Due to a 25-game suspension and a hamstring injury, Ruiz hasn't had much of an opportunity to demonstrate whether or not his 2012 power breakout is even remotely sustainable. He should have a chance soon, though. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that Ruiz hopes he'll be able to begin a rehab assignment next week, and then rejoin the Phillies on June 17.
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Morrison played in his first minor-league rehab game this season with High-A Jupiter on May 20. He has played in six games for Jupiter, and he served as a designated hitter in three of those games and played first base in the other three. He took the next step in his rehab assignment by moving up to Double-A Jacksonville on Tuesday. Morrison is recovering from surgery on the patellar tendon in his right knee, the second time he has undergone that type of procedure on it. In the spring, I wrote about him being worthy of a disabled-list spot. At the time, I was optimistic he'd be playing for the Marlins at this point, but alas, he is not. Morrison doesn't have an exact target date for his return, but Joe Frisaro reports that it could be around June 10.
Carlos Ruiz was placed on the disabled list on Monday with a Grade 2 hamstring strain, and he's expected to be out three to four weeks. While he is on the DL, Kratz will handle the starting catcher duties with Humberto Quintero serving as his backup. The 33-year-old backstop didn't do much with Ruiz serving a 25-game suspension to open the season, but he did hit three homers in just 92 plate appearances. He hits the ball in the air regularly (34.8 percent outfield fly-ball rate), and that will help his home-run power play up. He's not a catcher that should be rostered in most mixed leagues, even those in which teams start two catchers, but his steady playing time for the next month or so coupled with enough power to reach the seats a few times is reason enough to own him in larger NL-only formats.
Josh looks at a few players whose bats have sizzled out of the gate and explains whether you should sell high or look to acquire them.
Selling high on fast starters is largely a myth these days. There is simply too much information available for fantasy gamers. Not all fast starts are created equal, though, and sometimes it pays to inquire on the availability of some of these players. Occasionally, owners will feel like they are selling at peak value, and now is the time to make a deal with them. In other cases, those owners are selling a player at peak value, and it is best to avoid acquiring him now. The key is determining which hot players are likely to sustain their high level of success.
There were quite a few players for me to pick from, and I opted to eliminate superstars from the discussion. Superstars do great things, and telling you that Miguel Cabrera will continue to play well and is worth acquiring isn't terribly useful. With that in mind, I selected four hitters that had an ADP outside the top 100 at the end of March for NFBC leagues.
The Dodgers, and their fan base, are likely crying uncle at this point. They are hurting. Less than one week after being activated from the disabled list, Hanley Ramirez suffered another injury that required a return to the DL. His injury prompted the team to promote Gordon from Triple-A, where he hit .314 with 14 stolen bases in 16 attempts through 25 games.
Sanchez might not be the first name that comes to mind when thinking about lefty-mashers, but he has hit southpaws quite well in his career. He has 465 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers, and in them, he has a triple -slash line of .295/.388/.505. His ability to hit lefties fits well on the Pirates roster, as manager Clint Hurdle routinely wisely sits Garrett Jones against left-handed pitching. Sanchez is making the most of his playing time against southpaws this year, and has already smacked two doubles and three homers in 25 plate appearances against them.
Often in the fickle world of fantasy baseball, yesterday's highly touted prospect is tossed aside for the newest shiny toy. In the case of Mesoraco, it is more understandable than in the case of many others. Mesoraco struggled last year, hitting just .212/.288/.352. Meanwhile, incumbent starter Ryan Hanigan was coming off a solid season where he held his own at the plate, largely due to his .365 OBP, but he was even more valuable to the Reds because he cut down 48 percent of attempting base stealers. Hanigan was placed on the disabled list on April 21, and according to Drew Silva of NBC Sports, he could miss about three weeks.
Maldonado is a catcher that has value in leagues in which any catcher with a pulse and playing time is rosterable. Injuries have hit the Brewers’ corner infield hard, prompting them to carry three catchers and start Maldonado at first base from time to time. He hasn't exactly made the most of the opportunity, but he has enough power to reach the seats on occasion. From 2010-2012, Maldonado hit 22 home runs in 863 plate appearances at Double-A and Triple-A combined. In his first exposure to regular playing time in the majors last season, he popped eight homers in 256 plate appearances. His batting average is likely to fall short of his .266 mark in the majors last year, but it should come in a small enough volume that it won't hurt fantasy teams too much.
Owners hunting for saves should have a couple of NL Central flamethrowers on their radars.
Each week, two members of the BP fantasy team will provide a rundown of potentially valuable players that are available as free agents in most fantasy formats across the major platforms. We will run one column on the National League and one on the American League each week, with Josh Shepardson tackling the senior circuit on Mondays and Paul Singman focusing on the junior circuit on Tuesdays.
Josh offers a few methods that could help you determine whether a player's springtime improvements are sustainable.
The Rangers and Astros kicked the season off last night, and now the games and stats count. Questions about the legitimacy of strong spring training numbers turn into questions about players that get off to surprisingly good starts in the regular season. In most cases, the hot starts are a flash in the pan.
However, that's not always the case. Gamers frequently look for the next rags-to-riches success story. Adding a breakout player out of the free-agent pool and onto a roster can help a fantasy team greatly, but it's often difficult to distinguish between real skills growth and a hot streak. That said, there are things I look for in a player when trying to decide whether he is worth adding.
Although fantasy owners typically fill every position, they often leave their disabled-list spots vacant, so Josh profiles six players worth stashing.
Fantasy owners rarely draft a team and fail to fill a starting position. However, year after year I see owners fail to completely fill their rosters. Disabled list spots, in leagues that include them, are available like all other openings, and they should be utilized. There is value in stashing players, especially in head-to-head leagues.
Investing in injured players carries risk, and it is best to mitigate that risk by gambling on cheaper players that are on the mend. Below, I've highlighted a half-dozen injured players that are, on average, being selected after pick 300 in drafts.