Known as the Sacagawea of fantasy primers, the Weekly Rundown guides head-to-head owners through a forest of obscure stats and exploitable matchups in an attempt to help solve lineup conundrums. While reading, keep in mind matchups are subject to change due to managerial moves, unforeseen injuries and Mother Nature's influences.
Chris Coghlan(notes), recalled from Triple-A New Orleans Thursday to replace Anibal Sanchez(notes) on Florida's roster, is a versatile infield/outfield combo player with an oversized bat. Prior to his promotion, the 23-year-old batted an eye-opening .344 with three homers, 22 RBIs and nine steals in 96 at-bats for the Zephyrs. Last year, the hook stroked a .298 BA with seven homers, 74 RBIs and 34 steals in 432 Double-A box steps.
A classic grinder with above average strike-zone recognition (12.2 BB% in '08), his energetic exuberance, consistent contact history and plus wheels are the reasons why one scout believes he has "no downside." Those are certainly enticing words for deep leaguers looking for a sparkplug at middle infield.
Batting second Friday in his big league debut, the former Ole Miss standout went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Although the natural second basemen started at the four, he's expected to garner most action in left, a position he hasn't played since his prepubescent days in AAU ball. He could also occasionally spell Bonifacio at third.
Regardless where Coghlan fists the mitt, the rookie should net fairly regular playing time, especially if he hits. Gonzalez told MLB.com the youngster's defensive shortcomings will be overlooked as long as he jumpstarts the Marlins flat-lined offense:
''We're going to try him in the outfield. We need that bat in the lineup, that's how we feel. You know he's going to get three or four at-bats. You're not really sure if he's going to get a ground ball or fly ball over there. To get a bat in the lineup, we might have to live with a mistake or something. We need the possibility of a good bat in the lineup... He's here; we're going to let him play. He'll get some time. I wouldn't say he's our left fielder locked in. We're just trying to inject a little offense into our lineup. This kid deserves an opportunity, the way he's been swinging the bat in Triple-A. Why not?"
Coghlan's Brian Roberts(notes)-like package and position flexibility makes him instantly acquirable in deeper mixed and NL-only formats. He certainly has the potential to produce immediate yields in BA, runs and steals. Recently added to the Y! database, he clears waivers early this week in plus leagues.
As for the 28 percent of you waiting on Maybin in non-keeper formats, it's time to make advancements on another widely available product.
• Despite failing to notch his first win of the season, the Conquistador, Jorge De La Rosa(notes), threw the entire Spanish Armada at the Florida Marlins on Saturday. The erratic southpaw punched out a career high 12 in eight innings. He also yielded two runs, allowing four hits with one walk. Graduating from the stream-exclusive ranks, the Rockies hurler has posted a 2.61 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in his past five starts.
An unenviable amount of walks (4.04 BB/9) and a marginal 1.00 GB/FB ratio are not attractive peripherals for any starter, especially one who pitches in Colorado. But his high-K upside and ability to keep the ball in the park (0.90 HR/9) suggest he could compile attractive back-of-the-rotation numbers in 14-team and deeper mixed leagues.
The 10 percent-owned De La Rosa toes the rubber Friday in Pittsburgh.
• Aramis Ramirez's(notes) four-to-six week absence is another crushing blow for the fragile Cubs. With the power-hitting hot corner sidelined, peanut brittle Ryan Freel(notes) and minor league journeyman Bobby Scales(notes) should see significant action. However, Freel, who was activated from the 15-day DL Saturday, felt tightness in his left hamstring during batting practice Saturday and was scratched. The 31-year-old Scales received the start in Milwaukee going 1-for-5.
Both Scales and Freel are players of interest in very deep mixed and NL-only leagues. But because the recently acquired Oriole could shred a muscle playing Wii baseball, the career minor leaguer may yield the most immediate value.
Scales, a versatile switch-hitter who is playing for his third organization in as many years, profiles as a classic two-hitter. Over the past two seasons at Triple-A, he tallied an appreciable line -- 409 at-bats, .306 BA, 13 HR, 58 RBI, 79 R and 11 SB.
If Freel suffers a more significant setback or yet another injury, the one-percent owned Scales has a shot to make a deep-league impact over the next month.
• Battered, bruised or should not be used: Josh Hamilton(notes) (ribs, should return Tuesday), Matt Capps(notes) (elbow, will be in available Tuesday), Hiroki Kuroda(notes) (oblique, still 3-4 weeks away), Ricky Romero(notes) (oblique, rehabbing in minors), Michael Young(notes) (back, day-to-day), John Smoltz(notes) (shoulder, could pitch in an minor league game later this week), Carlos Zambrano(notes) (hammy, condition rapidly improving), Aramis Ramirez (shoulder dislocation, out a minimum of four weeks), Anibal Sanchez (sprained shoulder, out 2-3 months), Lance Berkman(notes) (wrist, day-to-day), Joey Votto(notes) (flu, day-to-day), Alexei Ramirez(notes) (Guillentined)
For stream conscious owners who want to push the innings-pitched envelope this is the list for you. Run support, ballpark factors, historical and recent trends, opposing offenses, opposing SPs, managerial tendencies and meteorological influences are painstakingly taken into account to give you the top double dippers of each week.
FEAST OR FAMINE?
Torn between two stat-similar infielders this week? Use the pitching and hitting staff sorters below to help you decide whether or not Adam LaRoche or Rick Porcello(notes) is fantasy feast or famine. Stats are for games played through May 9:
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