Ryan Raburn isn’t just some old fashioned name that sounds like a matinee idol from the 40′s. Grandpa, tell me again about the time you were working as an extra in Hollywood and you stole Angela Lansbury away from Ryan Raburn. Well, it all started late one night at Musso & Frank’s. We were all pickled pretty good on Cuba Libres, remember this was before the House Committee on Un-American Activities banned them… So, Raburn hit 2 homers yesterday and is now batting over .400 in the last week and 8 homers in the month of August. He’s starting every day since the Tigers were hit by injuries and the power is for real. In his last full year of ABs in the minors, he hit 20 homers. Last year, 16 homers in 113 games. The average could bottom out, but with 2nd base eligibility there’s no reason not to take a flier on him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Rick Porcello – 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 4 Ks. Has now given up only 4 hits in his last 14 innings. Okay, I don’t fully trust him, his Ks are just blahtastic. Neverthehoo! You can’t deny the type of groove he’s in right now and he gets the Royals next time out.
Jose Valverde – 1 IP, 3 ER. Kazaam!
Brandon Morrow – After his next start vs. the Yankees, he’ll be shut down. I blame the Mariners for their inability to settle on a role for Morrow over the previous few years. He had the best K/9 for starters in the major leagues this year and will almost certainly be coveted by February Grey next year.
Mike Napoli – Was claimed off waivers by the Red Sox. A deal is supposed to be unlikely. According to sources, Scioscia’s asking for a family-size bag of Sun Chips. Sawx are offering a single serving bag.
Brian Fuentes – Traded to the Twins. Gardenhire went on the record saying that Capps will remain the closer. Then he broke the record by bringing in Fuentes to close Saturday’s game. I wouldn’t read too into though. It was a one-out save vs. a lefty. Fuentes may see a few saves against lefty-heavy ninth inning lineups, but Capps should get the majority of the saves going forward.
Fernando Rodney – Nothing like getting the closer job on a team that’s selling off its pieces. Rodney gets no respect, I tell ya. He’s a Brain Freeze waiting to happen, but, if you need saves, SAGNOF!
Edinson Volquez – Headed to the bullpen as the Reds realized what fantasy owners concluded a few starts ago, Volquez is too unpredictable to start at this stage of the year. Dusty will have to find someone else to play Paper, Rock, Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction Surgery Scissors with.
Matt Lindstrom – Back problems haven’t subsided and Lyon could remain the closer for the rest of the year. Rawr!
Bud Norris – 5 2/3 IP, 5 ER, 11 baserunners, 5 Ks. Oops upside your head.
Roger Bernadina – 2-for-4 yesterday. 3 homers and 3 steals in his last ten games. His track record says the speed is there. (pun point!) The power hasn’t show up much in his previous years. Right now, I’d grab him in deep leagues just hoping his hot streak continues. I wouldn’t bank on it though.
Jay Bruce – 4 homers in his last 3 games. If I would’ve known all he needed to get hot was for me to tell you to drop him, I would’ve punted him in March. I never doubted the talent; it was the slump that looked like it was taking Extenze that worried me. There’s no reason not to give him a 2nd chance if he’s out there on waivers.
Ryan Braun – 4-for-4 with 19th homer. Cool, now repeat this game every day for the next month and we’ll be cool with each other.
Alcides Escobar – 1-for-4 with his 10th steal. He’s been on and off one of my teams so many times the elastic is completely shot. I’m warning you now, I will like him again next year. There’s 40 steals in those gams.
Trevor Hoffman – Recorded his 8th save. Axford had pitched the last two games, so I wouldn’t say anything’s changed other than Hoffman’s a few saves away from retirement.
Evan Meek – Was hit with a comebacker and could be out for a few days. That’s the good news for Hanarahananananan. He could see some time in the ninth. And there’s the bad news.
Manny Ramirez – Looks headed to the White Sox. I can’t tell you how excited I am for this move. Because, well, I’m not excited. I don’t own him anywhere. If I did own him, I’d be slightly more excited. At least, he should actually play now. If you got the best possible month from Manny, you’re still not going to get anything you couldn’t grab off waivers in all but the deepest leagues. Maybe 7 homers and a .350 average in a best case scenario. More realistically, a few homers and a .300.
Colby Lewis – 5 2/3 IP, 6 ER, 11 baserunners, 7 Ks. Hasn’t won in over a month and his ERA is up to 3.61. The K-rate is still purdy, so the Colby cheese hasn’t lost its bite.
Gio Gonzalez – 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks. Was a home schooler for the early months of the season, but his ERA in August is under 2 and is now startable every time out.
Kevin Kouzmanoff – 2-for-5, hit his 2nd homer in three games. Kouz is one of those players I halfheartedly mention that I can’t even bear to own myself. And that’s me undercutting what was already a lukewarm recommendation!
Ivan Nova – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks. As defined by Oxford English Dictionary, a Nova is a star that suddenly becomes much brighter and then gradually returns to its original brightness over a period of weeks. As defined by Chevy Pimpalas dot com, the Nova is freakin’ awesome.
Marcus Thames – Was in Friday’s Buy, has 5 homers in his last 5 games. Like Chiquita Banana’s boyfriend, he hits them in bunches.
Jeremy Guthrie – 8 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks vs. the Napoli-less Angels. Yeah, the “Cutting off Napoli to spite the team” strategy is working good. Anything that gets Jeff Mathis’ .201, 3 homer bat into the lineup. Maybe Scioscia should skip Jered Weaver’s turn in the rotation too, so Kazmir can get an extra start. He’s managing the team like he’s got a deal with that lady from Major League.
Koji Uehara – Got his fourth save yesterday as Buck Showalter gave him the confirmation name, “Closer.”
Carlos Gonzalez – 3-for-4, 4 RBIs and two homers. Aim to please, that’s CarGo’s MotTo.
Stephen Drew – 4-for-5 with his 3rd homer this week. Yup.
Leo Nunez – 2/3 IP, 3 ER and his 8th blown save. He needs a lozenge he’s coughed up so many games recently. He’s surrendered a run in each of his last four starts and 7 of his last ten. I’d be shocked if the Marlins continue to roll him out there. I made a speculative grab of Clay Hensley in two leagues. Jose Veras could also be an option. Or it may be the dreaded closer by committee. Don’t these people realize nothing’s better done by committee? Except jerk seasoning, which is flavor by committee.
Hanley Ramirez – Left yesterday’s game with a bout of lightheadeness. This is following a severe case of redheadness. Hanley, you think you can get into the National Association for the Advancement of Gingy People that easily? The NAAGP has a bumper sticker for you, “Feckless without freckles.”