AL-Auction Results + Opening Day

Hope everyone had a great Opening Day. Skipped classes of course, but all worth it to head down to Comerica Park and see a good game between the home team and the Jays. Unfortunately the guys sitting behind us made the idea of prohibiton look pretty good, but it was overall a great game and I got a save out of B.J. Ryan as well.

A few interesting things on Monday; obviously Gil Meche, Ben Sheets and Felix Hernandez owners had to be happy. I was big on Hernandez, as many were, and I don’t think this is a fluke. He’s going to take that next step this year. As a Royals fan, I saw the good in the Meche signing, but a phenomenal outing against the Red Sox was more than any Royal fan could ask for. Greinke going up against Matsuzaka on Thursday is going to be a great one.

Moving on, I arrived on Saturday afternoon for the fifth year I’ve been in my AL-Only auction league. This is the first year I’ve done it on my own, and my former partner and I got our plaque from winning last year which was a good feeling. $240 budget here with 21 players. Here’s how I fared:

C: Pierzynski 1

1B: Shealy 3

2B: Roberts 23

3B: Gordon 15

SS: Hill 5

MI: Ellis 5

CI: Figgins 16

OF: Anderson 8

OF: Baldelli 15

OF: Reed Johnson 4

OF: Lofton 5

OF: Willy Mo Pena 2

P: Gagne 14

P: Ryan 25

P: Bedard 17

P: Bonser 9

P: Greinke 6

P: Haren 10

P: Kazmir 21

P: Loewen 3

Reserves: Millar 1 (For Figgins), Duscherer 1 (For Gagne)

As far as the positives, there’s a few here. I’ve got three potential No. 1 starters here in AL-Only leagues with Bedard, Kazmir and Haren, with Haren being a complete bargain at 10. Last year we threw saves, but I decided with someone like Nathan or K-Rod going at 28 earlier, Ryan wasn’t a bad deal at 25. At the end of the draft, I was unable to grab Iguchi, so with the money I had left Gagne was really the best big name left and filled my second closer spot at that point. I’m not big on him honestly, but if he rebounds I can win saves.

Where my batting is concerned, I think this team wins the league in steals. The league was pretty split, as some teams were very stacked with power and others with steals. I still believe that Figgins at 16 is a great deal, as I had him marked down to somewhere around 20. Because of the short number of owners for our league catchers will go for a buck, and while I liked Piazza this year I ended up with Pierzynski. I’m hoping he rebounds in average but I’m not crossing fingers or anything here.

This is the first year I can say that I made a huge mistake. I trapped myself about 80% of the way through when I grabbed Willy Mo Pena for $2 and had to move Figgins to 3B. That locked me at that corner spot and left me without the power guy I needed. Mark Teahan was still available, and while I probably wouldn’t have gotten Gagne (may have ended up with Dotel instead, not saying that would have been a great move), Teahan would have given me the HR/RBI numbers that I desperately needed at the time. I picked up Ellis after that also, and the Millar pick to replace Figgins were both moves I made to address the shortcoming.

Everything said, I’m not worried about my pitching. Even if Gagne fails, I can probably throw saves, trade Ryan for some power and some good starting pitching (maybe a guy who can win some games as well with my wins possibly lacking) and execute the strategy used to win the league last year. Best case scenario, I’d like to move a guy like Bonser who I think will probably do well this year and has high value for some power in the middle. I’ve got the same problems as everyone, and I’m willing to give up fair value in my trades.

I’m looking forward to seeing Bonser in action though tonight, and I like Blanton a lot tonight in Seattle, always favorable matchups there for pitchers. I’ll be back on Thursday most likely with some more on this opening week as well as some guys who might be on the waiver wire in mixed leagues as well as AL.

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