The Giants brought Brandon Belt back up from the minors where he was batting .293 with 3 homers in 12 games in July. Last time he was recalled it was the Giants doing their best fill-a-Buster and Belt was a bench bat. The time before that he was promoted and forgot his game back in Fresno. “A box of sparklers, a Groupon to the Macaroni Grill, Brandon Belt’s game.” That’s someone going through a lost and found in Fresno. So those two negatives led to two (stutterer!) positives. Bochy started Belt at first and he homered. I’d look at Belt in all leagues for his sweet, sweet upside, but don’t drop anyone too good or it could end up smacking you upside your head. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Psyche! Before we get into today’s roundup, wanted to mention that the fantasy football leagues are signing up over at our sister site, and I’m using the word sister like in Oz. You click that linkie-ma-who and it’ll take you there. It’s magic! Anyway II, here’s the roundup:
Jeff Keppinger – Of course, Sabean acquired Keppinger. Rogers Hornsby was unavailable. Keppinger is a defensive upgrade on the usual flat-footed vet Sabean brings over like Burrell, who plays the mannequin defense. Most times the defense alignment means moving guys in and out, right and left. The mannequin defense requires them deciding if they want to play their fielders with their gloves in the air for a fly ball or on the ground because once the ball is hit there is no time for them to move their arms.
Jose Altuve – His last name is pronounced like Idon’tknowaltuve with the “Idon’tknow” being silent. With Blanco Polanco headed to the Giants, Altuve is the odds on favorite for the starting 2nd base job. As the Astros’ field general Mills said, “He’s my second baseman. We didn’t bring him here to sit him. And please don’t call me General Mills. And no my favorite player isn’t Coco Crisp.” Someone sounds like Cap’n Grouchy. Altuve was tearing up High-A and Double-A this year — .389 average and a 1.017 OPS. Not bad for a guy who is 170 pounds soaking wet while carrying Juan Pierre. He also has speed — 19 steals in 52 games in High-A, and 5 steals in Double-A. If you’re wondering why I’m giving you his low minors stats, it’s because Ed Wade’s Toupee is promoting very raw prospects now. Just how raw is he, you ask like you’re in the audience at The Match Game. He’s 21 years old and has only played 34 games at Double-A. I’d take a flyer on him in NL-Only and deeper mixed leagues to see if he can translate his speed and power to the majors. Best case scenario — a few homers and twelve steals. I’d pursue aggressively in keepers.
James McDonald – 6 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks. Though he was the most interesting Pirate starter coming into the season, I’ve abandoned hope for him and wouldn’t go back just because of this start. He was solid in 2010’s 2nd half, so I would watch him. BTW, how about those Pirates? Can’t wait for the Indians/Pirates Fall Classic. Just when Rupert Murdoch thought things couldn’t get worse, Fox gets that series. You know what the weather was in London yesterday for Murdoch’s Parliamentary hearings? Hot and sticky with 100% humility.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia – Now has homers in back-to-back games and mentions in back-to-back roundups. Eff me if I have to keep spelling this guy’s name.
Derrek Lee – 1-for-4 with a home run. Has now hit in 8 of his last 9 games with 3 homers. He was also mentioned in last week’s post about 2nd half hitters. Prescient isn’t just a word I can’t spell without Google!
Jeremy Hellickson – 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks, 3.17 ERA and 1.13 WHIP on the year. Actually having a really solid year, too bad when it comes to young AL East pitchers I’m like Ludacris and too scurred.
Carlos Guillen – 2-for-3 with a home run. Honestly, I thought he was retired. Guillen is obviously Spanish for sneaky. He tends to hit when he’s healthy. Though that ‘when’ is the size of your grandmother’s gams.
Yovani Gallardo – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks. He’s good, he’s bad, he’s good. YoGa’s inconsistency can really stretch your patience.
Yuniesky Betancourt – 3-for-5, 4 RBIs and 2 homers. As I said in the preseason, “He’s not a good option in mixed leagues. His 16 homers last year was taking the ceiling off his ceiling and making a new ceiling with duct tape. In OBP leagues, he’s even worse.” And that’s me quoting me!
Cameron Maybin – 2-for-4 with 2 steals. That’s so Maybin! With 5 homers and 16 steals, Maybin’s been like a poor man’s Shane Victorino. It’s Feign Victorino. The Padres just make me so unexcited to own one of their hitters.
Alexi Ogando – 8 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks as he continues to FIP off the Fangraphs Database.
Chris Perez – Blew yesterday’s game after giving up a run in the previous one. He’s an embarrassment to mullets everywhere (and that’s saying a hell of a lot). He’s not going to lose the job this quickly, but Pestano is a decent handcuff since the Indians are actually in contention. The Indians fan, who’s been comatose since April, just woke up to see his Indians in first. Comatose Indians Fan, “Wow, Grady Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo must be having great years!”
Matt Garza – 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks with his 2nd no decision in a row because of his bullpen. Maybe next time when the bullpen wants to watch So You Think You Can Dance?, Garza won’t turn the station.
Sean Marshall – 2 IP, 3 ER. Carlos Marmol, “See, it’s not so easy!”
Brett Cecil – 7 IP, 5 ER, 10 baserunners, 2 Ks vs. the Mariners. Like the 70’s pinup that Brett Cecil sounds like he’s named after, he both blew and sucked yesterday. Without looking it up, I think five runs is the most the M’s scored this year. That gets me Gordon Ramsay mad. This start was one pathetic scallop!
Michael Pineda – 6 1/3 IP, 5 ER. Since the All-Star selection and game, he’s given up 12 earned in 11 1/3 innings. It’s the Curse of Atlee Hammaker.
Dexter Fowler – 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and a steal. Was oh for his last nine prior to that, so I’m not sure it’s the start of something, but it’s worth monitoring.
Dan Uggla – 2-for-4 with 2 homers. Good to see his bats finally arrived after his offseason trade.
Brandon Beachy – 4 2/3 IP, 6 ER. It’s of little consolation, but you really shouldn’t have started him in Coors anyway.
Jason Isringhausen – Looks like I was right about the Mets trying to raise Izzy’s trade value by making him the closer for now, after I was wrong about saying Parnell should be the closer. I’d hold Parnell for at least the next week to see how things unfold. Or in the Mets case, just fold.
Brandon Allen – In his two starts since he’s been called up, he’s hit two homers. He’s also been benched 4 times. Maybe if he fist pumps around first after every homer, Gibson will play him every day.
Aaron Heilman – The Diamondbacks released Heilman after he put up Byung-Hyun Kim in the World Series-like ERA of 6.88. Guess they signed one too many Putzes this offseason.