Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Taylor Green, Santiago Casilla, more

by Nicholas Minnix on August 30, 2011 @ 10:56:42 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)

 

Corner infielders

Josh Harrison, Pittsburgh Pirates

Texas Rangers OF Nelson Cruz
Cruz's roster replacement raw

Clint Hurdle is riding Harrison's steaming wood at the hot corner while Derrek Lee (fractured wrist) is on the DL and Pedro Alvarez is on the farm. Lee's deactivation opened the door for Harrison's recall from Triple-A Indianapolis. The club's first baseman is at least a couple of weeks away, although Alvarez will undoubtedly be joining the Bucs when rosters expand, on Thursday.

Harrison has started in nine straight and has gone 12-for-31 (.387) with a home run and six RBIs in them. When the Pirates sent him back to the minors earlier this season, the staff asked him to be more patient. He hasn't been one to draw walks often, or consistently, particularly in his 139 MLB plate appearances. He's made an adjustment, and the results, so far, back it up.

How long can Harrison, 24, ride this wave? It takes a long time before experimental changes become second nature. He has a solid BA track record, but he packs very little power in his 5-foot-8, 175-pound frame. He's approached 20 stolen bases in the minors, so maybe that's the corner man's way to your heart, if you're desperate. He may have eligibility at the keystone in some leagues.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Taylor Green, Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers, at least on the surface, intend to use Green as a right-handed bat off the bench down the stretch. He's up prior to Sept. 1 and so is eligible for the postseason roster, interestingly enough. Green, 24, took awhile to recover from a serious wrist injury suffered in 2009, but he appears to be all the way back.

At Triple-A Nashville this season, the right-handed hitter batted .336, with a .385 OBP, a .455 slugging percentage, 22 home runs and 36 doubles, in 420 at-bats. He's displayed solid control of the strike zone throughout his professional career, too. Although the 5-foot-11, 200-pounder probably won't hit for that kind of power in the bigs, he's insurance in the infield.

Green is expected to spell regular third baseman Casey McGehee on occasion and could fill in at the keystone while Rickie Weeks (severe ankle sprain) continues to recover. McGehee's first-half struggles may still be in the backs of Milwaukee brass minds, too. The 28-year-old has batted .278 since the break after hitting .223 before it. If he swoons again.... There's nice upside here.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Consider

Outfielders

Leonys Martin, Texas Rangers

Nelson Cruz has another hamstring strain and is expected to miss about three weeks. The Rangers will replace him on the roster with Martin, the club's ultra-talented outfielder signed as a free agent from Cuba. Initially, at least, the 23-year-old isn't expected to play much. GM Jon Daniels still considers him a raw player.

Martin has spent most of his time between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock. His overall minor league slash line of .295/.362/.421 with four home runs and 19 stolen bases in 343 plate appearances is pretty impressive. Consider that the left-handed batter displayed above-average plate discipline and hit .348 with the RoughRiders. However, while with the Express, he struck out more than twice as often as he walked and batted a mere .263. He was also caught stealing 11 times, total, between his three stops.

David Murphy (lefty) and Craig Gentry (righty) appear to be first in line to fill Cruz's shoes, and they've earned a look. Martin will probably have to do some fantastic things in his spot appearances in order to convince Ron Washington that he deserves to play more. Martin is considered a plus defender, so it's not out of the question, but consider him a lotto ticket.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Consider

Pitchers

Santiago Casilla San Francisco Giants

Before the defending champs' Monday night contest, Bruce Bochy told the press that Sergio Romo, who's just off the DL, would remain in a setup role so that they could monitor him for a while. The right-hander won't be seeing save opportunities any time soon, which leaves the duties to the committee in charge while Brian Wilson (elbow discomfort) is sidelined. There's still no indication about how soon San Fran expects Wilson to return.

Casilla, 31, has locked down the Giants' last two games in which a save chance arose. Bochy in fact declared ahead of time that the right-hander, who sports a 1.35 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, a 6.75 K/9 and a 4.95 BB/9, would get the ball in that kind of sitch on Monday. Casilla appears to have dialed it back on his heater a bit more this season. Is that responsible for his 57.3 ground-ball percentage and .173 opponent's average?

Casilla's numbers could certainly be considered due for correction. His .213 BABIP is quite a distance from his .292 lifetime mark. But he might be Bochy's short-term, interim duder. Jeremy Affeldt and Ramon Ramirez are among the options the Giants also have, but the skipper put Casilla, who has saved two in a row, in the driver's seat by throwing his name out prior to first pitch. Romo could still enter the picture, but for now there's a lead horse. How desperate are you for any save you can get?

Shallow mixed: Consider

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Jeanmar Gomez, Cleveland Indians

The Tribe will turn to Gomez, 23, for their tilt against the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday. Josh Tomlin (sprained elbow) may miss the rest of the season, and Carlos Carrasco (inflammation in elbow) hasn't made much progress and must serve a six-game suspension upon his activation.

Fantasy owners won't be thrilled about Cleveland's alternative provided, however. He has a solid minor league track record that includes a 3.91 ERA overall and a 3.76 ERA in a couple of seasons as the Triple-A level. However, he hasn't been much of a strikeout pitcher, with a 6.70 K/9 in his lifetime and a 6.56 K/9 at the Class AAA level.

In his few stints in the bigs, Gomez has rarely tasted success, with a 4.98 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP in 16 games (15 starts). His peripherals don't inspire, either. There's little reason to trust him.

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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