free-agent-pool1

Some reasonably available players to assist you in the Runs and/or RBI categories.

Runs
Gary Sheffield, OF, New York Mets
– Sheffield has been a key benefactor of Carlos Delgado’s hip injury by batting cleanup.  Last week he went 10 for 26 (.385) with 9 Runs, a HR, 3 RBIs, and a SB.  On the year he’s hitting .254 with 16 Runs, 2 HRs, and 8 RBIs.  He’s owned in 25% of Yahoo!, 5.5% of ESPN, and 20% of CBS leagues.  Delgado is expected to be out up to ten weeks.

Cristian Guzman, SS, Washington Nationals – Guzman crossed the plate 8 times last week while hitting .355 (11 for 31) with an RBI.  On the year he’s hitting .373 with 24 Runs, 1 HR, and 10 RBIs.  He is owned in 58% of Yahoo!, 43.1% of ESPN, and 58% of CBS leagues. 

Nick Johnson, 1B, Washington Nationals – Johnson had a nice week for the Nationals as well scoring 7 Runs while hitting .435 (10 for 23) with a HR and 7 RBIs.  On the year he’s hitting .333 with 26 Runs, 4 HRs, and 24 RBIs.  He’s owned in 57% of Yahoo!, 18.8% of ESPN, and 61% of CBS leagues.  He also qualifies for the RBI category.

Adam LaRoche, 1B, Pittsburgh Pirates - Adam also scored 7 Runs while hitting .259 (7 for 27) with 3 RBIs.  On the year he’s hitting .231 with 23 Runs, 6 HRs, and 18 RBIs.  He’s owned in 38% of Yahoo!, 83.8% of ESPN, and 56% of CBS leagues.

Clete Thomas, OF, Detroit Tigers - Like LaRoche he scored 7 and hit  .259 (7 for 27).  He managed just 2 RBIs though.  On the year he’s hitting .306 with 9 Runs and 5 RBIs in 12 games.  He’s owned in 2% of Yahoo!, 0.4% of ESPN, and 4 % of CBS leagues.

RBIs
Casey Blake, 1B/3B, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Blake had 8 RBIs last week to go with his .421 (8 for 19) hitting, 5 Runs, and 3 HRs.  On the year he’s hitting .283 with 23 Runs, 9 HRs, and 26 RBIs.  He’s owned in 66% of Yahoo!, 28.8% of ESPN, and 72% of CBS leagues.

Kendry Morales, 1B/OF, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - Kendry had 7 RBIs last week while hitting .333 (10 for 30) with 5 Runs, 3 HRs, and 7 RBIs.  On the year he’s hitting .286 with 20 Runs, 8 HRs, and 26 RBIs.  He’s owned in 70% of Yahoo!, 34% of ESPN, and 64% of CBS leagues.

Ben Zobrist, SS/OF, Tampa Bay Rays - Zobrist is getting more ABs while Pat Burrell is out.  Last week he had 7 RBIs while hitting .375 (6 for 16) with 5 Runs, 2 HRs, and 1 SB.  On the year he’s hitting .276 with 15 Runs, 7 HRs, 20 RBIs, and 3 SBs.  He’s owned in 45% of Yahoo!, 14.8% of ESPN, and 36% of CBS leagues.

Ryan Raburn, 2B/3B/OF, Detroit Tigers – Raburn showed signs of life going 4 for 10 with 3 Runs, 2 HRs, and 8 RBIs for the Tigers.  I’d wait for him to get more ABs and improve his numbers before picking him up though.  On the year he’s hitting .167 with 5 Runs, 2 HRs, and 9 RBIs.  He’s owned in less than 1% of leagues.

Colby Rasmus, OF, St. Louis Cardinals - Ramus didn’t hit it often last week going 4 for 20 (.200), but he did manage to smack 3 HRs and drive in 7 Runs.  On the year he’s hitting .250 with 20 Runs, 4 HRs, and 15 RBIs.  He’s owned in 15% of Yahoo!, 2.9% of ESPN, and 24% of CBS leagues.

Cody Ross, OF, Florida Marlins - Cody did a ton of damage (.583, 4 Runs, 2 HRs, and 7 RBIs) in just 12 ABs last week.  On the year he’s hitting .241 with 15 Runs, 6 HRs, and 23 RBIs.  He is owned in 12% of Yahoo!, 7.3% of ESPN, and 19% of CBS leagues.

