|June 1st, 2009 JunkyardJake.Com
Tommy Hanson, Atlanta Braves, SP
Well, just because there hasn't been nearly enough speculation concerning Tommy Hanson over the first two months of the season, why not add some more.
Remember, Hanson was that guy who already throws a major-league curveball, a mid-90's fastball, a change-up and slider.
The other cool thing about Hanson is that, in contrast to, for example, current No. 4 Atlanta starter Kenshin Kawakami, he throws all his pitches for strikes most of the time.
At last count, Hanson was still dominating down at Triple AAA Gwinnett, with a 1.49 ERA, 0.862 WHIP and averaging 12.2 K's per 9 innings. So what in the world are the Braves waiting for?
'After jumping into the cockpit to make an emergency landing of a domestic airliner and then volunteering 2 hours at the childrens hospital, Tommy Hanson went on to pitch a 2 hit shutout with 12 strikeouts this afternoon for the Gwinnett Braves. In related news, the Atlanta brass are still not impressed, and called-up Jo-Jo Reyes to get pounded again by the Phillies this weekend.'
One theory that could help explain the reluctance to bring up Hanson, is that the Braves are trying to prevent the young pitcher from achieving 'Super 2' status.
Besides being a 4-letter word to major league front offices everywhere, 'Super 2' is shorthand meaning that a player is awarded the right to take their club to arbitration four times instead of three.
Going by the strange and fairly inexplicable MLB arbitration rules, the bottom line on 'Super 2' status, is that the magic cutoff seems to be two years plus 130 days service time to qualify.
As applied to Hanson, this means that the longer the Braves can keep the training wheels on past June 1 the better, because it could save them a truckload of money in a future arbitration case.
For example, Ryan Howard was awarded $10 million in arbitration as a 'Super 2' after the 2007 season.
Of course, the other obstacle for the possible future ace of the Atlanta staff, is the fact that the Braves rotation is still about as crowded as Atlanta Motor Speedway on free raccoon trap/truck antler fan appreciation night.
The current rotation is occupied by Lowe, Jurrjens, Vazquez, Kawakami, and recent call-up Medlan. Moreover, they might have the spry Tom Glavine, who has been mixing it up down in the minors for the first time since 1987, waiting in the wings.
In any event, if you are still holding Tommy Hanson on your fantasy squad, at this point it makes no sense doing something hasty, like dropping him for Vicente Padilla or Barry Zito.
Maybe the Braves will come to their senses sometime this month.
Available in 25 percent of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Nolan Reimold, Baltimore Orioles, OF
- It looks like the Orioles farm system has been on a real roll lately. There is of course that Matt Wieters guy, who can evidently hit a billiard ball 475 feet with a foam bat and defeat dragons with the power of his plate discipline, but Reimold is another talented rookie who has been relatively overlooked.
A 2005 second-round draft pick, Nolan Reimold's development was delayed a bit with some injury obstacles in 2006, and especially 2007, when he only managed to play 59 games. In the following 2008 season at Double-A, a relatively healthy Reimold went on to hit .284 with 25 HRs. Before he was summoned this season Reimold was terrorizing AAA with a .394 average and 9 HRs over 31 games.
Needless to say, most International League pitchers hope things work out for Nolan Reimold at the big league level, and so far they have, as he has contributed five HRs over his first 16 games with the Orioles.
Available in 62 percent of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Joe Blanton, Philadelphia Philles, SP
Although he is slightly more attractive than Susan Boyle, Joe Blanton does have that menacing 'Renegade State Trooper'/ 'Crazy Pit-Boss' look that you absolutely want in a potentially intimidating starting pitcher.
Unfortunately, with a 7.11 ERA through May 21, the only intimation that Blanton was able to accomplish, was to scare fantasy owners out of putting him in their lineups.
Well, the possible good news is that Blanton claims that he and pitching coach Rich Dubee discovered a mechanical flaw that had been plaguing him when he was pitching from the stretch.
Okay, sounds good, because whatever adjustment he made in his last start seemed to work just fine, as Blanton rediscovered his intimidating presence with a seven-inning, 11 strikeout blanking of the Marlins.
It would be nice to get K's like that more often out of Blanton, but that most likely will not happen. Nonetheless, he has the ability to be a solid No. 3 or No. 4 fantasy starter if you are looking to pickup a pitcher.
Available in 46% of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Fernando Martinez, NY Mets, OF
- Fernando Martinez got the call to the grown-ups league this week as Ryan Church makes another trip to the D.L.. Martinez is arguably the best prospect in the Mets system, but it should be mentioned that it became much easier to achieve the 'best Mets prospect' label after all the other noteworthy prospects were traded away for Johan Santana.
That said, Martinez is clearly a high-potential young outfielder who would likely rank high in any organization.
To support this contention, one only needs to observe the terms that many scouts use to describe Martinez in their surreptitious scout-babble vernacular: terms like 'tools', 'good pitch recognition', 'great bat speed' and 'untapped raw power'.
While Martinez's accumulated professional stats are not yet consistent with his general scouting report accolades, he is still only 20 years old, and was showing good power at triple-A Buffalo before his call-up, with eight HRs in only 42 games.
Available in 79 percent of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Other Players To Consider:
J.A. Happ, Philadelphia Philles, SP
Available in 46 percent of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Clint Barmes, Colorado Rockies, 2B
Available in 61 percent of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Phil Hughes, NY Yankees, SP
Available in 43 percent of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Andy LaRoche, Pittsburgh Pirates, 3B
Available in 64 percent of all CBSSportsline leagues.
Jerry Hairston, Cincinnati Reds, OF
Available in 46 percent of all CBSSportsline leagues.