With the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline more than a month away, the Colorado Rockies made a move to improve their shaky second base position, acquiring Oakland Athletics infielder Mark Ellis and cash considerations in exchange for right-handed relief pitcher Bruce Billings and a player to be named later.
Trading Places: Mark Ellis Traded to Colorado
Thursday June 30th, 2011
Ellis, 34, hit .217/.253/.290 in 62 games this season and lost his starting gig to prospect Jemile Weeks after landing on the disabled list with a hamstring injury in early June.
Mark is a career .265/.331/.397 hitter in nine big league seasons all with Oakland. He's not a power hitting second baseman, but doesn't strike out much and has managed to draw walks around the league average over his career. His plus defense will likely keep him in the lineup most days, regardless of his offensive production.
He joins a Rockies team who is currently 6.5 games back in the National League West. Jose Lopez, Chris Nelson, Jonathan Herrera, Eric Young, Alfredo Amezaga, Jose Morales have all played second base this season, with none of them stepping up offensively to claim the position. Between the six candidates at second base for the Rockies this season, they've combined to hit .236/.291/.319 with a .610 OPS in 80 games.
With Ellis likely receiving the bulk of the at-bats moving forward, Chris Nelson looks like the odd-man out the rest of the way. Jonathan Herrera and Eric Young will return to their roles as bench players with the ability to play just about any position on the diamond.
For fantasy purposes, NL-only and deep league managers should keep an eye on Ellis. Because he's not a power hitter, he offers limited value to owners from the middle infield position. Fantasy managers should take a chance on Ellis hoping that his on-base percentage returns to a respectable number and he's able to score runs batting ahead of Todd Helton and Troy Tulowitzki.
by Anonymous on Friday July 1st @ 11:22AM
A couple of things wrong here. First, "his defense will likely keep him in the lineup most days...." Herrera and Nelson are very good defensive 2B, so you overestimate defense. GM O'Dowd got him primarily because there is no defensive liability and, most importantly, if Ellis rebounds to career averages in BA, OBP, etc., he is an upgrade. Second, you project that "Herrera and EYJr will return to the roles as bench players." EYJr is actually less talented then Nelson, except for speed on basebaths. Nelson can also play 3B and SS. I believe that EYJr is the odd man out here. I admit that speed is a rare thing for a team. The key to Ellis is his future OBP. If it is .350+, he remains the starter and bats in the second hole.
by Anonymous on Saturday July 2nd @ 6:50PM
Good call on Chris Nelson being the odd man out. Sounds like they want him to get everyday playing time at Triple-A. Is Ellis worth a pick-up for my MI spot in a 12 team league? I'm thinking of waiting until he strings together a few good games before adding him.
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