Don’t be fooled by the calm right now. Sure, most of the dust has settled from the non-waiver trade deadline, but we’re still in for a whole mess of player movement as there’s almost a full month still to go where teams can put a guy through waivers and, if unclaimed, are free to trade him wherever they like. If they do get claimed then the two teams can hash out a deal or the original team just pulls the guy back. Either way, as we’ve already seen Joe Blanton pass through unclaimed and land with the Dodgers and reports of Cliff Lee getting claimed by some mystery team, you have to stay prepared for more movement. If you’ve got a high-priced (in real life) player who’s rumored to be on the move, you’ve got to be prepared if he lands in a new situation.
But for now, while it is still calm, we can just stick to the highlights today and see what went down on Friday…
|Alex Rios, OF CHW||3-5, 3 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI|
Ah, the tease of Alex Rios. He’s up to his old tricks again as he rebounds from yet another lousy season to put up great numbers with great performances like Friday’s. He’s a great power/speed combo who always seems to come up short in some way whether it’s not putting up overall totals equal to the hype, or putting up solid power with moderate speed, or great speed and not enough power or solid speed and power but a nightmare average. Every year, save for 2010 it’s been something. For me, he’s a frustrating commodity. I’ve owned him numerous times in a variety of leagues and never, has it been the right time to own him. It was always something when he was on my roster and nary a problem in the world when he was on someone else’s. Yeah, I said ‘nary’. That’s how frustrated and flustered I get with him; I start talking like a 19th century poet. Well, before my angst comes pouring through even more, here’s your Beast of the Day. His second home run of the night was the game-winner for the White Soix and everyone loves Alex. Blah blah blah.
|A.J. Ellis, C LAD||3-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI|
|Prince Fielder, 1B DET||3-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, BB|
|Buster Posey, C SF||4-5, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB|
|Josh Johnson, SP MIA||W, 1.04 ERA, 0.58 WHIP, 9 K|
|CC Sabathia, SP NYY||W, CG, 3.00 ERA, 0.44 WHIP, 10 K|
Quite the splits on A.J. Ellis, huh? A tremendous first two months of the season as he was hitting over .300, powered up with four home runs in May and was looking like the steal of the year for those that put the early-season waiver claim on him. But then June rolled around and Ellis hit .222 for the month. He did have 15 RBI which helped mask his decline. But after a .254 July that saw him hit two home runs with just eight RBI, the dream was over. Or was it? This is a great way to start off August and help keep the overall season positive. If he can have himself even just a decent month here, then unless he totally tanks it in September, he’s been a huge asset for his owners. But if he comes up empty here in August, then he would need a Tulowitzki-like September to stay in everyone’s good graces, and you know that ain’t happening. Hopefully this is the start of another solid month for him.
These last two months are going to be crucial for Prince Fielder. Sure, the fact that he’s hitting over .300 is nice, but with 18 home runs right now, he’s only on pace to hit 27 which would be the lowest of his career. Fortunately, with the Tigers offense, he still gets great RBI opportunities and because he’s getting on-base more, his runs scored are going to be fine. But you’re not getting the bombs you had hoped for, are you? If the other numbers weren’t looking so hot, then you could be down on him, but based on everything else he’s given you, the loss of eight to ten home runs shouldn’t be that traumatic.
Love me some Buster Posey. How could you not? Would everything he’s done up til now be worthy of the NL Comeback Player of the Year award? Is there anyone else more deserving? Given the type of injury, the position he plays and the season he’s had, I defy you to name someone else more worthy of the accolades. Send me an email or a shout out on Twitter if you’ve got someone better.
Some outstanding pitching efforts from both Josh Johnson and CC Sabathia here. Joshnson looked like he was on his way to the complete game, but he gave up a hit to start the ninth and then it all sort of vanished from there as he was charged with a second run and got the hook after 8.2 innings. CC was also getting hit in the ninth but Joe Girardi left him in to finish the job. I guess Ozzie Guillen has seen enough blown leads this year that he just couldn’t wait it out. Either way, both came up strong for their fantasy owners, which is what we like to see at this point in the season. Need the big games from the big guns. That’s how you finish the year strong.
And finally, though he didn’t make it to the leaderboard, it was a very successful debut for Dan Straily with six innings of one-run ball and five strikeouts. He ws in line for the win, but stupid Ryan Cook blew his third save in four chances to ruin the kid's debut. Straily could be a great late season pick-up here, so if you’ve got room on your roster and are in need of pitching help, he’s your guy.
|Garrett Jones, OF PIT||0-4, 3 K|
|Mark Reynolds, 3B BAL||0-4, 3 K|
|Sandy Leon, C WAS||0-3, 3 K|
|Brad Hand, SP MIA||L, 17.18 ERA, 3.27 WHIP, 3 K|
|Justin Masterson, SP CLE||L, 15.75 ERA, 3.50 WHIP, 4 K|
Yeah, that’s about right. No surprises here at all, including Justin Masterson who looks like he’s starting to fade even more now. That’s now three starts out of his last seen in which he’s given up seven or more runs.
Brett Lawrie left early in the game with tightness in his rib cage and given the number of oblique injuries we’ve seen this season, it would appear that he could be out for a few games. There’s been no word just yet, but the Blue Jays made a few moves late last night and one of them was to bring up Adeiny Hechavarria, an infielder from Triple-A Las Vegas who will obviously be used to patch up a quick hole here. We’ll wait until we get a diagnosis before we start wondering if we should pick up Hechevarria. He’s no good to you if he’s only up for a few days.
Colby Rasmus also left the Jays game early with a strained groin. He’s considered day to day, but I wouldn’t bank on him this weekend.
Yoenis Cespedes is again down with an injury – a sprained wrist. No the wrist he hurt earlier in the year though so that’s sort of encouraging. But this guy deals with a lot of dings and dents. That might be a concern when you’re thinking about drafting him next year.
As for the rest of the day to day stuff, take a look at yesterday’s list as none of that has really changed much. It’s a full list of who was coming into the weekend banged up. Some are better, some are not, but even if they made an appearance yesterday, they’re probably still worth checking on closer to game time to be sure.
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over ten years on a variety of web sites including his own, The Fantasy Baseball Buzz. You can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at email@example.com.
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