More Unreads

Hey Guys,

Neighbor Steve here.

In my 5×5 12 team mixed:  Scott Baker was dropped.  Would you pick him up and drop a bat like A. Ethier?  Is Ethier a Mon./Thurs. guy in a 12 team league?
G. Meche and C. Morton are also available–would you take either of them over Baker?

Thanks,                                                                                                                                Steve Cozzolino

Hey Neighbor Steve,

The answer really depends on the makeup of the rest of your staff, but I’d definitely pick up Baker if you’ve got the roster space.  In three starts since returning from injury on June 5th, the 26 year old righty has allowed just six runs over 18 innings.  And even though last year’s numbers (9-9, 4.26 ERA, 1.33 WHIP) aren’t overly impressive, let’s note that in 14 starts after the All-Star break, Baker posted a 3.44 ERA, including a dominant month of August (2.59 ERA).  He’s not a big strikeout guy, but the former top prospect is a solid back of the rotation fantasy starter, one who will give you quality starts more often than not.  I wouldn’t touch Meche or Morton.  Meche, the 55 million dollar man, can’t be trusted.  I understand he’s pitched well of late, but the Royals’ ace is just too inconsistent.  Last year was the first in five seasons that Meche’s ERA has been below 4.48.  While he may be a decent add at the moment, over the past three seasons, Meche is 22-16 with a 4.07 ERA before the Midsummer Classic compared to 8-13 with a 4.72 ERA after the break.  Be careful!  Morton’s made exactly one big league start, so I need to see more before recommending him.

As for the player to drop for Baker, I wouldn’t even think about dumping Ethier.  The Dodgers outfielder is slumping mightily in June with a .179 AVG in 39 at-bats.  But on the bright side, 5 of Ethier’s 7 hits this month are of the extra base variety, including two homers, so there’s every reason to believe a turnaround is likely.  Though Ethier won’t provide jaw-dropping stats, an end of season line of .280-20-80 is a reasonable expectation, making him a nice low-end third outfielder or high-end fourth outfielder option in 12 team mixed leagues, definitely more than just a Mon/Thurs guy.  So feel free to add Baker, but not at the cost of Ethier.

Zach Steinhorn

Hey guys,

12 team, 6×6, keeper.  Wondering which player you would rather pick up from waivers and stash on the DL, Weeks or Hafner?

Thanks,
Hack in Rancho Cucamonga

What’s up Hack,

In a vacuum, I like Weeks. Your decision should be weighed toward your offensive needs. Do you need steals and runs? Or are you in need of some power?

Frankly, Weeks was matching Pronk’s power numbers (7 HRs and a .683 OPS vs. Pronk’s 4 HRs and .677 OPS) and he stole 10 bases. Neither player was hitting well as Weeks posted a .210 batting average and Pronk a .217 average. The difference between the two is that Weeks, although slumping a bit offensively, was basically doing what was expected of him before going down with a sprained knee on June 6. Hafner, battling shoulder soreness, had been hitting far worse than what was expected of him. Now, it’s very likely his bum shoulder was the culprit of his underperforming ways, but there is no guarantee his return. While Weeks’ knee injury isn’t especially concerning long-term- he doesn’t need surgery – Hafner’s situation is potentially dour enough that the rest he is receiving on the disabled list won’t be enough to fully heal his shoulder. He might need surgery in the offseason, so considering that a shoulder injury is far more likely to affect a hitter’s performance than a knee injury, I would side with Weeks.

Kyle Stack      

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