The Camden Bard

Your 2009 Alexandria Taxibirds, cont.

Posted in fantasy league, orioles, Uncategorized by audienceoftwo on March 20, 2009

As promised, here are the hurlers who will string together pitch sequences with orchestral flourish for your 2009 Alexandria Taxibirds:

STARTING ROTATION

  1. Diamond Roy Oswalt (Houston Astros)
    Did you know that Diamond Roy Oswalt has earned a decision in over 80% of his career starts, and has thrown 200+ innings in each of the last five seasons?  Of course, the catch there is that every year a guy throws 200 innings, it makes it that much less likely he’ll do it again next year.  Something tells me Roz won’t let me down.
    BILL JAMES 2009 STATISTICAL PREDICTION:
    16-11, 3.50 ERA
  2. Derek Lowe (Los Angeles Dodgers)
    Some would be concerned about the likelihood of Derek Lowe holding up for another full season at the top of the rotation given his age (36).  Bill James and I disagree.
    BILL JAMES 2009 STATISTICAL PREDICTION:
    14-9, 3.60 ERA
  3. Javier Vasquez (Atlanta Braves)
    I’ll say it: I’m not completely thrilled about Javier Vasquez.  His ERA has always been high, and he gives up tons of hits, which is not ideal in a fantasy league where you get points for WHIP.  That said, he’s thrown 200 innings in eight of his eleven major league seasons (and threw 198 in another), and usually strikes out about as many.  Moving to Atlanta from the White Sox won’t be good for his win totals, but you could do a lot worse from the 3 spot in your rotation…I hope.
    BILL JAMES 2009 STATISTICAL PREDICTION:
    13-11, 3.80 ERA
  4. Jered Weaver (Los Angeles Angels)
    J-Weave is a gangly mess of junkballs, but he’s consistent and he’s got one of the best teams in the game behind him.
    BILL JAMES 2009 STATISTICAL PREDICTION:
    11-9, 3.63 ERA
  5. Jeremy Guthrie (Baltimore Orioles)
    J-Guth gets a bad rap because he’s being asked to lead the rotation for a team with no better options, but he quietly threw 190 innings and posted a 3.63 ERA for one of the worst teams in the league last year.  If he can do the same for me in 2009 as a fifth starter, I’ll be more than satisfied.
    BILL JAMES 2009 STATISTICAL PREDICTION:
    11-11, 4.03 ERA

IN THE BULLPEN

  1. Joakim Soria (Kansas City Royals)
    Soria saved 42 games and posted a 1.60 ERA for the Royals last season, and fireballing closers his age don’t usually regress (they just burn out early–that’s what makes people like Billy Wagner and Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman so incredible).
    BILL JAMES STATISTICAL PREDICTION:
    37 SV, 2.16 ERA
  2. George Sherrill (Baltimore Orioles)
    Drafting Cesar Izturis was embarrassing enough–I really did not intend to end up with Sherrill.  As a second closer, however, I wouldn’t mind something approximating his 2008 season (31 saves, 4.73 ERA).  Bill James’s prediction is out of line with what I’m reading, which suggests Sherrill will start the season as the go-to closer, with Chris Ray at the ready should Sherrill falter (or–more likely–become trade bait).
    BILL JAMES STATISTICAL PREDICTION:
    3 SV, 3.42 ERA

On the whole, I’m pretty excited about my pitching staff–Diamond Roy is the only standout, but we’re solid top-to-bottom, and though I think Bill James is probably being a little bit optimistic in the ERA department (except with Soria), it would certainly be helpful to finish with only one guy above four earned runs per game.  I’m currently pondering a few trades, the results of which may allow me to tweak the pitching staff slightly, but I’d be more than happy to go with these guys for the full season.

As for the Taxibirds on the whole, a lot depends on Matt Wieters and Joey Votto having the seasons everyone seems to think they’re going to have.  Josh Hamilton is something of a gamble given his history, but every indication is that he’s even more focused this spring than he was last year, and he’s been hitting the cover off the ball in pre-season games.  Wieters will evidently start the season at Triple-A, which I wasn’t expecting, but he too has been mashing his heart out all spring and will surely arrive big when he finally arrives.  Jim Thome’s back is acting up once again, so Jay Bruce may have to do some unexpected DH’ing early on–but if he has the kind of year people are expecting (.296-35-94), I may not miss Thome so much.

Now, if I can just arrange for Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, and Cole Hamels to be imprisoned in a subterranean bunker for the duration of the season (reality show!), I might just beat Flav and Ben.

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