Brian Schneider’s days of Fantasy relevance are pretty much done.
In today’s Fantasy notes, we look at Brian Scheider’s struggles, Josh Barfield’s emergence and some changes brewing in Toronto.
- Brian Schneider continues to scuffle with just one hit in his past 10 at-bats, although he did score two runs Thursday, including the game-winner. But he’s now down to .220 for the season, and after a pair of somewhat useful seasons of Fantasy production, Schneider is now virtually useless, having marginal value only in the deepest of NL-only leagues.
- Padre rookie Josh Barfield is heating up. He was 4-for-4 with an RBI Thursday to extend his hitting streak to seven games. Over this period, he’s gone 13-for-25 to raise his season average to .279. Barfield is not driving in runs (just 25 now), but of course it’s tough to do so out of the eight hole, where he’s spent most of the year. His strike zone judgment still isn’t up to snuff, again, not much of a surprise as this was his weak link in the minors. Barfield is on pace to swipe 20 bags and we believe he will one day settle in as a solid two-hole hitter (assuming he can reduce the strikeouts) in the mold of Marcus Giles — without the on-base skills, but with more speed.
- With Ernie Whitt taking over the Jays for a couple of days while Manager John Gibbons tends to his ailing father, there are a couple of changes in store. Whitt wants Eric Hinske batting second as he’s hitting the ball well right now (he absolutely tattooed a couple of balls against the Phils last weekend that are still in the air somewhere). And the writing is on the wall for Russ Adams. Whitt is so determined to work John McDonald in the lineup over Adams that he’s shifted McDonald to short (a position he plays better than second) and thus Aaron Hill will move back to second base, where he has a comfort level. That’s a lot of juggling to seemingly just keep a player out. The Jays really need to pull the trigger on the rumoured Adam Kennedy deal, for as much the team’s sake as Hill’s, who needs time to become comfortable as the shortstop of the future. It’s to Hill’s credit that he keeps hitting despite getting jerked around defensively.
- Jays’ starter Gustavo Chacin, stuck on the DL with elbow issues, won’t even thow off a mound again until after the break. Chacin is somehow 6-2 (thank you, Jays’ batters), but his peripheral numbers stink. We sure hope his newly-released fragrance has a nicer aroma.
- Keep an eye on newly-recalled Jay Shaun Marcum. He’s had some control problems in his stints in the bigs, but at Triple-A, he was 4-0 with a ridiculously good 60/9 K/BB ratio. Syracuse was using him both as a reliever and a starter, and he was holding opponents to a .241 mark.
- Pirate shortstop prospect Brent Lillibridge had been enjoying a breakout year — until his recent promotion, that is. The Bucs’ second round choice last year out of the University of Washington, Lillibridge had a modest start to his career last season in the NYPL. This year, however, he was tearing up the Sally with a .299 mark through 74 games with 59 runs, 11 homers, 29 steals and a superb 51/61 BB/K ratio. Promoted to High-A Lynchburg a week and a half ago, Lillibridge has hit a wall, batting just .231 through 26 at-bats with just one extra-base hit. And now he’s landed on the DL with a pulled hammy. Still, a 22-year-old shortstop with power and speed potential bears watching.