Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Hong-Chih Kuo, more

by Keith Hernandez on June 20, 2011 @ 15:36:16 PDT

 


Your fantasy baseball cheat sheets are no longer of use. KFFL.com'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.

Key

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)

Catchers

Dioner Navarro, Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers placed Rod Barajas on the DL (sprained ankle) Sunday, paving the way for Navarro to assume the main catching duties in LA. It didn't take long for him long to announce his presence in Barajas' absence; he hit the winning homer in a 1-0 victory over the Houston Astros yesterday.

The heroics didn't do anything to change his dismal season to this point. The homer was his second on the year in 80 at-bats, and he is hitting only .175 with five RBIs, four BBs and 13 K's. Navarro showed a flash in '08 when he hit .295 with the Rays, but he has never reached double digits in homers. Don't expect a drastic turnaround anytime soon, but with regular PT, there is room for improvement in his numbers. The Venezuelan backstop should only be considered if you're desperate for catcher at-bats.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Consider

Outfielders

Jon Jay, St. Louis Cardinals

Jon Jay OF St. Louis Cardinals
The Cards have a Jay in RF

Albert Pujols (forearm fracture) is on the shelf for the next four to six weeks. Lance Berkman is expected to move to first base, leaving right field for Jay. Andrew Brown will be the fourth outfielder.

Jay, who filled in quite admirably when Matt Holliday went down earlier this month, is hitting .313 with four bombs and 14 RBIs in 163 at-bats. The 26-year-old lefty also has five stolen bags. With consistent PT likely over the next month, Jay can provide some help in average and stolen bases.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Dewayne Wise and Emilio Bonifacio, Florida Marlins

Chris Coghlan (knee), 2009's National League Rookie of the Year, earned a demotion to the minors last week; he was later placed on the DL with left knee inflammation. Coghlan was hitting a meager .230 with five HRs and 22 RBIs. His departure opens up a spot in center field for the Fish. Former skipper Edwin Rodriguez (resigned over the weekend) suggested a platoon situation between Wise and Bonifacio.

Wise, 32, has been a career reserve outfielder and was released by the Marlins out of spring training. In 31 contests with Triple-A Las Vegas in the Blue Jays' organization this year, he hit .338 with four homers, 19 RBIs and eight stolen bases. Wise's wheels are his biggest asset, but aside from some SB production, there is virtually no upside here. He went 2-for-8 with a stolen base out of the leadoff spot in all three games over the weekend.

The switch-hitting Bonifacio has been a super-utility player in Florida, and he's been spelling Hanley Ramirez (back) at short to help ease him back in from the DL. Boni is basically a younger, more versatile version of Wise, so in a strict platoon in center, he has the chance of providing more of a return on a minimal investment.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Acquire

Josh Reddick, Boston Red Sox

Carl Crawford (Grade 1 hamstring strain) went down Friday night and was subsequently placed on the DL by the BoSox. Fortunately for Crawford, his hammy strain was of the least severe variety, and he's expected to be out just 10 to 14 days. Because his game is based mainly on his speed, the team will be cautious.

Reddick was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to replace Crawford on the 25-man roster. The 24-year-old posted a line of .230-14-36 in 191 at-bats at Triple-A Pawtucket before his call-up. The left-handed-hitting Reddick and Darnell McDonald, who hits from the right side, figure to split time in left until Crawford returns. Mike Cameron might also mix in with a start or two.

Reddick is the more attractive option because of his greater upside and power potential. In a short stint on the big league roster earlier this year, he hit .385 (5-for-13) with four RBIs. In a platoon situation, though, Reddick isn't worth a heavy investment, especially with Crawford's expected return not far off.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Acquire

Pitchers

Hong-Chih Kuo, Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers' bullpen has been a giant mess for most of the season, so the return of Kuo (anxiety) is a welcome sight; Kenley Jansen (shoulder) returned from the DL over the weekend, too. Kuo, Jonathan Broxton (elbow) and Jansen have been sidelined for a large chunk of the schedule. Donnie Baseball turned to inexperienced Javy Guerra in the ninth-inning role recently.

The oft-injured Kuo dealt with back problems this year before coming down with a case of the yips. Mattingly has indicated that he will ease Kuo into the late innings to make sure he is right. There is reason to be skeptical of the southpaw quickly winning the closer role outright: the Dodgers have been reluctant for years to overwork him due to injury concerns, and now they won't want to overwhelm him with pressure-packed situations. But, if you are needy in the saves column, Kuo is easily worth owning for the prospect of saves down the road. The reasons to take a chance on Kuo: 1) His latest setback was not injury-related, and 2) He could stick in the closer role even when Broxton returns from the DL.

Shallow mixed: Consider

Deep mixed: Acquire

NL-only: Acquire

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About Keith Hernandez

Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.

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