Another week, another bout of injuries and surges. At least the TJS of the week was only a RP and not a front-line starter. Let’s get started with our ups and downs.
Stocks on the Rise
George Springer – The strikeouts are high, as expected, and his BABIP is rather inflated (but could be sustainable for him), so the average may fall a bit. That being said, he’s hitting for power now, and the runs and RBI are pretty decent, too. He may not run a lot this season, but he does have the ability, so maybe after hitting HR in bunches, he’ll put together 15 SB by the end of the year.
Chris Sale – After missing a month, he had a brilliant start and another strong beginning before a rain delay took him out of the running. His odd frame and delivery may worry long-term leagues, but he’s gold for redraft teams, especially with the upper SP echelon thinning out due to injuries.
Lonnie Chisenhall – During the offseason, I had hopes he’d be a nice sleeper pick at 3B. Then the Tribe moved Santana to third and dashed Chisenhall’s value. However, he’s been hitting very well in his part-time duties, and with Santana out due to concussion symptoms, there’s a nice short-term opportunity for Chisenhall to boost your weekly stats.
Tim Hudson – In case you haven’t noticed him (or have written him off) due to his age, Hudson is plodding along with a very fine season. His recent start against the Cubs was stellar, though of course, it was only the Cubs. He’s not a super strikeout guy at this point, but his ERA and WHIP can really help out roto teams.
Dallas Keuchel – He’s been great lately, and it’s not all just luck. Last year he had an unlucky BABIP, and this year he may be slightly on the lucky side, but he’s also improved his BB/9 and K/9 from 2012, and his ground ball tilt has increased even more. The Astros finally have a strong SP who’s worth rostering.
Stocks on the Decline
Yordano Ventura – He’s been a nice surprise to some, though his hype indicated he was certainly capable of contributing to fantasy teams right away. However, any elbow injury is going to scare owners, and even if he returns rather quickly, it’s still something to bear in mind as you consider his trade value.
Jedd Gyorko – He’s shown a little pop, but clearly this isn’t the stat line we were expecting form him. A horrible BA really hurts in roto leagues, and the Padres don’t help his R and RBI numbers. The good news for owners is that his BABIP is unsustainably low, so the average should bounce back some, but if he also keeps making errors at 2B, I worry he may lose some playing time.
Mark Teixeira – He’s hit a few HR so far, but the wrist is acting up on him, and I worry how that’ll affect his swing the rest of the season, let alone a decrease in his playing time. Luckily he came cheap in redraft leagues this year, but I wouldn’t keep gambling on him unless it’s a really deep league.
Danny Espinosa – He had a nice start to the season, and those who took a flier on him started to think they found some profit in a player who simply had an off year in 2013. However, he’s back to being awful now, and it’s time to give up hope on him this year. Only use him if he’s hot and if you are suffering terribly from injuries to your middle infield.
Clay Buchholz – He hasn’t been good this year, and now there’s talk he may not make his next start. Whether that’s simply due to being awful, or perhaps because he’s hiding an injury, the fact is you may want to cut ties for 2014 if you haven’t already. Some of his struggles is due to bad luck in BABIP and LOB%, but the Red Sox may not give him a chance to rebound any time soon. [Update: A day after I wrote this, Buchholz is on the DL. The good news is that hopefully there’s a “reason” for his poor performance, but even if he’s healthy soon, the risk is pretty high on a profitable return.]