Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
2013 Draft Prep Guide
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Setting the Trends: Should you bother with Nava?

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Daniel Nava has a pretty awesome story.

Shunned by high school, college, and professional teams, he has had to prove himself constantly at every level. He entered high school under 100 pounds. He was forced to a junior college when he couldn't get a college scholarship. He played in the Independent Leagues when MLB clubs passed. And he learned to bide his time in the minors until it was time for his call-up.

In his first go-round, in 2010, Nava smacked a grand slam on the first pitch he saw. This time, he's hitting above .500, and has already shown an impressive amount of patience at the plate.

Nava may not last forever with the Red Sox -- they already have an overflow of outfielders, especially if you subscribe to the Will Middlebrooks-to-the-outfield theories -- but he is definitely hot right now, and there is something to be said for the mindset of a perennially pushed-aside underdog who left a ticket for for ESPN's Erin Andrews every night in Pawtucket.

On to the Roster Trends!

Most added highlights

Andy Dirks, OF, Tigers
Jump in ownership: 35 percent (from four percent to 39)
Reason for the jump: Dirks is batting .361 with three home runs and 14 runs scored in 72 at-bats.
Why you should join the crowd: Dirks has taken advantage of some dysfunction in Detroit's lineup and managed to not only find playing time, but to perform admirably in that time. He has two home runs and five multi-hit games in his last nine. He's not going to hit for a lot of power -- his ceiling is likely 15-20 home runs, but he did carry a .292 batting average in the minors and has 219 major league at-bats under his belt from a 2011 stint with the Tigers.
Devil's Advocate: If and when Dirks cools off (don't think it will happen? Remember J.D. Martinez three weeks ago?), he'll be cast into Jim Leyland's toy box of rotating outfielders, which, so far this season, has included Ryan Raburn, Delmon Young, Brennan Boesch, Don Kelly, Clete Thomas, and Austin Jackson.

Most Added Players (as of 5/16)
Player % increase
1. Josh Reddick, OF, Athletics 39
2. Andy Dirks, OF, Tigers 36
3. Christian Friedrich, SP, Rockies 34
4. Brian Fuentes, RP, Athletics 32
5. Allen Craig, 1B, Cardinals 29
6. Dale Thayer, RP, Padres 23
7. Casey Janssen, RP, Blue Jays 22
8. Rafael Soriano, RP, Yankees 21
9. Raul Ibanez, OF, Yankees 21
10. A.J. Ellis, C, Dodgers 20

Casey Janssen, RP, Blue Jays
Jump in ownership: 33 percent (from one percent to 34)
Reason for the jump: He is the newest closer for the Blue Jays. Huzzah!
Why you should join the crowd: Janssen is in line for saves. That's essentially the long and short of it. If he excels, he will help you in that category. If he fails miserably, it will probably occur over 14 or 15 innings, which is, essentially, the same thing as two bad starts from a starter.
Devil's Advocate: This is all likely a short-term game. Sergio Santos is expected to return at some point and re-claim the closer's role. So even if Janssen, who has 11 career saves and a 3.83 ERA, turns out to be a great closer, it may turn out to be an ephemeral turn as closer for him.

Christian Friedrich, SP, Rockies
Jump in ownership: 28 percent (from four percent to 32)
Reason for the jump: Friedrich has 17 strikeouts in two starts for the Rockies so far this year.
Why you should join the crowd: Friedrich, a first-round pick in 2008, averaged almost a strikeout per inning over five seasons in the minor leagues. The Denver Post's Troy Renck called Friedrich's 10- strikeout performance against the Giants on Monday, "arguably the most impressive performance by a Rockie this season," adding that he was, "efficient, effective, and dominant." Parades will be thrown in his honor; Friedrich Day will be celebrated every July 8 in Denver. He is the future.
Devil's Advocate: ... but then you look at his minor league numbers. While Friedrich had impressive strikeout totals, he managed to compile a 5.05 ERA in 2010 at Double-A Tulsa and a 5.00 ERA the following season with the same team. His WHIPs didn't look much better: 1.55 in 2010 and 1.49 in 2011. Although his ERA did go down by 0.05, it's not exactly what one would term, "growth." But Friedrich was limited in 2010 with a sore elbow and was out of shape in 2011. He drastically changed his offseason routine before the 2012 season, including workouts with Cliff Lee in Arkansas. The numbers looked totally different for his short pre-promotion stint this year. Still, in total, Friedrich's minor league ERA was a robust 4.04 and his two starts for the Rockies have come away from Coors Field.

