Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Chris Denorfia, more

by Nicholas Minnix on May 24, 2011 @ 13:14:41 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)



Chris Denorfia, San Diego Padres

This 30-year-old had started seven of the Friars' last eight contests and nine of the last 12, but what seals the deal is Will Venable's demotion to Triple-A Tucson. In that 12-game stretch, Denorfia is 12-for-38 (.316) with a homer (.500 SLG) and a stolen base. That's about what he'll give you - the occasional dinger and theft - along with a solid batting average, as a regular. In mixed leagues, he's nothing more than depth.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Jordan Schafer, Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves OF Jordan Schafer
Schafer a shot in the dark

The likelihood that a pickup of Schafer will pay dividends isn't great. The 24-year-old has struck out a lot in the majors and, largely because of his struggles to make contact consistently, has failed to hit for an acceptable batting average. He can draw walks in bunches, but he also goes for long stretches without taking many of them, so historically, his OBP is uninspiring, too.

What Shafer still has are the tools - to hit 20 homers, to steal 20 bases, to play excellent center-field defense. The Bravos may not have much patience left for a player who hasn't, in fairness, received much of a look because of a wrist injury in 2009 and a drug suspension prior to that. Still, time in Atlanta is running out. He was hitting .256/.309/323 with Triple-A Gwinnett, with a homer and six stolen bases. This would be a "Hey, you never know" pickup while Jason Heyward (shoulder) and Nate McLouth (oblique) are out.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Watch


Andrew Oliver, Detroit Tigers

The Tigers will call up Oliver, one of their best pitching prospects, to start on Saturday in place of Phil Coke (bone bruise in right foot). The injury may not keep Coke out for more than the minimum, but Oliver is worth investigating. Prior to Coke's injury, there had been discussions about putting him in the bullpen to hide the lack of depth there and calling up Oliver, anyway.

Oliver, also a southpaw, has struggled with walks in his short time as a pro, particularly when he advanced to Triple-A Toledo and then, for a short time, the majors in 2010, his first full season. He has also been prone to giving up home runs. He was heavily dependent on his fastball and changeup, particularly in the bigs, last season.

Command of his slider has improved a great deal, reportedly, and in ST Jim Leyland was impressed with his willingness to throw any pitch in just about any count, a huge upgrade. Although he still gives up plenty of fly balls, his upped aggressiveness and focus on keeping the ball down in important counts has helped him mitigate that issue. The former Oklahoma State pitcher has fanned 48 in 49 2/3 frames at Toledo and should continue to record K's with Detroit. Even if he doesn't stick this time around, unless he unravels, you're likely to see him again in 2011.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire

Alfredo Simon, Baltimore Orioles

The O's had to activate Simon this past weekend, so they pulled him and stuck him in the bullpen as the long man. In three starts (16 innings) for Double-A Bowie, the right-hander was pretty dominant: a 3.38 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP, 17 K's, five walks. That's especially impressive when you consider that he had such a late start to the year because "legal issues" prevented him from regaining entry to the U.S. and he made 49 appearances in the majors as a reliever in 2010.

He's supposed to go to trial in the Dominican for manslaughter charges in about two months. While he maintains his innocence, there's no telling how this'll turn out. His use as a reliever may indicate to some that he's a closer candidate down the road, considering the potential issues the O's have there.

But Simon - 6-foot-6, 230 pounds - was a starter for most of his career until last season. A spot in the rotation, given his raw ability and continual improvement, makes him more interesting. Brad Bergesen will exit with Brian Matusz (strained intercostal muscle) returns, but Chris Tillman has been up and down, and the starting five is loaded with youth. Simon, 30, has had a late start in many regards. Although it's a total shot in the dark, he has the ability to shine if he gets a chance.

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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