May 2, 2013 posted by Matthew Dewoskin

Singles Only: Week Five Edition

Singles Only: Week Five Edition
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Well, hello there.

This edition of Singles Only is spent mainly looking at injury issues. As the great manager Lou Brown once told us, “guys get strains, sore arms and muscle pulls.” Single league players don’t have to scramble for a 20-year old who might get a bench spot with a major league team. We have to look at the vast expanse that is the Waiver Wire Wasteland.

It’s like the Island of Misfit Toys for fantasy baseball. Everyone has had guys on The Island at one point or another, but they clearly weren’t worth having. Every so often, one of these guys proves himself worthy of mixed league addition either by injury or by the failure of another equally mediocre player.

It’s time once again to groom the mustache, chill the box of wine and settle in for an evening with….Singles Only.

Oakland’s Brett Anderson and Coco Crisp both hit the DL after their 19-inning marathon. This means that Dan Straily will get a few more starts at the big league level while Anderson heals up from his various ailments. Straily offers impressive upside for a guy who should be on the waiver wire in most single season leagues. He’s not going to light up a radar gun, but he has an 8.70 K/9 in 50 major league innings.

Crisp’s injury guarantees that Seth Smith and Chris Young will stay in the everyday lineup for a few more weeks. There won’t be a need for Oakland to start a platoon as long as there is full-time work available. Young has offered a little speed (five steals), a little pop (four homers) and not much else. Don’t expect a bounce in batting average any time soon. Young is a fly ball hitter playing in a cavernous home ballpark. Most of those flies will find gloves.

Smith is a little more intriguing as a fifth outfielder/utility guy for the short term. He has his lefty/righty split issues. He’s scalding lefties to the tune of a 1.219 OPS , but he’s scuffling against righties with a .762 OPS.

Joel Hanrahan is back in Boston. He’ll have to get in line to earn saves and it’s a long line. Leave him on the waiver wire if you’re in a shallow league (less than 12 teams).

Marlins prospect Marcell Ozuna is getting his first taste of big league action with Giancarlo Stanton on the DL for a month with a hamstring strain. Ozuna is making the jump from Double-A. He has exactly 48 plate appearances in Double-A. He’s posted strikeout percentages over 20% at just about every stop he’s made. You probably won’t hear this on this week’s “BS or Not,” but Ozuna is probably going to be over matched at the big league level. He does have legit power (20+ homers each of the last three years), but he’s simply not ready for major league pitching. Look for someone who remembers where he was the first time Kriss Kross asked him to jump if you’re looking for outfield help. This kid probably won’t help much.

Speaking of Giancarlo Stanton, most guys with Stanton on their roster are looking for a competent replacement. Sadly, all we have is the usual suspects. Will Venable is out there. He could hit a few homers and steal a few bases while you wait for Stanton’s return. Seth Smith was already mentioned and he’s out there. You know who isn’t awful? Travis Snider! It’s true! He doesn’t have a full-time job, but he’s been useful in small doses. Go any deeper than that and you’re looking at the Rick Ankiels and Marlon Byrds of the world.

Phillies outfielder Delmon Young is back in the majors and deserves to be added in just about every format with five outfielders. He probably is better than Leonys Martin. It’s been safe to cut Leonys Martin for a while. Please, cut Leonys Martin.

You’re not gonna believe this, but Yankees third baseman Kevin Youkilis has hit the DL with a back issue. His disc is bulging. The Yankees have acquired Colorado Rockies infielder Chris Nelson. Fantasy GMs should hang the “Not Interested” sign any time Nelson is involved in a transaction. The Yankees are a Robinson Cano injury away from having a full infield on the DL.

St. Louis first baseman/interleague DH/pinch hitter Matt Adams is set to make his return within the next week. He needs either a change of scenery or an injury before he can be fantasy relevant. He could be worth a speculative add if you have an extra bench spot. Adams bat is not in question. His playing time is.

For those speculating for saves, take a look at Matt Reynolds in Arizona. JJ Putz, David Hernandez and Heath Bell have all been really mediocre this year. Reynolds already has two saves this year and could work his way into either a time share or a full share of the closing gig. He’s posted a K/9 over 8.00 in each of his three seasons at the big league level. He has exactly one walk in 14 innings of work so far this year with 11 K’s. Throw a buck on Reynolds while everyone is throwing money at Hernandez and Bell.


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