Take a Chance On Me: 9th Edition

Brandon HeikoopSenior Analyst IJuly 9, 2008

"I poured a bottle of Goldshlogger in a goose hoping for golden eggs"

- Steven Colbert

The last issue of TACOM suggested that a manager head out and acquire a couple players that were on the Disabled List and appeared to be on their way back. This issue of TACOM will revisit those players and while trying to maintain a level of credibility, suggest two new players to go after, and a player to stay away from.

Both players TACOM suggested last week were duds. It sounds as if Rafael Furcal has had a set back, and is likely to have cost more then his potential reward. In similar fashion, Joey Devine did not bring the expected return as his return from an elbow injury has taken longer then I had hoped-albeit, he is close.

Sadly, there were not any golden eggs out of my drunken goose. But never fear, TACOM enjoys the challenge and is poised for a rebound with this weeks picks.

Immediate Acquisitions

Fausto Carmona

This advice would have been better served prior to Fausto's second bullpen session. It is before he goes out and pitches a simulated game and prior to a minor league rehab stint, so it's not too late, but certainly his value has risen in recent days.

A manager looking to acquire Fausto should be one looking for wins and ERA. Although quietly I believe Fausto has some decent strikeout potential (in the Brandon Webb, Roy Halladay, John Danks area). That withstanding, remember this is an Indians team that will be returning Travis Hafner, and Victor Martinez. And while that duo did not provide an incredible amount of production early on, it is assumed that both will be healthy as Fausto is hitting his grove in early August.

All that being said, Fausto is presumably at, or near the cheapest he will be available. While many managers may still have hope and faith, they may have grown tired of the set backs, while using a bench spot on an inactive player. That is, over the last month or so, think of all the solid free agent pick ups that were left behind by Fausto owners.

Look for Fausto to put up an ERA around 3.50, with 5-7 second half wins. His WHIP will probably sit close to 1.32, so he won't be of much assistance there. As mentioned, I'm looking at a K/9 of nearly 7.

Victor Martinez

This did not intentionally turn into 'Take a Chance on Injured Indians', sorry! But Martinez looks like the perfect buy low candidate right now as there hasn't been any recent news on him. An astute fantasy manager knows that an injury like Martinez's, which resulted in surgery, simply requires rest and rehabilitation.

At the time of surgery, Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus was anticipating about a month for Martinez to return due to his role on the team as a catcher. There hasn't been any word of moving Victor to first base on a full time basis, and given the Indians position in the standings, they presumably won't rush Victor back. That being said, I imagine Martinez will go without much of a rehab stint as he can slot into the DH role to regain the timing of his swing until he feels comfortable going being the plate. A few bullpen sessions should answer that question.

Thus, we are fast approaching the month marker for Victor's return, and I imagine we will start hearing some news shortly regarding Victor taking batting practice, or fielding grounders at first. Once that news comes out, you can be certain that his value will go through the roof.

One can safely expect Martinez to return to his usual form. As one of the elite hitting catchers in all of MLB. At this point, I wouldn't hesitate to shoot an offer of Dioner Navarro for Martinez hoping that Victor returns in a week or so. Even if he is out for another 3 or 4 weeks, the advantage of an August/September run with Victor is far more of a sure thing then my personal favorite.

Stay Away

JJ Putz and Troy Percival

When Putz was first placed on the disabled list, I was actively attempting to acquire him in most of my leagues. While the same cannot be said for Percival, these two are grouped together because of the likelihood that neither will regain their respective closer positions.

For Putz, I simply do not think he is going to regain the stuff that made him an elite closer in years gone by. He has struggled all season, and despite a return of velocity, and an increase in strikeout rate, Putz has struggled keeping runners from getting aboard. Between free passes and what appears to be a major regression towards the mean, Putz will have a tough time regaining the closers role from the young Brandon Morrow.

In fact, this might be taken as my advice to buy Morrow, while there are reports that Putz will be back in a week or so, and resume closing by early August. With the combination of outstanding success in the closers role (7 for 7 in save chances, while allowing a single base runner), unless the Mariners stoke the 'Morrow as a starter' cigar, there is little reason to hand Putz the closers job.

Similarly, Percival will struggle to regain his position as closer on the Tampa Bay Rays. First, Percival is projected by Will Carroll to be out for 30 days. That puts his estimated arrival for the end of July or beginning of August. While the Rays bullpen has performed extraordinarily well (they still hold the 5th best ERA in all of baseball), Andrew Friedman and the Rays front office are going to make a move, you can bet on that. While rumors circulating Brian Fuentes are gaining steam, I would hate to limit the possibilities to Fuentes alone.

Thus, it is unlikely that even when Percival returns, the Rays hand the job back to him. Especially when one considers the chances of him returning to the club in 2009.

Do not wait too long before Taking a Chance on Carmona or Martinez, as the more news that is revealed on each one, the more unlikely it is for a manager to sell them as 'inactive' assets. Additionally, stay away from Putz and Percival-where I could make up a terrible alliteration, but I won't.

Also, I imagine everyone has heard of it by now, but how terrible is it to be Chris Snyder. First, I didn't even know that those could be 'fractured'. When I first heard the news, I said, "Really? How?" That aside, Snyder is going to have it extra difficult, as any trash talk he gives to a batter in the batter's box will come right back at him. Apparently Snyder has been catching 3 of 4 days, and if you are in need of a catcher, he's not a terrible pick up. But OWWWW!

For additional Fantasy Baseball advice, head over to The Fantasy Baseball Generals.