There has been some fairly creative positioning going on over the last couple of weeks, and while all of the players mentioned here are probably more useful in deep and/or league-specific formats, you might want to keep an eye on their roles going forward. If you’re particularly thin at any given position or trying to weather an injury (or prepare for one), being a position eligibility maven can sometimes patch holes until you find a better solution.
Ian Stewart being dinged up early, Jose Lopez generally sucking, having a fairly diverse defensive skill set, and playing in Colorado makes Wigginton’s future rather intriguing. He may add OF to his eligibility soon giving him 1b, 2b, 3b, and OF eligibility, which, given limited roster space, makes him awfully useful.
He needs three starts and 8 appearances in Yahoo for eligibility in OF and will need 8 appearances in ESPN, but just 3 appearances in CBS. Wigginton should be good for a decent batting average, 15+ home runs, and RBI/Runs in the 60’s if given anything close to regular playing time. Stashing a guy with this kind of versatility on your bench can be a pretty decent strategy depending on the makeup of your roster and where you think you might be vulnerable.
Renteria, who seems like he should be collecting social security by now, is about to be able to add 2B to his resume. He’s never played second in his 16 year career until now. His eligibility is more of a long-term strategy, as he’s shifted to 2b as part of a double-switch twice this season, and has therefore registered on the radar of having dual eligibility at both SS and 2b. He has yet to start, so that hurts him in Yahoo where he’ll need 8 more appearances on the right side of the bag (same for ESPN), whereas CBS he only needs to show up there 3 more times. With Brandon Phillips a little dinged up recently, it’s not out of the question that he could qualify within a couple weeks.
Whether or not he’s useful to you certainly depends on your format. Renteria should be good for a decent batting average, he’s the kind of guy that tends to hit a few home runs as soon as you bench him, and every once in a while, he’ll swipe a bag. He’s been hitting anywhere from 2nd to 8th in the Cincinnati lineup, and his playing time isn’t regular, so it’s tough to pin down exactly what to expect from him in the runs and RBI department. But if he can get into the lineup five times a week, he could be useful to you if the need arises.
I’m not sure that it’s fair to call him a former uber-prospect, but there were many that thought pretty highly of Brent Lillibridge and therefore, there were many that were left with a lot of egg on their face as he’s just never really panned out. However, Lillibridge seems to be in the good graces of Ozzie Guillen who has been plugging him in to spell Gordon Beckham, Alex Rios, and Carlos Quentin on a semi-regular basis. If he could get the at bats, he would be someone to pay attention to on the stolen base front. The reason he’s featured here is because while he qualifies at 2b in most leagues, it won’t be too long before he shows up as an outfielder, needing 3 starts to qualify in Yahoo, 3 more appearances in CBS, and 6 appearances in ESPN. Lillibridge could murder your batting average but if you’re dying for steals, he might be worth a spot start or two as he’s about as fast as they come, and while he’s almost certainly more valuable as a 2b, if you’re in big trouble with steals, his versatility could help out depending on the makeup of your roster.
The Athletics seem hell-bent on giving LaRoche as long a rope as possible in order to prove himself as a useful regular major leaguer, and in that effort they’ve given him playing time at his natural third base, but also at 2b and SS as well. They appear to want him to give them a reason to jettison Kevin Kouzmanoff to their bench or perhaps another team, but his errors at third and his light bat aren’t helping his cause. However, if they continue to slot him in around the infield, his eligibility at SS just might be handy if you’re in a particularly deep league and if he manages to produce at least like the 2009 version of Andy LaRoche. He needs just 2 starts at SS or 4 appearances for eligibility in Yahoo and 2 just more appearances for CBS. There’s certainly potential here, but you would probably have to be in a pretty dire situation to turn to him at any position.
Michael was born in Massachusetts and grew up in the Seattle area but had nothing to do with the Heathcliff Slocumb trade although Boston fans are welcome to thank him. You can find him on twitter at @michaelcbarr.