Yesterday, the Oakland A’s hit Kevin Slowey about as well as Elmer Fudd can pronounce his name. After missing last week’s start with a sore elbow, it was a great sign that he took a no-hitter into the 8th inning, only to be lifted for precautionary reasons. After the game, Precautionary Reasons said, “Don’t blame me, blame Gardenhire.” Well, whoever you believe, Slowey still had his best start of the season, which came only one start removed from his 2nd best start of the season, which came after a quality start. I guess what I’m confusingly trying to say is he’s been good over the last month aside from his last start vs. the Rays. Hasn’t been all peaches and cream this year for Slowey. I loved him coming into the year and I would’ve loved to strangle him at certain points this year. Assuming his ‘bow is shooting straight, I’d grab him off waivers for his next start vs. the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Jim Thome – 1-for-4 with his third homer in his last 5 games. Doesn’t have Infantian positional eligibility and he looks old enough to have grandkids, but he’s currently hitting.
Rich Harden – Hit the DL again. Bad year for Erich Bedarden. Actually, every year is.
Nelson Cruz – Will be reevaluated on Monday for his recurring hamstring injury. If only the Rangers can figure out some way for their hitters to play in a giant inflatable bubble.
Derek Holland – Will start on Wednesday vs. the Rays. I’d wait to see how he pitches before adding him, but I do have a small crush on Holland.
Justin Masterson – 6 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners (only one hit), 3 Ks. As frequent commenter, royce!, pointed out, Masterson figured out how to counteract his terrible splits vs. lefties. Walk them and just face righties.
Michael Brantley – 2-for-4 with a homer and is now batting .333 over the last week as he takes time away from the touring company of Riverdance.
Travis Hafner – 1-for-4 with a grand slam in his first game back from the DL. Or, more appropriately, one of the few games between his last DL stint and his next one.
Chris Johnson – 3-for-4 with his 6th homer. Yup.
Derrek Lee – 2 homers then left with a stiff back, which sounds like something Don Draper would order.
Ian Stewart – 2-for-3 with his 17th homer. Has now hit in 9 of his last 10 games as he hits .269 on the year with 5 steals. Don’t be surprised when I like Mini-Mini Donkey again next year. Have to at least justify my “MMD for life” tattoo.
Eric Young Jr. – 1-for-4 as he was recalled. He may be sent right back down or he might not be anything but a reserve utility man even if he stays up. In deep leagues, I grabbed him where I needed speed, but I was dropping schmohawks. Don’t drop anyone too valuable for him. Not yet.
Adam Lind – 2-for-2 with his 17th homer. Don’t look now (okay, you can look now), but Lind’s hitting .366 in August with 3 homers.
Ricky Romero – 7 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 4 Ks. Let’s talk real baseball for a second. The Blue Kays signed Romero to a $30.1 million deal through 2015. (Though we’ll all be using the euro by then, but that’s just a hunch of mine.) I like this move for the Kays. Romero’s a mid-3 ERA, just under 8 K/9 pitcher. I.e., a solid number two. In a few years, $30 million will look like a bargain.
Mike Napoli – Hit his 19th homer as he snuck on the field wearing Mathis’ uniform.
Tim Lincecum – 3 2/3 IP, 5 ER. I wonder if the Giants are second-guessing his past seasons’ pitch counts.
Jeremy Hellickson – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks. Has been downright brilliant in each of his major league starts, sporting a 1.35 ERA, 0.60 WHIP and 18 Ks to 3 walks. He’s also the number one fantasy prospect, according to Stephen. Unfortunately, the Rays are conservative with their prospects and Hellickson had quite a few innings in the minors this year. Unfortunately II: The Search for More Bad News; as soon as Davis or Niemann can return, Hellickson will be bumped from the rotation. Unfortunately III: The Bride of Unfortunately; Davis or Niemann will probably return next week.
Mike Stanton – 2-for-4 but didn’t hit a homer in Sunday’s game for the first time in, like, a year. He’s now batting fifth, hitting .275 with 14 homers. And, according to my Stuff On My Cat desk calender, we’re not in September yet.
Homer Bailey – 6 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 4 Ks. Is it me or does it feel like he has a triumphant return to the majors every other month? Seems to go like this for Bailey. First start in the majors and he blows away the opposition. Starts four more times and gets rocked or injured. Then he’s DL’d or demoted. A month later, he returns triumphantly. Rinse and repeat.
Jose Valverde – Has been out with an abdominal strain, but says he should be fine moving forward. If he’s lying, Ryan Perry could be the handcuff, but he’s been struggling. Phil Coke could see some hot closing action too. Or Valverde just returns.
Ryan Raburn – 2-for-5 with his 6th homer and…. Wait for it… Here it comes… Hmm… I’ve seemed to misplace it… Let me check my pockets… Nope…. Maybe I left it in my car?… Oh, here it is in my wallet… This was Raburn’s 3rd homer in his last 4 games. Tuh-dow!
Jhonny Peralta – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and 2 homers. To think what he could’ve done with a coke addiction.
Paul Konerko – 2-for-4 and his 29th homer. The only consolation for missing out on Konerko this year is the guy that drafted him uses a cheat sheet from 2004 and also drafted Manny, Hafner, Carlos Lee, Berkman and Clemens.
Vicente Padilla – 4 1/3 IP, 8 ER. Note to Padilla, when you’re selling your soul to the devil, ask him for an entire solid season, not just a good month or two.
Omar Infante – 3-for-5, 7 for his last 12 and is batting .340 on the year. That’s the last time I’m ever mentioning him. You’ve been served (with info)!
Bryan Bullington -8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 5 Ks. The first round draft pick threw eight shutout innings vs. the Yankees as he got his first win! The genital wart on that achievement is that he was drafted 8 years ago and is 30 years old. I’d let someone else be Bullington’s huckleberry.
Ian Desmond – 1-for-3 with his 2nd steal in two days while hitting 2nd and .333 over the last week. Inch by inch, step by step, he’s putting together a decent year.
Jacoby Ellsbury – D’Ellsburied once again as he continues to rack up the Game-Missing RIBs. Back in May, I said, “I know this might be a bitter pill(sbury) to swallow, but I don’t think it’s going to be a great season for Ellsbury.” And that’s me rubbing salt in your wounds again! It’s not official yet, but it sounds like he won’t return this year. On the bright side, he’ll be a bargain in next year’s draft.
Dustin Pedroia – Proving he’s a 100%, Grade-A Sparky Anklebiter, Pedroia said he’s coming back on Tuesday because there’s no time for him to get fully healthy, there’s games to be won. Can we get Sean Astin on a diet so he can play Dustin Pedroia in The Tail That Wagged The Sox?