After hours of rumors about a trade to the Yankees, Cliff Lee was traded to the Rangers. Going the other way, Justin Smoak and some prospects. We’ll get to Smoak in a bit. You know who I really feel sorry for in this whole Cliff Lee ordeal. The poor, poor New York Yankees. Now they have to make due with CC, Vazquez, Hughes, Pettitte, Tex, Posada, Jeter, Swisher, Gardner, Cano and A-Rod. Here’s hoping they can acquire Werth for the first man off the bench position. Or Oswalt for middle relief. My pet crocodile is crying for them. Cliff Lee threw a 2.52 ERA in Citizens Flank last year with 40 Ks and 5 BBs. Is The Flank that much better than Arlington? No, it’s not. He’s still in the AL West, at least, and not the AL East. His first start vs. (Crap For) The Birds obviously wasn’t the confidence booster you would’ve liked to see, but he was rocked for 7 earned earlier in the year by the Padres. These things happen. I’m not worried about The Adverb. Expect a low 3 ERA, great WHIP, solid Ks and Wins. You can do worse, I assure you. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Justin Smoak – Arlington is obviously better for a slugging corner infidel, but unless Smoak gets hot he’s not ownable in mixed leagues at this point. Right now where there’s Smoak, there is no fire.
Chris Davis – With the Smoak evacuation, Chris K. Davis gets another chance. In Triple-A, Davis was showing what made Bill James change his shorts when he projected him for, like, 45 homers and 20 steals last year. Everyone knows I’m a sucker for guys who give you a low average, high power and some speed. Don’t write Davis off simply because he swings more than that creepy guy on Craigslist. In the 2nd half, you can get double digit homers, some steals and a terrible average.
Carlos Silva – 1 1/3 IP, 6 ER. We finally learn when his pact with the devil expires.
Mark Teixeira – 4-for-5 as PABST (Post-All-Star Break Stats Teixeira) moves his average over .250 for the first time all season. Should be a fun 2nd half to own him.
Jered Weaver – 6 IP, 5 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks. Now with back-to-back starts that made me feel like I was in Requiem for a Dream’s back-to-back scene. Hopefully the layoff helps him get back on track.
Carlos Quentin – 2-for-4, 5 RBIs and 2 more homers. Now has 19 homers and 61 RBIs. He’ll be in the top 100 for the 2nd half of the season that is coming tomorrow. Could he hit 20 homers in the 2nd half with 50 RBIs? It’s not out of the realm of possibility.
Daniel Hudson – 4 IP, 5 ER, 9 baserunners, 4 Ks as he gave his owners a quick roofie while desecrating their WHIP and fondling their ERA.
Dayan Viciedo – 2-for-5 and a homer. Now has a five game hitting streak with two home runs. After the game, the Poughkeepsie Chapter of Speculating on Small Sample Sizes said that’s something to keep an eye on.
Gordon Beckham – 3-for-4 yesterday after hitting a homer on Saturday. On the one team, I still have him on, I haven’t moved him from my bench in about a month. He sonavabenches me every game because I’m spiting my nose by cutting Beckham off from my fantasy team. In some illogical way, I feel like this will teach him a lesson. Spread the word, Beckham — Grey will irrationally bench you if you don’t hit while in his lineup.
Zack Greinke – Was scratched with shoulder discomfort. Not something you want to hear, obviously. Though my guess is the “discomfort” was minor and rather than risk it they figured they’d give him a week and change off from his last start. To put it in fancy doctorly parlance, this was a burp to avoid later indigestion.
Kerry Wood – 1/3 IP, 1 ER. That’s just Wood getting his trade value up going into the break. Maybe the Polish National Team will trade for him.
Dan Wheeler – Soriano pitched yesterday, so I guess he’s fine. Sure was nice of Wheeler to leave a two run turd in a burning brown bag on my fantasy doorstep before I got to drop him.
