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Sunday, June 21, 2009
Endy out, Wladimir in… for nowPosted by Paul Singman at 12:16am
Endy Chavez' season will come to an abrupt end after tearing his ACL in a collision with Yuniesky Betancourt on a pop fly. Chavez had been splitting time with Wladimir Balentien, who is disappointing for the second straight year in the majors, batting just .223 with one home run and only one stolen base thus far.
At 24 years old, Balentien needs to prove himself worthy of a starting gig in the majors in this audition, which probably will be his last if he does not perform. He has yet to follow up his impressive 2007 stint Triple-A in which he batted .291 with 24 home runs and 15 steals.
Waiting in the wings is the raw, yet talented outfield prospect Michael Saunders who is two years younger than Balentien and has shown maturity in Triple-A in 2008, cutting down his strikeout rate from last year's 32 percent to 19 percent this year. Saunders has also played well, batting .296 with 8 home runs, however the Mariners have expressed their wariness of rushing Saunders and so he likely won't make an appearance in the majors until August-September.
For those in AL-only leagues and deep mixed leagues (16+ teams) Balentien is certainly worth a look because of the increase in playing time he will see.
Paul has been managing fantasy baseball teams for many seasons and writing for THT Fantasy over the past three years. He is currently a student at UPenn welcomes readers' thoughts at his email here or in the comments below.
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