Anaheim, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (21) pitches in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
The drops this week aren't a surprise. Scott Baker isn't around to pitch in 2012, so he shouldn't be kept on the roster. (The 27 percent of you who still own Baker, what exactly are you waiting for?) It's kind of amazing Luke Hochevar was owned in 44 percent of mixed leagues to begin with. Phil Hughes' latest outing once again made people uneasy about holding onto him, and with Michael Pineda and Andy Pettitte waiting in the wings, he's not long for his job. Ben Revere was sent to the minors, so the small number of owners who actually had him did away with him.
The adds are a bit more contentious, as they tend to be.
A.J. Pierzynski, C (62% owned, +29%): Chicago's backstop is getting a lot of attention because he's had a strong start to the season, but given he just kind of exists as a somewhat useful player at a position lacking those, it's surprising that he's owned in so few leagues.
He's not a star behind the plate, but he's not going to hurt you in leagues that don't use on-base percentage, either. He certainly won't maintain his current production throughout the year (.400/.421/.829 with four homers already), so don't think that you're suddenly grabbing a player breaking out in his age-36 season.
Bartolo Colon, SP (64% owned, +23%): You just can't make up your mind about Bartolo Colon, can you? In the first week of the season, his initial start brought on a rash of new owners. In the second week, he was cut in 10 percent of leagues. After throwing 38-straight strikes in his last start, though, and once again pitching well, he's everyone's favorite available starting pitcher once more.
My take on Colon is the same as it was. In that park, he's going to have his uses, although he might not pick up a lot of wins for you. The real question with him is if you're only going to get 150 innings or so out of him, as that has less value than 200 innings from a somewhat-inferior pitcher. If Colon isn't causing you to drop anyone significant, have at him. And don't drop him after a week this time, either.
Jordan Schafer, CF (56% owned, +20%): I'll be honest, I was surprised to see Schafer added in 20 percent of leagues in the last week, primarily because he's Jordan Schafer. It's easy to see why this happened, though, as he has six steals already this year. Of course, he's also slugging just .333, and his batting average isn't anything special, so it seems to be for steals alone that people want Schafer.
I'm typically against grabbing this kind of player, as a one-dimensional player just doesn't do it for me when you could find someone who does more than one thing well pretty easily. If you're suffering through a lot of injuries, though -- say you're the unlucky sap who happens to have, oh, I don't know, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, and Coco Crisp all in the same outfield (in a related story, I need outfield help in my home league), then short-term Schafer isn't a terrible thing. But chances are good you can find someone with more to offer than just steals. (For what it's worth, I'm not criticizing Schafer's power based on just a few weeks of 2012 -- he has a .308 career slugging in the majors, and has hit .240/.292/.311 at Triple-A in his career.)
Jon Jay, LF (44% owned, +19 percent): Oh, look, an outfielder I'd rather have around than Jordan Schafer. That was convenient.
Jay is hitting .349/.391/.535, and while that's obviously not who he is, who he is tends to be useful (.301/.352/.429 in 872 plate appearances). He's going to play daily, and he's in a strong lineup, unlike Schafer -- he might not get you steals, but he can hit for a bit of average, and he'll be driven in far more often. Neither is a great option in mixed leagues, but I'd throw my FAAB buck at Jay before Schafer. Consider Schafer's slash line as subtraction by addition. It's the cost of acquiring steals mid-season.
Sergio Romo, RP (33% owned, +16%): Brian Wilson is out for the year thanks to Tommy John surgery, but Sergio Romo isn't owned in 100 percent of leagues yet thanks to manager Bruce Bochy, who says the team will use a closer-by-committee approach for the time being. Barring catastrophe, Romo is likely going to be The Closer once such a thing is anointed, so if you're desperate for saves, he should be your target. Worst-case scenario, you've got a fantastic reliever who helps buoy your pitching stats while occasionally picking up a save.
Johnny Damon, OF/DH (13% owned, +2 percent): Damon isn't a great hitter, and hasn't been for a while. But he should be useful enough in an AL-only format given he has outfield eligibility, and those leagues tend to require five outfielders for 12 teams, despite just 42 starting outfielders available.
Anthony Bass, SP/RP (8% owned, +5%): With Dustin Moseley now out longer than expected, Bass could stick around for the Padres in the majors. He's not mixed league material yet, but with Petco behind him in half of his starts, and a strong start already behind him, you're going to want to grab him sooner than later to support your staff.