An article a week keeps the players slump away. Okay, maybe not. But our loyal readers know that I always start with an entertaining opening before I jump into the real stuff. Basically, this short blurb is just something to warm my fingers up. So while I crack my fingers and get ready to write some good material, why don’t you get yourself some dinner that you can read this article with. I suggest manicotti.
Someone who eats a lot of food, manicotti perhaps, will start off this article. He goes by the name of Dayan Viciedo. No pun intended, but before Spring Training, Viciedo was considered a huge sleeper. He started the regular season off very slow, making all of his owners cut him. But recently, Viciedo has provided a hot bat for the White Sox, collecting a hit in each of the last four games, in which three of those have been multi-hit games, to go along with three homeruns in those four games. For those of you that have been playing fantasy for a while, you know that we like to ride the hot hand when it comes to guys you scoop off the waivers. Take a flyer on him, and maybe he’ll hit some long, high flyballs.
Dustin Ackley has strung together a 12-game hitting streak,with two homers in the last seven games and has bumped his batting average up to .260. He screams sell-high candidate with that streak going, as he isn’t gonna beat the record? Right? It’s not like he’s Andre Ethier. He is a 20/20 candidate, with three dingers and three swipes, but with an ADP higher than a guy like Jason Kipnis, who has six dingers and six swipes with a .268 average, Dustin seems to be a little overrated. Try to grab Kipnis and another piece for Ackley.
The Twins have made a change at the shortstop position, calling up Brian Dozier, and placing Alexi Casilla on the bench. As a Twins fan, I didn’t approve of the move at first, and no, not because I had a hard-on for Alexi, but because Dozier didn’t seem ready yet, regardless of winning an award for the best performance by a Twins Prospect in AAA. Dozier has opened my eyes and humbled my mouth, with a .298 batting average, and collecting a hit in eight of twelve major league games he has played. He only offers minimal pop with a good average, but if you need a few more homers on your team to go along with a batting average that should continue to be in the .280-.300 area, Dozier’s your man. It will fluctuate that much because it’s still early in the season, but the rest of the way, I predict a .295 average with 18 homeruns, 70 RBI and 65 runs. Not bad from a waiver-scooped shortstop.
Call this bittersweet chocolate because, after all of that candy, Miguel Montero‘s owners have had a bitter taste in their mouth with his .256 average, and just two homeruns so far this season. He is the epitome of a buy-low candidate with a .353 BABIP, and 50.6 Groundball percentage. Get him on the cheap now, before he starts to heat up and become untouchable like we know he can do.
Lucas Duda hasn’t provided the pop in the major leagues that most of the owners who drafted him had hoped for. Duda does, however, hit for average. He’s like Brian Dozier, who I mentioned above, with a little more power, playing right field. He’s valuable in roto leagues, and a buy-low candidate, as we would have to assume that the power will come around after hitting 20 combined dingers in AAA and MLB last year. He could hit 25 homeruns with an average near .300. Oh, not to mention (good for points leagues) he has a good 0.42 BB/K, walking 14 times in 122 ABs.
Closer Corner time once again, Ladies and Gentlemen, where we take a look at the guys that do and don’t finish the game, and shaky situations along with moves to and from the ‘pen.
We start with Matt Capps, whom has rebounded from a devastating year last year to close out a perfect 8-for-8 games so far this season. He does have two losses, but do know that they were not blown saves, and not entirely his fault. Capps does have a 3.60 ERA, though, so keep an eye on his situation. Because we know that he’ll implode. Next we turn to two closers who have almost identical stats. Closer numero uno, Fernando Rodney, who has successfully closed the door out of the pen in the ninth inning for the Rays, with a perfect 12-for-12 in saves/opportunities. He also has two wins to go along with those 12 saves. Rodney has an ERA of 0.48, 0.86 WHIP, and a 19/3 K/BB ratio, making him one of the best closers so far this year. The other closer who could also be argued as the best this season is Jim Johnson, who has the same ERA and innings pitched as Rodney, who have both allowed just one run in 18.2 innings. Johnson has a slightly worse, but still great, K/BB ratio at 13/4. Where Johnson is better, though, is in WHIP, with 0.80 and saves with 14 in as many attempts. All three of those guys mentioned are at 100% on Saves, and should be sold to needy owners looking for saves. A closer that hasn’t been so great is JJ Putz, who has registered an ERA of 7.50 to go along with a scary WHIP of 1.58. That WHIP has come strictly off of hits, as he hasn’t walked a batter all year. Putz has been pretty reliable the past few years, so he should have a pretty long leash, but with David Hernandez pitching well, the leash on Putz may continue to get shorter, and the Diamondbacks could look to Hernandez, who has struck out 24 batters in 18 innings.
That’s it for the closer corner this week, and onto Starting Pitching we go.
Chris Capuano has been phenomenal this season since his first start, receiving a ‘Quality Start’ in each of the seven games since. Up until his last outing, in which he went 6.1 innings giving up three runs, Capuano had given up no more than two runs in each of the last six of his outings. Quite an impressive streak. His stats show the results of that impressive streak with a 5-1 record, 2.34 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 45 strikeouts in 50 innings. While Capuano is a good pitcher, we aren’t buying elite stats like those to stay like that for the remainder of the season, so he screams sell-high. Though if no one bites on him, keep him and let him continue to post quality starts for your team.
CC Sabathia is an easy buy-low candidate, as he has an uncharacteristic 3.77 ERA. He is 5-1, though, so there may be owners trying to hold him until he brings that ERA down. Half of his starts have been of ‘quality’ performance, but that’s not saying much for this Hall of Fame caliber player. His 1.17 WHIP isn’t scary, so there could be owners smart enough to ride the high ERA for now. But if anyone is looking to sell him at a discount, jump on that like a trampoline. Or rope. Whichever you prefer. But we prefer trampoline, because they’re more funnerer.
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