By Zach Steinhorn
Monday, May 30 - 10:02 PM
If the events of today are any indication, it's looking like I might be in store for a disastrous week. While my lineup decisions were based on careful thought and sound reasoning, the timing could not have been worse. But I can't beat myself up over it. What can you do?
Pain in the butt: Han-Ram
Jason Hammel had given up a combined two earned runs over his previous two outings spanning 13 2/3 innings. He was entering a two-start week with rather favorable matchups, at the Dodgers and at the Giants. Considering that he sported a 1.71 ERA on the road this season, this decision was nothing short of a no-brainer. So what does Hammel do? He allows a season-high seven earned runs, failing to make it through the fifth inning for the first time all year. While we're on the subject of Hammel, here's a fun fact:
Jason Hammel 2011 Stats (11 Starts): 3.89 ERA 1.34 WHIP
Jason Hammel 2011 Stats while in my starting lineup (3 Starts): 8.50 ERA 1.61 WHIP
Now that's what you call great timing! The good news? There's a decent chance that Hammel pitches to a sub-8.50 ERA on Sunday when he faces San Francisco.
Tuesday, May 31 - 3:45 PM
And you thought we were finished talking about timing, right? I'm really glad I chose to start Jason Kubel over Johnny Damon this week. Despite the fact that Damon batted .409 for me last week (9-for-22), his counting stats, no homers, two RBIs and two runs scored, were simply unacceptable. So I went with Kubel and he lands up leaving yesterday's game early due to a sprained foot and is not in the lineup tonight. Best case scenario for me is he misses a couple of games. Worst case? He goes on the DL and I'm forced to waste a starting spot for six straight days. You gotta love these Monday injuries in weekly lineup leagues.
Thursday, June 2 - 7:42 AM
Unlike Jason Kubel, Hanley Ramirez got injured on a Sunday. But even though I knew that a stiff back would keep him out of Monday's lineup, I decided to start him anyway. I mean, was I really going to sit Hanley if there was a chance he would miss only a game or two? No way! This sounded like more of a day-to-day thing anyway. So a day went by, then another day, then another day, and it's sounding more and more likely that Ramirez will indeed require a DL stint. Time for me to make contingency plans. One look at the available shortstop pool and I'm reminded why I opted to spend nearly one-fifth of my auction budget on Hanley, seeing him as an ultra-safe choice at an ultra-thin position. And what a mistake that was. What has happened to this guy? Four straight seasons of at least 21 homers, 92 runs scored and a .300 batting average, and now this? A .210 average with four homers through 48 games from a player who was taken no later than second overall in 99 percent of drafts this year? I've actually been chatting with several fellow Hanley owners over the past few days and one of them uttered a sentence that would have sounded absurd a mere two months ago. "I'm kinda hoping he goes on the DL so that he can stop hurting my team," this disgruntled owner said. Wow. One thing's for sure, I definitely picked the wrong season to become a first-time Hanley owner.
Anyway, back to my waiver wire shortstop search. Jamey Carroll, Cliff Pennington, J.J. Hardy and Jason Bartlett are the best options. Ugh. I'll go with Bartlett. He's batting just .249 but at least he has nine steals.
Thursday, June 2 - 4:50 PM
As I feared, the Twins have officially placed Jason Kubel on the DL. Not only does this leave me short a starting outfielder for the next few days, but it presents quite a dilemma. Six DL-eligible players for three DL slots. This means that three of my seven bench spots are now occupied by guys who are giving me absolutely nothing right now. And there's a long list of players I'd like to pick up, highlighted by Anthony Rizzo, who is tearing up Triple-A and could be called up fairly soon. I'm seriously considering dumping Jonathan Broxton. What do I need him for? All he's done this season is cause me grief and I do already have three closers. Has the time finally arrived to simply cut my losses with Broxton and put that roster spot to better use? I'm thinking yes.
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