Fantasy Baseball Diamond Mining: Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Cabrera, Athletics rotation, Jeff Samardzija

by Tim Heaney on March 20, 2012 @ 12:31:52 PDT

 


Ready to update your fantasy baseball cheat sheets? Before Diamond Market can sell the players in your rotisserie league's free-agent pool, Fantasy Baseball Diamond Mining polishes them for fantasy baseball drafts. It's time to dig for fantasy baseball sleepers and toss the busts.

A bad hop at the hot corner yesterday fractured a small bone under the right eye of the Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera, also causing a cut that required eight stitches. His vision is fine, and after a bit of rest the candidate for fantasy's No. 1 overall pick should be back on track for opening day.

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Oakland Athletics SP Brandon McCarthy
Cementing McCarthy's castmates?

Giancarlo Stanton, in his hobbled condition, said it best: "It's kind of tough to make sure your legs are in shape without being able to run." The big-bodied outfielder's left knee soreness lingers - not worse, but not better than it was initially. He hasn't played since March 11 but has taken BP. Stanton hopes to face live pitching soon before getting a spring stint in before the Miami Marlins open the season three Wednesdays from now.

Stanton admits he's cutting it close to being ready by then. Paying extra for the homer-happy, BA-sad stick is becoming a riskier ploy by the day.

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The Oakland Athletics optioned Jarrod Parker (to work on his command) and Brad Peacock to Triple-A Sacramento. Your likely opening day rotation: Brandon McCarthy, Bartolo Colon, Tom Milone, Tyson Ross and Graham Godfrey.

They can go without a fifth starter until April 17 thanks to their Japan-dictated schedule, though. Parker and Peacock will be working in Arizona but could easily be tabbed early on if the backend options stumble. Their service clocks are a consideration but not a concrete wall preventing their big-league employment.

Even after walking seven of his former Arizona Diamondbacks teammates yesterday, Parker produced a 3.27 ERA with nine K's in 11 frames this spring; he had dished out only six free trips to first before that. He's still working his way back from Tommy John surgery; command is typically one of the last components to resurface in such rehabs.

Talk up Parker's final spring K/BB to AL-only drafters and pluck him at a value; he has the best combo of upside and MLB readiness among the young arms Oakland acquired this offseason.

Peacock's arsenal is just as tenuous as Parker's, and the former hasn't found his yet (12.86 ERA this spring). Suppressing homers is his best asset, and whenever he reaches the bigs, he'll have a home park that'll help him be a fleeting deep mixed commodity.

The polished Milone has a hint of K upside. Ross' intriguing set of grounder inducement, mid-90s top-out velocity, and control is close to jelling. Both are sneaky AL-only and in-season deep mixed plays, with Ross possessing slightly more immediate profit potential.

Godfrey resembles a poor man's Trevor Cahill.

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With a hot spring, Jeff Samardzija has all but locked up a Chicago Cubs rotation spot, said skipper Dale Sveum. Samardzija has displayed better command, used his cutter more and been more aggressive in the strike zone. His progress has been delayed by iffy control and a move to the 'pen, where he excelled for much of last year; he has the velocity to last, though, even if he has to scale back the way he dialed things up in relief duty.

He's an NL-only dice roll and a cavernous mixed watch candidate; be skeptical of a likely dip in K/9 and how long his experiment will last into the season. Travis Wood, Chris Volstad, Rodrigo Lopez and Randy Wells will battle it out for the last one and a shot at NL-only utility. Volstad boasts the most promise of the four.

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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