Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Fantasy Baseball - Roto League Tales...

This week I will review my roster, and season so far in an ESPN hosted league, entitled Beer and Whiskey Baseball. [How could you not like it]?

As of the morning of June 24th 2015 I sit in 5th place with an overall score of 69 points. There are 12 teams in this league, and each category has a scale of 12-1 and your ranking in each category gives an overall score. 12 for being the best in that category, and 1 point for being the worst. To have a chance at winning the league, you would need to be top 3 in most [if not all] categories. We are allowed to keep any 8 players every year, and only allowed to keep a player for three years [whether traded or not] per cycle. An example - A Player drafted in 2012 would be eligible to be a keeper up until and including the 2015 draft, but they wouldn't be allowed to be kept in 2016. Any keepers are subjected to salary- and each year kept inflates total cost, for example: a Player drafted in 2014 for $26 will be over $30 for his final year of keeper eligibility, before being returned into the draft system,

The categories used for hitting are R,HR,RBI,SB,AVG and for pitching W,SV,K,ERA,WHIP.

My seasonal line so far 11,8,8,10,3 7,7,8,5,1 . I will reveal the actual numbers later but the roster I have now is as follows:

Catcher - Derek Norris [I also used Wilson Ramos for a while at U].
1st Base - Yonder Alonso - Recently got the starting gig on my team as I demoted someone to the bench, but you'll find out who later!
2nd Base - Joe Panik [Steal alert for a keeper next season at only $1]!
3rd Base - Chris Davis- in his final year of keeper eligibility.
SS - Andrelton Simmons - Drafted for $3 this year, an early possibility for a keeper for 2016.
2b/SS [in some leagues this slot is named MI] - Kolten Wong. I kept him for $1 going into this year so is keeper eligible for 2016.
1B/3B [In some leagues this slot is named CI] - Justin Turner. Recently acquired via FA when dropping Ryan Zimmerman to Waivers. Zimmerman was drafted by me for $11 [had multi position eligibility, but cleared Waivers so would be $1 potentially to keep.
OF - Jason Heyward - I was able to keep him [for the first time] this year and I paid a little higher than I would had he remained in Atlanta, because I felt at the time, his move to Bucsh would be an advantage. $22. It remains to be seen what I'll do with him for 2016 but I'm enjoying his recent hot streak !
OF - Mookie Betts - Dynamo in Centre, originally a middle infielder, adjusted well and was kept at $1. Plenty of value in the long term and I won't be giving him up easily !
OF - Josh Reddick - Picked up from FA in Early April, Reddick has often been one of my top hitters over the last 7 days although has cooled off slightly of late.
OF - Steven Souza Jr - Drafted in 2015 for $4 and will likely be kept for the same price come 2016. Helping to contribute in four out of five categories.
OF - Gerardo Parra - Plucked off the FA market as an injury replacement on June 10th, has been consistent, but nothing special and is not on the radar for 2016.
UTIL - Jace Peterson - A good addition to my roster, added June 11th as cover for Simmons and Wong. Will likely be in and out of the team the rest of the way or until promotions [or people return from the DL].

SP - Jon Lester - $12 keeper for this season and is performing better and better as the season goes on and more often than not goes at least 6 innings.
SP - James Shields - Drafted for $22 and has provided nice W-L totals and contributed in most categories eligible.
SP - Jordan Zimmermann - Drafted for $25 and hasn't really performed at the levels I know he can perform at, and when on form, he's arguably, one of the best at preventing runners from scoring. He's coming off three straight losses, although his last performance was tolerable.
P - Kenley Jansen - Drafted for $15 and has been worth every cent since he returned from foot surgery. No brainer.
P - Jacob DeGrom - Drafted for $15 and has a sparkling 2.34 ERA on the season and rarely gives up more than 3 ER a start. Might be a nice trade piece later in the season, but as of now, I'm looking to consolidate my mid table finish to try to turn it into a trophy next year.
P - Jason Grilli - Picked up the Day the Braves traded Craig Kimbrel and has delivered 20 Saves for an ERA of 2.73. Not really sure what my long term plans are for Grilli but I'm enjoying the Saves for now !
P - Craig Kimbrel - Originally selected as a keeper for $25 , I traded away Gio Gonzalez and Cody Allen on June 9th. Elite as you get, if you ignore the base runners allowed !
P - Matt Shoemaker - a P o D guy going off matchups via the 411 advice.
P - Brett Anderson - Another P O D guy, but was a good bet for his last start in a 6 inning W.

