|Fantasy Baseball: Fantasy Mailbag Week 14|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on June 30, 2008
Rank these shortstops: Theriot, Hardy, Drew.
This might surprise some people (namely Cubs fans), but Drew, Theriot, Hardy. I’m a huge fan of Drew, because he holds a ton of promise in his bat. Case in point: he already has 11 home runs, which is one less than he had all of last season. His batting average is a little low right now (.256), but he did hit .315 throughout his minor league career.
Theriot provides a high batting average (.314 so far this season), but doesn’t have the power that Drew has. He’s got some speed, as he’s projected for 17 swipes. Hardy sits in the middle of the two in terms of power and average, but provides no stolen bases.
Would you deal John Lackey for Rich Harden?
My suggestion is for you to play it safe. Harden has been injury prone for whatever reason throughout his career. Yes, he’s been throwing the heck out of the ball (5-0, 2.15 ERA), but it’s not like Lackey is a slouch (6-1, 1.44). Those figures will rise for Lackey, but Harden isn’t going to do you any good when he lands on the disabled list this season. Play it safe.
Would you trade Nate McLouth for Roy Oswalt?
I’ve been waiting for McLouth’s magical stretch to end, and it looks like it might be. He’s only hitting .220 in June, and his power has dipped to only two home runs. Now would be the perfect time to sell high on him.
The only question is what you’re getting from Oswalt. His ERA and WHIP are a little high, at 4.77 and 1.40, respectively. He has been a top-15 starting pitcher in fantasy baseball for the last few years. Do we expect his ERA to fall to his career average of 3.19 or do we expect him to have an off year? No matter what, he’s more valuable than McLouth and should improve somewhat over the second half of the season.
Buy low on Harang or don’t touch with a 10-foot pole?
Ever since Harang’s four-inning relief stint in an extra-innings game against the San Diego Padres, his ERA has gone up from 3.32 to 4.51. It’s likely they’re related. Harang seems to be healthy, has a great strikeout rate, and has been having some bad luck this season: .330 BABIP and increased home run rate. He’s too good of a pitcher to keep pitching this badly. Buy low and reap the rewards in the second half.
What would you do with Gary Sheffield?
A rough April really set Sheffield back, and he was starting to come back in May with a .246/.355/.354 line. A shoulder injury set him back, but Sheffield has been raking since his return to the majors, as witnessed by his .300/.333/.650 line in his last 20 ABs. Sheffield is likely riding a rival owner’s bench or sitting on the free agent market in your league, so I would suggest buying low and taking a gamble on him. With his track record, Sheffield can definitely help your team out.