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Fantasy baseball: Let's play 'Stash or Trash'

Sauk Valley Media's Christopher Heimerman says it's a good time to sell high on 
Atlanta Braves star Justin Upton in fantasy baseball.
Sauk Valley Media's Christopher Heimerman says it's a good time to sell high on Atlanta Braves star Justin Upton in fantasy baseball.

It’s hard to let go. My heart went out to SVM sports writer Brian Weidman, who had to have two of his cats put down this week.

Last week, that same heart hurt for Newman junior Tyler Danilson, whose mother, Maureen, lost an inspiring bout with cancer. Just at my glimpse, she was an incredible woman. No 16-year-old kid deserves to pass through that time in their life without a mom or dad.

So if you see either Tyler or Brian, give ’em a hug. Tell ’em everything’s gonna be all right. If the moment seems just right, do something to make them smile.

Make light of matters, like I try to do in this weekly column about something as frivolous as fantasy baseball.

On that note, take a little vacation from reality with me, and let’s examine who it’s time to let go of, and with whom it’s too soon to tell.

Case: Travis D’Arnaud, Mets C

Argument: Kid can thump. No doubt. But an opposing batter recently thumped a foul ball off his foot. The good news? No surgery. Bad? He will be out until mid-June.

D’Arnaud was a keystone in the deal that sent Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey to Toronto in the offseason, and the Mets planned to call him up after some mild seasoning with
Triple-A Las Vegas.

Further stunting that plan is John Buck, a career.236/.409/.712 batter who played out of his mind the first few weeks. After slugging .865 through his first 37 at-bats, he remembered he’s John Buck over the past 33, that clip slipping to .600, and his absurd 1.215 OPS diving to a still superhuman (especially for Buck) .893.

Verdict: Unless you’re in a dynasty league, let him go. But keep tabs. If Buck’s regression continues, I’m scooping D’Arnaud back up in mid-May.

Case: Wil Myers, Rays RF

Argument: Baseball Prospectus’ No. 1 prospect fouled a ball off his foot last week and missed a start, sending many fantasy stashers into frenzy. If they looked away, they might have missed the fact that he’s gone yard twice since, after going 54 at-bats without a homer.

Concern was somewhat warranted, as Myers’ claim to fame will be his pop.

He’s not going to steal bases, so the donut in the HR column made for some anxious, upset tummies.

Meanwhile, the punching-Judy Rays ate their spinach, hitting 11 homers in seven outings after clocking 12 in its first 15.

Verdict: If someone dropped him and no one jumped all over him with a waiver claim, grab him. The past week is a mixed bag, but one thing is constant: Myers is the truth. Look for him to be called up by my next column.

Case: Oscar Taveras, Cardinals CF

Argument: Bad news, Taveras owners. That blockbuster trade for Rangers top prospect Jurickson Profar? Not happening.

Boy, would that have been nice, to send him from the Cardinals’ outfield logjam to Texas, which is getting little out of Leonys Martin in center field. Alas, it’s a no-go.

If you stashed Taveras because you’re a Cards fan, you already know why you should let him go. Mike Matheny needs to get the Ruthian Matt Adams into the lineup once healthy. In turn, Allen Craig could see some outfield starts.

Verdict: I just don’t see Taveras having an impact this season. Let go, friend.

Case: Adam Dunn, White Sox 1B

Argument: I feel privileged that got to see Big Donkey go yard in person last Sunday, sending his average back over the .100 mark for the season.

Most Sox fans haven’t been so lucky. Even more rare, last night several thousand fans got to see him get through a game without striking out.

I’m not going to fault you if you don’t want to be patient. Another .159/.277/.569 campaign, a la 2011, is not only possible. It’s downright feasible.

Verdict: I’ve never drafted the guy. If you did, my apologies, but you should probably hold onto him. He’s not doing anything you couldn’t have seen coming.

Market Survey

Buy low – David Price, Rays SP: His owner could be getting restless with both Price and the Rays’ offense, which is quietly improving.

Sell high – Justin Upton, Braves OF: However markedly, his 1.200 OPS is going to fall off. I can’t remember that last time anyone’s stock has been this high.

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