Another Happy Sunday to you all and I hope you’re having an enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend. I’m aware that this weekend is likely filled with all sorts of barbecues and celebrations and your time is limited here so we’re going to make this recap short and sweet today. With so many other distractions in life, including a significant other who is likely standing over you right now wondering why in the world you could be sitting in front of a computer when it’s time to leave for your brother’s house and your kids are in the car waiting, sometimes you just want the straight news. Give me the important stuff, short and sweet, and we can move on from there. So while you’re slathering yourself full of sunscreen right now, here’s a look at the Saturday highlights.
Fantasy Beast of the Day
|Jake Peavy, CHW||9.0||1||6||1||1||2||5||1.00||0.89|
Making Jake Peavy the Fantasy Beast of the Day is a major struggle for me. I’ve never been a huge fan and as soon as I start buying into the fact that he’s a quality guy and start endorsing him, he ends up getting hurt or shellacked for a series of starts. For those who believe in the jinx, prepare yourself. For years I would watch this guy and recommend him, only to be met with disappointment. Last year, I refused to buy in and look what happened – a full season, 32 starts, and a 3.37 ERA. So maybe, just maybe…my closest competition in a few leagues has Peavy and I’m looking to see him fade. That means it’s time for me to endorse him and put the kibosh on this fantastic year he’s having with his stupid increased K-rate and his 2.97 ERA. So go ahead and pick him up if he’s available (wink wink, nudge nudge). If he isn’t, check out some trade possibilities and see what it would take. (cough, stay away, cough) You’re going to want to pick him up because it looks like the injuries are behind him (no they’re not)and he’s here building off the greatness that was his comeback year last year. Bwah ah ah. Good luck with that.
|Everth Cabrera, SS SD||3-5. 2 R, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, SB|
|Jason Castro, C HOU||3-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI|
|Pedro Alvarez, 3B PIT||2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, BB|
|Mike Minor, SP ATL||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 10 K|
|Derek Holland, SP TEX||W, 0.00 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 10 K|
It’s always nice when a player completely lives up to his expectations the year after a breakout campaign. The book on Everth Cabrera was a simple one -- mad, crazy steals with a middling to crappy average. There’s not much power to be had so appreciate what he does give you and move along. Well, here we are at the tail-end of May, and he is easily meeting expectations with a slight step up. He’s leading the league with 19 stolen bases, his average is a middling .267, but he’s actually at four home runs already which is a career-high. It probably shouldn’t be too unexpected though as he is 26-years old and just entering his prime. It’s not like he’s suddenly hitting like Jay Bruce and will mash 25-30, but he’s probably got a few more left in him which is always helpful. Should he also continue leading all of baseball in steals, then he’ll make for a nice, dreamy pick, won’t he?
While he’s not exactly tearing the cover off the ball, Jason Castro’s six home runs are quite the surprise considering just how bad he’s been earlier on. But here he is batting .267 with half a dozen homers which ties a career-best for him. Will it last though? Tough to say really, but I’m going to say no based on this 26.9-percent strikeout rate. He’s getting a bit of help from the BABIP department and once that fades out, then so does the rest of his game. He might be a decent short-term pick-up, but I’m certainly not going to the end with him.
And then there’s good ol’ reliable Pedro Alvarez. Huge strikeouts, nightmarish average, great power. Nothing new, whatsoever. You’ll need some potential batting average champ on your squad to counter that batting average, but he’ll still be plugging away and boosting your counting stats which is obviously important too.
How much do I love Mike Minor? So much that I’m afraid to say anything really based on the potential Peavy-effect it could have. But we’ve seen this developing now for a couple of seasons here so the increased strikeouts, the decreased walks, the improved ERA and all sorts of tasty peripherals shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Some people would say that, based on his history, he’s a great sell-high candidate, but I think this is a wave you’re going to want to ride all year.
The same goes for Derek Holland who I think is one of the more underrated hurlers out there. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s dealt with a number of minor injuries that people shy away. Maybe it’s because his home park plays like a sandlot. But whatever the case may be, the numbers don’t lie here. He’s been showing some steady improvement here and there and this looks a lot like a year where all of the improvements continue at the same time. If you aren’t able to own Minor, then Holland should make for a nice alternative.
|David Ross, C BOS||0-5, 5 K|
|Ryan Howard, 1B PHI||0-4, 4 K|
|Yan Gomes, C CLE||0-4, 3 K|
|Rafael Betancourt, RP COL||L, BS, 54.00 ERA, 6.00 WHIP|
|Fernando Rodney, RP TB||BS, 18.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, 1 K|
None of the hitters here should come as much of a surprise as strikeouts have been the nemesis of each of them for some time. They’ll have days like this and they’ll have nice, strong, positive days as well. The scales may tip towards this end for David Ross and Yan Gomes, but Ryan Howard, if he’s healthy, should fare a bit better more often, particularly in the power department.
But the real story here is the nightmare in the closer world that is happening once again. First of all, Fernando Rodney is making far too many appearances in this section lately and it’s killing fantasy owners. It’s killing me because I have to acknowledge that Ray Flowers was right about him and I was an idiot for taking him so high in one of the leagues he and I are in together. The silver lining was found in comments from Joe Maddon yesterday though as he said, “As long as he [Rodney] doesn’t lose confidence in himself, I’m not going to lose confidence in him.” That’s some pretty nice job security.
On the other hand, Rafael Betancourt is dealing with a groin injury and while it’s nice that he probably won’t hit the DL, he probably should have continued to rest yesterday. Instead, Walt Weiss threw him in and he coughed up the game. As a prime trade candidate, his job security isn’t all that strong as he could/should land with another team, probably as a set-up man. So when he has moments like this, it almost inspires a manager to start testing out his replacement. In this case it would be Rex Brothers, so if you have Betancourt, you better run out and grab Brothers as insurance.
Will Middlebrooks, 3B BOS – back (15-day DL)
Shane Victorino, OF BOS – hamstring (15-day DL)
Tyler Flowers, C CHW – back (day to day)
Sean Marshall, RP CIN – shoulder (15-day DL)
Luis Cruz, 3B LAD – elbow (day to day)
Kyle Lohse, SP MIL – elbow (day to day)
Hiram Burgos, SP MIL – shoulder (15-day DL)
Jim Henderson, RP MIL – hamstring (15-day DL)
Wilken Ramirez, OF MIN – jaw (day to day)
Curtis Granderson, OF NYY – hand (15-day DL)
Hiroki Kuroda, SP NYY – calf (day to day)
David Phelps, SP NYY – forearm (day to day)
Jed Lowrie, SS OAK – foot (day to day)
Chase Utley, 2B PHI – ribs (15-day DL)
Danny Espinosa, 2B WAS – wrist (day to day)
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over a decade on a variety of web sites. You can find his personal musings on RotobuzzGuy.com and for questions, thoughts or comments, you can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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