The walks weren’t really an issue when Francisco Liriano was striking out twenty-seven guys a game. He walked to the mound and you knew you were getting 10 Ks. Maybe nothing else. But you got ten Ks. Even if he faced only nine batters. The scorer would give him an extra one just because he was Francisco Liriano. His numbers since Frank Jobe surgery are disturbing. Disturbing like one of those Discovery Channel shows where they show plastic surgery gone wrong. Liriano’s throwing his slider less (his old strikeout pitch) and chucking up salamis, pitch after pitch. Could he be laying off the slider because of the surgery? My guess is yes. *pointing my index finger at you* That is my guess. He looked like he turned a corner when we hit May and K’d nine Tigers. Could it be the old Liriano, you pondered while nestled in your woobie. Alas, it was not. The old Liriano’s in a medical waste bin outside Dr. James Andrews’s office. Liriano’s now consistently showing himself to be a 7 to 8 K/9 pitcher instead of the 10+ he was prior to surgery. He’s at 6.04 ERA on the year, but I think he should get that down to a 4.25 by the end of the year. But it’s a far cry from the 2.16 of 2006. A far cry, friend. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Mark Reynolds – 4-for-9, 2 HRs, 5 steals. Get on the mini-donkey-donkey… Could he become the first player to 10/10 on the season? Do you really care if he bats .240? Is Mark Reynolds not King-Sire of our land and everyone else is simply called, Not Mark Reynolds? Where were you when Mark Reynolds was suckling from his mother’s teat? Reynolds’s straw reaches across the room to drink your milkshake. He drinks it up! He drinks your milkshake! Did you think your song and dance and superstition would help you when Mark Reynolds wasn’t on your fantasy team? He’s smarter than you! Chris Davis is a false prophet! Aramis Ramirez is a false prophet! Reynolds is a revelation! Reynolds is King-Sire of this land and he calls it Mini-Donkeyville. Bow down.
Edinson Volquez – Will miss a start because he’s suffering from lower back spasms. He should totally sit in one of those massage chairs at Brookstone. They are so comfy.
Justin Upton – 2 HRs, one steal. He hits moonshots. Moon. Shots. He’s one of my regrets this year. I pegged him as a sleeper. Talked him up. And here I am with Fred Freakin’ Lewis. Damn you, Fred! You lied to me!
Nelson Cruz – HR yesterday. Doode’s super streaky. You need to just ride the waves. Sometimes they’re high. Sometimes they’re low.
Wandy Rodriguez – 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 Ks. Get on the Wandwagon!
Chris Sampson – Got another save. Honestly, I have no idea if LaTory Hawkins will be back tomorrow or never. With closers, react now, ask questions later. Pick up Sampson for desperation saves.
Aaron Harang – 7 IP, 1 ER, 9 Ks. Looks like the ugly 2008 that’s in his rearview mirror is not closer than it appears.
Scott Kazmir – 4 1/3 IP, 7 ER. The A’s’s offense is terrible and they’re worse against lefties, batting .198 on the season. Further, the Rays bullpen stepped in and only gave up one hit in the last 4 and two-thirds of the game. I’m benching Spaz until further notice. In 10 team leagues, I could see dropping him.
Yovani Gallardo – 5 IP, 6 ER. After having his last start shortened because of rain, he looked rusty. Rain will do that.
Jorge De La Rosa – 3 2/3 IP, 7 ER. ¡Naranjas en la cabeza! That great control George of the Rose showed was gone and so was all his promise.
Matt Harrison – 5 IP, 5 ER. Apparently it was a bad night to be a crappy pitcher.
Javier Vazquez – 5 IP, 0 ER. Hey, Bobby Cox has been reading Razzball! He dropped a preemptive strike on Javy’s One Bad Inning Syndrome™ by removing him in the fifth after 71 pitches.
Ervin Santana – 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER. Much better start obviously and a good opportunity for you to trade him away.
Kevin Kouzmanoff – HR yesterday. You look at his season numbers and you think blech, but he’s been good of late. If you need a corner, he’s worth a shot.
Paul Konerko – Two games, two homers. Another corner guy that is currently hot.
Philip Hughes – 5 IP, 3 ER, 9 Ks vs. the Orioles. Last start was 5 IP and 3 ER too. Start before that, he gave up eight earned in one and two-thirds to the Orioles. Oh, and Wang’s up on Friday. Confused yet? Yeah, me too.
Nolan Reimold – HR yesterday off Mo Rivera. Now we’re cooking with gas. If Reimold gets hot, you might be able to ride him for a week or two then sell him high.
Wilkin Ramirez – HR yesterday as he filled in for Clete Thomas against a lefty. I know I mentioned this before, but this is really comical to me (which is to say boring and not actually comical), but Leyland hit Wilkin third because that’s where the guy he was replacing was hitting who was only hitting third because he was replacing the three hole hitter. So can anyone manage the Tigers now that we have a set lineup card? Did Leyland misplace his blank lineup cards and he’s Xerox’ing? Seriously, this is mind boggling.
Brad Ziegler – Got the save yesterday. I think this was because Bailey threw 44 pitches the day before. But it shows us that Ziegler isn’t completely out of the picture.
David Ortiz – Someone located their stash of HGH. Trade. Him. Now.
Chris Carpenter – 5 IP, 0 ER. Exactly what you should hope for every time out. Pray they don’t try and throw him more than 100 pitches for at least two months.
Daniel Murphy – Was assigned the Mets 1st baseman job vs. righties as he makes his first start there. Trial by fire, you say! I say, who cares? This does nothing for his value. Sheffield should see more time too. Doesn’t really get me that excited about him either.
Jose Reyes – Aggravated his calf. PETA will be paying him a visit.