Monday, February 23, 2004

My picks: With my last two picks, I completed my starting lineup by finalizing two platoons at catcher and first base.

Andres Galarraga didn't have the best OPS against lefties of any first sacker left, but did have a better EqA than, say, Eric Karros, and was a better defensive player. Plus, he can make Edgar feel young (the Cat is two years older) and having both of them enables me to purchase team Geritol in bulk, saving budget dollars. I can also ask him how it feels to have been born the year Maris hit '61.

Since I've got 10 pitchers, it would have taken an excellent value to make me select another in round 21. Ron Mahay was the last reliever I would have considered here, and Onesixteeners snapped him up before I got the chance.

Why take a platoon catcher now as opposed to a bench bat? Two reasons: First, I was going to have to take a second catcher anyway (since I'm going to get a big bat to pinch-hit for Phillips in late-inning situations), and second, adding .050 slugging points to my everday lineup against righties is more likely to score me runs than having a great pinch-hitter. Ramon Hernandez was the last catcher I could find that got me those points.

Hernandez is one of those odd right-handers who hits against righties (.365/.494/.859) much better than lefties (.255/.376/.630), so this gives me the rare righty-righty platoon. Like Phillips, he played in a pitchers' park, so the park effects should favor him in Diamond Mind.

This leaves me looking for righty and a lefty to pinch-hit, and possibly another bullpen arm. I'm taking my cues from Sodo Oh No, who have six relievers -- maybe I need that second lefty. Has Ron Villone been taken yet?

My first lefty was B.J. Ryan, taken three rounds ago. I really wanted Jason Kershner, who What the Hell Happened snatched from my grasp, but I'm satisfied with Ryan. His WHIP is higher, but so are his strikeouts per nine innings, and both players hold lefties to an OPS under .500.

Picks I've loved lately: Mahay, Onesixteeners. Last round, I really liked Troy Percival and Matt Herges as value picks. Will Cunnane was a sweet snag the round prior as well. I had my eye on Carlos Lee, another weird right-hander who can't hit lefties but murders righties. Mariners Weekly got him. What happens if Percival, who is more effective against lefties, faces Lee, who can't hit lefties? Would platoon-minded managers' heads explode?

A question mark: I'm very interested in how pitchers with extreme splits are going to do. Case in point: Chad Bradford, drafted by Mariner Musings. Bradford dims the outlook and narrows the horizons of righties with a .85 WHIP and a .190 batting average against them. Lefties, on the other hand, have good-golly numbers against him: he gives up a 2.27 WHIP to southpaws.

In a league like this, I assumed, there'd be plentiful bench mashers. Hence, I shied away from drafting relievers without respectable splits against one flavor of hitter. The argument, though, works both ways: There are enough relief aces so that, say, Peter's team could bring in Bradford to get me to spend my best lefty pinch hitter, and then laugh as he brings in a lefty killa. Again, we'll have to see how it plays out.

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