With several changes to fantasy baseball bullpens in the past couple of days combined with some poor performances and several players hitting the disabled list, here is a look at some of the players that are seeing their fantasy baseball value rising and falling in week five of the major league baseball season. I have color coded the players that are moving up in value green and the players that are falling in value red to easily distinguish between them.
Kyle Seager and Alex Liddi will both see time at third base going forward with the news that Chone Figgins is no longer an everyday player. This is good news for owners in mixed-league formats that have lost either Evan Longoria, Kevin Youkils or Pablo Sandoval to injury in the last week as there could be options out on the waiver wire to replace them. Liddi is batting .295 on the season with two home runs and five RBI in 44 at bats. Seager is hitting .289 in 83 at bats with three home runs and 11 RBI. As the left-handed hitter, he is going to see the majority of at bats if they fall into a straight platoon role.
With New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera done for the season with a torn meniscus and ACL, David Robertson and Rafael Soriano should fill in as closers. Robertson with the better stuff is likely to get the majority of saves with Soriano getting a handful going forward. I would rather own Robertson given the option between the two of them. For those that own Rivera in a keeper league, even though he says he plans to return in 2013, I would not hold onto him on reserve unless you can place players on a disabled list in your league or you have a really deep bench.
The Chicago White Sox shook up their bullpen as well with news that starting pitcher Chris Sale is taking over as closer. It is tough blow for fantasy owners in need of wins and strikeouts to lose Sale to the bullpen, but it now gives them a guy that will get 30+ saves the rest of the season. Sale’s delivery didn’t seem destined to hold up over the course of a full season so the team made the move now after his elbow was feeling tender from his last start. Hector Santiago moves to a setup role and the upside of Addison Reed gets squashed now for the 2012 season.
New closer Rafael Dolis picked up a save for the Chicago Cubs today as he replaces Carlos Marmol in the ninth inning role. Dolis has exhibited control issues this season, though not to the extent that Marmol has so I don’t see him holding the role for the entire season, although the Cubs don’t really have a lot of great internal alternatives to replace Marmol. James Russell is another option to see some save chances, but again, he is not someone to count on for the long term.
With the Los Angeles Angels trying to find at bats for both Mark Trumbo and Mike Trout, Vernon Wells and Peter Bourjos are going to find themselves parked on the bench more often going forward. Wells is hitting .220 in 91 at bats with four home runs and eight RBI. Bourjos is hitting .180 in 50 at bats with one home run, eight RBI and a stolen base. Each of them are options only in AL-only formats with their at bats currently being cut back.
Kansas City outfielder Jarrod Dyson is going to see a lot more action over the next one to two months with word that Lorenzo Cain will be out of action that much longer with a groin injury. Dyson is a great pickup in AL-only leagues if you are looking for stolen bases and runs scored.