Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Jeremy Guthrie, Justin Smoak

by Nicholas Minnix on August 15, 2012 @ 14:30:11 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?

Jeremy Guthrie, SP, Kansas City Royals

Seattle Mariners 1B Justin Smoak
Smoak almost snuffed out?

Ignore his 5.75 ERA. All it took to resurrect Guthrie's shot at a decent deal in his first foray into free agency was a move from the Colorado Rockies. Gee. How 'bout that. Go figure.

The right-hander has made five starts for KC since the trade. The results of his altered attitude have something to do with his altered altitude. They began to turn around three starts ago, in his home outing versus the Texas Rangers (six innings, six hits, three runs, two walks and four strikeouts).

Guthrie has made two consecutive scoreless starts since. He logged eight frames against the Chicago White Sox, at U.S. Cellular Field, and seven at home against the Oakland Athletics. The 33-year-old had 14 batters rung up on strikes in those two games.

Guthrie was hopeful that the change in environment would aid him greatly. This is the first time that the fly-ball hurler can call a pitcher's park his home. His new teammates have noticed a difference in his approach, but it's a familiar one for him: attack the strike zone. Guthrie registered double-digit swinging strikes in two of his last three starts; he didn't do it once in 15 starts for Colorado.

Guthrie has never been an elite starting pitcher, of course, and is unlikely to continue to pitch like one. He still has time to be a contributing piece of a mixed-league owner's squad, however.

10-tm mixed: Watch
12-tm mixed:
15-tm mixed:

Justin Smoak, 1B, Seattle Mariners

The M's decided to place Mike Carp (sore left hip) on the DL because they expect the injury to sideline him for a while. The club recalled Smoak, whom they sent down three weeks ago, in the corresponding move.

The once highly regarded prospect hit just .191 with 13 home runs in 346 at-bats prior to his banishment. The switch hitter didn't fare much better at Triple-A Tacoma (.242 average and zero home runs) while he was gone. In his first game back, on Tuesday night, he went 1-for-2 with a run, an RBI and a walk.

Smoak, 25, is still the player who seemed to be on the verge of a breakthrough last season before a grounder broke his nose. Roto players can chalk some of his underwhelming marks in his 2012 Pacific Coast League stretch up to the disheartening demotion. But how much? It's unclear how long Carp will be out, so if you have a free roster spot, you can experiment.

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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