Making Lemons from Lemonade: Phil Hertz, Tout NL 2021

I screwed up in the NL Tout draft this year. Standings based on the team drafted placed me in eighth place. I didn’t draft enough starting pitching and the starters I did draft (Strasburg, for example) got hurt. I also bought into the Philadelphia bullpen and drafted both Neris and Bradley.

I did have plenty of hitting, but a bunch of my hitters got hurt early (Nimmo, La Stella, S Marte, Senzel, Longoria, etc.). So when June rolled around I was in ninth place, 36 points out of first. Something had to change.

First, I bid aggressively and acquired Willy Adames to help shore up the offense until my walking wounded returned.

Then I decided to blow off wins (I was in 11th) and K’s (a distant 12th), and started trading my decent starters (Stroman, Ross) for bullpen help and more hitting. I converted that hitting into Richard Rodriguez (oh well) and Edwin Diaz. I knew the moves weren’t going to win the league – blowing off two categories took care of that possibility – but I was hoping it would get me into at least the top half of the league and perhaps earn me an “in the money” finish.

Mission accomplished – I rose to second briefly in September – and settled into a comfortable third-place finish. Moral: a little creativity can salvage a decent season from a disaster.