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August 19, 2008

Kinsler's hernia forces DL stint

kinslermurphy.jpgDavid Murphy telling Ian Kinsler about the DL (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Terrible news for Ian Kinsler and his fantasy owners yesterday. Hopefully the rest in the offseason will allow him to come back to play as he was in 2008. Kinsler fell off after a brilliant 1st half but still was on pace for a .320 average, 132 runs, 23 home runs, 92 RBI and 34 steals, arguably a better overall season than his rival at 2nd base Chase Utley.

Look for a 'stache by the name of Ramon Vazquez to replace Ian Kinsler at 2nd base. Vazquez has had a fine year playing multiple positions in the infield, mostly third base, and has put up a .309 average 44 runs 6 home runs 39 RBI in 269 at bats. Vazquez could be a useful 2nd baseman in fantasy leagues now that he will be guaranteed playing time and is already eligible at 2nd base, short stop and 3rd base.

Fantasy owners can take solace in the fact that Kinsler had fallen off greatly since the break, and surely most owners noticed this. Now they can play the hot hand at 2nd base (guys like Ian Stewart, Alexei Ramirez) or take a flier on Ramon Vazquez, and they will probably produce close to what Kinsler has in the last month (.277 average, 4 home runs, 18 runs, 13 RBI). Alexei in fact has a .308 average 6 home runs 13 runs 21 RBI in the same span (he is beginning to be owned in every league however).

Those who own Kinsler in a keeper league will have to stash him away on the DL or just absorb a roster spot if there is no DL or it's taken up. Kinsler is one of the very best young players at a scarce position, and he is right up there with Utley and ahead of other 2nd base fantasy studs like Brandon Phillips and BJ Upton.

August 12, 2008

Adam Dunn to DBacks for Prospects

bigadamdunn.jpgPhoto by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

There have been quite a few trades after the trade deadline, none being more important than this deal that sends Adam Dunn to Arizona. The Diamondbacks have been struggling to get runners on base and score runs, and Dunn should provide the ability to walk and get on base along with leading the NL in home runs. Chase Field favors hitters more than any ball park in MLB, but the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati is a renowned hitter's park as well, so his value should not be effected in that sense.

It is unclear exactly what the Diamondbacks plan on doing with their lineup. Conor Jackson will likely stay at 1st, while Adam Dunn plays right field in Justin Upton's absence. Positions will likely be shuffled though to ensure Chad Tracy and Mark Reynolds still play, but also to have Augie Ojeda in as a defensive presence at second. Either way, don't expect this playing time issues to reach Dunn - he will play and play well.

As for Cincinnati, they are at least not losing Adam Dunn for nothing. They get a former top pitching prospect in Dallas Buck, who's star has faded a bit in recent years, and two more prospects to be named later. In the meantime the Reds will lose a lot of power, but will be playing Corey Patterson and Jeff Keppinger all the time and maybe trying out Chris Dickerson in the minors. Of course none of these players will be as fantasy-worthy as Dunn.

August 9, 2008

Cards Wainwright : Closer Starter

Adam Wainwright has recovered from his injury and is pitching in the minors. The bad news is, Wainwright has been told he will close the rest of the season but will be back starting in 2009. For Wainwright owners this is a downer, as he was a borderline #1 fantasy starter with a great whip, K / BB rate, ERA, and a 6-3 record. If you remember in late 2007, Wainwright was dominant as well.

However like John Smoltz in the past, we may be getting an elite closer out of the deal. Ryan Franklin has been inconsistent saving games for the Cardinals and Jason Isringhausen is in dire straights. Chris Perez has flashed some ability, but considering Adam Wainwright's closing performance in the 2006 Playoffs, it is quite likely he will get the finishing role. The Cardinals team is sliding a bit in the standings, but are still good enough to present Wainwright with ample chances to save games.

Wainwright is still a short while away from returning to the big league club. In the meantime you can choose between Franklin and Perez if you are hoping to find a save chance.