I hope each of you had a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend, and that you looked back on those who have paid the ultimate price, and appreciate what each of these great individuals has done for our great country. Major League Baseball performed a nice gesture for the holiday, as each team broke out the desert camo New Era 59Fifty caps and had embossed camo within their jerseys. As always, MLB is ahead of the curve in recognizing the important individuals outside of sports. Now it’s back to work for us in sports land, and with it, your first dose of fantasy advice for Week #9 of the baseball season!
At the Plate, On Deck, and In the Hole:
Coming back like a bad nightmare, the legend of K-Rod has once again made an appearance in Milwaukee. Rodriguez hadn’t garnered much attention on the free agent market this past off-season because of his ineffectiveness and his attitude problems. Low and behold, the Brewers did nothing to address the train wreck that is John Axford, eventually handing the closer’s job to Jim Henderson. Now that Henderson is injured, K-Rod, who was signed less than a month ago to a minor league deal finds himself closing out games for the Brewers. I always live by the Matthew Berry credo that you never, ever want to overpay for saves. The closer’s role changes so quickly, that one day a guy can have a firm hold on the gig, and the next day, someone like Rodriguez is racking up saves. Currently owned in just under half of standard leagues, if you need saves, go ahead and pick him up.
Another former star on the rise and teammate of K-Rod out in Anaheim, Kendrys Morales is beginning to hit with the vigor that made him one of the hottest young prospects when he arrived on the scene in southern California a few ago. His career has been sidetracked by a broken ankle he suffered while jumping on home plate after hitting a walk-off home run for the Angels. Since that time, he has missed quite a bit of the past two seasons, and was dealt to Seattle during the winter. Over his last seven, he is hitting at a .481 clip, scoring bunches of runs, and is showing the power the Mariners had hoped to pair up alongside of Michael Morse. Morales is owned in 46 percent of standard leagues, but that number is moving upward each day. If you need some solid production from a corner infielder, he is your guy.
With the shoulder injury to Cleveland Indians‘ closer Chris Perez, Vinnie Pestano is going to get the first crack at closing out games for the Tribe. He has been one of the most solid set up men in the game over the last couple of seasons, and with shoulder injuries being so unpredictable, Pestano could be locked in for the long run for the remainder of this season. Even when and if Perez comes back, if you can afford to stash Pestano away, I would suggest doing so in case Perez has any set backs.
One, Two, Three Strikes You’re Out!
Keeping with the Tribe theme, for anyone that thought Ubaldo Jimenez had turned the corner and was going to be what he once was, now you’ve had a taste of reality. I know he went seven innings and only allowed two runs in that start, but I’m still saying jump ship. For every flash of brilliance start he makes, he continually gives his owners heartache and headaches with two or three duds in a row. Pitching is far too deep to settle for someone who gives up as many home runs as he does walks.
The once proud hitting machine that is Michael Young is a shell of his former self. He is now hovering around the .260 mark, and the Texas Rangers look brilliant for dumping him off on the Philadelphia Phillies, who were desperate to fill their third base vacancy. Young used to provide solid all around numbers, and usually would be multi-position eligible during the season at a few infield spots. That is no longer the case, nor is your need to own him.
Finally, for those of you that love everyone that wears an Oakland A’s uniform from a fantasy standpoint, it is time to wake up and smell the coffee. Brandon Moss is another of Billy Beane’s quick fixes, whose production fails to carry over beyond one season. Moss is hitting a paltry .240 and isn’t even a starting outfielder on most nights. Cheap power and outfielders are plentiful, much like starting pitching, so cut the cord already, and look elsewhere for outfield production.
Good luck during Week #9, and I’ll be back tomorrow with more valuable tidbits to get you on the right track, or to help keep you there!
Photo Credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images