The trade deadline passed on Tuesday, so in order for players to be moved now they have to go through the waiver-wire process which is much more laborious. As things stand the day after the deadline, which players in the NL may have the chance to become significant fantasy contributors in NL-only leagues the last two months? For that matter, what about two potential mound aces in Cincinnati and San Francisco. Could they be the key to your pitching staff making a run in the second half?
NL ONLY MOVES TO WATCH
What to Do with Homer Bailey?
He has a better ERA (3.85) than Matt Garza (3.91) and Yovani Gallardo (3.92).
He has a better WHIP (1.33) than Josh Johnson (1.35).
He has more Ks (97) than Jordan Zimmerman (96).
So you should be really interested in Homer Bailey then, right? Well, maybe.
The major league ERA this year is 4.03 so Bailey is slightly better than average.
The major league WHIP this year is 1.31 so Bailey is slightly worse than average.
The major league K/9 mark this year is 7.52 so Bailey is worse than average at 6.66.
Is that really an arm you want to be banking on, even in NL-only leagues?
On the plus side he's performed much better of late allowing a total of six runs in five starts from July 2nd to July 25th. Unfortunately the bad Bailey returned on the final day of July as he allowed six runs while recording only 11 outs. In the end his July numbers were still impressive as he went 4-0 with a 2.61 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 3.60 K/BB, but his up and down nature does make him a somewhat risky play if you're merely going to stream him. If you do take that route make sure you are pitching him on the road (2.63 ERA, 1.11 WHIP) and not at home (5.17 ERA, 1.56 WHIP) since his performance certainly vacillates depending on where he is sleeping.
Nate Schierholtz – Should You Care?
The trade deadline was July 31st, and one of the players that was dealt was Nate Schierholtz who is now a member of the Phillies (he was sent to Philly in a package of players to bring the Giants back Hunter Pence. For my thoughts on this deal, as well as some of the other trade deadline moves, check out my Trade Day Diary. Howard Bender also discussed the deadline day in Fallout from MLB Trade Deadline With Pence in the Bay Area, and Shane Victorino shipped to the Dodgers, the Phillies outfield is pretty barren right now. They figure to roll out there a combination of Juan Pierre, Domonic Brown, John Mayberry and Schierholtz. Actually, even though I was going to make this part of the entry solely about Schierholtz, I might as well hit on all four of the options the Phillies will look to give playing time to.
Pierre: He's done exactly what was expected of him. He's hitting .312 and has gotten on base at a .350 clip. For comparisons sake, his career numbers are .297 and .345. Pierre has also shown that the speed on the base paths is still an integral part of his game. After swiping 68 bags in 2010 that number fell to just 27 last year. Working against fears that his speed had dwindled after 12 big league seasons, Pierre has gone 25 for 29 on the base paths this year in 85 games with the Phillies. Like I said, he's been everything anyone who drafted him could have possibly hoped he would be.
Brown: Thought of as an elite prospect who was often compared to Daryl Strawberry, Brown has been a pretty significant disappointment for the Phillies. Through 247 big league at bats he has hit seven homers, stolen five bags, and has a terrible slash line of .239/.317/.385. Still, the talent is there, even if he is inconsistent as all get out. In 60 games at Triple-A this year, he's missed time due to injury, Brown has hit .286 with five homers and four steals. Yeah, not exactly earth shattering totals for a guy who was ranked by Baseball America as a top-5 prospect prior to the start of last season. Still, Brown is worth a substantial bid in NL-only leagues on pure talent alone, even if he's failed to really put it all together for a substantial period of time.
Mayberrry: John hit 35 homers with 106 RBIs an a .963 OPS in 1975. Wait, what? Oh, that was John Mayberry Sr. The Phillies version is Jr. He's not as good as pops though the younger Mayberry has 29 homers and 88 RBIs with a .771 OPS in 579 career at-bats. Those are still decent numbers, and ones that would play in pretty much any mixed league, let alone NL-only setups. Still, Jr. strikes out way too much, his K-rate is 27 percent, an as a result his BB/K ratio is awful at 0.19. Dreadful. It's no surprise that he's hitting .235, or that his OBP is .275, not with that plate discipline. He's also proving himself to be a fan of the ground ball, his 52 percent ground ball rate isn't going to allow him to be a big time power threat any time soon. He's talented, and the Phillies have continued to show faith in him, but it's far from certain that his level of production will pick up even with more playing time.
