Fantasy Baseball Burning Questions, Opening Day Style

Bryan CurleyCorrespondent IApril 5, 2010

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 27:  Infielder Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets poses during photo day at Tradition Field on February 27, 2010 in Port St. Lucie, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

Baseball Professor is attempting to undertake a project of grand importance, one that will unify the fantasy baseball community while simultaneously providing thought-provoking discussion.

This project could only be called one thing – The Sunday Survey.

Each weekend I will send out a mass email to a group of hand-picked fantasy baseball bloggers and site operators. The email will contain a series of fantasy-related questions regarding what we’ve seen develop in the week that was. They’ll answer, and every Sunday the responses will be compiled into one post starting this weekend with Week One of the baseball season.

If you are interested in being part of the Sunday Survey Panel, send an email to and let me know why you think you have what it takes to be a contributer. Having a site or some past blogging experience is a plus, but all applications are welcome. We only have a few spots remaining!

Without further ado, I present to you for your reading pleasure, the Sunday Survey!


Q: Baseball Professor featured an article this week that attempted to predict which rookie starter has the best chance of breaking out this year. Who is your choice: Mat Latos, Brian Matusz, or Wade Davis?

Mark Schruender – Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove

Only one of those pitchers doesn’t have to deal with the Red Sox and Yankees and only one of those pitchers has all of his home games in Petco. It has to be Mat Latos, although he won’t win as many games as Wade Davis.

Matt Gelfand – Mock Draft Central and Bleacher Report

As of this moment, I’d go Matusz, Davis, Latos in terms of potential for 2010, although none of the three pitched more than 51 big league innings in 2009, so it’s tough to truly give an accurate rank based on such a small sample size. Matusz has the most job security, penciled in as the O’s third starter, and has pitched lights out this spring. Davis is the most inspiring in terms of ERA, and although he got knocked around fairly hard this spring, he’s secured the Rays’ fifth starter role. Latos could easily outperform both of them pitching at Petco, but it looks like he might be a year away, as GM Jed Hoyer has made it clear that the cap on Latos’ innings will be 150.

Chris Campanelli Baseball Professor

Out of rookie pitchers Mat Latos, Brian Matusz, and Wade Davis, I think Latos has the best chance of breaking out. In his minor league career, albeit a brief one, Latos posted a better K/BB ratio than both Matusz and Davis. He also pitches in the National League and plays half his games in the spacious PETCO Park whereas Matusz and Davis have to pitch in the mine field that is the American League East.


Q: Jose Reyes is starting the season on the DL but expects to be ready in time for the team’s fifth game of the season. Between the hamstring, thyroid, and any other ailments, how many games do you expect Reyes to play this season?

Mark Schruender – Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove

Getting an exact number of what to expect is hard. I think the better way of evaluating Reyes is “How many games does he have to play to make his owners or Mets fans happy?” I think the answer to that is 135 games. Aside from being placed on the DL, the Mets would be stupid not to give him days off or at least have him come off the bench in day games after night games and against pitchers he struggles against. He’s still an important piece in the long term there, and getting him back to the level he was playing at in 2007 and 2008 is not unrealistic if they take the right steps.

Matt Gelfand – Mock Draft Central and Bleacher Report

Hard to say, considering his prognosis just a few weeks ago was at least an “eight week rest period,” and now all of a sudden he’s slated to return no later than April 11th. It’s unclear how much a hyperactive thyroid can affect a player’s production, but as long as Reyes can run the bases like he did prior to 2009, owners should be more than satisfied. I’m optimistically predicting one or two DL stints over the course of the season—120 games.

Chris Campanelli – Baseball Professor

I expect Jose Reyes to play in around 135 games this year. He may require another DL stint later in the season and he will undoubtedly miss games from time to time as Mets manager Jerry Manuel will try to keep Reyes’ legs fresh. Although Reyes has come back from serious hamstring injuries before, I don’t expect him to steal bases at the same rate he has in the past.


Q: David Ortiz struggled mightily last season but rebounded to hit an AL-leading 27 HR after June 1, finishing with 28 HR and 99 RBI. Will Ortiz be a 30/100 guy in 2010?

Mark Schruender – Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove

Nope. If a player is going to struggle during the spring, that’s fine. If a player is going to struggle and get bothered by the media questioning him, that is an indication that he is not a confident guy. And why should he be—even with all those home runs after June 1st, he hit just .258 in the second half (his good half) and will not be heading back to the No. 3 spot in the batting order again for the Red Sox.

Matt Gelfand – Mock Draft Central and Bleacher Report

Whether or not you believe Papi’s cryptic, Sosa-like “no hablo Ingles” denial of knowingly taking any PEDs, it’s still hard to fathom how one of the greatest clutch hitters of this generation could miraculously forget how to hit homeruns (he hit his first on May 20(!), and then waited another three weeks—June 6—to crank another). The power switch turned on in the second half—where it went we’ll never know—but predicting Ortiz, at age 35, to improve on last year’s fluky stats is not a risk I’m willing to take. Plus, he’s become absolutely useless versus lefties (.212 BA). Bank on 20-22 HRs and a .240 average—anything above that is gravy.

Chris Campanelli – Baseball Professor

Although David Ortiz rebounded last year after a horrendous April and May, I think his 30/100 days are over. The main reason is that I don’t see him playing in more than 140 games this year. The Red Sox have plenty of capable bench bats in Mike Lowell, Jeremy Hermida, and Bill Hall who should force their way into the lineup against lefties or if Ortiz struggles out of the gate again.

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