Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - Falling

by Tim Heaney on April 17, 2009 @ 01:00:01 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)

Catchers

Chris Iannetta, Colorado Rockies

Is he trading bat production for his vast improvements behind the plate? The young slugger has been jettisoned to the unclaimed pool in many leagues after his 1-for-17 (.059) start, but he's still displaying an improved batting eye which helped him blossom last year. Don't fall for this slow start, and if someone else did, laugh while grabbing Iannetta.

Shallow mixed: Hold

Deep mixed: Hold

NL-only: Hold

Second basemen

Jose Lopez, Seattle Mariners

Just because he's in a current 1-for-12 funk doesn't mean he's worth discarding in April. He showed offensive growth last year and is batting in the middle of an improving Seattle order. Lopez is still only 25, too. He's a valuable fantasy middle infielder.

Shallow mixed: Stash

Deep mixed: Hold

AL-only: Hold

Third basemen

Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals

Gordon (hip) is slated to undergo hip surgery Friday, April 17. A 2-for-21 start to the year hinted he was playing through his torn right hip labrum. We might expect a similar return timetable as New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (hip) has, but there isn't a set timetable and it will be at least several weeks. Hang tight with him if you have the room.

Shallow mixed: Stash

Deep mixed: Hold

AL-only: Hold

Melvin Mora, Baltimore Orioles

Another third sacker hits the DL. Mora (hamstring) has been bothered by a left hamstring strain since Spring Training. If you have a spot, keep him; he's streaky and can be rotated into your lineup in conjunction with his peaks.

Shallow mixed: Stash

Deep mixed: Stash

AL-only: Hold

Andy LaRoche, Pittsburgh Pirates

The younger LaRoche recorded his first hit Thursday, April 16, and a 1-for-20 beginning to the season isn't helping his job security. Ramon Vazquez is stealing at-bats, and the Pirates have Pedro Alvarez in the minors. You need to make contact in order to show power potential. Let him hone his craft on the waiver wire. 

Shallow mixed: Discard

Deep mixed: Discard

NL-only: Stash

Outfielders

Xavier Nady, New York Yankees

With Tommy John surgery a possibility and his season already in jeopardy, Nady (elbow) won't be of any use for awhile. Test results should be released Friday, April 17, but you can close the book on this X man for the immediate future. Wait until his final diagnosis to cut him in AL-only leagues.

Shallow mixed: Discard

Deep mixed: Discard

AL-only: Discard

Milton Bradley, Chicago Cubs

Shocking news from Bradley's camp: a nagging injury and a possible suspension. Bradley (groin) made contact with an umpire (again) and has missed three straight starts because of a groin strain; it could be another week until he touches the field. You should've known this if you drafted him. Hopefully, you drafted enough replacements to pick up the slack.

Shallow mixed: Stash

Deep mixed: Hold

NL-only: Hold

Rick Ankiel, St. Louis Cardinals

Ankiel struggles against lefties; this isn't news. You shouldn't be dropping him yet, even with his .188 clip (.167 against lefties, .214 against righties). As long as you play the matchups or ride his streaks, he'll be serviceable, but he'll need a bit more management than other sluggers.

Shallow mixed: Hold

Deep mixed: Hold

NL-only: Hold

Jordan Schafer, Atlanta Braves

The rook went 1-for-11 with seven K's against the Florida Marlins in his recent series. Bumps in the road are expected, and talent is abundant here. He has the playing time. Don't jump off the bandwagon yet, especially since he may be making some noise for a role higher up in the order.

Shallow mixed: Stash

Deep mixed: Hold

NL-only: Hold

Starting pitchers

John Maine, New York Mets

A disastrous five-inning, six-run outing April 16 exemplified a chronic problem for Maine: the blow-up inning. He wasn't terrible outside of an awful third frame in which the San Diego Padres batted around. His strength and health have improved after arthroscopic shoulder surgery last season, too. The inconsistent righty is heavily control-based, so be careful with him since he doesn't have much upside left.

Shallow mixed: Stash

Deep mixed: Stash

NL-only: Hold

Relief pitchers

Huston Street, Colorado Rockies

Given Street's rough start (13.50 ERA in four appearances), reports say Rockies manager Clint Hurdle is evaluating the closer situation and could make the switch to Manny Corpas as soon as Friday, April 17. Try to stash Street if your league is deep enough, though, since this bullpen experienced ample turnover in the previous two seasons. He could still be valuable for K's if you can't afford to let him go.

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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