Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - Falling

by Tim Heaney on April 15, 2009 @ 01:00:00 PDT

 


Also see: Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - Rising

Fantasy baseball waivers and discarded fantasy baseball players can make or break a season. You may have adjusted your fantasy baseball cheat sheets over and over during spring training. If your team remains the same after opening day, though, you will probably have trouble competing in your rotisserie baseball league. When is it time to give up on your fantasy baseball sleepers? Which players are worth retaining? KFFL.com's Diamond Market series gives you the fantasy baseball tips and advice you need to sort through the masses quickly.

Key

Discard - Drop player (in most circumstances)

Stash - Hold player if roster space is available; consider dropping if trend continues

Hold - Do not drop player (in most circumstances)

Shortstops

Mike Aviles, Kansas City Royals

Everyone's favorite middle infielder pickup last season has sputtered out of the gate with a .172 average and just one RBI. Uncertainty of a repeat followed him into this season given his lack of an MLB track record. His batting eye hasn't shown that he can overcome a long-term slump. This is a warning sign, but he showed just enough promise last year that you can keep him on your bench while he works this out.

Shallow mixed: Stash

Deep mixed: Hold

AL-only: Hold

Jed Lowrie, Boston Red Sox

The youngster finally caved, admitting to manager Terry Francona that his left wrist, which sustained a compound fracture last season, continues to bother him. Lowrie was placed on the 15-day DL Monday, April 13, and will see a hand specialist Wednesday, April 15. He played for most of last season with the injury - not good news this time around. With shortstop Julio Lugo's rehab progressing, Lowrie may not have a spot by the time he heals.

Shallow mixed: Discard

Deep mixed: Discard

AL-only: Hold

Outfielders

Hideki Matsui, New York Yankees

A Mothra sighting? Matsui carries a .125 clip through his first six games, and the emergence of Nick Swisher is piling on his slow start. Manager Joe Girardi doesn't want to use Matsui in the outfield, meaning he may take a seat against a tough lefty or if someone needs a rest from playing the field. When healthy, he's a solid run producer. In deep leagues, you can scoop him up if you have the room, but keep an eye on his playing time.

Shallow mixed: Stash

Deep mixed: Hold

AL-only: Hold

Lastings Milledge, Washington Nationals

He had trouble playing the field and struck out frequently - resembles my barroom game. More reports of attitude problems also helped punch Milledge's ticket to Triple-A Syracuse. There's a lot of promise from this speed-power threat, especially since he improved his batting eye last year, but this could be a long stint as he tries to show discipline in all facets of the game. If you can tuck Milledge away, retain him or take advantage of someone else's impatience.

Shallow mixed: Stash

Deep mixed: Stash

NL-only: Hold

Starting pitchers

Randy Johnson, San Francisco Giants

While the Big Unit was Ponce de Leon last year, he looks more like a punching bag so far (11.42 ERA and four homers yielded in his first two starts). Encouraging sign: his 12-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His stamina is coming into question as he came undone after strong starts in both games. He has already pinpointed that his problem has come from pitching behind in the count, but his gopheritis may be a problem all year. He's crafty enough to adjust, though you may want to hold him out of action if the matchup is discouraging.

Shallow mixed: Hold

Deep mixed: Hold

NL-only: Hold

Chris Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals

Another season, another injury for the Tantalus of fantasy baseball. Though this malady isn't related to his throwing arm, it's hard to call a rib injury comfortable for a pitcher. This is why most leagues have DL spots. Use one here, but you may want to give Carp a pillow....

Shallow mixed: Stash

Deep mixed: Stash

NL-only: Hold

Also see: Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - Rising

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.


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