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August 24, 2012

Value Picks

Outfielders for 8/24/12

by Paul Singman

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Arrivals
The White Sox have lost Alejandro De Aza to injury and are turning to recent acquisition DeWayne Wise (Yahoo! 3%, ESPN 4%, CBS 3%) to fill the void in center. Between the Yankees and White Sox, Wise has had a surprisingly productive year, batting .300 with six home runs and nine steals in just 100 at-bats. No one expects him to maintain that pace, but he can contribute a little bit everywhere, making him a player to consider adding in all leagues.

The Rockies have been hit by a slew of injuries this week, opening the door for Charlie Blackmon (Yahoo! 0%, ESPN 0%, CBS 1%) to play right field and leadoff for the Rockies. So far the results haven’t been pretty: a .130/.130/.217 slash-line after 23 plate appearances. The 2008 second-rounder did play well in the minors though, batting .303 with five homers and 10 steals in 60 Triple-A games. There’s potential here for a .260s hitter capable of a couple homers and steals, which isn’t bad for such a widely available player.

It’s been a wild ride for Scott Podsednik (Yahoo! 0%, ESPN 0%, CBS 1%), who after a brief stint with Arizona is back in Boston replacing Carl Crawford. Podsednik is still great at hitting singles and stealing bases, making him a solid addition to any AL-only or 14-plus mixed team.

Hanging Around
It wasn’t the most productive week for Andy Dirks (Yahoo! 8%, ESPN 10%, CBS 29%), but the Tigers’ left fielder still managed a hit per game. He’s got the struggling and hittable Angels and Royals staffs to look forward to in the coming week, so look forward to better things from Dirks in the near future. He should be owned in most 14-team mixed leagues and deeper, and I’d even take a long look in 12-teamers if he’s available.

Departures
David Murphy (Yahoo! 21%, ESPN 30%, CBS 48%) delivered a monstrous week with four extra-base hits, four RBI, and five runs. People are taking note as his ownership rates jumped healthy amounts across the board, though they still figure to climb some more before all is said and done. I’m assuming he’s taken in the majority of readers’ leagues, but if he isn’t in yours, consider this your last call.

All it took was one strain of a muscle to ruin Eric Young Jr.’s (Yahoo! 16%, ESPN 22%, CBS 17%) hit parade. For Young it was the left intercostal, which sounds more like a highway than a muscle, but nevertheless, it forced the Rockies to place him on the DL. There’s a decent chance he only has to miss the minimum 15 days, so stash Young on your DL if possible.

The playing time was there for Ezequiel Carrera (Yahoo! 1%, ESPN 0%, CBS 5%), but, unfortunately the production was not. The Indians face three lefties in the upcoming week: three games Carrera is likely to view from the bench. As a steal specialist in deeper AL-only leagues, he can still have value. In anything shallower though, there should be better options available.

Gregor Blanco (Yahoo! 3%, ESPN 2%, CBS 10%) put up a big ol’ blank-o in the box score this week, managing three hits, one run, and nothing else. He was also platooning with Justin Christian in left (who, along with Angel Pagan, made up the most religiously diverse outfield in baseball), further limiting his value. Christian injured his wrist Wednesday night and could be headed to the DL, so who knows what the Giants will do. I’ve heard rumors of Xavier Nady potentially platooning with Blanco, indicating the Giants don’t see Blanco as an everyday player. In NL-onlys Blanco can be alright, but in mixed leagues, ideally, you’re shopping elsewhere.

Fernando Martinez (Yahoo! 0%, ESPN 0%, CBS 2%) hit his second home run this week, at least for a few minutes; the umpires overruled the call and changed it to a double. Home run or not, it was Marintez’s only hit of the week, leaving his slash line at a much-to-be-desired .125/.125/.250. It’s my belief that playing time is decided in the Houston outfield by picking names out of a hat, making it a situation best avoided.

The window for Moises Sierra (Yahoo! 0%, ESPN 0%, CBS 2%) to contribute has come to a close with the return of Colby Rasmus and now Jose Bautista. Time to move on.

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