The Wire Troll: Dayan Viciedo Cleaning Up in ChiTown
Dayan Viciedo is finally justifying the hype.
After taking two of the past three weeks off it’s about time I got back in the saddle and earned my keep. Last week was a first as it appears as if we might have actually gone a full seven days without a closer being replaced. The revolving door at the closer position has slowed somewhat but both the Mets and Reds could be on the verge of making moves to shore up the position. What an incredible mess bullpens have been so far in 2012. This week we have a mixed bag of speed/power, potential saves, and injury replacements, so without further ado let’s get to our recommendations of the week.
Dayan Viciedo, OF, Chicago White Sox (CBS: 41 per cent owned, ESPN: 4 per cent): In the past week, Viciedo has been absolutely tearing the cover off the ball, smacking four homers with 10 RBI and an incredible .423 BA. The White Sox have moved him into the clean up slot to replace Paul Konerko, on the mend after a Jeff Samardzija plunking. This new role obviously provides Viciedo with more RBI opportunities, at least in the short-term. Hell, the Cuban has even been showing off his security guard skills lately. Get him rostered in all formats to take full advantage of his current hot streak.
Everth Cabrera, SS, San Diego Padres (CBS: 3 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): The Padres are starting to clean house. Orlando Hudson was released and veteran Jason Bartlett has hit the DL with a sprained right knee, the latter move prompting the Pads to recall Cabrera. At Triple-A Tucson Cabrera was a perfect 15-for-15 in the stolen base department and San Diego has made it clear that shortstop is now Cabrera’s job to lose. This kid can fly so if you’re looking to boost your stolen base numbers the opportunity is at hand.
Felipe Paulino, SP, Kansas City Royals (CBS: 23 per cent owned, ESPN: 1 per cent): It’s not like we haven’t seen spurts of success out of Paulino in the past. The problem has been the need for him to use a GPS unit to find home plate. We talked up Paulino two weeks ago, but few took our advice, and now he’s coming off a seven-inning shutout performance against one of the hottest teams in the game (the Orioles). In three starts since returning from the DL has 21 strikeouts and only five free passes in 18 2/3 IP. Has Paulino turned the corner or is this a temporary respite from the walk issues that have clouded his career? Only time will tell, but either way he’s currently the hot hand and should be employed in all formats to take advantage of his high strikeout potential.
Matt Adams, 1B, St.Louis Cardinals (CBS: 10 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): Lance Berkman was felled by a knee injury Saturday and Adams was removed from his game at Triple-A Memphis. Coincidence? Hardly. The Cardinals are currently decimated by injuries and Adams is the likely beneficiary should Berkman be DL bound. Down on the farm at Triple-A Memphis, Adams has mashed nine homers with 27 RBI in 141 at-bats and is punishing pitchers to the tune of an outstanding .340 BA. Berkman is scheduled for an MRI Monday so pay attention to the results and don’t hesitate to grab Adams in all formats should Big Puma be looking at a stint on the DL.
A.J. Ellis, C, Los Angeles Dodgers (CBS: 46 per cent owned, ESPN: 10 per cent): Ownership levels for the Dodger backstop have moved from 15 to 46 per cent in the past two weeks and for good cause. On the season he’s slugged three homers, driven in 19 runs and has an amazing .333 BA. If Ellis has slipped through the cracks in your league find a home for him on your squad and get him rostered immediately.
Gregor Blanco, OF, San Francisco Giants (CBS: 9 per cent owned, ESPN: 14 per cent): Blanco has now moved into the leadoff role in San Francisco and has responded in fine form. In his past seven games he’s now scored nine runs and has drawn eight free passes while passing Nate Schierholtz on the Giants depth chart. Blanco is also a veteran reclamation project which should give him an edge with Manager Bruce Bochy.
Norichika Aoki, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (CBS: 1 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): Aoki has now started four times in the past week and amassed at least two hits in each of those games. The platoon role could very quickly turn into the full-time gig as he does something that Nyjer Morgan seemingly can’t do — get to first base.
Freddy Galvis, 2B/SS, Philadelphia Phillies (CBS: 6 per cent owned, ESPN: 1 per cent): Galvis is coming off homers in back-to-back games and with 19 RBI on the season is currently ranked fifth among all second basemen. Who would have thunk it?
Yan Gomes, 3B/C, Toronto Blue Jays (CBS: 7 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): The Brazilian Bomber got the call to replace the slumping and demoted Adam Lind and with his catcher eligibility makes for a sneaky play in AL-only and two-catcher leagues.
Wilin Rosario, C, Colorado Rockies (CBS: 15 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): Another recommended pickup a couple of weeks ago that was not heeded, Rosario’s power is very real as witnessed by his sixth homer Saturday against the Mariners. It also comes at a price as the BA is also very real.
Alex Cobb, SP, Tampa Bay Rays (CBS: 10 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): The 24-year-old Cobb got the call to replace Jeff Niemann (fractured fibula) and should be a fixture in the Ray’s rotation for at least the next six weeks. In his debut Saturday, Cobb acquitted himself well by tossing seven innings of six-hit ball with two earned runs and six strikeouts in gaining the victory over Atlanta. He should be rostered in all AL-only formats and on the radar in deeper mixed leagues.
Jose Arredondo, RP, Cincinnati Reds (CBS: 1 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): Incumbent closer Sean Marshall was beaten up Saturday and yanked after allowing two runs on four hits and only retiring one batter. Aroldis Chapman would have to be considered the front runner for the closer role should a change be deemed necessary, but don’t ignore Arredondo. In 19 2/3 IP he’s struck out 24 and is currently the best right-hander in the Reds bullpen.
Rajai Davis, OF, Toronto Blue Jays (CBS: 8 per cent owned, ESPN: 1 per cent): Colby Rasmus is now 8-for-51 in May. Meanwhile, Davis has gone 8-for 19 with three thefts is coming off a two-homer game against the Mets on Friday. Toronto’s patience is waning as evidenced by the recent demotion of Lind and a platoon situation in CF could turn into a full-time gig for Davis very quickly.
Bobby Parnell, RP, New York Mets (CBS: 6 per cent owned, ESPN: 1 per cent): Parnell is currently sporting the best record of any reliever on the Mets not named Rob Johnson (the backup catcher that tossed a perfect frame Friday), and is very quickly gaining the attention of Mets skipper Terry Collins. It’s only a matter of time before Parnell, long considered to have closer stuff, earns another shot at earning saves for the Mets.
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