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Link Roundup, 5/8/07: The Pirates and Fantasy Baseball, and More

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-P- My first-ever piece for the MSM was just published. It's a piece in the Denver Post's fantasy blog, and it's about Pirates minor leaguers and fantasy sleepers. Writing the article was pretty depressing, in that I came to realize how few Pirates prospects are ever likely to have relevance in any but the deepest fantasy leagues. Take Neil Walker, for example. He's a nice prospect to have and he'll probably eventually get to the big leagues, but...

Let's say you play in a 12-team fantasy league. By the time you get to the 15th best guy who's eligible at third, you're probably looking at someone who's stashed on a bench or a starter someone is unhappy with. Yahoo's 15th ranked third baseman right now is Eric Chavez. Walker is still learning to play third, and he has no patience and little power. What are the chances that he'll ever be half as good as Chavez?

Anyway, please be sure to check out the article.

-P- Most of Dejan Kovacevic's latest chat is spot on (though I don't see eye to eye with Kovacevic on the Bryan Bullington issue), and it hammers home the main problem with the Pirates so far: the offense.

Here's a particularly interesting comment from Kovacevic, seemingly made in passing:

The weird thing about the Pirates' situation is that their record is much better than the performance of their everyday players, and major moves regarding the staff or even players tend to be based largely on that.

This perhaps explains why it seems like there has been as much fan despair this year as there was last year, when the Bucs were 9-24 on May 7 instead of 13-17. The team's play this year has been much worse than its record: by runs scored and allowed, the Pirates are more like an 11-19 team. My guess is that many fans, even the ones who don't know what Pythagorean win percentage is, watch the games, see the horrible hitting and inconsistent pitching, and know intuitively that this team is playing like a .350 team rather than a .430 team.

I'm not sure if that's what Kovacevic was getting at or not.

-P- Brad Penny struck out 14 Marlins yesterday. You may remember that on Sunday, Jake Peavy notched 10 strikeouts against the Fish. That's a couple of bad games for Florida, but in this case, it means nothing - the Marlins lead the big leagues in strikeouts but are second in the majors in runs scored.

-P- Tigers fireballer Joel Zumaya will miss three months with a finger problem.