Friday, June 08, 2012

A.L. Gearing Up: June 11-17

Rising Up
Daisuke Matsuzaka (8% owned last week; 16% this week)
Dice-K was so far off of the radar that he wasn't even purchased in my A.L.-only home league back in early April (he was a reserve pick in both the CBS and Tout Wars expert A.L.-only auctions). It's hard to envision what to expect, but my guess would be more of the same from Matsuzaka: a healthy amount of strikeouts, a healthy number of walks, and a high WHIP. He'll probably have A.L.-only value, but he's definitely a risky play. He's a gamble for a mid-pack team looking to make one last ditch effort before dumping.

Roy Oswalt (63%/68%)
If your league doesn't let you speculate on MLB free agents but lets you go after minor leaguers, then Oswalt is in line for a big bid this week. The plan is for him to make two more minor league starts before he comes up and joins the Rangers rotation. This would put Oswalt in line to make his Major League debut on June 22. If Oswalt meets this timetable and stays healthy all year long, you'd be FAABing 18 starts from a pitcher that has earned $49 since 2009, or an average of $16 per season. That doesn't sound great, but in A.L.-only in 2011 would have put Oswalt just outside of the Top 20 starting pitchers. This is the realistic hope if you FAAB Oswalt, while the $29 he earned in 2010 (which made him the fourth best pitcher in the National League that year) is the pipe dream. At this moment, 18 starts out of Oswalt is a better gamble than 18 starts from any other pitcher you might be able to snag as a free agent.

Brian Roberts (15%/18%)
At long last, Brian Roberts has started a rehab assignment and could be on the verge of rejoining the Orioles. If you bought him cheaply in an A.L.-only (as I did) you're probably feeling pretty proud of yourself right now. Go ahead; give yourself a pat on the back. Shout from the rooftops. Buy yourself the good beer. But when you're done doing that just remember that Roberts has all of 439 plate appearances since 2010 with all of 18 steals. He's also 34 years old. If he's somehow a free agent in your A.L.-only or 16+ team mixed league you must certainly bid/pick up but know that this is a gamble. Roberts might be toast.

Vin Mazzaro (0%/2%)
A good outing against the A's and suddenly Mazzaro's riding the wave of two percent CBS ownership! Seriously, do I need to tell any of my readers to avoid Mazzaro at this point? Do I need to point out the 80% strand rate, the woeful K/BB and K/IP ratio or the non-dominant stuff? Mazzaro might do OK here and there but he's just a poor bet all the way around. Let some other owner roll the dice.

Salvador Perez (15%/17%)
Hey, Salvador Perez started a rehab assignment yesterday! In A.L.-only keeper, Perez is likely already stashed. But in a non-keeper with limited bench space, you might not have had the opportunity to hang on to Perez. I'd add him now if you can. He should start over the underwhelming duo of Humberto Quintero and Brayan Pena and while he isn't the .331 hitter he was last year, he does have a good bat. Starting catchers with good averages are even mixed worthy in two catcher formats.

In the Minors
Anthony Gose
With the Blue Jays shuttling active players off of their roster left and right - and with Rajai Davis manning an outfield slot - it seems like only a matter of time before Gose gets the call. Gose's power has plummeted this year in AAA - which is odd given the friendly venue - but that's not what is getting fantasy owners all hot and bothered. It's the speed. Gose stole 69 bases in 2011 in AA, has 24 steals already this year, and has improved his OBP to the point where one might think he could be an acceptable Major Leaguer...think .250-.260 BA with a decent OBP and a lot of steals. Gose is worth a spec add in leagues where you can reserve minor leaguers. The upside is potentially terrific.

Jared Mitchell
Mitchell is putting up decent numbers in AA, but it doesn't seem like the White Sox would rush him at this point. Mitchell's best hope this year is a mid-season promotion to AAA and perhaps a cup of coffee in September. I'd leave him in the free agent pool for now.

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