Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Reality Check: Too many moves to make (or mention)

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

You follow all that? This past weekend, I mean?

I'm not referring to Bartolo Colon's complete game shutout Friday or Francisco Liriano's 11-strikeout effort Saturday. What happened on the field wasn't nearly as interesting to Fantasy owners as what happened off it.

To recap, Yasiel Puig, who has kept us all salivating since hitting .517 in 58 at-bats this spring, is up and ready to claim the Dodgers' starting center field job. Tyler Skaggs, who struck out nine over six shutout innings in a spot start May 27, will inherit the injured Brandon McCarthy's rotation spot Tuesday. Anthony Rendon, making the transition from third to second base in the minors, is now at Triple-A and likely only days away from unseating a battered and beaten Danny Espinosa. And apparently, Zack Wheeler, considered the best prospect of the four coming into the season, needs just a couple more starts at Triple-A before breaking into the big leagues.

And, oh yeah, two new closers have entered the fray in Rex Brothers and Luke Gregerson.

Gentlemen, start your bidding.

That's how it went in most of my leagues, anyway, with all sensibilities and thoughts of fiscal restraint drowned in a sea of FAAB dollars.

For good reason?

Well, it's not like these six will be the last to emerge off the waiver wire this season. We still have yet to hear so much as a peep from prospects like Billy Hamilton, Christian Yelich and the biggest of all of them, Wil Myers, and of course, the ever-shifting closer landscape will ever shift, introducing new sources of saves just about every week.

But this wave being the first wave, its effects will last the longest. Those who ride it will have a leg up on those who catch the next one, especially since the debris this time around might actually stick.

Yes, a weekend like this one is exactly what you save all those FAAB dollars for -- and I say that as someone who never cared to save in the first place, having spent more than half my budget in most of my leagues even before this weekend. Now, I'm down to $33 in one, and my only regret is not spending more.

Some of you are right there with me, whether your league uses FAAB bidding or simple add-drops to distribute free agent talent. But judging by the ownership percentages of some of these players, entire leagues somehow missed the boat.

Most Added Players (as of 6/4)
Player Name % change
1. Yasiel Puig, OF, Dodgers 40
2. Michael Wacha, SP, Cardinals 38
3. Tyler Chatwood, SP, Rockies 37
4. Matt Joyce, OF, Rays 30
5. Eric Stults, SP, Dodgers 26
6. Tyler Skaggs, SP, D-Backs 24
7. Jason Castro, C, Astros 22
8. Bartolo Colon, SP, Athletics 20
9. Luke Gregerson, RP, Padres 20
10. Nick Franklin, SS, Mariners 11

To bring them up to speed -- and perhaps reassure those still wondering if they made the right moves -- I've decided to relate my experience with the waiver wire this weekend right here, right now.

With so many competing variables, it's only appropriate in this case. Why assess player value with no thought to context or strategy?

Plus, I need something to show for my weekend. As many times as I fidgeted with the names and numbers, let me tell you, it was an experience.

My biggest regret

I didn't get Puig -- not in one single league. I made what I thought were aggressive bids ($10 in one league, $8 in another -- both with a $100 budget), only to see him go for a dollar or two more. What a lousy time to get cheap. What a complete lack of awareness on my part. All that anticipation, all that longing, all that hype, and I thought I could get him with one-tenth of my budget? I mean, Bo Jackson? You might as well have compared him to Chuck Norris.

So yeah, Puig is the first priority of this bunch simply because he's the most in demand. What's funny is he might be the least likely to stick around for the long haul. He'll have to wow the Dodgers for it to happen. Otherwise, they'll just stick with Andre Ethier in right field after Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp return, hoping to redeem something from his exorbitant contract.

But of course, given what little we've seen from Puig as a professional, he's fully capable of wowing -- a potential five-category stud from the get-go. For him, the ubiquitous just-in-case approach applies. If he sticks, he's a game-changer, and it's not as far-fetched for him as for someone like Jurickson Profar.

The closer conundrum

Like many of you, I play in a league where saves are in such high demand that anyone who emerges as a viable source of them goes for $20-plus in weekly FAAB bidding. It's absurd.

Being in first place but second-to-last in saves, I decided to use Puig's arrival to win some saves on the cheap, bidding more on Brothers and Gregerson than on Puig himself.

