We’re going to get right to it this week, kids, and I apologize if today’s post doesn’t have as many exciting, last-minute updates as usual. Since I’m sure you’re wondering why it won’t have said exciting updates, I will tell you: it is because I will be attending the live taping of the Survivor finale, and will be going off the grid completely starting mid-day Wednesday. Yes, I’ll be in the same room with TV’s Jeff Probst, one of the few celebrities (along with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Doris Kearns Goodwin, FYI) that I am interested in being in close proximity to, but don’t you worry:  I’ve actually been in the same room as Mr. Probst before and I barely even did anything embarrassing, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to keep from humiliating myself. That’s actually more than I can say about the time I had a brief conversation with Ms. Kearns Goodwin, where I was as tongue-tied as I’ve ever been in my life. I have yet to cross paths with Mr. deGrasse Tyson, which is probably just as well for all concerned.

And now, some names of players that could possibly be of interest to those in AL-only, NL-only, or other deep fantasy baseball leagues. Hmm, that wasn’t really getting right to it, was it?

Johnny Field. We could spend the day discussing how high Johnny Field should be ranked on the list of great baseball names, or we can just look at his situation. He’s getting regular at bats for Tampa Bay, is 7 for his last 16 with 5 runs scored as I’m writing this, and is now hitting .308 with 4 homers and a steal on the year. Even with Carlos Gomez expected to return from the DL soon, there’s enough injury risk/old age/uncertainty in the Rays outfield that Field could be around for a while if he can keep producing.

J.D. Davis. As is life in the stacked Astros’ organization, Davis was hitting .415 with 36 RBI in 33 AAA games, and is lucky to have been called up even as a bench guy/occasional DH. It would take quite the confluence of events for Davis to get steady playing time, but he’s worth keeping a deep-league eye on.

Tony Kemp. Speaking of the Astros, the bottom rungs of their outfield have been tinkered with, as Jake Marisnick was mercifully demoted — then un-demoted when Josh Reddick hit the DL — and Derek Fisher is on the DL with “gastrointestinal discomfort.” (Insert your own joke here about how watching Derek Fisher and his .176 batting average gave YOU gastrointestinal discomfort! Oh wait, that’s me, because sadly I have Fisher on an AL-only dynasty team.)   Kemp has started 5 games in the last week and is worth a look if you need deep-league speed (or if you have the ability to go back in time and pick him up for Tuesday’s game, which happened after I wrote his blurb and in which he got a ridiculous 5 RBI).  He’s a left-handed hitter who was hitting .335 with 13 steals in AAA, and I haven’t heard even a whisper about him having a sensitive tummy.

Melky Cabrera. No need to adjust your set; that actually is a current game that you see Cabrera playing in. Melky evidently signed with the Indians a month ago and played 10 AAA games over the last couple of weeks, and is now with the big club. I’m tempering my expectations, of course, but Melky did have that great .305, 18 homer, 20 steal season just (checks his player page)… 2011?! Wow, that’s like seven years ago. Seven years is an awfully long time in baseball terms. I guess that’s why we’re talking about Melky in the deep-league corner of this website.

Sam Gaviglio. A rotation that opened the season with Joe Biagini, Jaime Garcia, and a clearly never-right-from-the-get-go Marcus Stroman was bound to have some cracks in it, and Gaviglio has found one of those cracks and turned it into at least a temporary opening in the Blue Jays’ rotation. All he’s done with his chance so far (3 appearances, 9.7 innings, 1 start) is pitch to a 0.93 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, with just 2 walks to 12 Ks. Gaviglio was never a strikeout guy in the minors and there’s no way his ratios don’t head upward as the season progresses, but if you’re in a super deep league just looking for a guy who may get a shot to start and doesn’t have a terribly scary floor…

NL

Ross Stripling. I feel like we’ve been here before, being teased by “Chicken Strip” (greatest — or dumbest — nickname ever?). Actually, I was thinking he started strong and faded down the stretch last year, but upon looking more closely I see his second half numbers were actually better than his first. And his career numbers really aren’t too shabby at all: 3.57 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 188 Ks/58 BBs in 209 innings. His ownership is growing steadily as the Dodger rotation continues to be all kinds of banged up, so if he’s available in your league and you need a starter, you might want to give him a look-see.

Brandon Nimmo. Juan Lagares is out for the year and Yoenis Cespedes is not expected to be ready to come off the DL when he’s eligible, so Nimmo is getting more time in the Mets outfield, and as their leadoff hitter. He’s always been a great OBP guy, and has stolen a couple of bags in his last few games. I’m a bit skeptical that he’ll be able to translate his increased playing time into becoming a fantasy stud at the top of the Mets’ lineup, but I’ve picked him up in a couple leagues and am definitely rooting for him.

