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Cliff Lee threw nine innings of shutout ball to lower his ERA to 0.67. Seriously, he’s not Bob Gibson. He wasn’t even the best pitcher in his game last night. Shaun Marcum got him there. If someone’s buying into Lee’s early season performance, can you command a high offensive guy in a trade? You can try. His brother from another mother, Carlos Lee? Maybe. Markakis? Rios? Tex? Possibilities. This is why you have to send out feelers. Cliff Lee will be untradeable at the first sign of trouble. He doesn’t have a track record to instill much confidence. If you can’t get someone to trade Lee to right now, you have to hope he has a career year and doesn’t regress to his career norms. His peripherals all look solid, but history tells us he’s not what he’s been thus far. I would not trade for Cliff Lee (unless the owner is worried the correction is coming and wants to undersell him). Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday:

Erik Bedard – Gave up 6 ER in 2 IP. Blowing a 5 run cushion after the top half of the 1st inning. In fairness, Texas has a really deep lineup: Kinsler, Young, Hamilton, Bradley…. Um… Toby Harrah, a guy named Murphy, a Boggs that only plays like he drank 70 beers and Chuck Norris.

Eric Gagne – He pronounced himself fit to close. Other fifteen NL teams agree with him.

Alexis Rios – With Wells’s injury, he’s now batting third. But in one game yesterday, Wilkerson led off. Wilkerson was cut by a team that is starting Jose Vidro at DH.

Adam Wainwright – Co-Chief Officer of Razzball saw a blip on the radar.

Clay Buchholz – The argument over who’s better — Buchholz or Philip Hughes — rages on. Phil Hughes might take the lead soon buoyed by a stint on the DL for a fractured ERA.

John Van Benschoten – Rudy picked him up for his Razzball team. How could he not take a flier on a Pittsburgh starter with Bench in his last name? His 4 IP with 6 ER and 11 base runners were all he could’ve hoped for. Can’t wait for San Francisco to bring up their 1B prospect Bobby Easyout.

Adam Dunn – He has to be the worst RBI guy ever for a 40 HR player. Best case scenario with men in scoring position – sac fly. 5 for 29 with men in scoring position — 11Ks. Last 3 years (2005-2007), he’s hitting .236 with runners in scoring position. Someone tell Dusty that Dunn should be hitting 1st or 2nd. He’s great for OBP. Keep him out of the middle of the lineup.

Barry Zito – He got a victory against the Astros last night. A moral victory. Get the man some orange slices.

Adam LaRoche – He slumped in April like he does every year. 4 HR in last 9 games. He’s got to be available in some leagues.

Livan Hernandez – He’s 6-1. Johan Santana is 4-2. Silva and Lohse continue to get rocked. The Twins are geniuses! (It’s just a matter of time before Nick Punto explodes like Pat Neshek’s elbow.)

Dioner Navarro – Okay, I promised not to say his name again, but I keep getting questions about Johjima and Pudge. Those schmohawks should not be on a team, except in the deepest of leagues. DNV (<—-forced nickname) went three-for-three with 2 RBIs. He’s now batting .363 over 72 at-bats. Last year’s post-All-Star break numbers were 30/8/31/.285/2 in 179 at-bats. He’s only 24.

Wladimir Balentien – Mentioned two weeks ago how Rudy grabbed Wlady while I grabbed Lind, just to spread the Razzball love even though I liked Balentien more. Yeah, I should’ve just grabbed Wlad the Impaler.

Jair Jurrjens – With two outs, Freddy Sanchez got a double that scored three. It was a clutch hit, but Jurrjens looked just fine. I’m still buying.

Aaron Harang – He didn’t pitch that well, but won. See what I mean about wins. Yeah, he’s 70th and Webb’s 10th overall.

Rafael Furcal – Lands on the 15-day DL with a strained lower back. Hope Mia Hamm has a cute friend for him.

Fausto Carmona – Another guy I’m not sold on. His 18/35 K/BB is a disaster waiting to happen.

Mike Jacobs – He was supposed to be back in the lineup last Friday. Not according to me — according to the Marlins. Seriously, teams should be required to release accurate injury reports. I’m having trust issues!

Luis Castillo – Looks like he might be headed to the DL with a strained quad. Castillo has had strained quads for 6 years. That’s like putting Willie McGee on the DL for ugliness.

Josh Hamilton – He is the only player in the majors who has gotten better since he’s been off drugs.

  1. john says:
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    Why Furcal? Whyyyyy!

  2. john says:
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    Keppinger, Guzman, or Peralta to step into his shoes for now?

