Tag Archive | "Omar Infante"

Who’s Hot, Who’s Not: Adam Dunn

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Who’s Hot, Who’s Not: Adam Dunn

Posted on 31 July 2012 by Chris Caylor

We have a couple of unexpected names in this week’s edition of Who’s Hot, Who’s Not. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Hottest of the Hot: Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox

Dunn vowed to rebound from his ghastly 2011 season, and boy, has he ever. The slugger who averaged 40 home runs a season between 2004-10, then plummeted to 11 last year, is on pace to hit a career-high 50 big flies in 2012. In the past week, the Big Donkey batted .375/.423/.833 with 3 homers, 8 RBI, and 9 runs scored. Dunn even stole a base. For the season, Dunn leads both leagues with 31 home runs (plus 73 RBI). The .215 batting average is still a killer for those in roto leagues, but his .356 OBP confirms that his selective batting eye is as sharp as ever. Combine Dunn’s season with the consistent excellence of Paul Konerko, and it’s easy to see who is keeping the White Sox in contention for the AL Central.

Who else is hot?

Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee Brewers – Gomez has had himself quite a week. You’ve probably already seen his “foul” home run trot, but don’t let that overshadow how productive he has been for the Brew Crew. The speedy centerfielder put together a battling line of .346/.379/.884 with four home runs, 10 RBI and three stolen bases. With Zack Greinke gone, watching Gomez may be one of the only interesting things about the Brewers left in 2012.

Jeremy Hellickson, Tampa Bay Rays – Hellickson has had an up-and-down season, but July has definitely been an extended “up” period for the young righty. Hellickson has hurled five consecutive quality starts this month, with a 2.67 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. Thanks to their horrendous hitting, though, the Rays only managed to win two of Hellickson’s starts. Thanks to Hellickson (and teammates David Price and Fernando Rodney), the Rays may have something to play for when Evan Longoria returns in August.

Paul Maholm, Atlanta Braves/Chicago Cubs – Here’s a name you wouldn’t expect to see in this space. The lefty Maholm, however, is on a roll like no Cubs pitcher has experienced in decades: six straight starts of at least 6 IP and 1 or fewer ER allowed. Maholm, never considered a power pitcher, has struck out 37 batters and walked only 13 during his streak. As a reward for his outstanding pitching, Maholm was traded Monday night to the Braves, where he will attempt to help Atlanta reach the postseason.

Who’s Not

Omar Infante, Detroit Tigers – Since being traded back to the Tigers, the versatile Infante is just 3 for 21, with no home runs or extra-base hits. With Detroit counting on him to upgrade their dreadful second base production, Infante needs to snap out of his funk sooner rather than later.

Tyler Colvin, Colorado Rockies – After being one of the hottest players in baseball in June, Colvin has come crashing back to Earth like Skylab (raise your hand if you got that one). In his past 14 games, Colvin has gone 6 for 46 with 17 strikeouts, including an 0 for 15 stretch. With Todd Helton returning from the DL, Colvin’s playing time figures to decrease until he can stop his descent.

Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies – Here’s a name you would never expect to see in the “Not” section. In his past four starts, Halladay has only 16 strikeouts, allowed 19 hits, and thrown one quality start. In that same time frame, Ross Ohlendorf, Joe Kelly, and the aforementioned Maholm have outpitched Halladay. For the season, Doc has an ERA+ of 93, which would be his worst since 2000. It truly is shaping up to be a season to forget in Philadelphia.

Follow me on Twitter (@chriscaylor), as well as the rest of the outstanding stable of writers at Full Spectrum Baseball.

Stats through Sunday 7/29

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starling_marte

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The Waiver Wire: The Starling Marte and Matt Harvey Edition

Posted on 27 July 2012 by Daniel Aubain

The dog days of summer are upon us and your fantasy baseball teams may be dragging a bit, too. What better way to add a spark to your lineup than combing through your league’s waiver wire looking for players who can help you make a run at a title while your fellow owners get all jazzed for the beginning of football season (that’s still a thing?). Stay active and pay attention to trades, call ups and players being designated for assignment (the dreaded DFA) to find opportunities to liven up your roster. Even if you are out of the running for a league title, now may be the time to target a keeper for the 2013 season.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are making a run at the playoffs for the first time in nearly two decades and there’s no time like the present to call up their highly-touted outfield prospect Starling Marte. Marte was called up Thursday, immediately penciled in to start his first major league game in left field and inserted into the leadoff spot in the lineup. All Marte did was hit the first pitch he saw for a home run and finished Thurday night’s game 2-for-4 with a caught stealing.