John Ryan Murphy. We all knew the catching scene in NL-only leagues was apt to be rather disastrous this year, and it’s ended up even worse than I’d imagined. That’s why the news that Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said Murphy “might get a few more starts” actually earns him a write-up here.

Max Muncy. Muncy has produced with his chance to play due to the myriad of Dodger injuries, and has produced (he has five homers in 28 games). Justin Turner has finally returned, Logan Forsythe is back, and Chase Utley is still standing — but Muncy has not only remained with the big club, but continues to find himself in the starting lineup, as he’s now played 7 games at first and 5 in the outfield in addition to his 18 games at third. I have to think the carriage is going to turn into a pumpkin any moment now, but any combination of more Dodger injuries and more lackluster play from some of their regulars could open up the door for Muncy to stick around.

Nick Williams. Since Tyler O’Neill has skyrocketed to over 40% owned in CBS leagues and is suddenly out of the deep-league conversation, I’ll turn my attention to Williams instead. Williams is still just owned in 11% of CBS leagues and started in 4%, which is about right in my opinion. Actually he hasn’t done much to this point to justify even that level of ownership, but he did hit a lovely opposite-field home run on Monday to open the scoring in what proved to be a 3-0 victory against the Braves. As long as he’s still getting chances in Kooky Gabe Kapler’s lineup and the Phillies are looking pretty impressive as a team, Williams is worth keeping an eye on in deep leagues.

  1. Turd Fergusons says:
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    As a guy who thought Altherr would win out this year, I have to agree that Williams is the man now. I’m cyclops-ing him for sure!

    And yes I picked up Stripling for his start against the Padres this weekend – watch him get rocked now that I own him…

    Thanks for the deep content!

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      @Turd Fergusons:Yeah, I also thought Altherr might run away with the job, but that obviously hasn’t happened yet. Hope Stripling comes through for you this weekend; thanks for reading!

  2. Slappy Jack says:
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    Remember when we loved Niko on the beaches with those Piña Coladas before anyone else? that was some goodrum

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      @Slappy Jack: I do remember that! For a minute that week I was kind of embarrassed, both that I spent as much of my FAAB budget as I did on him in my deepest AL-only league, & that he was the lede of one of my posts… and now he’s getting scooped up in some of my mixed leagues! Don’t know how long it’ll last, but sure is nice to be ahead of the curve : )

  3. thorbs says:
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    What do you think his holding Nimmo back from being a plus-plus fantasy contributor?

    I’m biased, because I have him in a 10×10 league where his batting eye helps in OPS, BB, etc., but having watched him recently, he seems like he could be a pretty dynamic hitter who could be a great tablesetter.

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      @thorbs: Well, part of me was just trying not to jinx him now that I have him in like 3 lineups, and it evidently worked — dude is like 8 for his last 9! If nothing else, he’s certainly bought himself some more playing time. I just wished I had him in the one league I’m in that uses OBP! I swear I heard Ron Darling say during the Mets telecast that Nimmo was “the Mets most important hitter” right now, but maybe I’d just had too much wine and imagined it. Will be interesting to see if he can keep it up — watching him, he just looks like an incredibly smart hitter and I’m definitely pretty darn into him right now!

  4. Ross Thomas Watson says:
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    Glad Wendell won Survivor. He was my pick from the beginning!

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      @Ross Thomas Watson: Was hard not to love Wendell, though I was surprised to find myself rooting for Dom by the end and kind of felt like he was robbed… if Sebastian had just been bright enough to acknowledge that Dom made one of the more impressive moves in Survivor history and wasn’t just being mean to him by tricking him with the fake idol, Dom would have won. Though I actually also wouldn’t have minded if they hadn’t broken the tie and had co-winners since it had never happened before — they definitely both deserved it IMO.

  5. Moon Shots says:
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    Ahoy Laura. Happy friday to you and thanks as usual for the great deep league notes.

    I have questions and comments!

    After drafting a lot of guys who look good on paper but havent performed (Davish, Ray, Puig, Polanco, Cutch, DeJong, Ketel, Happ) ive been stockpiling prospect talent in hopes of hanging in there while waiting for guys to get it together. I missed on Meadows but nabbed Soto, Oneill, Reyes, Soroka (stashed on DL), Austin Riley (stashed NA), and finally just got Mac Williamson back. Things are looking up a bit and now im looking to use some of that depth for trades and im curious what you think.

