Fantasy baseball nuggets: Ervin Santana, Alexander Guerrero, Neftali Feliz

      March 12, 2014 @ 13:19:54 PDT


The Atlanta Braves did exactly what they had to do: sign Ervin Santana.

Los Angeles Dodgers 2B Alexander Guerrero
Guerrero: un poco dinero

Brandon Beachy (elbow soreness) will be fine -- that's my guess. But it's hard to tell how long he'll be dealing with diminished velocity and command, and, of course, my guess could easily be incorrect. Oh, and then there's Kris Medlen, who's already asking about available appointments for his second career Tommy John surgery.

Those who drafted Santana (at least in mixed and NL-only leagues) have one heck of a steal. (Looking at Steve Gardner in KFFL's Fantasy Baseball Analysis Draft and League.) His updated projection will probably make him a top-50 pitcher -- at least -- for us. Stick that feather in your draft caps.

Gordon winning Dodgers' 2B competition?

A few precincts have yet to report, but media members who cover the Los Angeles Dodgers are calling the race to play second base: The victor is Dee Gordon, convincingly.

The career shortstop has handled the transition to the other middle-infield spot pretty gracefully, according to observers ... as well as the man whose opinion matters most, Don Mattingly. The manager notes that Gordon's game with the stick is still a work in progress.

Conversely, the Blue don't have much doubt about Alexander Guerrero's ability to hit. He's no Jeff Kent (at least circa 2005), but he could be the 2B version of Jhonny Peralta, I think -- minus the steady PT. His glove work has obviously left Mattingly and Co. with something to be desired, however.

Gordon isn't the worst possible choice if you seek a short-term solution for stolen bases. Everyone knows that. Who thinks of him as anything more? It could happen, but LA has been trying to teach Gordon how to get on base for at least a couple of years. FanGraphs writer Mike Petriello details why the skinny speedster at second is a probable, relative disaster.

But what about Guerrero, the favorite just two weeks ago? The Dodgers have created a buying opp. No one drafted him last night in the Tout Mixed Draft -- a 15-teamer with 27 rounds. I debated between the import and Rickie Weeks in Round 25 and, obviously, opted for the latter; he's still technically in his competition and has more reliable data with which to project.

Guerrero will likely go undrafted in 15-team mixed leagues, where he should be FAABed for very little to open, and for end-game dough in NL-only auctions. I'd definitely be willing to make those bets on the Cuban and see what happens after he spends a little time at Triple-A Albuquerque.

Competition to close for Rangers still wide open

Ron Washington has told the media that he and his staff haven't yet decided who'll close for the Texas Rangers.

Allow me to translate:

Wash is perturbed because Neftali Feliz has yet to meet his manager's expectations, thanks to substandard velocity and mechanical issues. So far, no complaints about Joakim Soria (in particular) or Tanner Scheppers.

I think it's clear that Wash wants to hand this job to Feliz. That's why I thought Feliz is a better bet than the crowd does. But the righty's slow-going warm-up for the regular season has me second-guessing. I've handcuffed him to Soria in the late rounds of both leagues in which I took him, including that Tout Mixed Draft. I definitely recommend that approach.

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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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