The future is now: Cubs' Baez looks to make impact
We interrupt the usual parade of soul-crushing fantasy injuries to bring you this happy announcement: The Cubs are promoting their No. 2 prospect, Javier Baez, and will start him at second base tonight at Colorado. The 21-year-old, who is considered as one of baseball's elite power-hitting prospects, is batting .260 with 23 home runs, 80 RBI, 64 runs and 16 stolen bases at Triple A.
Baez is owned in 8.4 percent of FOXSports.com leagues, and currently has fantasy eligibility at shortstop (though he'll qualify at second base very soon). He has struck out 130 times in 104 minor-league games this season, so his batting average could be a problem, but how can you pass up such an enticing combo of power and speed? Even when factoring in the possibility of short-term failure, Baez can be considered among the top 15 fantasy players at both middle-infield positions. If you're struggling at one of those spots, try to scoop up Baez immediately, regardless of format. Here's a good FanGraphs article on Baez's likely short-term fantasy impact.
In the Cubs' lineup, Baez's arrival moves Arismendy Alcantara to center field, so we might have to say goodbye to the Junior Lake/Ryan Sweeney combo. Try not to get too choked up about the departure of that dynamic duo.
Monday's studs & duds
News & notes
In today's installment of Days of Coco Crisp's Lives, the A's oft-injured outfielder appeared as a defensive replacement on Monday, and could return to the lineup tonight after a week-long absence.
Don't get confused by John Axford's save last night, The Indians were up by six runs when he came back out for the ninth inning.
Lots of Yankee pitching news today. David Phelps is on the DL with a sore elbow, and could be replaced in the rotation next week by Michael Pineda. Also, Masahiro Tanaka played catch/had a catch on Monday, and will do so again today. Tanaks is still a long way off, but it's possible that he'll pitch again this season.
Rockies ground-balling SP Jordan Lyles (broken hand) is scheduled to come off the DL to face the Cubs on Wednesday.
Brandon McCarthy allowed no earned runs and struck out eight Tigers in 5 2/3 innings, so we're up to 66-46 for the season. Today's pick is new Ray Drew Smyly (15.9 percent owned) at Oakland, while Wednesday's selection is Pittsburgh's Jeff Locke (5 percent owned) versus the Marlins.
See you back here tomorrow morning.