Sometimes one man’s trash can be another man’s treasure. Over the past week I’ve seen a number of players being dropped. Some are slumping while others were injured. Whatever the case may be, it’s time to take advantage of other people’s mistakes. The slumping players should eventually turn things around and turn you a profit if you can carry them on your bench, while the injured players can give your team a boost if you have the extra room to stash them.
Jedd Gyorko – He was off to a horrible start before hitting the disabled list with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. This is the same thing that Albert Pujols dealt with a while back and there is no real cure for other than rest. Gyorko was a popular pick on draft day, but today his ownership is under 50%. Second basemen with this type of power don’t grow on trees, and a healthy Gyorko could deliver 10-12 home runs in the second half. If you have a weak option at second or MI, you might want to consider stashing Gyorko. There is no guarantee he’ll turn things around, but if he does you’ll have a nice player for your playoff run.
Garrett Jones – Last week I recommended that you hold on to Jones while he was struggling, but apparently my words have fallen on deaf ears. Over the past 7 days Jones has batted .364 so it appears he’s coming out of his funk. He’s also batting .294 against righties (.200 against lefties) so those in daily leagues should keep an eye on the matchups. He’s only available in 35% of CBS leagues but owned in only 35% of Yahoo leagues.
Jordan Lyles – Last week I mentioned a few DL starting pitchers to stash, you can now add Lyles to that list. He was on a roll before going down with a broken bone in his glove hand (which will not require surgery by the way). Of his 12 starts, 7 were quality starts and that could have been 8 had it not been for the injury. He’s allowed more than 2 earned runs only 3 times and more than 3 just twice (the first time was his first start on April 2nd). Lyles isn’t a big strikeout guy, but he was a nice stable arm to anchor the back-end of your rotation and a step above most of those streamer options you’ve been shuffling in and out of your lineup. He wasn’t supposed to be doing what he was doing, but that doesn’t mean he can’t continue the roll when he returns.
Tyler Skaggs – His numbers were up and down from game to game, but he was slowly showing improvements when he went down with a hamstring injury. Just like Lyles, Skaggs made a nice player to own for the back-end of your rotation, but with more upside and a more favorable home park and division to pitch in. His arm is healthy so there shouldn’t be any fear once he returns from the DL. Some consider Skaggs to be a matchup guy, but the matchups fall in his favor more often than not. If you can’t tuck him away now, keep an eye on him and grab him before he comes off the DL.
Alex Wood – I know, finally a healthy arm to recommend (just not one in the majors). Wood was a gem to own in April, and when he was moved to the bullpen we all knew he would be back starting eventually. Unfortunately there were owners out there that couldn’t wait any longer and there are still some owners releasing him. Wood has been sent back to AAA to stretch out as bullpen duty is no longer in his future. In order to reclaim his job though he’ll have to wait for an injury, and given the number of injuries this season that might come sooner than later. How many people stash pitchers like Andrew Heaney in hopes of getting a winner. Instead of stashing some big arm rookie, grab Alex Wood. At least he has the experience and you know exactly what you’re getting when he comes back up.
Jhonny Peralta – Each day his ownership drop a few percent. I can understand the frustration with the batting average, but he is only 1 of 4 shortstops that has double-digit home runs (297 flyball distance) and ranks inside the top 10 for RBIs. His run total ranks in the bottom half of the top 20, but he’s still helping big time with 2 categories and contributing solid numbers in a third. His average was this low once back in 2011, but otherwise it’s been in the .250 range or above. Peralta isn’t the best option for shortstop, but he certainly shouldn’t be dropped outright. If you need a shortstop and someone dropped him in your league, you know what to do. For those who own him, Stop Dropping Him, he has value to someone in your league.
Besides for those players being dropped, here are some other lesser owned players that can help you now.
Drew Stubbs – With both Cargo & Cuddyer on the shelf, Stubbs won’t have to fight with Corey Dickerson for playing time. Nobody expected him to hit over .300 this season let along keep it up for over 2 months, but he has. Stubbs is only hitting .250 against right handers, but is batting over .400 against lefties. His home/away splits are just as wide, batting under .200 on the road but over .400 at home. The Rockies are on the road until Wednesday, then they have home games against the Brewers and Cardinals. In weekly leagues he might be a tough play, but in daily leagues for home games and even road games against lefties, you won’t find a better option. Stubbs is available in over 80% of leagues, but Cuddyer & Cargo won’t be out forever so take advantage while you can.
DJ LeMahieu – Another Rockies player benefiting from injuries, filling in for Nolan Arenado who’s on the shelf with a fractured finger (and it’s the middle one, pointed at fantasy owners). Over the past 14 days, LeMahieu has 2 home runs, 5 RBIs, 2 steals and is batting .289. For a third baseman those are pretty good numbers, but as a second baseman or MI player, that’s even better. Don’t expect the power to continue, but he can keep up the batting average and steals. LeMahieu is available in 75% of CBS leagues and 90% of Yahoo leagues. Stashing Gyorko above on the DL while playing DJ might make for a good strategy.
Danny Santana – Surprisingly Santana is owned more in Yahoo leagues(33%) than in CBS (29%). He’s hit .389 over the past 14 days with 2 home runs, 4 steals and 9 RBIs. His minor league track record doesn’t support the obscene batting average and he already has as many home runs in 2 weeks as he had in over 600 minor league at bats dating back to last year. The steals are real, but that’s about it. Personally, I wouldn’t care if he was a 35-year-old career minor leaguer, he’s hitting the crap out of the ball and filling up the stat sheet. Ride this one while it lasts and get what you can out of him, then throw him back when the pitchers figure him out and adjust.
For those in deep leagues, the following players are owned in 10% or less of CBS & Yahoo leagues.
Brad Snyder 1B Rangers: When you go to his bio page and see that he’s a 32-year-old career minor leaguer, you probably moved on. Don’t be so judgmental. The Indians signed him back in 2003 and even gave him a 1.5 million dollar signing bonus, but for whatever reason, he’s only been given a taste here and there of the majors. Snyder has a some decent but not consistent power. This year he had 18 home runs in 232 at bats before being called up. While it wasn’t on display this year, he does have some speed and stole 16 bases in 2012. His minor league batting average is .285 so the .284 he was hitting this year is right in line with that. With Fielder Gone and Moreland out until sometime in July, the Rangers are short on options. If Snyder ever needed a chance to prove he belongs in the majors, it’s now. There’s a lot of incentive for him to hit well, so you may catch lightning in a bottle here. Depending on where you play, he’ll either qualify for first base or outfield, and as a CI player or fourth outfielder, he deserves a look if he gets off to a hot start.
Brad Peacock SP Astros: Peacock is never going to be an ace, but he has the potential to be a solid number 4 or 5 guy on a fantasy team. His 4.50 ERA and 1.52 WHIP cause people to skip right over him when searching for pitchers. Over the last 30 days, Peacock has an ERA of 2.66 and a 1.18 WHIP. He’s not a big strikeout guy but he’ll get you more than the average bear. Walks are still an issue for him at times as are home runs, but he’s allowed only 1 home run in the past 4 games. His GB% is up and FB% is down from last year. His FIP and xFIP say the 4.50 ERA you see now is all he’ll be good for this year, but the xFIP was a point higher a month ago and both are under 4.0 at home. All the signs point to improvements, and Peacock could be graduating from streamer options to ownership worthy. Time to buy in, even if he is on the Astros.