Max Scherzer continues to pitch very strong, and picked up his third win. This is a kid that I like to continue to progress and, of course, continue to strikeout everyone and their mother. One of Scherzer's problems is that the Diamondbacks aren't very good so his win potential is not great.
His ERA is only 3.63 and he has more strikeouts than innings pitched. If Scherzer is available in your league, I would try to find a way to pick him up. In a keeper league, stop reading now and pick him up...then come back.
Ryan Franklin returned to the save column today for the first time since June 2, but it wasn't because of ineffectiveness. The Cardinals went on a six-game losing streak and then tattooed the Marlins yesterday 13-4.
So, for those of you who were getting frustrated with the lack of chances with Franklin, don't worry about it. The season is 162 games long and EVERY team hits the skids. This was the Cardinals time, and Franklin just wasn't able to get a save.
He pitched 1.2 innings today and didn't allow a run. His ERA sits at 1.14 for the season, and his WHIP is a ridiculous 0.85. I don't see that being his end of season stats, but I do have confidence in Franklin going forward.
Ryan Madson collected his second save since taking over for Brad Lidge. Not only did he get the save, but it was with no real drama. Madson only allowed one hit in the two appearances, unlike Lidge who has fantasy owners reaching for the Tums. Madson should be good at this closer's role as long as he is needed.
I expect his strikeout numbers to rise, and I believe that he will convert most save opportunities that come his way. If you are at all in need of saves and Madson is still out there, don't hesitate to pick him up with one warning: don't let go of someone who will hold a closer's job all season because Madson is not the long term answer in Philly.
Andrew Miller had another strong start on Thursday, and now hasn't allowed more than three runs since Apr. 20. Although he really isn't going deep into games, the kid is starting to come into his own.
He had one of his longer starts of the year when he lasted 6.1 innings, striking out eight. His ERA is still over 4.00, but that can partly be attributed to a slow start. His main problem is still his control, although today he finally didn't walk a batter.
Miller's WHIP is 1.50 on the season, and he has to improve on that before he takes the next step as a reliable starter.
Paul Maholm didn't factor in the decision, but he did have a nice bounce back from his last subpar outing. I've been waiting all year long for the Pirates' starters to come back to earth, and while they have to a degree, it still hasn't been as much as I had anticipated.
Maholm didn't allow an earned run over seven innings, and he also struck out eight guys. Don't anticipate those kind of K numbers to continue, he isn't that kind of pitcher. I still would only add him if he was pitching at home against the Nationals, but I can't argue with the fact that he is doing better than I thought he would.
Ian Stewart took the place of Garrett Atkins in the Rockies' lineup again today, and the young Stewart has now played every day since May 31. His average might not be anything to write home about, but he did hit his team-leading 12th homer of the year. Not bad for a guy who wasn't even playing everyday.
At this point it appears that Colorado is going to try to get him in their lineup as much as they can, and he becomes a very intriguing fantasy player. In keeper leagues he is a no-brainer. In seasonal leagues I would still strongly consider picking him up.
Not only should he be second base eligible, but he would give you great power at a position that isn't exactly known for the long ball. Stewart and Reimold are becoming two of my favorite young players.
Johnathan Sanchez has frustrated his fantasy owners all season long. He either doesn't last long enough to even qualify for a win, gives up tons of runs, or on a rare occasion has a solid outing.
On Thursday he did pitch 5.1 innings, and only allowed one run, but Sanchez walked seven guys, more than offsetting the five strikeouts he got. At this point Sanchez is teetering between a guy on your roster that you shouldn't be starting and banishing him to free agency.
Koji Uehara returned to the Orioles rotation tonight and he was again average. Uehara only lasted five innings, allowed four runs, and struck out only three. He's not bad. He went through a five start stretch where he allowed three runs or less.
He gets a decent number of strikeouts and doesn't walk many. I would consider letting him go, but I would want it to be someone that is fairly solid to do so. He isn't horrible, he just isn't going to do anything exciting.
Ervin Santana was horrible again, and in six starts since coming back from the Disabled List has been good three times, and absolutely awful in the other three. He allowed six runs over 4.2 innings, walked two and struck out three.
I don't think I would make the move to let him go unless there is a really good pitcher that doesn't belong on the waiver wire is available.
I am not the biggest Santana fan in the world by any stretch, but a guy who had a season like he did last season deserves more than six starts before you send him to the scrap heap. Give him two more starts to see what he does. His good starts were pretty good.
David Price is having trouble staying in the game long enough to be an effective starter. Price still has all the talent and the tools to be successful, but is being horribly inefficient with his pitches. Price threw 105 pitches to get through 4.1 innings, and he has yet to last through six.