Less than 50, more than 50
Players owned in less than 50% of leagues who should be owned in more than 50%
Player % owned
1. Wei-Yin Chen, SP, Orioles 43
2. Geovany Soto, C, Cubs 41
3. Brian Fuentes, RP, Athletics 38
4. Travis Hafner, DH, Indians 31
5. Eric Thames, OF, Blue Jays 25

Dale Thayer, RP, Padres
Jump in ownership: 25 percent (from three percent to 28)
Reason for the jump: Replacing an injured Huston Street, Thayer has saved three games for the Pads.
Why you should join the crowd: Argue all you want that Andrew Cashner and his triple-digit fastball should be closing games, but Thayer is the pitcher who has actually gotten the opportunities. And saving games is nothing new to him; over 10 minor league seasons, Thayer saved 173 games. He has a minor league career ERA of 2.45 and averaged about a strikeout per inning. Interestingly, the only minor league season in which Thayer has pitched and not gotten a save was this year -- in 8 1/3 innings pitched, Thayer had yet to save a game for Tucson. He's a great story of resiliency in the minors -- at 31, Thayer had pitched a total of 26 major league innings and had been a member of the Padres, Rays, and Mets organizations. He has the distinct honor of being a "player to be named later" in a trade (for Russell Branyan, in 2006).
Devil's Advocate: Thayer has shown he can be an effective reliever in the minors and has proven, so far, that he can handle MLB hitters, as well. But Street's injury isn't as serious as it could have been (although the team hasn't set a timetable for a return, his injury is centered in his lat, not his shoulder, making it less of a long-term worry), so Thayer will likely be out of a job when Street returns in a month or so.
Still ...: It's a month of saves from a position that made Heath Bell -- a former middling Mets reliever, just like Thayer -- a three-time, 40-save closer. So he will get chances as long as Street is out.

Raul Ibanez, OF, Yankees
Jump in ownership: 22 percent (from 28 percent to 50)
Reason for the jump: Ibanez has seven home runs on the season, with four coming in the last week.
Why you should join the crowd: Thanks to Brett Gardner's injury and the demotion of Eduardo Nunez, Ibanez has gone from a DH-who-plays-most-of-the-time to a valuable piece of New York's OF-DH rotation. He began May with a .241 average and raised it to .261 by Tuesday. Ibanez has a career batting average of .280 and has hit 20 or more home runs seven times in his career. Although it's a small sample size (74 at-bats), Ibanez's 1.009 career OPS at the new Yankee Stadium is the highest for him at any MLB park. Furthermore, Ibanez has over 800 career at-bats as a designated hitter, meaning he didn't need time to adjust to the sometimes off-setting rhythm of the position. As a DH this year, Ibanez has a 1.068 OPS in 29 at-bats.
Devil's Advocate: Ibanez, who turns 40 in June, hasn't hit over.275 since 2008. And last year with the Phillies, Ibanez managed just a .245 average in 535 at-bats. When Gardner comes back, he may fall back into a platoon split with Andruw Jones.

We are the 1 percent!
Players owned in 1% of leagues who might make an impact in 2012
Player
1. Brandon Guyer, OF, Rays
2. Everth Cabrera, SS, Padres
3. Hideki Matsui, DH, Rays
4. Brandon Lyon, RP, Astros
5. Tony Gwynn, OF, Dodgers

Brandon Inge, 3B, Athletics
Jump in ownership: 17 percent (from three percent to 20)
Reason for the jump: Despite a groin injury that has kept him out of the lineup since Sunday, Inge has torn up pitching since joining the A's, hitting four home runs and driving in 17 runs in just 44 at-bats.
Why you should join the crowd: Inge excels -- to a degree -- when getting full-time at-bats. In the five seasons where he had 500 at-bats or more, Inge has averaged 19.4 home runs.
Devil's Advocate: Inge also carries a .234 career batting average, and hasn't hit over .250 since 2006. He does have the ability to steal some bases, but he hasn't broken double-digits once in his career.

Daniel Nava, OF, Red Sox
Jump in ownership: Five percent (from zero percent to five)
Reason for the jump: Nava is batting .583 with six RBI, six runs, four doubles, a homer, six walks, and a steal in just 12 at-bats.
Why you should join the crowd: This joke will eventually get old, but in 12 at-bats, Nava has as many home runs as Albert Pujols has managed in 142. His OPS, as of Tuesday, sat at 1.917. Nava also has a career .307 batting average in the minor leagues and has four seasons of double-digit home runs across five campaigns. He has started all five games since being called up, and is batting sixth in the Boston lineup. And his defense is sound: He gunned down Jack Hannahan at home plate Friday night and has earned faint praise from Bobby Valentine for his defense in left, which is a challenge thanks to the Green Monster. And Valentine is not afraid to start the Daniel Navas of the world, having given extended at-bats to Benny Agbayani and Timo Perez while managing the Mets. If you want even more reasons to love him, read this interview from 2009 -- Nava has been repeatedly dismissed and ignored by all kinds of teams at every level, but he has a really smart approach to hitting; or, perhaps more appropriately, walking.
Devil's Advocate: The Red Sox simply have too many outfielders. On top of that, Nava's best minor league season might have been 2011, when he had 10 home runs and 10 steals, while hitting .268 (although his OBP was .372). So his value -- if he manages to keep playing -- may be limited to deeper points leagues.
Daniel Nava's Advocate: Just keep doubting him. You'll see.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Nando Di Fino at @NandoCBS . You can also send our staff an e-mail at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Jean Segura hits first homer in win
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(1:31 am ET) Brewers shortstop Jean Segura's bat is showing signs of waking up, as he homered for the first time in a 5-2 in over the Padres Wednesday.