    Ive been looking at big time talents underperforming (who arent already on on my team) and working on some buy-lows. The first guy in question that i think i can get is Rizzo in exchange for my Billy Hamilton and Polanco. What do you think? Billy Hamilton seems like wire trash to me at this point but im slightly wary of dropping Polanco only for him to put it all together and explode in the second half. But i feel like we’ve been waiting on him forever and ive gotta think that Rizzo comes around (maybe already is) and even if Polanco gets it together id still be getting a 1st rounder for a 3rd rounder or so.

    Im also eyeballing Goldy and have an offer out of my Puig. I dont really need more corner help as i have Bryant and Freeman but i could always slot Goldy at 1B, move Freeman to 3B and Bryant to OF. Like Rizzo i cant fathom Goldy being bad much longer.

    Oneill is a guy i cant quite figure what to do with. His ability to hit for AVG and power along with the fact that the Cards pump out elite hitters like rabbits from a magic hat make me think i should just hold since thats damn valuable. On the other hand they have their 3 guys they are paying big money to so certainly his ABs arent guaranteeed…one slump and he likely heads back down. And theres a Cards fan in my league who wants him and i bet i could pack with someone else for Mikolas, Thor, Flaherty or Weaver. More likely is that i could get one of those two last guys but im wary of whats going to happen with the Cards rotation with Martinez and Reyes back…one of those guys has gotta go to the pen i would think…you have any thoughts on that?

    Also what do you think of Soto…hold him for the upside or dangle him to someone else who has unreasonable expectations? Seems like a pretty damn fun asset to own.

    i guess another way of framing this would be to ask you of my collection of OFs who you would sell on and who you would hold:

    Cutch
    Margot
    Puig
    Happ
    Oneill
    Soto
    Polanco
    Williamson
    Hamilton

    (not a bad collection really)

    Aight thanks for reading my opus!

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      @Moon Shots: Hey Moon, thanks for reading and for the kind words! I’d deftinitely do that Rizzo deal if you can pull it off. II’m not even the biggest Rizzo fan, but he is the best player in that trade by SO much… and as frustrating as it’ll be if Polanco gets going, I just don’t know how many chances we can all give him. I mean, if having Meadows up and blistering the ball isn’t lighting a fire under him… Re. O’Neill, it’s really hard to assess his value for this year, but if you can get strong pitching value in return (especially if it’s Thor, or even Mikolas who I think is probably the safest bet of those Cards starters this year in a re-draft league) I’d trade him. I think I’d let Soto go too since it’s re-draft, as long as you could get something pretty stellar in return, since you seem to have a lot of other strong OF options. Goldy I just don’t know what to do with… one league where I have him I keep starting to make trade offers for him because I’m a little scared he never quite gets it together, but then I chicken out and decide to give him another few days. If you can buy low go for it, but don’t give up too much — honestly, I’d hold Puig if you can for a while longer; he’s been seriously heating up lately and it might be worth holding him either for your own benefit or to boost his trade value. Of your other OF guys, I’d trade McCutchen if you get a decent offer — Margot & Happ too if someone is interested, though I don’t think it’s worth selling either of those guys if it’s at rock bottom prices.

      • Moon Shots says:
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        @Laura Holt: Super appreciate the thoughts…i agree on all counts!

        Dude who has Rizzo said he would do the trade if it didnt leave his 1B slot empty so im scrambling to work a trade with someone else for dime store caliber 1B to throw in (iim not including Freeman or Bryant!) like Desmond or Dietrich…people are slow to respond though and i can sort of feel Rizzo heating up every second it takes. Ha. Yeah im with you on him not being the guy i would naturally target (and it seems kind of silly to own Rizzo Bryant and Happ) but i think your right that his talent is just too elite to pass up even if i flip him later. Plus my 2B is a nightmare with Dejong broken (just dropped Ketel and added Camargo and Saladino)…

        Im with you too on Puig and not selling too low on Happ or Margot. Happ i particularly think could start putting up real value. Its hard for me to admit that your right about Cutch cause im a die hard Giants fan but you probably are…that second half he put up last year though was scorching!

        Anyway thanks for the thoughts! Im gonna go torture myself over who to drop to pick up Musgrove now, just in case he looks great in his debut…

        • Moon Shots says:
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          @Moon Shots: I guess i could ask…drop busted Soroka for healthy Musgrove? Probably a wash either way…

          • Laura Holt

            Laura Holt says:
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            @Moon Shots: Who knows what Musgrove will do, but going with the bird in the hand theory yeah, I think you can drop Soroka — who knows when we’ll see him and have to think the Braves will be ultra-cautious with him.

            • Moon Shots says:
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              @Laura MHolt: Musgrove was gooood!

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