J.P. Howell has back-to-back blown saves. Joe Nelson hasn’t even sniffed a save opportunity after getting saves when Percival was healthy. Balfour has given up 7 runs in the last five games. Isringhausen hasn’t pitched in June. Dan Wheeler got his first save opportunity on Saturday and blew it. Lance Cormier sounds like a hockey goalie. Who’s leading the Rays bullpen since Percival went down? Lefty specialist, Randy Choate, of course! When asked after the game if he’ll ever decide on a closer, Joe Maddon pushed his Buddy Holly glasses up the bridge of his nose and said, “That’ll be the day.” Where’s Percival when you need him? I would hold one of Howell or Wheeler for now, if you have room. If you’re desperate for saves, I’d put the other five names in a hat then let Akinori Iwamura pick out a name. That’s what Joe Maddon does. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Vladimir Guerrero – 1-for-5, zero home runs and batting .260 since his return. Three days before he returned, I told you to sell him. I could see him being better than he has been (I called him a has-been!), but his name is obviously a lot more valuable than his bat.
Rick Porcello – 5 IP, 4 ER. I’ve been saying all along he’s nothing but a matchups guy because of his lack of strikeouts. He now has a 3.98 ERA on the year with 36 Ks through 61 innings. Bleh.
Miguel Cabrera – Left the game after tweaking his hamstring again. This is not a ‘for now thing,’ but I just thought of it. I could see Miggy taking a career dive around age 30.
Vince Mazzaro – 7 1/3 IP, 0 ER. In AL-Only leagues, you can do worse. Fausto Carmona, for instance, he’s worse. Chien-Ming? Yeah, he’s pretty bad. Rich Hill? Not interested in him at all. Revolving schmohawk Indians pitcher is terrible. Mazzaro is marginal at best in mixed leagues. Sorry, paisan.
Rich Hill – 1 IP, 3 ER, 4 walks and 1 HBP. And that’s why I wouldn’t own him in any league. His owners actually got off easy in the earned run department, which is downstairs with home furnishings.
Casey Kotchman – Hit the DL. Obviously jealous of so many others pulling a Kotchman, he decided to show them a thing or two about sitting for two weeks with a minor injury.
Tommy Hanson – 6 IP, 6 ER. Dazzling early on, but uneven is the key word with rookie pitchers. Most impressive thing was 91 pitches with 61 going for strikes. As I told you the other day, prior to his first start might be his peak value in one year leagues. I’m sure he’ll be better than he was on Sunday, hopefully for his owners (and him) it’s in his next start. I wouldn’t turn him down if he were on waivers, but I wouldn’t trade for him in one year leagues either, unless the deal was too good to be true.
Edwin Encarnacion – Felt soreness in his wrist and is now heading for an MRI. If you’re counting on big things in the near-future from Edwin, you probably have bigger fish to fry.
Andrew McCutchen – 6-for-16 since his call up and still without a nickname. Shame on you, Razzballers.
Dan Haren – 7 IP, 1 ER. After he was removed from the game, he threw on a fake mustache and tried to get back in the game. Unfortunately, Hinch went with the non-mustachioed until Clay Zavada took the mound in the 13th. At least I think it was Zavada.
Chad Qualls – 2/3 IP, 2 ER. Suffering forearm stiffness, I think that’s doctor-speak for, “Capable of surrendering a home run to David Eckstein.” Potatoes to chips, Tony Pena should be able to pickup a blown save or two in the coming week.
Justin Upton – Left the game with an aggravated left shoulder. Maybe he shouldn’t have said he liked his right shoulder better. It didn’t look good. Hopefully, he’ll be back in a few days. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s out until at least the end of the week.
Nelson Cruz – Hit his 17th home run yesterday. Member what Hamilton did last year? Yup. Throw David Eckstein in the middle of the Rangers lineup and he goes 35/110. Of course, Eckstein would need Chad Qualls to be his designated pitcher.
Jacoby Ellsbury – Day-to-day with a strained shoulder. Fingers crossed in Beantown that it’s contagious and Ortiz catches it.
Joey Votto – Votto won’t be back when he’s eligible on June 14th. I’ll let frequent commenter, Sean, sum up everyone’s feelings, “The good news is that Joey Votto doesn’t have the swine flu. The bad news is that he has social anxiety disorder. Anxiety of what? Hitting another HR in every game that he doesn’t feel dizzy? Maybe you get to take days off for this shizz in Canada, but where I come from, we bottle up our emotional issues and play like crazy til we have a stroke/heart attack and die prematurely. Votto could lessen the sting of the scrutiny and judgment of others if he moved into the adult world and called himself Joe or Joseph.”
Randy Wells – 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER. Through 6 starts, he’s 0-2/1.86/1.01/31. After Wells’s lead was reduced to rubble by the Cubs bullpen, Wells called Haren for some moral support. They chitchatted for almost an hour. Haren finally had to get off the phone to punch Qualls in the mouth.
Albert Pujols – Got 2 RBIs on a sac fly. You know how awful it must make hitters feel who hit behind Pujols when he’s pitched around? Imagine how it feels when the third base coach sends the guy home from 2nd on a sac fly because of lack of confidence in the next batter.
Matt Wieters – 0-for-4 and batting .143 with 0 RBIs since his callup. Aren’t you glad you held him for two months? Just pray Gregg Zaun doesn’t give him any hitting tips. “When you’re hitting, you keep stepping forward with your left foot.” “Because I’m a righty.” “You rookies think you know everything!”
Jose Lopez – HR yesterday. When I saw that he hit a homer, I thought to myself that Lopez has been hot recently so I looked at his splits. He’s batting .200 in June. He has been hot!
Sean White – With Aardsma working back-to-back days, White was called on to save yesterday’s game. I wouldn’t read too much into that. I would read into that White has 14 walks and 13 Ks on the season. I’d also read into Morrow has only pitched once in the last 8 days. Finally, I’d read into Sweet and Low: A Family Story. Great book.
Ricky Nolasco – 7 IP, 2 ER, 4 Ks, 13 baserunners. Not a bad start back, until you realize he was facing the Ain’ts. Last year, he would’ve chewed these guys up and spit out a shutout.
John Maine – Suffering from a dead arm. Just like Bea Arthur.