With the Giants continuing to struggle of late, Sergio Romo lost his job after allowing two earned runs in a third of an inning in his fifth blown save of the season on Saturday, bringing him to 15 ER in his last 15 IP. The keys to the Giants bullpen were subsequently handed to Santiago Casilla by manager Bruce Bochy after the righty converted back-to-back opportunities over the weekend. He’s now 1-1 with three saves in 33.1 innings over 29 appearances on the season.
Week 15 MLB Transaction Trends: Catcher
The 30-year-old Chirinos is the an intriguing option here. After having spent five seasons in the Cubs’ farm system across five different levels, he played 20 games for the Rays in 2011. He was picked up the Rangers last season, and appeared in 13 games, before playing 54 (through Monday) in 2014. He already has an MLB career-high 191 plate appearances, giving him career high’s in production numbers across the board. While he has a 23.6 K% and a 3.1 BB%, the interesting part is his .206 ISO. His wRC+ of 97 is just below the league average of 100, and he’s making decent contact with a line drive rate just under 21%. If you’re in need of power numbers (he has nine home runs on the year) and can either take a hit or have given up on average, he could be a surprising source.
If it’s average you’d prefer, Vogt (.356) and Gomes (.269, 10 HR) are far better options. And at 9% and 65% owned in Y! leagues, may not be too much harder to find than Chirinos (5%).
With Gattis (back) in real question to return, that leaves us two options here. Similarly to Chirinos, Zunino can provide you power and production, but at the expense of your team’s batting average. He has 12 homers on the season, yet sports an ugly 0.12 BB/K, and .216 AVG despite a normal .276 BABIP. As for Navarro, with a .259 AVG and five homers on the season, he fails to really bring a strength to any category, despite his one stolen base on the season. Go Zunino, or pass.
UPDATE: Zunino homered again on Monday, giving him 13 on the season. He’s on pace for 24 HR and 62 RBI, does that sound like something you might be interested in?
UPDATE #2: Mariners designate John Buck for assignment, possibly opening up more playing time for Zunino.
Likely the easiest to acquire, the unheralded Montero actual ranks the highest of these three among Fantasy Baseball catchers in 2014, checking in at fourth in Yahoo. And at 82% owned, there’s a chance he may still be available for free in your league.
Week 15 MLB Transaction Trends: First base
While people (including yours truly) continue to say Pearce will
cool off regress eventually, he continues to defy the odds. He’s coming off a 7/24 week, in which he added two stolen bases Thursday vs. the Rangers. Despite not getting the All-Star push of McGehee, he did share AL Player of the Week honors with teammate Adam Jones. At still just 53% owned, you might still be able to get in on the hot streak.
While Votto hasn’t had a multi-hit game since June 21st, he’s still Joey Votto. Despite his and the Reds’ hesitation to place him on the DL, he will eventually land there in all likelihood. That’s most likely good news for owners, as it at least temporarily frees up a roster spot to add the likes of Pearce, McGehee or Duda. Yet, when healthy, there’s still few in the game as good 2010 NL MVP. Remember, come (Fantasy Baseball) playoff time in September, you’re sure to rather have a healthy Votto than anyone you can claim off waivers in July. Just keep these struggles in mind come draft time in 2015.
UPDATE: Joey Votto officially placed on DL retroactive to July 6th. Reds may wait for him to get fully healthy, if that happens, you’ll wish you held on.
This happened Monday night:
and now Chris Davis is below the Mendoza line on the season
— jasoncollette (@jasoncollette) July 8, 2014
Your chance to sell him based off of name and last year’s production seems to have passed.
For someone to target, Pujols currently has a career low BABIP, and still has 19 homers despite his ISO being 60 points below career average. He seems to be in for a uptick, and perhaps a return to the 40-home run club.
Week 15 MLB Transaction Trends: Second base
One of the biggest surprises from the past week was the naming of Harrison to the NL All-Star team. Still under 50% owned in Y! leagues, he’s enjoying a career year despite a career-high 14% K rate. As of Monday, he was just 40 plate appearances shy of tripling his number from last season. With his roster spot fully guaranteed, and sandwiched between Gregory Polanco and Andrew McCutchen, he’ll continue to produce like a (near) All-Star.
With the higher average at .305, and the same amount of home runs (6) as Hill, Gennett is the
best only play here. He’s matched his career-high in dingers, and is on pace for low double digits. His 122 wRC+ is well above league norm, and his .306/.343/.473 slash line indicates continued production across the board in the strong Brewers lineup.
Despite being ranked as the top 2B eligible player in Fantasy Baseball, the truth is Altuve doesn’t provide you much apart from average and stolen bases (just seven extra base hits in the past month), whilst playing for the Astros. He’s a good candidate to fetch more than he’s actually worth in return, based off of real world play.
