Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Ian Stewart, more

by Nicholas Minnix on May 3, 2011 @ 07:07:34 PDT


Your fantasy baseball cheat sheets are no longer of use.'s Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market series gives you tips on fantasy baseball players available as free agents, on waivers or for your FAAB dollars in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league. It's time to replace your fantasy baseball busts.


Acquire Add player (in most circumstances)
Consider Add for speculation or because of need
Watch Track player, consider if trend continues
Pass Do not add player (in most circumstances)


Corner infielders

Ian Stewart, Colorado Rockies

Colorado Rockies 3B Ian Stewart
Clicking after farm trip?

The starting third baseman before he sustained knee and hamstring injuries in spring training couldn't get going. A small number of repetitions in the final week of exhibition play and rare playing time once a campaign launches will have that effect. The club sent him to the small time to play regularly; Stewart has reportedly regained his timing while on the farm. He batted .361 with three homers and 13 RBIs in 36 at-bats; he walked nine times and struck out 11. Mission accomplished, it might seem.

Stewart, 26 and with 25- to 30-homer power, should play regularly, especially since Ty Wigginton (possible oblique strain) could require a DL stint, Jose Lopez continues to struggle and Jonathan Herrera is coming back to earth. Nothing is safe or sacred in Colorado, but Stewart's shot at a bounce-back campaign, although delayed, still exists.

Shallow mixed: Consider

Deep mixed: Acquire

NL-only: Acquire

Allen Craig, St. Louis Cardinals

The potential for injury to David Freese (broken bone in left hand, out nine to 12 weeks) was support for the argument that Craig was a great speculative pickup in deep NL leagues prior to the season. Daniel Descalso is expected to draw the most time there, initially, however. Nick Punto (hamstring troubles) will factor in, too, and Tyler Greene could as well. Skip Schumaker is out for a few more weeks, but his return could cause a logjam at third.

Craig worked heavily at the hot corner leading into this campaign to rekindle his mediocre defensive abilities and increase his versatility from position: corner outfield backup. Tony La Russa probably doesn't believe that Craig has proven himself at third yet, although it's interesting to note that Craig is listed as the starter there on the team's official site. If he plays regularly, he has the most upside in fantasy terms. It may take him a bit to get going since he just returned from a strained groin, but he collected 10 hits, with a homer, in 33 at-bats prior to it; he's a quality hitter.

Descalso (or any of the others, for that matter) offers little with the stick. Considering the long-term impact of Freese's injury and Craig's ability with the lumber, Craig is the only potential beneficiary here likely to turn a profit, even as a long shot.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Acquire

Middle infielders

Scott Sizemore, Detroit Tigers

Will Rhymes got a ticket to the minors after not offering much offensively. It's apparently Sizemore's turn, in the absence of Carlos Guillen (microfracture knee surgery). Ryan Raburn can play and has played at the keystone quite a bit in recent games, so the Tigers have a fallback plan if this experiment doesn't work, either.

Sizemore has more upside for fantasy purposes than Rhymes did. The 26-year-old has 15-homer and 15-steal potential in a full season. His Triple-A Toledo line (.408/.495/.605) included two homers, 10 total extra-base hits and three stolen bases in 92 plate appearances. Sizemore is more of a .275, .280 type in the majors, in all likelihood, and he still needs to prove that he can sustain such production for a long stretch. But he's not challenged below the bigs anymore. Guillen is making progress, but it's slow, and when he returns is uncertain, if he even does.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Consider

AL-only: Acquire


Daniel Moskos, Pittsburgh Pirates

If you play in a long-term keeper league, one of those dynasty formats where you can reserve oodles of dudes, then the Bucs' 2007 first-round (fourth overall) pick might be of interest. He fared well as a reliever at the beginning of his pro career, struggled as a starter and is back in the bullpen. Now he's up with the big club, although that may not be for long. He has some nasty but inconsistent stuff and obvious control issues, but in the long term, the Pirates think that he could be a significant bullpen arm.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Watch

Brandon Gomes, Tampa Bay Rays

Gomes takes Jake McGee's spot now that Alex Cobb is back on the farm following a spot start. The Rays received Gomes in the Jason Bartlett deal with the San Diego Padres. Most observers don't consider him a future closer, perhaps because of his stature (5-foot-11, 175 pounds), but the numbers suggest otherwise. He'll function in middle relief for Tampa. Gomes, 26, offers high-strikeout potential (10.10 per nine) and hasn't had major issues with walks (2.77 per nine). He may end up more of a right-handed specialist, like Dan Wheeler, but even Wheeler has found his way onto rosters in the deepest of leagues.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Watch

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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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