SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

July 20, 2013

Fantasy Forecast: What's reasonable to expect out of Buchholz in second half?

Fantasy Forecast
Andy Silva

---- — Clay Buchholz has been an all-star twice. He’s been hurt and unable to participate in the festivities twice.

I bring this up to help illustrate that sometimes despite Buchholz’s talent, there is a price to be paid. He’s still young and this could change, but thus far Buchholz has been somewhat fragile physically and hard to count upon to deliver a full season’s worth of value.

If you own Buchholz, you were thrilled with the performance he was giving you through June. A few weeks back when injuries first started to surface, I recommended selling high and getting out with a net gain on your Buchholz ownership. If you held onto him, more than likely you can’t trade him now — certainly not at full value. The key questions become: do you take reduced value, or do you hold your nose and hope for the best and a speedy return to the rotation?

To the second part of that statement, there’s still no timetable for a return for the right-hander. There had been some talk about doing a bullpen session on Thursday, but that changed and instead Buchholz was scheduled to visit with the team orthopedist yesterday. If he checked out OK, it was reported that his throwing program would resume and he would advance to a bullpen session, followed by a simulated game.

Given the starts and stops Buchholz’s recovery has taken since his initial diagnosis, I would not feel comfortable predicting how this is going to go — even if the doctors tell him he’s good to go.

So back to the original question — get what you can or hold tight? It really depends on your team, league and needs. If you are fairly well stocked with pitching and feel like you have pressing needs, it may be worthwhile to take even 50 cents on the dollar if that will potentially lead you to a title. It’s likely that Buchholz won’t be back until at least early August, and who knows what you’ll get once he does return.

Realistically you’d be selling Buchholz at nearly his lowest point, but unfortunately sometimes it’s better to get something (even if you know that you could have gotten more at another time) than getting absolutely nothing by standing pat.

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Alex Rodriguez said he will return to the Yankees lineup on Monday against the Rangers.

He hasn’t played at all this season following offseason hip surgery and has been dogged by continued implications in the Biogenesis scandal. A-Rod really struggled late last season, even finding himself being pinch hit for and benched during the playoffs.

Perhaps this surgery is exactly the thing to help return him to fantasy relevance. Even given his diminishing returns the past few seasons, once A-Rod returns to action his ownership will likely jump at least a little from his current 26 percent ownership rate in Yahoo! leagues.

I don’t really see much bang for your proverbial buck; even with his rehab assignment, he’s still going to need time to getting into form facing major league pitchers. But, I’ve always been an A-Rod hater, so perhaps my judgement is clouded on this one. Ultimately it’s up to you whether he’s someone who is worth an add.

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Exhibitions are supposed to be harmless fun, an enjoyable diversion for the fans. However, the All-Star game may have become slightly less harmless for the Yankees after Robinson Cano was nailed with a 96 mph fastball from Matt Harvey in the first inning Tuesday, ending his evening before it even began. Luckily for Cano owners, it appears he dodged serious injury as X-rays came back negative and the Yankees second baseman was diagnosed as being day-to-day with a quad contusion.

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Andy Silva writes the Fantasy Forecast column for The Salem News. You can follow Fantasy Forecast on Twitter at twitter.com/sn_fantasysport.