Your fantasy baseball cheat sheets are no longer of use. KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market series gives you candid ratings of fantasy baseball players making MLB news in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league. If they're available in any of your fantasy baseball games as free agents, on waivers or for your FAAB dollars, you'll know whether they make the cut.
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Jesus Guzman, San Diego Padres
Casilla's fill-ins ... iffy
When the Friars sent stud prospect Anthony Rizzo down on July 21, they opened up a spot at first base. Since then, Guzman and Kyle Blanks have formed a platoon sitch; Blanks can also play the outfield. Both hit from the right side, but Guzman has hit the ball much better against lefties (.345) than right-handers (.263) in his career.
Guzman, 27, was appearing pretty regularly before Rizzo was demoted, too, granted many of those were of the pinch-hit variety. In 73 at-bats, he's hitting .329 with four HRs and 17 RBIs. The Venezuelan native has bounced around the minors with several organizations, including a brief cup of coffee with the San Francisco Giants in 2009. Guzman was hitting .332 with eight homers and 57 RBIs with Triple-A Tucson in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
San Diego is unlikely to rush Rizzo back to the bigs - it's likely we won't see him until at least September - and with Brad Hawpe (finger) on the disabled list for the foreseeable future, Guzman will have plenty of time to showcase his talent in a Fathers uni. There is also a very good chance that the Padres trade Ryan Ludwick this weekend. In that scenario, Blanks could play left field regularly, leaving Guzman first base all to himself.
Shallow mixed: Pass
Deep mixed: Watch
Trevor Plouffe and Matt Tolbert, Minnesota Twins
Second-sacker Alexi Casilla (Grade 1 hammy strain) is headed for the DL and will be sidelined for two to three weeks. In his absence, Ron Gardenhire hasn't named a sole beneficiary for PT. However, he did say he will mix and match between Plouffe, Tolbert and Luke Hughes.
Tolbert was called up yesterday and received the start at the keystone, but he's not known for his bat; he's hitting just .191 with no home runs and 11 RBIs in 141 at-bats. Plouffe gives the Twinkies much more offensive upside, which they need. He's hitting .205 this year, but he does have five HRs and 14 RBIs. At Rochester earlier this season, Plouffe managed to hit .313 with 15 jacks and 33 RBIs in 51 games.
This is a tough situation to project with Gardenhire playing the matchups to determine his starter at the keystone on a daily basis. Plouffe doesn't have much experience at second and is a defensive liability, but his stick has the most upside here. Hughes likely won't see enough starts to be considered. In the end, maybe they grab a rental at the trade deadline. It's probably best to avoid this situation unless you're yearning for AL-only playing time.
Shallow mixed: Pass
Deep mixed: Pass
Dayan Viciedo, Chicago White Sox
Trade rumors are hot to the touch as we enter the weekend of the deadline, and many sources are now saying it's likely that the White Sox will part ways with Carlos Quentin. If they do, it means they have faith that Viciedo, or someone else, can contribute in right field as the club makes a push for the playoffs.
A recent thumb injury has kept Viciedo inactive with Triple-A Charlotte since July 23, which probably makes Chicago hesitant to trade Quentin. In 96 games with Charlotte, Viciedo is hitting .307 with 16 HRs and 65 RBIs. A recent cold streak (5-for-35) reminds us why the White Sox have yet to call him up this year.
Though the organization has been impressed by Viciedo's switch to the outfield, the 24-year-old's defense might be a liability in right field. There is also a chance that Ozzie Guillen moves Alex Rios to right if Quentin departs. The Quentin rumors are serious, though, so stashing Viciedo wouldn't be a bad idea, especially since he has prodigious power that can blossom with full-time work.
Shallow mixed: Watch
Deep mixed: Consider
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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