Segura took Tyson Ross deep in his first at-bat, riving in three runs with a shot to left field. He finished the game 2 for 3 with three RBI and one run scored in the win.

Segura is still hitting just .247/.273/.341 as he tries to work his way out of a season-opening slump. He has five RBI and 11 runs scored, but has been caught stealing on four of his nine stolen base attempts. 


Yadier Molina extends hitting streak with three-hit game
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(1:26 am ET) Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina extended his hitting streak to 14 games Wednesday, and he didn't leave much doubt. Molina reached base safely in each of his trips to the plate, finishing 3 for 3 with a pair of doubles and a walk. He also drove in one run in the 3-2 loss.  

Molina is now hitting .36/.398/.557 through 20 hgames, with three home runs, 11 RBI and 10 runs scored. 


Matt Carpenter finding his way
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(1:23 am ET) Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter was almost constantly on base Wednesday, in a 3-2 loss to the Mets. Carpenter reached four times, with three singles and a walk to his credit, though he scored just once while going 4 for 5.

 A recent three-game hitting streak has raised Carpenter's average to .296, and he carries a .392 on-base percentage and .346 slugging percentage as well through 22 games. 


Andrew McCutchen homers in third straight
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(1:20 am ET) Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen has caught fire, homering for the third straight game Wednesday against the Reds.

McCutchen put together his third multi-hit game in a row to go along with the homer, a solo shot in the third inning of a 5-2 loss. He finished the game 2 for 4 with one RBI, one run scored and one walk.

As recently as Sunday, McCutchen was hitting just .243 with only one home run. He now has four homers on the season, and is hitting .298/.423/.536 in 84 at-bats.  


Kenley Jansen settling back in
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(1:16 am ET) Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen continued to turn his season around Wednesday, recording his fourth save in a row in a 5-2 win over the Phillies.

Jansen retired the Phillies in order for the save, striking out one batter and ending the inning on 14 pitches. He has tossed four scoreless outings in a row, lowering his ERA to 3.46 for the season, with 24 strikeouts in 13 innings of work. He is 8 for 10 on save chances. 


Cole Hamels takes tough-luck loss in debut
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(1:11 am ET) Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels did not look particularly rusty at all in his season debut Wednesday, though he took a tough loss as the Phillies fell, 5-2 to the Dodgers.

Hamels allowed two runs in six innings of work, one in the second and one in the fifth, limiting the Dodgers to six hits, four of which were singles. He struck out five and walked just one, while throwing 55 of 86 pitches for strikes.

Hamels showed few lingering issues following his recovery from a shoulder injury, and will likely have his pitch limit lifted in coming starts. His next start is scheduled for Tuesday against the Mets. 


Zack Greinke makes history in win
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(1:06 am ET) Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke continued his stellar work Wednesday against the Phillies, as he moved to 4-0 in a 5-2 victory.

Greinke limited the Phillies to just two runs on five hits in seven innings of work, and he etched his name into the record books with the start. According to Elias Sports Bureau, this was Greinke's 17th straight start allowing two or fewer earned runs, the longest streak since 1900. He struck out 11 and walked just one en route to the win.

Greinke is 4-0 through five starts, with a 2.45 ERA. He has struck out 40 batters while walking just five in 29 1/3 innings, and will try to keep his strong play up in his next start, Tuesday against the Twins. 


Adam LaRoche shows no problems with quad
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(1:03 am ET) Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche was back in the lineup Wednesday against the Angels, after missing the team's previous game with tightness in his quad. He showed no lingering effects from the injury, extending his hitting streak to seven games by going 3 for 5 with a walkoff RBI single in the 5-4 win.

LaRoche is off to a strong star to the season, hitting .315/.419/.479 in 73 at-bats, with three RBI and 12 home runs.


No lingering effects for Dee Gordon
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:59 am ET) Dodgers infielder Dee Gordon was not in the lineup Wednesday against the Phillies, but the shot he took to the head late in the team's previous game was not the reason why.

Manager Don Mattingly told MLB.com he was simply giving Gordon a day off to rest, and was feeling no ill effects after hitting his head on an infielder's knee Tuesday. 


Chad Billingsley shut down five to seven days
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:56 am ET) Dodgers starting pitcher Chad Billingsley had a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right elbow Tuesday, in an effort to alleviate tendinitis in his flexor tendon. He will be shut down five to seven days to let the injection take effect according to MLB.com, and will then resume a throwing program.

There is no timetable for his return to action after this latest setback from Tommy John surgery. 


 
 
 
Rankings