Slumps happen and they suck. As savvy fantasy owners, it's our job to decipher whether such struggles are temporary, or if they're fundamental flaws that will lead to a prolonged bout of dreadfulness. That's what this column is all about -- finding trends and figuring out what they mean. So, let's get down to business.
Finally free of his time-share in Boston, Crisp (OF, KAN) is batting leadoff and playing regularly for the Royals. Despite a .200 batting average, Crisp has a .373 OBP due to 11 walks, including nine in the past week. With two long balls, seven RBIs and seven runs, Crisp is providing some definite value in mixed leagues. Curiously, he has no stolen bases through 12 games. Expect that to change as Crisp will provide adequate production in all five major roto categories.
Ethier (OF, LAD) excelled hitting behind
Considering this is a section on trends, let's take a look at Rodriguez's (SP, HOU) last three years.
2006: 135.2 IP, 9 wins, 63 walks, 98 Ks, 1.60 WHIP, 5.64 ERA
2007: 182.2 IP, 9 wins, 62 walks, 158 Ks, 1.32 WHIP, 4.58 ERA
2008: 137.1 IP, 9 wins, 44 walks, 131 Ks, 1.31 WHIP, 3.54 ERA
So, is it a surprise that W-Rod has started the way he has? I'd say no. He 3-for-3 in quality starts, has 18 Ks in 19 IP, a 1.00 WHIP and a 1.89 ERA. Obviously that will get worse, but all signs point to him having a career year, and his being owned in just 46 percent of
Trevor who? That's what Padres must have been thinking, after
In another sign that
Rumors are circulating that
If you are sick of Gordon (3B, KAN) underperforming, your wish may have been granted, as the yearly bust is out until the All-Star break with a cartilage tear in his right hip. So, who does this affect? For starters, it moves
Although most of Kubel's (OF, MIN) starts are at DH, he was one of five Twins outfielders fighting for playing time. Last season, Kubel rarely started against left-handers. This year, Kubel has been given two starts versus southpaws and has gone 2-for-7 with an RBI. He absolutely destroys right-handers, hitting .342 with two dingers this year. The power is legit, and Kubel should approach 25 homers and 85 RBIs. As long as he receives consistent playing time, he's completely mixed-league worthy. The guy is a professional hitter.
There's almost nothing worse than a manager sitting his stud rookie to make sure he is "brought along slowly." This is the case with Snider (OF, TOR), as he sits against lefties and No. 1 starters. The 21-year-old man-beast has been batting ninth when playing, but has shown he can hit for average AND power. He's hitting .290 with three homers, including two prodigious bombs this past week against Minnesota. While it may be frustrating to watch him sit two or three games a week, it won't last long. He's simply too good. My guess is that one month from now he will be batting sixth and playing every day.
In a brutal year for Tigers' pitchers, Gallaraga was brilliant last season. He struck out 126 and finished with a 3.73 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. He's brought that success into 2009 where he's 2-0 with a 0.68 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. He won't strike out an enormous number of batters, and his stuff isn't "wow" good, but he gets the job done. He should match or exceed last season's numbers, and for some reason the guy is available in 27 percent of leagues. Make an offer to his owner and see what you can do to get him on your team.
With an off-season trade to Colorado, it was expected that Marquis (SP, COL) put up ridiculously bad numbers. To date, he's done the opposite. He's 2-0 with an ERA under 2.00 and a WHIP at 1.00. This will not last. I've watched him pitch the last few years and he simply doesn't have the command to consistently perform at a high level. He walks too many batters and gives up the long ball far too often. As the weather warms up, Marquis will start getting bombarded all over the field.
With injuries to