Friday, January 18, 2008

ESPN Fantasy Wonk Positions Pierre as Kemp Roadblock

ESPN Fantasy Sports' Eric Karabell, who looks sort of like a young John Clayton, wrote today that Matt Kemp's fantasy numbers (i.e., 500 PAs) will likely be blocked by Joe Torre's insistence on playing Slappy Pierre: (insider only, so link may not work)

Matt Kemp, Dodgers: His minor league stats scream emerging superstar, and I think Kemp will likely get there. How can Joe Torre keep him out of the lineup? Well, he can. Kemp needs to have a good spring and produce like a middle-of-the-order hitter, or else Andre Ethier will steal at-bats. What about Juan Pierre, you ask? Look, the guy has a monster contract and while he isn't a good fielder or, for that matter, much of a hitter, what he does he does well, and I don't see Torre benching Pierre. He's going to bat second and steal his normal 50 bases. Andruw Jones is a nice comeback candidate, and starts regularly for his run production and defense. Kemp should beat out Ethier, or a trade will solve this situation, but the bottom line is unless I can project more than 500 plate appearances for Kemp, and right now I can't, I can't project the 25-90-15 season we'd all love.

God, I hope Torre is smarter than this, or I'll have to start spiking his green tea.