Should You Add Alex Cobb?

Alex Cobb
By Keith Allison from Owings Mills, USA (Alex Cobb) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
September is here and that means rosters in the major leagues are expanding. Dugouts will be packed with players as minor leaguers around the country are promoted to the show. No more 25-man rosters as now clubs can have as many as 40 players on the big league roster. For fantasy baseball players this means there will be a lot of young guys being added to fantasy teams in hopes that they see enough playing time to contribute, but one player making his 2016 MLB debut today isn’t a young prospect as he is already 28 years old. That would be Alex Cobb.

Alex Cobb will make a return from Tommy John surgery today and start for the Tampa Bay Rays. Cobb hasn’t seen time in the majors since 2014 as he has battled his way back from the procedure and the complications he has faced after it. Question is should you be adding him to your fantasy roster in advance of his start or wait and hope you can get him later if he performs well? He is available in over 60% of leagues, but do you want to run the risk of it staying that way?

Over his four seasons in the majors Cobb amassed a 3.43 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.7 K/9 in 498.7 innings. Not bad if you could get those ratios this year, especially considering what the landscape has looked like in the starting pitcher market this season. His best year of the four was 2014 where he had a 3.23 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.1 K/9. In his 2016 minor league rehab he has started 8 games and pitched 21.7 innings, with 15 of those innings at Triple-A Durham. His performance in those starts has been less than stellar (6.65 ERA and 1.8 WHIP) which is somewhat expected considering the long layoff he has had, but will a jump to the majors change that?

Tampa Bay has nothing left to play for in 2016 and are bringing Cobb up is strictly to get him time in the majors again before the 2017 season. His control is not there yet and he has been very hittable in his rehab assignments. Rays’ management will likely be cautious with him, yet at the same time they want to get his inning count up regardless of the score to prepare him for next season. He likely will not win you a fantasy title this year, but could kill your ratios if he can’t find his former self by the end of the season. Expectations should be low after such a long time out of competitive situations and because of that I would stay clear of him unless you are a big risk taker and can afford to stash him away in hopes that he does the unexpected.

Instead of adding Cobb I would look to guys like Andrew Triggs (still only owned in 10 % of leagues), Kendall Graveman, Brandon Finnegan, or Alex Reyes. With Triggs being my favorite of the bunch and most available.

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Arizona Fall League

If you can’t get enough baseball and have some vacation time coming up in October or November why not take a trip to see the Arizona Fall League. Schedules for this year’s AZL can be found here.

Visiting Arizona in October or November allows you to get away from the snow and cold weather and bask in the sun. Well, maybe not bask, but at least you won’t be freezing. Not to mention you can see some of the top prospects in the game before they make it big. Past rosters included Gary Sanchez, Sean Manaea, Aledmys Diaz and Jurickson Profar and that was just in 2015.

It really is a great time and helps to get over the lack of real baseball being played after the World Series. If you make the trip let us know and share your photos with us at @BBBaseball_Talk.

An Open Letter to the Red Sox

We originally posted this in June of this year, but in honor of Moncada being called up on Friday here it is again.

 

moncadaIf you are a Red Sox fan or an avid fantasy baseball player who tracks prospects then you are likely familiar with Yoan Moncada. Moncada is a Cuban born 2nd baseman currently playing AA Portland for the Red Sox. As the number one prospect in Boston’s organization there is a lot of optimism about what Moncada will do for the team’s future. In Single-A this year Moncada played 61 games and had a .307/.427/.496 slash line with 36 stolen bases in 44 attempts. Now at Double-A he has played in seven games and has a .281/.281/.406 slash line with 1 stolen base in 1 attempt.

Nearly every analyst feels the future is bright for this 21 year old middle infielder, but when will his future with the big league club happen? I believe it should happen next year.

With David Ortiz retiring at the end of the 2016 season Boston will have an opening at the DH spot that they haven’t had in many years. In addition they have a first baseman who would be better as a DH in Manny Ramirez. My suggestion is this, after 2016 move Ramirez to DH. That opens up first base for Travis Shaw who currently plays third. With third open you could bring up Moncada and let him play there as scouts have said he can play second or third.

Not only have you improved your defense by getting Ramirez off the field, but three fourths of the Red Sox infield would be 26 or younger.

It is unlikely that Moncada starts 2017 with the big league club, but if the Red Sox are reading this they really should give it some thought.

Are these second-half power sources for real? — AL MELCHIOR

Photo credit: By Hayden Schiff on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons. Now that a month-and-a-half has passed since the All-Star break, we can start to view some of the second half trends with some gravity. While the samples are still small enough to create some doubt about their […]

via Are these second-half power sources for real? — AL MELCHIOR

Rise and Fall of Yasiel Puig

Originally Posted August 3rd, 2016

In 2013 a young, vibrant, Cuban born player named Yasiel Puig burst on to the baseball scene. This 22 year old outfielder had an electric arm and smashed the ball out of the ballpark. Not to mention a fair bit of speed. After his call up Puig went on a tear and finished his rookie season with a .319/.391/.534 slash line with 19 home runs and 11 stolen bases in 104 games. Baseball fans everywhere were impressed by what he had done.

Turn to today and you will see a much different story. Puig was told on Monday that if he wasn’t traded he would be sent down and the latter came true. Yesterday he was sent to the Dodgers Triple-A affiliate Oklahoma City. Puig has seen his career nosedive since his outstanding rookie season. Not only has his performance on the field taken a hit, but there have been several stories about his off the field behavior that have made you wonder about his character. Little did we know at the time that in 2013 Puig would have his career high in home runs, stolen bases and batting average. He has had multiple injuries that have slowed his progress and one mental mistake after another.

Yasiel Puig
By TonyTheTiger (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
What Yasiel Puig really needs, and looks like he will get, is a refresh. Puig will get a chance to go down to AAA and sort out his issues. He will be able to learn the game the way he should have earlier in his career. It is not his fault he was rushed to the majors and not give a chance to truly learn the game of baseball, but he has been blamed for it over and over again. Now let’s not take all the blame away from him as his off the field and clubhouse issues are on this shoulders, but maybe this dose of humility will help him in that area as well. We wish Puig the best and know that it won’t be long before we see him in the majors again.