Fantasy Baseball: Batters Stock Watch

Fantasy Baseball: Batters Stock Watch

The Melky Cabrera suspension sent a shock wave through fantasy baseball Wednesday, and with that, we'll focus on the outfield in this week's Batter Stock Watch.


Eric Young, 2BOF, Rockies: He's been a monster this month (11 runs, three homers, .447 average), taking advantage of the leadoff spot and Colorado's thin air. Young's also collected 13 steals in limited playing time for the year (157 at-bats); imagine what he could do if he landed a regular spot. Manager Jim Tracy is notorious for being a lineup tinkerer, but he says Young will stick in the Colorado mix even after Michael Cuddyer returns Thursday. Good enough for us, we'll keep running with Young.

Jon Jay, OF, Cardinals: He's getting a shot at the top of the St. Louis lineup, and the results have been terrific: 20-for-45 binge this month, two homers, three steals. The Cardinals as a team lead the NL in batting average and runs scored, so it's a handy place for rotisserie value. Jay's strong defense also keeps him in the lineup the team needs to be strong up the middle, because the corner defenders are very weak.

Rajai Davis, OF, Blue Jays: He doesn't offer strong fundamentals in the field or at the plate, but Davis knows what he's doing as a baserunner (35-for-43 on steals this year, with 12 swipes since the break). The injury-ravaged Jays don't really have a choice any longer in their outfield they need to play Davis every day. Don't let your past opinions on Davis cloud your judgement; he's a strong play down the stretch.

Desmond Jennings, OF, Rays: His first-half mess was a sore spot for fantasy owners, but Jennings has been back on the beam since the All-Star break (.308, four homers, seven steals, 24 runs). Most importantly, he's trimmed his BBK rate down to a more acceptable area (nine free passes, 21 strikeouts). With Evan Longoria back in the fold, it's a good time to be rolling with most of your Tampa Bay offensive options.


Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals: He's going to be a superstar someday, no one disputes that. But Harper has been a gaping hole in Washington's lineup of late (.178 .267.254 since the break), and he's only batting .221 against lefties for the year. In a keeper pool, you should flip Harper's wonderful future for someone who is wonderful right now. Flags fly forever.


Garrett Jones, 1BOF, Pirates: He's been a lefty liability his entire career, and that story hasn't changed this year (.595 OPS). But so long as we live in a right-handed world, why worry? Jones rakes against the northpaws (.293.327.547, 15 homers), and the Pirates have been a run-scoring juggernaut since the beginning of June. Enjoy the ride.

Brandon Belt, 1BOF, Giants: The Melky Cabrera suspension gives Belt another way into the Giants lineup and further protects him from the whims of Bruce Bochy. Belt's swinging sweetly at a .472 clip this month, with just two strikeouts over 36 at-bats. That should earn him some lineup cred for the balance of August.

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Capitals Daily Quote: 'Hockey is about second efforts'

Capitals Daily Quote: 'Hockey is about second efforts'

Following the Capitals’ 4-1 loss in Edmonton, Barry Trotz said he needed his players to be “all in.”

On Friday, Justin Williams gave his take on Washington's two-game slump. And, not surprisingly, it sounded a lot like what Trotz was getting at on Wednesday. (The Capitals were off Thursday.)

Hockey is about second efforts and not letting anyone take the puck away from us. And bearing down when you have chances. We’re just a little off in that aspect. And it certainly shows with the last two losses.

Williams spoke to reporters in Vancouver for several minutes. But the above quote pretty much summed up his sentiments as the Capitals prepare to visit the Canucks on Saturday night.

MORE CAPITALS: With offense in a funk, Trotz tries out new lines

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With the Capitals' offense in a funk, Barry Trotz tries out new lines Friday

With the Capitals' offense in a funk, Barry Trotz tries out new lines Friday

With the Capitals’ offense sputtering near the bottom of the NHL, Coach Barry Trotz has shaken up his forward lines — again — in the hopes of sparking a resurgence.

Based on reports out of Vancouver, here’s how the lines looked at practice on Friday:





A few observations...if these are, indeed, the lines Trotz rolls with Saturday night against the Canucks:

  • Ovechkin and Backstrom, together again. And for the first time this season. Trotz said recently that a reunion was possible. The continued offensive struggles seem to have expedited things.
  • Williams vaults from the third line to the first line. He's got one goal and no assists.
  • Wilson jumps from the fourth line to the second line. He’s the only full-time forward who has not recorded a point.
  • Burakovsky will have now seen at least one game on each of the top three lines, having started the season on the all-Swede second line before spending Wednesday on the top line with Ovechkin. Burakovsky has one point since tallying a pair of goals in the season opener. 
  • This is also the first time all season that Sanford and Connolly will be in the lineup at the same time. Both are still looking for their first point.
  • Winnik, who scored two goals against the Islanders, comes out for the first time all season.

Is Trotz sending a message or two? Is he simply trying to find the right mix? A little of both?

Whatever the reason, this much is clear: when a potentially potent offense musters only 14 goals in six games (and is ranked 28th entering Friday night's games) changes will be made.  

MORE CAPITALS: What's up with the Capitals' special teams?