I already miss my beach in Hawaii, but it’s time to talk fantasy baseball and put the dreams of my vacation out of my head. Today I’ll do what I often do – randomly hit on a variety of players that struck me as I was reviewing the world of baseball over the last 24 hours. I know, I know, but it’s what I do (the being random thing).
Kenley Jansen should have been the Dodgers closer since day one, but for some unknown reason they overpaid Brandon League to not only join their pen but to work the 9th inning. Consider that project scrapped. Finally installed as the closer, Jansen continues to be one of a handful of relievers that can legitimately be called the most dominating in the game. Over his last 103 outings he has a 2.36 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP, a 13.54 K/9 mark an a 5.54 K/BB ratio. When you pitch like that for 10 years Cooperstown comes calling.
Brett Lawrie (ankle) is just about ready to start his rehab work and it will commence Wednesday at High-A ball. Totally guessing here, but it’s possible he could be back in a couple of weeks if he doesn’t hit a snag in his recovery. No doubt a major disappointment since the start of last season, he could be available on waivers in your league (over at Fleaflicker he’s owned in just 51 percent of leagues). If he is, I would add him to your roster just as I recommended you do in his Player Profile before the season started.
Nick Markakis isn’t elite at anything. Therefore, many in the fantasy game ignore him or downplay his talents which are ample by the way. A career .295 hitter, Markakis has hit at least .284 in all of his seven big league seasons and there he goes again hitting .292 this year. He’s on pace for his highest homer total in four years (16), and if you add in 80 RBIs and 90 runs scored what you have is one heck of a season, no?
Wil Myers has hit .294 with two homers and seven RBIs through eight games, a great start to his big league career. However, keep a close eye on his BB/K marks. Through eight games he has nine whiffs and hasn’t walked a single time. That’s why he’s much more likely to be a .250 hitter than a .290 hitter this season.
Jonathan Papelbon has a 2.12 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and better than a five to one K/BB ratio. He’s been really good. At the same time, he’s been awful of late with a blown save in 3-straight outings and four in five outings. He’s in no danger of losing his job though unless the slump continues. Too bad Mike Adams owners might be dealing with surgery to repair an issue with his labrum or the Phils might have an option to turn to in order to given Papelbon a brief break. The Phillies might have to turn to what, Antonio Bastardo instead? Yikes.
Jose Reyes is expected to come off the DL on Wednesday. Keep a close eye on that ankle as so much of his game relates to how his wheels are a running. He has hit .412 with one steals and three runs scored in four games at Triple-A after going 5-for-12 with a steal in three games at High-A ball. He appears to be ready to make an impact.
Drew Stubbs owns a career slash line of .241/.311/.386. This season those marks are .245/.301/.389 thanks to a 6-game hitting streak and hits in 13 of 15 games. He’s been a bit light though this season with six homers and just eight steals. He could still get to the 15 homers he’s averaged the past two years, but he’s going to have to run like crazy to get to the 35 thefts he averaged the past two years.
Eric Stults has allowed a total of 10 runs over his last six outings to drop his ERA to 3.20 (Stults has allowed more than three earned runs just once in his last 11 outings). That’s a better mark than Gio Gonzalez (3.34). Stults has a 1.09 WHIP thanks to walking a total of three batters in his last six starts. That WHIP is better than the 1.12 mark of Matt Cain. I’ve been riding the wave in a couple of deep mixed leagues but we have to face facts. He doesn’t strike anyone out (5.80 per nine), isn’t an extreme ground ball hurler (42.1 ground ball rate), and appears to be in for a bit of correction in the HR/F ratio (it’s just 5.4 percent right now). Honestly, his skills say 4.09 ERA not 3.09 ERA. Still, he’s one of those guys – hello Bartolo Colon, Jeff Locke, Mike Leake, Travis Wood – that are continuing to get it done despite not really owning the skills to be looked at as good bets to keep it up.