Wednesday, September 03, 2008

September Call-Ups: A.L. Hitters

Rafi asked:
just curious, how would you project (travis) snider vs nelson cruz, aaron cunningham and mark kotsay.
Since I touched on Cruz, Cunningham, and Kotsay in this week's FAAB log, I thought I'd take a look at some other possible additions down the stretch.

In leagues with deep reserve lists, these are guys who are currently on reserve and may or may not be worth activating. In leagues with shallow reserve lists, these are guys who might have been dropped due to roster constraints.

I did this exercise last year, if you want to look back and get some historical perspective on how these guys did. Keep in mind that many of these guys ultimately don't contribute and are fliers for either injured or underperforming players; most won't contribute the way Jacoby Ellsbury did last season.

Michael Aubrey:
The Indians may have discovered that Ryan Garko isn't the answer this year but that doesn't mean that Michael Aubrey is the question. The 26-year-old former prospect wasn't hitting for a lot of power at AAA, won't do much more than pinch-hit for the Indians, and shouldn't come near your roster, even if it's just for the cheap thrill of your players making fun of Aubrey.

Alberto Callaspo:
With Mark Grudzielanek out, Callaspo has been playing a good deal of second base for the Royals. He hasn't offered much except in the way of batting average, though, and is a weak option in Roto, even at middle infield. His best case long-term scenario is probably as a back-up middle infielder, so Callaspo doesn't even hold appeal as a keeper play for 2009.

German Duran: Duran got a fair amount of playing time earlier in the year, but the Rangers seem more committed to fellow young 2B Joaquin Arias at the moment. This year looks like a lost season, and Duran seems more suited to utility work than starting at the moment.

Josh Fields: With Joe Crede hurting, you'd think that Ozzie Guillen would give Fields most of the AB at 3B since - despite a disappointing season at AAA - Fields has more power potential than Uribe and is probably a better long-term bet, too, but Guillen is committed to Uribe at 3B. Unless you see signs of that changing, Fields is nothing more than a low impact back-up in very deep one-league leagues. He has a little more appeal in deep leagues, but may be a better bet in a different organization.

Adam Jones: It looks like Jones will play a good deal down the stretch, but his overall numbers weren't eye popping before this injury and he isn't a great bet to contribute a great deal even if he does play every day. If you're playing for next year, though, and Jones is illogically sitting out there, grab him if you can. He's a good player who needs some refinement, but is still very young.

Jeff Larish: Larish had a brief cup of coffee with the Tigers earlier in the year. He's been playing a good amount of 3B with Carlos Guillen battling a bad back, but hasn't done much with the opportunity yet. Larish looks like a low BA guy whose minor league pop won't translate to the majors, and I don't see him supplanting Guillen in the future. He most certainly won't supplant Miguel Cabrera. His future might lie with another organization.

Hideki Matsui: Matsui is getting regular AB as the Yankees DH, but it still looks like his knee is bothering him. He's getting on base quite a bit, but the aches and pains are affecting his power, as he's only homered twice in 52 AB coming into tonight since coming off of the DL. Obviously, Matsui should be owned in all A.L.-only leagues, but he might sit in the last week if the Yankees are eliminated early and could continue to disappoint.

Jerry Owens: Owens was a great source of cheap speed last year, but was injured to start the 2008 campaign and supplanted in the White Sox outfield by some Quentin guy you might have heard of by now. When healthy, he did his usual bit at AAA: stealing bases with a poor OPS. He'll get the odd start in the outfield down the stretch, but with the Sox in a tight race for the A.L. Central probably won't play much or steal too many bases.

Matt Tolbert: Due to a series of injuries, Tolbert played quite a bit in the first month and change for the Twins but then got hurt himself. He's back with the big club now, but will mostly fill in off of the bench and pinch run from time to time. He's got a little speed but, like Owens, won't be much of a factor down the stretch.

Brandon Wood: The good news for Wood is that he's playing shortstop regularly for the Angels and he's only 23 years old. The bad news is that he's only 5-for-18 and all of those hits are singles. Wood certainly has the potential to finally parlay his minor league success into major league glory due to his young age, but he hasn't done it during any of his 4,762 major league call ups. For the power potential and MI eligibility alone he's worth investigating, but this year might be a lost year for Wood.

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