Thursday, April 15, 2010

Burning Up the Bases - April 15, 2010

There are only two certainties in life: your income taxes are due today and you are on your way to winning your league's stolen base crown.

I can only help with the latter.

Three to Target

Chone Figgins, 3B, Mariners: A notoriously slow starter, Figgins has not stolen a bag since Opening Day. So, why target him? In most leagues, he will gain eligibility at second base and/or middle infield this week. His lack of power can be hidden a lot more easily when he mans second than when he plays third. Act fast.

Denard Span, OF, Twins: Despite hitting below the Mendoza line, Span has a solid hold on the leadoff spot in Minnesota and has already swiped three bags this season. Might a rash owner be frustrated enough to deal him now? You'll never know unless you ask.

Rajai Davis, OF, Oakland: I'm all aboard the Davis train right now. Like Span in Minnesota, Davis has a solid grasp on the 1-hole in Oakland. He has swiped five bags to date, Oakland is winning, and there's no reason both of these trends cannot continue.

Two to Deal

Rafael Furcal, SS, Dodgers: Raffy has stolen three bags thus far while hitting over .300 and looks healthy. I have my doubts about whether both those things can last much longer. Deal him while he's hot.

Ryan Theriot, SS, Cubs: See below for the main reason I would consider dealing Theriot. Although, the .185 average does not help things. Coming off back-to-back 20+ steal seasons, you can still get a decent return for him.

One to Watch

Starlin Castro, SS, Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA Affiliate): Manager Lou Piniella debated whether or not he should keep Castro coming out of sprint training despite the fact Castro is only 20 years old. Cooler heads prevailed and SC was shipped to Tennessee. However, Castro has raked (.364/.391/.545 including two triples) in his first five games. As an added bonus, Castro has stolen three bases so far, a year after swiping 53 across two levels of the minors last year.

Don't be surprised to see Castro get the call to the big club if either Ryan Theriot or Mike Fontenot struggle in Chicago. ETA: June/July

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