Selling Jason Bay:
With the Mets in rebuilding mode, they really needed a hot start from Jason Bay to take the pressure off the veteran and highly paid left-fielder. Though he did sock three home runs through the first 15 games, Bay still lacked consistency as his average was .240 and he is fanning more than once per game. Alas, another tough break for Bay will take him off the field. A fractured left rib suffered on a diving play in left field lands him on the DL. Zach Lutz, a nice power prospect was called up, but I see Kirk Nieuwenhuis likely taking over in left-field once Andres Torres returns and Lucas Duda stays in right field. Bay may return to a platoon situation.
Selling Josh Collmenter:
From hero to goat! Josh Collmenter was being celebrated last season, as he managed 10 wins with a 3.38 ERA and an even more impressive 1.07 WHIP thanks to his incredible control combined with a .237 opposing batting average. This year he has been slammed by the opposition, surrendering six home runs in four starts. On top of that, Collmenter is likely standing in the way of Diamondbacks phenom Trevor Bauer. The DBacks made the tough call of pulling Collmenter from the starting rotation.
Buying Francisco Cordero:
Talk about a heck of an insurance policy, the Blue Jays happened to buy exactly that when they signed Francisco Cordero as a back up to Sergio Santos as the team’s closer. Cordero got off to a rough start this season, but now that he is the final line for the Blue Jays he is back in a comfortable spot. He nailed his first two save opporutnities, but has struggled since, allowing runs in four of his last five outings. At 37 years old, Cordero is getting up there in years and the strikeouts have declined, but he still gets the job done with 34 or more saves in each of the last five seasons. He’ll hold down the fort until Santos return in at best a month.
Buying Henry Rodriguez:
The Nationals have been known for their bullpen for a few years now, but when Drew Storen went down with an injury, it was thought that the newly acquired Brad Lidge would fill the role in the interim. It turns out that Nats have a better option in the 25-year-old Henry Rodriguez who has surrendered a earned runs in just one appearance all season while nailing down five saves. A certain flame-thrower, Rodriguez does have his control issues, but he also has allowed just five hits so far this season. We’ll see if he can continue to overcome his control issues, as he is 5-6 in saves.
BY ROB SHAW
The Philip Humber perfect games reminded us that sometimes it takes even first round picks a little while to blossom at the Big League level. Humber was selected with the third pick of the 2004 draft, but it wasn’t until seven years later and on his fourth franchise with the luster of his amateur career diminished that he stuck as a starter. He is now a part of MLB history and a player with some fantasy value.
The 2007 draft was stacked with pitching talent. David Price was the top selection out of Vanderbilt and has been one of the best hurlers in baseball over the last few years. Madison Bumgarner came in at number 10 and has already made an impact in the Big Leagues. However, four other pitchers were drafted between Price and Bumgarner. Daniel Moskos was the fourth overall pick, but he has been converted into a relief pitcher and is currently pitching in the minor leagues after mixed results with the Pirates last season. The eighth pick Casey Weathers is also a reliever, but has yet to make it past Double-A.
Then there is Ross Detwiler and Jarrod Parker, the sixth and ninth picks respectively. Detwiler had a bumpy ride to the Major Leagues, but is finally taking hold of a starting spot in the Nationals rotation. The 26-year-old rotated between the starting rotation and bullpen last season, and at the end of the season had an impressive 3.00 ERA. Perhaps the best fifth starter in the game, Detwiler calls home to a pitcher’s park and with Nationals sluggers Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche coming back to life, he should have some run support as well. It’s looking like tough luck for Chien-Mien Wang, who is currently out with an injury. With a 1.64 ERA and 1.00 WHIP, Detwiler has been one of the best hurlers in baseball this season.
The ninth pick out of the 2007 draft, Jarrod Parker is the top prospect in the A’s system and they couldn’t hold him out any longer. After four solid starts at Triple-A, the A’s are ready for Parker in the Big Leagues. It’s time to get to know the 23-year-old right-hander.
Parker was acquired for Trevor Cahill this off-season. In his one Major League start with the D-Backs last season, Parker did not allow a single run to score in 5.2 innings of work. Parker was a tad hittable this season in the minor leagues, but this isn’t about the short-term. This is supposed to be the start of something special and with the pitcher-friendly confines of the Oakland Coliseum, Parker should be picked up in all formats.
In his American League debut, Parker was brilliant allowing just one run to score while pitching into the seventh inning. Parker scattered seven hits and fanned five batters, and while he did not get a decision, the A’s did win 5-4 over the White Sox. On Tuesday, Parker tries on a different group of Sox, as the A’s host Boston. It should be safe for fantasy managers to try out their brand new fantasy phenom.
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BY ROB SHAW
Selling Jair Jurrjens:
The Braves hurler is now in the minor leagues after an atrocious start. Jurrjens has been one of the more underappreciated hurlers of the last few years. He won at least 13 games in three of the last four seasons, twice with an ERA sub-3. However, this season, he lost some of his stuff as he failed to make it out of the fifth inning in three of four starts and not only is he walking way too many batters, but the opposition is hitting .411 off him. With his fastball in the decline, perhaps a confidence boost in the minor leagues will do the 26-year-old some good. Feel free to release him from your fantasy team.
Buying Cody Ross:
Fantasy managers may have forgotten that Cody Ross once carried a power bat in Florida, surpassing 20 home runs in back-to-back seasons. Sure, he has some World Series heroics a couple of years ago, but playing for the Giants kept him in a pitcher’s park that ate away at his power stats. That changes this season as Ross is now playing at Fenway and already has five home runs, three of which have come at home. A streaky hitter, Ross has had home runs in consecutive games twice already this season. With Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury out, Ross should enjoy regular playing time. This is a player to target for his power.
Selling Ryan Roberts:
The good news for super utility man Ryan Roberts was the 19 home runs and 18 stolen bases last season. The bad news for Roberts was the .239 average over the second half of the season. Unfortunately, Roberts resembles the second half player from last season as his average is sub-Mendoza line with just 10 hits in 66 at bats. At 31 years old, it’s fair to say that what we saw last season was too good to be true. Roberts is now losing out on playing time to Cody Ransom.
Buying Nate Schierholtz:
A 1-17 struggle has brought the average down to .283, but Nate Schierholtz remains an intriguing fantasy option and should continue to get regular playing time in the outfield for the Giants. The addition of Buster Posey has a huge impact in the lineup, and Schierholtz has proven capable of hitting with power and surprising speed over the last few years. If this is finally the first time that the veteran will get 400 at bats, Schierholtz can surprise with some fantasy value.