Carlos Ruiz and angry Philly fans have a new battery mate in Cliff Lee, as he was traded from the Indians along with Ben Francisco. Going the other way were a slew of prospects, including my fave, Carlos Carrasco. J.P. Ricciardi thought the Indians should’ve held out for Howard, Utley and Rollins. Now to finalize this deal, Cliff should change his name to Phil. Cliff Lee’s value takes a small boost, but he has a 3.14 ERA already. You’ll take a low 3 ERA and love it. You know who else gets a nice boost from this trade? Matt LaPorta. The MLP Package should get the call up to play with Francisco leaving his starts in, well, Cleveland. Though the MLP Package should’ve been up and playing already and that hasn’t really happened yet. Keep an eye on LaPorta in mixed 12 team leagues and deeper, because when he gets called up, he’ll be worth owning. In some leagues, I’d even do a preemptive grab. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Freddy Sanchez – Traded to the Giants. Sanchez’s value stays about the same. Finally, the Giants have a 2nd baseman. Now if they only had a 1st baseman, shortstop and three outfielders, they’d be all set. The Giants must’ve thought to themselves, “Hey, if the Dodgers can compete with essentially the same quality 2nd baseman as Sanchez, why can’t we?” A wise man once said that, “If Freddy Sanchez is an upgrade to your offense, you need a lot more than just Freddy Sanchez.” That wise man was me.
Tim Alderson – Was the prospect that the Pirates got for Sanchez. Scouting the Unknown has already gone over Tim Alderson. The Cliff Notes version is, “Tim Alderson very good. For Freddy Sanchez? Giants idiots.”
Ian Snell – Headed to Safeco with Jack Wilson (blech) for Jeff Clement and Ronny Cedeno (blech x 2). Jack Wilson for Ronny Cedeno is like trading a wiffle bat for a foam bat. Snell though is intriging. He was decent for about a year in Pittsburgh. Going to Safeco and a fairly weak AL West isn’t terrible for his value. (The AL West weak? The Mariners are contenders and they traded for Jack Wilson. ‘Nuff said.) Would I pick Snell up? Nope, not yet. But I’ll be watching him as he mows ‘em down in Tacoma.
Jeff Clement – He’ll be in the minors at first at, um, first, but if he gets the call he’ll be worth looking since he has catcher eligibility. More than likely, he won’t steal ABs from Doumit, unless Doumit gets hurt, which has a decent chance of happening every day Doumit gets out of bed. Clement will probably work his way into the 1st base mix when, or if, he gets called up.
Lastings Milledge – Argh, enough Pirates news already. Milledge is supposed to be recalled on Friday.
Matt Cain – 9 IP, 0 ER and a no decision. Glad to see that trade for Garko has added some much needed punch.
Roy Halladay – 7 IP, 3 ER. J.P. Ricciardi asked Halladay to give up a few runs so no one would meet his demands. Part of the master plan!
Jose Lopez – HR yesterday. Usually he hits homers in bunches.
Adam Jones – Last week, I pointed out how Jones was hot again. This week, he has 3 straight games with a homer.
Chris Tillman – 4 2/3 IP, 3 ER. Eh, he looked a’ight. Touched up for a few long balls and left some pitches up in the zone that could have led to a worse line. Vs. the Royals you’d like to see a bit more, but he’s a rookie. If you wanna try for the upside, you have to take on the risk. Vs. the AL East? I wouldn’t bother in one year leagues, except for matchups.
Jim Johnson – He entered the 8th in a save situation then the O’s added on, so Johnson stayed in and got the save. Doesn’t mean he’s now the closer, but it may mean he’s next in line. Which is good to know, ya know?
Joba Chamberlain – 8 IP, 0 ER. Now three great starts in a row where he’s looked less like his mother’s son.
David Ortiz – DNP as Lowell DH’d and LaRoche played 1st. The LaRoche Situation™ is costing all of these guys playing time.
Aaron Harang – 7 IP, 7 ER. Not pretty, obviously, but after being touched up in the 1st inning, he threw 6 scoreless until Dusty left him in there too long.
Mat Latos – 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 Ks, 2 baserunners. Very encouraging start from the young pitcher, but keep in mind he only threw 86 pitches. On most nights, 86 pitches won’t get you through the 7th inning. But as a HopdgePadre? Get on the train!
Edward Mujica – Well, that cleared that up. He’s no longer in the running for the closer job if Bell moves, because Mujica’s taking Geer’s spot in the rotation. Mujica will be limited to 60 pitches so he’s not a wise investment.
Andruw Jones – 2 HRs. Oh, and having a better season than Josh Hamilton.
Scott Feldman – 2 1/3 IP, 6 ER, while looking more like his brother, Corey.
Curtis Granderson – 2 HRs. I feel like Grandy’s putting together a very solid season (22 HRs/17 steals) and it’s going by pretty unnoticed. Not sure why. Is it because he’s batting .259? Cause I’ll take a .240 average from a guy who’s on his way to a 30/25 season.
Justin Verlander – 7 IP, 3 ER, 13 Ks and his 12th win. He has 172 Ks through July. Incredible. Yeah, he could win the Cy Young.
Carlos Quentin – HR yesterday. About flippin’ time.
Wladimir Balentien – Traded to the Reds for bag of buttered popcorn. Confusing on a few levels. The Reds needed an outfielder? The Reds are buyers? I guess Baker just can’t stand the thought of playing Gomes every day.
Howie Kendrick – Batting .450 in the last seven games. Yesterday, homer and 5 RBIs. Is it me or is every middle infielder simultaneously hot? It’s The Age of the MI Schmohawk.
Francisco Liriano – Brian Duensing replaced him yesterday not because Liriano’s been terrible, though that reason would’ve worked for me, but because Lirano had swelling in his forearm. Supposedly, Liriano should be fine by next week. I’m not sure if that’s good news or bad news for Liriano owners.
Alfonso Soriano – Al-So’s smoking the ball. You know who else is hot? Aramis and Lee. About time the Cubbies stepped up their hitting. (BTW, I like how in yesterday’s blowout Piniella pulled his regulars, except Bradley. Maybe Lou feels the same way as me. If Milton plays enough, he’s got to get hurt. It’s no coincidence that Milton Bradley makes the Operation game.)
Reed Johnson – Out four weeks with a broken foot. The other day Randy was hurt. This is the worst week to be a Johnson since Lorena Bobbitt was famous.