A week has been scratched off the calendar, which means, since you’re already in first, that you just have to worry about defending your title the rest of the way. Well, unless you’re like the rest of us and need some trade help along the way. Here are your fantasy questions, but I’d love to hear more. Contact me by clicking on my profile page and shooting me as many emails as you want.
What should I do about Johnny Cueto? He’s still a free agent in my 5x5 league, but he may be gone soon.
--April, Seattle, WA
It really depends on the remainder of your staff and lineup. Do you have an easily droppable guy for him? You know, like a limited upside veteran who is easily replaceable. Some guys who fit this mold are Bronson Arroyo, Carlos Silva, or Kevin Millwood. After all, when Cueto is on, he can easily outclass those guys. Start him in favorable matchups, which include a lot of free-swinging, young teams. He could always go seven innings, one earned, with double-digit strikeouts again.
However, don’t be fooled into thinking he’s the next Jake Peavy. Cueto has blistering stuff, but remember that he is only a youngster and could always be lit up once again. My advice is to get him on your staff.
Pedro’s hurt again. What should us fantasy owners who drafted him do?
--Mike, Lafayette, LA
Absolutely nothing. I’m sure you drafted Martinez knowing he would get hurt sometime this season, which means you have a Plan B. (If you didn’t draft a Plan B or chose to make Martinez a large part of your fantasy roster, then this column isn’t going to do much good for you.) Just ride out some spot starters and hot hands, looking around for guys like Cueto.
Martinez injured his hamstring, saying he felt a pop. That means something is probably wrong with the tendon and not the muscle. He should probably be out for the full four weeks and maybe even longer than that. But don’t fret. It’s just the first week of the season, and we’ve got many more to go.
How can I find some stolen bases on the waiver wire?
--Slowfoot, Memphis, TN
Guessing by your name, you’re in desperate need of acquiring a few speedsters on your team. It’s really a shame that stolen bases are one of the more common categories. That really puts a damper on my day when Carl Crawford is considered a top two round talent, while a guy like Manny Ramirez falls to the top 30.
Anyway, you may want to take a look at Jerry Owens, an outfielder with the Chicago White Sox. He’s got a bum hamstring right now, but once that heals, he can steal 45+ bases. That’s among the best in the league. Then again, you’re taking a leap of faith that he gets the starting job and the leadoff spot.
Carlos Gomez (outfielder with the Minnesota Twins) and Michael Bourn (outfielder with the Houston Astros) are two other names to watch out for. They don’t really contribute much in other categories, but they can really steal bases. Hitting in decent offenses could give them a goodly number of runs scored, however.
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