While Ed Wade was sleeping off his hangover on Saturday, his Toupee decided to mix things up and actually give Astros fans something to be excited about. (This is excluding Carlos Lee’s riveting chase to be the 83rd player with 350 home runs.) The Astros number one prospect, Jordan Lyles, will take over Wandy’s rotation spot. So the Astros bring up Lyles, but do I Lovett? His K-rate has been pretty poor in Triple-A, but spots his pitches pretty well without overpowering– Burp. Sorry, meant to write gas, not pass it. He’s not worth grabbing in most mixed leagues, but he’s the kind of guy that could be a game changer in NL-Only leagues where waiver wire adds are a mix of yawnstipating and down right atrocious. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Wandy Rodriguez – The Wandwagon fell off the tracks and heads to the DL with fluid in his elbow. I wonder if the fluid is acai berry juice, that’s packed with antioxidants! He should implant a straw into his elbow and drink it.
Francisco Liriano – Will miss one start with a sore shoulder. He couldn’t hurt himself and miss starts when he was still pitching poorly?
Brandon Belt – Proving Sciosciapath’s come in different shapes and area codes, Bochy announced that Belt would be used primarily as a bench bat. This move is so incomprehensible to me that I tend to think Bochy’s just saying it to ease Belt into the majors for this second go around. He can’t actually be contemplating stunting the progress of his top prospect by calling him up and putting him on the bench. This would be like your boss at Little Caesars telling you that your pizza making skills are too good to be washing dishes, so he promotes you to watching others make pizza while your skills get rusty. Let Belt make pizza!
Mark Trumbo – 2-for-4, home run. There’s still a number one Sciosciapath and he manages the Los Angeles Angels of Not Los Angeles. On Saturday, he started Branyan against a righty and benched Trumbo. Not good for Trumbo’s fantasy value. <–Well, obviously. Hopefully, Trumbo’s home run yesterday will lead to him starting over the prospblock.
Corey Patterson – Five hits in an extra inning game, including a game-winning home run on Saturday. 4-for-5 with his 4th homer on Sunday. That’s more hits than the 2 Coreys combined (Goonies, Stand by Me and Prayer of the Rollerboys).
Aaron Hill – Finally, he hit his 1st home run of the season. If La Russa was managing the opposing team, he would’ve x-rayed Hill’s bat to make sure it wasn’t Bautista’s.
Aramis Ramirez – 1-for-3 with his 2nd home run of the season. He tends to get scolding hot for extended stretches, so if someone dropped him in your league, I’d grab him.
Vance Worley – 3 IP, 5 ER. Guess they can wait before they add a 5th head to Mt. Philmore.
Jimmy Rollins – 2-for-4 and three steals in the last two days. He’s not quite the guy who won the MVP a few years ago, but he’s also not as dusty as I thought he’d be. Then again, he’ll probably pull a hammy by July and miss a month.
Sean O’Sullivan – 5 2/3 IP, 10 ER. Appropriately, his initials are SOS.
Joakim Soria – 2/3 IP, 2 ER. Wow, he’s a mess. Wouldn’t be surprised to hear him placed on the Disgraceful List any day now.
Hanley Ramirez – Left yesterday’s game with a stiff lower back as his dream season continues. Maybe next he can run over your dog.
Ryan Raburn – Will be the everyday 2nd baseman with the Sizemore trade. Terrific, fantastic, c’est bonderful, but he still needs to hit.
Yunesky Maya – 4 2/3 IP, 4 ER. Nats called him up for Sunday’s start. Due to my love for all things Cuban — cigars, plantains, rafts — I’m watching to see if Maya can make good on his promise, but four earned in four innings isn’t a great sign.
Juan Nicasio – 7 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 2 Ks. I’d say we’d reevaluate if he pitched well, and, what do you know, he did. I’d now look to grab him in deeper mixed leagues where you need to gamble on upside. He didn’t show it Saturday, but he can strike guys out. Yummo!
Eric Young Jr. – Since his call up, 5 for 14 and a steal while starting every day. If you’re in a quiet place, you may want to turn down the volume on the next sentence. PICK HIM UP!
Justin Masterson – 5 IP, 6 ER as his troubles against lefties continues. I have an idea, you play Carmona at first and let him pitch to the lefties. You snicker like I’m a gooftard, but people snickered when Doug Allison of the Cincinnati Red Stockings used the first leather glove in 1870. They called balderdash, but it was not balderdash, my kind sir. It was not!
Yovani Gallardo – 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks. Member when you were like I wanna drop him, YoGa’s stretching my patience? He’s now lowered his ERA from 7.10 to 3.89 in less than a month with a 1.29 ERA since May 7th.
Alex Cobb – The Tampa Bay Peach will take over for Sonnanstine in the Rays rotation. He was knocked around pretty good in his spot start earlier this year vs. the Not Los Angeles Los Angeles Angels, but he has been solid in Triple-A. 1.14 ERA, plus-9 K-rate, limits walks and keeps the ball down. His drawback is his lack of an overpowering fastball. For now, I’d only look at him in AL-Only leagues because of his division and lack of experience.
Jeremy Hellickson – 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks. Good season so far. Too bad a pitcher with Hell in his name wasn’t around when they were called the Devil Rays. Could’ve had some goat blood tie-ins and virgin sacrifices. First virgin could’ve been Cowboy Jon from the second Real World.
Evan Longoria – 4-for-7 and a home run but only one RBI as he spent the weekend hitting lead off. Supposedly, the idea of him leading off came about when the team was in the clubhouse having lunch. He swan’d out a napkin for Upton and Fuld called him a great table-setter. Maddon overheard and the rest is history. (It’s as plausible as any other reason to bat Longoria lead off.)
Jay Bruce – Hit another home run as he continues to invite his fantasy owners to his star mitzvah.
Blake Tekotte – 0-for-3, but got his 2nd start in the row. Tekotte (Tea-coat-e) has good plate discipline and decent speed (30 SBs over a season). For now, it’s gotta be a very deep league to contemplate him because his playing time isn’t guaranteed. Though, the Padres should keep Tekotte’s fanny off the bench for a twilight. (A’la Comic Book Guy, “Lamest. Pun. Ever!”)
Josh Collmenter – 6 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks. He continues to pitch better than he has any right to, but, hey, while he’s got it, flaunt it.
Mike Napoli – 2 games this weekend, 2 homers. This is why you Ron Popeil your catcher. At the end of the season, you’ll look at Napoli’s stats and you’ll be fine with the 20-plus home runs, bleh average and decent RBIs. Then next March, you’ll look at his stats again and draft him, then next April you’ll drop him.
Jon Jay – Hitting over .400 in May, .464 in the last 7 games and he hit a home run on Sunday. Doesn’t have huge power or speed, but worth the flyer to see how long he can keep it going.
Allen Craig – Has been playing 2nd base to try and get offense into the Cards lineup. La Russa said something interesting about the move, “It’s not a wacky thing where there’s nothing to gain.” In all seriousness, I think this is a peek into La Russa’s mind where he knows some of the things he does are wacky, it’s just this is not one of them. Here’s La Russa’s mind, “Batting the pitcher eighth? Okay, wacky. Changing the closer every third day? A little wacky. Wearing a live puppy-kitten scarf? Definitely wacky! Starting a good bat at a weak offensive spot? Not so wacky.”
Jaime Garcia – 3 1/3 IP, 11 ER and 15 baserunners. Altar boys rejoice in the karma of a Cardinal being violated.