Paul presents a few likely-available hitters whose platoon splits against left-handers could help bolster your fantasy lineup.
As injuries cut deeper into the player pool with each passing day, fantasy managers are left to fend for themselves, to pick up the pieces and push on with their ballclubs. There are obviously different ways teams can plug in the holes that are guaranteed to strike everyone at some point during the season. The most direct approach is, of course, via trade—trading from surplus to plug the hole. Hitting the waiver wire is the most readily available option for mixed leaguers, and it doesn’t cost any of your current talent. The freely available talent won’t be as good as what you could get by trading some assets… or will it?
Today’s piece is going to apply to the mixed-league crowd and specifically those of you in leagues of 12 teams or fewer. We are going to focus on split advantages and leveraging those to increase the probability of replacing your broken All-Star with near-All-Star production. Sorry, single leaguers, but your waiver wires are usually picked clean of the prime meat by May 1 and bone dry by Memorial Day. This will also play well for the daily fantasy crowd, as these guys will often be extremely cheap options who can deliver premium production in the right matchup.
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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.
The enigmatic Adam Dunn leads the list of keeper questions in this week's column, along with hot rookie Freeman and the injured Ike Davis and Kevin Youkilis
Tough keeper decisions can come down to a number of concerns. Was the off-year due to aging, bad luck, or skill erosion? Can a player recover from injury? Will he continue to start or shift into a platoon? Is this young hitter for real? Sometimes, a more important question to ask is, “How will other owners assess his 2012 value?” Even when a player is expected to rebound, it might be wiser to cut him loose and rely on the short-sightedness of other owners to deflate his draft day price. Any gap between real and perceived value is worth exploiting, and I’ll look at all of those questions in this week’s column, headed by one of the biggest fantasy disappointments of 2011.
As always, please leave suggestions for other players you’d like to read about in the comments section.
A low payroll and thin farm system do not bode well for the opening of a new ballpark
Kiss 'Em Goodbye is a series focusing on MLB teams as their postseason dreams fade -- whether in September (or before), the League Division Series, League Championship Series or World Series. It combines a broad overview from Baseball Prospectus, a front-office take from former MLB GM Jim Bowden, a best- and worst-case scenario ZiPS projection for 2012 from Dan Szymborski and Kevin Goldstein's farm system overview.
The tater trots for July 23: Utley's big day and Maybin's long trot.
We are one week away from August. How in the world did that happen? Well, at least that means we're getting to the trade deadline and the excitement of the late-season playoff push. It's something to keep our mind off this crazy summer heat, at least.
Reviewing the best and worst first-half position players on each team.
In the numerical sense, the halfway point of the season arrived about a week ago. However, the All-Star break marks the arbitrary end point of the first half, bringing a few days of festivities and vacations to the forefront. That period of inactivity in games that matter offers a window into the frozen stats for each team, allowing us to see who is leading the charge and who is failing the team so far.
In order to determine who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, I’ll enlist the aid of the Wins Above Replacement metric. Next time, we’ll cover the pitchers, but for today, it’s all about the position players.
Top prospects getting the call and the usual injury replacements in this week's look at the Tout waiver wire
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.
Examining the choices for the first bit of hardware presented by the BBWAA.
First, let me lead off with a disclaimer: this year, I was not an elector for Rookie of the Year. That said, this year's selections weren't much easier than last year's AL Rookie of the Year slate. So what I say here is based purely on my complete lack of responsibility for the outcomes of this year's voting.
A look at some of the less obvious rookie successes of 2010, in order to gauge their 2011 value.
As mentioned last time around, we want to cover some 2010 rookies for you in-depth so you can properly gauge their 2011 value before you need to make any decisions regarding them. Not all of them require as much of a look as Austin Jackson did though, so this time we'll bunch a few players into one piece. We'll switch focus to the NL for now, as there are loads of rookies worth your attention thanks to their 2010 numbers. These are not the only rookies we will be covering, but consider this and the Jackson piece the kicking off of a series.
The Washington Nationals have had a disappointing season in terms of the standings, but they have introduced some worthwhile players into the mix. One of these is shortstop Ian Desmond, who hasn't impressed in terms of his plate discipline—he's walked in under five percent of his plate appearances, and struck out over 100 times already despite a lack of power. His line sits at .276/.314/.406 with 10 homers, 62 RBI and 16 steals in 21 attempts (76 percent success), which is solid for a shortstop—his TAv is .266, 11 points above the average for a shortstop.