In 99 games at AAA Indianapolis this season, Marte had 21 doubles, 13 triples, 12 home runs and 21 stolen bases. YES, PLEASE! My friend Mike Gianella (@MikeGianella) pointed out on his blog, Roto Think Tank, that Marte “could be worth blowing most or all of your remaining FAAB depending on your needs”.

I expect these numbers to change by time this article goes live but he’s currently owned in just 3.6% of ESPN leagues, 15% of Yahoo! leagues and a whopping 35% of CBS leagues. He was already gone in two of the five leagues I’m participating in this season (which made me realize I’m in three crappy leagues). Don’t wait to make a bid or use a waiver wire pick up for Marte much longer because he’ll probably be gone very, very soon.

Here are some other fantasy baseball players worth a look who may still be available on your league’s waiver wire:

 SP Matt Harvey, New York Mets: Harvey made his debut on Thursday night, too, and was equally as impressive as Marte. In 5.1 innings, he allowed just three hits, no runs, walked three and struck out 11 Diamondbacks. He threw 106 pitches (65 strikes) and also uncorked two wild pitches. He’s only owned in 5.5% of ESPN leagues, 1% of Yahoo! leagues but a hearty 38% of CBS leagues. For a complete breakdown of Harvey’s minor league history and major league potential, check out Full Spectrum Baseball’s own T.J. McDonald’s article from yesterday.

SS Josh Rutledge, Colorado Rockies: The Rockies may have found a temporary replacement for the injured Troy Tulowitzki who can actually provide some level of offensive production. In 12 games since his call up, he’s hit .356 (16-for-45) with five doubles, two triples and a home run. He’s also had six runs, six RBI and three stolen bases. He should be in the mix for the second base job once (if) Tulo is healthy. Owned in 29.5% of ESPN leagues, just 9% of Yahoo! leagues and 38% of CBS leagues, I wouldn’t wait much longer to decide if you should pick him up.

OF Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals: Werth is about a week away from returning to the Nationals and could be a nice addition to your roster in deeper mixed leagues or NL-only ones. Talk is he’ll split time in center field and right field at first, so don’t give up too much for him yet. In 98 at bats before the injury, he had a 5×5 line of .276/10/3/12/3. He’s owned in 41.2% of ESPN leagues, 52% of Yahoo! leagues and 72% of CBS leagues.

OF Justin Ruggiano, Miami Marlins: When Omar Infante was traded to the Detroit Tigers, the Marlins decided to move Emilio Bonifacio to second base and all but guaranteed Ruggiano a spot in the outfield for the rest of the season. And why not? All he’s done so far in 2012 with his 137 plate appearances is put up a slash line of .367 /.430/.683 with seven home runs and seven stolen bases. If you’re in need of a low-risk power/speed guy, Ruggiano is worth a look. He’s owned in 45.1% of ESPN leagues, 25% of Yahoo! leagues and 29% of CBS leagues.

SP A.J. Griffin, Oakland Athletics: Griffin has made the first six starts of his career in 2012 and pitched exactly six innings in each of those games and recorded a quality start in all six, too. In those 36 innings, he’s allowed just 27 hits and eight walks while striking out 29. He has a 2.25 ERA (3.56 FIP; 3.92 xFIP) with a 0.97 while batters are hitting just .205 against him. Owned in just 13.2% of ESPN leagues, 13% of Yahoo! leagues and 49% of CBS leagues, he’s definitely worth streaming while continuing to perform.

How much did Marte and/or Harvey go for in your FAAB league(s)? How are league-only owners dealing with trade deadline moves in which players change leagues? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below. Also be sure to follow me on Twitter @DJAubain for daily fantasy baseball nuggets, news and links. I’m always available to discuss anything and everything related to the game of baseball.

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The Waiver Wire: Small Sample Size

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The Waiver Wire: Small Sample Size

Posted on 11 April 2012 by Daniel Aubain

Most teams have played about five games so far in this young season and most fantasy owners are already chomping at the bit to make changes to their rosters. But here’s a bit of free advice; slow down and take a deep breath. Don’t go blowing up your entire roster or destroying a perfectly good draft strategy to pick up a player who is off to a fast start unless you’re dealing with an unexpected injury or bailing on a late-round pick or “sleeper” who isn’t going to pan out any time soon. You’ll surely regret making a huge mistake this early in the season.

