Thanks to Jeff for the nice comments. If there are any readers that want to get involved, don't hesitate. Although I'm the writer and you're the reader, I view this blog as a general fantasy discussion. Send me your advice (pickups, sleepers, drops) and feel free to ask for mine.
I'm currently participating in a 12-team mixed league with 11 members of Hardcore Country.
The scoring system is 5x5 roto with one DL spot. Each week I'll list my rosters, the moves I made and a brief update on what I'm thinking with some of the players.
Currently, I'm in fourth place.
1. Added: Milton Bradley, OF (TEX):
So Mike Cameron clearly isn't the answer for me - yet. With Curtis Granderson struggling, I needed help in the outfield and Milton Bradley was my guy. He gets on base a lot and is in an excellent situation in Texas. I wrote him up in my position player six-pack, so I don't need to add much more here.
1. Dropped: Eric Gagne, RP (MIL):
Personally, I don't care too much about Eric Gagne's blown saves, or ERA, or WHIP. In the grand scheme of things, the amount of innings that he pitches in comparison to my starters, his lofty digits in the other categories won't hurt me that much. But at this point, he was pulled from the role and I had to make a move.
2. Added: Jeremy Hermida, OF (FLA):
Jeremy Hermida is solid, but not spectacular in 5x5 leagues. The average (.298) runs (20) and RBIs (19) are sexy, but he has mediocre power (four home runs) and he doesn't steal bases. He's solid and I just wanted a positive influence for my outfield. I'm tired of Mike Cameron's negative impact on my team.
2. Dropped: Mike Cameron, OF (MIL):
Mike Cameron's average has plummeted from .269 to .190 over his last nine games. In that span, he has three RBIs, two runs and one stolen base. This isn't what I signed up for. Tony Gwynn Jr. is now stealing some of his playing time, which indicates that the Brewers are looking for other solutions. If they are, so should I.
3. Added: Tom Gorzelanny, SP (PIT):
Tom Gorzelanny has had a brutal start to the season but part of the problem has been dealing with back spasms. He's been tossed aside like Ashlee Simpson albums and I figured I'd take a chance after he produced two quality outings. He's allowed only two earned runs in his last 12.1 innings pitched. He doesn't strike out a lot of hitters but I remember the guy who won 14 games with an ERA of 3.88 and a WHIP of 1.40 last year and I'm banking on him doing something similar from here on out.
3. Dropped: Randy Wolf, SP (SD):
Thanks for nothing Randy Wolf. I picked him up after he did 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 9 K, 3 BB in Philadelphia, thinking that he was underrated because of two bad outings. But his 3.57 ERA has ballooned to 5.16 in his last two starts. He's given up 12 ER in his last 10 innings pitched. Both starts were on the road but I didn't like seeing nine walks and only three strikeouts in that span.
4. Added: Eric Gagne, RP (MIL):
I picked Eric Gagne back up after he found his way back into the closing role. I didn't expect him to get back so quickly, but the potential saves he can provide are valuable. As mentioned above, I don't really care about Gagne's high ERA and WHIP simply because he doesn't pitch enough innings to have a serious impact on those categories for me. I need Gagne for saves and he has 10 already. That's only one less than Jonathan Papelbon and Mariano Rivera.
4. Dropped: Travis Hafner, DH (CLE):
I have cut the cord. In one of the most shocking moves in my pool, I have dropped Travis Hafner. He's picked up his batting average (.278 over his last seven games), but he only has one RBI over his last nine games. I'm done with this guy. Regardless of whether you think he's a steroid candidate or not, the bottom line is that he struggled for a year and a half now. I also have Conor Jackson as my UTIL fill-in, so I'm hoping he keeps it up.
5. Added: Matt Garza, SP (TB):
Matt Garza is a nice little sleeper who just might get to double-digit wins. Since coming off the DL, he's allowed only three earned runs in 19.2 IP, lowering his ERA from 7.62 to 3.86. He doesn't strike out a lot of hitters, but he doesn't walk many either. Best of all, he has two wins in his last three starts. I like Garza to be a sneaky source for wins.
5. Dropped: Johnny Cueto (CIN):
Some people say that Johnny Cueto is a young pitcher and you should be patient. They point out that his WHIP (1.25) is respectable for a guy with an ERA of 5.61. But the bottom line is that he doesn't bring much to the table in a 5x5 league outside of strikeouts. He's the pitcher's version of Adam Dunn - if he isn't striking batters out they are hitting home runs off of him. I'll wait until he settles down.
Barry Zito, SP (SF):
I have been monitoring Barry Zito and I have to say that I'm getting a little tempted. Since the Giants told him to leave the rotation and go stand in a corner for a little bit, Zito has returned with a couple of decent outings. He's allowed five earned runs in his last 11 innings pitched with seven strikeouts and only three walks. Don't forget, the guy rebuilt his delivery in the offseason so maybe we should be a little more understanding about his early season struggles. I'm not close to adding him yet, but he is somebody I am monitoring.
C - Chris Iannetta (COL)
1B - Albert Pujols (STL)
2B - Dustin Pedroia (BOS)
3B - Alex Gordon (KC)
SS - Rafael Furcal (LAD) - A little concerned with his back problems
OF - Curtis Granderson (DET) - Finally out of a terrible cold spell
OF - Carl Crawford (TB)
OF - Jeremy Hermida (FLA)
UTIL - Conor Jackson (ARI)
BN - Milton Bradley (TEX)
SP - Erik Bedard (SEA)
SP - Matt Garza (TB)
RP - Francisco Cordero (CIN)
RP - Eric Gagne (MIL)
P - Jose Valverde (HOU)
P - Dan Haren (ARZ)
P - Ervin Santana (LAA)
BN - Brett Myers (PHI)
BN - Joe Borowski (CLE)
BN - Matt Cain (SF)
BN - Tom Gorzelanny (PIT)