|by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer|
The good part about having Jon Heyman in studio for the first segment of Fantasy Baseball Today is ... well, it's Jon Heyman in studio. The bad part is one of Al Melchior and I have to sit out that segment.
On Monday, it was my turn, which means I didn't get a chance to react to the biggest storylines from the weekend. But thanks to this blog, where I can write whatever I want, whenever I want, for however long I want (OK, maybe not that last part), I get to react to their reactions.
I know what you're thinking: Don't be so reactionary. Well, I've thought these reactions through, which is the advantage writing affords me over video.
If I was, uh, just, uh ... you know, talking about it, it would, uh, uh ... it would, uh ... hmm ... you probably would have tuned me out before I got my point across. Or the host would have cut me off.
Long story short: Blogs rule. Videos drool. Jon Heyman is cool. Adam Aizer's a fool.
Al doesn't seem so enthusiastic about Rusney Castillo from a skills perspective, and I guess I can understand looking at his numbers from his last season in Cuba, when he hit .274 with six homers and 15 steals in 234 at-bats. But he was an all-around performer before then, hitting for average and power with speed ... not that we really know how any of those numbers will translate to the big leagues. Based on how it's gone for Yoenis Cespedes, Yasiel Puig and Jose Abreu, though, I'm inclined to buy the hype on any player coming over from Cuba right now. Even Alex Guerrero, who was considered so-so by comparison, has only upped his stock with his performance at Triple-A Albuquerque. Granted, Leonys Martin and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez haven't panned out as hoped, but so far, the good has outweighed the bad for that pipeline.
I'd like to see Yunel Escobar traded to Oakland, but only if it means we get another look at Nick Franklin prior to next spring. The Rays love the guy, which might be the only explanation for why they gave up Price for, at least from our perspective, "so little." The transition from the Pacific Coast League to the International League hasn't been kind to him, which might keep him in the minors regardless of what happens with Escobar, but a little momentum heading into the offseason would make him an intriguing sleeper next spring.
Kennys Vargas has shown impressive power since joining the Twins at the start of August, but his .337 batting average and 23 RBI have more to do his success so far in Fantasy. And they won't continue. Vargas has struck out nearly every third at-bat, leading to a .424 BABIP. Even without a correction in batting average, the law of averages says he won't continue to drive in a run per game. That's not to say he can't help in Fantasy -- I'd take him over Chris Davis if I needed power right now -- but he's not quite as dreamy as he appears.
Jon mentioned that, once upon a time, Marcus Stroman had some detractors who thought he'd wind up in the bullpen long-term, but understand that when we say he's slowing down, it doesn't mean his future role is in question. It just means he's entering unfamiliar territory with his innings, having already thrown six more than his career high, which might explain why he's allowed five earned runs in three of his last four starts. Al mentioned an innings limit, but he's still far enough away from that that you'll want to hold on to him. He's just not must-start anymore.
I understand the skepticism over Carlos Carrasco. He's burned those who believed in him several times over already. But when I look at what's out there at starting pitcher and see this guy throwing near triple digits without any apparent control issues, I'm sorry, but I can't just brush him off. Other than Mike Fiers, he may be as close as you'll get to a late-season miracle.