Here’s a look at some players widely available in most fantasy baseball leagues who may be worth targeting if you already find yourself with an early season need:

  • 2B Omar Infante, Marlins – Infante has gone 6-for-18 with a double, triple, three home runs, four RBI and five runs in his first five games of the season. He’s stuck in the bottom third of the batting order for now but a continued hot streak could see him move the top third sooner than later. He’s a career .276 hitter but hit .305 in 2009 and .321 in 2010. He’s only owned in 58.1% of ESPN leagues, 35% of Yahoo! leagues and 52% of CBS leagues.
  • SS Zack Cozart, Reds – Cozart was mentioned on many “sleeper” lists this offseason and his hot start is showing why. He’s gone 8-for-17 with five extra-base hits (two doubles, two triples, one home run), two RBI and five runs scored. He’s currently batting second in front of Joey Votto and reaping the benefits early. He’s only owned in 35.6% of ESPN leagues, 48% of Yahoo! leagues and oddly, 80% of CBS leagues.
  • 1B Adam LaRoche, Nationals – A career .215 hitter in March/April, LaRoche’s hot start is a welcomed surprise for fantasy owners. He’s gone 8-for-20 with two home runs and six RBI. He could be a nice filler on a roster utilizing a corner infield, infielder or multiple DH/utility spots. He’s only owned in 22% of ESPN leagues, 24% of Yahoo! leagues and 50% of CBS leagues.
  • OF David Murphy, Rangers – It wasn’t clear what Murphy’s role in the Rangers outfield was going to be heading into the season but a hot start should keep him in the lineup against all righties and even some hittable lefties. He’s opened the season going 8-for-15 with a home run and only owned in 12% of ESPN leagues, 14% of Yahoo! leagues and 25% of CBS leagues. He may not be worth the pickup in shallower leagues but mixed and AL-only owners should be paying attention at this point.
  • SS Rafael Furcal, Cardinals – Furcal is off to a 10-for-23 (.435 BA) start with three RBI, three runs scored and two stolen bases batting atop the Cardinals lineup. A career .283 hitter with a .348 OBP, if healthy, he could steal 20 to 30 bases. He’s owned in 65.6% of ESPN leagues, 55% of Yahoo! leagues and 63% of CBS leagues so check your league’s waivers now because he may not be available much longer.
  • 3B Chone Figgins, Mariners – Okay, we’ve all been burned by Figgins in the past but he seems to have figured something out here in the early goings of 2012. He’s 8-for-24 with three runs, four RBI and a stolen base and working on outfield eligibility with five games played already due to the Mike Carp injury. He’s 21.6% owned in ESPN leagues, 34% owned in Yahoo! leagues and 42% owned in CBS leagues. Tread wisely, my friends. Tread wisely.
  • RP Hector Santiago, White Sox – So, guess who’s emerged as the White Sox closer? Yep, not Matt Thornton. Santiago has recorded two saves so far and will likely keep the job until he proves unworthy. He’s only owned in 29.8% of ESPN leagues, 54% of Yahoo! leagues and 54% of CBS leagues. If you’re the “trolling for saves on waivers” type, give Santiago a look.
  • RP Jonathan Broxton, Royals – Broxton recorded his first save as the Royals closer by striking out the side. Both positive signs if you are still looking for saves. He’s owned in 59% of ESPN leagues, 63% of Yahoo! leagues and 63% of CBS leagues.
  • RP Fernando Rodney, Rays – Still looking for saves? Rodney has recorded two and the Rays are the kind of team that would play matchups for saves (um, closer by committee?) while Kyle Farnsworth is out. Rodney’s owned in 20.8% of ESPN leagues, 48% of  Yahoo! leagues and 47% of CBS leagues. UPDATE: Rodney just recorded a save against the Tigers is now 3-for-3 in save chances.

Again, I’m not recommending you blow up your roster to chase any of these players. These are small sample sizes but each player may provide a short-term benefit to your roster, so be sure to weigh the player being dropped, accordingly. Most are going to be useful in your deeper mixed leagues or a league-only version. Shallow leagues are already playing out as All-Star teams and, in my opinion, hardly even worth joining unless you are new to the game and are trying to get a feel for the process.

What moves have you made that have benefited your team already? Have you grabbed a “star” off of waivers that some owner dumped as a knee-jerk reaction to fill a need? I was able to pick up B.J. Upton off waivers the day after he was placed on the DL and he’s a player I actively avoided in my drafts. I wasn’t interested in him at his 80.3 ESPN ADP but for free off waivers, yes please.

Be sure to connect with me on Twitter @DJAubain to continue the fantasy baseball discussion and more all season long.

