of the starting lineup again Tuesday against the Blue Jays, the team announced per ESPN.com.

Napoli missed Monday's game while battling an illness. Daniel Nava will draw his second straight start at first and bat sixth. He is hitting .167 in 36 at-bats this season.


Report: Angels not involved in trade talks for Saltalamacchia
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:04 pm ET) Angels catchers are batting just .115 with a .214 on-base percentage and .345 OPS through 70 plate appearances. However, the struggles of Chris Iannetta and Drew Butera aren't enough for the Angels to pursue catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, according to FOX Sports.

The Angels are not involved in talks to acquire Saltalamacchia, according to the report. Saltalamacchia was designated for assignment by the Marlins on Monday.


Mets' Michael Conforto could earn Double-A promotion soon
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:56 pm ET) Mets outfielder prospect Michael Conforto could earn a Double-A promotion as soon as early May, as high Class A pitchers have begun to pitch around him due to his hot start, Newsday reports.

The new timetable would put his promotion about a month ahead of schedule.

Conforto has followed up his excellent debut season by hitting .324/.414/.608 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 74 at-bats with high Class A St. Lucie.


Phillies activate, option Dominic Brown to Triple-A
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:38 pm ET) The Phillies activated outfielder Domonic Brown from the disabled list Tuesday and optioned him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, the team announced.

Brown opened the season on the disabled list due to an Achilles injury. He struggled during his rehab assignment, hitting .189/.290/.283 with one home run in 53 at-bats between high Class A Clearwater and Lehigh Valley, leading to the team sending him down to the minors at the end of his rehab assignment to continue to work on finding his offense.

Brown hit .235/.285/.349 with 10 home runs, 63 RBI and seven stolen bases in 473 at-bats in 2014.


 
 
 
Rankings