The Wire Troll: Brandon Allen Gets his Chance
Brandon Allen wasted no time in making an impact in the desert.
The non-waiver trade deadline is just around the corner and with it comes the endless supply of rumours. Do the Mets (who say they are not in fire sale mode…rrriiight) find a taker for Carlos Beltran? Can both the Red Sox and Yankees find a way to bolster their starting rotations? Is it possible that the Indians and Pirates might actually be buyers rather than sellers? Are Heath Bell and Leo Nunez — both of whom are rumoured to be available — on the move? If you’re looking for cheap saves some speculative buying has the potential to save you some serious FAAB down the road. There are simply so many questions and so few answers at this time. Follow the news like a hawk over the next several weeks as there are certain to be opportunities that could seriously benefit your Fantasy squad over the balance of the 2011 season. Without further ado, let’s get to this week’s Troll.
Brandon Allen, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks (CBS: 13 per cent owned, Yahoo!: 1 per cent): Last week the D-backs finally tired of the lack of production at first base and shipped Juan Miranda off to Triple-A Reno. But in a bit of a surprising move, Arizona turned first to Allen instead of the much hyped Paul Goldschmidt to fill the void. In 304 at-bats at Reno, Allen mashed 18 homers with 66 RBI, stole seven bases and put up a great .306 BA. In his first start Saturday, he hit a three-run bomb against the Dodgers and that will undoubtedly drive up his price in this week’s FAAB bidding.
Derek Holland, SP, Texas Rangers (CBS: 62 per cent owned, Yahoo!: 27 per cent): On July 2, Holland was pounded by the Marlins and was unable to get out of the first inning. What does he do to follow up that stinker? Holland goes out and tosses not one, but two complete game shutouts and strikes out 15 in the process. He’s been wildly inconsistent, but when he’s been on, he’s been very good. The 24-year-old southpaw has all the tools to be successful, he simply has to demonstrate them on a more consistent basis. We’re betting we see the stud starter and not his evil twin more often than not in the future.
Jason Isringhausen, RP, New York Mets (CBS: 15 per cent owned, Yahoo!: 15 per cent): The trade of Francisco Rodriguez to Milwaukee has opened up the closer gig in New York. The Mets named Isringhausen first in line to get saves, but this is in all probability a show-me tactic heading into the trade deadline. The 38-year-old veteran has been very effective this season, but the future in Queen’s lies in the high heat from Bobby Parnell. If you can get Izzy cheap, great, but the serious cash should be spent on Parnell.
Luke Scott, OF, Baltimore Orioles (CBS: 24 per cent owned, Yahoo!: 18 per cent): Scott starts a rehab stint Sunday and could be back in the Orioles lineup as early as mid-week. There will be at-bats available with the announcement that Vladimir Guerrero had landed on the 15-day disabled list with a small fracture on his right hand. Scott has averaged 25 long balls over the past three seasons and has the potential to deliver solid power numbers down the stretch.
Andres Torres, OF, San Francisco Giants (CBS: 25 per cent owned, Yahoo!: 20 per cent): Torres has been a huge disappointment thus far in 2011. He’s struggled with injuries including a strained left Achilles that cost him a month on the DL. In three games since the break, Torres has gone 5-for-12 with two RBI, three runs scored, and two stolen bases. The Giants are going to need Torres to return to his 2010 level of play and now is the time to buy into that.
Dexter Fowler, OF, Colorado Rockies (CBS: 15 per cent owned, Yahoo!: 15 per cent): Charlie Blackmon is on the DL with a fractured left foot and Carlos Gonzalez has been dealing with wrist issues, so the recently-recalled Fowler has playing time opportunities. It’s time to see if Fowler’s recent stint at Triple-A Colorado Springs taught him anything about strike zone judgment.
Mike Dunn, RP, Florida Marlins (CBS: 4 per cent owned, Yahoo!: 2 per cent): If Nunez is moved at the deadline — as has been rumoured — Dunn is the favourite to be given the first crack at saves in the Marlins’ pen. Dunn walks too many, but that dominant K rate (47 strikeouts in 43 IP) is the stuff that closers are made of. Now is the time to gamble if you have the roster space.
Sean Marshall, RP, Chicago Cubs (CBS: 17 per cent owned, Yahoo!: 21 per cent): Carlos Marmol has been temporarily removed from his closer duties while he attempts to work through some mechanical issues. Is finding home plate a mechanical issue? Marshall looks to be the go-to guy for now and a few bucks spent could garner some decent save numbers until Marmol rights the ship.
Joe Nathan, RP, Minnesota Twins (CBS: 54 per cent owned, Yahoo!: 50 per cent): It’s finally official. Matt Capps blew his seventh save of the season Friday night and Manager Ron Gardenhire promptly announced that Nathan would be returning to the closer role. Nathan promptly garnered a save Saturday. For those playing in the 50 per cent of leagues where he’s available, go get him.
Carlos Guillen, 2B, Detroit Tigers (CBS: 3 per cent owned, Yahoo!: 1 per cent): Ryan Raburn owners take notice. The oft-injured Guillen was activated from the DL Saturday and promptly inserted into the Tiger lineup. Guillen should provide a solid BA and some pop with a bit more consistency than we’ve seen from a very disappointing Raburn.
Mike Adams, RP, San Diego Padres (CBS: 30 per cent owned, Yahoo!: 36 per cent): The Heath Bell trade rumours seem to grow by the minute and owners in both CBS and Yahoo! Leagues have responded. If Bell is moved Adams should have first shot at the closer gig in San Diego. A cheap preemptive strike could return solid rewards.
Jesus Guzman, 1B, San Diego Padres (CBS and Yahoo!: not owned): The other half of the platoon at first base for the Padres has quietly been producing. Anthony Rizzo has been struggling and Guzman should continue to see steady at-bats against southpaws, making him a solid option in NL-only formats.