I am figuring that he will improve a little bit each time out, but it doesn't appear he will be the lights out guy many were expecting. Continue to pitch him if you own him, and if you don't perhaps try and trade for him on the cheap.
Kelvim Escobar was removed from the Angels' rotation because of a lack of strength in his surgically repaired shoulder. Matt Palmer will take the next turn that was supposed to be Escobar's. Obviously it is the right time to drop Escobar, but what will Palmer's value be? He was 5-0, but his ERA was over 4.00 and he struck out just 27 in 44 innings.
He also had some control problems as he walked 17 batters against those 27 whiffs. I could see picking him up at the end of your rotation, but just keep your expectations in line.
Chien-Ming Wang somehow will remain in the Yankees rotation for his next turn, even after his last huge embarrassing failure on the mound.
Wang is just not getting it done right now. He only lasted 2.2 innings against the Red Sox yesterday, and I don't know how much longer the Yankees can keep sending him out there knowing that he is going to burn up their bullpen every fifth day.
Phil Hughes continues to pitch pretty well, and it seems like it is only a matter of time before he is back in the rotation.
Evan Longoria got his first hit since returning from injury earlier in the week, and in true Longoria fashion, the kid made it count with his 14th long ball of the season off of Ervin Santana.
This isn't really breaking news, I just really like Longoria and I was happy he was back hitting again. He's a stud, the ultimate player you want in a keeper league, and should be in your lineup every day.
While David Wright's owners are certainly upset with the fact that he has just four home runs on the season, they should feel good about the fact that he is not only hitting .363, but he also stole his 17th base of the season tonight. Now I know that we all drafted him for speed as well as power, but he is exceeding your expectations in both batting average and stolen bases this season. Could he steal 35-40 bases? He's well on pace to do that right now.
David Ortiz homered again for the Red Sox and now has three in the last five days after having just one in the first 49 games. Now the question is, did he just get all amped up for the Yankee series and get hot? Or is Big Papi coming back?
Fantasy players drafted Big Papi, but all they have gotten is David Ortiz. If he keeps this up for another few days I would feel confident that he will be better for the rest of the season. Like I said the other day, if he is sitting in your free agent pool, I would definitely try to pick him up.
Blue Jays' pitcher Ricky Romero had his best start since coming off the DL, but he isn't someone that excites me. His first three starts were very good before his injury, but I believe he is more of the pitcher that we have seen the last few times out.
But to be fair, Romero allowed just one earned run over 6.1 innings and struck out six. He isn't a great strikeout pitcher, but is decent. My opinion on him is that he isn't the worst guy to own, but I would keep him on a fairly short leash.
The Blue Jays have come back to earth, and his win possibilities will decrease as well. He's not a guy that I own, but he does have a little fantasy value.
My hitting streak in the USA Today 56 Game Hit streak now sits at three thanks to Raul Ibanez. You might laugh and say that three is a long way from 56, but this game is tough.
If you want to join our ever growing group, go to www.usatoday.com/sports and follow the link for the game. Our private group is called Fantasy Bball 2night and the password is fantasy. See if you can do any better. Right now the group is led by Jennifer who has a four game streak thanks to Adam Lind.
Ok, it is Thursday which means it is softball time. Didn't think we were going to get the game in due to the weather but we played through some rain. I got off to a hot start with three hits in my first three at bats with a liner to center, and RBI double down the left field line and a nice single between third and short.
I got mad at myself when I popped up a bunt attempt in my fourth at bat, and then grounded to short in my last. It was a good old fashioned pitching duel that we won 17-15. I played short field again, and made one fairly routine catch and one sliding catch.
I also just came up short on another sliding catch which I tried to sell to the ump, but he was too smart for that. This was the team that beat us for the championship last year, so it was nice to get the win. Our record is now 3-3.
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I'm not going to stop bringing up the mailing list until I get a day where I don't get a request to join it. For those of you who haven't seen it yet, when I find news earlier in the day I will send an email to you about whatever it might be.
If you were on the mailing list you would have found out about the callups of Matt Wieters, Fernando Martinez, Nolan Reimold and others. The trade of Nate McLouth, and injuries to Jose Reyes, etc. This mailing list is your way to get a step up on your competition.
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As always, your comments and questions are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. I guarantee a response within 18 hours. Also, don’t miss the “Fantasy Baseball Tonight” podcast four nights a week from Monday-Thursday. The Big Show on Wednesday is co-hosted by Todd Farino of fantasybaseballsearch.com, RC Rizza of junkyardjake.com and myself, Ryan Hallam at fightingchancefantasy.com.
To hear the show go to www.blogtalkradio.com/the_true_guru. You can also hear me weekly on the Tuesday Night show. Join me with Jeff Mans every Tuesday night at 10pm EST for all the the info and craziness we can pack into one hour. A can’t miss if you plan on winning your league.