Week 15 MLB Transaction Trends: Third base
With three multi-hit games in his past four, Holt is the best target here, but at 45% owned may be the toughest to find. Moustakas, however; at just 18% owned, is turning it around. He’s riding a five game hit-streak with two multi-hit efforts in that span. He also entered Monday having homered in consecutive games, bringing his season total to 10. His .195 AVG is just a hair above his woeful .189 BABIP, but with a 0.77 GB/FB and .190 ISO, he figures to be a big part of the Royals postseason push.
Castellanos projects as the best bet to help your Fantasy Baseball team going forward. He hasn’t done much with a .316 BABIP (which is right around career average), but with a 27.5 LD% and 0.80 GB/FB, the production is bound to grow in the Tigers lineup.
Longoria is the biggest name but is having the worst 2014. Donaldson is an All-Star. Arenado has the highest potential.
Donaldson > Arenado > Longoria
Week 15 MLB Transaction Trends: Shortstop
Who wouldn’t want to own an All-Star Game starting shortstop? Really though, “Jetes” is earning a gift-basket with his play whilst being over 40 (by 12 days as of Monday). While the power’s down (career low .055 ISO) and the batting average down a shade, he’s still getting it done across the board, including a surprising six stolen bases.
Aybar’s the best option, really. Hitting sixth in the Angels lineup, he’ll be driving in plenty of runs.
While Betts might be worth holding out hope on for a while longer, the other two sure aren’t. Drop all three and go get the Biracial Angel…or Aybar, I guess.
It’s not looking like my 25/1 bet on HanRam to win NL MVP is going to pull through, so I have no rooting interest here.
Week 15 MLB Transaction Trends: Outfield
While an early injury delayed this site’s opportunity to boast, allow me to give me credit where it’s due. Staff writer Chris Meaney saw Calhoun’s strong season coming a mile away.
One was DFA’d, one is on the DL for about a month, and the other IS THE NUMBER TWO PROSPECT IN BASEBALL!
Definitely Harper. Clown question, bro.
Week 15 MLB Transaction Trends: Starting Pitcher
After six starts over High-A and Triple-A, Hellickson is set for his 2014 MLB debut. The long road back from offseason elbow surgery, has brought him to his first start of the season Tuesday, vs. the Royals in Tampa Bay. Hellickson followed up excellent 2011 and 2012 campaigns with a big step back last season. He pitches his fewest innings of the three year span, and despite striking out more and walking fewer batters, was hurt by an inflated BABIP which resulted in an ugly 5.17 ERA. Regardless, the once top prospect is now 27, and is worth picking up, no matter Tuesday’s result.
Once again, I’ll stand by Heaney. Although he was demoted after his previous start, he’s expected to rejoin the Marlins following the All-Star break. With some MLB experience under his belt, he’ll be to work on his issues against some minor leaguers the next weeks, and should be ready to go upon his return.
Three of the second tier of elite. Strasburg’s opponent BABIP has to regress at some point, when it does he’ll be bordering on the that first tier.
Week 15 MLB Transaction Trends: Relief Pitcher
While a potential injury to Aroldis Chapman makes Broxton worth stashing in deeper leagues, Casilla is the one to own in any format. With the Giants continuing to struggle of late, Sergio Romo lost his job after allowing two earned runs in a third of an inning in his fifth blown save of the season on Saturday, bringing him to 15 ER in his last 15 IP. The keys to the Giants bullpen were subsequently handed to Casilla by manager Bruce Bochy after the righty converted back-to-back opportunities over the weekend. He’s now 1-1 with three saves in 33.1 innings over 29 appearances.
His 6.48 K/9 is underwhelming, and his 2.70 BB/9 is a touch high, but a 0.27 HR/9 is certainly helping right now as is stranding 82.7% of base runners. He’s also been the beneficiary of a 4.5% HR/FB, but his xFIP of 3.41 isn’t scarily different from his current 1.08 ERA. With a Giants squad that has the ability to rack up wins, like we saw early in the year, he could see plenty of save opportunities. Until he blows it, he’s a must-own.
Despite a recent stretch of three poor outings (13 ER, 14 R), owners may need to be reminded Keuchel has just one start allowing four earned runs or more prior to this, back on May 3rd. He only allowed one home run in that span (one of two flyballs hit in the game), and has allowed just two over his last nine starts. All three starts came on the road, although one was against the lowly Rays offense. He continues to induce ground balls and keep the ball in the park, which merits keeping on your roster, if only on your bench for the time being.
K-Rod > Britton > Melancon (although Melancon’s job is by no means in peril).
Comment or ask questions on Twitter @12EMac or in the section below. Thanks for reading, and check back every Tuesday morning for the latest edition of MLB Transaction Trends!