The Orioles may be struggling as a team, but Ty Wigginton and Alfredo Simonhave been pleasant surprises for fantasy teams. For Wigginton it has been an impressive showing of power. For Simon, it’s all about taking the closers role and running with it. Both have been great values so far, but both are candidates to regress soon.
Ty Wigginton is no stranger to the home run. His career AB/HR rate is 24.5, which makes him a legitimate 20 home run threat. So far this season Wigginton has averaged one home run every 8.4 at-bats; a rate that won’t hold as the season moves along. Does this mean owners should sell high?
According to CBSSports.com, Wiggy has been recently traded for some very valuable players such as: Kelly Johnson, Elvis Andrus, Shane Victorino and Francisco Rodriguez in one-for-one trades.
If selling high on Wigginton makes sense to fill a need for your team, then I would advise doing so. For instance, if your team needs some speed, why not trade Wigginton for a player like Elvis Andrus, both have eligibility at middle infield positions. Or if you have depth at infield and need and outfielder or closer (or whatever your need may be), flipping Wigginton to fill a positional need works as well.
While there is sure to be some regression in Wiggy’s home run rate, there is a good chance he can set career highs in home runs and perhaps RBI this season.
It has been a long time since he has been an everyday player, so there are some concerns about stamina over the long haul of 150-plus games. And what happens when Brian Roberts comes back? My guess is that if Wigginton keeps hitting, he’ll find a place to play.
If power and 1B/2B/3B position eligibility is what your team needs, then just stick with Wiggy.
At least we knew that Ty Wigginton could post solid power numbers, he has done so a few times in the past, but who the heck is Alfredo Simon? Well, for the time being, he is the closer for the Baltimore Orioles.
Mike Gonzalez was signed to be the closer this offseason, but early struggles met with an injury that sent him to the DL. De facto replacement closer, Jim Johnson, who filled in as a closer in 2009, didn’t last long and was actually sent to the minors after poor performances. While Johnson was on his way down, Alfredo Simon was on his way up.
All Simon did upon his arrival was step into a save situation in his first big league action of 2010 and get the save. Simon has nailed down three more saves since and has not allowed an earned run.
Cheap saves are beautiful, aren’t they?
The problem with Simon’s future is two-fold. First of all, his track record is more indicative of a mop-up reliever, not a Major League closer. Heck, Simon hasn’t even recorded a minor league save since 2005! Simon has a career minor league K/9 of just under seven with a BB/9 of 3.2. He has been bouncing between starting and relieving basically since his first professional season, which came back in 2001.
The second part of this equation is job security. While Simon is getting the job done at the moment, Dave Trembly would not shy away from handing the ball to someone else in the ninth should Simon falter. Koji Uehara, who was being looked at as a potential closer before the Gonzalez signing, is back from the DL. Gonzalez himself will pose a major threat once he gets back on the field.
We should also remember that, while Simon’s ERA is spotless, he has only thrown five innings and allowed four hits and four walks in those innings. He doesn’t miss many bats and he will get touched up sooner or later.
CBSSports.com shows recent one-for-one trades involving Simon have netted some surprising names in return, such as Juan Pierre and Denard Span.
More realistically Simon has been traded for Andy LaRoche, Eric Young Jr and Mike Pelfrey.
If you can find interest from another owner, the time to sell Simon is now. The chances that he actually keeps the closer’s job all season are slim and it is likely that he’ll get knocked around a bit as the season moves along. Even if you can’t find anything all that great in a trade, it’s better to get something of value than none at all, which is what value Simon may have in the near future.
Unless, of course, you are desperate for saves, in which case you enjoy the ride for the time being.