There’s talk that the M’s might punt their closer, just not in the same way the O’s have. They’re talking about trading David Aardsma. Member when the M’s were going to be a contender? That was a fun two weeks in March. We were younger, you and I (hey!). You had more hair (hey-oh!). Doesn’t it seem like every year the pundits latch their unrealistic expectations on a team? Member when the Royals were going to win it all in 2009? My prediction for March darling to June dud team of 2011? The Nationals. But they have Strasburg and Zimmerman! Yeah, and John Lannan and that doode you don’t know who plays every other position. So, Brandon League would take over the job if Aardsma is moved. I grabbed League where I could because, well, I’m a save vulture, swooping down on closer carcasses any chance I get. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Jarrett Hoffpauir – Was called up by the Blue Kays. He was hitting the ball around pretty good in Las Vegas (in 259 plate appearances, only struckout 15 times and hit 9 long balls). But what happens in Vegas, well, you know. Right now, I don’t think our neighbor to the north gives Hoffpauir every day duty (hehe, that sounds like doodie). I think they move Fred Lewis into the lineup and start Bautista at 3rd base in Edwin Encarnacion’s vacated turd hole he was filling. Hoffpauir’s worth a lookie-see in AL-Only leagues, since he has 2nd base eligibility in ESPN leagues.
Edwin Encarnacion – Oh, and he’s gone in case you didn’t pick up the above context clue about vacated turd holes.
Everth Cabrera – Could return as soon as Friday after going 0-for-3 with a strikeout and two grounders. Yup, he’s in game shape!
Mark Reynolds – 1-for-2 with his 17th homer and 4th steal. For Mini Donkey, today was a good bray.
Justin Upton – 3-for-3, 2 homers, a steal, 4 Runs, 4 RBIs and one old lady saved from the right field pool. J-Upside, it’s good to see you.
Adam LaRoche – 1-for-4 and a three-run homer. The clock struck the summer solstice yesterday and LaRoche turned it on. May sours, June swoon.
Gio Gonzalez – 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks in Oakland. Gio’s becoming a bit of a homebody with his splits. Over 5 ERA on the road and under 3 at home. That makes his next start at home vs. Pittsburgh look real nice.
Kevin Kouzmanoff – 2-for-4 with his 8th homer. If you want to own Kouz, now would be the time. Actually, yesterday would’ve been– Well, you get the drift.
Cristian Guzman – 1-for-3 with his first homer. In other news, there wasn’t a whole lot of baseball games yesterday to talk about.
Carlos Beltran – Reports are coming back that he could begin a minor league assignment within the next week. That means the New York hype machine about Beltran returning should pickup soon giving you a chance to sell him.
Coco Crisp – Could return this Friday from the DL, but he’s become very injury-prone of late, so tread carefully. I.e. Coco beware.
Scott Podsednik – 4-for-4 with no runs and no RBIs. Ah, the joys of being a Royals leadoff hitter. Some guys who have more runs on the year: Juan Rivera, J.D. Drew, Aubrey Huff and Adam Dunn.
Mike Aviles – 3-for-4 as he continues to Charley Lau the ball all over the field, hitting near .400 over the last week. A small nugget to store in the “Read Then Discard” section of your medulla oblongata is how he can’t hit lefties.
Bruce Chen – 6 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks and his 84 MPH fastball battled Livan Hernandez (7 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 5 Ks) and his 82 MPH as National Radar Gun Day was observed in Washington. Hope the radar guns did something fun on their day off.
A.J. Burnett – 4 IP, 7 ER, 11 baserunners, 4 Ks. [sarcastic] Good to see his K-rate bounce back. [/sarcastic] There’s reports that his foot is bothering him, some are theorizing he’s tipping his curveball or just not locating it properly. For those that like why’s, awesome. All I know is this guy wasn’t just bad last night, he’s been terrifically bad for the majority of his starts. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get sent to the Disgraceful List. Either way, I’m not starting him in any league for at least one start and probably more.
Phil Hughes – Will be skipped in the rotation as the Yankees try to limit his innings. Though they should probably limit Burnett’s innings. I’d expect more of Hughes getting skipped in September as they prepare for the playoffs. On the scale of no-likey for H2H, that’s about an 8.
Brett Gardner – 4-for-4, 2 Runs and his 23rd steal while hitting 8th. Yesterday, Jayson Stark said Gardner is on pace for more Runs than any other player in history who has the majority of their ABs from the 8 hole or lower. Actually, he didn’t say that. He did say, “Kurkjian, stop your screeching! I’m hungover.”