by Thomas Callahan
Let’s face it. This early in the season the player data available is unreliable. With such a small sample size, variance can be statistically applied to any collection of numbers we’ve seen thus far.
We all know of the closer mess in Cleveland, Washington, Chicago (on both sides of town) and can see the Minnesota waters getting murky. We know who’s a 12 dollar salad and who’s a deep league sleeper. We’ve plucked our Edinson Volquez’ off the wire, we’ve DL’d Victor Martinez in keeper leagues (even though he’ll only DH when he returns).
Once you’ve made a decision on Lorenzo Cain, and have vowed to run with David Freese as your starting third baseman this year (which I recommend), it may be time to turn your attention to the waiver wire to see how your league mates have let emotion get the best of them.
The following are the most notable drops in ESPN leagues. (Note: I left out Chris Carpenter, Lorenzo Cain and Carlos Quentin as they are injury drops and therefore will not be rosterable (should be a word) in the near future)
Brennan Boesch Tigers OF – 50.3% owned – minus 13.2%
Last year in 478 ABs Boesch had a line of 75-16-54-.283-5. Entrenched in the two hole and hitting ahead of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, he could cross the plate more times this year than my ex-wife crossed her arms when I ‘tried to explain…’.
Ryan Raburn Tigers 2B/OF – 88.4% owned – minus 9.8%
Guess spring training stats don’t matter much after all, do they? The fact that Raburn was rostered in 98.2% of all leagues is laughable.
Raburn’s a late summer hitter who pounds spring training arms. Pick him up at the All Star break and slot him in accordingly but until then treat him like the salsa in the far back corner of the fridge.
Colby Rasmus Blue Jays OF – 90.6% owned – minus 9.4%
Waking up beside Phyllis Diller has got to be more pleasing than looking back on the last year of Rasmus’s professional career. Still, this is why you have bench spots. Wasn’t it just 2010, at the ripe age of 23, Rasmus went 85-23-66-.276-12?
Damn! That’s a David Duval’ish fall from the cliffs of composure.
If you have the bench space I’d grab him. He’s a traditionally fast starter though, so if he’s not showing a pulse after three weeks I’d throw him back to the piranhas.
Mat Gamel Brewers 3B – 72.2% owned – minus 7.7%
I suspect the 7.7% are chasing closers because really, Gamel is giving owners exactly what they wanted when drafting him. A .273 average and 3rd base eligibility, wadda’s he gotta buy ya a sandwich too?
Brandon Belt Giants OF/1B – 65.2% owned – minus 6.4%
The saga continues. I love Belt, and I loved the news that he played his way into a starting gig, and he’s on most of my rosters, and I’m holding onto him with bloody fingernails, and aren’t run on sentences just annoying.
Mark Trumbo Angels 1B – 81.7% owned – minus 6.2
I liked Trumbo as a power hitting, 3rd base sleeper. The question, of course, is which side of the bed Scosia’s waking up on every morning; the obsessive side, or the compulsive?
True, Trumbo’s got three errors in three games. Also true, he’s gone 5 for 11 with a homer in the same three games. True Part 3 – The Wrath of True, Callaspo’s gone 2 for 16 in his place. The fact of the matter is, if Aybar could just improve his range by 35 feet we wouldn’t be having this one-way discussion.
Geovany Soto Cubs C – 73.6% owned – minus 6%
Soto hits for a respectable average and moderate power in even numbered years.
That is as enthusiastic as I can be about Geovany Soto.
Jesus Montero Mariners DH – 94.3% owned – minus 5.7%
Montero made his first start of the year at catcher on Wednesday, so he’s on pace to get standard league eligibility around the second payday in June. He’s been ceding time to John Jaso and Miguel Olivio. He has a ton of potential and hits in a terrible park, within a terrible line up.
In two-catcher leagues I’d drop him for Geovany Soto.
Jason Kubel Diamondbacks OF – 94.6% owned – minus 5.4%
What can I say? In 2009 I liked Kubel a lot! He’s an April-May-June hitter (.292 combined average the last three years) and is fully capable of manning your OF5 spot while you’re waiting for Rasmus to stop trembling in the corner.
Or, you can use the roster spot on Lance Lynn, Matt Thornton or Alcides Escobar (no relation to Pablo, who could actually HIT!).
Ike Davis Mets 1B – 92.6% owned – minus 5.1%
‘’Coccidioidomycosis is a fungal disease that resides in the soil of certain parts of the southwestern United States. The disease is usually mild with flu-like symptoms and rashes.’’ This is the recent installment of the prime time HBO special, ‘Ike Davis – The Year That Luck Stood Still’.
A year ago this month Davis batted .337 with 5 home runs and was on his way to a Gold Glove. Then on May 10th he got tangled up with David Wright chasing a routine pop up, and was handed over to the Met’s medical staff to look at his ankle.
After taking two days off to rest he was given a stretching program, was told he might need surgery, was told he wouldn’t need surgery, was told he might need surgery again, lost his leadoff hitter to a division rival, lost his 3rd baseman to a pinky injury, and contracted Valley Fever. At the plate this year he bears a striking resemblance to Mr. Magoo.
The good news is, when he’s on his game he’s a mean motor scooter and a bad go-getter. I’d grab him to keep your bench warm during the last of these cold, winter evenings. He could end up being anywhere between a poor man’s Michael Young and a rich man’s Adam Lind.
Have fun with him!
Me personally, I’ll be chasing closers.