Dynasty League Review: Injuries for Everyone!
Here at Pitcher List, we thought it would be fun to give the readers a look into the dynasty leagues of Pitcher List staff members. Two weeks ago I introduced my massive 30 team H2H Points Dynasty league, and this week I’ll be discussing post-draft, the first two scoring periods, and what my strategy will be going into Week 3.
Just before I go into the post-draft, I want to quickly go over somethings I missed in the introductory post. Regarding the Free Keepers, I had mentioned that they were kept for “free,” which I never eluded to meant the final rounds of the draft. For example, Winker was kept in round 23, which was the last round before the Non-Roster Invite rounds. These NRI rounds allow us to draft up to three extra players, and before the start of the season, we have to drop 3 players to compensate. Also, each week every team faces two opponents, which can really sway the standings towards the end of the year.
So after the draft, my team was looking decent yet still semi-vulnerable. My pitching was going through some things (Luis Severino had shoulder soreness and had yet to strain his lat, Andrew Heaney had his yearly elbow-soreness injury scare and Jeremy Jeffress also found out he had shoulder issues, so YAY) and my best player Francisco Lindor ended up on the Injured List with first a calf and then an ankle injury. I decided I needed to acquire another pitcher who could provide me with decent innings, and the Rich Hill owner put he was on the block as he was strictly kept as a team keeper and was not needed anymore. We ended up swinging a deal.
|Traded Away||Traded For|
|SP Jordan Lyles||SP Rich Hill|
|C Andrew Knizner (MiLB)||—|
Rich Hill then immediately proceeded to go on the IL with knee soreness. Fantastic. And to rub even more salt on the wound, on April 11th Jordan Lyles would throw 6 innings with 10 strikeouts and only one earned run. Worth a stellar 26.5 points, that would be better than any start of my pitchers. YOU WIN SOME AND YOU LOSE SOME I GUESS.
I made some waiver additions in the weeks before the first scoring period, adding and dropping some fringe starters (Luis Cessa, Chad Bettis), relievers I wanted to hold but couldn’t with my bench being filled with injured starters (Richard Lovelady, Robert Stock, Zac Rosscup, Justin Miller [RIP the dream]), and Tzu-Wei Lin, who I liked but figured he would either not start at all or score me negative points. I was able to pick up Tyler Kolek and stash him in my minors, as he was kept in the last minor-league draft and allows me to roster him there. I don’t have high hopes, but I had a slot open and figured why not.
Because of all the injuries, I had to plan to either: a) Start an injured player and take the points loss or b) Add someone, whether through trade or waivers and start them, hoping they provide positive points. Thinking my team could still be decent with a few injured players (and honestly facing two of the more mediocre teams in RD in 2018, with a 23-19 and 20-22 records) I decided to do just that starting Lindor, Heaney and Jeffress, while also starting Tanner Scott, currently in the minors. While my team was hurting, I still had some good mashers, enough to compete and hopefully win. With the season starting in Japan a week earlier than most games, we decided to have a two-week scoring period to start the season, allowing scores to become higher than normal. This also means rosters locked early and any pickups would have to be approved by our commish.
Scoring Period 1
Slack Weekly TL;DR
Ugh. This was one of the worst weeks I’ve had in the league. Other than Domingo Santana, Marcus Stroman, and Jose Alvarado my team was pretty bad. David Robertson couldn’t find the strike zone, the Yankees decided JA Happ throwing his best pitch was bad, and David Price was his usual homer-happy self. I must say, no BETTER feeling in the world than trading a player and having him be stellar against you when you face them (Domingo German making me look DUMB).
With Lindor being out a while I decided I might as well roster his replacement on the actual Cleveland Indians, Eric Stamets. “Who is Eric Stamets” you may be asking. Well, in 2018 in AAA he ran a wRC+ of 68, so he clearly deserves to be starting (seriously though Cleveland, why are you just letting your team BE BAD!?). He should get most of the playing time while Lindor is out, but will he actually produce enough to make it worthwhile? Well, currently that answer is OH GOD NO WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY, as he’s sporting a 52.8% strikeout rate and a lovely -40 wRC+.
I also decided while I liked my relief corps once healthy — they currently aren’t. The Kansas City Royals decided before the season he would be going through a rebuilding year, and during this scoring period, he completely jumped into tank mode. I ended up swinging a deal to get a reliever I expect to help me for the next couple of years.
|Traded Away||Traded For|
|MiLB SP Adrian Morejon||FK1 RP Jordan Hicks|
While it was hard to judge Hicks based off of his small sample size this year, he seems to have found an ability to get groundballs AND strikeouts. He limits barrels, shows elite contact rates as per statcast, and while his walk-rate might still be a tad high, it’s nothing extreme. And he can do this:
Beautiful. And while I’m at it, let me breakdown another deal that was a semi-blockbuster.
|Marlins Trades||Royals Trades|
|1B Luke Voit||OF Marcell Ozuna|
|FK2 1B Rowdy Tellez|
|SP Mike Fiers|
This was an interesting deal for me. I want to love Rowdy Tellez, I really do, but I remember when he was first coming up to AAA he seemed to be ALWAYS late to fastballs, and it was part of the reason he had “all-fields” power. Luke Voit, I will never understand fully, but I have to buy into him to a certain extent at this point. Mike Fiers is nothing exciting but a live arm for the Royals to help him compete in a pretty tough division. I think Marcell Ozuna is easily the best player in the deal, but the Royals did well to get some depth that should help him more than Ozuna would. I thought it was weird for the Marlins when he was going for a full rebuild, but it makes sense to buy a depreciated asset that has a chance to bounce back to an all-star.
