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April 29, 2005

ESPN Column

Dellucci e Molto Meravigliosa!
DAVID DELLUCCI has a ridiculous OPS of 1.118, good enough for seventh best in all the land if he had enough plate appearances. Dellucci had Lasik surgery in the offseason and ought to be appearing in commercials for the procedure any day now, but let’s not get carried away: he just isn’t that good. Dellucci started 2004 in similarly fine fashion, batting .330 and slugging .560 through the end of May, only to hit .202 and slug .390 over the last four months of the season. So, should you own him? Nothing wrong with it, just don’t put him in your lineup and forget about him. Remember that he only starts against lefties, and, to use the cliché, he could revert to pumpkin status at any time.

On Hidalgo and Mench
Goodness, has Hidalgo been awful. I did suggest that KEVIN MENCH could offer the same or better production as Hidalgo but cost less (in the form of a later-round draft pick), but I didn’t think the reason would be Hidalgo’s .173 batting average. From May 1st of last year through April 28th of this year, basically a full season of baseball, Hidalgo is batting a stunning .213/.276/.391. Now, if he were ROD BARAJAS, Texas would shower him with love and arbitration-driven riches, but alas, he’s a right fielder. Worse still, he’s now sharing his position with GARY MATTHEWS. What to do?

In any ESPN mixed league, you have to look for a replacement. Perhaps keep an eye on him for potential improvement and grab him back down the road. In AL-only leagues and large mixed leagues, grit your teeth and hope he wakes up. As for Mench, he has started every game since the departure of Adrian Gonzalez and is batting a salty .300/.355/.500. That .300 average is probably the upper end of his range, but his power is legit. Unless he plummets to the core of the Earth like Hidalgo, he’ll start just about every day.

On Nix, Teixeira and Blalock
Hardly anyone in mixed leagues has taken the bait on LAYNCE NIX and his lofty .393 batting average. Given his tenure as a low-average, moderate-power outfielder, that seems justified. Nix might hit well enough to impart some value in mixed leagues, but come July I can’t imagine any owners saying “I wish I’d grabbed Laynce Nix when I had the chance! Curse you, Lucas!? He will continue to start against righties and sit against lefties. MARK TEIXEIRA and HANK BLALOCK continue to underwhelm. Actually, Teixeira’s projection look pretty respectable aside from his average, while Blalock projects to be a flop. Both will be fine. It’s a long season.

On the Rotation
I must commend my fellow ESPN owners on their collective skepticism of KENNY ROGERS and his 2.67 ERA. Rogers otherwise sports an unspectacular 1.42 WHIP and 11 strikeouts over 30 innings. As you probably know, Rogers is more valuable in real life than fantasy life. PEDRO ASTACIO discovered grim reality in the form of the Yankee offense last Sunday. He’ll face the Red Sox next in Arlington, so watch him rather than own him. In AL-only leagues, given the choice, I’d take CHRIS YOUNG over CHAN HO PARK. At least Young is young and has some potential. If you own Park and he collapses, you have his previous three-plus years of dreadfulness staring you in the face.

Posted by Lucas at April 29, 2005 05:55 PM