by Andrew Gould
So how many people added Phil Hughes after a string of solid starts in May, only to be punished by him allowing seven runs in his last start against the Angels?
One small step forward, one giant step back. Hughes’ career continues to follow this path. Just when you think Hughes is ready to take the next step and progress into a top-line starter, he falls apart and puts his spot in the Yankees’ starting rotation in jeopardy.
It started in 2010, when a fine first half earned Hughes an All-Star appearance in his first full season as a starting pitcher. He regressed through the end of the year and finished with a 4.19 ERA, a mark he now wishes he could reach. This yea, Hughes has posted a 5.64 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in a rotation that overly zealous Yankees fans worried would feature too many good starting pitchers. Read more
Welcome Rotoprofessor fans to our first test run of the Rotoprofessor news feed! Keep checking back all day, as I will bring you the biggest news, about once an hour, throughout the day, along with my thoughts on the fantasy spin.
Please make sure to let me know in the comments section if you like this new feature or not and if you would like to see it continue. As always, thanks to everyone who supports the site as it is very much appreciated.
Today’s test run of the Live News Feed is officially closed at 4 PM. Thanks for everyone who checked in throughout the day. Please continue to let me know what you thought!
- Red Sox lineup courtesy of Nick Cafardo (via Twitter): podsednik cf nava lf gonzalez 1b ortiz dh youk 5 salty c sweeney rf aviles ss punto 2b; Note Will Middlebrooks is not playing
- Tigers lineup courtesy of the Tigers’ official Twitter feed: Tonight’s lineup: Berry 8, Boesch 9, Cabrera 5, Fielder 3, Young dh, Avila 2, Peralta 6, Kelly 7, Worth 4. Scherzer p; Note Andy Dirks is out of the lineup again Read more
Aroldis Chapman has emerged as one of the top closers in the league. Heath Bell continues to give fantasy owners fits. Unsurprisingly Rafael Dolis and Brandon League have lost their respective jobs. Let’s see how these stories and all the rest impact our closer rankings:
- Craig Kimbrel – Atlanta Braves (1)
- Jonathon Papelbon – Philadelphia Phillies (2)
- Aroldis Chapman – Cincinnati Reds (9)
- Joe Nathan – Texas Rangers (4)
- Jim Johnson – Baltimore Orioles (3)
- Joel Hanrahan – Pittsburgh Pirates (5)
- John Axford – Milwaukee Brewers (6)
- Kenley Jansen – Los Angeles Dodgers (7)
- Santiago Casilla – San Francisco Giants (11)
- Chris Perez – Cleveland Indians (14)
- Rafael Betancourt – Colorado Rockies (10)
- Fernando Rodney – Tampa Bay Rays (12) Read more
by Will Overton
When the Seattle Mariners explode for 21 runs in a game you know it’s an interesting night of baseball. We had the Mariners doing just that last night as well as several guys going deep multiple times and some strong pitching performances, one in particular from a very unexpected place. Let’s get to the big stories of the night:
- Francisco Liriano – Starting Pitcher – Minnesota Twins: After six starts in which he allowed at least four runs or more Liriano was moved to the bullpen. Things went a bit better for him there aside from getting rouged up in his last outing and the Twins decided to give him another shot at starting, more or less because they had no one else. Last night he took on Oakland and dominated for six innings of shutout ball and striking out nine hitters, walking just two. This was against Oakland so no one should be getting their hopes up too high. Control is still one of the big issues for Liriano and so seeing just two walks is a positive sign. In the bullpen Liriano walked seven in 7.1 IP, so I am now ready to go all in on him. Liriano’s next start is in Kansas City though and he could make a decent spot start play there. Just don’t let yourself get to crazy for Liriano, again, until he proves a bit more.
- Justin Smoak – First Base – Seattle Mariners: I still want to believe that Justin Smoak is not another case of an overhyped letdown, but his struggles have continued this season. On May 23rd Smoak was close to seeing his average drop below .200, but he’s turned things around a bit these last six games. Smoak was one of the many Mariners to explode last night as he hit 2 HR’s, scored 3 R and knocked in 6 RBI. In the last six games Smoak is 9 – 24 with 7 R, 4 HR and 12 RBI. Smoak seems to be getting something together, at least at the moment, and I think the potential makes Smoak someone to run with for the time being and see where he goes. Read more
With the struggles of Nick Hundley continuing, fantasy owners are left wondering when the Padres will call upon Yasmani Grandal. Let’s take a look at everything we need to know about Grandal so we are prepared for when he finally does get recalled:
- 23-years old
- Switch Hitter
- Drafted in the first round of 2010 (12th overall) by the Cincinnati Reds; selected one pick before Chris Sale
- Traded to the San Diego Padres as part of the package sending Mat Latos to Cincinnati
- Prior to the season Baseball America ranked him as the #53 prospect overall and mlb.com ranked him as the #63 overall prospect
- Through 115 AB at Triple-A (Pacific Coast League) in 2012 is hitting .322 with 4 HR, 23 RBI and 22 R Read more
There are some players with impressive home run totals over the first two months of the 2012 season. However, who can we expect to come reasonably close to maintaining there early season pace and who should we be looking to sell high on? Let’s take a look at the Top 10 HR/FB (through Monday) and determine who to hold and who to sell:
1. Josh Hamilton – Texas Rangers – 39.2%
Hamilton is having a remarkable season and, while it is nearly impossible for him to maintain this type of power, unless you get an absolute bounty for him who is even going to consider selling? He’s proven that, when healthy, he’s one of the elite players in the game. That is always the caveat, and I wouldn’t blame someone for getting rid of him at his peak value, especially if you can get a package including a player like Matt Kemp or Ryan Braun. However, I wouldn’t be using the HR/FB as an excuse to move him.
2. Adam Dunn – Chicago White Sox – 32.7%
I spoke about Dunn recently (click here to view) and concluded that all of the numbers scream at us to sell him as soon as possible. He has name value, so other owners are going to see his 16 HR and conclude that he’s back to his old form. However, you couple the HR/FB with an inflated strikeout rate, even for Dunn (35.8%), and you get the potential for a fall in power and an abysmal average (as it is he is hitting .241). It makes sense to get value for him while you can. Read more