May Observations

Special thanks to contributing writer James Boyce.

Potential Waiver Wire Adds

C – Derek Norris and John Jaso – Last month we highlighted a couple of Twin backstops, this month, a couple of Athletics. It’s a time-share, but both Norris and Jaso have provided quality fantasy numbers in ½ the ABs that some regular catchers are getting.

a-a-garrett-jones-21B- Garrett Jones – Its been a solid month for Jones, who is seeing regular ABs with the Marlins, and just yesterday, he and Giancarlo each clubbed 2 HRs. With Fielder out for the year, he might be an adequate replacement. He also provides coverage at RF/OF.

2B – Gordon Beckham – Since returning from injury, Beckham has put up productive #s in a surprisingly productive White Sox lineup that should keep scoring when Abreu returns.

3B – Mark Reynolds – Runs hot and cold, seems to be in the midst of another hot run. Pick him up and enjoy it while it lasts since his colds spells last just as long. He also provides coverage at 1B.

SS – Johnny Peralta – He may only hit .250, but he keeps on hitting HRs.  Strong power #s from a weak position, Peralta comes in at #2 with 9 dingers right after double T with 13.

UT – Eduardo Escobar – The Twins are still searching for an answer at SS, and Escobar is making the most of it. He also qualifies at 2B and 3B.

OF – Carl Crawford (LF) – Is having a resurgence in May. He is still not fulltime in the crowded LA outfield but he’s scoring runs, stealing bases, and even hitting the occasional long ball.

The Washington Nationals defeat the Florida Marlins 3 - 2 in MLBOF – Denard Span (CF) – Is also enjoying a resurgence in May, putting up similar #s to Crawford but without the power. That’s not too bad of a thing.

OF – AJ Pollock (CF) – another plucky leadoff type outfielder along the lines of CC & DS, AJ is providing across the board fantasy #s this month and finding his way more in more in the everyday Arizona line-up.

SP – Bronson Arroyo – doesn’t having the sexy K #s and occasionally gets lit up like a Christmas tree, but over the course of the season his numbers will settle in nicely – double digit Ws, mid 3 ERA, and a low WHIP.  More valuable in a roto league than H2H, but still a solid matchup play, particularly on the road – and a really good guitar player.

SP – Ryan Volgelsong – enjoying a solid May, and on a Giant team that is looking like it will be enjoying another strong even year run.

SP – Bud Norris – usually don’t like recommending AL East pitchers, but Norris has surprised some (at least me) with respectable #s, particularly in May. This Bud’s (could be) for you.

SP – Gavin Floyd – having a strong May on a strong Braves pitching staff. They can do no wrong it seems.

RP – Dellin Betances – the only hold over waiver wire plug from April, and the only RP recommendation, Betances is still available in many leagues but shouldn’t be. He put up 31Ks over the last 30 days, more than most Pitchers, and in only 17 2/3 IP. He’ll get the occasional W, S or H.

On the Farm – Gregory Polanco OF (Pirates) and Jon Singleton 1B (Astros) are the more likely impact mid-June call-ups. Joc Pederson OF has been tearing up the hitter friendly PCL but finds his way blocked in the crowded LA outfield. Mookie Betts 2B (Red Sox) is enjoying an equally successful season at AA. Heaney SP (Marlins) recently got promoted to AAA, and with Jose Fernandez now out for the year, perhaps the Marlins will give him a mid-summer call-up if he shows some early success. Alex Meyer SP (Twins) has shown promise and the Twins are desperate for pitching but the club plans on limiting his pitch count this year so he probably won’t get the call.

Teams Rankings (previous Month)

