Monday, April 12, 2010

Make space for these DHs

Some fantasy players tend to avoid carrying a DH-only player on their roster because it limits their flexibility. If you have one Utility spot, as most leagues do, you can usually fill that with another speedy outfielder or power-hitting corner infielder of your choice.

But this year, there are three guys who currently qualify as DHs only yet demand your attention.

Start with Vladimir Guerrero, acquired by the Texas Rangers this past offseason and freed from the daily punishment on his body as an outfielder in Anaheim. Vlad is off to a stellar start, batting .464 with a homer, three RBIs and a steal - yes, a steal - so far. It's not much of a surprise, given that Guerrerro is a .406 lifetime hitter with a 1.176 career OPS at the Ballpark.

Next up: Hideki Matsui, who also relocated to an AL West team over the winter, signing with the Los Angeles Angels. The 2009 World Series MVP is batting .370 with two homers and five RBIs (including a game-winner) and is already ingratiating himself to his new teammates as a clutch performer. It also appears the Halos are willing to give Godzilla some starts in left field, which means he'll soon regain OF eligibility (he hasn't played there regularly since '08), which makes him even more valuable in fantasy circles.

And finally, David Ortiz, who infamously went off on an expletive-laden rant last week after his 0-for-7 start drew comparisons to last season's slow start from the media. Big Papi is understandibly frustrated after another hideous April (.136, 0 homers), but I have no problem keeping a spot open on my bench who hit a league-high 27 homers after June 5 of last season. Hopefully you weren't counting on big things from him right off the bat and can afford to keep him deactivated until he inevitably hits a hot streak.

A few other DHs of note, Travis Hafner and Pat Burrell, might be worth a look later in the season if they can prove they've still got something left in the tank, but for now they're better left untouched.

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