Angel Pagan (OF-NYM) – Corey Sullivan / Pagan / Jeff “.299 OBP” Francoeur isn’t quite the outfield the Mets had in mind this spring, but that’s what the Mets trotted out there on Sunday. Perhaps worse (if that’s possible) was the infield: Murphy / Castillo / Hernandez / Tatis, with .176-hitting Brian Schneider behind the plate. Anyway, onto Pagan who went 2-for-5 with his fourth and fifth homers of the season Sunday as the Mets’ leadoff man to bring him to .293/.337/.497 on the season in 191 at-bats with an amazing seven triples and 10 stolen bases. Pagan, 28, is still just a .269 career hitter and has just 14 walks on the year, but he’s at least made himself into a solid #4 OF, and on the depleted Mets, that’s enough to give him NL-only value. For 2010, it’s hard to see the Mets going into the season with Pagan as a regular, but there are sure to be injuries, so if you own a Mets’ OF next year and Pagan is on the roster, grab him in deeper formats.
John Smoltz (SP-STL) – It would be sort of funny if it weren’t so sad, but after being an AL punching bad to the tune of an 8.33 ERA, Smoltz returns to the NL to face the lowly Padres and promptly looks like the Smoltz of 10 years ago in tossing five scoreless three-hit innings to beat the Friars. Smoltz walked none and struck out nine after getting knocked around in the AL East as well as by the Nationals and A’s in his Red Sox tenure. Smoltz gets the Nats in his next start, so keep him active, but keep in mind he is still 41 with a 7.40 ERA.
Ryan Roberts (2B-ARI) – Roberts looks to have become a fixture at second base for the Diamondbacks this week, and Sunday certainly won’t hurt his chances at keeping the job for awhile longer. Roberts was 4-for-4 with two runs scored, a double, and an RBI Sunday, bringing his overall line to an impressive .291/.372/.437 in 199 at-bats. Roberts also has five homers and six steals, numbers that project to 13/17 over 550 at-bats. Spectacular? No. A bargain for NL-only leaguers given his price? Sure. Roberts is 28, so don’t think you’re getting Brian Roberts here, but perhaps he’s simply a late bloomer instead of a one-month wonder.
Bud Norris (SP-HOU) – Baseball can be a cruel game. Just ask Bud Norris. After allowing just two runs in his first major league starts against tough offenses in St. Louis and Milwaukee, Norris has had a tough time. Norris failed to make it out of the second inning Sunday, allowing six runs in an inning of work against the Diamondbacks. Over his last three starts, Norris has now allowed 15 runs in 11 2/3 innings of work. He does have 11 strikeouts in that time, but an alarming 25 hits. Expect Norris to be a serviceable No. 4 starter as he matures, but apparently now is not the time. Norris had a 2.63 ERA and 112:53 K:BB in 120 innings at Triple-A Round Rock this year before being recalled.
Seth Smith (OF-COL) – Go ahead and grab Smith in deeper leagues, as Carlos Gonzalez will miss the upcoming week after cutting himself at home with a steak knife. No truth to the rumor that Smith jumped out of a closet, slashed Gonzalez’s hand with the knife, and ran out the back door. Smith led off on Sunday and had a two-run homer off Tim Lincecum as his only hit in four at-bats. Of course it turned out to be the game-winner, so we’ll take the 1-for-4. Smith is batting .297/.389/.508 in 236 at-bats and is certainly deserving of full-time duty, though that isn’t likely to be available on a consistent basis for Smith this year. Smith has a 0.86 EYE and his 11 homers projects to 26 in 550 at-bats. Smith has hit for average and slightly below average power for a corner OF everywhere he’s been in the minors, so fourth outfielder status is probably his career path.
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