Tommy Hanson seemed to get his control issues in check. David Price continued to walk the ballpark, despite getting a win. Max Scherzer saw his defense betray him. Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games.
Cincinnati 8, Cleveland 1
- Brandon Phillips went 3-5 with 3 RBI, 3 R and 1 SB. He had been extremely hot for an extended time, but had just 2 RBI over his previous 7 games. He was also just 2-22 over his past 6 games. You learned early on this season that he’s a player to have patience with, because despite some struggles he is among the top three second baseman in the game. Obviously, keep him active in all formats.
- Luis Valbuena (0-4) actually played 2B, with Asdrubel Cabrera (1-5, 1 R) at SS and Jhonny Peralta (1-3) at 3B. While Valbuena and Cabrera could flip-flop, this is going to be the configuration going forward with Mark DeRosa now in St. Louis. Peralta has the most fantasy appeal, though Cabrera could be usable in deeper formats if he remains batting lead-off, like he did yesterday. As I’ve said before, Valbuena has little value.
- Micah Owings allowed 1 run on 5 hits and 4 walks, striking out 4, over 6 innings to improve to 5-8 with a 4.63 ERA. He’s been extremely inconsistent, and didn’t do much to give the impression that his 1.56 WHIP is going to be reduced any time soon. His value lays in NL-only and maybe the deepest of mixed formats, but you should be able to find a more dependable option.
- After struggling in his first appearance off the DL (2 ER on 2 H and 2 BB over 0.1 inning), Brad Lidge was able to get the job done and nail down the save. He did allow 1 hit and 1 walk, without striking out a batter, in his 1 inning, but got save #14. With the way Ryan Madson performed in his absence, he’s clearly safe, so keep throwing him out there in all formats as a #2 closer.
- Aaron Hill went 2-5 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R. He’s now at .305 with 19 HR and 56 RBI. Is anyone still concerned about him after his dismal 2008, which was cut short by concussions? I sure hope not. He’s emerged as a Top 5 second baseman right now.
- Scott Rolen went 2-3 to extend his hitting streak to 16-games. He’s a low-end fantasy option, but while he’s hot he certainly could be used.
- Has Mike MacDougal finally settled the closer’s role in Washington? He tossed a perfect inning, striking out 1, to pick up his third save. This is the first time he’s had a strikeout since June 10 (6 innings). He also pitches for the Nationals, meaning how many save opportunities is he really going to get? He’s far from a top option, but if you are looking for a few extra saves, he’s worth using right now. There’s a good chance he struggles as time progresses, so I wouldn’t get too attached to him, however.
- Matt Wieters went 0-3 and is now hitless in his last three games (0-8). He’s hitting .234 and hasn’t quite lived up to the lofty expectations. He’ll be worth holding onto, but in 1-catcher formats he’s better suited for your bench. Did anyone ever expect that to be said?
- Josh Willingham went 3-4 with 2 R and 1 SB, giving him a 5-game hitting streak. Over that stretch he’s gone 9-18 with 0 HR, 3 RBI and 7 R. Obviously, we’d like to see more RBI coming from him, but while he’s hot he’s worth considering in five outfielder formats.
- Tommy Hanson improved to 4-0 after tossing 6 shutout innings, giving up 2 hits and 2 walks, striking out 2. His control was significantly better then it has been over his previous three starts. He has now gone 17.1 consecutive shutout innings, but he does continue to lack to strikeout upside that made everyone flock to him. As I said in yesterday’s Scouting Report, he’s still usable, but it’s going to take him some time before he becomes a big-time strikeout option in the major leagues.
- It was a tough luck loss for Brad Penny, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits and 0 walks, striking out 2, over 6 innings of work. He’s given up just 3 earned runs over his last 4 starts (22.2 innings), but is just 1-1 over that stretch. He’s just a low-end option right now, but he is a usable pitcher in deeper leagues for as long as he’s on the Red Sox. If he is traded, as has been rumored, we’ll have to re-evaluate him.
- Zack Greinke gave up 2 runs on 7 hits and 0 walks, striking out 3, over 6.1 innings to improve to 10-3 with a 1.95 ERA on the season. A rain delay cost him a chance of going deeper into the game, as his start was shortened to just 80 pitches. With the way he’s been pitching this season, there’s no doubt that he was going to go at least another inning or two.
- The rain delay actually benefited Joakim Soria owners, as he got a save opportunity in part thanks to it. He was perfect in the ninth, striking out 1. He has two saves and a win in his last three outings.
- Andrew McCutchen went 0-4 and is now hitless in his last three games (0-10). This is actually the first time he’s had back-to-back hitless games, let alone three in a row. Obviously, with that type of performance, he’s a usable option in all formats, albeit a low end option. He’s offered hits and runs, but little in power and surprisingly not as much as expected in the speed department. The steals will come, however, so I wouldn’t be concerned about that.
