You're in a 12 team league that starts 14 hitters and nine pitchers with five or six guys on your bench. If you are in a setup such as this the following guys might be available for you to add. The question is – should you?
Mike Adams: The best pitcher in baseball? Through 14 innings he hasn't walked a better and has allowed three hits. That's a 0.21 WHIP folks. Toss in a 0.64 ERA and the guy been utterly amazing. He's worth a look in a 12 teamer while pitching like this just don't expect too many saves since Heath Bell is currently working on the 6th longest consecutive save streak in big league history (40).
Alberto Callaspo: He might be hitting .301, but he's really nothing more than a replacement level player. Callaspo has never hit more than 11 homers in a season, and he has all of 10 steals in his career. His average won't hurt you, it sits at .280 for his career, and it is impressive that he's currently sporting a substantial increase in his walk rate which has led to a .381 OBP, some .051 points clear of his career rate. Unfortunately he likely only qualifies at third base, but with all the injuries at that position he might be worth a short-term add.
Doug Fister: This hurler owns a solid 1.28 WHIP during his young career, and his ERA also sits below four at 3.92. Unfortunately his K/9 rate is just 5.19, so there is little in the way of upside here. Fister's xFIP last year – a measure designed to show what a pitchers true ERA should be (including normalization for ballpark) – says that his mark last year was 4.10, that it is 4.16 this year and 4.18 for his career. Given that his ERA's his first two years were 4.13 and 4.11, do you really think he has a good shot to keep his ERA below three this year (it's currently 2.70)?
Kosuke Fukudome: He lit up April hitting .383/.486/.400. So the initial thought is that he must finally have figured it out. Probably not. He's still being platooned sitting against lefties (only six at-bats against southpaws this year), and if you look at his career April is always his best month of the season. Moreover, its the only month he has hit better than .280 (.338), his only one with an OBP over .382 (it's .448) an a SLG over .455 (it's .507). History says you should expect things to go south pretty soon.
Todd Helton: The Rockies' first sacker is a legitimate option at the corner infield spot, especially with guys like Daric Barton and James Loney struggling. Helton isn't likely to reach his totals from 2009 (.325-15-86-79) but it's doubtful he'll be as bad as he was last year either (.256-8-37-48). As long as his back doesn't betray him his bat can play as a depth option.
Phil Humber: His spot in the rotation isn't secure with Jake Peavy nearing a return, but Humber has performed admirably. However, he doesn't strike anyone out (5.85 per nine), and there is little chance that he will be able to continue to keep his HR/9 so low (it's 0.56) and there is no chance he'll keep his hit rate down at .212 (that's some .065 points below his career rate).
Conor Jackson: A first round draft pick with beautiful stroke, Jackson was a solid performer from 2006-08 as a guy who was hitting .290 with 15 homers and 70 RBI. He then picked up West Valley Nile River Mekong Delta Virus or whatever it's called. It ruined his 2009 and 2010 seasons. Playing time is an issue this season, the A's have seemingly 47 hitters on their roster, but Conor is looking just like his old self hitting .298 with a .375 OBP and his normally stellar BB/K ratio (1.00). He's worth an add if he continues to play every day.
Jason Marquis: He's 3-0 with a 2.62 ERA. Come on, seriously though? Marquis will take the ball every five games, throw a lot of innings, and produce double-digit wins. He does it every year he is healthy. He also owns a career ERA of 4.52 and a WHIP of 1.42 over more than 1,500 big league innings. He's totally on his game right now and might be worth a spot start or two in the short-term, but you can't count on him to be anything more than your last starter – and even that may not be a deal you'll want to make in a mixed league.
By Ray Flowers
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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