April 29, 2011
Don't Believe the Hype
Barney and Friends
Ryan Madson, Philadelphia Phillies (67 percent owned, +47 percent)
Madson has struck out 9.9 batters per nine with a 4.1 K/BB ratio since 2009 (140 1/3 innings pitched), has a 2.95 Run Average in that stretch, and has even finished 52 games without the world ending, so instead of asking yourself if you should acquire him until Lidge comes back, you should be asking why Charlie Manuel waited this long to give him the gig in the first place. Based on the way he uses relievers—did I mention Danys Baez is involved?—it's probably not because he prefers Madson in a relief ace role.
Darwin Barney, Chicago Cubs (46 percent owned, +35 percent)
He won't hit .325 all year—or, at least, he shouldn't, though players have had much higher than .357 BABIP last throughout a season—but even if he hits .280, he's firmly planted in the realm of "not terrible". That is more than you can say about many shortstops and keystoners.
Ryan Roberts, Arizona Diamondbacks (51 percent owned, +33 percent)
Roberts, even including his nifty 1015 OPS start, has a career line of .259/.344/.418, and had a TAv of .267 heading in to 2011. Sure, he could be a solid fantasy utility bat, but the idea here would be to sell high before his numbers begin to dwindle. It's best to sell a week early rather than a week late on these guys, as there is always someone out there who wants to believe.
Kyle Lohse, St. Louis Cardinals (85 percent owned, +30 percent)
If you need another arm to pitch innings that won't hurt you, then Lohse is your man, but don't get too attached to the shiny numbers, as they won't last. If it's the same old Lohse we always knew, and 2009 is the exception, then we are still talking about an average arm that doesn't contribute to punch outs.
Alex Avila, Detroit Tigers (73 percent owned, +24 percent)
His .299/.356/.537 showing in 2011 is more than a solid start, even if it's not a realistic gauge of expectations. PECOTA pegged him for .286/.369/.433 at his 90th percentile, a line that would more than suffice in any format. Just remember it also thinks he'll be average at the weighted mean, before you go out and spend heavily on Avila with FAAB dollars or a trade.
Mitchell Boggs, St. Louis Cardinals (64 percent owned, +22 percent)
Philip Humber, Chicago White Sox (9 percent owned, +6 percent)
Humber's prospect status has dried up, but he spent most of the season as a starter for Omaha anyway. From the glass-half-full perspective, Humber could be another Kyle Davies
Davies is certainly not something all the kids want to be when they grow up, but Humber, as long as he has the gig in Chicago, can pull off that impression. As long as it comes with an ERA south of five—and it should, as he has a 4.58 career mark in the majors in the limited chances he has had to stick—he works as starting pitching depth in deep leagues.
Daniel Murphy, New York Mets (13 percent owned, +9 percent)
It's fantasy, so you don't have to worry about his defensive shortcomings. As long as the Mets don't fret too much over them, you will have yourself a fine second baseman off the waiver wire that could outproduce many of those that went on draft day.