It's been an ongoing saga. But now, it's getting juicy.
Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez saved his 51st game Thursday night.
This means he only needs seven saves in the final month to break Bobby Thigpen's record of 57 saves back in 1990 with the White Sox.
Will he do it?
I say yes, with a week to spare.
But what do you think?
Friday, August 29, 2008
It's been an ongoing saga. But now, it's getting juicy.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Shawn Marcum meet the cliff.
According to your bosses, you just fell off.
Before the All-Star break, Marcum was cruising. A 2.65 ERA. A 1.00 WHIP. Almost a K an inning.
Then, the arm injury.
And after a month off, Marcum came back as a shell of his former self. ERA was up to 3.57 in just three starts.
But then, Marcum settled down. Into a groove. Three strong starts and three wins.
But one bad start Friday night (5 ER, 3 2/3) and poof! -- the Blue Jays ship Marcum off to AAA.
Please. Doesn't the Jays brass know anything about folks steeped in a fantasy title hunt.
Of course, they don't care.
But they say Marcum needs to work on his control. Uh, just two walks on Friday. Sure four walks the outing before, but just four walks in the three outings combined....where's the big control issues?
Just another tale in a long line of them north of the border.
Marcum owners might wanna suck it up. Sounds like he should be back with Toronto in two weeks.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Who says pitchers can't hit?
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
News came out today about two fantasy big dogs.
And the news bites.
Mariners SP Eric Bedard and Mets RP Billy Wagner are both likely to miss the rest of the season with shoulder and elbow injuries.
Bedard tried to throw a side session and it did not go well. Wagner's left elbow is still painful. And today the Mets went out and signed Al Reyes of last year's Devil Rays closer folk hero.
Fantasy-wise, Bedard had turned into a non-factor, simply shocking since he was a consensus top 5 pitcher in any format going into the season. If this is it, he finishes with a 3.67 ERA, 6 wins, 72 KS and a 1.32 WHIP. Not at all, what the doctor ordered on draft day.
Wagner, who had 27 saves and a 2.30 ERA, is showing signs of a 37-year-old pitchers. The Mets plan on using Aaron Heilman as closer the rest of the year. Tread lightly with Heilman as the ERA/WHIP will likely not be kind. Reyes could get some save opps.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
And down goes Sherrill.
The Baltimore Sun reports that closer George Sherrill has been placed on the 15-day DL after he couldn't get his back loose Monday night.
The good news for Sherrill owners is he's eligible to come off Sept. 1, since he hasn't pitched since Friday.
Also positive is that his likely replacement, Jim Johnson, is probably floating on just about every waiver wire except maybe the one Michael Phelps might belong to in the Baltimore area. Not sure Phelps has had much time to play fantasy baseball. Although some may call what he did last week fantasy swimming.
Outside of Baltimore, most folks probably haven't heard much about Johnson, but he's been quite dependable this year. He doesn't strike out a ton, but holds a 2.37 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and a save in 64 2/3 IP.
Johnson's August has been a little rough, giving up 6 ER in 6 1/3 IP, but before that he had posted seven straight scoreless outings, so maybe it's just a rough patch.
Sherrill has been somewhat of a surprise this year, posting 31 save,s although his ERA and WHIP have been a drain.
After all these years, Greg Maddux is still getting it done.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
"What it means to be a top prospect is simply a statement. A label. Personally, i don't think it's any different than being a non-prospect."
Don't try to figure it out. It'll make you crazy.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
First it was Carl Crawford.
Then Evan Longoria. Now Troy Percival.
Believe me. I want these pesky Rays to win the East.
Who doesn't. OK, who outside of all the northeast.
But with Percival popping the hammy about as often as NASCAR drivers pop the hood, with Crawford likely out the rest of the regular season, with Longoria out for three weeks with a fractured wrist...
I'm just not buying it.
Not this year anyway.
The pitching's been extraordinarily good. Can that continue?
The hitting's been extraordinarily average. It may not even be that anymore with a hitter's row of Willy Aybar, Cliff Floyd and Gabe Gross.
Sends shivers up the spine of Mariano Rivera and Jonathan Papelbon, I'm sure.
Now, they have a guy with the last name of balfour closing out games, at least some of the time while Percy is icing the leg.
That's either hilarious or ironic, I'll have to consult Alana Morissette to make sure.
There were rumors the Rays had claimed Raul Ibanez this week, but it turned out to be the Tigers, who couldn't consummate the deal.
The deadline has now passed, so unless Tampa has another trick up their sleeve, possibly hiding out in Durham, the extended honeymoon may be over.
