May 21, 2014
Allow me to reintroduce this column: it’s about deep leagues.
Ronald Belisario, RP, White Sox
Will Belisario be very good in this role? Probably not. But Lindstrom himself isn’t very good, and Robin Ventura was apparently willing to live with his 3.32 ERA (4.71 FIP), 13.3 percent strikeout rate and 10.8 percent walk rate, so how much worse could Belisario really be? Don’t invest a ton in Belisario, but he’s the type of stupid, random middle reliever who could hold on to this job for two months and nab you 12 saves on the cheap.
Stephen Drew, SS, Red Sox
This is pretty much a godsend for players in deep leagues who need middle infield help. We all know Drew isn’t an elite option, but he’s better than most of what’s out there right now. Drew will score runs in Boston’s lineup, he’ll swipe the occasional base and he’ll challenge for double-digit home runs. Add in that Drew may enter a platoon situation in which he only faces right-handed pitchers, and you could get a good average out of him, too. He should be owned even in every 20-team league, and he’ll likely be playing in the majors within 10 days.
Andrew Heaney, SP, Marlins
Heaney was promoted to Triple-A (yes, the Marlins actually have Triple-A team) this week, putting him on the precipice of the majors at a time when Miami needs starting pitchers. Jose Fernandez is gone, and while Henderson Alvarez, Nate Eovaldi and Jacob Turner form an interesting middle of the rotation, Heaney has more upside than the lot of them. He profiles as a no. 3 MLB and fantasy starter, and he could be in the majors in two or three weeks. The time to grab him in deeper redraft leagues is now.
Liam Hendriks, SP, Blue Jays
So why talk about Hendriks here? The right-hander has been very, very good in Triple-A this season, and has shown the ability to master the upper minors in the past. He’s a no. 5 starter at best, but if you’re not desperate for strikeouts, it’s not crazy to hope for the best and start Hendriks in favorable matchups. The Jays have a great offense, Hendriks doesn’t issue any free passes and there are some pretty weak offenses in the AL right now. He’ll likely be replaced by Marcus Stroman at some point, but he could sneak in some effective starts in the interim.
Deep League Streamer of the Week: Blake Treinen, RHP, Nationals
Twitter Question of the Week:
I’ve received a ton of Will Middlebrooks/Garin Cecchini/Bogaerts questions in the wake of the Drew signing, so I’ll briefly run down what this means for deep leaguers here.
Middlebrooks is likely to either serve as a short-side platoon third baseman in the majors or as a hybrid 1B/3B in Triple-A once healthy. Either way, his window to cement himself as an everyday starter in Boston is likely over. I would not expect him to generate more than an additional 200 PA this season, barring a trade.
Cecchini’s future is still bright, but his defense isn’t ready and while he’ll never be a big power guy, he does need to improve on his .368 SLG in Pawtucket. He was always more of a 2015 name, and that continues to be the case now.
Bogaerts will likely make most of his remaining starts at third base this season, but I see no reason to suggest he won’t move back to short on a full-time basis next year, other than “teams don’t usually do that.” Sure they don’t, but doesn’t mean the Red Sox can’t or shouldn’t. If anything, this just gives Bogaerts an additional season of SS/3B dual eligibility.