Fantasy spin: Luis Castillo and Kyle Lohse trades
Suddenly, there's a run on second basemen.
Just days after Tadahito Iguchi came into the league, Luis Castillo is coming to the Mets, traded by the Twins for three young prospects. For fantasy purposes, these prospects won't matter to you for a few years, so let's concentrate on who does matter right now.
A high-average steals threat for years, Castillo gives the Mets an upgrade from Ruben Gotay. Hitting .304 for the year with nine stolen bases and 54 runs in 349 at-bats, Castillo is an immediate add in all NL-only leagues. His value stays about the same in mixed leagues as the Mets and Twins were very close in terms of runs scored and stolen bases (once you take Jose Reyes' stolen bases, a tally that skews everything, away from the Mets).
Castillo should do well in his new home. A career .293 hitter in 61 games at Shea, Castillo will score runs, hit for a high average and steal a handful of bases the rest of the way.
In terms of waiver order or spending your FAAB (free agent acquisition budget), Castillo is becomes the No. 2 player you want in NL-only, after Mark Teixeira. Speed being more valuable than power, he ranks ahead of Ty Wigginton, and he is having a better season (and will get more playing time) than Iguchi.
Gotay is no longer ownable except in the deepest of NL-only leagues as he moves back to a reserve/pinch hitter role.
For the Twins, Alexi Casilla has been recalled from Triple-A. According to Twins GM Terry Ryan, speaking to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Casilla will split time at second base with Nick Punto. Casilla is fast -- he stole 24 bases in 84 Triple-A games this year -- but he's going to have a tough time getting on base. He hit .269 in the minors with an OBP of .345. He also hit .233 in a cup of coffee with the Twins earlier this year. Considering that he also will split time, he's not worth an add except in the deepest of AL-only leagues if you are desperate for every last steal.
Kyle Lohse gets sent to the Phillies for Double-A pitching prospect Matt Maloney. Maloney's a decent prospect, actually, but the change from the Phillies' organization to the Reds' doesn't affect his value.
As for Lohse, he still isn't worth owning. Yes, he did pitch well in his one career start at Citizens Bank Park (6 1/3 innings, 1 run, 8 strikeouts) and he's going to a better team, increasing his chance of wins. But he has pitched poorly this year away from Great American, going 2-9 with a 6.42 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in 12 road starts.
Taking his place in the Reds rotation is Bobby Livingston, who is worth looking at in deep NL-only leagues. Although his underlying strikeout-to-walk numbers are not great (2.20 K/BB), Livingston has pitched well recently, with quality starts in three of his past four games, spanning a June 1 spot start at Coors Field and three July starts since entering the rotation. He has not given up more than three earned runs in any of those games.
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