My bench is devised of both Hitters and Pitchers.
BN - 1B Mike Napoli - Looked amazing in Spring Training but hasn't looked the same hitter since. This could be two things , one, the pitchers didn't have the arm strength behind them yet or two - he's pressing, and trying too hard to replicate what we all know he's capable of. Perhaps Option C is in play and he's slowly becoming a Monday - Thursday guy . Either way, I paid $5 for him on draft day so could be a very cheap keeper, if he can turn the ship around.
BN OF - Michael Taylor - Nothing against players with their first name Mike, Taylor has fantastic short term value here with Jayson Werth on the shelf until the latter half of the season, and should contribute where Speed is scarce [at least for me].
BN SP - Steve Matz - Next in line for promotion for the Mets and is coming soon, should be shortly before the ASB.
BN SP Matt Moore - Returning from the DL in, maybe the next couple of weeks, Often a slightly rough time of it after returning from TJS [the three most feared letters in fantasy baseball] Moore has a high ceiling and I'll be hoping for an amount of wins in the second half with an ERA in the low 3.00's perhaps with a view to locking him up for 2016.
BN - SS Corey Seager - Stuck behind Jimmy Rollins in the pecking order, Seager might otherwise have been up already had he been in another organisation. When he does arrive, it should be for good and I'll be looking for a good average, speed and some power to show what he can do and should be a useful player upon his activation. Could he help provide the difference in Runs scored, RBIs and HR to bridge the gap remains to be seen, but he should at least contribute to at least two categories.

My Totals

Runs - 470 [need 4 more to have a share of first] Home Runs - 109 [Need 6 more for a top three berth] Runs Batted In - 423 [Need 15 more to have a share of third place] Stolen Bases - 75 [Already in the top three in this category, and have a lead of 3 over fourth place]. AVG - .2558 - Need to add at least .200 points to be competitive in this category, currently sit in 10th.

K's - 644 [Need 45 for a look inside the top 3] Wins - 43 [Need 5 more to re-enter the top 3, and have been in and out of it all season]. Saves - 50. [Need 12 to enter the top 3, but have had a run of saves over the last fortnight sending my team up to 6th and have a comfortable cushion of 12 over the team below]. ERA - 3.918 - Having fought with an ERA above 4 for much of the season, recent movement has seen it dip below that number for a stretch and I'm hoping it continues to fall and I'll need it to be around 3.450 to get a top three spot perhaps] Finally, WHIP - 1.330 [ The top three sits around 1.181 and lower so I'll need my pitchers to stop issuing as many base runners to really see it come down.

All in all, its pretty promising beginning to the season, in one I was projected [after the draft to finish 3rd] I still reckon I have a chance of accomplishing this, and I'm excited for every pitch to see where I inevitably end up.

I should also mention I have 2 players on the DL, Jacoby Ellsbury [whom I drafted for $29 is still my leading Base Stealer, despite being sidelined for over a month] and Matt Holliday who appears to be transitioning into a line drive hitter for good average rather than that of a power guy with middling average who I selected as my final keeper for $25. He was hitting over .300 before being placed on the DL.

Swing Betters, Swing [unless you're facing my pitchers] .

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Fantasy Update - Tales of a Public League Part 1 .

I will eventually revisit the other leagues/ Fantasy goings on I've posted about in earlier entries, but this week I thought I'd update you all on how I'm doing in another specific league [if you've read my earlier post about the MLB Draft, you might be able to guess which segment of the standings I'd be].

If Not, then I'm about to update you all on my standings in 'Yahoo Public 114594 [H2H based 5x5].

