We’re going to keep it short and sweet here as Thursdays tend to be slow days without a full slate of games anyway. But what I wanted to do was throw you a bit of fantasy advice which is more of just a heads up than anything else. While your waiver wire probably looks like it’s been picked clean and that the help available is pretty sparse, things are about to start looking up and your immediate attention will be required.
As we gear up for the end of April, we’re about to see a number of key players come off the disabled list. Some got banged up late in the spring while others got hurt at the start of the year and had very cautious managers and GMs who opted for a quick 15 days off for their players rather than see them try to play through. But with so many set to come off the DL, fantasy owners are going to have to start making important cuts from their roster. They may want to hold some of these guys as insurance, but due to bench limitations, they just can’t keep them all. That means, your player pool is likely to start looking a little better over the next two weeks.
Keep a very close watch as some owners try to be sneaky and make their moves during off peak hours with the hope that no one will see them drop a particular guy. You want to be there when they do and swoop right in. Obviously I can’t guarantee the quality for each and every league, but if you’re playing in a league of 12 owners or less, chances are, the talent pool is about to get a lot richer. So be smart. Be aware. Check out the rosters of your fellow owners and see who has guys coming off the DL. Chances are, they’re about ot cut someone you may want or need.
Now let’s hit the highlights…
Fantasy Beast of the Day
|Gio Gonzalez, WAS||8.0||1||1||0||0||2||7||1.13||0.38|
The highs and the lows continue as we search for some consistency when it comes to our starting pitching. Gio Gonzalez is on the upturn this week with this outing, but he’s still coming off two appearances where he saddled his owners with 12 earned runs over nine innings. Hard to say whether we’ll ever get the same consistency from him that we saw last season as there are a few rumors running around saying that he may be concealing an injury. There’s been talk of changing release points and arm angles to compensate and that’s where you see the consistency go out the window. Again, purely speculative right now, but perhaps food for thought.
|David Ortiz, DH, BOS||3-4, 3 R, HR, 2 RBI|
|Nate McLouth, OF BAL||2-5, 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, 2 SB|
|Kyle Seager, 3B SEA||3-4, R, HR, 3 RBI|
|Clay Buchholz, SP BOS||W, 2.35 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 10 K|
|Jason Hammel, SP BAL||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 2 K|
It was just a matter of time before we started seeing Big Papi in this section and really, it didn’t take all that long. The production we see out of him continues to be strong despite the fact that he’s continuously battling some sort of injury. The only thing that I have a problem with is the DH-only eligibility. Yes, there are some leagues that allow designated hitters as first basemen, but for those that don’t, it creates a bit of a logjam having David Ortiz sitting in your utility/DH spot all the time. Roster flexibility was irrelevant when he was hitting 40-plus home runs, but now there’s a little more to think about when he’s hitting for run-of-the-mill power.
During the second half of last season, things clicked nicely for Nate McLouth and he ended up running away with the left field job. With the spring injury to Wilson Betemit and the opening at DH that Nolan Reimold has filled, McLouth was given the opportunity to do it again and he has. I wouldn’t expect huge things out of him, but if your league starts five or six outfielders, he makes for great help on the back-end.
After a relatively slow start to the season, Kyle Seager has been tearing it up. He’s currently on a 14-game hit streak and is now batting .306 with three home runs and 12 RBI. What’s even better is if your league uses a 10-game minimum for position eligibility, then he qualifies at second base. To be able to use him at the middle and corner infield spots has been huge thus far and it has certainly increased his overall value.
We may just have to reserve a spot here for Clay Buchholz every five days as he, once again, turned in a killer performance from the hill. Ironically, he’s the consistency this year that we’ve been seeking as he hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any start and he hasn’t pitched fewer than seven innings in any outing this season. I’ll admit to still being a little skeptical, but this reunion with him and coach John Farrell has proven to be nothing short of outstanding right now.
|Carlos Gonzalez, OF COL||0-4, 3 K, BB|
|Anthony Rizzo, 1B CHC||0-4, 3 K|
|Tyler Flowers, C CHW||0-3, 3 K|
|Philip Humber, SP HOU||L, 13.50 ERA, 2.79 WHIP, 5 K|
|Jarrod Parker, SP OAK||L, 10.13 ERA, 2.06 WHIP, 5 K|
As usual, there’s nothing much to say on the hitters here as none of them are sitting in any sort of prolonged slump. Both Carlos Gonzalez and Anthony Rizzo are off to great starts this season and we already knew this was going to happen with Tyler Flowers. He was never expected to hit for a high average so 19 strikeouts over 17 games isn’t all that surprising.
As for the pitchers, well, it’s a little different. Philip Humber’s perfect game is all but a distant memory and he’s been awful ever since so seeing him here is actually nothing new. But there were high hopes for Jarrod Parker and his inconsistency this year is weighing on the minds of fantasy owners everywhere. His biggest issue is his changeup right now which is supposed to be his top pitch. But he’s not locating it properly and as such, he isn’t using it as often. The results haven’t been good, save for one start. Hopefully he corrects the problem, but it’s going to be difficult to wait on him to fix things. I’d keep him on the bench for his next two or three starts just to see what happens and should he continue to fail, then we’ll speak of parting ways.
Shane Victorino, OF BOS – back (day to day)
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS CLE – quadriceps (day to day)
Carlos Santana, C CLE – illness (day to day)
Todd Helton, 1B COL – forearm (15-day DL)
Al Alburquerque, RP DET – hip (day to day)
Ramon Santiago, 2B DET – illness (day to day)
Kyle Lohse, SP MIL – finger (day to day)
Kevin Youkilis, 3B NYY – back (day to day)
Matt Adams, 1B STL – oblique (day to day)
Yunel Escobar, SS TB – hamstring (day to day)
Josh Johnson, SP TOR – biceps (day to day)
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over a decade on a vaiety of web sites. You can find his personal musings on RotobuzzGuy.com and for questions, thoughts or comments, you can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at email@example.com.
Rounding The Bases - Todd Zola Looks At The First 10 Rounds of a Likely 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft
Master Fantasy Baseball Notes From Todd Zola - Looking Ahead To The 2014 Fantasy Baseball Season
Rounding The Bases - Master Fantasy Baseball Notes From Todd Zola
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (20 Prospects for '14)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 24
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (September Call-Ups)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 23
Rounding the Bases: A Day For the Little Man
Rounding The Bases: Morse, Willingham On the Move?
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (Roster Expansion)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 22
Rounding the Bases: Five Surging Pitchers & Hitters
Rounding the Bases: Rookies, Veterans & Roster Movement
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (Pitching Help On The Way!)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 21
Master Notes From Todd Zola - Taking A Look at Starting Pitching In Keeper Leagues
Rounding the Bases: Small Names, Big Production?
Rounding the Bases: A First for Stephen Strasburg and the (Near) Final Round-Up
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (Hitting Help On The Way!)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week Twenty