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May 10, 2011

Fantasy Beat

Tout Wars FAAB Update, 5/10

by Jason Collette

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Baseball had an interesting week with two no-hitters, several near no-hitters, and two mega prospects called up earlier than expected. Gaby Sanchez had two home runs and ten runs batted in, Jacoby Ellsbury put his running shoes on and swiped five bases, and Ben Zobrist scored eight runs. Dan Haren owners were frustrated as he did not win either of his starts, but still struck out 18 over the week–a total that Cliff Lee nearly equaled in his only start of the week with 16 strikeouts in just seven innings pitched.

Larry Schechter and David Gonos held onto their leads in AL and Mixed Tout Wars, but Rotowire’s Chris Liss had a huge week bumping up 14 points in the standings to take the lead away from Yahoo’s Scott Pianowski. Here is how the Touts spent their FAAB dollars this week.

AL-Only

Matthew Berry purchased Andy Sonnanstine ($10), Trevor Plouffe ($9), and Charlie Furbush ($1): This may end up being $19 that Berry wishes he had back near the trade deadline. Sonnanstine is only guaranteed a start tonight against the Indians in Cleveland. Prior to this start, Sonnanstine has had just three appearances over the past three weeks, and prospect Alex Cobb could be recalled to make the next start on Saturday against Baltimore. Plouffe was recently called up and immediately hurt as he left Sunday’s game in Boston with tightness in his hamstring. He was heading into an MRI tube yesterday, and may have to hit the disabled list depending on the results. Furbush is a speculative move as he is pitching quite well in Triple-A Toledo, allowing just 30 baserunners in 33 innings while striking out 41.

Mike Siano purchases Don Kelly ($1): Siano is still patiently waiting for Kendrys Morales to get back, and has no other first base options to use in his place—hence Kelly. The good news is that he does not play much—he won't hurt average without playing time—but he has produced just five runs, driven in one, and stolen one base in 17 games played.

Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton purchased Bengie Molina ($1): It is no secret that Boston is disappointed in the production of their catching duo of Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek, so Rick and Glenn are working off the rumors that the Red Sox have been tracking down Molina and trying to coax him out of retirement. Given the fact Molina was never in great shape when he was active, one can only imagine what he looks like right now in retirement. Hopefully the clubhouse manager in Boston still has El Guapo’s uniform laying around somewhere.

Dean Peterson purchases Craig Gentry ($1) and Ramon Santiago ($0): Peterson was the unfortunate victim of Nelson Cruz’s fourth trip to the disabled list since the start of last season. Gentry has come up in the past when Cruz and others have been injured, but has but one extra base hit in 58 career plate appearances. Santiago remains a useful reserve because he qualifies at both middle infield slots and hits for a decent average when he is used.

Jason Collette purchases Francisco Cervelli ($4) and Ramiro Pena ($0): You know things are bad when I am buying Yankees to put on my roster. I have already lost Joe Mauer and Adam Moore at catcher this season and lost Steve Holm to a demotion. The Twins summoned Rene Rivera from the dead, but I was not about to roster a catcher that has not had a major league at-bat since the last time Bartolo Colon was good. Meanwhile, Will Rhymes was demoted and I had to find a replacement for him, so Pena fills that spot until Tsuyoshi Nishioka returns from the disabled list.

Todd Zola purchases Mike McKenry ($1): Wolf and Colton went with the rumor route while Zola hopes the Red Sox work from within the organization. McKenry has a .340/.446/.511 slash line in Pawtucket, but has just four extra base hits in 56 plate appearances, making most of that slugging percentage singles-driven.

NL-Only

Lenny Melnick/Paul Greco purchases Aneury Rodriguez ($10): The former Rule 5 pick Rodriguez is the new fifth starter for the Astros. He made his debut last night and promptly served up a three-run home run to the opposing pitcher, Travis Wood. He has strikeout potential, but his control is suspect.

Phil Hertz purchases Josh Collmenter ($6): Collmenter has pitched very well in relief for Arizona with 11 strikeouts and just one walk in 14 innings. That control is much better than what he did last season in Triple-A when he walked 26 batters in just 58 innings of work.

Scott Wilderman purchases Miguel Batista ($0), Xavier Paul ($2), and Russ Mitchell ($0): Just when we thought every option in the St. Louis closing situation was purchased, Wilderman goes and gets the remaining option. At this point, all options in St. Louis seem to be on the table for saves and we are all at the mercy of Tony LaRussa’s decision-making skills. Scott also needed a replacement for both Casey Blake and Rick Ankiel, so Xavier Paul helps fill a dead spot with his pulse. Mitchell is up for the injured Casey Blake and was only hitting .214/.281/.393 down in Albuquerque before getting the call.

Cory Schwartz purchases Jose Veras ($1): Veras is quietly putting together some excellent numbers in relief, as he has struck out 23 batters while walking just four in 15 innings pitched. He has held the opposition to 11 hits, but three of those have also left the yard. The strikeout numbers are sneaky sexy, and one has to assume the home run rate will come down in the coming weeks.

