June 19, 2012
First, Third, and DH for 6/18/12
June is a tough month for waiver-wire pickups; all the early bargains are long gone, starting positions have largely solidified, and most of this season’s call-ups haven’t yet begun to arrive. That means even more patience is required from fantasy players, a virtue that paid off for owners of one VP this week and a lesson to those who are ready to drop a talented hitter after a prolonged cold spell. Patience can make for some nail-biting weeks and short-term statistical swoons, but it’s always good to remember the baseball cliché that the season is a marathon, not a sprint.
While several players are on the cusp of VP obsolescence, Lonnie Chisenhall (Yahoo! 3%, ESPN 5%, CBS 18%) gets the preemptive axe. The return of Jack Hannahan (Yahoo! 3%, ESPN 1%, CBS 8%) from the disabled list means a short-term time share between the two, and Chisenhall’s likely to get another bus ticket back to Columbus soon. Still, Hannahan could still reinjure himself, his .314 BABIP might catch up to him, or Chisenhall could stick around to split time between at third and DH. Hoping for so many things to break Chisenhall’s way isn’t a good use of a roster spot, though, even in such difficult times, so Chisenhall owners in all but AL-only leagues should prepare to cut bait.
As always, his natural tendencies (.173 minor-league ISO) and PETCO Park will mute his power, although he hit last week’s jack in Safeco, a similarly power-suppressing ballpark. Despite his strong walk rate, he’s been more aggressive at the plate than the average hitter, swinging at more pitches inside and outside the zone while making better contact (91.9 percent) on strikes and worse contact (57.1 percent) on balls. Only the latter trend is a concern, and it could lead to diminished OBP returns down the stretch. For playing time and talent, though, it’s hard to find a better player available at this time of the year than Alonso, making him worthy of a roster spot before he disappears from your waiver wire like he did last time.