Travis Wood – Pitched a one hitter on Saturday. Here’s what I just said about Wood, “Stephen just went over his Travis Wood fantasy. Stephen said, “drool worthy” “splits” “small sample size” “dramatic” “LOOGY.” Man, I could never work for Zagat’s. Wood’s an okay flyer in NL-Only leagues, I wouldn’t want him to roofie me in mixed leagues.” And that’s me quoting me linking to Stephen! As if it needs to be said, Wood’s nowhere near the guy he showed on Saturday. To show you the inconsistency of rookie pitchers, let’s look at his first three starts. 7 IP, 2 ER vs. the Cubs, 4 2/3 IP, 3 ER in Metco and 9 IP, 0 ER in The Flank. If you need the risk and upside, take a flyer, but there’s no telling what you’ll get next. Also, the return of Volquez could send Wood to the minors quicker than if his name were Luis Polonia.
Aaron Hill – 1-for-4 with his 12th homer as he raises his average to .189. His career average is .275 and his current BABIP is .188. As parallel universe Shakira likes to say, BABIPs don’t lie. Though it’s not all peaches and cream for the turn around. He’s swinging at more balls outside the strike zone, which shows in his terrible line drive percentage, i.e., he’s not making good contact with the balls he’s reaching for. He hasn’t shown any sign of breaking out, but Hill almost certainly has to be better in the 2nd half. BTW, to recap at the break my overrated players coming into the season: Jason Bay, Victor Martinez, Aaron Hill, Vazquez, Mark Reynolds, Billy Butler, Aramis, Sandoval, Manny and Mauer. That’s a bit better than Meatloaf’s 2 out of 3. You’re welcome.
Madison Bumgarner – 6 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks. Yeah, for now you should own him.
Justin Morneau – He took a knee to the noggin and missed the final weekend of games. His bruised melon will now make him take a knee on the All-Star Game. It’s sadly comical how his body won’t let him get through a whole season. Back, “I don’t feel like being sore.” Head, “A’ight, I’ll take one for the team.”
Nick Markakis – Homered on Saturday while hitting near .400 over the last week. Markakis has shown signs of life going into the break, which is nice since prior we were gathering pallbearers for his career.
Everth Cabrera – 2-for-5 with his 1st homer. Cool, too bad you’re supposed to steal bases you schmohawk.
Mat Latos – Headed to the DL with I-can’t-throw-more-than-180 innings-itis. I know I’ve said this before, but how do clubs get away with DL’ing guys that aren’t hurt? Shouldn’t there be some sorta rules on this? It’s like baseball’s version of the soccer flop.
Adrian Beltre – Left the game with a hamstring injury. That turned into a leg cramp when Beltre remembered he was in a contract year. All the King’s horses, all the King’s men couldn’t get Beltre out of the lineup during a contract year.
Jack Cust – 2-for-4 with a home run and steal. Who let him get an 89 foot lead off first?
Vicente Padilla – 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 6 Ks. He’s ownable and startable in every home game where he has sub-3 ERA.
Corey Hart – 1-for-5 with his 21st homer in defiance of me. That’s okay, it allows you to get more for him in a trade.
Lastings Milledge – 2-for-3 with a home run and a steal as he orders the slam & legs with a side of Victorino is out homering Milledge by 11.
Pedro Alvarez – Don’t look now but The Smashbuckler has three homers in the last 10 games. Actually, you should look now.
Jose Reyes - Was pulled from Saturday’s game because of his sore oblique. Here’s what the Mets said, “I don’t think we have had any major setbacks because he did play. He’s been down these roads before, but he’ll be fine.” Here’s what I heard, “We have no clue what’s going on. We ran his symptoms into WebMD and it said for him to take a lozenge. Fingers crossed.”
Johan Santana – 7 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks. The Ks have obviously disappeared, but Johan has a 2.98 ERA on the year. How dare you complain. I’ll give you Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey and 4 April starts from Verlander for a taste of that Joham.
Angel Pagan – About a month ago, I asked Razzball Nation to start the Benchy Frenchy campaign online and at Metco. I’d like to now report the Mets listened and will shift Pagan to right when Beltran returns. The truly miraculous part of our accomplishment is I don’t think any of you actually did anything. Yet, it still worked. When you see the difference one little site in the corner of the interwebs can make by doing nothing, it makes you want to do more of nothing.