Friday, July 08, 2011

Gearing Up A.L. Week 15: July 11-17

Rising Up

Mike Trout (22% owned last week; 26% this week)
Trout will be called up later today by the Angels to replace the injured Peter Bourjos. He's the best prospect in baseball not named Bryce Harper and should be owned in all A.L.-only leagues. There is some speculation that the Angels only brought him up to replace Bourjos in the short-term. While this does seem odd, the team does lack organizational depth at AA and AA in the outfield. If your league is a one and done, be aware that Trout's first cup of coffee might be just a sip. If you're in a carry over league, bid aggressively this weekend no matter what.

I initially wrote about Furbush in May. The Tigers have now moved Furbush to the rotation and Phil Coke to the pen. His initial outing against the Angels wasn't great, but he did whiff five in 4 2/3 IP. I'm wary of Furbush right now because he's still being stretched out. He threw 65 pitches against L.A. and is probably going to be on a 75-80 pitch limit tomorrow against the Royals. If you can stash Furbush, that's not a bad idea, but otherwise you're taking a chance on an experiment.

It looks like the Mariners have had it with Chone Figgins. The short-term beneficiary is Seager, who will get first crack at the third base job. Seager is a lower profile prospect whose best skill is the ability to make contact. He doesn't have a lot of power or speed and will probably have to hit .300 to have sustainable Roto value. He's worth grabbing in deep leagues if you have a hole, but if you're contending in a league with a dump culture, you better be aiming higher than Seager.

Up from the Minors/DL
Grant Balfour (oblique)
Balfour has been solid for the A's this year and should resume pitching decently in a set-up role. He's a possible trade target for a contender if the A's decide to sell, though Balfour is signed through 2012 with a 2013 club option.

Matt LaPorta (ankle)
LaPorta' return pushes Carlos Santana back behind the plate and Lou Marson into a reserve role. LaPorta should play just about every day.

Mike Napoli (oblique)
Napoli had been pushed into quasi-starting duty for the Rangers throughout the year, but has started for the last three days. If you own him, you have to hope that the Rangers will continue to stick Napoli's bat into the line-up at catcher or at first 5-6 days a week; the power has been tremendous and the catcher eligibility is just icing on the cake.

Josh Willingham (Achilles)
Willlingham will play every day now that he's healthy. If Chris Carter stays in the Majors, David DeJesus seems like the guy who will lose the most playing time, though Conor Jackson will get hurt here a little bit too. Willingham is a definite trade possibility, so if you can't keep players flipped to the National League you definitely want to keep this in mind.

Possible Waiver Claims
With Chris Dickerson no longer active, you'd think that Jones would get more PT, but the Yankees offense is hot right now so Jones is just collecting rust.

McDonald has been terrible this year, but he outlasted Mike Cameron and is getting some playing time over Josh Reddick and against lefties in favor of J.D. Drew. McDonald is a risky but worthy add in deep leagues while Crawford is on the D.L.

McDonald saw a sharp increase in PT this week due to Yunel Escobar's minor hand injury. Escobar's back now, so McDonald slips into his nearly worthless utility role.

Thus far, Miller's been dancing around the raindrops. His ERA and WHIP don't sync up, and when the ERA seems too good for the WHIP, that usually isn't a good omen going forward. Clay Buchholz injury looks like it now might linger into August, but I'm still wary of Miller. The Sox do have a nice run after the All-Star break that includes the Orioles, Mariners, Royals and White Sox, so Miller could be a solid wins play for the rest of the month once the team gets past the Rays.

Molina has had a strong season, but J.P. Arencibia is starting to run with the starting job behind the dish. Molina's OPS is solid, but there isn't enough home run power here to get all that excited.

Dave Golebiewski makes a pretty good case for grabbing Paulino if he's available in your league, and I find it hard to disagree. Paulino has a solid 3.38 ERA since joining the Royals, has whiffed nearly a batter an inning, and the FIP and xFIP speak to a pitcher capable of putting up a 3.00. Maybe there's some regression coming here based on past performance, but I think you have to grab Paulino if he's available. He looks like a second half breakout candidate.

Luke Scott's chronic shoulder woes have pushed him to the D.L., and Nolan Reimold and Pie should benefit. It seemed that Pie would get most of the at bats on the good side of a platoon, but Reimold's swinging a hot bat and Pie isn't. If you owned Scott, a Pie pick-up is fine, but keep in mind that Reimold might just take the job and run with it.

I wrote about Smith here and have nothing else to add. Peralta was everybody's sleeper choice in March to outlast Jacob McGee and then kick Kyle Farnsworth to the curb in Peralta's inevitable March to 30 saves. Peralta has been OK but nothing special, as his career profile suggested prior to 2011, and Farnsworth owns that job now. Peralta's still a decent injury hedge here for Farns but that's all at this point.

Still in the Minors
Now and again, someone asks me about Turner and whether the Tigers would consider calling him up instead of making a trade at the deadline. While Turner is an elite prospect, he's only 20 years old and his numbers at Double-A aren't dominating. I still believe Turner spends 2011 at AA, with a possible promotion to AAA next month as a best-case scenario.

1 comment:

shoresie said...

In a deep AL league I'm thinking of ditching Joel Peralta and putting Greg Holland into that role. Small smaple size, but the K-BB looks okay.