h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry (Hot ‘N’ Cold) All-Stars

Another immortal quote ushers us into Katy Perry’s All-stars: “no pain, no gain.” Sure, Ms. Perry was talking about squeezing into Jimmy Choo’s $2,495 Zap Sandals (underpriced, if you ask me), but we can easily apply that to fantasy baseball.

For instance, realizing that Jim Johnson was the reliever to own in Baltimore, I dropped Cla Meredith and missed out on his first save of the year/his career. To avoid a similar fate, you need to know how to navigate this past week’s hot ‘n’ cold performances. So, let’s let ‘er rip.

Cause you’re hot…you’re yes…you’re in…you’re up

Colby Rasmus – I was a pretty big fan of Colby’s before the season relative to his draft position. So far, he is off to a scorching start, especially last week (.529 AVE, five runs, three HRs, and two SBs). He has had a bit of a high BAbip this season (.367), so expect the average to come down a bit. Still, he could hit in the .270 range with 25 HRs or so. He should be owned universally.

Kelly Johnson – Kelly Johnson is anchoring second base for me in my Hot Stove Fantasy Baseball League. Last week was a thing of beauty: .330 AVE, six runs, four HRs, and eight RBIs. With Conor Jackson going down, Johnson is perched atop a pretty potent line-up. He could definitely equal some of his best years with the Braves (.280 AVE, 15 – 20 HRs, and a good amount of runs). He’s a good add.

Scott RolenI liked Rolen a bit coming into this season, as he was an afterthought in drafts. I snagged him for a couple of bucks in my 20-teamer and have been happy platooning him with Casey Blake. Well, Rolen’s work in the past seven days (.381 AVE, eight runs and two HRs) makes me want to give him full time starter duties. Rolen hasn’t been healthy in eons, so you can’t expect a full season from him. Still, when healthy, he’ll put up decent runs and RBIs and won’t kill your batting average. You could do worse at the corners.

Marlon Byrd – For some reason, Byrd, only 49 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, has the Milton Bradley stink on him. Hopefully his work over the last seven days (seven runs, five RBIs and a .481 AVE) will increase his ownership levels. Marlon Byrd has settled into his new surroundings nicely and could produce a year very similar to 2009.

Lyle Overbay – Left for dead a few days ago, Overbay has caught fire (four runs, two HRs, six RBIs and a .368 AVE). Dropped in massive numbers lately, he is a good add in deep and AL-only leagues. He’ll provide good RBIs and ratios for your corner spots.

Andruw JonesHello Andruw Jones! Last week’s line: three HRs, two SBs and a .286 AVE. The White Sox, continually looking for some sort of pop, will run out the semi-svelte former star until he stops hitting/starts eating. You might as well ride the hot hand. He has the ability to hit in bunches (especially against left handers). Still, don’t go mortgaging the farm on someone who hasn’t really been good since 2006.

Miguel Olivo – It looks like Chris Iannetta will be sent to the minor leagues, leaving a bevy of at bats in his wake. Olivo, like any good backstop, will scoop up those plate opportunities. In the last week, Olivo hit .316 with three HRs and six RBIs. He won’t keep up that batting average, but the 20+ HR power is certainly real. He is now a more useful backstop than Chris Snyder and Mike Napoli.

Tyler Colvin – Just like he tore the cover off the ball in Spring Training, Colvin destroyed the rawhide last week: two HRs, five RBIs and a .444 AVE. Right now, he isn’t playing everyday, but eventually Alfonso Soriano will get injured or Kosuke Fukudome will start to suck again (he does so every summer). When that happens and Colvin sees an uptick in ABs, I’d be grabbing him in deep and NL-only leagues.

Wade Davis – Wade’s paltry ownership levels (just 22 percent) leave me scratching my scalp. Sure he didn’t start off the season well, but he was facing some of the tougher line-ups in the game. He “bounced back” last week to strike out six in six IPs without giving up a run. For the season he has 13 Ks, a 2.65 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. He should be owned.

Jason VargasJason Vargas has staked his claim as a perennial Katy Perry All-star. His second showing is due to a superb last seven days: 13.2 IPs, eight Ks, a 1.98 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP. At this point, you might as well ride the hot streak. I’d still be weary of starting him against the AL ’s elite, but otherwise, run him out there.

