Good afternoon! Up to this point, my fantasy baseball advice column has been a daily event, and sometime even appearing on weekends. I have decided that rather than overwhelm you with multiple players each day to try and find, determine if they are a good fit for your specific needs, and then doing it all over again the next day. Owners in my league couldn’t follow my advice each day if they wanted to, as I have inserted a moves cap for both pitchers and hitters on a weekly basis. I have long been an opponent of what has come to be known as streamlining. Where’s the strategy? Exactly! There is no strategy in streamlining, and I’ve seen it wreck many a league in my 20+ years of playing fantasy baseball. I just wanted to give you, my loyal readers a heads up that my fantasy advice piece will now only be appearing on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays each week. That should be more than enough to take in, review, and to see what works in your league’s format. I also want to take this moment to say thank you to each and every one of you that has been a follower of my work here at Pro Sports Extra. It means a lot not only to me, but to each of our writers and management staff. So without further delay, let’s take a peek at Wednesday’s recommendations!
At the Plate, On Deck, and In the Hole:
If you are lucky enough to be in a league that moves as fast as molasses, the obvious first choice to add to your lineup is Cuban defector and now Los Angeles Dodgers‘ outfielder Yasiel Puig. All he has done since being recalled from Double-A is go 2-for-4 in his debut, and topped that with a 3-for-4 effort highlighted by two home runs, and five runs batted in. With Andre Ethier in Don Mattingly‘s doghouse, if Puig continues to hit, and can make the adjustments to major league pitching, he could be the real deal. I’ve heard comparisons to Bo Jackson, which are a little premature, but why not roll the dice and take a chance while he is hot?
The next saves hawk that is readily available on the open market is Colorado Rockies‘ reliever Rex Brothers. He was already one of the best lockdown set up men in baseball, and has now inherited the closer’s job for the time being due to Rafael Betancourt hitting the disabled list. If Brothers can show more consistency than his predecessor, don’t be surprised if he keeps the job once Betancourt is healthy.
Backstop help is always difficult to find, and most owners who didn’t draft one of the elite guys like Buster Posey or Carlos Santana, are stuck rotating between mediocre catchers, and sometime, downright garbage. If you are one of those owners, the time is now to act on Milwaukee Brewers‘ catcher Jonathan Lucroy. Over his past seven days, Lucroy is hitting .400 on the nose, with three bombs, and eight ribbies. He may not be the answer the rest of the way, but he can be Mr. Right Now if your team is lacking catcher depth and you need some juice.
One, Two, Three Strikes You’re Out!
If you haven’t already heard the news, Los Angeles Dodgers‘ pitcher Josh Beckett may have thrown his last major league pitch. He was a human batting practice machine to begin with, and now he is suffering from nerve damage in his pitching shoulder. Spelled out, he’s done. His velocity will never return, and as far as sports medicine has come, the pitching shoulder is still a thin ice issue.
I’ll be the first to admit when I offer up a sucker for an add, and that’s exactly what I did when I said to pick up Chicago White Sox outfielder Dayan Viciedo. The power hasn’t been there, he never hit well for average, and manager Robin Ventura is starting to make motions towards platooning him. The ability is there, but the results have not been. Hey, I can make mistakes too ya know!
What would a fantasy baseball season be without San Diego Padres‘ closer Huston Street being placed on the disabled list? The human china doll is as fragile as he’s ever been, this time pulling up lame with a strained calf muscle. Believe me when I say this: what should be a week to ten days will develop into a post-all star break return. Dump him and look elsewhere for cheap saves.
As I said at the start of the column today, thank you for all of your support and for following the column, and I’ll return Friday with more advice as you head into your weekend!
Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images