Monday, July 09, 2012

A.L. FAAB Log: July 9, 2012

Carlos Villanueva $5. Other bid $2.
Villanueva got his own piece on Friday. The Blue Jays rotation looks like it has been set up for after the break, with Villanueva going Sunday against the Indians. It's not a great match-up, but in A.L.-only you might want to play the hot hand anyway.

Miguel Gonzalez $4. Other bid $1.
Gonzalez was never considered to be a big-time prospect, but a knee injury in 2008 and Tommy John in 2009 knocked him off of the radar completely. It was simply assumed that he'd never make it, but a stellar 2012 so far in the minors combined with the struggles of Jake Arrieta and Brian Matusz gave Gonzalez the opportunity, and in his first start he ran with it. Gonzalez doesn't have overpowering stuff, but works the strike zone well and isn't afraid to challenge hitters. He might not stick, but given the results in his Major League debut, Gonzalez could be an underrated asset in A.L.-only.

After a mediocre campaign in 2011, Coke has quietly become one of the league's most solid middle relief options. He's generating more ground ball outs than he did last year and more infield flies: a solid combination that has kept his numbers decent despite some ridiculously bad luck on balls in play. Jose Valverde is the man in Detroit, but Jim Leyland already has shown he's not afraid to use Coke as a fill in option when Valverde can't go.

Miller has found new life in the Red Sox bullpen as a lefty killer. This makes him a dubious fantasy asset due to the drip, drip, drip that his stats provide, but Miller is still an asset in super deep leagues. He's not expected to be in line for saves any time in the near future.

Casper Wells. Claimed by 12th, 7th, 6th, and 3rd place teams.
Quietly - after a very slow start followed by a demotion to the minors - Wells is taking his most recent opportunity to play and running with it. Just like last year the batting average isn't there but the power is, making Wells a solid 4th OF in A.L.-only. He should play as long as both Mike Carp and Franklin Gutierrez are on the shelf, and 8-10 HR the rest of the way if Wells does hold on to a job isn't a stretch.

Tyler Flowers. Claimed by 9th, 8th, and 3rd place teams.
With A.J. Pierzynski having an unlikely career year in his mid-30s, Flowers is planted firmly to the White Sox bench (ha ha, see what I did there with that crappy pun?). He'll pop the odd HR when he plays, but the bad BA make him a questionable option even in A.L.-only.

Ryan Raburn. Claimed by 8th, 7th, and 2nd place teams.
Raburn is once again playing every day, but the results continue to be awful. Maybe he'll suddenly turn it around after the break and go on a HR tear, but I wouldn't place a big FAAB bet on it. Raburn's middle infield eligibility makes him more interesting than your garden variety FAAB outfielder, but the results just haven't been there this year, and there's always the possibility this simply isn't Raburn's year.

Nick Punto. Claimed by 7th place team.
Dustin Pedroia finally landed on the DL with his nagging thumb injury, so Punto probably figures to get a significant chunk of playing time for the Red Sox. His batting average has made Punto a liability, but he is running a little bit again this year after not running last year. If you need to make a low end steals play in your A.L.-only you can with Punto, though I wouldn't count on anything terrific.

Jose Lobaton. Claimed by 1st place team.
Lobaton continues to split the time behind the plate with Jose Molina, but hasn't done anything to run away with the job. The batting average has been very bad and Lobaton doesn't offer enough power to make up for it. Don't claim Lobaton unless you have an absolute dead spot at catcher.

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