I'll jump right to my roster [as of Tuesday 16th June 2015]

C) Wilson Ramos [ 19 7 31 0 .265]
1B) Chris Davis [33 14 38 0 .232]
2B) Jace Peterson [27 2 28 7 .278]
3B) Nolan Arenado [33 16 50 0 .274]
SS) Carlos Correa [4 2 4 1 .324]
OF) Giancarlo Stanton [43 24 62 4 .265]
OF Dexter Fowler [42 7 18 11 .240]
OF) Byron Buxton [2 0 0 0 .200]
UTIL Mookie Betts [27 6 28 10 .253]
UTIL Joey Gallo [9 4 8 2 .261]

BENCH - Mitch Moreland [20 8 31 1 .307], Jean Segura, [24 3 17 8 .279] Starling Marte [36 12 45 13 .286], Martin Prado 24 4 24 0 .272]

SP) James Shields 7 Wins, 104 Strikeouts, 3.59 ERA 1.22 WHIP
SP) Michael Pineda 7 Wins, 78 Strikeouts, 3.74 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
RP) Mark Melancon 21 Saves, 16 Strikeouts, 1.99 ERA, 1.04 WHIP
RP) Cody Allen 14 Saves, 39 Strikeouts, 4.39 ERA, 1.46 WHIP
P) Zach Britton 17 Saves, 35 Strikeouts, 1.69 ERA, 0.94 WHIP
P) Joakim Soria, 16 Saves, 19 Strikeouts, 1.78 ERA, 0.83 ERA
P) Chris Tillman 5 Wins, 49 Strikeouts, 5.58 ERA, 1.55 ERA
P) Shawn Tolleson 2 Wins, 9 Saves, 33 Strikeouts, 2.61 ERA, 1.10 WHIP

Bench Jose Quintana 3 Wins, 68 Strikeouts, 4.03 ERA, 1.38 WHIP

DL Jacoby Ellsbury. [29 1 6 14 .324]

The Categories in which the league uses are R,HR,RBI,SB,AVG and pitching W,SV,K,ERA and WHIP.

Overall I've won the following Categories
Runs 7 Times [2 Losses and 1 Tie]
Home Runs 9 Times [1 Loss 0 Ties]
Runs Batted In 7 Times [3 Loss 0 Ties]
Stolen Bases 4 Times [2 loss 4 Ties]
Batting Average 4 Times [6 Losses 0 Ties]

Wins 3 Times [6 Losses 1 Tie]
Saves 9 Wins [1 Loss 0 Ties]
Strikeouts 4 Times [5 Losses 1 Tie]
ERA 4 Times [6 Losses 0 Ties]
WHIP 4 Times [6 Losses 0 Ties]

Altogether, I've seen my Boys in this league mash for:
316 Runs, 101 Home Runs, 324 RBI, 48 SB and a Batting Average of .264
25 Wins, 76 Saves, 452 Strikeouts, 3.95 ERA and a WHIP of 1.33.

My overall record [W-L-T] is 55-38-7 which is good for third place overall 11 Games back of first. There are 12 teams overall and the top 6 qualify for the play-offs at the end of the fantasy season. The playoffs take place Week 23-25 and start September 14th and end October 4th.

As of now, my only glaring weaknesses are Wins and Stolen Bases, but come the play-offs, I reckon it will be a clearer picture of whether I need them or not, and I'll have a few decisions to make regarding them and whether or not it might be worth a risk to potentially jeopardise other categories in order to strengthen those.
If they started today, I'd have a match-up with the 6th ranked team starting on Monday.

This is the league I'm second most confident in achieving a trophy at the end of it all and I look forward to updating you all at some point.

Monday, 15 June 2015

The Boston Red Sox.....

Much has happened to this storied franchise over the years, but I don't think I've ever seen such a comedy of errors in such a small space of time before. Sure, errors happen to every club, and most players, but I've never seen them grow in frequency and each one more embarrassing [to look at] and probably be a part of, than the last .

There seems to be too many egos in the locker room, and although it's nice to see a homecoming, I'm not entirely sure the winter hot stove was handled anywhere near the correct way.

Winter Incomings - Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval,Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson, Robbie Ross, Alexi Ogando, Ryan Hanigan
Winter Outgoings - Jon Lester , Will Middlebrooks, Yeonis Cespedes, Alex Wilson, Anthony Ranaudo, Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster.

[This list includes most of the players leaving/ arriving though there are some I haven't mentioned].

