Friday, March 31, 2006

Junior Spivey hasn't been able to hit anything this spring. He's been a black hole of not hitting, which means that there's a good chance the Cardinals spent $1.2 million on nothing. The alternatives, however, aren't very exciting: Aaron Miles, who has hit but isn't a full-time option, or Hector Luna, who also hasn't been spectacular in Spring Training, to the point that he's made some outfield starts.

There are a few 2Bs available, with Brandon Phillips of the Indians available. He's struggled, but that's a factor of being brought up early and then scuffling for a while before getting benched and demoted. He's young, cheap and can probably be a better hitter than Spivey.

Shifting gears to the pitching staff, Anthony Reyes has been the center of a lot of discussion over the past couple of weeks. He lost the battle to be the fifth starter to Sidney Ponson, and he's been arguing with TLR and Dave Duncan about adding a sinker to his arsenal. Reyes has the stuff to be a #2 starter, but there's a belief in the organization that he has to add something with some sink on it to be effective at the ML level, especially since he tends to be a flyball pitcher.

Juan Encarnacion is going to be hitting #2 and playing right every day, which scares me because he's got an awful OBP and strikes out like some unholy union of Mark Bellhorn and Alfonso Soriano. Batting him ahead of Pujols means that Albert is probably going to be facing a lot of 1 out, 1 on situations and will most likely be leading off innings late, which hurts the Cards' chances of winning close games.

Here's my fantasy draft results:
1. (1) A. Pujols
2. (36) J. Rollins
3. (37) J. Mauer
4. (72) C. Cordero
5. (73) T. Iguchi
6. (108) A. Béltre
7. (109) B. Zito
8. (144) J. Francoeur
9. (145) D. Haren
10. (180) W. Peña
11. (181) J. Duchscherer
12. (216) J. Jones
13. (217) E. Santana
14. (252) L. Castillo
15. (253) J. Seo
16. (288) K. Millar
17. (289) B. McCann
18. (324) J. Suppan
19. (325) R. Klesko
20. (360) C. Koskie
21. (361) T. Wakefield
22. (396) T. Lee
23. (397) D. Sánchez
24. (432) O. Hernández

Overall, I'm very happy with my roster.

Coming later: my thoughts on the 2B situation, Anthony Reyes and why Juan Encarnacion makes me nervous.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The fantasy draft to end all fantasy drafts starts in 24 hours. 432 players will be selected to 18 teams, and then the fun begins.

Right now, I'm waiting to find out what the draft order will be, so I can start formulating a draft strategy. After the draft, I'll recap my selections and post my Fantasy Drafting Manifesto.