Ankiel’s Finally Under Control

Hey guys,

What do you think of Ryan Spilborghs?  I dropped him to claim Ankiel off waivers, and am now thinking of doing the reverse. Should I be concerned about LaRussa’s benching of Ankiel on occasion, or should I consider him a regular player and thus a good source of home runs?

Seth from Queens

Seth,

Spilborghs and Ankiel are so comparable that they have almost the same number of at bats since Ankiel’s debut on August 9th  (27 for Ankiel, 21 for Spilborghs).  Neither of these guys should be considered regulars, but I think Ankiel will be the more valuable player over the remainder of the season.  Simply put, Ankiel has less competition.  While Spilborghs must contend with Brad Hawpe always being in the lineup vs righties, Ankiel joins Juan Encarnacion and Ryan Ludwick in the Cardinals’ right field rotation.  Ludwick isn’t much of a factor since he also fills in for Chris Duncan in left when the team faces southpaws.  And while Encarnacion is established, LaRussa recently met with Juan to tell him that he’ll no longer play every day.  There’s also the chance Ankiel plays left field when Duncan sits.  Thanks to Matt Holliday, who’s ehhh…good, the same opportunity doesn’t exist for Spilborghs.  32 homers in 102 AAA games this season show that Ankiel’s power is legit.  Though I like Spilborghs as a real life player, in fantasy, it’s all about the at bats, which is why I’d go with Ankiel.

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com   

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