Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It. Is. ON.

So the FAB is over and the initial round of FA madness has now subsided. So let's take a step back, catch our breath, and see where we stand heading into our first season in the BIG LEAGUES.

Team strengths?

1) pitching depth. I am a big believer in pitching depth. Why? Because pitchers are unreliable. So while some owners may focus on 5 or maybe 6 starters, I want 9. That way even if nearly half get injured or flame out, I still have 5 quality starters to run out there each week. And so far in the 2 seasons of GDR I've played, the teams with the best starting pitching ruled the league.

2) foundation for the future. I really hope I can finish in the top half, because the nucleus of this team is set for 2008 and 2009. Ten of my regular starters (position players and SP rotation) are signed through at least 2008, virtually all of whom are on the growth side of their peak. So although I feel cautiously optimistic about my chances for 2007, team management thinks even better things are ahead for the Crash Test Dummies in 2008.

Weaknesses?

1) lots of risk. There's a lot of youth on this team. I happen to think it is high-upside youth with at least some track record of MLB success, but there's no denying it -- the Dummies are YOUNG. And with youth comes risk. Will all of my Kiddie Corps come through as expected? Quite likely, no. If too many slump or simply fail to meet expectations, there isn't enough consistent veteran production to pull me through. If all the kids fall apart, the season will be a disaster.

2) not nearly enough L/R options. In my league that got me here, I was able to routinely gain 10-20 points each week through L/R matchups. If my opponent was righty-heavy, I ran out 9 righty pitchers. Lineup stacked with lefties? I could go with as many as 6 lefties on the mound to counter. Same was true in reverse -- I almost had a full platoon at every position with little dropoff in performance. Not this year.

Keys to the season for the Dummies?

1) is Dice-K for real?
2) will King Felix take the next step forward?
3) can Josh Beckett bounce back?
4) was it injuries, or is Jorge Cantu really not that good?
4a) if Cantu really isn't that good, is Dustin Pedroia a capable replacement?
4b) if not Pedroia, can Kelly Johnson do the job?
4c) if not, who on Earth will the Dummies run out there at 2B???
5) is Chris Ianetta as good as his numbers looked last year, or was that a fluke?
6) is Delmon Young ready for prime time?

Best of luck to all -- see you on the field!

No comments: