Don’t worry, I UNDERSTAND. It’s the first week of the season and your team is already sitting in last place. In fact your team is doing so bad that you are sure the other owners are plotting to kick you out of the league. After all the pre-draft work and the feeling of post-draft glow THIS is the result!! All you can do is look at your team and just mutter, “Why are you guys so bad????”.
Step off the ledge folks. If you really have no answer for what your team is doing in the cellar, then the answer may be that it shouldn’t be there. The baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t let a bad week corrupt your thinking. Losing an early battle, doesn’t mean you’re going to lose the entire war. The only way you lose a season in the first week is if you panic and do something silly.
This is the time of the year that everyone attempts to make that “big” move to turn their mediocre team into a champion. Hopefully, you had a better then mediocre team as soon as the draft ended. And if you did, you should be looking more at tweaking your team, then finding a savior. The truth is for every Jose Bautista there are 55 Jonny Gomes picked up. Don’t be one of the fools that drops a Dustin Pedrioa for a hot hitting Freddy Sanchez. Only in a handful of cases should your pre-draft player stat projections have changed. For the most part, you should keep the faith. Slumps and streak are part of the game, do not over emphasis what happens at the start.
Now, with that said you certainly should look for a free agent or two. The early season is a good time to find a hot free agent. And it’s an even better time to pick off fellow owner’s panicked stricken drops. Just be wise about which players you get rid of yourself.
Here’s what I suggest. Any player that you drafted in the first half of your draft should be kept for at least a month. If they are not injured and /or their role on the team change, then believe that in them AND your drafting ability. If they continue to struggle bench them for a hot hand, but keep patient.
Now contradicting what I have just stressed, here are a couple of guys to be alarmed about:
Phil Hughes- Coming off a so-so at best second half of 2010 he has been horrible in his first two 2011 starts. Worse yet, his velocity has not been there. Hopefully, it is simply a case of an early season “dead arm” but injury is certainly a possibility.
Edison Volquez- Now there is reason to believe that he is just trying to regain his form after tommy john surgery, but there are a couple of things to worry about. Seven walks in his first 11 innings is especially alarming for someone coming off an elbow injury. In addition the fact that he is also coming off of a PED suspension also raises doubts if he will ever get back to his peak ace levels.
Fernando Rodney- Never believe a manager who says a closer will get his job back after he straightens himself out. The reason for this, if a new player, say a Jordan Walden, now has a chance to take control of the job.
Ian Desmond- Now, I still believe the kid will be something special, and it may indeed be this year. But he has been demoted from the leadoff spot down to the 7th in the line-up. This will clearly hurt his run totals.
Tsuyoshi Nishioka- Out for a month with a broken leg.
Manny Ramirez- Just retired as I am typing this. It is believed he failed another PED test. Regardless of the reason, drop him off your team immediately.
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Written by Mo Johnson