Fantasy Baseball

Fantasy Baseball: Friday Happy Hour

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By: Joe Bond

A lot of change is happening right now in baseball.  A lot of notable players are coming back from the DL or just recently going on the DL and in some cases young stars being called up to replace those injured players.  Some of those young players are big time prospects, and are playing well with their chance.  This gives managers and organizations a tough decision to make.  I will discuss some of those, as well as some other tidbits this Friday in our Happy Hour edition.  

In the Batter’s Box Notes
Oh what will the Rangers do with Jurickson Profar?  Ian Kinsler is supposed to return either Sunday or Monday, unless he suffers a setback. When that happens the Rangers will have to finally decide what to do with Profar.  Obviously Kinsler will take his starting second base job back, but Ron Washington is going to have to decide if they want to keep Profar up as a utility infielder or send him back down to the minors to have him play more regularly.


The Colorado Rockies Troy Tulowitzki just can’t catch a break.  He wound up breaking a rib yesterday and is going to be on the DL for 4-6 weeks.  This is exactly why I stay away from him in fantasy drafts, and those who own him will clearly have a big hole to fill in their lineups.  Rockies also had two other close calls, almost losing Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler for extended time during the same game, but it appears that both dodged serious injuries.  Both are day-to-day and might miss a game or two, but should avoid stints on the DL.

It’s hard not to notice the amazing start Yasiel Puig has had, batting .486 with 4 home runs, 10 RBI and 6 runs in his first 10 games.  The Dodgers outfield is a mess right now with all three starters (Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford) on the DL.  Ethier is expected to return Monday, but Kemp and Crawford are not close to returning and neither have even started running.  This gives Puig more time to prove that he deserves to stay in the majors, and if he does continue to play well, the Dodgers will have quite the decision to make once Kemp and Crawford return.  Ethier could be the odd man out if he doesn’t start producing, but it puts the Dodgers in a tough spot since they just signed him to a healthy contract extension.

There are some other notable players on the DL that have recent updates.  Curtis Granderson, who went on the DL on May 25th with a broken pinkie, was expected to be back within 4 weeks, so by the end of this month, but now the Yankees are saying he is unlikely to return until after the all-star break.  The Diamondbacks are finally getting some good news on their second baseman Aaron Hill.  He is nearing a rehab assignment and could return within two weeks after starting it.  That is great news for Arizona and fantasy owners who have held onto him this season.  

From the Mound Notes
The St. Louis Cardinals are at the top of the pitching news today with an imminent decision coming.  Jake Westbrook is expected to be called up today, so they will have to pick which one of their young starters they want to send back down.  It will either be Michael Wacha or Tyler Lyons.  Most think it is going to be Lyons, but the Cardinals have not said yet as of 3:00pm today, so keep an eye on @FantasySixPack to get the update when

Another team that is going to have a decision to make about its rotation soon, is the Atlanta Braves.  Brandon Beachy just made his final rehab start, and is expected to join the rotation next week, potentially against the Mets on Tuesday.  The Braves will have to decide which of their pitchers will move to the bullpen.  Earlier this season the easy choice was Julio Teheran, but his recent performances, including a near no-hitter on June 5th against the Pirates, has made things more interesting.  If you are going to just use numbers though, Tim Hudson, would be the man sent to the pen, but I find it hard to believe they will do that to a veteran like Hudson.  So with that said, Teheran still may be the odd man out, even though he has out pitched Hudson and arguably Paul Maholm on the season.  


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A couple of young starters came up last week and were immediately popular adds in fantasy leagues.  One of those is Gerrit Cole of the Pittsburgh Pirates.  He pitched fantastic against the Giants last week, holding them to 2-runs in just 6 ⅓ inning.  If he pitches well again this Sunday against the Dodgers, the Pirates will have a tough decision to make.  Although with A.J. Burnett on the DL now, he may have bought himself another 2 weeks.  Tony Cingrani has been great in his limited time up, and in my opinion should stay in the rotation.  Dusty Baker has said already that Cingrani won’t stay up, so my opinion and that of many others obviously doesn’t matter.  They contemplated sticking him in the bullpen, but the team thought that wasn’t the right decision, and for fantasy owners, that wouldn’t help them much anyway.

To finish things up I just want to say it’s about time to stash Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda in all leagues.  He is beginning his rehab assignments soon, and is likely to return to the rotation at the end of this month.  It’s easy to forget how good he was with the Mariners, since it is the Mariners, and it was two seasons ago, but let me remind you.  In the 28 starts during the 2011 season he held a 3.74 ERA and 1.10 WHIP and also had 173 strikeouts in 171 innings.  Yes the ERA isn’t fantastic, but he is young and should provide plenty of value for teams.

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About Joe Bond

Not just another "Average Joe" when it comes to Fantasy Sports, he is the fantasy brain trust behind the FantasySixPack.net website. Joe is one of the Experts included in the FantasyPros Consensus Rankings for Football, Baseball and Basketball and finished well each year. You can find him on Twitter, @F6P_Joe, where he is waiting by the keyboard for your question.

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