Felipe Lopez was traded to the Brewers yesterday. This further cements Casey McGehee’s backup/utility/schmohawk MI behind door number 3 role. McGehee was a Sell on Friday and someone in the Milwaukee brass obviously read that. Felipe Lopez will prolly bat leadoff and primarily play 2nd base. He might get a few more Runs, but his value pretty much stays the same. Right now, Lopez has a 6/6 line on the year. This will put him in line for the middle infielder that everyone looks at late in next year’s drafts and thinks, “12/12 on the year? I’ll take that at my MI spot.” Then by June you’re thinking about how yawnstipating it is. I was as guilty as anyone in the preseason thinking Lopez had a 20/20 season in him and, at the age of 29, maybe he does, but it sure doesn’t seem like it’s coming this year. Going to the Diamondbacks were Cole Gillespie and Roque Mercedes, who were both featured prominently in Buena Vista Social Club. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Cla Meredith – The groundball pitcher, Meredith, went from the Padres to the Orioles for Oscar Salazar, the groundball hitter. Let the trades begin! Meredith now becomes the go-to Cla in Baltimore replacing Senator Clay Davis. I have to get one guy out in the 8th inning? Shiiiiiiiiiiit!
Ramon Hernadez – Done for 4-6 weeks with knee surgery. Luckily, you don’t need knee surgery so you can punt him.
Nelson Cruz – Has a small fracture in his ring finger. Supposedly, he should be able to play through it. Though Cruz’s longtime girlfriend is seeing it as an omen.
Jason Marquis – 8 IP, 1 ER. Won his 12th game yesterday. The Marquis de Shat leads the majors in Wins. And you wonder why I say Wins are unpredictable.
Mat Latos – 4 IP, 2 ER. Held to a conservative 75 pitches. Not ideal scenario if the Padres are going to handle Latos with guantes de niños. Still worth owning in NL-Only leagues and leagues deeper than 12 team. (Relevant of nothing, was watching the ESPYs while I wrote this roundup. Was waiting for Samuel Jackson to say, “These are some tasty goddamn highlights.“)
Franklin Gutierrez – 2 HRs and 2 steals this weekend. Even if you only start The Big FraGu against lefties, he really should be owned in all leagues at this point.
Johnny Cueto/Yovani Gallardo – Both threw 6 innings of 3 run baseball allowing 11 baserunners each. Unfortunately, I considered these solid starts for both of them at this point.
Jonny Gomes – HR yesterday off a righty. With Bruce suffering from Wristie No Attachie, Jonny Cat could see a healthy amount of ABs and have value. In deep leagues, definitely worth owning for his starts vs. lefties, if nothing else.
J.A. Happ – 7 IP, 0 ER. The J.A. stands for jackass, as in what I am for telling everyone to drop him two months ago. Mea culpa, my brother. But this start was away and I’m still not crazy about starting him at home.
John Lackey – 9 IP, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks. Lackey hasn’t been a great 2nd half pitcher in the past, but since he’s only thrown 13 starts so far this year, maybe he’ll avoid the slump. Then again, he only had 11 starts pre-All-Star break last year and still wasn’t great in the 2nd half. Way to shoot holes in your own example, Grey.
Brett Anderson – 8 IP, 2 baserunners, 6 Ks. Now has thrown 21 consecutive scoreless innings. Once again, when a pitcher’s hot, you own them. When they’re cold, you discard them. Hot — own, cold… You got it.
Alfonso Soriano – Homers in back-to-back games. Could hit 15 homers in the 2nd half. Take it to the bank! But put it in one of those short-term, tax-free vehicles like a municipal bond.
Jake Fox – HR yesterday in his first start since the All-Star break. Doesn’t figure to get regular ABs, but if you can afford to bench him when he doesn’t start and play him in daily leagues when he does, it could pay off. If only Milton Bradley would get hurt already.
Gregg Zaun – HR yesterday, too bad he’s blocked by Matt Wieters.
Jeremy Guthrie – 8 IP, 2 ER. Well, it took 3 months, but my favorite 6th fantasy starter might finally be coming around. He could have a good month in the tank, though I wouldn’t start him next time out vs. the Sawx.
Jose Contreras – 4 1/3 IP, 4 ER. As I pointed last week, “In May of last year, Contreras had a 2.09 ERA in over 43 innings. In June, he had a 6.83 ERA. In his last 43 and 2/3 innings, he has a 2.06 ERA. Beware of a correction in the road.” And that’s me pointing out the uncanny! Jose Contreras, The Best Random Forty-Three Innings Pitcher In Baseball.
Joba Chamberlain – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 8 Ks. Cool, now give me ten more starts exactly like this and I’ll stop cracking on your Moms.
Billy Butler – 4-for-5, no runs and no RBIs. He’s batting .294 on the year with 8 homers. By next year, he’s Youuuuk. It’s called a hunch, people!
Joel Pineiro – 7 IP, 1 ER. As I said a week or two ago in the Buy/Sell, Pineiro’s a must own at this point. I know, up the down staircase, Sandy Duncan, but as my fifth grade teacher would say, don’t wonder why, just do or die.
Ian Kinsler – Sticking with the newly-established Ian theme, 2 HRs yesterday for Kinsler. Ron Washington says he’s going to give Kinsler more time off in the 2nd half to keep him fresh. Too bad Ron Washington’s not the manager of my local Indian restaurant. The Chicken Tikka Masala’s been off recently. I think the chef needs a rest.
Roy Halladay – 9 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks vs. the Sawx. After the game, the Yanks reportedly offered their entire farm system for Halladay’s services. The Mets inquired to see if he can play 1st base and bat third.
Yunel Escobar – 3-for-4, 4 RBIs with his ninth homer yesterday. If he didn’t have a corner man’s speed (3 steals on the year), he’d actually be intriguing.
Fernando Nieve – Left yesterday’s game with a leg injury. Jon Niese should take his place in the rotation. Score one for the guy that stitches the last names on the jersey.