Interrogate the Industry No. 3: Dennis Esser, Ricky Sanders


As I write this weeks Interrogate the Industry there is news of even more pitching injuries. This season has been disastrous for many teams, and Fantasy owners. On the bright side, there is always a bright side with me, several pitchers are coming back too, or coming back in to form such as Cole Hamels, Alex Cobb, Anibal Sanchez, Tony Cingrani, and HOPEFULLY Chris Sale.

Keep tabs on waiver wires, ask questions and consult rankings on fantasypros to keep tabs on solid replacements. Worst case there is always a trade, but if you are in a situation as I am in one particular league there isn’t much else to do. I have five starters out for the year, possibly another with the potentially terrible Cliff Lee news tonight.

Also, if you enjoy podcasts, I will be a guest on The Fantasy Forecaster this week with @tking978 and @rickygangster. Keep an eye out for links, or listen in live here The Fantasy Forecaster 5-22!

That’s it for now, as there is plenty to cover with this weeks contributors.


Interrogate the Industry #3

Fantasy Contributor: Dennis Esser

Itunes link to The Fantasy Coach Podcast
Stitcher Radio link to The Fantasy Coach Podcast
@Coachesser on Twitter
Jose Fernandez, 2014 Miami Marlins Preview

Photo Credit: Paul Hadsall

1. Jose Fernandez is out for the season. Owners are panicking and rightly so, are there any pitchers you’d be targeting on the waiver wire after this week(end)?

With all of the starting pitcher injuries (including Andrew Cashner and Gio Gonzalez this past weekend) the Starting Pitcher waiver wire looks a bit picked dry. The good thing is arms are always coming up to take the place of struggling pitchers and injured starters. Believe it or not Garret Richards was available is some 10 team leagues just a week ago.
The first name that jumps out is Trevor Bauer who gets two tough opponents on his return to the big leagues this week. I think the Indians will give him an extended run and even if he struggles this week you should stick with his talent. The rest are streaming options that may catch on for at least a short while. Rafael Montero of the Mets, Drew Pomeranz of the Oakland A’s, and Danny Duffy of the Kansas City Royals are all guys that could have a nice little timeline of production now that they joined their respective rotations. I’m a little put off by Duffy’s strikeout numbers, but he gets the nod here because he’s a lefty. An impatient owner may have dropped James Paxton or Taijuan Walker in your league and you should immediately capitalize on their mistake by picking them up and waiting out the last week or two of rehabilitation. Ian Riley of RotoExperts and I go into greater detail on this question and more on my weekly podcast, The Fantasy Coach Podcast, available on Itunes and Stitcher Radio.

2. Who do you have more faith to turn around their season in 2014? Allen Craig, or Ian Desmond?

I actually think they are both nice buy-low candidates, but if I had to choose I would take Ian Desmond based on the position he plays.  Desmond has struggled at the plate and in the field and pretty much mirrors the struggles of the Washington Nationals.  The absence of Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper have a had a big affect on the Nat’s lineup and Desmond has had a lot of pressure put on him at the start of the season.  The snowball affect of the errors and the strikeouts seemed to have slowed a little this week and I trust him to get back to the 20HR/20SB short stop we know he is.  He’s always going to struggle a bit to make contact, but when the Nationals get back Zimmerman and Harper to go along with Wilson Ramos and Adam LaRoche,  Desmond should be in line for a lot more runners on base when he’s slugging.


3. Name a sell high hitter, and a buy low pitcher? Why did you choose them?

A- I am actually leading the charge to trade Nelson Cruz as fast as you can. He is on pace to shatter his career highs in Home Runs and Runs Batted In and we know he can’t keep this up. The late round outfielder has outplayed his draft position by so much that he can yield you some real returns on your meager investment. I recently traded Nelson Cruz to an owner desperate for outfield production for Adrian Gonzalez who fit my first base need perfectly. I think that trade was a little lopsided in my favor, but you can understand why people may be buying into Cruz at this point. He plays in the bandbox called Camden Yards and will be hitting in a lineups with Chris Davis and Adam Jones.

B- My ideal buy low starting pitcher before this week was Cole Hamels, but obviously after his last two starts he will not be easily pried away from his owner. My targets now go to two pitchers that are coming off an injury and are always under rated. Anibal Sanchez of the Tigers and Alex Cobb of the Rays are both pitchers that are always over looked when it comes to drafts and trades. They aren’t top tier starting pitchers and usually their owners feel that they can give them up without losing a lot. I am targeting both of them in multiple player trades where Sanchez and Cobb may make all the difference for my rotations.

