Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gearing Up: N.L. Week 9 May 30-June 5

News and Notes.

The San Francisco Giants: Buster Posey, Mike Fontenot, Darren Ford, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Chris Stewart
We all know the news now: Posey is out for most of the rest of the season.  While not on an MVP-caliber campaign, Posey was poised to repeat last year, which is pretty darned good coming from the catcher position in a sophomore season.  Eli Whiteside and Stewart will replace him, which is unfortunate for the Giants.  Fontenot heads to the disabled list with a pulled groin and Ford goes there with a bum ankle. The good news for Belt owners is that he can now play two positions; the bad news is that his playing time could be irregular for awhile.  I cannot believe, however, the Giants brought him up to sit on the bench (.994 OPS, albeit with a 31% K-rate).  Crawford is one of the better prospects in the Giants’ system.  He brings a good glove and developing bat.  He still strikes out too much, but his numbers are improving.  For those of you in keeper leagues, this is someone to take a look-see at, particularly if you are beginning to fall out of contention.

EY is back.  If you own Dexter Fowler, you are discouraged by the fact that he started in center field.  EY earned his way back, posting 17 stolen bases, a .363 average, and an improved 15.8 BB% versus 16.9 K%.  He should be on any NL-only team at this point.

Quintero is on the disabled list with a badly sprained ankle after a nasty collision.  J.R. Towles will now get the bulk of playing time.

As we now know, de la Rosa is gone for the year, and the good majority of next year with a completely torn ulnar ligament.  This is unfortunate, as de la Rosa was putting together a very solid year at the top of the Rockies’ rotation.  We wish de la Rosa the best in his upcoming surgery and recovery.

Mike wrote about this de la Rosa extensively the other day.  He picked up his first win and looks like a potential saves candidate in a very confused bullpen.  He should be owned in all NL-only keeper leagues.

Rodriguez is complaining of shoulder pain.  This should result in a Josh Johnson-type trip to the disabled list.  He should be reserved, but not waived.

Blake is back with the Dodgers and should be activated.

Pagan is back with the Mets and should be activated.

Bailey is on the disabled list with a sprained shoulder capsule.  I interpreted this note as “Homer Bailey is on the disabled list because we need bloody arms after that 19 inning affair.”  Leake is up and pitched well last night.  Two strikeouts versus three walks does not excite me much, however, so obtain Leake with caution.

Orlando Hudson/Logan Forsythe
Hudson is back on the disabled list with an aggravation of his prior strained groin.  Expect Forsythe to be up for the two to three weeks it takes Hudson to get back.

Lopez has been designated for assignment.  I anticipate that someone will pick him up off waivers, despite the poor average and contract.

Contreras is back with the Phillies, and has been moved to the set-up role.  Given Ryan Madsen’s success, Contreras’ value is now very limited.

Soto will be back with the Cubs on Sunday.  He should be activated for the upcoming week.

Minor is back with the Braves.  He should be owned in NL-only formats.  The five strikeouts were encouraging, as were the 11 ground balls, albeit against the Pirates.

Guerra is a fastball/slider pitcher who throws hard and deceives hitters out of the strike zone.  He has one save in his pocket, and is a speculation play in NL-only leagues for saves in the crowded and confused Dodgers bullpen.

Garza is on the disabled list with an “elbow contusion.”  This situation warrants monitoring, as there has been little explanation about the contusion. 

Help From The Minors.

Blanks is posting very healthy numbers so far this year as he returns from Tommy John surgery; his May could best be described as blistering.  The power has not returned yet, but he is clearly working his way toward a call up to an anemic Padres offense.  If you can stash him (like he’s available in NL-only keeper leagues), you should.

Admittedly, I have not read anywhere that Marrero could be coming up soon.  Given the news regarding Adam LaRoche’s shoulder, however, it seems logical that Marrero could get a call.  He is not posting great numbers this year (sub-.800 OPS at AAA), but for a team on the road to nowhere again this year, it would be nice to see Marrero get some major league experience and see where he is at offensively and defensively.

Free Agents and Waivers.

This week is a light week in our NL-only in terms of available players, other than the ones mentioned above.  Kameron Loe, Chris Volstad and John Lannan are all available on waivers.  Lannan had a tremendous start earlier this week, and Loe finally earned a save.  Lannan is very unpredictable, however, and John Axford’s job is not in jeopardy, so these are speculative pick-ups at best.

Among relievers worth looking at due to their K/9 and K/BB rates: Matt Daley, Scott Elbert, Randy Choate, Michael O’Connor, George Sherrill, Tim Byrdak, Henry Rodriguez.

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