Players get hot and cold over a seven-day period, it’s as sure as the samples are small.
That is why Katy created the Hot ‘N’ Cold All-stars.
Mike Aviles – Aviles has been a fantasy tease (at least for me) over the last several years. So is his last seven days (two HRs, one SB and a .474 AVG) tease or reality? I’m hoping it is closer to reality, as he is getting full playing time because Chris Getz is injured. For whatever reason, the Royals think it is advantageous to split at bats between the two. Aviles is a good player, capable of helping your batting average out right away. He’ll add light pop and light steals, but, when he plays, he is an above average middle infielder.
David Murphy – At this point, I might as well get my conductors hat on because I’m driving the Murphy bandwagon. Over the last seven days, Murphy scored six times, hit a HR and batted .333. For the year, he has 10 HRs and 12 steals in just 372 ABs. The only thing that can stop Murphy now is Josh Hamilton coming back from injury and zapping Murphy’s playing time. However, until that happens, I’m riding Murphy.
Nate McLouth – My hatred for McLouth runs deep, yet I can only help but tip my cap to the fella who seems to have picked up a completely fractured career to produce useful numbers. Over the last seven days alone, he hit two HRs, knocked in five and batted .389. He has been rewarded by a better line-up spot lately (hitting sixth) and he should reward you with RBIs, and some HRs and steals.
Emilio Bonifacio – He set the 2009 fantasy world on fire with his smile, but has never regained that first-week form. Still, he hasn’t been bad over the last seven days (five runs, three steals and a .321 AVG). He isn’t getting consistent playing time, but deeper league managers in need of speed should look his way.
Jay Gibbons – Former Orioles enhancer Gibbons has found a little luck in Hollywood. With Scott Podsednik mostly done for the season, Gibbons is taking the at bats and running with them (two HRs, six RBIs and a .333 AVG). He’ll start the remainder of the season and provide a decent average, decent HRs and some RBIs. Not bad for someone who is only one percent owned.
Ryan Spilborghs – Spilborghs makes late season Katy Perry appearances every season it seems. It’s not because of his awesome last name either! Over the last seven days, he scored five runs, knocked in four and batted .533. For those streaming hitters, Spilborghs is someone to have on your radar – he kills the ball at home and bats well against both righties and lefties – although he definitely hits right-handers better.
Xavier Nady – Why has no one joined me on the Nady-train? Over the last seven days he hit an HR, knocked in four and batted .350. In his last 93 ABs, Nady has hit .323, making him a pretty good addition to most fantasy squads down the stretch.
Derek Lowe – Lowe got low, low, low on my rankings throughout the season. Yet he was unbelievably productive over the last seven days (14 Ks in 14 IPs, a 0.64 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP). Lowe has stealthily become a usable pitcher. His ERA is 4.22, yet he has a FIP of 4.02 (mostly owing to an increased HR/FB percentage compared to the past two years). He doesn’t really strike anyone out, but he isn’t a bad streaming option.
Tim Stauffer – Speaking of streaming options, Stauffer has been dirty over the last seven days (six shutout innings, five Ks and a 0.83 WHIP). While he has been a bit lucky (86.8% strand rate), he still profiles as a pitcher with a 3.00 ERA or so. He also has a K-rate near 7.00. I am very comfortable streaming him at home.
Derek Holland – Holland had a poor four-inning start recently, but Katy is still loving him. Over the last seven days he has 13 Ks in nine IPs, a 1.00 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. He should be owned in way more than three percent of leagues!
Joe Blanton – What more do I have to say about Blanton? Dude has been on fire lately: eight Ks in six IPs with a 1.50 ERA and 1.17 WHIP). Pick him up already.
Jason Hammel – Man, Hammel did no favors for fantasy owners last week (11 IPs, a 7.36 ERA and 1.91 WHIP). Sure he added nine Ks, but that’s not a great conciliation prize. I’m going to tell you to ignore it, though. He has a good K-rate this year, a decent ground ball rate, and a very good FB/HR percentage. He has been hurt in his strand rate (69%) and BAbip (.332). So feel free to deploy him as you normally would.
Jair Jurrjens – I very rarely take a look at Jergens body wash, as he isn’t the type of pitcher I normally like – his Ks aren’t impressive relative to his draft/auction value. While his performance this year has varied from previous seasons (an increased HR/FB rate paired with an increased number of fly balls), he hasn’t been as awful as his last seven days would suggest (8.2 IPs, five Ks, an 11.42 ERA and 2.42 WHIP). Still, I wouldn’t be overly comfortable using him as anything other than a streaming option.
Matt Garza – Garza has been mutilating teams left and right lately (nine IPs, a 12.00 ERA and 2.44 WHIP over the last seven days). Here is what Garza is: a 4.10 – 4.60 ERA pitcher with upside. However, his Ks have declined this year, he is giving up more fly balls paired with a shaky HR/FB rate and his line drive percentage has gone up. In the AL East, that will not play and I wouldn’t start Garza against any of those teams.
Travis Wood – I hope you listened when I told you to watch out for Wood. Over the last seven days he pitched 10 IPs and posted a 5.40 ERA and 1.60 WHIP. Still, he did strike-out 14 batters. So, if you are in need of Ks, keep him around, but realize he might be a little shaky when it comes to your ratio categories.
Mark Reynolds – Reynolds has done no owner any favors lately with his injury and performance (1/15 over the last seven days). At this point, you can’t let him destroy your average without producing any power. Unless you are in dire need of HRs and don’t care about average, it could be time to drop Reynolds.
All stats as of noon September 15, 2010.
FB101’s 411: Be sure you know how to judge a hot streak. Murphy, McLouth, Gibbons, Nady, Holland and Blanton make good adds. Keep your eye on Lowe, Stauffer, Spilborghs, Bonifacio, and Aviles. You are allowed to sort of give up on Matt Garza and Mark Reynolds.