Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Ryan Adams, Ross Ohlendorf, more

by Nicholas Minnix on August 23, 2011 @ 10:01:22 PDT

 


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.

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)

 

Middle infielders

Ryan Adams, Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles recalled Adams on Monday and started in the club's contest against the Minnesota Twins. He went 1-for-4 and drove in a run. Buck Showalter plans to test him regularly at the keystone; Adams played sparingly in his first stint with the big club, a stretch in which he was 5-for-23 (.217) with no extra-base hits and three runs.

Pittsburgh Pirates SP Brad Lincoln
Test-drive Lincoln at your own risk

At Triple-A Norfolk, Adams hit .283 with 10 home runs and five stolen bases (in seven attempts). He posted a .340 OBP and a .453 slugging percentage in his 413 plate appearances. The 2006 second-rounder has a bit of pop (he belted 15 homers in 530 at-bats for Double-A Bowie last season) but seems to have struggled to control the strike zone in the high minors like he did in the low levels.

That propensity to strike out against stiffer competition indicates that the 24-year-old will probably have trouble getting on base nearly as often as he did on the farm. Couple that with his minimal upside in the counting cats, and you have a player who's not terribly intriguing but may be worth a pickup for his PT.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Acquire

Pitchers

Anthony Swarzak, Minnesota Twins

Minnesota placed Nick Blackburn (forearm strain) on the DL and will move Swarzak into the rotation for the time being. The latter has replaced the former on a couple of occasions earlier this season and may do so for at least three weeks this time around.

Swarzak, 25, has been effective in his mixed role for the Twinkies, posting a 3-3 record with a 3.12 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP, a 4.48 K/9 and a 2.44 BB/9. His rate of strikeouts per nine indicates the kind of upside that he has. The right-hander doesn't possess an outstanding ground-ball pitch, an electric heater or a devastating cutter. He has a solid minor league resume. He may continue to get a bit lucky, but even that part of his record indicates that corrections are coming.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Consider

Ross Ohlendorf, Pittsburgh Pirates

With Paul Maholm (shoulder strain) and Kevin Correia (oblique strain) on the DL, Ohlendorf will assume one of the open rotation spots. He rejoined the Bucs on Tuesday to start against the Milwaukee Brewers. The right-hander left his second start of the season with a strain in his right shoulder and, after his rehab stint ended, about a week and a half ago, he was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.

Last season, the 29-year-old was perhaps the Pirates' best starter, although his record didn't indicate that. He was 1-11 with a 4.07 ERA, a 1.38 WHIP, a 6.56 K/9 and a 3.56 BB/9 in 108 1/3 stanzas. He was off to a rough start in 2011 (seven earned runs in two starts) before he ended up on the disabled list.

Nothing about most of his farm starts this year was terribly inspiring, but in Ohlendorf's last couple of outings, he reined in the free passes. A low control rate has been important to his minor league success but hasn't shown up often in the bigs. Although Pittsburgh seems inclined to place Lincoln ahead of Ohlendorf in the pecking order for the moment, neither is an attractive long-term play. The latter has tasted a bit more success, at least, however.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Consider

Brad Lincoln, Pittsburgh Pirates

Lincoln is confirmed as a replacement for one of the spots that Maholm and Correia vacated. Clint Hurdle was pleased with the right-hander's performance in Game 2 of the club's doubleheader with Milwaukee (six innings, three hits, one run, one walk, one strikeout, no decision). He'd made a few appearances out of the bullpen prior to that outing.

Lincoln, 26, was the club's top pitching prospect just a few years ago but has struggled to translate his solid minor league record into MLB success. In 86 farm starts, he's recorded a 4.07 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP, a 7.27 K/9 and a 1.86 BB/9. The right-hander was stellar at the Double-A level (2.28 ERA), but at Class AAA, he's been mediocre (4.28 ERA), and in the majors, he's been worse (6.12 ERA).

As a big leaguer, Lincoln possesses a solid low-90s fastball and has displayed decent control (2.69 BB/9). He has yet to give any indication that he'll bring an element of dominance (4.48 K/9) or otherwise prove to be unhittable at this level, though. Not exciting for a likely short-term play.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-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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