Doing the Unthinkable

Once again Chone Figgins has turned his back on us in the early going.
Photo Credit: ozmafan

Sometimes in our world of make believe baseball we need to do things most owners wouldn’t do. If we want that winning edge we have to go against the grain, sometimes we have to do the unthinkable. With the news of Chipper Jones glimping (gangsta limping) around the locker room (adductor strain) I had to take the plunge and jump into the icy shallows that is known as Chone Figgins’ stat line. This was a forced move, so in order to warm myself up I’m going to convince some of you to suffer with me. I’m going to plug Chone Figgins! Hey I plugged Alcides Escobar yesterday, let’s dig this hole just a bit deeper. After the break we’ll discuss the stomach churning options that go by the names of Figgins, Magglio Ordonez and Phil Hughes aka Fill Huggies.

Yes Chone Figgins (40% owned) is hitting managers below the belt with his Mendoza-like Batting Average. Yes Chone has been bumped to the bottom third of the lineup. Yes Chone Figgins is 33-years old and appears to be slowing down. Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, there are a few positive signs here. The Mariners Third Baseman is making more contact than ever, his 13.5% K% would be a career high and is nearly 4% better than his career average. Also, Chone did overcome a horrific start last season. He hit .286 and stole 18 bases after the All-Star Break (.235 before the ASB). Finally, Chone is starting to show signs of heating up. He’s hit safely in 7 of his past 10 games. If Figgins’ BABIP were more in line with his career average, he’d be hitting .287 right now. Because he’s likely lost a step with age, I would expect him to hit .275 going forward. A .275 AVG with 0 HR and 20-25 SB is nothing special, but it is nice to plug in those steals at 2B or MI and use your other positions for power hitters. Chone is pushing a .198 AVG, but you could do worse form here on out.

Speaking of worse, you ready for some Chris Getz action? I didn’t mention Getz in the opener because I didn’t want to scare you away. Just think of this as bonus material. If you want to assume that I recently added Chris Getz, you wouldn’t be “making an ass out of you and me”. Allen Craig went down (knee 4-6 weeks) and I had no other choice. Lucky for me, Mike Aviles was demoted to make room for Mike Moustakas and Getz had a stretch of multi-hit games not long ago. Getz’ profile looks eerily similar to that of Alcides Escobar: very low Strikeout totals, high Ground Ball rates, adequate Line Drive percentages, plenty of speed and unusually low BABIP numbers. You can make a profit from these players, mainly because they cost $0. I’m not going to go on and on about Chris Getz, I’m just going to put this out there: if his BABIP were closer to .300, like it very well could be, he’d be hitting .266 to .271. That’s not terrible for a player who is owned in 2% of leagues and has 46 SB over 211 career starts.

Magglio Ordonez (15%) is old, falling apart and his triple slash line (.168/.233/.224) emits foul odors. From plain view Magglio Ordonez is Al Bundy’s Dodge of fantasy baseball. However, if we look under the hood we’ll see that Magglio still possesses the skills that made him a useful fantasy asset. Magglio’s K% hasn’t moved, the Strikeouts are perfectly in line with his career average. He’s also lacing Line Drives at an All-Star level. His 22% LD% is 2% better than his career norm. Yes the Infield Fly Ball percentage is very high, but we shouldn’t expect that to continue. Jim Leyland has recently commented on Maggy’s improved swing. I’m not going to hold his BABIP against him, that thing is 130 points below where it should be. That’s cruel, that’s like being forced to sell women’s shoes for a living. I’m not ready to bury Magglio Ordonez. He’s on my AL-Only and Blog Wars teams and I’m looking forward to what he can do for me now that he is back from the minors (ankle). Going forward I’m expecting a .290 AVG with 10 HR.

Phil Hughes. Oh just saying that name makes me stop and rethink this. OK. The Yankees former top prospect had a pretty good run in his first full season as a Starting Pitcher. The Strikeouts (7.45 K/9) were above average and the Walks (2.96 BB/9) were better than the league average (3.28). He also limited Line Drives (16.4% LD%) which helped his BABIP (.273). All this led to a 1.25 WHIP. This season? Well let’s not discuss the numbers, I’m trying to promote him here. Let’s just say his velocity fell through the floor and he couldn’t get the ball past any bats. After some time off (two months) Hughes is rehabbing his shoulder in the minors and looking good doing so. The velocity is back (91-93 mph consistently) and the results have been great (4 IP, 1 BB, 6 K). He pitches again this Sunday and could be back in the Yankees rotation in late June or early July. If you have an open DL slot, fill it with Phil.

Obviously most of these players are for deeper leagues. Chone may be useful in standard leagues if he can be more aggressive and efficient on the base paths. Otherwise he’s a MI option. Maybe Fill Huggies returns to SP5 status in 12-teamers. Deep leagues are more fun though, for playing and writing. If you’d like to make fun of me for adding Chris Getz, please do so, I deserve it. The comment section is open for business.

Andrew is a co-founder of SoR, commissioner of Blog Wars and recently received his black belt in Internet thuggery. If you’d like to chop it up with him, he welcomes all comments/questions on Tweeter – peace out – @andrewakamds