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In Some Depth: Because It's a Party

Carson Cistulli

Carson Cistulli writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

In each of the first four editions of In Some Depth, we've looked at 10 potentially confusing depth-chart situations and how, if at all, the fantasy owner might capitalize on the confusion of those same situations.

In this particular edition, we do the same thing -- but with one exception. Instead of just blandly presenting the 10 situations, I've attempted to anticipate the sort of questions that concerned fantasy owners might ask -- and to answer those questions as best as possible.

Why? Because it's a party, is why.


Who'll replace Brandon Beachy this Wednesday? After that?

If you haven't heard, Braves starter Brandon Beachy was sent to the DL with an oblique strain after leaving his most recent start. Though there's no definitive timetable on his recovery, there've been rumors that it could take upwards of a month. There are three names that've floated around in terms of replacing Beachy: Rodrigo Lopez, Mike Minor, and Julio Teheran. Though Lopez is pitching well, he also possesses no options, meaning he'd have to be passed through waivers to be returned to Triple-A later on. Mike Minor actually just made a start at Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday, throwing 90 pitches, making him an unlikely possibility on Wednesday. That leaves Teheran. At this point, if Teheran's availble, he's a good add.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy seems to keep giving playing time to Miguel Tejada. How do I explain that to my children?

Tejada was in the lineup for Sunday's game before it got rained out. He's also in the provisional lineup for Monday's game -- playing shortstop -- at Colorado. In that case, Mark DeRosa will play third and Mike Fontenot, who's been playing a lot of short recently, will serve as a utility man. As I've written either here or in the pages of my diary, Tejada's actually not that bad. The surprising thing is that Bochy has stuck with him. However this situation ends, it won't be the way I would've preferred -- that is, with the promotion of third baseman Conor Gillaspie from Triple-A Fresno.

Is Daniel Murphy any kind of answer at first base in the absence of Ike Davis?

It's likely that Mets GM Sandy Alderson and Co. don't really see their club as a contender this season, because it's unlikely that a contending team would feel comfortable handing its first-base job to a Daniel Murphy-type player for the two-to-three weeks that Davis is likely to be out. Replacement level for a first baseman is high. Per Baseball Reference, the average first baseman slashed .264/.350/.452 in 2010. Murphy's slashed .271/.328/.431 over his 823 career plate appearances. Not terrible, no, but not very first baseman-y, either. For anyone who owns Murphy and is able to play him as a second baseman, this isn't a problem. The question is whether the Mets will be satisfied with Murphy. In the meantime, Justin Turner is getting regular ABs at second. If you're wondering about Turner's profile, imagine the recently DFA'd Brad Emaus in your head.

Okay, that's all you have to do. Now you're also imagining Justin Turner.

What will Fernando Martinez become? Will he become it soon? Why did he get called up, again?

When the Mets put Ike Davis on the DL, they promoted Fernando Martinez to the big-league club in the corresponding move. It's a bit of a strange maneuver: the Mets already had five outfielders in Jason Bay, Carlos Beltran, Scott Hairston, Willie Harris, and Jason Pridie, which means Martinez, just 22, is unlikely to get anything like full playing time. Martinez has been a prospect, but with the revelation over the offseason that he has an arthritic knee, expectations have been lowered.

What's the deal with the Jorge Posada Situation?

On the one hand, it's entirely possible that Posada invited Joe Girardi to "talk to the hand" when the latter penciled Posada into the ninth spot in the Yankee lineup the other night. On the other (more likely) hand, it's possible that the New York/national media made considerably more out of this story than was actually there. Is Jorge Posada batting poorly so far? Yes. Or: yes, sort of. For, while Posada is slashing .165/.272/.349, he's also only sporting a .164 BABIP. It's mystifying that this isn't cited so rarely while discussing Posada's supposed "troubles." You, reader, should not be surprised at all to see him slash something like .240/.350/.450 henceforth -- i.e. better than Daniel Murphy.

Who's playing the outfield right now in Texas?

Good question. On Opening Day (April 1st), the Rangers fielded an outfield of Josh Hamilton, Julio Borbon, and Nelson Cruz. On May 15th (i.e. yesterday), that same outfield featured David Murphy, Craig Gentry, and Endy Chavez. Yes, all three of the Rangers' Opening Day starters are on the DL -- and will be until the weekend, for sure (at which point Josh Hamilton might return). In the meantime, Murphy, Gentry, Chavez, and Mitch Moreland are in charge. Moreland, who also plays first base, is the strongest hitter of all of them. Murphy, who has a bit of speed and a bit of power, is probably something better than replacement-level in 12-team league. As for Gentry and Chavez, it'd probably be best to describe them as "glove first" types, although Gentry can steal some bases.

What's that smell?

Look in the firdge. In the crisper.

Has third base been figured out yet in Colorado?

First, Ian Stewart was the starter. Then, Ian Stewart hit like junk and was demoted to Triple-A -- at which point, Jose Lopez and Ty Wigginton split ABs there. Then, Wigginton got injured and Stewart was recalled. Then, Stewart continued to hit like junk and was optioned back to Triple-A to make space for Wigginton when he returned from the DL.

That brings us to the present moment, more or less.

Signs now are that, once again, Lopez and Wigginton will share third-base duties. It's also possible that, as he did on Sunday, Lopez will spell Jon Herrera at second base, as the latter is unlikely to mainatin a .383 OBP all season. Because he carries second-base eligibility in many leagues and because he has excellent power for a middle infielder, Lopez is still a player I highly endorse. Hypothetically, at least. For the immediate future, it's unlikely that any three of these players gets enough plate appearances to truly shine in fantasy play.

Scott Rolen is back. Does that settle down the Cincinnati third-base situation?

It settles down the third-base situation to the degree to which Rolen is able to continue being healthy -- which, that's not the highest degree there is. The pity -- and pity isn't a word I use a lot, because it sounds like something all of my grandmas combined would say -- but the pity is that Juan Francisco got hurt just before Rolen. Otherwise, it's possible that Francisco would've gotten some ABs. As it stands, Miguel Cairo and Paul Janish got most of the work at third. Bore-ring.

Jason Heyward: tell me good news about him.

Between doing a whole bunch of player notes on Sunday and listening the the radio broadcast of the Braves-Phils game on Sunday, I've inadvertantly become an expert on Heyward's current situation. So far as I understand it, here it is:

- Heyward is dealing with a sore right (i.e. non-throwing) shoulder and hasn't batted since May 10th.
- He's received a couple of cortisone shots for it.
- He took batting practice on Sunday.
- He wants to take a more complete batting practice on Monday.
- He thinks he'll be ready on Tuesday.

So, Tuesday is the target date for the time being. It remains to be seen, of course, if this injury will affect his production. I'll be re-inserting him into my lineup from the beginning, though, so take that for what it's worth.