by Will Overton
We had some common themes taking place in yesterday’s games. One of those being older guys hitting their stride despite their age, with Bartolo Colon, CC Sabathia and Victor Martinez all showing up like we turned the clock back 10 years. There was also a theme of pitchers having good outings, but making things difficult for fantasy owners with their lack of strikeout upside. We’re covering all that and more in our breakdown of the top 10 stories:
1) The Fountain Of Youth Has Been Emptied By Bartolo Colon
43 years old and Bartolo Colon is still going as strong as ever, and maybe even a little bit better. Colon dominated the Pirates last night going 7.2 IP with 7 H, 2 R, 0 BB and 8 K before the Mets bullpen almost lost the lead for them. This is the fourth quality start for Colon in his last five starts and only once in his 13 starts has he given up more than three runs which is really impressive. The problem is that Colon doesn’t typically strike people out. He got eight last night which is great, but he only had eight in his last four starts, and I think this is probably more of an aberration than a new leaf he has turned over. Outside of 10 team formats, he’s worth a spot for teams looking to lower their ratios, but he’s still a stay away in standard.
2) Curtis Granderson Stays Hot With Another Big Game
Curtis Granderson has been rolling along here lately and he was 2 – 5 last night with a HR and a pair of runs scored. Granderson is on a seven game hit streak right now with seven runs scored in those seven games. Granderson also has four HR’s in his last 10 games. Granderson has raised his batting average over 20 points in the last nine games and hopefully it will continue to trend upwards. Granderson is up to 13 HR’s now, and while his RBI total leaves a lot to be desired, he gives you that pop and run scoring potential. If the average isn’t such an anchor going forward Granderson can be a top 30 outfielder.
3) The Mariners Give Blake Snell A Rude Welcome Back To The Majors
Earlier this year. Star prospect Blake Snell made a very strong debut before heading back down to Triple-A. He came back up for this start and this one didn’t go quite as well. Snell allowed five runs over 3.1 innings, even though only one was earned. Snell gave up eight hits and three walks as well while striking out three. Snell is likely here to stay for a bit this time around so he’ll get a chance to redeem himself, but he has to get the control under wraps which has been about his only issue in the minor leagues too. Snell’s upside is incredibly high, so you have to consider adding him, but be wary of the tough outings like this.
4) June Is Shaping Up Quite Nicely For Kevin Pillar
It’s been quite a month so far for Kevin Pillar who was struggling a good bit coming into June. Yesterday afternoon Pillar went 3 – 5 with 2 R, 2 HR and 3 RBI. This is the seventh time in his last 10 games that Pillar has gone for multiple hits. These last 10 games have also provided 10 R, 5 HR and 9 RBI. Pillar’s average in June is .316 and that has brought his average up to .262 for the season. Pillar is a very legitimate threat for at least 15/15, even despite the slow start, and with as hot as he is right now he has to be owned across the board.
5) A Near No-Hitter For Colby Lewis Earns Him His Sixth Win
One of the most under the radar great seasons being turned in so far is Colby Lewis, who almost had a no-hitter yesterday, having it broken up in the 9th. Lewis ended up allowing a run on two hits, walking one and striking out four. Lewis moved to 6 – 0 with this win and he now has 10 quality starts in his last 11 starts and is 12 for 14 on the season. Like Colon, Lewis isn’t getting a ton of strikeouts which is tough to deal with, but he at least has a history of being a bit more of a strikeout guy than what he is showing so far this season giving you hope for that number to rise. Lewis is worthy of being owned in all formats.
6) Should You Buy Into The Recent Play Of Didi Gregorius?
For the third straight game Didi Gregorius collected a pair of hits yesterday, and for the second time in three games he hit a homerun. Gregorius has nine RBI now in his last six games and he has six runs in his last eight games. This is a nice run for Gregorius who is now hitting .280 for the season. Gregorius is good for a few streaks like this each season, but his accumulated numbers leave a bit to be desired. Gregorius hits in the bottom third of a pretty poor lineup which means he won’t get a ton of runs or runs batted in. Gregorius is a nice guy to plug in while he’s rolling like this, but he prepared for the drop off.
7) Can CC Sabathia Really Keep This Up Much Longer?
How in the world are we in the middle of June right now and CC Sabathia has an ERA of 2.20. Last night Sabathia went six innings, allowing six hits and one run, walking three and striking out seven. In his last seven starts Sabathia has an ERA of 0.81 and a WHIP of 1.02. Sabathia is walking a fair amount of batters which may very well catch up to him, but he’s getting the outs when he needs them, he’s keeping the ball in the park, which he wasn’t doing last season. Sabathia won’t be able to keep up this kind of pace all season for sure, but he really does seem to regained some semblance of his old form. Proceed with caution, but he’s chugging along pretty good.
8) Strong Performance From Tyler Wilson, But It’s Hard To Buy In
With 10 runs allowed in his last two starts, over 9.2 innings, it was pretty good for the Orioles for him to bounce back. Wilson threw eight shutout innings, against the Red Sox no less which is quite a feat. Wilson allowed three hits and a walk, and he struck out six in the game. Wilson has had his moments, but to go along with the theme of this article it seems, he doesn’t have strikeout potential. Also, unlike Colon and Lewis mentioned before, he has too many rough outings to be a big help in ratios too.
9) Three Bombs Hit Out By Victor Martinez
Because of a knee injury Victor Martinez was limited to pinch hitting only the last few days, but he got back in the lineup last night and made the most of it, hitting three HR’s. All three of Martinez’s HR’s were solo shots, but I don’t think anyone is complaining about that. This now bumps Martinez HR total for the season up to 12 with 38 RBI and .338 batting average that puts him top five in the league. It looked last year like Victor Martinez was on the downside of his career, but he has proven us all wrong on that one.
10) Not All Good News For The Detroit Tigers, J.D. Martinez Fractures His Elbow
J.D. Martinez was trying to track down a ball hit to the outfield and ran into the wall. X-Rays indicate a fractured elbow as a result and the team is sending him for an MRI to confirm. Martinez was killing the ball as of late which is a big blow to the Tigers and to fantasy owners alike. With him almost certainly hitting the DL the question has to be asked what it means. The Tigers have a few options for replacement including Anthony Gose or Tyler Collins being called up. More interesting options would be Steven Moya or JaCoby Jones being called up from AAA and getting regular AB’s which could be pretty interesting with the way they have hit the ball in the minors. Keep an eye on this situation and see what happens