I ended my abysmal week by dropping my failed upside play in Mac Williamson but DID end up scoring a decent replacement in Brian Goodwin, who is sporting an unsustainable BABIP but should score me points while the rest of my squad gets healthy.
Scoring Period 2
Slack Weekly TL;DR
Excuse the language BUT IT WAS JUSTIFIED (also Austin Dean DID have a helluva day). My offense exploded this week with Jose Altuve (10-25, 6 HRs, 48 points), Josh DONG-ALDSON (Josh Donaldson, 9-23, 2 HR, 34 points), Tommy Pham (6-21, 6:2 BB:K, 26 points) and my boy Jesse Winker (7-18, 4 HR, 37 points). My pitching was mediocre (save for David Price‘s awesome Sunday start) and was really dragged down by J.A. Happ‘s pretty awful start. A very bright spot with my pitching staff, however, was the MLB call-up of Touki Toussaint. He got a chance to prove himself and did, going six strong relief innings with a 7:2 BB:K ratio, earning a chance to stay in the rotation with Sean Newcomb being sent to AAA.
Still looking to improve my team (and not start Eric Stamets anymore) I went onto the market looking for a shortstop. I thought I might as well bring in a replacement as I had no idea how long Lindor would be out for (UPDATE: HE’LL BE BACK SOON HALLELUJAH). The Padres have Fernando Tatis Jr, Alberto Mondesi Jr, and Orlando Arcia all SS eligible, so he put another one on the block. I clearly want to roster literally all of the bad shortstops.
|Traded For||Traded Away|
|SS Lourdes Gurriel Jr.||2020 MiLB 3rd round pick|
Lourdes Gurriel Jr showed a ton of good signs last year, and while he was scuffling badly before this deal I figured he COULDN’T POSSIBLY be that bad all year. And I was right! Small sample sizes can never be trusted, but he was a bad -31 wRC+ in his first six games and a 143 wRC+ the next seven. He surely will fix my shortstop problem until Lindor is back!
Update: WRONG JAMIE HE’S A BAD DEFENDER SO HE’S BANISHED TO AAA. Guess I’m starting another zero-point player this week.
The Marlins weren’t done with their tear-down and made two more large deals this week.
|Marlins Trades||White Sox Trades|
|OF Marcell Ozuna||MiLB SS Brendan Rodgers|
|MiLB DJ Stewart||MiLB OF Jered Kelenic|
|MiLB Bubba Thompson|
Oh. Well, that makes sense: He just wanted to flip him! And I do like Jered Kelenic quite a bit. Brendan Rodgers‘s shine has faded for me a wee bit, but I still think a 25 HR bat is a possibility in Coors. I think the deal makes sense for both parties, as the White Sox have been rebuilding for a couple of years now and decided to push some of his chips in. Bubba Thompson isn’t a nobody either, as he’s quite raw but has a ton of upside. DJ Stewart could potentially end up starting in the bleak outfield for the Orioles later in the year, and as I’m writing this has a 16.7% walk rate and a 7.1% strikeout rate in AAA. Huh. TIL. I left the best for last though.
|Marlins Trades||Cardinals Trades|
|OF Giancarlo Stanton||MiLB OF Taylor Trammel|
|MiLB SP Zac Gallen||MiLB OF Jesus Sanchez|
|MiLB 1B Nick Pratto||MiLB SP Michel Baez|
I am not a Giancarlo Fan. He strikes out too much for my liking and it’s seeming like his 2017 was the outlier year for him. BUT I EVEN THINK THIS IS LIGHT! I adore Taylor Trammel and think he’s up next year, but at this point, Zac Gallen might have more steam than Michel Baez, and Jesus Sanchez reminds me of an AWFUL lot like Avisail Garcia. Someone who has all of the tools but somewhat awful plate discipline. And hey, Nick Pratto might become Eric Hosmer, and that’s not awful in a 30 team dynasty.
Before the week was over I swung one more deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks who had recently dropped Taylor Ward. He was called up a day or two afterwards and I ended up snagging him off waivers. We discussed a small deal, as I was going to drop him anyways and something is better than nothing.
|Traded Away||Traded For|
|3B Taylor Ward||MiLB RP David Paulino|
I had dropped Jordan Luplow and Joe Biagini and that allowed me to roster one more player, so I put in some waiver claims for some guys I liked. Giovanni Urshela, Thomas Pannone, and Luis Perdomo (I will always have a soft spot for him in my heart) were the three players that I ended up snagging. Unfortunately, trades take two days to process, and the deal was accepted on Saturday night, so I would have to roster Ward through the start of the period and drop all of my waiver claims. Why do I do this to myself?
This next coming week I get to face my arch-rival the Cleveland Indians (who always knock me out in the playoffs). With Jeffress coming back (but David Robertson going down with a flexor strain) I hope my offense can carry my squad for another week. CAN IT?! Let’s find out.
(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)