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News » Diamond market: Livan finally fading


Diamond market: Livan finally fading


Diamond market: Livan finally fading

Key

Discard - Drop player (in most circumstances)
Stash - Hold player if roster space is available; consider dropping if trend continues
Hold - Do not drop player (in most circumstances)

Catchers

Gerald Laird, Texas

The timing may have seemed a bit odd with Laird in the midst of a current five-game hitting streak, during which he's collected nine hits and raised his average 62 points, but the Rangers recalled Jarrod Saltalamacchia on Friday. Manager Ron Washington has indicated the two will split the catching duties 50/50. However, with the Rangers off to a league-worst 9-17 start, there seems to be little long-term value in consistently giving the 28-year-old Laird at-bats at the expense of the 22-year-old Saltalamacchia, who was the centerpiece of the trade that sent Mark Teixeira to the Braves. The writing is on the wall; feel free to dispose of Laird in all mixed leagues.

Shallow mixed: Discard
Deep mixed: Discard
AL-only: Hold

First Basemen

Mike Jacobs, Florida

Jacobs (finger) has struggled over the past week after a fast start, managing just two hits in his last 23 at-bats. Making matters worse, he was removed from the team's game Saturday with a sprained middle finger and didn't play the following day. He isn't expected to return to the lineup until Wednesday at the earliest, but he should be able to play through the injury. At a deep offensive position like first base, you can afford to part ways with him in shallow leagues.

Shallow mixed: Discard
Deep mixed: Hold
AL-only: Hold

Second Basemen

Aaron Hill, Toronto

Hill's .284-2-13 line is respectable enough, but he's definitely hit a lull in production during the last two weeks with no home runs and just one RBI in his last 12 games. He's recorded at least one hit in nine of those games so as not to be a complete detriment to fantasy clubs, but owners were likely expecting more after a .291-17-78 season in 2007. It still seems a bit premature to part ways with him given the lack of impact second sackers. Stash him if you can.

Shallow mixed: Stash
Deep mixed: Hold
AL-only: Hold

Maicer Izturis, Los Angeles Angels

Regular second baseman Howie Kendrick (hamstring) is expected back Tuesday, which should spell the end of regular playing time for Izturis. He should still log some at-bats at shortstop, though his .197 average doesn't compare favorably with that of Erick Aybar (.346), the team's other option at the position. Plus, the team called up Brandon Wood, one of its top prospects, from Triple-A Salt Lake as insurance. Izturis is good enough to keep on your bench in AL-only leagues but should be discarded in all other formats.

Shallow mixed: Discard
Deep mixed: Discard
AL-only: Hold

Third Basemen

Mark Reynolds, Arizona

After a monster start to the 2008 season, Reynolds has struggled to even make contact over the past week. In his last seven games, he's 4-for-29 with a whopping 18 strikeouts, causing some owners to pull the plug on the second-year third baseman and write off his early success as a fluke. Such a move would be a mistake. You have to expect some ups and downs with a young player like him, but he has prodigious power (24 home runs in 457 career at-bats) to go with a free-swinging approach that'll make him prone to some slumps. If you own him, simply ride it out, and if you're in a league in which he was dropped, pick him up immediately.

Shallow mixed: Hold
Deep mixed: Hold
NL-only: Hold

Hank Blalock, Texas

A year after injuries ruined his 2007 season, Blalock (hamstring) could once again be staring at a stint on the disabled list after he suffered a hamstring injury Friday. He sat out Texas' two weekend affairs and is scheduled to undergo an MRI this week. He could be placed on the DL the following day depending on the results of the MRI. He's put up decent numbers this year, but nothing worth holding onto in shallow mixed leagues if his injury costs him significant time.

Shallow mixed: Discard
Deep mixed: Hold
AL-only: Hold

Shortstops

Orlando Cabrera, Chicago White Sox

Cabrera's slow start continues with just three extra-base hits this season and a miserable .226-1-5 overall line. He seemed to get things going a bit when he raised his average from .158 to .263, but a 0-for-13 clip sent it right back down. However, don't be too hasty in releasing him, as he's never been known as a fast starter and hit just .260 last April before hitting .372 and .385 in May and June, respectively. In shallow leagues, you can consider finding a temporary replacement, but make sure you keep him on roster for the time being.

