markdouble07's 2013 Entries
Nava, Craig good short-term options
By Mike Sheets
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
St. Louis first baseman Allen Craig has regained his home run stroke.
When setting your lineup each week, conventional wisdom says that when possible, you should always go with the best possible player at each position. And that makes sense if you're looking at the big picture. At this point in the season, however, there is no big picture. Only a few weeks remain in Segment 1, so all we're concerned about is short-term production. That means you can throw conventional wisdom out the window.
Take first base, for example. Chris Davis has been the top first baseman in the Baseball Challenge this year. However, he's not necessarily the top first baseman right now. Whether you sort the rankings by the past 15 days or just the past week, players like Daniel Nava, Allen Craig and James Loney have all outproduced the Orioles slugger. As good as those guys have been this season, though, few would argue that any of them are better BBC options than Davis, who is batting .338 and leads baseball with 21 home runs. Still, we're thinking short term here, so shouldn't we at least consider going with the player swinging the hotter bat even if he's technically a lesser player?
Of course, an argument can be made for both sides, as Nava, for instance, isn't guaranteed to outperform Davis in Week 12 just because he did in Weeks 10 and 11. But it is possible, and going the "hot-hand" route is definitely worth consideration. If anything, let this serve as a reminder that with time quickly running out in Segment 1, don't be afraid to think outside the box and make roster moves that may seem unconventional. ... MORE
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