I bid more on Brothers than Gregerson, and he's the one I got. Kind of outsmarted myself there. I assumed everyone else would also bid more on Brothers since he has the electric arsenal and superior pedigree, but I actually trust Gregerson to last longer in the role. Rafael Betancourt has already managed to pitch through his groin injury, so I expect a minimal DL stay for him. Huston Street, on the other hand, might need to rest his strained calf for a month, as slow as they are to heal.

What's worse is the expectation of getting both prevented me from bidding the extra $4 that would have landed me Puig. Priorities, sir, priorities.

I should stress that Brothers and Gregerson deserve high bids only in leagues where saves are scarce. If in yours, other fill-in closers like Francisco Rodriguez or Vinnie Pestano -- or even full-timers like Bobby Parnell or Ernesto Frieri -- are still available, don't bother.

My greatest triumph

Rendon is mine. I don't even need to provide context there. By some miracle of miracles, I got him in every league where he was available.

And apparently, I still could. He's owned in only 25 percent of leagues.

My colleague Nando Di Fino put it best: With all the hoopla over Puig, Rendon could potentially slip through the cracks just because he's not here yet.

But if the reports -- and I would classify them as reports, not just rumors -- of him unseating Danny Espinosa in matter of days are true, he's potentially the more impactful pickup than Puig. He'll soon be eligible at one of the weakest positions in Fantasy, and though he struggled in sporadic duty during his first stint in the majors, he has an impact bat.

The sixth overall pick in the 2011 draft is showing just how refined his talents are after having missed most of the last two seasons -- including his last year of college -- with injuries, destroying the upper levels of the minors with a .320 batting average and 1.064 OPS, not to mention more walks than strikeouts.

Rendon may not be as high-priority as Puig, but anyone who needs middle-infield help should nab him before it's too late.

Those other guys

I have to admit I didn't make the same push for Wheeler or Skaggs that I did for Puig and Rendon in my leagues. Where they're still available, so are half a billion other pitchers I'd like to have on my roster.

Check out our Fantasy Baseball podcast!
Stay a step ahead of your competition in 2014 by checking out our popular Fantasy Baseball Today podcasts. Adam Aizer, Scott White and Al Melchior will entertain you and help you dominate all season.
Latest episode | Subscribe!

Colon is great example. His shutout Friday opened my eyes to just how effective he's been this season, but I still can't get him higher than 89th in my starting pitcher rankings. The position is just too deep.

That's not to say I wouldn't take Wheeler or Skaggs over Colon, but I'm not usually choosing between them and Colon. I'm choosing between them and A.J. Griffin or Travis Wood or John Lackey.

Any way you look at it, it's not an easy call, but with Wheeler not even here yet and Skaggs likely to forfeit his spot to Daniel Hudson (if not McCarthy) a couple weeks from now, I wouldn't consider either a must-have.

The forgotten man

Frankly, I'd prefer Kevin Gausman to both, and he's still available in one-third of our leagues. I didn't even think to check for him in my leagues with everything else going on, but with an impressive start Sunday (against the Tigers, no less), he's locked into the Orioles rotation for the time being. And his upside is about on par with Wheeler's and Skaggs'.

But again, starting pitcher is a deep position where, more likely than not, you'll have to pass on some of the options you like. For a better idea of how all the pieces fit together and whether or not you can make room for Gausman, Wheeler or Skaggs, check out my updated rankings.

But what about ...?

As I mentioned earlier, some of this weekend's biggest performers had to go by the wayside with everything else happening on the waiver wire. Jonathan Lucroy, with his eight hits and three homers during a weekend series at Philadelphia, has re-entered the mixed-league discussion at catcher, and the surprising James Loney, with his two-homer game Friday, doesn't seem to be going away.

Am I saying you should ignore them? Of course not. But I see them more as needs-based options. Players like Puig and Rendon (and let's add Profar to the mix now that he looks like he'll be staying longer) should appeal to everybody because of their upside. They have the potential to unseat whoever you currently start at their positions.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott White at @CBSScottWhite . You can also e-mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Rockies' Nick Hundley hits game-tying home run in loss Thursday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(1:01 am ET) Rockies catcher Nick Hundley went 2 for 5 with a single and two RBI, including a solo home run in Thursday's 9-8 loss to the Cardinals. Hundley launched his eighth home run in the sixth inning to tie the game at 6-6. 

Hundley has been swinging the bat well over the past two weeks or so. In his last 14 games, the backstop is hitting .358 with two home runs and nine RBI. 


