Ray's Ramblings - Ohtani & Stanton
The Angels surprised the fantasy universe when they signed Shohei Ohtani. The next great thing, Ohtani will pitch, perhaps out of a 6-man rotation, with the real question being just how much of a hitter will he be in 2017? Moreover, how will fantasy leagues list him – as a pitcher or as a pitcher and a hitter? It could get messy. The second topic is the news that Giancarlo Stanton has been dealt to the Yankees to form the best 1-2 punch in baseball with Aaron Judge.
OHTANI TO THE ANGELS
Shohei Ohtani decided to join... the Angels, a totally out of left field development.
Let the insanity begin.
Ohtani will pitch. We know that for sure. The question is... will the Angels use a five or six-man rotation in 2018? Yes, the Angels appear to be considering using a 6-man rotation all season long. “When we sat down with Shohei we presented a plan,” GM Billy Eppler said. “I don’t want to say that plan gets completely ripped up, but I bet a large portion of that plan now gets modified because it was from a one-party perspective. Now we have two parties. The most important party has joined it... We’re open-minded to a six-man rotation, I will tell you that,” Eppler said. “That will make things a little easier for him. I think that could make it a little easier for everybody. We’re looking at a couple different models that have that type of alignment.” Every hurler on the Angels would have to be downgraded if the team moves to a 6-man rotation as the missing innings will drag them all down a bit, not to mention the uncertainty of how the pitcher’s will perform if their routines are changed.
NOTE: Ohtani is known to have a damaged UCL in his throwing arm.
Eppler said that the current plan doesn’t include Shohei playing the outfield. That means that he will only appear as a designated hitter. As to how often that will occur, we have no idea as of this writing.
Albert Pujols will be 38 in January. He appeared at first base only six times last season with the rest of his season spent at DH. Are the Angels really going to bench Pujols, his 23 homers and 101 RBI from last season, and the $114 million he’s do the next four years? Really? Maybe a bit here and there, sure, but there’s no way if Pujols is healthy that he’s getting 300 at-bats this season. That means that if Ohtani is DH only in ’18, that Pujols is going to have to play first base. “Albert feels great,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “He’s going to be a huge part of the middle of our lineup. We’re going to need him. We’re hopefully going to get him at a level of health that is even better than it was last year to where he’s playing first base — I’m not putting any numbers on it — but at least a couple days a week.”
The offensive outlook of Ohtani is TBD, and that has his current value in flux.
Let’s talk to the fantasy angle.
How will Ohtani be listed in 2018 in the fantasy game? Seems there are four main options.
1 – Ohtani will be listed as a starting pitcher only.
2 – Ohtani will be listed as a hitter only (DH only too at that).
3 – Ohtani will be listed as a hitter & pitcher.
The NFBC is in group #1, listing him only as a starting pitcher. Why? As the link explains, the tech needed to list a guy as a hitter and pitcher is daunting. People don’t want to hear this, but it’s a fact – it’s not easy to do. There will be some providers who simply cannot list him at two spots because of the tech challenges. It sounds like some of the major sites are working on the problem and hope to overcome it.
I doubt anyone will list him as just group #2 since he’s slated to be a full-time pitcher who also does some hitting.
That leaves us with option #3, and some sights, such as RT Sports, will allow owners to use Ohtani as a hitter or a pitcher based on their needs.
Yahoo also joined the #3 list by offering two distinct players... Ohatani hitter and Ohtani pitcher.
MAKE SURE YOU CHECK WITH YOUR PROVIDER SO YOU KNOW HOW HE WILL BE HANDLED.
MAKE SURE YOU ALWAYS TELL ME, IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT OHTANI, HOW HE QUALIFIES IN YOUR LEAGUE.
MAKE SURE YOUR RULES ARE CLEARLY DEFINED AS TO HOW OHTANI’s NUMBERS WILL COUNT.
If you set your league once a week, you can obviously just choose UT or SP and be done with it.
If you set your lineup on a daily basis you can just choose UT or SP.
Make sure you’re not allowed to use his hitting and pitching in the same day though. This is where things could get messy.
What if he throws five innings and moves to the outfield?
In this instance only his five innings should count.
What if he starts as the designated hitter and then is called in as a reliver?
In this instance only, his offense should count.
We know it’s 20 games at position to qualify there in fantasy (or 15 or 10 or whatever number your league sets). Note what that number is in season because if Ohtani is indeed filling the DH spot, his offensive outlook will be slightly limited without a true position (outfield).
Just be clear to understand how your provider will handle him in 2018 before you go about drafting him.
STANTON TO THE YANKEES
Here’s the deal.
Marlins Receive: Starlin Castro, Jorge Guzman and Jose Devers
Yankees Receive: Giancarlo Stanton and $30 million
Stanton has an option in out in his contract after the 2020 season and he’s is owed $77 million from 2018-2020.
I will break this situation all down in the forthcoming 2018 Guru Elite Draft Guide. Let’s look at it quickly.
Stanton and Aaron Judge will be the most ferocious 1-2 punch in baseball. They hit 111 homers last season. Each man had 120 runs scored. Each guy drove in at least 114 runs batted in. They also struck out 371 times and both men can go into massive funks. If it happens at the same time it will be dicey in New York. When they are both on, they will wreak havoc against hurlers.
Stanton was spectacular last season. At the same time...
He has appeared in 125 tames twice in six years.
He has one season of 38 homers.
He has one season of 90 runs scored.
He has one season with a .290 batting average.
Castro is 27 years old. That’s it (he turns 28 in March). Remarkable really for a guy with 1,154 games played. Castro is owed $22.7 million the next two seasons, and it’s unclear if he will remain with the Marlins or be dealt (many assume he will be dealt again). Castro is a solid middle infield option in mixed leagues who is coming off a .300-16-63-66 season in a mere 112 games.
Here’s a Baseball America writeup on Guzman and Devers.
Ray Flowers can be heard Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday, 7 PM EDT, Wednesday 8 PM EDT on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). You can also hear Ray Sunday nights at 9 PM EDT PM on the channel talking fantasy sports. Follow Ray’s work at Fantasy Alarm and on Twitter (@baseballguys).