Thursday, May 10, 2012

N.L. Gearing Up: May 15-May 21

Rising Up

Rafael Dolis (4% owned last week, 30% owned next week)
At this rate, Dolis could be the closer for the remainder of the year.  He is a must-own in NL-only leagues and is now on the radar in mixed leagues.

Cody Ransom (1% owned last week, 17% owned next week)
It seems to me this Cody Ransom ownership is a week late.  Stephen Drew looks like he could be back at the end of the month, and that is going to make for a crowded bench in Arizona.  Chris Young will also be back next week, so the at-bats could get lean for Ransom quickly, particularly if Ryan Roberts hits at all.

Andrew Cashner (8% owned last week, 23% owned next week)
Cashner should not be unowned in any NL-only league to start with; if he is still unowned, well, you clearly play in a very shallow league or you penalize for strikeouts.  Dale Thayer be darned, but I still predict Cashner gets the vast majority of saves now and when Street is eventually traded over the summer.  Remind me about this when Thayer has 10 saves by the end of next week.

Edward Mujica (7% owned last week, 18% owned next week)
I thought Cishek was the guy, but Ozzie Guillen’s opinion trumps mine.  Both are worth owning in NL-only leagues regardless, particularly if you play holds.

Honorable Mentions: Dale Thayer, Christian Friedrich, James Russell, Steve Cishek (40% ownership increase)

Significant Injuries.

Werth is out for about 12 weeks as a result of his broken wrist.  This same injury nearly ended his career, so I wish Werth the best in his recovery.  Unfortunately for all of you who bid on Tyler Moore, this makes him no more relevant.  Harper will take over right field (where he may remain for the next decade or so), while Rick Ankiel plays centerfield and Roger Bernadina gets most of the time in left field.  If you want to take a flier on someone in deep N.L.-only leagues, look at Steve Lombardozzi.  He is a utility guy at this stage, but could see some at-bats if Bernadina or Ankiel falter.

Rivera’s injury gives some opportunity for Scott Van Slyke to get a bit of playing time.  Van Slyke is off to a hot start, and he could spell James Loney at first base from time to time in addition to playing in the outfield.

Chacin has right shoulder inflammation to go along with his bout of ineffectiveness.  This opens the door for some starts from Friedrich.  Keep an eye on this, as this is not the first injury in Chacin’s short career.
Other injuries: Josh Thole (concussion), Ruben Tejada (strained quadriceps), Carlos Gomez (strained hamstring).

Potential Free Agent Pick-Ups

Overbay is red hot right now, and Paul Goldschmidt is not.  Goldschmidt did not get much of a vote of confidence from his manager, so Overbay is a hot pick-up.  He cannot be ignored in NL-only leagues.

Cardenas can definitely hit, but he cannot play defense at any position.  Since he is a middle infielder, and since Darwin Barney is struggling some, he is worth monitoring in NL-only or perhaps picking up in deeper reserve leagues.

The youth movement began a bit prematurely in Colorado, with both White and Friedrich up this week.  Both got off to good starts in the minors and both pitched well in their major league debuts.  Jorge De La Rosa is coming back at some point in the relatively near future, and the Rockies say the Chacin injury is minor, so one of these two is headed back to the minors.  You should own them in NL-only leagues.

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