It’s time to stash until your heart is content.
The Graduates: Michael Saunders (3), Alex Guerrero (15)
We’ve got one traditional and one untraditional graduation this week on the Stash List. Saunders finally made his 2015 debut on Saturday, and he’s gone hitless in four of his five games so far. A little rust is to be expected, since he almost missed the majority of Spring Training, but there’s no reason to worry about his playing time or projections yet. Guerrero was a borderline case here, but since an injury has struck and he’ll be playing out in left field more often than not (despite how terrible he is in the field), he no longer qualifies. Guerrero is not nearly as good as he’s hinted at in his very small sample so far this year, but over the course of a full season, he could hit .270 with 20-25 homers. That’s a big deal in deeper leagues, where he has been, until recently, unowned.
No matter how well the Mets are playing, they can’t avoid having a few guys drop off the list for the wrong reasons. Montero got his spot start against the Marlins and looked strong early before tiring late and giving up a three-spot in the sixth. While it certainly wasn’t a bad showing, it wasn’t just the fact that he didn’t force the issue. After the start, he was sent for tests on his shoulder—which is never a good sign. Combine short-term injury outlook and long-term competition with Syndergaard and/or Matz, and you get a recipe for removal. Parnell, on the other hand, still hasn’t been able to show what he’s capable of with the Mets this year. Another setback has the former Mets closer now looking at a late May return, and the way Jeurys Familia has pitched in his absence, it’s getting less and less likely that he returns to the role he once occupied.
After more than a week at the major-league level, Rodon still has only gotten into two games, though that is also a factor of two games being postponed due to the unrest in Baltimore. His second outing was much more along the lines of what I’d expect to see going forward: three batters, no base runners, one strikeout. With Hector Noesi still being Hector Noesi, the clock is ticking on his opportunity.
Castillo finally returned from the minor league disabled list on Wednesday, and played as the designated hitter, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout. Even with Shane Victorino hurt, don’t expect Boston to rush Castillo back, as they have enough depth to make sure he’s healthy. That said, if he does what he’s capable of, it will be his job for the last four months of this season.
Sure, Hector Santiago has been better than expected, which would have been a bad thing for Heaney’s outlook, but with the struggles of Matt Shoemaker and Jered Weaver, there are plenty of doors that can open here. He’s been rather pedestrian thus far in the Pacific Coast League, but that’s to be expected to some extent. The 18 strikeouts versus five walks is much more indicative of his talent level there, and Angels Stadium is far more friendly than those environments anyway.
The big riser of the week, Franco just keeps on hitting. Now hitting .333 with 11 extra-base hits in 19 games, he’s doing what he can to show the Phillies that they should stop giving at bats to the players who stand no chance of being on the next winning team in Philadelphia. With the BABIP regression monster locked in on Cody Asche (he’s hitting .190 over his last 11 games, shockingly), Franco looks closer than ever to seeing a promotion.
No news is good news, except when it’s bad news. More updates would be ideal here, but Alvarez is no closer to a rehab assignment than he was last week.
In the department of no news, Olivera still remains in visa and contract limbo for now. The longer this goes on for, the less opportunity he’ll have in 2015 to show how good he can be offensively in this league.
In his last two outings, he’s gone two innings a piece without allowing a run. On the other hand, after a good start and his first win of the season, Bud Norris now has his ERA down to a much more palatable 12.18.
The big right-hander had by far his best start of the season on Monday, throwing seven scoreless innings, while striking out nine and allowing just two base runners. This is exactly what Syndergaard is capable of when he’s on his game, and with merely Dillon Gee ahead of him (don’t talk to me about how well he’s pitching, players like that don’t keep top prospects in the minors), a few more outings like this will make the Mets brass think long and hard about keeping him in the minors while they’re competing for a playoff spot.
Well, look who finally decided to lower their ownership level enough to join our little party here. Crisp is on the verge of starting a rehab assignment in Stockton, and it’s possible he could debut before he has a chance to make a repeat appearance here. The biggest problem with Crisp, though, is that he’s tough to rely on for any long stretch of time. Well, that and he’s not nearly the base stealing threat that he used to be.
10) J.J. Hardy, SS, Baltimore Orioles (Last week: 9)
Another week has passed and still no rehab assignment for Hardy. Tick, tock.
11) Pat Corbin, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (Last week: 13)
With his second simulated game behind him, Corbin looks to be very close to starting a rehab assignment. If that happens during the first week of May, look for him to return to Arizona around the first week of June—giving him plenty of time to remind fantasy owners how valuable he was in 2013.
