The web reports for Week #5 are now available at HARL Central (http://www.rhinosoftware.com/harl/harl_main.htm). Please stop by and take a look!
In other HARL news.... Don't have the time to write much right now as I'm swamped with work today (just like yesterday). The basics are this:
Things are getting pretty darn tight. The difference between 1st place and Last place is around 25 points. That's not much compared to previous years. There are still teams making 10-12 point swings every week. That's just crazy. The Mudhens are still hanging on to 1st Place by their beaks, but the Gamblers are a lucky dice throw away from overtaking them. Both teams look solid to me, with the Hens sporting a terrific pitching staff and the Lucky 7 having a nice balance between hitting & hurling. Speaking of hurling, that's what I want to do when I saw Joey was in 2nd Place!
The Cobras are sitting in 3rd, but after suffering two devastating injuries to Tulowitzki and Gallardo last week, they may find it tough to gain round, let along stay there. The Assassins, like the Rhinos, are experiencing some pitching woes which have conspired to knock them down a few pegs from where they stood (1st Place) just a few weeks ago. Rounding out the top-5 is the Jokers, who will assuredly get a nice boost in coming weeks from the return of Alfonso Soriano.
In the lower-half of the standings, we see the Rhinos (strong offense and sucky pitching) and the Grillers (struggling offense) duking it out for possession of 6th place and riding the cusp of the 5th spot occupied by Joker Jack. I'm getting J-Roll back soon, which is a major boon, but jeez, what I desperately need is someone who can friggin pitch!
It's nice to see the Lemmings catapult themselves out of 11th and shoot all the way up to 8th place and the mid-60's point range. Moises Alou is ready to return which should help the offense, and if Barry Zito can finally get his stuff together, it would be a huge help in rounding out the rotation (Germano and Loaiza are scuffling). The Stampeders aren't far behind the Lemms. If only Ryan Howard was hitting, what a HUGE difference that would be for this offense.
The Brewskis (awful hitting) and Maygamers (weak pitching) are bringing up the rear. Both teams have obvious needs to address in key areas if they are to rebound and move back up the standings. The Brewskis need a legitimate 1B and two more solid OF's. They're way overstocked in quality relievers (rumor is that Smoltz might return from his DL trip as a closer), so it wouldn't be surprising to see them deal a closer for a slugger. The Maygamers are in search of a better starting rotation. They only have 4 worthy starters right now (Cain, Cueto, Maholm, and Kendrick), and that's not enough to generate decent numbers in Wins, Innings Pitched, and Strikeouts. They need to keep trolling the waters for any SP's with a pulse and hope to catch lightning in a bottle somewhere.
The horsemen waived two guys from their fringe this morning: SP-Matt Chico and SP-Colin Balester. That's reflected in the online Waiver Wire report.