|Fantasy Baseball: Fantasy Mailbag (Week 9)|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on May 26, 2008
How realistic is it that Milton Bradley plays the entire year and gets enough ABs to be valuable in fantasy circles? What could we expect from him?
--Willy, Atlanta, GA
Bradley has had anger issues in the past, but if he can overcome that, we could reasonably expect a .290 batting average and 25 home runs. Those are pretty good numbers. Now, how lucky are you feeling? If you get offered Jeremy Hermida for Bradley, do you turn that down? What about Jose Guillen? It all depends on whether or not you think that Bradley can stay healthy and relatively sane. Right now, I’d be willing to deal him, but I might not be saying that in a few weeks.
What’s up with Victor Martinez? He’s supposed to be one of the best catchers in the game, but I’m getting nothing from him!
--Lance, Abilene, TX
You’re absolutely right that there is something up with Martinez. The Indians’ catcher hit .350 in April, but has been absolutely dreadful in May. He has exactly zero home runs. But you should hold on to him. Martinez is second-half hitter (.312/.390/.471 after the All Star Break, as opposed to .291/.356/.464 before) and some of the best months in his career are right around the corner (June, July, and August). Martinez is a fine hitter who is likely pushing too hard and will come around soon. Now, if you want to bench him for a little while, I’d understand. Just make sure to get him playing time once he gets back on to the field.
Eric Gagne was shut down with a shoulder issue. Who do we pick up in Milwaukee, if anybody?
--Dan, Denver, CO
Gagne definitely has something wrong with him. It seems as if all he can throw is a fastball recently. Combine that with a near 7 ERA and it’s a wonder how he still got the ball in Milwaukee. I would say this is a very serious issue. As for Gagne’s replacement, you have to go with Salomon Torres, but he’s just the least bad option in that bullpen.
Who are some under-the-radar pitchers you would suggest picking up?
--William, Youngstown, OH
Darrell Rasner of the Yankees looks pretty solid. He’s got a 1.89 ERA and may go Aaron Small on us. Through three starts, Rasner has three wins. Glen Perkins is another guy to keep an eye on. His ERA is 3.44 through three starts. He has given up three home runs, so maybe he flirts with the strike zone a little too much. Armando Galarraga is another guy to watch for. The Tigers like him so much that they kept Galarraga in the rotation, while sending Dontrelle Willis to the bullpen. The walks may become troublesome in the future, but he seems to be riding a hot streak right now.
What are your thoughts on Alexei Ramirez?
--Jason, Bethesda, MD
Ramirez, a Cuban defector, is currently starting for Juan Uribe, who has injured his right hamstring. Manager Ozzie Guillen wants Uribe in his starting lineup once he’s healthy, so that may mean Ramirez will be sitting again soon. As for Ramirez, I’m not a huge fan. His batting line of .203/.235/.313 do not inspire any sort of confidence. I’ve heard he does have the ability to run, and he’ll start to hit a little better after a while. (It’s hard to be any worse than that.) I think he could be a solid .270 hitter, eventually, with enough stolen bases to make him worth owning. If you’ve got enough bench space, grab him, but other than that, leave him on the free agent market.
Jose Guillen or David Murphy, take your pick.
--Aaron, San Francisco, CA
I’ll take Guillen. He has a little better track record, and he’s starting to heat up. He recently had a 10 game hit streak in which he batted .500. Also, with Guillen’s price tag of an AAV of $12 million, the Royals have to give him ABs, while Murphy isn’t guaranteed such a luxury in Texas. They’re pretty similar hitters, but I just think Guillen has more upside this year and more of an opportunity to produce.