Friday, July 29, 2011

Gearing Up: N.L. Week 18 August 1-7

Cowgill was one of our featured “New Faces” this week on Roto Think Tank.  As of Thursday night, Cowgill is 0 for 8 with 4 strikeouts.  Even with the 0-8, however, he managed to steal a base.  Bid early and often.

Patterson joins a crowded Cardinals outfield.  In the short-term, Patterson, having a good season, will see playing time as Berkman nurses his shoulder injury.  Long term playing time will depend on his performance and the performance of John Jay.

It is unfair to write about Beltran here, since he is not available in your NL-only leagues.  We need to talk about him, however, and his impact on a number of other players.  First, Beltran is now your number three hitter in the Giants lineup.  His power should not be affected, as moving from the Mets to the Giants is essentially a wash in terms of ballpark effect.  The runs batted in could suffer a bit in that anemic lineup, but, all in all, I think the numbers will maintain themselves.  The Beltran acquisition is bad news for Nate Schierholz owners, as his playing time will likely be cut despite his excellent production.  Perhaps the Giants should consider cutting time from Cody Ross or Andres Torres.  If Pat Burrell were not on the disabled list, he likely would have been released.  Keep an eye on that situation, as it is likely he will be DFA’d at some point upon his return.  For the Mets, Lucas Duda will likely pick up the bulk of the outfield time vacated by Beltran.  Keep an eye, however, on Scott Hairston.  He is sporting an .827 OPS off the bench for the Mets and could earn more playing time if (when) Duda struggles.

I am cheating a bit again, since Ross is also likely rostered in your NL-only league.  He is worth mentioning, however, because of the Brian McCann injury.  Ross is essentially going to play every day until McCann gets back, because the Braves have nothing behind him of value.  He is posting a .296 average and .494 slugging percentage in his limited time this year, and he is worth a pick-up if he is somehow available in your league.

Jackson was another featured “New Face” this week.  We will know a little bit more about Jackson after he pitches against the Cardinals on Saturday.  The bigger impact could be the return of Kyle McClellan to the bullpen.  McClellan has been a contributor out of the rotation, but he could be a real shot in the arm for a bullpen that has lost the faith of Tony LaRussa.

“Scrabble” came along with Jackson in the Colby Rasmus trade.  Unfortunately for him, the Cardinals gave him a second hand jersey that looked pretty awkward.  He pitched two solid innings last night in his debut, and will be an interesting arm to watch out of the pen for the remainder of the year.  He likely will not be in the rotation, however, so his value is limited.

And Dotel makes three.  Interestingly, Dotel came in to pitch the ninth inning Thursday in a non-save situation.  Dotel could see a few save chances here and there, and he is having a nice year all-around.  Except against left-handers – he should avoid those at all costs.

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