During the early stages of the fantasy baseball season it can be hard for owners to distinguish a slow start from something to worry about. On the other hand, the exact opposite can be difficult to decipher as well. When sifting through the waiver wire, it can be mind numbing figuring out which fast starters simply ran into a few fastballs in the opening week from the “spectacular” talents. Focusing on roster bubble type players, let’s take a look at some of the week one superstars from the AL West and distinguish the Terri Hatchers from the Pam Andersons.
Marcus Semien, 2B, 3B, SS, OAK – Semien is hitting .286 with a .753 OPS. With a career OPS of .839 in the minors, there is no reason Semien can’t keep it up. Hitting 8th in the A’s order will not help his counting stats, but with the position eligibility he will definitely help fantasy teams. I’m not sure how long Oakland will continue to trot out 33 year-old journeyman Sam Fuld in the leadoff spot, but if they ever decide to move Semien up, he can be a stud. Verdict: Real
Dustin Ackley, OF, SEA – Ackley has started out hitting .333 with three HRs through six games. He is a former #2 overall pick who finished strong last season after a move to the outfield seemed to have gotten him focused. Stuck in a platoon right now with Rickie Weeks, it will be hard to maintain production. There is a possibility though that he can run away with the job if that #2 draft pick talent emerges. Verdict: Real
Drew Pomeranz, SP, OAK – Pomeranz spun seven shutout innings in his season debut giving up only two hits. This is a former lefty top prospect who stands at 6’4 and comes in at 240 pounds. He got his nasty curveball out of Coors Field (where curves don’t curve)and is in a pitching friendly division. Verdict: Real
Mark Canha, 1B, OF, OAK – The 26 year-old rookie and former Marlin farm hand has hit .333 through his first 33 MLB ABs. He hit .303 with 20 HRs at AAA last season, but that was in the Pacific Coast League, where everyone hits. There is a reason that he was stuck in AAA all of last season at the age of 25 and I am willing to bet it was the 112 strikeouts. That number should only rise in the bigs facing the best pitchers on the planet every day. Verdict: Not Real
Sam Fuld, OF, OAK – Fuld has opened the season hitting .375 through eight games, but he is a 33-year-old journeyman with a career .240 average. Verdict: Not Real
AL West Headlines
King Felix scares the @#$% out of Mariners fans. Felix Hernandez left his second start of the season after only five innings having already given up three runs. You could hear a deep breath coming from the northwest as fans anxiously awaited news on the injury. It was a strained quad and apparently is not a big deal. The Mariners have declared that King Felix is on track to start Saturday, but owners should monitor the situation closely.
Rangers number one goes down. Derek Holland left his first start of the season after one inning with shoulder tightness and has been placed on the 60-day DL after being diagnosed with a strain. He can be dropped in all leagues.
Waiver Wire Rescue
Josh Reddick, OF, OAK – Reddick returned to the A’s lineup Sunday and has hit .308 with two RBIs through his first dozen ABs. The best sign of all is the mere one strikeout he has fallen victim to. Reddick has had the injury bug for the past couple of seasons but, do not forget his lone fully healthy season when he mashed 32 bombs and snatched 11 bases. He has no challengers for playing time and with proven power being scarce, he is a must add.
Tanner Scheppers, RP, TEX – Scheppers will return from the DL tomorrow and resume set-up duties. In leagues that reward middle relievers with holds, grab him and hope for the 2013 version that amassed 29 holds to the tune of a 1.88 ERA over 76 innings.
Josh Hamilton, OF, LAA – This is purely a lottery ticket. If you have an open DL spot, why not use it on a guy who has been a difference maker in the past? I do not expect a return to MVP caliber play, but you can not win the lottery if you do not buy a ticket.
Derek Holland, SP, TEX – After being placed on the 60-day DL, owners can safely cut this dead weight off their roster. Use the DL spots on your fantasy team for players who will not be out so long AND are actually good when they play.
Ryan Rua, OF, TEX – I know, I know. I said to pick him up last week. That was to see what an unknown could do. Now we see; Nine strikeouts in 15 ABs followed by what is predicted to be a lengthy DL stint. Not worth waiting for…
Luis Valbuena, 3B, HOU – A career .229 hitter with a career high of 16 HRs that begins the season hitting .214 with eight strikeouts in seven games is the definition of a “Roster Zombie”. This guy somehow sleep walks his way onto fantasy rosters year in and year out, but never does anything except take up space. Let him wander his way onto another owner’s roster.
“And Boggs Never Walked Again”
Josh Hamilton, OF, LAA – Shoulder, expected return in May.
Garrett Richards, SP, LAA – Knee Surgery, expected return on Sunday.
Ryan Rua, OF, TEX – Sprained ankle, no timetable for return.
Derek Holland, SP, TEX – Shoulder, expected return early July.
Yu Darvish, SP, TEX – Tommy John Surgery, out for the season.
Jurickson Profar, 2B, TEX – Shoulder surgery, out for the season.
Coco Crisp, OF, OAK – Elbow surgery, expected return late May.
Josh Reddick, OF, OAK – Got the green light and has returned.
Sean Doolittle, RP, OAK – Shoulder, expected return early to mid-May.
Jarrod Parker, SP, OAK – Tommy John Surgery, expected return mid-season.
Chris Taylor, SS, SEA – Fractured wrist, expected return late April.
Tom Wilhelmsen, RP, SEA – Hyperextended elbow, no timetable for return.
Felix Hernandez, SP, SEA – Quad, expected to make next start.
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