The 27-year-old, no-name rookie, Daniel Nava, came out of nowhere, hitting a grand slam on the first major league pitch he saw. This all came after not making his college team, working as their equipment manager, finally playing college ball, going undrafted in the major league draft then being cut by the Chico Outlaws, which I believe is the minor league affiliate for Chico’s Bail Bonds. Even his ESPN player photo makes it seem like he was in the Witness Protection Program. Shoot, maybe he is. If so, I hope Hermida starts his car for him. Eventually, Nava caught on with the Outlaws, impressed the Sawx and the rest is history. Nava is old for a rookie and his success at the majors may be short-lived, but he showed a good eye in the minors with modest pop. He could be a flash-in-the-pan, but he’s worth grabbing in AL-Only leagues and monitoring in mixed leagues. He may get bumped when Ellsbury returns and then it’s back to egg noodles and ketchup. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Josh Beckett – Played catch from 90 feet. Guess when he returns he’s going to pitch from 2nd base.
Stephen Strasburg – 5 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners (5 BBs), 8 Ks. Gave up only 2 hits, one of them was him getting Pronk’d in the 2nd inning. As I’ve been saying, his hype is over his value right now. On a related note, I wonder what the Nats TV ratings look like when Strasburg leaves the game. Probably a similar ratings plunge to when LC left The Hills. Who are you, Kristin Cavallari? I know Heidi Montag. I know Brody Jenner. I even know Justin Bobby. I do not know, Kristin Cavallari.
Austin Jackson – Left the game with back spasms. Could be a few days of no action Jackson.
Troy Tulowitzki – Out with a strained groin. Or as they call in the Tulo household, a strained pipski. Could be back by Tuesday.
Edinson Volquez – Barring any setbacks or an effective test for HGH, Volquez should be back just after the All-Star Break. Definitely worth stashing if you have DL room.
Zack Greinke – 9 IP, 3 ER, 5 baserunners, 12 Ks and zero opportunities for the Royals bullpen to screw things up.
Joey Votto – 2-for-4 with 2 homers. Now has 13 homers and 7 steals while batting .306. Having exactly the kind of season you’d want from him and he hasn’t even had any prolonged hot streaks. He’s going to be a good one for a long time.
Billy Butler – 4-for-5 with his 6th homer. Or 3 homers per moob.
Garrett Jones – 2-for-4 and his 2nd homer in two games. In the preseason, I told you to skip Butler and grab Robot Jones later on. Right now, Robot has 10 homers and 5 steals while batting .274. Since Butler couldn’t steal 5 bases in a slow pitch softball league, Jones has been more valuable, even if Butler has the bigger name recognition.
Raul Ibanez – Homer yesterday and now hitting .350 over the last week. Ibanez, “Hello, Corner, I think I’m going to turn you.” Corner, “About time.”
Jake Fox – Designated for assignment. I don’t know what I’m going to do with all of these “Unathletic like a Fox” shirts.
Jorge Posada – Two games, two grand slams as the Yankees scored 22 runs in their three game sweep of the Astros. Now the Orioles and the Astros have something to talk about on their date.
Delmon Young – 1-for-3 with his 8th homer and 3rd in the last week. It feels like forever and 3 days ago when Young was a big-time prospect, but he’s still only 24 years old. Grab while hot.
Kevin Slowey – 4 2/3 IP, 5 ER, 10 baserunners, 6 Ks. Hey, Slowey, here’s a crazy thought, instead of giving up hits to everyone, how about you walk a few people?
Kris Medlen – 8 IP, 3 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks. Still hasn’t touched 100 pitches in a game, but has now thrown 5 solid starts in his last six. Really should be owned everywhere…. Actually should’ve been owned for the last month.
Troy Glaus – 4-for-5, 2 homers. I get the feeling people are waiting for the other shoe to drop with Glaus, but the only thing that really stood in his way was his health. If he’s healthy, there’s no reason why he can’t hit 30 homers and .260. Playing first could be the answer to his health woes. Hey, maybe the Braves can let Glass Chipper simultaneously play first too. It’s the WebMD defensive shift.
Tyler Colvin – 0-for-3. Piniella said he wants to play Colvin more. Steve Stone said, “Yeah, I thought so.”
Ted Lilly – 8 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 3 Ks. Took a no-hitter into the 9th inning as Cubs fans’ brains were clouded with Pappas & beer. Unfortunately, Pierre pulled a Joyce and singled up the middle. Lilly has been terrific since he’s returned from the DL. Hopefully, that jinxes him because I don’t own him anywhere.
Gavin Floyd – 8 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 9 Ks. He was mentioned in the post of pitchers who should be better. Hey, look at that. He was.
Alcides Escobar – Wait a second… Are my eyes seeing right? Alcides Escobar has stolen a base in each of the last two games. Do you believe in miracles?! Yes!
Prince Fielder – 2 homers, supposedly. I think it was Corey Hart wearing a Professor Klump Halloween costume.
Colby Lewis – 8 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 10 Ks as he wowed the crowd in this heated Brewers/Rangers rivalry. Interleague fail.
Josh Hamilton – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 15th home run. Owning Hamilton is like holding your breath for 6 months. Honestly, I’ve been trying not to talk too much about Hamilton this year because I own him on more teams than I want to admit and I don’t want to jinx him. Just give me 500 ABs, Hamilton. Please.
Julio Borbon – 2-for-5 while hitting 2nd and batting .500 over the last week. He’s not racking up the steals, but he could steal 4 bases in a game any day now and be off and running. Literally.
Mike Stanton – 2-for-2, 2 RBIs and his 2nd steal. I think he could be a fantasy first rounder as soon as 2012. This guy is ridiculously huge and he has speed. He’s so big the television cameras film him at the plate like Al from The Naked Gun. You know, the guy who’s head is out of the frame.
Sean Rodriguez – 3-for-3, 2 steals after appearing in Friday’s Buy/Sell, but you knew that already because you read the site.
Jeff Niemann – 6 IP, 5 ER. Mmm… Sweet, sweet regression.
Jeff Suppan – Signed on with the Cardinals as Dave Duncan takes on his toughest challenge yet.
Chad Qualls – 1/3 IP, 2 ER. Someone put him out of his misery. Or put him in Misery by tying him to a bed and breaking his ankles.
Krispie Young – 3-for-5 and 2 Krispie flies. Now has 12 homers on the year while hitting a respectable (for him) .277. According to ESPN’s Player Rater, he’s had top 15 value for all outfielders so far. I could see him putting it together and walking away with a 30/30 season.
Aubrey Huff – 2-for-4, 2 homers, batting .303 with 10 homers on the year. Looking like a poor man’s Glaus a.k.a. matte.
Ryan Spilborghs – 3-for-5, 2 homers, hitting almost .700 over the last week as Seth Smith loses time even against righties. Maybe Seth Smith slept with the Rockie manager’s daughter, Tracy Tracy.