Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Alfredo Aceves pitches during the ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Detroit won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
Don't Believe The Hype is here, and that means we've got real baseball to cover. This column's purpose is to track the players who were added and dropped the most over the past seven days, and it will appear every Friday for your perusal. Just because everyone else is adding a player doesn't necessarily mean you should follow suit, and we'll try to parse that information for you before you make any weekend roster decisions.
Early-season drops tend to be due to injury or demotion, so it's hard to get too worked up over people cutting Ryan Madson, Wade Davis, Joakim Soria, or Brett Cecil. In the future, though, you'll likely see me wondering why certain players are being given up on so soon.
As for the adds...
Alfredo Aceves, RP (64% owned, +40%): To many people's surprise -- unless you read a certain Fake Teams contributor earlier this week -- Aceves was named the closer in Boston with Andrew Bailey out. Aceves isn't your typical closer, so if you're in a league with K/9, he might not give you the same boost you're used to seeing. If, however, you're just looking for total strikeouts and saves, he should be able to help, as manager Bobby Valentine has already said he hopes to use Aceves for multi-inning saves. The downside? He won't close all season, assuming Bailey comes back when expected in late July or early August. But you can worry about that in four months.
Bartolo Colon, SP (49% owned, +25%): Colon was rated as a one-star pitcher this February, not because he's bad, but because he's not quite good enough to make up for the fact he'll likely have an innings limit. In 2011 with the Yankees, he posted a 4.00 ERA (tolerable for fantasy) but strike out the opposition at an above-average rate, with a 3.4 K/BB. In Oakland this year, he'll likely have a lower ERA thanks to that park, but if he only gives you another 160-170 innings or so, and is just barely squeezing out wins in front of that Athletics' offense, then the one-star rating makes a whole lot of sense.
He's a great stash, or someone to use as much of as you can, but don't drop someone who might be able to get you more strikeouts and innings if you've already got a hold of them.
Jeff Samardzija, SP (42% owned, +20%): Samardzija made the Cubs' rotation after a decent season in relief. His 2.97 ERA makes it seem a bit more special than it was, but the 1.7 K/BB, 5.1 walks per nine and fact he had just a .257 batting average on balls in play and 6.5 hits per nine allowed softens the impact of that first figure.
He had a good spring, though, striking out 16 against just one walk in 20 innings pitched. His prospect stock completely vanished the more he struggled in both the majors and the minors since 2008, and it's hard to get too worked up over 20 innings of spring training, but at least keep an eye on him. In a mixed league, I would have a hard time making room for him on my roster at this early stage. But if you're in an NL-only, by all means. Some players it's okay to be wrong about, and Samardzija is one I'm willing to risk losing out on, given the circumstances.
Joel Peralta, RP (23% owned, +19%): Peralta is a fine reliever, and he's the closer while Kyle Farnsworth comes back from his injury. He has a 2.55 ERA and 4.1 K/BB over his last 116 innings and two seasons, so even though he's a temporary fix, he'll be a productive one. If you missed out on closer's entirely, here's a chance to snag a few saves with an arm that won't hurt your other numbers.
Cody Ross, OF (29% owned, +16%): Cody Ross is going to be in Fenway Park this year, and at least until Carl Crawford comes back -- and likely after -- he's going to be picking up daily at-bats. He's not normally a great fantasy outfielder, but as with most players with doubles power, Fenway will likely be very kind to him. If he had a career year in this environment, would you be surprised?
He's another guy worth stashing if you've got the roster space and can see how things play out. But he's also owned in so few leagues that if you just prefer to keep an eye on him for now, you can get away with that, too.
Josh Donaldson, C (6% owned, +3 percent): Donaldson doesn't have a great minor-league track record, and he's not guaranteed to play very often in Oakland, although he's going to suit up in the present. As if you need the reminder, that park is no good for any hitter, either. Donaldson is a bit of a stretch as an actual third base option, but if you need someone with catcher eligibility who will likely play elsewhere (and often), he can help you out in AL-only.
Juan Rivera, OF (9% owned, +3 percent): Rivera had a spring that got people's attention, and he's not that far removed from being useful in both reality and fantasy. If he keeps getting playing time in Los Angeles, he's a solid pickup in NL-only, given many of those leagues require five outfielders.