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?
Lance Lynn, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
McPherson replaces McDonald
Last week, Mike Matheny chose to go with the previously demoted-to-the-bullpen Lynn in place of Jake Westbrook (oblique strain) for a start against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Doubt fueled media response to the decision, but the skipper looked like a genius after the outing, a 2-1 Cards victory. Lynn went six frames, allowing a run on five hits and two walks and striking out seven.
After that contest, Matheny was noncommittal as to when Lynn would make another start, but he didn't leave much doubt about the notion of "if." The time in the bullpen did Lynn some good on a number of fronts, including a seeming rededication to his four-seamer.
The right-hander is on the schedule this week to face the Houston Astros, on Wednesday at home. Westbrook hopes to return in a week or so, and Chris Carpenter (surgery to fix thoracic outlet syndrome) is rejoining the rotation. Matheny won't be in a rush to remove Lynn from the group if he comes up with another good outing, however. And fantasy owners know what Lynn is capable of in the rotation. His 11-4 record, 3.41 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 9.17 K/9 before the All-Star break should remind them.
10-tm mixed: Watch
12-tm mixed: Acquire
15-tm mixed: Acquire
Kyle McPherson, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates
The Bucs don't feel that they can continue to try to rely on James McDonald in the rotation. Getting the righty's spot is McPherson, not Jeff Karstens.
Pittsburgh called up the 24-year-old to pitch out of the bullpen, where his low- to mid-90s heat and focus on changing speeds have made him a nice asset in his 11 2/3 innings (two earned runs, 11 K's, two walks).
McPherson is a 2007 14th-rounder who has posted outstanding command rates in his career. He rose pretty steadily through the ranks and was the club's minor league pitcher of the year in 2011. In 67 innings on the farm this season, split between two levels, he posted a 3.22 ERA.
Some people in the Pirates' organization are very high on McPherson, who thus far has shown that the MLB game isn't too big for him. He'll look to translate his gifts to an MLB starting role beginning on Wednesday against the Milwaukee Brewers. Karstens is probably an option to replace McPherson, but the rook should get at least a couple of starts before the Bucs would consider a switch. And he may not give them reason.
10-tm mixed: Watch
12-tm mixed: Consider
15-tm mixed: Acquire
Martin Perez, SP, Texas Rangers
Although Scott Feldman was brilliant in the rotation right after the All-Star break, his efforts steadily declined as the second half aged. The Rangers aren't going to settle for those kinds of outings any longer, so Perez is the next man up.
Despite off-putting results in the minors, Perez has maintained his status as one of Texas' top pitching prospects. In 22 games (21 starts, 127 innings total) for Triple-A Round Rock, the left-hander posted a 4.25 ERA, a 4.89 K/9 and a 3.97 BB/9 this year.
He's been up for 29 1/3 stanzas with the big club this year, accumulated in different stints, and has posted a 3.38 ERA, a 5.52 K/9 and a 3.38 BB/9. Three of Perez's nine appearances have been starts, in which he's gone 1-1 with a 2.60 ERA, a 4.67 K/9 and a 3.12 BB/9.
The Rangers' staff, which include pitching guru Mike Maddux of course, may prove to be better at getting the best of the raw Perez as 2012 draws to a close. Of course, the plan could go awry. If you were depending on Feldman, Perez can't do any worse, though.
10-tm mixed: Pass
12-tm mixed: Pass
15-tm mixed: Consider
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.