Shallow mixed: Hold
Deep mixed: Hold
AL-only: Hold

Outfielders

Austin Kearns, Washington

A popular sleeper candidate entering the year based on the team's move away from RFK Stadium - where he hit just .228 last season - Kearns hasn't built on his strong '07 road splits (.301-8-37) and doesn't seem anymore comfortable hitting in Nationals Park. He's managed just five hits in 37 home at-bats - none of them for extra bases - and is currently in the throes of a 1-for-22 slump. With Elijah Dukes (hamstring) nearing a return, there could be a numbers crunch in the Nationals outfield, which could cost Kearns some at-bats. Send him to the waiver wire in all mixed leagues.

Shallow mixed: Discard
Deep mixed: Discard
NL-only: Hold

Designated Hitters

Billy Butler, Kansas City

Butler was a spring training darling who became a trendy late-round pick, but he hasn't lived up to the preseason hype thus far with a pedestrian .283-1-11 line. He's gone 18 games without a multi-hit performance and has accounted for just two extra-base hits in that time. His contact rate and above-average power suggest the struggles are temporary, but he can be dropped in shallow leagues if you're in need of hitting help.

Shallow mixed: Discard
Deep mixed: Hold
AL-only: Hold

Starting Pitchers

Brett Myers, Philadelphia

Myers' reinsertion into the starting rotation has been anything but seamless, as just two of his six outings this season have earned the classification of being quality starts. He continues to strike out a decent number of hitters and has displayed good control, but he's served up a ton of gopher balls with 10 home runs allowed in 37 innings, including multiple home runs four times. He's never quite emerged as the ace some thought he could be, but he's a good enough pitcher to hold onto for at least a few more starts to see if he can sort things out.

Shallow mixed: Hold
Deep mixed: Hold
NL-only: Hold

Oliver Perez, New York Mets

It's been boom or bust in each of Perez's five starts this season, holding his opponent scoreless in three of them and getting rocked for 11 runs in the other two. The only constant is that he isn't working deep into games, pitching six innings just once thus far. He's posted close to a strikeout per inning (24 Ks in 27 1/3 innings), but has struggled with his control (16 walks). Considering he won 15 games and struck out 174 hitters last year, it seems too early to get rid of him, but keep an eye on him over his next couple of starts to see if his control problems subside.

Shallow mixed: Hold
Deep mixed: Hold
NL-only: Hold

Randy Wolf, San Diego

After three strong starts to open the season, Wolf's been roughed up a bit in his last two with nine runs allowed in 10 1/3 innings. His ERA now sits at 3.68, which is a more reasonable expectation for him over the course of the season, even with PETCO Park helping to keep that number down. He's still mowing down opposing hitters, plus bear in mind his last two starts both came against a Diamondbacks team that's been abusing pitching staffs all over the National League. Retain him in all formats if possible.

Shallow mixed: Stash
Deep mixed: Hold
NL-only: Hold

Livan Hernandez, Minnesota

A 3-0 start to the season, which included two wins against the light-hitting Royals, likely blinded some owners to the fact this is the same guy who's pitched more than 2,400 innings and carries a 4.26 career ERA. Hernandez has allowed a combined 14 earned runs in his last 14 2/3 innings (three starts), and his ERA has ballooned to 5.05 in his last two starts. He didn't suddenly become a dominant starter at age 33, so he's going to be susceptible to some rough outings. He still holds value in deeper mixed leagues and is a must-own in AL-only setups, but he shouldn't be carried on a roster in the shallower formats.

Shallow mixed: Discard
Deep mixed: Stash
AL-only: Hold

Hiroki Kuroda, Los Angeles Dodgers

Four starts without a win will see you dropped from a lot of fantasy clubs, particularly when you're a 33-year-old rookie with no track record in the major leagues. Kuroda hasn't been actively bad in any of his starts outside of his latest outing, but he isn't recording many strikeouts and is constantly working with men on base. He's still a valid starter in NL-only leagues, but his value in deeper mixed leagues is shaky at best.

Shallow mixed: Discard
Deep mixed: Stash
NL-only: Hold

Ubaldo Jimenez, Colorado

Jimenez's willingness to come after hitters and high strikeout totals, coupled with a 2.25 ERA in the postseason, made him a popular late-round pick in many mixed leagues. However, he can't locate the strike zone this year and has issued 20 free passes in 23 2/3 innings for an unacceptable 2.15 WHIP. Manager Clint Hurdle's already put the righty on notice that he needs to pitch better or he risks losing his spot in the rotation. Jettison him now in mixed leagues and be ready to pull the trigger in NL-only setups as well.

Shallow mixed: Discard
Deep mixed: Discard
NL-only: Stash


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 30, 2008

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