Denard's Time Span at Third?
Lineup adjustments happen frequently throughout the season and are tough to keep track of. The more injuries sustained or the worse a team is playing, the more often managers will feel the need to make changes. Sometimes it's worthwhile to get excited about major changes for some players, but it is important to keep tabs on whether the guys you jump to the waiver wire to get actually remain in that spot in the lineup and in turn, keep the perks for their stat line. This week we'll look at some recent lineup changes that are exciting at the moment but will require some monitoring as they don't have high probability of sticking.
Denard Span batted third Monday, a spot where he had extremely little experience - one single at-bat, in fact, in which he hit a double. The Twins are struggling to score runs though, and with Span hitting .300, he is worth a shot. This will greatly increase his RBI opportunities and will be fantastic for his value as long as he remains there. That being said there's a good chance he will go back to the top spot once Joe Mauer gets healthy and Justin Morneau's wrist heals. It's not as if Ben Revere is a solid option at the leadoff spot.
When you think of the Rays lineup, you automatically assume that if Evan Longoria can stand up straight, he will bat third. That's not true at the moment, as Matt Joyce has been getting the nod in the three-hole in four of the last six games. Joyce is having a big year, batting .348 with 10 home runs and 32 RBI so his play has been deserving of the spot. Much to get excited about sure, but c'mon, this is Evan Longoria's team. He is a lock to take back the prime spot in the lineup once he is fully healthy and on-track. That doesn't necessarily make Joyce someone to ignore, however, as he deserves attention in at least deep mixed leagues as someone who will remain an important part of the lineup if he continues to play well.
While Span and Joyce aren't likely to stick in the third spot in their respective lineups, Royals super-prospect Eric Hosmer has had a stranglehold on the three-spot in the lineup for nearly a month now and flourishing. His batting line over the 19 games since being slotted there is an impressive 10/4/14/1/.310, not too shabby for a guy with just 127 major league plate appearances under his belt. The team is hoping the young first baseman will be an integral part of a bright future for the Royals, so this could be a situation where the question is "why not" rather than "does he deserve it". This is a situation where the odd name could actually stick.
Brent Lillibridge has been finding a way to get in the White Sox lineup with some hot play as of late. He has seven home runs, five steals and an .999 OPS as of Monday over just 76 at-bats this year, with three of those home runs coming in his last eight games. Manager Ozzie Guillen has been playing him in right and center field and slotting him sixth in the lineup. Things are looking up for the young outfielder, but if he doesn't continue to bat well he could be pulled from the regular lineup quickly. If you choose to pick him up, make sure to keep a close eye on his playing time.
Kevin Kouzmanoff has been optioned to the minors due some extremely poor play. Adam Rosales got the first start at third (batting seventh) and figures to split time with Scott Sizemore at the hot corner. Neither figure to be an option in anything but deeper AL-only leagues (and only because of the position they play), as Sizemore was given up on by the Tigers earlier in the year and Rosales hadn't played in a game this season until Monday. As for Kouzmanoff, there's a chance he could regain his major league spot at some point but there's little hope of him becoming fantasy relevant.