4. What is one album you would run out and re-purchase immediately if your first copy was damaged or stolen? Why?

The one album that has always been very special to me is Iron Maiden’s- Somewhere In Time.  My brother Tom is 10 years older than me and he was a huge Metal fan growing up and would play the early Maiden records until the grooves ran out. Somewhere In Time was the first Maiden record that I was old enough to go buy on my own and it has been a part of my life ever since.  Wasted years is the first song I tried to play badly on an electric guitar and I still try to play it…badly.  The album is constantly in my workout playlists and when I’m mowing the lawn.  The early Maiden records like Killers or The Number Of The Beast are of course classics, but they were the albums that defined my brother.  Somehwere In Time is the album that is mine.


Fantasy Contributor: Ricky Sanders

Staff Writer @RotoExperts / Content Manager @FakeRoundball /Co-Editor @FakePigskin


1.Jose Fernandez is out for the season. Owners are panicking and rightly so, are there any pitchers you’d be targeting on the waiver wire after this week(end)?

Dallas Keuchel and Drew Pomeranz are just about the best you are going to find on the waiver wire. While they’re certainly not at the same level as the ex-best pitcher in baseball, there’s a lot to like about each. Keuchel leads the majors in GB% and has improved on his K/9, BB/9, home run rate and just about every category across the board. If Keuchel continues to pitch this way, his success is no fluke. Even with inflated numbers, I would be buying on him. The other player I’d buy on despite the solid numbers is Pomeranz. Right now he is sporting an unsustainable 99.1 LOB% but also a career high K/9, BB/9, home run rate (heard this one before?), FIP, xFIP and GB%. We are talking about two improved pitchers in terms of ability. Despite the small sample for Pomeranz, he now finds himself in a great organization with a history of developing pitchers. I expect big things from the former top pick from Ole Miss.

2. Who do you have more faith to turn around their season in 2014? Allen Craig, or Ian Desmond

Ian Desmond

Ian Desmond. Allen Craig’s lack of power last season by itself was not incredibly concerning because he added in a .315 AVG and 97 RBI. However, he missed 28 games last season and has a lengthy injury history. Again this season, Craig is on pace for just 15 HR and now this is becoming a pattern. Desmond, on the other hand, has showed signs of life lately: .348 AVG, 3 HR and 8 RBI over the past 7 days. Not only has he been raking but he also plays the more scarce fantasy baseball position and will steal bases on top of all his other stats. I never lost faith in Desmond and will continue to have nothing but the utmost faith in him.

3. Name a sell high hitter, and a buy low pitcher? Why did you choose them?

Alexei Ramirez only trails Victor Martinez in terms of American League batting average. If MVP voting ended after April, he would have been one of the top vote-getters (and maybe even won the award). Folks, his career batting average is .279 and he’s currently hitting .320. Ever hear of the saying “what goes up must come down”? Ramirez is your classic case.

As for a buy low pitcher, I am going to go with the Diamondbacks Brandon McCarthy. Right now, McCarthy’s ERA is sitting at an ugly 5.01 but his 3.85 FIP and 2.74 xFIP show he has pitched much better than the numbers show. I don’t fully subscribe to using the FIP categories in most cases but Arizona does have a solid defense backing him up. Therefore, pitching independent stats could actually be worse than his real ERA as opposed to better. McCarthy’s numbers show there are better days ahead and his 8.41 K/9 plus 5.20 K/BB should even further your confidence in him. He holds the potential to be a relevant back of the rotation starter even in shallow 10 team leagues when he gets it going.

4. What is one album you would run out and re-purchase immediately if your first copy was damaged or stolen? Why?

The greatest band to ever live could have been even greater had their lead singer not overdosed on heroin at the age of 27 (just like Hendrix, Cobain, etc which is a strange coincidence). I, of course, am referring to Sublime. Released in 1996, “Sublime” was the third and final album released by the band before Bradley Nowell left us. On the album, however, are 17 of the greatest reggae/ska/punk/however-you-choose-to-classify-it music ever made. iPhones and Spotify make albums outdated but if the information were ever deleted on any of my devices, I would rush to replace either the device or the music immediately. I cannot live without the upbeat, island feel of Sublime’s music for an extended period of time without feeling down. If you have not heard the magical sounds of this once-in-a-generation band, go on YouTube and check them out this instant! You will not regret it!

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