After a rookie year (.291/.359/.479, Gold Glove defense) that normally would have resulted in a trophy in a non-Braun year, Tulowitzki has to be this year’s biggest fantasy bust. Not only is he hitting .166/.246/.298 with three homers in 151 at-bats, but Tulo is now headed for DL stint number two. Apparently after making an out in Friday’s game, Tulowitzki slammed his bat into the ground and sliced his finger open. Nice. Tulowitzki had been hitting just .196 in 13 games after returning from a nearly two-month break with a quad injury. No word on how long he’ll be out now, but it’s starting to look like a lost year. Sophomore slump indeed. On a positive note, Tulo’s 22:15 K:BB is solid, but that’s really all the nice things we can say here. Look for Jeff Baker and Clint Barmes to patrol the middle of the diamond while Tulowitzki is out.
When one’s competition is the equally-punchless Ronny Cedeno, the opportunity is there. It was for Theriot this year and he grabbed it. You’re not going to get power here, but as a leadoff man, that’s not Theriot’s job. At .308/.387/.362 with 15 stolen bases, Theriot has done his job as a leadoff man to perfection, setting the table for Fukudome, Lee, Ramirez, Soriano, and co. He makes contact 90% of the time, has an EYE of 1.30, and is in the top-10 in the NL (prior to Saturday) in batting. That said, Ronny Cedeno’s fantasy value is near nil as a result.
Carlos Silva for 4/48 or Kyle Lohse for 1/5? I’d say the latter is the bigger bargain and the former one more reason why Bill Bavasi is on the unemployment line. Lohse pitched seven more strong innings Saturday in a no-decision, allowing two runs on six hits with six strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 3.61 to go with that 10-2 record. Lohse has been simply fantastic, allowing more than three earned runs just once in his last 10 starts and more than two runs twice. Sure his K/9 is hovering at 4.4, but at 1.71, his G/F is nearly double last year’s 0.95 mark and he’s improved his strand rate slightly to 71.7%. Lohse is pitching like he’s looking for Gil Meche money this offseason.
There is quite a young trio of catchers in the NL with Russell Martin, Brian McCann, and now Geovanny Soto, but Flores could join that group in a couple years. .275/.333/.438 doesn’t measure up to those guys, but Flores was hitting .344/.417/.578 through the end of May before struggling to a .238 June. That’s going to happen with 23 year-old catchers and you have to keep in mind that Flores is no ordinary 23 year-old. As we’ve mentioned before, Flores was a Rule 5 pick by the Nationals out of the Mets organization prior to the 2006 season, and considering his lack of experience above A-ball, Flores held his own with a .244/.310/.361 effort in 180 at-bats. This year, Flores spent a little time in Triple-A, but he’s taken the starting job from Paul Lo Duca and isn’t likely to be giving it up any time soon. Flores’ 0.30 EYE will give him some problems hitting for average, but .280 with 12-15 homers is certainly within reach.
With Todd Helton and Troy Tulowitzki both on the disabled list, the door is wide open for regular playing time for Joe Koshansky. Koshanksy was given his first start Saturday and it was feast or famine – three strikeouts and a home run. Koshansky is 26 and being a first baseman in the Rockies’ organization lately doesn’t exactly provide much of a career path (thank you Mr. Helton) – just ask Ryan Shealy among others. Prior to his promotion, Koshansky had a .999 OPS in Triple-A. He regressed a little in the power department last year (21 HR), but he also had back-to-back 30-100 seasons in 2005 and 2006. The knock on Koshanksy has been a lack of athleticism and bat speed, but as a short-term NL-only fill-in, you could do worse.
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