Peter Kreutzer purchases Alex Cora ($0): and Clayton Mortensen ($0): Kreutzer lost Orlando Hudson and Roy Oswalt to the disabled list, and was out of active reserves .

Brian Walton purchases Kyle Kendrick ($0): Kendrick has been an effective swingman for the Phillies with only 15 baserunners allowed in 18 innings, but with the glaring downside of just five strikeouts . He was effective in his start on Mothers’ Day against the Braves, and could see another start or two in the coming weeks.

Mike Gianella purchases Ryan Franklin ($4): While everyone else is zigging after the potential new closers in St. Louis, Gianella zags and goes back to pick up the reliever Nate Ravitz paid $13 for on draft day. Franklin has been awful this far this season, bad defense or not. Besides, that bad defense cannot catch the four home runs he has given up.

Mixed League

Nick Minnix purchased Eric Hosmer ($40): Hosmer only came this cheaply because of the +1 style. Minnix submitted a $57 bid while Andy Behrens had the next highest bid at $39. Hosmer is up for good, and Minnix needed an everyday bat for his utility spot to replace the same Kila Monster that Hosmer is taking over for in real life.

Tim Heaney purchases Mike Fontentot ($4): Bruce Bochy, in his infinite wisdom, has been hitting Fontenot in the third spot of the lineup because he already has nine extra base hits on the season (and in just 67 plate appearances). His .358 on base percentage and solid contact fit better in the two-hole but Bochy has the ring and I do not so what do I know?

David Gonos purchases Eduardo Sanchez ($17): The Mixed League gets in on the action the NL-Only leaguers were playing with last week. How busy is Sanchez’s search page at Baseball-Reference? They already want $55 for its sponsorship; I paid $10 for Matt Joyce’s this past July. Sanchez continues to put up impressive strikeout totals, but nine walks in 13 innings pitched typically does not scream long-term closer.

Paul Petera purchases Aneury Rodriguez ($1): Rodriguez was covered earlier. He is a very risky buy in a mixed league, and, if this was a speculative start, it did not go well.

David Feldman purchases Roger Bernadina ($8) and Rob Johnson ($0): Bernadina is the new primary center fielder in Washington with Rick Ankiel hitting the disabled list. Bernadina was hitting .270/.352/.381 in Triple-A Syracuse with eight stolen bases in just 18 games. Feldman lost the services of Nick Hundley to injury which necessitated the acquisition of the NL’s version of Drew Butera at the plate.

Andy Behrens purchases Scott Sizemore ($16): This was a solid move by Andy, who needed to replace the struggling Bill Hall. Sizemore was on fire in Toledo with a .408/.495/.605 line, but contact has been a problem in Detroit—he has struck out in one-third of his plate appearances.

David Feldman purchases Fernando Salas ($2): Salas has shown more control than the aforementioned Sanchez, and he picked up the save on Mother’s Day while throwing just three pitches.

Gene McCaffrey purchases Jason Pridie ($10): Pridie hit three home runs in 177 plate appearances in Triple-A last season and he already has six home runs in 111 plate appearances between Triple-A and the big leagues. He is getting regular playing time now but already has seven strikeouts in just 20 May at bats.

Charlie Wiegert purchases Daniel Descalso ($2) and Phil Humber ($2): Charlie had to replace Orlando Hudson and went with the hometown kid who has driven in ten runs this season with seven extra base hits (but has hit just .229). Humber still has a spot in the Chicago rotation but Jake Peavy is getting closer to returning, a move that will kick Humber out of the picture.

Nando DiFino purchases Daniel Bard ($2), Magglio Ordonez ($10), and Chris Davis ($10): DiFino is still patiently waiting for Josh Hamilton and Chase Utley to return to his lineup and wanted to replace Matt LaPorta as well. His pitching staff features three of the bigger names around in Felix Hernandez, Jered Weaver, and Zack Greinke, so he thought he could carry Daniel Bard as a fourth reliever alongside Jon Rauch, Kyle Farnsworth, and Drew Storen.

Andy Behrens purchases Matt Treanor ($0): Behrens lost Carlos Ruiz to the disabled list and had to take the best of the cast-off pile to replace him. Luckily, Ruiz’s stay was back-dated to April 28, so he could be back by this time next week.

Fred Zinkie purchases Daniel Murphy ($2) and Paul Maholm ($0): Murphy is 5-28 over the last week with five strikeouts and just two walks, but Zinkie has Delmon Young and Ty Wigginton on the disabled list and needed a bat. Paul Maholm goes into the rotation for Carl Pavano after the waxing Pavano took over the weekend at the hands of Boston's bats. Maholm has his best WHIP since 2005, and his strikeout rate is up over last season, but so is his walk rate—his strikeout to walk ratio is still below 2.0 as well.

To view the latest standings in each league, click the links below:

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

Related Content:  Daniel Murphy,  The Call-up,  Gaby Sanchez

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