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.
Chris Davis was pulled in the middle of last night's game with an oblique strain, and he's looking like a lock to go on the Disabled List. Davis has gotten off to an average start, hitting .250 with two homers and 13 RBI, but now it appears he could be inactive for quite awhile -- oblique strains have the potential to keep players out for weeks or even months.
Davis has been pegged as a guy to regress this season, coming off his spectacular 53-home run year in 2013. In particular, it didn't seem possible that he could again strike out as much as he did (199 times) and still somehow be among the league leaders and home runs. Now, this injury will allow his detractors to gloat. However, an oblique strain really shouldn't have much lingering effect on his performance, since he pretty much doesn't run anyway. And while he hasn't been hitting to his normal standard, he had gotten on base in his previous 20 games prior to being pulled on Friday, so it's not like he's been a complete disaster at the plate.
Davis is a player who excels through prolonged power streaks, and so far we haven't really seen one from him. But he honestly hasn't looked much different at the plate than he did a year ago, and if anything, maybe the oblique strain could be an explanation for his depreciated power. Either way, he's still one of the most potent power hitters in baseball, and isn't someone you should be wavering on, even as he's primed to miss a decent batch of games.
For Your Consideration
● Jason Grilli was placed on the 15-day disabled list, making Mark Melancon an immediate must-own. Melancon is coming off a stellar year and didn't falter when he was pressed into being the team's closer last fall. Even though Grilli is atop the closer hierarchy in Pittsburgh, he's 38 years old and was already having a so-so season. If Melancon can continue to pitch this well, there's an excellent chance that he can run away with the job, even when Grilli returns from his injury. He's a must-own player for anyone chasing saves.
● More closer news! Joe Smith has officially been named the Angels' new closer, thanks to Ernesto Frieri's constant struggles. Of course, Mike Scioscia insisted that he still wants Frieri to be their ninth inning man, but it's going to take a lot for him to get the job back. Frieri was quietly awful last year, posting an unacceptable 3.80 ERA that would've lead to a demotion earlier had the Angels bullpen been better. Smith has been extremely consistent over the course of his career, with his ERA never topping out at more than 3.83. He's been a steady, dependable reliever, and though he may not be the prototypical closer candidate, neither was Mark Melancon last year, or even Brad Ziegler or LaTroy Hawkins, and they did just fine. Make the add.
● Chase Headley is going on the disabled list with a strained calf. Headley was a fantasy godsend a few years ago, and he occasionally flashes some of that talent at random intervals. But he's been riddled with injuries lately, and when he's playing, he doesn't look at all like the player who was once one of the best hitters in the National League. If you own him and you have multiple players vying for your DL slot, Headley is probably the guy to drop. His .186 average isn't going to fetch many suitors, anyway.
● Matt Joyce went 0-0 yesterday, but drew five walks and drove in an RBI thanks to one his walks coming with the bases loaded. Joyce is one of the streakiest hitters in baseball. When he's hot, he plays like he could be Joey Votto's long-lost cousin, and right now, he's hitting .363 and has moved up to the No. 3 spot in the Rays' lineup. But those hot streaks of his are frequently short-lived, and he lacks the power to make him a truly enticing player when he's hitting this well. He's a worthwhile add right now, if you want to boost your batting average, but if you're the type of owner who only goes in and changes your lineup once a week or even less often than that, don't bother. Joyce would only disappoint you.
● The Red Sox won 8-1 yesterday, and they did it without Grady Sizemore, who sat out for the second straight game. Sizemore was a trendy fantasy player at the beginning of the year, when it turned out he had locked down a starting job in the Red Sox' outfield. Once upon a time, Sizemore was a fantasy beast; in 2008, he produced 33 home runs, 38 steals and 90 RBI. But those days are over, and Sizemore has done almost nothing this season. He's hitting .212, and now with Shane Victorino back, his everyday status is gone. Sure, Jonny Gomes and Jackie Bradley Jr. aren't amazing players either, so Sizemore will still get some run in the outfield, but there's no reason to even have him rostered at this point. It was a cool idea at the time, but he needs to be dropped.
● Will Middlebrooks returned to the Red Sox lineup and went 2-4 with a pair of RBI. Middlebrooks has been an inconsistent hitter in the majors, but he has commendable power and will have plenty of RBI chances hitting near the middle of the lineup. In you're flailing in the wind right now in search of a competent third baseman, take a chance on Middlebrooks.