On the 21th episode of the DFA podcast, R.J. rejoins the show to talk about some of the deadline deals, including the red-hot Tim Beckham's move to Baltimore and the Yu Darvish blockbuster. Then it's on to the Mariners (where Jerry Dipoto snagged another first baseman) and the regular league-wide roundup.
It's another episode of the DFA podcast! Hosts Bryan Grosnick (Baseball Prospectus) and R.J. Anderson (CBS Sports), plus producer Shawn Brody (Beyond the Box Score, BP Mets), are talking about all the transactions and roster moves that make MLB go. From trades and signings to callups and disabled list stints, DFA is here to provide analysis and commentary on all things baseball.
David Robertson battles a staircase while other players nurse their respective wounds.
David Robertson, New York Yankees (Right Mid-Foot Sprain)
Not all injuries occur on the baseball field. Robertson was moving boxes, missed a step, and fell down a flight of stairs. He went for an x-ray Wednesday night; the result was negative. An MRI was used to confirm a mid-foot sprain, but Robertson needed further tests, including a CT scan and a weight-bearing x-ray.
This combination of testing raises the concern for a Lisfranc injury, the same one that felled Chien-Ming Wang in 2008. The CT can provide a very detailed picture of that joint, including a 3-D reconstruction. The standing x-ray is the tip-off, though. The MRI reveals a mid-foot sprain in severe Lisfranc injuries, while the CT may or may not reveal a fracture in the area. The standing x-ray most likely won’t show a fracture, but it will show if there is any increased space between the bones, indicative of instability in the area. When there is instability, there is a significant risk of severe long-term damage if the area does not heal through conservative measures or surgery. Without knowing the results of all of the tests, we cannot definitively say surgery is necessary.
Carlos Santana, Miguel Montero, Yadier Molina, and Sean Rodriguez make the Reaper's cut this week
Carlos Santana | Cleveland Indians
Shallow (30 keepers): BORDERLINE Medium (60 keepers): YES Deep (90 keepers): YES AL-only (60 keepers): YES Super Deep (200 keepers): YES
Santana finished second only to Mike Napoli as the most valuable catcher in 2011. Santana's $19 season is even more impressive considering that he hit only .239 during his campaign; much of his contribution came from his 27 home runs and resulting counting stats. He seems to have a good chance to repeat his career 23 home runs per 600 PA rate, as his HR/FB rate of 15 percent seems reasonable given the scouting reports on him. Given his pedigree, one can only expect to see a bounce back to at least the 2010 version of his BABIP, possibly leading to a .250 to .260 batting average and even greater overall numbers.
Obvious Good News: Getting O'Flaherty back from the DL provides Bobby Cox with a second lefty he's come to trust, now and into October-if the Braves get there-although it's worth noting that Dunn has been effective in a low-leverage role, if as wild and frightening as Kimbrel was in his previous stints. Speaking of Kimbrel, he's been exceptional since his return, striking out 12 of 16 batters faced, allowing a lone hit-and going walk-free.
Another week and another singular change in the Value Picks portfolio. This week, Sean Rodriguez and his hot June graduate from Value Picks, and an alumni in Mike Aviles returns to the portfolio. Rodriguez had an off week (.095/.095/.143 in 21 PA) but that did not stop ESPN owners from picking him up off the waiver wires, as his ownership skyrocketed to 41.3% of ESPN mixed leagues. However, don't think that off week was some aberration; Rodriguez AVG is due for some regression. What he can hopefully do to make up for it is take some more walks (right now, he's walking in just 3.2% of his PA) and hit for more power, two things PECOTA expects a lot of. If he is available and you need the middle infield help, he is still a solid pickup, provided you can handle the low AVG.
Value Picks goes all-Tampa for the AL side and looks at a former top prospect on the NL side.
Value Picks again makes one change for the week, as long-time VP member Ian Desmond graduates past the 20% ownership mark in ESPN mixed leagues and moves on in terms of value. Desmond maintained his slash line during the week, keeping his AVG above .270. With a believable .315 BABIP, you should expect to see that AVG stick throughout the season. And while Desmond will never be confused with Nick Johnson in terms of plate discipline, he's made for that a bit with his decent pop. Desmond ranks third among NL shortstops in RBI (33) and fifth in ISO (.143), so owners are getting decent value right now. While Jhonny Peralta still remains below the ownership threshold in ESPN mixed leagues, it is likely that most readers of Fantasy Beat are more than aware of Peralta's value as an average hitter in the hitting-poor shortstop position. As a result, he'll "graduate" with the caveat that he remains a solid choice for AL leagues.
Michael Jong reports on the injury replacements for Russell Martin in Los Angeles, the second base battles for the Dodgers and Cubs, and playing time changes in Tampa Bay.
Russell Martin was bound to regress a little after the fantasy nightmare that was the 2009 season. After posting batting averages in the .280-.290 range in each of his first three seasons, he batted .250 thanks to a career-low .284 BABIP. After hitting double-digit home runs in those three seasons, he hit just seven homers in 2009, posting a puny .079 ISO. And after averaging 20 steals in his last two full-time seasons, he only swiped 11 bags. Martin probably isn't the home run hitter he was in 2007 (HR/FB% of 12.2%), but neither is he the popless guy of 2009 (5.4% HR/FB%). With a regression to his career HR/FB% and BABIP, you could once again expect something close to the 2008 version of Martin.
But that will have to be put on hold as Martin will be out 4-6 weeks with a groin pull to start the year. Martin's replacements are fantasy duds. A.J. Ellis will get the bulk of the time at catcher, with Brad Ausmus serving his honorary backup/mentor role. In the minors, Ellis was known for one thing: drawing walks. In 1795 minor league PA, he's drawn 273 walks while striking out 248 times. He also has a minor-league ISO of just .100, with only 17 home runs. Essentially, he walks like Adam Dunn, with Juan Pierre power and Bengie Molina speed. Ausmus is a man who needs no introduction, because he should never be on your fantasy team.