- David Price evened his record at 2-2 with a 3.93 ERA after giving up 1 run on 2 hits and 5 walks, striking out 4, over 6.1 innings. It’s nice to see him getting the W, but the walks really have to be a major concern at this point. He’s walked 25 batters over 36.2 innings, a really alarming rate. This is the fourth time in his seven starts that he’s walked at least five batters. He’s shown the ability to get the job done, which is nice, but until he straightens things out, he’s better suited for just deeper formats.
- B.J. Upton went 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R and 1 SB. Over his past three games he’s gone 5-11 with 1 HR, 5 RBI, 5 R and 2 SB. I know he’s struggled at times, but it’s streaks like this that show his true potential. He’s a must start option in all formats.
- Chris Coghlan went 0-3. He had been hitting a bit as of late, and scoring runs (he scored eight runs over five games prior to the weekend), but he has offered little HR or RBI. He’s now gone 11 games without an RBI, so only use him if you have some big boppers to offset him. He’s really just an option for those in deeper formats or NL-only leagues.
- Brandon Inge went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, with a .274 average, 18 HR and 51 RBI, how much do owners love his catcher eligibility?
- Jose Valverde allowed 2 runs on 1 hit and 1 walk, striking out 1, in his 1 inning of work to blow the save and take the loss. Tough outing for your closer, but it happens. Don’t get any ideas that the team is going to turn the job back over to LaTroy Hawkins. It’s going to take more then one bad outing for that to happen.
- Curtis Granderson went 3-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R. He’s at .263 with 18 HR and 43 RBI on the season as he just continues to produce.
- John Danks was solid, tossing 7 shutout innnings giving up 4 hits and 4 walks, striking out 5, to improve to 4-4 with a 4.08 ERA. He’s 2-2 over his last four starts, but has given up just 6 earned runs over 28.1 innings (1.92 ERA). His ERA prior to this stretch was 5.10, so that shows you how far he’s come. He’s definitely worth using in all formats right now, though he has a tough match-up against Zack Greinke his next time out.
- Gordon Beckham was again manning 3B, going 1-3. I think it’s safe to say that, at least for now, he’s the starter there with Josh Fields on the bench.
- Kosuke Fukudome was batting 8th, going 0-3. He’s been in an awful slump, going 14-69 in the month of June, a .203 average. He’s shown flashes, including a modest 4-game hitting streak and a 4 hit game, but not enough to make you use him right now. He’s worth owning, especially in five outfielder formats, but he should be on your bench for now.
- Francisco Liriano was finally on, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks, striking out 6, over 7 innings. Starts like this have been few and far between this season, so I wouldn’t jump on his bandwagon quite so fast. Could this be the start of good things to come? Yes, it could be, but time will tell. His next start comes against the Tigers, so that will be telling.
- Mark DeRosa got thrown right into the fire, playing LF and batting clean-up for the Cardinals in his debut. He went 0-3 with a walk. I wouldn’t expect him to see extensive time in the outfield, though I guess you never know.
- Justin Moreneau went 1-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R. He’s now hitting .309 with 17 HR and 61 RBI on the season. He had gone 15 games without a home run, with just 4 RBI durng that period. Needless to say, this was a welcome site for owners. Still, on 6/4 his average was .348, so hopefully this is just a taste of what’s to come.
- It certainly says something that with 8 hits in his last 13 at bats and a DH at their disposal, Garrett Atkins still was not in the Rockies line-up. He’s clearly playing better then he was (he couldn’t play any worse, right?), and more AB should be found if he continues to hit. For now, keep him stashed. He could be valuable in the second half.
- Vin Mazzaro gave up 3 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks, striking out 8, over 5 innings of work. It was his second consecutive less than stellar start, allowing a total of 7 earned runs on 12 hits and 6 walks over 11 innings of work. He was impressive early, but at this point he should be seen as nothing more than a low-end option in mixed leagues.
- Dexter Fowler went 0-5 and is now 1-15 with 2 R over his last four games. He’s an option in five outfielder formats due to runs scored, but that’s about it. Remember, the 13 SB is a bit skewed due to one 5 SB game.
- No Torii Hunter. No Vladimir Guerrero. No problem. The Angels still managed to beat up on Max Scherzer and a host of other Diamondback pictures. Juan Rivera went 1-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R batting clean-up. He’s now hitting .305 with 12 HR and 41 RBI on the season. Considering they have Guerrero, Hunter and Bobby Abreu, did anyone expect him to have as big of an impact as he has?