Schierholtz: He's an excellent defensive player, but that doesn't mean a heck of a lot when you are an outfielder. The Giants were always searching for bats so if Nate wasn't able to get even 350 at-bats in a season the past five years, you have to wonder. He's got a nice stroke, I think he could be a consistent .280+ hitter in the bigs with regular playing time, but it's the lack of an elite skill offensively that sets him back. He's got some pop, but it's not significant (23 homers in 1,209 at-bats, though he certainly lost a few long balls to AT&T Park). He's a solid base runner with speed, but he's not a stolen base threat (20 career steals while being caught 14 times). He's never been a big strikeout guy, but he also doesn't take many walks (his career BB/K ratio is below the big league average at 0.36). If he played every day he could be a Yonder Alonso type of hitter, and while that doesn't excite in mixed leagues, it's well worth paying attention to in NL-only set ups.
Cubs to Make Moves?
The Cubs have already called up top prospect Anthony Rizzo and he's killed it (.321-8-20 in 112 ABs) after being dreadful last year for the Padres (.141-1-9 in 128 ABs). Can the Cubbies strike gold with two other elite level prospects? We might be close to finding out.
Brett Jackson might be called up at some point in August according to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago. A potential 20/20 outfielder, Jackson will bring a nice skill set with him when he's brought to the Windy City. The 23 year old, who was a first round selection in 2009, is worth stashing right now if he's still available in NL-only leagues. The 32nd ranked player according to Baseball America coming into the season, he's struggled a bit at Triple-A this year hitting .252, but he's also hit 15 homers while stealing 25 bases in just 102 games. In fact, dating back to last season this guy has appeared in 150 games at Triple-A with some darn impressive results: .267-25-72-103-31. Yeah, that would look pretty nice in your outfield, wouldn’t it? It will be a hell of a lot better than your current 5th outfielder in that NL-only league.
Josh Vitters was a first round selection by the Cubs in 2007, and he's slowly starting to live up to those expectations. With guys like Joe Mather and Luis Valbuena playing third base, it's pretty clear that the Cubs haven't found a replacement for Aramis Ramirez at the hot corner. Vitters has been doing his thing this year in Triple-A hitting .296 with 15 homers, 63 RBIs an a .846 OPS in 106 games showing that he's likely ready for the challenge of the major leagues. He does have only 29 walks this season though, and for his career that BB/K mark is 0.31, so he could stand to work on his plate discipline a bit. If called up it won't be to ride the bench, so be aggressive with your bidding if you need corner infield help.
Jeremy Affeldt Picks Up Save
Santiago Casilla is up to five loses and six blown saves for the Giants, an in four of his last 10 appearances he's given up two runs. He's been an unmitigated disaster in July with four blown saves, a 6.23 ERA and 1.96 WHIP. He should not be working the 9th inning for the club from San Francisco right now.
Sergio Romo has had two rough outings in a row, the guy has given up six runs while recording only four outs, as he's picked up a loss and blown save. His numbers are still elite – 2.30 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 10.34 K/BB – but it looks like his chance to claim the 9th inning role with the Giants is gone.
So who should be in the 9th? Seems like the guy most worthy of that spot right now is lefty Jeremy Affeldt. The Giants power curve thrower has only two saves on the year, including one Tuesday night, but he's posted some impressive numbers this year (2.53 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 3.08 K/BB) and of late (1.99 ERA over his last 30 outings, 0.95 WHIP in July). Affeldt has the stuff to close, even though he has only 27 saves in an 11 year career, and he's left-handed, but you can't afford to have games blown in the ninth inning when your striving for the playoffs. It's a long shot he claims the role, but he's worth the add in NL-only leagues if he's somehow on the wire.
Tim Lincecum Trending
If you go to the well enough you'll finally find water.
For months I've been telling people to keep the faith in Tim Lincecum despite the outwardly awful appearance of his season long work. Finally, I may be right.
Oh he got bombed for five runs and 10 base runners in 4.2 innings against the Padres of all teams a week ago, but in three of his last four outings he's allowed just three runs. Moreover, in four starts since the All-Star break he has a 2.70 ERA for the G-Men.
You can't look at the season long numbers for The Freak cause they are awful. Don't focus on that. Focus on the recent turnaround in his performance, as well as the fact that his strikeout total is spiking (32 Ks his last 26.2 innings). It's still possible you could pry him away from a disgruntled owner. If you can, make it happen.
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, Monday through Friday, 7-10 PM EDT. You can find more of Ray's work at BaseballGuys.com and on Twitter at the BaseballGuys' Twitter Account.
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