NOTE: All statistics and ownership numbers quoted are as of games played through April 10th, 2012 unless otherwise noted.

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DOs And DONTs:  Miami Marlins

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DOs And DONTs: Miami Marlins

Posted on 25 February 2012 by Mark Sherrard

With the team moving into a new stadium in 2012, the Miami Marlins looked to make a big splash this offseason and build an instant contender. The additions of Jose Reyes, Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle make the team a formidable foe for the likes of the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves.

Here is a look at the Do’s and Don’ts as we run through the new and improved Marlins roster:

DO watch Hanley Ramirez closely this spring.  After a year in which he struggled with back and shoulder issues, posting the lowest OPS (.712) of his career, we should expect some regression to the mean from Hanley, provided he’s healthy.  Keep an eye on his power stroke this spring to see if he’s fully back.  Also, with his move to third base, Hanley will soon gain dual eligibility this season, thus increasing his value.

DON’T sleep on Jose Reyes.  He is still one of the top shortstops in the majors and won the NL batting title in 2011.  He probably won’t reach double digit homeruns again and I wouldn’t count on another batting title.  But he’s still good for around 40 stolen bases and an average over .300.

DO monitor Josh Johnson‘s progress this spring.  Coming off a shoulder injury, no one knows exactly what to expect this year for the Marlin’s Ace.  He made only 9 starts in 2011, before being sidelined, but, if healthy, he is one of the top 3-4 pitchers in the NL.  He threw a pain free bullpen session on Wednesday and hopes to be ready for the start of the season.

DON’T expect much from Carlos Zambrano and you won’t be disappointed.  Acquired from the Chicago Cubs for Chris Volstad, Zambrano is a shell of his former self.  After pitching over 200 innings each year from 2003-2007, Zambrano has failed to reach that mark each of the last 4 years.  Part of that is due to suspensions he received the last two years, but its pretty clear that he is no longer the workhorse he used to be.  Leave him for the NL only leagues.

DO expect a rebound from Omar Infante.  He had some bad luck last year, but seemed to turn things around in the second half of the season.  Just don’t expect much in the speed or power departments.

DON’T draft John Buck.  He has some power, but his average will hurt you, especially in Roto leagues.  Unless you have a Ryan Braun on your team, who can offset Buck’s low average, you should pass.

I DO expect big things from Mike Stanton.  The guy has some prodigious power and could easily top 40 homeruns this season.  He probably won’t hit much more than .260, but if he gives you 40+ homers and 100+ RBI’s, you can forgive him for a modest batting average.

DON’T expect to hear from Chris Coghlan, at least not in a Marlins uniform.  The former Rookie of the Year, has fallen out of favor with the Marlins and will likely begin the season in the minors or with another team.

I DO like Anibal Sanchez.  After struggling with injuries early in his career, he has put together back-to-back strong seasons.  If he can continue to stay healthy, look for more of the same in 2012.

I DON’T like Ricky Nolasco.  He has failed each of the last 3 years to rekindle the magic of his 2008 season and was rumored to be on the trading block.

DO expect bigger and better things from Gaby Sanchez.  Although he put up nearly identical stats in 2010 and 2011, there are signs of growth.  He showed a better eye in 2011, increasing his walks from 57 to 74, while keeping the same high contact rate (83%).  He could approach .300 and 25 homeruns in 2012.

I DON’T know what to make of Logan Morrison.  I considered him a bit of a sleeper last year, but while he increased his power output, he struggled with a .247 average.  He was demoted to the minors mid-year and later filed a grievance against the club, prompting speculation that he could be traded.  For now he is still with the team, the question is for how long?

DO draft Emilio Bonifacio.  An excellent source of speed, Bonifacio should net you 40+ stolen bases.  However, be wary of that .296 average from 2011, as a second half hit % of 40% is not sustainable.  Expect something more in the .260-.270 range.

DON’T waste a roster spot on Juan Carlos Oviedo (formerly Leo Nunez).  The former Marlins closer was caught in an identity fraud this winter and may not start the season with the team.

DO draft Heath Bell.  With Oviedo’s status uncertain, the Marlins signed Bell to assume the closer role.  He is one of the best and most consistent closers in the majors and, barring injury, should be the Marlins closer for the next 3 years.

Finally, DON’T forget about Mark Buehrle.  He is not a sexy pitcher and he will not rack up a bunch of strikeouts.  But what he will give you is 13-15 wins and an ERA around 3.50.  So, while other guys are chasing the next big rookie, don’t be afraid to take Buehrle in the middle rounds.

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