At first glance you might like the incoming players more than the outgoings, although closer analysis reveals the Red Sox [Cherrington] didn't fill needs, just took what they wanted with an open cheque book resulting in $95M and $88M on Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez alone. The Sox didn't actually NEED Ramirez or Sandoval, they WANTED them. I can see that a 3rd baseman might have been needed, but I would have liked to have seen promotion from within [if applicable] perhaps using a player like Bogaerts shifting across in the Spring to see what might be needed longer term. Hanley is an entirely different situation, with the same sentiment, un-neccessary [at least to play him in an unfamiliar context. I think it might have been acceptable [now] if he was being played at short although I do think that would have caused problems too. While everything [for now] appears to be working itself out, this team isn't as strong as it could be. I do think two players whose names will be first on the team sheet is 2Bman Dustin Pedroia, who appears to be fully healthy and very reliable defensively [which was never an issue] and CF Mookie Betts [who could be a star of the future].

It's becoming more clear that Victorino might never top 2013 in his career [particularly his post season grand slam], and his career in Boston is getting shorter, not least because of his ongoing, more frequent injury problems. It's good to see Rusney Castillo getting an extended look, although he'd be the one I'd have used at LF instead of signing up Hanley Ramirez which could in turn have freed up JBJ [Jackie Bradley Jr] to play RF, or place him in CF and have Mookie patrolling RF. Either way, has to be better than a [second] fumbling player called Ramirez in the OF right ?

This leads me on to pitching. I believe that Boston knew it wouldn't be resigning Jon Lester, at ANY price last year, so trading him was the correct move, in order to try to build for 2015, however trading away those pieces could have been a detriment. However, in knowing about the desire to go elsewhere, surely that could have meant they could go harder in an area of need instead of leaving it on the back burner, to go out, make a few signings to in my view, "appease for the loss of key players". I'm constantly reminded of the film [and book] 'Moneyball' in which the Oakland Athletics tried to reinvent the game of baseball, or the way in which it was played.
Of course, it's likely that taking this approach would always end in frustration if it didn't work, so I write the following to Boston Red Sox, Ben Cherrington et al associated with the club currently

Dear all.
While winning baseballs World Series is one of the greatest feelings a professional baseball athlete will ever experience, for its fans it's pretty magical too, however most fans are aware that no team can win every year. I feel compelled to write this letter directed at the upper management most of all as I feel its their blundering about which has caused this pantomime show otherwise known as the Boston Red Sox. I don't know how entertained you are by watching pop ups land in between a cluster of fielders, or watching players run into each other, with seemingly no communication on other pop ups, but I'm tired [Not least because I get to stay up until 3 am to watch games, given I live in the land of the United Kingdom [in England], of it. I don't want to see the wrong people getting the brunt of the fan hate here, and I ask that something is done, and soon. There are worse teams [records] that play better more aesthetically pleasing baseball, but just get beaten by the better team on the day, of late the Sox have been beating themselves and it has to change, Now. I ask, have a look at the structure of the team and fix it . It's not [yet] too late and this team can be great but it definitely cannot go on on the way it has been.
Thanks for reading, I hope to see some real positive changes soon.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

The Major League Draft [From a Fantasy Prospective]

This week began the annual MLB Draft. It is a key point in the calendar when previous draftees could [or already have] start[ed] their major league journey and if you play in Dynasty leagues, you might have an advantage longer term with knowledge that non dynasty league players might not have.

Recent Callups [2015] Kris Bryant, Noah Syndergaard, Carlos Correa, JR Graham, Archie Bradley, Corey Spangenberg, Addison Russell, Blake Swihart, Carlos Rodon, Kevin Plawecki, Eduardo Rodriguez and not forgetting Joey Gallo. There are prospects still to come in 2015 Corey Seager, Steven Matz, Francisco Lindor, Slade Heathcott [although he has already been promoted and debuted, it was a quick flash in the pan before being placed on the DL],

Of the above names, I own most of them in some / multiple leagues I am in. Most of any of the names alone, could tip the scales in your favour, but if you own more than one of them [which I do in a few leagues] could mean the league is mine, [or yours if you're in a similar situation] to lose.

Archie Bradley isn't healthy right now, but was pretty good before being hit in the face, although his recent DL stint is unrelated, and is shoulder related. That alone could be worrying, as you never want to see pitchers missing time through arm/shoulder problems, but he's young so it could just be tiredness and nothing too serious. I own him in two leagues and I hope he can contribute both up to the All star Break, and in the second half of the season showing the kind of stuff he demonstrated in his first few starts.

Noah Syndergaard. Yes- all the win here. Despite recent struggles, I wouldn't read much into it as the Mets have been playing with their rotation and recently trialled 6 giving each starter extra rest between starts, which sometimes altars mechanics. I own Syndergaard in three leagues [2 of which are the same two I own Bradley in].

