April 16, 2014
Injuries suck, and baseball has been an especially cruel mistress this season, depriving us of many of the game’s most exciting pitchers and some dynamic hitters, too. There’s been some bad news for just about every deep league owner this season —trust me, I own Mat Latos in two of them—but out of these injuries come opportunities for savvy owners to make some important waiver-wire pickups and trades.
Plus, as much as Jon Stewart feeds off of Fox News, this column needs injuries to remain fresh and topical, so I shall stop biting the hand that feeds.
Unless Taijuan Walker’s injury is serious. In that case, next week’s column might just be a collection of crying GIFs.
Roenis Elias, SP, Mariners
At the bottom of this column every week, I include a random player namedrop based on two criteria: I aim for an aesthetically pleasing name, or a name I’m pretty sure 90 percent of fantasy owners will have forgotten. Odds are, Elias will check off both of these boxes if I’m still writing in two seasons. But for now, there’s enough here to stream him at home against poor offenses, and, really, that’s what deep leagues are all about.
Craig Gentry, OF, Athletics
Last year, it took Gentry just 287 PA to steal 24 bases and score 39 runs, which are two significant numbers in deeper leagues. With Coco Crisp always a threat to miss time and Josh Reddick’s struggles against left-handers, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Gentry finish with that much playing time again in 2014, despite missing the early weeks of the season. I know he’ll be owned in some deep leagues—spare me the comments—but if he’s available in yours, he’s worth using about $10 FAAB to obtain, and potentially a bit more if you truly need steals.
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B, Rangers
Beltre’s DL stint is supposed to last only until the 25th of April, so don’t count on Kouzmanoff as any sort of long-term fix here. But if it’s Beltre himself who left a void in your lineup or if you’re hurting for a 3B replacement in the wake of the Will Middlebrooks/Ryan Zimmerman injuries, Kouz is a decent alternative.
Scott Sizemore, 2B/3B, Yankees
I know that many Yankees fans have a love affair with Yangervis Solarte right now, who does have a plus-plus name, and I’ve had it pointed out to me many times that Dean Anna crushed the PCL last year, so, like, how could he not be successful in the majors? Yet despite those shining attributes, the bet here is that Sizemore sees a good amount of time at both third and second base in the coming weeks for the Yankees, and he has the offensive skills to contribute meaningfully to deep leagues during that time. His inability to play shortstop makes his hold on a roster spot tenuous, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him up at least until Mark Teixeira returns.
Deep League Streamer of the Week: Dustin McGowan, SP, Blue Jays
Twitter Question of the Week:
I love this question, but at the same time, damn this question to hell. The answer should be, “Ubaldo,” without hesitation, yet is that really anyone’s first impulse when they read this? Jimenez is 0-3 in three starts so far this year, giving up 13 earned runs in 16 innings with 13 strikeouts to 10 walks. Bauer was dominant in his lone MLB start, but currently resides in Triple-A. Small sample sizes, etc.
While it’s been an inauspicious start for Jimenez and a good one for Bauer, Jimenez is still the safe bet here, given that he, ya know, actually has an MLB job and history of some MLB success. But honestly, these guys are both flip-of-the-coin-types. If you told me Bauer finishes the year with more fantasy value than Jimenez, I wouldn’t be surprised. Except I would kind of be? But not really.
Player Namedrop of the Week: Hiram Bocachica