  3. rj says:
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    I have Cliff Lee and have been offered Cano for him–I have to pull the trigger on this even though I kinda need the pitching help, right?

  4. I’d go w/ Peralta, then Keppinger, then Guzman.

  5. I’d take Cano for Cliff Lee. I’d rather trade Cliff Lee one start too early b/c you won’t be able to trade him one start too late…

  6. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    I have the #2 waiver spot in my mixed trad. league. Should I use that on Jay Bruce, Homer Bailey or should I wait until Kershaw arrives?

    I just traded Furcal for Soto and Maddux last week remember?? Your advice is wunderbar. (It’s okay… I’m over it already).

    P.S. I’m going to start a blog called “razzballhatesbraunandthecubsforsomereason.info.” Ugh.

  7. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    Do you think Adam LaRoche will outperform Alex Gordon for the rest of the year? I have Adrian Gonzales and Gordon eligible at 1B. I also have Furcal, so for yesterday’s slew of double-headers, I dropped LaRoche and picked up Jhonny “The Dyslexic” Peralta to play SS.

    Peralta didn’t even start the first game and wound up 0-fer-4, while LaRoche homered against my very own Manny Acosta. (Oh, how I dream of the day I can jettison him.)

    That’s how smart I am.

    Peralta’s now toast, swapped out for Keppinger. I can’t allow that sort of thing to go unpunished.

    P.S. I’m pretty sure Bobby Easyout is already playing for the Giants. I think he homered off Cole Hamels in his last start against them.

  8. @IowaCubs: I think Jay Bruce is a must own if he gets a starting gig (a la Votto). But I’m not confident he’ll get more than 4-5 days a week unless one of Patterson, Griffey, Dunn, or Freel is gone. I wouldn’t even pick up Homer Bailey as a FA. The only good young Red pitchers are Latin (think about it…Mario Soto, Jose Rijo, Cueto, Volquez)…now if his last name was Bailar, that would be another matter…So unless the Reds ditch one of those OFs, I’d wait for Kershaw.

    Yeah, I don’t know why Grey is such a hater on Braun. I think he’s lucky to get 15 SBs but he’s a force.

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: I’m just not sold on Alex Gordon yet. But I’d still bet on his upside (and speed) over Adam LaRoche. Can’t argue with Keppinger over Peralta. I’ve got Peralta in one league and he only seems to hit against Pettitte. But it’s hard to give up on potential 20-80 shortstops…

  9. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @IowaCubs: I had Braun 22 overall. It’s not like I had him between Hank Blalock and David Ross. I think his average is below .285 and he’s below 15 steals. He’s basically Carlos Lee with 3B eligibility and without the track record. Carlos Lee does Braun’s thing for 7 years and Braun does it for four months and Braun should go ten spots before him? I just don’t get it.

  10. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Trouble is, my team is a bit heavy on high-upside power-speed combos (in descending order of awesomeness: BJ Upton, Rios, Gordon, Longoria, just added Hunter Pence) and outside of Holliday, I don’t have one pure stick. Not that LaRoche will solve all my problems.

    In a related story, just picked up Bruce too, ’cause I’m desperate for some pop. I tend to throw a lot of rookie spaghetti at the wall to see who sticks.

  11. @Grey: I had Braun higher than #22 but not as high as my Point Shares projected him as (#8). Was set to grab him or Carlos Lee with a #20 pick only for #18 and #19 to leave me with Teix. Drafted Youk to get some Heb representation.

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: I like most of those players you have though having Gordon and Longoria seems superfluous. I prefer LaRoche to Longoria as I think he’ll be a more consistent power source. If you can fill a need with Gordon or Longoria and backfill with LaRoche, I like it…

  12. Russ says:
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    Ok. So what do you guys think of this trade that just went down in my league:

    second-to-last place team (stlpt) trades ichiro to first place team for Jonathan Sanchez and Jered Weaver.

    of note:
    stlpt has listed under “needs” in his trading block: Stolen Bases, Outfielders

  13. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Grey: I’m just busting your, well, you know, Braunsticles. It’s just me still in denial about Furcal, projecting my hidden rage in the razziest way I know how.

    @Rudy Gamble: I still proudly have Shawn Green on my keeper league just to keep it Kosher.

  14. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Russ: I’m against 99% of all trades. That falls in the 1%. The 2nd to last place team should be crucified then someone’s little sister should inherit his team.

    @IowaCubs: I enjoy a good ball busting. I kinda wish there was more of it in the comments. Gets me to write better posts.

