Tommy Hanson was called up by the Braves yesterday. His numbers: 66 1/3 IP, 90 Ks, 0.86 WHIP, 1.49 ERA in Triple A. Hello, beautiful, may I interest you in this Sutter Home White Zinfandel? It’ll go lovely with your 90/17 K/BB ratio. How about some honey mustard pretzels to go with your 12.2 K/9 ratio? Ah, yes, those were some great times when you dominated in the Arizona Fall League with a .63 ERA in just over 28 innings. Chuckle, chuckle… Yes, those were the best prospects in baseball and you held them to 10 hits and 49 Ks. But can he dominate in the majors? Much has been made of rookie pitchers at this site. More often than not, they drop a roofie in your box of wine and do unthinkable things to your Forbidden City. Hanson seems like he can handle his own in the big leagues, but remember in Double A he was great, but not insane with a 3.03/1.13/114 and a 10.5 K/9 in 98 IP. If Hanson comes out and dominates on Saturday, his value will go through the roof. If he stumbles, you might get stuck with Cueto of ’08. Rookie pitchers are very risky. If you need a hitter, Hanson’s trade value might be at its peak. Now if you need pitching and you can handle the risk, Hanson can provide the reward. In a keeper, obviously you hold him tight like your Grandma holds her bucket of quarters in Atlantic City. Anyway, here’s what else we saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Nate McLouth – Traded to the Braves. This doesn’t do much for his value. Cox can’t even sit lefties against lefties anymore because the Braves lineup is basically all lefties. McLouth’s a 25/25 guy with a so-so average. However, this opens the door for… Wait for it… It’s coming… Okay, here it is…
Andrew McCutchen – The Pirates fleet-footed centerfielder (no, he doesn’t have ships for feet). I picked him up in one 15 team league. He was just dissected last week in our Scouting the Unknown. Best case scenario is .280/25 steals with maybe 5 homers. He’s Dexter Fowler, ya’ll! I’d pick him up in 12 team leagues unless you’re bloated with steals, but, really, who ever has too many steals? Remember though, if you pick him up, you might have to watch Pirates highlights.
Gordon Beckham – The 2008 1st round draft pick of the White Sox has been promoted, presumably to man 3rd base (bye bye Betemit) and maybe see time at 2nd or short. He doesn’t have much of a minor league record to go on, but the 200 or so minor-league ABs show solid AVG and 15-20 HR pop. Upside for this year is Tulo’s rookie year. Downside for this year is Tulo since his rookie year. So dust off that waiver claim in mixed leagues, if you’ve got a mediocre MI. Between Clayton Richard and Gordon Beckham, White Sox GM Ken Williams has seen a lot more success in the draft after focusing on prospects that sound ultra-British. How’d he miss out on Collin Balester?
Ian Stewart – 2-for-4 with a 3 run HR yesterday. That’s his first time in weeks that he made contact twice in a game let alone safely put them in play. He’s barely usable in 12-team leagues now with his selling points as follows: 1) He has 2B/3B eligibility and is 1 game away from OF, 2) He has serious power. Even with his Razztastic .188 AVG, he has 8 HRs and 23 RBIs, 3) He does walk a good amount (near .300 OBP), and 4) He enjoys a good slap and tickle as much as Clayton Richard and Gordon Beckham.
Jose Reyes – Now won’t return on Friday as he aggravated his calf and fantasy owners. Is it me or is there more injuries this year than any year in the history of the world? WTF? Seriously. Can we get our shizz together and stay healthy? Ta!
Joey Votto – Reds have gone on record saying Votto is dealing with some personal issues. Dusty said, “I once hiccuped and swallowed my toothpick when managing the Cubs. I didn’t think much of it, but felt a light-headed for a couple weeks. I started Kerry Wood 5 straight days during one stretch when I meant to give him an off day in between. Then I sneezed and a toothpick shot out of my ear and poked Mark Prior in the shoulder, which caused it to dislocate.”
Laynce Nix – While younger bro, Jayson (mom & dad likes them unnecessary Y’s) waits for an opportunity in Chicago, the older Nix is getting some love from Dusty over Dickerson & Gomes. A 2 HR day today was rather Brucian of him, but ignore this Ranger/Brewer retread unless you’ve got some inside dope that the Nix brothers got the same ‘strength trainer’ as the Giles brothers used to employ.
Derek Lowe – 7 IP, 2 ER. Really wish I owned him in a league. No, he’s not dazzling, but it’s so nice to have a guy that consistently gives up 3 or fewer runs. So far he’s only had one game where he’s given up more than 4 runs and has a 3.40 ERA on the year.
Ted Lilly – 7 IP, 1 ER. What I said about Lowe, but with a few more strikeouts.
Scott Feldman – Now 5-0 with a 3.79 ERA. And he pitches for Texas. It’s like that Bizarro Seinfeld episode where Feldman is the considerate and productive Kramer. Why do we have the feeling that we’ll be cursing him out like the real Kramer would once summer comes around in Arlington?
Hunter Pence – 4-for-5, .346 on the year and battling Tejada in the NL batting race. Speaking of bizarro, when did Pence decide to start drawing walks like Picasso drew guernicas? He has as many walks as he did his whole rookie year in 2007. He has only one less walk than strikeout this year. Last year, he had 40 walks and 124 Ks. That’s a terrific trend. Maybe he can talk to Frenchy.
Jeff Niemann – Niemann! Hey, we got a theme going here. He threw a complete game, two-hitter with 9 Ks. Not sure what’s in the water down in Tampa (though it’s probably served at Hooter’s), but it seems like every year they get a great performance from a not-so-great pitcher (Sonnanstine ’08). Still, I wouldn’t trust Niemann going forward.
Jhonny Peralta – Hit a 3-run HR tonight which ups his season total to….2. For a SS whose only value is his power. Oh well, he’s still doing better than fellow silent-H shortstop, Khalil Greene, who is suffering from a harshed mellow.
Kyle Lohse – Left the game with forearm discomfort. The Cards trainer said this was a similar injury to what Royce Clayton suffered in ’98 when he greeted McGwire in the dugout after a homer. Dave Duncan shrugged his shoulders saying, “Whatever. I’ll just find another scrub pitcher to turn into a servicable starter. These reclamation projects are getting too easy. Someone get me Ankiel.”
Dr. Brian Bannister – The Incredible Hulk of Crap.
Jonathan Broxton – Hit 100 MPH on three straight pitches. Cust kayin’.
Josh Outman – 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER. He has a near-4.50 FIP. Caveat, Razzballer.
Adrian Beltre – 3-for-5, HR and 3 RBIs. He’s hot. I know you don’t want to believe it but he is; .357 over the last 7 games and 8-for-10 over his last two.
Ben Zobrist – Hit a grand slam for his 10th HR. Is this one of those body-switch movies between BJ Upton and Ben Zobrist? Which one’s Fred Savage?
J.A. Happ – 7 IP, 0 ER. Okay, Happ-shot, now the schedule gets hard. Wait, he gets the Mets in Metco next. Hmm… You can’t spell Tummyaches without M-E-T-S.
Kevin Youkilis – Left the game with an ankle injury. One exuberant fan thought Youk’s ankle was broken and yelled Opa!