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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Jason Hammel, Colorado Rockies
Sanabia wants to close strong
On Saturday, Hammel will start in place of Esmil Rogers against the Houston Astros. Talk about an enticing matchup: Houston showed some spunk when the club first turned to an extreme youth movement, but in September, their offense has been one of the league's worst, once again. They're not much better at home than they are on the road, even though Minute Maid Park is a hitter's haven.
Perhaps the only other positive for Hammel in this outing is that it won't come at Coors Field, where he has yielded 1.32 homers per nine stanzas. Since his removal from the rotation, however, he's been exceptional. In 13 September frames (seven of which came in a spot start), the righty has yielded just nine hits, two earned runs and two walks while striking out 12. In that spot appearance, he gave up six hits, one earned run and one walk, with six K's.
The most encouraging statistical improvement that Hammel has made in recent times is the elimination of bases on balls. His BB/9 steadily increased from 2.35 in April to 5.56 in August. Ridiculous. See his corresponding ERAs for the evidence. The 29-year-old possesses an impressive four-pitch repertoire, but his problem has been consistently commanding it, and it's often just one big inning that undoes him. Hammel must be feeling good right now and could warrant a deep-league nod if you're scraping for pluses.
Shallow mixed: Pass
Deep mixed: Consider
Alex Sanabia, Florida Marlins
The Marlins won't let Brad Hand make another start this season. Jack McKeon was pleased with the way that Sanabia threw the ball this past Thursday in his first big-league start of 2011. He went six frames, giving up six hits, one run (on a solo dinger) and no walks while fanning five.
The 23-year-old right-hander has missed most of this campaign with elbow problems, but he showed some promise in his MLB trials last year and throughout his time on the farm. He isn't much of K pitcher - last season, he struck out 5.85 per nine, while walking only 1.99 per nine, in his 72 1/3 major league innings - but he issues few free passes.
Sanabia has a solid three-pitch repertoire, which his hard-action two-seamer spearheads nicely. Given that the right-hander has pitched so little this season, it's no surprise that he's had problems with leaving the ball up, and it's hurt him by way of the long ball. That's not typically a problem for him, but he remains a risk nonetheless. Considering also that this spot start will come against the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers, you might want to check the lineup card before considering this one.
Shallow mixed: Pass
Deep mixed: Pass
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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