OpinionMay 25, 2009

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Monday Mail Call: Rookie OFs, Returning SPs, Ronnie Belliard

By R.J. White

Happy Memorial Day! We’re getting a lot of questions in the mailbag as of late. Keep ‘em rollin in, guys! The best questions (meaning the ones I feel can help the most fantasy owners) will be featured here in the Monday Mail Call, today and throughout the season. If you’d like to appear in the column and/or have some burning fantasy questions that you need answered, drop us a line at fbcmailbag@gmail.com.

I have an extra roster spot and would like to pick up a rookie OF . I don’t need to play him right now and could stash him on my bench. I need someone off the radar. What about a Chris Coghlin or Geraldo Parra? Who is in the running for rookie of the year? Any gems out there? — Paul

I’d currently rank rookie OFs that might be available like this:

Nolan Reimold, Matt LaPorta, Dexter Fowler, Gerardo Parra, Chris Coghlan, Jordan Schafer, Travis Snider, Andrew McCutchen, and Jake Fox.

Reimold was scorching it in the minors, is scorching it in the majors, and if the Orioles had any sense at all, Reimold would be starting five times a week from here on out. LaPorta is the most talented of the group. He’s not guaranteed to stick with the club when Hafner returns though, but if he continues to get regular playing time he should make a great frantasy impact. Fowler is a speedster that has held his own thus far. Parra has started off quickly, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sent back down when the Snakes are at full health. Coghlan should get every chance to succeed, and if you need help at 2B, he makes a solid option. Schafer is a great prospect but it looks like it will take him a year or two to get comfortable in the bigs. Ditto for Snider. McCutchen is a top prospect that probably won’t get recalled this year, but what do the Bucs have to lose? And finally, Jake Fox is killing the ball (17 HRs) in Triple-A, and the Cubs have to be tempted to recall him and see if he can make a Nelson Cruz-like impact.

I’m in a 12-team mixed Yahoo league, sitting in 1st place, but need some advice. I need pitching still & want to stash John Smoltz, Justin Duchscherer, Kelvim Escobar &/or Chien-Ming Wang. Who should I drop out of David Ortiz, Ricky Nolasco, Jarrod Washburn, Juan Cruz, Matt Palmer for any of those four pitchers? Personally, I’m planning on dropping Cruz once Soria gets back, Palmer if he screws up, Washburn if he screws up and Ortiz b/c he sucks right now or Nolasco for the same reason. But, I’m not sure those pitchers (Smoltz, Duchscherer, Escobar & Wang) are worth it. Do you think so? — Bryant

Matt Palmer would be my first drop. He doesn’t have a long-term rotation role on the team. Cruz would be next, as he’s not long for the closer role. Washburn would be my third choice, as it looks like the wheels might be starting to come off. I definitely wouldn’t cut Nolasco or Ortiz just yet, especially since you’re winning without them. Out of the four potential adds, I think Wang has the best chance to come back and be successful, with Escobar not far behind. I’d keep an eye out on Smoltz and possibly add him later, or if Washburn completely falls apart. I wouldn’t bother with Duchscherer, who can’t stay healthy for an extended period of time.

Would you please tell me what the %@#@ is the situation down in DC with Belliard? I understand he was injured early on, and only in the last two plus weeks, he plays one game per week. In all due respect to Anderson Hernandez, he can’t hold a candle to Belliard’s offense. Acta’s dog house? Why…When will that situation change? — David

At 34 years old, Belliard isn’t likely to be in Washington’s future plans. Since they aren’t in a win-now mode, they feel better off seeing what Anderson Hernandez brings to the table. If Hernandez’s growing pains help him learn to hit righties consistently and turn him into a solid 2B in the future, it’ll definitely help the club in the long run. They really don’t have anything to gain from playing Belliard.

That’ll do it for this week. Remember to e-mail us your questions at fbcmailbag@gmail.com. Have a safe and fun holiday!

R.J. White (or daullaz) has been actively involved in fantasy sports for over 14 years, making him an addict at this point. He loves writing, the Atlanta Braves, music, the Buffalo Bills, theatre, the Philadelphia Eagles, his family, and the number 42, though not in that order.
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