June 19, 2009

News:Mags gets benched, Willis out with anxiety again

Views: The benching isn't a big concern since Detroit doesn't have any other bats capable of holding down a corner outfield spot. Ryan Rayburn and his career .308 OBP (.319 this year) will likely pick up playing time for a few days, then Ordonez will be back in the lineup. However, owning Ordonez in '09 has been a lot like watching that clown your parents hired for your fourth birthday: It's supposed to be enjoyable, but instead it's been painful and deeply disturbing. Unlike David Ortiz's prolonged slump, which seemed to be more of a timing issue, Mags just hasn't been hitting the ball hard. According to Hardball Times, his line drive percentage is at its lowest (15.2) since his injury-filled final season with the White Sox. He has a .343 slugging percentage. I'd call that Adam Everett-like, but it would likely offend Everett, who's at .351 this season and .355 for his career. Ordonez is 35, and there's a good chance that this is the beginning of the end. Willis is simply a disaster again, with 18 walks over his last 11 innings. He's done.

Verdict: No one should be chasing Ordonez at this point unless he can be had for the all-time low-ball offer. He's just not likely to turn it around. Willis should not be owned by anyone, anywhere.

News:Halladay and Downs go down

Views: Halladay's groin injury is certainly a nuisance, but not a big deal. He should be ready to start when he's eligible to come off the DL a week from Sunday. As for Downs, his sprained toe makes him a major question mark. He's eligible to return the first week in July, but there's no telling how long it will be until he can push off of that toe again. In the meantime, Cito Gaston seems to be content on a committee situation. Jason Frasor is their most reliable option, even though (a) he's not as good as his 1.88 ERA and 0.79 WHIP would indicate, and (b) he was brought in to get out of a tight situation in the eighth on Thursday. For now, wild thing B.J. Ryan will likely only get the call in lefty-heavy situations. Jeremy Accardo got the save in relief of Ryan on Thursday, but considering he spent the first two months of the season in the minors and wasn't particularly impressive, he's unlikely to become the go-to guy in the ninth.

Verdict: Halladay owners have nothing to worry about long-term. Downs should re-claim the closer's role when he returns (worst case is likely the All-Star break), but in the meantime, Frasor is the best of some weak options if you're desperate for saves. Ryan is a darkhorse while Accardo belongs on the waiver wire.

News:Ibanez heads to DL, Mayberry back up

Views: There's no reason for pessimism yet, as the Phils are still waiting on Thursday's MRI result. But for at least the next two weeks, John Mayberry will get a crack at the everyday job. The 25-year-old Stanford product crawled through the Phillies system over the past four seasons. He won't hit for average or steal bases, but there's potential for above-average power numbers in Citizens Bank Park, and Mayberry's improved performance against righties this season (.836 OPS vs. RHP at Lehigh Valley) is encouraging. He already has two homers in his first 14 big league plate appearances (one off Andy Pettitte, the other off the mighty Dirk Hayhurst).

Verdict: Mayberry is worth a flier in deep leagues for anyone desperate for power, but don't expect more than a .250 hitter with a homer per week while he's playing everyday.

News:Ollie sharp in extended spring training

Views: It seems like just about everyone who pitched in the World Baseball Classic has been an early-season mess, and some nagging knee issues certainly didn't help Perez. But the signs were good on Thursday. His fastball sat in the low 90s, and he walked only one batter in three innings. With the way bodies are falling in Queens, the Mets really have no choice but to get Perez back into the rotation as soon as he's ready. He'll likely make a minor league rehab start early next week, then should be able to return right around the All-Star break. Depending on how he looks over the next two weeks, it's conceivable that Perez could provide a nice boost in the second half.

Verdict: Look, he's Oliver Perez. Even when he's at his best, he's still going to be maddeningly inconsistent. But if you're in a deep league and desperate for wins and strikeouts, take a flier on Ollie now.

You May Like