Kris Bryant - Arguably the biggest name on the list in terms of what he'd bring to the show and has a great line-up around him in Wrigley. I was lucky enough to snag him in one league, with many rebuttals in efforts to acquire him via trading in others.

Joey Gallo - Arrived with much fan fare via an injury to other players, I managed to snag him in two leagues [one the same league I own Bryant] and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with him whether it be another trip to the minors, or if he rakes up in the show past when he might otherwise be demoted, in other words will the Rangers have to find a spot for him in the lineup.

Steven Matz - Yet to make his debut, and I am trusting that when he does [around the All Star Break] he will be a mainstay and already have him in two leagues and I'm happy to burn a bench spot waiting for him [in the league that doesn't allow minor league rosters too].

Corey Seager - I owe Corey Schwartz a beer if my acquisition of Seager in a roto league [where at start of games on the 10th June 2015, left me in 4th place] can help me ride a storm and shoot up the board into the top 3, and possible title contention.

Carlos Correa made his debut this week and luckily enough for me, I could add him to my infield that includes Bryant,Arenado,Gallo, [Panik and A-Gon, and with an OF of Harper,Pederson and Trout] I'm pretty happy with my team in this league ! I really need to focus a little more on pitching, as that's probably a reason why I'm not winning ,although I'm in 2nd place. The other reason is lack of speed as I'm last in that category, but this league is really shallow so don't read too much into how I managed to nab such an awesome line up.

This years Draft is well under way now and the number one overall pick [has one of the coolest names] Dansby Swanson. At first glance, this years' draft doesn't have the talent that we have come to know from years previous, but it could be argued we say that every year, but the 2005 draft had some of the biggest talent to choose from, Swanson will hope for a similar career that 2005 first pick Justin Upton [also by the Diamondbacks] has had to date. Upton,Alex Gordon,Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitzki, Andrew McCutcheon, Jay Bruce and Jacoby Ellsbury all still have stellar careers at the top of the game, and some other players from this draft took longer to develop but also still have a career in the game such as Cameron Maybin[ who was 10th overall], Colby Rasmus [28], Clay Buchholz [42], Jed Lowrie [45] all took a little longer to adjust to the big leagues, but when healthy are very helpful in fantasy baseball. Chris Davis [Baltimore] was selected with pick #1496, 1063 initially, but didn't sign with the Yankees, nor Angels respectively, Davis eventually went on to hit 53 Home Runs in 2013, so its' not all lost if your name isn't called early on.

Hopefully, I can use this to build for future years, and who knows, one day I'll be writing about how the draft class of 2015 has helped to guide me to multiple fantasy trophies.

-> Many thanks to Stijn Oomen for the suggestion about doing the draft. Thanks dude !

Monday, 1 June 2015

The Fantasy Baseball Mentality.

Its often thought that you need as many power hitters as possible, in order to win the game of fantasy baseball [This might be true]. Apparently the Boston Red Sox [in reality] are trying to achieve this in the real game [where it simply doesn't work]. I will look at the players involved and I have a few things I would do if I were phoned up by the GM Ben Cherrington to offer my insight into how to turn the club around and not let it get to a situation where "it's getting late early".

Firstly, the batting line-up isn't balanced. Players are in the wrong slots, and they just have too many power hitters. The commonly used lineup is:

Pedroia,Betts,Ortiz,Ramirez,Sandoval,Napoli,Bogaerts,[whoever is at RF] (unless it's A healthy Shane Victorino),Swihart.

The first glaring problem [to me] is Ortiz is no longer a number three hitter, with waning power, and a growing inability to constantly be on base, This would be one area I would change. [I will detail below which lineup I would use]. Secondly, there seems to have been an oversight in terms of pitching. While it's nice to have a lineup that "can out-hit any one" Not having the capable pitching to keep runs down in the event they can't produce isn't helpful. I will talk about the rotation first as its fresher on my mind [like that would help].

Clay Buchholz,Rick Porcello,Joe Kelly,Wade Miley, Eduardo Rodriguez [recently promoted from Triple A] .

There's no obvious person [to me] on the staff that could be relied upon regularly, although I have seen signs of improvement from Porcello and Miley, and [to an extent] Buchholz. The staff is lacking an obvious ace like Lester in previous years,Pedro Martinez,Roger Clemens [in the beginning of his career] and other pitchers I may have forgotten about.

