We are just two days away from the All-Star Break, but of course these games are still important as all of the news keeps rolling in. One of the top prospects left in the minors is coming to the majors, but his manager has already said that his stay won't be long. Another Red Sox pitcher goes down, which another AL pitcher takes one on the chin. One of my big man crushes is living up to my love, even if he didn't make the All-Star Break. A first round fantasy pick is finally waking up, while a guy we took a few rounds later is still disappointing. My pitching streamer from the other night didn't get the win, but it appears I am back on track as he still pitched really well. There will only be one more article before the Break so enjoy tonight's Rounding The Bases.
Hanley Ramirez had his third three hit game of the week, including his eighth home run of the season. It certainly seems that Hanley has woken up as in the last ten games he has raised his batting average 30 points, hit four home runs, and driven in 14 runs, although he hasn't stolen a base. Maybe all it took was for Hanley to be managed by a geriatric guy who had some confidence in him to get him starting. Too late to buy low on Hanley, hope you did it already.
Andrew McCutchen continues to show that he is one of the biggest All-Star snubs as one of my biggest man crushes hit his 13th home run of the season off of the Cubs Rodrigo Lopez. After a rough start to the year McCutchen has his average all the way up to .292 and he has now driven in 49 runs. He has also stolen 15 bags this year, and it looks like McCutchen is a shoe in for a .300/25/90/25 season and I still think that in 2012 he can improve even more. In keeper/dynasty leagues this guy is golden.
The Angels' have called up one of the best, and youngest prospects in the minor leagues in centerfielder Mike Trout. Trout is just 19 years old and was starting in centerfield for the Angels in their game Friday night against the Seattle Mariners and hitting ninth. I know we are all enamored by this kid's talent, and I am as well, but manager Mike Scoiscia has already said that Peter Bourjos is still the team's centerfielder and will be back in the lineup as soon as he is able. So, if you are in a seasonal league this is not the time to grab Trout as his stay is not likely to be long. Keeper leagues you can grab him, but just know that he is going to be back in the minors before too long.
Josh Beckett left his start after five innings after apparently hyperextending his left knee after slipping on the rubber during the fifth inning. Beckett was able to finish the inning, but he was replaced in the sixth frame after throwing just 68 pitches so you know that it was the knee that forced him out of the game. With Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester already on the DL, the Red Sox really can't afford to have another injury to their pitching staff so hopefully Beckett won't miss much or any time. The fact that he was able to finish the inning gives me a little hope that he will be just fine, but it is too soon to say.
Zach Britton didn't exactly have it tonight for the Orioles against Beckett and the Sawks as he was unable to even get out of the first inning. Britton gave up seven earned over just two-thirds of an inning, walking two and striking out one. "Mama said there'd be days like this" is the feeling I have about this start for Britton. The kid is young and he is still learning. Don't kill him or send him to the waiver wire over this one, he still has a good amount of talent.
Adam Dunn hit an impressive home run on the Fourth of July, and lo and behold he didn't have another hit until tonight when he hit....another home run. Dunn's average is a disgraceful .165 after this game, but the fact that he has two home runs this week after just seven in the first three months makes me hope that perhaps this is the start of a little bit of a streak for Dunn and he is about to go off. It might be blind hope as Dunn has been so horrible this season, but I am still optimistic that he will turn this around at some point.
Scott Sizemore hit his third home run in the last six days for the Oakland Athetics, and if he hasn't gotten your attention yet, he should. Sizemore was a former Tigers prospect who the A's picked up a month or so ago and made him an instant starter. Sizemore has decent pop for a middle infielder, and while he is a LONG way from Brett Gardner, he does have a little speed as well. If you are looking for some middle infield help, Sizemore certainly could be your guy.
Rajai Davis has been frustrating his owners as not only has he been a little in and out of the lineup, but he also hasn't been producing while in there. But Davis had a great game on Friday as he had three hits and he even stole his 23rd and 24th bases of the year, and it seems like now is a time that you should put Davis back in your lineups. He is on my bench in one league, and starting tomorrow he will be back in my lineup, you should do the same.
Chris Volstad (FLA) vs. Wandy Rodriguez (HOU) -- I don't know why I keep going with Volstad but I am just intrigued by this kid's stuff. He doesn't have it between the ears, but I don't think Wandy does either. Houston is a weaker offensive team and I think that Volstad can win this one for me and the Fish.
Thursday's Result -- Cory Luebke (SD)-- 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 Ks (L). Might have taken the loss, but I would take that start out of a streamer. This guy should be on a roster in all leagues.
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