by Will Overton
All eyes were on the baseball world yesterday, but it had nothing to do with the games being played. The trade deadline stole the show and it was quite amazing to watch unfold, but there were still games being played. If you were too caught up in the deadline buzz to notice what was happening on the field here are some stories to help catch you up:
- Shouldn’t Johnny Cueto Be In The NL Cy Young Discussion?
I get that what Clayton Kershaw is going this season is a thing of legend really, but poor Johnny Cueto isn’t far off from him and isn’t getting nearly as much publicity. Cueto was brilliant again last night allowing the Marlins only one run in seven innings, striking out nine and picking up his 12th win of the season. Cueto now has a 2.05 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP for the season along with 166 K’s in 162.2 IP. Cueto has gotten a quality start in all but three of his 23 starts. Cueto has to be considered a top 10 pitcher right now and should at least be talked about as a Cy Young candidate even if he won’t win it.
- The Hot Stick Continues For Adam Eaton
The Detroit Tigers may have made big news with their trades, but they couldn’t slow the bats of the White Sox, Adam Eaton in particular. Eaton was 3 – 5 in the game with 2 R, 2 RBI and 1 SB, though he did caught once too. Eaton now finishes this three game series 8 – 14 and is 15 for his last 34 with seven runs in seven games. It was also encouraging to see Eaton steal another base because that’s only his 11th of the season and he’s been caught seven times. Eaton has always been touted as a guy with 50 SB potential, so it’s been a disappointment to see him not racking those up. Despite that though, Eaton is coming around and doing what you hoped he would, getting on base and scoring a good amount of runs, hopefully the steals starts coming too.
- Is Jake Petricka The Official Closer Of The White Sox?
The last three save opportunities on the White Sox have all gone to Jake Petricka and he has converted all three with ease. Petricka’s save yesterday brought his ERA down to 1.99 now and he has thrown 5.2 scoreless innings straight. A big part of that streak is the fact that he has only walked one batter so far, something has been an issues up to this point as he has a 4.5 BB/9 ratio. Petricka certainly looks capable of holding this job down for the remainder of this season and if he continues to pitch well could earn himself a permanent job .
- A Change Of Scenery Seems To Be Helping Grady Sizemore
Moving from Boston to Philadelphia seems to have been a good move for Grady Sizemore who has been impressive since putting on a Phillies jersey. Sizemore jumped out to a quick .379 average, and while it looked like he was cooling off, he has picked things back up. Sizemore went 3 – 5 yesterday with 1 R and 3 RBI hitting fifth in the lineup. Just two nights ago Sizemore also hit his first homerun as a member of the Phillies. I would’ve liked to have seen Marlon Byrd traded to guarantee more playing time for Sizemore, but at least while he’s hot he may be worth owning.
- Fresh Off The DL, Jedd Gyroko Looks Like He’s Finally Ready To Roll
The first two months of the season were frustrating for fantasy owners who had high hopes for Jedd Gyroko as he hit a paltry .162 through June 3rd. He then went on the DL and has been there for the better part of two months before returning earlier this week. Gyroko is 7 – 14 in four games off the DL and last night he hit a homerun for the second straight game. Gyroko has the power to get the ball out of the spacious Petco Park and he showed it last season when he racked up 23 HR’s as a rookie. I think despite the poor start Gyroko is a must add off the waiver wire. This is a middle infielder who can hit for power and it’s hard to find one of those things on the waiver wire, let alone both. Don’t sleep on this guy’s upside just because he started slow this year.
- When Will The Jake Arrieta Magic Run Out?
I have always liked the upside potential of Jake Arrieta, but even I didn’t see him ever doing what he has been doing this season. Last night Arrieta shut down the Rockies over seven innings with 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB and 7 K’s. This was Arrieta’s tenth straight quality start which in itself is unreal, and he has a 1.77 ERA over the course of those ten starts. Arrieta also has 106 K’s in 98 IP as were seeing Arrieta’s true strikeout potential come to life. There is certainly room for regression with his 77.4% LOB rate and .274 BABIP, but even then it shouldn’t be a huge regression. Arrieta has always been thought to have “the stuff,” so maybe it’s just now blossoming.
- Was That A Sign Of Life From Jason Kipnis Last Night?
I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up, but I think Jason Kipnis gave us a sign last night that he might still be a useful fantasy player at some point. Kipnis was a top 25 draft pick in a lot of leagues this past season and he has been a big time disappointment so far. Going into last night’s game Kipnis was riding a streak where he was just 2 for his last 29 at the plate. Last night though Kipnis went 2 – 5 with a homerun and a pair of runs scored. I really can’t believe deep down that Kipnis is as bad as he has been, we have two years before this telling us he’s not. Here’s hoping this was a trigger to a big final two months, Kipnis fantasy owners deserve this much.
- A Potentially Special Start By Tyler Skaggs Gets Cut Short
Through 4.2 innings Tyler Skaggs was untouchable, allowing no hits and striking out seven batters in what looked like it might be a special start and one of Skaggs better of his young career. Then the forearm tightened up and Skaggs was taken out of the game leaving us to wonder what could have been and also what might be. The Angels were reporting that they don’t believe the injury to be serious, but that doesn’t do much to reassure fantasy owners I am sure. The last two starts now for Skaggs have been solid and if he doesn’t wind up on the DL he should start getting looks by fantasy players.
- Aaron Sanchez Shining In Relief Role For Toronto
The Blue Jays highly touted prospect pitcher Aaron Sanchez looked great last night pitching the seventh and eighth innings and getting a win against the Astros. Sanchez didn’t allow a baserunner in his two innings and struck out one batter. Sanchez has now surrendered just one run in 6.1 IP out of the bullpen and already has two wins. While it’s fun to get these glimpses of Sanchez potential in this role, fantasy owners need him in the rotation for him to have value and right now it doesn’t look like it’s happening. J.A. Happ could eventually pitch himself out of the mix and the Jays are watching the counts of Drew Hutchinson and Marcus Stroman. So Sanchez could get a chance at some point, but right now it’s hard to own him outside of maybe AL only leagues where his relief appearances at least hold some value.
- Does Hitting Two HR’s Earn Nolan Reimold More Playing Time In Toronto?
Last night Nolan Reimold got the start at DH for the Blue Jays and responded with a pair of solo HR’s. The Jays acquired Reimold at the beginning of July, but this was just his fourth start since then, despite the fact that he has multiple hits in three of those four starts. Because of injuries the Blue Jays are having guys like Danny Valencia and Dan Johnson play on a regular basis. One would think if they are willing to give those guys a shot at regular playing time they would do the same for Nolan Reimold who has shown some promise in the past as a power hitter and has capitalized on the few opportunities he has had in Toronto. Deep league players should keep an eye out just in case.