Sunday, May 15 – 11:28 PM
Wait it out or cut my losses? That’s the decision I’m now faced with in regards to Edwin Encarnacion. The injury to Pablo Sandoval has left me with a gaping hole at third base, and I had hoped that the streaky Encarnacion would at least fill part of it by catching fire at the right time. Well, in the two weeks I’ve been using him as my starter, Edwin is batting .250 with no homers and just three RBIs. In fact, after clubbing 21 home runs in only 332 at-bats last season, Encarnacion has yet to launch a single homer this year, and considering his poor defense, if he’s not hitting he is of little use to the Blue Jays. I’ve had enough, and it wouldn’t surprise me if his playing time soon gets drastically reduced. But there’s also a part of me that remains convinced that he’ll go on a tear as soon as I drop him. I don’t care. I’m making a switch. Scott Rolen? Chase Headley? The available third base pool is far from exciting. I’ll go with the injury-plagued Rolen. He’s still a fairly productive hitter when able to take the field. The only drawback is the inevitable “Zach, it’s not 2004 anymore” comments from my league mates.
Wednesday, May 18 – 2:15 PMI’m a big believer in giving my struggling players plenty of time to get their act together. After all, I drafted these guys because I had faith in them, so the least I can do is hold off for a couple months before making a rash decision to either trade them at a discount or drop them altogether. That said, I’m losing patience with Kelly Johnson and, to a lesser extent, his teammate Chris Young. At least Young is hitting homers to make up for his meager .225 batting average and disappointing three stolen bases. Johnson, on the other hand, is looking like an absolute bust.
Johnson’s career-best season last year, his first with Arizona, got me thinking he had turned the corner following his inconsistent run with the Braves. I drafted Johnson in three leagues, seeing him as someone who could possibly put up comparable numbers to Brandon Phillips but could be had at a fraction of the cost. Johnson would provide me with power, some speed and plenty of runs hitting near the top of a solid Diamondbacks’ lineup. As it turns out, I was really living in a fantasy world and am probably one of the 20 or so owners in the country who still has Johnson in their starting lineup. I don’t know, maybe I’ve been too loyal to Kelly. Let’s see how the next week goes.
Friday, May 20 – 3:24 PM
There are few things more demoralizing for a fantasy owner than rushing to the waiver wire to add a player only to learn that someone else had snatched him up just a few minutes earlier. This is exactly what happened to me moments ago as I missed out on Domonic Brown by a mere 12 minutes in one of my daily mixed leagues. I’ve served as the commissioner of this league for nine years now, and since I started working at MLB.com, my friends have been quick to point out that I’m at a huge advantage when it comes to making pickups as many of them are not even allowed to access fantasy sports sites from work. And they were right. So last season I changed the waivers process to FAAB, and although I thought it worked well, the majority voted to switch back to the old system of first-come first-serve for players who clear waivers and become free agents. “Fine. No more complaining then,” I said. Well apparently, this owner either took the day off from work or risked getting fired just so he could add the Phillies’ top prospect to his roster! If the latter is the case, he more than deserves to have Domonic.
Saturday, May 21 – 12:46 PM
I might finally be on the verge of putting an end to my month-long quest for a proven closer. The deal currently on the table is Chris Young for Huston Street. On the surface, it may seem like I’m giving up too much, but hear me out. First, I would replace Young in my lineup with either Johnny Damon or Jason Kubel, both more than capable alternatives. Second, although I’ll miss Young’s power, I won’t miss his mediocre batting average and will probably gain a couple of points in that department just by getting rid of him. And then there’s the Desmond Jennings factor. He’s my prime $1 keeper and it won’t be long before he gets the call. Right now, I don’t even have an open starting spot for Jennings, so making this trade would clear the way for the eventual stolen base boost as Young for Jennings has to be considered a speed upgrade. Taking into account Street’s less than stellar health record, I know this is a bit risky, but I think it’s a risk worth taking. Chasing saves can get quite exhausting.