Hey out there, Finch Files readers! What a crazy few days. Just when you think things are settling down
I zipped up to Phoenix for that appearance last week and nearly missed my flight out to Palm Springs. Traffic in that town is getting heavy, and it took ages to get to the airport. I almost thought I was home in L.A. for a second. In Palm Springs, I helped out at a charity golf fundraiser, which was a great success, and Monday I headed to L.A. to catch up with my parents. Ace is such a trooper and has been traveling with me, but now he'll have a few days with my mom and dad as I head up to Chicago. I'll be there on Tuesday to promote some things with the Bandits. I can't wait to see my teammates, and catch up with owner Bill Conroy and the rest of the gang. It's hard to believe that opening day is only a little more than a week away. I'm ready! And I'll be answering some of your questions in front of the camera for ESPN while I'm there. I'll let you know, and keep an eye out for those!!
We've got some great questions this week. Keep 'em coming. I love hearing from you!
Jenny: I think Seattle will have a tough time making it to the playoffs this year. It's more likely the wild card will come out of the AL Central, and it would appear that the L.A. Angels are a more well-rounded team than the Mariners right now.
As for Richie Sexson, he's off to a typical Sexson start. Last year he hit just .213 in April and .198 in May. He'll wind up with .250 - .260 batting average and about 35 home runs, but he's an albatross in too many categories and you should trade him if you can. He just kills you.
Dave Webster (N.J.): Jenny! The whole Delmon Young thing didn't work out, but there were plenty of free agents out there worthy of a roster spot. Out of some young guys (Dan Johnson, Luke Scott. Hunter Pence and Tom Gorzelanny (PIT)), who do you think will have the greatest 2007 impact?
Jenny: Well, I like Gorzelanny. He's pitching well this year and he ended last year well. He had a 3.25 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP in the second half of 2006 and he's continued to do well this year, keeping the ball in the yard and showing improved control.
If you need offensive help, Hunter has more value than Luke Scott, although I still believe Delmon Young will turn it around. He's too good of a ball player to continue in the same vein. He's young and he's making adjustments, that's all. He's already got seven walks in May after getting only three all of April. It's some progress, at least.
Jenny: Assuming you've already replaced Akinori at third base, I would definitely pick up Victorino, especially if you need steals. He's shown a great deal of it with his 16 steals in 18 tries. His .355 on-base percentage will keep him hitting at the top of a productive offensive lineup in Philadelphia, which can only get better when Ryan Howard comes back at full strength.
Jenny: I would keep Dice-K and Upton. In fact, I wouldn't even consider the trade. You don't give up a fantasy ace like Matsuzaka unless you're getting something considerable in exchange. Dunn isn't going to change. He's a batting-average killer who'll hurt you there almost as much as he helps you in any single category. Reyes is an average closer on a below-average team. I wouldn't take both of them together for Dice-K, let alone throwing in a multi-category contributor like Upton.
Mark (Seattle): My team is struggling in the power categories but i recently traded for Miguel Cabrera and picked up J.J. Hardy from free agency. Is there anyone out there that I could try and trade for that won't force me to give up my top draft picks, any players that could go for power under the radar that i could get cheaper than most?
Jenny: Players under the radar that could provide power I'm thinking Chris B. Young in Arizona to start with. He's played and already has six home runs and 18 RBIs this year. Others for you to look at might be Pence in Houston, and Ryan Garko in Cleveland.
Amanda (Raymore, Mo): Hey Jennie, I was just wondering what you think of the Kansas City Royals?
Jenny: I'm curious about why you're asking. Are you a fan? In my opinion, the Royals are a young team that's probably two or three years from being competitive in the AL central. The young position players need to continue to mature and they need to continue to fill in the pitching ranks. This is just a tough division with the Indians, Tigers, Twins and White Sox. They just need a little time to get there.
Fantasy-wise, that means you need to be very selective in whatever pitchers you pick up, but the position players can provide good value. Mark Teahen, David DeJesus, John Buck and even Esteban German aren't highly regarded, but they do put up solid numbers, and that's all that matters in fantasy. In a deep league, K.C. is a great place to shop.
Ryan (Rosemount): I've got Francisco Liriano in a keeper league and another owner wants to give me Rich Harden and Ben Sheets for him. Do I take the production for this season or hold onto Liriano so I can pair him with Johan Santana for next season? I'm struggling with this. Do I trade an injured player for two injury-prone players? Plus, I'm a huge Twins fan so that makes this decision tougher.
Jenny: Normally, I'd say make the deal, because when all three are healthy, they're all aces. I'd rather hold a pair of aces now, and get their value immediately, than have one later. Only problem is, Rich Harden isn't injury-prone. He's plain injured. His shoulder isn't getting better, so what you're getting is Ben Sheets and a broken pitcher. I bet you can do better than that if you're willing to shop Liriano around. If you're going for it this year, you probably should; you can add to your roster without taking anything away from it. That's a huge advantage.
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