While rumors swirl that Cliff Lee is close to being dealt, there were plenty of on-the-field stories that are worth discussing. Felix Hernandez continued to thrive. Matt Garza and Mike Pelfrey continued to struggle.
Joey Votto had a big day at the plate. Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:
- Carlos Quentin (2-3, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) - Chicago White Sox - The time to buy low on Quentin has certainly come and gone. Despite the low average, he now has 15 HR and 53 RBI on the season. Considering his .224 BABIP entering the day, there’s a good chance the average also comes around before the year is out.
- Joey Votto (3-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R) - Cincinnati Reds - Votto showed why he may be the biggest All-Star snub of the year. He’s now hitting .318 with 21 HR and 59 RBI on the season. Seriously, how does he not get in?
- Carlos Guillen (3-4, 3 RBI, 1 R) - Detroit Tigers - He had gone six consecutive games without scoring a run. That’s what happens when you hit sixth in a lineup that isn’t an elite run-producing team (the Tigers are 16th in runs scored). He also doesn’t have tremendous power and had driven in two runs in his last 14 games. It was a nice game, but don’t get too excited. He’s usable as a 2B in deeper formats, but there likely is a better option for those in five-outfielder formats.
- Geovany Soto (3-4, 2 RBI, 2 R) - Chicago Cubs - He now has hits in five of his last six games, going 9-22 with 5 RBI and 3 R over that stretch. He clearly is not the player he was in his rookie season (.285, 23 HR, 86 RBI), but catcher is a shallow position and he is usable, even in one-catcher formats.
- Aubrey Huff (3-4, 2 RBI, 1 R) - San Francisco Giants - He’s on a five-game hitting streak, going 8-22 with 3 HR, 7 RBI and 5 R. Can we expect him to continue to hit like this? Probably not, so enjoy this stretch while you can.
- Buster Posey (2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R) - San Francisco Giants - So far so good for Posey, who is 7-17 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 5 R in July. He’s still learning to catch, but I don’t think anyone is questioning his bat at this point.
- Dayan Viciedo (2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R) - Chicago White Sox - He was hitting .227 with 1 RBI in his first 22 AB before this mini-explosion. Viciedo had flashed power in the minor leagues (14 HR in 238 AB), so it is very much for real. What he really needs to do is learn how to work a count and draw a walk (he had just 8 at Triple-A and has not yet walked in the major leagues) if he wants to be successful.
- Jason Donald (4-4, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 SB) - Cleveland Indians - Carlos Santana (1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) and Matt LaPorta (1-1, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R), though he was forced from the game after a collision with Elvis Andrus) get the attention, Donald suddenly has his average up to .280 with 2 HR and 2 SB. He has hits in five of his last six games, going 12-27 with 1 HR, 3 RBI, 5 R and 1 SB. The problem is, he doesn’t have much power or speed, meaning he’s only worth considering in the deepest of formats.
- Ian Kennedy (5.2 IP, 7 ER, 9 H, 0 BB, 6 K) - Arizona Diamondbacks - His struggles continue. He hasn’t won since the middle of May. He’s allowed 4 ER or more in three of his last four starts (20 ER over 23.2 IP). Considering how bad he’s been of late, it’s impossible to trust him in any format.
- Derek Lowe (7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 6 K) - Atlanta Braves - He made one mistake to Greg Dobbs (2-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R), but when you are facing off with Roy Halladay (9.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 7 K, W), that’s enough to cost you a victory. Lowe hasn’t been too good for the entire season, however, with a 4.40 ERA, and he lacks strikeout potential. He’s got value in deeper formats, but in shallower leagues, there are probably better options.
- Mike Pelfrey (4.2 IP, 7 ER, 9 H, 4 BB, 1 K) - New York Mets - His struggles continue, as he’s now allowed 21 hits in his last two starts (9.1 innings). That’s tough, but the wheels fell off in this one after a controversial strikeout turned hit batsman. It is clear that it ruffled him, but that really isn’t an excuse, as he needs to keep his emotions in check. He showed how much better then this he is and is likely just going through a little cold spell.
- Matt Garza (3.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 1 K) - Tampa Bay Rays - So much for him having turned things back around, huh? Since May 26 he’s allowed 4 ER or more in five of eight starts. In that time he’s gone 4-3, but with a 7.29 ERA and 1.74 WHIP. Clearly, he’s been terrible, though he has suffered from a .347 BABIP in that span. Depending on your other options, he’s worth holding onto to, but I certainly wouldn’t trade him now when his value is at its lowest. He should get things back on track in his final start before the All-Star Break with the Indians on the schedule.
- Javier Vazquez (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 2 K, W) - New York Yankees - He allowed 3 ER or less for the sixth time in his last seven starts. That’s certainly a far cry from his disastrous start to the season, isn’t it? He outpitched Ben Sheets in this one (7.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 4 K) to even his record at 7-7 with a 4.81 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. At this point, he has proven enough to be worth considering in all formats.
- Felix Hernandez (7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 6 K) - Seattle Mariners - He had gone at least 8.2 innings in each of his last four starts, including three straight complete games (and had gone at least eight innings in six of his previous seven starts). You have to think that it is going to be tough to get him out of there in his next start after the bullpen blew his chance for his seventh win of the season. Over his last five starts, he’s allowed 7 ER over 42.2 innings.
- John Ely (2.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 H, 1 BB, 3 K) - Los Angeles Dodgers - He had straightened things out in his last two outings (2 ER over 14 IP), but he’s now allowed four earned runs or more in four of his last six outings, seeing his ERA rise from 2.54 to 4.07.
What are your thoughts from yesterday’s games? Which ones caught your eye? And which ones did I miss?
THIS ARTICLE IS ALSO FEATURED ON WWW.ROTOPROFESSOR.COM