Turns out Melky Cabrera wasn't the only Bay Area player who has been cheating. Major League Baseball announced Wednesday that Bartolo Colon has been suspended 50 games for PED use ending his 2012 season and possibly his career. Another hurler continues to soldier on pitching very well without the results to show for it. That man is the Phillies' Cliff Lee. Manny Machado – has been been a disappointment? What should you be thinking with Wil Myers? Who is the best saves guy to add off the waiver-wire? Which outfielder – Crisp or DeJesus – looks like a better add at the moment? I've got answers for you in this piece.
Bartolo Colon Suspended 50 Games
Melky Cabrera cheated, was caught, and given a 50 games suspension for PED use (did you see that wild report that he tried to create a fake website to help cover himself? If you haven't, you gotta read this story). Now all we need to do is to look across the bay to find another cheater. Bartolo Colon was suspended 50 games by Major League baseball for elevated levels of testosterone, and with the A's having only 40 games left this season Colon's 2012 season is over (his career might also be as well). “I accept responsibility for my actions and I will serve my suspension as required by the joint drug program,'' Colon said. Just like Cabrera, when finally caught, Colon just admitted to being guilty. I give neither player any credit for being honest when caught, and neither should you.
Colon has already done some questionable medical things to get back out on the field. Colon had a medical procedure, in the Dominican Republic, that extracted fat and bone marrow from Colon's body and injected it back into his shoulder to treat a damaged rotator cuff. It wasn't illegal according to the letter of the law, but MLB looked into the procedure for a long while before determining they would have to allow the relatively new procedure (you can read more about the new procedure in Pitcher's Treatment Draws Scrutiny). Be that as it may, clearly Colon isn't adverse to pushing the boundaries of the law.
As for the fantasy implications, one would have to think that Dan Straily or A.J. Griffin would be asked to take Colon's rotation spot. Obviously both young arms are capable of getting big leaguers out, and the Colon owners would be wise to investigate whichever arm is called on to replace Colon (likely Straily in the short term as Griffin is still working his way back to health). If this is it for Colon, he will go out with a 10-9 record, 3.43 ERA and 1.21 WHIP over 152.1 innings including a strong run since the All-Star break as he had a 4-2 record, 2.63 ERA and 1.13 WHIP over his last seven starts. Now we know how a guy who's career was basically over in 2007 somehow revived his career the past couple of years.
The Unluckiest Man in Baseball
Tuesday night Cliff Lee did what he has done for most of this season – he pitched well. Lee held the Reds to three runs, two earned, over 6.2 innings. He also walked just one batter while striking out nine. His reward? Yet another no decisions. Despite owning a 3.78 ERA and 1.17 WHIP, Lee has two victories in 22 starts. TWO. It's just flat out amazing. Think back to 2005. Lee had a 3.79 ERA and 1.22 WHIP for the Indians. Pretty much exactly the same level of pitching as he's produced this season. That year he won 18 games. This year he's won twice. Some more Lee knowledge.
(1) He's made 22 starts and only one time has he failed to last six innings (4.2 innings back on June 29th).
(2) He's failed to pick up a victory in outings this season in which he has allowed two, three, one, two, two, three, three, one, two, zero and one run. That's right. Back on April 18th he allowed zero runs to the Giants. In point of fact he allowed zero runs in 10 innings and failed to get a win (the Giants won 1-0 in 11 innings).
(3) Lee just doesn't beat himself. Over his last nine outings he's never walked more than one batter. In total he's walked seven batters in his last nine outings.
The guy just can't catch a break.
Answering Your Questions
I get questions all day, every day, at my Twitter account – @BaseballGuys. Here are a few of the questions I've recently received an a few brief thoughts.
David DeJesus or Coco Crisp over next 2 weeks?
First off, I would always hesitate to predict two weeks for any player. I have no way of knowing how someone is going to perform over 12 games. We can look at games played, we can look at where the games are played, we can look at who is on the hill. We can also look at how players are performing of late to try and discern whether or not they are good plays in the short term, but the truth is there is no way to predict such a small group of games. Still, the question was asked, so let me try my best to answer an unanswerable question.
