MLB Today: Brennan Boesch on Borrowed Time
Brennan Boesch may not be suiting up for the Yanks much more.
On Sunday, Brennan Boesch spanked his second homer in his last eight games, but playing time has been at a premium for him, so we simply can’t recommend him in any format — especially with Curtis Granderson nearing a return. We slotted Boesch 94th in our Outfield Rankings, but given that he has a mere 30 at-bats so far, he hasn’t even lived up to those modest expectations. After the Tigers unceremoniously ditched him, he was a nice late spring acquisition to help the Yankees fill one of their holes, but his usefulness — limited as it is — is about to expire with Granderson due back in a couple of weeks.
- Heading into the season, we slotted Adam Lind 36th in our First Base Rankings but given his paucity of runs and ribbies, he hasn’t even been a top 50 player at the position so far. However, after missing the past four games, Lind returned from paternity leave Sunday and paid instant dividends with a go-ahead RBI single and a walk. He’s now hit safely in each of his last three games to raise his BA to .250. Hey, it’s a start. But if you’re in an OBP league, Lind’s .404 mark demands attention given that, on the strong side of a platoon with Rajai Davis, he’s likely to see most of the action at DH for the Jays going forward. Lind got 89 at-bats against lefties last year but after a mere .250 OBP against them, he hasn’t faced a single one in 2013. Note that with his seventh game at first base Sunday, he’s well on his way to earning qualification at the position again in 2014. To make room for Lind, Brad Lincoln was sent to Triple-A.
- We projected Ryan Howard 12th best in our First Base Rankings, but he’s barely playing at a top 20 level so far. However, if you were hoping to buy low, you better strike now, because the tide is turning for RyHo. In his previous four games heading into action Sunday, the big man had spanked two homers with eight RBI. Howard was given the day off Sunday with lefty Jonathan Niese on the mound, but the big man came off the bench and smacked a tie-breaking two-run double in the seventh as Philadelphia completed a sweep over the Mets in New York. Man, does Howard ever love mashing against the Mets with 23 RBI in the last 13 games. The Mets got off to a nice start, but are now reeling and have dropped to fourth place in the NL East. And no, they likely won’t mind that they don’t get to face Howard again until late-June. After scoring just 28 runs in 71 games last year, Howard already has 10 through 24 games in 2013 as he looks to bounce back from the worst season of his career.
- Speaking of Niese, he was making his return from an ankle woe and showed no ill effects, taking the hard-luck loss after giving up just five hits and three runs (one earned) in 6 2/3 IP while fanning three and walking one. It’s curious that Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel chose Niese as the lefty hurler to sit Howard against considering lefties have hit .294 against Niese this season. Ironically, as soon as Niese was lifted from Sunday’s game in favour of righty Scott Atchinson, Howard was called in to pinch-hit and that was the beginning of the end for the Mets. Two years ago, we pointed out that Niese didn’t exactly dominate southpaws, but he was much better last year, helping him break though with a career season. This year, Niese’s bottom line results are even better, but given his unsightly WHIP and substandard command, we have our doubts about his ERA staying this low (3.31). One look at his xFIP (4.72) suggests that you might want to consider selling high on Niese.
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