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Fantasy baseball News & Notes: Sandoval's swoon in San Francisco

Photo: Gene J. Puskar/AP

The last time Pablo Sandoval drove in a run, the NBA was still playing regular season games.

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.

Pablo Sandoval is having a miserable season. How miserable? Consider that Jeff Baker, a pinch-hitter for the Marlins who's owned in 0% of Yahoo! leagues, is hitting .151 with one homer and five RBI. Sandoval is hitting .171, has one more home run and one more RBI than Baker, even though he's had 70 more at-bats and actually does get everyday action. He's been so atrocious that he hasn't driven in a single run since April 16, back when the NBA playoffs hadn't even begun.

Sandoval has been less than worthless, which is surprising considering that all the signs pointed to him having an excellent year: he had lost a ton of weight, he's in a contract year, and he began the season hitting third. Plus, despite his tendency to swing at anything and everything, he's always been a quality hitter who's never once struck out 100 times in a year. But the former World Series MVP has been so awful that in a game against Pittsburgh this week, he actually swung at an outside ball that had already been caught by the catcher, which is something no competent hitter should ever be recorded doing.

If there's any good news for Sandoval, it's that Brandon Belt just broke a thumb and should be out for a while, which means that Sandoval should continue to see everyday action in lieu of receiving the dreaded "time off to clear his mind." At some point, he's bound to start hitting, and more than that, there aren't so many amazing options at third base that he should be outright abandoned. When he'll start hitting is anyone's guess, though.

If you're a Sandoval owner who's desperate for a replacement until he gets his act together, Jedd Gyorko, Yangervis Solarte, Will Middlebrooks, Juan Francisco and the newly-called up Wilmer Flores might be for you.

For Your Consideration

● Jedd Gyorko had easily his best game of the year last night, going 3-4 with a pair of homers and six RBI, and to boot, both of his home runs came against Jose Fernandez. Gyorko was in the midst of a rather brutal slump, and even now is only hitting .165. But he has four homers in the last week, and while that average may not be too pretty, he was an extremely productive option at second and third towards the end of last year, and he looks to have finally regained that form to some degree. It's only one game, but you really can't have a more noticeable breakout game than this, and owners should take a gamble adding him on the off chance that his season will turn around now. Gyorko is available in two-fifths of all Yahoo! leagues.

● Making his first start of the year, Doug Fister got pummeled by the Oakland A's, who hit him for five runs, nine hits and three home runs. This wasn't the reward Fister's owners were hoping for after six weeks of waiting, but the positives are still there for him. The National League convert can be a solid, albeit often frustrating pitcher who should toe the line of being a must-own pitcher, assuming of course that batters don't hit .281 off him like they did last year. They're hitting .391 so far, but he has an excellent shot at lowering that average next week against the Mets.

● After several promising starts, Brandon McCarthy imploded versus the White Sox, giving up seven runs and nine hits in 3.1 innings. The strikeouts are there for McCarthy, who has 45 of them in 47.2 innings, but that's really been the only positive so far. He's fifth in hits allowed, fourth in home runs allowed, and has allowed more runs than any other pitcher in baseball this season. He has potential to again be a standard league option, like he often was in Oakland, but he's simply not be used in fantasy leagues right now.

● With John Axford struggling, Cody Allen was brought in in the ninth and converted a one-out save, his first of the year. Axford has been horrendous lately and is on the verge of losing his job to either Allen or Bryan Shaw. A closer change may not be imminent, but one more horrible outing from Axford could change that, in which case, those in search of saves would be wise to seek out Allen first, and then Shaw.

● Dan Straily was banished to the minors yesterday, which secures a rotation spot for Drew Pomeranz, a 25-year-old former top prospect out of the Rockies' farm system. Pomeranz has struggled immensely since getting promoted to the show; he had a 6.23 ERA last year, and walked as many people (19) as he struck out. On the bright side, he has a 1.82 ERA with 16 strikeouts and 6 walks in 18.2 innings this season, he's pitching in Oå.co Coliseum instead of Coors Field, and he's on a team that's actually going to win him games, as opposed to the Rockies. His numbers were so awful in Colorado that he still cannot be trusted in a start. If he can come away from his scheduled outing against the White Sox next week without getting torn to shreds, ala Brandon McCarthy, then it might be time to make the add. Until then, the positive sample size is just too small.

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