Posted 06/19/2009 at 04:05 AM
I thought I’d write about a few more largely unowned fantasy players who could have some value in the short term and possibly beyond. These suggestions are basically for the last spot or two on your roster if you’re in a strong and deep league. Too many owners ignore those back of the roster spots, and having a decent contributor there can really pay off in the long run. These are the lightning in a bottle spots, where a low risk pickup can occasionally yield an unexpectedly high reward.
First on the list is Maicer Izturis, who has multi-position eligibility with the Angels. Izturis has made his way onto a good number of deep league rosters thanks to the demotion of struggling Howie Kendrick to the minors. I would think Kendrick will be back once he gets his bat straightened out. But in the meantime, Izturis has some nice value. He won’t deliver much power, but Izturis should hit for an okay BA and will steal a base here and there. It’s also worth noting that his success hitting with men on base hasn’t gone unnoticed by Halos skipper Mike Scioscia. Izturis hit third on Wednesday night, and while that was a by-product of Torii Hunter sitting out, it also indicates Scioscia has no problem putting Izturis in a key production spot in the lineup. Izturis figures to get all the 2B starts vs. righties, with Sean Rodriguez getting a chance to hit vs. southpaws.
I’ll be interested to see how Jeremy Accardo ends up being used in Toronto. At first glance, his save Thursday looks like a fluke. The Blue Jays opted to use Jason Frasor in an eighth inning jam and then pinch-hit for him in the ninth inning. B.J. Ryan appeared to be in line for the save, but after putting one on and getting one out, Cito Gaston decided to give the ball to Accardo. The initial assessment is that this was simply a case of Accardo being the last available option. But upon further examination, that may not necessarily be the case and Accardo could well become part of a temp committee for the Blue Jays. Remember, Accardo had 30 saves and was basically lights out for this team in 2007 when Ryan got hurt. He’s been doing a good enough job here in Las Vegas, notching nine saves for the 51’s. I sure wouldn’t gamble a high waiver priority on Accardo, but if he’s a free agent and you’re carrying a pitcher who’s not really contributing, there are worse gambles you could make.
Carlos Gonzalez hit one out Thursday for the Rockies. My assumption is that he’s long gone in any quality keeper league. Gonzalez is a big time prospect and the fact he’s with the Rockies makes him a terrific down the road fantasy prospect. But in annual leagues, his worth is considerably less. That said, I wouldn’t immediately dismiss Gonzalez for the rest of this season. I don’t see him delivering a high BA as he still K’s too often. But he’s got some power, might run on occasion, and there is the still viable Coors factor. For those looking for a platoon OF, keep an eye on Gonzalez.
Last up on this rundown is a surprise from the 2008 campaign who’s fallen off the map this year. David Murphy was a find last year. While he did not have one spectacular category, he contributed across the board and was a late round draft day consideration this season. But Murphy got off to a terrible start and was rightfully scrap heaped nearly everywhere. Murphy has since rebounded, however, and with a nice run over the last few weeks, he’s suddenly got some value once again. That could change once Josh Hamilton returns, but I’m not sure that will necessarily be the case. In fact, it could well be Marlon Byrd that sees the biggest reduction in playing time when Hamilton gets off the DL. In the meantime, Murphy is a good end of the roster grab for use against righties.
Scott Feldman is looking to stay perfect on the road as the Rangers visit San Francisco. Feldman has made four road starts and has won them all. There’s nothing wrong with Randy Johnson right now, as the Big Unit has been sharp lately. But there’s not much doubt about which team has the better offense, and with Feldman continuing to register mostly quality starts, I’ll look the Rangers way tonight.