On Sunday, Akinori Iwamura was carted off the field. (No, it wasn’t some sorta Japanese custom when a player makes an out.) So Reid Brignac may get some short-term value if the Rays play him. Right now, they don’t seem committed to that plan. And, frankly, I can see why. He hasn’t exactly been tearing it up in Triple A. The Rays should go to Ben Zobrist aka The Best Home Run Hitter In The World With The Last Name Zobrist. With shortstop eligibility and potentially 2nd base, Zobrist will have value getting everyday at-bats. Much has been made of Zobrist’s out-of-the-blue power surge. The only explanation that seems to be out there is that he worked in the offseason with Jaime Cevallos, The Swing Mechanic. (Turns out he helped Little Jake Current too!) Honestly, I don’t think it matters much for Ben Zobrist since he already has shortstop eligibility. It’s worth a flier to see if the power continues. Just don’t cut anyone too worthwhile for that flier, including Little Jake Current — he’s got power to all fields! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Troy Percival – Hit the DL and made J.P. Izzywheelfourson the closer. I grabbed Nelson and Wheeler anywhere I could. This could easily become Isringhausen’s… Or Balfour’s… Or Howell’s. Unlike the Nats ‘pen, the guy who wins the Rays raffle will have value so it’s worth grabbing one and praying it ends up being your guy. The Rays used Izzy last on Saturday like he was a closer, though it was a non-save situation. If you don’t have room in 12 team leagues and shallower, I’d cut Percy. The next game he may be closing is the Hall of Famers vs. Non-Hall of Famers Game, which would take place during the All-Star Game festivites, if I had my way. Like you wouldn’t pay to see Lee Smith try to prove his case against Gary Carter. Would have to be better than watching Kenny Mayne throw like a girl. (I’m still holding out hope for the Fattest Guy With No Power Home Run Derby too. C’mon, Sandoval vs. Billy Butler! Or everyone’s (soon-to-be) favorite contest, Worst Strikeout Pitcher Faces Off Against Chris Davis! C’mon, Joel Pineiro!)
Jesus Guzman – Word out of the Tenderloin is Ishikawa isn’t long for the every day job. Makes sensei. He is Sucki-san. If Guzman somehow pulls himself into an every day job, could be huge in ESPN leagues where he’s inexplicably a shortstop. Though Guzman did not play on Sunday. *shakes fist* Bochy!
Kevin Kouzmanoff – 3 HRs in the last seven games. I know, Padres hitters are yawnstipating, but the Kouz is hot.
Dexter Fowler – 7-for-15 in his 4 games and batting leadoff. Has been as good recently as Ian Stewart’s been bad.
Brad Lidge – Hey, whaddya know? Another blown save! He has a 9.19 ERA on the year. Philly says there will be no closer change. I say yet.
Johnny Cueto – 7 IP, 7 Ks, 2 ER, which should’ve been one because of a misplay in the outfield. This was a heartbreaking no decision (for me).
Matt Lindstrom – He embarrassed himself and his family on Saturday then came in on Sunday and retired two guys and walked three before being relieved by Kiko Calero. Kiko’s pitching the best in the Marlins bullpen, but Nunez hasn’t been awful… Okay, he’s been just all right. I think Nunez gets the first chance when Lindstrom’s replaced, but it might be Calero. If you’re a save vulture, you should be grabbing one of them now, because Lindstrom doesn’t seem long for the closer role.
Kelly Johnson – HRs in back-to-back games. He’s sitting at .252 on the year, he can get up to .280 within a few weeks.
Joe Mauer – Another game, another homer. I heard Selena Roberts was seen digging through his trash.
Manny Delcarmen – Been lights out so far in middle relief. Rumors are swirling that he might be headed to the Nats to be their closer with Nick Johnson headed to the Sawx, pushing Big Crapi to the bench. I don’t think the Sawx have the cojones to bench Papi, they’d have to convince him to go to the Disgraceful List. In deep leagues, Delcarmen should be owned, though some Mr. B’s probably already have him.
Adam Jones – Hit his 10th homer yesterday while stealing his 4th bag. Should cruise to 25/15, then Jamaica.
Alexei Ramirez – 2 HRs this weekend. Mazel tov!
Mark Buehrle – Only Mark Buehrle could give up only one run after surrendering 12 hits while striking out only 3. Cust kayin’.
Joel Hanrahan – Picked up the save with a perfect inning. Apparently, he’s the closer again.
Adam Dunn – 2 HRs, 6 RBIs. That’s not a donkey, this is a donkey.
Pablo Sandoval – Sat out yesterday with elbow trouble and will go for tests on Monday. I hope they test his cholesterol.
Chris Iannetta – Hit the DL with a hamstring strain. Jessica Alba and Joe Torre hybrid, Yorvit Torrealba, will have some short-term value in deep leagues. For catchers that could be available in some leagues, I’d go Snyder, Salty, Torrealba or Diaz, in that order.
Miguel Tejada – 4-for-4 yesterday, 3 HRs in the last 6 games. Someone’s in the Way Back Machine.
Josh Outman – 7 2/3 IP, 1 ER, Zero Ks. When you don’t strikeout one Diamondback, I’m not buying.
Jason Giambi – Second straight game with a homer. For those in shallow leagues, he hits them in bunches. Some would say in “cycles.”
Barry Zito – 6 1/3 IP, 5 ER. Glad the old baked Zito showed up just as I added him.
Fred Lewis – Two games, two home runs. I wish he’d just get to 15/15 in a month then I could drop him, but that’s not how these things work. Except for Mark Reynolds.
Derrek Lee – Missed Sunday’s game with an undisclosed illness. I thought it was called Suckitis.
Francisco Rodriguez – Might be the first time I’ve mentioned him in roundup. (I tend not to mention guys that are doing what they’re supposed to be.) K-Rod is suffering from back spasms, so the Mets are inserting Putz into their opening. K-Rod said he’s feeling much better after being medicated. In other news, K-Rod’s addicted to painkillers. Sounds like he’ll be back by the end of the week at the latest.
Brandon Phillips – Hairline fracture on thumbkin. Phillips said, “I told (the Reds) I don’t want to go on the DL.” Um, okay. And then you sit out yesterday’s game? This sounds worse than the Reds are letting on.
Joey Votto – Ear infection had him benched on Sunday after hitting 2 homers on Saturday. I totally feel for Votto. Last time I had an ear infection, I rolled around for days crying. Then again, I was 6 months old.