A decade or two ago Gary Sheffield’s accomplishment on Friday night would have meant something.  Joining the 500 HR not only placed you in very elite company, but it basically punched your ticket in the Cooperstown. 

Flash forward to 2009 and Sheffield’s 500th HR gets a little more than a yawn out of me.  The timing couldn’t have been worse for Sheff because so many of us were reminded of the late Harry Kalas’ call of Michael Jack Schmidt’s 500th HR.  Now that was an accomplishment.  It is still an elite group with merely 25 members.  It just doesn’t take on the same meaning.  Not with the steroids, the HGH, the cream, and the clear.  To me, there is no chance Sheffield gets into the Hall of Fame.  Some other steroid era players could have a hard time as well.  Obviously the Mt. Shamemore of the steroit era (Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro) will struggle to get in.  Same with Jim Thome, although he hasn’t been linked to steroids.  Despite meeting the milestone, I would actually put Sheffield’s Uncle (Dwight Gooden) in the Hall before I considered him.

The countdown to Opening Day is on.  There are a couple of updates that I wanted to make sure you were aware of.   First, the Mets signed OF Gary Sheffield.  His value is limited though as he’ll be sharing time with Ryan Church.  If you drafted Church hoping for a breakout player, you probably just lost that possibility.  He still holds value, but you’re going to have to see how they handle the ABs.  Fernando Tatis will also lose some ABs.  There is the possibility that Sheff never gets going and gets shown the door.

Ichiro Suzuki landed on the DL for the first time in his career with a bleeding ulcer.  He’s eligible to come off on April 15th.  He will miss the Mariners’ first eight games.  Ichiro should still put up solid numbers.  I’m just worried his 100+ Run and 200+ Hit streaks could be in jeopardy.

gary-sheffield
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

In what’s apparently not an early April Fools’ joke the Tigers created waves by releasing slugger Gary Sheffield, according to MLB.com’s Jason Beck.  Sheffield is just one Home Run away from reaching the 500 HR club.

The Tigers figured Sheffield was a defensive liability in the Outfield, and did not want to hold a roster spot for someone who would just DH.  The move could also have been a Domino Effect of Jordan Schafer winning the Atlanta Braves Centerfielder job, which led to Josh Anderson’s trade to Detroit. 

Sheffield struggled with injuries and hit just .225 last year, but did manage 19 HRs in 418 At Bats.  Sheffield’s struggles continue this Spring as he had just five hits in 29 ABs (.172).

Although he is cantankerous at times, he still wields a pretty good stick, and could catch on with a team in need of some right-handed power.  The moves costs the Tigers $14 million.

Here’s a look at Outfielders who should bounce back from subpar 2008 seasons.

carl-crawford
Carl Crawford
– Despite Tampa Bay’s success last year, Crawford didn’t perform at his typical level.  Crawford was limited to 109 games, which can explain the 69 Runs, 121 Hits, 12 Doubles, 8 HRs, 57 RBI, and 25 SBs.  His .273 average was off his .293 career mark, but that can be expected from someone dealing with injuries.  I fully expect him to return to form and hit in the low .300s with 90+ Runs, 180+ Hits, 28+ Doubles, 15+ HRs, 75+ RBI, and 40+ SBs.  One interesting note is despite his struggles, he did still hit 10 Triples last year.  I expect that number to jump to 15+ in ’09.
vernon-wells
Vernon Wells
– Wells had a solid season batting .300 with 20 HRs and 78 RBI.  He was actually better in 108 games in 2008 than he was in 149 games in 2007.  He worked with a trainer to get in better shape.  Unfortunately he hurt his hamstring.  As long as it doesn’t bother him all year, he should be solid.  I’m putting him on a .280, 85 R, 160 H, 32 2Bs, 25HRs, 90 RBI, and 12 SBs season.

hideki-matsui
Hideki Matsui -
Matsui will mostly fill the DH role for the Yankees because of his knees.  He was limited to 93 games last year and had just 43 Runs, 9 HRs, and 45 RBI.  He’s alternating between injury-riddled years and solid years, and fortunately it’s an odd year if the trend continues.  I see him getting around 450-500 at bats and hitting .295 with 75 R, 140 H, 20 HRs, and 80 RBI.

