Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Brandon Beachy, Josh Beckett, Ryan Kalish

by Keith Hernandez on June 18, 2012 @ 12:45:30 PDT's Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market gives you candid reviews and ratings of fantasy baseball players making MLB news in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball leagues. Are they trade bait or worth your FAAB dollars in your fantasy baseball games?

Brandon Beachy lands on DL

10-tm mixed Pass
12-tm mixed Watch
15-tm mixed Consider
NL-only Acquire

The Atlanta Braves put Beachy on the 15-day disabled list after he left his start prematurely Saturday with elbow discomfort. He had some pain in his arm after his previous start against the Toronto Blue Jays, too, and the team gave him some extra rest.

Beachy and the team are hoping for the best; the 25-year-old righty thinks he's dealing with bone spurs instead of ligament damage. If that's the case, Fredi Gonzalez is optimistic they'll have him back in 15 days. We'll know more after his Monday MRI.

Beachy's sparkling 2.00 ERA despite a 5-5 record follows a dominant rookie campaign in which he went 7-3 with a 3.68 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 81 innings over 13 starts. His K/9 (7.56) is down from 10.74 last year, though, and his command hasn't improved at all. An unusually low hit rate (.200) and solid strand rate (77.9 percent) make him vulnerable to regression in the ERA department.

Jair Jurrjens (0-2, 9.37 ERA in four starts) is returning to Atlanta to take Beachy's rotation spot. At Triple-A Gwinnett he went 3-4 with a 5.27 ERA, 28 strikeouts and 12 walks in 56 1/3 frames (nine starts).

He was an All-Star in 2011, but knee and oblique ailments curtailed his season. A fortunate BABIP and a high strand rate produced an artificially low ERA, though. Jurrjens has made adjustments in the minors; his velocity has improved, per Gonzalez.

Jurrjens will see at least two to three starts to prove he belongs in the rotation, but deep leaguers must see some positive results and more hope for a long-term rotation residence before they jump back on board. He's never been a high-strikeout hurler, so he'll have to display much better command to make him worth a roster spot.

Red Sox place Josh Beckett on DL

10-tm mixed Pass
12-tm mixed Watch
15-tm mixed Consider
AL-only Acquire

Boston initially believed the inflammation in Beckett's right shoulder wasn't serious. He was scratched from his start Sunday but eventually wound up on the DL. Franklin Morales replaced him and tossed five solid innings against the Chicago Cubs, giving up two earned runs while fanning nine.

Beckett is no stranger to the DL, and at this point in his career, the injuries are becoming much more frequent. His 13-win, 2.89-ERA 2011 season not surprisingly came with health on his side. This year, he's already dealt with hamstring, lat and thumb issues; he missed a start May 5 with soreness in his lat.

His velocity hovered around 91 mph in his last start, and his velocity has dipped from his career average of 93.7. The injuries likely contributed to a career-low 6.43 K/9. Beckett was unlikely to replicate his stellar 2011 season, and given how inconsistent he's been on a year-to-year basis, you should no longer be relying on him as your ace.

The 32-year-old is a slow healer, too, so it's possible the shoulder injury is a direct consequence of him pitching through lat pain for some time. It'll take him some time to get comfortable when he returns, so you'll need to be patient.

Morales, 26, has a 4.41 ERA and 54 K's in 16 career starts, with his most recent start before Sunday coming with the Colorado Rockies in 2009. He'll get at least one more chance in the rotation.

The southpaw dominates lefties and has high-K upside, but keep in mind most of his swing-and-miss success has come in relief. Improved control in the second half of last year is another plus, but he'll have to limit his fly-ball tendencies to stay effective at Fenway.

Ryan Sweeney goes on DL, Ryan Kalish brought up

10-tm mixed Pass
12-tm mixed Watch
15-tm mixed Consider
AL-only Acquire

A fractured sesamoid bone in Sweeney's left big toe put him on the infirmary Sunday, and he said it's been bothering him for three weeks, in which he hit only .217 with a .549 OPS. Offseason surgery may be in the cards.

Age is on his side, but BA is his only real contribution. With Cody Ross (fractured foot) coming back Tuesday, there won't be as many opportunities for Sweeney when he returns, either.

Kalish started immediately in center field Sunday and went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. He was considered the future in right field last year before a serious shoulder injury and surgery on a bulging disc in his neck kept him out.

He's still getting his feet under him, but he did post a triple slash line of .378/.477/.757 in 44 plate appearances with Triple-A Pawtucket this year. Nagging injuries to Scott Podsednik (groin) and Daniel Nava (hand) will give him an opportunity in the short term, but the BoSox would probably prefer to let him develop on the farm when they get healthy again in the outfield.

His potential for double-digit homers and 20-plus SBs over a full season make him worth a flier in AL leagues and deep mixed systems, though.

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About Keith Hernandez

Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.

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