Joe Kelly - Is better than how he's pitching, I'm just not sure if he's suited to the AL East. Has a record of 1-4 with a 5.83 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and 46 Ks.
Rick Porcello - Has had an indifferent start and was rewarded with a contract extension back in April [without pitching a ball]. Has a 4-4 record with a 5.37 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 50 Ks. If Porcello can make it past the 6th inning, he'll usually reward Fantasy owners with a W [or a QS].
Wade Miley - Has definitely improved since his last start in April where he gave up 6 ER in 2.1 IP and has a season line of 4-5 with an ERA of 4.97 and isn't missing that many bats with 33 Ks and a WHIP of 1.42.
Eduardo Rodriguez - Dominated the Texas Rangers on his debut with a scoreless, 7.2 Inning performance. Prior to that, he had pitched 48.1 innings in Triple A, with 44 Strikeouts, and a sparkling 2.98 ERA.
Clay Buchholz - Not sure where to start with Clay who is just as capable of giving up 7 runs in an inning than he is to pitch an 8 inning shut-out. His actual numbers on the year are 2-6 with an ERA of 4.33, 62 Ks and a WHIP of 1.29 [ that's quite good for this part of the season].
Previously, in the rotation has been Justin Masterson. Masterson was previously a member of the Red Sox, before being traded away in July of 2009 to the Indians, and would go on to have a career year with them in 2011. [ERA 3.21, 216 Innings pitched]. From there he was traded to the Cardinals in July of last year and returned to the Red Sox as a Free Agent for the 2015 season. His season so far has a 2-2 record with an ERA of 6.37 a WHIP of 1.67 and 24 Strikeouts. Justin is currently on a rehab assignment after being placed on the DL in mid May.

I don't think the rotation is as bad as their records actually suggest, but I would have liked to have seen a bigger effort to acquire a number 2 pitcher, to bolster it and can perform as an ace if adjustments need to be made.

Now to the line-up issues.

The lineup posted above, hasn't always looked like that, and recently Pedroia and Betts switched positions in the lineup, which is one thing I would have done myself.

The full changes :

1) Dustin Pedroia - 2B
2) Pablo Sandoval - 3B [although I don't agree with the signing, I feel it was done to appease missing out on Jon Lester]
3) Hanley Ramirez - LF. It's cool to see Hanley return to where it all started for him, although in a slightly unfamiliar position perhaps.
4) Mike Napoli - Recently awoke from a season long slump and appears to be finding his offensive prowess again and could help shape a game from the first inning if the men in front get on, he'd have more chances to drive them in hitting here.
5) Xander Boegarts - SS . Too good a hitter to be hitting down in 8th and would stabilise the lineup that little bit more, and would see more pitches hitting in front of ...
6) David Ortiz - DH. The DH hits for the pitcher, although as I mentioned above Ortiz isn't the same guy that could terrorise a teams pitching staff within a full season series.
7) Blake Swihart - C. The primary option at back stop now. Since losing Jason Varitek back in 2011 to retirment, the Sox have struggled to replace his presence, both as a catcher and a playcaller, although in a few seasons' , Swihart could one day be in the mould of Jason.
8) Brock Holt U. Its unclear what position he will play on any given day, given his ability to play anywhere on the field, although with uncertainty on the OF, he will likely see most of his time now at RF. He's a great hitter and is hitting .286 on the year so he gets a base hit just less than 3 times out of ten trips to the plate.
9) Mookie Betts. While his range in the field isn't doubted, I don;t feel he can properly deliver with the bat in the 2 hole at this stage of his very young career, and with him hitting ninth, would help make Pedroia even more valuable with the blend of speed and power that would turn the line-up over at a very successful rate.

There are plenty of good - great players down in the minor leagues just developing their skill set further to better equip themselves when they get the call to Fenway Park.

I'm pretty sure that as I write this, this won't be the final line up past the trade deadline, I'm almost sure some offensive players will be shipped away for some pitching, as that's one thing that's been obvious to everyone that pitching has always been an area of need. It could be looked at another way by some GMs, there are players in the minors which wouldn't ever get the call so they will agressively pursue these.

It will be fascinating / annoying waiting to see what happens though !