Friday, May 11, 2012

A.L. Gearing Up: May 15-21

Rising Up
Derek Lowe (25% owned last week; 29% this week)
Lowe probably isn't available in most A.L.-onlies, but his previous owner looked at Lowe's peripherals, saw that start against Boston, and hit the eject button (he waived him). The reality is that while Lowe probably wasn't as bad as he was last year with the Braves, he's not really this good either. The low K rate also means that he's not producing as much Roto value as a pitcher with worse peripherals but more Ks. Lowe does have a two-start week on tap, including a sweet match-up against the Twins, so feel free to run him out there this week. Just keep in mind that the clock will eventually strike midnight and there will be some starts that aren't pretty in the future.

Johnny Giavotella (7% owned last week; 9% this week)
Everyone's favorite scrappy middle infielder is back. This time, though, Giavotella starts on the wrong side of the platoon with Chris Getz, a less than ideal situation even for owners in deep leagues. The hope is that Giavotella swings a hot bat and wins the job outright, but as we all know there are no guarantees that this will happen. I'd still take a flier on Giavotella in A.L.-only and hope that he wins the job. This is the Royals, though, so I wouldn't bet my commemorative George Brett tub o' pine tar on it.

Scott Diamond (0% owned last week, 2% this week)
Not to be confused with former prospect Thomas Diamond, Scott Diamond was a Rule V pick from the Braves in 2011 by the Twins. Diamond isn't a top prospect, but has decent stuff and looked great in his 2012 MLB debut against the Angels last week. This is an example where I'd want more data before taking the plunge but probably won't get the opportunity, particularly if Diamond pitches capably against the Blue Jays this weekend. My guess is that Diamond will be a match-up play at home, a single-digit earner if he sticks in the rotation, and a #4 or #5 guy in A.L.-only.

In the Minors
Brandon McCarthy's injury cloud and Tyson Ross' recent poor performances make Peacock an interesting guy to keep on your radar. He's keeping the ball in the park in the hitter-friendly PCL, which is a pretty good sign. The walk rate is a little higher than I'd like to see, but on the whole a 3.66 ERA in the PCL has to be viewed positively. Peacock is more intriguing since he's an A's pitcher; he'll immediately be a match-up guy if he's called up but given his potential could quickly turn into a mid-tier starter if things broke right. Keep him on your radar for the short term.

I've always been pretty unimpressed with Green, and now that he has moved from the infield to the outfield I'm even more unimpressed. A 750 or so OPS in the PCL isn't going to translate to anything good in the Majors, and it's not like Green was all that good in Double A last year. He's 24 years old, so you can't even say that Green is young for his level. Maybe he'll eventually blossom, but right now he's looking like a pretty poor bet...and I don't see any obvious short-term opportunities for Green in any event.

Walker's a terrific prospect. He's also a 19-year-old pitcher with six starts in Double-A. While I certainly can't say for sure that it's impossible he'll be called up (and such predictions are bound to make me look foolish) I think it's very unlikely. Walker's ETA is probably mid-2013 at the earliest, but I think if the Mariners are smart 2014 is the target.

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