The Reds chose Michael Lorenzen over Iglesias to take Homer Bailey’s spot, which was a negative in the short term, but Lorenzen was pretty bad in start no. 1, which is a positive in the long term for the Cuban right-hander. He still has plenty of questions to answer about his ability to hold his stuff and command late in games, but he now has one less player standing in his way.
13) Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers (Last week: 14)
There’s no question that Seager can hit. The better question is whether the Dodgers see him as a better solution in 2015 than Alex Guerrero, should they need/desire to replace Juan Uribe as the season goes on.
While he still hasn’t actually started his rehab assignment, it looks as though he will this coming week. And while Tim Beckham has been playing quite well in his absence, this is still Franklin’s job when he returns.
It’s easy to freak out about Alcantara at this point, but despite both not hitting in Chicago and not hitting in Iowa after his demotion, there’s too much talent and uncertainty at the positions he can play to keep Alcantara down for too long. He is going to have to step it up at the plate though, if he wants another crack at a somewhat steady job.
Ah, the trade that launched a thousand hot takes (and the one hot take that was just a little too hot for the world to handle). Hamilton will arrive back in Texas, once he finishes rehabbing from his shoulder injury, to a team that both fostered his development for the better part of the last decade and is so ripe with injuries that they are playing Jake Smolinski, Carlos Peguero, and Kyle Blanks somewhat regularly. Hamilton just needs to be upright to be an improvement over those players, and there’s certainly a chance he could still be a 25-homer guy in that park—albeit with a low average.
17) Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Houston Astros (Last week: 18)
18) A.J. Ramos, RHP, Miami Marlins (Last week: NR)
A new arrival, mostly because of the choppiness of Steve Cishek’s performance, but also because he’s been quite excellent in his own right. Ramos has a tidy 1.42 ERA to go along with his 18 strikeouts and four walks in 12 2/3 innings. Were he to take over the closer’s role, he could be a top-15 closer right off the bat.
20) Javier Baez, 2B/SS, Chicago Cubs (Last week: 21)
23) Blake Swihart, C, Boston Red Sox (Last week: 25)
24) Sean Nolin, LHP, Oakland Athletics (Last week: HM)
25) Jarrod Parker, RHP, Oakland Athletics (Last week: NR)
And In Deeper Formats…
I have in previous seasons, and shall provide again, a smattering of very deep names for those of you who are in leagues where the Stash List is a really fun read (oh thanks, you’re too kind), but is just not quite deep enough to be helpful for you. To those people, I hope you’re in a really, really deep league given the names we’re about to discuss below.
NL Only Stashes:
Zach Lee, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Justin Nicolino, LHP, Miami Marlins
Nick Kingham, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Peter O’Brien, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
The three pitchers on here, you’ve certainly heard of, but through a combination of over-exposure and non-elite ceilings, they’ve fallen a bit off the radar recently. Lee could factor in soonest, as the Dodgers are now facing having both Carlos Frias and Scott Baker in their rotation. He’s not exciting in mixed leagues, but could be plenty useful in an only. Nicolino has a shiny 0.79 ERA so far in Triple-A, and while he won’t strikeout anyone at the major league level, he could be as close as a Mat Latos DL stint away from being in the majors. On the hitting side of things, O’Brien has a 1.231 OPS in Reno and still can’t catch, while Wheeler has a 1.001 OPS and is finally having the type of success in the upper minors that many prospecters thought he would when he was of a far more appropriate age (he’s now 27). It would take an injury, but both guys could be fantasy relevant in deep leagues this year.
Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP, Boston Red Sox
Erik Johnson, RHP, Chicago White Sox
Jesus Montero, 1B, Seattle Mariners
In the senior circuit, the pitching is a little less interesting overall, but don’t let that sell Eduardo Rodriguez short. His 1.93 ERA and 0.70 WHIP in his first three starts are indicative of the strides he’s made as a prospect over the last year or so, but not predictive of future major league success. He’s more of a mid-rotation guy at peak. Farmer is striking out a ton of batters in the International League, and is likely the next guy up for the Tigers—which means that’s two categories he could help in (even though he may destroy your ratios a bit). Johnson finds himself behind Rodon in the pecking order in Chicago, but looks to have righted the ship a bit in 2015 so far. Nunez may be gone in some AL-only formats now, but with the lack of anything positive happening in Minnesota, Nunez could force his way into the lineup by being merely competent. Don’t look at me like that. You know how bad Logan Morrison has been.