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MLB Fantasy Fixer-Uppers April 30th
You remember it well, don't you? That satisfying feeling of drafting the most impressive fantasy baseball team you have ever laid eyes on. You used your picks wisely and assembled a team that would dominate everyone else in your league. The sleepers? You got them. That top prospect? Keeping a seat warm on your bench. You had a serious love affair with your roster. You just knew it was going to be a great summer. Let's fast forward a month. If you are like most people that team that seemed invincible is anything but. Categories you thought were strengths are actually weaknesses. Those sleepers? Looks like they never got out of bed. And the injuries, oh the injuries! Relax. I am here to help. Stick around and I will show you a few players who can help round your team back into form.
Kevin Gregg, RP, Chicago Cubs (44.9% owned ESPN leagues)
Everyone could use another closer right? Gregg seems to have come out of nowhere to pick up four saves in the last week. He has yet to allow a run in 5 1/3 innings so far and has struck out six. Those are not numbers you normally associate with Gregg but this is a prime example of why you shouldn't pay for saves in your draft. Let people use a high pick on the Aroldis Chapmans and Craig Kimbrels. While you might not get the secondary numbers with someone like Gregg you will get the saves and that is all that matters for the point I am trying to make. Anyway, scoop up Gregg now as he has a handle on the closer's role at least until Kyuji Fujikawa comes back.
Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies (35.1% owned)
Sporting a batting line of .364/.392/.667 in the minors Nolan Arenado finally got the call to the bigs. OK, so those numbers were in the PCL which typically inflates offensive production BUT Arenado will call Coors Field home so some of that should carry over. The former top prospect saw his stock fall a little this year but had a hot spring and kept raking in AAA. There is nobody blocking him on the Rockies so he should play everyday and while I expect a drop off from the eye-popping numbers in the minors, I view him as a must add if you need help in the 1B/3B position.
Carlos Ruiz, C, Philadelphia Phillies (28.8% owned)
CHOOOOOOOOOOOCCCHHH!!! The familiar chant in Citizen's Bank Park will be back as the catcher returns from his suspension to start the season. Ruiz is coming off a career year in which he hit .325/.394/.540 with 16 homers and 68 RBI.That is some seriously good production from the backstop. The catcher position is deeper than usual this year but if are currently trodding out the likes of Russell Martin or someone of his ilk Chooch is more than worth a grab. I can't believe he is still this universally unowned.
James Loney, 1B, Tampa Bay Rays (4.1% owned)
If Kevin Gregg was not on this list I would be most surprised by Loney. Everyone, myself included, laughed when the Rays gave him a contract to be the starting first baseman. Who is laughing now? Loney is hitting .349 and has already driven in 11 runs in 25 games after driving in only 41 last year in 144 games between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox. You won't get the typical power you are used to with Loney at first but if you have the scuffling Adam LaRoche or Eric Hosmer in there right now Loney could be a nice fill-in until they get their heads on straight.
Shaun Marcum, SP, New York Mets (1.2% owned)
Fresh off of the disabled list Marcum did not exactly have the start he had hoped for by giving up three runs in only four innings against the Phillies. Let's chalk that up to rust, shall we? Marcum has a respectable 3.71 ERA and 1.21 WHIP over his career and those numbers fit quite nicely on any fantasy roster. He isn't a strikeout king and isn't on a contender but Marcum should provide some serviceable numbers from here on out as long as he stays healthy. You could do much worse for your 6th or 7th starter.