It happens on a regular basis. Hot hitting prospect in the minors gets attention, a big league player gets hurt and opens the door, said prospect joins the big league club, fantasy owners flock to get him. Happened earlier this year with Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, the much lesser known Kirk Nieuwenhuis came up the 2nd or 3rd day of the season and has played fantastic ball since. More often than not, said prospect struggles (Belt and Rizzo last year are prime examples). Last night, Scott Van Slyke threw his name into the hat.
Son of former All Star Andy Van Slyke, Scott was batting .336 with eight homers and 25 RBI in 32 games for AAA Tucson. Those numbers put him near the top of the leader boards in the PCL (his eight HR are second behind the aforementioned Rizzo). He was 6th in OPS sporting a 1.034 mark. We all take PCL stats with a grain of salt due to it’s rep as a hitters league, however Van Slyke has two things working in his favor for a chance to succeed at the next level. Pedigree and combination of injury/poor performance ahead of him. He was called up because Juan Rivera has hit the DL with a severe hamstring strain or tear. We we learned from players like Jose Reyes, or going a little further back, Ken Griffey Jr. hammies can take more than 15 days to come back from. The Dodgers still have Tony Gwynn and Jerry Hariston (two other players with pro fathers, coincidentally) to play in the outfield, but Van Slyke can also play first base, which means the only person standing in front of him is James Loney. The same James Loney who is batting .213. The same James Loney who has a May OPS of .668 the last three years. The same James Loney who has a manager threatening his playing time should he continue to struggle.
If you are in a league that is NL only, or deep with weekly lineup changes, I would make the add and take a wait and see. He was raking in AAA so we know he can hit, it’s just a matter of how much playing time he is going to get. Him slotting into 1B as well as OF only helps him, and I would imagine his pinch-hit-rbi-single in his first MLB at bat last night made a good impression.
- Without a doubt, Ike Davis has been a dissapointment this year. Batting .179 with 4 HR’s it’s safe to say we were expecting a bit more. Take note that Ike was 2-for-4 last night with a clutch 3 run HR. He has changed where he positions his hands in his stance before the pitch in the last couple of games, so maybe that tweak will start paying dividends.
- The Jake Peavy comeback tour continued in Cleveland last night. He went seven innings giving up only 1 earned with 5 K’s.
- The Eric Bedard story took a familiar turn last night, as he had to leave the game in the 2nd inning with back spasms.
- After going homerless in April, Andrew McCutchen has homers in back-to-back games.
Pitching Match Ups
Lewis @ Chen / Holland @ Hunter
Price @ Sabathia
Strasburg @ Correia – Correia’s home/road splits are reverse. Despite the Nat’s not being a great offensive team, my gut says bench him here.
Lowe @ Beckett
Alvarez @ Marquis – Alvarez may not get a lot of K’s, but he don’t walk anyone either. He will always be a boon to your WHIP.
Scherzer @ Colon – scherzer hasn’t had it yet this year. He’s on notice. It’s still early, but maybe I wasn’t so crazy for ranking him 50ish on my SP ranks before the season started, hmm?