Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Chris Nelson to DL; Nolan Arenado coming soon?

by Tim Heaney on May 16, 2012 @ 17:57:08 PDT


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On Wednesday the Colorado Rockies sent third baseman Chris Nelson (left wrist pain) to the 15-day disabled list and activated Eric Young Jr. from the bereavement list.

Colorado Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado
Don't expect Arenado yet

Despite an improvement in walk rate and BB/K, whiffs have plagued Nelson this year. He's denting dirt more than 60 percent of the time and has posted a 27.3 percent infield fly-ball rate. These numbers hardly display comfort at the plate, and he doesn't have much of a case to get the job back outright upon his return.

Jonathan Herrera and Jordan Pacheco were stealing time from Nelson and should continue taking reps there. Pacheco controls the plate well and hovers around a 90 percent contact rate. He has some resultant power but not a ton. Herrera, meanwhile, also connects frequently and is thump-deprived; his utility-player profile, however, shouldn't discredit his ability to provide double-digit steals over close to a full season.

Neither third baseman is an attractive mixed proposition. Jim Tracy probably favors Herrera's defense and the fact that he switch-hits, which would give Herrera the platoon edge. Pacheco makes more sense if you can sacrifice the at-bat probability for a better hint of power; that's not a bad idea in appropriate situations.

Nolan Arenado, 21, looms at Double-A Tulsa, where he's hitting .290/.346/.414 with two homers and 22 RBIs in 145 at-bats. Though he hasn't struck out much this year, he could use a little more work on his plate discipline as well as some time at Triple-A. His hitter-friendly farm steps have inflated his results. It's too soon to expect him to surface in Denver - September is more likely - but a call-up in the near future probably crossed the Rox's minds given their black hole at the 5.

Still, his bat is live. Arenado is probably owned in most NLs; lock him up if not in anticipation for a late-2012 arrival. It's a bit too soon to speculate for deep mixed leagues.

Young, meanwhile, returns to his pinch-hitter and -runner and spot-starter role and, without a full-time job, remains strictly a speed plug-in for NL-only systems.

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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 the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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