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matt_adams

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The Waiver Wire: Matt Adams

Posted on 22 May 2012 by Daniel Aubain

The biggest beneficiary of the injuries to the St. Louis Cardinals sluggers Lance Berkman, Allen Craig and Jon Jay should be rookie first baseman Matt Adams. With Berkman out for 6-8 weeks (if not longer) and Craig out at least a couple more weeks, Adams’ time to shine has to be now or else he won’t be sticking around through the summer months.

Adams was tearing it up at AAA Memphis with a .340 batting average and a .603 slugging percentage with 10 doubles and nine home runs in 37 games. Add in his 54 home runs and 189 RBI over his previous two seasons at A/AA and you’re looking at a player who could have a serious impart for the Cardinals at the major league level. Had Berkman not been injured, we probably wouldn’t have seen Adams in the majors until a September call up or until 2013.

Shallow league owners probably have time to wait and see if Adams produces immediately (2-for-8; 1 Run in 2 games) or not but those of us in deeper mixed leagues or NL-only ones have to pounce immediately. He’s only owned in 3.5% of ESPN leagues (surely that is on the rise as I type this artilce), 14% of Yahoo! leagues and 48% of CBS leagues (already that high?).

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

1B/OF Yonder Alonso, San Diego Padres: Since April 25th, Alonso has gone 30-for-84 (.357 BA) with 11 doubles and a home run. He’s not going to bring you the power numbers you’d want from your first base position but could be a nice option at a CI, IF or DH/UTL in mid-sized mixed leagues. He’s only owned in 36.1% of ESPN leagues, 26% of Yahoo! leagues and 56% of CBS leagues.

OF Gregor Blanco, San Francisco Giants: In the month of May, Blanco has earned 14 games started and hasn’t disappointed. He’s gone 17-for-54 (.315 BA) with 13 walks (.448 OBP), three stolen bases and 14 runs scored with the majority of those at bats coming from the leadoff position. If you’re hurting for outfield help, give Blanco a look. He’s only owned in 20% of ESPN leagues, 8% of Yahoo! leagues and 16% of CBS leagues.

RP Brian Fuentes, Oakland Athletics: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…Fuentes is a closer, again! Over his last six appearances, he’s recorded a win and three saves (in three chances) with six strikeouts in seven innings. Saves are saves and all closers should be owned in all formats. He’s owned in 40.1% of ESPN leagues, 41% of Yahoo! leagues and 45% of CBS leagues.

SP Derek Lowe, Cleveland Indians:  In nine starts this season, Lowe has compiled a 6-2 record with eight quality starts, allowing two runs or less in seven starts. Unfortunately, he’s only struck out 15 batters in 58.2 innings pitched (2.3 K/9, UGH!). A career 5.9 K/9 isn’t great but I can’t imagine he’s now a 2.3 K/9 pitcher. I’d look to use him as a streaming option in shallow leagues but it may be time to consider owning him if you’re desperate for starting pitching. He’s owned in 44.8% of ESPN leagues, 32% of  Yahoo! leagues and 54% of CBS leagues.

C  J.P. Arencibia, Toronto Blue Jays: In 14 games in the month of May, Arencibia has gone 17-for-52 (.327 BA) with six home runs, 16 RBI and 12 runs scored while slugging .731. Over the last 30 days, he’s the second-ranked catcher on ESPN’s Player Rater tool. His ownership numbers are a little confusing to me. Why is he only owned in 37.5% of ESPN leagues but 66% of Yahoo! leagues and 77% of CBS leagues. Odd. Grab him if he’s available especially while he’s hot.

And down on the farm:

1B Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs:  Rizzo is tearing it up at AAA Iowa. In 41 games, he’s produced a 5×5 fantasy line of .346/27/14/39/2 and would probably be in the majors if not for the hot start of Brian LaHair. The Cubs are vowing to be patient but it’s only a matter of time before they find a way to dump Alfonso Soriano and move LaHair to the outfield. If you have room on your roster and are willing to be patient, very deep mixed league and NL-only owners may need to make a bold move sooner than later. He’s virtually unowned in all formats (except maybe dynasty/keeper leagues.

