Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Gomes, Cust, Cleveland infield, Sizemore/Scherzer/Boesch

As I contemplate the next set of major changes for the upcoming projection set this weekend, I wanted to take a moment to highlight a few players who I can already see are poised for some fairly significant upgrades and downgrades in the next set.

One that really jumps out at me is Jonny Gomes.  It's looking like he's established as a regular player in the lineup and while I'm not on the verge of upping his projected batting average much, he has some definite fantasy value.  If he continues to play on a regular basis, unlike what we originally and previously were forecasting, he's the kind of player who could still have close to 20 home runs and a handful of steals in him the rest of the way, this if we increase his projected at bats to around 300+ more from this point up, up over 100 from what we had listed previously.

Jack Cust's also a surprising comeback candidate in that he was essentially let go by Oakland in the spring by being designated for assignment, went unclaimed on waivers, and has now bounced back into a position where it looks like he's about to take over from the struggling Eric Chavez as the regular DH.  Assuming that happens, he's still capable of challenging 20 home runs with regular playing time and is probably still sitting on the waiver wire in a lot of fantasy leagues.

Asdrubal Cabrera's injury, which happened after the cutoff for last week's projection set, threatens to keep him out of action until late July or even August and a major downgrade in the next set is obviously coming.  The injury to Cabrera probably helps Luis Valbuena a little.  Valbuena, who had been playing second base but who can also play shortstop, was on the verge of losing his roster spot until this injury to Cabrera happened and while his job is still by no means secure, he gains at least a little bit of security on the roster side of the equation anyway, even if he isn't starting as often as he was earlier in the season.  Jason Donald, who definitely does get a big bump up as a result of Cabrera's injury, doesn't look to be of too much help here, even with a very slight power/speed potential.

One other transaction that had terrible timing in terms of last week's projection set was the completely unexpected demotion of Scott Sizemore and Max Scherzer by the Tigers.  Both were handed tickets to Triple-A after slow starts and neither has an instant path back to the majors.  There's no Detroit pitcher who's going to move up too much in value in the next set (Armando Galarraga projects out as ordinary here even with having it made it back to the majors) but on the hitting side of the equation, Brennan Boesch may have staying power with Sizemore sent down and he's been playing almost every day the past week or so.  If we upgrade Boesch to full-time playing status, he projects out as a low average (don't believe the fast start - he hit only .275 at Double-A last year), 10-15 home run type with only occasional speed, at least for this season.  If you're wondering how Boesch benefits from Sizemore's demotion, it seems the way things are about to play out is that Carlos Guillen, when healthy, will take over at second base and that opens up a lot of playing time through the DH position for Boesch, who can also play in the outfield.  It certainly seems this is the way the Tigers are leaning as of now anyway.