Matt Moore (Yahoo: 6 percent owned, ESPN: 2 percent owned)
The Rays called up Matt Moore earlier this week, means the team’s top four prospects according to Baseball America have all been called up this season. While Rookie of the Year candidate Jeremy Hellickson was ranked more highly than Moore going into the season, BA chose Moore’s fastball and curveball as the best in the system. It’s obvious that Moore is a hugely talented prospect, and he’ll almost surely be fantasy relevant next season, but is he fantasy relevant now?
The majors will be Moore’s third level of the season, and he has already thrown a career high 155 innings. The good news is that while it is more innings than he’s ever thrown before, it’s neither an objectively huge amount of innings nor a large increase from his previous high of 144.2 IP. His minuscule WHIP (0.95) and tremendous K-rate (12.2 K/9) between Double- and Triple-A make him an appealing option, but his viability will depend largely on how much the Rays actually let him see the field.
Joe Maddon tweeted a window into how they were going to use Moore, saying they hoped to use him in the same way they used David Price in 2008. Unfortunately for owners looking to capitalize on Moore’s call up, Price’s 2008 usage can best be described as “at-will”: He made one start, then pitched in long relief once and three times in short relief for a total of 17 innings. If Moore follows a similar plan, he’s likely to give you strikeouts when he pitches, but how often that happens is going to be a factor of his effectiveness as well as whether the Rays keep in contact with the Red Sox in the wild card race.
If you’re streaming starters in AL-Only, he’s likely to get a start next week during the Rays’ doubleheader against the Yankees, but that’s obviously an unfavorable matchup. Ultimately, I’m really excited to see him pitch, but because of uncertain usage, I just don’t see him being a worthwhile risk in the fantasy playoffs.
Ryan Doumit (Yahoo: 11 percent owned, ESPN: 2 percent owned)
124. If it’s a career best RBI total, that’s a great year. Unfortunately for Doumit, that’s his career high in games played, which is…ungood. When he’s healthy, Doumit provides solid production as far as catchers are concerned with a career line of .271/.334/.442 for a .776 OPS. Unfortunately, health has been hard to come by for Doumit, which makes it hard for owners to draft or apparently even roster him. While he’s had at least one DL stint every season since 2006, Doumit has only been placed on the DL more than once in the same season twice and never since 2007.
Since returning from his most recent extended stay on the disabled list — 65 days lost due to a broken ankle — on August 3, Doumit has hit .330/.369/.515 with 4 HR. His .884 OPS since the All-Star Break is fifth best among catchers with at least 50 PAs, but he’s still rostered in fewer leagues than Jorge Posada or John Buck.
Doumit is getting the vast majority of the starts for the Pirates as the year draws to a close, and is likely to continue to do so as the team tries to evaluate whether or not to pick up his options for 2012 and 2013. With his yearly major injury behind him, Doumit is a safe pickup going forward and, unless you’re riding Alex Avila, Mike Napoli, or another of the top catchers, there’s a good chance Doumit will be an upgrade for you.