gary-sheffield
Gary Sheffield
– While he doesn’t play much OF anymore, he’s still eligible in most formats.  Sheff, like most Tigers, had a down year.  He hit .225 with 52 Runs, 94 Hits, 16 Doubles, 19 HRs, and 57 RBI.  Those aren’t Gary Sheffield numbers.  He could struggle out of the gate as he pursues HR #500.  Once that’s out of the way look for him to settle in around .260, 70-75 Runs, 130 Hits, 25 Doubles, 22 HRs, and 70 RBI.

jeff-francoeur-swinging
Jeff Francoeur
- Francoeur hit .239 with 70 Runs, 143 Hits, 11 HRs, and 71 RBI.  In his previous two years he averaged .276 with 83.5 Runs, 178.5 Hits, 24 HRs, and 104 RBI.  After his struggles last year, I’m going to be conservative in my expectations of him in ’09.  I’m guessing he’ll hit .260 with 75 Runs, 160 Hits, 20 HRs, and 85 RBI. 

 
eric-byrnes
Eric Byrnes
- I don’t expect a major bounceback for him as he’s likely going to be fighting for at bats as the fourth Outfielder, but he’s going to improve on his .209 average and 28 Runs, 43 Hits, 23 RBI, and 4 SBs.  If nothing else, he should be a decent source of SBs.

Images courtesy of Icon SMI

Monday, July 21st
Miguel Cabrera
went 5 for 6 with 2 Runs, 2 Doubles, and 6 RBI.  Matt Joyce went 4 for 6 with 3 Runs, a Triple, a HR, and 5 RBI.   James Loney went 3 for 6 with 2 Runs, a Triple, and 5 RBI.  Troy Tulowitzki went 5 for 5.  J.J. Hardy and Jason Bay each had 4 Hits.  Curtis Granderson went 3 for 5 with 4 Runs.  Carlos Guillen went 3 for 4 with 5 Runs, 2 RBI, and 2 Walks.  Freddy Sanchez went 3 for 6 with 2 Runs, a HR, and 4 RBI.  Bill Hall, Jason Kendall, Alexi Casilla, Denard Span, Jose Molina, Edgar Gonzalez, Nate McLouth, Xavier  Nady, Kazuo Matsui, Russell Martin (3 Runs), Jeff Kent (3 Runs), Matt Holliday (3 RBI), Brad Hawpe (3 RBI), Ian Stewart, Manny Ramirez, and Howie Kendrick each had 3 Hits.  Richie Weeks, A-Rod, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Josh Hamilton, and Gary Sheffield each had 3 RBI.

Scott Kazmir gave up 2 Hits in 7 scoreless Innings with 9 Ks to improve to 8-5 with a 2.80 ERA.  Jorge Campillo gave up 2 Hits in 7 scoreless Inningswith 6 Ks to improve to 5-4 with a 2.83 ERA.  Randy Johnson also gave up 2 Hits in 7 scoreless Innings to improve to 7-7.  Rich Harden gave up 1 Run on 1 Hits in 7 Innings with 10 Ks, but took the Loss.  Jon Lester struck out 6 in 7-1/3 scoreless Innings to improve to 8-3 with a 3.20 ERA.  Scott Feldman gave up 1 Run on 4 Hits in 6 Innings to improve to 4-3.  Javier Vazquez gave up 3 Runs on 4 Hits in 7 Innings with 10 Ks, but took the Loss.  Zach Miner gave up 3  Hits in 6 scoreless Innings to improve to 4-3 with a 3.73 ERA.

Satuday, July 19th
Robinson Cano
went 4 for 6 with 2 Runs and 2 Doubles.  Shin-Soo Choo went 3 for 5 with 2 Runs, 2 Doubles, a HR, and 3 RBI.  Albert Pujols had 3 Hits and 4 RBI.  Pat Burrell went 3 for 5 with 3 Runs, a Double, 2 HRs, and 2 RBI.  Jorge Cantu had 4 Hits.  Placido Polanco went 4 for 6 with 3 Runs, 2 Doubles, an RBI, and a Walk.  Justin Morneau had 5 RBI.  Evan Longoria hit a Grand Slam.  John Baker and Miguel Cabrera each had 4 RBI.  Scott Podsednik went 4 for 5 with 2 Runs and 3 Doubles.  Joe Mauer scored 3 Runs and had 3 RBI.  Brad Hawpe, Cody Ross, Willie Harris (3 Runs), Gregor Blanco, Gary Sheffield, Melvin Mora (3 RBI), Kevin Millar, Luke Scott, Ryan Theriot, Delmon Young, David Wright, Freddy Sanchez, and Ryan Braun each had 3 Hits.  Erick Aybar, Cristian Guzman, Ramon Hernandez, Mike Aviles, Billy Butler, John Buck, Joey Votto, and Edgar Gonzalez each had 3 RBI.

