Monday, April 16, 2007

Chris Carpenter and Carnac the Magnificent

For those of us old enough to remember, Johnny Carson used to do a great bit on the tonight show called 'Carnac the Magnificent', in which he would play a 'psychic', decked out in a robe and a huge turban. He would hold a sealed envelope to his forehead, and provide the answer to the question which was sealed in the envelope. If you seen it, you'll understand this post. If you're too young or missed it, you might want to move on as you will very likely be totally confused.

And so, with a nod to the legendary 'Tonight Show' host, I provide you with a Chris Carpenter related series of questions, hermetically sealed in the envelopes I have before me, for which I shall now provide the answers. Feel free to boo! Ed? The first envelope please........

Answer: "Long ago, and oh so far away" (Obscure Carpenters reference here)

Question: Name the last time Carpenter scored any points for your GDR team, and how close is his likely return to the rotation..

Yep, I hear elbow, and I get nervous. If you own Carpenter (and I do in the Mantle Conference), you should start thinking about promoting someone else to number 1. My instinct and experience say Carpenter is going to hurt you alot. Best case, he pitches through this, and probably doesn't pitch very well. Worst case, Tommy John, and Carpenter is done for the year (and maybe next year too). In my case, it's Scott Kazmir who gets the call, which probably isn't very good news for my long term chances. It's probably unlikely that there is a #1 starter sitting on your waiver wire, but there may be some options that are worth a flyer. For me, I grabbed Orlando Hernandez off the free agent scrap. Other guys who might just be available that are worth a gamble (and it's going to be a gamble kids...) are Russ Ortiz, Ted Lilly, and Freddy Garcia. Are there other guys that could help? To answer that question, let's turn back to Carnac, and the next envelope please......

Answer: "The Young and the Restless"

Question: Name two types of pitchers who might help your GDR team.

The young: Matt Garza, he's likely to get the call sooner rather than later, and has a chance to be a stud on a team that will win some games. He's probably owned in your league, but since he's sitting in the minors, you might just be able to extract him from a fellow owner. The other guy who you might have a crack at when he makes his MLB debut is Adam Miller. Carmona can't hold the fifth spot in Cleveland for long, and with all the weather cancellations experienced so far, the Indians may have pretty steady work for Miller when they bring him up. Everything in his minor league stats suggests great success at the big league level. As soon as he pitches, grab him and watch a repeat of Jered Weaver from last year.

And the restless.... If I own Carpenter, and I see the name 'Roger Clemens' in the free agent pool, I grab him RIGHT NOW. This is your best chance to actually land a number one starter. Everything I read says he's likely to pitch again this year, and the bet here is Houston, which is probably more beneficial than a return to either New York or Boston. The guy can still pitch, and he is restless. By the end of May, he may be able to help you.

And the final envelope please............

('May your entire pitching staff inherit the Rick Ankiel gene')

Answer: "Randy Johnson and Milton Berle"

Question: Name two people whose nickname is 'Big Unit'

Okay, Uncle Milty won't help your GDR team, but Randy Johnson might, and he may very well be available. Back to the NL, where ERAs fall like rain, and he's in perhaps the weakest hitting division in all of baseball. We'll find out today how soon he will be back, but certainly there is potential for Johnson to be a solid guy in your rotation.

So, keep your fingers crossed that Carpenter will help you, but prepare for the worst. I know I am.

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