Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Benefit of Protection in the Lineup

I'm way into fantasy baseball. (sic), Domedog and I are all in the same league which has started it's 3rd season and is very competitive. This year, we abandoned the keepers we'd had for the past two years and re-drafted the entire thing which was pretty exciting.

Anyway, I drafted Carlos Lee as one of my outfielders and have watched him really struggle out of the gate. Currently he has a .097/.125/.097 through 31ABs, and this for a guy with a career .290/.343/.501 line. Slump yes, could it be his rodeo-obsession? Yes. But more likely than that, I suspect it's because, without Lance Berkman, he has no protection in the lineup. The problem is compounded by the fact that Hunter Pence, who has been hitting either 3rd (in-front) or 5th (behind) Lee hasn't been hitting at all either. You look around the league at 3 and 4-hole hitters and who hits behind or in front of them and you start to see how valuable protection in a lineup is. Holliday has Pujols, Morneau has Mauer, Tex has A-Rod and on and on. To me it makes what Adrian Gonzalez has managed to do in San Diego even more amazing. He's managed to continue a high level of hitting despite no protection.

For the sake of my center-fielder, I hope when Berkman comes back, he's able to contribute immediately to the offense. I should have expected a drop-off from the aging Lee, but this is truly pathetic.

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