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.
When players do well down the stretch of the season, it's a good predictor that they'll elevate their game the following year -- Carlos Gonzalez and Chris Davis are prime examples. So there was reason to be excited about Jedd Gyorko coming into this season. The Padres second baseman smacked 17 home runs over the final two months of the 2013 season, and finished with just four fewer home runs than Robinson Cano, despite playing in 35 fewer games. Plus, Gyorko was a major prospect, and so his burst over the last two months seemed to suggest big things for 2014.
Unfortunately, Gyorko hasn't exactly helped out his fantasy owners. So far, he's hitting .152 with one home run and eight RBI, and it's been a full week since he even drove someone in. He possesses admirable power for a second baseman, and his dual eligibility at third helps his value, but you could categorize him as the second base equivalent of Pedro Alvarez, a player who has fantastic power, but goes through long stretches where he looks like the worst hitter on the planet. And like Alvarez in his worst stints (before he became more consistent last year), Gyorko isn't worth playing or even owning when he's in a slump like this.
Gyorko is the type of player who will randomly go on a power surge where he looks like he's an elite hitter, and then follow it up with a week like last week where he doesn't do anything at all. That may not be the strongest praise to heap on a player; after all, owners want players who'll be beasts for the entire season, not one or two week stretches. But that's the most Gyorko can offer right now. He could be an okay contributor down the line, but for now, if there's anyone more consistent to plug in and play at second base, it wouldn't be a bad idea to explore your options.
For your consideration
• Ryan Howard smacked a two-run home run, and now has five homers and 12 RBI on the year. He's hitting .271, which is bound to go down in the near future, but he's looked more spry at the plate than he has in years. Perhaps the best indicator of his terrific play is that he's now taken multiple left-handers deep, something he almost never did even when he was hitting 50 home runs. Howard's glory days are behind him, and if you've ever seen him run, you know it wouldn't take much for him to mangle his leg again. Still, he's hitting at an awesome-enough clip that a 30-home run season isn't out of the question. Howard is player to target, as long as he's healthy.
• Ike Davis' Pittsburgh career is off to a terrific start. He hit a grand slam last night and is now 5-13 in his first three games. Davis has the skillset to be a productive hitter, and he did total 32 home runs and 90 RBI back in 2012, but that average of his is a serious impediment. If he can keep hitting, and more importantly, if he can somehow stay in the lineup even when the Pirates are facing a left-handed hitter, then it might be time to add him in standard leagues. Until then, he's still just a shot in the dark.
• Lonnie Chisenhall went 2-4 and is now hitting a fantastic .455 on the year. He was elevated to the Indians' cleanup spot on Monday and could stay in the lineup as hot as he's been hitting. But given that his counting stats are impressive, and that he plays the same primary position now as Carlos Santana, there's no avenue for fantasy relevance here, great average or not. He's worth ignoring in fantasy leagues.
• Jenrry Mejia didn't allow a run to the Cardinals in 6 2/3 innings and now has a 1.99 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. The 24-year-old has done well despite already facing the Cards, Reds and Braves, and while he apparently is still dealing with a blister problem that could rear its ugly head at some point, Mejia is a viable add in standard leagues from here on out.
You can follow David Pincus on Twitter @Reetae_.