Fantasy Baseball Mailbag: Adam LaRoche, Kevin Slowey, And DL Spots

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Adam LaRoche has hit at least 25 home runs in four consecutive seasons. Photo Credit: Keith Allison

In a 12-team roto league, I recently picked up Drew Stubbs but he is already making me
nervous. I have equal depth at OF and 1B. I can pick up Adam LaRoche (I just dropped him
last week), Mitch Moreland, Nate Schierholtz or Pablo Ozuna. Should I pick up one of these

LaRoche is the guy to add. All of these players have some flaws, but LaRoche is the most consistent of
the group. Often times people want upside when a consistent player that you can pencil in for reliable
numbers like a LaRoche is fine. Outside of last season, LaRoche is a perennial slow first-half player that
gets going in the second half. LaRoche is off to a slow start, batting .196 with 11 runs, three home runs and
10 RBIs. He is striking out more than usual with a 30 percent rate. He is drawing walks with 12 percent
walk rate. LaRoche has a .262 BABIP, which is below his career mark of .307 so an increase in average
is likely. The Nationals lineup is good and has yet to click. There should be plenty of opportunities for
LaRoche to drive in runs. LaRoche had a career year with 33 home runs and 100 RBIs in 2012 but had at
least 25 home runs and 83 RBIs in three consecutive seasons prior and I expect those types of numbers
again. LaRoche owners need to stay patient. He is already heating up going 9-for-17 in his last six games.

I am in a 12-team 5×5 dynasty roto league. I am trying to upgrade pitching this year and
for the future. I have an opportunity to drop Jorge De La Rosa and add Chris Tillman. I
am thinking this is a wash at minimum for this year and Tillman has the greater long term
upside. Would you do it?

I would and agree with your thinking. Tillman is just 25 and is starting to come around. In 15 starts last
season, Tillman went 9-3 over 86 innings with a 2.93 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 6.91 K/9 and 2.51 BB/9. They key
for him is limiting the walks. He hasn’t been as good so far in 2013. In 40 2/3 innings, he has a 3.76 ERA,
1.38 WHIP, 6.64 K/9 and 3.98 BB/9. The numbers are skewed because he was shaky in his first three
starts and the last four starts have been much better. In 26 2/3 innings over that time, he has allowed 19

hits, six earned runs, 10 walks and struck out 15. I really like his breaking pitches and he will improve. De
La Rosa is 31 and coming off Tommy John surgery in 2011 that limited him to just 10 2/3 innings in 2012.
De La Rosa has lost velocity and isn’t getting the swings and misses he once did. He also plays in a tough
home ballpark in Coors Field. Make the move.

This is more of a commissioner question. I was thinking of switching league (at the end of
year) to unlimited DL spots. How does that work? How do you prevent people from picking
up every DL player not on a roster?

Good question and this will be informative for everybody. I have no issue with unlimited DL spots. I play
in two leagues with them, some leagues with one to three DL spots and others with none. I believe there
should at least be a few. Some teams will get unlucky with injuries and they shouldn’t be penalized with
dead spots or forced to drop good players. The one thing I don’t like about unlimited slots for DL players
is what you addressed. People can take advantage of that by adding guys like Colby Lewis, Brandon
Beachy and Corey Luebke
right now and stashing them without any consequence. The way to avoid
this is institute a rule in the league constitution. In my league, we have three DL spots and I still use a
rule. The rule is if you add a player who is currently on the disabled list, for example Lewis, you can’t place
him in a DL slot. There might be a team that has no players on the disabled list and it’s unfair for them to
just add three players on the disabled list and then place them in a DL slot. If you’re in that situation and
can take advantage of the rules, then do it. In my league, the player can be added but he must be on your
active roster, which means a reserve spot on the bench and not a DL spot. If someone decided to draft an
injured player, then they can put him on the disabled list. When they add one in free agency, he cannot be
placed in a DL slot.

Who do you like better from Kevin Correia, Kevin Slowey or Tommy Hanson?

If I have to select one, it is Slowey. He won’t continue to be this good and he won’t win many games on
a team with a pathetic offense, but he’s still the best of this group. I always liked Slowey because of his
excellent control and he has decent strikeout rates. He is a fly ball pitcher and that’s a good fit for him in
a big ballpark in Miami. Slowey has allowed just three home runs in 44 2/3 innings despite a 43 percent
fly ball rate. Four of his starts have been at home where he has allowed two home runs and one came
on the road where he pitched at Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Washington. Slowey has a 1.81 ERA, 0.94
WHIP, 7.25 K/9 and 1.61 WHIP. I want no part of Hanson. The Braves are a smart organization and once
they traded Hanson, it sent up a huge red flag. He has shoulder issues and has changed his delivery to
compensate. The 3.86 ERA doesn’t show how bad he has been. A 5.46 K/9, 1.93 HR/9, 5.63 FIP and an
average fastball of 87.9 all indicate a steep decline is coming. Correia is off to a good start like he did in
recent seasons. He doesn’t get a lot of strikeouts and will finish with an ERA over four.