June 12, 2012
First, Third, and DH for 6/12/12
Being a fantasy owner requires balancing three P’s: production, playing time, and the patience to see if a hitter will improve the former after an increase in the latter. This week, I’m losing my patience with two hitters while sticking by another one who’s about to get more playing time. Owners without my patience can find other options in another set of P’s—the Playing Pepper section—but you can find some fantasy value in any of this week’s players, which is our goal here at Value Picks.
After being handed the first base reins in Pittsburgh, Matt Hague (Yahoo! 0%, ESPN 0%, CBS 2%) started out strong, getting a hit in each of his first eight games. His recent cold spell of 1-for-15, however, opened the door for Garrett Jones (Yahoo! 4%, ESPN 2%, CBS 10%), who’s hitting .316/.308/.658, to shift to first base after Alex Presley was called up. VP doesn’t overreact to small sample sizes, but a hotter-hitting NL-only option takes Hague’s place until he can put together both playing time and productivity.
The return of Desmond Jennings was supposed to shift Hideki Matsui (Yahoo! 1%, ESPN 1%, CBS 3%) into a designated hitter timeshare, but Godzilla sat against lefty CC Sabathia despite a platoon differential of just 36 OPS points against southpaws, and he collected more splinters this weekend during interleague play. He could eventually take the DH job away from Luke Scott, who has cooled off after a hot start, but too much uncertainty here—plus a better AL-only option—means I’ll take a pass on Matsui until the clouds part a bit more in Tampa Bay.
The return of Allen Craig from the disabled list has meant less playing time for Matt Adams (Yahoo! 13%, ESPN 7%, CBS 44%), who started four times this week only because Matt Holliday needed two days off for back spasms after taking a third day off earlier in the week. Even when he has played, Adams has looked overmatched, whiffing nine times and walking just once this month in 23 plate appearances. One of his three hits over that span was a homer, highlighting the reason keeper league owners should hang onto him, but the rest of us can look for other options with better playing time and production.