Brian Bannister sports a .86 ERA, a miniscule WHIP and three wins AND beat Francisco Liriano. Can this continue? His strikeout rate is pretty poor, but in one of the ten team mixed leagues I’m in, I picked up Bannister today. It’s a league of owners that are better friends than they are fantasy players. I don’t assume Bannister is still out there in many leagues, but for a few of those leagues where players aren’t quick to the waiver wire or with team owners who don’t pick up Royals because of what they have meant in the past, Bannister might be out there, I’d pick him up even in those shallow leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday:
Nick Markakis – I’ve been walking around my house screaming, “I am Markakis! No, I am Markakis!” for the last two weeks trying to spur him on to greatness. (My girlfriend has been thrilled.) Finally, he went yard. I hope this is the sparkakis he needs to go on a hot streak. He’s a notorious slow starter so if he can start hot this year, we could be in for a nice ride.
Alex Gordon – I hope he reaches the 20/20 season I predicted because I have him in just about every league except for my NL-only ones (and don’t think I didn’t try and sneak him through).
Cliff Lee – I think he’s on Rudy’s list of players who should be Asian given their name. Anyway, pitched a great game against the woeful A’s. He has the Twins, Royals and Mariners up next. Two out of three on the woeful scale isn’t bad.
Jon Rauch – He’s great for K, Whip and ERA help so I wouldn’t drop him just because Cordero is back. (Because, frankly, I don’t know how long Cordero is going to be back.)
Joe Crede – Do I think Crede finishes the season with 184 homers and 377 RBIs? Maybe not, but he could hit three more homers this week then reverts to the Crede we know and hate. I’d pick him up until he reverts if you have room. You gotta ride hot streaks.
Wandy Rodriguez – I played the Wandy start at home/sit on the road game last year. It worked out well for me.
Shane Victorino – While I didn’t get him in any leagues this year, because he ended up going much higher than I would’ve paid for him, I still love The Flying Hawaiian™ and I hope he gets well soon. Meantime, put him on your DL. I hope Victorino doesn’t prove to be injury-prone his entire career because he’s beginning to seem that way.
Javier Vazquez – Man, the ’08 Tigers and ’27 Yankees comparisons ended real quick.
Franklin Gutierrez – No idea if he’ll ever get a chance to play again regularly after starting so slow, but if he does, I might go back for more pain. He’s talented and is only 25. As of right now, I’m done with anyone who regularly gets benched for Jason Michaels.
Johnny Cueto – Well, we all knew there would be some speed bumps, but Jason Bay? C’mon, your farkin’ initials are JC. Honestly, he walked one guy and had some balls up in the strike zone. I’ll take my chances if every pitcher on my staff gives up one walk against six strikeouts in six innings.