  15. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    Kahlil Green just popped up on waivers in one of my leagues. Is he a worthy addition since I have very low priority in that league?

  16. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: I keep waiting for Longoria to get hot for three straight games, so I can trade him to someone. Then again, I still have Gallardo on my DL, so I’m a hopeful dude.

    @Grey: If Uggla keeps raking, there will be a mighty reckoning coming.

  17. john says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Really? Peralta even with his recent super-slump?..I mean I’m not really expecting to keep whoever I pick up for too long

  18. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @john: I say it depends on what you need. You’ll probably see 30 points better ba with Keppinger, but with much less power

  19. alvin says:
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    interesting thought about a possible lee trade but i think the jays should be entertaining that thought more seriously. with an already weak order catching the injury bug the other members of the A.L East ,suprisingly including tampa, the jays and j.p probably should send some picthing for a bat.
    p.s wilkerson was hitting leadoff yeaterday. case closed.

  20. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @alvin: The Jays’s offense revolves around Stairs and Rolen. Yeah, they might be in trouble.

  21. john says:
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    Well, I’m losing Furcal for a week..which means I’m losing gobs of runs, bases, and some stolen bases…assuming this is the consistent with his injury last year, he should be back quickly and back to his stellar numbers, so i just need a stop-gap

  22. @Russ: Yeah, that’s a bullshit trade. Even free-market capitalism has antitrust laws…

    @john: With middle infielders, I look for 20+ HR or 20+ SB. I like Peralta and Greene’s power upsides. Can’t fault someone going with Keppinger if they are low in AVG or stocked in the power dept. But it should be said that besides AVG, he did crap in the minors. Never hit more than 7 HRs or stole more than 5 SBs. My new nickname for him is Blanco Polanco….

  23. john says:
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    Lol, Blanco Polanco..love it…and I did like Peralta earlier as my Util when he didn’t suck (as bad)..but I don’t think I wanna pick him back up in the middle of a 4/38 slump to replace Furcal for a short stint

  24. @john: Peralta is subpar for UTIL and SS but I like him for MI. I predict 2 HR this week for Peralta!

  25. john says:
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    lol..yea this is a 12 team h2h..shoulda mentioned that. And sir, that is a bold prediction since Jhonny ‘Doesn’t Deserve That h’ Peralta has hit only 1 since April 28th!

  26. chris says:
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    What do you think of Matt Garza? I’m thinking about dropping Richie Sexson for him in my 12 team deepish mixed league. Other intruiging guys on the WW are Scott Downs, Health Bell, Aaron Laffey, Shawn Hill, and Andrew Miller (I still belive in his K’s and ground balls).

  27. Dim says:
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    DL one, drop one: H. Kendrick or Scott Baker?
    got Weeks at 2B, Zambrano/DiceK/Vazquez/Buchholz for SP

  28. @john: I should’ve said Ramirez or Cabrera…at least I’d have a few players that could make that prediction come true….

    @chris: I’d take Shawn Hill and then Heath Bell out of that bunch. Sexson doesn’t make my 12-team cut unless you have some unorthodox third cornerman or UTIL roster spot…

    @Dim: Drop Baker unless you don’t play with an MI spot…

  29. MC says:
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    I traded Cliff Lee & Scott Olsen for Jake Peavy.

    Seriously, I really did.

  30. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @MC: Is that seriously happening? That’s like Ivan De Jesus for Ryne Sandberg.

  31. Hank

    Hank says:
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    @Grey: Whatever blindness was cured by Cliff Lee was only temporary. Goddamn internet porn. The shit is everywhere!

    Do you guys read/use Fangraphs? Interesting snippet about Lee earlier this month:
    …One of the reasons he is unlikely to continue dominating is that his current BABIP of .195 exceeds expectations based on a line drive frequency of 13.7%; with that frequency it should be closer to .257. Additionally, despite posting a 0.96 ERA, his FIP implies it is closer to the 2.01 mark; still great, but not superhuman.

    Has regression to the mean ever been a more looming reality for a fantasy player? Cliff Lee = Chris Shelton?

  32. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Hank: I totally agree and love the Fangraphs site. They do a tremendous job.

  33. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @MC: Wow, that is insane.

  34. Chase says:
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    Anyone!!! Please help!!! Catcher Dilemma!!!

    Brad Ausmus or Huberto Quientero?!!?!

  35. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Chase: Punt. Seriously? There’s got to be someone better.

  36. Chase says:
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    No clue you were gullable

  37. any teams looking to unload a bat? I know a jason bay trade would be a wet dream for the whole toronto area.

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