Fantasy baseball News & Notes: Matsuzaka a ninth-inning man?
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.
Just last week, Mets' manager Terry Collins anointed Kyle Farnsworth as the team's closer after Jose Valverde couldn't stamp down on his constantly rising ERA. But with Farnsworth resting after being used three times in the past four days, it was Daisuke Matsuzaka who trotted out to the mound in the ninth inning for the Mets to record his first save since May 2000.
Matsuzaka hasn't done much in his American baseball career. He was once so highly sought-after that the Red Sox gave him $50 million just to sit down and talk to him, and he was pretty terrific in his second season with the Sox in 2008, when he went 18-3 and posted a 2.90 ERA. But his career has been in a downward spiral ever since then. These days, he's been overshadowed by fellow Japanese pitchers Yu Darvish and Masahiro Tanaka to such a degree that I'm guessing a lot of fantasy owners didn't realize Matsuzaka was even on the Mets.
But Matsuzaka can regain some relevance if he can somehow find a way to latch onto the closer's spot in New York. Terry Collins has stated recently that he could see Matsuzaka closing for them. However, the 38-year-old Farnsworth has only had one choppy outing since he got the job, and it wouldn't make sense for there to be a switch-up so soon, especially since 33-year-old Matsuzaka is no sure bet to succeed as a closer either.
For now, Matsuzaka merely belongs on your watch list. Being behind Kyle Farnsworth on the closer list is a great position to be in, and with his starter eligibility, Matsuzaka would make a pretty valuable closer. He's just a speculation add for now, but owning him could pay dividends down the line.
For your consideration
• Mark Teixeira went 1-3 with his first home run of the season yesterday. Teixeira still isn't all the way back from the wrist injury he sustained last season, and has already missed time this year with a hamstring injury. It's hard to get that excited about an injury-prone slugger whose slugging days may very well be behind him, but he is hitting in the middle of the Yankees' order and he does have a track record of being pretty productive when he's healthy. He isn't a priority add by any means, but he's worth monitoring.
• The criminally-underowned Adam Dunn hit a home run last night, giving him five on the year and 445 in his career. Much deference has been given to Dunn's horrible batting average, which has dipped closer and closer to the Mendoza Line throughout his career. Yet, he's a pretty safe bet to smash 30 home runs and record at least 80 RBI this season, and for what it's worth, he's even hitting .266 right now. Guys who can net 30 homers are in short supply these days, and owners needn't be so stingy. Unless you're in a points league, where his strikeout total would sink you, give Dunn some major consideration if he's sitting on your wire right now. He's available in 64 percent of Yahoo! fantasy leagues.
• Corey Kluber was fantastic against the Royals, allowing no earned runs and four hits while striking out 11. After some rough starts, this outing brings Kluber's ERA down to 3.90, and gives owners reason to add him in time for his next start against the Angels.
• Brian Wilson got smacked around by the Phillies last night, bringing his ever-expanding ERA to 15.75. On the surface, this doesn't mean much, as Wilson doesn't have any fantasy value as the Dodgers' set-up man. However, if something should ever happen to Kenley Jansen (who does have a weird history of injuries), there's virtually no chance the Dodgers would hand the closer baton to Wilson after his brutal start.
• Danny Espinosa went 3-5 with a home run last night, and in limited playing time, he's recorded two home runs and two steals while hitting .317. Espinosa has a tendency to strikeout a bunch, and he's only getting an everyday run while Ryan Zimmerman is out. Still, with his unique combination of speed and power, he's not a bad option at second base for the next month or so. And at the rate Matt Williams is shuffling his lineup, it's not impossible Espinosa could be hitting near the top of the Nationals' lineup in the near future.
You can follow David Pincus on Twitter @Reetae_.