We get our first taste of interleague games this weekend, bringing a new level of dilemma for fantasy owners. Should I use a player who is currently DHing in the AL? Will they be in the lineup for those three games? Let’s take a look at the AL clubs playing in NL parks and see whom you may want to stash on your bench for the coming week instead of having active:
Texas Rangers – Michael Young has seen the bulk of the time as the Rangers DH and has been one of the team’s best hitters. He’s currently hitting .351 with 2 HR, 30 RBI and 19 R. With their entire starting outfield (Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz & Julio Borbon) on the DL, it’s impossible for the Rangers to lose Young’s bat for three consecutive days. While he could spell Ian Kinsler or Adrian Beltre for a day, my guess would be Young playing first base for the entire series with the Phillies (Mitch Moreland has already been seeing time in the outfield). He may not be the best option in the league, but he’s going to continue to be a usable one.
Detroit Tigers – Victor Martinez is generally the team’s DH, which is going to pose a major dilemma for the Tigers. It is impossible to keep his bat out of the lineup, but you are not going to sit Miguel Cabrera to give V-Mart time at 1B, are you (outside of perhaps one game, as Cabrera has played in all of the Tigers games thus far). Where Martinez is going to play, however, is behind the plate over Alex Avila (despite Avila’s hot play this season). Look for Avila to probably play just 1 of 3 games, though that shouldn’t change any views of him. Catchers don’t play every day, so an extra day off shouldn’t alter your plans.
Tampa Bay Rays – Manager John Maddon has said that Johnny Damon “will play in the outfield once during a three-game interleague series next weekend at Florida” according to Yahoo! Sports (click here for the article). It’s a tough break, but I don’t think it alters his potential value (if he has any in your format). He will likely be given opportunities in big spots as a pinch hitter, so I’d keep him active in five-outfielder formats.
Minnesota Twins – The Twins are a team that is desperately trying to find offense and one of the bright spots has been Jason Kubel, who has settled into the number three hole. There is absolutely no way he finds his way to the bench for the team’s series against the Diamondbacks, so make sure to keep him active in all formats.
Seattle Mariners – Jack Cust is generally the team’s DH. Does anyone really care? He’s barely usable when he is playing every day and it is hard to imagine him spending more than one game in the outfield this weekend. He should be benched in all formats.
Oakland Athletics – This is an intriguing situation, with Hideki Matsui being the A’s DH (though he has been sitting a bit recently against left-handed pitching). He has struggled to the tune of a .236, 3 HR, 15 RBI in 123 AB line. The A’s are a team in need of some pop, but it’s hard to imagine seeing the 36-year old roaming around the outfield at this point in his career. He played just 18 games in the outfield last season and has yet to make an appearance there in 2011. He should be on fantasy benches in all formats.
What are your thoughts of these players? Who would you continue to use, despite the potential for them missing time? Who would you avoid?