Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Felix Pie, more

by Nicholas Minnix on May 18, 2011 @ 14:16:57 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)


Middle infielders

Elliot Johnson, Tampa Bay Rays

Joe Maddon intends to give Johnson, 27, a little more playing time at the 6. Reid Brignac isn't hitting, and Johnson has provided a bit of a boost in sparing PT and his first MLB exposure. Brignac is a left-handed hitter, while Johnson, in his favor, swings it from both sides.

New York Mets 2B Ruben Tejada
Tejada more glove than stick

Johnson doesn't have an inspiring BA profile, but he could provide a little short-term relief to those in need of some modest counting stuff, in combination. The 6-foot, 190-pounder has hit .260 with two dingers and three thefts in 58 plate appearances. He swiped 30 for Triple-A Durham last season and has averaged double-digit homers in the past five years on the farm (all in high minors) in what would be considered significant but not full-time at-bats. There's always a chance that this lasts for a bit, but of course, in more exposure, it may not be long before he's exposed, either.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Acquire

Ruben Tejada, New York Mets

Tejada figures to see notable time at the keystone while David Wright (stress fracture in his back) is on the DL, for who knows how long. While Justin Turner spends much of his time at the hot corner, filling in, Daniel Murphy will play some first base, perhaps getting a spell from Nick Evans.

Tejada offers no offensive upside. If Ike Davis (ankle sprain) returns on time, the Mets won't need to stick with this arrangement for long, either. This kind of play would be strictly out of desperation for a body.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Consider


Felix Pie, Baltimore Orioles

The big winner in the fallout from the O's recent injuries seems to be Pie, who'll play somewhat regularly in left field while Luke Scott mans first and Derrek Lee (oblique strain) is on the DL, whenever that placement might take place. Lee's injury history and the tender nature of oblique injury makes one suspicious of a quick return for Lee. In addition, Scott has been playing through a partial tear of the labrum in his right shoulder, which certainly could be affecting his performance. Although it's much too soon to project such, the O's may not be finished addressing depth.

Pie's sliver of hope at extensive playing time, coupled with his somewhat explosive bat and attractive speed, makes him an inviting target. He doesn't bring much patience to the plate; in fact, he hasn't walked in 43 plate appearances this year, although history suggests he should take a few now and then. In 400 at-bats, he could hit about .260, belt 12 to 15 homers and steal 10 to 12 bases. At the very least, he might be a useful stopgap.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire


Alfredo Aceves, Boston Red Sox

Boston is forced to resort to a swingman for the second time in a couple of days now that Daisuke Matsuzaka (right elbow sprain, extent TBD) is on the shelf for what is thought to be about two months. John Lackey (right elbow strain) is also on the DL; Tim Wakefield is filling in.

The right-handed Aceves is back to some grounder-inducing ways and appears to be in full health after struggling through injury last year with the New York Yankees. He was primarily a starter in the minors and the Mexican League. It'll take him at least a couple of starts to get stretched out enough to have a chance to make a fantasy impact, and his K/9 prospects aren't terribly attractive.

Statistically, in fact, Aceves, 29, would seem to be pretty unattractive, but extending may help him settle in, and he's undoubtedly not completely back in his 2009 form. The odds are microscopic, and sitting on what might be a low-end return isn't too appealing, but there's always the chance that he hangs around. Is Wakefield any better? It's even conceivable that Aceves will have mixed-league value, but this is nothing short of a wait-and-wait-and-wait-and-see situation in that arena.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Consider

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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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