Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Pedro Ciriaco, Will Smith, more

by Keith Hernandez on July 18, 2012 @ 14:05:22 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?

Pedro Ciriaco, 2B, Boston Red Sox

Baltimore Orioles 2B Brian Roberts
O's really miss B-Rob

Ciriaco was initially recalled when the BoSox put Dustin Pedroia on the disabled list with a sprained right thumb July 6, and the 26-year-old Dominican has made the most of his opportunity since. He's hitting .419 with six RBIs and three stolen bags in 31 at-bats (eight starts).

Pedroia is expected to be back Thursday, but Ciriaco could continue to play frequently now that David Ortiz (sore right Achilles' heel) is on the DL. Bobby Valentine may elect to ease Pedroia back in by using him in the DH slot, allowing Ciriaco to play second. Valentine said he plans to rotate his DH slot with Ortiz out, using anyone from Ciriaco, Daniel Nava, Pedroia, Carl Crawford or recently recalled Mauro Gomez there.

Avenues for consistent PT are shrinking for Ciriaco, but he's probably endeared himself enough to Bobby V and the fans in Beantown at this point to continue to crack the lineup - at least until Big Papi resurfaces. Ciriaco has minimal pop, and his lack of plate discipline in his minor league career suggests he's due to come down to earth. Keep this in mind if you decide to take a chance on him in deep enough leagues.

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

Ryan Flaherty and Steven Tolleson, 2B, Baltimore Orioles

First it was Brian Roberts (tear in right hip) going back on the disabled list after playing in only 17 games. Now Robert Andino (strained left shoulder) will miss three to four weeks. B-Rob may need surgery, which could end another season prematurely. In any scenario, the O's are hurting for options at the keystone.

The Baltimore Sun's Eduardo A. Encina noted that Buck Showalter will likely split reps at second between Flaherty and Tolleson, for now. Baltimore may decide to trade for another infielder in order to stay in the Wild Card race. With Tolleson hitting from the right side and Flaherty from the left, we're likely to see a straight platoon based on the handedness of the opposing pitcher.

Neither is exciting, but if you're extremely desperate for middle infield help, rank Flaherty slightly ahead of Tolleson. Flaherty has a smidge more power upside and should see more starts against right-handers.

10-tm mixed: Pass
12-tm mixed:
Pass
15-tm mixed:
Watch
AL-only:
Consider

Will Smith, SP, Kansas City Royals

KC finally accepted the fact that their offseason trade for Jonathan Sanchez was a monumental bust when they designated him for assignment Tuesday. The other piece in that trade that sent Melky Cabrera to the San Francisco Giants, Ryan Verdugo, was ineffective in his major league debut against the Seattle Mariners Tuesday, giving up six earned runs and eight hits in just 1 2/3 innings in a loss.

The Verdugo experiment is likely over; the Royals are preparing to bring up Smith from Triple-A Omaha for a start this weekend. Smith didn't fare too well in his three starts at the end of May, going 1-2 with 14 earned runs in 14 frames. He struck out only nine and walked five. However, he has been pitching well with Omaha, going 4-3 with a 3.55 ERA and 54 K's in his last 63 1/3 innings.

The soft-tossing southpaw could stick for a bit in the rotation if he improves upon his initial showing, but in the end, he's likely just a stopgap for whenever the Royals decide to promote Jake Odorizzi or Mike Montgomery. Smith won't generate enough swings and misses in the bigs to give you much roto value, and his finesse style of pitching makes him vulnerable with a small margin for error. Act accordingly.

10-tm mixed: Pass
12-tm mixed:
Pass
15-tm mixed:
Watch
AL-only:
Consider

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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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