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Ty Wigginton, Colorado Rockies
The Rockies optioned Ian Stewart to the minors on Tuesday because he just hasn't had an opportunity to get going. The club wants to keep Jonathan Herrera in the lineup for now, it appears, which leaves Stewart, Wigginton and Jose Lopez to vie for time.
The latter two aren't going anywhere, despite their sluggish starts as well. They still like Lopez and hope he pans out, either for them or as trade bait. Wigginton gained momentum and value in a remotely similar scenario last year, though, in another hitter-friendly park. Perhaps more PT will help him hit his stride. Wigginton offers Colorado flexibility, too. But the team also has depth, something the righty power threat didn't have to deal with much on the Baltimore Orioles in 2010. Still, it's an opportunity, a good one.
Shallow mixed: Watch
Deep mixed: Consider
Ryan Roberts, Arizona Diamondbacks
Wigging out: more PT
Roberts has created a buzz with his big beginnings, despite playing a limited role. A late insertion on Tuesday night, he went 2-for-3 with two ding dongs and a stolen base. He has started eight games, largely because of various absences by Melvin Mora. Geoff Blum's inactivity has helped, too, and Roberts, 30, is mentioned as part of a possible solution in left field. Kirk Gibson has acknowledged that the right-handed hitter is earning more PT.
You're right to be skeptical; Roberts has had an up-and-down career and wasn't been a big-time prospect. He has displayed very encouraging rates of walks to strikeouts in the upper levels, after some adaptation, and he may be pulling the same trick in the majors. He also has 15-homer power, in a full season, and in Arizona, that translates to 20-homer power.
Blum may be back by the end of the month, and Mora is the top dog at the hot corner, but neither can be considered a permanent fixture, likely. We've seen, however unlikely, breakouts from players this age recently, and this is a good environment to do it. He won't keep up this pace, but he could be a solid deep find.
Shallow mixed: Pass
Deep mixed: Watch
Casper Wells, Detroit Tigers
The Tigers placed Victor Martinez (strained right groin) on the disabled list and had already called up Omir Santos to back up Alex Avila. That means Detroit will compensate for V-Mart's absence with present company. Brennan Boesch has already been playing regularly, as has Ryan Raburn, who has been playing a little second base lately. Magglio Ordonez (ankle soreness) isn't quite ready to play daily, either. On top of it, Austin Jackson is struggling mightily, and PT competition Don Kelly is a utility player.
You see Wells' upside in the .323 average, four homers and 17 RBIs he put up in 99 plate appearances last season. He was a nice AL sleeper, and now we see why. Wells is prone to slumps because of his aggressiveness. He's a mere 4-for-19 (one home run) to start the season, but when he's on, he's driving the ball hard. He also plays quality defense, well enough that he is a possible solution in center if Jackson continues to scuffle.
It's hard to envision Wells having mixed league value, but he could, eventually, if things go his way.
Shallow mixed: Pass
Deep mixed: Watch
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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