Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - Falling

by Tim Heaney on August 12, 2009 @ 12:00:01 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)

Third basemen

Chicago Cubs 3B Aramis Ramirez
You can't rely on A-Ram for much

Aramis Ramirez, Chicago Cubs

It looks like A-Ram will try playing through the pain; he plans to return to action Thursday or Friday. "I've been in pain since I came back, and I won't be 100 percent the rest of the year," Ramirez (shoulder) said Tuesday. "I'm going to have to play like that." A-Ram received a cortisone injection in his left shoulder yesterday.

The Cubbies may have rushed him back, but he won't point to that. His .130 August batting average, however, reveals that it may not always be worth playing him. Ride this out.

Shallow mixed: Hold

Deep mixed: Hold

NL-only: Hold

Shortstops

J.J. Hardy, Milwaukee Brewers

The Brew Crew tired of the on-again, off-again Hardy (.229-11-45), sending him down to the minors about two months shy of Hardy's service-time milestone of five years; he can refuse minor league options after that point. Despite recently trying to make adjustments to the path of his bat, Hardy hadn't hit better than .228 in a month since May and limped against lefties (.171-1-2).

The Brewers may give prospect Alcides Escobar an extended look at short, meaning Hardy would either finish the year in the minors or find greener pastures through a waiver trade. This may be a chance for Hardy to clear his head, though, before returning for the stretch run.

Shallow mixed: Discard

Deep mixed: Stash

NL-only: Hold

Outfielders

Scott Podsednik, Chicago White Sox

Alex Rios enters the already packed sock drawer, and Pods may be relegated to rag duty. Not even a career revival (.295-4-33 with 51 runs and 18 steals) guarantees a starting spot.

His ability to play every outfield spot, however, ensures he'll still see time each week. Chicago wants to spell Jermaine Dye, Carlos Quentin and designated hitter Jim Thome. Rios is expected to enter the starting lineup today. In the next few games, they should give clues as to how they'll divvy the time.

The arrangement should be assessed before you consider abandoning Podsednik, who could probably still give you a few stolen bases per week even with reduced PT. You'll just have to be on top of his schedule.

Shallow mixed: Stash

Deep mixed: Hold

AL-only: Hold

Randy Winn, San Francisco Giants

The Giants are expected to give more time to Nate Schierholtz (hip), who's due to come off the DL soon. Winn is typically a solid bench fantasy option, but this reduced time gives you all the more reason to let go of the vet for the stretch run.

Shallow mixed: Discard

Deep mixed: Discard

NL-only: Hold

Chris B. Young, Arizona Diamondbacks

Speaking of reasons to break the chain, Young has been in a landslide for the entire season (.194-7-28), with his rough landing expected to come at Triple-A Reno. He may be brought up again in September, but he'll have to prove he can make an impact at the dish to regain fantasy admiration, especially with the way recent callup Trent Oeltjen is holding things down in the D-backs outfield.

Shallow mixed: Discard

Deep mixed: Discard

NL-only: Stash

Starting pitchers

Randy Wells, Chicago Cubs

Wells, in the discussion for fantasy free-agent pickup of the year, will have his workload monitored by the club for the rest of the season. He's already at a career-high 133 2/3 frames in 2009, split between the minors and the bigs; his previous high was 131 1/3 (2006). This isn't a call to drop him. The Cubbies' playoff race may put this plan on hold, but you should have backup options if and when the Cubs put a halt to his starting workload.

Shallow mixed: Hold

Deep mixed: Hold

NL-only: Hold

Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals

Last week we recommended getting the jump on Zimmermann when it appeared he'd be ready to return. Here's Exhibit Z of why news is a volatile entity. The righty is expected to miss the rest of the season after it was announced he'll undergo Tommy John surgery, likely sidelining him for all or most of the 2010 campaign, as well. Single-year clingers can give him his walking papers.

Shallow mixed: Discard

Deep mixed: Discard

NL-only: Discard

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 the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.


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