It's possible that top prospect David Price could get called up soon and help out the bullpen or the rotation. Price is one of the few can't-miss prospects that could make an impact this September.
But outside of Carlos Pena, there's really no power there and while B. J. Upton can steal a million bases, he was benched again Friday night for not hustling, the second time in as many weeks.
But already, the Rays have set a franchise record. People are coming to that hideous dome and watching games in a sterile environment and they really have built this thing the right way.
Hopefully, we'll see them in October, but I think we're looking at the Red Sox, Angels, White Sox and Twins this fall.
Friday, August 15, 2008
He's 6-foot-3 and throws 94-mph gas.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Carl Crawford is going under the knife.
Officially the word is 6 to 8 weeks recovery time after the subluxation of his right middle finger tendon is repaired.
The options, according to Rays Andrew Friedman, executive vice president of baseball operation, were simple.
1). Have the surgery and possibly miss the rest of the regular season.
The problem with rehab, according to Friedman, is that while rehab may have temporarily fixed the injury, it's very possible the same injury could reoccur and Crawford would end up in worse situation, needing a more serious surgery.
The timing, as all Rays fans know (and I know both of you are reading this), is terrible. Actually, it seems almost every other person now is a Rays bandwagon jumper, but it seems more about rooting for the small-market team than specifically for the Rays.
Folks are tired of the Red Sox and Yankees year after year.
The Rays are clinging to a 2 1/2 game lead after their 3-2 win over Oakland late Wednesday.
Good news of sorts from Rays Nation (OK, that's a stretch), is that rookie sensation Evan Longoria will likely just miss three weeks with the fractured right wrist, which if you know anything about wrists is, well, not too shabby. Seems like wrist injuries linger worse than a suitcase of limburger cheese.
Here's hoping the Rays have just enough fire power to make it to October.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Rumors of Adam Dunn being traded have been going on longer than most of his mammoth HR blasts.
Fantasy spin: Dunn's value away from Great American Park would seemingly take a dive, but not so fast. The D-backs have two series at hitter-haven Colorado left, not to mention a trip to Houston. And most trades to contenders seem to rejuvenate hitters, so it's likely you may even see an uptick in Dunn's production. Not to mention he's playing for a contract, as free agency looms at the end of this season.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Carl Crawford owners may be wincing louder today than Crawford himself.
OK. Maybe not. But I bet it's close.
The Rays left fielder suffered what is being called a right middle finger tendon subluxation and is being put on the 15-day DL. The Mariners team doc says it could be a six-to-eight week deal.
Talk about painful.
If Crawford's substandard season wasn't enough. He was hitting.273 with 8 HR, 57 RBI, 69 runs and 25 SB.
These isn't horrible production, but considering you likely paid a 2nd-round price, you should be feeling a little buyer's remorse. Not that you can control injuries. But a dozen HR and mid-30 SB is not at all what Crawford owners were hoping for.
For years, Crawford has been living off hype and upside. We've read so many times that this is the year Crawford develops into a 25-30 HR guy that you'd have to think Roto magazines have it on a save string.
But after 18 HR in 2006, the year Crawford turned 25, we saw 11 last year and likely single digits this season. Of course, when you're consistently churning out double nickles in the SB department, you can overlook the power outage.
But this year, the steals haven't come and while part of that can be blamed to hamstring issues, you can't help but wonder if CC will ever regain his elite status.
Speaking of CC, check out this borderline funny clip on the speed demon:
Good news for Rays fans is that Rocco Baldelli has been activated from the disabled list. Of course, Tampa doesn't know what to expect from Baldelli who has missed all season with Mitochondrial (or fatigue) disorder.
But emotionally, it has to be a shot in the arm, especially after losing Crawford.
Add Baldelli in AL-only leagues and keep the expectations low.
But you never know. After all, how many predicted the Rays being in first place on Aug. 10?
Saturday, August 9, 2008
The dirt is starting to fly around the Manny Ramirez trade situation.
Seems that MLB is looking into whether or not Manny's agent tanked his last days in Boston, after the Red Sox would not drop his two single option years.
The report is that Manny's agent, Scott Boras, who won't see any kickback until Manny signs a new deal, called the Red Sox, saying if they drop the two option years left, Manny would play hard the rest of the year.
The Red Sox did not. And Manny's production, ironically, tailed off.
Reports are that MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred is investigating the situation.
It seems doubtful that there's any proof of Manny taking a dive or that Boras made such a call. Before all this shook down, Manny often looks like he's not hustling, taking short cuts, high-fiving fans in the middle of a double play, you know, Manny being Manny.
But it sure would make for a juicy story if it's true.