Matt Garza tossed 7-2/3 Innings of two-hit scoreless ball with 6 Ks to improve to 8-5 with a 3.68 ERA.  Dan Haren gave up 4 Hits in 7 scoreless Innings with 7 Ks to improve to 9-5 with a 2.58 ERA.  Joba Chamberlain gave up 1 Run in 6 Innings with 8 Ks, but got a no-decision.  Joe Saunders gave up 2 Runs in 6-2/3 Innings, but got a no-decision.  John “Stawberry Fields Forever” Lannan gave up 1 Run in 6 Innings to improve to 6-9 with a 3.29 ERA.  Gil Meche gave up 1 Run on 2 Hits in 6-1/3 Innings to improve to 7-9.  Wandy Rodriguez gave up 1 Run in 6-2/3 Innings to improve to 5-3 with a 3.31 ERA.  Livan Herandez gave up 2 Runs on 5 Hits in 7 Innings to improve to 10-6.  Josh Fogg gave up 1 Earned Run in 6 Innings to improve to 2-2.  Jorge de la Rosa gave up 1 Run in 6 Innings to improve to 4-5.

Thursday, July 17th
David Wright
hit a HR and had 4 RBI.  Carlos Delgado and Fernando Tatis each had 3 Hits, a HR, and 3 RBI.  Edwin Encarnacion  went 3 for 5 with 2 Runs, a Double, a HR, and an RBI.  Troy Glaus hit a pair of solo HRs.  Javier Valentin and Chris Iannetta each had 3 RBI.  Marcus Thames and Melvin Mora each had 2 Hits (Double, HR) and 2 RBI.  Gary SheffieldJeff KeppingerAdam LaRoche, and Brandon Inge also had a pair of RBI.

Kyle Lohse gave up 2 Runs in 7 Innings to improve to 12-2 with a 3.35 ERA.  Ubaldo Jimenez gave up 3 Runs on 5 Hits in 7 Innings to improve to 5-9 with a 4.20 ERA.  He’s lowed his ERA from 5.43 on June 6th.  He’s 3-1 in Julyn with a 2.39 ERA.

Wednesday, June 25th
Carl Crawford
hit a pair of HRs with 5 RBI.  Bobby Abreu had 3 Hits and 4 RBI.  Carlos Guillen had 4 Hits and 3 RBI.  Jay Payton hit a pair of HRs with 4 RBI.  David Wright smacked a pair of HRs with 3 RBI.  Rick Ankiel had 2 HRs, 3 Runs, and 3 RBI.  Gary Sheffield and Chase Utley each had 4 Hits.  Kelly Johnson, Geovany Soto,  Jose Reyes, Kevin Cash each had 3 RBI.  Dustin Pedroia, Coco Crisp, Derek Jeter (3 Runs), Jose Castillo, Robinson Cano, Jack WIlson, Alex Rios, Evan Longoria (3 RBI), Ross Gload, and Carlos Gomez each had 3 Hits.  Mike Lowell and Brian Buscher each scored 3 Runs.

Eric Stults pitched a Complete Game four-hit Shutout to improve to 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA.  Kyle Kendrick gave up 4 Hits in 8 scoreless Innings to improve to 7-3.  Joba Chamberlain continued to prove The Boss II right by firing 6-2/3 scoreless Innings improving to 2-2 with a 2.03 ERA.  Tim Wakefield knuckled 7 scoreless Innings allowing 2 Hits with 6 Ks to improve to 5-5 with a 3.88 ERA.  Jorge Campillo gave up 2 Runs on 4 Hits with 6 Ks in 7 Innings to improve to 3-2 with a 2.54 ERA.  Randy Johnson gave up 2 Runs in 6 Innings, but took the Loss.  Barry Zito shocked Giants fans by going 6-2/3 Innings allowing just 1 Run on 4 Hits to improve to 3-11.  Tim Redding gave up 2 Runs in 6 Innings, but got a no-decision.  John Maine gave up 2 Runs in 6 Innings to improve to 8-5 with a 3.73 ERA.  James Shields gave up 1 Run on 4 Hits in 7 Innings to improve to 5-5 with a 3.76 ERA.  Luke Hochevar gave up 2 Runs in 8 Innings to even his record at 5-5.


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