Here are seven players for your consideration to either acquire or send packing.
Carlos Lee – In his first 44 games, Lee was absolutelIn his first 44 games, Lee was absolutely dreadful. He was hitting for neither AVG (.192) nor power (5 HR in 167 ABs). But in the last two weeks, Lee has broke out of his slump in a big way and is batting .340 with 12 RBIs in 13 games. ZiPS (R) sees a .280 AVG with 15 HR and 62 RBIs the rest of the way and that might be selling him short. There is still a lot of room for growth with his BABIP (.227) and even with the awful start, when he did not hit a HR in April, his HR/FB rate is at 9.2 percent.
Ted Lilly – He got off to a late start to the season and then got knocked around in both his second and third outings of the year. But in his last six starts, Lilly has been as good as ever, even though his 0-3 mark in that frame does not show it. Lilly has recorded a Quality Start in each of those past six outings and has a 2.49 ERA over 43.1 IP. With a 4.62 xFIP, Lilly’s current owner may be in a mood to sell. Most of that number comes about because of a decrease in Ks and an increase in BB. But Lilly has picked up the pace with his strikeouts and in his last outing he did not walk a batter in 8 IP.
Clayton Richard – It is easy to see a Padres pitcher with a low ERA and an xFIP one and a quarter runs higher and make the conclusion that he is succeeding thanks to Petco Park. But Richard has pitched just as well on the road so far this season and his ERA was consistent in both April (3.00) and May (3.00). Richard has shaved nearly a full walk off his BB/9 from a year ago while his K/9 has remained steady. Some will point to his 81.0 LOB% as the main reason for his success. But Richard gets grounders, has a low LD% (16.7) and his O-Swing% is up to 28.5 percent. And he helps himself by having one of the toughest pickoff moves in the game.
Adam Dunn – One of the three true outcome kings, Dunn is walking less and hitting fewer HR this year. But the most surprising thing is his .280 AVG, which would easily be a career high. Of course, that comes with a .362 BABIP, which eclipses last year’s personal-best .324 mark. The additional base hits have Dunn just as valuable as ever with a .396 wOBA. But his fantasy value will fall when the AVG drops and unlike past years, Dunn will not prop it up with 40-HR power.
Derek Lowe – Great run support, especially early in the year, has helped Lowe to 8 W so far this season. But the rest of his fantasy numbers are underwhelming. His ERA is 5.04, his WHIP of 1.45 is just barely better than last year’s disappointing number and his K/9 of 5.28 is below-average. Lowe did real off wins in three straight outings before getting roughed up in his last start. His FIP and xFIP are three quarters of a run better than his ERA. See if that or his win total or his reputation can get someone to bite on him and take him off your hands. The slider which was such an effective pitch for Lowe while he was with the Dodgers is now a below-average offering.
Jon Rauch – After getting quality fantasy numbers from Rauch for two months, the time has come to try and sell high on Rauch and his 15 Saves. The 6-11 Rauch has done an admirable job filling in for Joe Nathan. But his WHIP is nothing special, he no longer is a big strikeout pitcher and his ERA is being propped up by a 5.9 HR/FB rate. Rauch has yet to give up a HR in 13 road innings and has allowed just 2 HR at home despite a 63.6 FB% in Target Field.
Troy Glaus – In the seven seasons prior to 2010, Glaus played in 115 games or fewer four times, including last year when he appeared in just 14 games and had only 29 ABs. But when healthy, Glaus has delivered consistent numbers, as good or better than the .377 OBP and .480 SLG he holds currently. Playing time is the big concern with Glaus, but he has already exceeded the amount of action he saw in two of his four injured seasons. I like Glaus’ chances to stay healthy and appear in 140 or more games this season and top his ZiPS (U) line of .271-22-92-64-1.