Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Ricky Romero, Casey McGehee

by Nicholas Minnix on July 3, 2012 @ 13:35:00 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?

Ricky Romero, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

What's wrong with Ricky Ro? Fangraphs' Eno Sarris got down to the heart of the matter, from a statistical standpoint. Don Henley thinks it's about forgiveness, even if you don't love him anymore.

But when duder is walking that many men, he's going to need one hell of a bouquet to get back in roto owners' good graces. His results are only getting worse.

When what derailed his rise through the Jays' system wasn't poor health, it was control problems. Has the left-hander's bane resurfaced? Why, following two straight seasons of an improved BB/9 (to 3.20 last year), is Romero handing out free passes like candy?

Mike Wilner wonders whether the pressure of holding up Toronto's ravaged rotation has gotten to Romero, who's notoriously hard on himself. But, as the column acknowledges and fantasy owners are aware, the club's ace wasn't quality too often before injuries began to take their toll north of the border, either.

John Farrell's and the pitcher's comments to the media suggest that the club thinks this is pretty much a mechanical issue. The manager believes he's seen some positive signs, but he feels that Romero is still not close to where he was prior to this season.

No kidding. And Farrell hits on something: Romero's first-pitch strike percentage is 51.8 this season, down from about 58.0 for the past two campaigns. Getting ahead is important to putting him back on track, and he's making progress in that regard.

Perhaps Romero is, as Sarris surmises, just more of a workhorse than an ace, which the data backs up. But he's right to say that something more is at play here than corrections and luck. Unfortunately, after three months, he doesn't seem to be a whole lot closer to discovering what that is.

Those in 10-team mixed leagues should've cut bait by now. In 12-teamers, if you haven't yet, perhaps you'll consider sticking it out, although there's little to convince you to be faithful. It's impossible to tell how soon Romero will turn things around, and how good the outcomes will be when he does.

In 15-teamers, the southpaw may reward loyalty, and in AL leagues, hopefully you have some bench space. These formats are the only ones in which it seems reasonable to think that a trade for him could pay off a little.

On the chance that it's a lot, if you drop Romero, don't lose sight of him.

Casey McGehee, 1B/3B, Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates 1B Casey McGehee
McGehee, matey

The Bucs lived with Jose Tabata's sub-par production for long enough. They optioned him to Triple-A Indianapolis, where the organization hopes that he'll regain his bat speed and confidence.

Yesterday, Tim discussed the mounting chatter about a Starling Marte promotion, but the Pirates summoned Gorkys Hernandez from the Indianapolis Indians instead. The right-handed hitter was 2-for-10 with a stolen base in a brief call-up earlier this season. In the International league, he had a .268/.364/.362 slash line with 13 stolen bases prior to this tranny.

Hernandez may be a worthwhile to pursue for those in deep NL leagues who are desperate for speed. Pittsburgh seems unlikely to rely on him extensively, however. He's an excellent defender and may draw occasional starts, but he hasn't played much in right field, where Tabata roamed, presumably because he doesn't have a superb arm. Alex Presley is similar in that regard, and Andrew McCutchen is unlikely to budge from center.

McGehee's playing time and performance picked up quite a bit in June (.291/.360/.532, with all five of his home runs, in 89 plate appearances). He's been playing at first base pretty regularly lately. Although he's unlikely to approach his performance levels of 2009 and 2010, he's a better hitter than his numbers of 2011 implied.

The Pirates are probably inclined to see how long that will continue because they can deploy Garrett Jones in right field, if they're comfortable with the matchup. NL managers may want to note that Tabata's demotion also gives the Bucs another way to find ABs for Swiss Army knife Josh Harrison, who isn't a great fielder but has hit well for stretches.

Tom Singer's piece on the official site also suggests that a lingering hamstring injury is at least partly to blame for Tabata's struggles at the dish, on the base paths and in the field. The staff has likely either been unaware of the extent of it, dissatisfied with the outfielder's effort to rehabilitate it or been unwilling to accept it as an excuse.

Whatever the case, Hernandez is clearly not part of the contending club's long-term solution for its lineup. McGehee's patience has improved notably. He's hit right-handers better recently, but he remains susceptible to them in the long run.

The Pirates have given themselves a window to evaluate their latest setup. How long it will last is uncertain. It may give Tabata enough time to get healthy at the Class AAA level, in which case, the team could recall him. Perhaps only those in NL leagues will be inclined to hold him, however. The window may also be with the goal of giving Marte a little more time to incubate before he makes his debut sometime in the second half.

10-tm mixed: Pass
12-tm mixed:
15-tm mixed:

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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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