Fantasy spin: Those who had the stomach to own Manny have no problems reaping the rejuvenated slugger's results on the left coast. Look for these types of numbers to continue for the most part, so long as the Dodgers are in the thick of the NL West race and there's motivation. But with the Dodgers lineup as weak as it is, he might be a perfect sell-high candidate as most of his HR have been of the solo variety.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Melvin Mora, 3B, Orioles
Quick question? Check back in the last month and see if any hitter on your team has driven in 28 runs. The answer is almost always no. Yet the O's Mora has 28 RBI and is still sitting on my waiver wire - and likely yours.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
This is not why they call it the wild, wild west.
But Monday night, while most of you were sleeping, the A.L. West was as wild as its ever been.
Raul Ibanez: How often does a player drive in 6 runs in one inning? We'd have to call Elias for that answer, but it's rare. And Ibanez's 7th inning, including a grand slam fueled a 10-run bonanza that brought Seattle back from the dead, down 6-0. Ibanez is quietly putting up solid fantasy numbers: 16 HR, 73 RBI, .284. Owners surely soured on him after last year's putrid start, but in an age where prospects are wanted by everyone, every team needs a few steady guys like Ibanez.
Marlon Byrd: All the Rangers OF needed was a walk, but instead he opted for the walk-off grand slam, another rare feat, although not as rare as the 6-ribbie inning. Still, the Rangers climbed to within 2 1/2 games of the Yankees in a wide-open A.L. wild card race. Joba Chamberlain owners, take note: The fireballer left the game in the fifth inning with a sore shoulder and Joe Girardi sounded doubtful that he would be able to make his next start. Stay tuned.
Chone Figgins: Now here's the walkoff walk we were hoping for. Figgins' third walk of the game came against Baltimore closer George Sherill, who had only given up 27 walks in his previous 45 IP. Of note, Francisco Rodriguez blew a chance to get his 46th save, but did pick up the vulture win. K-Rod is still well on pace to break Bobby Thigpen's save record (57).
Monday, August 4, 2008
Show of hands: How many owners have ever grabbed Xavier Nady off the wire?
Sunday, August 3, 2008
OK, so maybe it was just lousy White Sox pitching.
Or maybe the big fifth-inning brawl added fuel to the Kansas City hitting attack.
But something has gotten into the Royals the past couple days: 23 runs on 38 hits in only two games.
That's right, 38 hits in two games. Sometimes, the Royals are lucky to get that many hits in a week.
Part of the explosion can be directly linked to the second-half redeeming of Billy Butler.
You know what I'm talking about if you spent a mid-round pick in the draft on the can't miss kid, who was sent to AAA for a month to work on his swing.
In the past week, Billy B. has five multi-hit games, 2 HR and 9 RBI. Better yet, he's raised his average from .253 to a palatable .271. And he's hitting in the heart of the order, albeit usually a quiet fantasy order.
It's not too late to make a run in HR and RBI. Find that weakest on your team (Butler qualifies in both the OF and 1B) and make the switch today.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
So much for that Dodgers hair policy.
Manny Ramirez, complete with the dreadlocks, made his debut on Friday after a somewhat surprising trade from Boston, who gave up a lot just to rid themselves of the Manny headache.
The irony is now Manny is playing for former Yankees manager Joe Torre. But now maybe they both can bond about being anti-Red Sox.
Trying to make a quick impression, Manny smacked a first-inning home run on Saturday, and celebrated as if his star was going down on the walk of fame.
Now, he's saying he wants to retire as a Dodger.
Perhaps, it's just Manny being mouthy. Or maybe he's relieved that he's finally free of those awful Red Sox, who actually had rules against him pushing down and fighting with other employees.
Evidently, the Dodgers have either relaxed their policy of no long hair or Manny can't get an appointment with Frederick Fekkai until Monday.
Friday, August 1, 2008
Time to call off the dogs.
The investigation into why Francisco Liriano was still in Rochester and not in Minneapolis can be put to rest.
The Twins called up Liriano, cutting ties with veteran Livan Hernandez, who was 10-8 but had a 6.44 ERA in July.
Liriano's agent, Greg Genske, was asking the players’ union to investigate why the 2006 fantasy phenom not been recalled, saying conspiracy to slow Liriano's arbitration clock was the motive.
Liriano, was 10-0 with a 2.67 ERA in his last 11 AAA starts, will start Sunday's series finale against Cleveland.
Fantasy spin: If by chance he's still out there, hit the button. It's possible he could be suspiciously hanging around the waiver wire. If that's the case, you likely are winning your league anyway and don't need Liriano's services.