June 26, 2009

News:Rollins will sit for two

Views: He's been arguably the biggest disappointment in fantasy baseball, but there's no particular reason for his struggles. Rollins is only 30 and, while he'll likely never duplicate his MVP season of 2007, there was no reason to predict such a severe drop off this year. He's striking out a little more than usual, and his power has dwindled -- just 22 extra-base hits and a .117 IsoP. He's also just 10-for-15 in stolen base attempts after a 87.4 percent success rate over the past five seasons. But there's been a lot of bad luck factoring in. While Rollins certainly isn't hitting the ball as hard as he used to, his .217 batting average on balls in play is absurdly low. And while the SB bottom line has been disappointing, his SB attempts per times on base is right around where it was from 2004-07, and he averaged 37 steals per season during that span. It won't take much for Rollins to emerge as a top five shortstop in the second half of the season, and a short mental break could do him good.

Verdict: Rollins owners should ride out this slump. He's no longer a fantasy superstar, but a .270 average, five homers, 15 steals, and a bunch of runs scored are a reasonable second-half expectation with a little luck.

News:Lindstrom hits DL

Views: Florida closer Matt Lindstrom is going to miss at least a month and possibly more. The top interim closer candidates are Leo Nunez (returning from an ankle injury this weekend) and Dan Meyer. Meyer closed out Wednesday's win, but it might have only been because Nunez wasn't available. Fredi Gonzalez has said Nunez will likely get a shot at the role when he returns, but wouldn't rule out Meyer. The best guess for now: Nunez gets first crack at it, while Meyer is next in line and maybe even the choice in lefty-heavy innings.

Verdict: If you need saves, go get Nunez now. If it's too late, Meyer is worth a roster spot in deeper leagues.

News:Volquez's elbow still not right, Homer time (again)

Views: Best-case scenario looks like another month for Edinson Volquez, and he's probably not going to be all the way back until mid-August. Once highly regarded prospect Homer Bailey will get another shot at the rotation. To put it as delicately as possible, Bailey has been an outright disaster in his 18 big league starts: 7.01 ERA -- even worse when you consider seven unearned runs in 86 innings -- and 49-to-51 K-to-BB ratio (amazingly, he won four games). But don't write him off just yet. Bailey is still only 23 and was turning it around at Louisville after a brutal start to the year. In five June starts, he's 4-0 with a 0.47 ERA and 38-to-7 K-to-BB in 38.1 innings. He always had the arm, and there's a chance he's about to turn the corner.

Verdict: Right now, Bailey should only be owned in the deepest of NL-only leagues, but keep an eye on him on Saturday. With a decent start against the Indians, he'd be worth the gamble in deep leagues.

News:Sheffield needs shot for leg pain

Views: Sheffield owners should have been ready for this. He played a grand total of 39 games in the outfield from 2006-08 and his 40-year-old legs can't be expected to handle it. There's no structural damage, so Sheffield shouldn't miss significant time (he could be back in the lineup this weekend). And it hasn't taken a toll on his hitting. But this is the kind of thing that is going to linger throughout the season.

Verdict: Sheffield owners in leagues with daily lineup changes can move Sheffield back into the lineup as soon as he's ready. Owners in weekly leagues should be safe for the week beginning Monday, but you're taking your life into your hands over the rest of the season.

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