Friday, May 18, 2012

Gearing Up: May 22-28

Since it's just me, myself and I this week, this week's Gearing Up installment will be combined into one piece for the American/National Leagues.

Rising Up
Yan Gomes (0% owned last week; 4% this week)
Everyone seems excited by Gomes, but by everyone I mean "everyone who plays fantasy baseball in two catcher leagues." That's right folks, Gomes is catcher-eligible in just about any format you can imagine so instantly is worth an add in A.L.-only and maybe even in deep mixed. Don't worry J.P. Arencibia owners; Gomes is going to be more of a utility guy at 1B, 3B and DH. He has some power, but I think that his poor BB/AB ratio is a sign that Major League pitchers are going to expose his weaknesses. Gomes is definitely worth a bid, but keep your expectations in check.

Alex Cobb (3% owned last week; 7% this week)
Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times is reporting that it will be Cobb - and not Chris Archer - stepping into the rotation tomorrow in place of Jeff Niemann. Cobb was solid in his MLB debut last year and should post similar results this year. The elevated BB/IP in the minors does make me a little nervous, but all of the other component numbers look OK. Cobb should be grabbed in all A.L.-only leagues where he's available and is already a match-up play in mixed formats. Stash him in mixed leagues with deep reserve lists. I like Cobb a lot both in the short-term and the long-term. This is a "well, duh" thing to say but the Rays have a good track record with young pitching.

Wilton Lopez (2% owned last week; 4% this week)
Very quietly, Lopez is emerging as a solid middle relief option after an underwhelming start. After whiffing six in his first 11 2/3 innings, Lopez has struck out 11 in his last 11 2/3 innings. He hasn't been scored upon in his last 10 outings. Lopez is back in the mix as an N.L.-only bullpen option because of the strikeout potential, and could be a closer in August if the Astros flip Brett Myers.

In the Minors
Manny Ramirez
Does Ramirez have anything left in the tank? I don't know, but the A's are sending him out on a rehab assignment with the intention of finding out; they'll activate Ramirez on May 30 when his 50-game suspension is up. I wouldn't place a big bet on Ramirez's success, but if I had my DH-slot open I would wager $15-20 FAAB. If Manny's finished, you lose a modest amount of FAAB. If he isn't, you could get a 20 HR hitter who is an OBP machine (bringing with him all the yummy runs/RBI that come with that). The best-case scenario for Manny is probably a $20 earnings pace...but that's still pretty darn good. I have no problems with a dice roll in leagues where you can bid on minor leaguers.

Wil Myers
Entering 2012, conventional wisdom was that there was no way that Wil Myers would be up this year at all save for a September cup of coffee. But Myers just destroyed Texas League pitching (to the tune of a league-leading 1146 OPS and was just promoted to AAA. The sledding's tougher there, but that doesn't mean that Myers won't continue to hit there either. Myers isn't on the 40-man, which makes it less likely that he will get promoted, but that doesn't make it impossible. If he hits at AAA, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see him in the Majors right after the All-Star break.

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