It was yet another rough outing for Johan Santana, who has basically pitched himself out of usability. That wasn’t all, though, as Tommy Hanson returned from the DL, there were multiple 2 HR days and much more. Let’s take a look at everything from yesterday’s games:
- Johan Santana – New York Mets – Starting Pitcher – He was a great story early in the season, but you really have to wonder if he’s simply run out of steam after missing all of 2010. He was bombed again yesterday, allowing 6 ER on 7 H and 0 BB, striking out 4, over 5.0 innings of work. Over his past five starts he has now allowed 33 ER over 19.0 innings of work. It’s clear that he is not a viable option right now and it wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t shutdown before the season ends. Keep him stashed on your bench, because he still has potential, but he can’t be in your starting lineup.
More Quick Thoughts:
- The New York Yankees are a team built on the home run, with yesterday being a prime example. They scored 6 runs against the Red Sox courtesy of 5 HR. Nick Swisher led the charge, going 2-3 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R. He now has both a 6 game hitting streak and a 6 game RBI streak, over which he has gone 9-25 with 4 HR, 12 RBI and 7 R. A very streaky hitter, he’s always a solid option but he definitely needs to be active while he’s hot.
- The Tigers search for a fifth hitter continued. In fact, the only offense they got yesterday was courtesy of Miguel Cabrera (2-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 R) and Prince Fielder (2-3, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R). With the rest of the offense struggling, offering no protection for their two sluggers, the team needs to find someone to slide in there. As I’ve said before, would it really surprise anyone if Nick Castellanos arrived shortly?
- Bryce Harper went 2-3 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R, his first HR since July 23 and just his second since June 28. We all know the talent and potential, so don’t be surprised if this gets him going (at least owners can hope).
- It was one mistake by Yu Darvish (a two-run home run from Edwin Encarnacion) that cost him in what was an otherwise fantastic start. He went 7.0 innings allowing 3 ER on 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 10, to take the loss. His control has been a consistent issue this season, though he threw 71 of 114 pitches for strikes yesterday. If he can avoid walking the ballpark (4+ BB in five of his past six starts) he will live up to the hype. It will be something to keep a close eye on over the past six weeks of the season.
- Tommy Hanson came off the DL to allow 3 ER on 7 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 6.2 innings of work. While it wasn’t quite ace stuff, it is a solid outing especially after he had settled in and pitched well in his two starts prior to hitting the DL. However, before we get excited, he entered the day with believable metrics (.307 BABIP, 77.2% strand rate), so he may not be much better than he’s shown. Consider him a mid-level option.
- The Diamondbacks’ Wade Miley continues to get the job done. Sure, it was against the Astros, but that’s just 1 start (6.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 5 K, W) in what has been an impressive season (2.96 ERA, 1.13 WHIP). Of course, he is sporting a .284 BABIP despite a 22.3% line drive rate while showing potential unsustainable good control (1.64 BB/9). He definitely is a solid pitcher and, with the way he’s gone this season, it’s hard to argue. Looking towards 2013, however, I’d have my reservations.
- Salvador Perez went 2-4 with 2 RBI and is now hitting .302 with 8 HR, 19 RBI and 22 R over 149 AB. We all knew he could hit for average (and there is room for improvement there with a .285 BABIP and a 23.9% line drive rate), but the power has been the surprising number. Then again, he has a 21.1% HR/FB, so while there was thoughts he could take a step forward, I would temper expectations as well. Consider him a .300/20 HR threat moving forward, making him one of the better catching options in the league.
- It was another big day for Ryan Braun, going 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R. After going 11 games without a home run he now has 3 HR and 4 RBI in his past two games. At .301, 32 HR and 81 RBI is anyone still worried that he can’t perform without Prince Fielder in the lineup?
- We had heard rumblings that James McDonald could be headed to the bullpen, but he stepped up big-time against the Cardinals last night and likely saved his rotation spot. He went 6.0 shutout innings allowing 2 H and 3 BB, striking out 7. You can’t say that he’s back, especially considering that he had allowed 4+ ER in five of his previous six starts, but this is a good sign. Watch him closely moving forward and be prepared to move on if his struggles return. The Pirates aren’t going to stick with him with the playoffs on the line and neither should you.
- Josh Rutledge was back in the Rockies lineup, hitting second and going 2-5 with 1 RBI and 2 R. Hopefully the quad injury is behind him as he has proven to be a viable option in all formats both in 2012 and beyond (when he’ll move to 2B for Troy Tulowitzki). He has scored 17 R in 117 AB as it is, imagine what he may do with a healthy Tulowitzki behind him?
- Josh Donaldson is only up and in the lineup because Brandon Inge is on the DL. The A’s benefited from the situation yesterday, however, as Donaldson went 4-4 with 2 RBI and 1 R to help lead the A’s over the Indians. He was hitting .335 with 13 HR in 209 AB at Triple-A (PCL), so it’s not like he doesn’t have ability. Keep in mind he has struggled to make contact (25.2%) and, when he has hit the ball he has had bad luck (.244 BABIP). In other words, don’t be surprised if there’s a hot streak coming. In deeper formats, now is the time to stash him in an attempt to catch lightning in a bottle.
- Gregor Blanco went 2-4 with 1 RBI as he continues to play in place of Melky Cabrera. We’ll have to wait and see if the Giants ultimately make a move to bring another option in, but if Blanco continues hitting seventh he isn’t going to have too much value to fantasy owners (Angel Pagan was in the leadoff spot). Keep that in mind before grabbing him.
- It doesn’t happen often but Jered Weaver got tattooed by the Rays last night allowing 9 ER on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out 2, over just 3.0 innings of work. Leading the charge was B.J. Upton who went 4-5 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R. Would I be concerned if I were a Weaver owner? Of course not. It’s one start and it happens. Expect him to get things back on track soon.
- Hisashi Iwakuma was good again, allowing 1 R (0 earned) on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, over 7.0 innings of work. He should continue to pitch well in the rotation and, as long as you aren’t using his 13 K performance as a reference you should not be disappointed. As a starter he has a 3.19 ERA and 1.25 WHIP, though that has come courtesy of an 82.0% strand rate. Not impossible for him to maintain, but be aware that he could regress. Still, with a groundball rate around 50% and good control, he’s worth using in most formats.