The last three weeks:
David DeJesus: .273-3-10-12-1
Coco Crisp: .230-2-11-13-7
These two guys are pretty close, though Crisp edges ahead because of his seven thefts, but that .230 average isn't going to help anyone. What if we go with two weeks?
Crisp still has a lot of value given his steals total, but that’s a pretty huge gap in batting average, isn't it?
In the end, maybe the answer is that you should add the player that fits your teams needs the most. Do you need steals or would you be better served adding a player that will protect your batting average a bit? Look at the categories, they are what matter at this point. My bet is that adding steals for a few weeks will end up being much more valuable at this point than adding a hot hitter for 40 at-bats who's effort won't do anything to change your teams season long batting average.
In desperate need of power, should I give up on waiting for Wil Myers, though?
It's sometimes frustrating doing my job. You know what it's like. Someone comes to your place of business and you give them some advice/direction, and you feel good about it. Three weeks later that same person shows up, tells you they didn't take your advice and that now they don't know what to do now leaving you to think – why did you bother asking me if you weren't going to listen to my advice? I feel that way with Mr. Myers.
I've been saying, since before the season started, that Myers wouldn’t be up until at least after the All-Star break. When pushed for a date, I've told people the end of August or September when the rosters expand. Well, we're just about to late August and still no Myers. I seem to be the only one who isn't shocked.
If you've been waiting this long for Myers, now is not the time to drop him since he should be up in 10 or so days when rosters expand. He's hitting .312 with 34 homers, 99 RBIs, 90 runs scored and a .992 OPS in just 122 minor league games. He's also hitting .359 the last 10 days, so it's not like he is struggling. Of course, all of that greatness is no guarantee that he will hit the ground running in the big leagues, remember that (people forget that even the great Mike Trout hit .220 over 40 games for the Angels last season).
Time is right to drop Manny Machado?
Really? I mean, really?
First off, there is NO WAY you can judge any player based on 12 games played. None. If you added Machado you have to give him more time than 12 games.
Second, why would you drop him? If he were to keep up his current pace through 12 games, over let's say 144 games, Machado would hit .279 with 36 homers and 96 RBIs. Looking at it that way, instead of emotionally reacting to the fact that his batting average has fallen .100 points in a week, how about we step back and notice that he's per game production has been elite.
Third, I warned everyone to avoid thinking that Machado is going to hit the ground running and be Mike Trout right off the hope. He's young, inexperienced, and likely not ready to be an everyday player at the big league level (at least as an upper level producer). Machado will play every day the rest of the way, barring an injury or something unforeseen, and he should continue to be a fair fantasy option in AL-only leagues. As for those of you in deep mixed leagues, 12 games is too quick to make any decision, so stay the course a bit longer.
Who do you like for saves Jeremy Affeldt, Wilton Lopez or Javier Lopez?
Lopez has saves in each of his last two outings for the Giants. It doesn't mean much. Lopez may only record two more saves the rest of the season. The reason he has two saves in his last two outings is that he was called on to face the Dodgers' Andre Ethier both times. An extreme matchup play, Javier has pitched a mere 27.1 innings over 55 games, that's just less than half an inning per outing. It should also be noted that his WHIP is 1.57 and batters are hitting .280 off him, so it's not like he has dominated or anything this season. Affeldt is still the better option for saves in San Francisco. Affeldt has nearly a K per inning this season and owns great ratios with a 2.85 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. I'd still say the Giants were best off with Sergio Romo in the 9th inning, though clearly the team just doesn't want to listen to me (apparently a 2.13 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 10.89 K/9 and 4.60 K/BB ratio isn't good enough for him to get consistent 9th inning work, even though that is HOF level pitching).
Wilton Lopez is the best option for saves out of the trio you asked about given that he is locked into a 9th inning role. Unfortunately, Lopez pitches for the worst team in baseball, the Astros, who have a .317 winning percentage leading to a horrific 39-84 record. Wilton has performed fantastically this year, around some arm woes of course, but in his 48 innings of work he has a 2.25 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 40 Ks. He's also walked only five batters leading to a sublime 8.00 K/BB ratio. Now that's some pitching folks. He's also been locked in over his last 15 outings with a 1.72 ERA and 14 to one K/BB rate.
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, Monday through Friday, 7-10 PM EDT. You can also find more of his work at the BaseballGuys website.
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