Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Chris Sale to start; Addison Reed closing?

by Nicholas Minnix on May 11, 2012 @ 16:15:38 PDT

 


Your fantasy baseball cheat sheets are no longer of use. KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market gives you candid reviews and ratings of fantasy baseball players making MLB news in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league. We'll help you decide whether they're trade bait or worth your FAAB dollars in your fantasy baseball games.

The MRI on Chris Sale left elbow contained nothing but good news, it seems. In fact, Chicago White Sox GM Kenny Williams announced that his talented left-hander will probably start - yes, start - on Saturday. Williams explained that Sale convinced him starting was where he belonged.

Robin Ventura believed that he had Sale's long-term health in mind when he removed the southpaw from the rotation and named him closer. The South Siders' staff obviously makes the final call, but it was clear that the pitcher was unhappy with the decision. The club believed that they could conserve his arm in the bullpen to prevent further stress on his elbow. Such an approach may not do anything but delay the inevitable, though.

Fantasy baseball managers may feel like they've been jerked around, but little changes regarding Sale's initial value. This news simply re-emphasizes the risk that comes with a young hurler who's making a difficult transition, no matter how great the upside. Hopefully, the White Sox stick by their choice this time instead of turning him into the next Brandon Morrow (Seattle Mariners version).

Sale remains a possible big-time mixed-league asset because of his superb K/9. His owners should also be prepared for inconsistency, potential increases in his 2.73 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, an innings cap and future brushes with injury concerns. If he settles in for a few starts and has no issues, his owners should consider entertaining trade offers. If they wait too long, potential trade partners will probably be too wary of his likely shutdown point to get anything reasonably rewarding.

Additional roto fallout probably includes moves made in reaction to the initial announcement that Sale would be the team's closer. Unfortunately, there are no take-backs after waivers run, so consider this a teachable moment: When a manager - especially an inexperienced one - has a knee-jerk reaction, and it's a bit of a head-scratcher, don't assume the decision that comes from it is final.

Anyway, Chicago still needs a closer. Hector Santiago failed miserably in the role. Veteran Matt Thornton was a bit of a letdown, too. Jesse Crain (oblique strain) is still on the disabled list, although he should be back sometime next week.

Addison Reed has quietly, by this club's standards, been the team's most effective reliever. He's already come to the White Sox's rescue twice in the ninth inning, including in the same game in which Sale made his first 2012 appearance as closer but couldn't shut the door. If Ventura hands the ball to anyone else besides the right-hander pegged when drafted to be the club's closer in the near future, Don Cooper should slap him.

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About Nicholas Minnix

Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.

The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.

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