June 26, 2012
First, Third, and DH for 6/26/12
I griped last week about tough times on the waiver wire, but a few recent roster moves have led to an increase in available talent. Top prospect Anthony Rizzo should be promoted any day now, while the fate of a few other players—highlighted in Playing Pepper—hangs in the balance. The coming weeks should bring some more clarity to those situations, while I remain patient with other members of the current VP list.
An 11-game hit streak that includes four home runs has a way of opening owners’ eyes, and that’s certainly happened with Brandon Belt (Yahoo! 26%, ESPN 31%, CBS 55%). Given confidence by the demotion of Brett Pill, Belt has also gotten more playing time from Aubrey Huff hitting the disabled list, joining the infamous list of celebration-related injuries. This should be the time for Belt to shine, and he’s raised his batting average 42 points and his slugging 116 points since June 10. Keeper owners in particular should be happy they stuck with Belt; everyone else can also enjoy the ride.
I gave David Cooper (Yahoo! 1%, ESPN 0%, CBS 5%) a little time to turn things around, but his weak hitting at the plate has led to a demotion to Triple-A Las Vegas. He’s someone to watch for the future, but the Jays have some corner infield roster decisions to make before that happens.
Rizzo has been a Value Pick before, after the Padres called him up last season, but he underwhelmed, hitting .141/.281/.242 in 153 plate appearances. That separation between his batting average and OBP shows his 13.7 percent BB%, but his strikeout rate crested at thirty percent. He mashed curveballs but struggled against everything else—in particular, fastballs—and his 2011 performance can’t be blamed on the usual suspects of Petco or same-side pitching: