Last week, two of my three “Buy Low” picks, Carlos Gomez (10-for-18, HR, 3B in last week) and Homer Bailey (8 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 10 K in last start), came through while the third, Ike Davis, finally broke out on Friday with a two-homer game. One of my “Sell High” picks, Barry Zito (2.2 IP, 9 ER, 8 H), also made me look pretty smart in my first week of this feature.
Just in case last week wasn’t a fluke, here’s some advice for next week …
J.P. Arencibia, C, Toronto Blue Jays
His six homers and 11 runs batted in this month shouldn’t be much of a surprise. He had eight homers and 19 runs batted in last May and also hit six more long balls in July.
The other months when he’s not red-hot, however, are when you need to be concerned as an J.P. Arencibia owner. In April, June, September and October of 2012, he combined to hit three homers with 13 walks and 72 strikeouts in 204 at-bats.
You have to figure that cold streak will return very soon, and it won’t be the last of the season. The question is whether it’s worth it to ride out another homer binge. The catching depth is too deep to wait out the streaky Arencibia, in my opinion. Sell now.
Chris Johnson, 1B/3B, Atlanta Braves
Before anyone realizes Chris Johnson will go back to a platoon at third base with Juan Francisco once Freddie Freeman returns from the disabled list early next week, see if someone wants to give up something of value to acquire him and his .412 batting average (21-for-51).
The 28-year-old is a career .282 hitter, coming off of a season in which he set career highs in homers (15), runs batted in (76), doubles (28) and several other categories. He's a pretty good major league hitter.
Unfortunately, though, he’ll see most of his playing time in Atlanta versus left-handed pitching. The problem is that he doesn’t hit lefties (career .702 OPS) as well as right-handers (.780 OPS).
Victor Martinez, DH, Detroit Tigers
Slowly but surely, Victor Martinez appears to be getting more comfortable at the plate. He is, after all, coming back after missing all of 2012 with a torn ACL.
In case any Martinez owner in your league doesn’t realize that and is disappointed with his 11-for-56 start without a homer, it probably wouldn’t be too hard to convince them to make a trade.
Now, in case you did need a reminder, the 34-year-old switch-hitter has a .304 batting average since 2004. During that span, he’s averaged 18 homers, 90 runs batted in and 34 doubles per season. He can flat-out hit. He’ll figure it out soon enough.
Carlos Marmol, RHP, Chicago Cubs
This may sound familiar if you were paying attention to the Chicago Cubs last year. Remember when Carlos Marmol’s shaky performance had him demoted from the closer’s role. He moved into a lower-leverage role and pitched much better. The “closer-by-committee” isn’t terrible, but no one in the group is exactly striking fear into opponents or making as much money as Marmol, so they eventually give him the job back.
In 2012, he was really good in his second stint as closer (1.52 ERA, 12-for-13 in save opportunities, 29.2 IP, 20 H, 17 BB, 39 K). He’ll get another chance in 2013 for the same reasons.
Kyuji Fujikawa, once he returns from the disabled list, gives the team another solid option in the ninth inning, but the Cubs would much rather see Marmol build his value and then trade him to open the spot first.