Tampa Bay LOVES reclamation projects. Because Tampa Bay LOVES reclamation projects, Tropicana Field has become the MLB version of "The Island of Misfit Toys" recently. Last season, Joe Maddon and his cronies retooled Fernando Rodney into one of the best closers in baseball. This year, the team has enjoyed various degrees of success from such Misfits as James Loney, Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar, to name a few. "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" references aside ( Sorry, I watch quite a few kids movies these days), the team has been able to get a lot from a little. So, last week, they went out and got a little more.
First, Andrew Friedman acquired Delmon Young, a former top prospect in the Rays system and an all-around mediocre player over the course of the past three seasons with the Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies. Young was instantly sent to AA but is almost a guarantee to be called up once rosters expand on September 1st (or earlier).
That's not all. After that, Friedman claimed David DeJesus from the Washington Nationals (via the Chicago Cubs) for cash considerations or a PTBNL. DeJesus is a nice outfielder and an OK hitter, but DeJesus is no savior. That being said, he should be a vast improvement over Sam Fuld throughout the Rays September playoff push.
From a fantasy perspective, neither move is Earth shattering and, admittedly, neither move means much to owners in 10 team leagues or anyone with a solidified outfield entering September. But, if you play in a AL Only league, in a 14 team league or deeper or are suffering through injuries or suspensions in your outfield (Jose Bautista, Jason Heyward, Starling Marte, Nelson Cruz, etc), the duo of Delmon and David could be of some use to you down the stretch. Here's why:
David DeJesus vs. RHP Since 2010:
Delmon Young vs. LHP Since 2010:
It's no secret. Tampa Bay LOVES platoons almost as much as they LOVE reclamation projects. Maddon utilizes platoons more than almost any other manager in baseball. Right now, he employs platoons with Matt Joyce, Luke Scott, Johnson, Sam Fuld, Sean Rodriguez and a myriad of others in order to ensure hitters are in a position to succeed each and every night and at bat. Therefore, it's almost a certainty that Maddon will only start DeJesus vs. RHP and Young vs. LHP. Here's the total combined stats of DeJesus and Young had they strictly platooned since the start of 2010:
Combined Platoon Stats Since 2010:
Home runs? Stolen bases? Nah. Forget that noise. What you're going to get here is a combined BA that qualifies for 8th best among outfielders, an OBP good for 11th overall at the position and a SLG better than Hunter Pence, Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Hamilton, to name a few. Drop those ratios smack dab into the middle of a Tampa Bay lineup that's scored the 7th most runs in the AL and you've got yourself a recipe for some runs and RBI as well.
Right now, if I only had a spot for one of the two, I'd take DeJesus. He is on the strong side of the platoon and has already been penciled into the leadoff spot in two of his three starts with the Rays. But, as you can see above, you'll have a pretty productive package if you're able to roster the both of them once Young makes his debut this week or next, and both are readily available with only 2% ownership in Yahoo! Leagues.
More Splits to Consider:
Brandon Moss, Oakland A's -
Moss crushes RHP. I really don't have much more to say than that or to add onto what Mike Petriello wrote about Brandon Moss in this Fangraphs article last week. He has 3 HR in his last six starts, faces six RHP this week and is available in 70% of Yahoo! Leagues.
Marco Scutaro, San Francisco Giants -
The past two seasons, Scutaro has hit .387 and .402 in September to go along with a career BA of .292 in the month. It's time to start him if you got him. If you don't got him, get him. He's available in 35% of Yahoo! Leagues and qualifies at 2B/3B/SS.
Denard Span, Washington Nationals -
Most weeks this season, Span has been unownable. This will not be one of those weeks. The Nationals play their next six games at home where Span has hit .299 this season. Right now, all six games should be vs. RHP, which Span has a .302 BA against in 2013. Double bonus, the Nationals are scheduled to miss both Jose Fernandez and Matt Harvey in their series vs. the Marlins and Mets. Grab him if you need a BA boost or some runs and stolen bases.
*Editors Note: It appears as though everyone is scheduled to miss Matt Harvey this week, and many weeks in the future, with news of his torn UCL. Brutal news to Mets fans and his owners. Tommy John surgery seems to be a matter of "when" and "how many" as opposed to "if" these days.
CJ Wilson / Jason Vargas, LAA Angels -
The Tampa Bay Rays have scored 202 runs with .279 team BA vs. LHP in 2013, both MLB bests. Although Wilson has improved after a shaky start to the year, I'd consider benching him on Tuesday vs. Evan Longoria (.324 BA vs. LHP) and his crew. There's zero chance I'd start Vargas. Zero.
Josh Willingham, Minnesota Twins -
After impressive 2011 and 2012 seasons, Willingham has been a disappointment to his owners this season. But, he has a chance to redeem himself this week vs. the Kansas City Royals. In 27 AB vs. the Royals this year, Willingham is batting .370 with 1 HR and 4 RBI. Available in 61% of Yahoo! Leagues, he could be a good source of BA, HR and RBI for your H2H matchup.
all stats courtesy of Yahoo Sports