Apr 14, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates first basemanGaby Sanchez
(17) is congratulated by shortstopClint Barmes
(12) after hitting a home run during the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome back to “Off The Deep End”, where I will give you fantasy baseball tips on who to pick up in deeper leagues. For people who play standard leagues, drop/add columns are easy for you to find, but for those of you that love deeper leagues, advice can be harder to come by. That is where I can help. All of these players are available in 85% or more of ESPN leagues.
This piece will focus on corner infielders and catchers. Tune back in tomorrow for middle infielders!
Gaby Sanchez, Pirates: True, he would seem to be on the wrong end of a platoon with Travis Ishikawa, but a closer look reveals that Gaby has started two games against right-handed pitchers in the last ten days. Gaby putting the “Homer” back in Homer Bailey can’t hurt his chances going forward. He could add power to your team if you need it.
Garrett Jones, Marlins: Yes, I know he is hitting just .231, but beggars in deep leagues can’t be choosers. He will get plenty of RBI opportunities in the middle of the Marlins’ lineup. Especially hitting behind Giancarlo Stanton. They still won’t pitch to him if they can help it. Jones homered in two consecutive games earlier this week. He is worth an add at this point.
Lucas Duda, Mets: Not since Albert Pujols has someone spawned so many team names (Duda, Where’s My Car, Duda Look Like A Lady, etc.). Other than that, he has had little impact on most fantasy teams. Duda won’t see much time at 1B with all of the injuries in the Mets outfield, but fantasy players don’t care. His eligibility will not change until next year. Still, in deep leagues, it is nice to have guys eligible at several positions in daily leagues, and Duda is assured playing time for a least a couple of weeks. He has shown in his brief career that he can get hot for bits at a time. He had four hits on Monday, so this could be the start of something.
Yonder Alonso, Padres: True, Alonso isn’t putting up much for counting stats lately, but he is hitting for a good average. If you are thin at 1B in a league that plays two of them, he won’t hurt you, which is about all you can ask for in a low-tier starter.
Apr 11, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox third basemanConor Gillaspie
(12) during the ninth inning at U.S Cellular Field. Chicago defeats Cleveland 9-6. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Conor Gillaspie, White Sox: He is hitting .304 and averaging an RBI a game over the last week. With Marcus Semien playing almost exclusively at 2B, Gillaspie will stay in the lineup as long as he keeps hitting. He should in yours as well.
Alberto Callaspo, Athletics: It seems like every year Callaspo is fantasy relevant for a small period of time. It may not be a passing fad this year. Callaspo has started eight straight games for Oakland, and is now eligible at second base as well. Oh, and he is hitting .394. While he likely will not keep hitting like this, with all of the injuries at third, he is a suitable fill-in for Ryan Zimmerman and Manny Machado owners.
Matt Dominguez, Astros: Yes, he can hurt your average at times, but as long as the Astros keep playing him, he is worth keeping around because of the power potential. Think a poor man’s Pedro Alvarez. Actually, Dominguez is heating up a little bit here recently. He owns a .286 average over the last week.
Apr 8, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets catcherTravis d’Arnaud
I realize that most of you play in one catcher leagues, even in deeper ones. Don’t be above using a catcher in a UTIL slot. Sometimes they are better than anything else! For those of you in two catcher leagues, these are must-add players if they are still out there.
Travis d’Arnaud, Mets: d’Arnaud was the prize of the R.A. Dickey deal, and while he has struggled in brief spells in the majors so far, he is actually picking it up a bit lately. He is hitting .273 with his only homer of the season in the last week. This is the time to pick him in case he keeps hitting.
Mike Zunino, Mariners: Zunino has two home runs in his last four games, and has started eight of Seattle’s last nine contests. He has taken over as the full time catcher, and has responded by heating up. Your window is closing to pick him up. There aren’t a lot of catchers that can help you out in power numbers as much as he can.
Devin Mesoraco, Reds: I’m surprised that Mesoraco isn’t more widely owned already. He is on fire over the last week, with three home runs and a .471 average. Pick him up at once!
There you have it! Some deep league pick-ups for the week. Tune in tomorrow for the middle infield portion of the show!