Daily Notes – The When Should I Push The Panic Button Edition

The first two weeks of a baseball season are the toughest to get through. If a player starts off slow how long a leash do you give him on your roster? It’s a lot easier if the guy is a veteran and has a history of slow starts (Teixeira and Tulowitzki come to mind), but what about younger players? At what point does potential get thrown out the window? We’ve heard the cliches, the baseball season is a marathon, or, don’t panic it’s early. This is something I struggle with every year. When gambling on draft day with player, how early is too early to cut the cord on someone (even temporarily) when you drafted the player based on potential? A few guys I’m struggling with…

Drew Stubbs - After 6 games this year, Stubbs is batting .200 with 3 runs scored. He has three 0-for’s on the year, and walked twice. He has only 5 K’s so far, so he is well below pace on that from where he was last year. He was batting leadoff, scoring runs last year and stealing bases. He’s batting 7th this year, has no steals and certainly isn’t on a pace for 90 runs. I knew going in that he would have a low average, hit league average for HR’s but I was expecting him to get those steals too. Outfielders are a dime a dozen, but guys that can hit 15 HR’s and steal 40 bases aren’t.

Jason Kipnis - A power/speed combo at 2nd base. People are expecting big things from him after batting .272 with 7 HR and 5 steals in only 36 games last year. He’s 2-for-21 in 5 games so far, an eye gouging .095 AVG, with a HR. 2B is a tougher spot to replace in your lineup than OF. How long do you let this ride on your bench waiting for him to turn it on, while simultaneously wondering can he turn it back on?

Lucas Duda - The only player I have on all 6 of my squads, I went absolutely hype beast on the Dude in the spring. His fantastic 2nd half lead many to believe he was ready to bust out this season, and I still think he can, despite .136 AVG and 0 hits in his last 3 games (11 AB’s). Two of his three hits this year have been HR’s. I’m waiting him out.

Alex Gordon - He has been around forever, but has one good year, last year, to his credit. We still don’t know if that is who he is, or if it was a flukey season. He was 0-17 to start the season, but he had a couple hits and HR last night, so maybe he is starting to come out of it.

I’m sure that there are guys on your roster you are asking these same questions of. I happened to find this little segment theraputic, as I was writing it, I came to the realization I’m dropping Kipnis in at least one league. The fact that I have both Kipnis and Stubbs on one roster, and Mike Trout tearing up AAA, and Vernon Wells still struggling, and it being a no penalty keeper league is too much to pass up right now…I’ll be right back.

Ok. Now that that’s taken care of, and I see my buddy Mark kept you abreast of some notes from the night before, lets just jump into the day’s pitching matchups…
 
CIN @ WAS – Latos vs. Gonzalez – The Nat bats have awoke, but you still gotta start Latos.

TB @ DET – Niemann vs. Smyly – I’m sitting Niemann tonight. Drew Smyly is getting his first start and is someone I’m watching, but not playing. He was 11-6 across A+ and AA last year, with 131 K’s in 127 IP. His FIP’s were 2.34 and 2.21 last season.

LAA @ MIN – Haren vs. Liriano – I’ll roll with Liriano tonight at home. Haren needs no explanation.

SEA @ TEX – Vargas vs. Holland – I’m sitting Vargas here. Holland gets the green light.

MIL @ CHC – Greinke vs. Garza – moving on…

SF @ COL – Bumgarner vs. Moyer – It’s nice to see Moyer still going, but he isn’t a useful fantasy player at this point.
 
MIA @ PHI – Buehrle vs. Blanton – I’d be hard pressed to start Blanton even in an only league.

ARI @ SD – Kennedy vs. Bass – You are obviously starting Kennedy here, but what about Bass? He has made two appearances in relief so far going for 4 innings, giving up 2 hits and 1 earned. No walks, no K’s. Including the 4 innings this year, he has 14 innings pitched above AA. I wouldn’t gamble here.

PIT @ LAD – Karstens vs. Capuano –  I like Caps here. I like Karstens here. Both are worth playing in deep or only leagues.