KFFL.com'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?
Dan Haren, SP, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Halos' co-ace was roughed up in his first start of the season and on a couple of occasions in May, but through his outing on June 3, he had a 3.52 ERA, a 7.98 K/9 and a 1.88 BB/9. Haren's shoddy run support and the club's early-season bullpen issues were the culprits behind his 3-6 record then.
Pomeranz: more prepared?
In his last four starts (22 2/3 innings), the right-hander went 3-1, but it's the offense that bailed out the pitcher. In that stretch, Haren struck out 17 but gave up 20 runs, all earned, along with 34 hits (including eight round-trippers) and seven walks.
On ESPNLA, Kenton Wong gives the statistical scope of Haren's recent struggles. The numbers have prompted questions about the 31-year-old's health. He doesn't believe that his declining velocity is evidence of his declining ability.
Earlier this season, he dealt with back pain, but he contends that he's fine presently. As Wong has observed and for which Haren chides himself, he's leaving too many pitches up - or, rather, a pitch up at the most inopportune moments.
The strike zone plots at Brooks Baseball seem to support that theory. Mike Scioscia has expressed confidence in his hurler and believes that he's not far off.
Haren's diminished control rate is still very good. But there may be something to the notion that his long-term workload is beginning to take a toll. Regardless, this is a pitcher who isn't dealing with quite the same caliber of ammo that he did when he entered the realm of roto aces.
Haren isn't mincemeat because of that, however. The evidence points to a turnaround this season, sooner or later. He does have a little less room to make mistakes than he used to, though, and lately he's been making too many. Don't set rest-of-season bar in the top 15 rungs for SPs, and Anaheim's co-ace should still make you happy if you go after him.
Drew Pomeranz, SP, Colorado Rockies
The Rockies called up right-hander Tyler Chatwood to take the place - sorta - of the demoted Edwar Cabrera. Chatwood has been hit hard while with Triple-A Colorado Springs, so he could be the victim of the dream-killer "bad luck," but his 4.58 BB/9 hasn't made it easy for him.
If Chatwood impresses while he's up - which is possible, given that his opponent is the San Diego Padres on Friday night - perhaps he'll convince them to let him stick around, make it a quintet, or a septet, or however the hell many pitchers will make up this "rotation." Chatwood will be piggybacking the start of left-hander Jeff Francis - naturally.
The club is prepared to call up Pomeranz, regardless. He'll start against the Friars on Sunday. The left-handed prospect's marks while with the SkySox (2.51 ERA, 8.87 K/9, 3.86 BB/9) are encouraging. In his most recent outings, the walks have remained a problem, however; his opponents just haven't made him pay, judging from the results.
That's perhaps because Pomeranz has made a dramatic shift in ground balls and grounder outs generated in his last handful of farm starts.
This is the pitcher tabbed to head this rotation in the not-too-distant future, and the organization's evaluators have liked what they've seen from him as this month has progressed. Roto players shouldn't rule out a decent contribution from the talented hurler. The walks may remain a problem, but they'll be less of one if he can continue to prompt hitters to beat the ball into the ground.
10-tm mixed: Pass
12-tm mixed: Watch
15-tm mixed: Acquire
Chris Carter, 1B/OF, Oakland Athletics
The A's called up Carter, the low-frequency-contact-making slugger, on Friday. In his previous MLB stints, the right-handed batter was simply around for a look-see, and he struggled mightily for most of it. This time, the club plans to platoon him at first base with the supposedly reformed Brandon Moss.
Oakland hopes that Carter is here to stay, but they aren't giving up on Moss, says Bob Melvin. Frankly, no one can trust the A's to stick by any first baseman at this point. Those in deep leagues aren't missing out on much, but, if they have room, it won't hurt to set Allen aside and see if he's an improved hitter.
Which he claims that he is. Carter was hitting .279 with 12 bombs, 53 RBIs and five stolen bases for Triple-A Sacramento at the time of his promotion. But ruling the farm roost is nothing new for this 25-year-old. Has he learned anything?
Carter's 22.5 percent strikeout rate this season represented a slight improvement on his marks from the last few years. He's maintained an even-keeled demeanor while awaiting his next MLB trial. He believes that he's settled on the path to success at that level: stick to his approach.
Will he? We'll see. His numbers don't look much different. This maturation is encouraging, but it goes only so far. At least this seems like a legit opportunity. Don't judge him based on a short stretch, though; we've seen how quickly his tide turns.
10-tm mixed: Pass
12-tm mixed: Pass
15-tm mixed: Watch
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.