StrategyMay 12, 2011


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Wide World of Waivers: Trumbo, He’s Relevant

By R.J. White

The rotosphere was rocked Wednesday with the news that Kendrys Morales, currently rehabbing from a walk-off home run, would be sidelined the entire season. Obviously this is a big blow to Morales owners, especially myself, who overspent on the Angels 1B in Yahoo’s Roto Arcade Pro-Am with the expectation I’d get at least 75 percent of a season from him. That ain’t happenin’.

But hanging my head isn’t going to help win a league — coincidentally, the DL All-Stars are sitting in first place in the Pro-Am, despite bringing Morales, Jake Peavy and Grady Sizemore into the fold during the auction. Instead, the Morales news requires a quick call to action, as a pretty sweet replacement is likely sitting on your league’s FA list.

Mark Trumbo was supposed to be a short-term fill-in at first base, but now he’s likely the team’s first baseman for the entire 2011 season. That’s not entirely a bad thing, as Trumbo’s .270/.311/.486 line heading into Wednesday action wasn’t too far from the .290/.346/.487 Morales threw up in 2010. The power is obviously there, as Trumbo is maintaining a 30-HR pace, and his average has made a significant climb during a hot stretch over the last two weeks.

Currently available in five out of six Yahoo leagues, Trumbo should expect his ownership rating to rise significantly in the next week. I snapped him up where available, including in a dynasty league that has Morales sitting on the DL. If Trumbo continues to perform to this level, he should find himself in the Angels lineup long term.

Also at 1B: Eric Hosmer (41%), Luke Scott (40%), Mitch Moreland (32%), Casey Kotchman (1%).

Catcher

Chris Iannetta, COL (26%). The Colorado backstop is now up to five HRs through 81 at-bats, and his average has climbed 62 points in the last ten games. With 20 walks to his credit, Iannetta also sports a .398 on-base percentage to go along with his .494 slugging percentage. Those ratios should make you pounce on this surprisingly under-owned talent.

Also: Ryan Doumit (17%), Rod Barajas (10%), Miguel Olivo (9%).

Second Base

Alberto Callaspo, LAA (23%). Callaspo brought playing time concerns to fantasy teams before the year began, but thanks to various injuries and quality play, he’s appeared in 34 of Los Angeles’ 38 games this season. His numbers are close to what he delivered in his solid 2009 season, and a little more power should be on the way. Buy with confidence in his high floor.

Also: Danny Espinosa (16%), Scott Sizemore (4%).

Third Base

Chris Johnson, HOU (6%). We expected regression from Johnson after he hit .308 with a .387 BABIP, but no one expected it to be this bad. While the second-year player is hitting only .185 so far this season, he’s done so with an absurdly low .210 BABIP — talk about course correction. Johnson has continued to have solid power, with three bombs in his last ten games, so pick him up for the HR lift and pray the average comes out of the gutter.

Also: Jhonny Peralta (32%), Greg Dobbs (3%).

Shortstop

Erick Aybar, LAA (39%). The Angels SS is one of the hottest around, with a 10-game hit streak to his credit after last night. He’s only been helping fantasy teams in two categories, but his numbers entering Wednesday in average (.344) and steals (nine) are elite. If he continues to hit atop the lineup, the runs should come as well, especially with Vernon Wells sidelined.

Also: Jhonny Peralta (32%), Alex Gonzalez (38%).

Outfield

Mitch Moreland, TEX (33%). Moreland has played virtually every game this season, thanks some to a hot bat and some to injuries to the Texas outfield. He’s turned the fireworks on after a solid April (.280 with three HRs) to hit .355 with two home runs through 10 games this month. If that wasn’t enough, he clubbed a grand slam yesterday that won’t show up on fantasy scoreboards thanks to the suspended game. It’s clear he’s locked in right now, and the stat sheet filler needs to be owned in more than one-third of Yahoo’s leagues.

Also: Luke Scott (40%), Austin Jackson (34%), Julio Borbon (7%)

Starting Pitcher

Homer Bailey, CIN (26%). The 25-year-old may finally be putting it all together. He’s been untouchable in his first two starts of the season, allowing one run in 13 innings while giving up just nine hits and one walk and adding 12 strikeouts. Granted, both starts were against the Astros, but Bailey may be ready to take the next step to fantasy stardom after making strides in 2010. He’s definitely worth a flier to see if he can keep this up.

Also: Jordan Zimmermann (48%), Tim Stauffer (41%), Anibal Sanchez (40%), Joel Pineiro (11%), Jake Arrieta (10%).

Relief Pitcher

Vicente Padilla, LAD (37%). Jonathan Broxton was a DL stint waiting to happen for the first month of the season, posting a 5.68 ERA and 1.89 WHIP before finally hitting the shelf in the first week of May. With Hong-Chih Kuo rehabbing, returning and trying to rediscover the magic, it’s made Padilla the de facto closer for the Dodgers. He’s done well, converting all three save opportunities this season, including the one last night. Padilla should be owned in all competitive leagues.

Also: Mark Melancon (35%), Eduardo Sanchez (26%), Fernando Salas (18%).

 
R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and has previously written for FanHouse. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
 
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