Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Ryan Zimmerman, Franklin Gutierrez

by Keith Hernandez on June 13, 2012 @ 14:45:49 PDT

 


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 leagues. Are they trade bait or worth your FAAB dollars in your fantasy baseball games?

Ryan Zimmerman not himself

Seattle Mariners OF Franklin Gutierrez
Finally, Guti ready to go

Zimm clearly isn't producing at the clip that you paid for him in your fantasy baseball drafts. The Washington Nationals' third sacker is hitting only .239 with three home runs and 22 RBIs in 188 at-bats after a 1-for-4 performance today.

Granted, he missed some time during his DL stint with an inflamed right shoulder, but he's posted a slash line of .246/.307/.341 since his return on May 8, and his OPS of .655 is the worst on the team. Manager Davey Johnson knows something with Zimmerman isn't clicking, and he even suggests his shoulder may still be hindering him.

A torn abdominal muscle was mainly responsible for his decline in power last year, and it's likely that his 2012 injury is doing something similar. Per FanGraphs, Zimm's fly-ball output has dropped in each of the past three seasons. Again, injuries being the main culprit.

There's plenty of season left to salvage his stat line, and improved health should restore some of his pop in what is a relatively potent offense. Staying healthy has been a major problem for the Nats' franchise third baseman, though, so returning to his '09-'10 levels may be tough to accomplish at this rate.

He profiles as a buy-low candidate; his hit rate .281 is due for some modest correction, which in turn should push his BA back up to respectable levels. However, considering that he isn't a lock to recover soon, it wouldn't be wise to give away the farm expecting a full-on rebound.

Franklin Gutierrez makes his way back

The M's did some serious roster shuffling today, activating Gutierrez (pectoral, heel) from the disabled list and adding Casper Wells and pitchers Erasmo Ramirez and Steve Delabar. Alex Liddi and Blake Beavan were sent down, and Mike Carp (shoulder) and Stephen Pryor (groin) were placed on the DL.

Phew. With that out of the way, Gutierrez's name is the most significant addition. He's expected to start immediately in center field, forcing Michael Saunders to left. Wells will serve as a reserve outfielder and should be ignored in all leagues outside those with single universes.

Long gone is Guti's 2009 season in which he hit .283 with 18 home runs, 70 RBIs and 16 stolen bases in 153 games. A serious stomach ailment sapped him of most - if not all - of his strength in 2011 and limited him to just 92 games. A partial tear in his right pectoral muscle during spring training this year sidelined him for the start of the season. He also dealt with plantar fasciitis that delayed his rehab and return.

Gutierrez
10-tm mixed Pass
12-tm mixed Watch
15-tm mixed Consider
AL-only Acquire

So yeah, the 29-year-old Venezuelan is prone to injury, and he poses more of a risk these days than reward. In 10 rehab games with Triple-A Tacoma, he hit .211 with just one RBI and no stolen bags.

It'll likely take him some time to get his legs under him in order for him to utilize his speed, but there's no denying that is his most useful tool. Other than the speed factor, you're probably just hoping for any semblance of his pre-2011 form, which isn't a ringing endorsement.

Ramirez is expected to move into the rotation and allow Kevin Millwood (groin) to be pushed back. Beavan, who allowed 17 earned runs and 23 hits in 13 innings in his last three outings, wasn't getting the job done.

The Seattle Times' Steve Kelley elaborates on Ramirez's future with the club and feels he's big league ready. He went 3-2 with a 3.11 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 37 2/3 frames with Tacoma this year. As Kelley points out, Ramirez is a finesse pitcher who relies on control. Consider him only in AL leagues for now.

If Ramirez is ineffective, Danny Hultzen could be next in line. Keep a close eye on this development.

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About Keith Hernandez

Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.

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