- Matt Palmer improved 7-1, but he was extremely unimpressive, giving up 6 runs on 10 hits and 2 walks, striking out 0, over 5 innings. That’s back-to-back bad starts and as I’ve said before, he really is not a pitcher worth using outside of seep formats.
- Max Scherzer was done in by his defense, giving up 8 runs (3 earned) on 4 hits and 3 walks, striking out 2, over 4.1 innings. While he does have to limit the damage, four errors from your team is just too much to handle. Don’t let this one affect your outlook on him.
- With Eric Byrnes out with an injury, Gerardo Parra is now a definite everyday player. He went 2-5 with 2 RBI, breaking an 8 game RBI drought. He could prove valuable in five outfielder formats, but right now, with just 3 HR and 0 SB in 162 AB, there really should be a better option available to you.
- Adrian Beltre went 1-4 with 1 RBI and 1 R. His time in the line-up is numbered, and those in weekly leagues should move him to their bench immediately, if you had remained patient with him. At least he gave you a little something as a parting gift. If you have a deep enough bench, I’d stash him and see how he plays upon his return in a few weeks.
- David Aardsma just continues to get the job done. He tossed a perfect inning, striking out 1, for save #16 on the season. He has not given up a run in June, spanning 11 innings. Needless to say, he’s benefited from Brandon Morrow’s struggles, then move back to the rotation, and is now a #2 fantasy closer.
- Matt Kemp went 1-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R. That puts him at .311 with 10 HR and 41 RBI on the season, yet he continues to be juggled around the line-up. Last night he hit seventh. I don’t know why I feel obligated to keep talking about this, honestly. Maybe I think a reason is going to come to me sooner or later, but it just still hasn’t.
- Nate Schierholtz is absolutely on fire. He went 4-5 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R. He’s on a 5-game hitting streak, going 12-21 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 5 R. The average is nice, but we’d definitely like to see more RBI production when you are that hot. He’s got some value in the deepest of formats as a fill-in, but I wouldn’t be counting on him as a long-term solution.
- Ryan Sadowski took the rotation spot of Jonathan Sanchez, tossing 6 shutout innings allowing 4 hits and 3 walks, striking out 2. Considering his 4.11 ERA at Triple-A this season and 4.80 Triple-A ERA in ’08, I don’t think he’s going to be the long-term solution there. Could Madison Bumgarner get an opportunity by August? It’s certainly possible, meaning keeper league owners should definitely stash him away immediately.
- Mat Gamel was batting lead-off for Milwaukee? Really? It really is time for Alcides Escobar to make his presence felt. He’s another one that I would stash immediately.
New York (AL) 4, New York (NL) 2
- If you want your struggling pitcher to get a boost, have them face the Mets right now. Granted, Chien-Ming Wang was not overly impressive, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks, striking out 3, over 5.1 innings of work, but it was enough to earn his first win of the season. It’s clearly not enough to make you think about using him, but at least he’s showing signs of improving.
- The Mets used Daniel Murphy as the lead-off hitter, going 1-5 with 2 K. He is much better suited to hit second, or lower in the order, then to be leading off. Don’t jump on him expecting him to continue in that line-up spot. I wouldn’t expect it to last.
- Francisco Rodriguez struggled in a non-save situation, walking in a run. While that’s bad enough, it was Mariano Rivera at the plate! He allowed 1 run on 1 hit and 3 walks, striking out 1, over his inning of work. He had worked three shutout innings since his first real blown save of the season, and I wouldn’t worry too much about this. He didn’t have his good stuff in this one, and that’s going to happen from time-to-time. He’s still a #1 fantasy closer in all formats.
San Diego 2, Texas 0
- Scott Hairston provided the entire offense for the Padres, going 3-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R. He had been 0-15 over his previous four games, so it is certainly nice to see him get going a little bit. If he can get back to where he was prior to his DL-stint, he certainly will be worth using in all five outfielder formats.
- Kyle Blanks went 2-3, putting him at 4-8 over his past two games with 3 RBI and 1 R. Is it enough to keep him not only on the major league roster, but in the active line-up? Time will tell, but I would think he should see time in the OF now that interleague play has finished. It’s unlikely the team keeps him on the major league roster if they have no intention of playing him, so monitor the news today.
Chad Gaudin & Heath Bell combined to one-hit the mighty Rangers offense. Impressive, but Gaudin is clearly not a pitcher you should be getting excited about.
- Does it really surprise anyone that Chris Davis went 0-3 with 1 K? In fact, in June, he’s struck out at least once in 20 of 23 games. That’s just downright ugly. I know we’ve speculated about it before, but how long do the Rangers continue to stick with him at 3B? I know he had hit two home runs in his previous three games, so that probably buys him a little relief, but we’ll have to see.
Anyone have any thoughts? Anything to add?
To read the previous article, click here.
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