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1. Tigers (7) – have the best record in baseball, the magic of Dave Dombrowski, and Miguel Cabrera has yet to find his stride though Victor Martinez has been picking up the slack and is having a great May
2. Giants (6) – you look at the Giants and the As and you have to marvel at how they keep doing so well
3. Athletics (3) – maybe its something in the Bay area water
4. Brewers (1) – struggling a bit in May, but this team still looks strong
5. Braves (2) – .500 in May but got Minor back, which somehow hurt their ERA
6. Angels (18) – Pujols and the fountain of youth (the fountain of Trout)
7. Blue Jays (23) – best record in baseball during May, a lot of that has to do with Edwin Encarnacion and his HR binge. Marcus Stroman was short lived
8. Rockies (11)  – April offense explosion cooling off some, hopefully Tulo is okay
9. Cardinals (12) – still struggling to score but pitching is strong
10. Yankees (5) – SP in bad shape outside of Tanaka
11. Dodgers (10) – lots of talent but still struggling. Maybe they should spend more money
12. Mariners (27) – showing some signs of life in May
13. Twins (13) – somehow still hanging around, Phil Hughes looks comfortable outside NY
14. Orioles (14) – Chris Davis heating up
15. Marlins (25) – above .500 but without Jose for the year 😦
16. Nationals (9) – can’t seem to get it in gear. Maybe they need to start hustling
17. White Sox (16) – losing Abreu to DL hurts. Just like his knees
18. Royals (15) – still hovering around .500. We’ve been expecting more for years
19. Indians (22) – surprisingly positive in May even though Masterson and Salazar, who’s now down in the minor leagues, are struggling. The defense is atrocious as well.
20. Rangers (4) – biggest drop in the standings and will probably keep on failing – lost Perez and Fielder for the season 😦
21. Reds (21) – another team that can’t seem to get it in gear, but they just got back Jay Bruce
22. Phillies (19) – meh, hopefully Cliff Lee is okay. Chase Utley looks good.
23. Mets (8) – that positive April is a distant memory and they struggle to win at home
24. Padres (24) – Seth Smith is smoking, he should be owned in all leagues
25. Pirates (26) – have started to turn it around a bit, but they could use a Polanco boost
26. Rays (20) – always a slow starter but maybe they won’t recover this year
27. Red Sox (17) – free falling – losers of 8 in a row – worse record in May
28. Cubs (28) – That Rizzo & Cashner trade is starting to tip in their favor
29. Astros (29) – Springer showing some signs in May, Keuchel has been stellar
30. Diamondbacks (30) – hired LaRussa as a consultant. They’re still losing.

Notable Hitters
cleveland-indians-michael-brantleyjpg-96c4914af6de5935
Michael Brantley – 9 HRs, 7 SBs
Jose Altuve – 17 SBs, just don’t compare him to Dee Gordon
Nelson Cruz – great signing by the Orioles
Edwin Encarnacion – has been en fuego
Victor Martinez – has been carrying the Tigers
Brandon Moss – best platoon hitter in the game
Yasiel Puig – drama seems behind him now
Seth Smith – no problems batting in Petco
Alexi Ramirez – still a top SS

Notable Pitchers
MLB: ALDS-Detroit Tigers at Oakland Athletics
Sonny Gray – doing better than fellow 2011 draftee Gerit Cole, also looks 16
Dellin Betances – 49 Ks in 28 innings.
Mark Buerhle – the Blue Jays desperately needed an ace and they have one now
Johnny Cueto – looks like and is playing like the best pitcher in the game
Wade Davis – another guy that will help your K rates
Phil Hughes – glad he’s doing well
Hishashi Iwakuma – that finger injury doesn’t seem to be a problem
Corey Kluber – he’s looking fantastic
Dallas Kuschel – his name clashes with his home team
Drew Pomeranz – would like to see more than 5 IPs
JSamardzjia – No wins yet
Ryan Volgelsong – even years are great for the Giants
Adam Wainwright – this could be his year for the Cy Young, he’s overdue
Jered Weaver / CJ Wilson – now if only the bullpen was better

2014-MLB-All-Star-Game-logo-courtesy-MLB-Minnesota-Twins1

All Star Ballot

American League (last Months pick)
1B – Mauer, MIN (Abreu)  – with Abreu on the DL for about ½ the month this will probably be my only time to get in a vote for All Star Game homeboy Mauer, though obviously Pujols, Cabrera and Davis are all good selections
2B – Dozier, MIN (Dozier) – still chugging along – Altuve has had a nice month, could be the only Twin that has a realistic shot to start the game
SS – Ramirez, CWS (Lowrie) – Ramirez leads in HR, RBI and is hitting .322
3B – Donaldson, OAK (Donaldson) – leads in HR & RBI
C – Suzuki, MIN (Wieters) – leads in RBI, hitting around .300, and another Twin
DH – Encarnacion, TOR (Cruz) – has been on fire this month – Cruz, Martinez, and Moss also doing well
OF – Bautista, TOR ( Bautista) – still looks great
OF – Trout, LAA ( Trout) – Ks are high, but he’s still deserves a vote
OF – Brantley, CLE (Coballelo) – quickly having a breakout season, Coballelo back in the minors after a great month in April, just the opposite in May

National League
1B – Morneau, COL (Morneau) – keeping w the Twins theme though Gonzalez, Goldschmidt and Freeman all considerations
2B – Gordon, LAD (Gordon) – up to 30 SBs – gave some thought to Walker
SS – Tulowitzki, COL (Tulo) – next – Desmond and Peralta knocking HRs
3B – Arenado, COL (Wright) – just hit the DL, but was having a nice season with the bat and already considered the best defensive 3B out there
C – Molina, St.L (Molina) – still the best – maybe if Mesoraco didn’t miss so much time
OF – Stanton, MIA (Stanton) – still swatting HRs
OF – Puig, LAD (Blackmon) – always entertaining
OF – Upton, ATL (McCutchen) – why did the Diamondbacks trade this guy again ?

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