For a change, this week’s pair of recommendations are not the result of injury. One of them could be usable in more than just deep leagues, depending on your specific format, while the other is truly for the deep leaguers.
Evan Scribner | RP OAK | CBS 5% Owned
With Sean Doolittle opening the season on the DL, the assumption was that Tyler Clippard would close until Doolittle returns. And he has, collecting all of two saves. A 2.61 ERA deceives us into believing that Clippard is his typical dominant self. But he hasn’t been. Over an admittedly small sample, he is sporting an ugly 7/6 K/BB ratio in his 10.1 innings of work and since he is allowing a crazy amount of fly balls, his SIERA sits at an unsightly 6.01. His fastball is down a mile per hour and not inducing the swinging strikes it typically has.
An imminent hiccup could give Scribner an opportunity to earn a couple of saves. Unlike Clippard, Scribner has been dominant, posting a 29.6% K%-BB% in his 15.1 innings. He never had this kind of success in his previous Major League stints, so what has changed? He’s throwing his fastball less and his slider/cutter significantly more. And that slider/cutter has been absolutely fantastic, generating a SwStk% of 25.6%. His curve is also inducing lots of swings and misses, so he’s getting strong results on all three of his pitches. Aside from AL-Only leagues, those with daily transactions and an innings cap where the value of relievers is inflated should find Scribner to be an asset.
Chris Colabello | 1B TOR | 0% Owned
He’s baaaaaack! Remember when he started off so hot last April for the Twins and every fantasy owners was blindly rushing to pick him up? Of course, he soon cooled down and eventually hit his way back to the minors. But now Michael Saunders is having knee issues again, their center fielder is back in the minors and possible DH platoon-mates for Justin Smoak in Dioner Navarro and Danny Valencia or either on the DL or banged up. So Colabello got the call after a strong start in Triple-A and already started in left field last night.
Because he has experience at both first base and outfield, there’s a real chance he finds enough at-bats to earn AL-Only value. At the moment, Jose Bautista is clogging up the DH slot until his shoulder cooperates. But if Colabello hits, he could conceivably steal some at-bats away from Smoak, even against righties. This is a longshot and Colabello could be demoted in three days. He also strikes out a lot. But he clearly has power and targeting counting stats for short-term pickups in deep leagues is the way to go in my view.
Mike Podhorzer is the 2015 Fantasy Sports Writers Association Baseball Writer of the Year. He produces player projections using his own forecasting system and is the author of the eBook Projecting X 2.0: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, which teaches you how to project players yourself. His projections helped him win the inaugural 2013 Tout Wars mixed draft league. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.