Knowledge Drop – May 1, 2018 — Reggie Sanders Edition
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*Reggie Sanders was a bad man. This number 16 collected 305 HR and 304 SB over 16 seasons. He only hit .267 for his career but was always a better player than mere stats could tell you.
TOP KNOWLEDGE: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW NOW
Is Kingham Royalty?
Nick Kingham made a spectacular debut on Sunday, flirting with perfection against the Cardinals. The rookie finished with 7 IP, 1 hit, no walks and 9 Ks. How excited should we be for Nick Kingham in 2018?
Kingham, who was called up for a spot start, earned at least a second start, which should solely determine his fate. We’d like to see him stick around because we think he could be something.
He has never been regarded as a top prospect, has not been a strikeout pitcher, and has been projected to be a back-of-the-rotation starter. All that said, we are intrigued about Nick Kingham for Fantasy purposes.
Kingham – stop us if you’ve heard this before – underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015, making 2017 his first full season after the procedure. He was the Pirates number six prospect at the time. Prior to surgery, Kingham was a solid performer, though he struggled a bit at AAA, seeing his 8.5 K/9 fall a bit while his ERA rose.
Now a 26-year-old rookie, Kingham showed five pitches on Sunday – a 90-94 mph four-seam fastball, an average-looking sinker, an impressive slider/slurve, a good curveball and a so-so changeup that the only threw four times.
Prior to Sunday’s start we’d have looked the other way on Kingham. And we’re not jumping on board because of the near perfect seven innings. But that slider/slurve pitch, a brand new one for Kingham, kept hitters off balance. We do think he’ll need to work on the other offerings, and probably will get more minor league time to do so, but we think the slider can make him a middle-rotation starter who flirts with a strikeout an inning.
Any pitcher’s first season after Tommy John can’t be dismissed, of course, but we overlook the stats for the health. Was the pitcher healthy and was he effective in his comeback. Dominance can come, but not until effectiveness does. Kingham was 9-6 with 93 Ks in 113 innings and a 4.14 ERA (xERA of 3.85). That’s good enough for us and we will be looking at Kingham’s next start on Friday. He might just be the type of steady starter who isn’t spectacular but provides a major league team and Fantasy teams a reliable option every five days.
Don’t Waiver Good-bye Just Yet … When we think about Nick Kingham and the “he can help me right now” aspect of his Fantasy usefulness, we think about players who are on the waiver wire who might be able to help us in the short term. Every season you’ll find players on waivers through about Memorial Day who were given up by other teams that could prove useful to your roster, even for just a month or two. Here’s a quick look at a few:
- Jose Peraza: Don’t be fooled by his two HR so far this season – Peraza is a pure speed play and can collect some cheap steals for your team. His current .288 average is probably about his ceiling, but he doesn’t strike out often (nor does he walk). With the ball in play and his speed, we think he’s worth a couple of week at least on your roster.
- Chris Iannetta: When we say “Chris Iannetta” we really mean “all catchers.” We just dropped Iannetta. We drafted him late hoping a power guy in Colorado would make for a good bet, and he still might. But we scan the waiver wire every week or two for a “hot hand” catcher. Ianetta hitting about .210 was hurting us, so it’s Yan Gomes time for us. But you can pluck cheap power or average with a streaking waiver wire catcher. Just don’t overvalue him in your head if he hits 3 HR in a week.
- Franchy Cordero: Dude has 6 HR. We’ll roll the dice.
- Seven is Our Lucky Number: We love using the last 7 days feature on our league’s website to at least know who’s been raking. Topping our search now is a pair of DHs: Pedro Alvarez (BAL) and Ryon Healy (SEA). Denard Span, Chad Pinder and Matt Adams add a few more “Mr. Right Now” kind of guys. Oh, and our man Franchy is on the list too.
OFF OUR CHEST:
This morning we received an alert on our phone. An NFL beat reporter tweeted that the league is “contemplating” a modification to kickoffs, perhaps in time for the 2018 season.
Now we love football and the day-long adrenaline rush it provides on Sundays. But we love it despite the NFL itself. The league made kickoffs safer a few years ago by moving them to the 35-yard-line, essentially making them a 15-second extension of the two commercial breaks that tend to come before-and-after them. Kickoffs are very rarely fun but (thankfully) fewer players are getting injured on kickoff returns.
But, folks, it’s May. We’re about four months from the start of the season – don’t you think the NFL should have a plan by now, if it wants to modify kickoff rules? Player safety (and to a much, much lesser degree, fan interest) are important issues. If your employer has a history of employees getting sick at the summer barbecue, wouldn’t you rather hear they are “contemplating” changes in September rather than, say, April?
Commissioner Roger Goodell has underestimated many threats to the game, including concussions, domestic violence among is players, and the issues around player protests. While he and the league have been busy “protecting the shield” we urge them all to take holistic views of the entire sport, player safety and fan engagement. It feels like they decide kickoff rule changes and what the definition of a catch is at the NFL employee barbecue.
And it’s making too many of us sick.
A THOUSAND WORDS
Today, @BatFlipCrazy looks at the Rays utility man Daniel Robertson:
Daniel Robertson is doing some things: O-swing: 16.3% ✅ SwStr: 7.0% ✅Hard: 41.9% ✅ He’s gotten a little lucky, but the performance is still terrific: AVG: .364 / xAVG: .308 HR: 3 / xHR: 1.6 wOBA: 475 / xOBA: .426 Skills are trending 📈##
Follow @BatFlipCrazy on Twitter and read more in-depth data analysis at batflipcrazy.com
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DAD JOKE OF THE DAY
Because bad jokes fuel our world.
Why did the scarecrow win an award?
He was outstanding in his field.