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.
The Major League Baseball injury train just keeps on rolling. Yesterday's victim: Carlos Gonzalez.
Okay, technically, CarGo had been dealing with a bum finger on his left hand for a while, but when he had to be pulled from Tuesday's game because of it, the Rockies finally bit the bullet and put him on the disabled list. This puts Gonzalez' fantasy owners in an odd position, as it's getting pretty hard to rely on Gonzalez these days. No one questions his value when he's healthy, and his .255 average this year is mostly a byproduct of him being hurt. The problem is that much like teammate Troy Tulowitzki, Gonzalez gets hurt constantly, and often at the most inopportune times.
Because Gonzalez is also dealing with a sore knee, there's a decent chance he could be on the DL for longer than the minimum 15 days. But even if that isn't the case, Corey Dickerson, his replacement, now makes for an outstanding pickup. In just 92 at-bats this season, Dickerson is hitting .348 and has produced 18 runs, 16 RBI, seven homers and two steals. Ordinarily, numbers like that would've earned him regular playing time, but the Rockies are so loaded offensively that there wasn't any room for him.
Dickerson hit second last night, going 2-for-5 with a run. He's poised to stay in the two-hole for at least the next two weeks, and anyone hitting second in that awesome Rockies order deserves to be in fantasy lineups. Dickerson is a temporary must-own, and if you own CarGo and have to relegate him to a DL spot, Dickerson makes for a terrific consolation prize.
For Your Consideration
● Miguel Montero had a great night in the D-backs' 16-8 clobbering of the Reds, going 3-for-4 with a home run and six RBI. After terrific seasons in 2011 and 2012, where he produced 86 RBI and was a top-10 catcher, Montero was awful in 2013, producing just 11 home runs and 42 RBI while batting .230. The parity among catchers this season is remarkable, and with his outburst, Montero now leads all catchers in RBI. He's playing closer to his pre-2013 self and is worth a look if he's still available in your league.
● Ronald Belisario protected a one-run lead to record his fifth save of the year. Belisario is hardly the ideal closer, as the 10 runs allowed in his last seven innings of work can testify. And yet, with Matt Lindstrom likely done for the season, Belisario suddenly, improbably, has a chance to run with the closer's role. My first instinct is to discount Belisario and his 4.78 ERA, but then again, baseball is a sport that's seen "effectively wild" pitchers like Kevin Gregg, Jose Mesa, Armando Benitez and Byung-Hyun Kim somehow survive as closers. Belisario will threaten to blow every save opportunity that's thrown at him, but because he has a modicum of job security, he's worth owning if you need saves.
● Francisco Liriano had an up-and-down evening against the Padres, allowing two runs and only one hit in five innings, while walking six. Only 54 of his 109 pitches went for strikes, and that tells the story for Liriano, who hasn't looked nearly as sharp in 2014 as he did a year ago, when he completely revitalized his career. Yes, he showed improvement in his previous start, when he blanked the Dodgers for 5 2/3 innings, but it should be noted that when Liriano isn't all the way on, he has a tendency to be really awful. Like, nine-runs-in-two-innings awful. He hasn't self-destructed like that so far, but his 4.54 ERA and 1.47 WHIP are indicators that Bad Liriano is the Liriano we're mostly dealing with this year. Own him at your own risk.
● Asdrubal Cabrera had his best game in a while, going 2-for-5 with three runs, three RBI, a home run and a steal. It wasn't that long ago that Cabrera was the American League Silver Slugger at shortstop, but he's had a rough go of things these past two years, and even factoring in his barrage last night, Cabrera is on pace to have a weaker season than last year. He's scored a lot of runs (33), but that alone isn't much of a saving grace. Hopefully, Wednesday's performance will be the start of something good.
● Daisuke Matsuzaka's return to the starting rotation didn't pan out so well, with the former $100 million man allowing four runs and five walks to the Cubs in 4 1/3 innings. Matsuzaka hasn't had a bad year (even after this drubbing, his ERA is at 3.21), but it's hard to get excited about him starting again, since he's done absolutely nothing in the majors outside of 2008, when he won 18 games and was a top-five finalist for the AL Cy Young. Getting knocked around by the Cubs will only make it easier for Matsuzaka to be bypassed by fantasy owners when they're looking for a stream candidate.