What’s the ultimate slumpbuster? Some players and the Urban Dictionary would argue a fat chick. The Braves know the true answer. A weekend in Mississippi. Jeff Franceour went 7-for-13 with 2 RBIs in three minor league games before the Braves decided his mind was messed with enough and they returned him to the majors. Maybe tomorrow they’ll call Francoeur into the front office to tell him his Mom died only to then say, “Psyche!” Francouer hasn’t changed overnight. He’s a hacker who can hit, but with less power than you’d think. Assuming he gets back to form, he should hit a pro-rated 90-100 RBIs before end of the year. But there hasn’t been much in his peripherals that promise that. Worth holding onto or gambling on, but he’s definitely marked down vs. his preseason value. Anyway, here’s what we saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Ryan Church – May not return this year because of persistent migraines. Perhaps his head would toughen up if Moises Alou peed on it.
Torii Hunter – His 2 HR day puts him on pace for his yawnstipating 20/20 season (22/17 to be exact). But he’s only on pace for 77 RBIs – this has more to do with the anemic Angels offense than double-i, but it’s still pretty pathetic for the AL. Didn’t Sizemore get this many last year from the leadoff spot?
Chris Davis – HR yesterday. Until further notice, I’m only starting him when he’s at home, unless it’s a short schedule day.
Manny Parra – Pitched an inning of relief in the Rockies game yesterday. I mentioned in the forums that I think it was just his throw day. Later, Suppan was put on the DL to make room in the rotation. We’re all good, gang.
Damaso Marte – Notched a save, his second. I see no reason why he can’t get to 15 saves.
Ubaldo Jimenez – Ubaldo was solid last year, if you remove a mediocre September. He looked good in his last start and he was good last night (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 7 Ks). He might go on a two month stretch where he can be very usuable. He gets the Mets this Saturday.
Jack Wilson – The Dodgers “have zeroed in on Jack Wilson to replace Rafael Furcal.” Zeroed has never been more apt a description for a trade target.
Josh Johnson – Scheduled to start against the Dodgers on Thursday. Josh Johnson hasn’t pitched in so long that we’re not sure if he played Casey in Dawson’s Creek. Would Katie Holmes start him? I don’t think so.
David Ortiz – He took batting practice today. Supposedly he’ll be ready just after the All-Star break. I’d say August.
Adam LaRoche – It’s the 2nd half so it’s time for LaRoche to hit. 11 for 21 w/ 2 HR and 9 RBI in the last 7 games. Why don’t the Pirates insist he play winter ball?
Nomar Garciaparra – HR yesterday. Nomar gave Mia the game ball, but that didn’t stop her from making a scene in the parking lot when Nomar told her that he drank half a beer after the game. Not on a school night!
Adrian Beltre – As the Mariners languish in last, Beltre gets predictably hot.
Hiroki Kuroda – Ah-so this is why the Dodgers got him! Actually, he’s been solid all season aside from a few hiccups. Yesterday he pitched a one-hit, shutout.
Vladimir Guerrero – HR against the Rangers. That brings his career numbers against the Rangers to 22 HRs/.408 in 77 games. In related news, the Rangers pitching used to suck/still sucks/will suck.
Jason Varitek – Your backup AL all-star catcher! Between him and Jeter, the AL is packed with baseball IQ, a never say die attitude and you-just-can’t-put-your-finger-on-it-ness.