San Francisco, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Christian Friedrich (53) pitches the ball against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
Wilson Ramos is injured and out, while Grant Balfour is just out of a job. Hey, I can use that kind of writing scheme a second time, given the players involved: Danny Duffy is injured and out, while Javy Guerra is just out of a job. Wait, wait, there's room to do that again? I won't, though. That's just irresponsible.
As for the adds, well, you need some new players to replace all of the broken and put out, don't you?
Christian Friedrich, SP (49 percent owned, +36 percent): Friedrich is 24, and made his debut in the majors 13 innings ago. He had some trouble in 2010 and 2011 at Double-A, but the Rockies pushed him to Triple-A Colorado Springs to start the 2012 season, and the result was success. In fact, more success than he's had since his early professional career in the low minors: nearly seven times as many strikeouts as walks, and, despite the environment, he kept the ball in the park.
That success has carried over to the majors, but remember: Coors is a dangerous place. Things have started out well enough, so grab him early while you still can, but no one would fault you for stashing him rather than starting him while you see just what he has to provide.
Andy Dirks, CF (49 percent owned, +35 percent): Dirks has mashed to start 2012, and it's looking like he's going to get playing time. He might not be playing constantly, but if he continues to hit, then you won't mind the boost he'll give. That being said, Dirks isn't about to own an OPS over 1000 all season long: he has good, but not great, minor-league numbers, and his career line in the majors after 103 games and 328 plate appearances is .284/.334/.465. If you're suffering from injuries, Dirks is a solid fill-in, but he's likely not a real answer unless you're in a deep-league format.
Dale Thayer, RP (35 percent owned, +26 percent): It seems like this is going to be a year with more bullpen turnover (and turmoil) than most, and Dale Thayer is one arm that's been able to benefit from this. With Huston Street out, and the Padres seemingly not in the mood to shake up their bullpen roles to compensate, it's Thayer who has been getting the opportunities to save the day.
Thayer has never had much success in the majors -- nor opportunities for it -- but he's long had decent numbers in the minors. The fact he'll pitch home games in Petco makes him a solid short-term option, just don't expect him to be Huston Street 2.0 while the regular closer sits on the DL.
Rafael Soriano, RP (72 percent owned, +23 percent): At first, no one was sure if it was going to be David Robertson or Rafael Soriano in the closer role for the Yankees in 2012, now that Mariano Rivera is out. While it was Robertson initially, he's now on the disabled list, meaning it's Soriano's gig for now (or possibly, for the rest of 2012).
You know what you're getting with Soriano. If he's healthy, he's going to rack up saves and excellent stats. If he's not healthy, well, you'll get the exact opposite situation. He's worth the risk, as usual, given he's capable of collecting that most precious of fantasy resources.
Scott Diamond, SP (24 percent owned, +22 percent): Diamond hasn't given up a run in his first 14 innings of 2012, a reversal of his short time with the Twins in 2011, when he walked nearly as many batters as he struck out while posting an ERA over five.
You might be shocked to hear this, but this Twins pitcher doesn't strike out a ton of batters, instead relying on control and contact in order to succeed. That makes him as risky as anyone else wearing a Twins' uniform, and if your league is in the habit of using wins, you're likely to be even more disappointed in your choice of starter.
Daniel Nava, OF (12 percent owned, +12 percent): Nava isn't this good, not even close, but he's a guy who knows how to draw a walk, has Fenway around to help him hit doubles, and is likely to stick on the big-league roster until Jacoby Ellsbury or Carl Crawford returns -- possibly even longer than that, but at that time, he'll be a bench outfielder, not a starter. If you have short-term needs, he can fill them admirably.
Patrick Corbin, SP (9 percent owned, +3 percent): Corbin's no guarantee to succeed at 22 in his first year in the bigs, but he can be forgiven for exploding at Coors Field. He's not the first pitcher with promise to do so, and he likely won't be the last to do so this month. He's not mixed league material, but he's worth the flyer in NL-only, especially after a disheartening Coors appearance that will make people miss him on the waiver wire.