Fantasy baseball News & Notes: Curtis Granderson quickly slipping
In our daily fantasy baseball news and notes column, we'll be discussing hot topics in the fantasy baseball world, as well as offering up tidbits of information to help you set your lineup. Comments are welcome below.
On Sunday, Curtis Granderson really needed to prove his fantasy owners -- his brave, stubborn, possibly insane owners -- that he was still worth hanging onto. The result: Granderson went 0-6 and looked lost at the plate, enough that he attempted to bunt his way on base towards the end. And to boot, he even committed an error and got booed by his own fans after every out.
The silver lining from Granderson's evening was that he produced a game-winning sac fly in the 14th inning, so technically, Granderson was the hero of the game. But that's a pretty weak consolation prize considering just how atrocious he's been. Through 17 games, the Grandy Man is hitting .127 with just one home run and five RBI. He has no hits in his last 16 at-bats and is 4-50 from the plate in his last 12 games.
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This has been a nightmarish start, and it's all too fair to ask if Granderson is damaged goods at this point, especially since he was limited to only 61 games last season with an injury. Trading him for relative value is probably impossible right now, so the only things his owners can do is bench him or dump him (starting him, of course, is out of the question). As a Grandy owner myself, I may be in optimistic denial when I say this, but I'm not ready to completely give up on him. Yes, he looks horrible at the plate, but it was only a few years ago that he was one of the 10 best fantasy outfielders in the game. That year he produced 136 runs, 41 home runs, 119 RBI, 25 steals and a .262 average. And the year after: 102 runs, 43 home runs, 106 RBI and 10 steals, while the average plummeted to .232.
He's only a season removed from being an elite hitter, and while his average has been spiraling downward for years, Granderson doesn't need to hit that well to be extremely productive. But right now he's not hitting at all -- his move to the No. 2 slot in the lineup reflects this -- and it's only a matter of time before he'll bounce to the bottom unless he turns things around. Still, he's healthy now and he possesses terrific upside.
A positive (albeit admittedly reaching) spin on his start would be that when Dan Uggla first joined the Braves in 2011, he was so abysmal that he was hitting .173 on July 4, and yet he wound up going on a 33-game hitting streak and completely turned his season around. On the flip side, B.J. Upton got off to a similar start last year and never redeemed himself, and Granderson is much closer to being like Upton than he is to being like Uggla. But still: it's a long season and Granderson isn't completely devoid of talent. He should not be in your lineup, but he doesn't necessarily need to be kept off your roster either.
For your consideration
• Justin Morneau went 2-for-4 with a homer and five RBI, giving him home runs in back-to-back games and an overall line of .344, four homers and 15 RBI. Morneau's extensive concussion ailments have made him a tough person to trust, but he looks healthy now, and playing in Coor's Field probably has something to do with it. Even if it doesn't, Morneau is locked in as the Rockies' hitter behind Tulo, and he's playing in a tremendous hitting environment. He's a tenable add in all leagues right now.
• Kyle Farnsworth has been named the Mets' new closer, and if you want to add him, do so at your own peril. I'll concede that Farnsworth, who's now 38, magically had a useful season as the Rays' closer a few years ago, but to me, he's always been a pitcher who's never been able to fulfill his potential. He's always teetering on the edge of placing a fastball right in the middle of the plate that will get whacked to the next county by whomever's at the plate, and that'll be especially true now that he's pitching in high-impact situations again. Can he last? I don't think so, but if you're in dire need of saves, you may as well take a shot. Just as a reminder, the next man on the totem poll would probably be Carlos Torres.
• A day after getting shelled for eight runs, Ivan Nova was placed on the disabled list with a partially torn ligament in his throwing arm -- an injury that will keep him out of action for quite a while, if not the rest of the year, as Tommy John surgery seems likely. Nova is an automatic drop at this point, which is too bad. His likely replacement in the rotation, Vidal Nuno, threw five scoreless innings on Sunday; Nuno looked decent in limited action last year too, putting up a 2.25 ERA in 20 innings, but the sample size is too small to show whether or not he can even be useful in deeper leagues.
• Khris Davis went 3-6 and finally hit his first home run of the season on Sunday. The Brewers felt so highly of Davis that they shifted Ryan Braun over to right field to give Davis everyday at-bats, but Davis has gotten off to a sloooooow start (though, he's scorching if you compare him to Granderson). Still, he has intriguing potential and shouldn't be off of owners' radars, even if he isn't quite worth plugging in and using at the moment.
You can follow David Pincus on Twitter @Reetae_.