Be aware, these recommendations are for mostly owners who are in the deeper mixed leagues or NL-only types. Shallow league owners have the luxury of picking up nearly all-star caliber players off waivers, so they may have no interest or need to look as deep as those of us who prefer more challenging formats. Two of my Twitter buddies, Mike Gianella (@MikeGianella) and Chris McBrien (@cmcbrien), recently discussed the different perspectives of the Vernon Wells injury.

I’d love to hear how you are dealing with all the injuries that seem to be hitting baseball these days as well as all the changes taking place with team closers. Are you a “never pay for saves” person and laughing at those who invested early while you grab saves wherever and whenever you can get them? Feel free to use the comments section below and follow me on Twitter @DJAubain to continue this discussion and anything baseball-related.

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DOs and DONTs:  San Diego Padres

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DOs and DONTs: San Diego Padres

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Mark Sherrard

When fantasy leaguers generally think of the San Diego Padres, they think “avoid the hitters and draft the pitchers”, mainly due to the ballpark affect.  However, as with every rule, there are exceptions.

Here is an analysis of the fantasy Do’s and Don’ts and they pertain to the Padres roster:

DO draft Nick Hundley as your primary catcher.  He hit .288/.347/.477 with 9 homeruns in just 281 at bats last year, a pretty good line for about a half season’s work.  If he can duplicate that over an entire season, he could quickly move into the upper echelon of fantasy catchers.

DON’T draft Orlando Hudson.  His numbers have been in steady decline the last 4 years and what little value he provides with his steals (19 in 2011) is offset by everything else.

DO take a chance on Yonder Alonso in the mid-to-late rounds.  He has a career line of .293/.370/.466 in the minors.  While he might not have the power you expect from a first baseman and Petco Park will dampen that even more, he should hit for a good average and a bunch of doubles.  He shouldn’t be your starting first baseman, but would fit well in the corner infielder spot.

DON’T roster Jason Bartlett.  Like Hudson, he is another guy who may give you some steals, but little else.  He will be a drag on your batting average and will not provide you with many runs or rbis, so he is best left for your bench or better yet someone else’s team.

DO expect better things from Cameron Maybin.  After struggling in his first few years in the majors with the Miami Marlins, Maybin finally got an opportunity to really show what he could do and literally ran with it.  He stole 40 bases in his first full year and has the potential to steal even more if he can cut down on his strikeouts and draw a few more walks.  I expect him to top 50 steals this year and add 10-15 homeruns.

DON’T expect much from Carlos Quentin.  He is moving from a hitters park to a pitchers park this season and, after his career year in 2008, has only averaged about 24 homeruns while hitting below .250.  Petco will sap his power and drag down his average even more, making him a player to avoid in mixed leagues and shallow NL only leagues.

I DO like Cory Luebke, a lot.  After spending the first half of the season coming out of the pen, Luebke was outstanding after joining the rotation at the end of June.  With an ERA of 3.29 and 154 strikeouts in 139.2 innings pitched, you would think that Luebke benefited from pitching his home games at Petco.  However, he actually had a better road ERA, 2.55, than his home ERA of 4.04.

I DON’T trust Clayton Richard.  Sure he had a fine 3.88 ERA in 2011, but his lack of strikeouts (just 53 in 99.2 IP) and his 1.42 whip are reasons for concern. Roster him at your own risk.

I DO believe that Tim Stauffer is a product of the Petco effect, but I don’t care.  He had a 2.57 ERA at home and a 4.95 ERA on the road in 2011, but if your league allows you to play matchups, well you know what to do.

DON’T sleep on Andrew Cashner.  He has a power arm and will work as the setup man for Huston Street.  Given Street’s injury history, Cashner would make a good late round pick and could become this year’s Rafael Betancourt.

Finally, given the Padres ballpark, I DO think that the Padres will continue to run.  Six players finished 2011 with double digit steals, including Chase Headley (13), Will Venable (26) and Chris Denorfia (11).  But, at the same time, I DON’T expect much power from any of the Padres hitters.  In 2011, Ryan Ludwick led all Padres with just 11 homeruns and I would be hard pressed to pick a hitter who will top 15 homeruns in 2012.