Aaron Cook – People don’t realize that Cook has been a useful starter over the years. Last week, he turned in a gem: a complete game, one-run effort. He’ll never set the world on fire, but he is capable of being serviceable – think match-ups play in 12-team leagues.

Carl Pavano – Pavano has an unreal K/BB rate this year: 17.00. That is utterly absurd. Still, while he is continuing to throw first-pitch strikes, he’ll be successful. Last week was no exception: seven IPs, five Ks, a 2.57 ERA and 0.57 WHIP. I’d suggest selling high as he can’t maintain this pace, but I’m not sure anyone else would buy at these levels. You might as well just enjoy the ride.

Then you’re cold…then you’re no…then you’re out…then you’re down

Jake Peavy – Peavy has a Vargas-eqsue cold streak going. I didn’t love Peavy going into the year (switching leagues/ballparks, which didn’t suit his skill set), but he’s been downright horrible. Last week, he lasted 4.1 IPs, struck out five, but posted a 14.54 ERA and 3.23 WHIP. At this point, you need to bench Peavy. He’ll be useful at some point, but you can’t let him take a sledgehammer to your ratios in the meantime.

Rick Porcello – Porcello, another guy I wasn’t high on pre-season, had a bad two-start stretch last-week, lasting just 8.1 IPs and posting a 12.96 ERA/2.64 WHIP. Still, he managed to strike out eight. I continue to be surprised at Porcello’s K-rate (6.1 for the year) and he has been horribly unlucky (.449 BAbip), so expect him to get better. He’s actually a decent buy-low target.

Josh Beckett – This week, Ms. Perry has selected a ton of pitchers that h2h Corner wasn’t fond of entering the year. I like Beckett and think he is a serviceable pitcher, but not the ace a lot of people do. He certainly can’t carry you week-to-week. For example, his last seven days produced seven Ks in 10 IPs, a 13.50 ERA and 2.40 WHIP. Still, like Porcello, he has been unlucky (.351 BAbip). I’d be kicking the tires on him as he is bound to improve.

Javier Vazquez – Yankee fans have about as good a history with Javier Vazquez as I do with Armando Benitez. Last week, Vazquez posted an 8.00 ERA and 1.89 WHIP. He did manage to strike-out nine in nine innings though. For the season, he has an 8.1 K/9 rate (exactly the same as his career mark); however he has a bloated walk rate (5.0 compared to 2.4 for his career). Add that to an unlucky BAbip of .345 and you can see why Vazquez has been underperforming. He’ll turn it around (not to 2009 NL levels), but will be a good high-K/WHIP pitcher. Someone like an AJ Burnett. He is another buy-low opportunity.

Chone Figgins – This is my first year owning Figgins (it’s an OBP league) and I find it somewhat frustrating. No doubt those of you in AVE leagues are screaming for a base hit (last week, he hit .095). Like Katy’s cold pitching staff, Figgins has been monstrously unlucky so far this year: career BAbip = .340, 2010 BAbip = .245. He is still walking, so he’ll turn it around.

Kyle Blanks – Blanks has been shooting blanks this season (horrible, I’m sorry). Last week (.071 AVE) was no exception. Still, if you remember, Blanks took awhile to get it going when he was called up in 2009 (.231 AVE in June, and .237 AVE in July). Maybe he’s just a slow starter. I wouldn’t be cutting bait in deep leagues.

Curtis Granderson – Granderson’s last week (.063 AVE) is indicative of his struggles over the last few seasons. He faced three left-handed starters in seven games and didn’t perform well. If you have the depth, it makes sense to bench Granderson against the majority of lefties he faces – he simply can’t hit them.

Ryan Howard – Speaking of not being able to hit lefties, Ryan Howard had a horrid (not worth $25 million/year) week (.179 AVE). In reality, though, this is just a one week blip. Howard will be back to his mashing days before you know it. He and Carlos Pena are just two streaky players who end up on the cold side every now and then.

Gordon Beckham – Ouch, Gordon Beckham did not have a good week (.150 AVE). Unfortunately, he’s not had a good start to the 2010 season (.214 AVE/295 OBP/.300 SLG). He had rough patches like this last year (hit .223 in August) and he has a .250 BAbip this season. All told, I’ll give a guy with his success and pedigree a bit of rope. There is no use panicking at the moment (or disco).

All stats as of April 26.

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