Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Francisco Cordero, Steve Lombardozzi, more

by Keith Hernandez on July 23, 2012 @ 13:44:00 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?

Francisco Cordero, RP, Houston Astros

Houston Astros RP Francisco Cordero
Cordero has new team, new role

On Saturday, Astros scribe Zachary Levine announced that Houston will go to Francisco Cordero, not Wilton Lopez, as the new closer after Brett Myers was dealt to the Chicago White Sox. Cordero was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays just a day earlier.

Cordero wasn't very reliable this year for the Jays, going 3-5 with a 5.77 ERA and two saves and 26 K's in 34 1/3 innings. He was demoted from the interim closer role after a short period due to two losses and three blown saves. Cordero should be snatched up if you're hunting for saves, but frequent save opps probably won't come in Houston.

Check out more on this in sitch in today's installation of Closer Hot Seat.

10-tm mixed: Consider
12-tm mixed:
Acquire
15-tm mixed:
Acquire
NL-only:
Acquire

Steve Lombardozzi, 2B/3B/OF, Washington Nationals

The Nats on Sunday placed Ian Desmond (tear in left oblique) on the disabled list. Everyday second baseman Danny Espinosa will shift over to the 6, while Lombardozzi will come out of his utility role and start at the keystone.

Oblique ailments are rather tricky and often require long rehab stints, so Desmond could be looking at anywhere from a one- to two-month absence. In that case, Lombardozzi, who sports a triple slash line of .265/.335/.651 in 253 plate appearances, has a chance to make a decent impact in mixed leagues. Mark DeRosa will serve as a utility infielder, but he doesn't offer much upside and won't see enough at-bats to contribute in rotisserie categories.

Lombardozzi, a 23-year-old switch hitter, won't clear the fences much, but he can drive the gaps with consistency thanks to his all-fields hitting approach. He'll give you moderate stolen base upside thanks to his above-average speed and smart baserunning. Eligibility at second and third base as well as the outfield makes him more intriguing.

Lombardozzi filled in in the outfield well earlier this year when Mike Morse and Ryan Zimmerman were sidelined with injuries, and skipper Davey Johnson has plenty of confidence in his scrappy utility man.

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

Jeremy Hefner, SP, New York Mets

The Metropolitans made some tweaks to their starting rotation over the weekend, designating Miguel Batista for assignment and placing Johan Santana (right ankle sprain) on the DL. Hefner and Matt Harvey have been brought up to fill those spots.

Harvey was a candidate to enter the rotation last week, but the Mets indicated that they weren't willing to rush the youngster into a promotion. The injury to Santana likely forced their hand, so it's unclear if they'll send him back to the farm for more seasoning when Santana is healthy again.

Hefner made three spot starts at the end of May and went 1-2 with a 6.89 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 15 2/3 frames. He fared slightly better in a relief role (4.86 ERA, 4.3 K/9, 1.26 WHIP in 16 2/3 innings). At Triple-A Buffalo this year he was 5-2 with a 2.77 ERA and 37 punchouts in 61 2/3 innings.

Hefner struck out 5.7 batters per nine innings in his three starts earlier this year, so don't expect any dominance in his return to the bigs. He was fanning only 5.4 per nine at Buffalo and will have to pitch to contact to be successful in his second major league go-around. Pitch selection and location will be key in his success or failure.

Harvey has much more upside, so Hefner will be a consolation prize in deeper leagues. If the Mets work out a trade for another starting pitcher and Harvey pitches well in his big league debut, Hefner could easily be the odd-man out.

10-tm mixed: Pass
12-tm mixed:
Pass
15-tm mixed:
Watch
NL-only:
Acquire

Eric Sogard and Brandon Hicks, INF, Oakland Athletics

Cliff Pennington (left elbow tendonitis) and his disgusting .197/.259/.282 slash line landed on the DL on Friday. Billy Beane and the A's were rumored to be looking for a more acceptable hitting option at shortstop before Pennington was injured, and Yunel Escobar of the Toronto Blue Jays could be a fit.

At least until the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline passes, Bob Melvin said Sogard and Hicks will split time at the 6. Sogard hits from the left side and Hicks swings the lumber from the right, hence the platoon.

Sogard should be favored for fantasy purposes, at least initially; he'll likely see more at-bats against righties and he has slightly more major league experience than Hicks. Hicks has more upside, though, most notably in the power department. Performing well in limited PT may tempt Melvin to give him more starts, especially if Sogard (.154/.195/.269 in 79 at-bats) struggles.

Hicks has only six knocks in 38 at-bats, though, although one was a game-winning walk-off jack. A trade to bring in another shortstop will render both players useless again, but that's not a lock by any means. If Sogard or Hicks stand out in the next couple weeks, don't be surprised if they continue to play when Pennington returns.

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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