The 2012 Major League Baseball season has officially started with the first full week of baseball complete in season that is full of opportunity. It feels good to be able to flip through the channels on Direct TV and see baseball again. It’s time to compete against other managers from a fantasy perspective. Now is time to be ready to take advantage of opportunities when they appear.
Injuries are a key part of the game and the waiver wire is the place to acquire players during the season to fill in as well as to strengthen your team. You can even find a gem, which will be a pleasant surprise that will help you towards your goal to be the champion of your league. Every situation becomes an opportunity, but you have to act on it, if you’re going to be successful. The waiver wire has many fantasy studs that will emerge if you can acquire one.
Use the information to seize good fortune, for it is always around you. Make something happen today, plant a seed in another manager’s mind. Be friendly when someone offers you a trade, say thank you, even if you think the offer is ridiculous. Don’t make enemies early in the season, perhaps they might be the manager that will give you a player that will get you closer to the finish line of being the champion of your league for 2012
This week I share with you part of the article “Buckle Up” from D.J. Short of Rotoworld.com. my favorite fantasy baseball site.
Here are some waiver wire possibilities.
Alfredo Aceves SP/RP, Red Sox
This one shouldn’t surprise anyone, as Aceves is probably the must-add of the week at this point. Many expected Bobby Valentine would go with Mark Melancon as the replacement for Andrew Bailey, who is out three to four months following thumb surgery, but he announced Wednesday that Aceves will open the season as the closer. I’m not sure this is the best decision for the Red Sox, as what makes Aceves so valuable is his versatility and ability to pitch multiple innings as opposed just the ninth. He also benefitted from an unusually low batting average on balls in play last year and gave up eight homers in 114 innings despite a fly ball rate of 45 percent, so I doubt we’ll see a repeat of his 2.61 ERA. Still, saves are saves and Aceves figures to get plenty of them on this team.
Brandon Belt 1B/OF, Giants
Our other no-brainer add of the week. That there was even a question about whether Belt would make the Opening Day roster is downright comical, but there was no way to be sure until the official announcement was made Wednesday. Bruce Bochy has teased us in the past, but he plans to platoon Belt and Brett Pill at first base while moving Aubrey Huff to left field. I hope it’s not a strict platoon, as Belt should still get tested against southpaws, but there’s legitimately the chance for 20 or more homers here if the 23-year-old finally gets his chance to sink-or-swim. With his added eligibility in the outfield, that’s not a bad way to fill out your roster in standard mixed leagues.
Joel Peralta RP, Rays
Kyle Farnsworth will likely begin the season on the disabled list due to a strained flexor pronator muscle in his elbow, the very same injury which forced him to miss a couple weeks down the stretch last year. The Rays hope he won’t have to miss a significant amount of time, but Joe Maddon is now forced to consider the alternatives. Fernando Rodney has the most closing experience of the lot and J.P. Howell saved 17 games in 2009, but Joel Peralta figures to get the bulk of the chances. The 36-year-old right-hander went 5-for-5 in save opportunities while filling in for Farnsworth late last year and owns an impressive 2.55 ERA and 110/27 K/BB ratio in 116 2/3 innings over the past two seasons. He could pay big dividends if Farnsworth’s injury lingers.
Sean Rodriguez 2B/3B/SS, Rays
Rays manager Joe Maddon announced Wednesday that Rodriguez will begin the season as the starting shortstop. Reid Brignac and Elliot Johnson will also get playing time, but Maddon was quick to add that it won’t necessarily be a strict platoon, which is interesting given that Rodriguez has a .782 career OPS against southpaws compared to a .615 OPS against right-handed pitching. The 26-year-old is clearly a batting average risk, but I ultimately don’t see a tremendous difference between him and Ian Desmond, who is owned in 60 percent of Y! leagues and 52 percent of ESPN.com leagues. The potential for double-digit home runs and steals gives him plenty of value in mixed formats with a MI (middle infield) spot.
Henry Rodriguez RP, Nationals
Brad Lidge RP, Nationals
I’m grouping these guys together because they are expected to share closing duties while Drew Storen is on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation. They have both looked fantastic this spring, combining to allow just two earned runs over 22 innings while striking out 24 and walking just three. Lidge probably gets the edge because of previous closing experience, but Rodriguez is one of the hardest throwers in the game and could be poised for a breakthrough if he can get his control issues in check. I wouldn’t drop anybody significant for either of them, as Storen is on track to return in a couple weeks, but they should each get save opportunities in the early going.