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Fantasy’s Biggest Winners And Losers Of The Offseason

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Fantasy’s Biggest Winners And Losers Of The Offseason

Posted on 07 February 2012 by Mark Sherrard

The Hot Stove is cooling down and fantasy baseball season is right around the corner.  With many fantasy owners starting to prepare for their drafts, here is a look at some of the biggest winners and losers of this offseason.

WINNERS

Yonder Alonso – Stuck behind Joey Votto in Cincinnati and incapable of playing left field, Alonso escaped his own personal purgatory when the Reds traded him to San Diego for Mat Latos.  After hitting .293/.370/.466 in 4 minor league seasons and .299/.354/.479 in 117 at bats in the majors, Alonso will finally get a chance to show what he can do.

Edinson Volquez – Another player whom the Reds sent over to the Padres as part of the Mat Latos trade, Volquez’ value immediately gets a boost as a result of pitching in Petco Park.  Volquez gave up 19 homeruns in just 108.2 innings pitched last year.  If Petco can help cut that total in half and he cuts down on his walks, he has a good chance to push his ERA under 4.00 for the first time since 2008.

Jarrod Parker/Brad Peacock/Tom Milone – Acquired by the A’s as part of the trades of Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez, at least two of these 3 pitchers should step into the A’s rotation immediately.  With Dallas Braden and Matt Anderson injured, its possible all 3 will start the year in the rotation.  Parker and Peacock have the most upside of the 3 and all of them got a cup of coffee in the bigs last year.  Expect all of them to see significant time in the majors in 2012.

New Closers – Due to trades and free agency, Matt Thornton, Rafael Betancourt and one of Grant Balfour/Fautino De Los Santos/Joey Devine will be stepping into the closer role in 2012.

Thornton saved 3 games for the White Sox in 2011 and takes over for Sergio Santos, who was traded to the Blue Jays.

Betancourt filled in as closer for an injured Houston Street in 2011, saving 8 games.  With Street traded to San Diego, the closer job is Betancourt’s to lose.

Finally, with the trade of Andrew Bailey to Boston, either Balfour, De Los Santos or Devine will assume the role in 2012.

LOSERS

Ryan Braun – Although nothing has been decided yet, Braun’s value could take a serious hit if his 50 game suspension for the use of performance enhancing drugs is upheld.  Braun has appealed and maintains his innocence, but to date no player has ever won an appeal.

Carlos Quentin – Acquired by the Pares from the White Sox, Quentin moves from one of the better hitters’ parks to one of the worst.  After hitting .288 in 2008 with 36 homeruns for the White Sox, Quentin has hit only .245 with an average of about 24 homeruns the last 3 years.  Both numbers could drop even lower in 2012.

Aging Veterans – It appears that teams are starting to realize that they can get the same productivity out of some young rookies that they would get from an over 35 veteran.  As a result, players like Johnny Damon, Vlad Guerrero, Raul Ibanez and Hideki Matsui are still looking for work, while others, like J.D. Drew, Milton Bradley and David Eckstein are considering retirement.

Former Closers – Since there are winners in the closing shuffle, there has to be losers as well.  This year’s losers are Mark Melancon, Juan Carlos Oviedo (formerly Leo Nunez), Francisco Cordero and Francisco Rodriguez.

After saving 20 games for the Astros in 2011, Melancon was traded to the Red Sox and was considered a replacement for the departed Jonathan Papelbon up until the Red Sox acquired AnDrew Bailey.

Caught for identify fraud, Oviedo’s status for the beginning of 2012 is still up in the air.  However, one thing is for certain, with the Marlins signing Heath Bell this offseason, Oviedo is no longer the closer.

Cordero saved 37 games for the Reds last season, but struggled to find a job this winter.  He finally signed a 1-year deal with Toronto, where he will set up Sergio Santos.

After being traded to the Brewers mid-season, Rodriguez surprised them by accepting arbitration this winter.  Unlikely to receive more on the open market, Rodriguez accepted a setup role with the Brewers.  The Brewers avoided arbitration with Rodriguez by signing him to a 1-year, $8 million contract and could still try to trade him.

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