Ron Belliard has hit pretty well since taking over at second base for the Nationals -- .298/.336/.375. Those aren’t Ryne Sandberg numbers, but they’re useful if you’re in a deep league -- and they’re much better than Cristian Guzman could ever do.
Nevertheless, when Guzman returns from the DL on Monday, Belliard will be parked on the bench. Thanks for your help, Ron!
Obviously, a benched Belliard holds little fantasy value. But I still wouldn’t cut him from my fantasy team, and I would actually try to buy low (assuming you’re in a deep league and players like Belliard are valuable). Why? Because Belliard should be playing again before long.
Guzman can’t stay healthy, and his offensive ineptitude has been pretty well-chronicled. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him hit the DL again, nor would it be shocking to see the offense-bereft Nationals make Guzman ride the pine due to his woeful hitting.
Either way, Belliard will get plenty of at-bats again. Don’t give up on him.
WHAT’S WRONG WITH WRIGHT?
David Wright finally hit his first home run last night. Hip, hip hooray!
I’ve been doing a little research on this guy. Two interesting findings:
1. Wright’s lack of home run output is somewhat supported by a drop in fly-ball rate. In 2005 and 2006, Wright had a 1.07 and 0.86 G/F, respectively. This year he’s been much more of a ground-ball hitter: 1.39. That isn’t enough of a fly-ball decline to make a hitter with 30-dinger potential hit just one home run in a month, but it certainly doesn’t help.
2. Wright is both walking and striking out more. Last year, the Mets third baseman struck out once every 5.15 at-bats. This year he’s whiffing once every 4.1 at-bats.
As for the walks, Wright has climbed from .100 BB/PA last year to .137 this year.
The walks are certainly encouraging, but the strikeouts and ground-ball rate indicate that something may be wrong with Wright’s swing. He’s missing more, and when he does make contact, he simply isn’t putting the same charge into the ball he used to.
I think the most important number here, though, is 24. That’s Wright’s age. Though he’s immensely talented, we have to remember how young he is. He’s going to slump. He’s going to need to make adjustments. He’s going to show some skills fluctuation, especially over small sample sizes.
Don’t worry. And if your buddy is in a panic, try to buy low.