Jose Tabata OF, Pirates
This is an example of someone who I think will be owned in the majority of mixed leagues by the end of this season. Tabata underwhelmed in his sophomore campaign, but I’m willing to give him a bit of a mulligan since he dealt with hamstring, quad and hand injuries. Besides, the 23-year-old still had a healthy .349 on-base percentage to go along with 23 extra-base hits (four home runs), 21 RBI, 16 stolen bases and 53 runs scored in 91 games. Tabata hits way too many ground balls to expect double-digit homers anytime soon, but assuming he can stay healthy, I see him swiping 30 bases and scoring 80-90 runs as the No. 2 hitter in the Pirates’ lineup.
Juan Nicasio SP, Rockies
Jamie Moyer wasn’t the only remarkable story in Rockies’ camp this spring. Nicasio has his career back on track just eight months after suffering a fractured C-1 vertebrae when he was hit by a line drive. The 25-year-old right-hander had a promising 4.14 ERA and 58/18 K/BB ratio over 71 2/3 innings prior to the injury and hasn’t missed a beat with his velocity this spring, popping the mid-90s on the radar gun with regularity. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up being more valuable than his teammate Jhoulys Chacin, who is owned in 64 percent of Y! leagues and 49 percent of ESPN.com leagues.
Hector Santiago RP, White Sox
White Sox manager Robin Ventura has yet to give any indication which way he’s leaning for the closer gig, but he did let Santiago close out Tuesday’s exhibition win over the Astros. Hint? Maybe. Maybe not. But we’ll take them where we can get them. While most of the attention has been focused on Matt Thornton, Addison Reed and Jesse Crain, but the young screwballer allowed just one run over 11 innings this spring while striking out 13 and walking six. The walks are a bit of a concern (he averaged 4.1 BB/9 in the minors) and this could be a fluid situation all year, but I’d pick him up if Thornton and Reed are already off the board.
Chris Parmelee 1B, Twins
While Parmelee impressed in a small sample last September, it appeared that he would open this season with Triple-A Rochester unless Justin Morneau had a setback with his concussion symptoms. However, Morneau’s recent declaration that he would prefer to be a designated hitter has thrust Parmelee into the starting first base job. I’m not sold that the 2006 first-round pick will end up being anything more than a platoon player in the long-term, as he has traditionally performed much better against right-handed pitching than southpaws, but he’s worth the gamble with the clear path to early playing time.
Tyler Colvin OF, Rockies
You may have noticed that popular sleeper Dexter Fowler batted just .149 with a 17/3 K/BB ratio over 67 at-bats during Cactus League play. I wouldn’t normally bring this up since spring statistics are mostly meaningless, but it’s worth noting that the Rockies have a lengthy history of jerking him around. If he gets off to a slow start, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Colvin steal some playing time. Keep in mind that Colvin batted .150 over 222 plate appearances with the Cubs last year while striking out 26.1 percent of the time, so he’s no lock for success, but he did sock 20 homers in 2010. Hitting in Coors Field can only help his chances at a rebound.
Juan Francisco 3B, Braves
Desperate for some extra depth following Chipper Jones’ latest knee surgery, the Braves picked up Francisco from the Reds over the weekend for right-hander J.J. Hoover. Things haven’t really changed much for Francisco in his new locale, as he has essentially traded in backing up one old, injury-prone third baseman for another. The early word is that Jones could return before the Braves’ home opener on April 13, but I have a feeling this won’t be his only DL-stint this season. Francisco’s pop from the left side of the plate could surprise.
Tidbits of the Week
The Yankees lose three games but the Mets win three!
Matt Kemp and Miguel Cabrera had big weeks for their teams batting over 400, a few home runs and 8 RBI’s each. For those of you who drafted them you should be off to a good start.
Doug Fister pulled a muscle in his side and was placed on disabled list. He could be out longer than 15 days as the Tigers should not rush him back.
The Boston Red Sox appear to be in trouble with closing games Andrew Bailey out of action and Alfredo Aceves and Mark Melancon, both giving up home runs in their save opportunity. The jury is out on who will close.
A.J. Burnett out with an eye injury could be back end of April
Hector Santiago picks up first White Sox save and could be the new closer over Matt Thorton
I picked up Joel Peralta for save chances but Fernando Rodney of the Rays was called on to get the saves and he did. The jury is still out on if this will continue.
As the 2012 season continues I will be discussing events of the week (tidbits), injury news, waiver wire possibilities, and sharing with you articles that I am reading that will help you achieve your goal of getting into the playoffs and being the Fantasy Baseball champion. Post your comments questions and feel free to e-mail me any time at Bonniegortler@gmail.com
Bonnie Gortler is a successful stock market guru who is passionate about teaching others about social media, weight loss and wealth. Bonnie is also a huge sports fan who successfully lost over 60 pounds by applying the many lessons learned through her commitment toward personal growth. Choose your very own FREE down-loadable gift from Bonnie by visiting bit.ly/bgoffers. You may also connect with Bonnie via Twitter & Facebook plus subscribe to BonnieGortler.com.
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