Pirates outright OF Gorkys Hernandez to Triple-A
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(1:00 am ET) The Pirats announced late Thursday they have outrighted outfielder Gorkys Hernandez to Triple-A Indianapolis, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Hernandez had been on a rehab assignment at Triple-A. He was hitless in five at-bats with the Pirates in his first MLB action since 2012 before being put on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. 


A's RP Sean Doolittle (shoulder) could be nearing rehab
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(12:57 am ET) Athletics reliever Sean Doolittle threw from a mound on Thursday, the first time he's done so since landing on the disabled list for a second time at the end of May. 

Doolittle made 26 pitches, mixing in all of his pitches on Thursday.

"That's the best bullpen I've seen him throw," manager Bob Melvin said, per MLB.com. "I think he feels psychologically a little bit better about letting it go. It seemed to me that he was guarding it a little bit more so the last time. He definitely was not this time. It seemed like there was a lot more whip."

The left-hander, who is out with a strained left shoulder, is expected to have another bullpen session on Saturday. If all goes well, he could go out on a rehab assignment shortly thereafter. 


Rangers SP Derek Holland (shoulder) begins rehab assignment
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(12:50 am ET) Rangers left-hander Derek Holland began his minor-league rehab assignment, starting the game for Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday. Holland allowed two runs on two hits over 1 2/3 innings, suffering the loss. He walked one and struck out three, throwing 22 of his 39 pitches for strikes.

Holland has made one start all year for the Rangers, coming all the way back in early April. He has been sidelined ever since with a shoulder injury. Holland is currently expected to make two more starts before returning to the Rangers' rotation.


Indians 1B Carlos Santana hits big HR in tight victory
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(12:44 am ET) Indians first baseman Carlos Santana cracked a first-inning home run to propel Cleveland to a 3-1 victory on Thursday, his 12th homer of the season. 

Santana connected off A's starter Chris Bassitt to dead center, driving in Michael Brantley to give the Indians a 3-0 lead. 

Santana has now hit safely in eight of his last 10 games to raise his average to .227. 


Athletics SP Chris Bassitt remains winless
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(12:39 am ET) Athletics starter Chris Bassitt had a shaky first inning, allowing three runs, and despite pitching well for the remainder of his outing, wound up on the losing end of a 3-1 defeat Thursday.

Bassitt went seven innings, scattering six hits while striking out six and walking just one in what was the best of his five starts this season. However, Bassitt's record dropped to 0-4.


Cardinals' Matt Carpenter has monster night at the plate vs. Rockies
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(12:35 am ET) Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter had a strong night at the plate on Thursday. Carpenter went 4 for 5 with a double, four RBI and four runs scored in the 9-8 win over the Rockies.

Carpenter also knocked a pair of home runs off starter Chris Rusin, including a three-run shot in the second inning. The two longballs give Carpenter 12 on the season.

Over his last 10 games, Carpenter is now batting .297 with three homers and seven RBI.


Indians SP Carlos Carrasco pitches complete game in win
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(12:33 am ET) Carlos Carrasco was dominant for the Indians on Thursday, pitching a complete-game two-hitter as Cleveland earned a 3-1 win over the Athletics. 

Carrasco allowed a first-inning RBI double, but that was just about it, as he wound up striking out seven hitters while walking just one. Carrasco only needed 103 pitches to spin his gem, using 14 ground-ball outs to power through the Oakland lineup. 

It is Carrasco's first complete game of the season and the fourth of his career. He improves to 11-8 on the season, fourth-most wins in the AL. 


Tigers' Yoenis Cespedes homers, drives in three on Thursday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(12:30 am ET) Surrounded by trade rumors, Tigers left fielder Yoenis Cespedes went 3 for 5 with two singles and a two-run home run in Thursday's 9-8 win over the Orioles. 

Cespedes belted his 18th home run of the season with two outs in the fourth to cap a five-run inning for Detroit. 

Cespedes, who could be dealt prior to Friday's 4pm trade dealine, is batting .325 with five home runs and nine RBI over his last 10 games.


Giants acquire SP Mike Leake from Reds for two minor leaguers
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(12:24 am ET) The Giants have acquired right-hander Mike Leake from the Reds, CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman reports.

Leake had been solid in the Reds' rotation this year, going 9-5 with a 3.56 ERA. He has been even better here in July, as he posted a 1.25 ERA in five starts this month. 

The Giants have officially announced the trade. They are sending two minor leaguers, right-hander Keury Meila and first baseman Adam Duvall, to the Reds in exchange for Leake.


 
 
 
Rankings