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.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls -- I'm here to tell you all about Chase Headley. The Padres third baseman hit his second home run in three games last night and has looked sharp since returning from the DL with a calf injury. His season numbers are mostly lousy, a .200 average with four homers and 11 RBI, but if you need a third baseman, I highly recommend giving him a chance -- he's owned in just 45 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Headley had an amazing 2012 campaign, producing 31 home runs, 115 RBI, 95 runs and 17 stolen bases while hitting .286. Again, that's an insanely good season for a third baseman. But he got hurt in 2013 and his home run, RBI and steal totals were cut in half. Coming into 2014, many were willing to write him off for good, especially after he got hurt again. However the potential to be a fantasy beast is still there, and if anything, there's a lesson to be learned from his 2012 season, when he also got off to an incredibly slow start. Through May 13 of 2012, Headley was hitting .242 with four homers and 16 RBI. Those numbers are surprisingly close to this year's.
Can Headley match the insane second half that he posted two years ago? Maybe not, but he still has some of that incredible talent. Even if he can't reach his numbers of 2012, you can count on one hand the number of third baseman who are capable of hitting 20 homers and stealing more than 10 bases, and he's one of them. Things may not turn out for him like they once did, and he does appear to be an injury liability, but the reward could be so substantial for so little a risk that it'd be silly not to pick him up while he's hitting again.
For your consideration
• Josh Beckett was terrific against the Marlins, striking out six and not allowing a run in 6.1 scoreless innings. Beckett was a forgotten man last year with the Dodgers, but he's been infinitely more effective in 2014, posting a 2.38 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 41.2 innings. Beckett is as hot-and-cold a pitcher as anyone in baseball; throughout his career, he's consistently alternated awful seasons with some not-so-bad seasons. Owners should scale back their expectations if they're going to add the soon-to-be 35-year-old. (His birthday is May 15. Happy birthday, Josh!) Still, there's no reason why this can't be one of Beckett's random good years, so he's worth the add all the same.
• Juan Francisco went 2-for-3 with a home run yesterday, bringing his season totals to six homers and 16 RBI with a .293 batting average. The Blue Jays have shifted Brett Lawrie over to second base just to get Francisco everyday at-bats, and so far Francisco has responded well. He has dual eligibility at first and third, making him a solid pick-up if you're in a deeper league.
• Kevin Gausman of the Orioles will make his season debut against the Tigers on Wednesday. Gausman, who Baseball Prospectus lists as one of the top 10 prospects in the land, didn't look so hot in his 20-game trial run last season, allowing 21 runs in his first 24.2 innings; however, the first-round draft pick still struck out batters at a pretty good clip. His promotion to the majors last year may have been pushed, but that's less likely to be the case this time, as Gausman has put up a 2.08 ERA in Triple-A this year. He's worth snagging if he can excel against Miguel Cabrera and crew.
• Mets' Rafael Montero, another prominent prospect, will make his season debut opposite Masahiro Tanaka in Yankee Stadium, which is as high-profile a first career start as a pitcher can get these days. The 23-year-old right-hander out of the Dominican Republic doesn't have overpowering stuff -- his fastball reportedly tops out at 93 -- but his control rather incredible; in 390 career innings in the minors, he's allowed just 85 walks, and his WHIP in the minors is barely over one. Like Gausman, how Montero looks like in tonight's game will be a good indication of whether or not he'll be useful to those in shallow leagues.
• The hottest pitcher in the National League right now is... Bronson Arroyo? The veteran righty threw a one-run, seven-strikeout complete game against the Nationals on May 13, and in his last four starts, Arroyo has allowed three runs in 29 innings. Of course, even after this stellar pitching, Arroyo's ERA is still above four and he's barely striking out a batter for every two innings he pitches. He can really impress if he does well against the Dodgers over the weekend, but despite the recent consistency, he's best left as a stream option for more enticing matchups.