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August 6, 2013

The Stash List

The Biogenesis Fallout, or Lack Thereof

by Bret Sayre

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I saw a question posed on Twitter a couple of hours before Major League Baseball announced the Biogenesis suspensions asking why there hadn’t been any content on the players likely to benefit from the playing time being left behind by Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta, and the like. And the easy answer is that there’s just nothing really exciting to say about the players standing behind them, but we’re going to talk about it anyway. Things might have been different were Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon been handed suspensions, as they each had interesting players waiting in the wings, but alas, that is not the case. At least Melky was kind enough to go on the disabled list anyway.

For something as long and drawn out as this Biogenesis saga has been, you’d think there would at least be a little excitement for fantasy purposes on the back end. Maybe a young prospect with some impact potential would get a call up. Maybe a bench player with some power potential would see additional at-bats. Instead what we’re left with are a ragtag group of hitters who are uninspiring at best. Here are the three biggest names to get suspended on Monday and who’s most likely to take those at bats:

Nelson Cruz

This one could have actually been fun, but Ron Washington doesn’t feel comfortable throwing Jurickson Profar into the outfield on a regular basis. Instead, it’ll be a combination of Engel Beltre and Craig Gentry. Beltre is the more interesting name of the two, but he’s unlikely to be much more than empty batting average at best. Sure, he does have a history of stealing bases in the minor leagues, but this year he was 14-for-24 on the base paths before being called up. Gentry, on the other hand, could steal more bases but do less everywhere else. We already know who he is at this point.

Everth Cabrera

This gets a little dicey, as the first guy likely to get a crack at playing time in Cabrera’s absence is Logan Forsythe. On the bright side, Forsythe has never made an error while manning the position at the highest level. On the other side, he’s only played 24 innings there in his major-league career. In fact, he only played 13 games at shortstop in his minor-league career as well. As much as I’d love to see Forsythe stick there, since he actually has some skill with the bat, but the odds of this working out are slim. And if it doesn’t, Ronny Cedeno is always there.

Jhonny Peralta

Sadly, this is the least exciting of them all from a fantasy perspective. Jose Iglesias is incredible to watch in the field, but he just should not be in fantasy lineups. Since the beginning of July, he is hitting .202/.240/.245—which is a line that even Rey Ordonez would be embarrassed about.

Without any further ado, here is The Stash List, version 16.0:

The Graduates: Brandon McCarthy (11)

1) Xander Bogaerts, SS, Boston Red Sox (Last week: 1)

It has to be only a matter of time at this point. Brandon Snyder is manning third base right now for the Sox and last I checked, it’s not optimal to have a sub .250 on-base percentage from a corner position if you’re trying to make the playoffs. Meanwhile, Bogaerts is hitting .298/.394/.491 overall for the season and getting on base at a .378 clip in Triple-A. As a 20-year-old.

2) Danny Farquhar, RHP, Seattle Mariners (Last week: NR)

Well, well, it looks like someone actually might pitch well enough to prevent the Mariners from going back to well drinks from the Bartender. His overall numbers are not particularly impressive, but for relievers it is most important to look at recent performance. And Farquhar has thrown 11 1/3 scoreless innings in a row with 18 strikeouts and four walks since July 21. He can hold this job and he’s still only owned in approximately 15 percent of leagues.

3) Pedro Strop, RHP, Chicago Cubs (Last week: 2)

Right after I wrote up Strop for last week’s list, he went out and gave up five runs in one-third of an inning. And that was followed by the Cubs not dealing Kevin Gregg. Strop remains high on the list because he’s more talented than Gregg and I’d still be shocked if the Cubs did not trade Gregg during August.

4) Cameron Maybin, OF, San Diego Padres (Last week: 13)

The one nice thing from a fantasy perspective about Everth Cabrera’s suspension is that Cameron Maybin could step in at the top of the lineup in San Diego, potentially leading to more value upon his return. It’s been a season to forget for Maybin, but he’s on schedule to return in around a week and still has the upside to be ownable in the shallowest of leagues.

5) Nick Castellanos, 3B/OF, Detroit Tigers (Last week: 3)

Since the All-Star break, Andy Dirks is hitting .303/.343/.424 in 35 plate appearances. If he continues to hit, Castellanos may still get the call anyway, but it could be in just a platoon function. That would limit his value to AL-only formats.

6) Billy Hamilton, SS/OF, Cincinnati Reds (Last week: 5)

The developmental season continues for the switch-hitter with game changing speed. The opportunity has been there for the taking all season, and continues to be so, but he just cannot take advantage. With that said, give up on him long-term at your own peril.

7) Matt Adams, 1B, St Louis Cardinals (Last week: NR)

While it is true that Adams is hitting just .247/.307/.400 since the beginning of May, despite his much better-looking overall numbers, he’d be the beneficiary of any number of injuries in light of Oscar Taveras still being on the shelf. That includes Matt Holliday, Carlos Beltran, Allen Craig, and potentially even David Freese (if they trusted Craig to slide over to third). It’s a real bastion of health, that group.

8) Brett Anderson, LHP, Oakland Athletics (Last week: 9)

Today, Anderson will throw a simulated game, which should be his last step before starting a rehab assignment. Talent has never been an issue with the left-hander, but he’s thrown less than 260 innings over the last four seasons.

9) Archie Bradley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (Last week: 6)

10) Carlos Martinez, RHP, St Louis Cardinals (Last week: 4)

It’s really disappointing, as a big believer in Martinez, to see him still in the minors after the trade deadline. He still has not given up more than three runs in a start this year.

11) Oscar Taveras, OF, St Louis Cardinals (Last week: 7)

The latest reports say that Taveras is still at least ten days away from getting back into rehab games after re-aggravating his ankle injury. Again. With the Cardinals fighting for a playoff spot, he is certainly a good candidate for a September call-up if he can just stay on the field.

12) Danny Duffy, LHP, Kansas City Royals (Last week: 12)

13) George Springer, OF, Houston Astros (Last week: 14)

He’s still one homer shy of going 30-30. I’d be pretty shocked if I could say that again next week.

14) Trevor Rosenthal, RHP, St Louis Cardinals (Last week: 17)

15) Danny Salazar, RHP, Cleveland Indians (Last week: 15)

16) Matt Harrison, LHP, Texas Rangers (Last week: NR)

Original reports suggested that Harrison would not return to the majors until September, but on Sunday he had his second rehab appearance and allowed a run and three hits in 3 2/3 innings at Double-A Frisco. If he does indeed have three rehab starts left before he can join the Rangers, that would put him on schedule to return during their trip to the Cell the second to last weekend of August. The fact that the Rangers have a pretty weak schedule down the stretch makes Harrison an even more intriguing option if he can prove himself healthy and shake off the rust.

17) Travis d’Arnaud, C, New York Mets (Last week: NR)

It’s hard to imagine that d’Arnaud will not see time with the Mets this season. Whether it comes before roster expansion is up for debate, but with him already taking up a spot on the 40-man roster, real playing time down the stretch is a very good possibility. It is very difficult for catchers to be successful right away at the plate in the major leagues, but on the bright side, it has rarely been d’Arnaud’s talent in question.

18) Ryan Ludwick, OF, Cincinnati Reds (Last week: 10)

19) Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Houston Astros (Last week: NR)

20) Sonny Gray, RHP, Oakland Athletics (Last week: NR)

Honorable Mention: Miguel Montero, Taijuan Walker, Michael Wacha, Will Middlebrooks, Kevin Pillar

Bret Sayre is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Bret's other articles. You can contact Bret by clicking here

10 comments have been left for this article.

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