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While there were plenty of things to get excited about on Friday night such as six of Gerrit Cole’s first 38 pitches (three innings) hitting triple-digits on the radar gun and Stephen Strasburg’s successful return to the mound, there was a whole lot of bizarro baseball going on as well. For those not familiar with the term, the Bizarro world was an alternate reality created in the DC Comics universe where all the characters were replicas of heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman but with opposite (read: evil) personalities. So in the baseball world, when we refer to bizarro baseball, we’re talking about things that can only be true in an alternate universe.
In 1983 Rickey Henderson ran his way to 130 steals for the Athletics, a modern day baseball record (Hugh Nicol actually stole 138 bases in 1887 for the Cincinnati Red Stockings). Others of the modern era have hit triple-digits – Lou Brock, Vince Coleman Maury Wills – but those just aren't numbers we see anymore. Nowadays we're lucky to find guys who steal half as many bags. So why is it that you hear so many people in the fantasy game say 'I don't worry about steals early, I can find them late.' Is that an accurate statement? How should you look at steals for the coming season, and which players should you consider targeting?
Well, Tuesday’s trade deadline brought on a flurry of activity in the baseball world which obviously sends ripples through the fantasy community as well. There were a number of expected movers and shakers in there along with a few surprising non-participants as well. Some of the deals have serious fantasy ramifications while others were more pertinent to the real baseball world, so let’s just go through them and see what’s affecting your fantasy teams here.
The final weekend before the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline finished with a fizzle on Sunday in comparison to the way it began. No big names on the move, no crazy player packages being put together; just a couple of minor tweak deals. Obviously there’s still another two full days (ok, maybe just a day and a half) to go and a few key names being bandied about right now, but all still in the rumor stage and nothing actually happening. Is it the calm before the storm or have we seen the bulk of the action already? We’ll just have to wait and see. For now, though, let’s look at the deals that went down yesterday.
Four players will be the focus of today's article. Brian Roberts has finally returned from his concussion woes and inquiring minds want to know – what should we expect from the former fantasy star? There's a hitter out there that has numbers that should blow your socks off, so why is no one impressed? Alex Rios is a five category option in the fantasy game as he's rebounded from a down 2011 to return to his previously impressive levels. Brandon Morrow is hurt, and I'm ticked off about that. Finally, an I bet you are wondering, why on earth is Lil' Kim referenced in the title of this piece? Read on to find out how she connects with the FSTA event that was just held in San Francisco.
When Todd Wilhelmsen closed out the ninth inning of the Mariners’ 1-0 win over the Dodgers, it wasn’t just another save chance for the 28-year old right-hander. The third and final out that he recorded put the Mariners in the MLB record books as the 10th team in major league history to throw a combined no-hitter and the second team to accomplish the feat with the most pitchers used – six – joining the 2003 Houston Astros who last threw a combined no-no against the New York Yankees. It was also the third no-hitter in Mariners history. Kevin Millwood started the action, throwing six no-hit innings, but was forced to leave the game afterwards due to a groin strain. Charlie Furbush and Stephen Pryor combined to finish the seventh inning, Lucas Luetge and Brandon League handled the eight and Wilhelmsen came in and with just nine pitches need, finished the job off with a perfect ninth.
Why does it not surprise me? In so many ways, too. Why does it not surprise me one bit. I’ve spent so much of this week having to discuss Mets pitching, that this was just inevitable, I guess. Johan Santana threw a complete-game shutout against the Padres last Saturday, Dillon Gee has a 1.98 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 13.2 innings over his last two starts, and R.A. Dickey has killed it in his last two outings, going 2-0 with a 0.63 ERA and 21 strikeouts. The three of them have been absolutely masterful, helping both their ballclub and fantasy owners from all over. And by “all over” I mean the greater Flushing area, because who, outside of the die-hard Mets fans living in Queens, would have these guys on their fantasy roster. I mean, really.
Well it really sucks to be Phillies prospect Domonic Brown. It is your life's dream to play in the Major Leagues, and how is your luck you are called up the day before the end of the world!?!?!?!?!?! OK, I swear that is the last time that I will bring up that total nonsense. But we have a pair of A's pitchers on the shelf, while one of the American League's top hitters go there as well. One of the Red Sawks top hitters sends one ova da Monsta, while one of the hottest guys to start the season is starting to slide. There's this and so much more in tonight's version of Rounding The Bases.
A little over a week into the 2011 MLB regular season and it is already evident that pitching once again rules. If you spent early round draft picks loading up on hitters than you are probably in pretty good shape. But if you bought pitching early on then you are probably missing out on offense so far this season. Tonight we saw streamer pitchers such as Bruce Chen, Phil Humber and Chris Narveson dominate the opposition while trusted names such as Javier Vasquez and Clay Buchholz struggled. Let's take a look around the league and see which players produced on this fine Saturday night in April.