Rajai Davis and Adam Lind: Using the Toronto DH Platoon

Let’s face it…nearly every guy who is sitting on your waiver wire is flawed in some way or another and the thought of using someone from the scrap heap on a full-time basis makes your fantasy skin crawl. But when Jason Heyward goes in for an appendectomy and you’ve already lost Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Bourn and Ryan Ludwick, desperate times call for desperate measures. Now obviously you’re not going to find one guy out there who is going to do it all for you, so your best bet is a platoon. And based on ownership percentages, it looks like you can solve some of your issues just by looking north of the border and using the DH spot from the Blue Jays.

Now that Brett Lawrie is back and Jose Bautista has returned to right field, Rajai Davis and Adam Lind will resume their place as a lefty/righty platoon in the designated hitter spot. On their own, neither is much to look at, but together, they make for one heck of a ball player. Leagues with daily roster moves will find it easy to exchange one for the other based on opposing pitcher match-ups/handedness. Weekly roster move leagues may have a slightly tougher time, but you can still make your choice after looking at the pitching match-ups for the whole week. You may have to sacrifice a game or two, but you might get a little lucky with some pinch-hitting appearances.

According to ESPN ownership data, Davis is only owned in 2.8-percent of their leagues and while that number varies on other sites like CBS and Yahoo, the overall ownership is pretty low and it is more than likely that he is available. His numbers right now actually look pretty good as he is batting .275 with five stolen bases. You’re not picking him up for any real power, so the fact that he has no home runs is pretty irrelevant here. You will get a few though, as we’ve seen him surprise us with a big bat every now and again, but the stolen bases are the priority. Over the last four seasons, Davis has logged more than 500 plate appearances in a season only once, yet he has averaged 43 stolen bases per year over that time frame. His batting average has been a bit of a disappointment thanks to an increase in strikeouts, but it is neither a complete mess nor will he amass enough playing time for it to really damage your overall. He’ll start regularly against left-handed pitchers and by moving him into your lineup during those games, you should get quite the speed contribution to your overall totals.

For the power side of your platoon, Lind (owned in just 0.9-percent of ESPN leagues) should play a decent role. Similarly to Davis, his batting average leaves little to be desired, but again — not enough plate appearances to really slit your throat in the category. But what’s happening with Lind right now is why it’s good to grab him and put him to use. Not counting Tuesday night’s game, Lind has raised his on-base percentage 168 points in just over a week and was boasting a mark of .380 prior to game time. The Blue Jays have been struggling a bit lately, so to shake things up, they’ve moved him up in the order to the two-hole. Will he stay that high up in the order? Probably not, but if he proves successful, there’s a chance he does. If not, then he drops down to the six or seven hole where he’ll still see a fair amount of RBI opportunities. The left-handed Lind boasts a career .192 ISO and is just one season removed from belting 26 home runs over 542 plate appearances.

So while this isn’t technically a dynamic duo, if used properly, you can get yourself a fair amount of speed and a nice boost in power just by mixing and matching. It certainly isn’t the most perfect solution, but if you’re dealing with a rash of injuries and need to patch up your lineup for a month or so, then using these two as one player isn’t the worst idea in the world. You just need them to do enough to get you by.

 

 



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Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. In addition to his work here, you can also find him at his site, RotobuzzGuy.com, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at rotobuzzguy@gmail.com


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Gordon Shumway
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Gordon Shumway

Davis just homered in his second at bat against Baltimore today, so there’s some of that occasional power you spoke of. I don’t like having Lind anywhere near my lineups, but Davis is one of my favorite guilt-free streaming options. He’s usually good for a few stolen bases and you know he’ll never get enough plate appearances to really do much damage if another owner decides to pick him up when you inevitably drop him again.

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