Mailbag: Pocketful of Poseys And Other Tales

May should be a month of celebration — No more school! Moderately significant baseball sample sizes! Maypole! — but  it can easily engender panic in owners already stuck in a rut. Look at it this way instead: No matter what situation you’re in standings-wise, you should be taking this opportunity to capitalize on this panic rather than get capitalized on, regardless of your being hamstrung by injuries or slow starts. Throw offers out on struggling stars, particularly steady hitters. This is typical fantasy schmo columnist advice of which you gotta take heed.

Chris writes:

I am in 5th place of a 12 team H2H mixed league. It is also a keeper league. I have been able to stay competitive with all my opponents but not blow them out like i did the 1st 2 weeks or so. I have a lot of guys on the DL right now. It has created a hole in my line up. Should I drop anyone to stream a spot until guys on my DL are healthy or just let it ride out as is? Is Montero worth holding on to? I could drop him and keep Napoli around until Posey or Santana get called up in June? Your thoughts on keeping Francisco? Any help would be appreciated.

Let’s examine Chris’s lineup, which has indeed seen some stormy weather.

M. Napoli
M. Cabrera
J. Morneau
H. Kendrick
K. Johnson
H. Ramirez
M. Young
C. Quentin
J. Heyward

M. Ramirez -dl
J. Ellsbury– dl
M. Montero- dl

T. Lilly
J. Weaver
S. Baker
T. Hudson
A.J. Burnett
E. Jackson
J. Soria
K. Gregg
J. Valverde
F. Francisco
Jorge De La Rosa
– dl

This is an example of a team with a few leaks that may need plugging, but there’s nothing to panic over. There’s plenty to like here.

First of all, by press time, hopefully Chris inserted Manny back into his starting outfield. If not, do it. This is why I make billions. Let’s move on.

Chris’s first question was about streaming players. I’m in a competitive head-to-head league myself. Something I learned a bit ago but still have trouble processing is that in a base sense, you’re playing a new battle each week with a legion of mercenaries that can die just as easily as they can be replaced. Potential has a lot less value. That is especially the case with Howie Kendrick. Though he’s been an expert’s darling for years, I don’t see him as an extremely exciting property, even in a keeper league and especially in a head-to-head keeper league. At my most demented I might say his absolute ceiling is .300/20/90/90/15, but this is a guy who has never played more than 105 games in his career. I would have no problems riding out Kelly Johnson all year long and letting Kendrick become someone else’s prized problem by either flipping him or even cutting him if no one takes the bait. There’s a chance Ian Desmond is owned in your keeper league, but if not I’d look to him should Johnson falter.

Side note: Hold onto Carlos Quentin. He’s burned plenty of people the past two years, but peripherals hint that he could put it together real soon.

Your catcher situation is an interesting one. I loved me some Mitsubishi Montero before he hit the DL and I’m a big Napoli fan. I’m keeping an eye on the Buster Posey and Carlos Santana call-ups too, and I’m sure your league mates are just as closely. The “sure-thing” hype was insane for Matt Wieters last year, but it didn’t take long for the wheels to fall off the bandwagon. There are already too many question marks surrounding both Posey’s and Santana’s defense and pitch-calling, enough to make me think that they’re going to have to do some serious raking to get regular playing time. If you have a free spot before their call-up I value both Santana and Posey pretty equally, but I would have no qualms riding out Napoli until Montero’s return. Pounce on one of the two if Nap’s tanking.

Your pitching definitely has some questions. I say cut Kendrick for Justin Masterson if he’s still available. As for Frank Francisco, a few days ago I might’ve said keep him, but if you’re looking to free up space to gamble on some starters you have plenty of insurance for saves, so cutting him loose might not be a bad idea. I’d use his spot to stream favorable match-ups, particularly younger guys with strikeout upside, and see who sticks.

Thanks for the questions, Chris, and good luck. If anyone wants a little lineup advice of this nature feel free to shoot me an e-mail at askedgeball[at]gmail.com and I’ll do my best.

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