Fantasy Basebal Report: Downs Could be Toronto's Long-Term Closer
High Five: My top-five players available in more than 50 percent of leagues.
Scott Downs, Closer, Toronto Blue Jays
0-0, 2 saves, 0.84 ERA, 0.47 WHIP, 14 K, 10 2/3 IP
With the Blue Jays playing like they are, Downs could get a fair amount of save chances.
B.J. Ryan is on the DL, and I wouldn't be shocked if he returns to pitch the middle innings or setup, making Downs a sleeper to record 30 or more saves.
Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B, Cleveland Indians
.339, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 14 runs, 3 SB
The switch-hitting Cabrera is eligible at both second base and shortstop, making him a valuable bench player.
He's a much better hitter from the right side, as his average against lefties is over 100 points better than righties, but his home-road splits are remarkably even. Don't look for the steals to continue at this rate, as Cabrera had just four stolen bases last season, but double-digits shouldn't be out of question.
Overall, Asdrubal should be a useful player to rotate in and out of your middle infield.
Mark Teahen, 3B, Kansas City Royals
.344, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 9 runs, 1 SB
Another very usable bench guy is Teahen.
He is eligible to play in the outfield as well as first and third base and could even gain eligibility at second base sometime this season. Teahen has had success at the Major League level, hitting 18 homers to go with a .290 average in 2006, and he even stole 13 bases in 2007.
With Alex Gordon out, he'll be playing everyday and he's hitting third in the Kansas City lineup, meaning that his run production could increase.
Tim Wakefield, SP, Boston Red Sox
2-1, 2.45 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 12 K, 22 IP
The knuckleballer has always been a streaky pitcher, but when he's on, he's as unhittable as anyone.
Wakefield had a respectable 4.13 ERA last year, and his 1.18 WHIP was his best in six seasons. The Red Sox are one of the best teams in baseball, meaning that Wakefield should also be a good bet for a decent number of wins.
Anibal Sanchez, SP, Florida Marlins
1-1, 2.50 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 13 K, 18 IP
Sanchez is going to hurt your WHIP, but he strikes guys out and can be dominant at times.
A lot of fantasy players have forgotten his incredible rookie year in 2006, where he went 10-3 with a 2.83 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and pitched a no-hitter in his 13th career start. He hasn't been able to stay healthy for the past two seasons, making just 16 starts.
While it's still too early to declare him to be back to his '06 form, you should definitely be keeping an eye on Anibal.
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